Supposed to. I hate supposed tos. I am up early this morning, my last minute grab at a bag of coffee for my husband, Dead Point Blend, sitting warmly in my cup. I like it, a lot. Not too bad for a bag of coffee from a small coffee shop called Bongo Billy’s. I bought it cause it had a crazy climber cartoon on the front. That is it. Ten dollars gone. Ten dollars going to great use this morning though.
Summer is winding down for us, though the heat is not (gag me 🙂 ). My little girl is entering first grade in a few weeks, and we’ve decided to home-school her. So while I am not as concerned with new school clothes and getting her ready to be out of the house most the day, I AM starting to stress over keeping her IN the house all day. We need a desk. We need a centralized instructing area. We need massive amounts of organization. And lots of other stuff for my two younger kids. And I can dream up a thousand ways to stay entertained outdoors, but when indoors the only thing I can think of is cleaning. Does this happen to anyone else?
Maybe that is why I like being out of the house.
I am thinking of taking school outdoors.
Sorry I am rambling this morning over my cup of coffee. I am supposed to be writing my post on the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. I am supposed to be sharing all my cool new finds with ya. But I am not. I am rambling on about autumn flying around the corner and thinking at the back of my mind about relationship.
I was venting my little stresses to an older and much wiser mom the other week and she said, “Error on the side of relationship. Your kids will learn their multiplication tables, will learn to read, will find their folders full of stuff. But focus on the relationship.” It is so easy to get caught up in what doesn’t matter, isn’t it? Is it only me?
I spent an hour last night obsessing. A corner desk? A long desk? White or espresso? And what about my son’s clothing? Only one pair of pants is intact. Holes everywhere. I need durable. I need rugged. So I spent hours perusing IKEA and any outdoor retailer I could find that suggested their pants were rugged and strong. What I learned? I can spend $60 on a pair of pants for a 4-year-old. I shut my laptop and went to bed.
We took all three of our kids to Outdoor Retailer this weekend. Two 6+ hour days. And I learned a few things (this is an understatement). I thought I was going to learn: never bring your kids to OR. But I didn’t. Our kids rocked it…better than we did. I learned that our gender stereo-types run deeper in our family than I once thought. My 6-year-old daughter has a deep love for shopping, and saw OR as just that. Yikes! My son, though hating shopping, bared it with a smile, cause everything was outdoor gear. Gear, gear, gear. If it isn’t adventuring then it had better be about the stuff to go adventuring with, eh?
And Ezzie? She rocked the Beco Butterfly carrier, napped in it and wowed the crowds with the yellow tutu. Yes, the yellow tutu struck again. (If this is foreign to ya, follow us on FB to see all the places the yellow tutu has gone…)
And so, one final and useful thing, cause you probably stopped by for a practical. Have you noticed that we as humans strive for practicals? We want bullet lists. Black and white. Do and Don’t. But most of life doesn’t fit in this…
Anyways…my black and white practical.
One of my favorite things from Outdoor Retailer…and we brought it with us: Our kids with security bracelets strapped firmly on their cute, round, little wrists. Bracelets from a company called CallMECuffs. We were given these for review and hadn’t had a large, crowded venue to test them in, until now. They are a like an insurance policy. You hope they don’t have to do much…and they didn’t. No lost kids. We got lost as a group many times, I mean this place is like the labyrinth. True insanity. But we didn’t lose our kids, by the grace of God.
We also didn’t lose a Call ME Cuff. The founders claim they are ‘tear-proof, water-proof, and smudge-proof’. And they are. They stayed on through lots of water, through soaking their arms and playing in the paddle board pool, through salty trail mix, sticky popsicles, and blue ice cream from Columbia. In fact, I can honestly report that my 2-year-old has become quite attached to the soccer ball bracelet with my phone number on it. She refuses to take it off… and so it has lasted four days on her chubby little arm, endured two baths, and a day of dirt play at a bouldering area, and it is still readable and intact. So there is my take-away!
More info on Call Me Cuffs:
Steve and Teri Carcano’s story:The CallMeCuffs kids ID bracelets are made from soft, child-safe, eco-friendly material. They are made without the use of plastics, trees, water, chlorine or acids.
As we stood outside the San Diego Zoo writing our cell phone number on the arm of our four year old, we realized there had to be a better way for someone to reach us in the event we were unexpectedly separated. After all, four-year-olds are known to wander off at times.
Searching for an affordable kids ID wristband customized with our contact information, available in small quantities and used by the day, became a quest. Unfortunately, we came up empty handed.
Then in June of 2010, we embarked on an extended trip. Knowing that we needed to keep track of two young children ages eight and four in foreign, and oftentimes challenging situations, CallMeCuffs was born. We needed a way for people to contact us in the case we got separated from one of the kids.
We upgraded the old “pen on the forearm” system and now provide a high quality, environmentally friendly wristband. Today, you can get a dozen CallMeCuffs ID bracelets for your children, printed with your own contact information for less than a dollar apiece. Use them whenever/wherever you need them.
Ok, folks. Here is your practical: do something to be prepared for a lost kid. It happens. CallMeCuffs are only $10 for 12 wrist bands. A great product. And may one day save your lost kid. Do it. Be prepared. And if not that…then go the black marker route. Just be prepared :).