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Peter Pan Themed Kids Room

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Peter Pan is one of those stories that I read as a kid and really resonated with me.  I loved the idea of flying through the London sky on my way to Neverland. In some ways I still feel like I am forever that little kid trapped inside an aging body looking for that moment to fly to  that “second star to the right, and straight on till morning”. When I had Drake I imagined him as a Lost Boy finding his way home and all the lovely mischief and delight that Peter would be able to show him. I always thought a Peter Pan room for a little boy would be such a fun theme. Drake is getting older so I’m mostly looking for little details I can add to the room while not making it too young for him. I’m hoping he can grow with the room and always embrace the magic I feel the story of Peter Pan embodies. Here are some ideas I found while browsing Etsy to add those magical touches to his room.

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I love this Peter Pan Lightbox (the Harry Potter one is beautiful too) but the price is some what prohibitive – this Peter Pan Shadow Box is also pretty awesome.

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7+ More Chapter Book Series for Preschoolers

Lion’s love for chapter books has definitely taken off, and we read one with him almost every night. We thought this meant that we could check out fewer books from the library, but when I checked our account recently, we had 96 books checked out, 5 of which were ones that Mr. Dolphin and I were reading, the remaining 91 were ones the kids picked out. The majority of them are still picture books — probably 70 or so — and the rest are chapter books or graphic novels.

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We started our chapter book adventure with the Commander Toad series when Lion was 2.5 years old, accidentally ordering one from the library not realizing it was a chapter book. We then quickly followed up with the Magic Tree House series, which I picked in part because of its long popularity. Lion loves these books and any time he hears the word “Pennsylvania,” he gets excited and exclaims, “That’s where Jack and Annie are from!” (Jack and Annie are the two main characters from the book).

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Five Friday Favorites – June 22, 2018

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Now that summer is in full swing, the Ice Cream family has been taking full advantage of the pool/water activities. We enrolled Max in Aqua Tots swim school a few months ago, and although it was rough the first few weeks, he is so much more comfortable in the water. Here are five things I’ve been loving!

1/ Indestructible Books

At 7 months, Zoe has entered the stage where she puts everything in her mouth! That combined with no sense of impending danger, means we are constantly scanning her surroundings for small objects/toy cars, or anything that she can break or eat. So my mother in law couldn’t have picked a better time to send us these indestructible books! And trust me, they are truly indestructible! Mr. Ice Cream and I spent a good 30 minutes trying to rip the book apart until we realized how ridiculous our efforts were. These books are not only impossible (we have yet to intentionally destroy them) to rip, but they can be washed in the washing machine! That is a winning combo for a baby who likes to chew everything then rub it on the ground and chew it again.

2/ Home Depot Kids Workshops

We started taking Max to these after he turned 3 and they are fantastic. If you don’t know about them, they are a free workshop that Home Depot offers for kids on the first Saturday of every month. The workshop suits a wide range of ages as it is up to the parent how much hammering to allow. At three, not much hammering was allowed, but not no hammering.

Home Depot Workshop

Home Depot Workshop

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Parenting Things I’m Proud Of

During my time at Hellobee, I’ve talked a lot about the things we’ve done that we’re not supposed to do, the skills I still need to work on, dealing with imposter syndrome, and other parenting mistakes and fears. But even with the knowledge that I’m not a perfect parent, that I get frustrated with my children, that I make mistakes every day — I am also proud of many things. I hope this post doesn’t come off as bragging (see above for many of the things I do wrong) or as criticizing parents who don’t make the same choices (I prioritize some things and let others slide; other parents make the opposite choices and we all only have so much bandwidth). I can be very hard on myself, as many mothers can be, thinking of everything we failed to do (and what skills my children still need to work on) instead of looking at the things we managed to accomplish. So I think it’s good to take a step back from being self-critical sometimes to acknowledge successes.

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Potty Training Number Two

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Is there anything worse than potty training? Seriously though. And especially when you’ve gone through it before so you know that it is going to be a long and sometimes frustrating process. With Little Bug, it has been par for the course, with the process taking a few months. But we are finally there, out of diapers during the day, and into underpants for the day.

I started with Little Bug at the beginning of this year, just doing some naked weekends. He was super inconsistent, which was to be expected, but after about two months of this, he started showing more signs that he was ready, so we decided to try a three day transition. Which failed miserably because he just wasn’t quite ready.

Fast forward to the beginning of May and I worked from home for a couple of Fridays to help push the transition. It was much easier for him to be asked constantly if he needed to use the toilet, so I started asking him every hour or so if he needed to use the potty. He was pretty good about telling me if he needed to go after two days of this, so I backed off and let him start telling me. By the end of the second week, he was pretty consistently going in the potty, so we decided it was time to change to underwear. This was a BIG day for him, he loves his underpants and being a big boy.

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The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Cleaning House

When I signed off on being a SAHM, I was totally onboard for fun park days and teaching the kids colors, shapes, and animal sounds. I also knew I would be handling the majority of the tantrums, blow out diapers, and sibling fights. I was good with taking on those responsibilities. But I completely underestimated and, if I’m being honest, resented the whole keep the house clean thing. My husband definitely does his fair share, but with two kids at home the messes add up.

Some people are type A when it comes to organizing and cleaning – not me. The upside to this personality trait is I’ve hosted a thousand last-minute playdates and back yard barbeques, because good enough is good enough when it comes to cleaning. And many of my friends are not comfortable hosting unless their house is spotless. However, when our little guy began receiving in home therapy services, I realized I need to step up my house cleaning game, so I wouldn’t be embarrassed. Here’s my lazy woman’s guide to keeping a house clean with two kiddos in the house.

  • Clean when you have the energy. As a SAHM, the day is a marathon not a sprint. That means I do not spend my evening cleaning-up. I’m exhausted by then. What works for me is to get through the morning routine (off to school or breakfast and have the kids playing) then clean up the kitchen and the dishes from last night. By then, I’ve had some sleep, two coffees, and a lot patience. I don’t pick – up the house all day, except to toss things on the steps that have to go upstairs later. When late afternoon rolls around we usually do a house pick-up.  The kids still have energy to clean up their big messes and it’s not a battle before bedtime. That’s also when I clean up the kitchen again. My husband is the cook in our family, and I try to give him a clean space to work or start the food prep. The house doesn’t get too bad in the evening because we are usually going to activities or playing outside, with the exception of the kitchen. I scrape plates, soak dishes but I don’t clean everything up. This way I can relax with my husband and actually spend time together.
  • Simplify putting dishes away. We have plastic cups and plates for our kids and their friends to use. When it’s time to unload the dishwasher, I literally take the plastic cups and plates out, shake off the water droplets, and throw it into the bottom kitchen drawer. I do not spend anytime neatly stacking the kids’ cups and plates, because they will destroy my organized system in their frantic search for their favorite Lego cup. Bonus – the kids can put away their dishes easily and grab their own cups and plates.
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Beginning of a real summer

Although Toddler Pencil is at a full-time private school/daycare, I decided to opt out of the summer program. His school is very academic based, and I figure this is the last time he will be able to just hang out and do nothing as a kid. Next fall, he will be starting pre-K!

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My husband thinks I’m a little nuts for wanting to stay at home with both of the kids, but I’m a little excited! Baby Pencil is 9 months old and easy to travel with. I’m planning on wearing her while I take Toddler Pencil around with me. I signed up for the following summer activities:

  • Swimming classes once a week
  • My Gym classes once a week
  • Performance Art camp (1 week)
  • Art classes once a week
  • Vacation Bible School (1 week) at a local church
  • LA Zoo membership

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