July 27, 2014

Life, In Pictures {July 27}

When I started to sort through photos of the past two weeks, I thought about how much easier it is to capture the good moments on camera than the bad. It's more fun and more rewarding to focus on the positive, of course, but it does skew things a bit. The photos below don't capture me totally losing my *@&% last Saturday morning, when Hubby was out of town and the non-stop Mommy-Mommy-Mommy was overwhelming me and I screamed and threw a basket across the room and ran upstairs to my bedroom before I said or did something I would regret even more than having a giant tantrum in front of my kids.

Like I said, I lost it and I am not proud of it. It is hard to type it here, but the other choice is paint a picture of things being perfect all the time, and that's not the truth either. We don't do each other any favors by hiding the truth: Parenting is messy business and sometimes it gets the best of us and we screw up. Then we lay face-down on our bed for a few minutes and take deep breaths before we walk back downstairs to say I'm sorry. We try to figure out where things went wrong so it doesn't happen again. 

Fortunately, most of the week was much better. Phew. 

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Hubby ordered the boys each a set of Star Wars workbooks. I love how Bee asks to sit at the table and work in his. There's nothing like a page full of Wookies to motivate a kid do math.

July 26, 2014

4 Steps to Sleeping In After Kids

Today I thought I'd share some tips for getting to sleep in when you have little ones at home. Maybe "sleeping in" is misleading. Unless your kids are total anomalies or go to bed really late, those days of staying in bed until noon (remember those?) are long, long gone - at least until the kids are teenagers or you can plan a weekend away. So maybe I should instead say "steps to staying in bed past the crack of dawn."

At ages 4 and 7, my boys typically get up around 7 a.m. and play quietly in their rooms until 8 a.m. on the weekends. I'm pretty happy with that. Anytime I get to sleep past 7:00 is a win for me. (My, how times have changed!)

Over the past few years we've used a few different tricks to instill good sleep habits with our boys and I think that, taken together, these strategies make a nice 1, 2, 3, 4 of teaching a toddler or preschooler not to wake you while it is still dark out and maybe even buy yourself a little extra time to snuggle under the covers.

July 20, 2014

Fire Safety & Preschoolers: Tips for Parents

Did you know that every day almost 20 housefires are caused by kids playing with fire, with a large number of those set by kids under age 6? That is scary stuff, especially for those of us with little ones. Preschoolers are curious and they aren't especially knowledgeable about fire, which means it could be any kid that gets her hands on a pack of matches or a lighter and thinks, Hmm, could I make a little fire with these? That might be fun! Fire safety is a lot like gun safety - you don't want to assume your kid knows what to do or will make the ideal choice in your absence.

Introducing our kids to fire safety is more than practicing stop-drop-roll and escape routes. It also means teaching them that fire is a tool and not a toy, and taking measures as parents to keep them safe.

Since July is the #1 month for fires set by kids, it seemed a good time to share some tips for teaching preschoolers fire safety. I have a post over on BonBon Break talking about just that. I hope you'll check it out!

July 15, 2014

10 Family-Friendly Things To Do in Pennsylvania {Cumberland Valley}

On with part 2 of Family-Friendly Things To Do in Central PA! The first post covered the Harrisburg-Hershey area, and today is all about the Cumberland Valley, which spans from the west shore of the Susquehanna River down to Shippensburg, including towns like Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and Newville along the way. The area is southwest of Harrisburg and has a great mix of large towns, suburbs, and rural farm land.

There are so many great things to do in the Cumberland Valley, especially if you love to get outdoors! Here are ten local favorites.

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July 14, 2014

Life, in Pictures {July 14}

I'm a little behind on getting this post up, but it has been a busy, busy week. So many milestones....

My little guy lost the training wheels and will finally be able to keep up with his big brother on family bike rides. My heart melts at just how proud he is. Milestone.

Some of you might remember when I shared newborn photos of my Little Sister and her son last year. This week we watched him for an overnight. He is such a cutie but man, I had forgotten how much supervision toddlers require! Also, that part where they wake up crying at 1:30 am? So glad we are past that stage. (Milestones: When your family all sleeps through the night!) I love this picture of the little guy with Bee. Bee is all "Hands off the bike, kid!"