Kids, parenting, Uncategorized

Let it Go

Life UnEdited #9

As I cleaned up after dinner I looked under the table…. I saw rice everywhere, smashed vegetables, and, a few candy wrappers.

I began to be frustrated because honestly, how could the kids make such a mess?! Is it really that hard to not get food on the floor?

I could feel my patience slipping as I cleaned up. This area had already cleaned up during dinner when the water spilled because the kids were too busy playing around than being careful.

I could feel myself getting mad at my kids all over again for their “carelessness.”

I had the choice right then and there to let these events bother me for the rest of the night or to Let it Go… So What did I choose?

Let it Go

Being the stubborn person that I am I really wanted to still be frustrated, but I decided to LET IT GO! And guess what happened?

As I cleaned up the rice and the smashed vegetables I became grateful for all my kids and how much joy they bring to my life. I became grateful for the fact that we have so much food that we could even spill some and feed the birds when we throw it in the trash. I became grateful that my table was full of happy kids that were sitting with us laughing and having fun during dinner.

It’s not fair for us as parents to become frustrated with our kids and hold things against them. Our kids are the most loving people we will ever meet. They forgive us every day for our shortcomings as parents. kids put all their trust in us. How do we repay them at times? IS it with frustration because of spilled rice and smashed vegetables? As we let it go we learn to love more and we will continue to have more joy in the journey of parenthood.

let-it-go

Kids, Mom Life, parenting, Uncategorized

I Screw Up as a Mom!

Life UnEdited #8

The other day I was driving in the car just thinking. I was thinking about all the times I had screwed up that day. That morning I accidentally overslept and Chase woke me up, telling me it was time to get up so that he could get on the bus on time. Then there was when I forgot to put the laundry soap in the washing machine. This leads me to have to do ANOTHER load of laundry. The best was when I THOUGHT I could leave TJ in the living room for 5 seconds… Boy was I wrong! I found him chewing on Talie’s training potty (BLAH!)

I screw up EVERY SINGLE DAY, A LOT! Do you?

I have always felt guilty for all these screw ups, I think it is only normal, but as I drove something happened. I actually started to be THANKFUL for every time I had screwed up.

I am thankful Chase was responsible and got out of bed and loved me enough to come check on me. I am thankful I have a washing machine to help me do the endless amounts of laundry. I am thankful that I have fewer diapers to change and my living room is the “pee station” for Talie.

It is so easy for us to always feel guilty for all the things we don’t get right, but why do we do this? Why do we make ourselves feel so guilty for the mistakes we make? EVERYBODY screws up, and we forgive EVERYBODY else, but yet we have such a hard time forgiving ourselves!

Let’s make it a goal this week to forgive ourselves for our screwups and be thankful for the life lessons we learn from our mistakes!

 

 

 

Blogmas, Christmas, Holidays, parenting, Uncategorized

Teaching kids to Enjoy Giving, Not Just Recieving

Welcome to Blogmas 2017! Today Katelynne is guest blogging for us from The Disguised Supermom! Visit her at her website and say, “Hi!”

Anyone else find that their kids get an extra case of the “gimmies” this time of year? The list of things they need seems to be endless and it’s no surprise since they are constantly bombarded with images and ideas of things they have to have. It drives me crazy, but it’s not actually their fault. I believe it’s the culture that surrounds them and more importantly, the example we set for them. If we want to raise kids who are just as excited to give than to receive, we need to teach them its importance.

As parents, we are trying to fight against this trend of “me-first” and raise our children to think of others before themselves, to do good in the world and always be on the look-out for ways to help somebody. There are great books to read, movies to watch and conversations to be had around these ideas but the truth is, our children will mirror what they see. Or more accurately, who they see – us, their parents.

I see two ways we can be more intentional about teaching our kids the joy that can come from giving to others, both which fit perfectly with this holiday season.

 

First, involve them in gift giving within the family. Let them help come up with the list of people that you need to purchase or make gifts for. For us, this includes grandparents, aunts and uncles. The kids also love adding each other and mom and dad to the list. Once you have your list of people, ask them to help you brainstorm ideas. Even if you already know what you’re getting them, give them a chance. I’m always impressed by the thought my kids put into it – even if the actual gift idea seems crazy to me!

If you’re purchasing gifts, consider bringing them with you when you do the shopping. Yes, it will probably take a little longer and maybe more stressful but it will be worth it. My kids get so excited to help pick out gifts for others! Make no mistake though, they still need a gentle reminder from time to time to think about who the gift is for instead of themselves – especially if we’re at a toy store!

If you usually make your gifts (or even if you are purchasing gifts yourself), let the kids make their own gifts to give. The gifts can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them – the age and personalities of your kids will probably determine this. Kids love giving people homemade creations and most people I know also love receiving them.

Kids can also make or decorate the cards, gift bags or wrapping paper.   Last year, I purchase 2 rolls of plain brown packaging paper to wrap our gifts in. Once they are wrapped, the kids get to decorate them with markers, crayons, and stickers. You can be sure they were more excited to hand those out than the ones in store-bought paper!

