5 Tips to Help Your Preschooler Cope During a Big Move

I just finished relocating from the Tampa Bay area, where I’ve been living the past almost 8 years, back to South Florida, where I grew up. For me and my husband, this move is just going back home; most of our family is still there, all our closest friends, everything is familiar to us. My son on the other hand, our life Saint Petersburg is all he knows. I wanted to help him cope with the move as much as I could.

While he’s super excited to be closer to his cousin, he was still having some very big emotions associated with the move. He may not have been able to explain he’s having anxiety but it was apparent in his behavior. Even his teacher at school could pin-point the days there were major changes in the house. Now, I am in no way a child phycologist, or have any expertise in this area, but these 5 tips I’m sharing with you really made a difference in our experience. There were still plenty of battles along the way, but that’s just par for the course when raising a strong-willed little guy.

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First Birthday, Mermaid Themed DIY Extravaganza

Custom made shirts for the Mermaid Mama, King of the Sea and the coolest little shark loving brother.

My baby girl recently turned one and I’m not quite sure how that happened. I feel like we only brought her home from the hospital last month, I’m still trying to figure out, and often failing at, this parenting 2-kids thing, and I’m definitely not back into my pre-baby clothes (that day may never actually come, and I’m okay with that…. most days). While this year feels like it’s passed in the blink of an eye, at the same time it feels like it’s been a very, very long year – mostly due to her hip dysplasia diagnosis and the countless doctors’ and hospital visits working to mend it.

But here we are, my happy and healthy, beautiful little girl is ONE! So brave, silly and dramatic, we have to celebrate this beauty. When I wasn’t busy tearing up in disbelief that a year has gone by, I was in full on party planning mode. And there’s nothing I love more than throwing a party. It gives me an excuse to get my crafting on. more “First Birthday, Mermaid Themed DIY Extravaganza”

Holiday Traditions

It’s fall y’all!! While I’m a true Florida girl and the sea runs in my veins, Fall is my FAVORITE season. Soon I’ll be wearing boots and flowy sweaters, and sweating because, like I said, it’s Florida. But to me Fall also signals the start of the holiday season which means family time, decorations, parties, adventures and holiday traditions.

First there’s Halloween. I have an unhealthy obsession with Halloween; I always have. I love throwing costume parties, and now I do a “Mini Monster Mash” for my son and his friends. Halloween costumes are discussed starting in July and I am stalking Home Goods the moment the Halloween decor shows up. And let’s not discuss the amount of times I watch Hocus Pocus

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My Obsession with Paper Mache Letters

I’m here to shout it from the rooftops, I love paper mache letters! They’re so versatile. I’ve used them as bedroom décor, party decorations, photo props, you name it. If you’re a crafter (which I’m guessing you are if you’re reading this post) and you have yet to explore the possibilities surrounding paper mache letters, what are you waiting for?!

Now, this post isn’t to explain how to make paper mache letters, I’m sure there’s plenty of sites out there dedicated to that, but instead, the endless options on how to dazzle them up! My favorite letters are the simple block type letters from Joann’s. They have multiple sizes, from tiny to humongous (yes, those are measurable terms 🙂 ).

Now, to make them beautiful…

 

Glitter Letters

Glitter Paper Mache Letters

One of the easiest ways to make these suckers scream “Look at me!” is glitter! more “My Obsession with Paper Mache Letters”

DIY Large Confetti Balloons

Are you looking for a large, statement party decoration? Why not confetti balloons?! An easy, customizable DIY that makes a huge impact on your party.

A couple months ago, I started planning my daughter’s first birthday party (cue tears…how can she possibly be one?!) I came across the concept of clear balloons filled with confetti and I knew it was something I wanted to recreate. First I had to decide how big I wanted to go and I chose huge because everything I do for a first birthday party is unnecessarily over the top. 🙂  To be exact, I went with 36-inch balloons, standard balloons are about 12 inches. Next, I picked out colors for the confetti that coordinate with the mermaid themed party (a lot more on that party to come over the new few weeks!). A little bit of time in front of the TV, punching holes while nursing (multi-tasking at its best) and these balloons are ready to fly! more “DIY Large Confetti Balloons”

Family Olympic Games

I hope you enjoyed my post sharing all the shenanigans of my family’s Olympic Games weekend. If you’re looking for more details on the games so you can play them too, this post is for you! Today I’m sharing some coordination tips and how to play this years’ games and some of our favorite Family Olympic games from past years too.

While my family is wonderful, it can be hard to get their attention and even harder to keep it. For my group, I’ve learned they like relay games best and their attention span lasts for about 3 games. (Especially when there’s copious amounts of beer involved!)

