Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Conquering the Witch(ing Hours) Contest *UPDATED*

Contest Closed! I will announce winner and prize later this afternoon.Hey Readers! I switched it up a bit to simplify life and get the contest rolling and b/c Mr. Linky and I were having issues. See below. Contest ends 11:59pm CST, 11/4
I have done very little to prepare for this Halloween. Partly because I have mixed emotions about this holiday, partly because I am distracted by other things, partly because I cringe at the thought of throwing out all the candy that will be collected and the sheer cost of that candy that meets my trashcan or my hips.

Read on... Super, zero calorie contest below.

We did carve pumpkins (or "punk-its" as McClaine calls them) and I managed this stunning picture. What a photographic genius. None of the kids wanted to touch the gooey mess inside. What have I done? Have I really passed on that portion of my Type A personality?

I also have mentally sorted through the variety of princess dresses that Avery might wear. I have bought a cowboy hat at WalMart to complete McClaine's costume. Caleb said he is not allowed to wear it because it is red and he looks like Texas Tech's Red Raiders. I was thrilled because it was three dollars and made in the USA! Little Miss Audrey is going to be a hand-me-down bunny.

Here's where you come in...

Tell me you know about the Witching Hours? You know, that dreadful time of day, right after naps and before dinner and bath time? The kids are cranky, you are exhausted, dinner needs to be made, the floor is covered with toys, random clothes and food chunks. This time of day kills me. Every time.

So I am starting a Halloween Campaign (since the Presidential campaigns are nearing a close), to conquer the Witching Hours- And I need your help! Now, this is not a re-creation of the Salem Witch Trials. It is merely an opportunity for us to take back that precious time of day.

I figured it out. So far, I have grumpily lost 3120 hours of precious time with my children to the Witching Hours since Avery was born- and I am done! If quatro is my last little babe, by the time he/she gets to school, I will have about 3900 more hours to ENJOY my children during this time of day.

Yesterday I made a concerted effort to really conquer the Witching Hours. When the kids and I got home from picking up Avery, we had a snack and went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Usually I avoid this, because I have too much to do. As if the bowl of cheerios that has been sitting at the table since 7:30 am must be removed by 4:00! We played with the water hose and the dog, and got sloppy dirty.

Then I stripped the kids out of their wet clothes and we went inside for some fun painting time. Usually I am so overprotective of art/craft stuff because I don't want more mess. But I figured, what the heck? Just take it all out. So Avery and McClaine sat at the kitchen table with 26 assorted paint brushes, watercolors, paper, glue sticks and collage materials. Audrey was in her johnny jump-up rockin' in perfect rhythm to Stevie Wonder's Definitive Collection.I danced around in the kitchen as I prepared this awesome baked ziti recipe that I yanked from McMommy's blog.

This fun little contest is part of Bloggy Giveaways: Quarterly Carnival
Here's the challenge... do something fantastic in the next 2 weeks to conquer the Witching Hours, capture it in your blog with pictures and other details to share with us mommies. Then link up that post below. On November 14th,Leave a comment explaining constructive and FUN ways that you and your kids spend the Witching Hours. On November 4th, I will use Random Integer to choose one blogger as the winner of a fantastic "Conquering the Witching Hours" prize package. This fun package will include a variety of fun items to help you conquer the Witching Hours. I may borrow some of the ideas from blogs that are linkedfrom your comments.

*Please be sure your profile links to your email address, or you leave email address in comment.

*US shipping only ('cause I am broke, not because I don't love you)

*I will remove entries not following "Fun and Constructive" rule.

*Subscribe to me through feeder or burner, or "follow me" and leave a second comment stating you did for second entry.


Anonymous said...

Oh this is SUCH a great idea! Good luck conquering the Witching Hours!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Good idea--I'll try to think of something ;)

Cassie said...

you must have spent some time at our house... toys, food, dirty dishes, dinner needing to be made, and cranky kids! i am so taking you up on this...

Krystyn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amanda said...

how fun honey!!

can't wait to come back and see all the ideas!

Susan said...

Awesome idea! I will see what I can come up with in the next couple weeks. I NEED to do this anyway. It is has just become too easy to plop Austin in front of the TV so I can get things done.

Gale said...

My blog is private (at least the one I yack about my kids in) but I will be watching this cause I love the idea!

Vashey Fam said...

Great Tyne! It doesn't matter how many kids you have, either, b/c I experience this with just one! You're such an awesome mom!

Fantacy so Sweet-n-Stuff... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angela said...

Great idea! I don't have kids yet, but I'll definitely stop by to get some ideas for the future!

mark salinas said...

Great idea! What a nice post...enjoy your weekend!

Wendy said...

Great idea! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's good to meet another Texan!

Pennies In My Pocket said...

I'm SO glad to know that I'm not alone in this! I've talked about it with my hubby many times...I am just totally spent by the time 5pm comes around. NO energy, I'm cranky, tired, so not in the mood for anything except my couch, but that doesn't happen.

