The Pirate Series

This week I’m starting my Learn N Play Pirate Series

So, today, after my friend left me with a muddled brain of ideas I really wasn’t sure what to talk about for learn and play.  So, I sat at my computer using Publisher to work on some charts, and thought about how nice it was outside today.  Especially after all that cold and rain that we got the past couple days.

So, with Learn N Play in mind, and fun time with my buggies, I decided to play a pirate game…

I made a map, and filled their little toy treasure with gold doubloons, a magic fairy wand, a magic princess amulet, magic buccaneer whistle.

Pirate game items.  We have gold doubloons, a map, a treasure chest, and magical treasure items.
Pirate game items. We have gold doubloons, a map, a treasure chest, and magical treasure items.

Then, from the docked ship, we entered into mermaid cove.  We had to find the correct path.  We started with white rocks, then had to choose between the yellow, blue, or red rock path that led to the next patch of land.  I drew these in my driveway with chalk.  And our ship was our front porch stairs.  After they solved the problem, the lead problem solver collected 3 gold doubloons for their effort.

Mermaid Cove Jumping Stones
Mermaid Cove Jumping Stones

Then, from there, they had to travel to and through turtle cave.  The next problem solver leader, showed us how to get through turtle cave.  For her efforts, she also collected 3 gold doubloons.  For turtle cave, I tipped two outside chairs on end, and topped it with our sandbox cover, which they had to climb under.

Turtle Cave
Turtle Cave

The last problem to solve, was slippery slope.  So, we ventured off and had to figure out how to get down from slippery slope.  Our problem solver leader, also collected 3 gold doubloons for their effort.  Our slippery slope was our slide.

Slippery Slope, can you find the treasure?
Slippery Slope, can you find the treasure?

Afterwards, they found the treasure and each got a piece to keep.  We had so much fun doing this, and it led to many other ideas.  Like turning the amulet into an actual amulet instead of the dollar store party favor gold medals.  This is also a fun activity that you can make to fit the different ages of your buggies.

Next week we will have a pirate project to help us learn even more.

Buggies and Chores

Teaching our children chores, teaches them a lot of things.  It teaches them respect for their things as well as respect for those that belong to others.  It teaches them a work ethic.  It also teaches them to take pride in their accomplishments.  A sense of accomplishment leads to higher self-esteem, responsibility, and respect for oneself and others.

But, how do you decide what your children are ready and not ready to do?

Well, at a younger age, we can start by teaching our buggies to pick up after themselves.  From throwing a dirty diaper in the trash, putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, and picking up their toys.  Many of these things start by showing the child how to do it, by doing it yourself, and bringing your buggy with you.  Teaching them where the trash is, where the hamper is, and where the toy box is.

After they know where these things are, every time they do it, should be a big deal.  We started teaching our buggies that it was great and fun to throw away their dirty diapers, after we changed them.  We started by showing where the yucky diaper goes.  Then we would race to the trash can.  And the winner receives wonderful compliments, clapping, and anything else that shows them that we are happy and proud of what they did.  Each of the family members participate in this, so that now, when Do Bug throws away her diaper, the whole family cheers her on.

We focus a lot, now a days, to use positive ways to discipline our children.  Funny thing is, that when we did things when we were younger that were life threatening, or just plain naughty, we got a spanking.  Everyone focused on the “bad” part of this, the physical end of a spanking.  What we don’t focus on is how each “good” thing was treated just like I’m describing now.  With encouragement and reinforcement of the positive behavior.  I’m not saying go out and spank your child for every little thing.  Fact is, that most of us that got spankings, didn’t get them often.  And, if they did, then the spanking lost meaning behind it.  Also, that wonderful spanking for beating up your little sister, do seem a bit silly in my book.  (Yes, I was the child that got a spanking for that.)  However, it did make me think twice about doing it again.

If we took more time on focusing on the things our children did well, and praising them for it, there would be less of a reason to worry about the punishment end.  Although it will not take it out entirely, however, that differs from child to child as well.  How does this work with chores?  If we spent less time being frustrated and upset about how our children did NOT do their chores, and more time praising them for doing those chores, we’d be less frustrated.  By praise, I mean exactly that.  The reason a child should do their chores should not be solely restricted to monetary value.  Same as a spanking, shoving money or toys or other bribing techniques in daily things, leaves them wanting more and expecting more, just because they didn’t leave dirty clothes on the floor.

