Thursday, February 27, 2014

Even More Tips and Tricks I wish I knew Before Having Kids! Ha-For those requested this I hope you like it:)

Here is my latest set of Tips and Advice-Hope you like it and find it useful:)

82.  We have all been there our kids start to loose their teeth and your scrambling to find some cash! When our first daughter started to loose hers I went to the ATM and have "tooth fairy" money stashed so no more forgetting or rushing out in the night!!! You can grab other things and do the same-little trinkets and such

83. To keep lunches fun I use cookie cutters for their sandwiches, cheese, meat anything that will work. They love it and other moms come up to me and say thanks now I have to do it:)

84. And addition to that I love to leave "love notes' in their lunch bags-sometimes a poem, or fill in the blank or just an encouraging note

85. Counting needs to fun and hands on for your child to understand-so we used pretzel sticks an animal crackers-=they loved to eat them when we subtracted:)

86. Other fun uses for cookie cutters-playdough!

87. Play dough-we love to make the homemade kind and add food coloring, a liquid spice for scent and glitter for the sparkle. They can help make it!

88. Dips can be a great way to introduce certain foods, like veggies or fruits, crackers, whatever you think will work! Try to make it fun and their mind more off of the idea they don't even like it!

89. Speaking of...try not to say in front of your child that you don't like the food-let them figure it out instead not trying based on your opinion. Now that my kids are older I can say that without them not wanting to try it.

90. School projects are for kids with guidance needed from parents-not a competition who s is better than who's-teach them to be proud of their work and teachers always know when the student did it or the parents>>>i know this from being in the class

91. When your child starts to understand kind words and hurtful words show them what I call the crinkle heart note. Again this is visual and smaller ones can grasp-Cut heart out of any paper and ask them to tell you hurtful words-each time you will crunch it up a bit and say thats how you make their heart feel. Then on the back have them say kind words and un crinkle it showing them how their heart feels better and more full

92. So at bath time our girls love to play kitchen-so I put an extra plastic tea pot, spoons, cups, plates and fake food and they will sit in their for an hour-I love it!

93. Also have 2 very girlie girls that love hair accessories-I always keep extra pony tail holders and a brush in the car (ponies in my purse as well) and downstairs in the kitchen for mornings we are running behind or one breaks! Huge time savor!

94. Keeping their rooms clean was always a daily activity-try to make it fun by shooting baskets, or organize by colors, or tell stories before they return to the castle. My girls 5 and 7 love to organize and the 5yr olds room is always spotless! My 7yr old on saturday mornings will dump everything out just to re organize. I made it more fun instead of a dreadful chore

95. Looking people in the eye when talking is so important, and respectful. At a young age I always told them to look my and others in the eyes and now its automatic. Now their older and I explain it helps us become better listeners and show appreciation for others words

96. I am strict on manners-if they don't say please they will wait until they do and thank you same way-nothing else until said. We still work on that but they get better as they get older. So we bought some manner cards and that was all it took for them to see it as a game and that visual aid where they can see their expressions and affected them. They still do them for fun

97. Lice is always an ongoing issue no matter your status. Best way is for kids with longer hair to put up in ponies or however you like. After we spent 6hrs and $700 for treatment was all reason I needed! Kids can't help but hug each other and they jump onto clean hair.

98. Selling-when kids are selling something for an association please have them do this themselves-of course with your supervision. I will stand back a bit and have them knock on the door, say their name and tell them what exactly they are selling. Great practice for communication skills-and always say thanks when the place the order and when you bring them back their orders. Our son know in college is very good at communication skills-he was always invited to the adults activities because he could hold and interact with the conversation-and was always polite.

99. Going to the doctors or dentist can be frightening-I would use their stuff animals and we would play doctor on them so they could see what was going to happen-my kids hardly ever cried even for their shots and was able to sit pretty still.

100. Kids have awesome imaginations-we like to use cheap things around the house like lawn chairs, buckets, watering cans, and make a house to take care of. Also we loved to bring their kitchen set and table and chair set on the deck on nice days to switch it up!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Did I Give In?!!!!!!!

