July 17, 2018

OUR SUMMER ROUTINE 2018 | LIFE LATELY

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Hey Friends! Today I wanted to share some pictures of life-lately and what our summer routine has been like! 

summer schedule


When we got back from our road trip,  I really wanted to start settling into the house, continue to unpack, reorganize and get a little summer schedule going. Before we left, I was still running back and forth from the old house, finishing things up, the kids were still in summer school and the house wasn't fully unpacked yet.

Now that we're in a groove, I wanted to share and of course some other random pictures.

Summer routine.

My morning starts about 4:45, that's when I have my coffee and either work on my blog or just cruise Pinterest or check email or read other blogs. This is my quiet time since I'm naturally an early riser. 

When the kids start waking up they usually watch a little morning t.v. or something on Netflix or YouTube.

Then we eat breakfast and weather permitting, we go on a morning walk or they ride their bikes while I walk.


When we come back we usually do a few morning chores and the kids have a morning chore checklist that needs completing.

It's pretty simple: make beds, get dressed, brush teeth, comb hair and pick up dirty clothes. 

In the evening is when we do more of the cleaning. 


Mid morning is when I usually go to the grocery stores, run errands etc. if I need anything; before it get too hot! 

If we don't, then the kids just play.



On this random day of grocery haulin, we decided to get a "sit-down" lunch...
the kids are funny because they thought this was fancy




(Side note on Famous Dave's, not impressed. It's like eating fast food barbecue.)

Next we usually go to the pool.

Now this could be anywhere from 11-3 o'clock, I don't have a set time for anything. That's the beauty of a summer schedule, unless we have an appointment or something.










Our community pool has a snack bar and I normally bring a few dollars and let them pick a little snack to eat while they dry off. They love this little special treat!

After swimming we go home, change out of bathing suits and the kids chill out by watching a movie, playing toys etc. while I do a few things or get dinner going.

The girls have also been doing ABCmouse.com, which we've loved for years!


After dinner we usually go outside and I watch them ride their bikes, scooters or whatever and hopefully by this time it has cooled down a bit.

Mind you, we eat dinner early, like 5 o'clock early!

Then we do our p.m. chores.


Naomi & Bryce pick up the living room. Bryce vacuums. Naomi wipes down the counter in the bathroom and Maddie Swiffers the kitchen floor. Also they all have to pick up the toy messes that they made throughout the day.   


So in the morning when we wake up the house is clean and all they have to do is get themselves ready for the day and make their beds.

Before bed the girls usually watch an episode of their favorite cartoon and Bryce plays video games. This is their wind down time.

And that my friends is our summer weekday's routine. 

In other randomness...


The girls got bunk beds and they absolutely love them!!!


And Bryce is still sleeping on an air mattress...we plan to get him a new bed this weekend.


Jarret enjoying his day off.

(Don't mind the mess in the background, all that has been dealt with.)


Maddie's still loving her Kinetic Sand!


Naomi's still loving her Magna-Tiles! 

And that my Friends is pretty much our life lately, soaking in all the summer down time before school starts back up... 

Alright, talk to ya soon, need to go do some yard work before it gets too hot! 

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July 13, 2018

ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS | TIPS & TRICKS

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Today is my last installment of our summer road trip series and it's just a few tips & tricks that worked well for us along the way!

road trip with kids, tips and tricks

These are in no particular order.

Drive while they sleep.

If you are a morning person get on the road early, like 4 a.m. early, and put your kids back to sleep in the car. This cuts down at least 2-3 hours of driving while the kids would of been awake. You also get to your destination earlier in the day!



It's beautiful witnessing the early morning sunrise while you drive, this was in Wyoming!


I also let the kids bring their pillows from home and each of them had a Aiden + Anais baby blanket. I still had some from when Maddie was a baby and they worked great in the car, and fold up really small. 

Mind you this was a summer road trip. I probably would of brought something a little heavier or warmer if we were traveling in the colder months. 


They also work well from blocking the sun coming thru the windows.

Entertainment.

Keeping the kids entertained while driving is huge!

My #1 recommendation is a DVD player or if you have an i Pad or tablet loaded with movies & games, bring that too.

This is the exact dual screen DVD player we had in the car for our road trip and it worked great!

I also had them bring some of their favorite toys in their backpacks.

Bryce had a tray similar to this one that worked great for when he wanted to build with his Legos. The also work great for keeping everything corralled together and if they are eating in the car, (kid's meal etc.) they can place the meal on the tray.

