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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Like many parents nowadays, I find myself doing too much for my children.

It is easier to wash their dishes and their clothes and make their meals some days than it is to get our children to do these tasks.

This past summer, I asked my daughter and her friend to wash their baking dishes after making cupcakes.  Later, I went into the kitchen to see half soapy, half clean dishes sitting right side up in the drying rack.

First of all, I was glad that they did the dishes.  I think they were likely rushing through them because they didn’t want to do them, hence the not well washed job.  But as I looked at those dishes that were right side up (how was the water going to drain off the dishes?!), I realized something.  I’ve never actually taught my daughter to wash dishes in the sink.  We have a dishwasher and I just do all the handwashing myself.  I’ve never gotten my kids to help me.

I have taught my girls many other life skills – how to put on a load of laundry and how to separate it, how to clean a bathroom and polish a mirror, how sort the recycling and take out the garbage – plus a few others that we do day to day.  But my girls don’t know how to fold laundry… or wash the dishes.  It got me wondering what good was I doing by only doing these chores myself?  My children will need these life skills when they are out on their own.

So now is the time. My older girls are 12 and 10; my youngest is 4.  It’s time to teach my girls to plan healthy meals and cook them, to fold their laundry so it looks nice and to wash their dishes in the kitchen sink!  I might even make a list of things I want them to learn, so that by the time they move out, they will know all these important life skills.  We’ll start small with our youngest, of course.  Helping to set the table and clear it after dinner.  She already helps fold laundry by folding all the cloths for me.

I’d love to hear what skills you have taught your children and which ones you hope to teach them and if YOU, like me, have been doing TOO much for your kids.

 

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The funny thing about learning to knit, is that someone else will see you knitting and decide to try it too.

That’s my 2-year-old.  Do you want to know what she’s knitting?  Apparently, it’s a hat for Daddy.  Such a sweetheart!

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Welcome to the first week of our homeschooling adventure.

To start, I want to clarify our homeschooling method.  We are currently not doing traditional homeschooling.  What we are doing is ‘distance education’.  That means that we are still registered in the regular school system, they give us the curriculum and we do it at home.

Because my daughter was in a split class last year, and has done the first 1/3 of the school year in a regular school, we have had a couple hiccups as we have started out.  First off, the curriculum we have been given is taught in a certain order.  Teachers in a classroom may teach it in a different order… and they have.  We are finding some things she has already done, some things she has never even seen and we are having to do a bit of backtracking.  This has been a little stressful, but once it is all sorted out and we find our place, I expect that things will start to move along a little more smoothly.

The other challenge we face in our homeschooling is our toddler.  And not only do we have a toddler of our own in the house, three days a week, I have a second toddler in the house for daycare.  This creates a lot of chaos tricky environment for learning.  And so I find I am having to plan activities to keep the toddlers busy during my teaching time.

This week, I tried out ‘cloud dough’.

Cloud Dough is super simple to make.  Just mix 7 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil, then….enjoy?

I’ll be honest.  My toddlers loved this.  My big kids loved this.  Even I had quite a lot of fun playing in it.

The baby oil makes the flour so you can mold it.  So cool!

I cleaned it up after only a morning of it being out. 

This is by far one of the messiest things I have ever put out for my kids (and we DO messy!).  As is typical of flour, it gets everywhere! It sticks to everything!  Add oil?  Oh my goodness!  It stuck to their clothes, feet, hair, faces.  And with all its stick, it also stuck to the floors, the couch, and was all over the stairs.  It was down the hall, on their chairs, and all over the toys.

I don’t think we will be doing this again any time soon.

I couldn’t keep the toddlers out of it.  I would cover up the sand table, but they would take off the cover and get right back in there.  They loved it so much!

Do I think you should try it?  Absolutely! 

I do have a few suggestions.

1) Put the cloud dough in a container with a lid.  Make sure it is in a container you can take away.  A tupperware style container would be a great idea.

2) If it’s a nice day outside and not too cold, do this activity outside.

3) If you can’t do this activity outside, make sure you have art smocks to put on the kids and run a bath for them before you put out the cloud dough.  They might need to go straight into the bath after playing with it!

4) Whatever you do, don’t wear dark coloured clothing.

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It’s been a while since I have written.

So much has been going on around here.  Changes have been happening.  This blog has been put on the back burner.

I am hoping in the New Year to get into a routine and to find time for blogging again.

(photo via Pinterest)

My poor sewing machine has been fairly quiet recently.  Inspiration and desire has been low, but I know it is just a bump in the road.  I love sewing.

(photo via Pinterest)

I have been crocheting and trying to teach myself to knit (again).

