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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Emilie Ruffle Onesie - FREE Pattern!

Ruffle butt onesies are one of my top sellers in my clothing shop.  They're super cute and quick to make!  The hardest part is lining up the ruffles on the backside of the onesie, but with a little practice that gets easier.

So how would you like a pattern for ruffle butt onesies...for FREE?

The pattern includes 9 pages of detailed, step-by-step instructions and measurements for adding ruffles and an applique to a purchased onesie. Sizes Newborn through 18-24 Months are included.

Just click on this link to download your free pattern.

I'd love to see pictures of your creations!  You can share them on the Little Owl Patterns Facebook page.

Happy sewing!

Check out more patterns from Little Owl Patterns here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bria Top Pattern - New Release!

 Introducing the Bria Top Pattern

The Bria Top is a simple knit top with options for a curved hem or banded hem. You can easily whip one up in less than an hour.

Photo courtesy of Kate's Custom Cuties

You do NOT need a serger to make this top. The instructions show how to make it with a regular sewing machine and a double needle (optional). This is a great first pattern for those just starting out with knit fabrics.

Photo courtesy of Cotton Candy Chic

I had at least one tester who hadn't sewn with knits before and she was able to sew the Bria top up with no problems. 

The pattern includes 15 pages of detailed, step-by-step instructions and pattern pieces.  A section with tips for sewing with knits and a double needle are included.

Photo courtesy of BumbleMonkey

Sizes 6-12 Months through 8 Years are included.

Photo courtesy of Peppermint Pipsqueaks Boutique

You will need 5/8 of a yard for sizes 6-12M thru 4T and 3/4 yard for sizes 5-8.  The difficulty rating for this pattern is confident beginner.

Photo courtesy of Annalie's Baby Boutique

You will need Adobe reader to open and view the file on your computer. You are welcome to sell the finished product. You may not resell the pdf pattern.

Photo courtesy of Annalie's Baby Boutique

The Bria Top Pattern can be purchased here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Baby #4 - 13 weeks

I'm 2 days late on this post, but I actually took pictures so I figured I might as well post it now anyways :)  I've been working a LOT at the library this week.  I'm the sub librarian and since the other 3 librarians went on a trip to the Boundary Waters together, I'm basically running the library until they get back.  Fun, but exhausting.  

How Far along: 13 weeks

Ugh, I absolutely cannot get a non-blurry picture!  This was the best out of about 10 and then I got tired at staring at myself in the mirror and gave up.

Baby's Size: Baby is the size of a pea pod and is approximately 3" long.  His or her fingernails have formed and the rest of the body is starting to catch up to the oversized head :)

Sleep:  Exhausted.  All the time.  Star had a few rough nights in a row due to being sick and so I felt like a zombie for a while.  She slept all night last night, and I went made sure to go to bed early so I'm feeling halfway human again today.

Best Moments This Week: Eh.  Nothing stands out.

Miss Anything?: Not yet.   

Movement?: Not yet.

Food Cravings: Greek yogurt (wish the stuff wasn't so expensive!).  Chocolate...but not Hersheys or any of the cheap, easy to find ones.  I'm craving Swedish chocolate from Ikea and German chocolate.

Things That Make Me Queasy: Eating a big meal, not eating frequently throughout the day, staying up too late at night.

Gender: No idea!  This is the first time I can honestly say that I truly do not care if it's a boy or a girl.  I would be thrilled with either one.  A boy would be nice because then Little Man would have a brother and it would make dividing bedrooms a little easier, but I wouldn't mind another little girl too.  So, either one is fine with me!  

Labor Signs: None, and I hope it stays that way for a while!

Symptoms: Still feeling the first trimester fun stuff-fatigue, nausea, etc.  I don't feel like I can really complain though because even though I feel awful quite a bit of the time, at least I'm not as sick as I was with my other three pregnancies.  I'm already starting the pregnant waddle even though I try to walk normally.  My back hurts and feels like it's being pushed out of place already, and my left hip feels like it's literally falling out of its socket so walking normally is kind of hard. 

Mood Most Of The Time: Excited about the baby.  My moods throughout the day change quite a bit (sorry, Hubby!)

Looking Forward To: Feeling the baby move.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Random Monday - August 26, 2013

Princess decided to grow again so I went shopping last week for new size 6 jeans for her.

The experience was slightly traumatic.

