Tag Archives: kids

YoYummy Yogurt Review

Recently, I was given the opportunity to sample YoYummy yogurt through the Moms Meet program.

My kids love yogurt and they really love eating foods that are in pouches, so they loved trying these yogurts!

I love that these yogurts are great for kids of any age (and adults too!) My two-year old niece loves YoYummy yogurt.

My six-year old loves YoYummy, and so did my 12-year old and the 12-year old girl that I watch in the afternoons.

It’s the perfect after school snack for all the kids! And they’re great for putting in lunchboxes or as a snack before bed. My kids always seem to be starving right when it’s time for bed.

Some YoYummy Facts:

  • YoYummy yogurts come in four great flavors: mixed berry, strawberry banana, strawberry, and cotton candy. (In our house, the cotton candy was the most loved flavor).
  • YoYummy yogurt is made with Grade-A rBST-free Vermont milk. They are also a good source of calcium and rich in vitamins A and D.
  • 10% less sugar than the leading national brands kids’ yogurt.
  • Free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, additives, and preservatives. It’s also gluten-free.
  • YoYummy yogurt is available at Wegman’s, Costco, Hannaford, Stew Leonard’s, Fresh & Easy, and Sprout’s Farmer Markets. Retails for $4.99 for a 4-pack, $9.99 for a 12-pack, and $1.29 for a single pouch.

As you can see, YoYummy yogurt is a snack that you can feel good about giving your kids!

  • Do your kids like yogurt? Do you like yogurt?
  • Favorite flavor?

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.  

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Filed under Breakfast, Product Review

National Geographic Kids Books

I have always loved to read. Always. Even as a kid, I was always reading. I think that it’s important for parents to encourage their kids to read things that they enjoy. Kids will learn to love reading more if they read things that they want to read rather than something they’re forced to read.

I believe in encouraging kids to read what they enjoy whether it’s a book, a comic book, or the sports section of the newspaper. When Jacob was younger he used to love to read the dictionary and medical books. He still loves reading now, and we often read a lot of the same book (I’m not really sure what that says about my reading level :) )

I always make it a point to take my kids to the library, book store, or let them pick out a book from their book club orders at school.

So, when Mom’s Meet approached me about reviewing the National Geographic Kids books, I was happy to take the opportunity.

I received a big box of National Geographic Kids books in the mail.

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I was very excited to see the variety of the books. I have four kids at home in the afternoons (my two boys, my niece, and another girl I watch), and they range from ages 2-12. The National Geographic books are great because their geared at kids of all ages and reading levels. There is something for everyone!

National Geographic books are full of photos, fun facts, and offer the perfect educational balance.

Jacob (my 12 year old) loves The Ultimate Weird but True and First Big Book of Why books.

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He is the type of kid that craves knowledge and knows more random facts than anyone I know.

Jaden (my 6 year old) loves the animal books, especially the Meerkats book.

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These books are great for me to read to him and my niece and for Jaden to practice reading on his own.

The pictures in the book are fantastic and really hold a kid’s attention.

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National Geographic books provide visual stimulation, active engagement, and are great educational learning material.

All in all, National Geographic Kids are great books that would make any kid want to read. I really like that National Geographic focuses on how to make kids enjoy reading more.

They have four main goals:

  • Get kids super excited about reading
  • Build reading focus and stamina
  • Encourage kids to higher reading levels
  • Empower kids to learn more about their world

You can learn more here. National Geographic definitely met these goals with my children!

  • Do you like to read?
  • Did you read as a child? What were your favorite books?

I was provided the National Geographic Kids books by Mom’s Meet to review on my blog at no charge. All opinions are my own (and my kids!).

 

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Happy Friday! It’s the kids last day of summer break before they go back to school on Monday!

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Going to the gym:

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My right hip and glute have been sore from practicing BodyPump at home, so today at the gym I stretched during the squat and lunge tracks so my legs could rest.

The instructor was really nice and gave me a lot of info about the certification weekend and said she would help me practice my tracks at the gym if I wanted her to.

