Monday, June 21, 2010

Non-Bloggers A Series Jennifer Hajer

Okay, so I will preface my next guest "non-blogger" with this warning. She may have a blog. Or so. But she doesn't really have one like Family Sized Fun, and when I asked her to be a guest "non-blogger", she really only had 1 blog she rarely posted to.

And she was so willing!

So I say she is a "non blogger" who does some "blog posting" and who cares how we classify her, y'all she is gracious enough to indulge me and the readers at Family Sized Fun with a sample of her own kind of family sized fun.

She is revered in social media circles, because she is witty, savvy with her influence, and well, just the kind of girl you want to show up at your mommy's night out as "Wine Jen".

Seriously, "Wine Jen", call me!

::finger phone to ears::

She is @TheNextMartha on twitter, but she is so much more than Martha will ever be.


I first found Karmen on twitter and found her journey to be captivating. When Karmen first wrote about her “non-bloggers” series I secretly wanted in. I’m pretty sure you can’t ask yourself to write on someone’s blog so I was thrilled when she asked me. I don’t write much about my secret power mommy stuff. I love her blog and the name Family Sized Fun is what I’m all about.

Creative Kids equal Creative Messes

As I write this my oldest son is sleeping about 15ft. from me on the living room floor. He has a room. He even has a bed. Today he built a fort behind the couch and asked if he could sleep in it. He hung blankets from the mantle to the couch over to a table which is held by a hefty amount of Martha Stewart magazines. We agreed and there he is. Would you let your kid do that?

You know how you secretly want your kid to be like you in some way. Not the bad stuff, but the kick ass stuff about yourself? I dreamt of a little girl drawing and coloring and painting away with me in our craft room. We would sit and drink our tea while we designed clothes for her dolls and looked at paint chips for decorating her room. Ahhh. Well, I have two boys. Let’s change the dream a little. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to cultivate creativity in my sons but here are a few ways:

Transient Toys: I know that some parents are strict as to how toys are played with. Our toys are all interchangeable. One day Braden was playing with a castle and I noticed that he had taken dominoes and put them all on the bottom. I asked him what that was and he mentioned that they were the tile floor to the castle. I let my kids take a game apart because they want a piece for some other use. Another time he played with his bat cave upside down for two years because he thought it looked more “laboratory like.” I let this creativity happen. I do not insist on my view of how something should be played with to become the ONLY way something should be played with.

Art time: You know what annoys me? 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper. What can a kid possibly draw on that? Maybe a tree. Maybe if it was skinny and had two leafs. I found a local supply store and ordered a roll of packing paper. I’ll cut off 10 ft at a time. This way they can just paint or color their little hearts out. In the summer we do this outside and the neighborhood kids love to come over and each get their own 10ft piece. I’m sort of a celebrity over in this hood. Of course this somewhat relaxed approach does catch up to me sometimes.

One time Braden was in his room for a LONG time. I was too thrilled to be doing dishes and catching up on other things all in quiet. At some point as we know too quiet for too long is never a good thing.

Knock knock


”What are you doing?”

“Building a city”

“Oh, can I see?”

He opens the door and I see an elaborate set up on his train table of blocks, tracks, books, figures, and just all sorts of things. He explains each section to me and even had a sewer system set up under the table. I was so impressed. Honestly, it looked like a mess, but he was so proud of it so you know…..

Wait a minute, what’s that on the WALLS?

“Oh, that’s the elevator shaft and over there is the pipe company, and over there is the dam for the river and over there………

Oh yes, his city went vertical on EVERY wall in his room.

Again, he was so proud and I was really trying not to blow my top.

I talked myself down because I only buy washable crayons and markers so it should come right off.

I’ll even make him help.

Just in case you were wondering: DRY ERASE marker does not just wipe off walls.


Jill @BabyRabies said...

I love it! I recall using toys for all sorts of unintended uses growing up. Our favorite toy when we lived in Hawaii was a clothes line strung from one tree to the next across our backyard. My mom clothespinned a sheet on either side, pulled them out and bricked them to the yard and we had a GIGANTIC tent. We played in that thing for hours.

I can't wait until my son is at that age. He's already showing signs, wanting to make anything into a hellicopter, wanting to find places to drape his parachute to hide under.

Such great ideas! I love the paper roll idea. I think I have just the spot for it in the playroom, too. Great post, Jennifer.

BrerMatt said...

Way to out do my guest blog! ;)

Magic Erasers are awesome for markers on walls.

Karen at French Skinny said...

That's so great! As I sat reading this I could hear my little guy playing with a monopoly game. The boot is about to attack the hat.
I love the 10 ft. of paper idea.

mrs.notouching said...

Totally awesome, since I am pregnant with a boy :-) Something to look forward to... you know, other than being peed on.

Jo said...

You can sometimes get the mondo-sized rolls of paper from the newspaper office. The little end parts when they are about to run out of a roll ends up being a fairly substantial bit of paper. My hubby used to work for a printing company and he'd get them too.

Kit said...

I'm a big fan of Legos because they morph from one phase to the next with my sons; from Indiana Joes to Star Wars, to the Revolutionary War they can build whatever they can imagine.
We use the 10' paper but I never know what to do with it when they're done? I dont have a refrigerator that large!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I should buy stock in Magic Erasers! We just got done fort building here with blankets, end tables, and a basket of folded laundry. However, I made sure there were no walls injured in the making of the fort.

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