Summer Sanity: 3 Tips To Survive The Summer

Today is Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network and we are writing about anything to do with "Summer".  Did you know there is a whole Pinterest board with a wealth of posts with ideas about so many things!! Check it out here and look for posts from the other ladies today on the "Summertime" board.

1. Routine

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me... I like my routine!!! I think keeping up routines in the Summer can be a life-saver! Routines obviously change once school is out, but I think setting a "Summer Routine" early in the season and sticking to it can really help bring continuity to the long Summer days. Without a solid routine, the days can run together. It doesn't have to be a strict, school-like schedule, but simply a few things in your day to help break up boredom and prevent all day tv binges. Some things I include in our Summer routine are: Outside play, sibling play, family movie nights, room time, and outings like library time and visiting Daddy at his office.

2. Fun

Make sure and leave room for extra fun things in your routine. I firmly believe that Summer should feel like Summer! Things that you don't have time to do during the school year, should become more of a priority during the Summer.

Check around your community for free things happening for kids. Most public libraries will have Summer reading programs and other events for Summer. Neighborhood and Community pools often have events and Summer teams.

This is also the perfect time to pursue fun projects. For example, this Summer we are having a Family Science Fair (Boys vs. Girls). Or, you could also make Birthday cards for family members for the rest of the year.

3. Say "Yes"

This is something I struggle with all year long. I say "no" more often than I say "yes". I don't want there to be a mess. It means more work on my part, or its something that might result in a tantrum.

The other night, we had a pleasant Summer rain shower in the evening and my kids ran up to me and asked if they could play in the rain. All the of the reasons it was a bad idea raced through my head but I didn't have a solid read to say no. Yes, they would get wet, but we have towels. They played and played and played and were SO. HAPPY. In the end, the mess was not even a big deal and we created a memory filled with joy.

So, unless there is a really solid reason to say "no", I'm make a serious effort to say "yes" whenever I can.

If you havn't already, "like" the wiley adventures page on Facebook right HERE

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** All of the ideas, thoughts, opinions, rants, cries, laughs, pictures, and words from this blog belong only to me and are mine alone unless otherwise notated. Please don't steal. It's not nice.**

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Kyle's 32nd Birthday

Kyle turned 32 last Thursday and even though we are still settling in, we still got to celebrate a little bit!

I don't have any of my craft stuff unpacked yet so I didn't have the customary birthday banner up over the table but I'll make up for it next year! 

Instead of a cake, I made Kyle his favorite dessert ever: Lemonade Icebox Pie. I made it the night before to surprise him.

My parents offered to keep the kids so we could go out for dinner... hard to tell who was more excited: the kids or Grammy and Papa.

Kyle chose to go to Felix's which is a restaurant down on the causeway on the Bay.  I love being by the water so I was so excited he chose to eat there.

Our table was a two-seater window seat! It was awesome! We splurged on some delicious dinner and they offered complimentary dessert for the Birthday Boy!

If you havn't already, "like" the wiley adventures page on Facebook right HERE

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** All of the ideas, thoughts, opinions, rants, cries, laughs, pictures, and words from this blog belong only to me and are mine alone unless otherwise notated. Please don't steal. It's not nice.**

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Packing For The Move

If you've seen how I pack for vacation, you know I like a good system.

It has been seven years since I last packed up my house, and this time I had 3 more little humans and all of their belongings to add to the mass. Plus we weren't just moving across town, but across 3 states. I knew I needed a good plan, so I searched and pinned several ideas and kind of mashed them all together to come up with a good system.

Supplies I gathered:

--Boxes: We actually didn't have to buy any boxes. We had a few gracious friends who had recently moved and gave us their broken down boxes! You can also search Craigslist and garage sale sights...sometimes people give them away for free.

--Packing Tape

--A Good Sharpie

--Duct Tape in different colors

--A notebook (this part was probably overkill, but it made me feel like I had CONTROL of the packing) (yeah, I've got issues).

First thing I did was decided I was going to pack for the house I was moving INTO, not the house I was moving out of. Then I assigned each room in my new house a color and made a rubric in the front of my notebook.

I also assigned each room a set of numbers so I could number each box and record each box in my notebook. This way I would have a record of what was in each box. This is what I mean by overkill. I havn't looked at the record one time for unpacking purposes. 

So I packed each box, labeled them and put a stripe of tape in the left upper corner so the color could be easily seen. 

I DO think that the color-coding helped with the unloading process. I tore out my rubric and taped it up in the front entryway so that everyone who helped unload could see it as they walked in. 

I also made a sign to label each room.

Unloading was certainly less painful than loading. And color coding just makes me happy. What packing or moving tips have you used? 

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I'm so excited for a new look around here!

I've been looking and shopping around for a new template and am beyond pleased with the new look!

The main place I shopped was Etsy. I came across the BlogDesignStudio shop and fell in love with what I found.

What made this shop different from others was that Madeline, the shop owner, installs the template for you as apposed to an instant download. She is very professional and extremely easy to work with. It is very obvious that she works hard to have beautiful work and happy customers. Her prices are unbeatable and I would recommend her to anyone!

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Finding Order In Chaos

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! I am so honored to be one of the new members of the BFBN. The BFBN is a network of bloggers who follow Babywise Principles and provide a safe place for Moms to discuss all things related to raising kids! Today, I am talking about encouraging your kids to be world-changers over at The Journey of Parenthood and I'm excited to introduce Elaine who is posting here about some much needed and timely encouragement for finding order in chaos!

