Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Voting...Who to Pick and The Parenting Opportunity

Today I took two of my babies on a field trip.  We went to vote.

This has been quite an interesting experience as Olivia has been asking lots of questions about the election, president, etc.  I have tried to be neutral in my explanation while not feeling neutral at all.  I have tried to explain how and why we choose who we vote for and the very basics of each candidates point-of-view.  

In my quest to provide factual information to my kids I came upon two pieces that helped me and may help you.  While I see tons of "bashing" I do think it is important to show my kids where there is good.  While this is hard when one is opposed to one candidate so strongly, I am trying to show them a bigger picture, which is to see good in everybody.

The first was something that was posted on Facebook.  I think it is good for a church to not avoid this topic altogether and thought this approach was wise.  Here it is...exactly as she typed it.


"I have already voted, but this was from my SIL's Pastor's sermon this weekend. I think it sums up how Christians should vote. If you are offended take it up with God's word. He said it, not me!

Seven Convictions that help Determine My Vote:

1) I will vote for the most pro-Israel candidates, because God promises to bless those who bless Israel & curses those who don't (Gen.12:3).

2) I will vote
for the most pro-life candidates, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov.6:17).

3) I will vote for the most Pro-marriage candidates because God is for marriage as defined in (Gen. 2:24).

4) I will vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidates, because the borrower is servant to the lender (Prov.22:7).

5) I will vote for the candidates that most closely believes that government’s purpose is to reward the good and punish the evil (Rom 13).

6) I will vote for the most pro-work candidates because God says if a man does not work he does not eat (2 Thess 3:10).

7) I will vote as closely as I can to God’s Word because God’s Word is inspired. (2 Tim 3:16)"


The second piece I got came in my Inbox.  I subscribe to a blog and I really love everything she has to say.  It always gives me "food for thought."  Click here the beginning of wisdom to see what she said in "the parenting opportunity of election day."  You won't be sorry and you could spend hours on her blog.  I can say it gave me a new perspective and helped shape the way I spoke to my kids about this day, the candidates, and the possible outcomes.
I often try to stay "light" here on Mama Bouchard but felt compelled to share this with you no matter which way you lean.  I think it is good insight and since I live in school mode now I definitely like this as a teaching and learning opportunity for voters, parents, and children.  Maybe you agree and you will come back, maybe you will never click my way again.  No matter what you matters!


Monday, October 29, 2012


So I heard about a corn maze.  Does that make your heart sing like it does mine?  Mine was singing the sweetest song, so I planned a day trip.  Then, I asked Man if he wanted to go to the corn maze.  He would tell you this is how it always works.  My lips are sealed.  So this past Saturday was the day!  Since I had made the mistake, the day before, of taking my kids to Addison's pumpkin patch day dressed like it was 50 degrees outside, which it was supposed to be, I wasn't messing this one up.  So I put short sleeves on them because I was not listening to, "I'mmmmmmmmmmmmmm hot."  Lunches packed, bellies fed, garage door up...back inside to load everyone up with coats.  That is Florida folks.  And then we were off.  Olivia only asked 11.678 times, "How much longer?" on the one hour journey.  Man only gave me "The Look" twice.  I just smiled...and read my magazine.  I am spoiled like that now.  I love Man being home!

 Thankfully I brought warmth because it.was.cold!  I mean C-O-L-D!  We forged ahead and the girls had a blast.  We didn't make it ten feet into the maze until we were met with this.

 It must be 2012.  

We were very excited to finish the 7 acre maze!  Allye was excited that I brought a cup of Nilla Wafers for her.  

They had tons of games and rides for the we had to do them all!

Nate and Olivia did the corn shooter.  The targets had deer heads painted on them.  This is exactly how I imagine both of their faces the first time she shoots at a live animal.

 Allye was happy to run free...but sometimes she practiced sitting.

 If you are wondering how you do this you sit down, then you stand up and walk a few feet, then you sit down again, repeat.  You must be laughing the entire time.

If you go into a maze and your sister wants to race, this is how you win...

Eventually...when you can't feel your are so glad you packed your lunch and your car is big enough to hold everyone!

Then you must get back at it because kids don't understand frozen...just fun!

And we have one that still understands tired...

It was an A-MAZE-ING day and the best part was having Daddy with us...FINALLY!

The Mama

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mother of the Year

Did you know that I was awarded Mother of the Year on Wednesday?  You didn't?  I bet you are wondering how I won this prestigious award...and it's not even the end of the year.  Well, let me tell you how this was done.

Have you ever had one of those days where your brain feels like it is doing this?

