Archive for the ‘toddlers’ Tag

Cute ideas for the little one’s Halloween!   3 comments

Happy Halloween!

I invite you to read my post from last Halloween as I celebrate my one year in blogging!

 https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/happy-halloween-superheros/

 This Halloween spend some special time with the little one. Here’s some ideas on how to make your holiday a little more fun!

 

1.  Carve some pumpkins

I have listed some links below that have free pumpkin carving templates. Just practice safe knife skills while watching little fingers! Also tips on toasting the seeds are also available online. This teaches resourcefulness to kids and gives you a treat to eat!

2. Decorate some mini “pumpkins”

Here’s a simple trick if carving is not possible. A visit to the grocery store then the fabric shop for a few ribbons …

a little glue and you have your decorations (which will keep til Thanksgiving!)

33. Let them help you decorate a table

See this quick and easy tablescape above using the same cute “pumpkins” and some hurricane globes with pins to hold in place. These items can easily be found at many local craft store!

4.  Go candy shopping

Find some coupons for Halloween candy in your local paper (lots of them this time of year) and look at the store ads… like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid. Then match them to your coupons for the most bang for your buck! Let the kids help scout for the bargains. You have to buy candy if you are going to participate in “Trick or Treat” so you might as well make it a fun experience while saving money and teaching the little ones to save too! 

Whatever you do… have fun and be safe! These meaningful times together will never be recreated so please spend it wisely!

Some articles I like!

http://theresjustonemommy.com/?p=1413

http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/beginner-halloween-pumpkin-carving-templates/pictures/index.html

http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/beginner-halloween-pumpkin-carving-templates/pictures/index.html

http://halloweencoloringpages.blogspot.com/2011/07/halloween-party-coloring-pages.html

http://halloweencoloringpages.blogspot.com/2011/07/charlie-brown-halloween-coloring-pages.html

“Attitude”… No! “At-TWO-tude”   3 comments

 

“Attitude”… No! “At-TWO-tude”

On living with a two-year-old…. “Gee Gee…. dolly, wankie, piggie!” she said this morning. “Okay Marissa, you carry them downstairs and I will carry you” I replied. “No Gee Gee!” as she layed on the floor in defiance. I stood at the top of the stairs waiting for Marissa to comply with my request. And I waited! And I waited! Then the threats started… “One….Two….Three” (to which she replied “four”. Then I said “Do you want to go to timeout?”…. That was the only thing that seemed to have any influence on her….. At-TWO-tude I tell you!

Funny how time heals the jagged memories of such things. About 29 years ago I had a two-year-old. My now 31 year old daughter has my two and a half year old granddaughter. I will admit that being a grandmother is very different than I thought it would be… in a good way. I have this amazing connection to her and now “get” the whole “GRAND”child thing that all my friends would talk about- make that RAVE about. I suppose the independence that she is showing which creates this whole “at-TWO-tude” should be celebrated. It means that she is thinking for herself and trying to make some of the little life decisions.  I will celebrate that and remind myself that they grow up far too soon and the “at-TWO-tude” that she displays today will quickly get better as she learns to navigate this life… And I will be helping her to pack for college next week, or so it will seem!

12 answers for the question “What can I do for free with my kids this weekend?”   2 comments

What can you do for free with your kids this weekend?

  

Now that Fall is here you might be looking for a way to spend some quaility time with the kiddos… but since it’s the end of the month (and the month ALWAYS seems to last longer than the money) I thought you might enjoy knowing about some free things to do together! 

 

1. Build something with your kid!

This Saturday (9/24) take the kids to Lowe’s! No they aren’t paying me to say this…. 😉  They are offering a free “Build and Grow” workshop where your kids can build a firetruck! All supplies are free and kids get an apron, goggles and a completion patch at the end of the workshop… only catch… you have to register! So go HERE and get them on the list for this fabulous free even! 

 

https://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/

(If you miss this week… check the schedule at your local store! They offer these free events almost every month! Other home centers do as well….) 

 

2. Take a walk!

 

A walk is free and priceless at the same time. It is a perfect time to walk and pick up beautiful leaves which could open up all types of topics. You might ask (unless they ask first) “How do the leaves turn all these colors?” or “Can you name the colors you see?” My daughter used to love to collect leaves in the fall and we would press them between wax paper to preserve them. She is 30 now and I swear I believe I STILL have some of those leaves!

