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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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About two years ago my Kung Fu Instructor, Sifu Sarah, told me that she was using juicing to treat her husbands cancer. During our conversation I was amazed at the power of juice and thought, well that’s good to know if I ever get sick. Her daughter told me to watch Forks Over Knives, available on Netflix instant, and I thought, sure I will but later.

I was not ready to get rid of my hamburgers just yet. Fast forward a year and I had started to think more seriously about food mostly because as the main meal maker for my growing family it was my responsibility to keep us healthy. So as I was scrolling through my instant queue one rainy day looking for a movie I saw Forks Over Knives, and thought Ok, why not? What’s the worst that can happen? I am a science minded individual so that documentary really hit me where I live.

Briefly let’s step back into my childhood. I was raised on a small farm in rural New Hampshire. We had pigs, cows, chickens and a moody horse named Captain. We ate the male cows and we milked the females. My father just recently told me he used to order twenty-five chickens each year and once they were grown we would have a rooster for dinner every week until their were only hens left, from which we got our eggs. When my parents divorced, I was five-ish, we got rid of the animals. Anyway I was and am ok with killing animals for food, just don’t ask me to do it. I would rather not eat them at all but if you want to I won’t hold it against you.

That being said, I watched the movie and I was mortified. I had been lied to. We all had. The experiments that these two men were doing, unknown to each other, had the same results. The animal protein we had been trained was our best source of protein was in fact killing us. The cause of many cancers and heart disease.

However, I still didn’t know how to make a change. I did not know how to cook vegetables. I knew how to cook meat and I was good at it. Also, there was no way my husband was giving up his beloved steak tips. So I made a conscious decision to make more veggies and less meat and starch but that was as far as it went. I also am still on the fence about cutting meat out entirely. I am still pretty much thinking “If one of us gets sick” Although after watching Food Inc., and hearing a mother talk about her little boy dying slowly over the course of mear weeks because of a contaminated hamburger, I have definitely rethought the big meat company route.

Fast forward another year and Sifu Sarah brings up juicing again. This time the juicer cost and the cost of the fruits and vegetables are what are in my way. About a week later my sister calls me up and says “We got a juicer! You should come over and have some fresh juice sometime!” So I did. It was amazing. So fresh and just delicious. So I asked what was in it, naturally. There were at least three vegetables I absolutely despise in it. So I went back to Sarah and we talked in length about what is necessary in a juicer. I then looked them up online and began to research juicing in general. That is when I stumbled across Joe Cross and his movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (also available on Neflix). In which Joe embarks on a journey to get control of his body and off prescription drugs by going on a 60 day juice fast. The results are amazing and inspiring.

After the movie I was decided. I would do a ten-day juice fast, which Joe called, a reboot, and much to my surprise and happiness, my husband will be joining me. That means that we will be eating nothing but juiced vegetables for ten days. Maybe longer if we feel we need to once we reach the ten-day goal. I will also be drinking water because I think we need just plain old water sometimes.

This is a detox that we have been in need of for quite some time. My motivation is the fact that I cannot remember a time in my entire life when I woke up feeling rested. No matter how much sleep I get, I am still tired. I thought I might have lyme disease last year because I had joint pain and I was so tired. Just exhausted and I am sick of it. The tests came back negative. I am also desperate to be able to think without bursting a blood vessel. Unfortunately I am only slightly exaggerating. When I speak there are more Uh’s and Uhm’s in it than actual words and its driving me crazy.

Mike’s motivation is trying to fit into his dress blues for Memorial Day. I will keep you updated on our progress and please remember if you are going to embark on a fast you should always consult your doctor especially if you are on prescription medications.

Maybe you think I am crazy, maybe I am. Either way I need a change and I can’t wait around for someone to tell me what’s wrong because my tests always come back normal and I don’t want todays band-aid solutions of some medicine that barely treats the side effects and causes more problems that the disease itself.

My juicer should arrive on Wednesday of this week. Mike is starting his fast on Thursday and I will start mine Friday afternoon when I get home from work. My understanding is the first three days are the hardest so I will be blogging about it each of those first few days. I want to try and vlog too so we shall see about that.

