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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Favorite Things...

One of my most favorite things to do at night is check on the kids. This may sound crazy, but hear me out first.  On this particular day I had changed 9 stinky messy diapers, threw away 2 pairs of underwear because it wasn't even worth dealing with, cleaned up coffee grounds that somehow spread like wildfire all over the floor; forgot about a dental appt(and yes it was on the calendar), had to cancel dinner with a friend and her children due to frazzledness, bit my tongue more than I'd like dealing with a very sassy 5 yr old, found out moving dates had changed due to someone else's lack of competence, was trying to get things set up for our stay in Fl and in England,  and my To Do List had grown instead of shrunk. Now I know this is nothing, and things could be a lot worse, however I was done this day! No matter what kind of day you've had, when you see those angelic innocent faces your troubles melt away.

It's different when they are your own children, but for the sake of this blog take a look at mine: :)

AND then this happens...
and all moments of peace are now replaced by panic and the first thing u say is "CRAP I wasn't quiet enough! PLEASE go back to sleep, please, please, please!"

Toddler/Preschooler Activity Bag Swap

Since we're moving to England and overall will spend 20 days in a hotel, 17 days at a friend's house, 4 plane rides totaling 17 hours, and 16 hours in airports, not to mention the car rides around everywhere. I've been busy gathering supplies, toys, and ideas to keep the kids, ages 5, 3 & 18 months busy and entertained during it all. I came across a pin on pinterest and it's exactly what I was looking for! Toddler/Preschooler activity bags.

The main idea is to get a group of mom's to create activities that could fit in a ziplock bags that will keep the kids entertained while travelling, or busy during a dr's appt etc. After creating an invite on facebook, 11 moms decided to particpate and they each chose an activity that could fit in a bag and just had to follow 4 simple rules; 1. All activities must fit into a ziploc bag; 2. & 3.  Inexpensive & Easy to make and 4. Re-usable.

Below are the pictures of each activity with a brief descrption:

-Lacing Cards-
made from foam with a posterboard backing

-Homemade Play doh-

-Crayon Roll-
Made from assorted fabrics, convienent way to store crayons when on the go
Crayon Roll, when rolled up

-Pom Pom color/shape matching Game-

-Felt Board-
2 pieces of felt cut in half glued onto same size cardboard, then seperate pieces were cut out of different color felt to create this house scene or on the back, shapes.

-Number Boards-
Made from foam and large buttons provided

-Paint Chip Color Graph-
Graph printed from computer and laminated and then laminated paint chips

-Popsicle Stick Puzzle-

-DIY Felt Pizza-

-Color/Number Wheel-
On one side there are stamped images in a pie chart format and the clothespins have the corresponding number that you clip in the right area, same idea for the back of the wheel that has colors.

-Tooth Pick punch art-
foam glued onto a pieve of lightweight wood, then you clip the colored paper and a shape onto the wood, and the idea is to poke holes to outline the shape or fill the shape.

-I Spy-
Rice and a few small objects sewn into a felt shaped sun, a guide is provided and the object is for the child to find everything inside the sun that is shown on the guide. There is a small pocket on the back of the sun to hold the guide.

Thanks to Leslie, Tiffany, Chelsea, Lori, Emma, Jennifer, Kelly, Tristyn, Ashley, & Katie for taking some time to create 11 of the same activity and participating in the swap; hopefully our children will enjoy it as much as we did putting it together. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We've Got Orders

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was wearing leg warmers, a mini skirt, purple tights, a metalica band shirt, and a sideways ponytail when I got the call. "You'll never believe it! We got orders to Lakenheath!" The call was from my hubby; oh and I was at an 80's themed BUNKO moms night. The first thing I did was look at one of my best friends there and I'm sure my face said it all. I was actually disappointed, but tried to hide it in my voice since Steven was so happy.
As a military spouse we know all to well that nothing is permanent. And we knew, from the first day we became friends that we would some day part ways to move again. This, however, doesn't make it any easier. 

We've been stationed in Minot ND for almost 6 years, after year 4 we expected we would receive orders anytime, we sold our home that we purchased when we first moved here, never painted a wall in our home on base, I didn't even unpack most of the boxes that had home decor and kitchen stuff inside. When I heard those 3 words "We got orders" I was kind of shocked that my first feeling was of disappointment. Whether I wanted to or not, I had planted some roots(or in blog terms, seedds).
The one thing that I haven't experienced before is the different reactions from friends. Some are super excited for me, and others I have sensed are already pulling away. I understand all the reactions because I think I've experienced them all myself. I have made some forever friends and I know we'll stay in touch as our children grow up we will experience it all through TGFFB, Thank God For Facebook!

