Tip{py} Tuesday…The movie called “Life”


I came across an awesome facebook post today about how one mother is intentionally limiting her kids’ use of electronics.  She wants them to hone social skills, the art of conversation, and not miss teachable moments because they are too buried in technology to interact with her.  Her post can be found here.  A lot of what she said resonated with me.  We try to monitor and limit our kids’ use of technology (i.e., our oldest is able to play angry birds once his homework is done, etc…) but I know it is a crutch I use at times.  Recently we were at a friend’s BBQ and the kids had played outside for the first hour or so we were there.  After eating, I let them go in the house and watch a movie.  She didn’t have children of her own yet, so there wasn’t much for them to play with beyond what we had brought with us.  I think of that type of technology use as “survival,” so to speak.  I definitely don’t want to give the impression that my kids never have screen time, but I like to think that it is a reasonable amount for a 4 and 6 year old.

The other day we were heading home from one of our many appointments (speech and OT) and the kids were upset because they wanted to watch a movie on the DVD player in our van.  “Look out the window,” I told them, “watch the movie called ‘Life’.”

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They didn’t understand what I meant, but they did hush up and we did not watch a movie on the way home.  Instead they chatted, fought over some toys in the backseat, and sang Farmer in the Dell.  And I felt good about that.

Thoughts?  How do you limit  your kids’ use of technology?  Are there certain lengths of time you follow?  Certain games you encourage over others?  Have a great day!

 

 

 

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Mommy Moment Monday…Popsicles for lunch kinda day


For many, summer vacation has just begun. The sweetness of knowing there are several weeks between present day and the first day of school. Getting dressed in the morning and putting on your bathing suit instead of clothes. Grilling for dinner every night and never getting tired of it. Sitting in lawn chairs as the sun sets surrounded by friends and swatting at mosquitos. Slip ‘n’ slide fun followed by popsicles for lunch.

Here’s to your great summer, hoping it’s more fun than you can stand.

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Wordy Wednesday…Daddies!


So I spent a long time this morning ordering a gift for my husband for Father’s Day (Sunday, June 15- don’t forget!!!).  I had one of those $20 coupons for shutterfly.com but the gift I made was less than $20 so I couldn’t use it…So I had to add something else to get to $20, which doubled my shipping, blah, blah, blah…But I think it turned out cute, so after lots of mouse clicking, teeth grinding, and coffee drinking my order is complete.  I started thinking of my hubby and all the awesome stuff he does for me and our kids:

  1. makes my coffee on the weekends
  2. always carries in the groceries when I get home
  3. makes me a drink on the weekends
  4. gives our boys a bath
  5. is a master of doing dishes
  6. does laundry
  7. is sweet to my mom
  8. makes sure to set the DVR to record the shows he knows I like
  9. when I panic about cleaning the house he’ll step in and do the chores I like the least even after being at work all day
  10. cleans the litter box
  11. plays with the kids while I finish dinner so I don’t trip over them and burn them with boiling liquid
  12. surprises me with a date every once in a while that I had no part in planning
  13. will open the door for me and is teaching our boys to do the same
  14. teaches the kids how to do the things I don’t have the patience to teach them
  15. sets up a tent for the kids to play with inside…which they LOVED!!!
  16. and on, and on, and on…

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I seriously could go on and on.  As Daddy Day nears, I am going to try to remember all these awesome things he does every day for us.  It doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t want him to do things the “right way’, (to be honest it’s really just “my way,” so that’s probably pretty subjective).  It doesn’t mean I don’t get irritated when I feel like I’ve told him something a million times and he’s looking at me like he has no clue what I’m talking about.  Hey, nobody’s perfect, me or him.  I just know sometimes I can get caught up with the negative, the nit-picking, and lose sight of the big picture.  And the big picture is?  Daddies/ Husbands rock.  Especially ours.

