Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ways Motherhood Make You a Celebrity

This is a Top Ten list from the back of the Parenting magazine I get...

1. Someone's always hounding you for your autograph. Even if it's just on a permission slip for the class trip to the recycling center.

2. You travel with an entourage. Okay, so two of them are fighting over a bag of Doritos and one of the has a crusty nose, but STILL.

3. You spend your days club-hopping. How else would your kids get to Brownies?

4. You're front and center at every awards show. Because your 10-year old would never forgive you for being absent when he wins the school carnival karaoke contest.

5. You change your clothes three times a day. And it's much more fun if you pretend it's because you're being stalked by the paparazzi, not a messy toddler.

6. You're on a spa diet. Your kids only leave broccoli on their plates for you.

7. You've flashed your boobs in public. Hey, it's not easy to juggle a hungry baby in one hand and unhook a nursing bra with the other!

8. People beg to sleep with you. Well, only because there's a monster under their bed.

9. You're covered in tattoos that your kid got in a birthday-party goody bag and plastered on you when you were too pooped to resist.

10. Hassled as you feel right now, in 20 years you'll miss all the chaos.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One month down. Two to go.

It’s official. One whole month of summer vacation has passed. But at least I’m not hearing “I’m bored” as much. That was the general consensus when Kassie was first home for vacation. I knew all 3 of them would be at each others throats and on my nerves if I didn’t find something for them to do and quick.
Back when I was a kid we would find ways to occupy ourselves. Back then, that meant endless days playing baseball with my brothers, shooting baskets, playing school (yes playing school while on summer vacation) and generally trying to make myself scarce so that I could avoid chores. Today, unless your children are at least in middle school, you probably don’t leave their summers all that unstructured.

But what can you do to keep kids entertained for 3 months? If you are a stay at home parent like I am, you probably want to avoid having your child play 90 straight days on their Nintendo DS or Wii. You also probably want to keep them engaged, you sane, and your wallet full. Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there. I am also a work at home mom so I knew I needed to find a way to make everyone one happy; I need to get my work done without them nagging me every 5 minutes.

We all sat done and brainstorm things they’d like to do and things that they could do this summer.

Reading Books: I went on EBay and purchase 12 Junie B. Jones books for $6.00 for Kassie to read. Who knew that a girl that wears mismatched clothes and was so nosey could be interesting to read about. Every time Kassie reads to her sisters she’ll get a star added to her reward chart.

Going to the movies: Many cinemas offer discounted or even free films if you go to matinees, especially showings before noon in the middle of the week. Our local cinema has a free family movie day of Tuesday mornings. It is a great value and a great way to get out of the house, without any cost, in the middle of the week.

Going for a walk: We live in a wooded area and the girls love walking in the woods. We almost always see some kind of wildlife on our journey and they can’t wait to tell Dad when he gets home from work.

Local Parks: Most local parks have play areas and swing sets. Who doesn’t love to swing?

Scavenger Hunt: Make up a scavenger hunt and have them look in your yard for their findings.

Sprinklers: Most kids love to play in water so a sprinkler or pool is ideal. We a have a huge inflatable water slide that the girls could spend hours on end playing with.

By incorporating things that they wanted to do into our schedule it makes things more enjoyable for everyone and it gives them something to look forward to.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Family Game Night

I knew when I became a mother that I wanted to start some family traditions like my family did when I was younger. Family traditions are a wonderful way to give children a sense of family and belonging. They are a chance for us to share connections that have special meanings within our family.

Besides the usual holiday traditions I wanted to have a tradition that carried on throughout the year. I remembered back to when I was younger and how we would watch the Muppet Show and eat Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream at my grandparents house or the occasional card games when my aunt, uncle and cousins would stop by and we’d play Hossy. Well those wouldn’t work out for my family now for the sheer fact that the girls don’t need to watch any more TV and that card games are a little too advance for them right now. So we decided to do a family game night.

Each of the girls gets to pick a game for everyone to play….usually picking games like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, I Spy, War, Monopoly Jr, Twister and Hungry, Hungry Hippos,

For the past 2 years for us “staying in is the new going out.”

I also realized that during these bad economic times, board games and the family game night start to make a whole lot of sense as a way to entertain everybody cheaply.

Besides saving money with FGN, there are also other benefits to the game night. It is teaching the girls about strategy, problem solving, vocabulary, logic, reading, patience, following rules, colors, concentration, teamwork and most of all memories.


