Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thoughts on staying home with the kids

You might be a stay at home mom/dad if.....

You receive high fives and hoorays for going to the bathroom...yes our two-year-old watches us's good modeling! 

You are ridiculously good at building legos, train tracks, and towers

You know the names of all the characters from Cars and Cars 2 and can recite lines from the movies using the characters' voices. I do a pretty good Mater, not gonna lie

Your bed is unmade, the dishes are not done, there are crumbs on every floor in your house, toys litter said floors, and you step on said toys multiple times a day

There are half empty bottles and juice cups strewn all about the house...and sometimes you even find one about two weeks later...don't "ewww" me, I didn't leave it there...

Your legs, arms, and head double as roads for toy cars

You have not showered in two days

Your hair is crazy wild because of the whole showering issue

You get frustrated when you are trying to color and your kid keeps scribbling over your artwork

You sing the Barney song...enough said

You dance around in your living room and jump up and down on the couch

Your meals consist of pretzels, cheerios, apples, bananas, grapes, pb&j, chicken nuggets, corn and leftover scraps from the kids' plates

I could go on and on, but really, what I want to say is that being a stay at home mom is HARD WORK!

I love my kids and being home with them during the summers is one of the perks of being a teacher! However, my hat goes off to moms and dads who do this full time. They are incredible people and should be acknowledged much more than they are. 

My average work day is me in a classroom with 28 kids. Who would have ever thought that 28 kids would be easier than 2!?!?

As a stay at home mom, your ENTIRE DAY is devoted to the kids. Depending on their ages, you can't leave them alone for one second. My daughter is a human vacuum cleaner. That girl will put every stinking little crumb in her mouth. Leaving her unattended on the floor is not an option. I'm constantly digging in her mouth, trying to fetch out foreign objects. You are truly tied down every second that the kids are awake.

If you are lucky enough to get them to nap at the same time......YES!! CELEBRATE! But then snap back into reality, because this is the ONLY TIME YOU HAVE to get anything done. This time for me usually consists of showering (which is a luxury and sometimes I skip in order to get other stuff done), making the bed, doing the dishes (BY HAND, no dishwasher = sadness & torture), catching up on emails, homework, laundry, and cleaning up in general.

Stay at home moms & dads have to be the most SELFLESS people alive. While I'm glad to have this title for just a season, I honestly don't know if I could do it full time. Like I said, my hats are off to you!! You guys have one of the most important jobs out there!!

Now because I'm still finding out about the joys and frustrations of this all important job, here are a few suggestions that have helped me while being at home with my little guys.....

1. Say yes. I recently read this post by one of my favorite bloggers Casey Weigand. It is SO WORTH READING. It has really encouraged me to slow down and not worry about having an agenda.

2. Change up the scenery. Get out of the house! While it can be super challenging to pack up and travel with two little ones, I find it is always worth it! We love to go the the park and the library. If it's too hot out, we'll head to Springhill Mall where there is a great indoor play place. Getting out of the house gives all of us a good break. Side note: if you do go the the park, plastic slides produce awesome static electricity!!

3. Get together with other moms who have kids. It's so fun to watch your little guys play with others, and it helps them learn how to play.

4. Go get ice cream! I already mentioned Van's in a previous post, but seriously we love that place. Now we don't go there every day, but I would recommend once or twice a week.

5. Listen to podcasts, sermons, or audio books while you work. I am pretty fortunate that my kids usually do nap at the same time. When I'm working I love to put in my headphones and listen to a sermon. Also reading is something I love to do and wish I had more time for. AUDIO BOOKS are the answer. I also feel double the success when I'm working and listening.

So moms and dads, nannies, and other care givers....what do you do to make staying at home with the kids the BEST it can be? I'd love to hear your ideas!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

You know it's summer when…

We have BLT's for dinner. There's something about this meal that just screams summer. Jason fries the bacon and he always burns the last few pieces just for me. The toaster can't keep up with us.

 You know it's summer when the babes need to take more baths than usual.

You know it's summer when we visit Festival Park in Elgin. Kole loves running around in the fountain and getting splashed by the water. This place is usually packed so you have to be a little careful about other bigger kids running around. Kole gets knocked down at least once each time we've gone, but it doesn't seem to phase him. It's also a fun place to sit and people watch. This time I saw a kid's diaper fall off. It was all huge and puffed up from the water, which was hilarious in itself, then the thing just dropped and he ran around all naked!

You know it's summer when there is lots and lots of iced coffee. This kind is my favorite!

You know it's summer when chubby little legs stick through the holes of a baby swing. We walk to the park by our house almost every single day. It's so fun to watch these kids play together. And Kole is only a little bit territorial of the slide. This photo and the one below it were edited using the A Beautiful Mess photo app. It's free and one of my favorite apps for photos! 

You know it's summer when this little man gets to golf. He is the cutest. He hits it and shouts, "in the hole!" You can tell he watches lots of golf on TV with his dad. 

You know it's summer when tiny babies wear big ole' hats. There is nothing cuter.

You also know it's summer when we make frequent visits to Van's Custard. Last fall they moved locations from Carpentersville to East Dundee, which happens to be right where we live! We can walk there in about five minutes. I used to think this was a good thing, but it's becoming kind of dangerous. Van's is family owned and they are the nicest people who really get to know their customers.  Their custard is delicious. Each day they have a "flavor of the day" some of which include Nutella, Toasted Coconut, and Birthday Cake. They even have special flavors like Guiness for St. Patrick's Day and Carrot Cake for Easter.

At their new location they now serve burgers and fries. My husband is a huge fan of their burgers. And I highly recommend the sweet potato fries. If you're looking for a new place to eat and enjoy good food, you really need to check them out!

And finally, you know it’s summer when we head up north! We’re up here now and soaking up every second. We had an amazing 4th of July spent with family and friends. Here are a few pictures of our time so far. There’s more to come later!