Sanity Saver #1: Dictionary Pictionary

wpid-wp-1428882531655.jpegSanity Savers are for those times when you’re:

1) trying to do something with one of your kids and another kid has finished their work already and keeps saying, “Mom, I’m done,” “Did I earn a screen yet?” “I’m bored,” “Can you make me a snack?”

2) cooking dinner and everybody is freaking out.

3) putting the baby down for a nap while your other children are arguing loudly over whether your eyes change color if you press them both with your index fingers or if they stay brown from blinking. What.

4) on the phone and everyone is suddenly talking to you, urgently.

5) trying to take a shower.

6) any combination of 1-5.

When I shout “Go do Dictionary Pictionary,” which I have literally done in every one of the above scenarios, my older children respond to this by retrieving their notebooks and the dictionary, and leaving me alone for about 15-20 minutes (and sometimes huffing or rolling their eyes, because let’s be real here, a dictionary is not a snack). Continue reading

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The Chicken Adventure, Part 1: Easter Eggers, Australorps and Hen Saddles? Oh My

wpid-wp-1425731718242.jpegAs many of you know by now, I’m not one to sit idly on the sidelines, no matter how displaced I may feel (or actually be). And we all know there’s no better way to get over missing city life than by totally distracting yourself with a chicken coop and half a dozen baby chicks.

Ahem.

mean, I have carefully evaluated many options for our pet-desperate children, and have come to the determination that chickens are the lowest maintenance/ highest return pet we can handle right now.

For those of you back in NYC who think I’ve totally lost it, let me remind you that we already have a bajillion other birds in our backyard – birds that are busy mucking up our property, making nests all over the place, not being pets to my kids, not laying eggs we can actually eat and not looking particularly pretty. Seriously, have you seen a Muscovy Duck? So I figured, what the heck? Not only can I come up with about one hundred educational components to this homeschooling adventure, but I’m also getting some serious perks pre-chicken.

wpid-wp-1423335328258.jpegwpid-wp-1423729667622.jpegSee, my kids agreed to earn the money to pay for the chickens if we allowed them to have them, and three months later they’re still working hard to earn every last penny. Vacuuming the car out? 50 cents. Dragging the garbage cans back from the curb? 25 cents per can. 50 cents to empty the dishwasher, 25 to put away their laundry. A penny per toy put away – they fight over cleaning up duplos now! And an entire $1 if they sleep through the night without waking us up (a dollar might seem steep, but let me tell you that it is worth every penny). They are happily doing chores, learning about counting and saving money, and happily doing chores! I already love these chickens!

Naturally, being the amazing, slightly OCD homeschooling mother that I am, I immediately started reading up on chickens, chicken coops, and animals that eat chickens and probably live in my backyard. So if you are now considering getting chickens of your own, here’s what I can share so far: Continue reading