Camping Hacks

Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

 

Do you like to go camping with your kids?  I sure do! Although we always have a blast, I have picked up some tricks over the years to make our trip more enjoyable and comfortable. Here are some of my favourite hacks while camping with my kids.

Pillow case 1

This may seem like an odd hack, but after a week camping it was useful to me and other campers thought it was neat so I thought I would share it.  Instead of changing your pillow case before camping, bring the clean pillow case in your luggage, change it after your tent is set up.  I found my pillows got super dirty in the car and sitting on the ground or picnic table during unloading.  It is much better to change it once in the tent for a clean pillow.  Then use the dirty case as a laundry bag, put all your dirty clothes in there during the trip so it is easy to cart home and take straight to the washing machine to be cleaned.

Pump soap & solar shower

This was my sister’s genious idea, combined with my soap.  Bring a solar shower with you.  It is only like $10-15 at Wal-Mart, a great investment if you camp a lot and also good for showers while camping.  Fill it with water and hang it from a tree, put some soap near by, I just brought regular pump soap, it is easier than a bar and can sit at the bottom of the tree on the ground.  After using the outhouse or port-a-potty or bush you can easily wash your hands afterwards!  My three-year-old could manage to wash her own hands, which made our life much easier. Great to wash your hands after playing in the dirt, questionable beach water, and before meals.  A simple cleanliness station, which makes you feel MUCH better camping.

Potty

My daughter can go to the toilet herself at home, but at three I don’t want her traipsing to the port-a-potty on her own and they are pretty nasty.  We bring her potty with us, I take out the center (for catching the poop and pee) and she can easily bush pee on her potty independently without needing us to run her to the camp bathrooms.  With the hand washing station above she can wash her hands afterwards on her own too.  Being able to have your child go to the bathroom independently is a great blessing while camping as it saves you time and effort.  She knew when she had to go poop to tell us and we would take her to the port-a-potty, no one wants to clean that up out of the grass!

Wagon 1

This one is depending on the ages of your kids.  We have a pop-up wagon that is AMAZING.  It can be used to help cart all your camping gear to your tent, store stuff at the site, help you transport kids around the site easily, hold all your beach toys, towels, water bottles etc. while going to the beach, and if you have to walk to your car help transport groceries from your car and/or kids to the car for errands into town.

Thermal BagI brought an extra thermal bag (I LOVE my Thirty-One thermals!) on the way up for drinks and veggies that didn’t fit in the cooler.  Once they did I used the bag for ice runs to keep the ice solid longer.  It worked great!  Driving to town and back plus walking to and from the parking lot meant at least 10-20 minutes that the ice was out of the freezer before going in the cooler.  A thermal bag to transport makes a difference and it is cold carrying it against your body so some extra protection between you and the ice feels better too.

Sarong fence

This one is great for close camping quarters and festivals.  Use those clothes lines like a fence. Bring string/rope to tie up around the perimeter of your camping area (also a great way to mark off your area so no one comes camping in it during festivals) then bring old curtains, sheets, sarongs, and clothes pins.  Pin them up on the clothes lines around the camp, it’s pretty, and you get more privacy!

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Have outside and inside bags

In a week camping we did not let one single mosquito into our ten (and let me assure you there were tons!).  I have a three and one and a half year old so that is saying something.  Trips into the tent are kept to a minimum and usually reserved for nap times and bed time.  I have a bin outside the tent with stuff we need regular access to like sunscreen, bug repellent, toothbrushes, hats, bathing suits, and flashlights.  Stuff is easier to access outside and you keep the bugs out of your tent with minimal trips.

 

Solar Lights

These are awesome and cheap.  You can take ones from your yard, or pick some up at Dollarama before you go.  Stick them out in the sun during the day to charge, then at night you can put them around your seating area and/or the edges of your tent so you can see where the tripping spots are.  It is great for checking on sleeping kids too, enough light to see them and like a nightlight, without having to flash your flashlight at them and wake them up.

 

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight too! Check out these cool flashlights, every camper needs a good flashlight.

 

Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

What are your camping hacks?  What makes your life easier while camping?

Camping with little ones? Try these hacks to make camping easier. Click To Tweet




Camping Hacks - Going camping is so much fun! But challenging with young kids. Try these Camping Hacks with kids to make your life easier and camping more fun!

