How do you do it? Parenting Link Up #38

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! It’s clear that back to school is on our minds as our most clicked link from last week was from Barb of A Life In Balance. She came up with a solution to the neighbor kids asking to play during designated homework time. Do you have a system to politely ask the neighbors when to come over? Barb also shared a great post outlining her “Mom Command Central” for Back to School.No More Knock-knocking during homework time: A Sign for Neighborhood FriendsHere are some Tips for Taking Those Back to School Pictures from Paris of My Big Fat Happy Life. Tips for 1st Day of School Photos #firstdayofschool #phototips | mybigfathappylife.com
Sarah of Me Plus 3 Today may not have kids in school, but she has friends who are teachers. And she has a big heart. She shares 7 Ideas On How to REALLY Help Your Child’s Teacher.

7 Ideas to Help Your Child's Teacher, How to Help Series, Part 1 - Real answers from real teachers that will REALLY make a difference! - www.MePlus3Today.com #quote #TeacherAppreciation #BackToSchool #inspiration #RAKtivistIf you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

<a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Featured Post" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-up-featured-badge.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>

Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
    <a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-party-9-.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>


Toddler Thursday: The Cloak of Oblivion

I published this post on my blog a little more than four years ago, when my girls were 16 months old…and I still think about it from time to time.

I’ve reformed my ways to some degree…I haven’t had a soda in over a year and a half…but there are times I **really** wish I could slip a candy bar in the middle of the day.  I miss my cloak!

***

As a mother, I feel it is a big part of my job to set a good example for my children…to make sure they stand up straight, are kind and courteous to others, respect the environment, eat a balanced diet, read, exercise…the list is long, and actually pretty daunting.

As I loaded up the girls after lunch today for a quick run through the Sonic drive-thru for a 44oz. Diet Coke, I realized that I am operating under a cloak of oblivion. At 16 months old, they are still oblivious to most of the not-so-exemplary things I do…like drinking a 44oz. Diet Coke.

Today I can easily get away with a quick drive-through run. I sing songs along the way and point out interesting sights (“Cows!”), so I figure the 15-minute round trip isn’t totally wasted.

But one day, in the not-so-distant future, I know I won’t be able to make such a run without them wanting something for themselves. I won’t be able to step quietly away from playing in the den to grab a bite-size candy bar from the pantry. (Sometimes Mama just needs a little chocolate.) I won’t be able to indulge in People magazine while I stand in line at the grocery store.

No, they will see me. And they will want some of whatever-it-is I have.

So one day, I’ll either have to alter my ways and set a better example, one I’ll truly want them to follow…or I’ll have to get better at hiding my indiscretions.

Yes, I’ll have to find a better cloak.

***

MandyE is mom to 5 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Parenting Link Up #37

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! This week’s most clicked post was from Misty Leask of Beautiful Ashes on being overwhelmed. Apparently a lot of you moms and dads were feeling that way this week too! See how she connects and understands, but encourages you too. overwhelmedThere were some great twin-specific posts linked up last week and I especially liked new linker Jen of Being Confident of This: Grace for the work-in-progress woman. Her b/g twins are now four and she’s sharing 12 Twin Survival Tips, all of which I heartily agree with!twins collageI loved Kimber of Kimber’s Navy Family‘s post this week called “All We Are Saying….” We need to stop with the loaded phrases. We just don’t know what someone else is dealing with. I know I’m guilty of saying dumb things sometimes, too. Great reminder!
If you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

<a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Featured Post" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-up-featured-badge.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>

Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
    <a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-party-9-.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>


Make-It Monday: Photo Birthday Cards for Relatives

Between my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family, we are heading right into big time birthday season. August thru December are birthday after birthday after birthday within our extended family.

I made a goal to be better about remembering birthdays, so this is what I came up with to help me keep on top of it.

IMG_5118

The top and bottom got a little bit cropped off in the printing process, but I just went with it! Having three wee babes has demolished what little bit of perfectionism I had.

Here’s how:

1. Take pictures of your smooshy, gooshy, pinchable cherubs that would look like they were holding something. I had to dangle leaves over my 15-month-olds heads to get them to reach and look up.

