The BINGO Game for Parents!

WAM Bingo

How many hilarious, annoying, and naughty things does a toddler do during the day? Now you can keep track with this BINGO game found on the Huffington Post! Check out the game by clicking here and see how long it takes you to win! Also, though it says the game is for ‘threenagers’- “a moody teenager trapped in the body of a cuddly 3-year old”, I’m sure this game would work for parents of any young children. Might as well make a game out of the times during the day when you want to rip your hair out! Maybe even reward yourself with something for winning! One bingo = one glass of wine? Black out that board and you buy a new purse or get a pedicure? Heaven knows you’ve earned it, momma!

How To Get Your Toddler To Clean Up Their Toys

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Do you struggle with getting your littles to clean up their toys? In our house, we try to always clean up toys at the end of the day. Yes, throughout the day we try to do the whole, “clean this up before we take out something else” thing, but by the end of the day, there’s always toys out. It’s not a big deal. Houses where children live should have toys out. Organized and neat, maybe contained in one area, but out. I feel like when someone walks into my home, it’s ok if they can tell we have children. Anyway, every night before bedtime we make sure the living room and bedrooms are cleaned up so when we wake up the next day we can start fresh again! But, sometimes it can be difficult to get a toddler to clean up their toys. Shocking news, right? It’s not that he’s not a good cleaner. It’s not that he doesn’t know how to pick up toys. It’s that doing everything else in the world except cleaning up toys is far more fun at that moment in time. Until he heard two new words…TOY EATERS.

One evening as we were coaxing my three year old to clean up, I casually said, “You don’t want the toy eaters to get them!”  His ears perked up and he followed up with a giggly, “What?”

I told him that when he’s asleep, the toy eaters come and they eat any toys that aren’t cleaned up and put away. The excitement (and small bit of real concern) of it had him diligently working on getting his toys cleaned up and he went to bed knowing that his toys were safe from the toy eaters! It was almost like he was a super hero saving his toys from being eaten.

We don’t say it every day, but when he’s having a particularly difficult time getting toys cleaned up, I just remind him about the toy eaters and it works again. Occasionally, he will even bring it up when we are cleaning. Oh, and if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t want to lie or use scare tactics to get my child to clean!” Really? Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Elf of the Shelf, the Easter Bunny, the list goes on and on. You say “lie”, I say “magic!”

*A few additional tips for getting toddlers to clean up…
1. Clean with them. If you are cleaning along side them, it helps them see a good example and they also see the job done quicker when everyone pitches in!
2. Be specific and verbalize exactly what they should clean next. If I tell my toddler to “clean up your toys” he doesn’t know where to start. If I am with him (see #1) and I tell him, “Ok, now pick up your fire truck and school bus and put them on the shelf.” He is focused on a specific task and he gets it done!
3. Make it a game! -Insert Mary Poppins singing A Spoonful of Sugar- But really, how can you make cleaning more fun? Any cart or wheel barrow that can be filled with toys is awesome! Just today, my little guy filled up his small plastic wheel barrow with his billion cars that were all over the living room and wheeled them to the bin where they belong! On his own!

Good luck getting your toddler to clean! And share any tips that work for you!

 

Pay It Forward

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The ideas of random acts of kindness and paying it forward are so special. A grand cycle of people doing nice things for each other? How beautiful and amazing is that?

A few months ago, Josh and I went out for a date night dinner while Mason had a sleepover with his grandparents. We had brought Hudson with us and at the time he was only 3 months old. We went to Postino (read more about how much we love Postino here) and we had an hour wait. By the time we got to our table, Hudson was getting fussy. I was trying to feed and rock him at the table to not only make our date night more enjoyable, but for the other people out enjoying their meals as well.

Now, a sweet 3 month old baby being fussy isn’t really enough to ruin a date night and fussiness is nothing that the boob can’t magically fix. But, trying to eat a meal while you’re nursing a baby in a restaurant is not very comfortable or relaxing. It’s a good thing their food is amazing because that helped.

Anyway, we enjoyed our meal and just as we were finishing up, the waiter said to us, “Whenever you’re done you’re all set. Your check has been paid for by another diner.”

With a shocked smile we both replied with, “What?”

“Someone else took care of your check and they wanted to be anonymous and they’ve already left.”

It was such an amazing feeling to be the recipient of such kindness. For me, it was one of those things that I had heard stories about, but never thought would happen to us. I’ve had my Starbucks bought for me by the car in front of me, and I’ve done the same on different occasions for the car behind me. But our whole meal in a restaurant? There is so much good in the world that gets overshadowed by the not-so-good. Let’s focus on the good more.