When I was a little one, we didn’t get allowance, because there were just too many kids to try to do that.  However, we all had chores.  We did them every day, and we had consequences if we didn’t do them.  Which, often, was more chores.  At my father’s house it was the dreaded weed pulling in the back garden…it took forever.  It was also to be done AFTER we finished our normal chores which could mean pitching the barn, down to the dishes.  However, if we wanted to do things, like sports, or go to the movies with our friends, we weren’t dependent on our allowances either.  We didn’t get to do these things often, however, we still got to do them.  We were rewarded in other ways, adding a new animal or spending time with our friends.

This was all started when we were younger.  We didn’t start at 2 and 3 pitching the barn or anything like that.  However, it surely was a fun game to go and collect eggs with daddy or go slop the pigs with mommy.  Even if slopping the pigs meant getting all dressed up, trying to drag a bucket, and ending up watching our parents do the actual job.  We still helped where we could, and were taught through example and encouragement.  We sang songs to remind us to clean up our toys and how to work together.  And we all participated.  We took pride in each thing we did, and now that we’re grown up, it’s our job to teach our children those.fall-678492_1920

Not everyone grew up the same, and it makes me sad to have to point out that there are more than there should be, that grew up with cruelty and neglect.  Because no child should ever have to endure that.  However, if you didn’t grow up in a similar way, and you did grow up with cruelty, then you get the opportunity to change that this time around.  And, trust me, hearing your two-year old clean up her toys, and sing the clean up song is more than words can describe.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve suggested writing lists, involving your buggies in your chores, and just seeing what they are ready for.  Some children need a bit of encouragement.  Some just need the right kind of encouragement.  My buggies like to do the dishes.  Now, they aren’t quite big enough to do them, but they think they do a great job.  And, I applaud them the whole way through.  I guide them in what they should do, and we take turns on who is going to rinse while mommy washes.  It becomes a game, as well as family time.  Beanie and Belly Bug now know how to sweep the floor, and they actually fight over who’s turn it is to sweep.  So, we switch things up a bit so everyone can get a turn.  Also, this teaches team work as well as different skills.  In the younger buggies, they love it.  The responsibility to clean up their bathroom makes them empowered to do it more on their own.  Which means less time I have to spend on my hands and knees cleaning up who knows what next.broom-24266_1280

After you’ve spent some time figuring out what your buggies can do and like to do, THEN come up with a chore chart.  Work things around, for what works for you.  We still hold toys hostage, for when they are just not in the mood to take care of their things.  However, they have the opportunity to get it back with good behavior.  Explaining all of the rules on how to do chores all the way to what will happen if they do not do their chores is very important.  This helps keep even the busiest buggy well-informed of their consequences.  The trick is to stick with it.  It isn’t easy to start off, especially if you are going from no responsibility to a full 180 into chores and the like.  It takes time to work chores into their schedule.  But the refocusing helps tremendously.

What are some of your ideas for chores?  Leave me a comment below to let me know how you’ve worked chores in with your buggies.

Burritos

Something we do at my house, is buy meat when it is on sale, and get it in larger quantities to save a few bucks.  Now a days meat and fresh produce are so expensive.  So, why don’t we eat healthy?  Most of us have a hard time not buying the preprocessed food, because it is so much more expensive.  Who would have thought that a small salad would cost more than a few boxes of pasta sides?  Let alone all the other things that our bodies need.  So, to solve this issue, this is why we shop at multiple stores, and keep an eye out for sales on the meat cuts that we prefer.  We also will drive all the way to Grand Rapids about once a month to stock up at our favorite store over there as well.

In the mean time, this touches a bit on the Back To Scratch that I’ll get into once I’m done cleaning out the store-bought things out of my cupboards.  We eat a lot of Mexican food here at my house.  But every once in a while, you just want a burrito.  A plain burrito, without all the hassle.  I happened to buy some burgher on sale at Meijer the other day, and it needed to be sorted out, and cooked up.  One of the three, 3 lbs. packages we got, went into making burritos.

Similar to the microwave burritos you can buy in packages and keep in your freezer  However, these don’t have quite as much false flavor and preservatives.  I say quite as much, because I didn’t make the beans myself since I’d had a few cans in my cupboard, along with some diced green chiles.

