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Here goes nothing…. 

This is the post excerpt.

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I’m new to the blogging world, but here I come! While I was at a baby shower this past weekend, a friend suggested I start a blog….. so here I am (shout out to Nikki!) It took me a good 3 days to pick a title—- I was stuck on using the letters “B”, “B”, and “T” (the first letter of my three kids names). This will be less about being blessed and more about surviving each day until 6:59pm…. bedtime!  If you plan on joining me for my ride— buckle up! It’s bumpy but a pretty good time!  I’ll leave you with a picture of my youngest– taken by my 3 year old. This particular burst consisted of 54 photos… this is the best one! 

End of year gifts

Parents everywhere are crying because school is out! And teachers everywhere are drinking and celebrating because school is out!

End of year gifts are fun for me. I like to consider myself a creative person so it gives me an excuse to do something fun and different for the teachers. And who doesn’t love Pinterest?

Here is what I came up with this year for my sons kindergarten team!

I put graham crackers , marshmallows, and chocolate bars in a bucket and wrapped it in plastic wrap. Add a ribbon and tag- and done! For his two main teachers, I added a coffee gift card because teachers don’t have blood, I’m convinced they have coffee in their veins!

My daughter goes to a preschool program that allows high school students to teach lessons under the guidance of a certified high school/preschool teacher. It’s such a fabulous program! I ended up getting cute scented and named pocket size antibacterial lotion and added a cute tag for the high school “buddies”. My daughter also insisted we give all her preschool friends a tube of bubbles. My son was gifted bubbles last year from a friend and wouldn’t you know- my daughter didn’t forget that! Cute tag turned these bubble tubes into a quick end of year gift that most 4 year olds will enjoy! (Or dump out 25 seconds after opening them, but whatever!)

Happy summer my friends! ☀️

Ali’s Park of Eastondale

A quick pit stop on the way to the grocery store brought my youngest baby and I to Ali’s Park at 74 Pine Street in South Easton this morning. It’s tucked away neatly in a neighborhood but I had no trouble finding it.

A lot of the playground equipment was intriguing and new to Teagan, so she was running around like a crazy lady. Although it was perfect for an active two year old- I think my other 2 would love this one too!

This was, by far, her favorite! The “bumpy silly slide”.

She also loved this moving globe attraction! She was able to climb it and loved when I would turn it for her (like a merry go round).

I happened to stop by while a local mom group was meeting to play. One of the moms came over and introduced herself and was very welcoming, which was refreshing since that isn’t always the case at playgrounds!

This was overall a great spot! In addition to the playground equipment there was a covered area with picnic tables and a basketball court too. You could definitely pack a lunch, throw a bike in the trunk and spend the day here! Just pack sunblock if you want to use the swings- no shade and no trees near those! ☀️

❤️bbt

P.S. I looked up “HASKD” and found this:

http://www.haveasammikindaday.com/single-post/2018/03/07/HASKD-has-donated-a-swing-set-to-help-rebuild-the-Eastondale-Playground-Lots-of-Sammi-Smiles-at-this-park

How it costs me 20 cents to sleep in peace 😴

How it costs me .20 cents per kid to sleep though the night. Alone!

I never wanted to share my bed with my kids. I wanted it to myself. I wanted my room to be my “zone” and a no kids allowed. Fast forward three kids later, and it isn’t working out that way.

My girls go to sleep great in their own beds. They share a few books, a giggle or two and off they go to bed in their own beds in their room. However, between 1am and 5am it’s inevitable that they appear snuggled up between my husband and I. Most of the time, we don’t even hear them come in!

My son is in the scared, “what’s that noise”, “can I lay with you tonight” stage. So, he falls asleep in our bed and we move him. Well, my husband moves him. He is too big for me to gently put in his lofted bed. Once in his bed, it’s great! He will stay there until morning.

