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The Imperfect Homemaker

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

15 Independent Activities for One Year Olds

I have been preparing for the coming homeschool year, and it dawned on me that I will have a one year old to keep busy during homeschool hours!  He is a busy guy too - always into everything.  I went on the hunt for some activities that will be safe for him to do without supervision.  I'm hoping these will be exciting enough to him that he will keep himself occupied for a while.  If the pictures are not self-explanatory, you can check out the link under each one to find tutorials on how to make these activities. 

Make your own texture book

Peek-a-boo tray from shoebox lid

Baby Play Bottle

Buckle clipping toy

Treasure baskets

Tissue box stuffed with fabric squares

Nesting bowls

Muffin tin sorting

Putting balls through a tissue box

Velcro board

Tearing Paper

Playing with magnets

Placing objects in a large container

Tactile exploration cards
Pipe cleaners in a bottle

If you have any more great ideas for activities that would fit this age group, please let us know in the comments! Be sure you're subscribed to email updates or follow me on Facebook to keep up with more posts like this one!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anti-Procrastination Challenge: Gettin' Messy!

This probably makes me a horrible mom, but I am always hesitant to let my kids do certain things because I dread the mess it will create.  (Let me clarify, I dread cleaning up the mess it will create!)  My list of I-rarely-say-yes-to-doing-this activities includes play-dough, playing in the rain, playing in the dirt/mud, painting, and more.  I realize that all of these activities are some of the best memories I have of my own childhood.  How much fun can a kid have without doing those things?  I keep telling myself that I will let them do more of it when they're older and can help more with clean-up.

But, seeing as how this is anti-procrastination year and all, I decided that today was the day I was going to surprise the socks flip-flops off the kids by telling them I would get the kiddie pool out for them.  Last year I kept putting them off because I "didn't have time" to clean the dirt off from storage, blow it up, and ultimately clean up dripping wet kids.  The whole summer ended up going by and we never got the pool out one time.  Shameful, isn't it?  But you have time for what you make time for, right?  And there's nobody more important that I should be making time for than my kids, even if that means it's not totally convenient for me.

So here we are getting things set up.  It wasn't too bad yet at this point.  I put the baby in his inflatable bath tub because I was afraid the older kids were going to get too wild and hurt him if I put him in with them.

But he saw how much fun they were having, crawled out of his tub, across the grass, and into the pool with them.  What did I say about the other kids being too wild?  See the bottles of water in their hands?  They were headed straight for the baby's head, and landed there about a second after I snapped this picture!  (Oh, and don't you just love the shirt I drew on my oldest?  My artistic abilities are amazing, I know!)

Did they make a mess?  Most definitely!  It was interesting trying to figure out what to do with three soaking wet kids when I could only bathe and dry one of them at a time.  Leaving them outside by themselves is not an option in the house where we currently live.  I ended up making them stand in the laundry room while I took them in one by one and bathed them as fast as I could.  Then there was the fun part of draining the pool and rinsing out all the dirt and grass, setting it out to dry, cleaning up all the toys, and washing wet towels and clothes. 

Did they have fun?  Absolutely!  Of course the first thing they asked when we came in was, "Can we go swimming again tomorrow?"

We just might, little ones.  Mommy had a whole lot of fun out there too.  I think the mess was worth watching your happy faces!

Your turn!  What is it that you've been putting off because you don't want to deal with the mess?  Whether it's something fun with the kids, a household project, cooking supper (ha!) or whatever else, it's time to get it done.

If you're just now joining our Anti-Procrastination challenge, you can read all the details here. Be sure you're subscribed to email updates or follow me on Facebook to receive each new challenge!     


Monday, June 18, 2012

Anti-Procrastination Challenge: Thinking Ahead

One thing that I am horrible about is thinking that I have plenty of time to get something done.  Before I know it, the event has sneaked up on me and I am hanging out to dry.  (Insert head hanging in shame here as I admit that Father's Day was a day of "Oh, yeah, it's Father's Day.  I really meant to have a gift ready for you, but I didn't get it ready in time.")

So, today I am thinking ahead to things that are coming up and trying to go ahead and prepare even though it seems like I have plenty of time. 

I spent most of the morning doing lesson plans for the upcoming school year.  I can't believe I'm going to be a homeschooling mom!  Somehow that makes me feel old.  I've got the first 12 weeks of kindergarten almost completely prepared.  I want to prepare ahead of time for activities for my 2 year old as well so that I'm not getting frustrated as I try to think of things for her to do.  I'll use my list of 15 self-directed activites for toddlers, but I also want to have some educational worksheets ready for her that correspond with what Little Bear is learning in school. 

Your turn!  Can you think of anything coming up for which you need to prepare.  Maybe it seems like you have plenty of time, but it's better to go ahead and get it done instead of letting it sneak up on you.