I made two separate batches.  One for my children, or general that you can add salsa and the like later, and one a bit spicier.  The spicier batch was 1 lbs. of ground beef.  But, first, I warmed up about 2 Tbsp. oil in my pan, and tossed in about a third of a medium-sized onion, diced.  Fry your onions, over medium heat, until they are lightly browned. Then add in your burger and add in any other spices to your flavor.  For this batch I put in 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder, 1 tsp. Salt, 2 Tbsp. Paprika, and a 4 oz. can of the spicier diced chiles (diced green jalapeños).

Spicy Burrito Filling
Spicy Burrito Filling

Continue to fry this on medium heat, until it is all browned and mixed well.  Then add, straight to the pan, a 15 oz. can of refried beans and your second 4 oz. can of diced chiles.  When you add these chiles, try to be sure you have drained them well.  However, if there is a bit too much water in it, that is fine, as you can simmer out the more liquid part.  It just cooks a bit longer.

Once all these are added, and mixed in until the beans are smoothly mixed in and warm with the meat, you are ready to wrap and serve.  I made such a large batch, and I used larger flour tortilla shells, so that I could make a larger burrito.  Wrap them up and serve, or after wrapping them, allow them to cool.  Bag them, and toss them in the freezer, so that you can heat them as you go.

Home made frozen burritos
Home made frozen burritos

The larger the burrito you make, the longer it takes to cook in the microwave when you go to reheat them.  I reheated some today, after they were frozen solid, and it took 6 minutes in the microwave to heat two, which I divided in half to give to myself and my three little buggies.

Happy cooking, and leave me a comment below to let me know how the recipe worked out for you.

Get On Your Knees

Hello everyone!  I hope you all have had a blessed weekend.  I want to start with an apology for not writing the last two days.  I’ve been down for the count with my teeth.  However, I’ve been praying, and here I am functioning again today.  Slowly but surely, but it is much better than the past couple of days.

So, today I’m inspired to write about exactly that.  Praying and asking what you need.  I have been reading a lot of prayer requests on my facebook, as well as seeing things that just plain need to be prayed about.  Add in the personal life factor, and I think covering what to pray for and how prayers get answered is a great way to spend the day.

I’ve heard a lot in the past that God didn’t answer a prayer or didn’t answer it in the way that someone wanted it.  But, if we pray the right way, they will be answered.  You may be wondering why I’m saying praying the right way.  However, there is a way to pray and get our prayers answered.  It isn’t a life cheat or life hack.  It’s just the way it is.  And if you do it, your prayers do get answered.

Now, when we ask for things, they should be for good things.  Godly things.  Something that isn’t wasteful, and something that will better us without being greedy.  So, asking for a yacht just because you want it and think you deserve it, probably not going to happen if that is the only thing you ever pray for.  However, asking for money to pay your bills so you don’t get your lights do not get shut off will.

God does take care of his people.  You have to have accepted Jesus into your heart, and when you ask for something in prayer, you should ask and then thank God for doing as you asked even before you finish your prayer.  Believing that God will do what you ask, means that you are not doubting his ability.

Matthew 7:7-11

“Ask, and you will be given what you ask for.  Seek, and you will find.  Knock, and the door will be opened.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Anyone who seeks, finds.  If only you will knock, the door will open.  If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead?  If he asks for a fish, will he be given a poisonous snake?  Of course not!  And if you hardhearted sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in Heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them?”

All we really need to do, when we are in need, is swallow that pride, drop to our knees, and ask our Father.  He does take care of his children.prayer-1269776_1920

Once you’re finished praying, ask all of this in the name of Jesus.  And, when you are done, do not doubt that your prayers will be answered.  God is always listening. He is always guiding us and answering us, so long as we quiet down, open our ears and hearts, and accept what he gives us.

God doesn’t want us to hurt or suffer.  Would you want your own children to hurt or suffer?  We are God’s children, so of course, he doesn’t want this to happen to us.  However, we often put our trust in anyone or anything other than God.  Or, we even ask him, and when we are finished we continually doubt that it will come to pass.

So, for all those hurting and suffering out there.  For all those that need to be saved.  Also for everyone in general.  I pray for all of you to be happy, healthy, and saved.  Thank you, Lord.  In the name of Jesus, Amen!!!

