Thursday, August 25, 2016

No more morning monster mom!



Well, here we are.  August 25th.  Remember back around Memorial Day when this day was so far off?  Now it's end of summer, back to school, back to reality!

I can't really say summer was super relaxing and a break from routine. Sure, there was no official homework, the kids went to bed later than usual, and we didn't race around in the morning trying to make it to the school bus on time, but we still had schedules and routines.  Nick had to make it camp, I had to make it to work.  I still had to pack a lunch for Nick, and make sure his backpack had sunscreen, a water bottle, his swim suit and a towel in it every day.  I had to get everyone in the car and dropped off at their designated location.  But still, it was summer and there wasn't that urgency of YOU'RE GOING TO MISS THE BUS!!!!!

Once school starts (2 more weeks), our mornings will be busier and more hectic.  The school day is starting earlier this year, which means our mornings will be starting earlier too (Ugh).  I'll be straight with you... some mornings I am literally at my wits end.  After asking the boys nicely to get dressed at least 4 times, and each time they continue to play legos/watch TV/play on the ipad, and it's now 5 minutes before the bus is about to come and I see Nick hasn't even eaten his breakfast yet, and I'm having a bad hair day and my clothes aren't fitting right, I start to lose my shiz!!  I turn into Monster Mom, and it is not a pretty sight.

This year, I am making a pledge to keep Monster Mom under wraps!  And this is my plan on how to do it.

1. Menu plan lunches for the week.  Did you ever stand there staring in your fridge wondering what the heck to pack your kid for lunch?  It's not fun.  Especially when your kid is a picky eater.  And refuses to buy the school lunch because, "I might not like their tacos."

2.  Make lunches the night before.  This includes mine.  I'm hoping this will be a big time saver.

3.  Ensure homework and all other necessary items are safely zipped in backpacks, ready to go.

4.  Pick out everyone's clothes the night before.  Better yet, plan out the entire week's outfits on Sunday.  Make sure Nick is on board with the chosen outfits so there are no "I hate that shirt.  These pants are too tight!" type meltdowns in the morning.

5.  No TV/electronics until breakfast is eaten and clothes are on.

Seems pretty easy, right?  I'll keep you posted!

How do you keep it together on busy mornings??

Monday, August 22, 2016

'Round here lately

We finished up summer camp, including a week of LEGO camp (big hit).  

We hit up our favorite summer food spots.





We did some jumping.





We did some karate.



We did some swimming and were very sad when the town pool closed for the year.

We started soccer.  And I started coaching!


We finished our school shopping.

We had a date night.  BBQ and Star Trek!





We had fun at the playground.


What's up next for us?

A week of vacation at the beach!!  Woo hoo!!

And then... BACK TO SCHOOL!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Faves!

"Everybody's working for the weekend!"  You're totally singing it, right?  And this weekend I'm taking a 3 day weekend.  WOO HOO!!!

Let's jump right into my faves of the week!

Number 1: Daycare summer picnic & awards.  Our daycare is amazing and every summer they do a graduation and picnic with awards.  Alec got awards for sharing/including others, creativity (you should hear the stories he makes up) and best vocabulary!  So proud of my little guy. :)  


Number 2:  This totally cracked me up this week!!

Number 3:  Kristen Schmucker Daily Grace Planner
The busy season has arrived!!  The first day of school is just around the corner, and soccer practices start next week!  Since I am coaching my son's team, I have even MORE things than usual I need to remember!  This planner is perfect.  I previously had a gorgeous Corie Clark Purposeful Planner, but it ended up being too big for me.  This planner is big, but not too big and fits nicely in my purse.  I have the planner in the pic which is currently sold out.  However, Kristen has several other beautiful planners for you to choose from!  Check out her store HERE.

Photo from http://kristinschmuckershop.com/

Number 4:  Outlet shopping
Remember how I mentioned I am taking a 3 day weekend?  Well, that is so tomorrow I can go outlet shopping with one of my besties!  We'll be starting off with a Cracker Barrel breakfast and then hit the stores!  I already have most of our school shopping done, but I am hoping to pick up a couple more things and maybe, just maybe, something for myself!

Lee Outlets here we come!

5:  Aldi.  OK, that's kind of weird, right?  Well, I never really had any desire to go to Aldi before.  I thought it was all weird, random generic brands and I didn't like how you had to put a quarter in to get a shopping cart and bag your own groceries.  But one of my girlfriends was raving about all the money she saves there, so I thought- what the hey, give it a try.  Well, it turns out she was right!!  The prices were amazing and they had some name brand items too (lunchables and Pringles for example).  They do have their own store brand, but so far everything I've tried has been good quality.  I used 2 of my 31 deluxe utility totes and my fresh market thermal to bag my groceries and it worked perfectly.   I did have to search around to find a quarter for the cart though!