At first, I was so nervous that learning the whole track would be so hard to do, but I actually memorized the whole back track pretty quickly. I can do it pretty good without any notes and only using the CD. I do have to work on my timing a bit though. Next, I will be tackling the chest track.

The fitness manager let me borrow a body bar to take home and practice with.

Random awkward self-pic of me and the body bar:

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I debated which weight to bring home and I decided to go with the lightest – 9 lbs. Since I practice the track 4-5 times in a row and it’s over five minutes long, I figured that it would be best to practice with a light weight. During actual BodyPump classes, I go heavier.

After the gym we came home and took some more self-pics. Jaden was very happy with his face in this picture :)

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Three pictures of me in one post – just sayin’.

This afternoon we’re headed to my kids schools for a meet the teacher day.

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Tomorrow we have my nephew’s first birthday party. I can’t believe how fast time flies by!

Have a great weekend! And don’t forget to enter the FRS giveaway!

  • Do you have any plans this weekend?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Getting Started with BodyPump

Yesterday’s Workout

  • 10 minutes elliptical
  • Upper Body Workout
  • 2 minute plank
  • Bridges (3 sets of 10)
  • Hip stretches

Yesterday’s Dinner

I’ve only recently discovered how good sweet potatoes are so I’ve been eating them more often. Last night, I planned on steaming a sweet potato in the microwave but at the last minute I decided to cut  up for sweet potato fries.

They turned out good, but they were kind of soggy, not crispy. I drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, paprika, and cinnamon. I baked them for about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees but they still came out soggy. Any tips? I’ll have to try again.

My niece helped me cook dinner. She loves the carrots.

BodyPump

Yesterday, I got my BodyPump DVD and tracks to memorize in the mail!

I was so lucky not to get the squat or lunge track, but I did get two of the longest songs to memorize. I have to memorize the back and chest tracks. And it’s the brand new BodyPump release so I’m not familiar with it yet.

I am a bit overwhelmed and not really sure how to go about memorizing them. I’ve never had to memorize choreography and counts before. And certain moves need to need started when a certain word in sung in the song. It’s a bit comfusing.

I received a DVD and CD. I have to watch the DVD and learn the moves, and then be able to do the moves with just the CD. It’s hard because I don’t have any BodyPump equipment at home but if I practice at the gym then I need a way to watch the DVD.

I’ll figure it out, I just don’t know where to start. I watched the DVD and did the back track a few times yesterday so that’s a start.

Today

I had physical therapy this morning, and I got to do a few new exercises. I started out with 10 minutes on the elliptical, followed by tube walking side to side, step-ups, side step-ups, and squats. I seem to be progressing.

My plan for the week is to go to BodyPump on Wednesday and Friday so it can help me with practicing, but I do plan on skipping the squat and lunge tracks.

This is my kids last week of summer break before school starts so we took advantage of the nice weather and went to the park this morning.

Before the park, we stopped at the store and I think the grocery store has been browsing on Pinterest because we saw a cake there that I’ve only seen on Pinterest.

A Kit Kat cake with M&Ms or as I like to call it – heaven on Earth :)

Have a great day!

  • How do you cook sweet potatoes?
  • Any workout today?
  • Do you have a good memory?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Day Three and Something Totally Random

Halfway done with Day Three of juicing. Thank goodness.

This juice cleanse was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s tough, but I’m sticking it out.

It’s not even that I’m hungry. It’s more that I have a constant headache, feel a little off, and am exhausted. I read that during a juice cleanse some people feel so energized that they want to clean the house top to bottom. Ha! I feel like I want to lay in bed all day and not get out.

On the Skinny Limits website there is a list of approved food that you can eat if you decide to add food to your juice cleanse – mainly organic fruits and veggies. I had decided that I would eat these fruits and veggies on day three because this juice cleanse is difficult.

Then I talked to my dad.

He basically said suck it up, buttercup.

Damn. So, I decided to suck it up and go the full three days only drinking the juice (as well as water and green tea). Right now I don’t like my dad.

