Friday, August 31, 2012

September Menu Plan

1-3 visiting family

4 - sausage and peppers (crockpot)

5- mini corn dog mufffins, fruit

6 - newlywed beef tips (crockpot)

7 -cheesy chicken tater tot casserole (crockpot)

8 - takeout

9 - kielbasa kabobs

10 - teryaki chicken (crockpot)

11- spaghetti w/ meatballs

12- pizza

13- cube steak and gravy (crockpot)

14- kid's choice

15- mini chicken pot pies

16- sweedish meatballs w/ noodles

17- leftovers

18 - breakfast for dinner (eggs)

19- meatball sub casserole

20- baked chicken, rice

21- takeout

22- BLT pasta

23- pierogies, veggies

24- ham and noodles

25- spaghetti w/ meatballs

26- breakfast for dinner (pancakes)

27- fish sticks/salmon

28 - pizza

29 - chicken parm (crockpot)

30 - leftovers

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What I'm Thankful for - Guided Journaling

Take some time to list all the things you're thankful for in your life

I remember reading a quote one time, I don't remember where, but it stuck in my mind. "What would you do if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for tonight?"
Every night, as i lay on the floor of the boys' room, because (and please do not judge me) I still stay in their room until they fall asleep, I quietly thank God for everything I'm thankful for that day. It typically is something like this:

my healthy children
my good health
my families' good health
my job and the fact that I have enough money to buy food so my children do not go to bed hungry at night
a supportive family who loves us
my friends
a daycare provider who cares deeply about my children
a warm house and comfortable beds
a car that gets us safely where we need to be
that my children and I were not in the throes of my husbands issues for this day
that I have the wisdom, patience, energy, etc to be a single parent

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 Things for me

 Last week I bought myself a new pair of yoga pants. It was nice go into a store and get something for myself. So now I can either use them for the yoga I would love to be doing a few times a week or for relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine.

Either way, happy me :)

This week:
1. Take a free yoga class
2. Read a chapter from book
3. Take a 30 minute walk at lunch
4. Give myself a pedicure
5. Go to happy hour for a drink

Monday, August 27, 2012

Household Plan 8.27.12

Almost everything from last week accomplished. We'll see how this week goes. Have to get ready for a long weekend trip to go have the boys' birthday party with family.

Daily -
Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Color hair
Pack for weekend trip
Order cake for boys' party
Get party stuff - food, decorations, etc
Call tree guy to cut down tree that allows attic access to annoying squirrels
Make Dr. appointment for boys' 4th wellness visit
Water plants/garden
Clean top shelf and middle shelf of refrigerator, clean stove
Vacuum 1st floor
Clean toliets
Pay 8/24 bills - balance checkbook
Dust kid's room, LR
Sweep porch
Change kid's sheets  Save until next week

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday

Alex and Landon,

Happy Birthday! I can not believe you are 4 years old today. I know I say that each year but I really do not know where the time goes. The day you came into my life was the happiest day and you make me the happiest Mom alive each and every day.

Enjoy your new video games, lunch at Chuck E. Cheese, and cake tonight.

Have the happiest birthday! I love you 1,000,000, to God and back, and all the flowers in the world.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Blogoversary to me!

It's kind of unreal that I've been writing my blog for 5 years. When I started over here I didn't think that someday I'd end up where I am now. That was a dark, sad, and angry time and I so needed that space to share my thoughts when I knew I couldn't always share them with people IRL. They just would not understand. So thank you for listening then.

Now, I need my space to share both joy and sadness. The roller coaster ride that is my life as a single parent with twins. Chronicling the boys milestones, triumphs, joys, and meltdown moments as well as the train wreck of my marriage - which although caused by J's problems, ultimately was wrecked, in my opinion, by our long battle with infertility.

Thanks for listening and walking down this road with me. We've got a lot of traveling still to do - I hope you'll stick around.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tell it Thursday

The picture from yesterday is because my babies will be turning 4 this Saturday.



They are not babies anymore. Four brings so many questions, so many independent moments, so many new and exciting things. But it is also one step closer to them growing up. And, while of course that's what I want for them; to be happy, healthy, well adjusted adult men - I want it only someday.

Not so fast.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I've Learned - Guided Journaling

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a parent that you might not have known about otherwise?

One thing I've learned since becoming a parent that I would not have known otherwise is how strongly I feel against using spanking as a form of discipline.
Before having children I used to immediately think that for kids who seemed out of control, having a tantrum, or otherwise doing something wrong, that their parents should spank them.
Now that I have children I am completely against it.
I feel it important for my family to send consistent messages about non-violence. I also believe it important to know the difference in a child purposely being bad, or something like inability to express emotions due to lack of vocabulary or lack of self-control due to their age and development. I truly believe that my use of talking things through with my children will have a positive effect on them in the future.

Monday, August 20, 2012

5 things for me

This past week I took time to read again. I had set a goal for myself back at the beginning of 2012 to read 12 books this year - I'm only on #2. So taking some time to read more was nice and relaxing.

