Need more time!

How many moms go through the day wishing they could have more time?  More time with you kids.  More time to get things done.  More time to spend with husband.  Just more time. I sure do.

I wish I had more time to get things done for sure, as I sit here with a list a mile long of things I need to get done; schedule for restaurant, start dinner, book campsites for vacation, pick up kids from basketball camp, and the list goes on and on….

I was MIA last week as I just didn’t have time to get a blog in.  We went camping with friends last week and I was so busy getting things ready for the trip that I just couldn’t find the time to blog.  We had a great trip with 4 families, 21 people (13 of them kids; 13 and under). And like most trips they come to an end too early and then you are left with the burden of getting caught back up when you get home.

I am lucky enough to have the absolutely most amazing sisters on the planet.  While they were at my house taking care of our dog, they not only caught me up on laundry (wash, dried, folded & put away), picked up and cleaned my house, but they cleaned their nephews rooms as well.  So when I did get home the only thing I had to worry about was unloading & cleaning the camper and washing the clothes that we had taken with us. NO I WILL NOT SHARE THEM.

So now I am sitting here with seriously 15-20 things on my list of things To-Do, needing more time.  I need more time to get these things done because if I concentrate on getting them done I am ignoring my house, kids, husband, etc…Which means I will just be stressed and need more time to getting caught up on the things I put off while getting my list done.

Time.  There is never enough of it.  Get the things done that cannot wait do the laundry so you don’t all have to go naked, but the dishes can wait, you can always eat off of paper plates.  Your kids are only small once.  However it works for you and like everything else in life you just have to learn to budget. Budgeting you time isn’t much different than budgeting your money.

Motherhood is just a constant battle of time.

(now to get some things checked off my list).

Memorial Day

While standing in line at Wal-Mart yesterday explaining to our 3 boys that Daddy would be at work tomorrow (today) my middle son said “It’s Memorial Day right?” “What is Memorial Day anyway?”

I told him that we would talk about it when we got to the van, since it was now our turn to check out.

So while the majority of the population think of it as the ‘Official Start of Summer,’ it is not an excuse for a 3 day weekend. IT IS NOT That to anyone who has had any family members in any branch of the military involved in any war or conflict. Now while Memorial Day is not Veteran’s Day or Armed Forces Day it is a day of remembrance as well.

So first a little history about how Memorial Day came to be. After the US lost so many people during the Civil War the country had to establish national cemeteries. In the mid to late 1860s people started going to the cemeteries to spruce things up in the spring; lay new flowers at the fallen’s grave sites. In May of 1968 this day of remembrance that we now call Memorial Day was given the name Decoration Day. It was nationally established as Memorial Day in 1971. And while it was originally set up to remember the fallen soldiers of the Civil War it is now widened its scope to include the fallen from all wars.

It is and always should be a solemn day to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free.

Now that I feel awful for not teaching my kids better, I guess I took for granted that I knew what today was about and they just should know, but that is not the case.

So now to explain/teach it to kids.

1. Teach them the history behind the day. (May lead into more conversations about wars and what they are depending on the child.)

2. Encourage them to take time to Remember. Teaching your kids about this holiday is important, just as teaching them the true meaning of Christmas and Easter. When teaching your kids about Memorial Day, it’s a good idea to encourage a moment of remembrance on this holiday.  Remember that if you have flag, you should fly it at half staff until noon.

Find a way to celebrate the holiday that you can take part in if possible that your children will understand.  Find a ceremony in your community or a war memorial you can visit, remember that 3pm (local time) in America on Memorial Day is the time of remembrance.  Have your children help you pick a way that they understand to spend the time of remembrance.  1. Have a moment of silence.  2. Say a prayer.  3. Ring a bell in remembrance for those who have been so brave to endure what they have to give up their life for our freedom.

Make new traditions find a Memorial Day service or a War Memorial in your area and if you cannot find one go get flowers and take to the cemetery and leave them on someone who isn’t already decorated.  There are so many things that you can do to help teach the young what today is really about.

3. It is a time to remember.  Not only is today a day to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for our country but today should be a day to remember, honor and respect any member of the armed forces; those who have already died and those who continue to serve today.

4. Take the time to remember the family members your family has lost as well.  It is a great time to take the time for personal and family reflections of those family members that have passed away.  Even though today is about those who fought in the military you can make today about remembering family who are gone (but not forgotten).

5. Make sure they know.  Make sure your children know that today is not just a day off of work for some parents, it isn’t just a day off of school (if you are not already out of school).  That this is an important day it is not about cook-outs and pools or the beach.  It is about History and Remembrance.

Most importantly remember to do what works for you, your family and your children. Some parents may still have to work, not all children learn the same way.  So find a way for you and your family to remember when it works for you.  As long as you are teaching them what Memorial Day is really about it doesn’t matter what day of the weekend or what time you are setting aside to remember.