Enjoy your weekend friends!  I plan on thoroughly enjoying my shopping trip and perhaps a date night this weekend!

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals

and

Monday, August 8, 2016

End of Summer fun that won't break the budget

Who would have thought August could be such an expensive month?!  Besides the fact that August is when we take our family vacation (school doesn't start until after Labor day in my part of NY), it is also my month of back to school shopping bankruptcy.  After spending a small fortune on school supplies (why do these supply lists keep getting bigger and bigger??) and forking over large sums of cash (or credit) to the Childrens Place and Old Navy for school clothes, I'm just about tapped out.  So how is one to have fun (on a budget) with their kiddos during these last few weeks of summer?  Check out my ideas below!

1.  Backyard OR indoor camping - Set up a tent in your backyard or living room.  Cook up a real camp dinner (hot dogs on a stick and baked beans??).  Have a bonfire (outside only please).  Make 'Smores (they're just as tasty cooked in the oven!).  Grab a flashlight and tell scary stories.  Take bets on which kid gets spooked first and sneaks into their bed.


2.  Hit the pool.  Once upon a time we had a pool.  But then we moved and now we don't.  However, our community has a very nice town pool.  It's clean, quiet, close by, and cheap ($1 for kids and $2 for adults- you can't beat that)!  If you don't have your own pool, find out if there is a community pool nearby.  Pack a lunch and some snacks and make a day of it.

3.  Hit the playground.   A good playground will entertain your kids for hours (well, at least ONE hour) and again, pack a lunch and have a picnic!

4.  The Drive-In.  The movie theatre is expensive, especially when you are paying for 4 people and snacks!  Any time we take the kiddos to the movies, it makes a huge dent in our wallet.  A lower-cost option is the drive in.  Some drive-ins charge per car, and the ones that charge per person are still usually much cheaper than the theatre.  Plus the snacks are cheap (real cheap if you sneak in your own), and you don't have to do the booty shuffle in anyone's face when you need to hit the ladies room!


5.  Outdoor movie nights.  Continuing with the movie theme, lots of communities offer free outdoor movie nights during the summer.  Check your town's website and see what's happening!

6.  The library.  Check out your local library for free or low cost summer activities.  I, for one, was floored when I saw all the cool stuff our library had going on this summer.  And if you have little ones, story time is always a favorite!

7.  State Parks.  We have some gorgeous state parks here with lakes to swim, fish and boat in, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds and camping.  Our favorite park (see pics below) charges $7 per vehicle, which is pretty typical.  We bring our beach chairs and umbrella, sand toys, and a cooler with drinks and snacks (or lunch) and we are set for the day.



8.  Check out a local baseball team.  It's local, and it's a fraction of the cost of a major league game.  Plus, many ballparks have special days that kids get in free.  Grab a hot dog, a beer and some crackerjacks and enjoy!

9.  Outdoor family game night.  Kickball, dodgeball, badmittten, jump rope contest, relay races, slip and slide contest (who can slide the farthest)... whatever your heart desires!  Just do it outside and make it fun!  Then maybe a make your own sundae bar to end the night?

10.  Your county fair.  Admission is cheap (usually) and kids often get in free.  There is generally a day or two where you pay one price for unlimited rides.  A day at the fair can get expensive (food, rides, games) but if you plan accordingly, it doesn't have to break the budget.

What ideas do you have for some end of summer fun that won't break the budget?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Friday Faves

Hooray for Friday!   I'm happy it's the weekend and I'm happy to be back sharing my favorites!

First up is my new favorite coffee mug! While I don't typically have room in the budget for CLOTHES from Anthropologie, I do make an exception for fun kitchen items! My mug obsession continues!

Find it HERE

Next up are these cute, personalized popcorn tubs from Customforless etsy shop. My boys love popcorn and insist on it any time we watch a movie.  I love that these can be personalized with a name...one less thing for my kids to argue over!  


I finished up another Frederik Backman book (Britt-Marie Was Here) and I have to say, I think Mr. Backman is my new FAVORITE author!  If you read My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry,  you will definitely enjoy Britt-Marie
Was Here.   Next up for me is A Man Called Ove (I went backwards) and then I will be out of Backman books to read and officially going through withdrawls  :)


Thursday night we took a spontaneous trip to our favorite ice cream spot for a late night cone. Summer late night ice cream runs is a definite FAVORITE!   Unfortunately, they don't lend themselves well for picture taking!