This week:
1. Read another chapter
2. Walk 30 minutes on lunch hour
3. Take a free yoga class
4. Give myself a pedicure
5. Buy something for myself - staying with a $10.00 budget

Household Plan 8.20.12

Almost got everything done last week! Plan for this week doesn't look too tough.

Daily -
Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Make shopping list
Vacuum 2nd floor
Wash windows/Clean Curtains - children's/guest room(s)
Clean toilets, bathtubs, and bathroom mirrors
Dust master bedroom and DR
Clean microwave and dishwasher door
Refill prescriptions, make Dr. and Dentist appts.
Sweep porch
Change sheets - master bedroom
Get Groceries
Color Hair

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Household Plan 8.13.12

Got through nearly the whole list last week. Not so sure about this week.

Daily -
Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Vacuum 1st floor
Vacuum LR furniture
Clean out purse
Finish paying 8.10.12 bills
Dust hallway, kid's room, LR
Wash laundry room, LR, and kitchen windows
Wash kitchen curtains
Clean refrigerator door shelves
Change kid's sheet
Sweep/Mop bathrooms
Mow Lawn
Weed Wacking
Pick veggies from garden
Color/Cut hair
Register kids for fall soccer (and hope we're not so far past the deadline my kids won't be able to play - how do I explain that to them??)
Shopping for kid's birthday gift

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 things for me

My list for this week:

1. read another chapter on the kindle
2. take a free yoga class
3. take a 30minute walk on my lunch hour
4. go to a movie Friday afternoon before the kids get home
5. enjoy one whole day of not doing any chores/errands/etc

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Friends with Kids review

After the kids went to bed last night I decided to watch a movie. A movie not animated, not for kids. A movie all for myself. OMG. So I chose Friends with Kids. It looked comical, and I felt like i could relate a bit because, well, I have kids, so I thought it would be fun to watch a story about people who don't have them and what they think of people who do.

The movie kept my interest, it had some funny parts to it, like the explosive poop diapers, and the awkward moments when Ben and Missy returned to the dinner table after having sex in the bathroom. There were also moments I could relate to like seeing how difficult it is to maintain a relationship when you have small children, and also wanting, but not necessarily knowing how to, reenter the dating world after a time away. I had to laugh though, when Jules and Jason were talking about how long it had been since they had been intimate with someone, and they said that it had been 3 months. Let me just say, they've got nothing on me.
I was glad to see how the movie ended for both of them too.

While not the most in depth story line, Friends with Kids entertained a tired worn out mom who needed a light-hearted, comical movie.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

For me

The things I chose off my list of 5 things for me this week was to take myself and the kids out for dinner. I needed one less day of cooking and cleaning. So much going on this week - a crisis at work, an email from my stepdad about how he feels I don't include his new girlfriend and his side of the family enough in my life, J calling me to tell me he had emergency surgery on an intestinal problem. Too much.

So, I got a certificate from and took the kids out to eat. They, of course, got pizza and I got my usual at this restaurant, and something I never make for myself, eggplant parm. I love the cheesy, saucy goodness of it and it is far to time consuming to make for just me - the kids won't touch it. I enjoyed a delicious glass of wine with my dinner, and made a stop at the store on the way home to pick up a bottle of said wine, to enjoy more at home.

Inexpensive, good dinner with no cleanup. Now that is something good for me.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tell it Thursday

The picture from yesterday was of our first trip to the ocean - while we were visiting Aunt Amy and Uncle Stan. While not really the ocean, because technically it is just a bay, it is still salt water, and therefore dubbed our first ocean visit.

The kids liked the water, and the fact that there was seaweed and a few dead crabs on the shore. They are still not at the point of wanting to play in the sand for any length of time, though, so beach trips are usually short-lived unless there is a playground nearby.

I do hope that one day they will love the beach. I have very fond memories of our family trip to Virginia beach every year, where my sisters and i could boogie board, or play on the beach for hours each day. The smell of the salt water, and the feel of the sun and the sand on your body, well, I love, love, love it. And I hope that in a few years time, my kids will look forward to that same vacation experience too.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Household Plan 8.6.12

Last week was awful. Just did not get much accomplished. Oh goes on, right?
Here's the plan for this week. It already looks daunting. Not sure how this will go either.

Daily -

Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Make grocery list
Grocery shopping
Planning for September occasions
Mail kid's birthday invites
Mail cards to Grandma Dayle and Aunt Kathy
Shopping for kid's birthday gifts
Sweep porch
Dust DR
Wipe down washer/dryer
Vacuum 1st and 2nd floors
Clean microwave, dishwasher, and bottom shelf of refrigerator
Clean toilets and bathtubs

5 Things for Me

I did it. I made the commitment to doing one of the things on my list last week and I saw I saw it through. The item I chose was reading a chapter from one of the many books on the kindle.
I ended up reading about 6 chapters, which was great! I forgot how much I enjoy reading. Sometimes finding a way to force yourself to do something, for you, makes a world of difference.

