Party Party Party

May 7, 2013

So today I am embracing the unorganized but ambitious side of myself!   Big Boy’s birthday is around the corner, and even though I told myself last year that we would keep it simple this year, I couldn’t help but start planning a party for him and his friends!  And, of course, that means starting to plan party favors, decorations, and food.

Do I have other tasks I need to complete?  Yes.  But, I can’t help but drop a few other things and work on this.  And one good thing about having a party at our house means I am forced to either keep things continuously clean, or, do a MASSIVE cleaning right beforehand, which lasts at least a week or two.    Also, it is going to take place mainly outdoors, and in very happy news, both Big and Little Boy have been TREMENDOUSLY cooperative in playing outside nicely while I do some lawn tasks!  Yay!  They pick the dandelions, help drag sticks to the yard waste can, etc.  I hope this lasts through their teenage years!

But, nevertheless, tomorrow’s list:

Dishes

Some sort of dinner

Two loads of laundry

Call doc to get results of blood test

Call in Rx refills

Outside time!!!

Advertisements

Funny, isn’t it, that when I google “unorganized mom blog”, I find mainly abandoned blogs?  I suppose it’s just my need to feel that there are others out there like me.  I want to know that there are more moms without their days scheduled by the hour.  I want to know that there are moms out there that still have to rock or drive their toddlers to sleep for naps or the night.  I want to know that there are moms also having a hard time keeping a child entertained when trying to get dishes, laundry and meals done and rely on sprout or nick jr. for an hour or two.  That their children often engage for 5 to 10 minutes in prepared pinterest, etc activities and then ask to watch a show or have a snack.

Several mom blogs that I have bookmarked are written by women that I want to aspire to be- mainly for my kids’ sakes!   They wake up early and get things done.  They exercise regularly.  They have a regular cooking and cleaning schedule, have crock pots and make time for date nights with their husbands.  They go to bed before midnight.  And some of them work outside the house too!

Would I be a better mom if I did all of these things?  Many times, I think so.  I also wouldn’t be me.  But, is it better to sacrifice who you are (and I really do believe that fulfilling all of the above requires a different personality that I happen to possess) to be a better Mom?  Again, many times, I think maybe so.

And yet, here I am, posting at 11:30 at night, probably will not be in bed until midnight.  I drink coffee at night.  I stuff myself into the toddler bed if Big Boy wakes up and I think it means he will be up before 7.  I cook frozen chicken in the microwave, because I’m not sure how to cook more than one thing in the oven if they require different temperatures.   I let the kids snack in the living room, and now we have a few tiny ants, that I’m hoping will go away if we spray outside around the house (ack, chemicals!).  I don’t know, is “who I am” (and I know there must also be positive qualities that involve some of the same personality aspects that contribute to my actions above) helpful or harmful to my motherhood.

A little help?

May 1, 2013

So, I am a huge fan of many of the doctors I have had in the past, but lately, my experience with the medical system has been one of frustration and confusion.  One of the major issues I have had is communication between doctors (specialists) and communication between doctors and my lab!  For the past couple of days, my list has included making sure that my lab orders have been sent and are ready when I go to the lab.  I have worked on this each day, and it has taken three calls to each doctor thus far, with only one order actually arriving at the lab!   Thus, I still cannot cross this item off my list.

Tomorrow’s list:

Get one blood draw completed

Grocery store, Health food store

Dishes

Load of laundry

Jog or workout

Packing list

 

Out the window

April 29, 2013

And then there are those days that the goals just fly out the window!!!

All three of my men seem to be cycling through a rough cold with a bad cough/congestion, which have made for some rough nights at the house!  So, Fridays list?  Well, laundry got done, as did dishes, but everything else just kind of escaped me!  And it seems that, for me, once I have one off day, I just kind of…get out of gear and there goes the next two or three days.

So I’m hoping the start of the new week helps to re-kick start my list making/completing!  Tomorrow:

Call both doctors AND lab to make sure that people actually sent orders this time!!!  (frustrating!!!)

Dishes

Load of laundry

A jog with the jogging stroller either to the park or to school to pick up Big Boy- and short list of daily toning exercises.

Make hotel reservations

I’m not particularly fond of the evening format on the children’s channel that we watch, but it is the only time the Berenstain Bears show is on, so I have learned to tolerate the somewhat annoying song that is sung before the beloved bears come on.  The song is stuck in my head tonight though, and I would much rather have the song that the cute little chicken in the morning sings, especially because Little Boy has started to try to sing it and is so darn cute!!!

List making proved to be successful today!  Laundry was completed (though on a technicality), dishes were done, doc. was called, exercise was completed (though somewhat frustratingly, as youtube was acting up), groceries were purchased (great deal on mangoes!), outside time was had, the zoo game was at least attempted and someone was called.  The facebook message was not written, BUT I did not scroll though facebook posts more than once today, and I think I can keep that up!

