Friday, October 31, 2014

Tips For Avoiding A Trick or Treat Meltdown

Okay so its Halloween and parents are getting ready to get costumes together, take pictures, and enjoy our kids and their cuteness. However, trick or treating can take a drastic turn quickly, especially with the younger kids. So after a few times of trial and error, here are a few tips that I hope will help your trick or treating be as stress free as possible.

Potty Time. If your kids are anything like mines, they will wait until they get 2 1/2 blocks from home to start doing the pee pee dance. If your child has an accident this will almost immediately shut down your trick or treat adventure. So make sure your kids make a bathroom run before they suit up, because trying to get a squirming child out of a pirate costume can get tricky.

More Rest, Less Stress. Make sure your kids are well rested and fed. If your children are grumpy it is not going to make for a very fun trick or treat experience. I remember when my now 5 year old was a toddler, I made this mistake. Running around and trying to get things together for Halloween I had forgotten to make sure he had his nap. The moment I realized he was grumpier than a man in a boat without a paddle, was when he snapped on this innocent old lady. She became a casualty of war ( I still feel bad about that, sorry little old lady wherever you are). So after that my husband and I took turns carrying him the rest of the way.

Weather the Weather. The weather does not care that you and your kids are out trick or treating in your cute little costumes, its October, and it still gets cold. I live in Georgia near the water where it is still a little warmer, but it can get chilly after dark. As much as you want your kid's costume to get all of the shine it deserves, make sure you either bring a jacket or layer under their costume if you can. Its nothing worse than waking up the day after Halloween to candy hungover kids with runny noses.

Whats Yours Is Mines. When the kids go to bed, it is time to indulge in their candy. This may sound selfish, but I mean really we walked around for miles (okay maybe blocks), just to get nothing out of the deal? Besides, they don't need any cavities, and too much candy is just simply not good for them. So really I look at it as responsible parenting. Plus this gives you something to look forward to after you get them to bed and you're tired. As you lay on the couch with that big delicious bag of candy it is the topping on the cake to a fun evening. Don't worry they'll never know, just put the bag back like nothing ever happened.

Happy and safe trick or treating everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What Your Kids Can Reveal About You

Kids are great, wonderful, cute, cuddly, and lovable, so can someone tell me how these little people can bring out all the bad traits I have worked so hard to hide? I love my kids to infinity and beyond, but sometimes I feel like they are trying to kill me! Why, why, why do you feel the need to lick out of the dog's water bowl, play in poop, eat crayons, or dump the pee out of your potty? I should add that on any given week, these events could occur all in one day.

However, I know that I am supposed to be the adult, and handle these situations with patience, and kind, encouraging words, but you know what I have discovered, is that I fall short. I know that is sad to admit, but I am a work in progress. When I am trying to cook dinner, while the baby is crying (Side note: I have four boys ages 7, 5, 2, and 9 months, just to paint a vivid picture for you) and my 5 year old is asking me how to spell the same word for the umpteenth time, and that is when my 2 year old decides that he wants to dump out his potty on the carpet; my kind and patient tank is on empty. (Side note: I did not know that umpteenth was really a word).

What I have figured out so far, in this ongoing navigation of the high seas is that I am not perfect. I am okay with that. It is impossible for me to give everyone 100% at all times, I would be a complete wreck (I probably already am since it took me awhile to figure this out). So as moms we have to cut ourselves a little slack; we don't get it right every time. There are going to be times when we have our own mini temper tantrums, but its okay. Just pick yourself up off the floor, and keep it moving. Its okay to scream into the air in frustration sometimes, because guess what we are human. Just remember after you get yourself together, grab your kids give them a hug, and tell them that you love them. Most of the time our kids don't even see our flaws, they think we are the best thing since Mama Rosa's mini pizzas (Side note: those pizzas are goooood!). So if our kids can cut us some slack, let's cut ourselves a little.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 Things No One Told You About Sending Your Child To School

5. Lunch Is Expensive! When I was in school lunch was good and it was cheap, needless to  say when the first of my four boys started school I was expecting the same. Wrong! School lunch in our area currently costs a whopping $2.15, now this may not sound outrageous to some, but when you have more than one child this adds up quickly. Let's quickly do the math, once all four of my children start attending school that adds up to $1,548 for an average school year of 180 days. I quickly realized that making lunches was going to be essential to our family not going bankrupt. So every morning (side note: this is much easier if you do this task the night before, I'm just a procrastinator) I pack my two oldest children lunch. Plus school lunch is not what it used to be, so I am actually doing them a huge favor too.

4. Bad Kids. As parents we try our hardest to raise good, decent, rule abiding children, somehow however some kids must slip through the cracks. This may not be a politically correct statement to call other children bad, but I am just being honest. Often times in class there's a spitter, hitter, temper tantrum thrower, etc. If you do not believe me, just sit in your child's elementary school class for a day; it gets real! There is no way to avoid these kids, they are an integral part of the school experience, just teach your children to be leaders and not followers if they see their classmates exhibiting bad behavior. If not anything, it will give them the skills to deal with the not so pleasant adults they will later deal with in the workplace. The game changes, but the players remain the same. Side note: if your child is the spitter, hitter, or temper tantrum thrower, I hope this does not offend you.

3. School Bathrooms Are Nasty. I am not sure if this will really help anyone to know this fact, but it is definitely worth mentioning. There is pee and poop and a very good amount of it does not make it into the toilet, and yes that's just nasty! However, if there is anything that can be taken away from this, it is to make sure you teach your kids good bathroom hygiene at home. Hopefully the extra effort will help them resist the urge to touch that brown smear on the wall. Germs are unavoidable but teaching your child good hygiene should cut down on the amount of nasty stuff your child brings back to your home.

2. Homework Is Actually for Parents. As your children advance in school, the amount of homework they receive increases. This is to be expected, but what no one ever told me is that your child's homework is also your homework. Not to mention the several projects that your child will be assigned. Just giving you a heads up that you will probably be up until midnight the night before making sure that it is perfect, while still trying to make it look like a second grader did it. However, the smile on their face when they are proudly carrying their project into class, more than makes up for the lack of sleep.

1. Communication Is Key. I know that this is a frequently used mantra, but it is essential when your kids start school. School is the one place that we are unable to shield, monitor, or protect our child, so encouraging your child to communicate the details of their day is important. It is important to know when your child had a great day at school, or when something made them upset, sad, or frustrated. Make sure you ask your child about their day as soon as they get home, because the details are fresh in their memory. If your kids are anything like mines, you won't have to ask, they will start rambling about their day as soon as they step foot off of the bus. Also, remember to keep an open line of communication with your child's teacher. Teachers can enlighten you to information about your child that not even you were aware of. (Side note: our kids often act completely different in school than they do at home, you will often be amazed). So teachers can be a great asset for parents, they are the eyes and ears for our child during the hours that we are not there.