 

3. Teach your kids to use a camera!

 

 I recently heard of an idea where your child is asked to find something to photograph that begins with the letter A, B … and so on. If this idea initiates a conversation then I say give it a try. Otherwise, with todays digital technology… they might just like to go out and  take pictures of things that they like. Again you might be amazed at what they find interesting and you might just have a budding photographer on your hands!

 

4. Let’s have a cooking lesson!

 

Photo Credit: http://cooking724.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/kids-cooking/

Pick one fall treat that you enjoyed as a kid (mine is homemade popcorn balls….yummy) and teach your kids to make it. Or let them suggest something that they want to learn how to make. You may be surprised at how creative they can be! 

 

5. Involve them in your football watching!

Whether it be your favorite college team on Saturday or your NFL Fav on Sunday… let the little ones get involved too! This is a great time to answer questions about sportsmanship and how to be a team player.  Please remember to be patient and watch the explatives … they are little carbon copies of you!

 

6. Teach them one thing that you learned from your Grandparent!

Photo Credit: http://www.lilsugar.com/Family-Ties-What-Call-Grandparents-1134034

In my most recent blog post I wrote about my Grandmama Bessie (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/on-being-a-mother-and-even-better-a-grandmother/). She taught me some amazing “lost arts” like sewing and cooking. What type of things did you Grandparents teach you? How to whittle? Make a bird house? Master the yo-yo? 

 

7. If you blog, ask each of them to write a guest post

 If  they aren’t old enough ask them to draw a picture which you can feature on your “guest blogger’s” day! This will bring them such joy to be “published” and who knows what budding writers we have hidden in our own families!

 

8. Storytime at your local bookstore!

 

Check out the scheduled free storytimes at your local bookstore. Doesn’t cost a thing and they may just fall in love with reading!

 

9. Check your local museums for their “free” day!

We are so fortunate in Memphis to have an array of fabulous Museums available and many of them have free or greatly reduced days for kids! So while you may not have the Cotton Museum (shown above), the Civil Rights Museum or even the home of Elvis in your city… There are wonderful museums everywhere just waiting for you and the kids to explore! *Ask them about a yearly family pass to save money all year long.

 

10. Google your city then go explore a site that you have not visited yet!

http://www.memphisloveskids.com/

 

Find out what untapped resources you have in your city. In Memphis we have trolleys to ride and Beale Street to see. Do some digging on the computer and see what your city has that could be fun for a free fall afternoon!

 

11. Farmer’s Market exploration!

Photo Credit: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/836245/things-your-kids-can-learn-at-the-farmers-market

The Farmer’s Market is a wonderful place to share your knowledge of different types of fruits and veggies. How many vegetables can they find? Make a game of trying to fill in the blank A-Z. Then let them pick one vegetable that looks interesting to them that they have never tried. Who knows, maybe their involvement will make them more interesting in eating it.

 

12. Check out your local “Kids eat FREE or CHEAP” for Saturday and Sunday

In Memphis the following restaurants offer cool deals for kids and parents on weekends!

Texas Roadhouse, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Firehouse Subs… just to make a few! Check out your local area online to see what you are missing!

 

 

 

 

 

Please remember that the meaningful conversations… the ones that lead to stories and lessons of life… often come from the small quiet times that we spend with our kids one-on-one! Doesn’t have to be an elaborate day out or an expensive event… just you and them sharing life and making lasting memories! 

 

Related Articles:

http://www.shesaved.com/2011/09/free-lowes-fire-truck-workshop-for-kids-this-weekend.html

http://www.techlicious.com/guide/the-most-and-least-reliable-digital-camera-brands/

http://www.myrecipes.com/kids/cooking-with-kids-recipes-and-ideas-10000001814441/

http://cooking724.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/kids-cooking/

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/836245/things-your-kids-can-learn-at-the-farmers-market

http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/greenscene/2009/11/raking-and-composting-leaves.html

On being a mother…and even better, a Grandmother!   3 comments

I read and enjoyed this quote recently:

“Being a mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my
field, since the payment is pure love.”
~Mildred B. Vermont

Happy Birthday Shaftora 

MARISSA GRAY!

It’s fitting that I write about my only child’s only child on the occasion of her second birthday!

