Posted in 2017, HomeSchool Summer, Motherhood

Vacation was had!

We’re not going to talk about what I’ve eaten, when I’ve slept or got up, or any of that over the last 4 days. Why? Because I was on VACATION!

So, here’s the quick and dirty version of our trip and I’ll be back to add pictures once I recover enough to get them off the camera!

On Thursday, we traveled to Titusville, FL, just North of Cocoa Beach for our, now annual, summer trip. Our goal was to play on the Space Coast all weekend! AND BOY DID WE! We arrived just after dinner time Thursday night and set up our campsite pretty quickly. We’ve done it enough, now, that it’s pretty routine and easy. We camped at the Manatee Hammock campsite, which is a Brevard County run facility. The staff is very friendly, and very helpful, even though the site is a bit… low end? There’s a pool, and the showers/restrooms were clean, even if they were VERY warm. It’s just off Highway 1, so there’s constant road noise, but it’s very shady and very well kept. Cocoa Beach is about 20 minutes away, and Kennedy Space Center is about the same distance, so it’s not a bad place to camp for a few nights. The worst thing about the site was the amount of mosquitos and no-see-ums that bit me every time I stepped outside. We set up a pop up with mosquito netting and it did little to no good keeping the bugs out. Since I enjoy sitting outside and letting the girls ride their bikes and play while we’re camping, it was a bit of a disappointment that all of our down time was spent inside our conversion trailer.

Friday morning, we overslept a bit, but still made it out to Kennedy Space Center by 10:30. If you’ve never been, you seriously need to go. I walked under the Saturn 5 rocket, gawking at the sheet size of the thing every step, sat through what mission control was like during the Apollo 11 launch, and enjoyed a very cool bus tour of the launch pads, then came back and introduced myself to the Space Shuttle Atlantis in one of the best presentations I’ve ever sat through. The annoying thing is that they make you watch a video before you see most of the displays (the Saturn 5, the Atlantis, even the Hall of Fame), and part of that were cool (minus all the standing to watch them, anyway). The Atlantis was my favorite, though, and even though I dreaded going through a 2 part video presentation, seeing that beautiful girl through the screen and hearing a voice introducing us to the Space Shuttle Atlantis was worth every second of it. The Shuttles represent my childhood, you see, and the astronauts that flew in them fed my dreams of being an astronaut, too. I watched the Challenger explosion sitting in the hallway with the entire school of  Belle Chase Elementary School, I stopped what I was doing every time that shuttle lifted off from pad 39b and watched until they were out of range of the cameras, and I watched their reentry, too, crying like a baby when the Columbia never made it back. So being that close to the Atlantis with her arm out and her shuttle bay open… it was everything I’d wanted to see since I was in second grade, watching Christa McAuliffe give her life for the privilege of being the first teacher in space.  Am I a geek about this? Yes, yes I am. We found some great pizza for dinner after we left NASA at Mamma Rosa’s Pizzeria Restaurant which serves some GINORMOUS awesomeness, and came back to the campsite to crash. My Fitbit showed 12,543 steps for that trip and my feet owned every single one of them!

On Saturday, we ventured into Cocoa Beach, to hit a few spots, after starting our day in the pool at the campsite. We started our day at the Dinosaur Store because Peanut is really into Dinosaurs. This turned out to be even more than I had expected, as they have a very well laid out museum upstairs with real fossils scattered in among castings of fossils on display in life size awesomeness. Quite a few of those critters wouldn’t fit in a single shot on Peanut’s camera, so she killed the battery making sure she got every inch of them! Then, we splurged and bought her a real fossil of her own, a 75 million year old Raptor tooth! I even found real amber to make SCA bling with, so WIN-WIN! After this, we drove over towards Ron Jon’s Surf shop and parked in the public access lot at the Four Seasons. It’s free to park there, only two blocks from the beach, and right across the street from Ron Jon’s, so I highly recommend it if anyone needs a good parking spot when they visit! We ate at the Shark Pit Grill there at the Four Seasons, and sat at the bar next to this amazing tank with sharks, eel, and a whole bunch of other salt water fish (WE FOUND DORI!). The crab cakes are amazing, Tadpole inhaled her cheeseburger, and I don’t even remember what my husband got, but there wasn’t much left by the time he was finished, so obviously, it was good, too! Afterwards, we crossed the side street and entered Ron Jon’s Surf Shop which hasn’t changed much since we went in 1998! We loaded up on touristy goodness with T-shirts, stickers for my car, and toys for the girls. There was even a live band playing while we were there! We scoped out the beach accesses along A1A and chose our beach spot for Sunday before we returned to the campsite with enough time to get in the pool, which was very warm because it had been sitting in the sun all day.