2. Crop the pictures and put them side by side and save them as a jpeg image. I was just going to put them together in Word, but then I decided to get a little fancier and use photoshop. If you don’t have photoshop, put them in word and crop them how you want them. You can then probably just print them at home on some photo paper.

3. Make the things you want them to hold. I thought it would be cute to do little hearts made out of their thumb prints. This worked well for my three-year-old, but my twins were done after the first thumb print, so we had to speedily get as many thumb prints onto their papers as we could and hope for the best!

I was going to use paint, but at the last minute I had the brilliant idea to just color their thumbs with marker and get their prints that way. Way less stressful than having to contain the paint!

They each had their own paper so that I wouldn’t mix up thumb prints.

IMG_5119

4. Next is assembling the card. I first used a pin to poke the holes that I needed by their fists, so that I could get the toothpicks in easier.

IMG_5117

Then I put the toothpicks in. I had to snap off the bottom end because they were too long, but it was pretty easy. I then trimmed off any splintery edges and taped the thumb prints onto the toothpicks.

IMG_5121

Ta-da!!

They do bow a bit, so if you can think of something thinner than toothpicks that would probably work slightly better. They still lay flat in the envelopes though, so it’s not a big deal.

IMG_5122

5. My oldest had fun decorating envelopes for us to use too.

IMG_5120

We decided to be really classy and use Wal Mart stickers. We have a plethora of these now because a merciful WM cashier took pity on me when the boys were acting up in the check-out line and cut off a big old chunk of them for the boys.

One of the best parts was sitting at the counter with Cameron and talking. He practiced his cutting on scraps of paper from the thumb prints while I put the cards together. It was worth letting him stay up passed bed time.

IMG_5124

Now we have 10 cards ready to go and it won’t be a huge hassle to make more when we need them. Before I was always scrambling the week of to throw something together and pulling my hair out trying to force the kids to paint on this, or scribble on that. This was nice and easy and we are set for the first couple of months of birthday chaos.

Plus, you can do this type of thing for so many other occasions like Father’s/Mother’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Valentine’s, get well cards, thank you notes. You can change it up by having them “hold” different things like lollipops, “lightsabers”, chocolates on sticks, flags, whatever works for the occasion.

Happy I’m-all-set-and-ready-for-family-birthday’s, Mom!

 How do you acknowledge the birthdays of your kid’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents?

Thoughts on Working Part-time

School started two weeks ago, and I’m ready to reflect on getting back to work part-time.

The first week was a little sketchy. I started getting random headaches, my eyes were irritated and red, and I was still pretty exhausted. I was worried that this part-time decision wasn’t going to help anything. But now that I have another week down, I’m feeling like I’m back in the groove. In fact, I’m extremely happy with my new schedule.

I’m up and in the shower at about 6am, out the door by 6:45, twins dropped off at my mom’s around 7am, and at school by 7:10. Not much different from our summer schedule, except I have to actually get dressed instead of wearing tank tops and shorts, and I don’t do breakfast for the kids. Two classes and three hours later, I pick up the twins, give them their snack in the car, and we go home to nap for two hours. This is when I get some downtime, do some of my own things, or take a nap myself. Big Sis sometimes gets picked up from preschool after lunch (I’ve been trying out continuing with a half-day for her), and we go on an afternoon outing, again no different from our summer schedule.

The BIG difference is that I am not so exhausted that I can’t enjoy being with my kids. It used to be that I was completely drained after a whole day of work, but now I get a little break while the twins nap, so I have time to recharge. I now have the time and patience to listen to 4yo stories, soothe 21mo boo-boos, and generally be present and engaged.