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Green Onion & Mango Noodles

Green Onion & Mango Noodles - A yummy combination of green onions, mango, noodles, and sweet chili sauce, optional fried tofu is a great addition for a simple yet delicious dinner!

I love Asian food!  Noodles, sesame oil, soy sauce, I love it all.   I really enjoy making different noodle dishes to try out.

Mango & green oinion noodles ingredients

5.0 from 1 reviews
Green onion and mango noodles
 
Author:
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • 1¼ c of veggie broth (or I veggie stock pouch and 1.5 c of boiling water)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 tbso Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Rice Noodles
  • 1 Mango
  • 2-4 Green Onions
  • Optional: Fried Tofu
Instructions
  1. Boil water to cook the rice noodles.
  2. Cut up the green onion and mango.
  3. In a stir fry pan add ¾ c of broth, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
  4. When it comes to a boil reduce heat and add green onions, sesame oil, and sweet chili sauce.
  5. Let it simmer while the rice noodles cook, as they are cooked use tongs and add them to the stir fry pan. Stir well to incorporate. Add mangos and stir well again.
  6. To add more protein to the dish cut up some tofu cubes and pan fry them. Add them to the noodles after incorporated with the sauce.
  7. Serve.

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If you like #padthai you will enjoy this dish too. Plus it's #vegetarian! Click To Tweet

This is a hit at my house.  The kids love noodles and mangos so this went over well for us.

Green Onion & Mango Noodles - A yummy combination of green onions, mango, noodles, and sweet chili sauce, optional fried tofu is a great addition for a simple yet delicious dinner! Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Vegetarian Yummys on Pinterest.If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Green Onion & Mango Noodles - A yummy combination of green onions, mango, noodles, and sweet chili sauce, optional fried tofu is a great addition for a simple yet delicious dinner!

Epic Water Play Summer Edition

Epic water play summer - Summertime is the perfect time to play outside and enjoy some water play!  Here are some great (free or cheap) ideas to keep the kids busy playing.

As you can tell if you read my winter edition epic water play post, I am a big fan of water play.  It is a  great way to keep kids busy, help them practice different motor skills like pouring and scooping and also just foster their creativity and imagination by playing different things with the water.  You can really spark their imagination when you add in different toys, kitchen utensils, etc. so they can have a chance to make believe what they think it should be used for.

Epic water play summer - Summertime is the perfect time to play outside and enjoy some water play!  Here are some great (free or cheap) ideas to keep the kids busy playing.

Here is my epic water play summer addition:

I think that setting up your outdoor play area is an essential part of summer survival regardless of what age your children are.  Summertime is the perfect chance to be outside and play.  You don’t necessarily need to have a lot of toys out there, but you need to be organized with activities and ideas of things that they should do out there to keep them busy.

I’m going on my third summer with outdoor play being a very important part of our summer plans.  Having a perfectly set up deck has always been essential for me.  Two summers ago I had a toddler and I was pregnant with my second child.  I had a lot of dizziness in my first and even into my second trimester, incredible vertigo where standing up made me so dizzy it was like I was drunk.  I wasn’t even safe to drive most of the time and trying to keep up with the busy active toddler was really difficult as all I want to do was lie on the couch and not move, as I am sure many people can attest to in their pregnancy.  I learned early on that summer how essential it was to keep my daughter busy outside while giving me a place where I could sit and watch her without having to move too much because moving made me dizzy.

I am sure it does not need to be said but you need to be cautious and ensure your child’s skin safety before you go outside to begin with.  When we go out I know we will be outside for a bit, so I try to put sunscreen on, then rash guard bathing suits with long sleeves so we can play outside for hours and not worry as much about getting burned.  None of us go anywhere without our water bottles either. I also try to set up the activities in the shade so they are not in the direct sun.

