We got a pool!!(well, kinda)

Y’all. I just have to share this. We are outside people and in Arkansas it gets nasty hot. Like you really can’t breathe because of the humidity. Ugh. So bad. Anyway, so every afternoon, we’ve been playing with a little water table or  sprinkler but they really weren’t cutting it. Lat summer those were fine but kids are bigger(and wilder) so this year we really just needed some kind of pool.20170717_163339

Enter this beauty. It’s big enough for me to get in and play. We put a pop up awning over it so that it stays out of the sun(again, Arkansas summers). It has a drain on the bottom near one of the corners so we drain it every couple of days. Today I’ll need to pull the drain and let it drain all night then tomorrow morning I’ll go out and clean it with a bleach/water solution and kind of scrub it out. Then I’ll rinse it, put the drain plug back and fill it up. Ready for another couple days. 20170719_164037

They love to “swim” after dinner and really, it takes little energy from me but wears them out 😉   What do you all do? Kiddie pools? Sprinklers? Pool membership? Let me know in the comments!

Summer schoolin’

20170624_094407

Working on his K-!st summer book.

We just finished our first year of homeschooling. Big kid completed kindergarten and now we are marching on to 1st grade and kidlet starting “preschool”. Our first year was loose and kind of a free for all. I wanted a way to gauge where he was and find out what I need to focus more on this summer before 1st grade. I found this really cool workbook at Barnes & Noble and he just loves it! It has a map and stickers(stickers always make things more fun) and it charts your progress as you work through.

We are also looking at leaving the co op we have been apart of for the last year and a half  and going out on our own to start a new group. Also lesson planning and gathering has started this week. I had a fruitful trip  to the Dollar Tree and snagged a few workbooks for both kids. I think they may work well for the new “school” too.20170630_124123

20170630_124224

The top 2 books are for Big Kid. He can add and subtract like nobody’s business but since he really likes workbooks I grabbed them for practice. The bottom books are for Kidlet to start practicing school with. They are over her head but she likes to do school along with us. Here’s a picture of Kidlet doing some of her work. Loves file folder games!20170624_094340

Alright y’all, what is everybody doing for school this year? Leave a comment and let me know your plans.

Catch up time.

Alot has gone on since the last blog post. Holidays, birthdays, first day of kindergarten, new sunday school classes…so much. I’ll attemp a recap photo style.

Lots of time spent throwing rocks at the lake.  And sand.20160611_15495320160425_104729.jpegFrequent zoo trips. We even had a few doctor office visits(booo!). The hardest part was transitioning back to “school”. We do a homeschool coop one morning a week and it has proven a bit hard for Big kid to get the hang off. Senses on overload, everything “smells yucky”, everyone jumps(no one is jumping, he just doesn’t like alot of movement around him), and having to sit can get painful for a sensory kiddo. Kindergarten is definitely going to be a learning experience for all involved.  Stay tuned for a run through of our school mornings shortly.

Frugal summer FUN!

Looking for ways to have fun this summer but not spend a ton of money? Aren’t we all! Costs soar during the  summer. The electric bill goes sky high, all the trips to the ice cream parlor, the pool(or pool membership), countless water guns because ours never seem to last more than one squirt..Needless to say, I am always looking for low cost, big fun things to do. Or ways to save money in general.

One big thing I’ve done to save money is switch the times I do the most cooking. Instead of cooking dinner at 5:00 when the house has been heating up all day, I cook at lunch. We either have our “dinner” for lunch, or just heat it up later.  The crockpot also comes in handy these days.

On to the fun!

Water table20160620_163326This little gem was a birthday present for kidlet last year. It held up through last summer & is still in great shape. I think it was about $35-$40 at Walmart. 20160620_162147This particular one is a fishing table. I routinely switch the “theme” out though. Today they were fishing. I’ll take the fishing stuff out and throw in a ton of plastic floating balls, the kind from a ball pit. Another we like is boats and guys or even a bunch of animals. I can’t forget just the good ole water guns and bath squirters!

Crafting is another super cheap, stay cool way to have fun.20160621_153600Alot of the time I have a set craft or activity in mind. Sometimes the best ones(and the ones that last the longest) are the open ones. I put a bunch of craft type things on the table and they make whatever they like. Craft sticks, glue, googly eyes, newspaper, ….Big kid also really like bead projects. The kind where you make a pattern or shape out of beads and melt them together with an iron. Yeah, he does alot of those.