You see, up until this point, my kids have always fit into the clothes in the baby/toddler department.  But, last week, I had to venture into the girls' department to find jeans for Princess.  My little girl who loves twirling in dresses, playing with baby dolls, and pretending to be a princess now has to shop in the girls' department.

Have you seen the girls' department at Target?  Or any other store, really.  It's full of sassy attitude, outfits that shouldn't be worn by adults, let alone little girls, and none of the cuteness I'm used to oohing and aahing over when shopping for my kids' clothes.  *sniffle*

I guess I'll be making a lot of her clothes, at least as long as she'll still wear mommy-made stuff.

On the same shopping trip, I found this adorable sailor dress at Goodwill for Princess.  Doesn't it scream "Sound of Music"  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

While searching for adjustable waist jeans for my super skinny 5 year old, I saw a mom shopping for clothes for her 9 or 10 year old daughter.  I thought nothing of it until I saw her instruct her daughter to try on some pants.  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORE.  So the little girl stripped down to her underwear and started trying on clothes.  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORE.  I wouldn't even do that with my toddler, let alone a child that old.  Do you have any idea how many perverts and creeps there are out there?  What do you think?  Bad parenting moment or no big deal?

Somedays I swear Little Man is tapping into the Jekyll and Hyde side of his personality.  While shopping at Sam's Club, I told Little Man not to do something.  I don't even remember what it was, but his reaction...oh. my. word.  He angrily screamed at me something along the lines of, "I'm the boss!  You can't tell me what to do! You're not my boss!  I hate you, Mommy!!"  Ignoring the horrified stares of other shoppers, we had a quick regrouping in the middle of the aisle as I reaffirmed that I am indeed his boss and could tell him what to do plus he's not allowed to say the word "hate" as it's one he's been throwing around liberally lately.  (Side note: he's had an attitude issue lately and I'm not sure where it's coming from.  I've been addressing it, but it's taking a while to pass.  Please pray for me and/or give me advice on how to handle a 3 year old who talks like an rebellious, disrespectful teenager!)  Two seconds later, he asked me to buy a bouquet of flowers from a display we passed.  I chuckled and asked him why.  "So you'll look like a princess, Mommy." he replied with the sweetest smile and a gentle pat on my arm.  The quick turnaround in attitude left my head spinning.      

Knowing how much I've always loved frills and ruffles, my mom got this dress for Princess when she was a baby.   It's so much fun to take out Princess's old clothes and put them on Star. 

Star was too cute for words in this dress although crawling was a bit of a struggle for her :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Commenting Tips for Bloggers and Blog Readers

I love getting comments on my blog.  It lets me know that someone out there is actually reading what I have to say, and I love getting to know my awesome readers.  I try to reply to every comment although I do miss some here or there.  Because most people aren't going to remember to come back to the blog post and check for a reply, I also email them my response by hitting reply on the email that blogger sends me with the comment.  Unfortunately, some people won't ever receive my email because they don't have an email associated with their blogger account.  When I get a comment from those people, the email from blogger replies back to "noreply-comment@blogger.com."  :(

Here are some tips on blog commenting for both bloggers and blog readers.  Basically, if you're reading this, than it's for you, whether you write a blog or not :)  

Tips for blog readers: 
If you read something you like (here or on any other blog) let the author know!  Comment, like the post on Facebook, etc.  It really means a lot to bloggers.  And I think it goes without saying that if you read something you don't like and feel a need to comment on it, just make sure you're respectful in your comment.  Bloggers are people with feelings too!  And FYI, I have awesome readers because none of the comments I've ever received have ever been anything but positive.  :) 

Check to see if you're a no-reply blogger and if you are, please fix it so I (and other bloggers) can respond to your comments!!  Here's a great tutorial from Story of My Life on how to do that.

Tips for bloggers:
Reply to comments!!!  There are some blogs I love reading and commenting on, but after dozens of comments and not a hint of a reply, I'll give up and stop commenting and sometimes even stop reading the blog because it feels like the blogger really doesn't care about his or her readers.  Let your readers know that they matter.  If you're not sure how to receive email notifications of comments, go to "settings" on your blog dashboard, then go to "Mobile and Email" and then fill out the "Comment Notification Email" box. 

Comment on other blogs frequently.  Not only is that simply a nice thing to do, but it also is a great way to build your blog readership and meet other bloggers.  Make sure that you're not a no-reply blogger!

I have two words for you...word verification (also know as captcha).  People are a lot less likely to comment on your blog if you require them to squint at a little box with nearly indecipherable letters and/or numbers and then translate that into another box.  To disable this feature on your blog, go to "Settings," then "Posts and Comments."  Where is says "Show word verification, click NO.