And finally, the fact that my 3 year old seems to be 100% potty trained as of this week may be my FAVORITE ever!!  It's been a long, tough, poop filled road with this one, but fingers crossed,  we've made it! #hardestpottytrainingever 

Maybe I should have read this?

There you are, my favorites of the week!  Hey, did you read my post about how gross boys are?  If not, check it out HERE.  But fair warning, if you're offended by poop, pee, flatulence and boy parts, it's not the post for you!

Have a lovely weekend friends!   Soak up every last bit of summer!  

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals
And



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Boys are gross...reflections from a boy mom




Boys are gross.  Plain and simple.  And as a boy mom, I have been living in the trenches of grossness for quite some time.  It starts with poop, then moves on to their penis (and then pretty much stays at their penis for the rest of their lives I believe).

A few things I've been enlightened to as a mom of boys...

Boys poop in the nude.  Every.single.time
**
Boys love to talk about poop.  My oldest son tells stories about a fictional character named Mr. Poop who lives in the sewers and has corn kernels for eyes.  At night, he comes out of the toilet and tries to get back in your butt.  Yup.  For reals.
**
Boys pick their noses.  Regularly.  And then  think it's hilarious to flick a booger at you.  Unless they are eating said booger, like my little guy does.
**
Boys cannot get enough of their man parts.  Up until about a month ago,  my oldest was still calling it his "pee pee."  Apparently someone at camp advised him of the correct anatomical term.  Now it's, LOOK AT MY PENIS!  LOOK AT WHAT I PUT ON MY PENIS! WANNA SEE MY PENIS?  One time I actually heard myself say, "Don't put your penis on your brother!"  Good lord.  And I know it is only going to get worse.
**
Boys find their farts hilarious.   They find it even more hilarious if they can fart ON you.  "Hey mom, wanna know a secret?"  Sure.  Insert fart and hysterical laughter.
**
Boys have terrible aim.  I am pretty sure more of their pee gets on and around the toilet as opposed to IN it.  Additionally, apparently it is commonplace when brushing your teeth to spit the toothpaste at the mirror instead of in the sink.
**
Boys love to pee outside.  Like pull down your pants and pee right in the front yard in front of the neighbors kind of love.
**
Boys love to walk around the house in their underwear and/or diaper.  Even when it's 10 degrees outside.
**
Boys like to burp and then breathe in your face and ask you if it smells.  This also applies to farts, except they wave the fart gas in your face.

Please tell me I'm not alone!  Are your boys gross too??


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hello, it's me.

Holy moly!  It's been almost 2 months since I blogged!  That's crazy!  Where have I been you ask?  Well, I don't have some exciting, scandalous answer for you.   I've been right here, living life, and completely ignoring my blog.  Not that I haven't been thinking of you all (cuz I have) or thinking about the blog (I have, I even prepped a couple posts and then never finished them).  I just have not had the motivation, time or energy to keep it up.  BUT.... I am ready to start blogging again and have some ideas swirling in my mind about the direction I want this blog to go.  So stay tuned!

In the meantime, would you like to know what we've been up to?  Don't worry, I'll give you the condensed version!

--N graduated from kindergarten! He has also been attending summer camp for the first time this year and is having a blast. And...in 2 weeks he gets to do Lego camp for a week!
--N also got his orange belt and attended his belt promotion ceremony even though he felt super sick that day.
--We had a lovely July 4th BBQing and swimming with family, and watching fireworks at our neighbor's house.
--We had fun playing in the sand and swimming at the state park.
--We've had lots of ice cream dates.
--We've been reading books and doing summer "homework" when the spirit moves us :)
--We've played Lego Dimensions,  Minecraft, and dress up.
--We've made beautiful chalk art on the driveway, rode scooters, rode bikes, jumped on trampolines, played on playgrounds and thrown water balloons.
--We met our new baby cousin, Ronnee.
--We've stayed up late, watched movies and went to the movies  (Secret Life of Pets was soooo cute).
--We discovered our town has an awesome town pool!  And it's only $1 for the kids to use!













And now here we are, almost to August!  In NY, we still have a month of "summer" left before the kids go back to school (we start after Labor day here) but I know it is going to fly by!  We've got busy weekends and a week of vacation at the beach to fit in before September hits!  How about you?  Do you have more summer to enjoy or is it back to school time for you?

That's all for now but keep checking the blog because I will be posting!  Thanks for hanging in there and reading!

xoxo