Play Date Fun

Today we had a play date instead of doing a craft. My friend Violet is also a nanny and this morning she had the brilliant idea of combining forces. She was with her three kids a couple of miles down the road so I gathered up Penny and Jude and we went over to visit Violet, Alex, Andrew, and Alyssa. They were all outside playing and waiting for us. The kids got to play in the small pool and in Andrew and Alyssa’s little toy cars and Violet and I got some time to talk. I love play dates because the kids are able to entertain themselves for the most part and I can have a fun little hang out. The novelty of playing with kids that they don’t get to see very often was all these five kids needed to have a good time. They ran around laughing, screaming, splashing, and chasing each other around. It was a lot of fun. Honestly play dates are so helpful when the nanny or mom is a little tired and not knowing what to do with the kids because the hard part is getting them to the play date. Once Penny and Jude are at a playdate I find they are so entertained by their friends that I can relax a lot more than if we were same coloring at home because while coloring I always have in the back of my head the knowledge that any minute they could be bored and I will have to come up with something new, while at a playdate I don’t experience that.

The kids had such a good time that we stayed for lunch. They all ran around the house like a tornado while Violet and I cooked up some pizza and mac and cheese, not the healthiest of lunches but it was what we had on hand. Sadly I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t take any pictures of all the kids playing together. However there is good news! The kids all had so much fun and Violet and I loved it so much that we are going to try and make it a weekly Friday thing, us going to their house or them coming to ours. So next week if we do it again I will post some pictures. Well the kids are up from their naps and the house, though we weren’t in it for a couple hours, is still messy. Until next week have a weekend!

~The Pinning Nanny

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The Catch Up Post

It has been a few weeks since I have posted and before I start posting crafts again I guess should tell you all a little bit about what has been going on. Since my last post the kids and I have been extremely busy!

20150520_144039First of all I went to England! I just recently got back from an intensive creative writing course in the South of England, County East Sussex, in a little town called Lewes. I spent my days hiking the South Downs and writing. It was such a beautiful trip, although when it came time to come home I was ready. I was ready to come back and see my family, friends, and get back to Penny and Jude.

wpid-20150619_101337.jpgPenny and Jude were also busy while I was away, particularly Penny. While I was away, Penny was finishing up her last few weeks of preschool. Today was her last day and I am thrilled to say that I was there to bring her and pick her up from her last day of preschool. She was so incredibly cute telling me about how she was graduating and asking me when I would be graduating myself. The picture on the left is a picture of Jude giving Penny her last day high-five. They have had this tradition for I want to say the last four or five months. Penny gives me a hug good-bye and then walks up the ramp into the school, but not before giving her brother a high-five. It is such a cute little tradition and as I realized it would be the last time I would see it I quickly grabbed a picture of it, of course I got my finger in it. Anyway it is still a cute picture of the moment.

So that is what has been happening on this end of the blog. I hope the beginning of the summer has been treating you all well. I’ve got a few summer surprises in store for the kids so check back soon.

~The Pinning Nanny

I’m a Bad Blogger

So, I’m a bad blogger. I have been so caught up in finishing all my final assignments for the semester hat I completely forgot to blog. I have been like a homework and nannying robot. Honestly the last few weeks it never once crossed my mind that I needed to find a craft or activity or do with the kids unless it was along the lines of “Let’s play outside.” or “I’m freaking out over homework so let’s have a dance party.” I feel doubly guilty because not only have I not been blogging, but I haven’t been a very exciting nanny. For example this morning Penny had a field trip so she went to school earlier than usual and so Jude and I had the morning to ourselves. And do you want to know what we did with the first 40 minutes of that time? I put Sonic the Hedgehog on the T.V. Jude sat on my lap, and I fell asleep! I woke up when he was snuggling down after the show was over. Not my finest moment as a nanny. I was able to redeem myself a bit by playing cars and trains with him afterwards but yeah, I haven’t been my fun and creative nanny self lately. On the bright side, classes are over, three of my five final papers are submitted, and my only final exam is done. With only two papers to write over the next 12 days I can already for see more crafting happening in the weeks to come. So here’s to summer and more fun activities with my two favorite kids! Have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon!