By no means is it easy though. The twins are only getting more active each day, and one of my children is a climber. I had never experienced this before (Big Sis is much more low key), so it is completely shocking to me. My boy, at 19m, vaulted his crib rails, landed on his feet, and took off running. He is climbing everything climbable: shelves, beds, TV stands, dollhouses, play kitchens, you name it. We don’t go to the library anymore because he will scale the shelves there. And not only is he interested in the climbing, he also likes to jump on the surfaces on which he’s climbed. So I will come out of the shower to see him balanced on his tiptoes at the edge of the armchair in the playroom, bouncing up and down with a big grin on his face. And when he sees me he’ll say, “Ta-Da!” (Don’t have a clue where he gets that from…) His twin isn’t so much into climbing, but she will find and eat any and all little bits off the floor. I’ve got to keep my eyes on her at all times to make sure she’s not ingesting nasty stuff. These kids sure know how to keep me on my toes. Therefore, I am much more convinced now that my mom would not be capable of entertaining and chasing them all day every day.

Another bonus to this part-time schedule? Surprisingly, I’ve gotten even more efficient. I thought that with three kids I was already very efficient. And I am– consolidated errands, organized outings, great time management skills. I routinely do all 3 baths and bedtimes in 30 minutes. But now that I’m only at work for less than 3 hours a day, I find myself planning even further ahead, making lists and crossing things out right away, not procrastinating on any work stuff. My lessons are prepared days in advance, and I have calendars marked for the entire school year for holidays and days that we’re on a different school schedule. I don’t dread going to work anymore; on the contrary, I think I’ve actually fallen back in love with my profession.

I’ve been feeling happier and more productive. I’ve had interest in reading again, and even planned the kids’ Halloween costumes already. I have energy to think ahead, and I look forward to weekends not just for no work, but to actively plan activities that include Daddy.

Even considering the financial sacrifice we’re making, I don’t see how there could be any better alternative to this. It’s like the other shoe has dropped, after so long of such conflicted emotions about doing this. I’m elated that I made the leap on this decision.

lunchldyd is a part-time teacher and full-time mother to 21mo b/g twins and their 4yo sister.

Foodie Friday: Vanilla-Date Smoothie

This foodie post is centered around a nutritious, filling smoothie recipe that a three year-old can make – and drink – on the porch.

The days I am able to pick up Mister and Missy early from daycare, we try to do something fun. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that we’d make smoothies with the Magic Bullet once we reached home. We’ve done it before, and they love to throw ingredients in the mini-blender which is perfect for little hands, and help to mix it under close supervision.

Well this fine day M&M asked if they could play outside. Not wanting to leave them unattended while I made the smoothies myself, an idea struck. Why not bring the smoothie ingredients, which were already set aside, and the Magic Bullet onto the porch and make it out there? Sure the neighbours may think I was bonkers but then again they may just think the sound of the blender is a lawnmower or something.

So in the time it took M&M to choose their sidewalk chalk colours for drawing on the driveway, I was able to bring out all the ingredients. We were making 2 smoothies today based on ripening fruit in the fridge: one strawberry-vanilla and one vanilla-date using those sweet treats left over from a month of fasting in Ramadan. I combined two recipes for date smoothies from the Internet: Creamy Date Shake and Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie to make this recipe.

Keep in mind the vanilla-date smoothie may need a stronger blender to mix than the Magic Bullet. Since we were on the porch, I used the Bullet for portability. Below is a picture of the ingredients for the date smoothie, which included honey, vanilla, yoghurt, milk and pitted dates. Luckily all the ingredients (minus the dates) were also used in the strawberry vanilla smoothie.

Vanilla-Date Smoothie
½ cup dates (pitted) – I used the big, juicy kind that originate from Iran or Saudi Arabia, found at specialty Middle Eastern supermarkets
½ cup whole-milk yogurt
½ cup whole milk
1 cup crushed ice (use more for desired smoothness)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Missy was in charge of the vanilla-date smoothie. Here is how it went down:

Step 1 – Set out all ingredients and plug in blender

Ingredients

Ingredients

Step 2 – Place pitted dates in blender cup

What do we put next?

What do we put next?

Step 3 – Pour milky into blender cup, add honey and other ingredients as per recipe

Pouring milky

Pouring milky

Step 4 – Blend, shake, blend, and enjoy!