On Sunday, we made a few stops for food and other things on our way out to one of the beaches near Patrick Air Force Base. There’s no restroom, no food, just beach down there, so there’s not a lot of tourists and the beach isn’t crowded. However, there’s sand that had been trucked in, I’m guessing, then from the tide line out is all broken shell bits. It’s not hard to walk on, but it’s really uncomfortable to sit on and if you thought sand in your bathing suit was annoying, try SHELL BITS! About ten feet into the water, are full shells that have been deposited there by waves. Getting knocked down by a wave there is VERY uncomfortable! Tadpole and Peanut didn’t care, though, and, honestly, once I got used to it, it was alright. The waves hit you with small bits of shell, too, so it’s literally everywhere. Tadpole and I sat at the edge and let the waves hit us from there, playing with the shell bits that you couldn’t make sand castles out of (just ask Peanut!) and taunting the Atlantic Ocean with things like, “You can’t find our feet!” which she promptly proved she could do by using waves to wash away the shell bits we’d buried our feet in. Tadpole, more than once, started hauling out a line from Moana, “Fish pee in you! ALL DAY!” Once we’d had our fill of the beach, we came back to the campsite, where the girls begged to get back in the pool. We rinsed the shells off of us and then got in the pool, where we stayed for another hour or so, giving my husband time to take a nap in the trailer. I will say that I hosed myself down in SPF 70, hosed the girls down, too, and I have come back with a sunburn that is deep into the muscles of my legs. I hurts to bend my knees and not just because the skin is burnt. Ah well, such is the price we pay for being a blue eyed blonde on a beach and in a pool while the sun was up. Ibuprofen has helped take some of the pain away and I’m keeping the skin hydrated, too.

This morning, Monday, we got up, packed up our site in a little over an hour (practice has made us pretty efficient at that, too) and got back on the road at 10:30. Our plans for stopping in St. Augustine were sacrificed on the altar of both my sunburn and my husband’s, whose chest resembles a lobster almost as deeply as my legs. Neither of us slept all that well because of it, so we were both tired and ready to crash. We stopped for gas and lunch, and made it home by 3:30, where we promptly crashed on the couch. I have so far managed not to fall asleep, but I can tell you… that’s not going to last much longer!

So, aside from pictures, that’s the story of our summer vacation! We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled stuff tomorrow!

 

Until next time!

~Tiff

Posted in 2017, CRAFT Time, Motherhood, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal 6.30.17

Bedtime last night: 11 PM                                         Estimated sleep time: 11:30 PM

Wake up: 8:15 AM                                                       Get up: 8:30 AM

Today’s weight: 238.6

 

MOM Time:

Today was Fun Day! I started it off by going to the Savannah History Museum and walking the girls through the history of the city I love. They weren’t interested in most of it. However, they have a scavenger hunt for the kids, so finding the things became their goal. They paid a lot of attention to it that way. I found a gorgeous floor loom in one of the exhibit rooms that made me pretty happy. The girls found all of the things on the scavenger hunt so they were happy, too! We then stopped by the craft store and grabbed rocks to paint on our way to Monkey Joe’s for them to jump around for a while. Afterwards, we hit Walmart for shopping.

CRAFT Time:

C- Finished the embroidery I was working on and beaded a rosary0630172208

R- More Seize the Dawn… almost finished!

A- Museum walking!

F- HAVE FUN!

T- blogs

 

DIET-

Breakfast- One belgian waffle, one slice of french toast, 2 slices of bacon

Lunch- nada

Dinner- Papa Joe sandwich from Jason’s Deli with 3 baked Lays

Snack- chocolate chip bake

 

LIQUID INTAKE-

24 ounces of water with breakfast

32 ounces of ICEE at Monkey Joe’s

20 ounces of Jason’s pomegranate and blueberry

12 ounces of water with snack

 

