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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rise and Shine - Day 4

So my 6:30 wake up has been working out well for us.  I've been able to get ready without kids, and get myself going.  Today we started school before 9.  Amazing and yesterday I deep cleaned the kitchen in prepartion for a stock/broth making party today.  It feels so great to be that accomplished.

So what is today's goal?  Extreme Planning.  In a nutshell it is getting things ready the night before and taking 3-5 things that you need to do in the morning and hate to do and doing them before bed.

So what are my 3-5 things:

- Hubby's lunch
- Dishes
- Tea/coffee prep (which has been non-existent for months now)
- 15 minute pick up


So I'm going to try and have them all done before bed.  We shall see. It shouldn't be too hard as I do have my kids maintain some sort of order through the day.

I can accomplish this.

And last night I slept somewhat better.  I'm now to the point in my book where I have to force myself to put it down.  Just the best feeling in the world!

Rise and Shine - Day 3

I forgot to mention yesterday about how when you are tired and a mom, eventually you land in the Land of Bitter and Sour.  I can't recall a time that I have been bitter or sour.  Are there times I am frustrated and not feeling like doing the "mom" thing?  Of course.  But I've never been bitter about my kids and how they get more sleep than I do.

This is completely my thing and we all adapt and function the best that we can.  My perspective is just different and I often have to remind myself of that.

Do on to day 3:

This is about being organized.  Yes, organized.  Seriously?!?  I don't have time for one more thing to organize in my life.....and then it dawns on me that, yes I do.  Because more sleep - more organized sleep - will result in a better organized day.  It will.  I guarantee it.

Abundant Mama goes through 5 rituals.  They are The Organized Ritual, The Peaceful Ritual, The Unplugged Ritual, The Reading Ritual, and The Gratitude Ritual.

Do honestly....I suck at them all.  S.U.C.K.  I do but I do know that I can always improve.  So what thing am I focusing on tonight?  The Unplugging Ritual.  Electronic devices do interrupt REM sleep and I've noticed that when I've finally gone to bed and dear hubby is still on the iPad, I can't fall asleep or I wake up telling him to turn it off.

So the goal for tonight is to not allow any electronic devices, except for the phones on the dresser, into the bedroom.  The kids are going to hate us but I'm going to enjoy a book I got for Christmas.  Let's see how it goes.


Oh and for how did I do waking up?  6:30 again.  It has been working.  I'm not going to force too much right now.  I'll eventually get to 6 but until then, I'm just fine with 6:30.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rise and Shine - Day 2

Well I didn't get up at my normal time but I also didn't get up at 6 am.  I got up right at 6:30 am.  And guess what?  I've actually had a pretty productive day.  We have a play date later today which will really help in getting us going.

So on to day 2 and what to reflect on:

What nightly ritual can you do before going to sleep to really foster and earlier, and more sleepy, bedtime?

This one is tough.  I have young children and 2 of them sleep in bed with us.  I love it but id does at times impede on sleep.  The best thing I can think of is to turn off all the electronics.  That'll be hard but doable.

I will have to think some more and I'll weigh in a day or two.  Until then, I will try going to bed earlier and even getting my kids and hubby more involved in prepping the night for bedtime.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Grocery University - A way to cut your grocery bill

    With an ever growing family, and not a lot of time on my hands, I am always on the look out for items that'll help me save money.  I'm not a huge couponer and my schedule doesn't always allow me to shop sales.  With that, I do the best that I can but I'd still love to save even more without comprising to junk food.

    Money Saving Mom is re-launching Grocery University tomorrow and it'll prove the old adage of the 'early bird gets the worm' if you wake up early and can get the program for $2.97!  That's amazing!  As the day goes by, the price will slowly increase so you will want to get up and get going.

    You can read Crystal's post here.

Click the banner/ad off to the side to purchase it.







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Rise and Shine - Day 1

I was perusing Facebook last week when Money Saving Mom posted a daily challenge signup.  It was The Abundant Mama 10 day Rise and Shine Challenge.  Since I have been struggling with waking up before the kids, I decided to sign up for the free challenge.

