Sunday, October 20, 2013

I Don't Know How She Does It!


This movie was a suggestion for a Saturday night flick and home with my hubby.  I totally related to Sarah Jessica Parker's character.  Even though the ratings are kind of bad I really recommend watching it if you work outside of the home!  Not so much if you are a stay at home mom.  Busy Phillip's character portrays that stay at home moms workout all day long and complain about WOHMs.  Clearly this movie promotes mommy wars which I do not BUT the exaggeration of the WOHMs life was refreshing. :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bedtime woes, over?, knock on wood!

I have a five year old and a ten year old and I want to shout to the world that my bedtimes woes may be over!!! Next Tuesday Parenthood starts up again I think...I think I will be able to watch it in peace!  Prior to this time in our life my 5 year old fought me at bedtime.  She fought me from Day 1.  I have no idea how I kept my sanity most days but we did find a compromise a couple of years ago.  This what we would do.

An overworked family's bedtime routine:

8:00 PJs, brush teeth, read to her
8:15  Kindle time, (facebook  time for me) in bed (yes we tried this with and without) it was much better with.  At this time I cozied up at the foot of bed with my computer.  Why didn't I blog more?
8:45 Lights out
10:20 She finally fell asleep (and yes electronics had NOTHING to do with this, we tried it both ways).  However when I learned that she needed an absolutely quiet atmosphere in our tiny house I banned the rest of the family to the basement.  Apparently I live with night owls and I'm not one!!!!  After I learned this her bedtime started to back up until she was sleeping 9-7.  Now with the start of Kindergarten she falls asleep almost instantly and I don't need to sit in there during this time.  I was so afraid to stop that I just didn't.  Until last night.  The Big Brother Finale was on and she put herself peacefully to sleep.  *Angels singing*

I LOVE BEING A SCHOOL AGE MOM!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Extracurricular activities-Do you push or do you let them quit? --Learning from experience

One of the most difficult things I have had to decide as a parent is what role extracurricular activities will play in my kids' lives.   I am a pretty laid back hands off parent and let them make a lot of their own decisions.  However I have always loved music and dance so when the opportunity to sign my oldest up for Kindermusik at 18 months I jumped at the chance.  We loved it, it was a mommy & me activity so I loved spending the one on one time with her singing, dancing, reciting poems and I believe Kindermusik is a highly educational thirty minutes (it helps with reading and math connections as well as beginning a music foundation). 

Then soccer came onto the scene.  I learned a lot about my oldest four year old in soccer.  I learned that she was not motivated intrinsically.  She was pretty lazy unmotivated on the field so we did the unthinkable.  We bribed her with a Webkinz to score a goal (I'm pretty against bribing but I do NOT regret this choice.  We were able to find out her potential and learned that she was extrinsically motivated.  The goal from then on was to help her become self rewarded and proud of her own accomplishments).  She was on fire that day and scored three goals.  Our very bright, but not very athletic girl had the ability to predict where that ball would go and set herself up in a position to score.  She became good in the year that she played but did not like to run or where shin guards so we let her quit.   

It was OK though because Kindergarten was upon us and school was definitely going to be our number one priority.  However my urge to have a little dancer did take over and we started her in a small town, laid back dance studio where the focus was on fun.  Along with dance she did some 6 week activities (soccer, basketball) and in January she rejoined Kindermusik.  That was more activities then I thought I would let her engage in as a 6 year old but she handled it well.  (As a former Kindergarten teacher I do strongly encourage that you follow your child's lead this year and into first grade).

First grade= smooth sailing with Kindermusik and dance with a little basketball.  The youngest started Kindermusik this year at the age of 18 months.

Second grade- we added piano to the mix because Kindermusik was over and she had a strong music foundation. Through other things (bike riding) we learned that she still needed a push to conquer things that challenged her and thought piano would be a good way to do so (school was pretty easy for her).  I was right, piano was challenging but we positively encouraged her to stick it out.  In the summer before third grade we dabbled with some camps in the summer which included a competition dance team that was challenging but also very good exercise and I learned that my child forgets she has asthma and exercises her little buns off when she's dancing.  However she was not ready to make the switch to competing (looking back she probably was but I was taking her lead). 

Third grade- Little sister starts dance at age 4 and M continues to dance and play piano.  Piano was a struggle and a fight.  She was supposed to practice 5 days a week and her teacher had to tell her that practicing meant she had to play the song 5 times (M needed the line drawn in the sand).  So basically 25 times a week.  This was a parenting challenge as well as a challenge for her.  I am not a nagging parent.  My kids know the expectations, I leave them alone to meet those expectations and every once in awhile we discuss what is going well and what is not.  Piano was not.  One week, after not practicing at all, and then getting into an argument about it, I put it in her hands and said, "Piano is tomorrow.  If you want to go you will sit and play 25 times or I will not be giving you a ride to piano."  This is the first time that quitting was even an option.  I put it in her hands and guess what she did?  SHE PRACTICED!!!!  That was such a turning point for her confidence and belief in herself. 

