Other than apple pie and stuffing, the next best thing during the Thanksgiving season is crafting turkeys. And I don’t mean just one or two turkeys, I mean crafting LOTS of turkeys. Because turkeys on paper are a lot better than turkey on my plate. Well, that’s my opinion anyway. So we’ve been making lots of turkeys and talking about things that make us thankful: roller coaster rides, trains, and popcorn. Hope you’re getting into the thankful spirit, too.
You guys, we love these plates. A lot! Do you have them, too? If you don’t, you have to invest in these for your little ones! Whenever I pull these out at breakfast or lunch, we get the serious giggles. They’re just so funny to three year old’s. And maybe it’s odd they get so much pleasure from eating hair and earrings, eyes and cheeks, but I can’t blame them: these faces are so cute, you really do just want to eat them all up.
If you’re interested you can order the plates here.
Hey guys and happiest of Halloweens from America’s two coolest nannies, Danielle & Erica! Okay, maybe that was a narcissistic title dub, but it has to be pretty close to the truth, right? To get us all in the Halloween spirit this rainy day, I’ve invited Erica, all way from Sunny California’s Nannypology, over to the Green Egg to share her thoughts on Halloween as seen through the eyes of a nanny. I hope you enjoy her take on the madness as much as I did. And be sure to pop over to her site and check out my Halloween craft and then read on into her world. Halloween, Nannyween
Ahh, fall. What a great time of year. The fall colors are rampant, the brisk breeze is blowing, and everyone is getting ready to snuggle down for winter. It’s a peaceful time!
Wait, what? Not in MY world! In my world, the world of a nanny, fall equals Halloween. Halloween is anything but peaceful. Let’s try this again.
The kiddos are waiting in anxious anticipation, the candy is flowing from every direction, the baby is hating her itchy costume, her sister isn’t sharing the ghost stickers, she WILL NOT wear that hat…
What a peaceful time indeed!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween… it’s one of my fav holidays in fact! But Halloween with kiddos is a different animal. I know we want the darlings to be dressed to the nines, adorable but sometimes… it just isn’t in the cards people! I know they’re children and let’s let ‘em party, I totally agree… but sugar addicts aren’t cute!
Here are some “rules” no… “tidbits” that can make Halloween just that much easier for us nanny types:
- Dress up for COMFORT rather than CUTENESS. (Complainy McGees don’t have fun.)
- Prep the “you can only eat candy until next Sunday” talk months in advance. We don’t need sad kiddos when the candy mysteriously disappears. (Don’t lie mommies and daddies, we all know you want to toss it quick!)
- Dress for WARMTH rather than CUTENESS (especially here in San Francisco!)
- Pack all the Halloween crafts into one week, no lingering zombies please! Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner, each holiday should only get a week, amiright??
- Dress for CUTE not SCARY! Wait… am I being contradictory here? Who cares… they all apply. We don’t need terrified 2-year-old afraid to talk to their blood & guts cousin!
- If the kiddo is scared to go in the haunted house, don’t make them go in!
- Dressing for their age, aka No Miley Cyrus’.
- HAVE FUN! It’s supposed to be fun, not stressful. If the kid doesn’t like the bunny ears… who cares! Maybe he’s an earless bunny. Point is, it’s not about the photo op (always); it’s about the fun.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM NANNYPOLOGY!
Fall colors. Boots. Tea in the afternoon. Walks through the woods. This is what fall is when you’re a professional nanny. Trust me, I am not complaining! These things are the perfect recipe for great days. And last week, we attempted to bring it all together when we went on an adventure. I gave the kids a brown paper lunch sack with their initial on it. This was their bag and whatever leaves they wanted to put it in, they could. Through the woods we walked, looking on the ground for the prettiest leaves we could find. The forest floor was covered, which was lucky for us, with all sorts of reds, and oranges, yellows and even some left over green leaves. Some, as I was told, were even “tye-dyed” which was pretty exciting. Just how does Mother Nature DO THAT, we wondered aloud.
Days after our walk through the woods, we sat on the porch in the sunshine with paper, glue, sticks, tape and a tree trunk cut out. Then, I dumped the bag of leaves on top of them, making a not so neat swarm of leaves in the middle of us. I let the kids pick out their favorite leaves and together we glued and taped them on the tree trunks. Afterward, we took the circle moons I had pre-cut for them and glued them as the background of our trees. Once the tree trunks with leaves were attached to the paper, we let them dry before finding a very special place in the house to hang them.
This was definitely one of the more entertaining art projects that the pre-schoolers and I have done together. They loved that they were the ones to find the leaves and then incorporate them into a project. It was also fun and different for us to have an art project that extended throughout the week. We’re excited to see what we will be able to do with our leaf collection next!
There have been a lot of table battles over here. The kind of epic proportions where someone goes screaming into timeout and the rest of us pretend like we can’t hear the noise in the kitchen. So when things get tough, I get out my battle swords and stick food on them. For some reason, no one fights the kebab snack. And for whatever reason, I don’t really care, because as long as we’re eating and happy, I’m not going to question it!