So it was Friday night and I should have known better than to ask if the girls wanted to go out for dinner. They are 5 1/2 and 7 and just finished a week of school. From past experiences they are exhausted and seldom feel like just sitting there for an hour or two after sitting in school all day. As the question came out of my mouth I already regretted it. The fighting became about where we are going. Then the tears came flowing and my frustration building. Now I take my part in the blame as I knew it would turn in to that, but I did have my selfish reason-my hubby was gone all week and mamma wanted to go out! turned ugly fast. I am strict on the 1-2-3 counting method. 95% of the time I don't even get to 2 or 3 because I implemented this discipline technique when they were toddlers and totally get what comes if I get to 3. I don't go on and on about what they did, I just simply count. Ill quick explain what they did wrong and ask them if they could have handled it better and if you were in the wrong you need to go look the person in the eyes and apologize. Well we were beyond that. We told them if they didn't stop yelling and crying we would just stay home. We tried to get them to compromise but they wouldn't have it. So after telling them in my very frustrated voice we are just going to stay home since you could not come to an agreement where we go for dinner. Well the 5 1/2yr would not give up. She just kept on crying so I found myself coming up with excuses. I knew I was in the wrong, but man I just couldn't help myself. Usually I am very strong and strict, but not this time. This time I knew it would be a mixed signal and would eventually come back to bite my in the as@! I finally suggested I go through the drive thru and bring home the chili she so badly wanted. Excuses started flowing out of my mouth like a song! First came she was very tired, then came she was so good up till now, then came her sister pushed her buttons and vice versa, then it came down to the real truth-mom just really wanted to go out and get out of the house for dinner. Yep I came clean. Ugh the inner me was dreaming what the hel@ are you doing? You solo know much better. But as soon as I suggested that she instantly turned the yelling and crying off and replaced it with a smile. Man did I feel some type of relief, as I was still going to get out of the house for only a bit to listen to my songs on the IPOD and not One Direction or Taylor Swift. I had my own victory but as far as my children go, I sent the wrong mixed signals-if you cry and scream loud enough and mommy wants to do it we can get away with it. I call this "Parent Suicide" I just did what I fought so long and hard not to do. This proves we all have our breaking moments where we give in no matter the consequences we will later face. I am not just a mom and a wife, but a women that need to get out and socialize. I am selfish and sometimes I think that is OK! ha!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Message All Kids Can Understand: How Negative and Positive Words Can Affect Us

We do the paper heart where we cut out a heart and write things that we did that may have hurt someones feelings and then we crumple up a little more each time we add to it. Then on the other side we write positive things we did or say to others and un crumble word by word. I started this when our girls were younger so they had a visual how our actions and words affect others, both in positive and negative ways. Even I do it as I am a mom but still make mistakes. It helps guid them to grow, even me, and in the future deal with things easily.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Parents Taking Over Their Child's Art Projects-Let them do it themselves for goodness sakes!!!!

So I approach Valentine and all other art projects, like making their boxes and valentines, by letting them get messy and have fun. I don't give them direction and make it the elaborate one of the class. I just want them to be creative and know it is theirs, all theirs!!! Its not a competition, its a creative outlet that they can be proud of. 

Today I was in my youngest daughters class for her valentines day party and oh my some of these parents must have spent hours making it elaborate and perfectly placed. My kids were assigned to do it, not me, so I let them do whatever they want. Now sometimes they will need assistance with opening something or cutting and I am always more than happy to assist and be there to support them as a family project, but I won't do the work for them. Some of the kids made comments that their box looked stupid now. I told them they all did a great job and made a point to ask them if they did it all themselves and when they said yes I told them great job!!! 

It should be a bout fun, trying something new, be messy and creative, take pride in their work. I seriously don't have the time with 3 kids to worry about my kids  making the best art projects, but I do have enough time to watch them smile when they told me they did it all by themselves:)

Friday, February 7, 2014

More Tips and Advise-Wish I knew these before I had my kids! Would have helped me!