Looking for some fun #waterplay activities to keep your kiddos busy? Look no further! Click To Tweet

Toys I found useful for various activities in our backyard:

  • Little kids pools
  • Water table
  • Big swing set and slide
  • Toddler-size slide and climbing structure
  • Sports equipment (t-ball, foot ball, baseball, soccer ball, etc.)
  • Ride-on toys
  • Push toys
  • Buckets, cups, of various sizes
  • Random water or bath toys
  • Nets (like on a stick from the dollar store for catching stuff)
  • Bubble wands and solution

Water table

The water table may seem extravagant but for three years it has been a big part of keeping my kids busy outside.  My kids just love playing in the water.  Even though my son was only six months last summer, he loved the water table.  He figured out how to stand up and hold onto it and he could still play with it by “furniture cruising” around the ends of the table.
As with indoor water play, any kind of  waterplay is all about the set up.  If you can be really organized a few days ahead of time that is even better.  If you know the weather is going to be really really hot this is the perfect time to get organized for your waterplay battles.  Take some old yogurt containers and freeze some plastic animals inside.  I went to  the dollar store and bought a whole bunch of animals specifically for this purpose. I freeze the animals in the bottom of the containers of water (you can add food colouring for fun if you want) then when it’s time for us to actually go outside and play I put the frozen containers in some hot water so that it melts a little and I could get the ice out of the container.  I put all the frozen blocks of ice in their table and they can practice trying to get them out with hot water and tools or they can just practice letting it float around the table until the animals float free.  Either way they love the addition of animals throughout their water play to play with as well.

Another idea is to take some ice cubes and color them with food coloring before you freeze them, this will help the water get a dozen different colors.  They can also practice mixing different color ice cubes together and see what color it forms.  Random kitchen utensils also make a lot of fun, as do colanders, whisks (for some reason ??),  measuring spoons and cups.

Water table play

We have water toys dedicated for outdoor play to keep it fresh. I would just let them play for hours out there and they would have a blast. I even set up the blowup pool with cold water and the water table with hot water so they can experience the difference between temperatures. I would fill up parts of the water table with soapy water so they can practice giving animals a bath.  It is also a great way to get them to clean up their own toys.  Sponges are a lot of fun in the water table to see how much it absorbs and try squeezing it out.

All-around water tables are a great way to keep your kids busy in the summertime, especially when they are getting Squirrley towards the witching hour waiting for daddy to come home from work.  This is the best time to stick them in the water outside and have them play for a bit.

water bubble pool

I even fill up the kiddy pool with bubble bath and the kids can have a bath while playing in the pool!  Two activities in one!  We eat most of or meals outside in the summer too and before you know it you have been outside for about four hours enjoying the sun and making it so the fresh air will help them have a nice deep sleep that night.

Water kiddie pool

Some ways to keep the entertainment fresh with a kiddie pool:

  • Using a net scoop up plastic toys, or play fish.
  • Fill up watering cans and water the garden.
  • Scoop up water in cups and pots and pour it into a bucket/water table/etc.
  • Fill up with bubbles and use as a bath time.
  • Have the kids fill up the pool with the hose, it’s great practice aiming.
  • Plastic boats, squirt guns, tons of possibilities for play!

What is your favourite way to keep the kids busy outside?  What activities do you like to use to keep the kids busy?

Epic Water Play Winter Edition - IG

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Epic water play summer - Summertime is the perfect time to play outside and enjoy some water play!  Here are some great (free or cheap) ideas to keep the kids busy playing.

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for July – Camping books

This month we decided to focus on camping books since so many are going camping!  Everyone gets to chose whichever children’s book they want to cover this month and do a craft or activity on the book.  We are lookig for bloggers to join us each month, you can choose whether or not to participate, you just need to come up with a craft or activity for kids based on the book and send me the URL and a picture to include in the collage by the 25th of each month.  Join our Facebook group to get updates and find out the next book.

Monthly Crafting Book Club for July - Camping books - I G

I chose to do Froggy Goes To Camp by Jonathan London, a personal favourite of my daughters.  It is a goofy book about a frog going to sleep away camp and it makes my daughter laugh and laugh.  In one of the scenes in the book Froggy and his teacher go kayaking, so we decided to do a kayak as our craft.