Very very good idea. I'm going to have to think about this one!


Carol said...

Super idea.

I found the perfect cure for the witching hours. I got a job that requires me out of the house immediately after dinner until right before the kids go to bed. Perfect!

Rob gets the wtiching hours and as he has been at work all day he has the patience ofr it.

Fantacy so Sweet-n-Stuff... said...

I am following your blog :) I had told you in my original post that I was subscribed to the rss feed (which I still am) so if you want to delete this comment feel free to if that counts as my first one :)

Fantacy so Sweet-n-Stuff... said...

I know this sounds simple, but I try my best to have absolutely as much housecleaning and supper prep done BEFORE the witching hour...That way I am not as stressed :) and ANY outdoor activity during that time is the helps them run off some of that energy and it helps me to relax by just being out in the fresh air! :) ty so much for the chance to win!

Krystyn said...

I will still post the other thing, but we came home and made cookies together after school. She had a great time, it passed the time until daddy got home. She even got to put the sprinkles on the cookies.

We also take the time to color and draw together.

When it was warmer, we went outside and fingerpainted.

demmi said...

I can relate to the witching hour

anti-supermom said...

I'm with Carol. I go to the gym 5:30pm to 7pm, so someone else has to deal with my witchin' children.

It's such a hard time, fun contest though.

Anonymous said...

Um, you're my hero. If you can conquer the witching hour... well you could be President. Of the Mommies anyway. Seriously, hats off to you... can't wait to see the rest of these comments!!

Blessings, Whitney

Staci said...

I'm with you, the hour or so before dinner and usually miserable in our house. The little one is starting to get grumpy (especially since he no longer naps).

A few things we've done to get through the afternoon recently include movie time, complete with special snacks, we usually pick a theme to go with the movie and create a snack from that. Baking, things like muffins, that we eat for dessert or breakfast the next day. Dance time, crank up some music and just get silly. The little one can't help but giggle. Craft time, as much as I dread it at first, I'll let him pull out craft materials and make masks, cards, or puppets.

Sorry this post got so long. Hopefully we'll all be able to get past the Witching hours! Thanks for the giveaway!

Auds at Barking Mad! said...

This is a great idea! And can I just say, I LOVE that photo!

I'm going to check back in and see what sorts of ideas everyone comes up with because at this point, the PlayDoh and Markers are getting old. I used to let the Little Imp waterpaint with Jell-O gelatin mixes, but that's a activity better done outdoors and now that it's in the 20's and 30's outside, that's a no-go!

One thing somebody suggested was "painting" the dog, together. Being that we have a pretty light coloured dog who is a Goldendoodle (half poodle half golden retriever), we're going to get a few cheapie spray bottles from the dollar store, put a tiny bit of food colour in each bottle and filled the rest of the way with warm water and "paint" the dog!

Yes, I did call the vet and was assured it was safe.

So once we try it, I'll post it on the blog and you can see how it turns out.

Good Lord I hope he doesn't decide to get up on the white suede furniture afterward. *lol*

Dana said...

I have four children (6, 5, 3, 18months) and i try to get my homeschooling done in the morning and save a video for the afternoon while i'm prepping dinner. sometimes the witching hour brings about many sibling rivalries, so i put everyone in seperate "room time". (my son in his room with legos, my oldest daughter with her dollhouse, my second daughter outside swinging-no fighting for the coveted disk swing- and the baby napping) sometimes the 30 minutes of alone play helps them appreciate eachother better and makes for a happier evening.

Jennifer said...

I think you are on to something:)

Vashey Fam said...

We go outside!!! I have a toddler so I can't send him out by himself. I bring my mini timer with me so that dinner doesn't burn...I tend to lose track. It works like a charm. It does involve a bit of preplanning in the food area but it works!

Sweetpeas said...

I'm finding the Witching Hour is much less of an issue as my kids get bigger, now we generally cook/bake something, or I send them outside to play (or, bad mommy, turn on the TV, thanks to DVR their favorite shows can be available when I need them most LOL).

Sweetpeas said...

I subscribed to your feed.

Krystyn said...

I'm a follower!

Chelle said...

Here are a few things that I do to make my day a little bit easier...

*Try to pick up as I see things that are laying out.

*We play outside! Go on walks, collect pinecones, go to the park...that way we get fresh air and move around.

*Go to a bookstore or a library. Then we come home and read our book. The kicker is that I try to have my home in "order" before we leave. So when I get home I am not greeted with chaos!

*Do a craft project. Isabella loves playing with ribbon so if I am making bows she'll play with the ribbon.

*If the day is a BAD day? We do bathtime. I fill the tub up with bubble bath, let her splash, play, use the tub crayons, whatever. I supervise, she plays.

*If it's raining or too cold I will pop in a movie or a show where Bella can dance. I make her a mix of raisins, crackers, etc and she gets to have a party while I get stuff done.

