Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to stay cool with kids

      I've learned a thing or two in my day - and it's odd, but at times I am just now feeling like I've got this "Kid Thing" down to a science.  It's moments like this when I feel sad about not having more children and start to really think if being done with that chapter in my life is really what I want.

     As soon as I remind myself of the past 4 years of sleepless nights I remember why I like this stage of my life.  My baby is almost 2 - my oldest is 13.  Besides, nap time is a sure thing these days!

     Here are a few tips I've learned that have helped me tons! 

    And some cute pictures from a family get-together we had this week. 

 #1 - Juice boxes = ice packs.   I always keep a few 8-packs of juice boxes in my freezer.  I leave them bound together by the plastic wrap they come in.  When we go somewhere (lake, park, long car-trip) I bring them along.  By the time the kids are ready for a drink - they are mostly melted and still ice cold!  These double as ice-packs and keep other foods cold too!

#2 - Keep a soft sided cooler in your vehicle at all times.  When it's time to go somewhere, we toss snacks, baby wipes, frozen juice boxes, several empty bags (for garbage, wet swimsuits, diapers), and whatever else we think to bring in it - and we're ready to be out for several hours.  


#3 - Run out and buy a hexagon shaped baby-gate.  I've shared this with so many other moms and have gotten NOTHING but positive feedback.  First of all, it's a secure play area for ANYWHERE.  It's lightweight - costs just over $50 (walmart has theirs priced @ $50 with $0.97 shipping!) - and is SUPER easy to set-up and move.   You can put this outside and hang clothes on your clothesline without chasing any children -  you can put their kiddie pool in it...  you can put their kiddie pool on your deck  and open this gate up to block off part of your deck (zip-ties work GREAT for tying this gate to your deck and is easily removed!).    Need to scrub the kitchen floor?  Set this up in the living room.   This very gate has helped me so many times that we finally bought a second one!

#4 -  Eat Outside.   Often.  Heck - anytime you can!  I'm NOT gonna show you what my floors look like after ANY meal, but I'm sure you can imagine.   We eat on our deck as often as possible and many times cleaning up involves using a hose.  before we eat, I fill a clean ice cream bucket with water.  After they eat, we use the water to wash their face and hands.  Then the plants get watered (and of course all the ketchup & food bits that get in the water are treats for the flowers and plants!). 

#5 - Dirt is ok, the towels will dry themselves if you leave them outside by the pool, rain cleans the ketchup off the deck quite nicely, ants can live inside a dixie cup kept in a baggie for 5 or more days and do make nice pets, and pink certainly can be a mans color!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


My buttons came today.
 Suddenly I was back to being 8 years old
sitting on the livingroom floor
sifting through a button jar
still seen so clearly today in my mind.
Stringing them together making necklaces.
Sorting them by color, 

Now I'm the Mom.
I have the buttons
Passed down from the Great Grandma and the Grandma and the Mom.
Adding to the collection with treasured buttons of my own. 
Learning the history they hold
while creating their future at the same time.  

Everything has a story.
Whether old or new.
Some stories are passed to you from generations ago
while others start with you - today
and years from now will be a story told to your great great great grandchildren
who will sit on their floors and make button necklaces. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Minnesota Nice...

     I'm proud to be from Minnesota.  

It's simple.
We planned to spend our 4th of July helping ( & visiting)  a good friend - 

when a pretty bad storm hit. 

Before we had a chance to really worry about home... 

A friend had sent us pictures of our yard.

Then another friend - and another.   

 So we cut our vacation very short and drove back home. 
It wasn't pretty - but it's all fixable.  

Shortly after, we learned the family my sister was staying with 
was much worse off than us.  


So we got a sitter and went on a date 90 miles away to go help.
 yes... alone without children = a date!

 Today we are home again - with some help of our own.

From Family & Friends - so it doesn't seem so much like work.

But more like the 4th of July weekend we had planned to begin with.
Food, Family, Friends, Fireworks...

And now - thanks to God...

Lots and Lots of Firewood.