Okay, so I’m finally doing it guys. It’s no secret, my family and I are always on the go. I’m constantly finding new and exciting things for us to do….and the exciting part is….most of it is usually cheap or FREE! Whatttt???? Who doesn’t like cheap or FREE! Scrolling through my Facebook comments there seems to be a trend. Where were you guys at? How much was it? Will they be doing it again? I wish I knew about these events!
So……….(drumroll please) from now on I will keep you guys up to date on WHAT’S HAPPENING! I’ll try to post as far an advance as possible (as soon as I know) so that you can have time to prepare. We all know that being prepared is essential when having families and kids and pets…and whatever else you may have going on.
Spring Break is coming up so I’m sure everybody is looking for things to do with their little ones to keep them from going crazy or dying of boredom, right? And I don’t know about you guys but my kids get really antsy being cooped up in the house, especially on the weekends….Speaking of weekends……..
Every first Saturday, The Old Bag Factory hosts their Creative Kids Event from 11 a.m -2 pm. They have free bouncy houses, make and take art stations, and kid friendly activities throughout the ENTIRE building. They even offer tables for your kids to sell their own art! In the past our kids have gotten to make their own clay sculptures, play with lincoln logs, take a ukelele lesson, and do tons of craft projects.
Again, this event is TOTALLY FREE. Just show up with your kids between 11 and 2 on the first Saturday of every month. The next event is this Saturday April 2nd!
Right in time for Easter, if you head over to Amazon‘s website you can rent Veggie Tales: Twas the Night Before Easter for just $0.99!!! You have 30 days to start watching after your rental and then once started you have 48 hours to finish. Perfect family activity for you and your little ones this weekend. Click here now to get this awesome deal.
Over the weekend our oldest son performed at the Indiana Percussion Association invitational in Pendleton, Indiana…about 2 and a half hours away from where we live. This may not seem like a very long distance to some but when you have 5 children with you it seems like FOREVER!!!! We could have gotten a sitter and just went ourselves but we’re always up for an adventure and I know the kids enjoy a chance to get away….especially if it means going out of town. So, if you’re like me, having as much as you can with you in the vehicle is extremely important. It means less stops and less whining….for the most part. Having kids you know they will still find something to whine about (The sun is too much hot….says my three year old). I try to come up with a checklist of what I think we will need…and then some. So, if you’re planning a trip that’s more than an hour away with your little ones here’s some things you will definitely want to pack.
SO the idea is to save some money by not having to stop by any gas stations or fast food restaurants along the way. It’s better on your pockets and better for their tummies. Try to pack things that are individually wrapped and as few crumbs as possible if you don’t want your van to look like the bottom of your toaster. Some good choices are granola bars, trail mix, nuts, seeds, easy to open fruit…I do NOT recommend oranges…small children usually can’t peel them by themselves and you will end up with one or more kids handing you their slobbered on oranges at the same time, demanding for you to peel them…while you’re driving…..because asking Dad who is doing nothing but starting out of the window makes no sense to them. Anyways….water! Also bring water for them to drink. Reusable water bottles are best because their less likely to lose the tops but bottled water is fine too. Some companies even make smaller bottles so they aren’t drinking too much at once which leads to the dreaded bathroom stops.
Coloring books and crayons or hardback picture books for the little ones and longer chapter books for older kids. Bigger kids enjoy drawing too, so sketchbooks, markers, colored pencils, etc. are a good idea.Also mom and dad, depending on how long the trip is, you may want to bring that book you’ve been trying to finish for months but can’t find the time to read. Audio books are good too.
This is a pretty broad area and will mean something different for each family. While I don’t generally let the kids have a lot of screen time on tablets and such….being “trapped” in the car with five little ones, complaining that they are bored makes me temporary change that rule for the road. I would choose to hear Minecraft and Geometry Dash music over whining ANY day. Travel games like magnetic chess and checkers are fun. Portable DVD Players (with headphones….lord Jesus, please don’t forget the headphones…I mean unless you want to hear talking vegetables the whole trip) are a good idea. I really hate that our van doesn’t have a DVD player like our old one did though. That was definitely a great feature.
FIRST AID KIT
If a child can get hurt, they will. And the way parenthood works is if you don’t have band-aids, nothing will happen but the one time you forget them all the kids will get some mysterious cut…at the same time
BAGS FOR TRASH
Unless you enjoy cleaning up mushed up bananas off the floor of your car
CHANGE OF CLOTHES
I maybe should have had this one higher on the list. It’s a definite must have, especially if your final destination happens to be somewhere you want your kids to look presentable. You won’t even understand how but they’ll spill everything….everywhere and if you don’t have extra clothes your friends might think you’re raising the Garbage Pail Kids
Kids complain for no reason blah blah blah. They’ll get cold. Even if it’s summer…and 90 degrees. Also, if you’re taking a longer trip it’s a good idea to have one for an impromptu picnic in the park along the way
I think that’s pretty self explanatory. Although I do recommend wipes over napkins if you have kids like mine that don’t like you using your saliva on a napkin to clean their faces.
