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Summer With Kids

As some of you know, I was planning to homeschool my kids at one point. That didn’t really pan out but I do take the boys educations very seriously and do what I can to supplement the education they get or will be getting from the public school they attend. Part of that is making sure they don’t loose everything they’ve learned over the summer.

Logan’s teachers were great about sending things home for him to do over the summer and I signed him up for free tutoring through a program he’s in to get extra attention with reading and math skills.

To help keep him in the school mindset I also bought one dollar workbooks for him and Lucian to work on after lunch.

After Logan’s first tutoring session I have been told that he will not have any trouble in first grade! Parenting win!

The takeaway here is that even if your kids attend a public school, their education is your responibilty. I am so lucky to be able to stay home with my boys and I know not everyone has this opportunity. Even with busy schedules, there are small things you can do to keep your kids on track. Reading them is a big one. If you work third shift and aren’t home at bedtime, read to them whenever it works for you. I assure you they don’t care if it’s a bedtime or middle of the day story. You can also buy these workbooks and assign them pages to do while you’re at work. You can grade them and go over it in the minutes you have to spend with them.

Hope you and your family are having an excellent summer vacation!

 

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Juicing Update

Hey everyone! I have had my juicer for over a week and while I was unable to start a fast or reboot because of timing issues, I have been juicing every day and started replacing some meals with juice, I still lost six pounds!! I am beyond excited since I had ten pounds of baby weight from Lucian that I just could not shake. Also I have that stubborn belly fat pouch thing which is shrinking.

I cannot wait to try the fast. I know its going to be tough especially since I will still be making meals for my boys but it will be worth it. I will keep you updated. 🙂

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To Be a Stay At Home Mom

So, when I first started this blog I talked about possibly having to get a job and how I both liked and disliked the idea. Well, in about September of last year I got a job at a large red retail store who shall remain nameless.

At first I was so happy to be making money everything else seemed worth it. The kids had a hard time with me being gone and I had a hard time when, a few weeks after I started they no longer came to me with their boo boos and problems. Of course so close to the holidays I was working anywhere for thirty-nine to forty hour weeks, so I thought once things calmed own everything would be fine. I will be working closer to twelve-hour weeks and all will be well in the world, right?

Wrong. Things have calmed down and I do love the people I have met and would not trade my new-found friends for anything but I miss my kids. Now more than ever. It’s like, because I see them more I need to be with them more. Kids will do that to you haha.

I don’t know if it is because I want to stay home so badly or what but I have noticed more articles about staying home vs having a career and people fighting about whose better. Don’t even get me started on the whole mom vs not mom thing. I mean really, how does having kids make you better? How does having a career make you better? Can’t we just be us and be happy with that?

ANYWAY, sorry getting back on topic, haha, but as a member of the work force I cannot wait to be home again. And it’s not because I would get to “Stay home and watch TV all day”. Staying home with your kids is work don’t get me wrong. But it’s a labor of love and it’s what I am dying to do! I will also be going to school because y kids won’t be little forever and I do have plans outside of being a mom. But while they are small and so full of life and wonder, I want to be right here in the thick of it. Boogers, potty training accidents and all.

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America, Your Insecurities Are Showing

For a very long time now it seems that we have been bombarded with negative opinions and rants, usually about something someone else did. I have been known to rant a little myself, about things that I believe to my very core. About common sense things that weren’t common to other people. For instance I believe that putting your newborn in bed with your eight and twelve-year-old for the night is not safe. There are perfectly safe ways to co-sleep. That is not among them. And a baby died because of it. As if that is not enough the baby’s sibling has to live with the guilt for the rest of their life. I would ask what they were thinking but they clearly were not.

What I am talking about right now however, are people getting mad about how other people are living. Choices they make in parenting (not dangerous choices but normal parenting, breastfeeding vs bottle those kinds of things) and religion or any walk of life really. Parenting and religion just stick out because people get so angry about them and they are such personal decisions.

