Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere!

Last week was March Break here, we started off the week with a bang before my oldest boys had sleepover’s at cousins and grandparents houses!

I was able to bring all three boys together at the dinning table to play together and experience some sensory activity playtime. An occurrence that rarely happens as usually my toddler is left out of the really fun activities due to his age difference from the other two. But I thought if we could make enough bubbles to play with, they could all join in on the fun!

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DSC03090So it started with me making bubbles in the kitchen from dish soap and water, then skimming off the bubbles and placing in a pot and then dumping the pot o’ bubbles onto the table. I had laid out various toys on the table, all appropriate for my 15 month old to play with but still fun for my 4 and 5 year olds too. Some mega Lego blocks, a few animals, a bus and some toddler Playmobil. All toys were able to get wet and wouldn’t ruin.

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I then returned to the kitchen and made more and more bubbles! I made bubbles for quite some time, but it was worth it as all three had a glorious time playing at the table. My toddler thought it was great to finally be able to participate in a fun activity with his brothers.

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My 4 and 5 yr olds gravitated towards the building blocks and made some snow ploughs to push the bubbles around.

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Eventually I stopped making bubbles, and was able to just watch them play until the bubbles ran out, to which my 5 yr old said “Mom, all the bubbles are disappearing, we need more bubbles!” But my time in the kitchen was over, so hence, bubble play eventually ended as well.

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We will definitely do this activity again, it was a hit! And if you decide to do this activity, make sure the kids are wearing aprons (they will get wet), and you don’t mind the table and floor getting wet as it is impossible to keep the bubbles on the table. Although on the bright side, after the clean-up is done you have clean toys, a clean table and a clean floor.

Now go and play!

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Tooting My Horn!

DSC01460I did it! I made it 30 days without yelling and loving more! It’s actually been 35 days now and I am going to keep going.

I actually wasn’t sure if it was possible, I mean I was determined to do it but wasn’t sure if it was a reachable goal. Now I see it can be done and I feel so good!

Not yelling at my kids, or anyone for DSC01285that matter really makes a big difference in the tone of the whole household, not to mention makes me feel better at the end of everyday. I was never a big yeller in the the first place but as I mentioned in recent posts I was starting to yell more and more and I didn’t like it, never mind the fact that yelling didn’t really work in getting what I wanted and my 4yo was starting to pick up on it and was starting to yell more and more himself. Not yelling has made a world of difference in keeping the house calm, well mostly calm, and figuring out new ways to solve problems.

When I started this 30 day challenge I didn’t know why I was yelling more, but by doing this challenge and getting some tips from The Orange Rhino site I was able to better understand the reasons I yelled, my triggers, and then I was able to find ways to manage my triggers and stay calm.

DSC01243I realized my biggest trigger was the morning rush to get everyone out of the house and to schools on time. This was a huge trigger for me. The kids needed to get ready for the day and my baby needed to be taken care of. I would often yell for my 4yo to hurry up and get ready. I realized this yelling was not caused by my children, but by my feelings of being stressed, not wanting to be late. I am now better able to deal with this trigger by allowing more time in the morning to get things done, making sure to give my 4yo lots of time to get ready so we don’t have to rush. This makes for a much more pleasant and less stressful morning, and guess what, I don’t yell in the morning at all anymore and don’t even feel the urge to!

DSC01273There were some other triggers I found out, things I can’t change so easily like my boys fighting with each other, or getting my boys ready for bed. But I have found some other, more clam ways to deal with these triggers that do not involve yelling. Staying calm and waiting for them to calm down, then talking about it seems to be helping. It may take me a very long time to make dinner sometimes because of the boys’ fighting and the necessity for me to stop and wait/help them calm down so we can talk about it all together. But for me dinner can wait, being calm and talking with the boys is more important and I am learning to not worry about the time as much as I used to. This is hard for me as I hate being late and like a strict schedule, but I am working on it. Sometimes I have to remember to think, “What is more important? Dinner? Being somewhere on time? Or remaining calm, not yelling, solving the problem and talking about it?” Like I said, it’s hard but I am working on it and it’s getting better.

So for now I am tooting my horn and am excited that I have made it 35 days with no yelling! But I am realistic, and I know I have a long way to go before this challenge becomes easy. I have more to learn and I understand that slip-ups may happen, so I am determined to keep on trying if they do, and I am going for another 30 day Challenge!

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My 3yo, 4yo and I at the top of the Cherry Picker!

Here’s to Yelling Less and Loving More!

17 Days and Counting…

My Orange Rhino Challenge has had a few bumps in the road, but in all honesty I think I have been a much better parent since I have started this challenge. If you remember from my original post when I started I said that 30 days was my goal. Well that is still my goal, I have not reached it yet, but I am going to. It has been 17 days of no yelling and loving more! This is the longest I have gone thus far! I know I can do it!

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Building together

There are days when I think that this challenge is just CRAZY! That I will never make it! But I just try to remember why I have challenged myself. To be a better Mom, a better parent, a better person. A person that I can be proud of and have no regrets at the end of the day. And let me tell you, I feel way better at the end of the day when I do not yell. I can lay my head on my pillow and feel good about how I handled the various situations during the day. And I am sure my family feels better at the end of the day if they have not been yelled at, because, lets face it, no one like to get yelled at, right?

DSC01238I want to teach my children that there are many more productive and positive ways to deal with different emotions/situations and yelling does not need to be one of the ways. I have noticed that if I can remain calm then my children have a better shot at controlling themselves. My 4yo can be very emotional at times and sometimes has a hard time controlling his emotions. He sometimes is so upset he just can’t stop screaming or crying or acting out uncontrollably, and in the past this has increased my stress level and I reacted negatively, this only made it worse. But now when I keep calm I am showing him a better way to handle the situation and he is better able to calm down quicker so we can talk about whatever it is DSC01241that is bothering him. I know that kids copy and learn everything their parents do, so I feel I need to be a good example for them to learn from. I am trying to get my kids to talk about their problems instead of yell or hit, so I need to show them how to do that and modelling this behaviour is the best way.

The one thing I find the most difficult is talking with a firm tone of voice and not escalate to yelling. There is a fine line between being firm and losing control, sometimes I find it hard to not cross that line. There have been times when I actually had to think back to the occurrence to reflect on whether I crossed the line or not, and when I am DSC01243in doubt I ask my hubby what he thinks. Unfortunately, a couple of times, I had to start my challenge over and try again as I see I did cross that line, but some of the time I was able to manage myself and stay safely on the right side of the line and not yell.

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I understand that making this change is a long process, and I am learning a lot along the way. Each setback I have had has taught me something different and I have learned from them. I am determined to meet my 30 day challenge and I am prepared to start over as many times as it takes and never give up. It’s worth it.

The Orange Rhino Challenge is doing a “30 Days to Yelling Less Project”. I have signed myself up for it, as I know I could use the help. If you are interested in yelling less and would like to get started this would be a great way to start. Sign up is by Sunday June 2nd, 5pm EST. You can go here to register.

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“Cool Dude”