Today was Day 1.  I still woke at my normal time - 7 am.  Fortunately, the kids were still asleep as they decided midnight was a great time to go to bed last night.  So I started my day with a shower and got ready.  Then I woke up the rest of the kids, had them do their chores, went and got a coffee, and returned for breakfast and school.

Abundant Mama asked everyone involved in the challenge, What is morning to you?

So what is morning to me?  What do I want my mornings to be like?

Mornings right now are chaotic.  Filled with yelling, rushing and hurry to the next thing.  Not anywhere near my ideal.  And my ideal isn't some fantasy either.  Some mornings it happens but most mornings it doesn't because I lack getting up early enough.

So here is my ideal morning:

- Rise and shine at 5:50/6 am.

- 30 minutes of exercise

- 30 minutes to shower and get ready.  This is easy for me as I have short hair now and if I lay my clothes out the night before, I'm all set.

- Wake up kids at 7 am.

- From 7 to 8 it is breakfast and chores.

- 9 am school start.


The 9 am school start is essential.  Since I have a third grader and a first grader, I've added in a bit more work to really tie it all together.  If we can't get through 5 of our boxes by lunch (11:30/12:00), then the day will be long as I have 2 children that go down for nap shortly there after and that is when we do group work and when I get a chance to get into my office and write or sew....mostly sew!

Another part to the challenge is to value your sleep.  Since I'm still breastfeeding, I usually am woken up twice during the night.  And going to sleep early is always hard.  It is my time to spend with my hubby.  But I'm postive if I can start getting up early, the kids will start getting up at their time too which means bedtime will be easier and allow hubby and I to spend some time with each other before heading to bed.

So here's to a 10 pm bedtime tonight.  I'll get it done and tomorrow I will work my hardest at getting up.

The ultimate goal is to have that time to myself to take care of myself.  If I don't do it in the morning, it won't happen any other time of the day.


Friday, August 1, 2014

The 5 (or 7) stages of grief - First Grade Style

This past week has been a doozy.  Anytime one of your children come down with an illness, particularly one that you can't figure out, it can and will stress you out.  That has been my week.

Saturday night, LB started running a fever.  Not your normal 102.6 that my children get but 104.5.  We let him sleep it off.  Rather we were wishing he slept it off.  Sunday morning came and he just wasn't waking up.  Fever still high so off to the bath.

By Monday afternoon, Tylenol and Ibuprofen weren't helping.  As soon as they would wear off, he'd be back up to 104.5.  Off to the doctors.  At this point, all we could do was speculate.  His eyes were really red and blood shot, his ears were pink but not goopy or showing any other signs of ear infection, he wasn't sniffly or boogery, and he had been peeing and drinking just fine.  We were prescribed some anitbiotics for his eyes since he wouldn't stop touching them and they were not looking well and also amoxicillan.  In conjuction with the doctor, we were to wait a couple of days on the amoxicillan.  If his fever was still 104.5 by Wednesday, try it out and see if it helps.

Well that happened.  Fever stayed high even with my attempts of baths, broths, washcloths, essential oils, and sheer will power on my end.  I reluctantly filled the prescription and by Thursday morning, he was below 101.  Yay.  For all I know he had an ear infection or a UTI but because of his high pain tolerance, we will never know.

So how does this fit into the stages of grief?  Well, his responses to getting his medicine.  Quite hilarious.  Each medicine has to be administered 3 times a day.  Here are his responses starting with us administering tylenol on Sunday:

Sunday (7/27):  Stage 1 - Denial

Me:  Buddy we need to get into the bath to cool you down and take some Tylenol.
LB: But I'm not sick.  I'm not hot.  I'm....just....fine (yawn).
Me: No LB.  We need to get you into the bath.  I'll get you some cold gatorade as well.  Daddy will help.
LB: *snore*
Me: C'mon LB.  <Picking him up and carrying him to the tub>
LB: oh.....kay.

Me: Here's your Tylenol.
LB: Nope.  Don't need it.
Me: Yes you do.  It'll help your body cool down some so you aren't so hot and we can figure out what is going on.
LB: Fine!  But this is all I am taking.

Monday (7/28):

Me: C'mon LB.  We need to head to the doctors.  (After a day of the temp not going down)
LB: But I need to play Minecraft.
Me: No buddy.  We need to make sure you aren't too sick.  That I haven't overlooked anything.
LB: But I feel fine.  We don't need to go.
Me: You are going. Now get in the car.

