Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Clothing the multiples

Clothing growing children can be extremely expensive and with a large family that number only multiplies fortunately there are ways to reduce this expense.  One way that we help our budget is to buy at the end of the season for the next season.  This is the perfect time of year to purchase winter clothing for next year.  In the last week winter coats, snow pants, boots and mittens have all been drastically marked down.  We were able to buy winter boots for $5 a pair regularly $39, snow suits for $11 regular $59 savings like these go a long way when clothing a large family.  We watch for sales in stores and online - did you know the online stores frequently offer coupon codes and free shipping?  You can find out these codes and sales by signing up for emails from your favorite stores.  Quite often these codes are good in person at the store or online so if you happen to be at the store sign onto the store website from your smart phone and show it to the sales clerk for added savings.  When a good coupon code is offered check the sale/markdown section of the websites looking for next years clothing.  Online "sale" shopping with the use of a coupon code is an ideal way of reducing costs when it is hard to get out of the home.

We also make use of handing clothing down when appropriate within our family and from friends.

Thrift store shopping and garage sale shopping are also ways of reducing the costs of clothing your family.   Currently we do not spend much time shopping at thrift stores or garage sales due to family health/mobility issues but we find online shopping extremely feasible.  No matter which method you use it is good to have an inventory of clothing requirements and sizes so you know what you are looking for and not over buying.

We would love to hear what you do to tame your clothing budget?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Do you want to build a snowman?

It's been snowing solid for 3 days here which is extremely rare.  We have been taking advantage of this opportunity by playing outside.  We spend the afternoon sledding, building snowmen and igloos.  While the babies napped we went outside for  PE class from our 24 year old, down to our 5 year old, plus 2 dogs.  For some moving around in the snow was very challenging for others the sensory input from the snow was to much so the playing did not last as long for them.  Emma wasn't able to walk in the snow unless she was being supported however she did sled down the hill once on her big sisters lap.  Sledding did not prove to be an activity that she enjoyed asking to go inside repeating over and over "I don't like it when it's not fun".  Joseph was content to smooth the snow on his brothers igloo but that was his limit.  Others were more energetic running up the hill and sledding down over and over in between throwing snow balls for the dogs.

Later Dad took our newest driver out for some snow/ice driving.  It was the perfect opportunity to practice and get used to handling a vehicle in slippery situations.

All the snow excitement proved to be to much for some, Emma needed to be cuddled for hours after as she was more than done in.  Others needed to relax on the couch watching a movie.  The dogs although acting like puppies outside felt their advanced ages and both have been limping around the house since.

It's amazing the power of a rest, even though some didn't appear to enjoy playing outside and after it seemed like it had been to much, after their rest they are all recounting their fun in the snow.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Building communication skills gone bad

With the goal of helping her siblings build communication skills or at the very least being able to answer a basic question Alysha felt that she had a solution.  Each night at dinner she would come up with one question that each person at the table would have an opportunity to answer.

The first night the question was "What did you do today?"  From some, elaborate answers were given detailing every minute of the day including how many trips to the toilet, what they ate, etc.  From others we received short answers or one word answers and others struggled to answer.

As the nights went on the questions continued "what was the best part of your day?"  "What did you learn today?" The children continued to struggle with their answers but they really look forward to their daily question.

All was going well until the questions switched from being about themselves to each other.  "Tell one thing you like about the person sitting next to you?"  I like your hair, I like your toys, I don't like him today, I would like you if you didn't steal, I can't thing of anything nice to say about ____.  Then an adult child had a major melt down because she couldn't think of anything nice to say about her brother.   Beating herself up questioning whether or not he belongs in the family - asking what kind of sister is she when she cant't say one nice thing about her sibling.  Other siblings mad at the sister who couldn't say anything nice feeling she was having a meltdown to switch the focus to her.

We are continuing with the nightly questions but they will be about each individual as we are not prepared to damage self esteems in order to learn how to answer a question.