We recently spent a week at my parents' house, and both before and after our week away had overnight guests. Jude was bumped out of his room, which was used as the "guest room", onto the floor in Clare's room. (We aren't 100% comfortable with Clare sleeping on the top bunk in her room. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, she is sometimes a bit disoriented and we don't know how climbing down the ladder in the middle of the night would work out for her right now.) Anyway, the trip and guests started almost 3 weeks ago and Jude would still rather sleep here...
He just really likes to have "sweep-overs" in "C-ware's room!"
I recently starting noticing the soap dispenser in my "new" (as of April 2010) dishwasher had some serious build-up going on...
As luck would have it, I was watching "Real Estate Intervention" on HGTV the other day. Sabrina Soto mentioned running a packet of lemonade through a cycle on an empty dishwasher to clean out any residue. It is the citric acid on the lemonade that acts as a cleaning agent.
For 13 cents a packet of Kool-Aid I was intrigued!
We just arrived home this week from a nice long visit with my family. Traveling with 3 kids means lots of planning and packing. I usually have two kids sharing a suitcase of some sort when we travel.
This past trip I used ziploc freezer bags while packing to make finding Clare and Jude's things easier and to have some sort of organization within their bag.
I made up a set of clothes (including undies - Hi Woody!)...
and put them in a labeled ziploc bag.
(Weekday clothes didn't really matter, but clothes for Sunday Mass were easy to identify.)
Jude's "Sunday bag" also included his belt and socks...and it was nice not having to fish around their duffle bag for his socks on Sunday morning!
The next time we travel I plan to use this system again. My one thought would be to keep underwear in one separate ziploc bag so it is handy after baths, or "accidents." (Both occurred during our trip!)
The other night I was flipping through the channels on the TV with Clare and Jude. There was really nothing on for them to watch. As I flipped through to one of the movie channels I noticed one of the Star Wars movies was on. (Don't ask me which one because I have never watched an entire Star Wars movie.) I asked if they wanted to watch it. Clare was not interested. Jude said that he wanted to watch Star Wars. I questioned Jude what he knew about Star Wars. His response:
One thing that is difficult about living away from my family is holidays. Most I spend away from them, but this Father's Day I was able to celebrate with my family and with my dad.
My dad's immediate family usually gets together for holidays, and yesterday was no exception. And with such a large immediate family, 9 siblings and 27 grandchildren, there was also a graduation to celebrate. While we were all together yesterday, I was there I was reminded of all of the wonderful things I love about my family. But most of all just being together...
Cheering on the home town baseball team to victory. Welcoming back the recent vacationers. Congratulating the graduate. Laughing as the story of the most recent family prank is retold. Looking back on old photos. Discussing upcoming weddings. Talking about the bridal showers. Clare entertaining the room with a show. Jude being tossed in the air by my uncle. Ellen getting kisses from her uncle.
If I could only bottle it up and bring it back home with me!
Why buy them toys when fun can be had with a big, plastic bag??? Jude declared he was in a "spaceship."
**No children were harmed during play.
In other news, Ellen has a new "big" car seat. (The new car seat came
in the above plastic bag/Jude's "spaceship.") So no more lugging the 18 lbs. 9 month old
in the bulky and heavy infant seat for me!
And Ellen seems to enjoy her new throne! Let's just hope she likes it as much in the car as she does out of the car!
This is going to be my view for several hours this summer.
I have to admit that this is usually the sight I enjoy seeing in the back seat:
Unfortunately, unless we drive through the night, the kids usually don't sleep 8+ hours in the car. Here are some of the things (besides movies...and lots of snacks) my kids are entertained with on road trips...
If I remember, I usually have a couple "games" from the back of cereal boxes, fruit snacks, etc. that Clare enjoys. She can write on them and they can just be pitched at the end of the trip.
Clare and Jude also like sticker books. I have some from the Dollar Store that they have reused on different trips.
I have brought magnets in the car for Clare and Jude and plan to bring them for Ellen, too. I have a small magnetic board to keep them on, but a cake pan works, too.
We got these story CDs from the library and the older 2 have enjoyed listening to them. (Probably because Buzz Lightyear's #1 fan lives with me.) I think we are starting to hit the "books on tape" age, so we will stock up at the library for sure and see how that goes.
They also love listening to the Vacation Bible School CDs from previous years.
The kids are also slightly addicted to Angry Birds, so we will make sure the iPhone is charged before hitting the road this summer!