Ok y’all, I’m going to try and do a little backtracking…So, let’s talk about teepees, and picnics, and cake smash…oh my! I know that I mentioned before that I love themes…you can see here in myprevious post about teacher appreciation week…So, you can imagine that I get a little crazy when it comes to my kids birthday parties. Only problem is that I usually can’t settle on one thing. I end up combining several random things together to get just what I want! So, when it came to planning my last baby’s 1st birthday party I really got a little spastic! I knew I was doing something with teepees and arrows, because that’s been “his theme” since he was born. His room his decorated around that and we used the same teepee that is in the pictures shown for all of his first year picture sessions. At the same time, seeing how his birthday is only a few days away from the 4th of July, I really wanted to do some kind of picnic theme also. Then there were colors…I love navy and mustard right now, so of course I had to throw in some sunflowers to bring in the yellow! And how could you leave out foxes with some splashes of orange here and there! Then there is the currently popular galvanized metal accessories that we must have…oh and antlers…and feathers, don’t forget the feathers!!! I always have a hard time finding exactly what I want, so I really just make it up as I go! My brain just goes all over the place and I know my time is limited before they want themes like…Garfield (and yes I’ve done that one too). With that said I’m sharing a few pictures from his cake smash session. I will try to post some from the party itself, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m not the best with picture quality and in usually cell phone fashion…my storage was full the day of his party. So, I’ve had to rely on pictures from friends. Am I the only one this happens too? Never fails…if it’s something I really want pictures of, my phone decides that the storage is full (insert face that says “I think my phone is lying”). So, I’m borrowing some of my photographers preview pictures. She’s always so good to put up with me and my 5 million ideas! Here is a link to my Pinterest inspiration, I just had to boy it up a little, haha!
Y’all…I always have child safety on my mind with this bunch of mine and I love my children, but the decorator in me is not so in love with all the child safety apparatuses. They are not a decorators dream by any means! However, child safety is necessary and only needed for a short time (since they grow up so quick)…therefore, we deal with all the ugly contraptions, am I right? For some reason it’s just in me to try and come up with ways to make everything prettier. Even in organizing as you can see in my post about organizing dvd’s. So, I’m excited to share this little idea with you. It actually was a happy accident. My “threenager” thinks he needs to touch EVERYTHING especially if I’m trying to get dressed! He needs his hair fixed and chap stick on and a little of Daddy’s cologne, etc. It was cute at first, but now it’s just a little annoying. So, I’m always worried when I pull out my hot hair appliances that he’s going to grab them. Just putting it as far back on the counter as I can doesn’t seem like a good enough solution to me. This is because I know he is legendary for his ability to get to things that don’t even seem possible. I mean, if this child had been around when they were building the Tower of Babel, it would have been completeted…in about 4.5 seconds while our backs were turned and he’d have been climbing into the heavens before we could have stopped him! I know there are some parents out there that KNOW what I’m talking about, haha! So, anyway, I just did this one day while fixing my hair and thought it not only was a good tip, but also it kind of helps out with my need for everything to be pretty. Win, win, right? So, what do you need to do this? Just find a Ceramic or other heat safe vase type piece of décor for your bathroom counter and stick your hot hair appliances down in them while they are warming up and cooling off, viola!
*Disclaimer: I am in no way a child safety expert. I am only a mother to three crazy boys. I am only offering this as a mom tip not an expert’s advice. ALWAYS watch your children around hot items!!! I also can’t promise it won’t harm your hair appliances in anyway, so just use common sense on anything you do and we will all be ok!
This is what mine looks like…
So, tell me…do you have any little child safety tips that you just love? Share them with me if you do!!!
Y’all…I love themes! When you give me some sort of event to do my first thing to do is to go to Pinterest and find a theme! With May coming up in few short days I thought I would share with you what we did for our teachers this year. No…it’s not the magic of the internet…our school board changed our teacher appreciation week to March. So, that works out great for you because I can share with you the wonderful ideas we came up with!
First, we had a schedule:
…Monday was a campfire breakfast where we cooked everything up in the kitchen and then rolled it all on a cart to serve the teachers breakfast in their room.
…Tuesday was a catered BBQ lunch that everyone said was delicious.
