Teaching Transportation

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I think one of the coolest things about moving has been the time my husband gets to spend with our kids. Previously, he worked really long hours. The kids were in bed before came home. We never had a common day off to spend together as a family. He was off Tuesday and Wednesday and I was off Saturday and Sunday. It was hard. His schedule was a huge factor in our decision for him to pursue a different career. He wanted to be an active participant in their lives!

He has been taking a few prerequisite courses this year. Luckily they have all been online so he is able to home school our preschool daughter. They work on many interesting topics together. She is able to follow her own interests. She always has an interesting story about her day.

We bought our toddler son a John Deere video. We thought he’d love the big trucks and the cheesy songs. We were surprised when he shunned it and the big kids took an immediate interest. There is even a car called Auto that they talk about on repeat!

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We want to expand on her love for this heavy machinery. I teach young kids about different careers paths. It is never too young to start. This early exploration allows them to test out many career roles. My daughter loves to pretend that she’s driving one on the dozers. Here is how we will expand on her interests.

1. I bought The Big Book Of Things That Go. I use this book with first graders, but it will be great for even younger kids. It is great for introducing careers like pilot, captain, and several careers in construction.

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2. We have an old race car driver Halloween costume that they will repurpose so she can role play.

3. We encouraged her to play with a variety of cars. We talked about sounds that the different modes of transportation make. She had a blast making a make believe city with blocks!

Do you think early career exploration is important?

Dolls to Divas (So soon?!?!)

When do girls quit playing with dolls? Is it that childhood is ending sooner or has it always been like this?

Sigh.

My girl is three and loves painting her nails. She also loves playing in my makeup. I often wonder if I should say no. Am I causing her to grow up too fast?

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I have a niece that is an adorable little girl. She is spunky and a free spirit. She’s also growing up. She is quickly approaching her eighth year. Just a few months ago she loved Frozen, dolls, and Hello Kitty.These types of interests I can understand. I see the appeal and even enjoy them myself. I even have a Hello Kitty top that I found at Goodwill. I’m an elementary counselor so I will rock it from time to time at work.

I saw some adorable Hello Kitty shoes on MyHabit the other day. I was so excited to get those shoes for my niece. My sister passed this info on to my sister in law. I was stunned at her reply! She said that my niece all of a sudden turned into a big girl and her interests had evolved!! Already?! Sheesh. She was just a baby five minutes ago. These new interests are harder for me.

Her mom said she like Toms, Matilda Jane, and wedge sandals! Woah, that sounds like tween territory to me. Scary. While I love these brands, I can’t afford Toms or Matilda Jane. I’m not sure I’d pick sandals that she’d like because I wince when I see a wedge. I’d want to purchase a some good insoles too.

So what does a aunt buy her evolving almost tween niece? I’ve found a few possibilities, but I’m not convinced on any of them. It is difficult trying to balance her desire to be an adult with the fact that she is still very much a little girl.

These Iscream pajama shorts are very cute. I won’t feel bad about the length of the shorts since she is only wearing them at home.

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I know she says she’s over Frozen. I hear her. I also love her a lot because she is a precious friend to her little cousin. They remind me of Elsa and Anna. I think getting the girls matching bubblegum necklaces could be sweet. I love these found on Etsy.

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I just don’t want a sad pretweenager on my hands. I know there is a huge tween market, but what do you do for this age group? I was thinking of books, but that is unfamiliar territory too.

I have been very sensitive about my kids growing up. I am proud of them and enjoy them as they grow. I am also sad that I don’t have an itty bitty anymore. I just want a little more time!

Help me! I need info on this age group and what they like!

I Try It So You Don’t Have To (Bummer edition)

This is the review of a product that I wanted my kids to love. I was in love with the idea. This is an awesome product that most kiddos would surely enjoy. Mine just didn’t seem to dig it! I am a little disappointed in my children! This activity should be fun. I was imagining that they would be blown away with this play tape. It seemed like such a cool idea. It is made in the USA which made me feel really good! It fosters imagination! It should also foster hours of imaginative play. Not in my house. Nope. It fostered all of about 15 minutes of bickering and complaining!

I found the play tape on Amazon. It was $9.99 for the roll. There were quite a few reviewers unhappy with the length. My kitchen is small so the roll was more than adequate.

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The kids were very excited about the idea of the tape. They couldn’t wait to get it open! We used some street signs from Melissa and Doug to add to the excitement.

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My King Kong baby and Godzilla cat kept knocking the signs over and frustrating the children. There was a whole bunch of shrieking at the destroyers.
I had to remove the baby.

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They placed beautifully for about fifteen minutes!

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It was short lived. I left the tape on the floor for many days and tried to encourage them to play in the kitchen! Normally they love to play in there while I am cooking. It was a place to be avoided at all costs!

I’m sad. I can’t figure out why they weren’t interested. Kids are weird!

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Pros: cool idea, made in the USA, works great on tile, came up with no residue
Cons: did not hold their interest, some felt the roll was too short for the cost
The bottom line: I think this is cool concept that just didn’t work for my kids. My son is not into his cars recently. He’s an airplane man now.

Would you try it?

Images Are Reminders

There is a voice in my head that spews negativity. It has been particularly foul the last few days. I haven’t been on my A game in the mom department. Little things are getting me down. My kids get the short end of my temper, the thinness of my nerves. I go to bed feeling guilty and pledging to do better tomorrow. I wake up just as grumpy as when I laid down. It doesn’t help that my house is a pit of disaster. I cleaned closets and organized clothing this weekend. Ugh. I feel better now, but the magnitude of the operation almost did me in!