Kayak materials

Materials Needed:

  • Scissors, stapler, paint brushes, tape
  • Paint in three colours
  • Chop sticks
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Random animal or people to sit in the kayak (find them around the house)

kayak 2

  • Have the adult cut a hole in the middle of a toilet paper roll so the creature has somewhere to sit.
  • Get your child to help you staple down the end of the toilet paper roll so it closes like the end of a kayak.
  • Have your child choose a color paint and paint the “kayak” their favourite colour.
  • Using the leftover pieces of the toilet paper roll that you cut out of the cockpit, cut it in two and shape it like paddles.  We chose to paint the paddle ends brown.
  • Let it all dry.
  • Once the paddle ends are dry use tape to tape them onto the ends of a chop stick as the paddle.
  • Put your creature in the cockpit (hopefully they fit) and have fun pretending to kayak!!

kayak 1

 

Monthly

Monthly Crafting Book Club for July - Camping books - IG

 

Since everyone is so busy this summer we have one other blogger who participated this month be sure to check out her blog and see what curious George came up with to do this month.

Come check out #monthlycraftingbookclub for July, #camping! Click To Tweet

Can Lantern Title

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Share the Love on Mother’s Day

Share the love on Mother's day - Every mom should feel appreciated and loved on Mother's Day, share the love on Mother's Day to the mom's in your life, friends, relatives. Free printable.

DSC_0059When I had my first baby a good friend of mine sent me a Mother’s Day card in the mail.  It made my MONTH!  I was so excited to be a Mother and always found Mother’s Day to be a hard holiday when I desperately wanted to be a mom too.  Now I was finally celebrating Mother’s Day with my own treasured baby.  Nothing could be more perfect.  I was RIDICULOUSLY excited about my first Mother’s Day, we’re talking kids on Christmas morning here.  I had problem’s sleeping the night before I was so pumped.  The day came and it was perfect!  I got to celebrate with my husband and baby, even though it was raining we had a great floor picnic and just loved our time together.

Being a mom is really HARD.  I am sorry, but until you are a mom, you have no idea what we go through.  Sleep deprivation does not even begin to adequately describe my state, colic, teething babies, PPD, toddlers, tantrums, breastfeeding, solids, fevers, relationships, illness, careers, all of it is so hard and although you know your kids love you and your husband appreciates it, there is nothing as supportive as your fellow moms.  They are there for you through thick and thin, your biggest high’s and lowest lows, whether your local moms, birth groups, friends, relatives, etc. They know what you go through and have your back.

I will never forget the feeling I got from opening my first Mother’s Day card from my friend.  Ever since that year, I make it my mission to share that love and support with other mothers.  I pick three to six moms I know.  I try to pick a pregnant mom, one from each of my birth groups, my picking selection is pretty broad actually.  I don’t even remember who all I have sent them too.  Oops, if I send you more than one Mother’s Day card, sorry, you just must be THAT awesome of a mom!

Share the love on Mother's day - Every mom should feel appreciated and loved on Mother's Day, share the love on Mother's Day to the mom's in your life, friends, relatives. Free printable.

I challenge you to pick some mom’s in your life and send them a card for Mother’s Day thanking them for Mother's Day Happy Mailall their hard work for their children too.  Every mother needs to hear what a great mom she is on a regular basis, think of some moms who need or deserve to hear it and send them a card.  You can leave it at that and send them just a card, or add something to it as a special gift.  One year I sent chocolate bars and face masks as a mini-spa pack, I sent Tim Horton’s gift cards another year, Starbucks cards another year, cute small things to let them know they are appreciated.

If you need a card here is a free printable to use as a card, you can buy a card, but I know I prefer to spend more on the little surprise inside instead 🙂

Happy Mother's Day Printable single

Please comment below with other ideas of little presents I can easily mail that don’t cost a fortune!  I am always looking for new ideas.

Share the love on Mother's day - Every mom should feel appreciated and loved on Mother's Day, share the love on Mother's Day to the mom's in your life, friends, relatives. Free printable.

If you are participating in the #connectingchallenge for April this is a great way to send out more cards to friends and family to brighten up their day.  If you just want to send a card, you could always try sending one via the FELT app (check out my post below for more info if you want to hear more).

Friends and Family Connecting Challenge - IG

If you are reading this and want to be considered or to nominate someone head on over to my Facebook page and tag your nominee in the post so I can add your name into the selection to receive a card or surprise in the mail.

If you are a mom and reading this, YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!  Thank you for all your hard work and know that you are making a difference in your family’s life!

