I hope you had a wonderful Easter (for those who celebrate). Easter is a tricky holiday for me because it has always been one of my favorite holidays with my children but my mother died on Easter Sunday. That has gotten easier with time, and now it’s a day filled with happy family moments and just a little sadness and introspection. Mostly, I think about the last email my mother sent me, which was about her own happy Easter memories. It’s a good reminder to cherish the time we have with loved ones.
The pregnancy is still going well. I am somewhere around 16 weeks along (the dates vary by a couple of weeks, depending on how we calculate it) and the morning sickness is getting a little less intense. It’s still pretty rough though, and it makes me really appreciate my husband and kids. They are a great support team!
We have three kids’ birthdays in the next week! Jack will turn 8 on April 30, then the next day Victoria will turn 13 on May Day. We have one day off and then Alex turns 4 on May 3.
I have a lot of cakes to bake!
Thank goodness this next baby will be born in September.
Poor Anna shares a January birthday with me, so she’ll be a helper for all the birthday madness.
Enough yapping! I’m snatching this list of ways to make the day magical from an April 2002 issue of the Magical Childhood newsletter. It is handy to have yapped at you all for so many years! I’ve also included a few tidbits from other newsletters of that month.
So on with the list…
1. Put on grungy clothes and go for a grubby walk. Plan to stomp in every mud puddle and utilize every opportunity to get messy!
2. Go for a drive together. Take off and just cruise down some fantasy drive to look at the rich houses or find a scenic route in the country. Slow down and just talk.
3. Go through the house with a grocery bag and fill it with junk you can get rid of– clothes, makeup, utensils, broken crayons, whatever. Then dump it out in a messy spot and help the kids take it apart, use it for crafts, cut it up, make creations or whatever else they can dream up.
4. Invent a card game or board game together.
5. Make up a personalized word search, crossword puzzle or other word games. You can include their pets, their friends’ names, interests, funny memories, whatever you like. Crossword puzzles are tough but fun to make up using graph paper, especially if you’re stuck waiting for things and just keep it with you.
6. Check out an old favorite movie from the library (free!) and pop some popcorn. If you like, add a family twist to it– like each family member has a phrase, image or word to watch for. When yours come up you pick from a stack of cards made up with silly tasks (do 5 jumping jacks, cluck like a chicken, give your mom a kiss…).
7. Make a game of supper. Make some small finger foods like mini muffins, some baby carrots, peas colored pasta, etc. Then make cards up for those too and take turns– Eat something green, pass a carrot to the person on your left, eat as many peas as your age… If you’re out of that food, you have to “draw”…. improvise and laugh your way through supper!
8. Make up May baskets to leave on doorsteps on May Day. Include homemade crafts, pictures, treats or flowers with a happy note. On Mayday (May 1), help the kids get up early and leave their treasures for favorite neighbors.
9. Gather up old buttons, silk flowers, big earrings, ribbons and other notions. Help your kids sew them onto sneakers, hats, backpacks or old jackets to personalize them. You can get permanent fabric glue to make it even easier.
10. Start researching your family tree with them. They’ll love finding out neat things about their ancestors and so will you! Start by just interviewing relatives, especially older ones. Not only will you all learn something about your heritage, but your loved ones will love to share their stories with a new generation.
“Discipline isn’t just about winning or losing.
Every power struggle offers you the opportunity
to connect with your child or disconnect.
The relationship you will have with your child
when he’s an adolescent
lies in the words and actions you use today.
Ultimately your real power is in that emotional bond.”
–Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Kids, Parents and Power Struggles
Magical Mama Laura shared this neat idea…
Ivory soap carves easily with a spoon into a boat. Add a scrap piece of paper for a sail (triangle or rectangle) and a coffee stirrer mast and you have a sailboat. An old shower curtain can be sprayed with water to make the ocean. Just remind the kids not to wipe their eyes after holding the boats.
Kids Gardening is absolutely filled with great ideas. The Parents’ Primer and Teacher pages are especially fun.
And with that, chickadees, I’m off again.
Kiss your babies, count your blessings, and don’t forget to take care of you!