A few extra tips
….never pay full price for a hotel if you’re planning on spending the night somewhere. Try sites like Hotwire or Priceline to get a significant savings.
Always carry extra cash in case you decide to take tolls or come across some unfamiliar place that accepts cash only
Make sure jumper cables, flashlights, gas can,etc are in your vehicle prior to leaving.
If you have any additional tips for traveling with kids feel free to leave them in the comments.
Mommies and Daddies with a little messy eater. Head over to Bumkins website and get your free starter bib in one of these four designs. Washable and Waterproof! Promotion lasts the entire month of March
So, obviously eating is something we all have to do….and while making sure it tastes good is pretty high up there on the priority list when it comes to meal time I also want to make sure I am encouraging smart eating habits and making sure it’s nutritious.
There was a time when I would just stock up on boxed cereals and pop tarts and let the kids grab whatever they wanted in the morning. There was a time when I would stuff their lunchboxes full of fruit snacks and oreos to go along with their lunchables or hot dogs. That was until we made the choice as a family to eat healthier. Gone are the days of processed foods and it’s my duty to make sure my kids (and husband I suppose) have a hot breakfast and tons of healthy foods to choose from throughout the day. What I’ve come to realize over the years, and also common sense, is that if I don’t buy the junk, it’s not here for them to eat.
Preparing three healthy meals a day can be a challenge, especially for those moms (and dads) that have a job outside of the home but there are a few ways to help ensure you’re on the road to eating right.
- Scheduled, regular meals as a family- If possible, everybody eats together…at the table. It can be hard to have dinner at a certain time every night, especially if you have little ones involved in tons of extracurricular activities but it’s really important to have that routine. Post it on the fridge….breakfast at 6:30, lunch at noon, dinner at 5:30 with snacks in between. Plus that eliminates whining children from asking a million times “when is it gonna be time to eat?”
- Mom and Dad eat healthy- Let’s be real, no matter how many times you yell “Eat your carrots!”, we know that kids watch what we do more than they listen to what we say. If we are setting a good example as their parents by eating healthy, they will follow suit. Don’t make them eat raw broccoli while you’re eating hot cheetos and donuts……or you can eat it hiding in your closet at one in the morning…..not that I’ve ever done that or anything
- Let kids help- All kids like to help out in the kitchen. What better way to encourage them to eat right than by letting them assist in whipping up a healthy meal. If they’ve helped make the food they will definitely want to eat it.
- Variety- There are so many more choices out there beside apples, or celery with peanut butter. Try a variety of different fruits and vegetables. The more you try, the more they are bound to like.
- Make mealtime fun- As angry as you might get that your two year old didn’t eat their peas, don’t turn dinner into a battle. Don’t force kids to clean their plate. I know most of us grew up that way, but kids know when they are full and if they don’t like something, forcing them to eat it won’t make them like it any more and you’ve taught them that it’s okay to control them using food.
- 6. THE INTERNET- Literally my lifeline. Sometimes I just run out of ideas and so off to Pinterest, or a cooking blog I go. You can put absolutiely anything into Google and get what you’re looking for. My favorite site at the moment is 100 days of Real food. I got all of last weeks lunch ideas from there. But wherever you draw inspiration, good luck and Happy Healthy Eating!!!!
I’ve gotten lots of questions in the past several weeks about how we handle chores around here. First, I should say that there is no such thing as spotless in this house. It’s not possible!! Somebody has always just spilled something, or peed on something, or spilled pee on something (We’re still potty training). On top of that it seems like nobody is actually eating based on the amount of crumbs that are on the floor after meals and everybody tries to act like they “forgot” whose day it is to sweep. We can’t really go a day without doing laundry or it piles up real fast. So, we have to have some type of system. We’ve tried a bunch but this one is my favorite for chores, well morning chores anyway. I’ll make a separate post for the other chores
For morning chores the kids all have their own chore “badges” on a lanyard in their color (I’ll explain our color coding system later). As soon as they wake up in the morning they are required to put on their badges and can’t take them off until everything on the badge is completed. Right now their responsibilities every morning are to:
Make up their Bed
Put Away Laundry
And then my oldest has to take out the trash as well.
There are two things that aren’t listed on the badges because they change every day. Whoever is the special helper for the day has to switch the laundry over ( I always put a load in the washer before bed so they would put it in the dryer) and the special helper is also responsible for putting away the dishes in the dish rack (that I washed the night before). The prayer prince/princess (will also explain in a later post) for that day has to assist with this chore as well! We only use this system for the morning because it’s what works for us but you can use it for after school chores or daily chores as well.
WARNING: Chore badges will not rid all children of the pesky whining and complaining associated with having to do chores. Also, be prepared for one or more children to “lose” their badge. The beauty of this is its so simple to make these babies!!! Continue reading