This is my second set of tips. These may be small or even known already, but maybe there is another part of it you didn't think about. Its great to share information. I come from a very diverse perspective. I was or am:
1. Single mom
2. Young teenage mom
3. Married and Divorced mom
4. Mom of two under two mom
6. Blended families mom
So I can relate to most peoples struggles and situations. Its important that we really listen to one another without judgement and offer support.

61. Kids always love to help around the house, even if you don't! Ha! When I am cleaning and I will give them their own cloth and spray it with a safe cleaner of course and let them go at. May not be perfect but they feel good to contribute.

62. With 3 kids I spent a lot of time at the beach and parks. I carry a large mesh bag that holds all our sand stuff and can shake everything out instead of collecting bottom of a tote bag.

63. Then I kept a garbage bag in the trunk and threw it in there to prevent sand from going everywhere!

64. I always keep an extra towel in my car to wipe off those dirty feet! Hate marks on the back of my seat.

65.  Staying in their beds-Yes this is simple but really it was the only thing that worked for me-I would just keep walking them back no matter how many times or crying. If repeated enough they will get it. Most of us give up though before that happens because we are so sleep deprived.

66. When getting my toddlers out of the car in the parking lot it was always stressful. I developed a rule they had to have 1 hand touching the car at all times. I told them to put their "Superglue" on and stick! Making anything out a game usually works!

67. Auqadoodle Mats were great. If I was in the kitchen I would lay it down next to me so I could watch them-and only water in the pen so not messy. We would make big tic-tac-to board. which larger squares made it easier for them to draw the x or o all by themselves.

68. Laundry  is that inevitable chore most of us loath, except me I actually find it relaxing! My mom told me a long time ago if you did one load everyday you wouldn't spend your weekends doing laundry. She was right. Throw a load in first thing in the morning, put in dryer afternoon or after work then when kids go to bed turn on a show and fold! I have friends that dedicate sat or sun and I rather have more free time!!!

69. Halo Sleep Sacks were the best! Just a onesie and zip that baby up! Those little, fragile limbs move a mile a minute so that made it way easier for changing, leaving the difficult cute ones for when you go out.

70. Another of course one, but one that always saved me was always have a snack stashed in your purse for long lines or waiting for a table.

71. Babys first birthday cake is fun but messy. I would throw an extra large trash bag and put under the highchair so after they were done made super easy cleanup, well the floor anyway:)

72. Water noodles are very versatile. ON a rainy day we would bring them inside and line them up side to side and grab plastic water bottles and a ball and play indoor bowling.

73. Strollers are great, but sometimes hard to maneuver. I loved my front and back one while my friend hated her side to side one. We would be in s a store and she couldn't fit through the isles! Even some doorways were super tricky.

74. Another rainy day activity to keep busy, we would bring outside in! Our girls loved to use their sidewalk chalk and draw on construction paper. It makes really bright colors.

75. I always had 2 pairs of extra socks in my car for those McDonald or play area places. After having to buy them a few times it finally hit me!

76. Easy craft is making homemade crayons. I bought some silicone cups in hearts, flowers and all different kinds and they would make them for their friends, or put in goody bags.

77. Sorting through seasonal items is challenging. When putting away the seasonal shoes, mittens, hats and scarfs, I would use a rubber band to tie the pairs together, or if one of us has 3 hats for instance put those together. Saves time sorting through them when time ti get them out.

78. Hanging plastic jewelry bags have been a godsend for a mother of 2 super girlie girls with a hundred different ponytail holders and barrettes. So sort them out and put matching ones, sets, or same color in all the different pouches. Now instead of taking 10 minutes to find the ones they want they get them right away. We have ours hanging on the door rack in their bathroom.

79. When they were working on fine motor skills, especially cutting, I would just have them cut out tons of things from magazines, or just draw lines on plain paper.

80. We have 1 daughter that is Left Handed, so after struggling to teach her writing or even cutting, I am Right Handed, I learned to sit across from her instead of side by side. They learn easier if they are mirroring you.