Make sure you read the comments for more tips and advice!

Do you have any tips to add?  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Baby #4 - 12 Weeks

How Far along: 12 weeks

Baby's Size:  Baby is the size of a lime and is approximately 2" long.  Baby's reflexes are kicking in (pun intended) and he or she can now open and close fingers, curl toes, and make sucking movements with his or her mouth.

Sleep:  Exhausted.  All the time.

Best Moments This Week: Hearing the baby's heartbeat at my first doctor's appointment!  The doctor warned me that it might be too early to hear the heartbeat since I was only 11 weeks at the appointment, but as soon as the doppler was turned on, there it was, loud and strong!

Miss Anything?: Not yet.   

Movement?: Not yet.

Food Cravings: Crab rangoons, orange juice, deli sandwiches, tuna fish, pizza from Casey's gas station.

Things That Make Me Queasy: Eating a big meal, not eating frequently throughout the day, staying up too late at night.

Gender: No idea!  After what happened last time, I'm not sure if we're going to find out and/or if we're going to tell people if we do. 

Labor Signs: None, and I hope it stays that way for a while!

Symptoms: Fatigue, nausea, frequent trips to the bathroom, etc.  I was feeling much better, but than last Saturday (the 17th), all my symptoms came back just as bad as they were earlier.      

Mood Most Of The Time: Excited about the baby.  My moods throughout the day change quite a bit (sorry, Hubby!)

Looking Forward To: Feeling the baby move.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Random Monday-Aug 19, 2013

Lately when Little Man trips and falls, he gets very upset with me and accuses me of pushing him down even if I'm not in the same room as him.  It's a little embarrassing when we're out in public and he falls down and starts crying and yelling at me, "Mommy, you pushed me! Why did you do that?"  Um....I wasn't even touching you when you tripped BY YOURSELF.

It cracks me up when Little Man points at something because instead of using his pointer finger like everyone else does, he points with his pinky.

We had VBS at our church last week.  I helped out in Little Man's class and my sister watched Star for me at her house.  The kids loved VBS and were really disappointed that it ended on Friday, but I was exhausted after a long week and the kids were too because they got to bed late every single night.  Especially since the two big kids absolutely wouldn't nap at all the entire week.

Even though the news is already out, I had some fun taking pictures of Star in her new "big sister" shirt from Heather Rogers' Designs on Etsy.  She has the cutest expressions :)

"Just sitting here looking cute and minding my own business."

"What's this you say? I'm going to be a what?"

"A big sister?!?!  Really?!?!"

"Best news ever, Mommy!"

Don't forget about the giveaway to Annalie's Baby Boutique over at Oodles of Blessings, the blog I write with my two sisters!  It ends tomorrow so be sure to enter asap :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Am Second

"Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled."

I had never heard of the I Am Second movement until I was given the opportunity to review it on my blog.  I was intrigued by the name and the information I was given, and so I visited the website to learn more.  I Am Second is a movement about putting God first in our lives.  If we do that, we will be more willing to serve and love others.  There are many stories and videos on the website, some from famous people whose names you will recognize and others from regular people just like you and me.  Their stories will encourage you to be Second and to put God first.  On the website, you will also find information for calling, chatting, or emailing to talk and get support for your own struggles.  

T-shirt and bracelet to support I Am Second
There is also a book available which I am planning to get my hands on very soon called "I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives" by Doug Bender.

You can help support the movement by volunteering or giving financially.   You can find I Am Second on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Homeschooling Graphic

I was homeschooled along with my 4 siblings and it was a very positive experience for all of us.  Here's an inforgraphic with a history of homeschooling and where homeschooling and homeschoolers are now.  Very interesting!

Side note: I've had more than one person tell me that they don't believe the (many, many, many) statistics they've seen that prove that homeschoolers tend to be academically and socially ahead of public school students because the statistics are often gathered by pro-homeschooling groups.  This infographic is put out by Top Masters in Education which is NOT a homeschooling site 

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Alyssa Dress Pattern-New Release!

 Introducing the Alyssa Dress Pattern

My testers absolutely loved this dress and their customers have too.

Picture courtesy of O Dark 30 Designs

It's perfect for parties or special occasions. The angled neckline adds a special touch.

Picture courtesy of Abbyrosescloset
The finished dress falls below the knees and the sash is attached. The dress has a 2-3 button closure on the back of the bodice.