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The Three Brothers Book & Craft

 

 

 

The Tale of the Three Brothers - TW

 

I teamed up with a group of bloggers as part of  Read It, Make It, Book Week taking place April 11, 2016, we each chose a book and then made a craft to go along with it.  I decided to focus on the Fairy Tale “The Tale of the Three Brothers” in The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling.

If you are not familiar it is a book talked about in Harry Potter, also known as the story of the deathly hallows. I am a Harry Potter nut, and my daughter quotes lines from the movie (she’s three!) and knows some Harry Potter stuff so we decided to do a craft from the fairy tale.

Materials needed for dealthy hallows

Materials Needed:

  • constuction paper
  • white glue
  • a pencil
  • sparkles
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard Book

How to Make It:

Using the pencil draw a triangle for the invisibility cloak, inside the triangle draw a circle for the resurrection stone, and then a vertical line down the middle of the triangle for the elder wand.  Have your child help paint glue over the lines.  Now for the fun and messy part, give them a shaker of glitter and let them go nuts shaking glitter all over the glue!!

The Tale of the Three Brothers Book & Craft - how to

I will warn you, the next day I was still finding glitter in my bread, hair, and tooth brush, it really gets everywhere.  But that’s half the fun right??  A nice sparkly house.

#elderwand, #invisibilitycloak, #resurrectionstone #deathlyhallows crafts for kids! Click To Tweet

harryPotter_46

There you have the Deathly Hallows, made into a simple craft you can make with your kids!  Start the love of Harry Potter when they are young!

The Tale of the Three Brothers - PT

Don’t forget to check out some of the other blogger’s crafts and books in Read It Make It Book Week hosted by Emma Owl at the link below.

Check out #readitmakeit week to see 50+ crafts based on books by a group of bloggers. Click To Tweet

50 Childrens Art and Craft Ideas Themed Around Books

If you enjoy stories and crafts related to each other make sure you check out the Monthly Crafting Book Club, every month we focus on a different book and do a craft or activity related to it.  We welcome new bloggers if you want to join us!  This month we are focusing on Piggy in the Puddle, just do a craft related to the book and send it to me by April 15.

Monthly Crafting Book Club for April - IG

 

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The Tale of the Three Brothers - IG

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry

This is a family favourite in my house.  Vegetarian and gluten-free, all members can eat it from baby to toddler to adult.  This dish has a lot of protein in it, plus tons of veggies so even your baby-led weaning baby can eat it (but avoid the tofu since it is a honey sauce and they are not supposed to have honey).  This is my husbands specialty (truth be told I have never ACTUALLY made it myself, he always does), but he told me how to make it so I could share it with you guys.

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - Ingredients

5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Tofu
  • Honey garlic V8 sauce
  • Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to preference.
  2. Cut up tofu and fry in a frying pan with some olive oil. Add in Honey Garlic sauce once browned a bit and let it cook while you finish everything else up.
  3. Cut up mushrooms and broccoli. Fry it in a pan with some olive oil. Once it is soft add in at least one egg per person (we usually do 4-6 eggs) and cook it like you are scrambling eggs.
  4. Once everything is cooked assemble on the plate, a big scoop of rice, some veggie/egg mix and tofu on top with some honey garlic sauce.

 

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - This is a great favourite in my household from baby, to preschooler to parents. Packed with protein and veg, it's a great healthy dinner.

I hope your family loves this dish as much as we do.  We eat it almost every Saturday when my husband is on dinner-duty, and even I don’t get tired of it (and I usually like to have a lot of variety in my meals, I hate repetition).

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - This is a great favourite in my household from baby, to preschooler to parents. Packed with protein and veg, it's a great healthy dinner.

What is your favourite dish that you could eat every week and not get tired of?

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Vegetarian Yummys on Pinterest.If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - This is a great favourite in my household from baby, to preschooler to parents. Packed with protein and veg, it's a great healthy dinner.

Monthly Crafting Book Club

Reading is such an important part of childhood, it fosters imagination, independence, creativity, and learning. When we celebrate a book with a corresponding craft we can help encourage this love of reading. 

IMG_4870

My husband, Thor, reading to Po, reading is such an important part of our lives.

