Homemade

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve noted all of the arts and crafts taking place in our home. I am a glutten for punishment, I know. It sort of makes my heart sing though, when my 4yo comes up to me, abandoning her Saturday morning cartoons, asking if I could “set up an activity” for her. Of course, I then need to abandon my hot cup of coffee to spend the next 30 minutes trying to figure out exactly WHAT activity she had in mind because clearly none of the ones I have chosen, the ones that require minimal adult intervention, make the cut. A small price to pay, I say to myself, as I put my coffee in the microwave for the 9th time.

Whenever possible, I insert art into my kids’ day. They especially like to make art for others. Cards for friend’s and family’s birthday’s are fan favorites.

But the mother of all homemade cards: Valentines Day.

I heart doilies and pink construction paper. Call me old fashioned like that. With buckets full of puffy hearts and a ton of glitter, my girls got to work. Their Valentines did not disappoint.

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Heart shaped glitter laden Valentines in the making!

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The “dead” Valentine.

Sarah decided to give all her valentines “faces” and make them into people. The above was my favorite, the “Dead One” as she called it. I’d love to know which friend got this card!

Do your kids make homemade gifts or cards?

Have a great crazy day!

No Middle Ground

Kids are pretty much “all or nothing” type creatures. There is no “gray” area. When told to do something, they either do it ALL THE WAY or sulk in the corner and proclaim that they CAN’T DO ANYTHING.

Like wearing underwear. Simple enough, right? WRONG!

After her shower the other night, SJ comes out laughing and lifts her jammies to a bare butt.

“SJ, go put on some underwear!”

So, not unlike Joey from Friends, she comes out wearing ALL THE UNDERWEAR.

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Could she BE wearing any more underwear??

13 pairs of underwear, to be exact.

We eventually got down to a more respectable 1 pair of underwear, though not without a debate on how her butt “needs to be cozy”.

Have a great crazy day!

Capers and olives and olives and olives and olives…

Last week I posted about conversations I have with my mom about completely mundane, everyday life stuff. The most recent was about my quest to find a jar of olives for my dinner that night, but instead all I had was a giant jar of capers. So my dinner plan for that night was thwarted.

OR, my pantry was playing tricks on me. Because look:

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The elusive jar of olives on the 3rd shelf.

On the one hand, I am quite glad that I was not crazy like I thought and that I indeed DID buy olives. However, clearly my packed pantry can also cause some issues. In the words of my daughter, “You might want to calm down a bit with the stocking of the pantry.”

Anyone have another good recipe that includes olives? I’ve got plenty!

Have a great crazy day!

Getting My Act Together

I don’t make New Years Resolutions anymore. I don’t kid myself that the “resolutions” I make In January will be in play come mid-year or even February. I’ve got enough issues trying to remember to change the wash over to the dryer and then get the clothes out of the dryer in that time frame, much less take on some goal to “better” myself.

Instead, I’m going to work on getting my collective shit together.

That’s right- my household is rather well maintained (thanks to my mess-fearing hubby) but I am rather all over the place. I have projects, ideas, plans….all in some state of limbo. They were started, but set aside to start another project. Or to sit on the couch and watch Ellen and funny dog videos.

I’ve been in a slump. My garden was never prepped for winter, my post blogs are stuck in the “drafts” section and throwing my kids outside is about as creative as I’m getting with them these days.

I’m not in a motivated state of mind right now. My attention has been so work oriented- which is great, because new things are coming down the pike for me which is hugely exciting, but also slightly terrifying- that by the time I get home my attention span can’t handle much more than a funny internet GIF.

So for the next few weeks I’m going to get back on board with my blog, but in the form of shorter posts, perhaps even just a picture, of the chaos in my life.

I’ll leave you with this. Who has ever walked into a room to find something like this- a scene where you just stop and try to figure out what in the world is going on in those little heads. Have anything similar to share? Post them in the comments!

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Have a great crazy day!

Caution: Dangerous Things

Kids, it would seem, are on the brink of imminent danger ALL OF THE TIME. They fall down. They run into things. They fall off of things. They fall off something and then run into something on the way to tell you they fell off something.