It is Babywise Friendly Blogging Netword Day today and we have some new members in our network! We are very excited the Carrie has joined our team!

My name is Elaine and I blog at God's Faithfulness Through Infertility. I have three children through the miracle of adoption. - two daughters and one son.

Our adoption of our son happened last year after a series of crazy events that left our family in a state of chaos. We adopted him within two weeks of even knowing there was a possibility that we may adopt and then he spent the next 4 weeks in the NICU two and half hours away from the city we live in. With virtually no time to prepare for an addition to the family and then dealing with our son’s special needs, my family lived in a state of chaos for nearly a year. Here is how we found some sense of order in the midst of chaos!

 1. Focus on what is most important at the time.

It was mid-November and we had been home from the hospital with our son not even two months. I was feeling very overwhelmed. On top of caring for my son who required around the clock care, I was drowning in my other responsibilities and falling further and further behind in our first official year of homeschooling. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. In short, I was living in Survival Mode. Our church threw us a Welcome Home/Baby Shower and at the party an older more experienced Mama-friend who had seen her fair share of chaotic living in recent years gave me advice that totally changed my perspective on my current circumstances. She told me, “Focus on what is the most important at this time.”
That was a game-changer. I reprioritized what I thought I needed to be doing and instead put my focus on what was most important at that time. Everything else was cut out. When you are in crisis-mode you can do All The Things. Something has to give. Let it go and when the time is right, you will be able to pick it back up again.
What was most important to me at that time was getting my son healthy and my relationships with my husband and two daughters. Every thing else went to the wayside until my mind had the energy to be able to focus on anything besides what was most important in that time.

2. Realize it is a season.

My son was recovering from NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome) and he required constant care, especially in the first two months after we brought him home from the NICU. I was literally “stuck” for hours of the day in the rocking chair in our living room, holding him to keep him calm and as comfortable as I possibly could. Meanwhile, life swirled around me. My mother basically moved in to help us care for the baby and to take on a lot of the responsibility and care for our daughters who were ages five and three at the time. I was frustrated a lot of this time because I am a Babywise Mama! I am used to making a schedule and routine that suits the entire family’s needs. I am used to managing my home and children all on my own and it was extremely hard on me to have to give up that role in my home and accept help from others.

I told myself daily in those days “This too shall pass”. I knew the fog of NAS would lift from my son around the time he was 3-4 months old and from there we could find our new normal as a family of five. I knew it was just a season. This was my third NAS baby and I knew what to expect. Most circumstances in this life don’t last forever. Time has a way of moving us through the season of life and circumstances rarely stay the same for long.

3. Accept help.

It was hard for me to give up my normal responsibilities and have to rely on someone else to be able to accomplish the every day tasks of life, but it was necessary to get through the days. I physically could not take care of everyone on my own during the day. It is not a sign of failure if you have to accept help from someone!

My family is in a very different place than we were just half a year ago. Our son is thriving and our family has found it’s new normal. We are looking forward to a new homeschool year and we are very grateful the Lord brought us through that season of chaos.

If you havn't already, "like" the wiley adventures page on Facebook right HERE

And follow me on bloglovin! Follow

** All of the ideas, thoughts, opinions, rants, cries, laughs, pictures, and words from this blog belong only to me and are mine alone unless otherwise notated. Please don't steal. It's not nice.**

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The Big Bama Move

Well, we did it. We actually did it. We packed up all 7 years of life into color coordinated boxes, we said "see you later" to 7 years of deep relationships, and we said goodbye to a chapter in our lives that we will never forget. The chapter where we brought three tiny boys home from the hospital. The place where we walked in some deep trenches and the times that we were brought to our knees by the Lord's overwhelming blessings. 

It was so much harder than I expected it to be. I thought it might do me in. I can't tell you how many times I questioned the Lord if this was right. And I can't tell you how many times He has reiterated our "Yes". 

After weeks of packing, house prepping, selling, buying, and closing, it feels very surreal to actually be in this next chapter. I am slowly starting to let down from the stress. I still feel sad and miss my friends.... I imagine that will just happen for a little while. I'm still battling some anxiety... which I know is a spiritual battle too. But I find myself having moments of pure excitement in knowing that this next season is NEW and the Lord is doing a fresh work. Would you pray with me for this new thing? 

My kids are handling things really well considering all the change that has happened in their little worlds. They are definitely needing some routines. I've considered this week our freebie week and plan on working towards a general Summer routine next week. 

We could not have made it through without the help of our unbelievable friends. From keeping my babies, to helping pack and load (not minor tasks),to braving the 4 scouts on a 12 hour road trip as well as my erratic emotions (Fun Jen is amazing!!), to helping us unload and for having my  new house clean with new shelf paper and chocolate oatmeal cookies waiting on me, the Lord so clearly showed me how He provides through His people. Thank you to everyone for all of your love and support. 

If you havn't already, "like" the wiley adventures page on Facebook right HERE

And follow me on bloglovin! Follow

** All of the ideas, thoughts, opinions, rants, cries, laughs, pictures, and words from this blog belong only to me and are mine alone unless otherwise notated. Please don't steal. It's not nice.**

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Babywise Friendly Blog Network

I love being a part of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network! The purpose of this network is to provide a place for Mamas to explore, ask questions, relate, and find tricks and answers for all things Babywise! I am honored to be part of this group.

Check out all of the blogs in the network:

Kimberly - Team Cartwright
Natasha - Let's Be Brave
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