Teaching Little Ones Kindess (made easy!)

Y’all, being a parent is tough! We have to keep them clothed (okay that’s kind of fun!), fed, clean, AND teach them to be good humans. I’m tired just writing about it. One of my major challenges lately is teaching my children, in an age appropriate way, about kindness, gratitude, and service.

It can be difficult for little minds to understand why we give back to our community and even more difficult for them to put themselves in another’s shoes to truly understand kindness and empathy. And honestly, as a parent, it can be exhausting to come up with simple ways to SHOW them. That’s why I’m absolutely obsessed with these Kindness Cards from Minor Details CLE! Her claim to fame is her gorg custom wedding and party invitations for celebrations + milestones, but she also creates adorable creations of all kinds. I’m kind of obsessed with everything she crafts for littles, including her fill in the blank thank you cards and family adventure cards.

Intended to be led by a young family member (think preschool-1st grade in my opinion), these kindness cards take all the guess-work out of instilling kindness with fun, family activities. While there are a few that are holiday specific, many can be used year round, which is what we’re doing with them! 

My plan is to use the Christmas-specific ones over the next two weeks, and after use one a week until we finish them off! I’m going to write the date on the back when we complete it and save it for next year. (Honestly, you could even start them after Christmas, doing 1-2 per month in the new year, then using the holiday ones next December!) I don’t know that she’ll have them again next year, so I’d snag them now while you can!  

We completed one earlier this week, No.15 Sing Christmas Carols, at McKenna’s holiday performance. She loved pulling the card and writing the date on the back! 

As the year goes on, I’ll be sharing updates both here and on Instagram with how we’re using the cards and tagging Minor Details CLE. We’d love for you to take part in the kindness with us, because after all, we’re all trying to raise happy, healthy, KIND humans! ❤

{Psssst: you can head to Insta and enter to win yourself a pack of cards! Go find the post with Kindness Cards and follow the easy, peasy instructions to enter}

This post was created in collaboration with Minor Details CLE. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Fall Family Bucket List

Lists– you either love making them or hate it. If you’re a list-lover, YAY! You are my people. I live and die by my planner and to-do lists keep my forever-forgetful mom brain in line. If you’re a list-hater,  you’re in luck, because I am HAPPY to do it for you 😉 I am a sucker for creating traditions, so I present to you: The Kilbane Fall 2018 Bucket List! I decided to leave the name off (even though I’m a sucker for monogramming and personalization), that way you can download and print your own copy.

bucket list photo

Love it? Download Yours Here:

(sans any typos on my first copy, above!)

Fall 2018 Fam Bucket List

 

 

Owen’s Second Birthday

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetIt’s crazy to see how much this little guy has grown in the past year. Do you ever check your Facebook “on this day” and literally shed a tear? It’s such a nostalgic feature of Facebook, even when the posts are just a year old. The changes can be so significant, it brings on #allthefeels. Despite all my best efforts, time keeps moving forward (kidding– watching these kiddos grow is Heavenly) and this year dreams came true for our puppy-obsessed little man.

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Similar Letter Boards | Cup Cake Stand | Cup Cake ToppersDog Serving Bowls | Paw Patrol Wall Decor | Paw Patrol Masks | Paw Print BalloonsFire Hydrant Sprinkler

 

This year I did a mix of store-bought and homemade decor (instead of making it all myself) and I LOVE how it turned out! Easily my favorite part: the puppy face garland! I printed way more pictures than I needed, so I also used the cut-outs as “confetti” table decor. I made the Hot Dog Menu and the food place cards to match the puppy-themed food the kid’s chose. I didn’t snag many pictures of the backyard, but we also had Paw Patrol bubbles, an awesome fire hydrant sprinkler, and a small “doggy pool” (aka kiddie pool).

The Actual Worst Part of Parenting

“Kids need structure.”

“Consistently is key.”

“You have to follow-through.”

… okay cool. Check. Got it. But why didn’t anyone ever tell us how HARD it would be to actually follow-through with empty threats to your kids? I’m not talking “don’t hit your brother or you’ll go to your room”, but more like “if you choose to keep XYZ, we will have to stay home” and even “if you don’t eat your dinner, you’ll have to go to bed hungry” (side note: why is putting them to bed hungry so hard?).

hitting

Let’s just put it out there: having to use these kinds of statements SUCKS.

I’ve decided that this is the actual worst part of parenting. A little dramatic? Maybe. But think about it: it’s not the middle-of-the-night wake ups, the dirty diapers, or the lingering feeling that you have no idea what you’re doing. Those are expected! It’s the moment when you don’t get what to do what you want or enjoy because you threatened your kid that you’d take it away. Talk about your all-time backfire.

