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8 Priceless Mother’s Day Gift ideas

As I have gotten older I have become a more simpler person.  I do not ask a lot out of the people around me and I do not expect gifts on my birthday or any holiday for that matter.  So I decided to make a list of gifts that I would love to receive as a Mom or I have done for someone else.  Remember, it’s not about the gift it is the thought that goes into the gift.  The best gifts I have ever received are ones that are made by my kids or it was the time that was put into the gift that made it special.

  1. Sleep. This seems like an obvious one but let her sleep, or in my case just rest in bed with no interruptions.  I can’t tell you how amazing it is just to sit in bed and not have to worry about getting breakfast ready, changing a diaper or anything else that has to be done in the morning.
  2. Let her pee alone.  I am sure you have seen this one on every Pinterest board and Facebook meme but it is totally and completely true. Peeing alone is something you take for granted, until you have kids then it becomes a luxury.
  3. Have the kids make Mom a special meal.  Have them tell you what they want to make her and help them execute it.  It’s the thought that counts.
  4. Make Mom a card instead of buying one.  Moms love thoughtful gifts and what is more thoughtful than making a card rather than buying one that 100 other Moms get.
  5. Do a special photoshoot for her.  Either you take pictures of her and the kids or you hire a photographer to take pictures of just her and the kids.  She will treasure these special pictures and so will your children. Make sure you PRINT them!
  6. A day at the spa. If your wallet allows it, splurge on a day at the spa.  Massage, pedicure, manicure and just relaxation.  Moms work very hard and often overlook much needed time for themselves so a day of pure relaxation will allow her to get some energy back.
  7. Hire a person to clean your house.   If you hire someone to deep clean your home not only will it help out Mom it will make everyone happier because your home will be truly clean for a little while.
  8. Special time with each kid and spouse.  Take time to plan a special “date” with each member of the family.  If your child(ren) are old enough, have them think of something special they want to do with just Mom.  If your child isn’t old enough to plan something make sure you think of every detail for their “date.”  Also, do not forget to plan a special “date” with her spouse.  Examples: picnic, paint a mug at your local pottery store, go shopping, etc.

Whatever you decide to get Mom it is the thought and time that went into it that counts.  The best gift that a Mom can ever get is love, laughter and appreciation for all that she does.  Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms (and Dads pulling Mom duty).  Know that you all are amazing and the world would be so different without you.

What’s my secret? 

“You have three kids and you homeschool?”

“How do you do it?”

Those seem to be the two questions I get asked a lot when I meet people. Everyone always seems to have a surprised reaction to it.

I have been homeschooling since Miss. K was 5.  There were many reasons why we choose to homeschool and I will go over those in a future post. But we are so happy we homeschool.

There are days where I am on the ball with everything and I can get everything done and then there are days where I fail miserably with everything I try and do.

There are days where my kids eat oatmeal for dinner and then there are days where I cook a wonderful meal that includes a main course with side dishes.

There are days where I get all of the laundry washed and put away and then there are days where it is in a huge pile on the floor and we have nothing to wear.

Then there are days where my kids get all of their schoolwork done and then other days where it’s just too beautiful not to play outside and we unschool.

Then there are days where my house looks beautiful and clean and then others where it looks like a bomb went off. Clothes and toys everywhere and dirty dishes in the sink.

There are days where I have no problem juggling all three kids and then there are days where everyone is grumpy.

What’s my secret?

My secret is that I know I am not perfect. I know that I love my kids. I know that my husband and I support each other. I know life is messy. I know that there will be days that I cannot do everything and that is ok.

The minute I allowed myself to not be the “perfect” Mom, the stress melted away. I tell my kids that I am not perfect nor do I expect them to be. We all make mistakes, the important thing is that we learn from them.

I am happy. I am happier with my kids around. I am the happiest when my kids and husband are around. They are my everything and together we can get through the messy parts of life. Being happy and knowing no one is perfect and that we all make mistakes and knowing not everything will go as planned is my secret.

It’s simple.

What’s your secret? What makes you happy?

 

Does your family car look like this?