Yep.  I thought so.  Well, my brain feels like that most days actually.  Who has eaten what?, who needs to consume more milk for the day?, how many times the baby has been changed?, did the baby take a nap?, how long did she sleep?...the list goes on and on.  You feelin' me?  Well, on Wednesday my brain was this x4 because Wednesday is, well, Wednesday.  Let's put it this way...I don't take a bathroom break until 9pm at night.  


In the midst of normal Wednesday chaos Addison has dance.  Our 'o so strict dance teacher sent home a note last week that said the kids could dress-up for dance class and bring a bag of candy to class to share with their friends.  But, then I got to thinking.  "Um, I don't recall getting a note from Addison.  But, yes, I definitely got a note from Olivia.  I am sure I am crazy and lost it somewhere in the car since I can't see any of the seats or floor."  Then I think on this thought for an hour or so and convince myself that yes, I have lost my mind and I am definitely supposed to dress her up.  So we spend a good part of our day just analyzing what she should dress-up as and how I have not sewn the regular Dora (the one with orange pants and a pink shirt) pants yet.  Those will be ready for Halloween and how I am so sorry.  She finally settles for Fairy Dora.  Whew!

We rush off to dance with the costume on and candy in the bag.  We hop out of the car, race to the door, swing it open and what????

I have the most sparkling, twinkling, green and purple dancer among the sea of black leotards and pink tights.  Think fast.  The sweet lady who takes Man's hard earned money every month races around to meet me and I say, "I am guessing she was supposed to dress-up next week?"  Can you imagine what she was thinking?  Um, duh lady.  But she didn't say that...because she wants Man's money next month too.  No.  She smiled real sweet and said, "It will be just fine.  Come on honey let's get your shoes on."

Yes, folks, that would be exactly how you win Mother of the Year.  Unless of course she was supposed to dress up and I forgot.  Now, there has to be some much bigger title for that.  I am sure it is in my not-so-distant future.  I'll let you know when I win it.

Ever been Mom of the Year...and it's not awards season?  It's ok.  Me too.  Nevermind. I guess you know that now.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Knee Socks...They're Back

Style.  I'd like to think I have some but I am not one of those people who has ever been a trendy person.  I always have the basics and never enough accessories.  I love shoes but wear them way past their prime.  If my jeans still fit I can't imagine why I need a new pair.  Have you pegged me yet?

  As I look back on my seven years as a parent I think I have dressed my kids the same way.  Don't get me wrong, they look cute but I never give it the added "Pow!"  I always think it is a waste of money but envy every child who has the extra zing.  I think, "I could do that if I would just take the few extra minutes."  But then I get too nervous that I will never make it look right or cute or spunky enough.  So, here is my first attempt.  I am laying all of my style insecurities in front of you.

Olivia and I were shopping in Target a few weeks back.  I was looking in her section for leggings and tights but got totally distracted by the knee highs.  They were so cute and colorful and screaming at me.  The best part was Olivia liked them too.  The awesome part was they were on sale for $1.48 a pack!  We bought two packs.  Guess which one she chose?

 So the very insecure style side of me left them in the drawer for two weeks.  I blamed it on the heat.  Then the day came when I could no longer hide from my insecurities.  She was counting on me to make these work.  So, late one night last week, when they were all asleep, I tiptoed into her room (where she does not sleep...another story), flipped on the bright lights, flung open the closet doors and got to work.  I was sweating.  My head was spinning.  This is what perfectionism does to you.  I just kept repeating this little line I had read on a blog earlier that day, "Kids clothes should be fun, not all matchy matchy."  This is what I stared at for at least 30 minutes.

 I even went back to my computer and Goggled, "kids knee high socks outfits."  I was desperate.  Go ahead and laugh.

I went back and stared for another 30 minutes and came up with nothing.  So I went to bed.  Surely it would come to me.  

I awoke with a knot in my stomach the next morning, but once I saw her excitement that I was finally letting her wear them I had to go through with it.  So here is what I came up with.  

 I hope you liked it.  Maybe you are inspired to try something new.  If nothing else...remember this...Let your kids have fun with their clothes.  It is an extension of who they are, not who you are.  Trust me, I am preaching to the choir.

Stay tuned.  I might drag you along on some of my future style attempts.

Now...go some knee highs...just don't lose sleep over it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dora and God

In our house Addison is the blessing reminder.  Occasionally I will have them start while I am still getting my plate or the baby's plate ready.  This was before Daddy arrived.  I was always behind.  Anyway, Addison would always be the one to stop everything, once I got to the table, and say, "We didn't say the blessing."  We would then proceed forward with the blessing, usually given by her and Olivia.  Perfect.

