Categotry Archives: Kids

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A New Groove

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I know I am way overdue for a blog post and I apologize.  The new job has been busier than I anticipated!  Since the account I was assigned to is brand new, there was a lot of work that went into getting it ready.  I worked lots of overtime the week before last and even then we still went live a day late!  So, I went in early last week too so we could catch up and while it’s going slowly, we are getting there.  But, the good news is I have found my groove and it’s becoming a routine.  Everyone is still getting adjusted but we’ll all get there.  I think some schedules may be in order!

I can’t believe that we nearing the end of the school year.  We got notice of when Buggy’s pre-K graduation will be.  L will be getting ready to take the Florida standardized test called the F-CAT and I’m a bit worried.  One half of it is reading comprehension which she has struggled with so we need to work with her on it.  She said her teacher let her know that if she didn’t do well on the test, there was still another opportunity to prevent her from staying back but we have heard NOTHING from the teacher ourselves so I sent an email to her teacher  to find out exactly what we need to work on.  She reads a TON and honestly, I think some of it is just not knowing how to scan and look for the answers within the stories so I’ll start there.  And then once I hear back from her teacher, I’ll have a better idea of what else we may need to work on.

With the approach of the end of  school year comes the time for registering Buggy for Kindergarten.  But our county is redistricting so I am pretty sure my kids will be going to another school next year.  This upsets me a bit because we love the school L is in now.  She has lots of friends there and I love a lot of the teachers.  All the kids from our neighborhood would be going to the same new school but still, it breaks my heart that she may have to start over at a new school in 4th grade.  It’s not as big of a deal for Buggy since she’ll be starting from scratch but it’s still a bit upsetting.  And I can’t believe my last baby will be starting school full time!  She loves school and I know she’ll do fine but it’s still so bittersweet.

Spring Break is just around the corner and I am so sad I won’t be able to be home for any of it.  B’s parents will be coming to visit so I know the kids will love their time with Grandma and Grandpa but I’d still like to be able to take some time off.  I just keep telling myself that I’ll have a week off in June to go to the beach so I’m trying to look forward to that.

We’re also looking into what to do with the kids this summer since we’ll both be working.  Buggy’s school had a summer long camp so we may just send them there. There’s also a science/environmental camp through the county that Linnaea wants to go to so maybe she can do that for a week.  No matter what they do I’m sure they’ll have fun!

Last night B and I went out on a double date with some friends who have kids the same age as ours (their older daughter was in L’s 1st grade class).  We left the kids at their house with one of our friends’ mothers and we went out to dinner and bowling.  We had SUCH a blast!  It had been a while since we went out with another couple so it was nice to get out without the kids.  The kids behaved and passed out their house so I would say the night was a success.  We’ve already made plans for a get together for St. Patrick’s Day!

Hopefully, once the job calms down, I’ll have more time to write!  I promise not to disappear!

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Positive Changes

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One of the nice things about having extra income is the ability to be a bit pickier about the food we buy and eat.  Being on a strict budget can make eating well, not to mention healthy, hard.  I was so glad to be able to go to Costco and our local meat market recently to stock up on things like chicken breasts, steaks and pork tenderloin.  We have an extra freezer in our garage so that helps our ability to buy in bulk.  I would say that we have enough meat to last us more than a month.

But it goes beyond being able to afford to buy meat in bulk.  Over the last couple of years, I have started to think more about what we eat.  Living in a place where we have access to farmers markets all year round has made me more conscious of the things we eat.  I have started to read labels more and I have moved farther and farther away from processed foods.  I want my kids to reach for fruits and veggies as snacks rather than cookies and chips.

I had an interesting conversation at work today.  I work with a couple of Haitian women.  One was born and raised here but her husband and her parents are from Haiti and she still has many relatives there. The other was born in Haiti and has been in the States for several years.  They were talking about how Haiti is the poorest island in the West Indies and how people from there (and probably other countries as well) views us here in the States.  They make the best with what they have.  They rely native foods and natural resources.  They don’t waste and they make ALL their own food.  They see they way we eat and waste here in the States and frankly, they’re appalled.  And honestly, I don’t blame them.  They see us fill our plates with food, some of it junk and throw away half of it.  They see us buy things with ingredients not found in nature and they see us overeat all of it.  As one of them put it, they see us as arrogant and she’s right.  These are all things I have started to think about more recently and I have been working to change.

