Friday, August 22, 2014

Mom Confession #35448 - Selling NIB toys

    Normally I space out gifts that the kids have received from Christmas and Birthdays but lately I've been selling them. It's true. They haven't asked so I'm not going to offer up. 

   My eldest usually recalls gifts that she has picked out to tuck away but the entire Summer vacation just passed and she did not ask once for one of her toys. Not once. So I grouped them all up and took pics, listed them and sold them. One of my selling features is that "its not too early to get ready for Christmas!!"
    So what have I been doing with the money? I'm splitting it. Half has gone to clothes and school supplies. The other half has gone into envelopes to put towards their big Christmas gift. If they ask me for a toy that was sold I'll just tell them it was sold to someone who really, really wanted to play with it now. It's cool.

     Do you space out opening gifts or let them have them all?
     Do you regift any of them? (I'm guilty - I've done that a few times) 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Not bad for first time bowlers and rusty old bowlers 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Community supplies at school? I say Bah!

    35 sticks of glue, 24 pencils that are sharpened, 5 boxes of Crayola branded crayons as per supply list, 3 boxes of Crayola branded markers (again as stated on the supply list), 4 boxes of tissues, 1 Sharpie (really? just one? the list is already outrageous why stop at 1?), 5 bold colored dry erase markers (Dear Teacher, did you know these come in backs of 4 and you want 5??! Guess you're getting 4), 3 pocket folders and 1 colorful folder, a pencil case and oh yeah.., 1 composition notebook to be decorated with anything sparkly or shiny to be the poetry notebook for the school year. 

   Is anyone else's supply list a bit out of hand? I mean come on, this community bank of supplies in the classroom is nice but ultimately stinks in my opinion. There is no way my child is going to use 35 sticks of glue. I've seen her in action, she's all about making her glue sticks stretch. So I guess while she is working with her first glue stick, Little Jimmy will be covered with another glue stick after he eats his? Yeah, that's a stretch but you know what I mean. I remember (yes here is a back in my day speech) I had a supply box with all my items labelled. They were ALL mine and no one else's. It was my responsibility to care for my supplies and make them last. When did schools start doing community supply banks? Do they keep track who uses what? Where is the lesson in preserving and being responsible for your supplies? 

   I am sure I sound harsh and "old school" and maybe even bitter that now I have to be a deal seeker on obtaining 35 sticks of glue for under $2 to maintain a back to school budget that isn't blown on supplies but I also think we're missing out on a lesson of taking care of supplies. 

   To leave this post on a positive note - I do "donate" crafty stuff throughout the year like stickers, seasonal cut outs from my Cricut, odd little things like cotton balls or even fabric scraps. 

   What are your supply lists like? Does your teacher have a community supply or is your child responsible for their own supplies? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Aunt has a nice ring to it

    Did I share with y'all that I am a real Aunt??!! How awesome is that? I'm finally an official real live Aunt. I have a few cousins who their kid's call me Aunt which is awesome but now I'm an official Aunt by blood.

    The kids were ecstatic when we went to their house to visit them - well the kids visited I brought over a crock pot dinner to prep and ended up doing some cleaning around the house - you know the normal like the dishes and putting away Easter decorations in July when he was born the last week of June (my ocd kind of kicked in and luckily my mouth kept it on lock down - lol)
    My three kiddos would have eaten his cuteness up if I hadn't taken them home when I did that day. I cant stop hearing how adorable he is - and he is but I'm biased as an Aunt. 

    I can't wait to spoil this little boy! Just love him to pieces!!

Hello Little Man!! Welcome to the world!!

So tiny!!

Lulu and Bear loving their baby cousin

TW - so gentle

So tell me - what would you get a new nephew to spoil him?? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

And I am a Gift Prepper

   Before I knew what it was called, I was doing it. Before I had kids, I was doing it. It started when I moved in with the Hubs during our engagement. For the first time I was shopping for his family along with my family. I was the (silently, never really appointed but assumed the responsibility) gift coordinator. I automatically began being a "Gift Prepper".
    It started off small with Birthday gifts but then came my first Christmas of gift giving. We went with a super cute idea - or so I thought. I remember taking a trip to Vermont and stopping by a local shop where everything was made locally. We loaded up on mixes, marinades, syrup (duh!) and candies. I assembled all the goodies in cute baskets and sealed them up. I was so excited thinking they would be well loved. The baskets got "so-so" responses. Meh, poo on them. 

    Even though I had a blast creating the baskets I knew I had to step up my game. We were also in the middle of what I deemed "Birthdayrow" - a six month spread of celebrating Birthdays. I tossed my towel in the air and that was the start of shopping year round - for both sides of the families. 

    When I was pregnant with my first, my gift prepping abilities were growing strong and I managed to be ready for Christmas and Birthdays months in advance. Last year I was done gift shopping in July! Well - I had to finish making a gift - which I put off until November.., meh.., but I still had plenty of time. 

    Yesterday I popped out to Target (mainly to get a much needed Green Tea Frap with Extra, Extra WHIP because I was having one of those days and I was about to embark on a grocery shopping extravaganza) but of course the bulls eye sucked me in and did some casual strolling around the store. I came across a few items marked 70% in the toy department to pick up for the holiday so into the bedroom closet they went. 

    I've learned how to creatively preplan gifts for family and friends. That took a bit of time but I think I can confidently say I've got the hang of it. Although every now and then I have a few stumbles left over in my gift closet. 

    Do you Gift Prep? How far in advance do you prep? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Things I have learned so far this Summer Vacation

    Sitting here at the dining table while the three kiddos are silently taking a break from activities watching Tinkerbell and Periwinkle I can't help but think of the things that I have learned so far this Summer Vacation - remember this is my first Summer Vacation with all three kids at home. 

   Not only has my patience been tested in ways that I never thought it could have been tested, as well as my ability to balance way more than I can chew but I have gathered a few lessons and interesting finds from my kids. 
   First is if given the chance they would "snack" ALL day long. I had to nip that one right at the start. There is designated snack times as well as only one Breakfast and one Lunch. (That rule is mainly for my son who would eat all day if allowed) I never noticed it before but after a day or two of constant refilling snacks I caught on. Well played sir, well played. 

   Second is learning to just go with the flow - literally. I was rocking the potty training scene with Bear before the older two were home. Once they crashed our party she back slid. I have never had to deal with back sliding during potty training and as much of a frustration it is, I have to just take her cue and go with the flow. We have our good days, our awesome days but also have our icky days. All in due time, all in due time. 

   Third is the importance of a schedule. We had a schedule before and that was super easy to follow but now in order to keep the peace and structure our new schedule is more important than ever. I think it's hard for people who never experienced it yet to fully understand and I may seem like a sour face for saying no but I need that schedule to go smooth so our house can run smooth. 

   Fourth is that I'm not as well stocked up on toilet paper as I thought I was - good grief! Haha. 

  That is all for now as I know my time alone is fleeing by the seconds. (For the record as I wrote this the three birdies were munching on their afternoon snack smorgasbord. I found that if you lay out a tray full of different snacks there is less asking and just more munching.) 

   What is something that you've learned from spending Summer Vacation with your kiddos?  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Ok so it's been a while but here's a fun one for (not so) Wordless Wednesday. Here is Lulu, in the pink outfit, trying out the hurdles for the first time 
- and she LOVED it!