This is the cell phone holder/mount I used and it worked great. I've bought one for both my Mom & Sister!

Counting down the hours. 

I saw this trick on Pinterest where you count down the hours visually and this works great if you have younger kids that don't grasp time yet.

What you do is get post-it sticky notes, preferably ones that have full stick on the back, and you write down the time until you plan on stopping.

For example: If I left at 5 a.m., then when I hit the 6 a.m. hour we take that sticky down and when it's the 7 a.m. hour, then we take that sticky down and so on and so forth. 

It visually helped the girls see how much longer we had driving and when we would get to the last 1 or 2 hours, they knew we were also done driving for the day.


This was a great trick I learned and I will be using this in the future!

 Stretch your legs.

Usually I would stop about mid day, for 30 minutes or so and let the kids stretch their legs and get some energy out. 


This was at a Cabela's in Nebraska, we walked around outside and then walked a little inside.


We also stopped driving everyday around 4 o'clock and would check into a hotel. But before I would check in, I would fill the car up with gas so the next early morning I was all ready to go!


After we got settled I would take the kids swimming in the hotel's pool.

Miscellaneous tips.

• Always have a cooler with snacks, mini water bottles and juice boxes.

• When you stop for gas, gather all the trash from in the car and throw it away!

• You should have a roll of paper towels, a roll of toilet paper, a package of baby wipes, a container of Clorox wipes, first aid kit and a grocery bag or two. This is the essentials I like to call it, so you're prepared for anytype of mess.

• A medicine bag filled with children's ibuprofen, benadryl,  nasal saline spray, thermometer, inhalers (if needed), adult ibuprofen and itch cream. 

• This is important, get you car serviced before a road trip and make sure your tires are good!!!

That's all I can think of right now, if I think of something else, I will update the list.

If you need to catch up on our summer road trip series, click on the pictures below!





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July 11, 2018

SUMMER ROAD TRIP 2018 | CALIFORNIA & ROAD BACK HOME | PART 3

Happy Wednesday and thank you for coming back to my recap of our Summer Road Trip! If you need to catch up, here's Part 1 & Part 2


Today I'm going to be sharing our road trip down to California and back to Missouri. My plan for California mostly revolved around my kids spending as much time as possible with their grandparents/my in-laws. Jarret's parents live in Cali so they only get to see them once a year and they miss them very much.

While we were up in Utah my Dad's dad came up from California and surprised my Dad, because he had never been up to the house and wanted to see where he lives. We had a nice quick visit with him and the next day he needed to head back home because the altitude was too much. It meant a lot to my Dad that he came.

The weekend before we left down to CA, my Papa fell while out running errands, which ended up landing him in the hospital and then transferred to a senior rehab facility. With that info and concern, we ended up leaving a day earlier and my Mom rode down with me to help with her parents.

Now that I've prefaced this post, let's get started!

Driving down to California.

We are a get-up and drive early kind of family. I can stay up better in the early morning than in the evening. So our alarm clocks were set for 2:45 a.m. and we were on the road at 3:10 a.m. with the kids going back to sleep in the car.  


Excuse the sleepy, pale, tired face but this picture was taken at like 5 o'clock in the morning while my Mom was out walking little scruffy and letting her go potty.


First food stop on the way down was Del Taco!!! We used to love this fast food chain (still do), especially Jarret, but it's a west coast thing so we only get it if we go west...


Bryce loves their chili cheese fries and so does my Mom. The girls don't really know the love for Del Taco but they thought it was delicious!!!

After we finished we went back on the road and headed to my Sister's house for a little break and to surprise my niece and nephews.


We pulled up and knocked on the door and my niece Holly was so excited to see the girls again. They miss each other so much!!!


Jer-Jer and Bryce are so much alike, he reminds me of Bryce & my Brother when they were little.


The next day my Sister came to my Grandma's so she can see all her great grandchildren and to visit because she knew the rest of the time my kids would be at my in-laws.

Mehaffey Grandparents.

Every year since we moved, Bryce has gone out and spent a week with my in-laws while the girls stayed back in Missouri with us.

This year since we all came out, they all got to spend time with their Grandpa & Grandma! Bryce stayed 4 nights with them, Maddie 3 and Naomi 1. Naomi still needs to be with me and we weren't quite sure how long Maddie would go but she did great and wanted to stay the whole time. That's the first time Maddie has spent that many nights away from me... 

During the day we would go visit with them and Naomi would play/swim etc.  



