Monday, January 31, 2011

$1 box of kids stuff

Here's a dealo I had to pass along. 

Today this site, DealPulp, has a voucher for ThredUp, an on-line swapping site for children's items, on sale for $6.  But if you are new to DealPulp, you get a $5 credit making this deal only $1!!!

In a few days they email you your code, you go over the ThredUp and order your box of clothing or whatever you need.  Shipping is included.  Sounds like a great way for moms to swap gently used items their kids no longer need for things that you do. I figured it was worth a shot for a dollar.

If you feel like giving me credit, use my linkies.

DealPulp - where you purchase the $1 voucher
ThredUp - where you will redeem the voucher once they email it to you

More info about ThredUp:
•Pick a box of pre-loved kids clothes in the size and gender you need for only $6 (or $1 w/ this deal) and have it delivered to your door for free
•The average box on thredUP contains 15 clothing items and includes top brands like: GAP, Carter's. Children's Place, Osh Kosh and Gymboree
•95% of the boxes reviewed on thredUP have been rated 3 or 4 stars (out of 4) by other moms

•Need to de-clutter? Box-up your kids' gently used stuff and send it to another parent for free
I am thinking about some gently used toys we have been gifted that need to find a new home.... hmmm

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Balance

I thought this was a great post and I thought I'd share.

How to Balance Structure and Flexibility in Your Life as a Mom

I like how she tells you to drop the guilt and embrace what you are instead of always focusing on what you are not.

I feel like I am always seeking balancing in my life.  There are times where my life felt somewhat balanced.  So I know it is possible.  It's not a completely unrealistic goal. 

Still I find myself wondering...

How much time do I spend tending to the kids' needs while still meeting mine?

How much do I focus on keeping everything neat and tidy while still letting my kids play and make messes and just be kids?

How do I balance time spent on the housework with time spent on the many other things I'd rather be doing?

When my baby was a newborn, the answer was clear: Soak up every moment of his precious babyhood... I did that and I don't regret it.

Now he is completely a toddler.  A feisty, curious, climbing, tenacious "baby on wheels"... 

I guess that is part of what January is about, setting goals and deciding what is really important.  A new year, a new start and all of that.

So I will continue to seek a balance that works for me and my household.  I embrace this season of my life and realize it comes with a decent level of chaos.  It's ok to be me and it's ok to strive for improvement.  :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snowflakes

Call me a science geek, but I love this stuff.  During a recent snowfall I looked up on my windshield, after we stopped of course, and I noticed that I could see the actual shapes of the snowflakes.  So I got my camera out and tried to capture some.  Here are my results.



If you want to try this, just take a dark piece of construction paper out and set your camera to "macro."  Most digital cameras have a macro setting represented by a flower icon.

This week, W and I have been learning about snowflakes and reading The Snowy Day


(We have been working our way through Before Five In A Row this year.)  While searching around for related info, I stumbled upon this neat site:


They used some special microscope and captured tons of amazing images like this one.  I just love the beauty of Creation.  Check it out!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

shopping linky love

I love on-line shopping.  Especially if it's a great deal!
I usually don't have any problems but at Christmas there were a few mess ups (coughJCPennycough).  Anyway, it isn't enough to keep me away.

There are some really fun sites I like to check that offer baby and kid's items at about half-off.  I am not affilated with these guys.  Just thought I'd share.

http://www.babyhalfoff.com/
http://www.babysteals.com/
http://www.kidsteals.com/
http://www.mamabargains.com/

Then there are similar sites that you have to sign up to view.  I'm guessing this has to do with the companies not wanting their products advertised at such low prices.  I have signed up for a couple, but the only one I have purchased from and actually check frequently is Lil Luxe.  Here is my referal link:

http://lilluxe.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/9939/

They have some good deals on cute, name brand stuff. Right now they have squeaky shoes, puzzles, some seriously cute hampers, clothing and more.  I have ordered from them once and would order again if the right item came up.  Oh and if you "like" their Facebook page there are coupon codes they run for more savings. 

Happy Shopping! :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Knitastic

My needles have been a'clickin' lately. (My hands are even a little sore! heh)

Here are a few FO's (that's crafty talk for finish objects)....

New Hat for the Big Guy
Hat for my 1yo Nephew
(My big boy was a good sport and modeled it.)

A Squishy Vest for Baby

I started a vest for the big bro too, but it is turning out huge. So I set it aside to cast on a new pair of longies (aka wool pants) for the little one. 

Knitting has been a steady hobby for about 5 years now.  I never get tired of trying new fibers and patterns and techinques but I am less productive in the summer months. The cold weather and a pile of wool on my lap just go together like hot cocoa and snow days!

I participated in a "pay it forward" game on Facebook so I have a few gifties I need to decide on next.  hmmm

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Child Labor

errr, I mean Montessori-based preschool activities.  ;)

A big component of Montessori for preschoolers is teaching them about daily activities.  I have two books on Montessori and there are some good ideas in there:


I've discovered that even though doing chores with the kids takes about twice as long, it can be less frustrating.  Why? Because if they are actively engaged they are not going behind me making more messes while I am not paying attention. 
Gotta keep 'em busy or they will keep you busy, no?
This week I have been trying to kick my serious lack of motivation in this department by getting the kids involved.

Here are a list of chores you can do with the under 5 set. Please let me know if you have any new ones to add!  I am always learning (and forgetting) about new stuff to do with the littles.

Laundry - Toddlers can put laundry in the washer and push wet clothes in the dryer.   They can also scoop dry laundry detergent from a big container.  Oh and putting clothes in a hamper is great fun.  Preschoolers can fold simple items like washcloths and hand towels, hang small items on child-sized clothes line and match up socks.  My four year old can put away his socks and underwear in low drawer. 

Dishes - Toddlers can place clean silverware in a drawer sorter thing and load dirty silverware in the dishwasher.  Preschoolers can help hand wash dishes, set the table (with the help of a place mat guide... these are pretty, this is really easy), and clear their plate when they are finished.

Vacuuming - Could just be my kids, but using the hand vac is pretty much their favorite thing ever.  Close supervision and specific instructions are essential of course.

Sweeping Floors - They sell child-sized brooms and dust pans on Montessori sites.  I have also heard of cutting down a wooden broom handle is a more affordable option.  I don't have either, but I did take a section out of a swiffer to make it shorter. 

Straighting - In the afternoons I have the boys deliver all the wayward socks, shoes, coats, trash, etc from the living room to their respective homes.  We live in a rancher so this is quick.  The oldest loves racing around.  I think it's good for 'following directions' practice.

Other cleaning - A small spray bottle filled with water and vinegar cleans lots of surfaces.  With some guidance, little ones can clean windows, doors, mirrors... basically any hard surface.  Oh and they think feather dusters are a lot of fun. I just started teaching my 4.5yo how to clean a toilet and scrub out the sink. 



Things are not nearly as perfect as I would do them, not even close.  I figure I am trading perfection for teaching life skills.  And yes, some days I just do things on my own because it is easier and quicker.  I also try to keep all this very fun and matter-of-fact.  When they are in a bad mood and don't feel like doing it, I drop it.  (Forced chores will come then they are older. haha)