Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Because I'm a mom...

I not only worry about balance in terms of myself and my life, but also in terms of my kids.

Jobs. Chores. Necessary for children. Necessary for me. You might remember this post from almost two years ago. I made up super cute job charts. I thought having job charts would help me out. Well, the novelty wore off after about 3 days, and the kids were back to being job-less. Shocker.

I must take some of the blame. It's so much easier to just clean up myself sometimes. But let's face it - they are 6 and 4 1/2 and are clearly capable of taking care of things for themselves.

Over Christmas break I re-invented the system, and it has worked like a charm. That is 3 MONTHS people! May the luck continue...

Here is what works for us:
I think it's good for them to have responsibilities that they can OWN. So, I wrote down on a notepad one thing they need to do every day (which is usually taking care of keeping their room clean, including making the bed, etc.). Then I sporadically gave them a couple other jobs throughout the week. It's not too much, and they weren't overwhelmed by looking at a chart of several things they had to do every single day. Since I do laundry on Mondays and Thursdays, they are responsible for putting their laundry away on those days. (Hmm, should I put together a list of jobs for myself, and include putting laundry away??) Tyler loves having a clean room. And seriously, it's almost always clean.

Every day I remind the kids they need to do their jobs. And seriously, NOT ONE TIME have they complained! They'll scurry around and get their stuff done, usually within 10 minutes. They have even asked for more jobs (like doing the dishes) because it's become habit. They also know that if I ask them to do something else, which I almost always do, depending on what needs to be done, it's "part" of their jobs. I think that because it's always different and that they aren't staring at an official chart full of blanks on the fridge it is easier for them to do it without whining.

And what do they get? That is the most important part, after all. We have a deal that if they do everything I ask them to, and do all their "regular" jobs (the ones that are written down on that little notepad), they get a dollar at the end of the week. And I swear to you, that is like gold to them. They both have things they are saving up for. I've started giving them $1.10 so the coin can go to tithing and they can keep the dollar, and so that I don't have to break two dollar bills every week.

If all it's going to cost me is $2 a week to get their little booties moving and helping out, I tell you - it is SO worth it. May this continue for a very long time. Now if I could teach them how to cook.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I don't have a bucket list. If I did, visiting Legoland would not be on that list. But I have a really cute boy who I knew would just eat it up. That, and Spencer's San Diego work schedule worked out perfectly for us all to go (for free, thank heavens. If I had to PAY $67 a person for THAT, I would not have been happy).
Legoland is a cute, creative little park that was probably all Tyler dreamed it would be (maybe Emma too). I like big scary rides so it wasn't necessarily up my alley. There was one "fun" looking rollercoaster the kids had no interest in. I think that after our Disneyland experience last fall, they will never trust me again. But, they drove Lego cars to their hearts' content. They went down big slides, rode on Lego horses, and drove Lego boats. Walking out at the end of the day I didn't have that Aww, I can't wait to come back feeling. I was just tired and glad to be leaving. Don't get me wrong - we had a great time. But I must admit I was thinking, Phew, I never have to come back here again.
But a few days later I found out I have a little boy inside me. And here we go again. Maybe I will be back.
(And seriously, isn't Tyler the cutest? I am beyond thrilled to have another little one of him.)

So far the baby looks just perfect. There might be some minor complications with me, however. I guess I selfishly feel like I "deserve" to have a completely smooth pregnancy, but am still hoping for the best. I think I'll stay a little quiet about all of this for the next few months--surely you understand--but would appreciate any happy thoughts you can send my way!! And, now we'll be "even" - 2 and 2, a dream for my little logical kindergartner. She knew it was a boy because we had to "keep the pattern."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

snow birds

The North East was hit with a serious ice storm on Valentine's Day in 2007. Spencer stayed home from work for the first time ever because of weather, and we watched movies and hung out all day. That ice didn't melt for at least a month. Where we lived we had to park on the grass, and all of us fell more than once. That was the clincher... about a week later Spencer got a call from a head hunter from another company and 6 weeks later we were outta there!

I guess we're sort of snowbirds now. But it's good for the kids to remember that they used to be snow babies. They sure seem to forget that this white stuff can freeze you if you aren't careful.

We were lucky enough to go sledding again with our friends. This year the kids lasted a whole 2 hours before whining. I can't blame them - it was snowing pretty hard the entire time, your legs sunk through the snow up to your knees, Tyler's boots kept falling off due to the velcro being full of snow and frozen, and Emma's snow pants were too short. They both had red toes and feet when all was said and done. Memories, right?

BUT, we sure had a great experience! The dads helped make the powdery snow into an icy track that the kids could actually sled down instead of sink into. I perched myself under a covering (that I had to hold up myself, mostly with my head) so I could actually pull out my camera and keep it as dry as possible. The things I do to get pictures! I did hand off the camera a couple times so I could join in the sledding fun. And boy was it fun! The best part is going back to the cabin, letting the kids run off and play, and drinking hot chocolate. Oh, and eating good food. I've had Eggs Benedict exactly twice in my life, both times courtesy of Ashley, Mike fried up some serious French Toast, and I am pretty sure I need to go on a diet.

In the car, ready to go. FULL car.
Love this one. Spencer's tongue being out is a trademark. Actually, it was a miracle he was able to be with us at all. (We're big fans of internet cafe's in 3G dead zones.)
And, our attempt at a family picture. Two of us (who shall remain nameless) were DONE with the snow.