Minnie Mixer

Minnie Mixer


Smoothie on the porch

Smoothie on the porch

Tips: With the dates being naturally sweet, you don’t need very much honey. For a low-fat version, substitute whole milk and yoghurt for skim, or use almond milk.

Potty Training: A Boot Camp Diary

Our daycare has a fee structure that dictates that if your child is potty trained when they are in the pre-school room your monthly cost goes down by around $200 a month. When you have two children in daycare this is more than a big deal. In the beginning of July we received the potty discount for Molly and crossed our fingers that Jack would get there shortly after – he did not. After several conversations with other parents of boys one recommendation for getting Jack toilet trained kept on coming up: The Potty Training Weekend (AKA 3 Day Potty Training Boot camp). Our goal: to have two day-time potty trained toddlers.

Essentially: you take off the “training wheels” or diapers and put them into underwear and pants as if they were potty trained, ask them if they have to go every hour or two and by the end of the weekend….they SHOULD be potty trained. Some people recommend having the child wear no pants all weekend, we did not go that route. We put on diapers for nap and bed time, handed out stickers and a lot of congratulations for any successful trips to the potty. We fed both kids a lot of water, watered down juice, freezies and watermelon to keep their bladders full and had purchased boys underwear in bulk from Target to ensure that we didn’t run out.

 

Here’s a summary of how it went:

Day 1
There have been nine costume changes today for Jack and three for mom because of what I like to call “pee and sit” which is when he pees and then sits in my lap. There has been absolutely no success. In fact, Molly, who is jealous of all the attention Jack is getting, has backslid and had three accidents today. She hasn’t had as many accidents as she’s had this afternoon in ages. This evening I will scour the internet to find out if this level of failure is normal, result: definitive yes, sometimes. Sigh.

Day 2
We now have a toilet or potty on each floor of our house including a Winnie the Pooh potty sitting on the tile floor of our front hallway. In the morning we have a 50% success rate for Jack. We hand out stickers to both Molly and Jack whenever anyone has any success on the potty. As recommended we let the children carry their chamber pots to the toilet to flush. In the afternoon Jack has three accidents at Nana and Papa’s house. By the time we leave he’s wearing a skintight pair of Molly’s purple floral leggings because we’ve run out of clothes for him. At nap time we hear a commotion in the nursery. I go upstairs to investigate and find both children completely buck naked. The only thing that Jack is wearing is a pair of snow boots on the wrong feet.  Later, both minions are so excited about the front hall potty that they routinely run to the front of the house to pee and chat with our evening company while they drop trou. Molly has no accidents.

Day 3
Jack has a 75% success rate this morning and tells me mid-poop that he has to poop. Albeit incredibly disgusting I consider this a major victory. This afternoon we head to an outdoor market in the distillery district where both children will be strapped to our chests. We opt to utilize diapers for those few hours to avoid spreading E. Coli around the city and all over our torsos. Nap time ends yet again with buck naked Jack parading around the nursery, only without the boots. He has peed all over the “Quiet Town” road carpet and terrorized toys everywhere. That evening we have a 50% success rate for Jack before we call it a day.

QuiettownQuiet Town Pre-Pree Destruction
RESULTS:
Jack is by no means potty trained and I will wholeheartedly admit that the weekend was exhausting, frustrating and pretty darn gross: but this is the most success we’ve seen from him in potty training to date.  Previously we’d be lucky to get one successful trip to the potty an evening with a handful during the day at daycare.  Last night he asked and successfully used the potty twice, with minimal coaxing from Chris or I.  As thrilled as I am about the temporary piece of furniture on the main floor of our house and two toddlers bent on carrying a little bucket of pee through the house to dump, It’s going to stay in the front hall a while longer.  We are going to do some diaper free evenings and days in the coming weeks and put Jack in Pull Up diapers more often to help him with his Independence.  We will be providing a new meaning to the Labour Day Weekend as we embark on the Three day Potty Boot camp number two next week…stay tuned.
This post originally appeared on my blog Multiple Momstrosity but I thought I would share it as a part of HDYDI’s Toddler Thursday Series.

Twinfant Tuesday: Separation Decisions For Multiples

“Are you going to separate them?”

