Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tech Tickets; or, how to pry the video game controller out of your kid's deformed, claw-like hands

Summer drags on. There's still a whole month of it left! My kids are BORED, you guys.

Boredom = too much screen time. It's mathematical fact. We start out the day with cartoons, and then it's hot and I've got stuff to do and suddenly it's noon and I'm like wait, are you guys seriously still on the couch?? So we turn it off and then 4 minutes later they're SO BORED MOM THERE'S NOTHING TO DO PLEASE CAN I JUST PLAY TEMPLE RUN ON YOUR PHONE PLEASE PLEASE!

Now. We still use our Bored Jar pretty consistently, and it does work. But still, it's a constant battle of "No, no more TV. No, you cannot play on my phone. No, you don't need to play the Wii again." Yesterday the 7 year old took the Bored Jar around the corner and MAGICALLY pulled the ONE slip that involves playing video games. AMAZING!

So I hit up Pinterest and came across some good ideas for screen time management, including Technology Tickets. I didn't invent the idea, there are lots of much better and more imaginative bloggers out there who shared their awesomeness first. My favorite was this one from Mudpies and Makeup. I borrowed some of her ideas and put my own spin on them, to make them fit our family. She has a free printable over there, though, if you're interested! I totally don't. I'm not that handy, and I'm not that helpful.*

I chose to give them each 12 tickets at the start of the week. This is because we're normally not home on Sundays, so it's the other 6 days of the week I'm worried about. Twelve tickets gives them an hour a day for those 6 days. I didn't want them to have to earn every ticket so I'm giving them an hour a day to start, but we will be using them as a discipline tool, too. And knowing my feisty 7 year old, she may lose more tickets than she uses at first. BUT I built in some ways to earn them back, or to earn extras, by doing educational or helpful activities around the house. WIN-WIN.

To make the Tech Tickets "board":

I designed the rule sheet, printed it on card stock, then made the tickets and cute little library pockets with my Silhouette Cameo and scrapbook paper. If you have a Silhouette, I used this file for the tickets (I chose to fill them and print them, then just cut them out with scissors because my Silhouette machine was doing other things and I was too impatient to wait and use it to cut them all nice and pretty). I laminated them for extra strength, then used this file to make the pockets out of scrapbook paper that looked like lined paper (I had to resize the pockets somewhat to fit my tickets). I cut the names in vinyl using a typewritery font, and stuck them on the pockets.

Then I just glued the rules sheet and the pockets to a piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper and hung it up in the kitchen. I thought about adding a third pocket for "used" tickets, but then I wised up and realized we'd better put them up somewhere out of reach to ensure nobody tries to...recycle. Yeah, Bianca is a sneaky one. We're working on it. Don't judge.

Jack is only 2, but he loves to do everything just like his sister, so he'll like turning in his own tickets. He's big enough to ask for my phone constantly, so I guess he's big enough to go get a ticket and hand it over first!

So. Today is day 1 of the Great Tech Ticket Experiment, and I'm at work (on my lunch break! Calm down!). So the O.G. is home with the kiddos and I guess I'll find out when I get home whether it worked. :)

Why am I expecting to come home to find all the tickets either used up or lost?

*UPDATE!! So many of you asked that I went ahead and made myself helpful after all. You can download the pdf of my sign here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Always Have a Clean House

I came across this on Pinterest. I'm not sure who I'm following on Pinterest who would Pin such a thing, but rest assured I am going to address that as soon as I'm done here.

source (I'm sure she's lovely, and she should know that I'm only doing this out of jealousy.)

I decided that I should make my own, more realistic version. Feel free to Pin it to your "Good Housekeeping" board. You are so. welcome.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Look who's back

My lovelies. My beautiful bloggy lovelies. I miss you so much.

You out there? Roll call, please!!!! Check in!

I've strayed from my blogging roots, forced into neglect of my first love when my Etsy shop became suddenly and inexplicably HUGELY POPULAR.

And frankly, Etsy customers pay me actual cash money, and you guys...well, you don't.

That's ok. I love you anyway! (But if you're moved to send me cash, I won't turn it down. Email me.)

But my shop has become too much for little ol' me so I'm taking a hiatus. This is what you'll see if you try to shop there (and if you're like everybody else on the planet, I'm pretty sure you're attempting to shop there RIGHT NOW, aren't you??).

There are a few things I'd like to accomplish in my down time. They include things like upgrading from Etsy to a legit all-on-my-own website, rebranding some aspects of my business, rethinking my inventory and production systems to increase efficiency, sleeping from time to time, reading a book for pleasure, reintroducing myself to my friends, getting a mani/pedi, and guess what? BLOGGING.

Yeah, baby.

Oh, and potty training the Monster. Remember him? Remember my little squishy faced baby boy?

Yeah he's almost 3. Kid needs to learn how to use the potty. It's time.

Aw yeah. Lighting McQueen underwear. Spoiler alert: This was a terrible idea. Back to Pull-Ups for awhile, yo.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Open Letter to the Jerk in the Blue Car in my Kid's School Parking Lot

Dear Jerk in the Blue Car in my Kid's School Parking Lot,

There's something we need to discuss. I'm writing you out of concern. Concern for your health and safety.

