Friday, September 28, 2012

Chubby Cheekers 7.5 Month Edition

Hello My Peeps,

I know you have missed me and have probably been hanging on by a thread wondering what my life has been full of lately.  Well, let me tell you.  I've been moving up.  Yeah, you read that right.  I'm going vertical.

Mommy is not too sure of my latest feats.  In fact, she tells me to get down quite frequently.  Can't she tell I'm a man who likes to live on the edge?  She is cramping my baby style.  How can she limit my awesomeness?  Just check me out...

Photo: He lives on the edge       Photo: What? I'm not supposed to be up here?

I look so cool.  Even though I'm sporting my 'busted' look, I still look good.  About 2.5 seconds after Mommy documented my skills she pulled me off the fireplace, so you know what I did?  I pulled up on my brother's rocking chair ('cause I wanted to bite the arm rest).  Yep, Mommy and Daddy were reading the nightly bedtime stories to my adorable sister and awesome bro, and I was leisurely crawling about.  I saw that delicious looking arm rest and just pulled myself up so I could lick the snot out of it.  After the licking ended, I took a big 'ol bite out of the wood.  It was so fulfilling that I felt I met my max quota for mad baby skills and went to bed.  BUT, not before I got the 3 B's.  Say them with me..."Bath, Boobie, Bed."  This is the life, people.  This is the life.

Chubby Cheekers

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Putting On My Mom Hat (Teacher One is GONE)

I realize this is going to be a very touchy subject, and I am going to try very hard to put this as respectfully as possible.  However, I'm giving you a fair warning.  I'm about to dive into something that I am VERY passionate about. 

For the 2013-2014 school year, our local school district is following the trend of turning the Pre-K program to all day (9am-2pm) 5 days a week.  For working parents I assume this is a dream.  Their child, who is used to spending a full day outside of their own home and in the care of other adults, will have more learning opportunities.  I also assume this is the major push for turning the Pre-K program to all day.  Getting kids out of daycare and into public schooling.  For children who are in full time day care, this is probably a good fit.

With that said, I'm going to start in on my opinion. All day Pre-K is WRONG.  Essentially, you are asking parents to put children in the mix with other children who have all kinds of backgrounds for an entire day.  This leaves you, as the parent, at a loss.  A loss of influence.  Children need their parents to teach them right from wrong.

We have been very fortunate in this area.  When Little Man began the half day Pre-K program last year, we had concerns about what he would be exposed to and if he was mature enough to choose the right kind of friends.  Thankfully, he had an amazing year.  He did come across a few things that needed explaining and direction, but nothing serious and we had time to do damage control.  His exposure was limited being that he was at school for only 2 1/2 hours.  He was there to learn the structure of a school day, how to behave, academics, and peer relationships.  Then he returned home. He ate lunch with his family, napped, and played with his family and friends.  It was a perfect fit for our family and for him.  Sure it was inconvenient to drive (literally) across town to drop him off and turn right back around and get him, but it was worth it.

Now that he is in Kindergarten all day there have been some adjustments.  He goes to bed an hour earlier. With his schedule now, we have a total of 5 hours with him at home as opposed to the 7 hours he is at school (Let this be known that I am not a fan of all day Kindergarten either).  As a parent, it is hard to know that he spends more time during the week with kids that are foreign to us, than his own family.  It is also disturbing to know that behaviors or events that occur in the morning are unbeknownst to us until the late evening when he discusses it.  Even with the two phenomenal teachers he has had these past two years, there  were/are still events that occurred and the teachers were not aware of, nor should they have been (they can't be there for every conversation or every act) that were disturbing to us as parents.  Going back over those events with Little Man took time.  Lots of time.  Now that he is in school all day, damage control time is limited.

Outside of my personal life and children, I have seen the negative effects of all day Kindergarten that brings up even more concerns for all day Pre-K.  We have close friends whose child attended the half day Pre-K program.  He did very well.  Excelled.  Now that he is in Kindergarten, he has struggled.  Tears in class.  Tears at home.  Anxiety to the point of sickness.

Another case in point.  I teach a gymnastics class of 5/6 year olds.  Two of my precious kiddos have difficulties separating from their parents since they began Kindergarten.  Previously, they were running in with smiles and excitement.  Their parents have expressed concern about their child's recent inability to separate from them.

