March 2012

Is it laziness or pure comfort?

The two could easily be confused

 

I have been stuck to a corded computer for awhile now. For the most part I've accepted it and dealt with it the best I could. The last month or so that has slightly changed as all I've wanted was a new laptop.

 

It went beyond wanting a laptop, it seemed as if everything I did on a computer had become a chore. I had wondered if in fact a laptop could answer my computer problems. Could it be that it would really be that simple? Amazingly, it really was as simple as buying a new laptop.

What's in a name? Oatmeal Cookie Bowls

Sometimes all it takes is the right angle...

My kids don't like oatmeal, yet they'll happily snarf down a dozen oatmeal cookies. To my boys this seems totally logical, but to me, not so much. In fact, I found it frustrating, until I realized I could exploit the oatmeal cookie angle to boost oatmeal consumption in my house.

 

The biggest hurdle was that initial groan I'd invite when I announced we were having oatmeal for breakfast. So, to combat the problem, one morning in a sheer stroke of genius, I told them we were having oatmeal cookie bowls for breakfast. Voila! They went nuts. The usual heavy sighs and “ewws” were replaced with genuine excitement. Insert maniacal laugh here.

Balancing family and work: setting boundaries with clients

"Your time and personal life are just as precious as your clients', and you deserve the same respect."

When working from home, you're always conscious of the fact that your professional situation is delicate. If you were working outside the home at a steady 9 to 5, you'd have personal responsibilities, but the check would be regular, come rain or shine. When you have your own business, each client is super important and their appreciation and approval of your work dictates when and if you get paid.

 

That being said, working from home and being your own boss doesn't mean you're a slave to your clients and have to stop what you're doing, any time—day or night, to keep them happy. And, trust me, there are clients out there who will expect it...if you let them. Once that precedent is set, it's very hard to change.

How to handle those "big" questions

When you read the title of this blog, you may have thought this would be about the "birds and the bees." While that topic certainly classifies as something "big," it's not the topic I'm going to address today. Instead, I want to talk about a child's fear of loss. 

 

Within the last few months, my son (he's four, going on five) has been asking me about people dying and people deserting him. Also, he's been concerned about people getting hurt. Some of the questions he's asked me include the following:

1) What if something happens to you and dad?

2) When do people die?

3) Are we all going to die sometime?

4) What if dad gets hurt at work? I need to be there to save him. 

Learning about love through popular novels

Why I still read the books my daughter enjoys

 

 

Our latest adventure is watching our middle-school daughter fall in love with the idea of love. She sighs sweetly when something romantic happens in a book or on TV and I'm truly excited for her. Terrified, of course, but happy for her. As I watch her change and develop, I wonder about which lines I should be drawing. Especially with the books and movies she chooses. 

Learning About Love Through Literature

Why I Still Read the Books My Daughter Reads

Our latest adventure is watching our middle-school daughter fall in love with the idea of love. She sighs sweetly when something romantic happens in a book or on TV and I'm truly excited for her. Terrified, of course, but happy for her. As I watch her change and develop, I wonder about which lines I should be drawing. Especially with the books and movies she chooses. 

Simple Family Fun: Plan a Movie Night Together

When was the last time you had a movie night with your family? And not just plopping down, completely exhausted with the kids going in and out. I talking about a night in with all the bells and whistles, popcorn, drinks, blankets and a great family movie that everyone can enjoy—a real, scheduled togetherness event.

 

Staying in might not sound like a big deal, but it really all comes down to perspective. If your family is excited about it and plans together, it's not just passing time, but a treat for everyone.

Balancing Family and Work: A Need for Boundaries

Balancing family and work is tricky for every mom, but Internet moms have the added complexities of the two worlds snuggling in so closely together. Not having that very defined line of separation means that they're going to overlap from time to time, if not regularly.

 

Being as connected as we are, it's easy to perpetuate the constant bleeding of one role into another, and when it comes to meeting your kids' needs during your work time, it's going to happen. There will be times when the baby needs a bottle, and you have to do what you have to do.

Tagging Kids

High tech child safety.

There's a few new products on the market meant to increase your child's safety when you are out and about. These products more or less tag your child with your contact information. If the child becomes lost, you can quickly be contacted and reunited with the little one. While these are good products, some caution is necessary.

Give Mom the Gift of Time

Maybe a fancy present isn’t what she wants after all.

Yesterday was my mother’s 52nd birthday, and though we bombarded her Facebook page with songs and sentiments that made her cry, begged her to know what she wanted for her special day, and all called to speak with her, I think the best present we gave was surprising her by visiting—all three of us daughters—without even talking about it beforehand! After we were there for a good hour, my youngest sister, who lives there, heard something at the back door—and my middle sister sauntered in and said, “I couldn’t be the only one who didn’t come over, could I?”

We had a wonderful day visiting, eating angel food cake topped with frozen strawberries and whipped cream (I never knew it was my mother’s favorite until today—isn’t that sad?), pouring through old family photographs (I think I left with the most; I just love them), listening to Motown music (something that my mother played all of the time while we grew up and is now the favorite music of at least two of us) and simply visiting. We laughed, we discussed old boyfriends and a potential wedding in the future for my unmarried sister, we cuddled with my mom’s kitten, and it was really a wonderful day.