~The Pinning Nanny

Planting Fun

wpid-20150410_111313.jpgHello everyone! I know I said I would post about planting elephant ear plants with Penny and Jude last week but two things happened. First of all my dad did not get the plants out last week so when Friday came and I asked for the plants they were not ready for me. And secondly I had about 30 pages of writing to do for my classes so when I thought about writing a quick post to explain the hold up my brain took a nap. But I’m awake now and planting has been done!

wpid-20150410_111447.jpgI brought over the pots with the dirt already in them so Penny and Jude literally just had to put the bulbs in the pots and then cover them with a little soil. I sent everything up while they were destroying the basement (which we cleaned up after nap) and then called them up to plant their individual bulb. They were really into it wanting to make sure that they had the bulb in the right way and that the dirt was in the right place. It was actually really cute. They got to get a little dirty too which they loved. Give them a little dirt and they’re in heaven.

wpid-20150410_111435.jpgThis activity went so smoothly I almost feel like we didn’t do it. I have photo to prove we did do it so I’m sure it actually happened. The best part of this activity is that they aren’t just going to have it for a couple days. They are going to be able to actually watch their own plants grow from bulbs to big elephant ear leaves, which if you haven’t seen before actually look like and can grow to be the size of a real elephant’s ear. Planting is a fun activity for anyone so if you haven’t done any spring planting yet I would encourage you to get some dirt under your nails and let your kids do the same! Until next time.

~The Pinning Nanny

Spring is in the Air!

School is crazy right now but every time I look out a window I am overwhelmed with the signs of spring! So this week Penny, Jude, and I are going to do some planting. My dad grows elephant ear plants every year and the way they work is that by the fall the big bulbs have produced baby bulbs that can be planted in the spring. I’m going to use two baby bulbs and have the kids plant one each so that they can watch their own plant grow from week to week. It’s going to be fun for them because they will be able to get a little dirty and have something at the end that they can track the growth of. Sadly the amount of unfinished homework that I have is screaming my name… Friday can’t come soon enough this week. Sorry for the short post, Friday’s will be better.

Rainbows Welcome Spring!

First of all happy first day of spring everyone! This day has come after a very snowy winter, and so of course we are welcoming spring in with another 3-6 inches of it… Don’t get me wrong if you have read any of my other posts you know I have a deep love for snow, but this past week was just so warm and sunny! Alright well anyway that’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about how much fun Penny, Jude, and I had making our St. Patrick’s Day rainbows.

wpid-20150316_162226.jpgAfter nap time, I cut out all the paper strips while Jude ran around like a mad man and Penny ate her snack. Jude wasn’t interested in anything other than expelling his energy and I let him run wild while Penny and I made the rainbow chains. I was impressed with how little help Penny needed from me. She practically made the whole chain herself, I only had to hand her the tape. She really enjoyed making them with me and Jude loved the finished product so I call that a success! And then we made one really big one which they both helped me with, and by help I mean that when it started getting long they held it while I continued to make it. No matter what it was a fun activity. The only thing that didn’t make it perfect was that I couldn’t find any string so we had to wait until their mom came home to attach the pots of gold to the ends.

wpid-20150316_163546.jpgThe rainbow chains are so bright and colorful I would say make them even though St. Patrick’s Day has past because they look fun and whimsical, just forgo the pot of gold at the end. Looking at them is making me smile even now, as it is snowing outside… Have a bright and beautiful first weekend of spring everyone, even if you have to get creative as I will.

~The Pinning Nanny

Rainbows and a Pot of Gold

st-patrick-rainbow-craftHappy St. Patrick’s Day! First of all Penny and I did color on last week but on Friday I succumbed to Spring Break fever and wasn’t productive at all during nap time hence no post about it. This week however will be different! We are going to make St. Patrick’s Day rainbows.

The rainbows are super cute and at the same time really easy to make. I love making chain decorations and so when I found this craft I knew immediately I wanted to do it with them. Also Penny and Jude love colorful things so they will have fun with this. I am expecting them to like this craft because it is hands on in a way that they can do most of the work themselves. I will of course do all the cutting and such but I want to challenge them and their hand eye coordination by having them make the chains with as little assistance as possible.

I’m going to pull the luck of the Irish and say that while we are making our rainbows nothing wrong will happen. I think that because all three of us are Irish, and the number three is the holy number in Irish tradition that our craft will go off with no hiccups.

So come back Friday and I will tell you if our luck held out, or if a leprechaun will mess things up for us.

We Will Color!

Last week I thought I was going to use Octonaut coloring pages to get a little break because school has been really tiring. However I forgot about the circus and had to rally. This week is the week before spring break and so naturally I have papers/assignments due in all five of my classes. Because of my heavy school work load I’m going to pull out the Octonauts to save the day, again. This time though we will actually be using the coloring pages.