A night out at the movies = $55.00
A New Board Game = $20.00
Family Game night at the Gelnett’s= PRICELESS

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kids and their messy rooms

Earlier today my youngest daughter spilled her entire bowl of cereal on the floor and right after that my other daughter stepped in the milk and then needed to change her socks. Ugggghhh. The 2 things that I dislike, messes and laundry.

Dirty laundry is one of those things that almost everyone has. And messes, well when you have kids you have messes.

I know most kids are not going to put everything away where they find it. I know most kids will leave things out and forget where they put stuff. But in my girls’ room I can see why they can’t find anything.

The messes are terrible and I’m tired of the constant battle on trying to get them to clean theirs rooms. I’ve certainly struggled with this dilemma in our household. My kids, like their father, tend to be what I would kindly describe as “untidy,” while I have some OCD tendencies. There has to be happy middle ground, right?

Well instead of making myself stir crazy on keeping a tidy house, we 've been playing a game to get their rooms clean. They seemed to enjoy it. And they don’t know it, but they cleaned it themselves. They just think I helped.

To start, what I want you to do is walk into your child’s room. Stand right in the middle of it. Look around. How do you feel? If “exhausted, overwhelmed or frustrated” can to your mind then great. That is how your child feels when you send her/him to their room to clean it up.

Now get out some 3×5 cards and markers. Go back into your child’s room and write down on each card a step that is involved in cleaning up their room. It might look like this:

~Books back on shelves
~Laundry off floor into hamper
~Toys put back in bins
~Games picked up and stored in boxes
~Clean clothes hung up/put away.
~DVDs put back in their cases and put away
~Make bed

Now when your child comes home from school tell your child that you are going to help her clean up her room. She’ll be thrilled! Kassie was ecstactic when I told her I was helping. Hand her one of the cards and tell her to do what is on the card and then come back to you with the card completed. That’s when you put a sticker on the back of the card or draw a happy face.

Hand her the next card and so on. Do this every day until your child starts automatically putting things where they belong. You have created a system for your child that is easy to follow, clear, and has a reward attached to it. If your child cannot read, draw pictures on the cards.

My girls had fun cleaning their rooms and I didn’t even get frustrated. I only handed them each card. Now they’re getting into a routine of what they need to do.

It is nice not having to argue with them about cleaning their room….as for the rest of the house we are still trying to find our happy medium

Helpful Tip: A messy room is like an archaeological dig. You've gotta approach it in layers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Dreaded Kindergarten Registration

Monday I took Nicole for kindergarten registration. We arrived at the school and the second I set foot on the school sidewalk my stomach started doing flips and flops, my hand clenched tight around Nicole’s. I tried to force myself to smile. I told myself “You’ve done this before with Kassie and you’ll do it again with Emily, so you might as well suck it up and deal with it.” I thought telling myself that it’ll be alright would’ve put my mind at ease just a bit and it did. I was distracted enough in my mind about distracting myself from it, that I actually tripped going up the stairs leading into the school.

The whole registration anxiety was out of my mind for a couple of minutes while I composed myself from the fall and embarrassment of whether anyone saw it happen.

So we go in and have a seat and wait for the Principal to see us. I could tell Nicole was nervous. She wanted to sit on my lap and refused to get off. It was our turn and we had a seat at his desk. He explained to us what was going to happen that day. While I was talking to the teacher, counselor and nurse, they’d come and get her Speech and Hearing. I was fine while he told us those things, but it was until someone came and got Nicole for her Speech that the anxiety was settling in again. I watched my daughter walk down a huge hallway that just seemed to swallow her up.

I went to meet the teacher, nurse and counselor and I was reassured that Nicole would be there when I got to that room. I get to the room and I’m scoping out the room for Nicole and I don’t see her. Great….my anxiety settled while the Principal distracted me with paperwork and now it is rising again.

I sit back and talk with the nurse and then I have a seat in the little chairs against the wall while I wait for the counselor. Finally I hear this little voice talking about chipmunks and I knew right away that my baby was found. The Speech lady brought her back and I sit there and swallow my heart that was slowly creeping it’s way out.

Next Nicole is evaluated by a teacher on what she knows. I sit across the room and can hear her recite her ABC’s and she messes up around L. I just want to yell over and say “She knows all of them,” but I don’t. I come to the realization that I had children and I want to see them grow into happy, healthy, strong individuals and I need to let her do this on her own. I sat there contemplating my thoughts and emotions that I was going through that day. She is growing up and I need to be ok with it.

We left the building together hand in hand down the long sidewalk to the van. She seemed fine with all of it. As she climbed into the van the only worries she had were if her scratch and sniff stickers matched her dress and what backpack can she get.

I got into my seat and left out a big sigh of relief and thought “Two registrations down. One to more go.”