What happened to live and let live? Why are people getting angry at mothers who decide to breastfeed or bottle feed? Why is it any of their business? Oh right, it’s NOT! Why are atheists so offended by people with faith? That one really gets me. They don’t want there to be a Nativity out in town around Christmas but they need a sign that says there is no god in front of the town hall. That was on the news a year or two ago and I was just blown out of the water by the hypocrisy of it never mind the stupidity. If you don’t believe that is fine and not wanting someone on your stoop preaching to you is fine. I personally find that can’t get mad at people of different religions who honestly believe they are going to save your eternal soul. I mean getting mad at them is like when Mr. Incredible gets sued for saving people. They are trying to save you and literally have your best interest at heart. So I can’t get mad at them. I don’t really listen to them either, I am of the turn out the lights and pretend you are not home persuasion personally.

I thought this was a free nation. I thought people were allowed to live as they saw fit here. Freedom of religion, the freedom to pursue happiness, freedom of speech. These are what we promise but as soon as you try to do anything you are attacked. If you bottle feed you are a bad mother, if you breastfeed you can’t feed your child in public for fear of someone yelling at you or kicking you out. And don’t tell me they just need to cover up either because plenty of people still have a problem with it. A friend of mine whose husband was in the Marines had a man complain when she fed her daughter in the airport. She was completely covered with a blanket even though it was extremely hot out, there was a mother who planned ahead and did everything she could, short of starving her child, to make everyone happy and she was still made to feel badly. On a slightly separate note if a baby is attached to a boob it’s a food source not a sex object, if you can’t figure that out you have bigger issues and should keep your mouth shut.

Once you get through the breast vs bottle stage then everyone is telling you, you need to send you child today care, they should be potty trained by now, you cannot homeschool, how could you send your child to public school?

Why do they care? Why can’t people just shut up? Or better yet be supportive! There’s a twist for you! Give being a community people want to be a part of a try? What I think it comes down to is other people’s insecurities. But again why do you care? If you wish you could send your kids to a better school but public school is all you can manage that is the best you can do for your child and that is fine! You do what you can. If you went t public school and think that is fine for your child that’s excellent. Go for it! Have fun. They are your kids, but when your sister in-law decides to homeschool because she believes it’s what is best for her kids and she is a stay at home mom anyway don’t try to make her feel bad or make points that are not even valid. Homeschooling and socialization do the research I dare you. That doesn’t mean that you should not ask questions, ask away start a conversation, a friendly conversation.

I am not saying don’t speak up for what you believe in, I am saying don’t judge other people’s beliefs. Don’t hate someone because they are gay or christian or black or white or a co-sleeper or a parent who lets their child “cry it out” Everyone is different and everyone needs to make their own decisions. Not to go all biblical on you or anything but Love Thy Neighbor, or for the atheists among you I will go Bambi on you, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And loosen up please. Everyone is so serious like every situation is life or death. If the situation is life or death, please speak up even if they end up hating you for a little while sometimes it is necessary and almost always worth it. For the sake of scale, your friend putting their child in a car seat with their winter coat on could be a life or death situation, only fleece and blankets please! Fleece will not compress in the event of an accident. On the other end of the scale we have homeschool vs public school not life or death. Homeschool is not prison and public school is there to provide an education and is a perfect valid choice.

So this ended up as a bit of a rant. Ha ha. I just wish everyone was kind and accepting of one another and I know that is impossible but we can try anyway. At least be accepting of your family. As long as they are not endangering anyone or themselves and even then you should still be nice and approach the subject carefully so they come out of it thinking of change and not how much they hate you lol. Not really funny but you get the point. 🙂

Just noticed I have a ranting category haha

Ok there was a funny movie clip I wanted to attach to this but I can’t find one with that part of the movie, go figure. Anyway the movie is Hit & Run with Dax Shepard and Kristin Bell. There are several parts in the movie where a character will lash out at another and then proceed to apologize and say they were just embarrassed. The reason I wanted to add that is because it’s funny first of all but also because it’s true. Hit and Run is on Netflix and youtube though you may have to pay for it on youtube I do not know.