This is a Monthly Crafting Book Club group, geared mostly to toddlers and pre-schoolers. Every month there will be a new book to review, and each person tries to come up with a craft to go with the book. The craft can be for children of any ages and skill level. You are not obligated to participate in it each month and can participate in the ones you want. 

The book for the month of February is:

If you Give a Moose a Muffin

by Laura Numeroff

Monthly Crafting Book Club - FebruaryCome join us for the Monthly Crafting Book Club. Each month we focus on a different book and encourage early literacy by pairing it with a craft.

#Monthlycraftingbookclub is celebrating #ifyougiveamooseamuffin. Come join us with your craft. Click To Tweet

You are welcome to interpret the theme as you want, just try to make sure it relates to the book somehow.  You may also submit as many different crafts as you would like.

I ask you to please send me your cover pic & blog post URL by the 20th of the month and the round-up will go live on the 25th of each month at 6:00 am EST, please ensure your post goes live at that time too. I will include every post in my round-up that is sent to me by the 20th, and even pick one to “feature” for the next month as well.

If anyone is interested I will forward the code for the post so you can post it too, but it is not obligated.   I will also send a Blog-Hop compilation photo which you can include in your post.  Sharing others posts is highly encouraged as it helps to promote everyone.  The more who share, the more people see and are encouraged to read, do the crafts, and hopefully find new blogs to follow.

Please link back to this page and have your post go live at 6:00 am EST on February 25th.

http://www.raisingfairiesandknights.com/monthly-crafting-book-club-for-february-if-you-give-a-moose-a-muffin

Please e-mail your picture and URL to raisingfairiesandknights@yahoo.com by the 20th of the month.   Please also make sure you include one of the Monthly Crafting Book Club icons in your post with a link back to the main page for people to find other related crafts to do.

Twitter image Pinterest Image Instagram Image

If you have any book suggestions please e-mail me to let me know.

Alternately you can just grab the button to post on your Party page, side bar and/or post itself.  The more who participate the more who see it!

Grab button for Monthly Crafting Book Club

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I have a Facebook group as well if you would like to join for more updates and to easily connect with other participating bloggers:

Click here to join the Monthly Crafting Book Club on Facebook

I hope you have as much fun with this challenge as I have in planning it and it helps to motivate your children and readers to read more books, spend quality time together, and have fun with the crafts too.  Don’t forget to check out the next month’s book announcement in the round-up on the 25th.

Thanks and I cannot wait to see what you make each month to go with the book!  I cam so excited to do this with my toddlers and have so many varieties of crafts to do together.


Here are past months Blog-Hops:

 Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

 

January IGUntitled design (12)

 

5 Depressing Aspects of the FitBit

I read all these posts about how amazing the FitBit is.  How it motivates people to exercise more and monitor their steps.  People feel it holds them accountable more.  Awesome!  Those are all fabulous points as to how awesome the FitBit is.

My husband bought me a FitBit for my birthday in September thinking it could help me as I said I wanted to get more active and healthier.  I had not even heard of a FitBit but thought it was pretty cool.  For the first week I was super pumped, it tracks how many steps you take in a day (the goal is 10,000), how much sleep you get, you can track your calorie and water intake, and connect with friends and do “challenges” to motivate each other to take more steps.

For some people the Fitbit is NOT a motivator, it just highlights what you can't do! Click To Tweet

5 Depressing Aspects of the FitBit - The FitBit can be an amazing motivation for some to stay fit & get moving. For this mama it just depresses me. Here are 5 Depressing Aspects of the FitBit

Well, it took me a little over a week to start getting depressed by my FitBit.  These are five reasons why:

  1. Sleep

    IMG_5029The biggest depressing factor is that it tracks your sleep, or lack thereof I should say. My baby is teething and just got three teeth and is working on three more, it has been a long process, and involves him screaming most of the night, meaning I get like no sleep.  And he was not a good sleeper to begin with, so having physical proof of the fact that I average less than 5 hours of sleep a night (for months) is super depressing.   Seeing the norm of two hour increments and at least one to two nursing sessions a night makes it a lot harder to ignore how tired and exhausted you are, you have to face the facts!