(photo via Pinterest)

Starting next week, I will more than likely be homeschooling one of my children.

It will take time for us to adjust to our new routine.  I’m unsure as to what will happen with the business I have been working over the past few months to start.  There will be adjustments to be made (and remade) in our routines.  But I am excited for the changes.  We have a new direction in life that we are headed into and I think that this new path will only bring us wonderful things.  I am nervous for the time it takes us to adjust, but I am confident the end result will be fabulous!

I hope that I will find time to come here and share with you what I have been making.  I hope to share inspiration and maybe even a little of our homeschooling adventures.  So keep checking in, I’ll be back in the New Year with things to share!

Happy New Year to you all!

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Finding A Balance

What is it that makes us feel that we should be able to accomplish everything all the time?  How do we find a way to balance family, work and household chores?

I am always surprised by the women who seem to be on top of it all.  But are they really on top of it all?

I am a mom.  My day starts early and ends late.  I am at-home, so my house should be immaculate and my family should always be fed a good wholesome, home-cooked meal, right?  Umm.. no.

In my home, there is laundry scattered throughout the house, dishes on the counter, papers stacked up that need to be dealt with, garbage waiting to be taken out and you can bet dinner is just not happening today.  Cereal anyone?  Okay… not every day is like that.

I am a stay-at-home mom to 3 children.  I provide daycare 2 days a week.  I try to find time to sew in order to bring in a bit of extra money.  I have one child that wakes at 4:30-5:00am every day and the last one is asleep around 9:00pm.  I have a toddler in that mix (2 on daycare days).  I don’t clean at night – I am much too tired.  I don’t sew at night (I used to, but now that we have such early days I am too tired at the end of the day).

I am left trying to find a way to fit it all in.

It is a huge challenge.

(Picture taken from pinterest)

I have tried cleaning schedules of all sorts.  Checklists.  You name it.  I also meal plan (but that often doesn’t go as planned because you have to remember to pull things out of the freezer if you want to cook with them!).

Sometimes I am lucky and I get into a groove.  The chores are mostly done.  The family is well fed.  I might even find a bit of time to sew.  I love those weeks days.

The reality is, I find this job to be a challenging one.

And so I wanted to share with you.  Because chances are, there are others out there who are trying to make their way through this juggling act too.

(Picture taken from Pinterest)

Now if only I could find time to get some exercise!

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This is Fancy Nancy.   There is a whole wonderful series of books about her.  My 7-year-old adores her!  I can see why too.  You see, much like my own daughter, Fancy Nancy is the only fancy person in her family.  This is not only her favourite doll, but a friend to have tea parties with, have dance parties with and read stories to.

Fancy Nancy would love to be a part of my daughter’s fashion shows, but the poor doll has only one outfit – the one she came with.

Lucky for her, my daughter’s birthday is coming up very soon!  And guess what I made?!?!

A pretty Christmas outfit complete with red satin dress, fur cape and black party shoes!

But that is not all!!!

I also made a tutu-like skirt…

A hat and scarf for the upcoming wintery days…

And a nice fancy and warm blanket and pillow (complete with pillowcase).

And the best part?

She never had any of this on her wish list!!  She will never guess what I made!  But I know she will love it!

This was all so fun to make and I can’t wait to give it to her!

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Does your family have a game night?  We love game night in our home.  It’s a really great way to connect with your kids and have fun together.

I have started introducing board games to our 2-year-old this past month and she has been loving it!

We play Alphabet Bingo almost daily.  She loves it and I love that she is learning her letters.  You can find free printable bingo cards here.  I am only doing upper case letters with her right now.  Once her recognition is good, I will try her with lower case.

Another game she is really enjoying right now is Elefun.  There is no reading required for this game.  Just turn the elephant game on and catch the butterflies.  Each player is supposed to catch the colour of butterfly that matches their net, but we just try to catch any colour.  They can be pretty hard to catch. Usually my toddler just picks them up off the ground and puts them in her net.  This is a great game for a rainy day!  I will warn you though, this game goes through batteries like crazy!!

Although we don’t play it as the game is meant to be played, my toddler has been really enjoying playing Connect 4.  She loves dropping the little chips into the slots.  It takes a bit of coordination.  Sometimes I will drop a chip into a row and then ask her to drop a chip into the same row.  It’s fun to watch her try to figure out which slot she needs to drop the chip into to get it into the same row as mine.

Memory is another great game to play with your toddler.  Start with a small amount of cards and increase slowly as your child’s ability allows.  You can find free printable cards for your Memory game here.

There are lots of great games out there that can be adapted so your toddler can play.  Take a look in your game cupboard (do any families besides mine have these?) and see what you can find.  Happy playing!

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