Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mama Said Knock You Out

Since our move, MC has been struggling with adapting to his new school, our new home and his overall shift in birth order. We've tried, as best as we can, to give him enough attention and not make him feel like he's been robbed of his "Baby of the Family" title, but for whatever reason he's still feeling unsure of himself. He's gone from a happy, witty, confident "performer" to a quiet observer. We've talked to him regularly in an attempt to assess the problem, but midway through the year it's apparent that the problem is multi-faceted.
While I can remedy some of the problems, some of the issues are beyond my control. Just yesterday he gave us another piece to the puzzle. Apparently there's a resident bully that has been picking on him. He repeated some of the rude and crude things that this little jerk was saying and said that he even uses his reward "sit by a friend" cards to sit by him at lunch and harass him. Well let me tell you what….as soon as my head stopped swelling and my neck stopped throbbing I wanted to go to school and handle it!
Aside from the obvious reasons, I can't do that. I thought back to all of the magazine articles about bullying that I've read and they all said that parents should not step in, but rather help the child navigate from a distance. Well when it's your "baby", that's kind of hard to do. Moms are supposed to fix these types of things. Obviously I decided against bullying the bully, because I'm here typing and not in CB4.
Last night, his bedtime story was me retelling of the time that I beat up a boy in science class underneath the lab tables. I was tired of him harassing me. While I emphasized that I didn't want him beating anyone up, I let him know that I will never punish him for standing up for himself. This morning I emailed the teacher and hopefully she can help me put an end to this. If not, well….read between the lines.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Beautiful Sight


Excuse me while I crawl into my make-up drawer! Ahhhh....organization...in one area of my life, at least! I got tired of digging in my make-up bag (although it's convenient for traveling because I never unpack it), so I came up with the great idea of getting it all organized. I bought silverware caddies for my huge vanity drawer: a large tray with compartments for foundation, blush and eye shadow compacts and a smaller one for brushes and lip liner. They worked beautifully! There's still plenty of room in the drawer for other beauty products AND I can mark something off my To Do list.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jammy Jam

I'm declaring tomorrow Pajama Day! I will most likely change into clothes before picking the kids up from school, but other than that I will be in bed ALL DAY long! I can't wait! I'm utterly exhausted and have created a monster to-do list that must be tackled this weekend. It will be the first weekend that we've all been under one roof (our own) since before Christmas. That in and of itself is exciting.
We're planning another trip in the near future, but I don't want to think about that for now. For now REST is my middle name.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Active Listening-A Lost Art

In this day and age multi-tasking is expected. It's virtually impossible to get anything accomplished without juggling six balls at once. Who only uses one Window or Tab at a time when working online? Not me. I don't even use one cell phone app. at a time. Sad.
Oftentimes giving so much of ourselves simultaneously, means that we're not present for some of the moments that we're trying to be productive. Sounds counterintuitive, right?
One of my biggest pet peeves is having to repeat myself multiple times. This is a sign (to me) that I'm not being heard, or more specifically listened to. For the record, it is possible to hear without listening. I can hear a noise outside my house, but not be able to recognize or decipher the sound if I'm not actively listening to/for that noise. (That may not be the best example, but it's the best I can do at 8 a.m.)
I've created a cue card for our family that details "How To Listen":
1. Stop what you're doing.
2. Look at the speaker.
3. Stop or pause your thoughts.
4. Summarize or confirm what you've heard.
5. Respond if appropriate.
* Use what you heard as a reference in the near future.

I, too, am guilty of not always being the best listener. This will be a point of reference for me as well. Will it cure our listening disorder? Of course not! if it only makes us more aware of how inattentive we are, that's a start!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Budding Artists

On a trip to the local craft store this week, I grabbed a package of blank canvases for a small freestyle weekend project. I've been wanting to try it for a while and decided to go for it. They were very cheap and I figured it would be an easy way to entertain the boys this weekend, since I'm flying solo (the hubby is out of town).

I gathered up all of our supplies and gave a few tips, but other than that I let them have at it. MC has been waiting with bated breath since I told him about the project earlier this week. JB was a little more apprehensive, but he knows my rule: "You can't mess up art."


Wow! Take a look at my one of a kind artwork. Now, I'll have to find a place to hang it. I have a feeling we'll be doing this again soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brown Bagging It


What's the big deal? Monotony! Every day…same thing…same thing…every day!
Why? The children are soooooo picky about what's packed. Preferences and peer pressure probably play a huge part. (Wow, check out that alliteration!)

Because I'm a major foodie, it drives me bananas! Sure it would take longer, but I'd love to pack sushi, potstickers, sliders, tacos….the list is endless. But….nope, every day it's turkey and cheese on crustless wheat for one and ham and wheat (no cheese) for the other, tortilla chips, juice box. I even tried roasting chicken and turkey breasts for sandwiches instead of using processed meat (too many nitrites), but it wasn't very popular. I try to jazz it up with lettuce. (Whoa, don't hurt yourself!) I also sometimes swap the chips for carrot sticks and alternate desserts between yogurt, fruit and sometimes a candy treat.
Earlier this week I actually got excited about buying new bento boxes and all the creative ways they could be filled.

The only consolation is that the boys eat well at home. Of course they enjoy snacks and treats, they eat lots of veggies and still drink plenty of milk. We eat a big variety of foods for breakfast and dinner, so that one boring, brown meal a day won't kill them.

Holy Smokes, Batman!!

It's unfathomable that the first month of the new year is more than half gone! Things are flying by at lightning speed!
Here's what we've been up to:

School projects-They're out of control!
Midnight feedings
Weekend road trips
Restocking food and household supplies -This has become a chore and a pain.
Laundry-It's cloning itself!
Celebrating a birthday-After a weeklong celebration, I let the birthday boy know that we will not do it big again until he's 13!

On the crafting scene:
Not so much. Of course I have a list:
Make 2 Christmas wreaths (per a family member's request)
Paint game table and chairs-They're all upstairs, so I'm trying to figure out logistics. Not feeling up to lugging it all down.
Make art/memo storage for boys' study nook
Homemade Valentines and cupcakes for hubby's office

On the home front:
I've tried to stick to prioritizing cleaning/organizing before decorating, but my brain lumps it all together. I'm eager to get to the fun stuff (decorating) and I have lots of pins on Pinterest with ideas that I'd like to try, especially in my master bathroom and pantry. I'm all about logistics and systems and I just can't seem to figure it out. I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with lack of sleep and constant interruptions. It's even too much for my ADD (self-diagnosed)!

I must admit that I'm annoyed that I've yet to get my house organized since our move last August. I guess I'll keep trying to eat this elephant one bite at a time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's for Dinner?


I am SO tired of being harassed on a daily basis about what we're having for dinner! A few weeks ago I bought a cheap chalkboard from a local hobby store. Originally I wanted to insert it into fancy picture frame; but, unsure of the amount and quality of "Jimmy rigging" that it would require, I opted to repurpose a frame that I found in storage. Maybe I'll eventually splurge on the frame, but for now this will have to do. If I can just remember to post the menu a night in advance all will be well in the world.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

It's a new day and a new year. It feels great to have a fresh start! There are 365 new squares on the calendar waiting to be filled. How exciting!
My prayer is that this year brings to fruition things that my loved ones and I have been believing for. I'm not talking about a generic "Prosperous New Year" wish, but an answer to prayer, diligence, and faith: a harvest.

My themes for the year (couldn't pick just one) are "Simplify" and "Choose Joy". Who knows, maybe the two are related!

Happy New Year!

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