Fourth grade-  I made the decision to switch her to competition dance.  She didn't want to do it because it was hard but I pushed her and made the decision for her.  My main motivation for this is because she was giving up on sports, starting to become a couch potato and used her asthma as a crutch for not doing kid things like playing outside, running or even going for a walk with me.  Comptetion dance was 2 hrs. a week that I knew she was doing something healthy for herself.   In JANUARY she went to her first competition.  She was hooked!!  In March she wrote an essay about it being the best moment in her life.

This brings us to the now.  She has been invited to dance a level up (with high schoolers) begged to start clogging (which she is suprisingly good at and practices all the time) and started flute lessons.  On her second lesson it was recommended to me that she take private lessons because she was quite good apparently and become the youngest on this private flute teacher's roster.  A few days ago she actually thanked me for pushing her through piano and dance because she is doing things she never dreamed she would be able to do and now this girl welcomes a challenge.  I asked her how she felt dancing with high schoolers while her friends are in another group and she said, "I'm lonely right now and it's hard but I want the challenge." 

I cried. 

And then she told her 5 year old sister that didn't want to do competition dance, "yes you do.  It is fun and you will love it." (We will sign her up but we will also look for signs of stress and pull her out if necessary.  I think that is still ok at this age.)

My advice to anyone facing this same very hard decisions about whether or not it is OK to push your child,  just be mindful, be supportive, and listen to them.   Give it time, listen to your instincts and you will know when it is too much.  If your gut is telling you to give them a push then do it. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How to watch every episode of FRIENDS for free

So, I've been MIA for a while.  After changes grade levels (from K to 2nd), remodeling the kitchen and  already taking our big vacation in March (Arizona), I'm not doing much of anything this summer and it feels FABULOUS!!!  Don't get me wrong, I have lots to do since getting a year of 2nd under my belt, just not a lot to talk write about and I haven't started yet.  So let me tell you what I HAVE been doing.

I started watching FRIENDS on Nick at Nite and really got back into it.  Then Bubbly Blonde told me about it playing on TBS.  Even though they play the episodes in order, I was really craving the first season and eventually every.single.episode from the beginning.  So I began by copying and pasting the episode names and order from Wikipedia. This way I can highlight what I've watched as I go and if I catch an episode on TBS or Nick at Nite I highlight those too.  On this date I have watched 56 of 236 episodes so far this summer.  Pathetic, obsessive, or fun?  My vote is fun.  If you want to join in this fun go to this you tube link to start with episode one.  You watch them in 3 minute chunks but they are all there and free!  After denting both cars yesterday (yes in one day) free is good!

Here is my favorite three minute clip from season one



                    Friend meme borrowed from here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Exercise Game: Bachelorette or Bachelor



Exercise Games: Bachelorette or Bachelor


5 push-ups- someone appears drunk


30 sit-ups-hot tub scene


15 jumping jacks- someone is making out or kiss


Plank during one commercial


25 squats during the rose ceremony


5 burpees when Chris Harrison says "most dramatic" _________


20 butt kickers if someone cries

10 jumping lunges if someone says drama


1 min. wall sit for punches


5 summo squats for bleeping (5 per bleep)


 10 tri-dips everytime someone says amazing 



Down Dog 1 min. every time someone says fairy tale 



Drink lemon water through the whole show......



 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Kitchen reveal!

BEFORE




I have some artwork to hang yet.

AFTER

Kraftmaid Layton Peppercorn cabinets. Frigadaire appliances. Behr Lemon Pound Cake Paint.



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Arizona vacation

For spring break this year we flew to Apache Junction and mingled with the snow birds!  We had a lot of fun packed into our long short weekend away.  We went Thurs.-Mon. but since Thursday and Monday were travel days we could only do things Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Besides visiting with my parents we visited
IKEA! (I had no idea that place had good cheap food! We ate TWO breakfasts!)
the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet
Filly's Roadhouse
Goldfield Ghost Town
and hiked the  Hieroglyphic Canyon TrailI recommend them all!!!

Superstition Mountain.  The trail we hiked is somewhere in there. 
At the beginning of the Hieroglyphic Trail


Desert picture near the top of the trail.  The scenery was breathtaking.  
Notice how rocky the trail was.  It is labeled as easy and I did see all ages on it but my dad and M did turn around about this point and one of the fell on the way down.  Be prepared and careful if you try this trail!!  However it is free and you can always turn around. I think it took is an hour to get up there and about 30 minutes to get back down.  We could've spent another 30 minutes enjoying the scenery at the top but we were on a time constraint.  
Breathtaking views.
At the end of the Hieroglyphic Trail.  Notice how you are just boulder climbing at this point.  
Goldfield Ghost Town
Tuckered out J on the plane ride home.

A few tips for flying with kids.  A Thirty-One cinch sack is a must (in my eyes) as well as a crossbody purse.  Less is more on the plane.  The kindles were enough along with the window seat.  The tylenol was necessary and  we did bring a pillow pet and it did come in handy!!