…Wednesday was a picnic, an actual picnic outside with hot dogs on a “grill”. This was my favorite day!
…Thursday we always watch the kids while the teachers go out to eat lunch.
…Friday we had a self serve trail mix bar.
Now that we had our schedule figured out we needed some décor! Luckily we have some very talented and creative parents that helped out and we decorated with things people already had so that didn’t cost us much at all!
Please enjoy the pictures and use them for ideas for your own teacher appreciation week. I wish I had taken more, but I had to drag my two youngest children up there with me every time I went and let’s just say they weren’t so fond of it (especially the 3 year old). But be sure to check out the printable at the end with the schedule for the teachers.
FYI…all the teachers said that they LOVED the theme!
Here is an example of the schedule we gave out to our teachers so that they would know what to be looking forward to. Feel free to print out for your use.
We Need Smore Teachers Like You:
Teacher Appreciation Week
Campfire Breakfast: Please look for the breakfast cart to be coming around to your room that morning to serve you breakfast at your desk!
BBQ Lunch: Please join us in the teachers lounge during your lunch time for a BBQ lunch!
Picnic: We would like you to join us outside for a picnic lunch (inside for inclement weather)!
An Adventure Out: We will be providing all our teachers with money for a lunch off campus while we watch the kids!
Trail Mix Treats: Please stop by the teachers lounge at your convenience to make yourself a bag of trail mix!
PTA will be placing a basket in your room for the students to place presents in through out the week. We ask that you do not peek until they are presented to you on Friday. Hope you enjoy TAW!!!!!
If you are anything like me then you L-O-V-E any ideas on how to store and organize! So, I thought I would share this little idea with you. Now, I think I’ve mentioned that I live in a house full of boys. I am slowly getting use to all things boy trying to take over my house, however, these little toy cars (who shall remain nameless) are taking over my life! My middle child is obsessed with these, and bribery of getting a new one of these is the only way we make it through a trip to the big “W” (who also shall remain nameless)! Now, if you aren’t familiar with this kind of case let me explain…it’s a thread organizer box. It is double-sided and has slots to hold 48 cars. We double stack and currently hold about 60 in ours (this depends on if it’s truck or cars-most cars can be double stacked). I bought mine from Amazon (they won’t remain nameless bc I am adding a link and you will figure it out anyhow)… Thread Organizer Box Now, I need everything to be monogramed, so I had this vinyl made and put on for around $3 I believe, and viola…A super cute toy car organizer!
We recently had our spring break and with that came the obligatory 8 hour road trip back to our hometown to visit friends and family. Last year I got a free pass because I was about 6 months pregnant. So, instead we did a “staycation” and went to a nearby hotel with a waterpark inside. The kids loved it and the best part was no long trip! I would highly recommend this, if this is an option for you. However, I couldn’t get away with that this year since I had an 8 1/2 month old baby boy who most of his family hadn’t had a chance to meet!
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on traveling with kids by any means, nor do I know a secret magic trick to making your road trip with your kids 100% enjoyable, but I might can get you to about 75%, haha!
Think Light. When it comes to packing, I use to bring everything I could possibly think of that we “might” need. Turns out we usually didn’t need it and, unless you’re going camping or such, then there is more than likely a Wally World nearby to pick up any necessary items you didn’t pack but ended up needing. I also try to leave as many toys/blankies/stuffed animals at home as possible. For one, you don’t have to worry about losing them and two, it keeps things less cluttered in the vehicle. Sometimes this can be a fight so I usually allow one or two to keep the peace. If you are going to be somewhere with a washer and dryer at your disposal then take advantage of the situation and pack light on clothes also. When packing just consider “is this a need or want?” and try to keep the ratio 80% need, 20% want. Also, try to condense things down into smaller containers/packages to save room. Remember also, not everyone needs their own bag/suitcase. I packed my stuff and the baby’s stuff together in one suitcase and my other two boys stuff together in another one. I had one other bag for lagniappe so anything I thought of last minute or couldn’t fit in the suitcases went into this bag. It seems crazy, but I just personally feel like, the less stuff you have with you in the vehicle, the calmer it feels!
