Momspiration: Sweet Words to Remember

Mamahood can be a tireless, thankless job. You continually give and give and give, so when you get some sweet words from your kids, you hang onto them, read them over and over, maybe even bring it up when they are teenagers. Here are some of the gems I received this past week:

Emma: Mom, I love you so much that I need to come up with a different word to describe it.

Micah: Mama, I like you. You’re my girl.

Me: Emma, what are you thinking about?

Emma: I’m just looking at how beautiful you are.

Emma: Mom, I’m excited to get presents for Christmas, but you’re the best present I could ever want.

What can I say? It’s been a good week to be a mom.

Imagination Boosters: 10 Activities To Do with a Sickie

My son had an asthma flare up this week. We were thankfully able to stay out of the hospital this time, but he is hopped up on prednisone, albuterol and atrovent. The days and nights have been full of nebulizer treatments and trying to keep him calm, which is hard to do when he’s on medicine that makes him crazy. So I’ve had to come up with some activities to do while he does his treatments.

  1. Rock, Paper, Scissors: He really thinks it’s fun to play this although he only does scissors. We’re still working on helping him understand the game.
  2. Cards: UNO and Go Fish have been his favorites to play.
  3. Board Games: We’ve been playing a lot of Chutes and Ladders, Candyland and Don’t Wake Daddy.
  4. Sorting: A friend gave us these different colored rubber cars, planes, buses, and trains. He likes to sort by type and color and count them.
  5. Reading: His favorites are Curious George and the Little People Lift the Flap books.
  6. Snuggling: Most of the time, he just wants to sit or lay on my lap and be cuddled. Sickies need lots of cuddles.
  7. Coloring: He doesn’t always like coloring, but I convinced him to make a card for his dad’s birthday.
  8. Sticker pages: My mom sent the kids some Christmas scenes to decorate with stickers. They were a big hit.
  9. Skype: It really cheers him up when he gets to see grandparents or cousins, and I can go do a load of laundry.
  10. Laundry Basket Toss: We have tons of stuffed animals, so that’s what we used. We put a basket in the middle of the room, sat back and threw the stuffed animals into the basket. Simple, but it kept him entertained and still for the most part.

He is finally on the mend just in time for Christmas. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Comic Relief: When I Made Thanksgiving a National Holiday

I was driving Emma home from Tae Kwon Do, and she asked for my phone to text her grandma. The conversation took an interesting turn, and I just have to share.

Abraham Lincoln - my caricature

Emma: You know, I’ve been texting since I was in Kindergarten.

Me: That’s funny to think about. When I was in Kindergarten, texting didn’t exist. Neither did cell phones.

Emma: They didn’t?!? What did you use to communicate with people who lived far away?

Me: We would write letters mostly.

Emma: But how would they get them?

Me: By mail. Just like today.

Emma: You mean, you had post offices?

Me: Uhh, yeah. Post offices have been around for a long time, Em.

Emma: Mom, when you were young, back in the olden day, how would you clean yourself?

Me: A bathtub- just like you.

Emma: But where would the water come from?

Me: The faucet.

Emma: Oh really? You had a faucet? But where did the soap come from?

Me: The store.

Emma: YOU HAD STORES??? Really?

Me: Emma, I’m not that old. Yes, we had stores.

Emma: Was President Lincoln the president with you were a little girl?

Me: What? Emma, that was like 150 years ago.

Emma: Well, my teacher read a story of this woman named Sarah who kept writing different presidents asking them to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. They kept saying no until she wrote Abraham Lincoln and he said yes. That’s why Thanksgiving is a national holiday. Was that you?

Me: Yep, that was me. You’re welcome.

Emma: Really? It was you? Because in the book, she wore a bonnet and plaid dress?

Me: Yep, that’s what I put on when you’re at school.

Emma: You do? Oh, but wait, it wasn’t you. She had 8 children.

Me: I know. I have 8 children. I just keep 6 hidden.

Emma: Why would you hide your children?

Me: Well, I just hide the ones I don’t like.

Emma: Mom, you’re joking. I know that wasn’t you.

Me: Well, maybe I am. I just can’t believe you thought I was that old.

It’s funny how our kids have such a different perspective on us as parents. She really couldn’t believe that I took baths with running water and had post offices and grocery stores.