Picture courtesy of JCool Creations

The pattern includes 20 pages of detailed, step-by-step instructions and pattern pieces for the bodice. Sizes 0-3 Months through 8 Years are included.

Alyssa Dress Pattern from Little Owl Patterns
Picture courtesy of Tinker Bunny Boutique

The Alyssa Dress Pattern can be purchased here.

Thanks so much for visiting Supermommy!...Or Not.  Please take a moment to "like" me on facebook" and follow me on Twitter!  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Baby #4 - 11 Weeks

How Far along: 11 weeks

It turns out that when you get pregnant with your 4th baby when your 3rd one is only 8 months old, you pop almost right away!

Baby's Size:  Baby is the size of a fig and is approximately 1 1/2" long.  Baby's tooth buds are beginning to form under his or her gums and some of his or her bones are beginning to harden.

Sleep: Just fine because the heartburn isn't bad yet, the baby isn't keeping me up with kicking yet and I'm not huge yet.  I am really tired and sometimes fall asleep in the middle of the day on the couch.

Best Moments This Week: Since we just let the news out the weekend before last, I'm still running into people who don't know yet.  It's always fun to see the surprise on their faces when Princess or I tell them.  However, we need to work on Princess's delivery because she keeps telling people that "Mommy's going to have TWO babies!"  She's counting Star and the new baby, but most people go straight to thinking twins, lol.

Miss Anything?: Not really.  Sometimes I forget I'm pregnant because this has been pretty easy so far.     

Movement?: Not yet.

Food Cravings: My specific cravings change frequently.  I'm definitely craving restaurant food from pretty much any restaurant.  Weird, I know, but also very annoying because I live 45 minutes away from most restaurants.

Things That Make Me Queasy: Eating a big meal, not eating frequently throughout the day, staying up too late at night.

Gender: No idea!  After what happened last time, I'm not sure if we're going to find out and/or if we're going to tell people if we do. 

Labor Signs: None, and I hope it stays that way for a while!

Symptoms: Fatigue, mild nausea (nowhere near as bad as I had it with the other three kids!), food cravings.  Most of thy symptoms have been much better than they were with my other three pregnancies except for the itching!  My exzema and dry skin is really flaring up and I itch. all. over.  It's incredibly annoying.  I must be carrying this one differently than the last two because with them, I was wearing maternity jeans by 6 weeks.  Right now, I still fit into my regular pants just fine.   

Mood Most Of The Time: Excited about the baby.  My moods throughout the day change quite a bit (sorry, Hubby!)

Looking Forward To: Hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time at my doctor's appointment tomorrow!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Princess has a secret she wants to share with you :)

Are you shocked?  You better believe I am!  I was pretty much positive that Star was going to be my last baby so this is an awesome surprise!

I'm incredibly a little freaked out because not only are Star and the new baby going to be only 17 months apart (I've always known that I wanted my kids at least 2 years apart in age), but this also means we're going to have to move.  I know I said that last time I was pregnant (wasn't that just last summer?), but this time we're really and truly out of space.  There's just no way to make our tiny 2 bedroom apartment work with 4 kids, naps, and Hubby's crazy work schedule that often requires him to sleep during the day.  Plus if we move, I will have more opportunities to make some extra money by babysitting during the week. 

During my last pregnancy, I let the stress of...everything and the negativity of others get to me, and I spent most of the pregnancy depressed, super stressed, and just downright miserable. 

That's not happening this time.

I choose to respond to this pregnancy with joy.
I choose to trust God.
I choose to be thankful that God has blessed us again even though that blessing comes with a great deal of responsibility. 

I choose to be joyful.

I found out I was pregnant on June 26th.  I took a test on a hunch, fully expecting it to be negative.  It didn't show a result right away, and I had to leave to get the kids to storyhour at the library so I tossed it in the garbage and we left.  A few hours later, we were home and the kids were eating lunch.  I'm not sure why, but I decided to pull the pregnancy test out of the garbage just to make sure it was still negative.

It wasn't.

I started crying with happiness, fear, excitement, etc.  Pretty much every emotion went through me in the first 10 minutes.  I told a private group I'm in on Facebook about the test because all of the ladies in the group are awesome and supportive and, most importantly, not local so I knew if I told them there wouldn't be any chances of anyone near me finding out :)  They advised me to take another test as it might be a false positive from sitting in the trash so long.  I took another test later that afternoon and... Bam!  Instantly two lines popped up.