Honestly… before I became a Grandmother, I thought “What is the BIG deal?” When my friends who had become grandparents prior to me would go on… and on… and ON about their kid’s kids… again I would say “What is the BIG deal?” (if only to myself!).  I now know what the big deal is. It is joy at it simplest. It is unmeasurable happiness. It is a vulnerable love that opens your heart and reminds you of the sweetest memories that are tucked way back in your mind… twenty… thirty years old or more.

When Marissa was first born I would sit and hold her, looking deep into those beautiful brown eyes. One day I just began to weep as I held her. The love overflowed and came out in the form of tears… guessing it had to go somewhere! This immense love washed over me and I felt that I truly “got it” that day.

I remember the beautiful connection I had with my Grandmama. Having lost her some 28 years ago at age 27 I should have to dig deeply to pull up the memories of my times with her… but I do not have to dig at all. They are here on the surface of my soul. I was lucky enough to spend many summers with her in her small rural town…even though we lived about 400 miles away in a big city. She taught me the lost arts of quilting, cross-stitch, and crocheting. We made clothes from the left over Pajama Factory remnants that she inherited from a close friend. She taught me to cook, bake and canning. I learned when and how to pick beans and other vegetables from their small but bountiful garden. I had cold biscuits and gravy (cold by my choice) which my Grandmama had made from scratch every morning at about 4 am prior to my Grandaddy’s departure to work as a carpenter. She let me sleep until I wanted to get up which as I recall was typically about 9 am. My memory of bedtime is amusing. Since my grandparents arose so early… they would literally “go to bed with the chickens”! So before the sunset had time to sink into the night… I was expected to be asleep. What? It’s light out…. I’m 12! Nobody I know goes to bed that early! So I chuckle as I re-live the memories of TRYING to go to sleep before 8 pm.

Grandmama Bessie –

She would say “If it don’t love… don’t make it eat it” (we -the grandchildren- were the “it” she was refering to… so spoiled WE WERE!)

The tight bond between Grandparent and Grandchild. Is it because the years of parenting make us more grateful for the little things? I know that since I have become a grandmother, a “Gigi” to be exact, I have enjoyed precious moments with my granddaughter… as if I really didn’t know how to enjoy them the first time around as a Mom. I guess God gave me a “do-over”. I think I did pretty good the first time… kind of like taking a class and getting a “C+” or maybe a “B-” the first time around… then re-taking the class like 25 years later and getting an “A+”. Funny how a little life under your belt helps your perspective. Maybe realistically I have a Degree in Mothering and a Masters in Life 101. That is the “it” that I needed to get to…

So I hope when Marissa Gray turns 25 she will be blogging (or who know WHAT they will be doing by then!) about her crazy “Gigi” who she has shared many countless wonderful fun filled days with and from whom she has learned much. I hope that I can impart some of my wisdom in her so that maybe her road to happiness will have less bumps and more downhill coasts! One Gigi can only hope.

I love you Marissa. Happy Birthday angel. And to my daughter Alissa, I love you and thank you for giving me this precious gift. Being a “Gigi” fits me JUST RIGHT!

Related articles:

https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/special-guest-post-lifes-leaves-by-alissa-gray-mcquaig/

Special Guest Post: Life’s Leaves by Alissa Gray McQuaig   2 comments

For “Be My Guest Thursday” I have chosen a VERY special guest blogger! My daughter Alissa! About six months ago she wrote a beautiful letter describing her baby’s first experience with the fall leaves. Marissa was about 14 months old then. This poignant piece is insightful from a new mother’s perspective.

Since this week was Mother’s Day and if it weren’t for her….I wouldn’t Mom or a Grandmommy (“Gigi”)…. I thought it would be a great time to share this with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I love you,  Alissa…. ALWAYS have…and ALWAYS will! I am so proud of the Mom that you have become. You are the sweetest gift God every gave me… and now I think you know how that feels!

