I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. We sure did. As the unofficial kickoff to summer, we packed in as many activities as we could. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of a couple of activities, but we do have all summer!
We started our weekend on Friday night with some
sprinkler hose play. Although the AC man had arrived earlier that day, the house was still uncomfortably warm and so we headed outside to cool off.
On Saturday we celebrated the season’s opening of the city pool and camped in our backyard. (Forgot to take pics…too busy having fun!) We enjoyed hot dogs on the grill with ice cold pink lemonade and made Smores while sitting around Daddy’s new fire pit. We had a great time and mama was able to sneak into the air conditioned house after daddy and the kids fell asleep!
Sunday we trailered our boat to Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS. It seems every year we have some sort of problem…battery is dead…transmission problem…no taillights on the trailer, etc. This year, we decided to stay close to home, prepped the boat the night before, and found that our inaugural voyage (ha!) went off without a hitch. Surprisingly, the waster wasn’t all that cold…although I didn’t get in!
(See those curls up above…all gone!) :(
Sun-soaked and tired we headed home for a quiet evening.
Monday was also low-key, but fun. The kids wore their new “Memorial Day/4th of July” outfits that I buy them each year to honor all those that have served our country. The day involved lots of bubbles and popsicles, brauts, and corn on the cob.
Mary’s all about the twirling in her new dress!
See…I told you the curls were all gone. Daddy and Ben got summer haircuts. I know he feels so much cooler, but I just love those blonde curls! Fortunately, they always grow back. (Oh, and I also love that sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose!)
Last but not least, we are attempting a bit of positive reinforcement around our house when it comes to the littles and good behavior. (Not that Mary Catherine needs it so much…she really is my helper with a heart of gold, but she has her moments too…)
I don’t know if it is 3rd trimester tiredness/impatience or just general frustration (pregnant or not), but I find myself more and more at conflict with Ben. He is my strong-willed child and will stare down my husband and me without hesitation when we ask him to pick up toys or sit back down at the table during meal time. Part of it is his age (3.5 years), but part of it is also that I’ve always done everything for him and now when I need help, he’s not interested in participating!
As a former educator, I’m not a big fan of extrinsic motivators, but even as a 3rd grade teacher, I had to “bribe” certain kids to read the required minutes per day, or books per week! So why wouldn’t it be any different with my own two when it comes to helping out around the house…not stalling at bedtime…accepting “no” the first time they hear it…etc.?
So…I’ve resorted to…The Treasure Chest. I got this idea from one of my favorite crafty websites Crafting Chicks. Jamie created a cute incentive chart, ready to be downloaded for free. (Unfortunately, I don’t have a more recent version of Microsoft Word, so I couldn’t download Jamie’s version, but I quickly made my own.)
After downloading a fun, free “pirate” font, I created a 6 column, 5 row table in Word. Since Mary Catherine is a bit older than Ben and beginning to read sight words, I added the 5 days of the week. I have attached their charts at their eye level to the inside of my pantry doors. Jamie also suggested that you attach the sticker pouch at the same level so that they kiddos can get their own sticker and attach to their chart throughout the day. It’s gotta be user-friendly!
Obeying mom and helping out when I ask (a minimum of 5 times a day) earns a trip to the treasure chest. Jamie filled her chest (a cute one that she got at a hobby store) with little trinkets, snacks, etc. This afternoon, the kids and I are headed out to create our very own treasure chest. I figure that if I let them help pick out the items to be put in the chest that might up the excitement and motivation level.
We’ll see how this goes! We are headed to the public library this afternoon, and that is a biggie for Ben! Even though we talk about what type of behavior I expect in the library, he can’t seem to not run, not use the water fountain excessively, not wander away from me, not take toys (puzzles, cars, etc.) away from Mary Catherine.
So, we shall see how this works!
Hoping that you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and are ready to kick off the summer in style!