Well, last night we were in the same sort of situation, and when Man and I sat down I said, "Ok, girls we need to say the blessing."  With a big Cheshire grin Addison throws her hand in the air and says, "I want to do it Mommy!"  Now this is the point where Olivia would normally protest and want to do it with her but she didn't.  So, I told her to go ahead with her blessing.



NOW PUT THE "TUNE" OF "God is great, God is good." in your head.



All heads were bowed and eyes were closed and with the spunkiest voice she has she began...same tune as the God is great blessing.

"Dora is great!  Dora is good."

My eyes flew open and the giggles began.  I know I should not laugh at this but this was hilarious...and so Addison's personality.  I was trying really hard to hold it in but I did a terrible job quite frankly.  Between big huge smiles I said, "Addison that is not the blessing we say at dinnertime."  She said, "Ok Mom."  Then I responded, "Ok, go ahead again."  She said, "Ok."

All heads were bowed and eyes were closed...again.  And she began, to the tune of the God is great blessing.

"God loves Dora!  God loves Dora."

Let's face it... I was rolling with laughter at this point, all eyes were open and Olivia was looking at me like, "Mom, what are you going to do?  You are the parent."  Oh yeah, and she was trying not to laugh. 

Third time was a charm! Addison said the blessing correctly with a little more pep and more like a  song but I figure it was music to His ears.

Never a dull moment folks, but this one takes the cake.  I laughed all day.  Aren't kids great?


Monday, October 22, 2012

We Are Going BATTY for BATS!

We have been busy studying bats here at the Bouchard house!  Why would we do such a thing you might wonder?  Well... A.) It's a Halloween thing!  and B.) Olivia informed me in week one that she wanted to pick her own nocturnal animal to study...when I chose owls.  So, bats it was although this completely grossed me out.  Sacrifices people, sacrifices.  

I was able to find lots of cool bat projects and we accomplished a few.  Take a look at the fun we had!

We took two egg cartons and cut them so we had three humps on each one.  We then took black acrylic paint and got messy!  Paint the inside first!  Yes, their hands are going to be black.  This project was slightly time consuming if you have OCD, like me, and need every square inch covered in black paint.  Recovery Step 2 - confession - I painted all the still green spots when they were playing.  I feel much better now.

Then you glue on two googly eyes and a piece of beautiful ribbon on top and voila!

We decorated our chandelier and added some to our Christmas tree that is currently flocked with Halloween ornaments!  **Note that we cut the end "wings" of our bats to look a little more like wings.  Do this on the front and back.

One of Olivia's learning activities was to make a bat out of trapezoids.  This was quick and fun and fulfilled her desire to cut and paste one day.

Here is the link where you can print one out!  Click here.

Our final project I chose so that both girls could participate.  They both had a blast and it reinforced the basics of bats for Olivia.  Check out our Itsy Bitsy Bat Books!

Want your own?  Go here and print one out!  Great fun so you can cook dinner in peace!

We also went on our first field trip!  We visited the Emerald Coast Science Center in Fort Walton!  The big girls went to Meme's science center this summer and loved it so I had my fingers crossed.  It was a hit!

And then we saw this...

and I said to Olivia, "Hey, Olivia look at this.  What do you see?"  She didn't even pause and said, "A target."  Then she turned and walked away.  No discussion.  No follow-up for Mom.  Nothing.  Please not wear a triangle on your person...she might shoot you.

Then we had snack by the water...

and played at the park next door!

Then we spent twenty minutes de-sanding.  That is not a real word...that is a Mom word and you all know what I mean.  As always, it was worth it!

Here are the books we read about bats!  Go get one!

Find it here - Bats at the Beach
                   Find it here - Bats

              Find it here - Beautiful Bats               

                                    Find it here - Bats at the Library                                       

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Visit to the Toy Store

There are many things that are VERY different when you are on baby number three.  This is a story about just one of them.  

With sweet girl number one, Olivia, and sweet girl number two, Addison, I have to tell you confess that there were certain things I sort of "pushed" along out of my own desire to see them move forward.  Then I would look back and kick myself sometimes.  But, I always had this sort of, "That's ok, there will be a next time.  And I won't miss it then."  So, since this has sort of felt like it just could be the last time I have savored every moment.  Except the middle of the night feedings...  I am just layin' it out there friends.  

