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Showing posts with the label Routines

Throwback Thursday: Winner's Circle

If you're looking for a creative way to make your morning routine smoother, this is something I did when our boys were young. To clear up any confusion about our boys: At 10 years old, Logan chose to go by his middle name, Michael.  This was first published in 2010. Our mornings are hectic just like everyone else's. I found myself yelling more than I like to so I came up with this crazy idea - and it's working. We all went to the trophy store and chose three trophies. The trophies were "engraved" with one of these: Today's Winner: Good Breakfast Eater Today's Winner: Excellent at Following Directions Today's Winner: Showing Good Behavior Rules: Each morning, Ben, Logan and Sean have the opportunity to receive one or more of the trophies. At the end of the morning, they may be presented with a trophy.  Not everyone has to get a trophy.  The winner keeps the trophy in their room for the day (think Stanley Cup).  At night, the trophy goes back

Gearing Up for Summer

With summer approaching, most families change their schedules to include vacations and downtime. It is a celebrated time, one that most parents reminisce about their own childhood summers filled with beaches, pools, late nights watching the stars, camping and roasting marshmallows. As parents we try to reinvent this for our own children because we enjoyed it all so much. But it can be tiring! As I have said last year in Surviving Summer , this is probably the most difficult season for parents with children with special needs. Typically children with special needs thrive on a constant schedule filled with short bursts of activities that change at regular intervals - like a classroom setting or a well-run camp. Parents and families trying to imitate this is near impossible without their own housekeeper and camp counselor staff. I had a taste of summer this past week. It was spring break for us and all three boys were home with me. We had late mornings and then an activity and doctor&

Ben's Famous Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothie

A morning ritual at our house is the making of the smoothies. Ben drinks a smoothie every morning before school. His favorite flavor is a derivative from a favorite dish he has eaten since he was one year old - peanut butter and banana blended together. It is full of calcium, protein and calories and a whole lot better than other breakfast alternatives promoted to kids. Unfortunately for Ben, Sean has taken to drinking this drink also. Ben does not seem to mind sharing because Sean brings him his drink and watches Bob the Builder with him. Ingredients: 2 bananas 2 large tablespoons of yogurt (I use whole milk vanilla ) 2 large tablespoons of peanut butter (usually creamy) 2 cups of whole milk (this is a guess) Directions: Blend all above items in blender and serve immediately in 2-4 cups depending on size of cups. You can sneak in flax seed or other healthy additions to the smoothie.

Bad Habit or Good Routine?

How do you tell the difference between a bad habit and a good routine? For the past several months, at about 8pm, Ben crawls up on the couch with my husband or me, cuddles and falls asleep within the hour. It started out with a lot of oohs and ahhs from us - snuggling with Ben is very sweet. If we move him too early, he gets out of his room and crawls right back with us as if nothing happened. I do wonder if we are doing the right thing by allowing this behavior. Questions enter my mind - Do I want this same behavior six months from now? Not sure. Would I allow my typical sons to do this? Definitely not. But then I also think about how life has changed in the past year with respect to Ben's sleep schedule. He is not getting up many times a night due to nasal congestion. He is going to sleep at a reasonable hour and sleeping until morning. Ben's snuggling could be meeting a need - spending time with us without his brothers. Ben is in school or camp all day, then typical

I Love Mornings!

My friends and I were saying the other day how easy Carol Brady had it on the TV show “The Brady Bunch.” She had Alice to grocery shop, make the kids lunches, do laundry and housework. If I had an Alice, my mornings would be calm, not the tornado-like, clock-watching, running around, losing-my-mind type that I face every morning. On Friday as Ben was getting on the bus, I commented to the bus driver that I may have overdressed him because it is hot outside. The bus driver looked at me funny and said that it was very cold out. Then I realized I had run a mini-marathon inside my house digging up shoes, chewies, coats, breakfast dishes, homework and anything else that fell in my path. With that being said, I do have a routine to help us have good mornings. And to my credit, we have never missed the bus yet, although we have come mighty close. Here are some simple tips I follow for a successful* morning at our house: • Plan the clothes out the night before. I set everything up so that I