After the disappointment, sadness, and bitterness wore off I am definitely excited for this new season of our lives! England here comes SEEDD. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our England Vehicle

With the move to England, we decided to get a smaller vehicle, but obviously we still need one that will fit our family. I remember all to well, the narrow streets, small parking spots, and tiny parking garages in Europe. After about a month of research I finally decided on the Mazda 5, SUPER excited I called the local Mazda dealership and after a couple visits and many phone conversations, it turns out they couldn't get one here for us. I was bummed, because no other car compared to this one. It also turns out that the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, or Montana didn't have this vehicle, and couldn't get it. With everything that happened in Japan it slowed production majorly. The closest location was 8 hours away in Minneapolis, and we almost made this trip but they sold it before we could put a deposit on it.

It is a mini  mini-van, has captain chairs in the middle row which no other vehicle other than mini vans have, which is perfect for seperating children, 2 seats in the back but all can fold down. The vehicle is A LOT smaller than a mini van PERFECT for England!! I called the dealership again today to see if there was any new news and he informed me they ordered one for me and it should be here in a week or two. So fingers crossed that this will work out!! Here's the vehicle we want!!


"Regression occurs where a person returns to a child state to escape the present."

They say regression is common in children, especially when dealing with potty training. I am definitely going through this with my middle child! He has decided to go potty everywhere, EXCEPT the toilet. I just spent 30 minutes(while all the other kids are napping all you moms know how sacred this time is) scrubbing my bedroom carpet leading to the toilet including right in front of the toilet. When I look into the bowl there is just clear water not a single trace of anything! (I'm not just talking about pee either, at least not this case) Yesterday he decides to pee in the van! The day before that, on the stairs it sounded like I had one of those zen water fountain things that is supposed to calm you. Which by the way I don't think I WILL EVER find that noise calming again!

He has been day time potty trained for about 6 months now, but for the past week it has been just plain awful! The professionals say to think about what has changed in the child's life, and this will explain why the child has regressed.  When I think about what the heck has changed in a week that is causing him to regress this much... Daddy leaving for a temporary duty assignment, TDY! It amazes me how much and how quickly my middle son has regressed. Daddy just left last Weds. so it's only been a week, it's like the day after daddy leaves BAM! I am in no way blaming Daddy, this is the way military life is and I often hear that almost all military kids regress when dad leaves for a deployment. It doesn't make it suck any less! It amazes me how in their little minds when something changes, they decide NOPE not going to do it!

So that brings me to my next concern, there will be so much change happening to our family in the next few months. We will be homeless for at least 2 months, while we are in transition moving from Minot ND to Lakenheath England. Middle Son will be starting pre-school, and oldest daughter will be starting Kindergarten so she won't be home all day. I only have to wonder... when we finally get him back on track with potty training, is this regression going to rear it's ugly, messy, stinky, head again, because honestly I am DONE dealing with POOP! Here's hoping that Son #3 will be ready to be potty trained very soon because after dealing with it for 5 years, I'm not dealing with it for another 2!

When I read the definition of regression in relation to children that I mentioned at the beginning, I start to think about how even as adults we regress to a child like state to escape the present. No, you don't see grown adults peeing and pooping everywhere, but you do see moms and dads screaming at their children because they are so tired or fed up or just plain cranky, (guilty), or throwing a tantrum because something doesn't happen when, where, and how they want it to, (guilty), cry & whine because they've just had enough and can't verbalize what they are feeling, (guilty). So when I think about how adults, even me, can regress it makes me feel so much better when I'm scrubbing those carpets/stairs/vehicle/laminate flooring/bed sheets!! :)

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!!
  As a friend mentioned the other day, when talking to a pediatrician about potty training their response is always "Well you never see a boy in college still in diapers!" Her response to that... "Well, mine just might be the 1st!" AMEN to that HAHA

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The blessing is in the SEEDD

Well, I'm finally joining the world of bloggers, YAY! With the move to England coming closer, as if Minot ND wasn't far enough, I am hoping this will be a way for friends and family to know what we are up to and the randomness that is SEEDD. :) I didn't want to start a blog before because honestly I've seen some pretty awesome ones and I know mine won't compare, however a big lesson that God is teaching me (rather painfully I might add) is that I don't have to be perfect and the best at everything, and so here goes. :)

 SEEDD are the initials of all of us Bailey's. I am currently going through some tough life lessons(expect many more blog posts to follow ;) as this season of our lives is ending and a new one is beginning. One of those lessons is remembering my blessings. Steven, Erica, Elora, Derek, & Dylan are all blessings of God.

I am struggling to remember that the blessing is in the seedd when... nothing is going the way I planned, my children seem like they have no sense of discipline whatsoever, I step in a puddle that doesn't look like it could possibly come from a little 3 yr old, when my oldest thinks it is ok to paint her brother's, the wall, the carpet, the mattress with nail polish, did I mention I'm a single parent for a couple weeks; yeah I think you get the picture and could even add to my list.

"In the light of God's eternity; irritating children become irreplaceable blessings." - Julie Barnhill

The quote speaks more than I could ever say, so with that welcome to the awesome but crazy blessing that is SEEDD! :)