Mini-Vans, Saxophones and Soccer Cleats!

minivans saxophones and soccer cleats

Written by Tonia as a part of the We’re Moms Too series

We’re more than a month into a new school year and fall sports are in full swing. I get asked at least 5 times a week, “How do you do it?” When you work full-time job and have an 11-year-old and six-year-old twins in a multitude of activities, you figure out how to make it work. Does it take a village? Sometimes. Does it take organization and patience? Absolutely. A bottle of Excedrin doesn’t hurt either.

Two Christmases ago my husband bought me a wipe board calendar. I bet you’re thinking I must have been on Santa’s good list to receive this amazingly romantic gift, right? Oddly enough, this wipe board has turned into our lifeline. It keeps track of vet appointments, birthday parties, after school activities, and much more. It even came with 5 markers so we can color coordinate for each member of our family. After updates are made, I snap a pic of it with my phone for reference on the go.


I’ll let all of you in on a secret, some nights aren’t pretty at our house. When it’s time to leave work, I sprint to pick up kids and get them prepared for the first activity of the night. After getting them home, what’s for dinner? Typically, I make a few meals on Sunday that can be quickly reheated later in the week. One thing I have learned is that there is no joy greater than wrestling with soccer socks and cleats for our twins while they are eating dinner and working on homework (don’t spill pasta sauce on your homework, please!). And thanks to double booking, some nights we have to sacrifice one activity for another. It happens, and that’s okay. We explain it to the kids and they have accepted it. They have also accept that sometimes they have to do homework in the car or while waiting for their sibling’s practice to be over. They are also becoming accustomed to multiple activities in one night with locations spread throughout the area. We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful friends who are crazy adventurous enough to sign up for a lot of the same activities we do. This network is armed with extra car seats and will gladly transport a child to any activity. We wouldn’t be able to do it without the wipe board, the network, the mini-van and the aforementioned Excedrin.

Is all the running around worth it? Absolutely! There is no greater joy when you see the smile on our little cheerleader’s face during a routine, when “Beckham” and “Hamm” score a goal or when our oldest hits a perfectly pitched note on her saxophone.

Is all the running around worth it? Absolutely! There is no greater joy when you see the smile on our little cheerleader’s face during a routine, when “Beckham” and “Hamm” score a goal, or when our oldest hits a perfectly pitched note on her saxophone.

About Tonia:
toniaTonia is a wife, mom of three energetic kiddos and two four legged friends who enjoys quiet walks in the aisles of Target.   Born and raised in the Cleveland area, she is a sports fanatic who loves all things Nashville.  Tonia is the Digital Analyst at Step2.

5 Ways to Promote Active Play in the Fall

5 ways to promote active play in the fall

Fall officially started last week! The leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping in some parts of the world. However, active play is important for kids whether it takes place inside or outside. Here are five ways to promote active play this fall:

  1. Apple picking: Take the kids to an orchard to pick some fresh and delicious apples! You and the kiddos will get to walk around and reach for apples. If it’s a little chilly outside, don’t forget to bundle up!
  2. Hide and seek: For the days that it’s just too gloomy to go outside, little adventurers can bring the classic game of hide and seek inside. To promote imaginative play, encourage your kids to imagine they’re secret agents hiding from other spies.
  3. Gourd scavenger hunt: Hide gourds in secret locations around your backyard, such as inside a playhouse or in a closed sandbox. Have the kids search for the gourds and whoever has found the most gourds by the end of the hunt gets a prize!
  4. Pumpkin race: Line up some pumpkins in the backyard and have your kids run up to the pumpkin finish line. This game will get little legs moving!
  5. Pile and jump: As the leaves begin to fall, little explorers can put the leaves in a big pile and jump on them.

Which activities will you and your family try this fall?


Say Cheese! Toy Camera for Mini Photographers

fridiy toy camera

Say cheese and smile! There are so many ways little ones can use their imagination while being creative. This month, we’ve created a craft that incorporates artistic and pretend play! All of the supplies are products that you may already have in your home. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Empty tissue box
  • Wrapping paper
  • 3 Paper cups
  • Tape
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Sponge
  • Scissors
  • Black marker
  • Pen or pencil (optional)

toy camera supplies

With these household items you’ll be able to make a toy camera for your budding photographers! Kids can pretend to take pictures with their camera inside or outside. The best feature of this camera is that it’ll never run out of batteries because it’s fueled by imagination!

  1. Trace the base of the cup onto the bottom of the tissue box.
  2. Cut out the traced circle.
  3. Cut out the base of the cup (repeat this step for the other two paper cups).
  4. Place one of the cups inside of the tissue box. Ensure the mouth of the cup is sticking out of the box.
  5. Cover the tissue box in wrapping paper. Make sure the cup on both sides of the box remains unwrapped.
  6. Glue the other cups inside of the first cup, one at a time. This will make the lens of the camera longer. It’ll take about two hours for non-toxic glue to dry.
  7. Cut a portion of a sponge into a square.
  8. Glue the piece of the sponge onto the side of the tissue box that will be the considered the top of the camera. This will be the button that kids press to take pictures! It’ll take about two hours for non-toxic glue to dry. You can also draw a flash area diagonal to the button.

toy camera tutorial

Now your little photographers are ready to start snapping pictures! To promote make believe fun, ask your kids to describe the pictures they have taken with the camera to you.

toy camera pin

Will you be making this toy camera with your family this weekend?