Monday, September 29, 2014

Relaxation Jars

While in Maryland a few weeks ago I had TIME! Time to read about parenting and see my best friend Ella. That was about it. Now, in my readings, I kept coming across the "proper" way to use a timeout. I find myself on both sides of that coin sometimes, but I am trying, and frankly, sometimes I need the minute for me. Nonetheless, it has made me more conscious of how we are (trying) to implement discipline in the Mammen household. One thing I kept returning to is that I haven't worked (hard enough) to foster other methods of calming my children besides timeout or holding them. Enter, the much mythicized Relaxation Jar. It is a colorful jar filled with glitter and glitter glue and little plastic figurines. When your child is upset, you are supposed to have them shake up the jar and watch and wait for all of the glitter to settle. We have used it to moderate success a few times since we made them, but I will say the crafting was a hit and I bet with consistent implementation we could actually get some relaxation out of this big jar.

Zahra choose red coloring to dye her water. Can you tell!?

Zahra got a little carried away with the plastic ponies.


Then she used her Relaxation Jar as a chair...

Surprise! Zayd chose blue. Blue glitter, blue dye, blue glue. You name it. Sadly, he used an entire tube of blue food coloring so you can't see into his at all. It makes it more time-consuming though because he has to search through the glitter for his fish or little lego man he threw in.

As an aside, I have started putting Zahra's hair in a casual up-do with a single bobby pin and I am pretty sure there is nothing more spectacular than a one year old with an up-do springing forth with ringlets.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lavender Tea and Traditions

I feel like traditions aren't what I thought they were when I was younger. When I was younger (counting from the time I started analyzing my place in the world until...last year?) I thought that my family didn't have any traditions. We came from too many different places and had too many different experiences to have "traditions". There were no traditional Christmas Cookies, we didn't take the same vacation every summer, we didn't have Thursday Taco Night or Pizza every Friday or any sort of food schedule that I can recall. Now that I have kids, I similarly lack the traditions that I feel the Texans around me are all busy cultivating. But there are things. Things that remain the same even though we didn't and we don't try. Nearly every night of my life there was Haagen Daaz Coffee Ice Cream in the Saleem household. Every. Night. And by the time I was a teen, there was tea too. 

Now I run my own household and dream of matching Christmas PJs (which I have successfully pulled off once), balloons on your birthday, paletas on Sunday, or any number of rituals that will make our house a "home". Sometimes, while you are busy planning traditions, you fail to miss the ones you didn't have to work for. These little Z's drink tea nearly every night with their mama. The best part is knowing that 186 miles away, Nana is probably drinking tea too. Traditions.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Nani's 60th Birthday

Our favorite lady turned 60 this year and the kiddos are very excited to be hosting a a little party in her honor. For her birthday, Nani received an invitation to her birthday party. It was a present conceived by myself, Nana, and Uncle Jon but 100% "wrapped" by the littlest Z's.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Zahra Eats Like a "Bird"/T-Rex was a "Bird"

I have no words. This is every Sunday courtesy of our beloved Nanogenarian (yes, I looked it up).

Montessori Schoolhouse Family Picnic

Yesterday was our first Montessori Schoolhouse family picnic and it was fantastic. It's been a rough-ish transition into schooling (for Sam, Me, Zayd and Zahra in that order) and it was so great to spend two hours at their school with their teachers talking about our littles and how they're doing. It turns out great.

Zayd is super analytical and won't try work until he has seen someone else do it first. (Perfectionist, much?) Zahra is the only one who sits through the entire music class, mesmerized. The teacher has to round up other kids but not Zahra. Last week she woke from nap singing. Let's be clear she is only still and 100% committed during music. The Spanish teacher had nothing to say...

And to make it even more amazing, it was fall here for one short weekend. We wore sweaters!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Legos and Flowers and Neighbors Oh My!

We enjoyed a spectacular Friday evening with our fellow Carnahaners at our neighborhood gem, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. We braved the rain which was actually a superbly fun way for the kiddos to make the trek over. My favorite part about the whole adventure is that we basically planned it twenty minutes before we headed out from or front yards. I live in a place where we hang out in our FRONT yards, create playdates on the fly and have twelve person pizza parties with no planning. It doesn't get much better than this.