But I suppose he’s right. It’s all about willpower. I usually have very little willpower, but this time I’m sticking it out.

I woke up this morning (day 3) feeling good.  We’ll see what the day brings.

Wherever I go, the juice goes.

Summer With Kids

My kids are officially out of school for the summer and this is when the craziness begins. After about two days of being out of school, I start hearing things like, I’m bored, there’s nothing to do and Jaden won’t get out of my room followed by a few loud bangs and then screaming.

Summer is exhausting.

Last year, I wrote a post about things to do with kids over summer break. I’ll definitely be using those ideas this year as well.

My kids have a lot of energy and are very active. They also fight a lot. They are six years apart in age, so sometimes Jacob tends to get very frustrated with Jaden. And lately Jaden has been throwing full-out screaming tantrums. Have I mentioned I love summer?

This year, I decided to do something different to try to get their behavior under control. They’re not exactly misbehaved, but they know they can get away with more at home than they can at school. And their energy has them bouncing off the walls sometimes.

I went online and printed out sheets of angry birds pretend money.

I printed the money out here.

I cut them up and gave each of my kids $5. During the summer they can earn and lose the dollars. They can earn the dollars by being good, not fighting, listening nicely when I tell them to do something, behaving in the kids room at the gym, etc.

They lose dollars by fighting, not listening, throwing tantrums, etc. They can also turn in dollars for things such as playing their iPods, playing the computer, watching TV, etc.

At the end of the summer, I told them that they could trade all their pretend dollars in for real dollars. (I don’t expect it to be too much since they like to play their iPods a lot).

And yes, I am essentially paying my kids to be good. But you know what? It’s worth it to keep my sanity by the time summer is over. Even by Friday nights when Danny gets home from work, I am at my wit’s end sometimes. But of course, I do it because that’s what I chose to do, and I don’t regret my decision to stay home with my kids. I’m just trying to make it a bit easier for everyone :)

Random News

In totally random news, my mom made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. I could give you 100 guesses why she’s in the book and you’d probably never guess why.

She’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people dressed as Superman in one place. 566 Supermans.

I told you it was totally random. It’s actually a tie-in with the new Superman movie that’s coming out June 14th.  You can read the article about it here.

Great job being Superman, Mom.

  • Any plans this summer?
  • Ever been in the Guinness Book of World Records?
  • What would you want to be in it for? I would pick eating the most donuts because I love donuts. Forever.

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Back to Normal…For Now

Good afternoon! Back to school and work today!

My schedule got back to “normal” today also. I have been watching my niece from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm for the past three weeks. But today my brother went back to his normal schedule, so I am back to picking her up in the afternoons.

So, for this week only, I am back to getting to the gym around 8:40 am to workout. I can also run outside in the mornings this week which I am looking forward to because that means I won’t have to run at night. I have a 8 mile run on my 15k training plan for this week that I am going to try to do either Thursday or Saturday.

Monday is the last day of school which means my kids will be home all day and my workouts will have to change up a bit.

Today’s Workout

  • Butts and Guts – 60 minutes

That’s Jaden’s finger across the top of the screen. I just got a new phone, so Jaden is still learning how to use the camera :) I’m pretty sure that my kids can work electronics better than I can.

My new pink Under Armour shoes:

(Instagram)

Yesterday

Yesterday afternoon we went to my grandparent’s house to visit and cook out.

The boys at the grill.

My sister-in-law makes this delicious spinach and artichoke dip with warm pita bread and it’s so delicious.

Marlene made an awesome éclair cake (I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite dessert). Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it, but it was to die for.

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing Frisbee golf.

I tired it a few times before determining that I am no good at Frisbee golf. Oh well.

Today’s Lunch

Lunch this afternoon was a strawberry and pineapple smoothie that I ate in the car.

I try not to eat meals in the car, but sometimes it happens.

