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Archive for January, 2009

Letting go of perfection.

For some reason the post that I posted yesterday didn’t post yesterday, so I had to post it this morning.

After my pity party and whining yesterday, I am feeling much better now.

I am still not superwoman or supermom, though.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I stress over the most insignificant stuff.

Like laundry. I feel like a failure as a house keeper if there is anything dirty at all in the laundry. I can’t possibly be the only woman out there that feels that way.

Cooking. Do I really have to cook a huge meal every night? Nope. Are my kids going to die if I feed them fish sticks and french fries twice in a week? Nope.

Cleaning. Why do I feel like I have to have the perfectly clean house? Which I don’t. Not with four children. I think this has something to do with magazines and HGTV showing off perfect houses that looks like no one actually lives in them. Also, I think women haven’t escaped completely from the Leave it to Beaver mom image. She didn’t work and I don’t think she had four kids.

I am going to quit trying to live up to a standard that I have set too high and as long as my kids are fed, clean, have clean clothes to wear, and are not living in a pig sty then I am going to be happy.

At least though the week.

I can keep my Saturday cleaning schedule, so that I can start each week off clean.

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I give up.

I am not superwoman and I am not supermom. I never will be and the sooner I accept this the sooner I can move on happily with my life.

I have realized this for a while, but I just didn’t want to give up the image I have in my mind of a mom and homemaker.

I was in denial.

I have four kids: one teenager who obviously is determined not to do homework, one drama queen that thinks she is grown at 11 years old, one 6 year old that is having multiple meltdowns a day, and one infant that is wreaking havoc with my sleeping schedule.

My husband is “remodeling” our house. I will be so happy when that is over and life can be a tad bit less hectic than it is now.

I work. Eight hours a day. Forty hours a week. I spend 2 hours a day driving to work and back home.

I try to keep my house clean. I have a schedule. I have charts. I have everything the kids are supposed to do broken down on their own charts. I am the queen of list making. I make lists all the time and 9 out of ten lists I never look at again. So, if I can follow a schedule and a chore list, then anyone can. Including my children.

I give up on the notion that I have to have a spotless house, have spotless children, have a spotless car, and have all my laundry completely washed up every day.

Just who says that if you have dirty clothes in your laundry room that this is a bad thing?

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I know we are not supposed to bribe our children into doing what we want them to do, but I don’t care what “they” say anymore. I am going to bribe away when it comes to my kids; if it works.

My closest friends know that I am having a difficult time with getting Jacob to do his homework. He does well, for the most part, on his tests and class work. He just does not want to do his homework. Honestly, I understand this. I didn’t want to sit at school all day then come home and have to do more work either, but it is just one of those things that we all must put up with during life.

I am limited to what I can take away from him because I haven’t went all crazy and bought my kids everything that they want. He doesn’t have a cell phone or ipod. He doesn’t have a TV, computer or phone in his room, either. All he has is a radio with a cd player that doesn’t work anymore. If my kids watch TV, play on the computer, or talk on the phone, then they do it where I can monitor their every move.

It makes life a little crazy, but at least my kids do not go to their rooms and never come out. Yes, they get on my nerves and get on each other’s nerves, but they are learning now that people will get on your nerves in your life and you can’t always go in a room and shut the world out.

Anyway, he has been grounded from his playstation all year and all year last year. I finally just let him play the playstation last week. Josh, my husband, commented about how Jacob was supposed to be grounded from it. My reply was simple. It’s not working, so why keep it from him.

In fact, his grades are worse. I know. It is crazy.

To top all this off, it has been difficult to get teacher cooperation. This is why he got away with it last year. I punished him last year. The poor boy was grounded all year long. I even had him believing his playstation was gone to the Goodwill. This idea had promise, until Jacob told his dad that I took it to the Goodwill and he got his panties in a wad because of all the money he had put into it and its games. When I let him know that the playstation was safely hidden, he decided to tell Jacob the truth. Needless to say, when Jacob finally let me know that he knew the truth, I was not happy.

He is a smart kid. Smart enough to know that if the teachers let him by last year without doing homework and he can still pass, then why not do it this year. How can I compete with this logic: pass by not doing homework or pass by doing homework?

I started thinking about the definition of insanity. I applied it to my situation and I decided that punishing wasn’t working, so I decided to reward him (actually, it is a bribe).

I told him that if he would do well on this report card and the next report card then I would buy him an ipod.

I think I might even buy it now, so that I can put it up in plain site as a reminder of what he is working toward.

If he doesn’t do well, then I guess I will be the fine owner of an ipod.