Summer doesn’t technically start until June 21, let’s keep it that way and celebrate Memorial Day the way it should be celebrated.  The way it was originally intended.

UPDATING

If you are one of my wonderful followers and get emails about when I post, I apologize for tonight 🙂 Like I said I would be moving over to this new webpage and with that I wanted to keep some old posts. It was nice to read through them.

I will be posting a new blog tomorrow, no idea if it will be about mom life or traveling as of yet, but there will be one!

Again sorry for the 5+ emails you received this evening.

Not about Traveling – Mom Time?

I know as moms we do not get much free time to ourselves. I know I don’t.  So with this taken into consideration I started thinking about free time.

My days as a stay at home mom are spent cleaning up mess after mess after mess.  Right now I have all 3 boys home with me as we are done with our school year.  My boys if you do not already know are 10, 7 & 4 and they can make some pretty epic messes.  My day starts usually pretty early as my kids do NOT know how to sleep in.  Like really 7:30 is sleeping in for them; they have been told when they are teenagers and want to sleep in, I will be getting up early and waking them on days off.  Believe me that will be just as much of a punishment for me as it is them, I hate mornings.  Anyway, my oldest is always up early, he is an early worm to say the least.  But anyway my day starts with “Mom, can we have breakfast?” (Like I am going to tell them no….)  Thankfully Caiden (the oldest) can make his own breakfast and is pretty good about helping his brothers get some too.  I eventually start moving as I am NOT a morning person.  So the first thing I usually do is find myself breakfast, which means COFFEE!  I then clean up breakfast mess which with 3 boys is always a huge mess! I usually then unload & reload the dishwasher – or run it if I forgot to run it the night before.  I gather dirty laundry from around the house and start a load of laundry, make my bed, pick up toys in my bedroom.  You get the idea, you all of a routine that works for you whether you stay at home or not.

Now if you have not found your routine and would like to see a copy of what I go by I would love to share, just let me know!

I usually get a few minutes here or there when they are getting along for the few brief moments between me yelling at them to get along or to tell the oldest he cannot punish the younger one that, that is my job. But other than that is usually a pretty crazy day.  Even when they are in school its usually go go go!

But what I am talking about it time to yourself.  Do you take any daily time to yourself to unwind?  What do you do after the last kiddo goes to bed?  Do you take the time to spend with your spouse? Do you take the time to yourself getting caught up on the day’s mess?  Do you hide somewhere with a glass of wine?

Most evenings after my youngest (who is my night owl) finally goes to bed, it is a constant tug of war in my head.  I usually come back upstairs and sit down on the couch and breathe for a second and then look around at the mess that they had made that evening.  Floors that need swept, dishes loaded in the dishwasher, laundry to be folded and/or put away, you get the picture.  It is a crazy game of tug of war in my head – do I get up and work on the mess or leave it there for the next morning and sit and watch a little tv, read on my ipad, and just unwind.

On occasion, if my husband and I are not too worn out from the day we will watch a movie or a tv show together.  But it usually is Chris heading to bed shortly after the boys and me having the viscous tug of war in my head of to get up and clean or to sit and relax.

So I want to hear from you!  What do you do?  Please tell me I am not the only one that would rather sit down and watch “The Bachelor” on Mondays then mop the kitchen floor??  Please tell me I am not alone!

More Flying Tips

Ok so if you have ever flown with a small child (or children) you know it can go one of 2 ways.  Really Really Well (like how did this happen to me well) or Really Really Bad (like crawl in a hole and die).

So here are a few tips, yes today you get multiple because well they go together.

* Everyone gets gum to chew!  Little ones’ get munchies or fruit snacks.  Keep those little ears popping!

* Mommy packs baby wipes, shout wipes, and Ziploc bags & Walmart bags or a Wet Bag (if you are a cloth diaper momma you will know what this is) for any unforeseen accidents…or messes.

* Children get a new book, coloring book & crayons (the twistables travel very well), or game to play with…quietly. (Dollar store is a great place to pick up new things that will keep them busy, and its cheap!)

* Mommy and Daddy always carry cell phones, and do not turn them off until they say you have to and turn them back on as soon as you can, this way if there is a separation you can get a hold of one another.

*In addition to this, Mom & Dad, have a chat before you land, know what to do in case you would get separated, make sure you know where to meet, baggage claim, car rental spot, or if you are going to Disney meet at Magical Express.

*  Be prepared for a delay on the tarmac.  Remember, you cannot get up while the aircraft is on the tarmac.  You must be prepared to find the kids something to do…This is when the dollar store finds come in really handy (if you haven’t used all your stash).