The first week of Little Man's school, he was a rockstar.  He had no tears.  However, I watched parents peel their children from them and guide the child, bawling, into an unknown classroom.  This didn't just happen on the first day.  It happened the first two weeks of school.  It happened in every class.

Now that we are a full month into school, Little Man has began to express his desire to stay home more.  He has had a few tears over missing his family.  He has asked to pull out of nightly activities that used to excite him, so he can remain with his siblings (mainly Chubby Cheekers).  I have to wake him every morning for school.  He will lay in bed for quite some time asking for a little longer to rest.  This is something totally new for him.  Previously, he would bound out of bed without a wake up call.

I tell you all this to ask, Is this really what we want for our kids?

I realize if you are a full time working parent, this is something your child has had to get used to and they have adjusted well.  Children are resilient, but should we keep throwing ALL children into these schedules and situations for the sake of education?  Should I look at my soon to be four year old and say, "Your time is done at home, honey.  Time for work."?  

This all day Pre-K stuff is not for us.  We will not be participating.  Little Miss will be in a Pre-K program next year, but it won't be through our public school.  She will go from a time frame of 9-2, like our public school system, but it sure as heck won't be for 5 days/week.  Not even three, and yes, we will pay for it.  Remember, I'm not a homeschoolin' mama.

Unfortunately, there is another population.  It is the population that has me even more fired up.  It is the population of families who struggle to have one parent stay at home.  This population also disagrees with the all day Pre-K program.  This population doesn't have the means to pay for another alternative.  This population has no experience in educating their own child, but will be forced to try their best.  And then they are thrown into Kindergarten.  This is the population that has been forgotten about.

Seriously, are our school leaders really looking out for these young children's best interest or for the interest of teacher convienence, test scores, and day care children?  Because every conversation I have with someone who supports all day Pre-K, it boils down to those 3 elements.  If that's the case, then open a few select full day programs to accommodate families who find all day a good fit, but as for the rest of us, don't expect us to trust the school system with children who have only been on this Earth for four short years.  For Heaven's sake, these kids don't even know how to wipe their own booties!

And I'm done...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit

If you don't know the song, I'll spare you.  However, you should really should educate yourself.  At the very least you should learn, If you're sliding into first and you feel a sudden burst...Okay, I'll stop there.

Really beans is the topic today.  Yesterday a friend from church commented on my strict grocery budget.  She mentioned exchanging meats for beans as a cost/health saving tip.  She is so right on.  Beans and lentils are so perfect in so many ways.  The only problem.  I'm not a bean eater.  I'm not a bean eater and I married a Puerto Rican.  Do you know the main ingredients for PR's?  Rice and, you guessed it, beans.  YIKES!

Over the years I have done a much better job incorporating beans into our diet, but it's mainly black beans.  So, I haven't ventured out too far in the bean department.  Disappointing, I know.

Regardless of my lack of bean consumption, I have found a few tried and true black bean recipes that I love and I just added one more.  I pinned this jewel on Pinterest a few months ago.

Of course I had to make adjustments.  I didn't have any cilantro.  Nor a yellow bell pepper.  Not even a tomato. I did have a green bell pepper and salsa.  That was enough to make it work.  Instead of a creamy cilantro dipping sauce, we had salsa.  Here's the review from the Torres family.

Steven-A head nod.  He was too busy stuffing his face.  That's a good thing.
Little Man-Thumb's up
Little Miss-Didn't like it.  Nothing new.  It will take her a few more times before she'll eat it.
Chubby Cheekers-Well, he liked the Milk Twins afterward
Myself-A definite hit!  Loved them.

Happy Cooking!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hello World (and a Menu)

Geez!  I seriously thought I only skipped Friday.  Late Sunday night I knew I wasn't going to get Menu Monday up.  I'm a slacker. What else can I say?  I can't really pull the 'Newborn' card any longer.

Moving forward, I've had some challenges these past few weeks.  I've moved our family to cash only for groceries, baby, and household items.  We recently made a pretty big family decision for next year that has us under lock and key on our budget.  Money is going, going, going to savings to prepare for something we are pretty excited about (yeah, sorry...not gonna share yet), so the grocery budget is strictly set at $100/week.  I've had to increase that over the last year to accommodate baby supplies and the increased consumption of food from my offspring.  Little Man can already out eat me on any given meal.  He's five.  Super excited for fifteen!