In my smoothie:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • Pineapple Greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces Trop50 orange juice

I am loving the single serve cup on my Ninja blender. It’s so quick and easy!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What was the best thing you ate yesterday?
  • Ever play Frisbee golf?
  • If you have kids, are they out of school soon?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday and first day of March!

Yesterday

I’m very happy to say that I ate good all day yesterday. For dinner, I had spaghetti squash with veggies, marinara sauce, and feta cheese.

It was so good, and  spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta.

I had 6.5 ounces of spaghetti squash and the total calories for the whole dish (with sauce, veggies, and feta) was 235 calories. If I had made it with 6.5 ounces of spaghetti instead it would have been approximately 475 calories. So, I am saving calories, carbs, and getting my veggies in!

I honestly don’t miss the pasta noodles. Yes, I think it’s fine to eat pasta, but I like spaghetti squash, so I eat it :)

I like making simple substitutions like the squash for the pasta noodles because it means that I have some extra calories for a treat! I picked up these Skinny Cow peanut butter creme treats to try out.

Peanut butter and chocolate?! Yes, please.

Today’s Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was such a great idea, and so delicious I felt like I was eating dessert. I mixed one tablespoon of PB2 into a vanilla Greek yogurt.

So. Good.

I think I might have this as an after dinner treat with a few chocolate chips thrown on top.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Zumba – 60 minutes

The kids didn’t have any school today so they came to the kid’s room at the gym with me.

I checked on them after BodyPump, and they were doing good, so I stuck around for Zumba. Fun times. Fun times.

The rest of the afternoon will be spent making lunch and doing some laundry and stuff.

Tomorrow, we’re going to my grandparent’s house for a game night and chip tasting party.

Lay’s just came out with three new flavors – chicken & waffles, sriracha, and cheesy garlic bread – and I think people can vote for their favorite flavor on their website. ( I had to google sriracha. It’s a hot sauce from Thailand).

I am not excited about the chicken and waffle flavor. It just sounds weird, but we’re going to have a fun night tasting them all!

Have a wonderful weekend!

  • What flavor chips would you like to try the most – chicken and waffles, sriracha, or cheesy garlic bread?
  • Any plans this weekend?
  • What did you have for dinner last night? Tonight?

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Fitness, Working Out

I Survived

Yesterday

Well, I survived the afternoon with four kids yesterday! It actually wasn’t too bad. I did let the Jacob and Jaden play a game on the computer though, which I usually don’t do during the week. But I had to keep them busy so they wouldn’t get crazy. They’re six years apart and the age difference has them fighting and arguing a lot. I mean, they get along for the most part but they’re always arguing about something.

Baby McCutie loved my nephew. She kept trying to hug him and give him a high-five.

Please ignore my crazy hair:

Danny came home a little bit early which was nice because every time I was holding the baby, my niece wanted me to hold her or she started to get into something. Having a baby and a toddler is actually quite a workout!

Uncle Danny with the baby:

My brother-in-law got there about 6pm to pick up his son. Baby McCutie Lovie had to go check him out and decided that he was worthy to hold her.

I’m glad that the afternoon went as smooth as possible, and I was able to help my brother-in-law and sister-in-law with the baby.

 

Last night, I came downstairs and found Danny trying to fix the Christmas lights.

I thought it was a cool picture.

Some of the bulbs are out and Danny has spent the last week trying to fix them. I told him he was just going to have to cut his losses and spend $8 on a new strand of lights. He disagreed and continued staring at the lights. Hmmm…

Today

Despite the chilly weather outside, I was craving cold overnight oats. So, last night I mixed up strawberry Greek yogurt, oats, and almond milk before going to bed. This morning, I topped it with a bit of Special K cereal.

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical – 15 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I have been doing the elliptical in the mornings rather than the treadmill because my calves have been feeling a lot tighter lately. I have a history of tight calf muscles, so I thought I’d do the elliptical because it doesn’t seem to bother them as much. They did kill after squats in BodyPump this morning though!

I’m going to try to get some gifts wrapped before the kids get home from school. Have a great afternoon!