If you're just now joining our Anti-Procrastination challenge, you can read all the details here. Be sure you're subscribed to email updates or follow me on Facebook to receive each new challenge!        


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Anti-Procrastination Challenge: Little Fingerprints

I've been trying to tackle ever-so-tiny things around the house since I haven't had any energy.  I've also been trying to think of things I can make the kids do for me. :) 

You know all the smudges that show up on doorknobs and light switches?  In my house, with 3 little ones running/crawling around, they also show up on walls, windows, furniture, you name it.  And they're usually not just smudges from body oils.  They're more like peanut butter, snot, spit-up, plain old dirt, and who knows what else? 

I figured that if they're going to make that mess, they can help clean it up!  Let me tell you something that mother-in-law got me last Christmas that is absolutely perfect for the kids.  It's called a KAYWOS cloth.  You can clean mirrors and windows with it, using only water.  It cleans them beautifully and is totally lint and streak-free! 

The reason these are perfect for kids is that I can just wet the cloth for them and turn them loose to clean.  I don't have to worry about their using a spray bottle and getting chemicals in their eyes or soaking the house by spraying too much. 

Yesterday I was able to get the bathroom scrubbed while they worked on cleaning windows, mirrors, doorknobs, and walls.  They always do a good job, especially when there is a monetary incentive involved. 

Your turn!  Go get those fingerprint smudges cleaned up.  If you've got kids, this is a project for them!

If you're just now joining our Anti-Procrastination challenge, you can read all the details here. Be sure you're subscribed to email updates or follow me on Facebook to receive each new challenge!       


Monday, June 11, 2012

Still Tired

I updated you after my doctor's appointment and told you that I was waiting for the results of my blood work to come back.  Well, a few days ago I got a note in the mail that said "The results of your bloodwork are normal.  Continue taking B vitamins."  "That's it?!" I thought.  What about the heart palpitations?  B vitamins are not going to help my heart any, and I've been taking vitamins and they're not helping the tiredness! 

I decided to call the doctor's office and see if they would let me speak to the doctor so I could ask her what she thought I should do besides taking B vitamins.  I can't just continue to ignore the heart palpitations.  This has been going on for 3 years.  I've got to get it checked out, but I don't really want to start over with another doctor.  I want the doctor I already went to to tell me what to do next.  They said they would make a note for her to call me.

 It's 3:05 p.m., and I need to be in the kitchen by 3:30 to fix dinner.  We have VBS tonight, so we have to eat an early dinner.  My husband I are teaching 2's and 3's like we have many other years. They wear me out!  I want to take a little nap before I make dinner, but the doctor will probably call as soon as I lie down.

I'm still going to try to sneak in a little nap.  I can hardly even think straight.

I'll try to give another update when I hear anything else.        


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fireman Fun

We've had a great time these past few days enjoying some time away.  Unfortunately I did an absolutely horrible job taking pictures.  I guess I got a little too relaxed.

Our four-year-old absolutely adores firemen.  He has fireman dress-up clothes that he wears all the time and is always saying he wants to be a fireman when he grows up.  When we came across this firehouse museum we knew we had to take him to see it. 

This was a victorian-era firehouse that had been restored.  The firefighters were anybody and everybody who heard the alarm.  Every house was mandated to have their own fire buckets, and the men would grab them and run to the fire house.  The horses stayed in stables in the back of the fire house, and they were trained to walk to the front of the fire wagon and wait when they heard an alarm.  Pulleys above the horses would lower their harnesses onto them, and the firemen could be out the door within 45 seconds.  The alarms rang in code telling the men at which house number there was a fire.  It would repeat itself over and over because someone might miss the beginning of it.  There was also a big church-type bell in the very top that they would ring so that the whole town could hear it. 

In the back of the museum were all sorts of vintage fire trucks, and there were other displays of old uniforms and other paraphernalia.  I expected Little Bear to love seeing all the firetrucks, but I actually found the museum to be quite fascinating myself.

If the Lord wants him to be a fireman when he grows up, I'll be happy with that.  I'll be even more happy if he gives his life telling others how they can be saved from the fires of hell.  Who knows what will be in store for this little guy? 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quick Health Update

I'm just coming in from the doctor, and I thought I'd let everybody know what is going on.  She said she could definitely hear an irregular heartbeat, but the first step is took take a look at the bloodwork and check my thyroid.  I should hear something back by Monday.  So in the meantime, I'll just wait and pray.  If it is a thyroid problem, I will definitely be doing some research, because I'm not really wanting to be on medication long-term.  But, there's no sense in thinking about that now until I know something for sure.  Thank you to everyone who has asked about me, sent emails, and left comments.  I appreciate it very much!