REVIEW of yesterday’s plans for today-

  • Start cleaning routine and get back to your checklist.
  • Find the charger for your FitBit and get it charged to track heart rate, sleep, and steps. (can’t find the stupid charger)
  • TAKE A WALK and Meditate after dinner.
  • Call the dr and set up an appointment for meds, and other medical issues.
  • Craft Day- Painting Rocks (still have to go buy the rocks)- POSTPONED FOR THIS WEEKEND
  • Cleaning Day- Bedrooms (and the Dining Room and Bathrooms, since we’ve been slack about those)—- are my goals too lofty here?
  • Cleaning out the veggie garden on the side of the flower garden up front.
  • Monkey Joe’s for Fun Day, hopefully the History Center for a bonus (FREE BECAUSE I ALREADY PAID FOR IT) Field Trip

 

BONUS:

We had a lot of fun today, I spent too much money… the same drill it usually is, I guess. Fun is the important part, so I’m good with that. I got some stuff crossed off my list, so that’s good. I’m thinking the cleaning routine isn’t working… I know, right? It’s probably my laziness, I’m not going to lie. I hate cleaning. It rained pretty heavily tonight, so walking wasn’t an option. I looked for the charger to my FitBit… yeah, can’t find it, anywhere.

Image result for affirmation fun

TOMORROW’S PLAN: 

  • Archery Practice (weather permitting) at 10 AM
  • Dinner at 5 PM

FYI— No blog tomorrow! I hate a hot date! 😉

Posted in 2017, CRAFT Time, Motherhood, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal 6.29.17

Bed last night: 11:30 PM                              estimated sleep time: 12-ish PM

Wake Up: 7:00 AM                                        Get up: 9:45 AM (yeah, I dozed off)

Today’s weight: 238.6

 

MOM Time: Craft day was put on hold today because the house is a wreck. So, Mom time today was spent cleaning. Once you get these two started, they’re little machines, but getting them moving and not complaining is a CHORE! 

CRAFT TIME:

C- stitching on my couch project- finished the split stitches and started working on the fills (satin stitch)

R- more Seize the Dawn

A- Cleaned the kitchen

F- Get something DONE today!

T- blog and youtube videos

 

DIET-

breakfast- chocolate chip bake

Lunch- herb and cheddar bake

Dinner- meatlover’s pizza

snack- cheese stick

 

LIQUID INTAKE-

This is where I tanked today… I had 16 ounces of water with breakfast, and 24 ounces of tea with dinner and that’s it. *Sighs*

 

REVIEW OF YESTERDAY’S PLANS FOR TODAY-

  • Start cleaning routine and get back to your checklist.
  • Find the charger for your FitBit and get it charged to track heart rate, sleep, and steps.
  • TAKE A WALK and Meditate after dinner.
  • Call the dr and set up an appointment for meds, and other medical issues.
  • Craft Day- Painting Rocks (still have to go buy the rocks)- POSTPONED FOR THIS WEEKEND
  • Cleaning Day- Dining Room (and the Den, Kitchen and Bathrooms, since we’ve been slack about those)
  • Laundry- so much laundry
  • Cleaning out the veggie garden on the side of the flower garden up front.

 

TOMORROW’S PLAN OF ATTACK:

  • *points up*
  • Monkey Joe’s for Fun Day, hopefully the History Center for a bonus (FREE BECAUSE I ALREADY PAID FOR IT) Field Trip

 

BONUS:

Today was a strange day. I set out to do so much and failed spectacularly at them. I started trying to do some research for a class I want to do at the Clover this morning while I ate breakfast. Nothing I needed was online, anywhere. Worse, the document that had it all in it, they want to charge me $25 for. It’s not available online, anywhere. No digital copies. Since it’s a handbook, that doesn’t really make sense to me. So, fire lit, lots of people picking up their own torches and running with it. I tried to distract myself by working on school stuff. HAHAHA, Took a friend down the rabbit hole of heraldry with me! The next thing I knew, it was 1 o’clock and I haven’t accomplished ANYTHING today! I started working on changing that, but I had to eat lunch first. Left the house at 2:30 to get hay and cereal for the guinea pigs and then tackled cleaning the kitchen when I got home. This is not what I want my summer to look like, so I’m getting up tomorrow. The girls and I will go to breakfast, if that’s what I have to do to get up and get moving. I did manage to finish two loads of laundry on top of the kitchen, today, and I recorded two Pell videos for an upcoming fighting class at the Clover. Not a total loss, but did I seize this day? No. 

Need to work on that.