“When are you going to separate them?”

Those are 2 questions that parents of multiples will have to answer over and over again as their multiples go through the different stages of childhood. The first time that question has to be answered is when you’re going home with twinfants in tow. Should they share a room? Should they share a bed?

For me the answers were fairly straightforward. Should they share a room? Absolutely! No way I’m going to manage night feedings in 2 different locations.

Should they share a bed? As long as it’s safe to do so was the consensus. What’s safe? As long as they do not have the ability to move or roll over each other, twins can share a crib. With this, my twins did share a crib for the first couple of months until they started wiggling to the middle of the crib to share body warmth. imageCute as it was, it wasn’t safe and that signified it was time for them to move into separate cribs. And so the first of many separation decisions was made based on safety and convenience.image

I wish all the other separation decisions would be as easy as the ones in the infant stage but no such luck. My babies are now pre-schoolers and I’ll soon have to face the question of separating them in school. As with the first decision that was made, the  answer will be a combination of what’s best for the family – convenient for the parents and in the best and safest interest of the kids.

If you’re a parent or caretaker of multiples, how do you do it? The separation decisions that is. What are the driving factors for determining when and how to physically separate your multiples?

Yetunde is the proud mom of twin girls, affectionately nicknamed Sugar and Spice and she blogs about the twin parenting life at www.mytwintopia.com

Make-It Monday: Canvas Collage from the Kiddos’ Artwork

I’ve considered myself a crafter for as long as I can remember…but somehow I just recently discovered Mod Podge.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve done two projects, and I think I am hooked!  For both, I used my girls’ watercolor designs to create a collage on canvas.  I just love the way they turned out!

collage1My girls love to paint with watercolors.  For the first canvas, I let them do their thing, with no input from me.  When everything was dry, they helped me cut their creations into different pieces.  My favorite is the striped page that my A painted.  We cut it into strips, and we used Mod Podge to adhere it to the canvas.  (I will say that A was a little apprehensive when I suggested we slice and dice her artwork…but she loves the final product now, too.)

The next project I directed a little more.  We were invited to a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” birthday party, and I had the idea to create a small canvas for the birthday girl.  Referencing our copy of the book, the girls did a big patch of watercolors in green and blue, along with some red and yellow to one side.

Once the paint dried, the girls used my paper punches to cut out the segments for the caterpillar.  We also stamped the birthday girl’s name on some extra watercolor pieces to add to the canvas.

We adhered everything with Mod Podge, and I painted the few last details (the legs and antennae).  I love the way this turned out, too!

collage2

At 5 1/2, my girls were very active in all stages of this project.  Mod Podge is water-based, so they were able to play a big part in putting the canvases together.

My mind is spinning with what I want to do next.  Among many other ideas, I see lots of new uses for the girls’ watercolor creations.  For one, I can’t wait to create a Christmas tree collage this winter!

Do you Mod Podge?  And Mod Podge or no, do you “upcycle” any of your kiddos’ artwork?

(I have to credit this great blog I found, Mod Podge Rocks, with getting me started.  There are some wonderful tutorials on the blog, along with so many fun ideas.)

MandyE is mom to 5 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Parenting Link Up #36

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! This week’s most clicked post was from Keitha of Bajan Texan. Her Flying with Twins (Infants/Toddlers) tips are so great! She flew to Barbados with her twins as lap babies.

I also loved Keitha’s Real Mom Series post where she interviews one of her best friends from college is who a mom to six kids, 8 years old and younger. She has some great advice on raising great kids.

Herchel of Scruggbug Corner is tackling Back to School with how to handle that first day of kindergarten jitters…. as the mom. I am sure many of you will relate and appreciate her advice for mom confidence as your child starts school for the first time.Mom Confidence on the first day of kindergartenAnd I loved Ann-Marie of Chaos is Bliss‘s post about how she “Fake” Camped with her kids because they just weren’t ready for the real thing… and it saved them some money and sanity too. Check out her tips for having a successful day “camping” without the tents. Fake Camping
If you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

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Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
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