Posts Tagged ‘parenting’
“… today there are more than 1.2 million military children, and since 2001 approximately 2 million children have experienced deployment of a parent…” ~The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
There is one important thing to be noted of a Military child; they did not choose this lifestyle, they were born into it. An Active Duty servicemember makes a choice to enlist and those of us who are Military Spouses made the choice to marry our servicemembers. But our children had that choice made for them, they were born into military families and because of it are some of the most proud and resilient children I know! They go through all the trials of learning and growing with added stressors of moving, saying goodbye to friends, and spending months apart from their servicemember parent.
They are truly special children and we Celebrate them, our littlest Heroes!
“Established by Caspar Weinberger, the Month of the Military Child recognizes the important role military children play in our communities.” ~DoDlive.mil
***765,000 of our military children have Active duty parents, and approximately 225,000 have a parent who is currently deployed***
We, as a nation, take this month to recognize our military children and thank them for their unknown service to their country. Here are some great resources for those military families:
Please join me in thanking a Military Child today!
This weekend we celebrated Peyton and Preston’s 6th and 4th Birthdays. I had big plans for a fun outdoor party at the park~just what my P’s had asked for~ but late Friday night, a huge storm came through (complete with wind, rain, thunder and lightning~something very rare here in Southern California). Down to the last minute we were preparing to hold the party in our house, but thankfully the storm passed early enough and we were able to host the party at the park as planned. The kids had a blast and we are so lucky to have such great family and friends come to celebrate with us.
This year they were all about Super Heroes and Princesses~ so we came up with the theme “Capes and Castles”. This gave me SO many fun ideas for activities, snacks, games, and favors…
The invitations were made by Jazzy Caps . Her custom images are really affordable and her turnaround time is phenominal! They were exactly what I was looking for.
I’m generally not a fan of the typical loot bags and instead try to do something that goes with the theme and acts as part of the party itself. For this year’s Capes and Castles theme we passed out Super Hero Inital Capes for the Boys and Wands and Tiaras for the girls. I was able to order the capes and tiaras online and used yellow, red, and blue felt to make the badges for the back of them (I have to give a shout out to my husband who cut out all the yellow diamond shapes for me!). I also made the wands using plastic wand sticks, small flowers, and satin ribbon.
Refresments were simple; Pizza, Fruit, and Veggies. Per Peyton’s request we served Princess Punch (Pink Lemonade) and Super Hero Fuel (Fruit Punch), along with bottled water as our beverages.
A craft table was available for the kids to complete their ensembles. Beads for the Princess’ to make necklaces and foam masks for the Super Hero’s to decorate.
Our party game was “Pin the Tiara on Princess Peyton” and “Pin the Badge on Wunderkid”. I used poster board to trace the outline of the P’s. The Tiara was a stamp I found at Michael’s and the Badge was yellow card stock. The kids had a great time playing this classic party game with a twist!
A tree at the edge of the park was the perfect setting for our “Royal Ball”. We hung some pink paper flowers in the tree and set up a tub full of large colorful balls to play with.
The obstacle course ended up being less of a ‘course’ and more of a free for all. They all had a great time stacking our large “Bricks” (red and blue wrapped boxes) to break through the ‘wall’, scooting through the tunnel, and dancing through the hula hoops.
Thank you to ALL of our family and friends that were able to come celebrate with us. You really made this day special for my P’s!
For the thrid year in a row we have set an excellent trap but those Sneaky Leprechauns seem to have evaded us once again! Peyton was disappointed but has decided next year our trap should be bigger
The Trap was set
And when they woke up….
We found green footprints, Chocolate Coins, Shamrock Confetti, and Green Rock Candy…but NO Leprechauns! We have underestimated them again!
Pixi following the trail
She was very concerned about the footprints
But thought the Green milk was lots of fun!
P2 didn’t want to check the trap…He made me do it!
Enjoying her Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow
Rainbow Breakfast~Fruit and Marshmallows
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
As a fun activity we decided to make some homemade playdough. Why the homemade kind with a few cookie cutters always holds their attention longer than the storebought sets I will never know, but the P’s loved this “Leprechaun” Playdough that sparkles!