Image result for seize the day

Posted in 2017, CRAFT Time, Motherhood, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal 6.28.17

Bed Last night- 12                                           Estimated sleep time: 12:30

Wake up- 7 AM                                                 Out of bed- 8:20

Weight this morning- 236.7

MOM Time: Today was Field Trip Day and the girls chose the Children’s Museum and Railroad Museum, which happen to share the same space. My husband came home early from work and went with us. It was awesome! We chased each other through the maze, Tadpole danced in the mist fountain… we explored every inch of that Exploration space. And it was awesome! Then, we got to ride on a steam train on a 25 minute tour of the back half of the Railroad site. It was great! Even the girls were enthralled by the ruins of our old Round House and Railroad depot. The space is gorgeous, with all the Savannah gray bricks (some of them aren’t gray, anymore, thanks Hollywood) and the old wood. 

Tadpole is a little camera hog, so… alas, more cuteness…

It’s days like this that really make being Mom easy. Even better? They’re totally going to sleep very well after this!

CRAFT TIME: 

C- Embroidery on my practice project

R- read more of Seize the Dawn

A- Children’s Museum and Railroad Museum

F- STAY POSITIVE

T- Talked to a lot of people today through messenger, hangouts, and in person.

 

DIET- yeah, I failed miserably here. 

Breakfast- hahahaha skipped that

Lunch- Zaxby’s, 2 Nibblers and a couple of fries.

BONUS- Ice Cream at Cold Stone

Dinner- Grilled Pork Chops, roasted potatoes, 1 spoon full of dirty rice

Bedtime snack- Cheese

 

LIQUID INTAKE-

12 oz of water while doing computer things this morning

20 oz of Dr. Pepper with lunch

16 oz of water with ice cream

24 oz of tea with dinner

72 oz today… not all of it good.

On the plus side, the water filter is full in the fridge, so…

 

Review of yesterday’s plans for today:

Field Trip day with the girls- Railroad and Children’s Museum- go early to beat the heat

Start cleaning routine and get back to your checklist.

Find the charger for your FitBit and get it charged to track heart rate, sleep, and steps.

TAKE A WALK and Meditate after dinner.

Call the dr and set up an appointment for meds, and other medical issues.

 

Tomorrow’s plan of attack- 

Everything I didn’t do today AND…

  • Craft Day- Painting Rocks (still have to go buy the rocks)
  • Cleaning Day- Dining Room (and the Den, Kitchen and Bathrooms, since we’ve been slack about those)
  • Laundry- so much laundry
  • Cleaning out the veggie garden on the side of the flower garden up front.

 

BONUS- 

This is where I tell you that I wasn’t as much of a slacker as it looks like I was. Today, I helped a new person find her Barony in Trimaris, planned and reserved our summer vacation in a few weeks, spent 4 hours on our field trip and cooked dinner. I am also starting to put together classes for the Honorable Clover that will get them RUM Credit towards a degree and got word of more good news that I can’t tell anyone about for a few weeks. I’ll be honest, it’ll take me a few weeks to figure out what the news actually means, too.

I HAD A FREAKIN’ BLAST TODAY and THIS is what summer is all about! I feel good about a lot of things! I had friends reaching out to me all over the place today and it’s VERY humbling to be on the receiving end of it. Not bad humbling. One sent me a message and said they had no idea I was carrying such a load on my shoulders and if I ever needed to vent, they were available. It wasn’t even someone I normally get that from, so it made me tear up. Thanks, Captain Tight Pants! Another stopped by to grab some lemon grass and, even though I didn’t hear the door, left me a pot of lemon verbena on the porch. More dirt work! I LOVE IT! She’s always there when I need to scream and more than willing to pour me a very tall glass of wine when I need it. ❤ you, dirt buddy! Another sent my girls a care package days before I posted that article that came today. Another completely out of the blue hand reaching out for me that I cherish more than she’ll ever know. She sent my girls each a coloring book (that she drew, no less, and based on my favorite book series!), and these adorable worry dolls that she said “needed a home.” She put in these awesome bumble bee buttons that change color with heat that I’m pretty sure she wanted me to give to the girls, but they’re so cool, they may not make it to them. hehehe, Thanks, Czuk! They will adore them when I show them tomorrow and I promise to take pictures and plaster them all over everywhere so everyone knows how amazing you are!