Leave some prayer concerns below and I will pray for you as well.

Mama Clothing Care

So, this week we’re hitting the dreaded closet section of Mommy Care.  However, just like with the makeup, this is going to have to be broken down a bit more from here.  Until then, I want to cover some basics.  Get you started with what you already have, and then we’ll go from there, with more of your input, of course.

So It Starts.

Who has gone to their closet and tossed out almost every piece of clothing they have, just to get ready for church, and still can’t find anything appropriate?  How about that date with Daddy Bug, and you want to look just right, but you feel that all you have is just wrong?

After an hour of looking through what I have and I’m still standing there half-naked and lost on a good fit for what I need, I often feel like this:pug-801826_1920Seriously, when all you have and you still feel so lost because you can’t seem to find something that doesn’t make you look too fat, too blessed, too blah, too young, too old….Oh the list just goes on and on.

And, let’s get this one straight, ladies, don’t tell someone they look great, and rip them apart behind their back.  It gets back to that person eventually, and we just really need to quit ripping each other apart.  Tell her to her face.  Not right in front of everyone, but nicely let her know, so she has the chance to fix it up a bit and feel comfortable.

So, what do we do when we feel like it is hopeless, and should just cover every ounce and hide inside?  First off, take a step back.  Breathe.  Realize, the only way you will look that entirely horrible, is if you feel that way.  When we feel that way, we could be covered in roses and diamonds, and still not look fierce and gorgeous.

So, how can I dress to look myself and not like a bakery on parade?

Let’s face it.  By this time, a lot of us feel like we have more rolls than a bakery, and we want to feel good about ourselves but society can be harsh and make you feel like you need liposuction ASAP!  Frankly, there are more curvaceous women out there than those runway models.

Also, big is beautiful.  You just have to find what is right for you.  Start with what goes underneath first.  You can’t present yourself well if you’re sporting the, “My cup has over floweth,”style, just as much as if you were sporting that uni-boob thing.  And, if our underwear gives us a muffin top, then we surely aren’t going to succeed when we put anything over the top of it.

Find yourself a shopping partner, and go out and get what fits your bottom and bosom.  It doesn’t have to be granny panties either.  When you choose your shopping partner be sure it is someone you trust and know that they love you enough to not allow you to walk out with worse than you went in with.  And, aside from finding the correct section to get your under things in, don’t worry about the size.  It’s a tag to help sort.  Not a label on you and who you are.

Next Up…

Now after you’ve found the proper support group, it’s time to go on to the next.  When you’re choosing things to make you look and feel good, we need to remember that the number on those jeans is as I said above.  A tag to sort not a label on your person.  Find something that fits.  And wearing fitting things is a wonderful way to start, so long as it is in your size.  If you have to do that trick our mother’s taught us, by laying on the bed and sucking it in to zip up those jeans, then go get a trash bag and toss it in to donate to someone else.  It’s not worth it, and it surely does not make you look thinner.  Actually, it does the opposite.

I’ve heard a lot about slimming down with darker colors, no prints, no stripes (especially horizontal), and no bright colors.  Well, some rules are meant to be broken.  I don’t mean go get cheetah pants and a zebra shirt.  I mean, adding in these little popping things can actually be the thing you need.  Not just to make you happy, but to show off that inner attitude that you have.  If you’re a hot pink and orange kind of mama, then do it.  If you’re a beige and sage, then rock that too.  Take pride of what is inside.  Don’t be afraid to show who you are through what you wear.

When I was a teenager, I got teased for wearing multi prints, or bright colors, or anything that was different.  And, get this, it’s all in fashion, on trend, and high fashion in today’s clothing life.  Burns my butt a bit, when I think I should have not listened to some of those people, and run off to designer school anyways.  Then maybe I could have been the one making those big bucks putting out the clothes I liked to wear.  Turns out that I found something better anyways, so when it bugs me, I just look up and see my three little buggies, and decide…nah, this was so what I was looking for and didn’t even know it.

Anyways, the point is to go with your gut.  If you like it, don’t be afraid of it.  Besides, when you’re talking about fashion, you want to accent your assets.  And, lets face it, one of the best assets you have is who you are inside.  So, if it’s you, then do it.

