Feel Love

Today I dropped my son off for afternoon school, then went to swing by my daughter’s school to see how she was feeling. She’s on an antibiotic for an ear infection, and the nurse said I could bring in Motrin for her if she needed it. I got there right at lunch and went over to my daughter. She knocked me over with how surprised, happy, delighted, ELATED she was to see me! There was so much LOVE coming from her! Hugs and cuddling close to me while she ate….it was so nice!

Our world has been stuck in a rut of not listening, bad behavior and time outs that it was so nice to feel love. To GIVE love and have that great feeling of being a parent. It’s not always like that is it? But when it is, GRAB onto it, cherish it, and be in the moment as much as possible. Your kids do love you! We can just get caught in the cycle of being a disciplinarian that we forget that these little people are our loves.

If you’re feeling stuck, try shaking up your routine. Maybe take a spontaneous adventure, a walk in the park, a night car ride with glow sticks (my kids favorite), movie night with popcorn or anything you can think of that will bring back some plain love and fun into your family. Days can get hard, but we ALL need to feel love.

Gifts for kids 6 and under

Old school groove with a new school twist

I’m not sure about you, but I’m always on the lookout for hands on toys that requires kids to use their imagination. I know I remember loving certain toys and games from my childhood, and most of them didn’t involve a screen. (Well, with the exception of using the running pad at my friends house that hooked up to a video game!).

The following is a list that still thrills kids and you won’t believe how simple they are:

  1. Play-doh. Yes, it can be messy, but so worth it.
  2. Play foam – this stuff is magic! Less mess but super fun to mold
  3. Bubble wands- my kids are 4 & 6 and still like bubbles
  4. Chalk
  5. Design rubbing plates – (see Melissa and Doug) you can create your character by putting plates together then run on top and you get your character to color
  6. Craft supplies – craft sticks, piper cleaner, paper, google eyes
  7. PUZZLES! These are so amazing! Kids can use their problem solving skills and work on their focus
  8. Card games – Old Maid, Go Fish, Crazy 8s
  9. Pinwheels – I know! But they can take them outside and play in the wind
  10. Magna- tiles
  11. Legos for older kids
  12. Board games – Guess who, Hoot Owl Hoot, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, Surprise slides (They have all different kinds) Sorry! (My kids really like this surprisingly)
  13. Bead kits
  14. Food and kitchen items (Melissa and Do ug)
  15. Cash register
  16. Old school phone
  17. Memory game – ugh, I lose every time to my kids, no joke
  18. Stamps and stamp rollers – can also be used in play-doh too
  19. Train and wooden train tracks
  20. Books!!!!!!

Anyone have any toys their kids love?

How to Catch the Pond Shark

Our adventure today takes place at our neighborhood pond. See, a few days ago, my son and I were riding our bikes back from school, and happened to glance at our pond. (Which we do from time to time.) There, sticking out of the water, was a dorsal fin! “What!?” I exclaimed. I called my son over to look at this “fish” for I have never seen anything like it before. Sure enough, he saw the fin sticking out and then the fish took his tail and splashed it around, creating huge ripples. Dear friends, that is the day we laid eyes on the Pond Shark.

It was with great anticipation that we waited for the weekend to come. Could we catch it? How big would it be? These and many other questions filled our heads, waiting to be answered. Finally, the day had come and our troop trecked over to our pond.

I scanned the pond, trying to see if the Pond Shark was wading on the top anywhere. He’s a sneaky one, staying under the water for now. My husband, kids and I baited our hooks (ok, let’s be honest, I did no such thing. It’s awful! My lovely husband does all of that. I just get to cast and then watch our kids reel in their catches.) The fish were biting today! Our kids caught SO many fish! My mother-in-law even joined us and she caught her first fish ever! It was a very eventful day.

I know you’re all wondering, did we catch the Pond Shark? Sadly my friends, we did not. BUT, that just means I’ve got my eye out for him. I’ll be watching the pond on our bike rides, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Til next fishing trip.

Friday Faves

Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants

Hi everyone and happy Friday!!!!! On this beautiful Friday I’m here to rave about Tammi Sauer’s second book revolving around the ever adorable and extremely chatty Wordy Birdy. My kids LOVE this book, as do I! In this book, Wordy Birdy and her friends are going on a camping trip. She’s got lots to say during their adventure, especially when they meet up with Mr. Cougarpants. It’s delightful and everytime I say “Mr. Cougarpants” my kids can’t help but crack up. I just love it. Ok, now go read some books and enjoy your three day weekend!

Learn to swerve

Hi everyone! Here in the mid-west it’s raining and in the mid 60s…it feels like fall! I have to admit, I do love a rainy day. It’s an opportunity to cozy up, slow down just a bit, because let’s be honest, you can’t exactly run in the rain. (Well, I guess you COULD but would you really want to?) You can still be super productive, but there’s an ease to the day. It’s almost as if you have to have realistic expectations since you can only get so much done. Extra errands become less necessary. I’ve already rearranged my day because the thought of taking my youngest in and out of the car to various stores in the rain just seems ridiculous.

Life is like that sometimes. We have a set plan for our day or week and then something unexpected happens and we have to adjust. It is in this adjustment that we can either succeed with grace, or fail. I worked as a nurse for 16 years, and I’d go into the unit with my set plan and mindset for the day. Which is funny because the minute I entered my first patient’s room that all changed. I HAD to adjust to my patients, to their expectations, fears, disappointments, successes, or regressions. You prepare yourself as much as you can for your day, then see it shift once it starts.

This shifting occurs all the time as a parent! I’m actually laughing at myself because there have been mornings when I’ve gotten up extra early, got ready head to toe, and have lunches packed all before my kids wake up. Once their feet make it downstairs, any of my preparedness is out the window, blown away by the storm that is children. It’s not all bad, it’s just that they are people too, with THEIR own agenda and THEIR own internal schedule. They aren’t robots set to obey all commands.

So today, be kind to yourself. Life doesn’t go to our specific plan. If it does, consider yourself lucky! But if you’re like the rest of us, remember that it’s going to be okay. Let the rain come, bring your umbrella, and shift when you need to!