What did the Cheerios say to the Grape?

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“OOOO what a cute bunch you are!”  “Get it mom, CheeriOOOOs and a bunch of grapes?”  (Um yeah, kind of…)

Totally not a funny joke, but when Esther told it to me over breakfast- she about died laughing, and I wanted to laugh, but we were late for the bus.

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We love laughter here, but found it was lacking. The beginning of the school year stressed us out a bit.  Time was never on our side.

Up late, no time for breakfast, rush to the bus.

Home from school, quick unhealthy snack, homework – maybe ballet, dinner(sometimes homemade?), bath, bed.
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No time for jokes. No time to eat healthy. No family time. Little talking. Quick bedtime books. Little laughter. Fewer hugs.

We all know the drill.

Yelling at the kids to get their shoes on, get the backpacks packed, throwing a granola bar at them on the way to the bus stop.

Lazy, easy Summer cuddling and chatting turned into yelling, crying, disconnects and sad faces.

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So I took a breath and changed some things because I missed my kids. I missed their jokes, their smiling faces, their fun.  They missed mine too.

I am happy to report we are working into a better rhythm as the year progresses. I wake the girls up a bit earlier so we have time to chat, relax and eat a good breakfast.

I enjoy packing their lunches together. Choosing healthy foods and hoping they eat it.  We even take one day a week to all grocery shop together so they can pick out special items for their lunches, and help me plan dinners we can all enjoy.

We use after school time to sit and talk about the day and eat a snack. Together. We finish homework so their are no fights before bedtime.
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They play with the baby so I can make dinner.

We eat as a family every night – and talk and laugh and tell more silly jokes. I know as they get older this will be harder to do.  But frankly it is now my favorite part of the day and I need it to last as long as I can.

They help me with dishes.

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And when they get tucked into bed at night, I know that they were all nourished that day.  By the food they ate, by the books they read, by the hugs they received, by their laughter, by the time we took as a family. We worked together and played together. We smiled. A lot.

October has been a very good month.

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“Hey Mom” Eloise asked the other night while tucking her in…”why did the spider cross the road?”

I don’t know I replied.

“To get to his website!”  “Get it?”

Oh, I get it alright – all the way down to my toes in happiness.

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So what do you do as a family to keep sanity during the school week?  How do you make family time count?  How do you somehow slow down during the crazy days we all have?  I would love to hear more ideas.

..and MORE importantly, do you have any awesome family friendly jokes? I am looking for new material to make my girls giggle. :)

About Tracy


My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, and fashion expert - and ruler of my own little universe(very small). Aren't we all. I would love for you to contact me at tracy@sellabitmum.com

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  1. kp says

    Tracy, you are such an amazing mom. Your girls are so lucky to have you always thinking, planning and doing what you can to make their childhood the best it can be. You won’t know for years how much the family dinners, the quiet time reading together, the craft projects, or trips to the grocery store, meant to them and impacted the adults they will become.

    I have to say that regular family dinners, around the table (homemade or not!) are a vital component to a happy, healthy family. Catching up on each other’s day, sharing stories, or telling jokes over a bowl of noodles can’t be beat for quality family time.

    I think Charlie still has a joke book or two on his shelves, I will see if I can find it for you!
    kp recently posted..a giveaway

  2. jen says

    this post is SO important to me.
    b/c this is the point we are at too.
    scrambling to find a way to make it all better b/c it’s just getting worse.
    i’ll try some of your suggestions.
    oh. and …
    why can’t a bike stand without a kickstand?

    because it’s too tired. :)
    jen recently posted..orange you glad

  3. Rachelle says

    This has to be my favorite post of yours. Ever. Well, the skirt one was also way up there. Soo realistic of what families go through! Family meal time seems to be the best chance for a family to connect on a busy school day. Obviously, it’s not about the food, but about sitting down together and talking. I am sad to report now that my kids are 19, 17, 15, and almost 13… family mealtime has gone to hell in a handbasket. I am not a swearer, but it really has. The kids have such varied and busy schedules that it’s rare that we’re all home together. Unfortunately, we eat in front of the tv more often now (but we still sit at the table on occasion!). This change took place last year when our oldest left for college.

    BUT, for the most part, we made family meal time very important. We even went through spurts of lingering at the table to read aloud a good book together… those were the days. A highlight of our family meal times were going around the table and playing High & Low. Each person has a chance to tell the high point of their day and the low point. Talk about a way to get a window into your child’s world. I love that game.

    This isn’t a joke per se, but I saw it on facebook and thought it was cute. “To err is human, but to ARRR is pirate.” That’s probably over their heads. I tried. Love you!
    Rachelle recently posted..Campaign Season

  4. Dana@Bungalow'56 says

    So how did you implement this? Just by getting up earlier, or did you actually set up a schedule somewhere so that things didn’t just slide back to where they were. I’m feeling like time is not our side these days. We’re having some teacher issues and its keeping me at night. And then there is the coaching issues… I thought when they got older it was supposed to get easier? Yeesh.
    Dana

  5. Michelle L. says

    love this.