This week's things:
1. Reading another chapter
2. Walking 30 minutes on lunch hour
3. Taking a free yoga class
4. Giving myself a pedicure
5. Taking myself, and the kids, out to dinner - one less day of cooking

Friday, August 3, 2012

Surprise - Guided Journaling Day 4

Describe a time you surprised yourself doing something you didn't think possible.

I surprise myself on a daily basis doing things all the time I didn't think I could. When both kids are fighting and I can stop it, when everyone is crying and I make smiles, when I get the kids ready for daycare or preschool each and every morning, especially when I haven't slept well the night before. When I work all day and come home, and find it in me to cook dinner, clean the house, go outside and play with the kids, give baths, and get both kids sleeping soundly without collapsing on the floor in my own crying fit, that all surprises me
When I can survive the grocery store with first two infants in car seats, then two toddlers who nearly climbed out of carts many times, and now two preschoolers who run through the store nearly causing chaos everywhere we go, that surprises me.
This whole single parent thing and my ability to get through each day with the ability to see the joy through the chaos surprises the hell out of me.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A day to myself - Guided Journaling Day 3

Imagine you had a whole day to yourself. Where would you go and what would you do?

OMG, I have not had a whole day to myself since before the kids were born.
Well, first I would sit and enjoy an entire cup of coffee, hot, without having to reheat it in the microwave 3 or 4 times. I would do this while watching food network or the Today show. On this day, Nick Jr. does not exist. Then, I would take a loooonnnnng shower, and enjoy the sound of only the water, not someone incessantly knocking at the door asking me how much longer I am going to be and where the darn wolverine guy is.
I would get dressed without having to answer questions about why my private parts look different and why girls need privacy.

I might then go window shopping, or to the beach, or park, to relax on a blanket with my kindle and a cold beverage. I might even take a  nap.

I would enjoy a dinner either out or at home, one that did not include any fast food, or nugget of any sort, with glass of wine to go along with it.

Then I would sit on the sofa and watch reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 until I fell asleep.

And, of course, I would pick up my children the next morning, refreshed and happy to see them, because all the while I would miss them terribly.

Tell it Thursday

The last two weeks of Wordless Wednesday are because the boys are attending summer preschool. They are loving it! We only had one day each of crying and not wanting to go but the rest of the time has been great! They are happy, enjoying learning, and playing with other kids.
The program is only a 4 week program subsidized by our town recreation department. So, it was really inexpensive.
Now the dilema. Most of the other kids are going to the fall program. Which is not subsidized. and expensive. And I would still need daycare because it's only 2 hours. So, it would be an additional expense on an already strapped single income family. And I would have to adjust my work schedule to make sure I could drop them off and pick them up.

We have another preschool in town that has offered to scholarship one of the boys - but still I will need to cash in some of the boys savings bonds in order to afford this. I am also waiting for the summer preschool teacher to tell me tomorrow what her fall program costs.

Remember, too, that there are no other children at daycare and there haven't been any since February. It may very well be that they will remain the only ones there until they start school next year. Or there could be 2-4 more kids starting next week - we just never know - so preschool may be my children's only option for socializing with other children prior to beginning Kindergarten next year.

What would you do? Would you cash in the savings bonds, and figure out a way to get your kids into preschool? or do you not think preschool is necessary?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Give me a break - Guided journaling day 2

What happens as a result when you give yourself small breaks from your responsibilities?

It is difficult to know what the result is of giving myself breaks from my responsibility.Since becoming a single parent I've not taken much time to myself. It is not that I don't want to, or think that my children can't survive a few hours without me, but it is more due to financial reasons. I am a single parent household, with no child support. It is my income only that supports us. If I take time to go out then it not only costs me the money for whatever I am going out to do (whether that be dinner, drinks, or a movie) but it also costs me the money for a babysitter. I don't have the freedom of bringing my children to relatives who will watch them for free, as our closest relatives live 2 hours away. I simply don;t have extra money in my monthly budget for added babysitting costs. I have to save those for when I have a work meeting or event in the evening that I have to attend.
I do know that when I began listing all of the household chores we have each week, and letting them go if I didn't get to them, I felt a sense of freedom. A little anxiety too because I was giving up doing everything that "needed" to be done. But I can see that we've survived, even if the house is not spotless, or the lawn is a little longer than the neighbors.

I guess what I need to do is start viewing breaks from my responsibilities in different ways. It doesn't necessarily mean I have to spend money. Maybe the break is not cleaning the house when I'm too tired, and not giving a damn if it's not done. Maybe the break is taking a Friday afternoon (when I'm not working and the kids are in daycare) and just spending it reading, or window shopping, or sitting on the beach quietly, instead of rushing to fit in all of the errands of the week into one afternoon.

I imagine if I can do this that the result will be a happier mom and therefore a better mom to my kiddos.

Wordless Wednesday

See this post.....