We have done painting parties since the bigs were just a few months old. Well, before that if you count before kids!
This year we’ve painted more than ever! We’re painting peacocks or as the mids pronounce them- “peapocks”!
The mids like to paint, too. There really is nothing that brings peace to my heart like seeing them all paint so quietly and happily on a beautiful day.
I love how this peacock turned out! She talked about the tail and how it was behind the body so you couldn’t see it all (depth) and the little face and beak turned out so cute. She couldn’t help but add hearts, flowers and a rainbow. She loved making her own colors- especially the purples in the peacock tail. ❤️
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Our Veggie Garden
Our veggie garden will be a little different this year! Since I’m in my third trimester with the third set of twins this spring, I had to take a step back and let the kids take over the veggie garden! They have done every step completely independently!
The bigs raked and Ammended the soil
Simplifying the Garden
We decided to go simple this year since I’m SO pregnant! Lettuce and Swiss Chard always grow easily in this bed so we’re going to have a greens garden! We got a variety of types- Buttercrunch, Romaine, Red and Rainbow Swiss Chard. Yummy!
Digging the holes and planting the starts.
The Starts are in!
They didn’t turn out the same as if I did it, and I LOVE it! The garden is so them.
Growing but getting Dry
Time to Water!
We made watering bottles out of reused water bottles by poking holes in the lid. I just tapped a nail with a hammer into the cap, making sure the holes were big enough they would not get soil stuck. I learned this tip from the wonderful gardening volunteer at the school I taught in years ago. (Thanks, KP-your ideas are timeless!)
Next Up Harvesting and
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Here are a few of the ways I’ve learned how to make time for myself with four young kiddos:
Independent Playtime- I started making independent playtime part of our regular routine, when the first two were about nine months old. I make sure this is a positive, fun and safe experience that help the kids gain independence and confidence in themselves. When they were very young, I surrounded them with their favorite toys, played fun music and cheerfully told them, “I’ll be right back”. I started with only a few minutes at a time and as they grew more confident with me out of their sight, I would add a minute or two, building their independent playtime stamina. While away, I would order groceries, change the laundry, sit and have a breather, whatever I needed. I always listen carefully and make sure their room is completely baby proofed. Sometimes during independent playtime, especially when they are very young, I listen or watch through the monitor if necessary. Now that they are four and two, all four are completely happy having independent playtime on their own or together, while I get a little done around the house. When I come back, most of the time everyone is fresh and in good spirits from the little down time and break.
Grandparent Play Dates- It has been so wonderful to have Adam’s parents or mine take the kids on a weekly basis for a few hours so I can have time to take care of things and honestly, catch my breath. If grandparents aren’t an option, a sitter or nanny will do!
Relaxing Evenings- We make sure all of the chores are done before the kids go to sleep so we can relax and recover after they go down! One of our routines that really helps with this, is the way we do bedtime. I sing and rock one baby to sleep at a time while the kids play with Adam. When I sing and rock the second baby to sleep, Adam reads the first book to the bigs. When I come out, I read the second book to the bigs and Adam does the dishes. The dishes are done, books are read, four kids are down, all in about twenty minutes. Then, right when the kids are tucked in, we start our parent only, relaxation time.
Hatch Baby Mornings- This has been one of the best products I’ve discovered that I didn’t know about before I was a parent. This awesome device is a night light, sound machine and the best part of all, it changes colors however you set it, so your child knows if it’s time to rise! It can even be controlled from your phone through the Hatch Baby App! For us, at bedtime a soft yellow light goes on and stays on all night and at 7am the light turns blue and the kids know morning is here and it’s time to wake up. We have a water sound set for the sound machine to help block out noises. If they wake up and the yellow light is still on, they can either go back to sleep or play or read quietly until the light turns blue. This has been an amazing, life changing product for our family. I know it’s a little pricey, but for me it is worth every penny!
QUIET TIME ACTIVITIES
Adult Supervision (ages 3&up)
Whenever I don’t know where to turn or what to do, I go to my mom or do yoga. Yoga has saved my life in the past when going through tragic events or just trying to explore how to navigate my future. My yoga training in Austin was life changing and I’m so happy to share my passion of yoga!
I teach virtual yoga classes and have videos for sale, check them out:
When I became pregnant with the second set of twins, I discovered our city’s local Jazz Music Radio Station which plays a nice combination of classic jazz and modern jazz. It was so soothing to me while I was pregnant that I didn’t change the station for two years! Now, when driving, I only listen to Jazz which is calming but also makes me feel two generations older than I am. I still have memories of my grandparents driving me as a child and they listened to exclusively Jazz in the car. Now, my kids even know how to request it on our Amazon device, “Alexa, play Jazz Music”. I love the way many jazz songs highlight different instruments and the kids and I can talk about the different instruments we hear, in the car or at home.
We use the Amazon unlimited music for 7.99/month. It’s awesome! We listen every day, they have everything you can think of and you can just tell your device what to play! “Alexa, play kid music by Lisa Loeb” or at nap time, “Alexa, play soft jazz.” I love that it is so easy to incorporate music into your daily life. Sometimes I think of a song I loved from a long time ago like “Lightning Crashes” or “There is So Much More” and since it popped in my head and I’m holding a baby, I can still play it, using voice command. I also love that it is completely Ad free and you can listen offline with unlimited skips. It even includes podcasts which is nice, too if you want to catch up on your favorite show. This is a nice way to catch up on the news or a favorite talk show without the unnecessary screen time. Click the link below to get Amazon Unlimited Music with a 30 day free trial. This is another thing that improves our life and in our mind is worth every penny!
Back To School
How Do You Do It?
Kathleen is a mom of three sets of spontaneous twins.