I'm 10 weeks now and due on March 4th.  After what happened last time, I still intend to find out the gender at the ultrasound, but I'm not sure if I'm going to share the results with anyone else.

And just to finish this up...here are a few other bloggers I follow who are also expecting!

Jenni from the Blog-She is also having her fourth baby and her third one is about the same age as Star.
Hormonal Imbalances
Proverbs and Pacifiers
Everything and Nothing From Essex
Tales of Beauty for Ashes
This Year's Love Will Last-Her pregnancy announcement video was the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

Are you pregnant?  Just had a baby (anytime in the last year counts!)?  Have an awesome birth story (seriously, all birth stories are awesome so if you have one, it counts.)  Link up your blog!

Random Monday-Aug 5th, 2013

I told Little Man not to sit on the retaining wall.  He responded with, "It's okay, Mommy.  I won't break it."

Little Man told me he had the "pick-ups" this morning and said that he needed some medicine to make them go away.  I figured out that he meant "hiccups" and tried to scare them out of him.  It didn't work, but it made him laugh hysterically which always gives him the hiccups anyways. 

Hubby asked me to pick up pop at the store since it was on sale last week plus we had a coupon for it.  It's an okay deal when it's on sale, but when you combine that with the coupon, it's an awesome deal.  Right before leaving for the store, I went to put the coupon in my wallet and couldn't find it.  Since I didn't want Hubby to think I was an idiot for losing the coupon so quickly and because he was almost out of pop for his lunch pail, I decided to go ahead and buy it anyways.  Went to the store, did my shopping, came home, and the first thing I saw was the coupon sitting on the counter.  Ugh. 

On that same shopping trip, I bought a bag of potato chips and put them in the front of the cart with Star to keep her entertained even though I was pretty sure it meant we'd be eating potato crumbs instead of potato chips.  Instead of crushing the chips, she poked the bag, laughed at the noise, and then hugged it the rest of the way through the store, giggling every time it crinkled.  Seriously adorable.

I used Swagbucks to save up Amazon gift cards until I had enough to get a tablet.  I ordered a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and it came this last Thursday.  I'm totally psyched that I got it for free!  I've found some apps I love for it, but if you have any apps you like, please feel free to share them in the comments!  

This is what happens when a baby finds a blue crayon...

Is it just me or does it look like she ate a smurf?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Star-10 Months

Age: 10 months

Weight and height: Probably around 15 1/2 pounds.  She's kind of turning into a picky eater so her eating has been a bit off, but I'm hoping that she's getting enough in her tummy at mealtimes to start putting on some weight.  She had pneumonia this month and barely ate for almost 2 weeks which obviously didn't help her gain any weight.    

Wearing: Size 3 diapers and 6-9 Month clothes.     

Likes:  Following me around the house, eating, playing with the big kid toys instead of baby toys, turning pages in books, saying "uh oh!", and waving bye bye.  

Dislikes: Being left behind by her bigger siblings, especially when they go outside.  Being buckled into her carseat although she's usually fine when we get going.

Eating habits: Star is doing much better with chewing and not choking.  She eats a lot of table foods now although I still give her baby food as well to make sure that she gets enough to eat.  She discovered french fries at Grandma's house and loves them.  She's a big fan of fruit, but not crazy about vegetables.  She apparently has some sensory issues as there are some messier foods that she won't pick up with her hands.  She likes to eat with a fork although she isn't very good at getting the food on it, so I usually poke the food onto the tines for her and then she picks the fork up and eats it.  She figured out how to drink out of a sippy cup this month and does a great job with them.

Sleeping habits:She sleeps from 7 pm to 7:30 am.  She's still taking 3 naps a day and sometimes 4 if her afternoon nap wasn't as long as it was supposed to be. 
Milestones/Accomplishments: She tries so hard to pull up to standing and gets very frustrated when she isn't able to do it without help. 

Miscellaneous: She's been a little clingy and whiny this month.  She doesn't seem to be getting any new teeth in so I don't know what her deal is, but I figure it's just a phase and she'll get over it eventually.  She did get both of her bottom teeth and both incisors earlier this month and went through a brief phase where she would grind her teeth.  *shudder*

Comparison pictures from 9 months to 10 months:

9 Months
10 Months

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to Get Your Kids to Clean Up Their Toys in 24 Hours

If you think this is going to be one of those "try this trick on your kids and in 24 hours flat, they'll be rushing to clean up their toys like it's the best thing in the world" posts, than you're wrong.  Sooooooo very wrong.

