Friday, June 21, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: How to tire out your kids ALL SUMMER

Let's face it...the so-called "lazy days" of summer don't exist when you have children.  Yes they are more, ummm, unstructured.  But LAZY they are not.

I have always had summers off, either as a teacher or as a daycare provider because I only have teachers' children (but I am open 1 to 2 days a week in the summer).  Oh, and NEVER say to a teacher "It must be nice to have summers off".  Because you know what?  It is nice.  But it is more like 9 weeks, and it is the ONLY perk and break we get from everyone else's kids.  We sacrifice all school year, work well beyond the school day, plan, have meetings, and grade school work.  Teachers deserve that damn break.  And they don't get paid for it.  They get paid for the number of school days they work and that pay can get spread over 12 months.  It is not a 3 month long paid vacay...alrighty?  Now I will step off my soapbox.

Where was I?

Oh yes, summer and kids.

In my opinion, it's all about tiring them out.  Isn't that what it comes down to?  Keep them as busy as possible so they think the are having the times of their lives while really all we parents are working towards is a reasonable bedtime.

So for give me 5 for Friday, here are 5 ways to tire the shizz out of your kids all summer long...

1.  Water.  ANYTHING with water.  Pools, oceans, sprinklers, lakes, the bay, a hose in the backyard.  You name it, there is a magical thing that happens when you combine warm weather, sun, and water.  Kids are just EXHAUSTED.

2.  Ride, Sally, ride.  Let those kids ride anything with wheels until the cows come home.  Go to a park or a the longest course you can find.  Have them ride bikes, scooters, or these really cool kickboards.  Challenge them to race (each other, NOT you).  Just when they can't go any further, off them a little reward if they take another lap.  There little legs will be screaming for a nap or bedtime!

3.  Schedule as many playdates as possible.  Have friends with kids?  Call 'em up.  Fill up the calendar with fun filled days.  Keep it on the cheap and go to the park, or a pool (see #1), or just go to each other's house and let the kids play outside.  The more kids, the better.  It should be pure chaos for maximum exhaustion.

4.  Have them help with yard work.  This may not seem so great to the kids...but you can make it fun.  Give them gloves and show them how to pull weeds (while you supervise of course).  Let them water the plants.  Give them a toy mower and have them pretend to cut the whole entire yard...twice. 

5.  Do some other outdoor projects, like wash the car.  Kids love that one.  Then you are also combining two tiring activities...water and outdoor work.  When they think they are done, tell them they missed a few spots and keep the "fun" going a little longer.  The Dollar Store has large sponges and microfiber mitts that kids love.  Put them to work...and you will be rewarded.  You will have a clean car AND tired kids.  Win-win.

So what activities do you do during the summer that tire out your kids?  Because a friend of mine would like to know.  Not me though.  I love when my kids are full of energy and expecting constant entertainment until 10 pm EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.  Love it. 

But my friend might like some suggestions... 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I think I see the light.

You know the saying "the light at the end of the tunnel"? 

Well, I think I see the light.  I really do.

Before I begin, please know that I wouldn't trade the past 8 years of my life for anything.  AT ALL.  During those years, I was a teacher.  I had a baby.  Then another baby.  Then I left the teaching profession.  I opened a home daycare and I was successful in doing that for 4 years.  Oh, and I also had ANOTHER baby.

My sole focus for these past 8 years has been on my children and family.  Having healthy pregnancies and raising happy and healthy children was my goal.  I didn't take much time for myself.  I didn't ask for it either, to be honest.

But now my children are getting a little older...they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, being put on the back burner.  They are still only 8, 4 and 2.  The two oldest will BOTH be in full day school next year, with my 4 (almost 5) year old entering kindergarten.  My baby, the 2 year old, will be starting preschool.

My goal when I started the home daycare was to avoid paying for 2 children in full time child care and to be able to be home with them as very young children.  It served it's purpose.

Now it is time to close that chapter and start a new one. 

This week I had an interview.  I will write about that at another time as to not jinx myself.

But I HAD AN INTERVIEW.  I dressed a professional and met with other professionals and answered questions and I actually did a pretty good job.  I felt confident.

That same day, my fabulous in-laws took our two oldest daughters to the beach for 2 nights.  TWO WHOLE NIGHTS.  It was a much appreciated break.  My 2 year old got lots of individual attention and was home alone with us for the first time in her life.  It was refreshing. 

I felt refreshed.

Next week my husband and I are going away for the night to celebrate our anniversary (and as part of a Father's Day gift since we are seeing his favorite baseball team play too).  It's so nice to know that we can plan these little things now.  Again, it's refreshing.

And finally I have been running very regularly and it feels great.  It is so important to me to take this time for myself.  I hope to run a half marathon in September and I look forward to the challenge.

So I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The tunnel just represents a small part of my life...which were those childbearing years. I am so extremely grateful for the three healthy, happy, and wonderful babies we have.  And I cherish those years.  Some days I am even sad that they are over.

But other days, like today, I am grateful to see the light. 

Image from flickr.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Break Confessions

We've gotten through the first week of summer break.

I'm not going to lie to you all.  At times it was hard, yo.

