Thursday, January 31, 2013

Self-Esteem Builders

A few weeks ago we did a great activity with my girl scout troop of 3-5 graders (Brownies and Juniors).  It was part of a lesson about the role of girls in the world, and I think could be a great self-esteem booster for these little women.

 Basically, we spent part of the meeting talking about adjectives that you use to describe people.  We wrote up some lists of words and went over whether they were positive or negative, and what they said about a person. After that discussion, we gave each girl a list of everyone in the troop, and asked the girls to pick one word to describe everyone on the list.  Then we collected them, and put them together on a large piece of paper with each girl's name on it.  At the end of the meeting, we presented each girl with a large sheet of paper with all their adjectives on it.

My daughter B really got it.  She wanted hers hanging on her room across from her bed.  She told me she wanted to be able to see it in case she was feeling bad, she could look at it and remember all the good things about herself. So I matted it and framed it and hung it up.  I plan to do the same with K's as well.  It was a fun activity, and I hope the girls remember it. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

3rd and final kids room done (sort of)

We finally finished the 3rd kids bedroom.  If I don't have to look at another paint roller for a few months, that would be good.  I say we sort of finished painting her room, because we really should still do the trim.  This room has light blue trim around the windows, doors, on the doors, and along the floor trim.  I just can't handle more painting now. But her room looks great.

Could it possible scream 8-year old girl any louder?  Love the pink and purple.  It is so very her! I think the $5 pink disco ball (Five Below) is my favorite part.   B really loves it.  Her favorites are the reading nook (chair and tent in the corner) and the disco ball.  There are also shelves that are painted pink and purple stripes, that I somehow forgot to take a picture of.

So that was our winter break renovating.  Phew.  It was exhausting, but great to have them all in their own rooms, and happy with the decor. 

next up....our kitchen....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Increasing Communication with Kids

So I am always working on ways to improve communication between me and my kids - especially my 10 year old daughter.  As she moves into those "tween" years, I know she will start to pull away, and I am hoping to keep as much communication open over these years.   About a year ago, I saw the idea to start a journal with your kids.  I thought about it, and even mentioned it to my oldest, but she kind of shrugged, and I didn't follow through.

Then a few weeks ago, I saw this post, and decided to go for it.  So I took two composition books and just using Word, made some cute covers that went with my daughter's styles.  So, of course, B's is pink and purple and is called "mommy and me".  K, being a more sophisticated 10-year old, got blue, orange and green polka dots and the title "between you and me".  I started off by writing them each a note explaining that the purpose of the book is to talk about anything we want.  I explained that our lives are very busy and sometimes we don't get to talk about everything we want, so they could put anything in their books.  When I want to say something, I stick it under their pillow, and they do the same. 

Well, it has worked like a CHARM with my 10 year old.  B loves it too, but is mostly writing things like how much she loves me or can she have x, y, or z.  K is using it just as I hoped.  She is raising questions about things she hears or thinks over the day.  She is asking about lots of different things.  It is great! 

I never talk about anything in the book, unless they bring it up first.  But I do respond to every question, inquiry, etc, and try and add in things I want to tell them, like praise for good behaviors, etc.  It has only been a few weeks, so we will see how long it keeps going.  So far it was a cheap and easy project, and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When My Kids Get a Phone

My 10 year old DESPERATELY wants a phone.  That is ridiculous.  She has absolutely no need for a phone.  Together we could only come up with one place she could ever need a phone and not have access to one - on the occasions where I drop her off early at her softball field and she is there without her coach/team.  Otherwise, there is always a responsible adult around who she could ask to make a call for her in case of an emergency. 

Next year when she gets to middle school, she may have more use for a phone, depending on how we handle afterschool, and what she does.  But for now, there is no reason. 

But in a few years, when it could be helpful, I want to remember to do what this lady did.  A mom blogger gave her 13 year old an iPhone for Christmas.  And she made him sign this 18-point contract.  I LOVE it.  It is awesome.  I will probably get my kid a prepaid phone with limited access for her first phone, but the idea is fantastic, and I hope to follow it when the time is right!

Monday, January 7, 2013


In the last few months, I've done a few easy sewing projects.  I made our family Christmas pajamas this year, after finding the most simple instructions possible!  These instructions are FABULOUS!  So easy - no pattern required! LOVE that kind of sewing.  Patterns tend to flummox me.  These were easy peasy.  Basically two seams, and an elastic waist and you are done.  The kids loved them, and I just paired them with a tshirt from AC Moore.    I did tweak it a bit, to make a nightgown for B, who preferred that.  I basically just cut a triangle, sewed it together, sewed it to the shirt, added a ruffle and attached belt. 

Then I did valances for K's new room.  Very simple, and K helped me. 

She seemed to be interested, so I decided we would both do the Learn to Sew tutorial through Crazy Little Projects.  We went to the fabric store yesterday to pick out fabrics for the first few projects.  We are both exited to try out her projects, and learn how to sew.  This week - burp cloths.  Will be perfect as our next door neighbors recently had a baby.  Will let you know how it goes....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome to 2013

ok, its 2013.  I am going to try and get back on this blogging bandwagon.  Spent the winter break doing house projects.  LOTS of house projects.  First, we had most of the downstairs painted.  That meant moving lots of junk and clearing spaces..with 48 hours notice.  It was a little nuts, but looks great!!!!  Love my new gray dining room and sage kitchen. 

Next we began the great kid bedroom switcheroo.  Big Man's bedroom was first.  We sold his awesome car bed on Craigslist.  We also sold his dresser.  We removed all the stickers from the walls (more on that later), and brought in an awesome loft tent bed with a SLIDE!  I know.  He loves it.  We moved another dresser into his closet, so all that is in the room is the bed and his train table.  We added Superman and Spiderman wall stickers, and he was good to go.  One down, not too bad.

Next we started in on K's room - a much bigger project.  We had to paint all the walls (in her choice of lime, tangerine and sky blue), and remove lots of stuff.  This had been their baby room, but for the last three years was a guest room/storage room.  Full of holiday decorations and a giant queen bed.  We moved the bed down to the other guest room (still need to get rid of the bed that was in there!), moved all the holiday stuff, removed the treadmill (to the basement), and started painting.  The small tangerine wall was pretty easy.  the lime was tricky as we needed 3 coats in some places to cover the characters I had painted on the walls when they were babies.  Weirdly, the blue was awesome! I got that paint that has the primer in it, and it covered all the paintings in one coat! SCORE!  Then we moved her furniture in, and added her accessories (LOTS Of pillows).  This picture is before drapes, that are now in.

 B's room is up next.  We moved all the furniture around and got her room staged on New Years' day, but we still have to paint it.  That will be a challenge.  the walls are currently a dark blue with paintings of princesses on two walls.  She wants light purple and bubblegum pink.  Praying the primer-colored paint will work wonders again, but imagine we will need MANY coats.  Bought the regular primer too, just in case.  Hope to get to that this weekend.

So, that is the project update from here.