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5 Reasons You Should Be Having A Family Game Night

1. Happy Childhood Memories

As a child when we went on vacation in Maine, we would all play phase 10. Every single night. It may sound a little repetitive and boring but those nights were, and remain, some of the best times of my life. We had so much fun. I still remember some of the jokes and the all around sense of happiness whether I won or lost.

2. Everyone can be included

If you have game night every Friday as we do, let a new person pick the game every week. Yes, this does mean that every now and again you will have to play one of those never-ending strategy games but it is worth it to make sure everyone is included. It would seem that every family has at least one Risk lover. I will never forget one game of risk in Maine, my brother did not like card games, my cousin had one lonely soldier in Australia so we let her live. She ended up winning the game.

3. You can form it to fit your Family

When my husband first suggested Family Game Night it was centered around the PS3 and Xbox. Soon after that we started looking into old board games like LIFE, Monopoly, and Clue. Risk also of course. Clue is my personal favorite. We had so much fun with Clue I am constantly trying to get people over to play it.

I am also attempting to start improv at family game night. You know like Whose Line Is It Anyway?  I really hope this takes because improv is a great way to loosen up and just have fun while using your imagination.

4. It’s not just for immediate Family

We started with my sister in-law two weeks ago. The following week we were able to get my other sister in-law and her boyfriend to play and now this week my third and final sister in-law will be here tonight as well as my mother in-law! We almost have a complete set! I have also invited a few friends.

TIP: If you end up with more players that a game allows make teams! The more the merrier!!

5 It’s good inexpensive fun!

We don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on non essentials. This provides us with a whole lot of fun for a relatively low dollar amount. If you are hosting you can feed a lot of people with spaghetti and sauce! If you are really strapped you can ask people bring something with them and make it a pot luck kind of thing!

Games can be pricey. We really lucked out because my Mother in-law had most of the games from when my husband was young. (Also vintage Clue, way cooler than the new one! The pieces were actual people not just lame little pegs!) We did buy Monopoly and LIFE and over the next few months I will be collecting Phase 10 and Skipbo. There are also lots of games you can play with an ordinary deck of cards! Google it if you get stuck on Go Fish!

Hopefully this has helped you decide Family Game night is something you can do at your house. Slowly collect games and just have fun with it! That is what it’s all about after all.

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It’s Ranting Time: Speaking To High School Grads About The Future

There is absolutely no need to look a wide-eyed high school grad in the eye ask them about their dreams and stomp those dreams into the ground before they even finish telling you about them. None. Ever.

YES money is important to a degree. You need money for rent, food and the other necessities of life. What you don’t need is to waste your life chasing money. If you want to get married and have ten kids go ahead! If you love to draw, build up a portfolio and have an open house. Don’t quite your day job, but try. Figure out a way. If you are good and not squeamish, try tattooing or art restoration at a museum. If you like photography give it a shot learn what you can master the craft.

If you have an amazing story to tell, sit your butt down and tell it. If no one wants to represent your master piece publish it yourself! That’s an option now! Just do it. Figure out what makes you happy and just get out there and do it. If you have a dream DO NOT let anyone and I mean anyone stop you. Like I said, don’t quit your day job, you do need to survive to make your dreams come true but don’t let that define you or hold you back. I grew up with miserable parents working themselves to the bone trying to make ends meet. My mother used to write these amazing children’s stories about a frog and I loved them. What happened to those? Life. My father is one of the most creative and talented individuals I have ever met. You want it he can figure out how to make if he hasn’t already, but he doesn’t have much time for what he loves.

My mom is going to nursing school and I hope that makes her happy. She seems to always be chasing happiness.

A lot of people thought I could make it in the fields that I found interesting and as a result I began to think I couldn’t do anything if there wasn’t a huge pay out at the end. So I sat on my butt for a year until I got pregnant and then looking at this beautiful baby I thought, “I cannot let him think like that. He can do anything. It’s my job as a parent to show him its true.”

