Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wake up call

I'm curious: how do you wake up in the morning? Are you at the mercy of a baby's cry? Does a toddler start talking to you three inches from your face? Do you set an alarm for yourself?

It varies quite a bit for me. Sometimes I wake to the sound of my two year old shouting from his crib at my three year old to "get mommy!!!!!!" Usually I wake to my three year old pounding the mattress until I sit up. On rare occasions, when the stars align, the boys will let me sleep in until my husband's alarm for work. (Ahh yes, I never thought I'd consider 6:25 to be sleeping in.)

In an ideal world, I would set my alarm an hour before the kids get up, make myself a cup of a coffee, work out in front of the morning news, and read a bit before cheerfully greeting my boys. In reality, I just stay up too late the night before so the whole waking up early thing never happens (even though I'm actually a morning person!) The other reason is that my kids don't get up at a consistent time every day, even though bedtime is always at the same time. So I don't want to set my alarm at 5:30 for some "me time" just to find out that - surprise! - the boys are up at 5:20 today. And I can't bring myself to set my alarm for 4:30, the only safe time to set it when I'd be sure no one would bother me. I just.... can't.

I've heard of a possible solution... have you ever used an "OK to Wake" alarm?

Like this one:

The gist of it is that the clock will glow yellow all night and when it's okay for them to wake up and get out of their room, the light will change to green. You can program it to whatever time you want, and supposedly it's great for naps, too.Have you ever tried one of these for your kids? I'd love to know if it works before I spend the money on it (better yet I'd love to borrow yours for a week to be extra sure!) In either case, I'd love to hear about your typical wake up call!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

We're All Bad Moms!

I saw this and had to share! It's nice to poke fun at ourselves once in a while, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Teaching Empathy

Our MOPS speaker this morning, Kristie Christie from Compassion International, did a wonderful job talking to us about the importance of raising kids to have empathy. I hope you got a chance to hear her!

It got me thinking about practical ways that I can teach my toddlers to think about others, to start them on the path to empathy even as young as 2 and 3 years old. I came across this fantastic resource from Harvard's "Making Caring Common" project. They give five tips, with three or so practical (easy/doable) things you can do right now. It's an easy read and I highly recommend it!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Last Minute Valentines Treat

I have a very easy Valentine's Day treat to share with you! Whether you're getting ready for a special play date (like I was) or bringing in a snack to your child's classroom, these are highly recommended. It's so easy even your toddler can help!

All you need are pretzel rods and funfetti frosting with sprinkles:

Step 1: Empty the sprinkles onto a paper plate (I used extra sprinkles from the Target dollar bins)
Step 2: Dip a pretzel rod straight down into the container of frosting.
Step 3: Roll the pretzel in the spinkles.


We call these Valentines Sprinklers. We also made them for Christmas and called them Christmas sprinklers, and I expect that we'll make them again for the 4th of July :)

My boys loved making these AND eating these!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Good Intentions

A Brief List of Good Intentions That Have Led to Nowhere:

1. Sorting and purging the stuff in my garage
2. Cardio Exercise 
3. Washing the sheets 
4. Keeping my arts and crafts supplies organized
5. Taking out the recycling
6. Getting eight hours of sleep
7. Hanging up those picture frames
8. Updating the MOPS blog

Right around the first of the year, I vowed to blog here once a week. And as I soon found out, thinking about blogging is much different than actually blogging. If I accomplished just HALF of all the stuff I think about doing, I would be on top of my game! Case in point: I thought about doing soooo much housework during naptime today. But then my three year old wanted to cuddle while he watched cartoons. And I can't say no to cuddling. Especially since he'll never be three again! So while my house might not be clean, I got some valuable one-on-one time with my son.

Similarly, though the blog has been sadly neglected for a while, our little MOPS community has been thriving and growing! We've had some excellent speakers, a fun play date, and a fabulous girl's night out so far in 2016. Our calendar is filled with lots of great events to look forward to, as well!

Even so, my good intentions remain: I'd like to blog here at least once a week. And in order to make that *actually* happen, I'm doing the following things:
1. Telling you! Writing down a goal is half the work, right?
2. Keeping an ongoing list of possible blog topics on my phone.
3. Setting a weekly deadline.
4. Begging Asking members for guest posts.

I aim for this online space to be useful/inspiring/encouraging/funny/practical. A bit of everything really. If you'd like to contribute a guest post for us, let me know! You can shoot me an email at sarahbutterfield [at] gmail [dot] com or talk to me at our next MOPS event. 

In the meantime, I have a few posts I've been meaning to share with you, so stay tuned!