We used this Playdough Recipe found on The Artful Parent. I must warn, though, that this makes a HUGE batch. We probably could’ve done with half the amount but most of Preston’s ended up on the floor so I was glad we had the extra
I made the whole batch Yellow and then while kneeding it I added the Green to half of it. Once it’s kneeded out and cooled off a bit, add in the glitter. We used silver and gold. Throw a few cookie cutters, cups, and utensils out to use with it and you have a fun St. Patrick’s Day activity for the kids!
Tomorrow, March 2nd, is National Read Across America Day.
National Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, every year. Schools and Libraries across the country will be be celebrating the joy of reading with fun games and activities and of course BOOKS!
There is know denying that reading is a gateway to learning. When a child learns to read it builds their confidence, opens their imagination, and educates them about the world around them. With a young reader in our house, and one that is right behind her, we are encouraging as much reading as possible. We keep their books readily accessible in the playroom, take them with us in the car and to appointments for entertainment (thankfully my kids don’t get carsick), and read books to each of them, every night, as part of their bedtime routine. With Peyton in school this year (and Reading!) she has been doing lots of activities in her classroom and I am trying to incorporate as much Dr. Seuss fun as possible into our home routine this week. Because, you know, READING is FUN!
So, how can you join in on the Celebration?
Read Read Read: Early in the week we visited the local children’s library and checked out several Dr. Seuss books to have on hand and today I found that Target has their hard back, Dr. Seuss books on sale 2 for $10! We got two more to add to our collection, Green Eggs and Ham (Peyton’s Favorite), and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
Community Events: Check with your local library, schools, book stores, and community centers to see if they have anything planned. There is also a list of Events posted on Seussville.com. Most Libraries and Barnes and Noble book stores host weekly story times for the kids, by doing a quick online search I was able to find several options for story time in our area.
Activities: There are so many fun ideas over on Seussville.com. Check out their activity section for lots of printable word finds, mazes, and color sheets. You may want to jazz up your wardrobe and make a paper Cat in the Hat tall hat or cut out Stars to wear on your belly like the sneetches. Maybe a Daisy headband to wear like Daisy Head Mayzie.
Fun Snacks: You can’t have a celebration without fun foods! Try one of these fun Dr Seuss themed treats.
- Cat in the Hat Parfait: layer fresh sliced strawberries with vanilla yogurt in a glass.
- Cat in the Hat Kabobs: Alternate Strawberries and Bananas on a skewer.
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Colored Goldfish Crackers~that’s an easy one!
- Green Eggs and Ham: Add Food coloring to your scrambled eggs, serve with ham, bacon, or sausage.
The other day I’m making dinner and the P’s are watching a cartoon while they wait. I’m going about my business in the kitchen when I hear “Doggy Did What Doggies Doo!” come from the TV. I look over to see this comercial from The Doggie Doo Game:
I literally said out loud “oh you have got to be kidding me!” So I looked it up.
The game is this; you feed the dog, you walk the dog, the dog poops! When the dog poops you clean it up and the first person with three pieces of poo on his shovel, wins.
Oh, and the rules state “You can only pick up the dog’s mess when it has fallen on the table. When it is hanging outside the end of the dog, just tap him on the back until it drops” I see. So just so the kids know, never pull poop out of a dogs butt!
I have a three year old son who would find this just hilarious. The problem? I spend my days trying to convince him that poop, pee, and farting noises are NOT funny.
I would really like to know how business is going for them. Tell me, would you buy this game for your kids?
Over on Catholicmom.com she shares a childrens Lenten activity to do with the Jelly Bean Prayer. I loved this idea of earning Jelly Beans for specific good deeds or acts of kindness. However, for Peyton and Preston (5 and 3) it seemed like a lot for them to take on. And, anyone that knows Preston knows that Jelly Beans would not last in that jar all 40 days…at some point he would sneak in and take them.
We came up with our own way to earn Jelly Beans for good deeds throughout Lent that doesn’t involve the constant temptation.
To work on improving our selves with kindness and caring we have set out 3 jars. One is full of Lima beans and the other two were empty at the start of the Lenten season. From Ash Wednesday until Easter the P’s will be told to move 1 Lima bean to their jar every time I see them doing something for others. It can be anything from helping out with chores, sharing a special toy, or being kind to one another. On Easter, the beans that they have earned will be Jelly Beans.
Also known as Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate is located in Northern Virginia. And it just happens to be about a mile outside the gates of Fort Belvoir where we lived a couple of years ago.