What’s for dinner? Weekly Menu

Now that my busy season is over for work, I get to focus on being a wife and mom, and I’m trying to get back into actually planning meals. I have a menu board in the kitchen, but over the past few months, two of the clothespins have fallen off and the “M” is missing in Menu. Poor sad menu board…maybe I’ll add that to the list of things to do for the week.

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Monday- Hamburgers

Tuesday- Marinated Chicken Breasts (see recipe below) and Salad

Wednesday- Leftovers

Thursday- Company Christmas party- eating at a restaurant

Friday- Catfish with peanut scallion sauce, Spinach Madeline

Saturday- Jambalaya

 

Marinated Chicken Breasts

This is my mom’s recipe, and it’s delicious!! You can marinate the chicken a few days in advance before you cook them.

1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Garlic Powder
¼ tsp black pepper
2 T chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Mix ingredients. Place 4-5 boneless breasts in Ziploc bag with marinade. Broil or grill 10 minutes per side.

Kid Activities: Christmas Ornaments

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As we were decorating our Christmas tree last week, we realized that we have a lot of homemade ornaments from our daughter beginning with her preschool years. Since our son is homeschooled, we don’t have any that he has made.

So this week, we made 2. He doesn’t exactly have the same love of arts and crafts as his sister did, so we had to do them in stages. All in all, they came out great, and he had fun.

Creative Discipline: Asking questions

My daughter Emma (7.5) and I have a typical mother-daughter relationship. She tends to disagree with anything I say.

Example 1:

Emma has her legs crossed and is wiggling from side to side.

Me: Emma, why don’t you do to the bathroom?

Emma: Because I don’t have to go.

Me: You’re wiggling. Just go to the bathroom.

Emma: I’m not wiggling. I’m dancing. I just like to dance.

(5 seconds go by)

Emma storms off to the bathroom: Fine. You were right. I have to do to the bathroom. Why are you always right about this?

This happens multiple times a week, so even her admitting that I’m right about knowing the pee pee dance doesn’t persuade her to listen to me the next time she starts a-wigglin’.

 

Example 2:

Emma recently saw an episode of a popular, animated show. I had overheard a few minutes of it when she was watching it on Netflix, and later, she mentioned it in a conversation.

 

Me: I don’t really like that show, and I’m not sure it’s a good show for you to watch again.

Emma: What? It’s a great show. It’s funny. Why don’t you like it?

Me: Because [the main character] is a narcissistic, materialistic girl who emasculates [the man she loves] and cares nothing for her friends or sisters. (Ok- I said it more like this) She is only focused on adding to her already massive closet, and all she thinks about is herself. She is selfish and not a very good friend.

Emma: Well, I disagree with you. I don’t think that’s true at all. (Yes, this is really how she talks.)

 

At this point in the conversation, it’s pointless to continue to engage in dialogue, which leaves me 2 options.

1)   Play the mom card and forbid her to watch it.

2)   Let it slide because although it’s annoying and she is really selfish, it’s probably harmless.

 

I chose option 3. I told her to get the iPad, and we would watch the episode together.

While the episode was playing, I would ask her questions:

“Is that what a good friend does? When was the last time she asked one of her friends a question about them? In this scene, did she think of anyone other than herself or her boyfriend? What does she do with all of those clothes in her closet? How much money did she spend on those clothes? How many people do you think she could feed if she only kept half of what she has? Why do you think she continues to buy more things when her closet is already full? She just left her boyfriend as he was fixing her car because her friends hopped in her car to go to the beach. She forgot him completely. Do you think that’s a good friend? Do you like being forgotten? How do you think a person should be treated in this situation?”

Midway through, she looks at me and says, “I never noticed any of this before.”

During dinner, she told her dad that it wasn’t a good show, and she wouldn’t be watching it again. When asked why, because he didn’t know about our special viewing, she said, “She is very selfish and all she cares about are things. She’s not a good friend, and I don’t want to see that.”

She will still play with the toys from the show. She’s even getting one of them for Christmas because it’s what she really wants. The lesson that I’m trying to teach her is that the toys aren’t bad, it’s our attitude. It’s how we treat others. . It’s Emma’s imagination and her attitude that will determine what kind of characters she “plays” with in regards to these toys. It’s not the toys themselves.

My goal is to raise a compassionate, generous, selfless, confident daughter who can think critically and be strong in her convictions. If I only forbid everything or allow everything, I’m missing opportunities to teach her why things are right and wrong. I would be raising her without an anchor.

Give your children a good foundation- one that they can stand on, and return to if they stray for a bit. It’s one of the best gifts you can give them.