Viewing posts tagged toddlers

Summer Days

I'm soaking up the sun enjoying the summer with the fam and snapping pics every day as we go. Because I was pregnant last summer and not at my best, I've been making up for lost time and running a mile a minute trying to make it great for the kids. The boys are still going to school every day and they have so much fun there- they have "water days" and bike days and they have outdoor picnics and eat popsicles. While they are at school I spend one on one time with baby, who is happy and thriving. 

This summer is anything but relaxing, but the kids just love it, and that's enough to make it perfect <3

 

Surviving 3 kids 3 and under

I am that crazy mom who apparently keeps having babies. Yes I try contraception but no joke guys NOTHING WORKS! Out of the 5 years I've been married I've been pregnant 4 times, and three of the pregnancies resulted in little monsters, who are now three, two, and an infant.  

I also wouldn't mind having more. Call me crazy, but I just LOVE being a mom. Don't get me wrong it's hard work, but totally worth it if you ask me. 

Here are 5 survival tips, because when you have three kids three and under, every day is about SURVIVAL. These have worked out pretty well for me and sometimes I even fool myself in thinking that I have it all together. 

  • STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE: We all do the same thing pretty much every day, except for the weekends of course. The kids know when it's breakfast time, school time, "homework time", nap time, quiet time, dinner time, bath time and bedtime. My three year old reminds me when it's time to put the two year old for a nap and when it's time to feed the baby. My two year old knows that during nap time he has to stay in his room and on his bed until he falls asleep, and both kids know that every day after dinner they need to make sure that the living room area (which has been converted to their playroom) is completely spotless. On weekends their routine is to go to the pool in the late afternoon and then have their dinner poolside. Toddlers thrive when there is structure and routine, and infants too! Baby Persephone has her own routine that works great for her as well! So we are really strict when it comes to their routines and they have to be in bed no later than 7:30pm. This means that sometimes we have to miss fun events and can't socialize as much as we would like to, but at least my children won't be grumpy due to lack of sleep, and that makes every day SO much easier for me. 

  • CHORES CHORES AND MORE CHORES: Ok so my infant doesn't have any chores (yet) but the older two know their chores and responsibilities. They both know to clean their rooms and living room before bed time, put their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper outside of their rooms, and where to put their shoes and backpacks when they come home from school. They both wipe the table after dinner (even though I wipe the crumbs off of it before they wipe) it's all about making them feel proud, useful and accomplished. And the more they get used to doing, the less I have to do! Win-win situation. 

toddler chores

My three year old is totally OCD and needs his things in a certain order. God forbid someone ruin the order - all hell will break loose!

  • TOY ROTATION SYSTEM / NO TV: Instead of turning on the TV for them when I want them to be quiet and out of my way, I will bring a bucket of "new" toys for them to play with. The "new" toys are just their old toys that were stored away that they forgot they have. I have lots of buckets filled with toys, and I let them play with one bucket at a time. Then when they get bored of those toys I will switch out the bucket. This system works miracles for me! Another win!!

bin rotation toys

  • MAKING SURE THE KITCHEN IS CLEAN BEFORE BED: I don't know why, but having a clean and spotless kitchen just makes me feel like I'm ready to conquer the world. The rest of my house can be an absolute mess, but for some reason, waking up to a clean kitchen just makes everything better. Every night no matter how tired I am, the counters need to be cleaned and cloroxed and all the dirty dishes need to be in the dishwasher. If I wake up to a dirty kitchen I will feel paralyzed for the rest of the day, and it will completely trash my productivity. 

  • PLANNING: This is something I picked up more from hubby, who is literally a master planner. Being a great planner helps with all aspects of life, and can make taking care of multiples feel like a breeze! A little planning goes a long way, and is so necessary when trying to successfully run your household. Me and hubby hold monthly meetings to plan for the following month. We plan for things such as fun events for the kids, when and what to order online (we are ALL about Amazon Fresh and Prime), and when to do finances and hold budgeting meetings. I also make a meal plan every month for the following month and it helps tremendously.

So there are times in our life where for some reason or another we may not do the things above. The world doesn't fall apart BUT there tends to be more conflict, less fun and more stress. We find that doing these things makes life so much easier for all of us (but especially for mom and dad:) Many people think having three kids this small is really difficult, but it's really not too bad. I'm not saying it's a piece of cake, but it's no way as hard as I initially imagined. You just need to have a system that works for you. These tips might work great for some yet no so much for others. Always just do what works for you and your family. 

Utilizing Safe Spaces in your home for small children

My #1 necessity / mommy saver / mom hack are the use of:

SAFE SPACES!