Questions of the day:

  • Favorite breakfast?
  • Favorite workout?
    Where do you hide Christmas presents? Or do you just put them under the tree once they’re wrapped?

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Filed under Breakfast, Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Things to do with Kids Over the Summer

Summer break is quickly approaching and that means I’ll have three kids home during the day (my two boys and my niece). We need to have things planned to do during the summer, or we’ll all go crazy! I’ve put together a list of things to do with kids during the summer that is either free or cheap.

  • The Library I say this all the time, but the library is a great place because they have so many programs and it’s all free. Plus, it’s air-conditioned! Besides books, libraries have computers, games, and toys. They also have story times for kids of all ages. My library even does story time in the park during the summer. They also have craft nights, summer book clubs with prizes, and video game nights.
  • The Splash Park The kids and I live at the splash park during the summer. If you’ve never been to a splash park, it’s a park where water comes out of the ground or sprays from other objects. The kids can play, but still get wet and cool off. And it’s free! We usually pack a lunch, and head out to the splash park for a few hours. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Local park districts usually have a list of all the parks in the area, so check yours out to find a park near you.
  • The Pool We usually set up a little pool in the backyard. The kids love to play in it and could stay outside all day. You can usually find a pool for pretty inexpensive, and it will last all summer. Or you could go to a local pool. We do this a few times during the summer, but it can be expensive. If you plan on going a lot, definitely get a pool pass. They are worth it. Also, a lot of pools have a discounted rate after a certain time.

  • Camps If you have the money, camp is a fun place for kids. They usually last about a week or so, and there are so many different types – sports camp, nature camp, swimming camp. We usually do karate camp, and the kids both want to take tennis lessons this summer. If you don’t want to pay for camp, why not make your own camp at home? You could have a sports camp for your children and play a different sport every day of the week – baseball, basketball, football, tennis, hockey, etc. Or you could have a nature camp, and go for walks or bird watching or bug collecting.
  • The Park District You can usually find summer camps at your local park district, but they have lots of other programs too. Our park district hosts “a day of play” that the kids love going to. Park district brochure’s usually list all the summer activities from movie nights in the park to fishing derbies.
  • Groupon Websites like Groupon are a great places for deals during the summer. I recently bought a Groupon for more than 50% off four passes to a local children’s museum that we’ll use during the summer.

  • 50 Parks Summer The kids and I did something a couple of years ago that we called “50 parks summer.” Throughout the summer, we went to 50 different parks. We wrote down each park and put a star next to our favorites so that we could go back. There are parks everywhere. We drove around to find some, used Google to find some, and used the GPS to find some. Besides gas, it didn’t cost anything and the kids loved it.
  • Water Play Besides the pool and the splash park, there are tons of ways to play with water over the summer. Spray bottles, squirt guns, buckets of water and paintbrushes to paint the sidewalk, slip and slide, the hose, and water balloons. One of our favorite things to do is fill up a bunch of water balloons and then hide until Danny gets home work and then bombard him. It’s really fun..until Danny gets us back.

  • Fishing Kids love to fish, at least mine do. If you’re not really into fishing, like me, then enlist dad, uncle, grandpa, or random guy to take them fishing. Then sit back and relax while they’re gone. Fishing licenses are fairly inexpensive. Danny just bought his at Sports Authority for $15. Did you even know that you needed a license to fish?! I sure didn’t.
  • Chuck E. Cheese When all else fails go to Chuck E. Cheese…or send the kids to Grandma’s house.

Do you have any fun summer activities to add to the list?

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How to Stay Organized

Breakfast

I don’t feel good. My throat hurts, my chest hurts, and I’m tired. Aren’t I just a  little ray of sunshine this morning?

Whenever I’m not feeling good, I don’t like to drink hot coffee. Luckily, I have iced coffee k-cups on hand, because I need my coffee. I’m an addict.

Last week at Target, I found these Van’s waffle sticks:

I love Van’s regular waffles, so I figured these would be good too. I made three of them with yogurt and granola. I was originally going to make four, but I’m glad that I didn’t because I could only eat two and a half. They are pretty thick and really good.

