Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Yes, and… April 8, 2013

Things have been going well lately between the girls and I. I’ve continued to make ample time to play with them throughout the day and everyone has been in good spirits. We’ve been making speaking nicely to one another a top priority, and we’re remembering to give apologies when necessary. Though I’ve been busy with my Master’s project proposal (on top of my normal coursework, and my attempts to keep up on the chores) I’ve managed to get the girls outdoors to play for a least 45 minutes each day for the past four days. I’m proud of myself!

The nice weather has been good for all of us and although I’m not cleaning each room of the condo every day and I’m a little behind my homework, I am happier. Today was a difficult day though, we had about five places to get to on our schedule and typically making it to one is a feat. I knew that I’d have to be patient and possibly settle for not getting everything done. But even before we left the house my big girls were bickering as they played. I kept hearing, “Noooooooo!” Then would come an explanation of what the person wanted. Sometimes even before the person was finished explaining I’d hear another, “Nooooo!” and a different explanation would be given by the other sister.

http://improv.com/index.cfmI usually try to only step in if one of the girls is overpowering  the other. I try to make sure they’re using their manners and then stay out of the way, but I was incredibly overwhelmed with their arguing. I introduced them to a method I learned in college, back when I had the pleasure of performing in an Improv troupe. The game is called “Yes, and…” and the basic premise is to agree with and add on to whatever it is that your teammates say or suggest. You cannot say “no” and you are forced to build off of one another’s ideas instead of shooting them down.

We played the game together for a little while because neither of them seemed eager to play without my participation, but after a few strings of silly suggestions they giggled incessantly while awaiting their next turn to add something to our game. The game came in quite handy when we were in the dressing room at Old Navy, and at bedtime my oldest said, “Yes, and is awesome!” with so much enthusiasm I felt like the coolest mom in the world 🙂

So although we trudged through our schedule today, and Nohra nursed constantly (of course, the day I go for groceries is the one day she doesn’t sleep for more than five minutes at a time until after 11pm, and of course I chose to leave the baby carrier at home), I taught my girls a new game that is easy to play without a smartphone or any other device. They only need their willingness to accept another person’s suggestions and their own imaginations. It was wonderful to see them having fun playing such a simple game, and it was such a relief to not hear anyone screaming, “Noooooooo!” Nope. Just the sweet sounds of, “Yes, and…’

Oh! And we made it to every place on our schedule 🙂

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Dress-up Creative Play November 2, 2012

My daughters LOVE dress-up!

Amara and Terra being fairies

They incorporate their dress-up supplies into almost every game they play. Gloves become puppy paws, wigs signify certain characters, wings can be given to almost any animal, and the clothing has a range of uses.

When we began toy cycling  a few months ago I chose to keep their dress-up supplies accessible constantly. I didn’t want to take away something that encourages their creative play, their very active imaginations.

I don’t really add to the dress-up clothing very often. Some of their pieces were gifts (a few princess dresses, a couple pairs of wings, low-heeled princess shoes), I find some things at dollar stores (flimsy-fabric witch costumes, tiaras and wands, hats and gloves and sashes), and I make some things (knitted scarves, tutus, crocheted hats).

My favorite finds for the dress-up collection are the things I find on clearance, mainly at Walmart, the day after Halloween, and at Kohls (almost any day if you’re willing to wade patiently through their racks of clearance clothing and bring a coupon).

Since I seldom have the time and energy to get the most out of Kohls’ clearance sections I look forward to going to Walmart the day after Halloween. Retail therapy only works for me when I feel like I’m getting away with paying next-to-nothing; yesterday I had such a revitalizing, uplifting, and fulfilling time!

Striped tights $0.86 apiece, Wigs $1.49-$1.99 apiece

You can never have enough wings, $1.24 apiece

Christmas gifts! I figure their new tights, wigs and wings will be a bit worn out within two months. Plus, the adorable skirts were only $1.24 apiece!

P.S. A few weeks ago I stocked up at Old Navy’s Stuff and Save sale, and for my $60 purchase I was rewarded with $20 in Super Cash. To redeem Super Cash I had to come back between 11/1 and 11/7 and spend another $50. I typically don’t redeem my Super Cash coupons, but this time I really did need new maternity clothing and I had $25 in Rewards from previous purchases (points you get for using your Old Navy Visa card).

Here’s the math: Every $25 I spent allowed me to redeem $10 of Super Cash; purchasing $50 worth of clothing was equal to $30 of clothing with the coupon; $30 would really cost me $5 because I also had the $25 in Rewards: That’s $50 worth of clothing for $5. Um….yeah, TOTALLY WORTH IT! Especially since I only shop in the clearance sections.

I purchased another pair of jeans and a jumper dress for Amara, a maternity tank and three maternity dresses for myself. I looked for a few things for Terra, but didn’t have any luck; she doesn’t need much of anything anyway, I just don’t like leaving her out of the I-got-new-clothes parade. Terra wasn’t jealous. She actually cheered for Amara when I told them about my purchase. Such a sweet girl! I love the new dresses; they are so comfortable (and best of all, I got them so cheap)!

Never enough sister love!

P.P.S. If you didn’t know, NEVER shop online for Old Navy clothing. I love online shopping, but I save that for Coldwater Creek and Urban Outfitters and other things. Old Navy’s in-store clothing is always significantly cheaper than the same exact articles online. Also, going to craft stores (Michael’s has the best clearance sections) directly after a holiday has saved me a bundle!