Break out your old toys!20160621_172950(1)I’ve always loved making potato heads so this was really pretty fun. Find some toys you haven’t played with in awhile and give them some love.

Splash pad/parks. 20160618_100715Most cities have splash parks that are free. Ours has two. This one is a our local farmers market(also another fun and cheap thing to do!).

Don’t forget about your local library! We have been to ours a couple mornings each week so far this summer. They usually offer really fun activities. We saw a magic show, balloon show, had a petting zoo visit.. Those are a few of our favorite cheap or free summer activities. What are yours?

Behind closed doors.

Who gets tired of hopping on your favorite social media site and seeing perfectly dressed, well mannered kids eating chicken and broccoli in a flawless kitchen? Everyone’s hands shoot up? Yep, I thought so. The thing about all those pictures is their not real. Sure, there are a few that hold to that standard but most? So I’m starting a challenge. Here it is– post a picture of your REAL behind closed doors house.  Here are the rules:

  1. The pictures cannot be staged(no posed kids, quick clean ups, wiping ketchup off someone…)
  2. It doesn’t have to be a picture of the kids. Just grab and shoot the mess in the laundry room floor or the wrecked playroom. Whatever, just leave it real.
  3. Be bold. C’mon, we all have messy rooms & kids at times.20160616_085029My messy kitchen “island”. Notice the container on the floor. That is full of beans that are suppose to be played nicely with but usually end up thrown around the room. Alright, your turn. Send me your messes!

It’s summer!

We spend alot of time at the lake. The kidlet says almost daily, “go lake house”. They both love it there. Packing is not as much fun. I’m definitely not one of those take diapers & the est will work out type of people. I tend to over pack. I’ve gotten better as they get older but…20160611_154953

I give you exhibit A. Every sand toy at the local dollar store. Really? Do we really need 12 sand toys to occupy two small people? No, probably not but it definitely keeps the entertained(for 3.7 minutes).

Food is getting easier to pack. The big kid only eats a few foods(see previous post about dinner making me tired…), so I get a pizza there and he’s golden. The kidlet, on the other hand, just turned 2 so today she LOVES tuna but I promise you tomorrow it will end up in the floor, or probably the wall. Bascially in my experience, just take a big cooler and bring your food. Cheaper, easier, and usually much healthier than trying to eat out every meal. For the time that we are on the boat or the “beach”, I bring each of us a big water bottle & snack bag.

Try not to overthink it. You want to enjoy this as much as you can.20160613_112355

 

Dinner makes me tired.

Ya’ll. Dinner makes me tired. Or actually planning out dinners makes me tired. It’s stressful ya’ll. Reason being, one of my kids is 2(enough said right?), the other has sensory/ASD stuff going on so eats like only 7 actual food things. Pizza from a national chain is one so I always get a pizza one night and he eats it a few nights(don’t judge the kid’s gotta eat :/ ) I get alot of ideas form mommyskitchen.net & 100daysofrealfood  then I just cut them n half usually, or freeze some. But the whole, “they’ll eat if they’re hungry”, yeah not happening here. So that one eats pizza, fruit, and salsa or sub macaroni, pepperoni, or peanut butter for the pizza.  Here’s what we had this week.

20160607_141206

Artwork courtesy of Big Kid.

Got a rain break.

20160528_16331720160529_16151720160604_170056

It has rained almost everyday for the last two weeks. We finally got  a break long enough to play at the lake, wade around a bit & throw rocks.  Cabin fever is fierce around here. The rest of the time has been spent writing letters, jumping & sliding in the playroom, playdough…we’re ready for no rain & sunny days.

Adding sensory play.

So the outside trampoline was such a hit that I decided to get a small inside one.  We just finished our last therapy session last week(been in therapy since age 1) so I though we could use some sensory stuff here. The trampoline does wonders for burning of energy, heading off meltdowns, & getting out pent up stims. I also got a small indoor slide that has been good too. Two therapeutic swings are next. A board swing & a cocoon swing. He prefers the cocoon swing because it’s so snug. Each morning he has asked for his juice then headed to jump. Send me ideas/photos of your therapy or sensory rooms!

20160518_083546