My car is the typical kid car.  It is full of toys on the floor, sticky seats and old food crushed all over the place.  We try and clean the car out once a month or whenever it gets to be too much but it’s hard when I know it will just get dirty again.

Just looking at this picture makes me want to go scrub my car. It is so hard to keep a clean car with young kids. How do people do it?

My kids have to have their toys in the car with them.  It doesn’t matter where we are going, they have to bring a toy along with them.  I can understand why, the car can get boring and it’s also a comfort thing.  After years of telling the kids they can  only bring one or two things and always having a fight about it I started letting them bring their backpacks.  If it doesn’t fit into their backpacks, then they can’t bring it.  Also it helps with cleaning out the car when you get home.

Do you let your kids bring toys into the car when you go places? How many toys do you let them bring?

What happens when you do not have a lot of toys?

My husband and I sold our house in November 2016 and we were hoping to buy another house quickly so we packed only a few things that we truly needed and then moved the rest into a storage unit.

It has now been 5 months since we sold our house and we still have not been able to purchase another due to the insane market in the Seattle area.  But what I have learned is we have so much “stuff” that we can live without.  My kids only have enough toys and books that fill a 27 gallon bin. Then of course I have all the baby toys for Mr. A but that is it.

My kids had an entire playroom and a bedroom full of toys. Toys were always everywhere and there was always a huge struggle to find a place to put things. The nice thing about not having too many toys in your home goes way beyond not having to find places to put all of the toys. My house looks cleaner. My kids seem happier. I am happier.

I have never had a lot of outdoor toys for my kids because we haven’t had many chances to have our own yard and even when we did have our own house we did not have a lot. I noticed my kids’ imagination just exploded when they played outside. They would find unique ways to play and they would make up some crazy cool toys just by what they found outside. I have now noticed that same thing happening inside. It is so amazing to see their creativity.

I am not willing to throw out a ton of toys that we have in storage but I am ready to evaluate what we have and quite possibly switch out their toys every few months.

Do you keep all of your kids’ toys out or do you like only keeping a few out at a time? I think whatever way you decide to do it, it’s ok 😊

5 steps on how to help your picky eater eat their veggies

When Miss. K and Mr. H were little they LOVED vegetables. I had no problem with them eating vegetables. But as they got older and more opinionated they started not eating as many vegetables. There are many reasons why kids stop eating their veggies. Either their tastebuds change, the texture feels funny to them now, or they want to have an opinion on what they get to eat.

Miss. K is getting better about eating her veggies again and she is 7. Mr. H is now in a phase that carrots and peas are the enemy on the plate and he will fight like crazy not to have to eat them. Heck he won’t eat anything that touches his veggies. Now if he wants dessert he will eat one or two veggies in order to get the dessert but not without some serious screaming involved. Not to mention I hate rewarding him with food, even though I am guilty sometimes for doing it. Darn it!

As parents we put so much guilt on one another if we do not do what the “experts” say.  The “experts” say we should be eating 2-3 servings of veggies a day but do these “experts” want to come to your house and help you figure out the best way to have your kids eat these veggies, I’m putting all my money on, No.  We as parents try so hard to do what’s best for our kids and we feel like failures when our kids don’t eat their veggies. I say all you can do is try.

  1. Offer veggies at every meal (or at least one meal) a day.
    Offer carrots at one meal, peas at another and so on. Eventually they may try it.
  2. Encourage them to eat the veggies by telling them they are “yummy.”
    Trying new food is scary and if you tell them it’s “good for them” you will lose them. I can tell you now Mr. H doesn’t care if something is good for him, he cares only if it tastes good.
  3. Lead by example and eat your veggies.
    Eat the veggies you are wanting them to eat and eat a variety.
  4. Try different presentations.
    And I’m not saying carve them into cute shapes. I’m saying give raw and steamed veggies. Both have different textures, flavors and sometimes colors. You never know, it could be one of these difference that makes them unappealing.
  5. And lastly, be patient and don’t beat yourself up if they don’t eat them.
    Patience is a huge thing because it can take time. Don’t tell yourself you are a bad parent simply because your kid won’t eat their veggies. There are far more things that make you a good parent!! Give yourself a break.