Don’t underestimate the power of electronics. Ok, ok…I know some of you are going to croak when I say this but…Let them have extra screen time! It really won’t do them permanent damage (I don’t think, but I haven’t actually read up on any studies) for you to compromise for one trip. I know in this day and age we are given “the look” if we let our kids have too much screen time but DVD players, Kindle’s, IPad’s, Nintendo DS, etc., can be your best friend if you just let them! Only allow educational videos, games, etc. if that makes you feel better about it. You can make them take breaks from it, but I bet about 45 minutes into “Are we there yet?” you are going to be glad to have something to keep them entertained! I also suggest for less clutter take DVD’s and such out of the cases and put them in a cd book of some type. I have one already in my car but forgot to do this before leaving. I deeply regretted it!
Go old school. Ok, so compromising on your beliefs about screen time isn’t going to work for you…then go old school. Play games, read books, color/draw, make them take a nap, haha! I wouldn’t suggest bringing games because of the fact that it’s going to make it more crowded in the vehicle and pieces are likely to go missing (which will probably bring on a melt down). I would try games like I spy, 20 questions, punch buggy, etc. Now that last game isn’t going to work like it use to, so I changed ours to “punch buggy Dollar General” (those suckers are popping up everywhere!) This substitute will probably only work in the south though, so pick something that you are likely to see recurrently along your trip but not constantly. And lastly, there is no substitute for good old fashion conversation. This one is a little harder for me since I have all boys, haha, but if you can get your kids to talk with you then do it. No better time then when “stuck” in a vehicle together for hours at a time!
Be Prepared. I try to have as much stuff packed up and prepared the night before as I possible can. Some things I like to do are have my kids sleep in comfy clothes (not pajama’s) so they are dressed for the day. I just wake them up to go to the bathroom and load them up in the car. I also, leave their shoes in the car the night before so that we don’t forget them and don’t have to fool with getting them on because let’s face it…you know they are going to kick them off as soon as they get in anyway. Now, two out of three of my kids are still in diapers/pull ups. This is where I’m going to add in another one of my “crazy ideas”. If you have one potty training then make exceptions while traveling. I have no expectations that my 3 year old is going to ask me to stop so he can go potty. Heck, I don’t have any expectations that he’s going to tell me he needs to go potty on any day! So to make it easier on both of us, you can bet I’m going to forget the potty training for a day! If your child will, then by all means pack them a potty in the back!!! What I decided to do was make a diaper changing station in the back of my SUV. Thankfully, I have room to do that, but If you don’t at least keep enough diapers/wipes/extra clothes in some form of handy tote so that you can easily carry them into a rest stop. Not having to dig around for all this stuff made it super nice while traveling. Also, if you are traveling with a baby have extra bottles, water, formula, etc. all together in one spot for easy access. My tote was big enough for all of that to be kept in one spot.
Make Shift Diaper Station
Be Martha Stewart. Last but not least…come up with something creative and fun! I did gift bags for my two oldest boys (don’t worry the baby didn’t get jealous). I tried to keep the contents similar but they couldn’t be exact because of the age difference (3 and 8). I filled them with stuff from our local dollar store like snacks, candy, a small toy or two, a book/coloring book and also a small bag of cereal for their breakfast. My oldest thinks as soon as we get in a vehicle for a trip he needs a snack of some sorts. None of the stuff was too exciting, but when I stuck it all in a Minions gift bag…You would’ve thought I’d really done something! I brought the adults snacks too. This kept us all from getting the “hangrys”, haha! Having the stuff in a gift bag also helped my 3 year old communicate to us when he was wanting something else. He would just ask for his “present”. We gave him his bag of stuff and he got to pick out what he was wanting at that moment. This saved a lot of headache seeing as how he is prone to going into a full blown meltdown mode when we don’t understand what he is wanting at that particular moment! And, if you can, bring some form of cooler to keep drinks handy. Those gas station prices are RIDICULOUS…can I get an amen! Oh, and bringing snacks also helped with the aforementioned gas station prices. On an 8 hour trip, I didn’t buy anything from a gas station other than gas!
I hope some of these tips can be helpful to you on your next trip with the kids! There is nothing like experience to know what’s best for your family so try out your own awesome ideas. They say that they are only little once (one can only hope, haha) so most importantly…HAVE FUN!