This past weekend we enjoyed together as a family our 2016 convention at the BB&T Center. I was worried all along as to how the boys would behave during the program since they are quite the wiggle worms lately and boy was I surprised. They did great! So much anticipation stress for nothing… I am so proud of them. They behaved so well that D and I thoroughly enjoyed the program and all the spiritual food prepared for us. This convention unlike others in the past, was filled with videos that really captivated their attention and although the boys are still only one, it intrigued them enough to stay watching. They understand and know so much more than I give them credit for. These are images from our weekend. Some candid moments and others that we really tried to pose for and that sometimes failed miserably. Hence why posing with children hardly ever works!
↑↑↑ Absolutely love his puckered lip while drawing on his board. (Which is a life-saver for us.) Before we used to give the boys a pencil and paper to draw while at the meetings and so forth… well that always went sour when they would end up with pencil marks all over their clothes. So I turned to the next best thing and it’s these little magnetic drawing boards. I remembered how much I loved mine as a kid just to doodle on and spark! there was an idea. My mom bought two for the boys and we have been mess-free ever since. ( You can get the one we use here.)
Before the kids were in this stage I remember asking other moms what the secret was to well-behaved quiet children. Haha, the truth is there is no secret and no two children are exactly the same. But this is what we have tried and has worked very well in the past:
6 months old
- At this time I was still breast feeding but I brought along formula for their feedings. They didn’t mind and I only took about two nursing breaks in the mothers room each day.
- Snacks. The boys were already eating Cheerios at this point. (still an absolute favorite)
- Colorful books to entertain them.
- Chew toys for their teething days.
- A blanket for once they fell asleep.
- Extra clothes for “accidents”.
- Extra diapers ( just in case )
21 months old
- Snacks. Every kind of snack they like. We had crackers, cookies, grapes, mango, cereal, fruit chews, yogurt… you name it. Food is your friend. It keeps them entertained and quiet while you can listen to the program.
- Tire them out before hand. Walk, walk, walk. That meant that about an hour in they were ready for a nap.
- Pick a dark or quite corner to put them to sleep if they are the kind of baby that needs to be rocked and doesn’t just fall asleep on you on their own. Our boys sleep on their own on their cribs, but once out of the house they need to be rocked.
- Magnetic writing tablets, because they see everyone else taking notes and they will want a paper and pen.
- Extra clothes for “accidents”.
- Lunch break = break loose and get tired time. Which meant that after break we were able to enjoy most of the afternoon program uninterrupted because they were asleep.
- Patience. Lots of patience. Children at this age are all wiggle worms. Just like you, there will be so many other moms in the same situation. We are all in this together. If yours is screaming right now because he’s tired, mine will be doing so ten minutes from now. Helping each other out and not feeling guilty for the way they behave is the biggest thing about keeping calm. Convention is meant to nourish us, and although it’s not the same with kids in-tow, we can still enjoy the program (or pieces of it) if we are patient.
Days one, two and three we attempted to some what match our clothing without looking like we were part of a band. D will pretty much wear whatever I get for him so I’m fortunate in that sense that he’s not picky. A lot of my fellow JW moms ask me about where I buy our meeting/convention clothes for the boys because it is quite difficult to find abundance for boys as opposed to for girls. Dresses for the girls are everywhere! But that doesn’t mean I am not up for the challenge! I will find handsome clothes for my little men if it means I have to sew them all myself. These are the stores we often shop for these outfits and what they wear on a weekly basis: Gymboree ( our favorite and go-t0 for almost everything they wear ) ( both their vests, white shirt, khaki & navy blue pants and brown shoes are from there ), Crazy 8 ( teal blue shirts are from there ), Janie & Jack ( checkered and plaid shirts are from there as well as their colorful bow-ties), Carter’s ( faux-leather shoes ), Target ( pinstripe pants and striped socks ) and the rest of the bow-ties my mother and I make them all the time for them when we have a particular color in mind.
As far as our clothes, we like to shop months in advance and save for future dates. That’s just the way I have always been. You can right now walk up to my closet and find articles with the tags still on waiting to be worn. It’s all there for a rainy day or a special occasion.
William and Bella have the cutest bond… nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Poor Matt is left as a third wheel. I know that they will all be the greatest of childhood friends and it’s the cutest thing to know that they have been so since they were in our tummies.
As always, convention weekend is a great time to feel spiritually nourished and refreshed as well as a time to reunite with our friends we haven’t seen in a while. Every year it seems like we say it was the best assembly yet and every year I am proven wrong. We are so grateful to receive such uplifting information that helps us be better everything, witnesses, spouses, parents and individuals. I know that for me personally every year it’s the extra push I’ve been needing to work on my goals. I hope all of you who attended enjoyed your assembly and are looking forward to the next one! Moms, if you have any questions as to anything this post related, don’t be shy to ask. On Saturday I ran out of diapers, and another mom was looking for Children’s Tylenol and there went the mommy circle all helping each other out. 🙂