Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Are We Doing Tomorrow?

Jackson Bird asks A LOT of questions, as do most kids his age. But the most annoying question is easily the one he asked 45 minutes ago, and then again just now, and will ask again in 30 minutes. Without fail, totally out of the blue, multiple times each day, Bird will ask, "What are we doing tomorrow?" 

Sometimes I think ahead and briefly list aloud our routine for the next day. Other times I'll switch it around on him and say, "Well, what do YOU think we're doing tomorrow?" But most often I feel like pulling my hair out and yelling "I've already answered this question 50 times today! And if you ask it again, you won't live long enough to see tomorrow!!"

Despite my frustration, the same question keeps coming. So I had a brilliant brainstorm. I created a "calendar" just for Bird. It has the days of the week on it, labels for YESTERDAY, TODAY, and TOMORROW, and picture cards for various activities that might come up during a normal week (like school, church, library, grocery store, bank, playground, going to grandparents' etc).

Here's What I Did:
1. Bought an oil drip pan from Wal-Mart. ($13??)
2. Covered it with burlap & ribbon using hot glue
3. Printed the label cards on the computer & mounted them on card-stock
4. Printed the picture activity cards from Mrs.Riley' (free 24-hour trial to create these)
5. Laminated all the labels and picture cards
6. Took plain magnets I had left over (from Hobby Lobby) and hot-glued plastic buttons on top
7. Hung it on the wall using 3M removable adhesive strips
8. Allowed Jackson to help me arrange the board in the correct days-of-the-week order and put the activity cards under the correct day.

Here's a closer look:

So I'm hoping this will help him learn the days of the week, recognize YESTERDAY, TODAY, and TOMORROW, and it might even reduce the number of times he asks me, "What are we doing tomorrow?"

We only spent about 5 minutes on it tonight, but so far he LOVES it. Bird enjoyed picking out the pictures and putting them under the appropriate days. And because my Bird loves logic and order, I'm guessing he will take great joy in seeing that the activity picture cards match up to the real activities of each day.
Very proud of his new calendar

Levi, on the other hand, has already discovered his favorite activity card. It's a picture of the Chick-Fil-A logo. Eating nuggets &  playing on the indoor playground at Chick-Fil-A is one of our favorite Friday activities. You can see how Levi feels about it...
Ready to dominate the Chick-Fil-A indoor playgournd

Pure excitement coursing through his 21-month-old veins. Nothing better than Friday lunches at Chick-Fil-A.

So, how do you teach your littles about calendar skills & routine? Any ideas?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mother Hood Is:

Motherhood is lots of things, and much of it really defies description. But there are a few basic elements of the motherhood experience that can be put into words.

Motherhood is missing your daily mid-naptime treadmill workout because your 20 month old is hammering on his bedroom walls instead of napping.

Motherhood is doing a 20 minute workout video in your living room while a toddler sits on your stomach during crunches or hangs onto your leg during jumping jacks.

Motherhood is listening to an opinionated 4 year old yell about his distaste for water served with his hot dog, and then giving him water anyway.

Motherhood is watching any given Disney movie no less than 20 times straight before a new movie is even considered.

Motherhood is going to the bathroom with children in tow. Every. Time. (I mean GOOD GRIEF! Little People! Can I not even put in a tampon alone?)

Motherhood is going out of your way to make a fresh-fruit smoothie for you kids and then having your oldest tell you, "This is gross!" while the youngest gulps down both servings.

Motherhood is trying not to throw up while on your hands and knees cleaning up the 2 servings of smoothie the toddler drank and then up-chucked after playing chase.

Motherhood is calmly ignoring your kicking, screaming, struggling-against-the-buggie-straps kid at the grocery store while smiling at others you pass.

Motherhood is counting down the minutes until Daddy gets home, only to have him walk in the door and ask, "Is dinner ready now, or do I have time to go work out?"

Motherhood is early-morning snuggling during Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, late-afternoon reading to lap-dwelling littles,  and just-before-bed splashes in the tub with giggling boys.

You can't beat it.