I think over the next couple of weeks, I am going to do a purge of my pantry and cabinets.  I am going to use up all the unnecessary condiments, etc. and start making my own.  Now, I may not go as far as to make my own ketchup and mustard but things like salad dressing and even taco sauce and seasoning, I know I can make myself.  I actually like making my own salad dressings and I already make my own BBQ sauce.  I’m going to go back to making my own pasta and tomato sauce.  That always tastes better to me anyway.  I’m going to try to set up a schedule where I put time aside each weekend to do these things.  I will now what goes into these food and I’ll be able to pronounce all the ingredients.

Starting this weekend, we also plan to get back into the habit of going to the farmers market weekly.  We’ll get up and hit the market on Saturday morning and then we’ll go to the grocery store and plan our meals around what we picked up at the market.  I am also going to be more conscious of where the food I buy comes from and try to buy local as much as possible.  I am going to stop buying as many chips and things like that and keep fruits on hand and veggies cut up for the girls to snack on and I’ll try my hand at making homemade ranch dressing for them to dip them in.

I know that once I make these changes not only will I feel better PHYSICALLY, I’ll feel better emotionally knowing that I am making good choices not only for my family, but for the local economy as well as the planet.  I encourage others to follow the same path.  After all, change starts with just one person.

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New Year, Big Changes

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I know it’s been a little while since I posted.  The past few weeks have been BUSY!  First I had to get ready to start my new job and then once I started my new job, I had to get back into the swing of working.  I’m starting my 4th week and so far so good!  It’s been mostly training but I needed to brush up on stuff plus, I needed to learn their ways and how to use their systems.  I like my team and I think this will work out nicely.  On the 25th, I’ll actually start doing my job and I have a feeling it will be busy which is what I have always liked about this particular position…there’s never a dull moment.  I know I will never get bored!

It has been an adjustment for everyone though.  I seem to be doing OK with getting up and getting ready to go in a decent amount of time (until today…no clue what happened there).  I haven’t started the actual schedule I was hired for yet but I have still been going in late enough to take L to school.  Literally my second week of work, both girls ended up with stomach bugs so that put a cramp in things.  But B has been great about getting dinner stuff ready so I can just throw it on the grill or whatever when I get home.  We had already gotten used to eating later since we moved here so even my working later shouldn’t affect things too much.  We’ve been making meal plans and sticking to them and that definitely helps.  It’s been much smoother than I thought it would be.

I think the person this has been hardest on is Buggy.  She was used to having me there when she got home from school, etc. so one night at bedtime when I told her I missed her during the day, she said, “I miss you too, Mommy.  When can you stop working?”  My heart just about broke but I explained that I wasn’t going to stop and that next year she’ll be in school full time and she won’t notice as much.  I explained that with Mommy working, we’d be able to do a lot more fun stuff and she seemed to understand.  I had thought I had been handling it pretty well but last week it hit me too.  My manager told us we might have to stay late last Friday and that combined with PMS and the things Buggy had said led me to pretty much burst into (controlled) tears.  In the end, we didn’t have to stay late and I realized that it was all just a delayed reaction to going back to work after being home for four years.

The addition to our finances has definitely been nice!  I managed to get our taxes done early so we got our refund in no time.  I got my first paycheck on Friday and I had actually budgeted to close to the right amount…I was off by about $30 and it was MORE than I though so that was nice!  We spent a night at Disney and it was nice to not have to nickel and dime everything although we were careful not to go crazy (everything there is so darn overpriced!).  Our goal is to still follow a budget but it won’t nearly be as strict which is nice.  And now we’ll be starting on our household projects list which we are BOTH excited about.  Once thing we have always been responsible about is our finances so I don’t plan on letting that change.

I know I am still getting used to being back at work and I promise that once I get into a normal groove, I will be sure to make time for blogging (on ALL my blogs).  I just hope my life doesn’t get too boring and my writing dries up!

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Well, Summer Is Over

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I knew it was going to fly. I can’t believe that 10 1/2 weeks went by that fast! We did keep ourselves busy with our vacation to the beach, trips to the water park, bowling and a short trip to Disney. Maybe that is part of the reason it went by so fast.

L started second grade today. She LOVES school and is always sad the school year ends. A couple weeks ago, I took her shopping. Unlike her mom, she LOVES skirts and dresses. Even though we live in a state where it’s quite warm most of the year, there are still dress codes so we had to be careful what she picked out. But she was perfectly happy to pick out a bunch of shirts with different prints on them and skirts (of a reasonable length) to match. She got new dressy shoes and two new pairs of sneakers which is what she wears almost daily to school. We spent a small fortune on her supplies. I think next year I may just bite the bullet and spend the couple of extra bucks to have the school do it for us. It seems SO much easier.