  2. Time

    For the past three and a half months my house has been hit with four colds, three flus, and a stomach bug, making it so that there was always one member of the house sick, for almost four months!   My daughter just started preschool, I knew we would have an influx of germs and be more prone to illness, but I had no idea we would ALL get this sick and be pretty much sick for months.  This means I have even less time than normal, when you have sick kids your time is spent snuggling, cleaning up vomit, fetching things, and running back and forth between crying sick kids.

    The most exercise you can get is trecking up and down the stairs a million times a day to wash all the sheets and clothes they are going through. This is depressing because it reminds you of the fact that you WANT to get out and move, but cannot as there is just no time, you barely have time to sleep (and even that is minimal according to the FitBit) so time to exercise is a joke.

  3. IMG_4938Energy

    Let’s say you found a half hour here or there to exercise, you are so tired with the lack of sleep you have no energy to exercise and would rather lie down, take a shower,  or get started on dinner.

    Great, now I feel guilty and lazy for not taking that time and exercising!

    Thanks FitBit for making me depressed about not putting in more steps when I had the chance.

  4.     Friends


    You connect with your friends.  They can invite you to all these challenges to help motivate you to move more and get more active, for example you can compete to see who gets the most steps in on the weekend for Weekend Warrior, or who gets the most steps in the Workweek Hustle, or the most steps in the Daily Showdown, you get the picture.

    Unfortunately, here I am sitting on the couch, watching Disney movies and cuddling a feverish child, while all my “friends” are out there competing who can take the most steps!  So depressing!

  5. “Active minutes”

    Even when you do get some exercise in, you have an app keeping track of it, so when you are working your butt off and sweating away for 40 minutes, the app claims in was only 25 minutes *sigh* way to make me feel out of shape!  Or, alternately, I was folding laundry and going up and down the stairs putting it away and cleaning, the Fit Bit told me I did 15 active minutes, another way to make me feel out of shape, I didn’t FEEL like I was exercising.

Those are my five reasons why the Fit Bit depresses me the most!

My Fitbit makes me sad 🙁 Here are my reasons why... Click To Tweet

Some of the things I LOVE about my Fit Bit:

  • It vibrates when my cell phone rings so I never miss a call.
  • There is an app, and also email that tracks the power so I get alerted before it runs out of battery.
  • I still feel like I am trying to stay fit and do what I can.

I KNOW I will love it and I think it’s a great tool for people, I am sure it really helps some, but for this exhausted mama, it just reminds me of the lack of control I have over my schedule.  It will change, my baby will learn to sleep, ideally through the night, my daughter will get used to the germs at school and we will all develop a better immune system to keep us healthier, but for now, that is a future dream.

For the record:  I am still glad I have it, I wear it all the time even if it is only for a sleep calculator and to let me know when my phone rings.  I still think it was a great gift, just slightly depressing!

Does anyone else own a FitBit (or Fuel Band, or whatever brand),  What do you like the most about it?  Any tips for when I can hopefully actually start using it to its best advantage?  Please comment below!

5 Depressing Aspects of the FitBit - The FitBit can be an amazing motivation for some to stay fit & get moving. For this mama it just depresses me. Here are 5 Depressing Aspects of the FitBit

I did it! I survived a year!

DSC_0015I did not know if I would make it, but I did!  I survived a year with two children!  Two under two for the first three months was brutal.

As I sit here, the night before my baby turns one I cannot help but look back to this time last year, sitting in the same spot, hoping these were serious contractions that were signalling my impending labour and not just the start of another week of contractions and no baby.  Little did I know by sun up the next day I would be in the birthing tub having delivered my beautiful little boy from the comfort of my own home.

I did it! I survived a year! - Happy Birthday to my sweet baby Po! I cannot believe it's been a year, and even more that I was able to survive it with my sanity intact with a baby and toddler!

This year has been the hardest year of my life.  I have not slept through the night straight with no wake-ups since June 2012, to say I am sleep deprived is a humongous understatement.  When you are a mom of two young ones, working from home and juggling all the normal mom household jobs, it can be incredibly overwhelming and you learn a lot about yourself and those around you in the process.  I learned a few things over the past year that I thought I would share.

Come check out some of the things learned from a year with a baby and toddler. #Isurvived Click To Tweet

Second children really are different from first babies.  My boy can sleep anywhere!  He ignores noises and can sleep through his sister screeching.  He is pretty durable too, his sister loves him, but is a toddler so less than gentle and he really only cries if he is actually hurt, she can yank him around and steal his toys and he doesn’t make a sound.