And when someone buys your coffee, meal, ice cream, whatever, enjoy it. That person didn’t do it to have you turn around and do it for the next person right then and there. They did it to make your day. Enjoy that moment and pay it forward the next time.

100 Ideas for Stocking Stuffers

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Do you love stockings as much as I do? It’s pretty much our favorite part of present opening. Growing up, my family never did stockings. We were all about the presents and the stockings were just hung for decoration. When Josh and I got married, he told me how fun they were and that we had to do them and the rest is history.

We like to put a couple of regular gifts that happen to be small in size inside our stockings too, but for the most part they are filled with fun items, treats, and goodies that you can run around Walmart and find that remind you of the person it’s for. It’s not hard at all, just have fun and be creative. Although, if you don’t think you’re creative or you just want some new ideas, here’s my list of 100 stocking stuffer ideas!  *Just so you know, not everything actually fits INSIDE the stocking. We pack them good and full and some things lay outside, next to, or against them.

Here’s 100 ideas…

  1. candy
  2. magazine
  3. razor
  4. chips
  5. movie
  6. gum
  7. headphones
  8. shaving cream
  9. body wash
  10. slippers
  11. a watch
  12. a book
  13. nail polish
  14. chapstick
  15. pens
  16. cellphone case
  17. Starbucks gift card
  18. socks
  19. lotion
  20. perfume
  21. eye shadow
  22. belt
  23. toothbrush
  24. toothpaste
  25. video game
  26. crossword/sudoku book
  27. matchbox cars
  28. playing cards
  29. a necklace
  30. journal
  31. manicure set
  32. scarf
  33. sun glasses
  34. hair ties
  35. headbands
  36. cookies
  37. beef jerky
  38. fruit snacks
  39. tote bag
  40. wallet
  41. car air freshener
  42. travel mug
  43. key chain
  44. stickers
  45. action figures
  46. beanie hat
  47. earrings
  48. gloves
  49. stuffed animal
  50. fast food gift card
  51. wine
  52. energy drink
  53. mini hot sauce
  54. hand sanitizer
  55. fun bandaids
  56. vitamins
  57. candle
  58. face wash
  59. loofa
  60. shoe laces
  61. CD
  62. a tie
  63. mascara
  64. mini screwdriver set
  65. crayons
  66. coloring book
  67. candle lighter
  68. wall calendar
  69. reusable water bottle
  70. iTunes gift card
  71. nuts-peanuts/pistachios/almonds/cashews
  72. shoe inserts
  73. mini lego set
  74. USB drive
  75. pacifiers
  76. underwear
  77. snack cakes
  78. bag of ground or whole bean coffee
  79. flashlight
  80. travel tissues
  81. homemade coupons
  82. silly putty
  83. play dough
  84. travel pillow
  85. makeup bag
  86. comb/hair brush
  87. bath toys
  88. small fleece blanket
  89. granola/protein bar
  90. stylus
  91. personal planner
  92. ornament
  93. massage gift certificate
  94. electric hair trimmer
  95. batteries
  96. mouthwash
  97. picture frame
  98. kids plate/silverware/cup
  99. flash cards
  100. sports ball

Does your family do stockings? Tell me about it! If you like to include something else in stockings that I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear it!  Leave a comment!

The Best Bloody Mary Ever

WAMbloodymary

If you love Bloody Marys, this is one worth trying. If you don’t love Bloody Marys, this one’s worth trying! It’s WAY better than any store bought mix you can buy and it’s NOT just for alcohol drinkers! Even though I do drink, I actually prefer my Bloody Marys without alcohol. The flavors of everything in this are just so good! Lemony, peppery, zesty from the olive juice, a little spicy from the hot sauce and horseradish…mmmm.

Here’s what you need to make the BEST Bloody Mary ever:

16 oz tomato juice
4 oz vodka – optional
2 tbsp. horseradish- the real stuff in the little jar, not the creamy!
2 tbsp. olive juice -the juice right from the jar of green olives
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning -this is what MAKES it!
1 tsp. Hot sauce – we use Cholula
Some pepper
The juice of one lemon

Mix it all together in a pitcher. Throw some green olives, celery, beef jerky, or whatever you want, in your glass and pour it over ice! Well, you don’t have to use ice, but that’s how I like it.

Unless you’re completely repulsed by tomato juice (to which I say, “pffft!”) then you have to try this ASAP! Like today. A Thursday is a perfectly good time for a Bloody Mary.

And just in case you were wondering, I completely count this beverage as “healthy eating.” 🙂