I took some photos that remind me to simmer down. Take a chill pill. Relax. These creatures are little and loving life. I need some of that happiness in my heart. Looking through my phone reminded me that I’m having the time of my life.

Life is sweet. Who doesn’t love a key lime cupcake from a true southern buffet restaurant? We indulged in fried chicken too! If you travel down I-75 through Adel, you have got to check out the Parrish House.

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Live in the moment. My littlest one wants so badly to be big. This boy so full of enthusiasm for life. I love that he is so laid back and good natured. He’s growing up way too fast. I wish he’d stay little just a bit longer!

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Enjoy the simple things.My daughter loves pasta. It is her favorite food. I hope she always eats her pasta with such pleasure! She enjoys good food and company. I hope she’s never afraid of carbs!

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Here’s to a better week for the blackhearted ones.

I Try It So You Don’t Have To (Naked Edition)

I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine’s Day! I did. I spent the day shopping with my mom and sister. My husband stayed at home and chilled. We both were doing our preferred activity. He made me a very happy girl. He bought me the Alex and Ani bracelet I wanted.

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We spent some quality time together after we put the kids to bed. I love trying new things. I’ve also been craving summer. I’m ready to sit outside and drink margaritas.

I decided to skip the outside part and just have a margarita. I bought this drink mix on Amazon! The name was just too appealing. We thought Knock You Naked was such a funny name.

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The disclaimer was also pretty funny! I giggled about the bottle for a while. I told my co workers about it and showed them the photos. They thought it was pretty great too.

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The mix was really easy to make. Just drop the mix, tequila, and ice into the blender.

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The drink tasted great! We bought crappy tequila and I still thought it was awesome. There was a little hint of saltiness that I loved. The mix was $7.95 on Amazon. The tequila was $15.00. We had quite a bit leftover after making the margaritas. The concoction filled four glasses.

This did not knock me naked. It made me sleepy and I went to bed at 8:30. I’m not even kidding.

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Pros: Very yummy, funny name which makes me giggle
Cons: Pricey
Bottom line: I’d buy this again for a special occasion! So yummy! You must try.

Melodramatic Dress Dilemma

I’m having a major dress dilemma, and I’m silly enough to let it cause me major stress. My siblings and I gave my mother a photo session as a birthday gift. It will be for our large extended family. We’ve never had a whole family portrait, Needless to say, we are very excited to be able to do this for my mom. My sister and decided to make our photo color scheme purple, yellow and khaki. We based this on my mom’s favorite colors. We
are super bossy and told her she couldn’t wear white like she wanted.

Before you read anymore, please note that I am neurotic. I plan everything. I want perfection! I don’t ever want to compromise. My poor husband, right?

My husband has clothes. My sons were easy to dress. I bought a dress that my sister approved.

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My problem is my daughter. I have a picture of a nonexistent perfect dress in my mind. I want a dress that screams little girl. We recently had pictures made where she wore a very bohemian dress. I don’t want that this time. I want to dress her like a little southern girl. I know soon she will balk at dresses like this! I also have expensive taste. I fell in love with this dress. I told my husband the price and he said no way! Ugh. The green in the collar would probably be frowned upon.

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I found a couple that I really like, but they are in the wrong size. This Dolls and Divas dress is very pretty but it is way too small.

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I like this one the best at the moment. If nothing wows me, I will buy it.

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I’m still looking for the perfect dress! Any places I should look? Every had a similar problem with an outfit? Did you feel like you had to compromise?

I Try It So You Don’t Have To.. Paint-a-Doodle

This weekend was exhausting! We had a busy really busy Saturday. My mom had her birthday celebration. They live about two hours from us so we were in the car a lot. My husband took our oldest to his pine wood derby race. It was divide and conquer. I was so tired on Sunday!

Honestly, I stayed in my pajamas all day. I promised the kids we would do a special arts and crafts project. I really didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t self directed. I felt it was the perfect time to try out a Paint-a-Doodle.

I stumbled upon the website and thought they looked pretty cool. I wanted to get two right then and there, but I didn’t want to spend $25 to $27 on them. I looked on Amazon and found two that I knew my kids would love. They were $5 and $6! Awesome! The price has gone up since I purchased, but there are others on Amazon that are bargains.

I was really excited when the canvases came! The set includes paints and brushes too. I did notice that the toucan doodle came without green. My daughter wanted green for the leaves. It wasn’t a big deal for us since my sons came with green, but that might be upsetting to some littles.

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We squeezed some paint of each color onto a paper plate. I read some reviews about paint being dry and I was a bit worried. My son’s kit did have two colors that were dry. He wasn’t too disappointed and I wasn’t either since they were so cheap. If I paid full price, I would have been irritated!

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My daughter is three. The recommended age is five. I knew she’d have a fit if I didn’t get her one. She did a really good job painting, but she required quite a bit of one on one attention.

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My son is seven and he loves cars. He picked this doodle to go on his wall. He had a lot of fun too. He didn’t need my one on one attention like my daughter. He was able to paint it without my help! Serious bonus!

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The paintings took about an hour to complete. They were fully engaged the whole time!

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Pros cheap, engaging, relaxing for littles
Cons could be pricey if you don’t find a deal, a couple of paints were dry, the ones we bought not made in USA though the ones on the website are, can be stressful for parents
The Bottom Line: I loved these at this price. We only have one income so I couldn’t buy them at regular price. My kids thought it was a great experience. I would recommend to a friend.

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