So, to sum all of that up, I’m feeling rather loved today, and it’s giving me energy to do something big for people. It’s motivating me to get out there and prove that they’re right about me. I can only hope I do them all proud.

Image result for journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Found this one here

 

Posted in CRAFT Time, Growth Mindset, HomeSchool Summer, Motherhood, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

Journal- 6.27.17

Bedtime Last night: 12 AM                                 Estimated Actual time of sleep: 2 AM

Wake up: 7 AM                                                       Got up: 7:30 AM

MOM Time: Today was library day, so we changed it up a bit and went to the Oglethorpe Mall library for books. The girls finished their first ring of rewards from the library (the B&N Book form that we already had…), I checked out books on Words Their Way to work on for next school year, then we went to the soft play at Oglethorpe Mall for an hour.

CRAFT time:

C- Knitting- basket weave, 8 rows/ Gardening/Harvested Lemongrass, chopped it up and froze it in olive oil.

R- Currently reading: Seize the Dawn by Heather Graham, read for 1.5 hours and I’m not done, yet

A- Gardening- thinned out the lemongrass, ripped out the lantana, ripped up the spiderwort, removed empty pots

F- MOVE- Keep moving, don’t sit down for longer than 30 minutes until the girls go to bed.

T- Blog entries

 

DIET:

Breakfast- protein cookies

Lunch- oops

Dinner- Meatloaf grillers, baked asparagus, home made cornbread with rosemary from the garden, and 1 spoon full of Taco seasoned rice.

Bedtime snack- hmm… maybe cheese?

**Need to prep for this better so I don’t skip a meal

 

LIQUID INTAKE:

36 ounces of G2 during gardening

24 ounces of Sweet Tea with dinner

**Need to get water back in the fridge- refill every day

 

Tomorrow’s plan of attack:

Field Trip day with the girls- Railroad and Children’s Museum- go early to beat the heat

Start cleaning routine and get back to your checklist.

Find the charger for your FitBit and get it charged to track heart rate, sleep, and steps.

TAKE A WALK and Meditate after dinner.

Call the dr and set up an appointment for meds, and other medical issues.

 

Image result for growth mindset quotes
image borrowed from this source

 

 

Posted in Motherhood, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired

240 pounds…

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240 pound me with Tadpole and a 300 year old live oak tree

Yeah, you read that right. I now weigh 240 pounds. No, I’m not particularly happy about that. To be honest, I’m not happy about a lot of things. The numbers on that scale this morning started this snowball effect in my head. Things I do that I need to stop. Other things that I need to do more. Things that affect me in really bad ways and things that I know will help that.

My oldest daughter is almost 10 and I can’t get her to see past her ADHD to mature a bit and begin to do things for herself. Fourth grade is going to be rough for that, I know, but I’m pretty sure it will be compounded by her inability to think ahead. I feel like a horrible mother because of it, like I’m fighting a war I will never win. I fight her meds messing with her appetite. I fight her off-meds inability to control herself in ANY fashion. I fight for her to do something other than spend all day watching Minecraft videos on Youtube. I fight for her to not be so negative all the time. Multiple battles, multiple fronts… It’s ugly and it’s exhausting!

My youngest daughter has hit the age (almost 6) where she feels entitled to get things. She’s latched onto the Americal Girl craze. Walmart carries their own, much cheaper, line that she is perfectly content to raid for her My Life doll (that she calls an American Girl Doll). The problem? She wants it all and expects me to take her to Walmart every day to buy her something for her doll. I have explained how terrible this mentality is to her MANY times and I’m still treated to a full-on screaming, crying fit every time she asks (EVERY FIVE MINUTES) for me to take her to the store and buy her something. She watched unboxing videos on Youtube and it makes her want to go. She sees a Walmart commercial on TV and it makes her want to go. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve seen the new “And my hands go up!” commercial during ONE 25 minute television show? And the fit comes EVERY SINGLE TIME!

My husband bought a 3D printer. There is an almost daily delivery of PLA, now. DAILY.

I was moved to 2nd grade at school, a grade level I promised myself I would NEVER teach again. The last time was hell. I’m not being given a choice about this, however, so I’m trying to approach this positively. At times, I’m even successful about it.