When I’m sick, I always need orange juice, so I have been drinking a big glass of juice this morning. Hopefully, it will help me feel better. Vitamin C, baby!

Organization

I have a husband and two kids, so three kids. And sometimes it’s hard to get places on time and keep track of where everyone needs to be. So, I thought that I would share the tips that I use to make life run smoothly and stay organized.

These are tips that work for me and my family. But they could also work for people who have no kids, or live alone, or with someone else. Anything that helps save time in life is good in my book.

1. Keep a Calendar - I have a giant dry erase calendar that hangs in the laundry room. It’s right next to the kitchen, so it’s something I look at every single day.

Each member of the family is designated a different color marker, and all their activities are written in that color.  For example, my color is pink, so my work days are written in pink. My son’s color is blue, so his karate is written in that color.

That is last month’s calendar, so that you can’t stalk me. I know you want to.

2. Save important papers with dates, then toss them. - the day that I make our calendar, I gather all the kid’s school papers and calendars that have important dates that need to be written down. I use those papers to make the calendar.

Once all the important dates are written, I throw away the papers. That helps save on all the clutter.

3. Keep a personal calendar - I prefer an organizer that I can write in. Some people prefer to do it electronically, whatever works for you. My organizer has a monthly calendar and a day-to-day calendar in it.

I recently bought that pen so that I can keep my organizer color coded also. It’s a four-color pen, and as soon as Danny saw it, he said, “What are you in 8th grade?” Jerkface. I like my pen. He’s just jealous.

The four-color pen was $2 and the four pack of pens was $5. You do the math. I’m just trying to save us money so that we can buy more ice cream. Jeesh.

I use the monthly calendar in the organizer to write down important dates, just like on our giant calendar. It might seem time-consuming to do it twice, but I can carry this book with me and always see what’s going on.

I use the day-by-day part to write down daily “to-do” lists. I am very big on lists, I make a list for everything. Wake up, check. Pee, check. Brush teeth, check.

Here’s today’s list, if you want to stalk me.

If I didn’t make lists, I would lose my mind and nothing what get done and I would forget that I had kids.

4. Lay out clothes the night before - This helps to keep our mornings run smoothly. I don’t always do it because the kids are pretty good about pulling something out of their closets and getting dressed, but sometimes I do.

Even if you don’t have kids, this is a good time saver. I even lay my workout clothes out the night before. Not only does this save time, but it makes me more motivated to work out if I’m too tired or lazy.

5. Always place items in the same place  - I always put my purse in the same place and the kids always put their backpacks and school stuff in the same place. This makes it easier to find what you need.

6. Clean out purse and backpack asap  – I always take out all of the receipts from my purse when I get home and put them away nicely. <—- Okay, that was a total lie. I never clean out my purse. It is so full of receipts and junk, it isn’t even funny. I should start doing that though….

I really do clean out my kid’s backpacks right away though. I go through all the papers in my younger son’s backpack, and save what I need to and recycle the rest.

My older son does it himself. As soon as he gets home from school, he empties his lunchbox and takes out his folder. I go through the papers and sign anything that needs to be.

7. Keep a constant schedule – this kind of goes with the above rule. Kids thrive on schedules. Well, my kids do. It makes things so much easier and faster if you have a set routine.

Our morning are always the same. 

7:15-7:30 am – wake up or have mom drag you out of bed. Your choice.

7:30-7:50 – eat breakfast

7:50-8:00 – brush teeth, get dressed

8:00-8:20 – play or run around screaming and drive Mom crazy

8:20-8:35 – get ready to go. Get backpack, lunch, snack, & water bottle. Go to the bathroom, get on shoes, jacket, and hat.

8:35 – Leave house

Our morning are always the same, so they kids know exactly what to do and expect. The afternoons are a little looser, because we have activities. But my son always empties his backpack and does his homework right away.

Nighttime always has the same routine also.

Those are my tips for staying organized and sane. I would love to hear your tips for staying organized!

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