Washcloth boo-boo bunny

washcloth boo boo bunny | simplykierste.com

Last year my baby spent a lot of time in the hospital. Within seven months, she was admitted to ICU five times, and it was an incredibly difficult time.  We were blessed with really wonderful doctors, and exceptional nurses who took great care of her, and  when you're spending weeks in the hospital at one time, you get to know them pretty well.  Caroline was between 15-21 months during this time, and being old enough to walk but young enough to be confined in a crib was a challenge, and I was constantly looking for ways to entertain her.  She also had a lot of shots, IV's and treatments and watching your baby go through it is pretty terrible.  The nurses were definitely the bright … [Read more...]

Monogrammed backpack tags

Monogrammed Backpack Tags | simplykierste.com

My kids love having something on their backpacks that identify it as "theirs".  I created these super cute monogrammed backpack tags that are perfect for the new school year! I prefer using monograms instead of their full names for safety reasons, plus initials are really just adorable! My darling boys (yes, they're twins!) are heading off to kindergarten this fall (sniff, sniff), and they are SO excited about their backpacks and tags. On my girls' tags, I added a bit of ribbon. I think I could add even a few more pieces, for a fuller look, and it would be darling! These are SO easy to make...you need just a few items and you can make one for each of your kids! … [Read more...]

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

My husband and I are outside quite a bit building and working on different projects now that the weather is nice, and it's wonderful!   The kids will play outside in the yard while we're working, and one of the things they love to play with are all the wood scraps that we seem to have an endless supply of.  This past Saturday they were stacking the scraps, building towers, making roads, pretending all sorts of things, and even coloring them with their sidewalk chalk.  It kept them busy for a long time, and they were having a ball.  I decided to use all of our scrap wood and make them their own permanent set of outdoor wooden blocks to keep outside all the time, knowing they would be a huge … [Read more...]

How to make an easy & adorable quiet book

How to make an easy & adorable quiet book | simplykierste.com

Make an easy & adorable quiet book for your toddler or preschooler using plastic name badge holders and this darling free printable! I adore name badges, and I've used them for so many projects.  Not only are they inexpensive, but they're the perfect portable size.  I made my twin boys quiet books several years ago using them, and this week I decided it was time for my baby girl to have one too! Since we're working on our numbers and shapes, I created a darling set of  printables that I thought would be perfect for the quiet book.  Caroline absolutely loves it, and it tucks right in my diaper bag or purse to use in the car, at church, or while we're waiting … [Read more...]

7 things I learned from being stranded in the airport with kids

7 things I learned from being stranded in the airport | simplykierste.com

Early last Wednesday morning I left for the airport with my three girls after spending a glorious week with my parents.  I had no idea that it would be a long two and a half days before we would finally get home. We happened to arrive at the Chicago airport just as a major storm was making its entrance, and due to a deadly tornado that was crossing the state, many flights needed to be delayed and cancelled. With no luggage, no way to get home, and three little girls counting on me, it was an experience I won't soon forget. I've flown many times before, but I'd never even come close to being stranded. Somehow everything had always been very uneventful, so I had no idea what was in store … [Read more...]

20+ best tips, tricks & ideas for flying with a toddler

20+ Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Flying with a Toddler | simplykierste.com

Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier! I recently took my newly-turned two year little girl on her first plane ride. She joined her sisters and me for a girls' trip out west, and none of us could wait to go!  I've flown plenty of times before, but it had been awhile since I had a toddler with me since now there are eight of us, we do most of our family traveling by car. I think toddlers are in general the hardest age to travel with, but especially flying.  Not that they aren't perfectly adorable in every way, but they are at a age where they want to be down, running, and moving, and a plane is probably the most limiting.  When you're in a … [Read more...]

Why our kids have chores + an age-appropriate chores guideline

Why our kids have chores + free printable chore guide | simplykierste.com

Ever since I posted my cleaning schedule and talked about my kids having their own chores, I've had a lot of comments, questions, and e-mails about our chores routine. It's been on my mind quite a bit lately too, because this year each of my six kids are turning ages where we can add a few more chores that they are able to do. We also moved from a larger home to a tiny apartment that we are living in while our new house is being built, and it's definitely required me to make a few changes, so I figured it was a good time to write out how our family handles chores for kids, and more importantly, why. We start chores young at our house--they are are one of the most vital parts of our family … [Read more...]

Good behavior punch cards

Good behavior punch cards | free printable | simplykierste.com

I was so excited when I opened the door.  We were new to the area, and living in a brand new neighborhood, so when I saw a girl about my age holding a boy about my boys' age standing on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to meet her. She looked at me and asked " do you have two boys around four years old"? I answered, "yes, I do!" "They're on your roof." Excuse me for a minute, while MY. JAW. DROPS. TO. THE. FLOOR. I very politely thanked her (what else are you supposed to do in that situation??!!), and then ran as fast as I could up the stairs to our playroom.  Sure enough, my four year old boys were on the roof, zooming cars off of the edge.  Somehow, they had figured out how to … [Read more...]

From a mom of six: my must-have baby items

From this mom of six: my must-have baby items

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine. If you are expecting your first baby, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the products out there, and all the choices available.  It's true--we have so many options, but it's nice to know which direction to head in first, and the items that are tried and true.  If you're on baby #2 or more, you've probably started your own list of favorites, but if you're like me, you're always curious to see if there is something out there that might change your life for the better. :) After having six babies, and a lot of trial and error, I've definitely learned which baby items are my favorite, and some I wish I would have known … [Read more...]

14 favorite Valentine’s Day children’s books

14 Favorite Valentine's Day Children's Books | simplykierste.com

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure. Books are always a wonderful way to celebrate any holiday, and Valentine's Day is no exception.  If you're looking for a really fun and easy Valentine's Day tradition for your family, try a Valentine's Day Book Countdown...one book a day from the 1st through the 14th! Check out this list of Favorite Valentine's Day children's books! A Kiss for Little Bear , by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! , Laura Numeroff Queen of Hearts, by Mary Engelbreit Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George, N. Di … [Read more...]