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Friday, January 15, 2016

Weekend Happenings, THE EMPTY NEST, Blog Linkage AND Pinterest Stuff (Toddler Fun)

Good Friday night!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I downloaded puppy pics from Roxie's camera before she left for Auburn.

As you can see, she is much better at "capturing" Tucker, but it can still be challenging.













He's sweet to me and Mike, but it is kind of obvious he misses The Chick.

He will just have to take a number.

RANDOMNESS #2 - THE EMPTY NEST - Mike and I have officially been Empty Nesters since August 6, 2015.

Five months now.

Well...

Four if you take into account Roxie was home for an entire month during her Christmas break.

So, four months.

I wish I could tell you Mike and I have adapted beautifully...

The transition was easy, breezy...

EVERYTHING fell right into place after the last of our children "flew the coop."

But, I would not be telling the absolute truth.

Guess what?

I've made a list!

PROS FOR BEING A TOTAL AND COMPLETE EMPTY NESTER

1. The laundry pile is virtually non-existent. Who knew Mike and I produced SO LITTLE LAUNDRY? This is a huge pro. HUGE! That is why it is listed first.

2. When I straighten a room, it stays straightened.

3. The kitchen is much easier to clean.

4. I can bring in all of our groceries in just one trip from The Big Gold Van.

5. Mike and I can do anything and go anywhere we please without checking anyone else's schedule.

6. Toilet paper lasts SO much longer.

7. And milk! Don't get me started on how long a gallon of milk lasts now.

8. It is really, really quiet now. I mean, "the-house-has-been-abandoned" kind of quiet.

CONS FOR BEING A TOTAL AND COMPLETE EMPTY NESTER

1. I find I miss doing laundry. Who knew it was my favorite chore? Certainly not me!

2. Mike and I definitely live in the "back of the house," which is kinda sad because we have discovered the "front of the house" is where all the action was when the kids lived at home.

3. While the kitchen is easier to clean, I'm having to learn to cook for a much smaller group, so that's been a little harder...

But I'm getting there.

4. If The Big Gold Van was becoming obsolete during the last two years of Roxie's high school career, you can imagine how useful it is now.

5. I had thought with the house so quiet, my mind (which has been scattered all over the place the last 24 years or so) would become more focused and sharp.

Yeah.

That hasn't happened yet.

6. Mike and I have both come to realize we weren't the main people talking during meals. (I have threatened him with a Conversation Jar if things don't start to improve!)

7. Becoming an actual Empty Nester made me finally realize Mike and I are really, really old.

Mike more so than me, but still.


See?

While I know it's difficult for me and Mike, it is especially hard for Roxie right now. She hasn't been able to cope as well as her Dad and I to this "leaving the nest" thing.

What can I say? We're pretty hard to leave.


I know what you're thinking.

She looks pretty "well-adjusted" in this picture.

Well, that's where you would be WRONG!

She is crying...

Nay...

Sobbing on the inside.

I just know it!

NOTE - When all is said and done, I know this "season of life" is going to be something we really enjoy.

It is just going to take a little longer than four months to get there!

Blog Linkage - Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List and read today's post about MORNINGS! I'm not a "morning person," but this post makes me wish...

Hmmm.

Nope. I am going to continue to embrace being a "mid-afternoon (2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.) person." It works for me.

Pinterest Stuff

Toddler Fun

Since I have started the Nana-for-Hire business AND become a Nana to Judith in real life, I have been researching fun and affordable toddler activities. As usual, Pinterest has been a lifesaver.

Rip It and Stick It Pictures

1. Buy a roll of clear contact paper at The Dollar Tree. Use tissue paper OR if you are/were a scrapbooker, use some of the scraps you've collected over the years.

2. Tape the contact paper "sticky side up" on the floor OR on a window frame.

3. Demonstrate how to rip the paper. If the toddler has trouble making it tear, you can make it easier by putting several small "rips" in different areas of the paper.

4. Let them rip and stick as much as they like...

And then start a new picture.

Sticky Snowmen/Sticky Sheep

1. Using the same concept as above, use a Sharpie to draw the outline of a snowman on one piece of contact paper (sticky side up) and next draw the outline of a big fluffy sheep on another piece of contact paper.

2. Let the toddler use cotton balls to fill in the snowman and sheep.

3. You can also break white cotton swabs in half and show the child how to make snowflakes using the half sticks.

Wrap Treasures in Aluminum Foil

1. I went to The Dollar Tree and purchased a stuffed Love Bug, a princess mirror and comb, a princess figurine and a bag of animal crackers.

2. I loosely wrapped each individual item in foil making sure I went around the toy two times.

3. I put all five items in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and gave it to an almost three year-old.

HUGE, HUGE SUCCESS!

Bow Hunt

1. Keep around 20 bows from your Christmas packages in a small bag to use later.

2. Place toddler in baby bed and hide the bows (in plain sight) around one room.

3. Bring the child into the room, show them what they are looking for and turn them loose.

I played this nine times with a toddler, and she still wanted to play ONE MORE TIME!

Weekend Happenings

1. Today was a good day. I planned and finalized Josh and Courtney's Rehearsal Dinner. I had a nice, long lunch with Josh, and we talked about all sorts of things.

He, Mike and Austin had planned a Boys' Night earlier in the week, so as I type this post, they are enjoying dinner and a movie...

And I am Tucker-sitting.

2. Tomorrow, Judith is going to come visit for a little while and more wedding stuff will be taken care of during the afternoon hours. (I predict I will have an abundance of Judith pics to post next Friday. My camera battery is charging as we speak!)

3. Sunday is all about worship, and perhaps a little Sunday afternoon snooze.

Just between you and me, I am really looking forward to Sunday!

I hope you have a magnificent weekend. I'll be back next Friday with MORE!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

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