Friday, August 9, 2013

Helping a 6 Year Old's Self Esteem

I was tucking my beautiful 6 year old into bed tonight and he said something that caught me off guard. He had just gotten a hair cut and he told me he liked his hair cut, but he didn't like his face. This devastated me. Every single day, I make it a point to tell him how handsome he is, how well mannered he is, how intelligent he is, how kind he is, how generous he is, how loving he is, how kind he is, and how he is just a perfect person both inside and out. Somehow though, something seeped through his young, impressionable mind and impacted his self esteem. It made him doubt everything I have ever taught him to believe about himself. I am so troubled by this. How could this low self esteem start so young when he comes from such a loving family?

I reached out to my family and friends on Facebook for some self esteem boosting and they came out in droves. I posted a picture of him and comment after comment was made about what a handsome young man he has become...even a few remarks of a resemblance to Justin Bieber (he'll LOVE those!). This outpouring of support to help my little boy stand a little taller filled my heart with joy that just can't be put into words. I cannot wait for him to wake up in the morning and see all of the wonderful comments. This is what we need all the time, not just when called upon. We need this encouragement and love from the world to be shown upon all of our children every single day to ensure they are walking with their heads held high. There's just no excuse for a child to be feeling any other way. 

This was a huge wake up call to me this evening. I thought I was doing enough. I'm not though. I need to be doing more. I need to be doing whatever it takes to ensure my baby feels good about himself and can walk confidently through his school hallway when he faces others who may not be the kindest to him. He needs to KNOW he is an absolutely beautiful person on the inside AND outside and it does not matter what anyone else says, he is a courageous, intelligent, talented, strong little boy who had faced challenges in his life that no little boy should ever have to face and he has persevered and done so with humility and dignity and for that he is truly remarkable. I love him more than anything on the planet and my mission has always been to make sure he knows that. My new mission will be to make sure he loves himself as well. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Packing For the Beach

Another beach trip is upon us and it's our 5th trip to be same location and I must say, I have now become somewhat of a pro at packing exactly what we need to ensure an amazing beach experience. Our first couple of trips didn't go quite as well and many trips to the local Target were made buying the things I either forgot or never would have imagined I would have needed. So, I've decided to compile a list of often overlooked items that you may find useful while packing for your upcoming trip. This list is intended to be used in conjunction with your typical list of beach items (towels, sunblock, sand toys, etc.). 

Beach stuff:
-long handled fishing nets (trust me, your children will use these for HOURS trying to catch fish) 
-pop up sun shelter tent 
-electric inflator/deflator 
-small beach cooler
-small freezer packs
-reusable water bottles

Stuff to do other than the beach:
-water squirters
-party tub (seriously, easiest fun ever...just fill the tub with water and give your kids the squirters. They'll keep refilling them in the tub and have a blast!)
-water balloons
-cards/games (great for when the kids new a little down time or if it's rainy out)
-s'mores stuff 
-s'mores skewers (I found these awesome telescoping ones at the dollar bin at Target and I love them!)

First aid:
-waterproof bandages
-medicine (Tylenol/Motrin)
-tweezers (these come in handy for so many things, but if nothing else, just plucking the occasional stray eyebrow that's bound to pop up on vaca)

Other house stuff:
-liquid hand soap
-toilet paper (we always seem to run out of the rolls the house stocks for us)
-trash bags (again, we always run out of the provided ones)
-paper towels
-dishwasher detergent
-ziplock bags/Tupperware
-pop up hamper (this has revolutionized vacations for me! No more "living out of a suitcase" feel!)
-extension cord (because there's NEVER an outlet close enough to the bed to charge my phone at night)
-scissors (sounds stupid but I've always needed them for one thing or another)
-barbecue lighter
-pen & paper
-plastic plates/cups/utensils (I try not to use these the entire week, but maybe one or two days...I am on vacation after all!)

...and if you want to be super over-zealous, or have insomnia (or just want to procrastinate packing like I typically do), you can always plan to have a Minute to Win It night with your family. It is SO much fun!! The whole family will be cracking up, guaranteed! I have a whole Pinterest board you can check for great ideas here:

I hope some of the things on here are helpful to you or perhaps jog your memory to pack something else. Most importantly though, I hope your family has an absolutely wonderful beach vacation filled with lots of love and laughter and memories made. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Surprising the Boys with a Disney Cruise!

I never blog anymore, I just don't have time, or I forget, or I'm too lazy, or whatever the reason, but I wanted to about this. I recently booked a Disney Cruise for the boys and I wanted to think of a way to surprise them with it...surprise them big! So after some brainstorming, I hatched up a plan.

We often go geocaching in the local areas around us. For those of you who don't know what geocaching is, it's like a big treasure hunt game where you use your GPS to find "caches" that people have hidden in various places. It's so much fun! You have to try it if you haven't already! So, I decided to put together a box of Disney cruise "clues" and hide it in the woods while the boys were away. When they came home, I suggested that we go geocaching and they were all for it. I pulled out my phone and pretended to pull up the app that we use to navigate our way to local caches hidden. I got totally into it. "It says it's hidden near the river bank, under a tree, just beside a large rock." They were so excited.

My older son spotted it first and went running to it, where he then saw that our name was on it. He obviously knew something was up and quickly opened it.

Inside they found Mickey Mouse, an airplane, a cruise ship, an island, and a pirate telescope. They didn't quite understand. So I suggested that perhaps these were clues trying to tell them something. They still couldn't figure it out at first.

Then my older son got it...sort of. Lol! I FINALLY got to tell them the secret that I'd been keeping for what felt like forever! We were going to be taking a Disney cruise to the Bahamas!!! To be honest, their reaction was...anti-climactic. They were more concerned with peeing in the woods than with this ridiculously exciting news that I just shared with them, but they have become more and more excited with time and can't wait to go now. They're really looking forward to the pirate night on board the ship and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.

All in all, this was a really fun way to surprise the kids with the trip and I'm so glad I did it! So, if you're looking for a creative way to surprise your kids, I definitely recommend geocaching!