My budget is blown before I even get paid quite often these days. I try to save it. I try not to spend it. Then BOOM! Pay for this, pay for that, get this, get that… and I’m tapped out again. Waiting for pay day, trying to entertain kids without spending money…

I suffer from depression. I hate taking meds for it every day and I’ve tried to get off of them. Some days, I’m fine and I get through without incident. Other times, thinking about a dog that’s sitting in the shelter that I can’t do anything to help makes me bawl for an hour.

It’s summer break and I have no plans for a vacation. None. We’re halfway through the summer and it’s time for me to start working on moving my stuff to my new room and going through it, getting rid of things.  The past month is a blur, already. I’m clawing my way into not losing the rest of this summer, but I’m not overly hopeful in my success. I’m almost as stressed right now as I was the last week of school. Almost.

I’ve had two friends pass away in the last three weeks. No, they weren’t close friends, but they were people I talked to. Their deaths were both sudden and painful.

Medically, things are going downhill pretty quickly. My migraines are worse than ever. My back hurts all the time. I have a pain at the front of my hip on the right side that I fear is my appendix trying to put me in the hospital. The fillings on my teeth that I got before school let out are failing. The nerves under them are so sensitive that sometimes eating is just impossible. There’s one on each side of my mouth, so “chew on the other side” isn’t really an option. I have kidney stone pain that has been lingering since Saturday. It’s been better, don’t get me wrong, but I haven’t passed it, yet, I don’t think. In the last week, I’ve been up almost all night twice, so let’s add insomnia to the list of complains, too. There’s a tendon in my right wrist that makes doing things difficult, if not impossible. I can’t swing a sword, I can’t type for longer than a few minutes, and I can’t stitch without frequent breaks. The worst part, though? I’m tired. I’m tired ALL THE TIME.

 

You see all of that? That’s not even everything! It hit me today as I walked away from my scale, though, that all that medical stuff is probably exacerbated by my weight. My exhaustion is not only weight related, it’s emotional fatigue. My response to emotional fatigue is one of two things… eat junk or don’t eat anything. Neither of which are very good for the body.

Here’s the point where I start reminding myself about how to fix it. You’ve been warned.

First, I can’t fix very much of that. I attended a training a few years ago that has greatly affected how I approach my stressors. It wasn’t what the training was about, but it translates very well. The process was pretty simple… write out everything that is bothering you. All of it. Don’t worry about other people’s feelings, or whether it’s right or wrong to feel that way about the thing. Just write it down. Then, arrange those things you wrote down into three lists: Low Hanging Fruit, Get a Ladder, and Let Them Rot. OK, those are my names for them, sue me. Low Hanging Fruit are the things that are very easy to fix. Want time to exercise, go to bed earlier and get up earlier: Low Hanging Fruit. Want to Lose Weight, set up an exercise plan and adjust your diet: Get a Ladder. Want to fix your kid, give up because that’s not going to happen: Let it Rot. Unless you’re a metaphorical giraffe, with the neck long enough to do some serious reaching, you’re NEVER going to reach those apples. Know what? THAT’S PERFECTLY OK. LET THEM ROT! I’m so not a giraffe! I’m a shorty! This is the point I hit today when I walked down that hallway with my crazy realization that I created this mess.

Second, start with the Low Hanging Fruit and start picking those apples off the tree! It may be that the Low Hanging Fruit is on the same branch as something you need to Get a Ladder for, so be prepared for that. Sitting on your ass isn’t changing it, though, so you’ve got to get up and start picking those apples! SET YOUR GOALS and work towards them!

Third, a woman cannot live on Apples alone! Sometimes, we have to introduce other fruits to our grove in order for our cup to runneth over. So, find the things that you enjoy and add those trees! Knitting is a stress reliever, I love doing it. Therefore, throwing that tree into the ground next to the apple tree adds a little variety to my life and gives me something to DO to relieve the stress. I already own yarn and needles, so, for me, this is a Low Hanging Fruit. Binge watching Netflix while I do it, EVEN BETTER! That branch just got lower! Know what else I love? My garden. I love working in my garden. It’s exhausting, especially down here in the swamp, but the rewards are amazing. It doesn’t cost a dime to go thin out my lemon grass. Doesn’t take more than some sweat and effort to remove the spiderwort growing in every crook of the bed, either! Hey, wait… SWEAT AND EFFORT sounds like EXERCISE! I’m pretty sure adding that tree just made some fruit I needed a ladder for hang a bit lower! I have a whole plan for attacking this, already, too! I wrote about a program I was starting for myself, the CRAFT program (I already wrote that blog entry, ya’ll. It’s right here. ) Woah, sometimes I amaze myself!