Preparing Yourself for Your Child's First Day of Kindergarten

Even though my son has been going to a pre-school, two to three days a week, for about a year now, I found myself full of tears when my husband and I enrolled him in Kindergarten this week. We decided to enroll him in private school because we love the enviroment, the students and the teachers. It's important to us that we get our son started in the right manner.

Anyway, we enrolled him, which was about an hour-long process. Then, on the drive home, I started crying. I wasn't sure why I was crying and it took me a while to figure it out. I think I realized that I am closing the door on having control of my son's life every hour of the day. When he starts Kindergarten, he has to be there every day -- except for illnesses -- without fail. I no longer have the option to spend two or three days out of the week with him. Sigh. It's hard to accept.

Many Moms Are Busy Preparing For That Fun Easter Egg Hunt

A Tradition That Continues

What would childhood be without the fun traditions? One of these traditions, many adults may remember is that fun Easter egg hunt. They may remember running around their yard looking for those real eggs or those fake eggs filled with treasure. They may remember doing this in their new Easter clothes, trying hard to find more eggs than their siblings, cousins or neighbors. Yet, back then those children never thought about the work that it took to put on those Easter egg hunt. However, if those children are now parents, especially mothers, they may soon know about this work because they may be now preparing these same hunts for their children.

How do they begin? A smart mother begins by deciding which type of eggs she wants to hide. Most may prefer hiding the fake ones and allowing the children to color a few. If she wants to hide the fake ones, she may then want to head to her nearest dollar store. This is where she can find the cheapest prices for the eggs and the treasures she can hide inside them.

These Dollar stores will offer a variety of small toys and small candies that can be put inside the eggs. A mom can also add some simple things that the children will like such as stickers and tattoos. Remember all you need to do is place one treasure in one egg.  While she is at the Dollar store, she can also pick up some nice Easter baskets for the kids to carry, as they look for the eggs, she will soon be hiding.

Tribute to Mike White and His Mother, Stephannie White

A Sad Story from South Korea

Life is not always easy; mine has been a little tough lately, but that pales in comparison to what some people I know have been through.

In 2008, my friend Stephannie White’s son died in a public sauna in South Korea. The facts surrounding his death are hazy, mainly due to a language barrier and the sauna owners and employees who were eager to hide any negligence they might have had in the death of Mike White.

Making Money Together as a Family


My daughter sent me a link to a clip from the Ellen show. It was an interview with a 14-year-old girl who had purchased a home. Turns out the girl was obtaining free, or nearly free items and selling them on Craigslist for a profit. She earned $6,000 doing this. Afterward, she saw a house for sale and was able to buy it for $12,000. Her mother had gone in with her, and I’m sure her whole family helped to fix up the house after it was purchased.

Computer Addicted Kids

How to limit screen time.

I know it's the weekend when requests for computer time begin bombarding me from my kids. Even though we're a tech savvy family, I'm a real stickler about limiting the boys' exposure to both computers and television. I spend a lot of time around children ages 6 to 12 in my role with local scouting, and some of the things I have seen made me stingy with the screen.

Internet Moms Raise Internet Kids

Raising the world's first Internet kids...

It's weird to think, given the amount of time I spend on the Internet, that it wasn't even available when I was a kid. Not only do I use it to stay in contact with my friends and family, but I use it for recreation, research and most often, work. When I talk to my mom about what I do, she acts as though I don't have a real job, because honestly, she doesn't really know anything about the Internet beyond the basics. She doesn't even have online access in her own home. At this point, I couldn't even survive...literally. The Internet is my office.

With as much as I rely on the web and all its varied offerings, it's no wonder that my kids, though young are budding enthusiasts themselves. Internet access is all around them. We have it on our computers, phones, tablets and even, thanks to the XBOX, our TV. And since our tech geekery is such a normal part of our lives, it's very much a part of theirs.

What You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of a Power Nap

It's the middle of the day, your eyelids are getting heavy, your head lowers, you shake your head and blink your eyes open while reading this page. Think about resting and recharging by lying down for a quick, 20 minute power nap. Multiple studies speak out about the benefits of taking a nap to reset the body; and according to WebMD, in an article titled “The Secret (and Surprising) Power of Naps,” indulging in a short sleep reduces stress and goes a long way towards improving your alertness. Another side benefit of taking a snooze is that you may not need the same amount of caffeine if you wind up feeling more away throughout your day. Guess my 90-year-old grandfather knows something about all this without realizing it because for the past several years, he has taken a short mid-afternoon snooze.

Pack Up the Family for a Little Mystery Road Trip

Most parents will agree that long road trips with kids aren't always a treat, but short trips with mystery destinations can be fun adventures for everyone. If you're looking for plans for a nice, sunny day, but have a limited entertainment budget, taking a little trip could be a fun way to spend the day.

I realize that with gas prices as they are, hopping in the grocery getter with no particular destination in mind isn't exactly an inexpensive entertainment option on a regular basis, but once in a while, it can be a great deal of fun. And yes, I said no particular destination.

My family loves these mini adventures, because we're all in it together. Rather than having a mapped out, extensive itinerary of planned fun, we just pack up and drive.

Mama’s Got to Have It Her Way

Or the Highway!

When I was young and it had to be my mom’s way or the highway, I would get so mad. Why couldn’t I do it my way? Why did washcloths have to be folded in rectangles rather than squares (I still fold them in rectangles to this day)? It wasn’t until I got older and had my own family that I realized that we moms have to have our own routines in order to maintain an bit of order and sanity to our lives.

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