Tomorrow!  Tomorrow is a BUSY day.  Music classes for both boys and a field trip for Big Boy which I will chaperone.

Also:

One load of laundry

Dishes

Check that lab received all orders

Small list of daily exercise

Email someone

Make a haircut appointment for boys!

Make hotel reservations

And now it’s time to say…Goodnight!

And…another long hiatus.  So, after a mix of personal health issues, family health issues, and a general sort of laziness, here I am, posting yet again in hopes of getting myself back on a somewhat continuous, organized, goal oriented path.

And I think I’m going to have to start REALLY small here- like, thinking about tomorrow small.  While I have long term sorts of goals, I find myself becoming completely overwhelmed and frustrated when I go a day or more without feeling like I’ve gotten closer to these goals.  Apparently I’m not someone who can go month by month or week by week.  I’m needing day by day here.  I need a list.  I need to see checked off items, even if they include “brush hair”.

One of my goals tomorrow is to limit my facebook time.  I am VERY tempted to delete facebook from my phone, but I do use the messaging system to meet up with other Mom’s.   But, I fear I am becoming the mom with her eyes on the phone TOO MUCH!  I am missing out on precious moments of my boys’ lives just to read about someone checking in at the grocery store.  Tomorrow I am going to compose an email to the moms’ I regularly meet up with asking them to email or text me if they need to get ahold of me.   Then, tomorrow night, I will delete the app.

My next goal is to go grocery shopping strictly for fruits, veggies and meat.  I am going to take the boys to a fairly new market, and we will choose one new fruit and one new veggie to try.

I will also complete one load of laundry all the way through and dishes (that is a constant).

I will call a doctor to order a blood test.

I will introduce a game to my boys from Pinterest that isn’t forcing them to learn colors, numbers, letters, reading- just pure fun!  Hopefully it goes over well.

I will get the boys outside for a least one hour.

I will either workout using a youtube video or take the boys on a walk in the jogging stroller (depends on the temperature!)

Finally, I will stay away from the chocolate chips!!!  I am getting enough sugar via my daily coffee  (grr…such a difficult vice to get rid of) and sometimes cookie or other sweets I have with the boys.

I will call someone special to tell them I love them!

I will make a conscious effort to remember what (or should I say who!) is truly important!

So, we did try out some new site word activities this week in addition to trying to cut down our tv time.  The week started out well.  I gave the boys a choice of three shows to watch Monday morning and we actually only ended up watching two.  And then we had a couple of rough nights, and mommy was tired, and Big Boy was tired.  But if Big Boy takes an actual nap, bedtime doesn’t happen until after 10 or 11!  By the end of the week we were back to too much tv.  I’m talking two hours or more.

I tried to have activities prepared.  We tried the site word/color game in which I labeled three cups with site words or colors and hid a raisin under one.  Big Boy lasted about four rounds before he got bored.  Little Boy lasted a little bit longer, but had eaten enough raisins and was upset when ended the game.  The site word/color parking lot game wasn’t much more successful.

I think one of the toughest parts of being a mom of two has been entertaining them at the same time.  They are far enough apart age-wise that it is hard to find activities that cater to both of their interests.  They also have very different personalities.  Big Boy is my calm reflector and Little Boy is my constant mover dump-it-outer!

I wonder if I’m putting to much emphasis on Big Boy’s learning when I’m planning activities and need to start by catering to Little Boy.  Part of my tendency to cater to Big Boy is my concern that he will be ready for Kindergarten.  I have seen the list of things kids are expected to know by Kindergarten, and it stresses me out!   All I remember about kindergarten is play time!  School is so much more challenging now.  Do I start preparing Big Boy for that? Or do I wait and deal with it when we reach that point?

This week, I think I”m going to try focusing more on shapes and colors versus reading skills.  Maybe Big Boy will stay interested longer if we are doing something he feels more confident about.

Site word tactics

March 4, 2013

I wanted to share a few of the things we’ve been doing to work on site words.  For Big Boy’s third birthday, he received some Do-A-Dots, which are AWESOME if you have not had a chance to use them (http://www.amazon.com/Do-A-Dot-Rainbow-Art-Set/dp/B00004W3Y4).   We used them a lot at Christmas when I found various sites providing free pictures that you could color with the Do-A-Dots, and recently I’ve seen pins suggesting other ways to use them.  Based on a pin using the markers to help children identify and match letters, we used them to identify/match site and color words.

P1050820

It was a short/simple activity and one that he could do somewhat independently (which is often key!).

We also tried this game: http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/2012/06/13/showdown/  using plain pieces of paper.  As long as I emphasized the “1….2….3……SHOW!!!” aspect, Big Boy really enjoyed this, and it also required him to work on small motor, as he wanted to keep all the cards in his hand as one would in Go Fish.