Fourth, BE POSITIVE! When you start feeling bad, it’s natural to think negatively. Stop that. You have the power to stop that. You’re not going to stop the knee-jerk “I am so fat” response in your head when you look in a mirror or see a picture of yourself. Don’t even try. Instead, FORCE YOURSELF to respond to that negative with a positive. Yeah, I am fat, but my eyes are really blue today! I like it! You’re even going to do this to other people, hopefully it’s just in your head, though. YIKES  if it comes out of your mouth! “She’s so annoying!” oooo, I’m guilty of that one. Follow it up by turning one of her annoying habits into a positive. “She must be really happy to be that giddy all the time!” Boom. I’m not telling you to replace it. I’m telling you that if you think about it, everything that is negative has a positive spin. It’s just up to you to do the spinning!

Fifth, and this is the one I have the most trouble with and it will be the thing you’ll see me writing about for a while: STICK WITH THE PROGRAM! It takes about 3 days of being on a roll before something throws a wrench in my program. I get sick, a kid gets sick, it rains, I get another migraine… from then on, my whole program is shot. The trees are growing wild, low hanging fruit is rotting, my house looks like an episode of hoarders, and my motivation to get it together drops to nothing, again.

 

So, here’s to hoping this hour-long rant of truth helps you as much as it did me. From here on, I’m going to write a blog entry every day outlining how I lived this today. Wish me luck!

 

Until next time,

~Tiff

Posted in HomeSchool Summer, Motherhood

How to get through a week at home during the summer…

I need the reminder, apparently, so I’m reminding myself that I have a system and I need to stick to it!

My first piece of advice is to CREATE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT! You can see I’m not so great at that, but I’m working on it.

My plan, for example, is to give all of us something to do and something to look forward to every day. We have responsibilities and I want to enforce those. I want them so ingrained by the time school starts that it’s just a DUH moment after school on the first Tuesday of the school year. This means that we have chores to do, and a set collection of tasks to get finished by the end of the day. I set up a checklist for each kid (and myself) that is tailored to their age and needs (one takes meds every day, for example, so it’s on her checklist). There is an AM checklist and a PM checklist. It includes home-school options, chores, taking care of animals, Yoga time, journal writing, Mindful habits, eating and cleaning up after themselves… it’s one of my more nerdy things, honestly. I printed it on bright paper and used my Scotch laminator to laminate it and put it in their Rise and Shine Notebooks (I’ll write a whole journal entry on that one, because I could go ON and ON about this thing!).  They must get everything on their list finished!

Another thing I instituted was a Popsicle stick chore system. Each day, one of the things on their check list is “Room of the Day.” I found this awesome post through Pinterest,  where this mom wrote out chores on colored popsicle sticks and the kids grab one, do the thing, and add it to their reward chart. Now, I should warn you that I took this idea and cranked it up to 11.  I bought plastic jars with lids and colored craft sticks on Amazon, color coordinated the chores by kid or by room (Peanut has blue sticks, Tadpole has Purple, the Kitchen is yellow, the Yard and Hallway is green… I’m not joking). Then I organized the sticks by room in the jars so that all the kitchen sticks are in one jar, the den is in another, etc. Then I have a jar for “Completed tasks,” where we put the sticks that are finished. Now, this isn’t just for the kids, it’s for all of us. Not all of the sticks have to be done, but the more you do, the bigger the reward. Each stick is worth a point and we sit down when we sketch out our weekly plans and create a weekly reward system. Some things stay the same each week, but the others are flexible. The rewards are in increments of 5 (we don’t round up, either) and they increase in cost/time/effort as the numbers grow. Just like every fundraising event in history, you get all of the rewards under the one you earned, too. So if you have 20 popsicle sticks, you get the rewards for 20, 15, 10, and 5! Even more, you can spend the reward as soon as you earn it! One of the best ones is BURRITO NIGHT (even the guinea pigs love burrito night, people!) and it usually falls on 10 or 15 points, depending on what else is on the list that week. If they clear the popsicle sticks to earn burrito night, we have burrito night whatever night they want (which is usually THAT NIGHT). They don’t have to wait and I don’t have to try to do everything on Saturday when they “Cash it in.” I’ve also found that letting them use their points during the week increases their drive to earn more.