* Take a few gift cards to “Starbucks” or such (just a couple dollars will do the trick, enough for a small coffee or treat).  You can use them as bartering tools on the aircraft if you need to switch someone a seat, or to apologize for anxious or scared children.  I have taken the snack bags or candy helps with kiddos and who doesn’t like chocolate!

**ALWAYS REMEMBER**  If you are flying one way, you are most likely flying round trip, so all your tips need to be doubled so that you have goodies and such for the flight homel.

Flying with Littles :)

Ok so today’s travel tip is an easy one.  But it makes complete sense if you are traveling with small children.

If your children have never flown before (or like mine only once and it was years ago) and are somewhat old enough to understand first of explain to them how this is going to work.  Let them know that you are going to be in a small space for “insert length of time here”

Tip #1 for today is BEFORE you get on the plane, make sure everyone, yes EVERYONE takes a bathroom break as close to boarding time as possible.  This means change any diapers you may need to change (we put a pull up on our toddler who was potty trained just in case of an accident) and yes Mom & Dad you need one too (a potty break, not a pullup)!  You do not want to have to go into the airplane bathroom.

Tip #2 for today is once you are boarding the plane, in your “Mom-Dad Choo-Choo” Dad you take care of stowing away the carry-on baggage, and mom you make sure the little ones are in their seats and are getting their seat belts on or putting them on for them.  Make sure you don’t stow away the bag with the goodies & the things to do for the kids.

For whatever reason people seem to get a little testy on airplanes, maybe its the small space, but try to put everything you are going to absolutely NEED in a bag that you keep at your feet.  This will save you from the eye rolls and ugly sighs from the passenger under your carry-on.

Tip #3 for today – go to the Dollar Tree and get new little things to keep littles busy.  Yes tablets work great and so do their favorite diaper bag toys, but only for awhile.  Give them something new to play with, new coloring book & crayons, a hotwheel car etc…If it’s something they have never seen it will keep their attention a little longer.

~Just another tip to ease your mind about traveling with small children!

The Mom – Dad “Choo-Choo”

Today’s tip works anywhere you are traveling with children, certainly not just Disney world. We called them “The Mom-Dad Train” with our boys basically because our boys are boys and well they like Choo-Choo Trains.

We use “The Mom-Dad Choo-Choo” for everything.  This includes going into rooms, aircrafts, and busses and rides at WDW, basically when you are traveling anywhere.

Usually Mommy goes first, the kids, then Daddy.  If we get separated, first group waits for second.

We have 3 boys and usually have 2 of them “buckle up” to each other (hold hands) and Chris or I are usually holding hands with Cohen.

We have used this on all of our trips to Disney World with our boys. Thankfully we have never been separated but at least we have a plan in place just in case.   It is so easy to get caught up with your surroundings when you are traveling, but if you have a plan in place it will ease your mind so you are not so afraid of loosing a child.

~Just another tip to ease your mind about traveling with small children!

Flying Traveling Tip

Are you flying on your next vacation?  Here is an extremely valuable tip.

Move your keys, wallet, loose change, cell phones, watches, belts, etc into large zip-lock bags before getting in line for security.  Keep one large zip-lock bag for each traveler (well the ones who will have stuff to move over).  They fold up small and will fit into a side pocket of whatever carry-on you will be bringing with you.  Before you get to the security line move everything over and once you have gone through when you are putting your shoes back on you can put everything back in your pockets.  Or you can wait until you find your gate and put everything back where it needs to be once you are just sitting there waiting for your plane.

This will make the trip through the airport faster, and you will be less likely to loose items.

~Just another tip to ease your mind about traveling with small children!

Traveling Tip for the Day!

When you are traveling anywhere, in a parking lot at a mall, airport or at Disney.

Take a picture of your car, parking lot marker, or other important things around with your cell phone. It’s faster than trying to type it all in. When your trip is over, just delete the pictures.

You will thank me for this! I have done it at Walmart while we are traveling, you are so used to parking in the same area while there you get in a different place and park somewhere different you come out of Walmart a little confused, especially if your Walmart is opposite of the one you just came out of. (Grocery is flipped on other side from at home)

~Just another tip to ease your mind about traveling with small children!

Our Disney “Problem”

I know there many of you Disney “junkies” who have been to Disney World many many more times that my family.  I am not claiming to be an expert and I am NOT a travel agent.  I am just an over planning mom who likes to help other families plan the best trip that they can and help them make their Disney experience and wonderful as ours have been.

My husband started going to Disney World as a kid with his parents, he has stayed in the Contemporary and the Swan (or maybe the Dolphin).  He also stayed off property when he went for his Senior Trip in 1997.  I had also gone in 1997 and it was my first trip, we went down with our High School band. (Strangely enough we figured out we were there about the same time.)