I hope some of this helps! If I think of more I'll let you know. :)

Great idea!!

Chelle said...

PS--Go to of crafts,!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Back.....I watch Malcolm in the Middle and have the kids do quiet time. Seriously--they read in their rooms and the boys color...while I laugh :)

Katrina said...

the best thing I have ever done with Carsen is buy washable tempra paint, mix it with water in a spray bottle, and put a cloth shower curtain on the ground outside. I let her go at it with 3-4 spray bottles and she creates art on the shower curtain. She wanted to do it for DAYS.

Anonymous said...

I find a toy or project that has been forgotten and do that. We also have swimming lessons during his time twice a week which gets us out of the house, even if the weather is bad. We play hide and go seek inside, or out. We get a pile of books and read. We color, paint, craft. Sometimes we find a movie and just veg! :-) Also my kids LOVE to help with household chores, so I put them to work and make it a game!

cheryl said...

Well, I have to add to this one. You are pretty stinkin' funny, Tyne!
The thing I try to do most often is go OUTSIDE. We have snacks and play with buckets and water (or leaves when I don't want a mess) and Saige pretends she is cooking. My husband is usually home - which is such a blessing - and Saige will help Daddy build the playhouse (that will one day help with the witching hour) while I get dinner ready, or we go for a walk if I already have dinner done (in a crock pot).
Great contest!

cheryl said...

Oh and I am now a TynerBock follower.

Susan said...

I can't wait to come back and read the final list of ideas because heading into the frigid months, I feel like I need some new ones.

First of all, I try to do as much as I can for dinner ahead of time. On the weekend I do at least some prepping by making my weekly plan, doing some chopping, etc. This time of year I also try to do at least one easy meal each week like soup or a crock pot recipe. One night a week is also leftovers so I know that I don't have to worry much about that night.

What I have done that IS successful is:
* Involve Austin in the cooking and let Mia play in her high chair or the doorway jumper.
* Play music and dance like fools. I love using the music channels on the TV because Austin feels like he is getting TV time and he really isn't. Plus when you come across a song you don't like you can just switch to a new channel.
* When we can, we play outside. There are a couple older kids in my neighborhood that are getting to be babysitting age and are really great and responsible kids. I use them to just play outside with the kids so I can come in and get things done or make dinner. They love it and up to now I have only paid them in cupcakes and such. Later they will know my kids and vice versa so that I can use them as sitters.
* Austin is not really into crafts, but we have attempted a few projects that have been successful. He does love to build though so we play with legos, make towers out of usual things like pillows or empty soda cans and then knock them over. Mia likes watching for now.
* If I have to be in the kitchen I will pull out an assortment of tupperware containers and fill one with dry pasta or beans and let him pour and explore away. Since he is right there on the floor he is less likely to feel neglected while I am cooking.
* If the weather is decent we go on walks and I play I Spy with Austin while Mia just rides.
* I haven't done it much, but there are some great interactive kids sites on the computer like and He loves doing that with me, but Mia has to be happy playing on the floor with some toys for that to be successful. When Austin is old enough it will be a great distraction during the witching hours, but right now he has to have an adult help him.
* Sometimes you just have to use a video. I find that Austin is less likely to be happy sitting there if it is a video that we own and he has seen a million times, so every once in awhile when I know that I have a busy week, I will rent a video or two from the library ($1.50 rental)and that seems to hold his attention much better.
* One idea that I have and have not tried is a scavenger hunt. I was thinking I would either take pictures of certain things or draw pictures of things and make a visual list for him. He will have to go around the house finding the things and bringing them to be and would get a sticker for each new thing found. That would distract him while I am in the kitchen or doing other such things.

Thanks for doing this! It is such a fabulous idea!

Cassie said...

Alrighty... so I am just now getting to posting on here. The withching hour has been for several days - all day - lately!

Here are some fun ideas we have done:

- Of course, they love going to the park, outside, or play area at the mall.

- Old faithfuls of crayons, markers, playdough, shaving cream.

- Turn on music really loud and dance like crazy people.

- Blow up alot of balloons and let them have fun!

- Throw the kids in the bathtub and let them color all over the tub walls with crayola bath crayons - which rock!

- Have a themed party... such as opposite afternoon (do everything opposite, even eating snack on a blanket under the table, wearing backwards clothes), luau, robots, animals... anything really. Let the kids decide the theme and they can come up with ideas. Then incorporate the theme in with dinner... like making a hamburger completely opposite with bun in the middle, lettuce on outside.

- Bubbles. My kids go nuts over bubbles.

- Jumping on the bed. I can get at least 20 minutes of them jumping... they love it. Plus it wears them out.

- If it is a really really really bad day, throw on a LONG movie like CARS or Jonah. Bad, I know. :)

Ok, out of ideas. I love hearing what everyone else has to say. Good to know I am not the only mom out there going through this... :)