Calling Out For Ideas... I'll Make It a Contest!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I need some help, folks.

So... With the madness of moving to this house, then the onset of the busy season for photography... the uncertainty of the future, and on and on, my little teammate and I have slipped out of any kind of effective routine to our days. We were doing really well with our Morning Art, but that has slipped terribly. I default to the television WAY more than I care to admit, especially since we've moved into a house with a DVR and Noah knows he can request favorite shows at any time.

We do a snack or two, and we have a pretty good naptime routine (1-3ish)... And we do get out and about to do fun things a couple of times a week.

But.... I think it is time for some more structure. Especially since Noah is getting to a really great age for learning more structured things. Especially since summer is coming and that always makes me fondly recall my own childhood and our summer routine. Especially since I have been so busy that I haven't gotten to sew in ages, and I think I could pencil it in if I had a routine.
Especially since I think it's time for Noah to learn how to "free play" without whining for me so much.

So here's the deal.

I want you to design a daily routine for us.

Think about what has worked for you if you are a parent yourself... Or think about what you think should make up a toddler-day even if you aren't a parent. The sky's the limit here. Your entry can be whimsical and silly, designed just to make me laugh (or dream big!). Your entry can be rigid and detailed, or provide for lots of "and/or's". You can draw one with little sketches and scan it in to submit it, or you can type one out on Microsoft Word and email it... or you can jot it on scratch paper and take a photo of it... Or just list it in the blog comments. You can make it "Emily-centric", thinking about Noah and me specifically, or you can make it more generalized.

You don't have to design seven whole days... unless you wanna. Mostly, I think we'd be good with one basic day's routine. You don't have to stress that I will hate parts of yours and so disregard the whole thing: the final goal here isn't for me to actually adopt one submitted routine with no modifications... My goal is to enjoy your ideas and pick and choose from each of them to make up my ideal new routine. The fun is in making it a contest and seeing what comes my way. I love the idea of sifting through dozens of individual routines and enjoying your ideas.

And the contest part? I figure I will choose my favorite three and give each of them a little handmade prize--- probably picnic-related, since the summer months are coming. And that means ANYONE can win... ya just have to submit an entry.

To do so, you can email me at: southerlandgirl at yahoo dot com and attach a photo or document. Or you can post your entry right in the comments. Pop by the comments even if you email me, just to tell me you did.... we can keep tabs of entries that way.

I'll run this contest for one week--- With three winners announced on Friday morning, May 7th. I'll even blog some of the entries I get throughout the week leading up to the winner.

It's kinda like the poster contests you used to do in elementary school--- all submissions taped up in the hallway.... Three with blue ribbons on them, but all of them getting a white ribbon for entering.

So doll it up, ya'll. Make yours fun or pretty or insightful or just USEFUL.... and we'll all get some great ideas from seeing all of them.

Sound good?

Okay, GO! I need these things!! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Oh, and if you are having trouble getting started, a few notes about what Noah and I typically love to do:

~ we love outings and field trips
~ we love books and stories
~ we are musically inclined
~ we are artistically inclined
~ we could use a bit more exercise
~ Noah naps for 1.5 to 2.5 hours ish
~ I don't work during the day, so you don't have to factor that in
~ I'd be cool with an hour (max) of tv a day
~ I'd be up for trying some "pre school" stuff

Is this getting the wheels turning??!


  1. How funny!! Maybe I'll shoot a picof the one big max made up for us!! :).

  2. Emailed you my schedule. :)

  3.'ve got me thinking...

  4. You know I can't resist one of your contests! I need some info- when does Noah wake up? When do you eat dinner? When does Noah Nap? and what time do you like for bedtime?

    Armed with that info, I'll whip something up!

    Thanks and LOVE!

  5. Great contest Em! I just sent you an email of our daily summer routine. :)

  6. The Kindergarten teacher in me can't leave this one alone... now if I can just get time to type up my thoughts, I promise to send them in!

    I love routines! I'm such a dork!

  7. I just sent you something!

  8. I love, love, love this idea...I'll see if I can get some time to come up with a routine. Speaking of, I wouldn't mind havin' one either...I hope you share some of the best ideas with the group so that those of us who are hankering for good routines can steal some! :)

  9. I am interested in the replies so please let us know some of the ideas. I think I missed the contest itself but I'll just say some things that have helped us. We've been waking up earlier and it feels great-ironically:) I get up around 6:30, exercise, get home, hubs leaves for work, we have breakfast, kids have quiet play while mom gets a few things done around the house, then we all get ready and get out so much earlier and with less frustration due to early start. this has been great because i have always NOT LOVED this part of the day b/c i end up screaming for everyone to HURRY! or even if we have nowhere to be i'm stressed b/c it's 11:30 b4 anything gets accomplished and i'm frustrated. no fun. my peter is just like me and needs to get out and burn some energy or he's just ornery (SP?). so we head to a park, the beach, the library, our backyard, some bigger adventure like the zoo, wish it was still close and free:), we also have jill's school to incorporate so we sometimes run errands while she's there or we just go to the park or mall or library if it's raining so he can run around. He loves playing in the dirt and is just content with his little pail and shovel for a long time and Mom gets to visit with friends, read a book, relax in the great outdoors, etc. then we pick up jill if it's a school day and head home for lunch and naps. this is the time where i can hurry and get a few of my own things done while pete sleeps. i also try to do some learning time with jill if she's feeling up to it. as noah's naps fade out you could do a quiet time for him while you get things done. i haven't attempted this with my boy yet but it worked with jill:) I just explained mom needed some rest and she was going to rest or play quietly too. she'd read or play dolls, whatever. with the joy school curriculum we've been doing they have an awesome idea for mellowing kids down. just lay on the floor with them with soothing music playing and imagine something with them, ask them what they're thinking about, imagine you're fish or blades of grass and move accordingly, it's really fun and has helped me calm them and me when we're all hyped up and mom's about to start screaming:) then when pete wakes up we go outside and ride bikes or do chalk because we need the outside:) but you could do your art or music time here with noah. then the witching hour, before dinner and dad gets home and you want to kill someone:) kevin is way better than me at letting the kids help cook but this seems to help them mellow out and not whine so much while they are waiting. i tend to use this time as their tv time for a half hour, or so:), while i finish a few last minute things and then make dinner. then clean up, bubble bath, books and bed. Then Kev and I have our time together. This is what has been working for us LATELY. it seems forever shifting but i am learning the wisdom in early to bed early to rise. i have always been such a night owl, staying up til one and two and then feeling exhausted! in the morning. now my "early" bedtime tends more toward 11 or 12 and it feels great. some of my me time i still haven't figured out where to squeeze in, except when kevin works nights and then i still stay up super late, but i feel like such a happier Momma otherwise b/c i have so much more patience with my babes! oh, also i don't know if the Y there has some little music classes or gymnastics, whatever, that Noah might enjoy. that breaks up the day, gives a little outlet, helps you meet neat people in the community, etc. you could even think about teaching one yourself since you're so musically talented! in your spare time:)

  10. I started an e-mail for you yesterday morning, but didn't send it 'til just now (Friday morning). Oops! Such is life, eh? :) Love you!


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