Since the grocery cash is gone when it's gone, my menu planning has become even tighter.  The freezer meal planning has not only helped with time, but also with money.  I currently have four meals in the freezer ready to go.  Not too much, but better than my previous amounts of freezer meals.  The previous amount was zip, zero, zilch-o.  All that to say, when a heavy week hits toiletry or household needs I have some freezer meals to fill up the menu.

Here's what we've got going on this week...

Monday-uh, we already ate it...
Tuesday-Parmesan Crusted Tiliapia, Salad, Balsamic Honey Carrots
Wednesday-Hamburgers, Trees and Raisins
Thursday-Baked Chicken, Green Bean Casserole, Buttered Bread
Friday-BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Potato Wedges, Fruit
Saturday-Football Food!!! (Sausage Balls, Wings, Chips and Queso)
Sunday-Dinner out

Aside from continuing to practice writing their names, the kids and I are having some kid fun this week.  No school stuff!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


This is going to be fairly short. It's just a reminder. A good reminder for all who are in charge of children. We are called to serve children.  To protect them from harm. We are not called to be popular amongst other parents or family members.

We worry about how we will be viewed by others if we go against the grain. If we have a family member who smokes, we worry about alienating them, so we allow them to smoke near our children. If we have friends who allow their children to hit others in the name of 'playing', we laugh it off to avoid the uncomfortable conversations.

Bottom line, if you don't stand up for what's right in regards to your children why would you expect them to stand up for themselves? Every moment is a teachable moment. Our children look to us to rectify wrong doings. Protect your child at all times no matter what the cost. Relationships may be severed, but wouldn't you and your spouse  rather keep the relationship with your child?

Dismounting my soapbox...

Whew! I feel so much better. Not sure where that came from...

My Style

I don't even know where to start on this one.  Maybe from the beginning?  That's always a good start.  But, even there I'm not sure if that's the true beginning. Maybe I never really knew so there is no beginning.  I have things I like. I even have things I love, but to pinpoint my actual style into one word.  That one's hard.

Pinterest has been a culprit in my style identity crisis.  Another possible contributor is our upcoming extended family pictures.  And yet another culprit, the ridiculous price tags on clothing these days.  Aye, aye, aye!  My head is spinning.

Often I see friends pin outfits I find so adorable.  Some even move me to repin, but recently I went on a search for my outfit so I can then pick out the rest of the families' clothing.  I hate matchy-matchy, but I also don't want to look like Picasso went color blind and dressed our family.

So hear are my thoughts in pictures...

Do I go with the anklet jeans paired with a denim shirt and colorful flats and jewelry?

Denim black and tan.

As much as I would like the boots, I cannot in my right mind fork out that much money for pictures.  Give me some tennis shoes or Toms, but boots...I'd rarely wear them.

I'm not sure that's dressy enough though, so I began searching for something a bit more classy.  I'm came across these...
Cute way to wear a maxi for fall

Now that I look at it, really? It's basically the same thing with a skirt.  Geez!  I have some major style issues. If it were really up to me, I'd wear this...

Ahhh, total comfort.  Jeans and Toms. I am at home.  So I guess I do have a style.  COMFTY!  I like to be comfortable and low maintenance.  It's just me.  However, I'd like for our kids to look back on our family photos and not say, "Oh wow.  There's mom.  In jeans.  As always."  So the search continues...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Most Awesome Sports Moment of All Time

So I mentioned yesterday that I witnessed the most awesome sports moment in my life this passed weekend.  Yes, I got to go to the OSU game and be wined and dined with the rich peeps in the Club Section, but that is not where I witnessed greatness.

I witnessed greatness earlier that morning.  It looked a little something like this...

 A little blocking action from his best bud...

...and he runs it in for a TOUCHDOWN!!!

Like I said.  The most amazing sports moment ever!  There is nothing like seeing your little boy take off down the field to score his very first touchdown.  We are some proud parents.  He worked that field like a champ.  And being the defensive guy that he is, Steven was even more pumped on his pursuit skills (his words, not mine).  All I know is he pulled a lot of flags.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Monday

Guess what?  I blinked and the weekend was gone.  It was a blast and Steven and I had the opportunity to do something that probably was a once in a lifetime thing for us.  Not to mention we also witnessed the most awesome sports moment ever, but I'll talk about that later this week.