Mermaid Paintings

I got these amazing paintings done by Lissa James as a present to my husband and I for surviving a year, the one of us in the birth pool was for him especially. Click the picture to visit her Etsy store and see what else she can do.

Tandem nursing is really HARD, amazing but hard.  I was hungry all the time and ate like a bottomless pit.  I had to adapt a lot to fit both kids nursing needs in and it was super time consuming.  The moments when I fed both kids were amazing and painful, looking down at the two contently nursing was adorable, especially when Bee held Po’s hand or started stroking his hair too.  I will write more on tandem nursing at a later date, in general I loved it, but I found it really took it’s toll on me.

Gender stereotypes actually do exist.  I never really bought into them, I hated all the pink stuff at the store, like you had to choose the “girl” or the “boy” airplane, kitchen, phone, etc. But my daughter is a major girlie-girl, more so than I ever was.  At two she loves make-up, dresses, tutu’s, purses and all those things.  My baby boy is a real BOY.  He loves to bang into things, knock things over, throw things and makes Godzilla sounds as he does it.   He loves playing with cars and stacking things to build, it is so fun watching his little personality come out and how different it is from his sisters.

DSCF6441Having two kids to entertain each other is amazing.  Watching Po chase after his sister, crawling as fast as he can is adorable.    The affection they show each other just melts my heart.  The way he snuggles against his sister, or she puts her arms around him and hugs and kisses him, it’s fun to see their little bond form.  DSC_0031When he was four months old they started playing peek a boo together and would laugh and laugh,  now they play hide and go seek.  I adore seeing them together and watching Bee “mother” him already.  He has already tried to walk to her, and she bent down with her arms out cooing “come on sweetheart”, I think they are on their way to being great friends.

I am amazed at how easy it was to adapt my heart to having two children, I was really worried I would not be able to love my new little boy as much as my daughter (crazy pregnancy worries), but as soon as he arrived I was amazed at how quickly I fell in love with him.

IMG_5580I  also now understand the term “mama’s boy” because make no mistake he is SUCH a Mama’s boy!  He started saying my name by 5 months (maaamaaa) usually while sobbing when he woke up in hs crib. DSCF5809 He loved to snuggle, we co-slept and even as a newborn he would worm his way as close to me as possible, usually sleeping in my armpit.  When he started crawling it was towards me to not get left behind.   He loves kisses, hugs, snuggles and baby-wearing.  He is called my little koala as he is happiest snuggled into my  side and looks just like a little koala.

I love watching how his little personality has come out, he is such a happy boy, has a great laugh, and such a sweet innocent smile.  I cannot wait to see what kind of man he grows up to be.

Kid Kingdom (17)

Bee at a Kid’s Play Place for the day while Mom & Dad rest with newborn Po

I literally could not have done this without my “village”. The support of my friends and family has been amazing.  Right from the beginning we had people taking Bee for the day, it was great, we got cuddles and rest with newborn Po and Bee got one-on-one attention and still got to come home for some cuddles with us at night. I have had people bring us over meals, frozen for whenever we need them and fresh to eat that night, people who cleaned when they were over, took care of cooking the meals, watched Bee so I could get my work done, and grabbed groceries for us.  People who were there emotionally for me to have coffee and vent together, or cry with when overwhelmed.  Friends who came to visit from far away, who slept over and had much needed “girls” nights so we could relax and de-compress together (usually involving wine and adult colouring books).   People who brought me Starbucks when I needed a caffeine boost and checked in via text messages or Facebook to see how things were going.

It takes a Village to raise a child and support a family, I am so thankful for my #village! Click To Tweet

I am so thankful to all my friends and family, I would be a mess without you and my life in even more chaos than it already is.  You guys know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my sanity for helping me in whatever way you did for allowing me to stay sane!

I did it! I survived a year! - Happy Birthday to my sweet baby Po! I cannot believe it's been a year, and even more that I was able to survive it with my sanity intact with a baby and toddler!

Happy first birthday to my little Po, I am so proud of you and cannot wait to see what adventures you have in store!  I know it will be tons of mischief and to be honest I am a little scared already!

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