In honor of Presidents Day, I thought I’d highlight this great historical attraction that the kids love visiting. Whether you live in Northern Virginia or are planning a trip to Washington, DC Mount Vernon should be on your list of things to see and do.
The Plantation is nearly 50 acres and includes his Mansion, a working blacksmiths shop, farm, and beautiful gardens. You can tour the inside of the Mansion and visit his tomb. The grounds of the plantation are set up just as they were in George Washington’s lifetime and include costumed characters fromt that time period daily from 10am-12pm and visits with Lady Washington Wednesday -Sunday from 12pm-4pm.
You can literally spend hours here enjoying the scenery and soaking up the history. The plantation is very ’kid’ friendly as most of the grounds are outdoors and there is so much to catch their attention. On your way out you can visit the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center which inludes many more artifacts and exhibits along with theaters and a children’s education room.
Located just at the exit, you can grab lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant or Food Court and browse the gift shop.
For more information on “George Washington’s House” visit www.mountvernon.org. You can also find a list of special events and tours located on their page.
After living on the East Coast where the kids could have snowball fights in the front yard and to go sledding all we had to do was cross the street, we moved to Southern California. The kids miss the snow. Can’t say that I blame them, sometimes I miss a good Snow Day too.
Last year we discovered that there is a place, right here in San Diego County, where we could get our winter fix. Complete with snow, sledding, and hot chocolate and pie.
Julian, Ca is know for their famous pies but what we love about it is that it’s only about an hour away, off highway 78, and often snows during the winter.
The kids and I took a trip up there yesterday but unfortunately the couple inches they had gotten the day before had melted away except for the parking lot snow piles. We weren’t able to do any sledding but still enjoyed stomping around in puddles.
When the snow does stick, it is a great winter day trip!
(photos below from Feb. 2011)
A great place to take those snow saucers is Jess Martin County Park, located about 1/2 mile south of town on highway 79. There is a perfect hill on the back side of the park that is public.
And when your done with you snowball fights check out Julian Pie Company on Main Street for some delicious pies and hot chocolate!
As the mom of three small children, (ages 1, 3, and 5) I have very little time to clean and organize my house. Add to that owning an online boutique, and a Non-Profit, and volunteering in various military and school programs, I REALLY have NO time. Any extra time that I do have I want to be spending with my children, not scrubbing the house. Between school, work,and sports, I’m sure you can all relate. But, a cluttered house that needs to be cleaned just adds to the craziness and I can’t have that!
These are my top tips for keeping the clean even with little ones and a busy schedule.
1. Have a Cleaning Schedule: Now, like any thing else, you have to find what works for you. Something that fits into your already busy life. I suggest heading over to Clean Mama where not only can you find her schedule (which is the basis for what I use) but you can also visit her etsy shop for printables. She has everything you need to keep you on pace from Cleaning kits to chore charts (which I also use)! There are few things on the schedule that I switched around or I do more than once a week, like vacumming because of the crumb monsters, but overall this keeps my house in check so that it does not get out of control.
2. Controlled Clutter: One of my favorite ways to keep the clutter under control is Baskets. They look pretty and you can just toss everything in.
2. A load a day keeps the monster away: The laundry monster that is. We’ve all been there, the day that you realize there are no clean socks because they are all in the dirty clothes hampers. Then you spend all day washing, drying, and folding and the laundry monster takes over your house! It’s on the couches, the beds, the dining room table, and since you’ve spent all day washing you have no time left to put it away. To solve the problem, just do one (or two) loads a day, fold it immediately and put it away. It takes some forcing but I try and make it a point to put a load in as soon as I wake up in the morning. It helps cut down on the amount of dirty laundry and the clean laundry that piles up in unwanted places.
4. The Laundry Basket Round-Up: To get out of place items picked up quickly, I like this method. Grab a laudry basket and go from room to room putting anything that doesn’t belong there into the basket. Continue around the house until everything in the basket is put away. My house is two story so I start on the bottom floor gathering everything there and then head upstairs. I put everything away and then grab anything up stairs that needs to go down and finish up. This cuts down on the amount of time it takes to put it all in it’s place and cuts down on the number of trips you make up and down or back and forth.
5. Clorox Wipes: Keep a can of disinfecting wipes in every bathroom. At any time you can easily wipe down the counter top or sink. My kids are famous for smearing soap on the counters or leaving toothpaste in the sink. This way I can quickly and efficiently keep the bathrooms up inbetween my weekly cleaning.