Of course I could tell you how much I really need Penny and Jude to love these coloring pages because I’m so exhausted and have so much to do. And all of these things are true, I dozed off reading two hours ago. But the reality is that just by writing this post I am spending time on something other than homework that I really shouldn’t be, no matter how much I love it, simply because I don’t have time to spare. So we’re going to keep it short and simple today. The kids and I are going to do some coloring this week. On Friday I will be on spring break and will be able to write a more lengthy or at least more interesting and thought out post.  So until then enjoy the sun that has once again appeared in the sky!

Surprise! Circus Trip!

wpid-20150306_101758.jpgI know this week the kids and I were supposed to color Octonaut pictures but I forgot something very important… We were going to the circus! (Which is also why this post is two days late, I was too tired on Friday.) A couple weeks back their mom had asked if I would like to take them to the circus with some of their friends and their moms. As an avivid lover of anything remotely magical I LOVE the circus! Naturally I said I would love to take the kids to the circus but I forgot to put it on my calendar so of course I forgot about it until Wednesday night when I was talking to their mom and she wanted to confirm that I was still good to take them. So no we didn’t color any Octonaut pictures, but when I got to their house on Friday they were so excited about our surprise trip to the circus!

wpid-20150306_121357.jpgLike I said when I got to Penny and Jude’s house their dad had just told them we were going to the circus that day. They were beyond excited! They behaved so well all morning simply because they wanted to make sure there was no way I could take the circus away from them, which I never would have done for the simple reason that I desperately wanted to go! The circus began at 11:00 am and having mezzanine seating I wanted to get there early so that we would be guaranteed good seats. We left around 9:40 picked up my friend, Natalie, and we headed to the big top! We got great seats, first row dead center mezzanine! And this was my trick to guarantee that the good behavior continued through the show: I didn’t buy them any treats until intermission so that they had to sit through the first half of the show before they got any reward and then could eat the whole second half. It worked like a dream!

wpid-20150306_121500.jpgThe show was amazing. There were actual moments that I was flabbergasted by what was going on in the ring. Jude loved the two animal acts. And Penny’s favorite was the act in which the woman’s outfit kept changing every time someone put a sheet or tunnel thing over her. Both of those acts were impressive but my favorite were the brothers that would sit on each other’s feet and do flips. All in all it was a spectacular day that ended in the fireworks of tears brought on my overstimulation, hunger for real food, and complete exhaustion. However I got to go to the circus so Jude’s meltdown at the end has quickly faded into a faint memory. I simply love the circus and was honored to take them to their first circus. It was a great week. I’ll talk to you in a couple days.

~The Pinning Nanny

Coloring to the Rescue!

108-Free-Octonauts-Coloring-Printable-PagesHello everyone! Last week was a bit crazy, hence I didn’t post at all, and this week is shaping up to be the same way so I need a break. Therefore I am pulling out an easy and hopefully imagination encouraging craft. I desperately need some time this week where I’m not elbows deep in homework or a craft with Penny and Jude. The craft that will ensure me some down time you ask? Coloring pages, Octonauts coloring pages to be exact. If you are a parent or nanny of young children you have probably come across the Octonauts before. For those of you who don’t have a personal relationship, freely or forced, with the Octonauts they are a group of animated animals that live underwater and go on adventures. Admittedly they aren’t my favorite my favorite show, I prefer Wild Kratts or a Disney movie, but every once in a while we watch Octonauts. Plus Jude saw the color pages when I originally found them and got really excited, and so this week is going to be a coloring week.

I envision the coloring party to be a hit. Penny and Jude enjoy coloring quite a bit and if I play my part right and really amp up the activity I think these coloring pages could be my saving grace. My hope is that they will just keep coloring and coloring. The pin I found links you to 108 free Octonauts coloring pages so it truly is a treasure trove. I’m going to print all the pages out and just keep on handing them out until their little fingers can’t color any more.

I’m praying that nothing goes wrong and I am able to achieve some relatively quiet and calm time. But I would be lying if I didn’t have my worries or doubts that that was going to happen. The problems I foresee are as follows: Penny and Jude might simply not be in the mood for coloring, it’s happened before. They might fight over a specific coloring page or crayons. They may want to color with markers which at times, like when I’m exhausted, I don’t give them markers and protests can abound! They may start out excited but quickly lose interest and move onto more strenuous activities. I could in my exhausted state forget to print out the pages before I leave home. Ugh, these  foreseeable problems are making me even more tired!

Well here’s to hope and coloring pages! I need a break and hopefully these Octonauts will do the trick. If these coloring pages and I pull this off my opinion of the Octonauts will be a lot better! I’ll let you know on Friday what happened…