That evening we filled the eye drops.  It took some convincing to get them in.

Tuesday (7/29):  Stage 2 - Anger

Me: LB we need to put your eyedrops in.
LB: No we don't.
Me: Yes we do.  Now it won't take long.
LB: But, but, but
Me: Not buts about it.
LB: *hesitantly* Okay....
Me: *Administer eyedrops*
LB: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  I'm blind. You blinded me with your eyedrops!!!!!
Me: Buddy you aren't blind.  Blink your eyes and it'll be over with.
LB:  NOOOOOO. I can't see.  I'm blind.

Wednesday and Thurdsday (7/30 - 31): Stage 3 - Bargaining

We filled the amoxicillan Wednesday. Bargaining started on Thursday.

Me:  LB, time for your medicine.
LB: But I don't like it.
Me: It isn't much.  Take it fast and you'll be ok.
LB: How about I take this much now and the rest later?
Me: Nope.  That isn't how it works.  You need to take it all now.
LB: But I promise I'll take the rest later.
Me: And I promise it won't be so bad and you need to take it all now.

Thursday evening: Stage 5 - Acceptance.

Yes we skipped stage 4.  Can't really get too depressed when your mother gives you your medicine and then a kiss.

Me:  LB, here is your medicine.
LB: Again?
Me: Yes, again.
LB: Maybe this is a magic potion.
Me: Maybe it is.  I think it is.  I think it is a magic potion that helps kill whatever bugs are in your system.
LB: No...it isn't that type of magic potion.  It is a minecraft skylander potion.
Me: Um...okay.
LB: I'll take it!

Yes.  We did it.  To go through the stages of grief in 3 days is hilarious to me but I can see why.  He is never sick.  The last time he had to take any sort of medicine was when he was a baby.  That is almost 6 years.  I'd be trying to guilt and bargain my way out of it too.  I'm sure the older he gets, the funnier the responses will be.  Until then LB, until then!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cucumber Salsa - Yum!

    I love when I'm able to get recipes that use my garden ingredients.  About 3 years ago is when I was able to get this recipe, during a college research class.  It was the last day of class and we had a potluck since our classes were in the evening during dinner time.  A classmate brought in some salsa.  It was delicious.  The only thing I couldn't figure out was what he used for a liquid.  After some convincing, he rattled off the ingredients so fast and how to make it.  Lucky for me...I have a memory. 

   Over the years, I have played with the recipe.  I omitted the jalapeno and switched the white onion for a red onion.  Voila!  A brand new recipe that is to die for.  Kids love it too.  

So here we go!




Ingredients:

1 Jumbo cucumber or 2-3 store bought medium/large cucumbers
Tomatoes - I use the cherub tomatoes but any tomato will work.  Except roma.  They just don't have enough flavor.
1/2 - 3/4 of a red onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 - 3/4 bunch of cilantro chopped
Salt
Sugar
Red Wine Vinegar



Start by chopping your cucumber.  You don't want huge chunks so make the pieces small.  You also do not want a lot of seeds.  If your cucumber has a lot of seeds, take them out.  After you chop your cucumber, add some salt.  Not a lot but enough to start drawing out some moisture.  We want our vinegar to soak into the cucumbers.  Plus the salt helps draw out any bitterness that the cucumber may have.




Add in your chopped onion.  Stir and look at the ratio.  I like a bit of heat to my salsa so I add more of the onion.  Adjust if you don't want a lot of onion and heat.



Add your chopped tomatoes.  Stir and look for a good ratio.  Remember the cucumber is our star so you don't want the tomato and onions to take over.


Add in your minced garlic and cilantro.  Stir.  Add some sugar - about 1 tablespoon and go around your bowl 3-4 times with the red wine vinegar.  Stir again.


Serve with any type of tortilla chips you'd like.  This salsa is so yummy and it is hard to stop eating.  There are so many flavors that happen and it is easy to finish an entire bowl between a few people in an afternoon.  Just ask my kids why they aren't hungry at dinner and they will tell you that they filled up on cucumber salsa!