Here are a few links if you would like to check out what I have learned. If you are health driven I recommend Fat, Sick and Nearly dead. If you are science driven, Forks Over Knives. And if you are morally driven I suggest Food Inc, but have a tissue ready.

http://www.amazon.com/Reboot-Joe-Juice-Diet-healthy-ebook/dp/B00I4C4548/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399320067&sr=1-1&keywords=joe+cross

http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Sick-Nearly-Dead-Cross-ebook/dp/B00AG3SVI4/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0JAMNK5YM3RRMDJVK0ZQ

http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Sick-Nearly-Dead/dp/B004O63TX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1399320130&sr=1-1&keywords=fat+sick+and+nearly+dead

http://www.amazon.com/Forks-Over-Knives-Colin-Campbell/dp/B005K23RS0/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1399320158&sr=1-1&keywords=forks+over+knives

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Inc-Robert-Kenner/dp/B002VRZEYM/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1399321738&sr=1-1&keywords=food+inc

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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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Why Being “Just” A Mom Is Not Enough

Please don’t get me wrong. Being a stay at home mom is enough for me, but in being a mom it’s not all about me. It’s about my kids, and to be the best for them as far as I’m concerned, means being everything I ever wanted to be.

Let me explain. I want my kids to see me and my husband living our dreams. That doesn’t mean getting home at 9pm and never actually spending time with them. Before I got pregnant with my first child in 2010 I wanted to be a FBI Agent. No joke. When that double line appeared my dreams changed. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I still do (As I sit in the Cafe at work trying to get a bit of writing done before I go home to my little darlings). However, when I was young I saw both my parents working jobs they hated and all I ever heard when expressing my dreams was not “You can do it!” It was “How much money does it make?” And “How can you make money doing that?” Both practical questions but to my young ears it meant it was a bad idea and I would never make it in the world. As a result I want to show my kids they CAN.

I will not only support them and find ways to make their dreams come true but I will show them how by being a published author, and a literary agent and by selling paintings and by painting murals in nurseries and whatever else I come across. By being successful with a degree in Fine Arts, yeah that’s right Fine Arts!

I will also be following in my Best Friends shoes and fulfilling a life long dream or playing in the dirt by joining an Archeology program for the summer. Why? Because when I was five I saw Jurassic Park and have wanted to give it a shot ever since. Why not? Maybe it will be for me I don’t know but I intend to find out.

I want to show my kids that though they are my world, you only live once, so do it all. And I can do it all while being home with them. Being their Mom and reading them bedtime stories and teaching them. I don’t just want them to live in this world, I want them to be a part of this world. In whatever way makes them happy. Weather that’s living in NH for the rest of their lives being a Kung Fu Instructor or if it’s by joining the military or going to school to get a degree. I do not want them to think for one second that they cannot be whatever they want to be.

That is why being “Just” a stay at home mom is not enough for me. That’s not to say that you can’t show your kids how to follow their dreams as “Just” a stay at home mom, but for my family, I need them to see it. Too many generations sat idly in jobs they hated thinking that for whatever reason they couldn’t. My kids will see it. Breath it. Know it.

PS I want to give a quick shout out to my Mamma who is an inspiration to me as she pursues a nursing career and to my Daddy who has started his own business. I’m 100% sure he enjoys what he’s doing but I do know he did it and it’s not easy. Love you both.

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Sometimes You Just Need To Sit On The Kitchen Floor

Logan and Lucian have had a bad day. Mike and I are tired and patients have been worn very thin. After running on the elliptical I let Mike head upstairs for a nap and got the kids from their rooms since they clearly were not going to take a nap.

When we got downstairs I noticed it was about five thirty so I started dinner. As the water boiled for mac and cheese, the kids started to torment each other in the kitchen. No amount of yelling, or talking to, or any of that parenting crap worked. So finally, I just sat down on the floor. I gave Logan a long hug. He finally wriggled out of my arms and ran off to play as Lucian climbed up my leg for his turn. After a much shorter hug he escaped and they played nicely until dinner was ready.

I know what you are thinking but I had already played with both kids and given both of them tons of hugs throughout the day. I am fairly certain what actually made the difference was that I took a moment and a deep breath. I calmed myself and they relaxed noticeably. So the next time you are at your wits end have a seat on the floor, at kid level, give out some hugs and really feel the love.

 

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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.