So, how do I get everyone to go to bed in their bed? How do I get three little bodies to stay in bed? I have no idea. So, I asked my 5 year old. We talked about a sticker chart. We talked about special places we could go when we got a certain amount of stickers. Then, he mentioned that instead of stickers I could tape a quarter to his chart and then we could buy a special toy when he saved enough money. I had an “ah ha!” moment! Genius! 💡

I went to party city and got three small mason jars and drilled a long coin hole in the tops. It’s visual. The kids can see how much progress they are making. They can physically put a coin in the jar. A dime for going to sleep in their bed AND a dime for waking up in their own bed. My son suggested a quarter but I quickly vetoed that suggestion when I realized it could quickly add up to $1.50 per day to sleep alone!

So, wish us luck! Any similar bribery positive reinforcement that has worked well for you?

Disclaimer: I am not a professional. The tape is to smooth the edges of my jagged cut marks with a drill 🙈🤷🏽‍♀️

Playground Review – Norfolk- Norfolk Community Park at Rockwood Road


Today I was meeting friends in Foxboro and asked my sister in law for a playground suggestion- which brought my college roommates and a whole lot of our kiddos to Norfolk Community Park!

I have very little to say EXCEPT this playground is AMAZING! Perfect for the little ones. Lots of fun stuff to do, plenty of safe places to climb. A "new age" merry-go-round, completely fenced in, huge sandbox, and lots of open space for running too. Literally, this place has everything.

My oldest (5yo) spent a lot of time on this 'train'.

My girls (3yo & 1yo) were intrigued by the huge sandbox and the open area hills to run!

And look at this awesome hidden bench inside this 'building'. This building has stairs and 1 ladder reaching a platform with 1 slide. I was completely comfortable allowing my 1 year old to explore this structure without me close by.

Pros:
Bathrooms (porta potty) ✅
Fenced in ✅
Picnic tables ✅ (and they were low to the ground! Comfortable for adults to sit but also very safe for kids!)
Lots of swings ✅ (inclusion swing & baby swings too)
Open area to run ✅
Grassy area to lay infant on ground ✅
Kids who entertained themselves and ran around for almost 2 hours while mommy got to sit and chat with friends?! ✅ ✅

Cons:
It's kind of far from my house. Obviously this is a subjective "con", and won't keep me away from coming back to visit this spot! 🤣🤷🏽‍♀️

Shoutout to my FSC gals for a fabulous day exploring the Foxboro area! And special shoutout to kristen for reading our minds and meeting us at the playground! 😜

Playground Review- Union Point -Weymouth 

I visited Union Point playground a while back and loved it!!! It was shady, offset from the road, had tons of picnic tables and a covering over them too. It was near the dog park but far enough away to give my 3 year old comfort since she is a little uncomfortable with animals. It was great- one of the higher ranked playgrounds on my radar! 

But…. it moved! It’s now located closer to the front (entering from Weymouth). It’s close to a busier road, shares a fence with the dog park and now has ZERO shade. While it still has picnic tables – they are across the parking lot in 100% sun. Lucky for me- it was just a quick trip with my youngest to fill time before I picked up my older kids at camp. She seemed to enjoy it- aside from the 4 older kids just sitting in the only shady part of the whole climbing structure. (I don’t mind older kids using playgrounds, by the way. I do mind when they sit there, ignore toddlers, and refuse to move for said toddler to use a slide.) 

Check out my pros and cons below! 


Pros

  • Scavenger hunt (pictured above). My daughter enjoyed finding these items on little circular plaques throughout the playground structure. She is younger but still understood the concept of finding the matching animal or item!
  • Easy to find (it’s closer to the entrance of Union Point now, so it’s much easier to find!)
  • Has 4-5 tables 

Cons

  • No shade. Hot, hot, hot. We visited on a 80 degree day, it was hot. Occasionally a cool breeze would pass through and it was amazing! 
  • No shade on picnic tables (we tried sitting at them but the bench was too hot to sit on)
  • No baby swings
  • Shares a fence with the dog park (crazy I know that I’m listing this as a ‘con’. My middle child isn’t crazy about dogs. She wasn’t with us during this visit but I’m willing to bet she would not have been a fan of the dogs barking/playing (fighting)) 

Would I go back? Yes! Do I think it’s a cute, close by, smaller playground that could use some shade? Yes! Could I visit after the sun goes down and have a totally different opinion?! Absolutely!  I’ve heard rumor the location of the playground moving is only temporary, I’ll keep you posted! (Or please keep me posted if you have inside info!) 