During there visit they took them to see Incredible's 2, out to eat multiple times, running errands, shopping and just spent quality time with them.

While they were there, they had a barbecue so more family could visit with them and on Sunday when I had to pick them up Bryce was not happy & so sad...and Maddie had the best time, but she was vacationed out.

All 3 can't wait to go back and visit again, hopefully next time with Jarret and be able to visit with my sister-in law and her family because they were on vacation while we were in Cali and the kids miss them too!

Kid Free!

This was the first time in about 6 months or more that I was kid free! 

Which came with the realization that I need to find a babysitter in Missouri that I can utilize. Because usually I would use Mom or family but since I have neither here, I need to find someone.

So naturally with a whole kid free day I went and got my toes done.


Which I hadn't done in a looooong time!!!

I need to make a point of taking care of myself more because I know when I'm better for myself, I am better for everyone else.


Next I went to the Mexican bakery to get a pink and orange cookie, this reminds me of my childhood and they are so good!!!

After that I went and visited with my Papa in the senior home. He looked so good and was up-beat and happy about his physical therapy etc.

The next day I went out and visited with my niece & nephew.



I wanted to find a shirt to wear to the barbecue my in-laws were having and I found a cute tee at Target!

I took Holly & Jer along and got them a little special.



I miss them so much!!!

Visiting Papa.

On Sunday after I picked up the kids from my in-laws, we all (Sister & her family, Mom, Grandma and Tia) went and had dinner and then visited with Papa in the "zen-garden".


This was the first time my Papa & Grandma were in the presents of all 6 of their great-grandchildren! I'm sure they would of wished on different circumstances but, never-the-less they still got see them. 


Here's the whole family in the "zen garden".

After this the kids and I went back and packed the car down to leave at 3 a.m. the next morning.

Back to Utah.

On our way back to Utah we stopped in Mesquite and had our last go with Del Taco, until next time...


On our last day I was doing laundry, gathering our stuff from around my parent's house and was packing the car back down for the 2 day drive back home.


We took an evening walk around the block and said bye to the baby horse that was born while we were there and...


Swung in the hammock that my Brother bought.

The road back home.

On the 4th of July we headed back for the Midwest via highway 70!


Again, I left around 4 a.m. and headed east. 


The kids slept, thankfully!



It was so nice when it started getting light because it is pretty dead out there on the eastern side of Utah.


When you travel on Hwy 70, coming from Utah, you get to go thru some pretty cool tunnels.






And most famously the Johnson Tunnel!


So cool!


While driving thru Western Colorado, most of the time you are driving next to the Colorado River. (70 Hwy.)


 Along the route we stopped to stretch our legs in Frisco, Co. This was perfect because they had restrooms in the rest area parking lot and a creek to walk along and play for the kids.

Frisco, Colorado Mehaffey Moments

At this point we had been in the car for many hours, so it was perfect for the kids to put their feet in the river, throw rocks and enjoy the scenery!



Frisco, colorado | Mehaffey Moments

My kids love the outdoors!


Back in the car and headed East. 

Don't mind the roof top cargo bag's straps or the additional tie-downs that my Dad insisted on...
I felt like I was driving in a service truck, lol!

In the cargo bag was luggage, beach towels, misc. and oh...a Husquavarna push mower!!!


I had never before been so happy to see Kansas!!!

COLBY, KANSAS

We stopped for the night at the Hampton Inn, in Colby, Kansas.


I let the kids go swimming...


We ate some dinner, watched t.v. and got ready to head out bright and early the next morning.


DAY TWO!

ALL...MOST...HOME...

affordable gas prices

Oh, hello reasonable gas prices...happy to see you again!

Those were the only two pictures I took on our second day of driving, I was exhausted when we finally got home!


The next day Jarret got home from being away at work and we were all so HAPPY to see eachother!

We ALL missed him very much!!!


Ta-dahhh, see there was a push mower up there, lol!!!

My Dad had an extra that was in good shape and ours was on it's way out...

That's it folks, now we are settling into our new house. Getting a little summer daily routine down and enjoying this down time before the kids are back in school.

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, you can catch up below, just click on the link or picture!

Summer Road Trip 2018 | Utah

Summer Road Trip 2018 | Yuba Lake State Park

Thanks for tuning into my recap of our Road Trip and Friday I'm going to share my tips & trick for road tripping with kids!

Tune back in Friday and if you're not following me on instagram, you should 😊! 
read more "SUMMER ROAD TRIP 2018 | CALIFORNIA & ROAD BACK HOME | PART 3"
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