Anyone else have to miss a Target run because your kids were a hot mess? Have to cancel a play date, so then you were stuck in the house with team “make Mom crazy” all day?

yelling
How do you handle these moments?! I’m guessing the answer is “just tough it out”, but I’m not really liking that answer at the moment. Is there some secret trick to phrasing that I’ve missed? (and trust, I offer choices like I’m the world’s greatest salesman– but that doesn’t always work on an immature brain) Is there some elusive way to make my kids actually care about the perceived threat? Or is this just the stage we’re in?

Advice is welcome, babes.

Oh, and for those riding in this same boat: solidarity, sister (and cheers)

We Tried: Shutter Bugs Art & Photography Studio

If you know me in real life (or even if you simply follow me on social media), I’m sure you’ve noticed that we are NOT home bodies. I get super restless and the kids get… well, insane. And while some may beg to differ, there are only so many times you can hit up Target so many times in a week before you begin to feel a little ridiculous. Of course we do parks, playgrounds, and play dates like they’re going out of style, but it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while.

This weekend we ventured out a little farther than normal and decided to check out Shutter Bugs, a children’s art and photography studio in South Austin. While they host classes and camps for kiddos of all ages (4 all the way through teens), every Sunday from 9:00-1:00 they hold an open studio. We got there towards the end of the session and were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves!

We got to hang out with the owner, Jon, who showed us the ropes and led the kiddos through a ton of activities and mini-lessons. From painting using various techniques to still-life photography to making their own custom bookmarks– this place had them happy as could be.

The best part? Jon was SO patient with the kids and so welcoming to us as the parents. He taught McKenna how to hold a camera, how to line up her subject, and even how to adjust where she was standing to correct the lighting. She was so proud of herself! And as a parent, isn’t that the best?

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If you’re in Austin, you NEED to head down to Shutter Bugs! While it’s a drive for us during the week, they do have Saturday classes and the Sunday open studio ($20). Wanna go with us?! Let’s make a day of it!

Unicorns, Donuts, and Sassy Pants

This. Is. Four.

It’s crazy how four years can go by in what feels like a blink of an eye. It seriously feels like yesterday when we were sitting (okay I was laying) in the hospital trying to decide what we’d name our sweet girl. Who would she be? What would be be interested in? Would she be like I was as a child or something totally different? From that moment, our world was forever changed.

Since that day, she’s blossomed into the sassiest, smartest, most hilarious little creature I’ve ever encountered. She loves crafts and science and riding her scooter. She lives for cake pops and Target runs and jumping on the trampoline. Gymnastics and dance are her love languages. She’s got her father’s sense of humor and my passion for learning. In short, she’s everything we could’ve ever hoped for… and so much more.

Parenting is a crazy dichotomy of wishing you could freeze time and wanting to fast forward because you’re ecstatic about the little person they’re growing into. I’m sure the next four years will pass even faster than the last, but one thing is for certain: it’s going to be glorious.

A review of Yippitee's monster birthday shirt with snap-on toys PLUS a giveaway so you get a chance to win one! | Playdates and Prosecco

Yippitee Monster Shirt Review + GIVEAWAY

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it.

I’m obsessed with planning birthday parties.

Just ask my husband; he’s watched me plan for months, spend more money than I’d care to admit, and slave ’til 2 am night after night to ensure my kiddos have the party of their dreams (or maybe it’s my dreams?).

And you know what? I am not even mad about it. I LOVE IT. I love the feeling of looking around on party day, seeing all my hard work and grand ideas come to fruition, and hearing the squeals of joy from tiny party-goers.

One of my favorite parts of party planning is planning our outfits! Yes, I say “our” because OF COURSE our whole family must coordinate. I’m that mom. #sorrynotsorry This past year, I connected with Peggy Keefe-Lopez from Yippitee through a partnership with FIT4MOM Austin. She graciously sent over this adorable monster tee for McKenna to test out and we’ve been rocking it ever since. That’s the beauty of her tees– they can be worn for a birthday, but also throughout the year since they aren’t marked specifically as a “birthday” tee. What mama wouldn’t love that?!

Each tee from ages 3 and up have these super fun finger puppets attached, turning your kiddos t-shirt into instant entertainment! Plus, the shirts are super soft and wash well. We’re hard clothes and I’m a “machine-wash, dry on regular heat” kinda lady, so clothes need to hold up to lots of washes.

So. Much. Fun! Gender-neutral. Cost effective. Excellent quality. Oh, and did I mention she’s currently working on a UNICORN LINE?! Dreams DO come true.

And now for the fun: you have a chance to win a Yippitee monster birthday shirt! Enter via Rafflecopter below. Your official entry is your email address, but you get extra entries for commenting on this post, sharing this post on Pinterest, and liking the Yippitee Facebook page.

This giveaway runs for 5 days and ends on Tuesday, March 27 at 11:59pm Central. The potential winner will be emailed within 24 hours and once confirmed will be announced via email to all entrants by Friday, March 30.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Hang tight as we verify the entries and contact the potential winner! Everyone will be notified by email when a winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway: Click HERE to Enter!