Look, I can complain about my kids and it doesn't mean I don't love spending time with them.  Because I do.  But something happens when children who are used to being in school all day are suddenly NOT in school all day. 

First, they expect constant entertainment.  I mean CONSTANT. 

They want to go places, spend your money, eat ALL THE SNACKS, play with friends, take out ALL the toys that they haven't played with in months, leave shit everywhere (more than usual), and then eat MORE snacks.

They fight with each other over every little effing thing.  EVERY LITTLE THING.  One made a mean face.  One made up new rules to a dumb game that is not even a real game in the first place but it's not fair so let's scream about it.  One said that she was older.  But she IS older.  But that's not fair.  But there's nothing I can do about who was born first.  But it's still NOT FAIR. 

They don't want to shower...or even put clean clothes on for that matter.  They expect to stay up later each night, which doesn't translate into sleeping in later each morning.  They want to watch television on the sofa and fall asleep there.  All of a sudden, going into their room and going to bed is only a phenomenon that occurs during the school year.  (SERIOUSLY.  As I type this, they are asleep on the living room floor in sleeping bags...I kid you not.)

And the projects.  Oh good Lord the projects.  They want to color and tape and glue and stencil and paint and use a hot glue gun. 

Every night I hear the questions about what the plans are for the next day.  Then in the morning, more questions.  I feel like a damn event planner.  Then it's like, "What time are we going swimming?  How long are we going to be there?  Then what are we doing after that?  Are you making lunch?  Can we go somewhere for lunch?  Are we going swimming tomorrow too?"

I LOVE summer.  But it is exhausting.

Some nights I am so traumatized that I sit on the sofa with a Bud Light in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other.  And I stare at television willing that channel to change itself from Higglytown Heroes to something on Bravo.

So I'm one week in.  The kids are home (oh and my daycare will be open at least once a week) and it kicks my ass.

But I'm tough and I can look at summer break square in the face and tell her that she won't break me.  Oh no she won't. 

I'll take my dirty, tired, whiny kids and make this summer my be-otch.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Year of 35 ~ Updated!

Updated post...see below!

Today I turn 35.

I have a few goals for this year.  And maybe by putting them in writing I will actually work harder to achieve them.

Of course I have the usual goals that I always have every be a good mom and wife and daughter and friend.  To be happy and healthy and to make sure my kids are happy and healthy.  To find out if my neighbors are raising chickens in their small backyard (this is a post for another day).  To remember dentist appointments so I don't get charged a damn $25 no show fee.  To wash more clothes than my kids wear each and every day.  And to figure out when Season 3 of The Walking Dead comes out on DVD because for the life of me, I can't find the effing release date anywhere!

I have other goals very specific to this year.  One scary goal is to close my home daycare and return to teaching.  I have been out of the game for 4 years and I really look forward to go back into the classroom.
That is IF I can get a job.  That's the scary part.  I have to close my daycare and HOPE that I get a teaching position.  I can't NOT I am taking a leap of faith here and hoping it all works out!

Another goal...that I really want to put in writing here and actually DO IT this to lose 35 pounds in this, my 35th year of life.

Just so happens that losing 35 pounds would put me at my goal weight.  So 35 years old and losing 35 pounds just works out :)  AND...I am giving myself a whole year to do it.

How will I do that?  I guess I need to cut out the wine.

I'll wait until you stop laughing...

No, I am not going to cut out a daily occasional glass of wine.  I will cut down.  Cut down on wine and beer and junk food and crap that I KNOW is bad for me.  It's not rocket science here.  Eat better, lose weight.  Right?

The other goal is to run a half marathon this year.  My sister in law and I are thinking of training for a 15k which is in that's a good start.

And if I combine the running with NOT stuffing my face with carbs and fermented grapes....I think I might meet some of these elusive goals. 

Maybe just maybe I will be able to show those before and after pics that I am so envious of when reading about others' weight loss journeys.  Maybe I will have the nerve to share a number here when it is all said and know like a before weight and after weight.  Maybe.  That's still a 50/50 chance at best.

So here I am...sharing my goals for my 35th year.

And since I shared them with you, I don't want to be ashamed when June 3, 2014 rolls around and my rolls are still around, if you know what I mean. 

Wish me luck!!!


In place of my usual Give Me 5 for Friday post, here are 5 shocking revelations (okay, not really shocking or even all that interesting for that matter)...
Revelation #1:  The neighbors do, in fact, have chickens.  My investigations revealed about 6 of them.  There could be more.  One was peaking through my fence the other day.  I am hoping and praying that I don't wake one morning to find a chicken carcass at my back door.  My cat is a stone cold killer.  Those chickens better watch their backs.

Revelation #2:  Season 3 of The Walking Dead will be released on DVD on August 27th.  That seems like a very long time to me :(  It's torture...

Revelation #3:  I have not lost a single pound this week.

Revelation #4:  Skipping lunch then eating a whole entire bag of cheddar cheese rice snacks is not the same as "cutting back". 
Revelation #5:  On September 15, 2013 (yes, in 3 months), I will be running in the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  I am super excited! And a bit nervous...

Have a great weekend!
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