So, I am having a baby, soon, apparently.
I know Reese will be one of the best gifts I can give Lily, BUT it's inevitable that Lily is going to resent Reese and want her to go away (I am sure at 3 am, I will have similar feelings?). It is also inevitable that I will be overcome with Mom guilt at not playing with Lily or giving her attention.
I feel better and more in control when I feel like there is sort of a plan, plus preferably SOMETHING hoarded. Preferably lots of somethings. I have diapers hoarded, bottles (9 different brands already! This kid WILL take a bottle), wipes, chocolate, coffee, etc... I also decided I wanted to have a few PLANNED activities for Lily.
I hate FB/blogs/Pinterest where people's lives seem so perfect. They are lying. For every fun thing they do with their kid, there is an inedible dinner, a loss of patience, or a mom spending WAY too much time sneaking glances at her phone while
suffering through having a tea party. Therefore, FOR THE RECORD:
1. Lily watches a LOT of TV.
2. I lose my patience with her a hundred million times a day.
3. She frequently yells at me that "I don't love you anymore, and you never love me." Usually in public, which is extra fun.
4. I am a terrible cook, and maybe 3 of our dinners each week would be considered edible. 3 might be stretching it.
5. I miss teaching but not enough to go back obviously, so doing crafts and activities with Lily is fun for ME. It doesn't mean it is for everyone and that is okay.
6. I spend entirely too much time checking my email on my phone, NONE of which is ever important. Have you signed up for groopdealz or veryjane yet? Lily rarely sees me without my phone, especially now that I read on the Kindle app. It's out of control.
Seriously, though, I have come up with some ideas for having quality time with her that don't involve playing dress-up/royal ball/ tea party/hairdresser/balentime's party/birthday party/ royal tea party, etc...
Of course, my number one plan will be TV.
Followed closely by her LeapFrog computer (it was $4 at a consignment sale!), her LeapPad, my iPad, my phone, etc...
Unfortunately, Lily won't just watch TV for 16 hours a day, though. Sigh. Plus, she gets mean/angry/tantrummy if she watches it too long anyway.
2. ACTIVITY BAGS.
I REALLY want to lessen the "mom guilt" that I know I am going to feel, so I searched/thought of fun ideas of things to do with her that could be prepared and ready. I do not want to be trying to build a funnel/water tube tower thing when Reese is screaming.
I made a set for Anderson, too, and since I have all of the links and ideas, I want to share them in case anyone is interested. They turned out cute, and I bought almost everything at the $1 store.
I printed out the ABC sheet front/back and laminated it. I also printed 2 copies of this I Spy sheet. I cut a bunch of the little things out of one sheet, glued onto colored paper and laminated it and the original I Spy sheet. I put them in a gallon ziploc bag with a dry erase marker. The back of the I Spy sheet is blank, so Lily can just draw on it. It comes off with a wipe easily.
The link above has 20 different play-doh mats: feed the dog, letters, numbers, decorate a cake, etc... I printed a few of them front/back, laminated them, and put them with some little play-doh cans.
Straws cut into pieces with yarn.
I really wanted to stay away from educational activities, because...well, truthfully, I just wanted some mindless activities. I'm not teaching her to read this month, let's be honest. But, this little wheel was cute. Plus, I found a huge pack of clothespins at the Dollar Store!
I bought regular balloons and water balloons at the $1 store and just typed a few random ideas to do with them, like the epic game of "keep the balloon from touching the ground." Also- put beans in the balloons and blow them up, throw the balloons at each other, number them 1-10 and hide them around the house...
Pom-poms and an ice cube tray.
Same thing- I found these at the $1 store and just thought up random things to do (use chopsticks to transfer them, play candy factory, pretend like they are dinosaur food, etc...)
I bought these precious little cups at Target, because they were colorful and had owls and were NOT at all an impulse buy.
There is so much you can do with a mini paper cup! Make a tower, hide a ball under one and have someone guess, make popsicles with lemonade, make a music shaker...
Blow up Ivory soap!!
Cut it in half (or quarters). Put it on a paper plate and into the microwave for 30 seconds. It will puff up! And, then you can play with it in the bathtub!
I thought Lily would enjoy putting little star stickers around the shapes.
(Anderson did NOT get this one. Haha).
I bought the Bingo marker at the $1 store. I printed out her name and a few number sheets.
I bought this foam dice at the $1 store and wrote 6 actions on it- corresponding with the number of dots.
Have you ever done the "laser beam" obstacle course with crepe paper?
It looks fun. Plus, Lily thinks every single day is worthy of a party of some sort, so crepe paper is one of her favorite toys.
Numbers. I found a calculator at the $1 store, and they are always fun to play with- unless you are in actual Math class, at which point nothing is fun. I am trying to give Lily a better attitude toward Math. Clearly, I need to work on my bias.
Pieces of felt clothing, clothespins, a piece of string...this could even be a bath activity and really wash the clothes.
It's like the cupcake printable that you can cut out of felt or foam.
Printable scavenger hunt for going on walks!
Silly String! Just in general.
3. KIWI CRATE
Kiwi Crate! This little green box makes me SO happy. AGH!
It's a box with crafts, science, and tons of activities for ages 3-7. Seriously, it is ADORABLE.
There is a different theme each month.
It comes with all of the supplies needed for 3 or 4 activities. Plus, they include videos and extra ideas and further exploration ideas in the box and on the website.
It is $19.95 a month with free shipping. I don't just spend $20 on things, but these boxes are seriously worth it. It always comes with full sets of markers, paint, pastels, glue sticks, etc... It has 3 or 4 PLANNED activities (above is create a game board and make a comet toss).
This one was Penguin bowling, postcard making, ice melting (in the little penguin tray!)
And, they always include bonus activities and little extras.
It IS $19.95 a month, but it is PLANNED for you and all of the supplies are there! I love that it is a guaranteed quality time with Lily, all wrapped up in a precious green box.
PLUS, go through a referral link and get $10 off of your first box!
Canceling is SUPER easy; you just log into your account and push cancel. So, even if you just want to try it for one month, I think you have to create a subscription to save the $10...but then you can cancel as soon as you get it.
So, you get a FUN, PLANNED, adorable set of themed activities for only $10. I really, really LOVE Kiwi Crate!
I vividly remember the elation I would feel when a new Highlights arrived at my house! I can remember specific details (peanuts grow on the ground) from stories I read, crafts I made, recipes I attempted, Hidden Pictures I abandoned after getting frustrated. I would read them over and over and over.
They have a little kid version- High Five! When ebates has 52% cash back on magazines.com, I renew Lily's subscription. It costs $32, which is honestly worth it for this gem. But, I like $15 better. Usually ebates has cash back of 26% on magazines.com, which isn't horrible (so, it would save you $8 in cash back?) Lily and I always read them together, over and over and over.
The Disney Princess magazine. It has stories, crafts, puzzles, etc... I think I got a cheap subscription from Living Social? But, magazines.com has it as well. GO THROUGH EBATES FIRST!
There are days already when Lily goes from the TV to my phone to my computer. Just being honest. Two hours of screen time? Yep, BEFORE 8am usually.
(Dr. Seuss games)
(I like this one because it also has printable crafts and coloring pages. Because, sometimes the only way to get Lily away from TV is to bribe her with a TV show related activity).
(we host a lot of "parties" around here, and this has tons of fun party printables).
(A branch of PBS)
(MY favorite. Most of the games are educational related but still really fun).
Specifically reading games based on PBS shows
Games and crafts
Lily's DEFINITE FAVORITE. It has tons of games, printables, activities, interactive videos.