Are you going away on vacation this summer? We leave for South Carolina in a week and I’m equal parts excited and overwhelmed! The idea of packing for a family of four- yes, I will probably micromanage my husband’s luggage as well, and flying with 2 little ones- ages one and two, is definitely a little bananas. (Especially since we also have Sailor’s first birthday party on Saturday and I have a to- do list a mile long before leave.. eeek)
We will be heading down to Hilton Head for two weeks with my parents- which will definitely be a huge help, AND Steve and I are going to escape to Charleston, SC for a night to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary! This is where we just booked our night away! (I’m dying!)
So, I’ve basically been reading all about tips to travel with kids, since we’ve never flown with them before. And also reading up on all the best of Charleston. (I grew up vacationing in Hilton Head, so I’m pretty prepped for that area already, and besides, we’re all just really excited about the pool and straight chillin..)
Here’s a round-up of some of the tips I’ve been scouting:
Happy 4th of July! I hope you got to spend some time today with your family, friends and/or people you love! (Whether you were celebrating in America or not!)
One of my fav things to eat on the fourth, or really all summer long is corn on the cob!
How do you eat your corn? I eat mine round and round! Apparently, how you eat your corn says something about your personality- if you eat your corn round and round, you tend to be more artsy and creative, the right brained people- if you eat your corn left to right, like a typewriter, you are an orderly organized person! How interesting, right?! (My mom and I eat in the round and Steve and my Dad eat left to right!)
Our kiddos just finished their (first for Sailor and second for Dashel) year of daycare. I can’t believe how fast their (school) year went… and I can’t help but be so grateful for the daycare they attend. As a working mom, it’s hard to leave your kiddos for the day- there’s a lot of missing them, and sometimes, early on, some guilt, about not being able to stay home with them. But honestly, I couldn’t love their daycare more. The teachers and staff are thoughtful, sweet, and engaging. Everything is always safe and clean, and my kids are learning so much, including sharing, manners, their letters/colors/numbers, even Spanish! It’s a long road of school ahead of them, and I’m glad that this is the start of their student careers….
With the end of the school year here, and summer swinging in, I got to thinking a lot about graduations, moving on and growing up. (My kiddos will be in new rooms with new teachers when they come back in the fall!) Although their high school graduation seems like eons away (…and the thought of it seriously starts to bring tears to my eyes…) I started a graduation gift for each of them to give them on the day they finish their high school careers. (Hold on to your hats, this is a gift in the making, that takes quite a while…) I purchased two books, a different one for each of them, and had their teacher’s write personalized notes (with the dates) in each book. I plan on getting every teacher to write a note to them for each of their school years; they will be able to go back and see what their teacher’s thought of them from the time they were 6 months old to the time they were 18. (I’ve already read some of the notes and they are so sweet!!)
Of course “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Suess is a timeless classic that many people give as graduation gifts, but if you want to branch out, here are the two I chose. (They have the sweetest stories/messages). Do you have a long term gift for your child?
Have you guessed it? … kiddos eating small bites! If you’re a Mama (or Dada!) that prepares meals for your kids morning, noon and night, you know how tedious it can be figuring out what to make, what your kids will eat, what’s nutritious, and of course, making sure it’s in kiddo sized bites- including cutting the crust off any bread! My girlfriend got me a basket of goodies for my baby shower- she was already an experienced mom when I got pregnant for the first time- and one of the absolute best things in it, were these…
I literally use these kitchen shears for everything! Cutting sammies, pasta, bagels, waffles, broccoli, literally everything. If you are spending time cutting your kiddos food with a knife, please, do yourself a favor, and buy these– I’ve tried others and these are, by far, my favorite! (This is also pretty cool!)
Today’s post is brought to you by my incredibly cluttered and crazy messy, no where near organized basement! This is one of those massive projects I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but never ever have the time… I’m trying to best utilize these few days, while the kids are still in school and I’m off, to make a massive dent in these major clean out projects. Plus, we are also having a tag sale on Saturday, so I’d love to get as much out of my house as possible before then! I’ve been trying to implore the Konmari technique as I clean. First and foremost, do not keep anything that doesn’t spark joy! It’s been relatively easy going through the extraneous stuff we have been storing in the basement, Andy have been able to cull a lot of the stuff taking up way too much space in boxes and bins. I’m a self proclaimed pack rat so I’m actually pretty proud of myself with how ruthless I’ve been at getting rid of stuff.
The hardest thing to purge is, by far, is the sentimental stuff… I have a good 3 tubs of memories that came from my parents house when they moved out of our childhood home and I gathered my stuff from the attic of their old house. A lot of it is photo albums, yearbooks, notes and cards, old journals, movie ticket stubs, prom favors, VHS tapes (I’m dating myself here…) etc… it was all so nostalgic to peruse through, I really couldn’t bring myself to get rid of anything quite yet…I only scratched the surface of going through these boxes, because I really wanted to make sure I was using my time wisely with other clutter. However, some of the treasured ephemera and mementos I did scope out in this first go through were simply soul satisfying. Amongst some great old photos, I also found my switchplate from my nursery (which I’m going to install in Sailor’s room), a box of Uno cards my Nana and I used to play with constantly (stored in an old cut tissue box), my parent’s wedding favor (decorative plate? ashtray?), and the traffic light light pull from my Papa’s apartment in Washington Heights- to name just a few. It was so lovely to run across these items and feel the rush of so many happy memories come flooding through my mind. It also made me excited to show this stuff to Dashel and Sailor one day; I think they will love to look through some of it when they get older. I already started showing Dash some pictures from when I was about his age and when I asked him who he thought was in the photo, he identified it as himself 😌, ‘no, buddy, but I get why you said that.’
Do you hold on to sentimental items? Are they stored in a box somewhere? Or do you have them displayed? I’m going to try to pick some of my favorites to incorporate into our everyday lives to keep those happy memories close by.
My friend and I went to this awesome place today where you can make your own wooden signs! This family growth chart literally started out as a raw piece of wood and it was so amazing to not only see the transformation, but to also be responsible for it! I literally kept looking at the finished product saying, “I can’t believe I made this!” The place we went to, called Board and Brush is a franchise with new stores popping up in every state. We happened to be at one that was run by the original proprietor’s sister who told us her story. Her sister, who lives in Wisconsin, was looking for a Christmas sign one year and couldn’t for the life of her find what she wanted for under $300- which is obviously ridiculous! So she decided to make it herself! It came out so wonderfully and she got so many compliments, that she decided to start holding parties for her friends in her basement making signs. Soon her friends and acquaintances were asking her to have more and more parties, that she realized she should open a store! And over 90 franchises later, she’s sure glad that she couldn’t find that Christmas sign!
There are tons of different variations of signs you can make and I decided to make a growth chart to measure the kiddos on. When we first moved into our home, we found markings of the concrete in the basement of the kid’s heights from the family that lived here before us. I love the idea of having a growth chart for your kiddos, but felt bittersweet when I saw it, because it’s a bummer that the family had to leave that memory behind when they moved. Now with this chart, I’ll be able to take it with me if we ever leave this house. Do you have a growth chart for your kiddos, or a special family sign?