For this week's menu I purchased extra groceries to prepare some freezer meals.  Some nights for dinner are so crazy.  When I say some nights, I mean 5 out of 7 nights.  When I say crazy it means I have to have dinner on the table no later than 5 so I can get our family out the door and onto the nightly activities.  Not my favorite thing.

What I've decided to do to save myself on those extra crazy nights is to prepare more freezer meals.  Making double of things I'm already cooking and setting them aside for later use, in hopes of preserving my blonde hair from turning gray.  Okay, let's face it, my hair is already turning gray.  It's from my three offspring.  That's a whole other post.

Monday-Baked Ziti (double batch), Salad, Garlic Bread
Tuesday-Honey Lime Chicken (double batch), Roasted Peppers and Onions, and Rolls
Wednesday-Chili and Cornbread
Thursday-Chicken Enchiladas (double batch), Mexi-Rice, Gaucamole
Friday-Fried Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Sunday-Dinner @ Mom's

Learning Activities
Monday-Correct letter formation of letters in name
Tuesday-Library Day
Wednesday-Correct letter formation, Sorting and counting items over 10.
Thursday-Gymnastics Day
Friday-Correct letter formation, Counting and number matching cards

Have a Great Week!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Stress Free

Points of view. Those things are so different.  At times I find them amusing.  Other times I find them annoying.  For example, political posts of facebook.  Those are amusing to a point.  Then you keep seeing them and seeing them and, you guessed it, seeing them to the point of annoyance.

This rings true for other areas as well.  I can't even begin to tell of awkward moments when I tell people what I do now.  Well, let's see.  I take care of my house, cook, clean, play with my babies and nephews, teach the middle kids, and teach two gymnastics classes.  It's a bit of a mishmash of activity, but I usually give this answer, "I'm a stay at home mom."

In response I usually get one of the following comments...

I wish I could do/would have done that with my kids.
I could never do that.  I would get restless.---I find this one hilarious!
Wow! How do you do it? (meaning financially)

What I wasn't prepared for was the next comment I received a few weeks back.  It went something like this.

It must be so nice to not have any stress since you get to be home during the day.

I wish I would have been able to freeze time so I could have stepped outside of my own body to look at my face in that exact moment.  It had to have been comical.  Here this sweet mama looked at me and assumed my life was stress free.  I sort of took it as a compliment.  I must have looked so well put together to warrant a remark as such.  On the other hand, I knew I didn't look great.  My hair was in a half-in disheveled pony tail, and I wasn't quite sure if what was on my shirt was spit up or dried food.  So basically, she wasn't complimenting my stress free life based on my looks.  She actually thought my life was stress free.  

Then there was a long pause and I said, "Yes, it's really great."

I didn't know what else to say.  I do love my life.  I do love being home with the kids, chaos and all, but it's nowhere near stress free.  We all have our stresses.  The day I stopped teaching I just traded one kind of stress for another.  For me, being home is easier.  I am able to take care of things, like cooking and some cleaning, that would be more difficult if I were working.  However, my daily schedule is pretty full.  Rarely do I have a to-do list that gets completely completed.  Here's a typical day for me. 

6:30-7:15 Shower and get myself ready
7:15-7:30 Chubby Cheekers wakes, eats, and goes back to bed (Steven gets the kids breakfast)
7:30-8:00 Steven leaves for work/Get Little Man and Miss ready for the day.
8:00-8:20 Get Chubby Cheekers back up and dressed
8:20-9:00 Load up and get Little Man to school. My nephews arrive.
9:00-9:30 Feed Chubby Cheekers solids
9:30-10:00 Free play for Little Miss and Chunky Monkey.  Get babies settled.  Do daily chore.
10:00-10:30 Feed babies bottle/boobie, then baby naptime
10:30-11:30 School Activity/Outside time
11:30-12:00 Lunch
12:00-12:30 TV Time
12:30-2:00 Naps for Little Miss and Chunky Monkey
1:00-1:30 Babies up and ready to eat again
1:30-2:00 Baby playtime
2:00-2:30 Chubby Cheekers lunch and big kid snack time
2:30-3:00 Free play/begin dinner prep
3:00-4:00 Go get Little Man from school
4:00-4:15 Get kids settled into an activity
4:15-5:00 Nephews leave, finish dinner
5:00-5:15 Pick up house
5:15-5:30 Set table, get plate ready
5:30-6:00 Eat and clean up dinner
6:00-Head out for evening activities (sports or church)
7:45 Baths, Snack, Brush teeth
8:15 Bedtime story
8:30 Kids to bed
8:30-10:00 Clean up, make lunch for Little Man, blog, shower
10:00 Lights out for me!  Ahhhh....