They always need a band-aid for something that does not require a band-aid.

Kids take risks. As parents, our job is to keep those little risk takers as safe as possible and prevent them from physically harming themselves….too much.

Here is the thing though: you need to do this while still allowing them to take those risks that could result in some sort of physical hurting that requires a band-aid.

For our kids to grow up understanding how to take APPROPRIATE risks, we need to allow them to take the risk in the first place. They need to learn their boundaries, what they can and cannot do. On their own. Otherwise we are going to have kids that, given the first taste of freedom, are going to do something incredibly stupid because we were not there to tell them THAT IS GOING TO REALLY HURT YOU AND POSSIBLY SOMEONE ELSE. This happens because they have no idea of their limitations because they’ve never tested them before. And when you are older, your “risk taking” is going to be much more significant; a risk that will land you in jail and/or the hospital or…let’s not think about it.

I was thinking about this over the weekend as we were engaged in all sorts of Halloween fun. Some of these fun things included very sharp carving implements and things with warning labels saying “Toxic and harmful if swallowed”. There were also 0 incidents of calling poison control or 911 for a missing digit.

This is what I did. I showed them how to use the razor sharp tool/deadly poisonous paint appropriately, doled out some very detailed rules such as “be careful”, “don’t poke anyone in the eye”, and “don’t spray this in your face”, then stood back and watched as they very appropriately and very carefully used these items. On their own. Without me next to them.

Kids, when given the opportunity and responsibility, will amaze you. And it shouldn’t even be that amazing, because contrary to popular belief, kids don’t want to hurt themselves. But they DO want to try out that cool thing you’ve told them they can’t touch. So when you give them the chance, they are careful not to blow it. Did they get non-washable spray paint on their clothes? Yes. Did they carve the pumpkin within an inch of it’s ability to stay standing and showing any semblance of at one point being a pumpkin? Yes. Did they have a great time and show mommy that they can be big girls and use dangerous things with a little bit of modeling and trust? Yes.

However, they both ended up running into things and needing band-aids for injuries that in no way needed a band-aid.

Come on, some things never change.

 

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Using Very Sharp Tools

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Just Pretending To Be Dead and Being Eaten By Spiders

 

 

Have a great crazy day and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The Obligatory Posts

It’s that time of year. End of summer. Beginning of school.

WAIT A MINUTE! It’s OCTOBER!

Jeez, I started this post, then got busy folding up my daughters shirts that she had spread out all over the floor to use as blankets to “put her babies to bed” and the next thing I know, end of summer DONE, beginning of school, DONE.

And I never posted my summer or beginning of school pics.

What kind of parent am I?!?

I am the kind of parent that realizes September is the suckiest time of year for parents. My close friend and I had this discussion just recently- September SUCKS.

Back to school supplies, back to school clothes, back to school night, back to school permission forms, getting kids back into school schedules, getting up at back to school times, and getting into back to school arguments with kids about….everything.

September is not for the faint of heart when it comes to parenting. It is beyond busy. There are 100 different forms to fill out all asking for the same exact information. You need to get physical’s completed (oops) and permission for medication forms signed.

You have to sign up for PTA and Parent Teacher Conferences, and Back to School Night, and volunteer for room parent and book fair and ice cream social.

You have to decide if you should sign up your kid for language or drama or art or STEM after school extension activities.

And still go to work. And still get some sleep.

Doing all of that while having full on battles with your kids resisting the back to school everything.

So I am late to the party, y’all. Now it’s October and I am in the middle of pumpkin patching and ordering Halloween costumes. Here’s a question for you- if you didn’t post it on Facebook/instagram/snapchat did it really HAPPEN?

My kids are still funny, they still drive me crazy, SJ still likes to say “bagina” at inopportune times. I’ve got a treasure trove of stories to tell, and I promise they are coming. But right now, let’s just catch up, shall we? I’m going to flash back to the end of summer, consider this my TBT of posts.