Here’s what my week looks like:

Monday- Groceries and indoor play ground at the mall. 

Cleaning Day- Kitchen

We need groceries and this year, my girls have realized that they have choices about what they eat. I let them grab a basket and go get their breakfast and lunches for the week and bring them back to me. Totally their decision, totally in their hands. The youngest one is still sticking to the standards (cereal, pop tarts, and lunchables), but the oldest one is starting to explore options. She’s created a Veggie-burrito that she’s rather fond of (tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and shredded cheese). She puts it together herself, she’s in charge of cleaning up afterwards (we’re still working on this part, btw) and she eats every bite. I’m good with that. My next point is going to be to give them a budget and they have to stay within it. They groan when I start looking for coupons, but I’m betting that will change, soon. 😉

Afterwards (NOT BEFORE. They’ll complain and be slow if you do this first!), we go to the indoor play ground at the mall for an entire hour. You heard me right, a WHOLE HOUR. They run, they play, they get all their wiggles out and BOOM! I get to knit, or crochet, or embroider! They ignore me and I keep an eye on them out of the corner of my eye. WIN-WIN! Today, we’ll also go get supplies for our Thursday activity, but that’s because there’s a craft store in the mall we go play in. That makes it WIN-WIN-WIN!

Tuesday- Library and playground day

Cleaning Day- Den

Again with choices! I take them to a library (we have a few different ones around here, so it’s not a stale collection of books) and they pick 2 books to read. Our local libraries also do a summer reading incentive where the kids earn prizes for reading, so we’re working towards earning those. Barnes and Noble offers a free book for their incentive programs, too, so yes, we do as many of those as we can! See how many you can find in your area and watch your kids grab books! We also have a field trip that we plan (on Wednesday), so we find books we can research with while we’re at the library. So far, we’ve researched Vikings and Atlantic Ocean Fish. We’re going to the Railroad Museum this week, so guess what’s on the list?

Depending on the weather, we may hit an outdoor playground today, or I’ll let them decide to go to one of the two soft-play playgrounds at the nearby malls. Again, they run around for an hour, play with kids and have fun and I knit, crochet, or embroider!

WEDNESDAY- FIELD TRIP DAY!

Cleaning Day- Bathrooms

This is NOT FUN DAY! That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, but it does mean that the goal is learning something. We happen to live in a city with a lot of history and science, given that we’re in the 13th British Colony and right here on the Atlantic Ocean. As such, we have a lot of really cool field trip options that don’t cost a lot of money and don’t require us to be in the car for long distances. Today, I found a list of the Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Savannah, GA, and printed it out. We’ve already done two of them and they’re not really interested in another one, so we’re down to seven things to do before school starts! They’re excited! I printed each place on a different sheet of paper, lay them all out and the girls decide what our field trip is going to be this week! They’re in complete (sort of) control of the direction we go! This usually takes a while and they get lots of exercise doing it, so there’s no extra trip today. Awesome, right?

Thursday- CRAFT DAY

Cleaning Day- Dining Room

I’m a crafty person, by nature, just in case the multiple references to knitting, crochet, and embroidery didn’t catch your attention before now. Kids love doing stuff, too! Mine aren’t really into long projects, though, so we have to keep them short and sweet. Pinterest is my friend here (it usually is my friend, but that’s a different post!) and we scroll through DIY with Kids projects (that’s what I search for, btw) until we find something that screams US! This week, they decided they want to paint rocks for the garden. One wants to paint ladybugs, the other wants to do geometric shapes. While we’re at the mall on Monday, I plan on going to the craft store in that mall and getting the flat river rocks for the girls to paint on Thursday. I already have the acryllic paints, so no worries, there. I even have spray on sealant, so we can spray them and let them air out outside, then put them in the garden! Their fairy garden needs some love, anyway!

Friday- FUN DAY!

Cleaning Day- Bedrooms

This is the day they’ve been waiting for all week. The goal today is FUN! We have lots of options around here, from movies to jumping places, Chuck E Cheese to Mini-Golf, and my youngest has recently found the glory of… BOWLING. So, we sit down and plan where we’re going for Fun Day EARLY in the week, so they’ve got that to look forward to all week long.

 

 

Yes, this is a lot of things all going on at once. However, between their Rise and Shine notebooks, the popsicle sticks, and my weekly plan, we get through the week and manage not to have a house that looks like everyone is on vacation all the time!