It never ends.  There is always something going on.  I'm always moving.  I don't get to watch daytime talk shows or eat bon-bons.  I just keep moving forward.

So I'm wondering if that sweet lady who commented on my stress free life stumbled across this blog, how she would perceive my life now.  Still stress free, or stressful.  Honestly, stress is all how you look at it.  When I typed out my actual daily schedule, I got a little overwhelmed.  BUT, when I do one thing at a time, I'm okay.  I enjoy what I do.  That makes a world of difference.  Not that everyday is rose petals, but there are enjoyable moments in every day.  I just have to focus on those moments.  Otherwise I would look like this...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pinterest Crock Pot Misfire

A long time ago I pinned some crock pot freezer meal recipes.  I've only put together 3 meals, but I have to share the misfire on one.  Here's the original recipe for Teriyaki Crock Pot Chicken.  Although this recipe wasn't inedible (I think I just invented a word), it wasn't a hit either.  Here's what I would do differently next time.

{pic via Test Kitchen of Melissa Fallis}

  1. Nix the extra 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce you add in before cooking.
  2. Hold off on the pineapples until you are ready to serve.  They soaked up the Teriyaki sauce and looked disgustingly brownish black.  Not appealing at all.  Flavor wise they should be there, but not until you plate it up.
  3. Add colorful bell peppers to the freezer bag.  It will add some color and taste.  
With these little tips in mind, I will serve this again hoping these changes will improve the end result.  Now I'm curious about your freezer meals.  Go on, share away.  No really, share.  I want to know.  I neeeeed to know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Little Girl

A picture is worth a thousand words...or thoughts. It is my favorite picture of her.  No, you can't see her big brown eyes or her light up smile, but it's so her.  The bare feet.  The messy hair.  The dress (she's always in a dress).  Taking in the moment without any knowledge of what's going on around her.  It's just so Little Miss.  I love my little girl so much.

Despite my love for this precious gift, we've had a hard week.  As sweet and loving as she is, Little Miss has developed a bit of sass.  I'm going to get very real here and share some very real mistakes I have made with her recently.  

I truly believe in the power of what you say.  Steven and I guard our words carefully when we come against troubles.  However, I have fallen short in this area regarding my only little girl.  I found myself discrediting the wonderful gift I have been given.  I have accepted the sass through my words by saying things like, "She's sweet, but sassy," or "Oh, Little Miss, she is sassy," or even worse, "God knew what he was doing when he gave me only one girl."

You know what?  What I have been saying is wrong.  My job is to build her up and teach her in the way that she should go.  Not accept the bad habits she has formed, or point them out.  This has really convicted me  lately.  

In all reality, I need to see things from her point of view.  She is the only girl in a world of boys.  Without the sass, she would probably get run over by the rough and tough business that goes on in this house.  Regardless, where I have failed is in the training.  She needs me to help her find where she fits in with these boys without demonstrating sassy behavior.  She needs me to spend quality time doing activities that are important to her without the interference of boys.  She needs to see me demonstrating behavior that builds her up.  She needs me to not speak of her as sassy, but stop it when it comes out.

So here's my game plan.  I'm going to speak her into greatness.  I'm going to tell her this everyday...

You are mine.  You are sweet.  You are precious.  You are strong.  You are beautiful.  You are determined.  You are playful.  You are adventurous.  You are a go-getter.  You are a princess.  You are giving.  you are carefree.  You are loved.

She is NOT sassy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chubby Cheekers Time

Hello Ladies,

So many changes have been happening at my house.  Some changes that I like and some changes that  I don't.  I'll start with what I don't like.  My big brother is gone a lot.  He goes to this thing called school and it really interferes with our playtime.  Little does he know, though, that I army crawl myself to his room and chew on all his toys.  Now that I have two little teeth on the bottom, Mommy says I'd better not leave marks on those toys or he's not going to let me play in his room anymore.  Psh!  She doesn't know how much my big brother loves me.  Teeth marks or not, he won't kick me out of his room...I think...