Top it off…

Top this look off with your accessories and makeup.  Last week we talked about wearing your makeup to fit you.  The same thing applies to accessories.  Now, if you’re going for the thinning look your gut is to wear something small.  Something not quiet so out there so it isn’t noticed.  This is just like wearing pants too small and thinking it will thin you down.

Besides, big jewelry is in.  So, toss on those big chunky hoop earrings you like so much, put on that necklace with the chunky bead at the focal point, and don’t forget your suitcase…I mean purse, when you go out. Besides, us mommies need something that will fit everything we need.  My kids are almost out of diaper bag phase, but they still need things.  If I’ve got a small purse, then I’m carrying multiple bags with me to accommodate.  So, get that giant bag out, and don’t be afraid if it’s loud.

I often carry larger purse that is bright in color and glammed out.  I don’t get the, “OMG, she seriously isn’t carrying that thing with her…ewww.”  Actually I get many questions on where I got it and where they can find one like it.

So, stop over thinking this stuff.  Wear what you have proudly.  And, if it still doesn’t quite fit what you were going for, we’ll get to that point in this section soon enough.dancing-919972_1280

Homework for you guys!!!

Leave me a comment, contact me privately, just let me know one way or the other.  Tell me what you’d like to hear.  Some examples would maybe be, how to hide an oversized chest or maybe how to enhance an undersized chest without surgery.  Maybe you’re short like me, so you want to go over options that make your legs look longer.  Whatever it is, I need your thoughts and opinions on this.  It’s a broad subject, so help me out and tell me what you think.

Pretty Little Nail Biter

Some children, just like adults, are nail biters.  For many different reasons.   And there are many things you could try to get them to stop.  However, a friend of mine came up with a unique way to get her buggy to stop.

A bit of back story:

Buggy Bug, (my friend’s bug) has bitten her nails for a while now.  Her mother has tried many things, however, when your bug chews down so far that it causes her fingers to split open, you’ve got to dig deep and find what works for this child.  And Buggy Bug has very recently bitten down so far on one finger, that her mommy couldn’t keep it from splitting farther and farther.

She had called me down to her place to take a look at it to see if I could do something to keep it sealed, because as well as nail-biting, Buggy Bug likes to dig through dirt with her fingers, to find bugs, worms, and the like.  Hence the name Buggy Bug.  So, a band-aid wouldn’t stay on, and it was starting to get infected because of all the dirt and what not in this split finger.

So, I went to her house with my trusty liquid skin, to take a look at this.  She had washed it out enough so that there was no infection and no dirt at all.  It looked fairly well, as far as open wounds are concerned.  So, I explained to her how to use it, and applied the liquid skin a few times to seal it.  I also explained that if there is any question at all, she needs to take her to the doctor.  And, if it starts getting infected, the liquid skin will have to come off.

The reason I love liquid skin is that it works like a band-aid, but it will also dissolve later.  Also, if it needs to come off quickly, it comes off easily with soaking then lifting it off.  I’ve had an experience, myself, with medical grade superglue and infection.  So, I purchased the liquid skin with myself and my equally clumsy husband in mind.  I’ve also used it on one of my little brothers as well as my own children.  So, if you intend on getting some, I think it is wonderful, read the directions.  Make sure that it is okay to use with little ones.  If there is a question you can ask your doctor and or your pharmacist.

Anyhow, back on track.  After I sealed Buggy Bug’s finger up, it finally started to heal.  It still led to the problem of her biting her nails all the way down.

What did Buggy Bug’s Mama Do?

Even though Buggy Bug is entirely a tom boy, she loved the idea of a manicure with mommy.  Her mommy cleaned up her nails, pushed back the cuticles, and put on fake nails.  It is her last resort to stop her daughter from biting her nails down to the skin.20160420_174716

My friend did this last night, and this morning the only problem she had, was a melt down about the loss of one of the new nails.  Buggy Bug, so far, is doing well with the not biting, and is currently enjoying her nails.  The only other suggestion Buggy’s Mama has, is to use the glue instead of just the sticky paper or part that is on the nail.20160420_175247

So, just another example of playing to learn something.  To Buggy, this was a game, like dress up with her mommy.  And something that will last. What kind of things have you tried to stop nail-biting?  Leave me a comment below to share your experiences.

Mama Says

With children, in general, they like to do the things that we do.  In their little minds, we are superheroes.  Therefore, everything we do, they want to do as well.  That means how we walk, talk, sit, stand, speak…everything.  This has good and bad consequences.

