If you have suggestions on what you'd like to see, please let me know! I'm thinking of concentrating on arts & crafts, quick ways to show you love your kids, and just general fun stuff, plus a bit of sap. I'll try to include tips and articles to make parenting a little easier too.
Feel free to submit ideas or articles of your own if you want to share them!
Also, let me know if you prefer plain text or if a little color is okay. I kinda like an occasional small picture or snazzy font, but I don't want to choke anybody's system. Perhaps I could put out two versions, or I could put the pretty one online for you to click on if you wanted the photos and snazzy stuff. ;)
And now on with the newsletter.......
May first, or May Day, is just around the corner. In the olden days, folks used to celebrate May Day as the beginning of spring. Why not celebrate with your kids this year? Use the clothesline for a Maypole and tie long ribbons on it for the kids to dance with. Get some real or fake flowers (dandelions will do!) and weave flower garlands for their heads. A charming tradition is to make little May day baskets and fill them with treats (often these were flowers). Rise early and leave the baskets with a note on neighbors' doorsteps. What a sweet surprise they'll get when they open the door!
Here's a site with a fun computer art program you can download for free: http://www.crescentvision.com/ The program is Discover painting and Victoria tried the trial version last night. It was a lot of fun, and I even liked it better than the Crayola one. There are some nifty options like painting with "stitches" or paint splotches, complete with sound effects. I have absolutely no affiliation with them, just thought it was a fun way to spend some time with my toddler.
Once a week or so, we gather up some art supplies and write letters to someone special to brighten their day. Victoria and Annalee paint or color pictures while I write a brief letter. Then we bundle it all in an envelope and all walk down to the post office to mail it. I talk to the girls about whoever we're writing and how much this will make them happy, and then one of them gets to drop the letter in the mailbox. We do thank you notes this way, or else we just pick someone who could probably use a smile.
Decorating with a fun message!
I've been coveting the products that femail creations sells (www.femailcreations.com) but frankly their prices are just too much for my cheap self. I do love their art though, which is usually a fun message with some bright designs all around it. I came up with my own idea instead. I'm going to use some good watercolor paper and I'll write some fun messages in script on them (you could use your printer too). Then I'm going to paint the pages with the girls, using watercolors. I'll frame the best ones and put the rest on shifts on the refrigerator. Voila! Fun, inspirational art almost free. :)
Some ideas for your sayings:
Live well, Love much, Laugh often
Happily Ever After
10 ways to make today special
1. Make your child a thank you card for
being so wonderful
2. Watch the sunset together
3. Eat supper in a strange room, even on the floor
4. Play truth or dare
5. Make a fort out of couch cushions, sheets or boxes-- you climb in too
6. Take your little one's hand or foot and stamp prints in paint as decoration on a window sill, around a bathroom mirror, or on a piece of furniture. Write the date somewhere with her age.
7. Write a picture book together! Illustrate it during art time throughout the week.
8. Try circus tricks together. See if you can juggle, balance a ball on your nose or walk a "tightrope" on the floor.
9. Have a tea party. Let her be the host. Cut sandwiches with cookie cutters for tea sandwiches.
10. Tell the kids that today is hundred kisses day. Pick a sound, and every time you hear that sound all day you have to drop what you're doing and find your kids and give them 20 kisses loudly on their heads, bellies, knees or whatever you can grab. At the end of the day if you haven't heard the sound enough times to equal 100 you have to finish all the hundred kisses. You can pick a word too-- for instance any time anybody on TV says car then you give kisses.
a quick bit of a poem to Victoria at 1 1/2....
Your soft, warm hand
wraps round my finger
as we hup-two from room to room.
with that bright, round-cheeked grin.
You sing in a voice so high
only angels and dogs can hear you.
You laugh and laugh.
You are too much for poems,
my warm blonde cherub.
You fill my hugs, my hands, my days
with all of your magic, and still
I keep trying
to chase you down
with simple words.
You are a ribbon in the wind
and I, the tree you're tangled in
Next time you're about to pull your hair out and eat it in frustration at your kids, think forward to the days just around the corner when they'll be off playing with their friends, being teens with no time for us and eventually (sob) going off to college or to start their own lives. Think how much you'll long for another day when they're little and adore you, and relish the gifts they really are to us.
Don't forget to take care of you too!
Till next time,