I do have some new loves and those things are called sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, bananas, and apples.  Man o' man.  Those foods are tasty.  Mommy does those up right.  She even makes my spoon do roller coaster moves before landing in my mouth.  That is the most hilarious thing ever.  I just laugh and laugh until sometimes, just sometimes, food comes right back out on Mommy.  

Mommy also tries to be sneaky and slip in a few bites of avocado and zucchini.  I am not a fan.  Not a fan at all.  I make my yucky face at her, but she doesn't seem to get it.  I don't think Mommy speaks Yucky Face.  Can someone please tutor her? Pretty please?

Other than my big bro starting school and my new foods, I don't have too much going on.  I mean, I crawl everywhere and recently discovered these places on the wall that my finger can fit in just perfectly.  Those things are so cool!  My best discovery yet.  Only guess what?  Those things are gone now.  Mommy put plugs over them.  

Well, Ladies, it's really getting close to my bedtime.  I've already had my bath, boobie, and now it's bed.  The 3 B's.  Gotta love them!

Chubby Cheekers

Photo: I don't stay still despite Mom's wishes!
{Me, at 6.5 months, looking all adorable.}

Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu Monday

I *think* I'm going to start posting our weekly educational goals on the same day as the menu.  I'm not even sure if it will help you out if you are a parent to a young one.  We literally spend about 20 minutes total on 'school' at this house.  I don't push a whole lot to get Chunky Monkey and Little Miss to learn an outrageous amounts of concepts at home, but there are some basics I want them to be knowledgeable of when they hit the classroom next year.  Things I feel they should know.  However, I am NOT an Early Childhood person.  My degree is in Elementary Education (1st-8th grade).  I am strictly going off my two kiddos at home.  Not what I think every child needs.  Over and out.

Monday- Mexican Casserole, Corn on the Cob
Tuesday-Monterey Chicken, Butternut Squash, Parker Rolls
Wednesday-Baked Chicken, Potatoes Au Gratin, Salad
Thursday-Fajita Bake (in the crockpot) and Corn Casserole
Friday-Club Sandwiches, Fresh Veggies with Dip and Fruit
Saturday-OSU GAME!!!
Sunday-Fried Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Monday-Review shapes (square, circle, oval, heart, diamond, rectangle, pentagon, star)
              Practice counting items to 10 (pennies)
              Practice writing names
Tuesday-Library Day
Wednesday-Flash card drills on shapes
                   Practice counting items to 10 and higher (buttons)
                   Practice writing names
Thursday-Practice counting items to 10 and higher (beans)
                Name writing
Friday-Sorting buttons, then counting how many are in each group
           Practice correct letter formation of letters A, L, d, i, c, o, n, s, l

Have a Great Week!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting It Done

Do you ever feel like this is your life?  Working hard to get all of it done in a day where seconds don't tick by, but FLY!  Golly gee this is me.

First off, I consider myself to be a master of time management.  There are few gifts I'll admit to, but time management and budgeting time is one of them.  Despite this gift, I have found myself with items unchecked on my daily list.  It drives me mad.  Bonkers, actually.

I was discussing this with one of my fellow time management pals, when she revealed to me her cleaning schedule.  Now I'm going to be really honest.  I have seen these so called 'Cleaning Schedules' on Pinterest and rolled my eyes at them.  My thoughts were, If you need a schedule to help you clean your house, then you don't use your time wisely.  Then school started...and dance...and football...and gymnastics...and wrestling...and five get the point. We are going strong all week long.  The house was suffering and so was my sanity.  So when my time management gal pal mentioned her 'Cleaning Schedule', I wasn't rolling my eyes.  In fact, I asked her to email it to me.

Well, guess what?  She did.  I read it.  I did it.  I love it.  The end.  It even has me breaking down other items that were overwhelming me.  Items like preparing Chunky Monkey and Little Miss for Pre-K.  Now I have organized daily goals for the house and kids.  And it goes a little something like this...HIT IT...

Cleaning Schedule* 
(Thank You, Jamie!)

