Here is a little back-story behind the creation of the message center. Last night we drove Shea to Toys R Us - his birthday is in one week and we let him pick out a big boy bike.... and somehow we also came home with a 40.00 Jake and the Neverland Pirates Pirate Ship with actions figures, but I digress.... It was a 25 minute drive which gave Matt and I some time to talk. For once the kids weren't screaming and complaining which almost never happens so this was kind of a big deal. The conversation was pretty serious and very deep, about how we need to be better parents.
For one, we swear a lot. It's like an infectious disease, one of us blurts out a curse word and then we're just a couple of sailors the whole rest of the day. So we decided to try harder to quit swearing, especially around the kids.
Secondly, we need to be more careful about what we watch around the kids. We love Vampire Diaries and True Blood and Grey's Anatomy and I could list a lot of others, but those are the main few and we don't wait until the kids go to bed. We are selfish people. We watch them whenever we feel like it. Problem is, our kids see bits and pieces of people swearing, fighting, having sex and biting each other. One day when Shea was about 2 1/2, I sat down to watch True Blood and Shea said, "Oh, is this True Blood? I don't like True Blood, they bite me and smack me in the face and then all my blood falls out onto the ground." ......well then.... lost a couple Mommy points that night.
Third, we decided that we are too hard on Shea. And the problem is that Shea is not a typical 3 year old. (I know, I know, everyone says that, everyone thinks their kid is a genius, but mine actually is.) He is very mature for his age and speaks incredibly well and it's because of this that we are so hard on him. We hold him to impossibly high standards, forgetting that he is only 3. He may be speaking to us like he is an adult, but he is not. And we forget that all the time. So we also decided that we need to remind each other to be more laid back and let things go, not lose our patience so much and to try to be better parents in general. Shea and Kellan deserve that. But then I brought up the fact that this is not the first time we've had this discussion. We say these same things all the time and never put them into practice. So here is where my genius idea came from.
I decided that we needed to make a vision board. Matt and I needed to sit down together and decide what kind of parents we want to be, write it down and make it happen. I had seen some people on Pinterest who made dry erase boards out of picture frames, so I thought I would utilize that method but turn it into some kind of craft board, where we could write down our daily or weekly goals and hang it on the wall where we can see it every day. And maybe if we accomplish our goal, we get a marble or a ticket to put in a jar and when the jar is full, we can do something fun as a family, like go to the Aquarium, as a reward for our hard work. While making the board, I thought I could make it even more functional if I also designed it to be a message center. There are so many times during the day that I see something and I think, "Oh! I have to remember to tell Matt this!" and then I never do. So this is our Message center:
It cost around 10.00 to make and here is how I did it:
I bought a poster frame from Target, they come in all different sizes, but this one is 20x30 and it cost 9.99.
I already had the scrapbook paper and stickers, but if you don't have a stockpile of scrapbook paraphenalia, buy some.
I cut my scrapbook paper down to 8.5x11 printer paper size, typed in the words in Microsoft word, put the scrapbook paper in the printer and Viola! I trimmed it down even smaller so that it would fit the board. I embellished it with stickers and used a glue stick to attach it all to the cardboard backing of the frame. The front of it is plastic, which works fine with the dry erase markers. I'm guessing that if the marker is left for too long it'll be difficult to wipe off, but we'll jump that hurdle when we get to it.
I re-assembled the frame and it was done!
And if you can see the top right of the picture, there is a white box with coral colored trees on it - we hung that from a hook and that's where the markers and eraser go - it has a ribbon for a handle and it was 1.00 at Target.
This board is so nice to have and you can leave messages for each other, write nice things to each other or write your personal goal under your name. As you can see, mine says ".... is super cool" but it could (should) say ".... will NOT swear today," or "WILL do yoga today." I love it and fingers crossed it'll help us reach our goals to be a better family and be kinder to each other.