This week I want to try this game: http://sprinklestokindergarten.blogspot.com/2012/01/wheres-bear.html  and perhaps this: http://www.jugglingwithkids.com/2011/10/sight-word-parking-lot.html

I’m hoping to try a color versions of these games with Little Boy.

In other news…

One of my main goals this week is to reduce our tv viewing.  I’ll admit- it is SUCH an easy go to when I want to get something done.  Big Boy has a really hard time playing independently, and that is my fault.  So, my goal this week is to help BOTH little men to become more confident independent players (workers, really).  This is not only for my sake (but def. a big part of it- dinner needs to get made, dishes have to get done), but because I don’t want them to think that they can’t come up with their own ideas for play.  This may take a little more flexibility on my part as far as materials/toys I’m going to be willing to get out, and Husband may have to get used to a little extra mess when he gets home!!!  Trying to talk to Big Boy when he watches TV has become impossible, and that’s why I KNOW we need to kick this habit.  Tomorrow, I’m going to start by letting them choose three programs they want to watch during the day.  That said, I think I’d better post my other goals tomorrow night.  I’ve got some “independent activities” searching to do!  We shall see how this goes.  Maybe I should find my headphones.  There could be some screaming and whining involved!

If anyone who reads this blog has any advice on this, please, advise away.

January-February

March 3, 2013

So…one thing I should work on for March- organize passwords!!!!  That goal speaks for itself 🙂

On helping big boy read, well, we’re coming along.  We’ve got a good start on sight words.  Tomorrow I plan to post some of the activities we’ve tried.  Most of them I found on Pinterest.  He can identify the, and, of and was.  Next I want to work on pronouns.  I’m trying to make sure that I’m not forcing this on him, that I’m being relaxed with the activity and stopping when he seems bored or frustrated.  He does seem proud when he can identify words in various contexts!

Little Boy is more of a hands on learner it seems.  He is my little chef, who is happiest in the kitchen with me or using my pots, pans and cooking utensils!!!  We did try “color boxes”.  Each week I had Big Boy help me fill a box with items (toys) of one color.  To be honest, I think Big Boy enjoyed the activity and silly song I made up to go with it than Little Boy, but that is perfectly fine!  I also began discussing colors in a different way based on the linked article below (i.e. I say “Let’s put the grapes that are green in the pot”.)

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-johnny-name-colors  

Exercise is going well.  I’m doing mixed strength/cardio workouts for about 30 minutes two to three times a week (depending on how often Big Boy goes to school :)).  I’m not feeling a ton of difference as far as energy, but I’m sure it’s not hurting.

Cooking- a work in progress.  It has happened two times a week more weeks than not, but finding something that everyone can/will/should eat in our house is QUITE A task!!!!  I have enlisted the help of my mother-in-law.  Surprisingly, to me, it took a bit of pride swallowing to ask for help with learning to cook.  I’m not quite sure why since most people who know me (mil included) know that one or two years ago we would have eaten sandwiches or eaten out 365 a year if we didn’t have a microwave in our house.  OH- and we got a meat thermometer, which has allowed me to cook meat without constant paranoia that I have just given my family salmonella!!!

And, last but not least….coffee….(hide self in shame).  Let’s just say, it’s not happening.  Or, shall I say, coffee is ALWAYS happening.  And, per usual, it’s not just the coffee.  It’s the sugar.  Delicious, addicting sugar.  Everyone has their poison I guess.  Is this mine?  I guess so, but I NEED to kick this.  The question is, can I kick it just a little, or is this something I have to kick hard, out, for good?   Do I say “It’s just not something I’m ready to give up right now”, and take the easy way out?

Coming tomorrow, Goals for the next month(s).

So, as to not overwhelm my unorganized, easily over-stimulated self (and because I’m typing in a different location that isn’t very comfortable on the wrists :P) I’m going to address the steps I plan to take to achieve my goals one day, one goal at a time.

One of my goals is to help Big Boy learn sight words which is leading towards a general goal of having him reading by kindergarten. I have a couple of things I want to try this month. When it comes to sight words, I plan to bring his attention to them during our daily book reading and to try this strategy, as spatulas are very popular in our household right now. This month, I would also like to try working on syllable recognition in a round about sort of way. I have seen a few strategies on Pintrest (which, to be perfectly honest has partly inspired this whole need for goals, organization, etc) that I plan on trying such as clapping out the syllables in words and touching the hand, elbow and shoulder.

Let me be clear that I know that Big Boy does not NEED to be reading by kindergarten, and if he really seems to resist this, I will certainly let it go. It’s just that I believe he CAN, and I want to encourage reading, as I think it is a skill and hobby that can serve him in SO many ways!!!