❤️ bbt

Watson Park Splash Pad – Braintree

I’ve lived in Braintree for most of my life- and I’ve been raising children here for 5ish years now. Today, we ventured down to Watson Splash Pad for the FIRST time! 

My kids had a blast! There are some definite pros and cons- but overall not a bad little spot to cool down for a few hours! 

When we got there there was a lot of activity- but a mom I was talking to said it was fairly empty today! Yikes! As the afternoon went on- it filled up quick- with older kids. Once my youngest (21 months old) started getting knocked down… we knew our time was up and it was time to go! 

Pros 

  • location (it’s in the town I live in)
  • Gated in (one way in- one way out)
  • Lifeguard on duty (pro in the sense that there is an extra set of eyes IF he was looking at anything other than his cell phone. Also a pro that he had a first aid kit BUT was out of bandaids. I felt more secure with him sitting outside the gate – but he didn’t actually do anything at all 🤷🏽‍♀️)
  • Benches to sit on inside the gated area
  • Porta potties available 
  • Playground next to splash pad (this could also be a con!)
  • The water rotates where it comes from (variety is the spice of life – I feel like it kept the kids entertained since it wasn’t always coming from the same places)
  • No button to press to reactivate the water spraying (my kids fight over who gets to press it at other splash pads – I can’t imagine the madness that would go on with 30+ kids trying to press a button!) 


Cons

  • No shade
  • Parking can be tricky (so I’ve heard. Apparently street parking and parking lot parking is for residents only. There is an additional lot for visitors that has a walking path to the splash pad).
  • Playground next to the splash pad (I also considered this a pro!) 

I’d definitely go back again. My kid are already asking!  And I can’t complain since all 3 kids are fast asleep and it’s 7:57 pm! 

🤗😴
❤️ bbt 

Teacher Gifts – appreciation and end of year

I like giving gifts! And, I like celebrating and thanking teachers. Teachers work year round shaping little minds. They care for and (hopefully) love my child when I’m not with him. 

Last week I sent in a basket of goodies for teacher appreciation week. It was tough trying to figure out what to send in for 2 teachers and over 100 high school “buddies”. This is what I came up with. 

I figured they could snack their way through the day. And what preschool teacher can’t use more stickers?! If nothing else– I like to think “it’s the thought that counts”! 

End of year gifts for 12 high school students? Stumped me. It’s hard to give something meaningful but also something that isn’t going to be ridiculously expensive. So, I found these cute jar type containers. I used vinyl and added the name of each of my sons buddies. Then filled it with starburst candy and added a cute tag with twine. Done! 
Last year my son received gifts from some classmates. I’m new to the school thing– this is my oldest in preschool. I didn’t give anything to his preschool friends last year. So, this year I found an adorable idea on onesweetappetite.com (http://onesweetappetite.com/2014/05/stay-cool-this-summer-free-summer-printable/). The best part was it has a FREE printable. Yes, you read that right. I literally had to print, cut and assemble these adorable gifts. 

 I found the ice pops (Star Wars and frozen) at Christmas tree shop. Friend gifts? Check! 

The the main teachers certainly have their work cut out for them. They are the teachers of the preschoolers– but also the teachers of the high school buddies. It’s such a wonderful program. But, I can’t imagine teaching high school students how to teach preschoolers all while keeping the class & schedule running smoothly. Yikes! Anyways, the two main teachers are wonderful! I ended up getting them each a pair of LuLaRoe leggings. I tried to get a solid red pair but could only find prints. So, a red tablecloth and a few pencils later- this is what I came up with! 
I miss being IN the classroom, so I really enjoy doing teacher gifts. I remember how nice it was to be appreciated. Our family sure appreciates the lab program at the high school. So much so– that my daughter will be attending in the fall! 🍎 

❤️bbt