“Mom! What’s for dinner?”

My child: “Mom!  What’s for dinner?”

Me: “Whatever I can get made!”

And in the meantime I will juggle as I deal with raw meat, a hot stove, knives, curious kids wanting to help and hunger that just can’t wait.

What’s your daily juggle?  Let us know in the comments below and it just might make it into our next video!

Here are my quick tips for having a hassle free dinner making session.

  1. Have an activity.
    1. Truthfully, we usually wait until this time of day to turn on any screens, so I use dinner prep time as a time to turn on a show.  But if you want to avoid too much screen time, that have a box of “dinner prep time only” activities that you pull out special for this time of day.  Here are some examples (play dough, stickers, puzzles, watercolor paints…)  Just make it a fun activity that they don’t get to do whenever.
  2. Involve them.
    1. We have started a chore chart in our house, which can be really tricky to be consistent with, but I have found that during dinner prep time, this is a great time for them to do some simple chores and help out.  The stickers and eventually earning a toy are their incentive.  Small chores like wiping down the table, picking up toys, putting silverware on the table, folding napkins, scrubbing potatoes, washing their hands etc are a few examples of some chores.  They will feel part of the team too helping out.  Be sure to encourage them along with reinforcement. Plus, they are more likely to eat the food if they help!
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  3. Let them watch
    1. From a safe distance, let them watch the stirring and chopping.  Always be cautious of heat and use this as a reminder of listening to mama to stay safe.  We have adopted Daniel’s the Tiger’s , “Stop and Listen to Stay Safe.” Each show has a lesson and that one has helped.  Turning on the oven light and letting them watch keeps them preoccupied for a few minutes.
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  4. Give them a Snack
    1. Look out for this one!  I feel like there is never enough ‘up’ space in our house and I can’t seem to keep the chips and other not so healthy snacks hidden well enough!  And as most of us know, the moment they snack on too much junk, the less likely they will actually eat their dinner!  So my suggestion of keeping those little hungry tweeters at bay until the good healthy stuff is ready is to take advantage of their hunger!  Raw carrot sticks are one such example that my little’s are quick to grab at, especially if it is offered to them when they are hungry.  Plus, it takes a while to naw at too, so it is a slower eat.
  5. Let them play in the back yard.
    1. Having a gated backyard has been my dream for a LONG time!  When I am chopping and boiling and frying it is not fun to have little baby birds at your feet needing constant attention.  So I pull out bubbles or a something fun like chalk and let them go play.  The big thing is making it something new to keep them entertained long enough with out too many sibling quarrels.

Good luck and happy eats!  Let me know in the comments what you like to do to keep your little preoccupied while you prep dinner!

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Daily Juggle Ep 1: A Rambunctious Photoshoot

All I can say about this photoshoot I recently did with my toddlers is, “The Juggle is REAL!”

This is one of the silliest and most fun photo shoots I have done with my kids.  And as a photographer and a mama these kids have had a lot of pictures taken so that is saying a lot.  They thought hopping all over mama was so much fun because it is something that they never get to do!  I edited this into a Charlie Chaplin styled old movie and I am in love with the high speed cuteness.  Little Madeline’s and Milo’s kerplunking all over the bed and little facial expressions are the sweetest.

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Not a single day of motherhood is easy.  I can often feel like a circus performer wrangling this little crew.  But I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.  What is your daily juggle?  Tell us and it might just make it into our next video!  Something as seemingly simple as transporting the groceries inside is one of mine from this week.

When it comes to it, yes I have hard days, and more hard days.  Yes, the juggle and struggle is real, but with that… I have learned to roll with it.

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First Official VLOG

It is official!  I am mommy vlogging our everyday life.  Not everyday but our everyday if you get me.  And it is an adventure.  When I set out to create Up and Away Moms, I wanted to create a community of mothers sharing their real life… and so for starters I am starting with sharing mine! The messy mom bun, no makeup, no Photoshop side of motherhood. Yes, there are the perfect pictures all over pinterest, but I want to share more of the mess… why?  Because we are all just doing our best!  And in the end, happy healthy kids who feel loved is what matter.  Not so much a spic and span house.  So join us in our little household made a home with these crazy hooligans running around learning and growing each day! Let’s find Joy in the Juggle!

Check out our next vlog of our Moving Day here!

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Managing the Artwork Clutter

It happens daily, if not multiple times a day, your sweetie brings you their masterpiece.  They might even do that shoulder to the cheek moment and that little look of pride on their face as you graciously accept it, listening to what it was and then you display it for a while.   But it builds up fast!  Here are some tips to managing all that artwork clutter without letting go of the sentimental side.

wall art

Before you get started, determine your own scale.  1. Direct to trash 2. Cute, let’s hang it up for a while… snap and picture and throw it away when no one is looking and 3. Treasure!  I am never throwing it away!

When your child presents their masterpiece to them, likely, more than anything, they want to see that you are proud of their accomplishment and proud enough to display it.  They will likely forget about it soon enough, but the whole process will build a confidence in them and motivate them to do it again… even better.

But all that artwork stacks up FAST! Especially those cotton ball and feather covered paper plates and other 3D creations.

Tips to clear the clutter!

  1. Select a wall and a timetable. Clear, trash or keep and repeat. Snap  a picture of the items as you go, with and/ or without your child.
  2. Write is down.  When you receive your child’s masterpiece, write down what they said it was, their age and name.  Even a week later and it will slip your mind.  What you do decide to keep in the long run will have more meaning if you remember what it was they drew, especially if paired with recent family events such as a fun trip to the beach.
  3. Use them as scrapbook paper. Cut out the image to size and let it be the backdrop to pictures of the kids at those same ages.
  4. Use 12 x 12 and 9 x 12 sized 3 ring Scrapbooks with Clear Sleeves for long term storage. Select a limited number of favorites to keep, take a picture of them, and throw away the undesirables. (We have loved Project Life Three Ring Albums)

Let us know what you like to do to display those masterpieces in the home! Comment below, or share your own child’s masterpieces.

 

Letting Madeline do My Makeup.

Shake it off with us today with a good laugh!

I think that I have always enjoyed being a little bit of a goof ball for the sake of bringing a smile to someone else’s face.  In part because I am the queen of awkwardness, so I have learned to just roll with it, but I just love to make my kiddos laugh!  So sure, I will let a 3 year old do my makeup.  She is so funny in the video.  She totally got into her little hairdresser / makeup artist mode. So professional!

Madeline and I started talking about this idea and she thought it was the BEST!  We laughed about it for 10 minutes.   And of course the conversation moved in that silly direction of what toddlers think is funny…. ,”and THEN mom I could out GRAPES on your face!!  hahahaahahah”  Silly girl.  She is a riot.

One of my favorite brands of makeup that I have used for years is MAC Makeup.

Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already!  What silly things do you like to do with you kids!  Leave a comment below and let me know.