So, with baby girls one and two I was so excited for them to turn 1!  They were 20 pounds a month or two before the big day and they both met the height requirement early.  Hasty mom here turned them before they were one.  Don't tell on me and I won't tell on you.  BUT, this time was different.  Although Allye met all of the requirements awhile back I had no interest in turning her.  I mean none.  I was in denial.  If I turned her then she just didn't seem like a baby anymore.  This was just another page that I didn't want to turn.  Sniff, sniff.  Excuse me while I blow my nose...

The safety parent in me finally won over and I went to simply check the seat.  I thought surely I had like 5 more pounds or 3 more inches.  Something to back me up.  Notta.  Nothing.  Zilch.  Zero.  I had a measly half inch of growth left and I had to "spring" her.  So, I gave myself a pep talk for a few days and made myself do it.  And since I woke up and thought I could do anything yesterday, I decided that would be the day.  I just didn't plan on pulling up to a Toys R Us when the website plainly said I would be driving to a Babies R Us.  Let the insanity begin.  But, I must tell you we had a wonderful experience and they even let me take the carseats out to my car and test them to make sure they fit!  Now that we should have had on camera!

So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado...

My sweet Allye in her final ride in the baby seat.

 I was having a moment here for sure.

But how could I not be happy for her when she slapped a big smile on her face this morning when I plunked her down and she was like the BIG girls?


I couldn't stop taking pictures of her she was so happy!

Here is the link to the seat I bought.  It is by Graco.  I am a big fan of their strollers and products.  I have not driven a stroller yet that is better then a Graco.  I really went big on this seat because it is a 3-in-1 and will be the only seat she will need from here on out.  

While I was there I couldn't help but test drive some of their strollers.  Yikes!  You see, I am pretty frugal about my baby gear actually.  Please note I did not say clothes.  Gear people...gear.  It is because they throw-up on it, eat food in it, spill drinks all over get the point.  So, for 6 years we have used the same stuff.  Obviously Allye got a new baby seat because the original seat was too far out-of-date.  Third babies are expensive people!  Anyway...we bought a nicer rainbow type stroller with our first daughter and a latch on it finally stopped working properly.  Where I might have put up with it, Man was here a couple of weeks ago and was not so in love with the malfunction.  ;)


I LOVE THIS STROLLER!  Check it out here!  I was sold when I realized she could lay back to sleep.  She is a sleeper people!  It only took three times, but we finally got a sleeper!  Guess what else?  I put it together all by myself.  We even took it for a test spin tonight!  

After this emotional day I needed some chocolate. know what I mean.  So, I let the girls make some chocolate chip cookies.  That is a story for another day.  

But Allye did provide some excellent peek-a-boo entertainment.

Which helped my OCD when I saw the not so methodically lined up cookie pan!

I am happy to report nothing was wrong with the taste.  :)

I Can Do Anything

Yes!  The blog is under construction.  Since I don't have any fancy schmancy person who does this for a living hired out it must come together in pieces.  Thanks for hanging with me!  

Here goes...

Have you ever woken up in one of those, "I can do anything modes?"

That happened to me this morning.  I guess that is what happens when I successfully shower and blow dry my hair (completely) before a child wakes up.  What was to make me think that a little errand to the next town over would not be possible?

Cue the idiot sign over my head.  Or the one that says, "You are a mother of know better."  Wouldn't have mattered.  I could do  So, Olivia and I made lunches for the girls to eat in the car while we drove to the next town over, 45 minutes away.  I should have stopped there.  They thought eating in the car was the greatest thing since their birth.  Note to self.

Anyway, we got to our first store, unloaded, woke sleeping baby, started giving not-so-happy baby lunch in the stroller, and headed into the store.  Considering this was a very well-known toy store, we survived in tact.  Not so much for Man's wallet.  

I decided to press my luck and "run" into the fancy mall.  I mean, how could I drive this far three times and not take a teeny tiny look?  We were in the first store about 2.34 minutes and Addison needed to go to the bathroom.  Really?  We went.  Then we went 2 more times in the next 45 minutes.  Yes, I have done this before people...for 7 years to be exact.  It is that experience that made me hang up my boots, admit defeat, and pile us into the car.

As I drove home I decided that I probably was in no shape to cook over a hot stove or scrub any dishes tonight.  So as I exited the interstate I turned left, instead of right, my girls went crazy and we went for pizza...where we went to the bathroom three more times in less then one hour.  Really.

As crazy I felt today...and probably looked...
 I can say for sure I love my girls...bathroom breaks and all!

**I hope you enjoyed a few of the photos I took while we were at Sea World!  Tune in tomorrow to see what we bought at the toy store!**
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