Through trial and error, I’ve determined 4-5 person teams are the ideal size. We’ve tried as few as 2 and as many as 6-7. Teams are drawn at random. I buy a different color fabric for each team, not a lot is needed, ¼ yd per color, and cut it into strips. I throw all the strips into a bag and have each person grab one without looking. Bonus: everyone loves wearing the fabric strips. They tie them around their heads, arms, ankles – you name it – showing team pride. more “Family Olympic Games”

Family Olympics

I come from a large Irish-Italian family. We’re loud, we like to eat, like to drink, and LOVE being together. Growing up there wasn’t a holiday that went by that we didn’t celebrate as a group, a summer we didn’t vacation at the beach together. There’s no such thing as a “small birthday party” when your family alone is over 30 people. But then we continued to grow up, people moved further away, schedules got more hectic. We still got together but it wasn’t as frequent and someone was always missing.

One of my favorite pictures my Grandma – shows her fun loving spirit!

In May of 2014, the matriarch of this crazy family, my grandma, passed away. Almost all of us were by her side in her final moments. My grandma was truly at her happiest when we were all together. As you can imagine it was a blow to our family.

To honor my grandma, I was determined to get my WHOLE FAMILY together. No excuses, everyone had to be there. And so began our Kelly Family Olympics weekend! This year we celebrated our 3rd Family Olympics, which is essentially a family reunion sleepover party where just our family gets together to bond, have fun, and celebrate the memory of my grandma and the others whom have passed. Plus a little light-hearted competitiveness.  more “Family Olympics”

Delicious Dill Dip – Your new go-to party appetizer

Dill Dip Recipe

Anyone that loves to host a lot of gatherings and parties has a few go-to recipes in their quiver that hit the bullseye every time. For me that’s dill dip. My mom has made it for as long as I can remember. She got to the point where she stopped making it because she was bored of it and thought her guests were too. (She throws a lot of parties. What can I say, I get it from my momma!)

It turns out, everyone still loves it and devours it every time it’s around. Now I make dill dip for every party I throw.  Why mess with a good thing if it’s working?? This is an easy recipe that is actually best if made a day ahead; one less thing to do the day of a party is a wonderful thing! more “Delicious Dill Dip – Your new go-to party appetizer”

Create Your Own Sequin Sun Hat

Awesome sunnies? Check. Cute sandals? Check. Sequined phrase sun hat? Wait, you don’t have this summer’s hottest accessory yet?!? Good thing I’m here to help!

Sequin Sun Hat

It’s summer and for me that means lots of beach time and sunshine! I was looking for a fun new hat and came across an awesome option by Eugenia Kim but it was slightly outside of my budget. (And by slightly, I mean COMPLETELY.) There are cheaper options out there but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to flex my crafting muscles.

This project is so easy, even the most craft adverse person can handle it! Bonus: it’s cheap, less than $10! My hat was $5 from The Spot section at Target. I’ve seen similar options at Dollar Tree and Walmart. My strand of gold sequins came from Joann’s, also $5 but don’t forget to use you 40% off coupon!

You can download my template for “Shine On!” or use any cheeky phrase you want. more “Create Your Own Sequin Sun Hat”

Our Hip Dysplasia Journey {Part 3 – After the Cast}

 

Our Hip Dysplasia Journey - Part 3

If you missed any previous parts of our hip dysplasia journey, Part 1 documenting our diagnosis can be found here and Part 2, detailing adjusting to life with a Spica cast can be found here

 

“I don’t know how you do it.” A phrase I heard a lot. And the truth is, it wasn’t easy, but my response was, and is, you do it because you have to do it. You do whatever is necessary for your children and their comfort. You do whatever it takes to better their lives.

 

My daughter wanted to be held, allllll the time, and you couldn’t sit down while holding her. And she was heavy in that cast. But I would see her getting so frustrated being stuck just sitting there, trying so desperately to move, so I held her. Maybe some would consider it spoiling, but to me, I just wanted her as comfortable as possible, in an uncomfortable situation.

 

I am very fortunate that I’m a stay-at-home mom. I can’t fathom what this experience would have been like if I was also working; if my little girl was in daycare. The utter exhaustion one would experience between the stress of working, the stress of having a young baby and the stress of dealing with the hip dysplasia diagnosis and Spica cast needs would be overwhelming. I’m sure plenty of parents out there do it (props to you), but I am thankful, I was able to be home and cater to her needs. more “Our Hip Dysplasia Journey {Part 3 – After the Cast}”