The second way to teach your children to think of giving over receiving is through acts of kindness. Last year, we started the tradition of doing as many acts of kindness throughout the month of December as we could. Before the month started, I had a general list of ideas I planned to incorporate but the kids quickly started coming up with their own ideas too. Again, how you implement this depends on the ages of your kids, but it can be done with any ages!

Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Bring coffee or hot chocolate to the Salvation Army workers outside the supermarket
  • Visit an elderly neighbor who lives alone
  • Donate food to the food pantry
  • Make Christmas cards for a nursing home
  • Leave a treat for the mailman
  • Make thank you cards for the librarians
  • Take supplies to an animal shelter
  • Donate a pair of pajamas to a child in foster care

hot-chocolate-winter-chocolate-hot

There are countless acts of kindness that can be done with very little prep and minimal money. My kids are young (5, 3 and 1) so I try to keep our list do-able for them. I want these activities to be things they can do themselves. For example, when we donated food to the food pantry, we went to the grocery store just for this and the kids each got to pick 5 items to purchase. Last year, I brought them to the aisles with the staples – pastas, canned goods, cleaning supplies – but my oldest insisted on going to the baby aisle. When I asked why, she responded: “I want my 5 things to be baby food, babies need to eat too.”

If we give our kids the chance, they will rise to the occasion.

Things are simpler for them –

Someone is hungry, of course, we feed them.

Someone is cold, of course, we get them a coat.

Some kids won’t get presents this year, of course, we should get one for them.

Somewhere along the lines as we grow up, things become more complicated but kids are naturally giving people. It’s our job as parents to nurture that instinct by giving them a strong example to follow.

 

image

Katelynne is married to her high school sweetheart. She is a stay at home mom raising three little ones (ages 5, 3 and 1) in Connecticut. You can find her running around with the kids, homeschooling, chasing chickens in the backyard or curled up with a good book and strong cup of coffee. She blogs at www.thedisguisedsupermom.com about how mamas can simplify life at home and how to incorporate literature into your everyday living and learning.

Marriage, married life, My Life, relationship skills, Uncategorized

Surviving Home Improvement!

heaven help me

Two months before my husband and I got married we bought a fixer-upper in the perfect neighborhood in the city we were living in. We knew he had two months to fix it up and get it to our standard of liveable before we combined households and moved in. I never realized  how difficult it was to survive Home Improvement projects with a spouse! 

This house was disgusting when we bought it; it needed a whole new paint job because of booger stained walls, it needed new carpet because of fecal matter from pets, it smelt like a zoo had been living there for years, the tile floors needed to be stripped down because the previous owners tried a DIY project that obviously went bad, the cabinets were caked with 3 inches of grease, the countertops had lost its grout because of poor maintenance, and the backyard was unfinished. Sadly, this house was only 5 years old and had sustained this much damage and abuse. They always say buy the worst house in the best neighborhood, well we did!

Looking back, we were so ill prepared for what we were going to take on as a “happily engaged” couple. We had set a budget and had an idea of what we needed to do, but that was about it. We were blindly heading into this project having never worked on a project together before, never really talked about decorating, or desires.

I recall our first “discussion” about the house when I realized that renovating a house with anyone, especially my fiance might have been the worst thing I ever decided to do!  One night, we were talking about paint colors and painting when I suggested that we paint the house a few different colors (not all in the same room) to give the house some character. I also suggested we paint the house a nice warm color that was not tan because at that time everyone’s house was tan. The look that was shot across the room for suggesting something other than tan was priceless! He then followed it up  with, “What do you mean a different color, we are painting it tan.”

Continue reading “Surviving Home Improvement!”

Uncategorized

Oh My Goodness! The Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award

Last week I was happily surprised when I was nominated for the LIEBSTER AWARD by Anna Krawczyk at The Runaway Blog! This award is given by bloggers to other bloggers. Its purpose to recognize new blogs and give them a chance to grow their audience. It also allows us to share some personal information with our readers so they can get to know us a little better!

Here is the list of the official rules for 2017.

I want to thank Anna Krawczyk at The Runaway Blog for choosing me as one of her nominations! I really appreciate her choosing me for this award! Starting a blog a couple months after having baby #5 has been a challenge and at times I have wondered if you wonderful readers like what you are reading and this award is great motivation to keep going and writing for you all! Continue reading “Oh My Goodness! The Liebster Award!”

Uncategorized

Staying Involved When You’re Apart From Your Kids

Ever since my ex-husband and I had gotten divorced we always lived less than a mile apart. It was such a blessing for the kids. After school, if they felt like coming over to get help from me with homework they would just ride their bike or walk. If they felt like seeing if their dad was home to play baseball with them they would do the same. It allowed us to be at all their school events, sports, and equally involved in their school life. When a family vacation came up, we would both make arrangements to the schedule so they could always attend and bond with their family. This all changed 2 ½ years ago when my husband got transferred 1800 miles away.
7-Ways-to-stay-involved-in-your-child's-life-when-you-live-apart
After much discussion, we decided that the boys would move with me to Texas and visit their Dad on all their breaks from school. With this being said it was a huge change for the kids, but we have discovered great ways to still be involved in the boy’s lives when they are away from us!

Continue reading “Staying Involved When You’re Apart From Your Kids”