First up, cousins are the best. Summer vacation included an OBX stay, which is always fantastic. Cousins are like mini-parents. My kids probably listened to them more then they did to me and their dad. You’re probably looking at the lone guy cousin and thinking he got a raw deal on this vacation- don’t feel bad. He was most awesome with my girls and what made it the best is that he GENUINELY enjoyed playing with them. He didn’t get annoyed, he didn’t shoo them away. All around great” big scary monster” (per SJ) cousin to have around. He also got 2 jet ski trips out of it, so a sufficient dose of fast and furious type activity thrown in there. And the older girls, they just doted on the younger cousins. Lots of love goin’ on there.

Obligatory beach scenes.

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Oh, this one.

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And this one.

A busy kid equals a sleepy kid.

For all of you that are experiencing the back to school chaos that is all-consuming, I feel ya. How do you deal in times of chaos? Might I suggest:

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Have a great crazy day!

How To Have A Happy Birthday

You know the best way to have a birthday party for your kid? Let them be a kid.

My girl just turned 7 and she had a FANTASTIC birthday. It wasn’t at a giant venue with bounce houses, trampolines, magician’s, a petting zoo, or any other organized type of event. Those are fun, and we’ve been to many.

But it’s not her thing.

I asked her what she wanted- if she wanted to go to a place with a bounce house or trampolines, or a petting zoo.

She wanted to have her friends come to her house and have different craft activities. AND a pinata….can’t forget the pinata!

So that’s what we did, and the kids had SUCH. A. BLAST. that I actually had to call the parents and tell them to come pick their kids up an hour LATER it that was okay. My husband said, “do you think they’ll be able to change with such short notice?” Through my hysterical laughter I could hear my phone start immediately buzzing with incoming texts, all saying, “FINE BY ME!”

I am all about simple, because most of the time my life feels anything but. So here are my tips for throwing a super fun, low key, simple birthday party where the kids will have a blast and you will keep your sanity

  1. Limit the numbers. You don’t need to invite your child’s entire class in order for her to have a great time. Our rule of thumb is she can invite the same number of friends as her age. This year, it was 7. But she ended up just asking that her 4 best friends be there. And they had a GREAT. TIME. A small group ensures everyone gets to hang out.
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Colorful hair chalk (washes right out!), leis from the dollar store and they were decked out.

2.  Don’t over schedule. Kids are great at entertaining themselves. When the girls arrived, they head off to my daughters room where they were fully engaged in some game that involved many items to be strewn all over the floor. But they were laughing and no one came out saying they were bored. My daughter is a big arts and crafts girls and all she wanted was “a couple of craft activities set up, like in centers.” What, is she a teacher?? So I had 2 planned activities and they had such a great time and got so into them that i had to call the parents and have them come an hour later because they hadn’t finished their project. Believe me, not a single parent bawlked at having to delay picking up their child. One parent, when they arrived; “Oh my god that was the best text I ever got! I took a nap!”

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A tie dye party was my daughters idea. Make sure you warn parents not to send them in their party best! It’s MESSY!

3. Keep it simple. Kids are easy to please. Usually when things get too complicated its because we are trying to make ourselves feel good about everything we’ve planned. But for realz, they don’t care. As long as there is cake, they are good. We tie dyed some shirts, decorated some hats, had a pinata and boom, party success.

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Hats, fabric markers, BOOM. Simple activity.

5. You can’t go wrong with a pinata. Seriously- kids go crazy over candy and cheap plastic toys. It’s like they have won the lottery. These days they have those pinata’s that you just pull a string and the right one will open it up and the candy will spill out. I thought that idea was great, and last year we had one, but this year I went with the old school hit it with a stick while you are blindfolded method. And I kid you not, when I brought out the stick and told them what they were going to do, a few started saying, “uh-uh, that is NOT safe!” Like they’ve never had broom sword fights in their living room and busted up a lamp.

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Give a kid a big stick and they are bound to bust something…..

4. Smile, and have a drink. ENJOY YOURSELF! This is your celebration, too. Sit back and look at how wonderful your kid is and then cheers to you, for doing such a kick ass job.

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The smile on her face let me know the party was a success!

Do you have any tips for surviving planning your kids birthday? Would love to hear them!

 

Have a great crazy day!