Monday: Vacuum floors
Tuesday: Windex Mirrors, windows, and glass doors
Wednesday: Scrub the toilets, tubs, and bathroom floors
Thursday: Mop
Friday: Dust/Polish Furniture

*In all actuality, Jamie has a much more detailed schedule that goes beyond the week.  It has daily and monthly chores as well.  The daily things go along the lines of doing a load of laundry and wiping down counters.  The monthly ones are items like dusting baseboards and blinds.  It is broken down in a totally doable manner that will enable me to remember when I last dusted those darn blinds!
As far as our Educational goals, this is what it looks like this week.

Educational Goals*

Monday: Review and identify basic shapes (circle, square, triangle), letter recognition within their names
Tuesday: Introduce oval to basic shapes.  Color each shape by category (circles red, squares blue, ovals pink, triangles orange).  Begin printing names as we review letters.
Wednesday: Introduce difference between square and rectangles.  Color squares blue and rectangles purple.
Thursday: Counting sides to triangles, squares, and rectangles.  Introduce pentagons.  Continue with name writing.
Friday-Play Shape Memory, and letter jumping (call out a letter within their name and they have to jump on the correct letter)

*Each week we will focus on one Math objective and one Language Arts objective.  During the evenings we cover reading aloud and such.  Science/Social Studies gets covered by read alouds and checking out the daily stuff around us.  Like yours, my kids ask a TON of questions.  Steven and I like to answer them all and then some.  Our poor kids.  They get earfuls!

Doesn't this seem so Type A?  It is.  I realize that, but it has helped me stay focused on what I would like to accomplish.  It gives me purpose in life.  Yeah, I'm seeking help on this.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gettin' With the Times

I jumped off the deep in and purchased and iPhone a few weeks back.  Do I love it?  Yes.  Could I live without it?  Yes.  Would I want to? Eh...

I absolutely love to have information at my fingertips any time day or night.  I don't love how often I have found myself on it.  Temptation.  It's a slippery slope.  Sitting in the carpool line I find myself checking facebook or seeing what PW's doing instead of playing games or singing songs with the kids.  Something that we have done for so long.  I don't want those moments to pass by because I was dying to know what 'so and so' was doing.  I don't want my kids and nephews to see me with my nose in my phone instead of my nose in their faces.

With Little Man in school all day, it really has me evaluating where I spend my time.  Sure, I like social media and this blog, but I like my family more.  That's where I'm going to spend my time.

Since I've been the Negative Nancy on the phone, I would like to share my major positive.  I don't miss out on deals!!!  You all know how much I love saving money.  With this little dude I can look up any coupons or  price matches before making purchases.  I L-O-V-E that aspect of having a smart phone. Love it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Menu Monday on Tuesday

So there was a bit of an absence on Thursday and Friday.  Sorry.  Actually, I'm not.  Sorry that I'm not sorry.  We were kind of living in real life.  It was a real damper to say, "Hey, can you hold on for about 10 minutes while I update peeps on the deets of my life."  We had some amazing company in town.  Steven's uncle that is the exact same age.  Literally, they were born on the same day in the same year.  December 9, 1978, Steven, Rene, and Jaime were born.

It was a blast to get to spend time with them.  All 3 boys are cut from the exact same mold.  The same things make them tick and laugh.  It's quite comical.  What else was comical was the amount of children running around us.  Besides our 3, Chunky Monkey, and Mr. Fluffy, Jaime and his wife, Bebe, have two kids, Gideon (3) and Selah (4 months).  We were busy.  Despite the tornado of toys and excessive noise that surrounded us at all times, we actually enjoyed adult conversation and laughed often about how much we've aged since our pre-kid days.  I wish I would have snapped more pics, but I didn't. Here's the kiddos.  Too bad you can't get the full effect of all kids in one pic.

Introducing The Babes...

And The Bigs...
{Try to mentally block out the Happy Meals...I did}

Enough reminiscing, time for the menu.

Monday-Welp! I missed out on that one.  
Tuesday-Tomato Cream Pasta with Grilled Chicken, Bruschetta, Green Beans
Wednesday-Tater Beef Bake, Crescents
Thursday-Terriyaki Crock Pot Meal, Brown Rice
Friday-Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Baked Potato
Saturday-Pizza Bread, Salad
Sunday-Dinner @ Mom's