Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY Busy Bag Idea

Recently I was a part of a busy bag group. I made these great color matching games for nine different little people. I got the idea from a homeschool blog. The process of putting these together was tedious, but seeing my son play with this color matching game for an hour, was worth every hour I put into making them. Each set was color printed onto 10 sheets of standard printer paper and then cut into 30 separate pieces. Then I laminated the puzzle pieces with the Scotch laminator. I'm in love with this machine! Finally, I cut each laminated set out for the last time. It took me two weeks and ten episodes of Jimmy Fallon to get these done. If I were making just one set, it would've been an hour from start to finish. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

God Made Dirt

Sometimes I wonder if I worry too much about the kids getting dirty, that it holds them back from enjoying life the way they want to. Today I decided to allow these little ones to be little. I took a few deep breaths, realizing the consequences would be dirty. At first, they hesitated and gazed over at me as if they were saying, "mom, can we?" When they saw my smile, they ran as fast as they could without looking back. It brought me great joy just to see them without inhibition. Every day I learn something new about motherhood. Today I learned that when it's appropriate, it's okay to let go and live. After all, it was only a matter of time before these boys discovered dirt. Boys will be boys. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Road trip tips for families

This summer we drove from Washington DC to California and then back again. We put 6,000 miles on our Honda Odyssey. Though the car smelled like day old diapers and sour milk, was carpeted in cookie and cracker crumbs, and I climbed over the seats at least 500 times, I'm actually sad it's over. 

Nap time secrets: Our boys typically nap at the same time every day. Naturally, we had quiet time in the car during their usual resting time. Any loud or sudden movements woke our most curious baby every time. One things for sure, fill up on gas before the little ones fall asleep. 

Presents for patience: Rewards were given for 1 hour of quiet time. The rewards were toys from his toy box at home, but I had wrapped them for the surprise effect. I was pleased to see that it worked. Who knew he liked his very own toys that much!

Games, games, games: I spy; 20 questions; geography games (states & capitols); the picnic game ("I went to a picnic on Saturday and I brought apples. The next person picks an item that starts with a "b" and has to repeat the previous items, all the way to "z"); the celebrity alphabet game (For example, Brad Pitt, then the next person picks a celebrity with a first name that starts with the first letter of the last name. Like "p"); and good old fashion slug bug and holding our breath under tunnels. 

Prizes for poop: My three year old has a hard time going #2 in public restrooms, so we had a prize bag filled with 10-15 different little toys & treats from the dollar store. Each time he went in a public restroom, he got to pick something from the prize bag. It worked 100% without fail.

Food for days: My husband thought I was crazy, but we packed a weeks worth of groceries in the car. We only had one fast food meal a day. It saved time and money. I also brought bowls in the car for the kids to each hold. 

Trinkets & toys: I put toys in three separate duffle bags and hid the other two until they were needed and then I'd rotate them out. Busy bags & books are helpful too. 

When in doubt, sing it out: I consider myself musically challenged, but luckily my family doesn't seem to mind. We sang just about every nursery rhyme and church song we could think of. 

Get out, get out, where ever you are: When the kids were all losing it, we'd get out and explore a new city or eat at a sit down restaurant.

When all else fails: put Frozen in the DVD player. Works every time!

I'm no expert, but these tips seemed to work for my family. Most importantly, have fun!

I didn't even know these still exhisted.