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.

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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.

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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).

Days 6 and 7

July 29, 2012

I made it! I made it one week with out Starbucks. Yes, I did indulge in some fraps- but only two commercial (one with bad stuff, one high in sugar, but natural ingredients) and a couple of homemade (which had approximately 18 grams of sugar). That is probably the longest I have gone without Starbucks other than in times of pregnancy or illness. So, celebration there.

The cravings for it aren’t gone though. There isn’t a time I pass a Starbucks without a longing for my old treat. Will those go away? I’m not quite sure. Is it safe to indulge occasionally? I haven’t decided yet.

I’d like to touch on a subject that’s troubling me lately though, concerning a past and family history involving eating disorders and raising children with healthy views towards food. Today the family went grocery shopping and it was the re-grand opening of our local supermarket. They advertised tasting stations and special stuff going on, so I mentioned to Big Boy that we might be to try some snacks. I don’t know why I thought “ooh, they’ll have fruit and yogurt”, because usually , on normal sampling tables, we’ve found chips and pizza. Today was ice cream and gatorade gummies. Well, recently, at Big Boy’s annual check up, I was told to limit desserts and watch portion sizes- already a difficult thing to do because of my past. But I thought, well, it’s just a special treat, forgetting about the “special treat” cookie that I let him have at Whole Foods yesterday (partly just to get us through the store- it was a long day). Then, at the checkout line, I saw Chester Cheetah coming over. My immediate thought was “oh, Big Boy will enjoy seeing him!”, so I called Big Boy over and let him high-five Chester. What was Chester giving out? Cheeto bags of course. And, not even thinking, I watched as Big Boy accepted one and we made our way out of the supermarket.

As soon as we got to the van, Big Boy was asking for the cheetos. So, not in as much of a rush, I started thinking about all the things wrong with cheetos. But, I know it’s not great to completely restrict and make foods “good” or “bad”, so I told Big Boy he could have a few with dinner. And oh did the tears ensue. Now, he was probably hungry for lunch, tired, etc, but the tears over not having this food really played on the guilt trip already in process in my mind. When we got home, the chips were put away and, once he ate a lunch of (in my mind) healthy foods, they were more or less forgotten. He did ask about them once or twice more, and he did get some for dinner.

The thing is, this is not uncommon, and it is so difficult for me to know if this is something I am hypersensitive to it, or if I’ve done something to made food an issue for Big Boy already. Has he gotten too many confusing messages about food? Have I used it as a reward or punishment in some way? Or am I so concerned about it, that when it is an issue, I just make it into an even bigger issue? Let me tell you, with an eating disorder, guilt plays into things so much. Well, when you then try to feed your child, even when recovered, guilt seems to resurface when it comes to food! Am I feeding them enough? Am I feeding them too much? Am I feeding them the right foods? And I guess maybe I need to somehow give up that guilt. I need to take action in regards to the food issues I feel really strongly about but realize that sometimes, I just have to let go. Some weeks, chips and ice cream and cookies are going to happen- maybe more than once a day. Some days, I’m going to have to say “two pieces of pizza are it” and when they ask why, I will have to say “because two is enough” when I know it is and not try to make it into a “the doctor says pizza is a whoah food” issue.

While it’s not directly dealing with eating disorders, I think this link is a good reminder that it’s ok not to try to do everything at once when embarking on this journey to eat healthy despite our messed up food industry!

Ok, here’s to giving up some of the guilt