Just as the title says, this post will tell you how to get your kids to clean up their toys is only 24 hours time.

Here's the timeline:

6:59 AM: Wake up with the baby and give her a bottle.  While you're sitting on the couch, half asleep, you look around the living room and realize that there isn't even a path across the room because of all the toys on the floor.

7:15 AM: The kids awake (grumpily, of course) and make their way to the living room.  You inform them that they need to get their toys picked up right away after breakfast.

8:42 AM: The kids are finally done arguing and complaining about breakfast and are ready to move on to the next fun activity.  You throw away more food than you gave them (how do they do that?), and clean the kitchen quickly so you can supervise the toy clean-up before they get anything else out.

10:32 AM: You've been directing clean-up for almost two hours now and so far they've picked up 4 toys and dumped 5 more out.  You realize that they're still in their pjs and you need to run to town to pick up milk and mail a package.

11:19 AM: All three kids are dressed and ready to go so you all head out the door to run errands.

12:01 PM: You forgot to mail the package, but at least you remembered to get milk.  Everyone is grumpy as they walk in the door because they're hungry and it's lunchtime NOW.  You throw a frozen pizza in the oven and instruct the kids to each pick up 5 toys in the 15 minutes it'll take for the pizza to bake.

12:16 PM: The pizza is done, but the kids haven't picked up one toy yet.  You threaten to eat the whole pizza yourself if they don't hurry up.  Wailing and gnashing of teeth occur (mostly because they've seen you eat a whole frozen pizza yourself and know that you're really not kidding), and they agonizingly pick up their five toys apiece although you can tell that it's physically painful for them.

12:26 PM: The pizza is GONE, and you only got one piece.  The living room is still a mess, but now it's rest time so you lay them down for naps and caution them to be quiet for 1 hour.

2:30 PM: Rest time didn't go well so you tacked another hour onto their "naps" which means that you spent an extra hour yelling down the hall to "be quiet and go to sleep!"  The kids get up, and you tell them that before they can play with their toys, they need to clean up what's already on the floor.  You assign them specific jobs ("You pick up the tractors and put them in that box, and you pick up the blocks and put them in that box) because that's how a smart mom gets her kids to clean up messes.

5:18 PM: 2 tractors and 4 blocks have been picked up and the kids have spent almost 3 hours playing with the toys they were supposed to have cleaned up.  Of course, every time you tell them to quit playing and pick up, they feebly lift a toy several inches into the air and whine that they are picking up.  You inform them that bedtime is at 7 and if the toys are not picked up very soon, they will miss supper.     

Source: Proverbs 31 Ministries

6:14 PM: After much screaming, yelling, arguing, and crying, there is finally a small clean spot in the middle of the living room floor.  The kids happily proclaim that it is officially clean and, because you're so sick of fighting, so you tell them to go eat their supper so they can go to bed early.

7:04 PM: Bedtime.  'Nuff said.

7:33 PM: You flop down on the couch, exhausted and turn the tv on.

7:48 PM: The mess in the living room is really annoying you, plus you just can't fathom having another day like this one tomorrow.  You decide to do a quick cleaning and organizing spree of the kids' toys.  Then tomorrow, you will keep a close eye on them so you can make sure they pick up what they were playing with before taking something else out.

9:27 PM: The toys are all organized in the right boxes and stacked neatly on the shelves.  You step back and admire your work.  Time for bed!
The next morning...

6:59 AM: You wake up with the baby and gaze admiringly at the organized toy area in the living room.  You promise yourself that you won't let it get messed up today.

7:15 AM: The kids wake up and come out to the living room.  They survey the beautiful clean-ness of the toys, and the 5 year old turns to you and happily exclaims, "See, Mommy!  It's all clean now!  The cleaning fairy must have fixed it while we were sleeping!" (side note: This is not an exaggeration.  This is a direct quote from this exact scenario.)  You explain that Mommy worked very hard to clean it last night, and they need to keep it clean today so Mommy doesn't go completely insane.  Then you go into the kitchen to make breakfast.  

7:22 AM: You come out of the kitchen to tell them that breakfast is ready.  Every. single. box. has been dumped out and the shelves are cleared.  You officially go insane. 

Okay, I lied.  The actual title for this post should be "How to Clean Up Your Kids Toys Yourself in 24 Hours with a Maximum Amount of Stress"

How do you get your kids to clean up their toys?

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