To me, the kids find out who their teachers are really late. I swear we used to find out who we had the next year on the last day of school. Maybe that has changed because of budget cuts and teachers moving around more. I don’t know. I went on the school web site a week ago to see when Meet The Teacher Night would be and found out it was that Friday. I knew that meant we would get a call from the teacher soon and sure enough, on Thursday her teacher called. She seemed really nice on the phone and my neighbor across the street described her as “really, really sweet.” And she definitely was sweet when we met her on Friday. She has a daughter in middle school and a 3 year old so she was also very nice to A. She thanked us for the supplies and gave us a little fun homework to work on this week…a bag of 4 things that describe L…things she likes, etc. L has already come up wth a few things to put in it. She also told us that this is the first year of actual letter grades so we will be making some new rules for Linaea regarding televison watching and video game playing. Last year they did get percentages on their progress reports and L was always in the B+ to A range so I’m not real worried but I still want her to understand how important school is.

This morning L was up and dressed before we were, complete with earrings and necklace. She had a nice healthy breakfast (WW Bagel Thin with PB and some berries plus a glass of milk) and I packed her a nice lunch (LF ham on a WW pita with lettuce, tomato and a bit of mayo, grapes, some Goldfish and a 100% juice Capri Sun). She packed up her puppy backpack and was ready to go. She looked so grown up! She wanted us to walk her to her classroom so we did, but we also told her this would be the last year we did that. She hugged us all good-bye and sat down on the floor to wait. She had a huge smile on her face. I don’t think I ever remember being that happy to go back to school except for maybe in college!

So, our summer if over. Sure, we have plenty of warm weather left…it IS Florida after all but we are back intot he school year and a new routine. It feels kind of good!

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Summer Break and Schedules

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The last day of school here was June 1.  The next couple of days were spent preparing to leave for vacation and from the 4th to the 11th, we were on vacation.  That means this past Monday was really our first REAL day of summer break.  Over the course of this week the girls played school played out in front of our house with their bikes and scooters, read together, colored, swam in the pool, went to the splash park and watched movies together.  None of this was organized or scheduled and that’s just kind of how I roll and I am starting to wonder if I should change how I roll.

When my kids were both first born, I worked full time.  Our weekends were spent spending time together as a family.  We had a pool so we swam and cooked out during the summer.  The kids played in the yard and we occasionally went on little excursions.  But mostly we just enjoyed time together.  The girls got plenty of socialization at day care so I wasn’t really worried about that.  I didn’t worry about play dates or anything like that.  Frankly, we didn’t really have the time!

When we moved to FL, we decided I would stay home.  Both our rental house and the house we live in now have pools and are on safe, quiet streets.  The kids would swim or we’d go to the park.  They would play out in front of our house with their scooters and bikes.  We eventually got annual passes to Disney so we would do that when it wasn’t too hot.  Linnaea hasn’t shown much interst in any activities so we’ve waited on those.  Eventually we got to know out neighbors more and the kids started playing together but it was usually a spur of the moment type thing.  And despite Alexa spending most of her time with me, her socialization skills were just fine.

But more and more, I have started to wonder if I should change how I do things.  When I moved to FL, I had a friend from middle school who had lived here in town for years.  Now, I knew we had become different people but once I got here, I realized just how different.  She constantly had her kids on the go…play dates, excursions, you name it.  But at the same time, she was a slave to her kids poor sleeping habits which, frankly, were her own fault.  I know, I know some kids have legitimate sleep issues but in this case, she created these monsters.  She is also a “helicopter parent.”  The combination of these things make me a little nuts.  Oh, and once the weather gets warm, she pretty much refuses to take her kids out to do any outdoor activities.  Heck, they have a pool they pretty much never use.  We’re in ours all the time and our kids still play outside and go to the park even in the summer.  I could go on and on but I’ll stop here.  So, needless to say we’ve drifted apart and I have found friends whose parenting and social interests are a little more like mine.

But now that summer is here again and I know more people, even other moms I know seem to have a schedule of what they plan to do every week.  And by schedule I mean they say “Well on Monday we’re going to go to the splash park and on Tuesday we’ll do this and on Wednesday we’ll do that.”  Maybe I’m the weird one?  I mean, I plan to do all those things at some point during the week but for most of them, I’m not going to pin myself down to a day.  Is that strange?  Should I be more regimented?  Am I hurting my kids?  I’m starting to second guess myself and I don’t like it.