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Meatloaf Muffins

Meatloaf Muffins

A very good friend of mine made mini meatloaves when I was visiting at her home. I am not exactly sure what her recipe was, but they were very good. Plus, Sebastian (he is picky eater with a killer gag reflex) liked them. Since I certainly know how to make a meatloaf, I decided to try making my own version of these little meatloaf muffins (I am sure my friend does not mind). Last night, I made these with macaroni and cheese and corn. My kids really like these, so I thought I would pass along my recipe.

For my recipe, you will need the following:

1 lb Hamburger   *I use the leanest hamburger. Grease doesn’t overflow my muffin pan with the leanest hamburger.

1 egg

½ cup ketchup

Dried chopped onion that is found in the spices at the grocery store   *I use these so that I don’t have to chop a fresh onion.  I don’t measure this ingredient. I just put the amount that I think is right. I probably use about a tsp.

1 pack of finely crushed Ritz crackers.  

Various Toppings: ketchup, salsa, ranch dressing, sour cream   *Be creative.  

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  *I use a pan made for 12 muffins.

Combine ingredients. Once the ingredients are mixed well, place equal amounts of the mixture into the muffin cups. Once you have put all the ingredients into the muffin cups, make a little hole in the center of each meatloaf muffin so that you can spoon your favorite topping onto the top of each one. Place muffin pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

*Note: All ovens are different and all hamburger meat is different. Also, some ovens cook faster/slower than others so watch carefully while it is cooking so that the grease doesn’t spill over and cause a fire.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Well, I am sleep deprived and I just had pizza for lunch. Loading up on pizza carbs is not really a smart thing to do whenever I am sleepy.

Anyway, Samuel is not conforming to my routine. I have decided that I guess I will just have to conform to his routine. Oh, well…

You know, there was a woman at the hospital that told me that she had four children and that everyone she knows that has four children says that the fourth child rules the house. I am beginning to think she is right.

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I started reading “The Shack”  a couple of months ago, but I couldn’t get through the first chapter because I was big pregnant and I was busy at work.

On maternity leave, I picked up the book and began reading it from the beginning. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in two days.

It is a wonderful book. It answered many questions that I have had as a Christian and opened my eyes to different things about myself that I didn’t even realize. There were definitely some light bulb moments and it forever changed the way I think about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

I recommend this book to everyone: Christian or not. It is just that good.

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It feels good to be back.

I have been on Maternity Leave. It felt good to take a “vacation” from the computer, Internet, and work.

Now, I need to get back into groove again. The groove of rushing around and feeling like I am not accomplishing anything.

Rush to get ready, rush to get the kids ready, rush to get to work, rush at work because we are behind, rush to pick up the baby, rush to get home, rush to get supper done, rush to get baths, rush to bed, rush to sleep.

I am going to get myself together so that I don’t have to rush, rush, rush.

Another thing that I am going to do is get my oldest, Jacob (I haven’t used their names before but I am tired of using numbers. Besides, my friends are the only ones that read my blog anyway.), on track at school. I know every parent says their kid is smart, but he really is and it doesn’t show on his report card. He doesn’t like to do homework and this brings his averages down. But this is changing. I have talked this issue over with a few folks. I will blog about this later.

I am praying that my daughter, Emily, gets a part in the school play. She will be devastated if she doesn’t. She does a great Hannah Montana impersonation. Honestly, I don’t know if it is an impersonation or if it is from watching too much Disney Channel.

My son, Sebastian, is such a funny little man. He lurks around corners to scare everyone out of their skin. He is going through something right now though. He doesn’t do well with change and we all know that a new baby will bring about big changes. Plus, he has been the baby for six years.

The baby, Samuel, is so adorable: even at 3am. At seven weeks, he is showing some personality. He is alert and wants to see everything. He doesn’t like laying back. He wants to sit up all the time. I think he is going to hit the ground running. I am hoping that he is not going to be a picky eater. He doesn’t care if he gets the breast or the bottle as long as he is getting something. Not too many babies switch back and forth without fussing. I am currently trying to get him on a schedule. Now that I am at work, hopefully I will be able to accomplish this because so far he doesn’t want to be tied down to any sort of schedule.

I have started getting organized by picking up where I left off before I went on Maternity Leave. So far, so good. Still a ways to go though.

So, basically I need to do the following:

1. Tackle homework issues with Jacob.

2. Maybe slack up on how much Disney the kids watch. Nah…

3. Work through little (and sometimes big) changes with patience and lots of love.

4. Get a routine that works. For everyone.

5. Stop rushing  and slow down.

These five things shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.

Yeah, right…

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