You are dangerously close to being dragged out of your car and murdered in an elementary school parking lot, so please listen to what I have to say before it's too late.

Are you familiar with the school pick up line? No? See, that's funny, because you and I both navigate this line each and every day. You did know there were other people picking up their children at 3:00, right? We all form a line. Let me illustrate.

See the jerk in the blue car? That's you.

It's a line, Jerk in the Blue Car. There's an order to it. We all wait our turn. This is how civilized society operates. See, we all enter the parking lot through one small driveway. Then we pick up our children, and then we circle around the rest of the parking lot until we get to the other driveway. And then we exit.

But not you! You have another strategy entirely, don't you?
What...what are you doing??

This is where things get weird, Jerk in the Blue Car! We're all sitting in line, and then suddenly, your blue car just...gets out of line!

Yes, I know you have already picked up your child. I see that. I saw him climb into the backseat of your blue car. This was before I knew you were a jerk. Does your child know this about you, jerk? Is he a jerk as well? Is this some kind of jerk training program you're running?

Why are you turning? Do you not see the 9 other cars in line in front of you? You may not realize this, but we also have picked up our children and probably have other places to be. Yes, I see that there's a big gap between the parked cars, large enough for your car to fit through. But...I just...DO YOU NOT SEE US HERE?
No! No! Why are you doing that? Are you really doing that? You're really doing that! You're such a jerk!
 Why?? Do you seriously not see all these other cars, waiting patiently??

What's that? You need to get to the bank? Oh, ok. Well, I personally was planning to just pick up my child and then hang out here in this parking lot for the rest of the afternoon. So I can see that your need to exit this parking lot 3 minutes faster is definitely more urgent than anything I have going on.
And look! You have a friend! Did you pay this guy? Threaten his children? I don't understand why he's letting you get in front of him, as if crossing the parking lot in this chaotic manner is a legit route to the exit.
You need to stop this. You're a jerk. Please. Just stop, before somebody (not necessarily me, I mean, anybody could do it) snaps and flies across the parking lot in a fit of rage and tears your car to pieces. I'm just saying.

Think about it.


Monday, October 1, 2012

A warning to my laundry.

Fair Warning.

If you are fabric in my house that is not nailed down, you will be put through the washing machine when you become dirty. And you will become dirty. This is certain.

If you have one of those fussy, entitled tags demanding you be "hand washed only" or even "dry cleaned only" (in the case of the latter, I don't know how you got here in the first place, and I'm sorry for the things you're about to see), you may be afforded the luxury of the "delicates" cycle, if I'm in a generous mood. But you will be washed.

Most of you will make it through just fine.

And those of you who don't? I'm sorry, but trust me when I say it's for the best. This ain't the life for you, princess.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Personalized Trick or Treat Buckets

One of my best sellers over the summer was my personalized beach buckets. I made so many of them and they were just so fun to do.

Custom Beach Bucket, $10.

Well, summer's over and I still have lots of buckets! The nice thing about these is they can be used for so much more than just the beach. I mean, it's a bucket! Use it to store toys or craft supplies, use it as a fun alternative to a gift bag at your next birthday party.

Or, of course, add a spooky design and give it to your kid to fill up with candy on Halloween! You guys know how much I love Halloween. Remember Gnarles? Gnarles is ready to come out and play again! STAY TUNED! Seriously. Stay tuned, or he will find you.

Anyway. :) This is what the Princess (who seems to believe she's dressing not as a princess, but as a vampire this year!) will be trick or treating with:

Your kids can have one too! $10

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I love that kid.

This morning my daughter told me she'd found a dragonfly wing in our back yard.

"I knew it was a dragonfly wing because it was really big, and an oval, and it was shiny like a dragonfly. I put it in my science bowl."

"You have a science bowl?"

"Yes! Well, really it's a Tupperware. I keep it in the back yard."

"What do you put in your science bowl?"

"Cool stuff I find that I want to check out! Like my dragonfly wing. And I put some flowers in there so I can take apart the pollen and discover what's inside. Or like, I found some blue bark at school. Blue bark! So I put it in my backpack. I think it's still in there! I need to put that in my science bowl."


Near the end of the summer, she read Pinkalicious and the Pink Drinkand decided that she needed to have a lemonade stand.

So, we had a lemonade stand. On possibly the hottest day of the year.

She killed it.

She waved and smiled and COMPELLED cars to stop. She chatted people up. She up-sold them and convinced them they needed popcorn to go with their lemonade, or maybe they needed TWO cups, because it was soooo hot.

This child made $30. Selling lemonade for 25 cents a cup and popcorn for 25 cents a bag. THIRTY. DOLLARS.

Yeah. That's how I roll.

She used the money to buy a Monster High doll. And now she wants to be a vampire for Halloween. When did the Princess stage end? I wasn't ready.


She's in first grade now. The Monster turned 2 last week and I was kind of ok with that; he seemed ready to be 2. But my kids' birthdays are 6 months apart, which means when he turned 2, she turned 6 AND A HALF. That I wasn't ready for. Six hit me hard and it can't already be half over, can it? And then what? She turns 7? Preposterous.

Sigh. I love that kid.

*affiliate link, yo