    It’s all about the jokes at our house too. And by cutting out ‘fun’ things for family time. Funny, the post I’m working on right now has a similar theme– you’ll recognize it.

    Love you!

    p.s. my 16 year old tells everyone to go to bed at 8– and he leads the way— so I can’t take much credit.
    Michelle L. recently posted..the best laid plans

  6. Ann says

    I’m so envious that you’ve found a way to make the school days run more smoothly and actually have some family time. Our school life sounds identical to the first half of your post. I think I need to take some lessons from you on how to transform it.
    Ann recently posted..Nina on Trunk or Treating

  7. Tina says

    Tracy,

    Love this post. I struggle with this everyday, especially because my kids always want to play with their friends after school. It is hard for me to say no because they have been working all day at school. My kids get to bed a little late, but I am trying.

  8. admin says

    KP I would love some of Charlie’s joke books to use! You guys always have made a point of eating dinner together. I love that.

    Jen – Told the bike joke to Eloise and she about died and has already called 10 people to tell it too. Love it!

    Oh Rachelle – See I am a bit sad for that future that I know has to happen. I remember it happening when I was in high school. *sob* – and LOVE the joke – totally using it in the morning.

    Oh Dana – I know. Here is our daily schedule
    6:15 wake everyone up. No one is happy, but they get over it. I let them veg in front of PBS for 15 minutes to become approachable while I make their breakfast.
    6:30 – eat breakfast and talk about what is going on today and finish any school paperwork.
    7:00 – pack lunches together
    7:15 – Eloise gets dressed
    7:40 – Eloise on bus
    8:00 – Esther and I plan dinner and get anything ready or put things in crockpot.
    8:15 – Esther gets dressed
    8:45 – Esther on bus
    3:00 – Eloise home. Immediately sit down eat snack and do homework
    4:00 – Esther gets home. Eloise plays with Astrid while Esther has a snack and does any homework or helps me in the kitchen. I make dinner
    5:00 – Eat dinner
    5:30 – Clean up dinner – and THEN they can go outside to play with friends and run around.
    6:30 – Astrid in bed
    7:00 – showers for Eloise and Esther, read books, maybe a game or Dancing with the Stars on Monday night. :)
    7:30 bed for E&E

    Michelle – I would love to hear some of your jokes!

    Ann – I am just really kind of mean about structure – but it works.

    Tina – if they do not have homework, I do let them play for a 1/2 hour or so unless I need help with the baby.

    Thanks everyone for the sweet comments!
    xoxo,t

  9. stacey says

    WoW is all I have to say for that schedule of yours…

    As of Monday I will officially have my family time back… November, December & January no sports, no dance! We are so fortunate to have table time each evening (homemade or take-out) we still sit together and catch up… Friday nights have turned in to dinner out as a family!
    Mornings are a bluuuuuuuuuur… Dad is gone well before the three of us wake… SOOOO Mom gets the grumpy morning kiddos… we are sorting through that routine… The rule for Olivia is that when my hair dryer stops, it’s time for her to get up… As for the long lean 11year old boy… he still manages to squeeze his skinny butt in our bed most every night… Thus the hair dryer running wakes him… Question for your blogger friends: How do I keep that boy in his room??? (I’m normally so deep in sleep that I don’t even notice him come to our room)

  10. Jen says

    Okay, we have a book of Halloween jokes that Caroline loves–this is her favorite: What do you get when you cross a bat with a bell? A DINGBAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha There are some other good ones, too—I’ll have to post some more later.

  11. Janell says

    Did you hear the joke about the cookie? No? Oh, you probably wouldn’t like it, it’s pretty “crummy”

    What do you call 3 ducks in a box? A box of quackers!

    Knock, knock
    who’s there
    boo
    boo who?
    don’t cry, it’s just a joke!

  12. tracy says

    Yeah Stace – reading my schedule makes me feel a bit OCD. Don’t forget during that whole time I am also dealing with bitchy baby. :)

    Jen – Dingbat – LOVE it!

    Janell – Knew you would be good for a few.
    xoxo,t

  13. Tina M says

    My hubby works late & we have very little time between when he gets home & the girls going to bed. Sometimes they have already eaten dinner or been bathed when he gets home. So every evening we play a game called “High/low” We each say the best thing that happened to us that day & the worst thing that happened to us. Sometimes we try to guess each others (on the weekends when we were together all day.)

    Knock Knock.
    who’s there?
    Boo!
    Boo Who?
    Don’t cry! It’s only a joke! :0)

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