 

Life’s Leaves by Alissa Gray McQuaig

 
“My Sweetest Marissa,

Today I thought I’d take you outside for a few minutes to see that Fall had arrived. You took a few steps, looking around at what I could guess would be all the bright beautiful colors around you. Just as you like to have a cracker in each hand, you gently picked up two leaves amongst the hundreds lying around you. You continued to walk around, even took the hill in our driveway with ease. “Yeah you did it!” I said. Beaming with joy as if you had climbed Mt. Everest, still clutching the leaves. One brilliant red, the other was brown. They had cracked a little in your tiny hands. We said goodbye to Daddy, he was in his car at the street. You reached your hands out to him, as to show off those leaves. I wonder what you said to him? As I carried you back to the house I had to slowly pry away the brown leaf from your right hand, you started to chew on it. “Oh no Marissa, that’s nasty” I said. The red leaf was getting smaller from the pieces that had broken off. But you were clutching it, as if it was the only leaf that you would ever touch, smell or crumble in your hands. “Oh Marissa” I said, “there will be plenty of leaves for you to play with. This isn’t the only one baby”. Your eyes welled up with water, just as mine are right now. Your head was thrown back and your bottom lip pushed out as far as it would go. One pretty red leaf, broken into about 20 pieces, as I took the last crumble from your tiny hands, I nuzzled my face in your neck and told you that you didn’t have to hold on so tight to this leaf and it was okay baby. I love you my Pookie Boo!

Not 30 seconds in the house you had forgotten about the leaf which lay in our garage. You were off to play with your next toy. But it stuck with me, as much as I wanted to for you to understand that it was okay, that you could let go of it, I was also amazed at just how innocent you are. You don’t know how many leaves you will encounter in your life. One day those leaves may be a friend, a special toy, a dream of what you want to be, a pet, a boy in school. As much as I don’t want you to hold on too tight to the first one, I hope you will always embrace life’s leaves with the sweet innocence of a child and remember, if you hold too tight, it will crumble in your hands.

With eternal love,
Mommy”

Marissa with Alissa

What does your silverware drawer say?   49 comments

Does you silverware drawer look like this?

One glimpse at our silverware drawer and you can see… we have a toddler in our house! It got me to thinking….

how much could a person tell about you simply by looking at your silverware drawer?

Lets play a game! Say something descriptive about each picture as you look at the following

silverware trays and see if it matches my assessment!

Could be fun to see if a total stranger might have the same quick interpretation as you….

I am imagining conversations going on in these kitchens….

 

1. “I like order but with these deep dividers even the

guys in the house could hit the right slot!”

Photo credit: http://backintimefurniture.com/page3653.asp

2. “Organization? Whose got time for that? By the way has

anybody seen my Grandma’s priceless butter knife?”

3. “Happiness is every type of gadget all nicely placed in

one drawer…and who cares if you really don’t know what they are for!”

4. “Okay, who asked Harold to put away the silverware

last night? It’s NOT even April Fools Day yet!”

Photo credit: http://domesticwrecks.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/silverwaredrawer

5. “Wow, I’ve got the neatest stack of forks and spoons…oh crap

one slipped off and now I have to start over. Well look quickly!”

Photo credit: http://feetoffthetable.blogspot.com/2010/11/thursday-goodness-cleaning-out.html

6. “Now I’ve just got the cutest darn silverware anyone could

ever want! Yeah it’s red… I like red!”

Photo credit: http://mimisuescottage.blogspot.com/2010/09/polka-dot-fun.html

7. “Honey, since we moved to this house I haven’t been able

to find the tool I use to strain the oil in the car…

could it be in this kitchen drawer? If not can I use this yellow thingy?

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/minimallyinvasivenj/4411847234/

8. “Ahhh Okay there are my Ginsu knives that I got with my paid order

of those matching set of 24 mini salt and pepper shakers. Gotta love late night TV!”

Photo credit: http://sellerby.com/good_12656_459718551-Beechwood-Expandable-Flatware-Cutlery-Drawer-Organizer.htm

9. “Mom, who cares if they are not in the right place,

at least I hit the drawer!”

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45685497@N00/4260698416/in/photostream/

10. “What is this Knife Heaven?”

11. This one speaks for itself….and it’s profane! 🙂

Photo credit: http://www.casasugar.com/Poll-Silverware-Drawer-Organization-11264143

 

If you have a picky eater you might like these:

I simply could not write a post about silverware and not somehow include these adorable little things. I think the road equipment is hilarious. Backhoe and food…hummmm not sure about that. The “Air Fork One” is just too cute not to show! Little “wanna be pilots” all over the world will be happy at dinner time! I say whatever it takes. We have a picky eater and I’m always looking for clever ideas. That’s why we have some many toddler utensils!