When my husband and I were dating we started talking about maybe some day wanting to take my 2 younger twins sisters to Disney World.  It was a dream of mine to take them never thinking about future children.  Then we got engaged and started talking about where we wanted to go for our honeymoon and what we wanted to do.  I don’t think anything other than going to Disney was discussed other than maybe a cruise.  So in 2004 we booked our “Disneymoon.”  Back then Disney had packages called Land & Sea packages and we thought wow, that is perfect for us!  We spent 3 days in the parks and stayed at Port Orleans Riverside (on the mansion side) and then spent 4 days on the Disney Wonder!  It was amazing!  Well other than my new husband being sick and in bed for most of our cruise from a bad case of food poisoning (from a restaurant in DTD that I have read a lot of people get food poisoning from).

So fast forward a few years to 2009 I finally got to fulfill my dream of taking my twin sisters.  We spent a week at Port Orleans Riverside (mansion side again, my husband and I loved it the first time).  I was able to see the magic in the eyes of my sisters and even if they were a little embarrassed to be going to Disney at 11, they totally got into it and had a blast while we were there.  Chris (my husband) and I had left our now oldest son at home (he was only 2 1/2) at the time and I was pregnant with our now middle child.  We went the last week in July and there was record breaking heat all week.  Not much fun being 6 months pregnant, but we had so much fun!  This is also the first trip my husband and I had either used the dining plan (boy I have come a long way in planning since then).

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Calli & Carli my twin sisters 1st trip to Disney
In 2011 we flew from St. Louis to Orlando with our 2 small boys Caiden was almost 5 and Camdon was almost 2.  We went in September and even though it was still very warm we fell in love with all of the fall and Halloween decorations and had so much fun at MNSSHP!  This trip we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, in a pirate themed room!
My boys loved the pirate ship beds!  Now we learned a lot from this trip;
1. 4 days is way too short for us,
2. September is hot, but the crowds are so small,
3. While we had a good time and the resort is beautiful, it is just too big.  You have to take bus to get anywhere or walk a long long way.
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Because we had decided that 4 days was too short for us and we did not get to do everything that we wanted to do in 2011, we crazily booked another trip for October of 2012…We spent 7 days at the Art of Animation in a Cars Suite!  It was absolutely perfect for our family.  Caiden slept on the couch bed, Camdon slept on the Murphy bed and my husband and I and our 2 month old son Cohen (yes we took a 2 month old and it was easy peasy) slept in the Master suite.  Again we love the fall its our favorite season so we of course had to do the MNSSHP again!
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Caiden 6, Camdon 2, Cohen 2 months
In November of 2014, after the 10th anniversary of our “Disneymoon” we are took our older two boys on our “Disney-anniversary.”  We spent 4 days at AOA Cars Suite again (hey my boys love that movie and they were 8 and turned 5 while we were there).  We attended the Very Mickey Christmas Party for the 1st time on this trip.  How cool is it for it to ‘snow’ in Florida!  We also took a 4 day cruise on the Disney Dream!
In the fall of 2015 when my twin sisters started their Senior year of high school, my husband started asking them what they wanted for a graduation gift.  They jokingly asked for a Disney Vacation….And because our youngest who didn’t go on the November 2014 trip and let us know it wanted to go, the twins & Cohen got their way.  We immediately booked our 2016 Disney vacation.  We stayed 5 nights at the resorts, 1 night at Port Orleans Riverside (Bayou side this time) and 4 nights at AOA in the Little Mermaid & Lion King portions this time.
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After 4 wonderfully hot days in the parks (we went in June) we were able to board the Disney Dream for another 4 day cruise.  It was my husband and I’s 3rd cruise, our two older boys 2nd cruise and my twins sisters and our youngest son’s 1st cruise.
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Calli & Carli ready to board their 1st cruise.

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All 7 of us before dinner.

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Cohen was exhausted, fell asleep at dinner.

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Our wonderful server made him a spot on the floor to sleep.

So fast forward just a couple months to March of 2017 (only 9) my husband and I took our 1st vacation since having our 3 boys.  We had left them for a weekend here or there but this time we took 10 days off. Now in our defense my husband got diagnosed with an auto-immune disease September 2016 (this will be it’s own post at some point).

But we decided after spending so much time together in the Dr. office or hospital we were going to take a vacation together.  We spent 2 nights at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!  Which is absolutely amazing! Then we got on the Disney Fantasy for our 4th Disney Cruise together, our 1st 7 night cruise!  We were worried about being on the ship that long, but it was AMAZING!  We visited Cozumel,  The Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica & of course Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

It was an amazing 10 days with my husband celebrating his health!  We now have a 7 night cruise planned for April 2018 with our boys!  It will be their first 7 night cruise and it’s a Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise and for my Star Wars loving boys, they are going to be so excited!

 

So this is just a little about our Disney ‘problem’ even though I don’t see it as a problem…Look for more posts about being  a mom, Disney World, Disney Cruises, and traveling with children.