We’re almost through the week. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….
I believe that children should experience relatively care-free days. I believe that kids should play wildly with their toys and spread them over the carpet. I believe that rooms in homes should be “kid friendly” with few things that are off limits. But I also believe that at the end of the day, kids need to pick up the toys they have gotten got. Kids need to be responsible for where their tooth brushes are in the bathroom. Kids are should be active in all of the “work” that goes into running a home. Mamas and Dads and Nannies shouldn’t be the only ones responsible for the mess. Mamas and Dads and Nannies like to have fun, too. And Mamas and Dads and Nannies get a little tired of doing everything alone. So, I tell my kiddos that sometimes in order to have fun, things need to be in (somewhat) of an order. It’s not an easy lesson to learn, but we’re figuring it out as we grow.
The best solution I have come up with is making chore charts. I had an amazing one this summer, but with fall has found us all much busier than the days of summer. I don’t want the kids to feel overwhelmed by coming home and having a million (literally) of things to do, so their Mama and I decided to decrease the amount of chores they should do each week.
And the rules are pretty simple.
By Friday, each kid should have their bases filled. To fill a base, you do a chore. Some days I or their Mama decides on the chore (I like to have a chore written down for each of them when they come home from school.). And other days they can just chose an act of kindness to help out with around the house.
The kicker for this chart is that a child can accumulate strikes. Strikes are things like lying about actually doing your chore (as if we wouldn’t notice), excessive complaining, failure to listen, sassy attitudes, not putting away their bags, shoes and coats, etc. If a child gets three strikes, they must clear their board and start over. We want them to understand there are second chances. We want them to understand they have to work hard and be kind to get rewarded. We want them to take accountability for their actions. The added effect of the strikes has made a huge difference in their willingness to comply.
I highly recommend making a chore and
With all of these rainy days, we’ve been watching a few more movies than our sunny schedule would include. But life is about moderation, and sometimes you just need to curl on the couch and watch a Disney movie! One afternoon after watching our new favorite: Despicable Me, the kids and I sat down and made our own Minions. Because come on, who doesn’t want their own Minion?
And after much work, these little guys were born. Pretty cute, huh? Yes, we’re keeping them around! For as long as we can.
I love the zoo. Don’t you? And the zoo is always better with kids, and I mean lots of kids, in tote. Whenever I’m at the zoo with the kids I have a blast! And the more kids there are, the more fun it is. I love the chaos of it all. I love all the different reactions. I love that I have toddlers on ridiculous stuffed animal leashes so that they can explore without getting lifted or lost. I love getting ice cream after we see the animals because zoo days clearly require ice cream. I just love it all. It’s one of the moments I experience as a nanny that makes we excited to have kids of my own someday. (And yes, Sean, lots of kids.) Because more kids = more fun.
Here were our favorite animals at the zoo. What exhibits do you stay the longest at during your visits?
These sweet little birds always hold our attention spans the longest, making us laugh hard and stare longingly because “no, we can’t take them home with us today kids”. As I watch the kids at the zoo, looking at these animals, I see their little wheels turning and I wonder what they could be imagining? The zoo is a magical place for children. And yes, for nannies, too.
We had a really bad case of the Mondays. It was rainy. We were tired; of one another, of being inside, of everything about the day. I wanted to pull my hair out and I didn’t care how bad it would hurt. But I didn’t. Instead I decided to find something we could all do together. Typically when I’m bothered with the little ones I don’t try to take time away, instead I drop everything I have to do or should do and I dive head first into a game or activity with them. I don’t know why, but this always cures me. So I thought and thought, and then I remembered a post from my favorite blog last week. And like magic, our Monday turned right around. Ultimate forts have a way of doing that, you know?
As they played I couldn’t help but snap a picture and send it to my mom. There were so many days when me and my siblings would work hard creating our ultimate fort. And our mom always let us keep it for days at a time. It became our home inside our home. We would pull our sleeping bags and flashlights in it, staying up late and sleeping in the next morning. It is a feeling I treasure. Wanting these kids to have that same nostalgic memory, I let them make a mess as big as they wanted inside. They built puzzles, we read stories in crazy voices, they told secrets and even watched a movie. And I still haven’t asked for them to take it down. Why would I? Truth be told, I kind of like it, too.
Whats your best cure for Monday’s? And have you made a fort lately? I highly recommend it! They’re not just for kids. And be sure to stop over and check out my favorite blog today.
When you’re a nanny on hot days, you only have one choice: fill up the kiddie pool, roll up your skirt and bring your coffee outside for the morning. And when they spray you with the hose, don’t complain! Just grab it and spray them back. Hey, it’s a Darwinian world– only the strong survive.
Now turn off your computer and go play in the sun!
Hope you’re surviving the heat this summer. What are your nanny survival tips for the summer?