The Bad

If you are having problems with your busy buggy, and you yell, scream, pout, etc…they will do the same.  If you are irritable for whatever reason, they will also mimic this.  With some buggies, if you ask them why they are doing it, they will out right tell you they got it from you.  (That would be something my Belly Bug tells me.)

This goes the same for the potty mouth.  If you cuss like a sailor, a trucker, or whatever explains your excessive potty mouth, you will end up noticing that they come out of your buggies mouths too.  And, I can promise you that if you’re sitting in the middle of a restaurant with your grandfather, it will come out then.

When Beanie was much younger, and Belly was just an infant, we learned this the hard way.  We thought that we had stopped enough, or only said swears where she couldn’t hear.  In the mean time, we often said things like, “What The!!!”  And would leave it like that, thinking we didn’t cuss, so it wouldn’t be a big deal.  When she was even younger, we figured she didn’t hear us or didn’t understand.  But, lo and behold, in the middle of KFC, we had gone out with my grandfather.  We were talking about something, although I do not remember what it was.  I happened to react with a what the, and boy oh boy, loud as can be, Beanie finished my unfinished phrase and dropped the F bomb right there in front of everyone.

My grandfather was very angry about this, and I made it worse, because I laughed.  Now, I didn’t laugh because it was funny.  It wasn’t at the time.  But, I was nervous and embarrassed, so it was that kind of laugh and it is often misinterpreted.  So, moral to the story, everything we do AND say, at any time could be picked up by our buggies.  Even when you think you’ve curbed it or just don’t think you do it where they can hear.  A buggy can hear around corners, through walls, and in their sleep.  It’s like a superhuman sense that we don’t seem to catch on to until they are older.

The Good

So, we know the downsides and possibilities of downsides, what about the upside?  Well, I’ve talked about chores, in past posts, for your buggies.  And, often we do not know where to start with these.  However, our buggies will pick up our habits as well.  So, if you are constantly washing dishes, like I am, then you may notices your buggies pushing chairs up to help you or want to take over entirely.washing-dishes-1112077_1920

By letting your buggy help you with your daily chores, you will learn what they can and cannot do.  You will learn their limitations, and how well they handle the rest as well.  Eventually you will be able to tell them to do a specific chore, and smile and revel in the fact that it is one less thing you have to do yourself.

Also, when your older buggies handle things like, taking care of their clothes, putting away dirty clothes, picking up toys, and sweeping; the younger buggies will want to do the same.  And, just because they may not do it well, does not mean they shouldn’t do it.  I often sweep beside my buggies and, “do the job together,” making them feel well, and clobbering that horrible urge to correct them.  The worst thing you could do at a young age is discourage them because they didn’t do it your way, which is the right way.  Instead we should encourage them in the way to do it by leading or learning to let go of certain things.

One thing that my two older buggies do is put away their clean laundry.  Oh boy, I about had a cow the first time I opened the drawers right after I let them do it.  It wasn’t at all tidy.  Half of them were no longer folded, and they surely weren’t in the proper drawer.  I had to stop myself from redoing the entire dresser in front of them.  I did, however, nicely explain that they do need to keep the laundry folded so that it fits better into the drawers, and we should try to keep things in the same drawers so we can find our clothes better.  I even went as far as to label what went in which drawer.

Although the labels helped the oldest bug, the middle buggy didn’t seem to have a care, and she could find what she wanted provided she wanted to do it.  So, again, sometimes we have to let go.  We have to realize that there are some things we can teach and direct, but not everything is going to be exactly as perfect as we think it should go.  Breathing room and growing room is required for independence.  And, so long as they are not trying to claim the toilet as their dresser drawer, then really, socks and underwear may just end up in the same drawer.

So…

While you are trying to clean and tidy up, do spring cleaning, rearrange rooms, and all of your basic chores, let those buggies help.  It may take a bit longer, but it teaches both us, the parent,  and them, the buggies, how to work through things.  Eventually, you will be able to sit back and enjoy yourself a bit more often, as they learn to do more and more each day.  It teaches them many things from independence, respect, work ethic, and more.

I’m definitely not saying you now have free slave labor.  However, regular chores are a good thing to start with your buggies, even at a young age.

Good Luck, and tell me how it went.