Painting Eggs – Our Easter Tradition

So much gets lost in translation with consumerism during religious holidays. Easter has become nothing more than bunnies, egg hunts, toys, chocolates, unwrapping chocolate toys and overstuffed baskets of more toys and chocolates.

We haven’t fallen for most of this hype and do try hard to keep the reason for the Easter season in the forefront.

The church that we have been attending since our move had a great Good Friday program for the kids and both Lily and Thomas came back with lots to report. Thomas was especially excited to tell us that JESUS LIVES! he didn’t die… he lives!

We tried to dye eggs last week and both kids lost interest really quickly and really just wanted to play with the colored water more than dying eggs. Lily and I started painting eggs a few years ago. We would boil the eggs and then get out the watercolors and acrylics and just paint. I love this tradition and hope to hold on to it for years to come. We sit at the kitchen table with our cup of tea, eggs, paints, brushes and chat. Golden moments of tween insight!

The biggest news for the year is that this year we have a new Easter Bunny – L I L Y! It’s bitter-sweet. She sorta knew the truth and wouldn’t let me talk about the bunny anymore so I final told her the real deal and she’s had such fun shopping for sweet treats and bubbles for Thomas’ basket.

Another tradition that we have is planting flowers around the yard during Easter weekend. The kids and Matt went to the local nursery and bought a few flowers, but the ground is still sorta frozen so we have to wait a bit to plant. But the flowers are here and we did some yard work and refilled all the bird feeders. This afternoon there was a bright red cardinal who was busy collecting materials to build his nest and Thomas and I watched him for a while as he hopped around and foraged for his supplies. We’ve been waking up to the loud chirping of birds every morning and I don’t mind it at all. like clockwork around 5:45/6am… the birds are up!  I am so ready for spring!

 We came home to find that Jonah had rummaged through the trash to pick out the chicken bones from the previous nights dinner.

Me: Oh goodness Jonah! You are going to die if you eat all these chicken bones! 

Thomas: (without missing a single beat) He’s not going to die mom! We will just put him in a cage ( cave) and he will come back to life. 

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Happy Easter Everyone.

 

 

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Favorite Easter Basket Picks

It’s time for filling up our Easter baskets and I wanted to share a few creative and NON-CANDY ideas for the perfectly balanced basket with my Favorite Easter Basket Picks.

Lily knows the truth about ole E.B and this year she gets to be in on the fun and has been helping me collect a few things for the baskets.  I am not one for candy filled baskets, I try to keep the sugary treats to a minimum to avoid a massive sugar crash later in the day.  So for parents who are torn on giving into the sugar hype of it all …. here are some Easter Basket picks I know you will like.

  1. Kites – Kites are the BEST gift and every year we sneak a themed kite into the basket!
  2. Bubbles – This is a year round outdoor toy. Even in the snow… you can find us blowing bubbles!
  3. Stickers – You can never have enough stickers especially with toddlers. Thomas is getting dinosaur stickers and Lily is getting Shopkins stickers.
  4. Puzzles – A small box of puzzles is also a MUST for a sweet basket.
  5. Chocolate Bunny – I don’t have to tell you that every Easter Basket needs a Chocolate hollow bunny… right!
  6. Jelly Beans – Jelly Beans are Easter Bunny poop… but you knew that! How could you NOT include these!
  7. Butterfly Net – It’s springtime after all and a butterfly net not only makes for charming pictures but kids will spend a good amount of time running around trying to catch a butterfly!
  8. Art Supplies – Every basket needs art supplies – Sidewalk chalk, crayons, watercolors anything to get the kids making art.
  9. Gardening Supplies – The kids are each getting their own shovel, rake and watering can. Lily gets a metal version and Thomas is a small kids plastic set.
  10. Plants – a small bag of seeds for kids to plant is always such a treat. My kids immediately plant them in the ground and within days we have sprouts! Here in NY the ground is still frozen so this year a small potted plant is part is included.

Have fun making your baskets hope you found this helpful!

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on parenting: You Are Not Alone

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Parenting is a lonely road. I know you can look at it from the outside and think the very opposite. There is no shortage of  online content that gives parenting a glossy – no pain no gain- kinda feel.

But it’s lonely.

And while mom groups run rampant  and moms wearing tutus running through colored powder make you feel like – yea this is going to be my ‘mom life’.

It’s lonely.

The glossy is just that… glossy.

I have a 3-year-old and a tween. I’m in the throes of it folks. And the truth is the support network for a toddler is vastly larger than that for a tween. It’s almost as if people, society, family, friends forget that parenting a tween is also parenting. You are not out of the weeds… you are actually JUST. ENTERING. THE. FOREST.

Parenting is lonely and it’s rough and stressful and the hardest part for me is that being a parent – this editorial glorious status – has stripped me of my realness.

I forget who I am most days. I forget that I am this creative being, this spontaneous human, this artistic force. I forget that I am the me that I liked.

And this is a hard truth to realize.

Many parents, like me, are going through this. We have forgotten our fun, we have left behind our sense of danger and excitement and somehow have found ourselves in a place where we are rushing frantically to keep feeding and bedtime schedules while shielding ourselves from the onslaught of hormonal meltdowns and the tween years. And reading every article on homework, balance and parenting your child.

It’s lonely.

I have my tiny crew of mama beasts – two –  who check in with each other in the evenings to see if we are all ok. Did you make it… how was evening? It’s that kind of parenting. And you will find this familiar if you are parenting a tween or toddler. It doesn’t get easier it gets complicated because you have to reason with your child/tween  as an adult while they are behaving like a child – as is their ageist right! 