What is better than a safe space?!! NOTHING is better than a safe space!!!! A safe space is an enclosed area where kids are free to roam and do whatever they like with no safety hazards and plenty of room to do what kids do best - play. Our best safe space in our home is our living room, which we have donated to the kids. The kids can be kids and play and run around and touch anything they want without hearing a "NO" or tripping and hurting themselves on a coffee table. It's a contained area with a wide gate that kind of makes it seem like they are in jail....but they are not in jail. They are in a fun and safe environment that they both enjoy and that promotes independence. AND it lets mommy enjoy some space and time to do mommy things without the interruption of one toddler holding onto each of my legs as I try to walk. 

safe spaces for toddlers

safe space in home toddlers

Here's a fun idea- a safe space for toddler eating time! We donated a corner of our dining room for their eating space, with toddler tables and chairs, and a matt underneath to catch all those crumbs. You won't find anything with sharp corners here! And our adult dining table is round so that makes for no worrying about eyes bumping into table corners. 

I've made it easy for them to help themselves to however much food they want. I find that they eat more this way and it gives them a sense of independence which is EVERYTHING to a 2 and 3 year old. Oh and afterwards they put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher too, and Valentino has even begun to vacuum the crumbs with a little hand held vacuum cleaner. I can't handle the cuteness. 

toddler eating space table and chairs

eating area for toddlers

Another safe space area: THE BEDROOM. All our kids rooms are gated and fully toddler safety proof. I've lately been really into the KonMari method and have been on a major purging and organizing kick. I've gotten rid of most all clutter and find it so satisfying to be able to walk into my toddler's rooms without constantly tripping on toys. I put minimal furniture in each of their rooms too- only the absolute necessaties, and also replaced curtains with valances so they won't be able to pull them down. I find that the more "stuff" is in their rooms, the more prone to injury they are and the less safe it is. They do still have a lot of toys but I put them in bins and we have a rotating bin system that keeps them loving their "new" old toys that I rotate out. 

making bedroom toddler friendly safe space

The more kids I have, the more I realize how necessary these spaces are for my kids. Like how else would I be able to feed a baby away from the loud screaming toddlers? I cannot leave any kid fully unattended, however safe the "safe space" may be, so we made sure to install cameras in all our kid safe space areas. This way I can keep an eye on them playing in the living room while I'm upstairs feeding the baby. Or I can peek and make sure they are actually sleeping when it's nap time or bed time. 

So my house isn't fancy and we don't have many expensive and nice things, but when having kids this small I feel this system we have is just perfect and functional for everyone. 

Mother's Day 2017

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! This year was just so special to me because as my boys are getting older they are making me presents. How cute is that? Valentino made me a necklace with his thumbprints on it in the shape of a heart and both boys handed me roses and other presents. It was SO cute I died! 

We couldn't go anywhere this year as the baby is still too little. Going anywhere with all three kids (who are three and under) is literally impossible. The boys have a tendency of running away at opposite directions leaving me in the middle torn between which kid to chase first. It's all chaos! 

Instead we stayed at home and decorated cookies together and cuddled and read books. 

Hubby said I was in charge of planning the weekend and we could do whatever I wanted and he would buy me whatever I wanted too. I told him that I wanted a nice big house with a white kitchen smothered in calacatta marble with dark hardwood floors and a farmhouse dining table from Restoration Hardware. He said ABSOLUTELY! Just maybe not this year...... :) 

So what I planned for the weekend was for us to organize our lives and get on top of finances so we can figure out how to make the future financially work while having three kids. There is so much that I want for my kids that are oh SO expensive (mandarin classes, kung fu classes, music lessons, computer science classes, swimming lessons) I need them to be well cultured, speak no less than three languages, become black belts and first chair musicians, excellent swimmers AND they all need to be able to build a computer by the age of 7. All that for 3 kids will cost a fortune each month. Forget about saving up for college, just the boys monthly school tuition costs MORE than my college tuition was!

So for all of mother's day weekend we had budgeting realted meetings and got on top of our $h!t. We purchased filing cabinets and organized our life. This was honestly the BEST mother's day for me because it gave me what I wanted most, a way to plan for eventually getting everything I want (which is really for the kids, but it's what I WANT for them, so in that way it's for me too :) 

Easter 2017

Happy Easter! This year it was low key because I'm still trying to figure out how to care for three kids and run a household. It's getting a little easier day by day! 

Instead of going anywhere we just got some cupcakes and balloons and had a little party. My birthday falls close to Easter so we had a small celebration for that as well earlier in the month. Valentino now thinks that whenever we have cake it means that it's someone's birthday, so for Easter we had to put candles on the cupcakes and sing happy birthday to everyone. They are so silly. 

easter cupcakes birthday peeps toddlers

toddler birthday cake party

easter bunny balloons toddlers

I put together some Easter eggs for the kids's school and for themselves. I LOVE this stuff! It makes me feel like I'm 5 again. I also love dressing up my kids in suits and pretty bows! In a perfect world I would make them all wear suits and pretty dresses just for dinner time every night. 

stuffed Easter eggs for class school

stuffing easter eggs

toddlers in matching suits

newborn photography 2 month old

newborn hair bows photography girl

We saw a real bunny in our yard during Easter weekend! The kids love bunnies, and Valentino has eventaully figured out that Sir Edward is not a bunny and is, in fact, a dog!  Btw fun fact- bunny in Persian is called a "khargoosh" which literally translates to "donkey ears" Sir Edward totally has donkey ears.