And to all you nay sayers out there, I ask you this: Do you think Brad Pitt’s parents thought he was going have the success he has had? How about your favorite author? What about those chef’s both on TV and in the big restaurants?

No not everyone will make it and certainly not on their first try but that is no reason to think they never will. I also know that a lot of people who love the aforementioned high school grad feel that they are some how protecting their loved one by saying these things. Because it is from love I will try to go easier on you. You might have just crushed their little blooming spirit. It takes a lot to revive a crushed spirit. Most of them are completely lost. Give encouragement and remind them about the importance of a day job.

I also understand people wanting their children to move out at some point in their adult lives. Again the day job comes to mind.

If my book is a complete flop, and I sincerely hope it is not, but if it is, I will try again and again. I will be a little bit disappointed but honestly I like to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Give them that advice. Day job and hope for the best prepare for the worst. The two best pieces of advice I have ever received.

So to all the high school grads out there. Remember that your parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles love you. Remember if you have a dream to include your plan for a day job in how you go about achieving it and don’t let anyone discourage you. Find a way and most importantly be happy.

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With Two Year Olds Consistency Is Key

Logan has been a little terror lately! I do believe that, while some of it is just him being a two-year old and have a two-year olds temper, a good portion of it was because of me.

Now this is my first child so he’s like a test run on everything I have ever read seen and heard. Haha. Poor kid. Anyway, I was not being consistent with him. I have an issue where I can be persuaded in pretty much any direction if you have a convincing enough argument. Apparently, Logan noticed. I didn’t even see what was happening. I knew Logan was getting progressively more difficult and I even found my self wondering how I was going to make it to his fourth birthday. (Despite what they say the terrible twos is more of a two and half through three and a half thing. At least for boys) Until one night after spending the evening out with Logan at my Dad’s house. I had confided in my step mother, Tina, that things were not going so well. She kept noting how well-behaved he was being. It dawned on me that the problem was not with Logan but with me and my husband. We were the ones causing the problem.

My husband in anything but inconsistent. However, he is a little too strict at times and his ideas of what Logan can and cannot do are sometimes a little bit silly. LIke he doesn’t like it when Logan plays with one of those balls. All kids have them, they come from the grocery store or Wal-Mart and they are always in like a big bins or ball coral thing on the ceiling. I really hope that made sense. Anyway he doesn’t want Logan to use it in the house. I just make him roll it around in the kitchen. Why? Because if he has to go outside to play with that, I have to go outside and watch him. Which is fine on nice warm summer days but at night when it’s buggy or if its cold or rainy, I don’t think so. So I say keep it low.

So when I came home from my Dad’s house I sat down with Mike, honestly thinking it was all his fault. Ha Ha. The joke was on me though. He does need to lighten up and he acknowledged that but he brought up the fact that Logan was completely manipulating me. The perfect example would be when Logan was done eating his lunch the other day and he started to climb out of his high chair, which is not safe. Mike told him to sit back down, not acknowledging that Logan was trying to tell him he was done and wanted to get down. I rushed in and spoke to Logan while he was standing in his high chair and ended up putting him on the floor. The problem? I did not make him sit back down, I told him too but then listened when he explained he was done. So now every time he finishes his meal he thinks its ok to stand in his chair and yell for me if I’m not right there.

The solution? Always let your toddler know that you do understand what they are trying to say. I should have said “Logan, I understand that you would like to get down, but it is not safe for you to stand in your high chair.” Simple and to the point. Then I would have had him sit once he was sitting I could take him out. Seems a tad silly but really what is more important? Making your child sit only to take them out of the chair? Or your child’s safety and over all understanding of how things work. If there is ever a situation where Logan is in trouble and I told him to come to me and he didn’t because he wanted something else and he tried to argue with me, we would have a serious problem. Logan is getting it now. Do what Mom says when she says it then argue. We are all safer and happier for it. So thanks Tina and Mike. I couldn’t have figured it out without you.