Most nights I go to bed feeling utterly defeated. I feel like I did it all wrong. Did I rob yet another day of childhood from my child by punishing them for back talk or classic age appropriate attitude, did I not engage enough, or sing them that ‘ one more song’ they so desperately pleaded for.

It’s lonely. 

But you know what… I don’t want this to be a surprise pity party … because I want to tell you… you are not alone.

You are NOT alone. Don’t believe the parenting glossy mag hype. Turn off your Instagram feed of perfectly pictured babes and hot moms staring into the vastness that is their insta feed and begging for your likes, because even in their parental grief they look perfect right.  That was a filter and a ton of work to get that glossy idea of parenting across.

But there are no filters in parenting. I mean we are all, in the end, doing the very best by educating ourselves, trying to find that O.G. that used to once live inside somewhere , and wearing baggy night-clothes just waiting for bedtime to be done so we can get on with it… for tomorrow.

Hug a parent would you. If you know a parent, especially a parent of a tween, hug them. Send them a message that says – you got this– the forest is ahead but on the other side is the next chapter and you will get there!

We are ok you guys… You are not alone.

 

*image via unsplash*

 

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Johnson’s 3-Step Bedtime Routine

A baby sleeps a total of 13 months by the time they are 2 years of age.

I know… tell this to the sleep deprived new parents across the globe and they will laugh you out of the nursery!

Tonight we Sleep Johnsons

Any new parent will tell you that all they ever want is SLEEP. Heck… my kids ate 3 and 11 and I STILL ask for a day of sleep for every occasion!

Sleepless parents and newborns go hand in hand. While Thomas and Lily are both past the sleep training stages, we still maintain a bedtime routine for consistency, keeping everyone on schedule and claming down before sleep.

When Thomas was a baby, seems like just yesterday, we had many many M A N Y sleepless nights. He didn’t cry but was just awake and ready to play. A bedtime routine was established early on to help with his sleep. But still, as babies hit growth milestones every few weeks, sleep patterns are disrupted and change. It’s important for babies to have a consistent schedule that repeats everyday. This way there are no hidden bedtime surprises. A consistent bedtime routine also helps us when we travel. Our family loves to travel and we would keep our bedtime routine in tact for a smooth transition in our adventurous locale.

Last week I attended an event with Johnson’s to celebrate their new 3 Step Sleep Routine and the launch of their brand new globally inspired lullaby – Tonight We Sleep. As a frequent contributor in the baby/ parenting space, i was thrilled to be there and hear first hand from the Johnson’s research team.

The list of sleep benefits for child and parent go one but some research points that stood out were pretty eye-opening. The growth hormone is released when babies sleep, thus nighttime teething pains. How about a good night’s sleep benefits babies socially and helping them stay focused. One of the biggest take away points was that babies develop an internal clock at 12 weeks. Thus having a sleep routine in place is vital. Of course the sleep benefits for parents, especially mothers or the primary caregiving parent, is vast. Parents who sleep well are happier, reduce chances of depression, are social and all around well-balanced especially during the infant stages.

So Johnsons has developed a 3 Step Sleep Routine to help babies go to sleep and offer parents much-needed down time.

STEP ONE: WARM BATH.  My kids love bath time. A warm bath with soothing moisturizing scents helps set up the tone for the routine.

STEP TWO: MASSAGE I need a daily step two massage in my bedtime routine too! A moisturizing lotion for after bath massage helps stimulate the skin, relaxes baby and is great for bonding.

STEP THREE: QUIET TIME A lullaby and a book. We have a toy that sets up a starry projection on the ceiling, calming music and a short book. Reading to your child is essential to their learning and music certainly tames the bedtime worries.

Johnson’s also released a new lullaby – Tonight We Sleep –  inspired by global sounds. Most fascinating was the attention to details, this piece of music takes the rhythm of mom’s heartbeat as baby hears it in the womb, adding percussion, static noise, ocean and rainforest sounds, and vocals made this beautiful lullaby complete.

Sleep is vital and challenging for some babies. But helping set up good routines keep both baby and parent healthy and happy!

 

*This post was sponsored by Johnson’s Baby and the Motherhood* 

 

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A Day at Muscoot Farm

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The weather has finally warmed up enough for us to throw on some coats and boots and headed off to the farm. The kids and I have been stir crazy and have been craving a good ole afternoon at our local farm. Muscoot Farm, is just a couple of miles from our house and it’s our go-to on any given day for hiking, farm chores, and saying hello to all the animals. IMG_1670   IMG_1749 IMG_1769-0 Muscoot Farm

I used to take Lily to this farm when she was younger and it’s been a treat to be back in the area for Thomas and his own farm adventures.

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Some of the pictures… the ones with the leaves… are from a trip to Muscoot in November. But I came across them while writing this and had to share. Thomas loves this farm and we love to support it. From the farmers market on weekends, the kids programming, Maple Sugaring, fairy gardens, farm chores… all of it. There is something for every age and never a dull moment.

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It was still a bit cold this week, but we managed. The trees were all being tapped for maple syrup and there were babies in the barn. Thomas is at eye level with all the animal private bits so this makes for constant, interesting, non-filtered, commentary for all to enjoy.

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Although the ponds were frozen it didn’t stop us from our favorite activity… throwing things into the water. This time we threw ice chunks into the water and watched them bounce all across the pond.

I’m so excited for the week ahead. We have temps in the 50’s and 60’s which means it’s flip-flop weather right!

We barely even had a winter over here and i’m still eagerly awaiting the warmer weather. Just thinking about flip flops, shorts, no jackets, no snow boots, no socks… enough to make a gal do a little summertime dance!

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