I’ll try to remember that the next time he dresses one of our boys in what he calls “Daddy Outfits.” 🙂

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Mommy Moment Monday…Naked Preschoolers and Dirty Chicken Sandwiches…


Good morning, all.  I like to think that with all the years of working with kids that I had before starting my own family and the 6+ years in parenting I have under my belt that I have seen a lot.  Not it all, but maybe close to it?  Not making me an expert of any sort, but at least there should be very little that surprises me or knocks me off my game.  I had a day this past Memorial Day weekend that kicked me to the ground.  And then kicked me again while I was down.  It was not the best side of my parenting and I definitely lost my cool with my family.  Not super proud of that but mommies can always apologize and promise to try to do better, right?  : )

I don’t know if any of you are like me, but I always have incredibly unrealistic expectations for weekends.  Holiday weekends, even more so.  So this past Memorial Day was no different.  Here is a partial list of what I thought we could do/ had planned for those four short days:

BBQ with friends, attend a birthday party, remulch and weed the landscaping, move some plants around, go to the store and get a deck box for our patio chair cushions, set up the patio with the furniture that was still packed away from the winter months, go to the zoo, clean the house, catch up on laundry, build a bench out of a headboard/ footboard set I’ve had for years, catch up/ skype with family, get groceries, cook, make a dent in our DVR list, relax, take a nap, take a bubble bath, and so on…

So, therein lies the problem.  I know it’s not a realistic list.  But I still give it a try and then am so disappointed when things don’t turn out the way I want. Hubbs just stands to the side with an expression on his face between a cringe and amusement.  He knows how this is going to turn out.  And he knows that it’s probably not going to be pretty for me, him or the kids.

Take my unrealistic to-do list and add in the craziness of military life and raising two kiddos on the autism spectrum and half the time I feel like we should be starring in our own sitcom.  Not a slapstick one but the kind where the characters can’t even see the humor of their own situation because they are so thick in it.  That was us this past holiday weekend, in the thick of it.  After a morning of trying to get things done at home and having trouble because many of those things required our boys to occupy themselves doing something safe and constructive.  Well, bless my kiddos’ hearts, they were having none of that.  So after a few hours and some frustration we decided to take a family outing to Chick-fil-a and grab some lunch, give the boys a chance to play and get their wiggles out.  Surely after that they’ll want to go home and rest and we can start checking things off the list, right?

It all started fine as we got our food, got the kids’ shoes off and started them playing.  Hubbs and I were eating and I was enjoying being able to have an actual conversation with him.  By the third bite into my chicken sandwich, I was feeling pretty good about the rest of the day.

Why do I get so aggravated with my family? I thought to myself.

Why in the heat of the moment do I forget how blessed I am?

I made a mental note to do better and that is when I saw my son’s naked tush through the finger-print smudged glass of the play area.

Um, excuse me?

I blinked and shook my head a little but the view stayed the same.  My youngest son running and laughing hysterically without a stitch of clothing on from the waist down.  In hot pursuit was my oldest son, also hysterically laughing.  I could hear some of the nearby tables kind of laughing and whispering and for some reason that made me really mad.  Not at them, but at my kids.

Why couldn’t we be just a normal family?  Why can’t we just have a nice holiday weekend, get stuff done, and enjoy a lunch out without a crisis?

I grabbed my son and realized the reason he had taken all of his clothes off was because his diaper was wet and had leaked onto his shorts.  He didn’t like it so he just took everything off and resumed play.  To his credit, in his four year old mind he had solved the problem.  Modesty is something he is just not aware of yet and we will definitely be working on it.

I handed him and his pile of wet clothes to my husband who made a quick escape to the car.  I grabbed my other son who couldn’t understand why we were leaving when we had just gotten there.  I mean, the kids hadn’t even eaten yet.  

We went back to our table and I began to pack up the kids’ lunches and the partially eaten lunches of my husband and I.  Add my purse to the mix and the fact that I have to hold my oldest’s hand in a parking lot for safety reasons, and it goes without saying that my hands were full.  Beyond full.  And the stack of stuff I was carrying was precarious at best.

He and I made it to the car to find my husband and younger son already there and belted in.  The youngest is crying because he didn’t want to leave and he is sitting in his car seat naked because his mommy didn’t have any emergency clothes for him.  Mommy fail, which made mommy even madder.

I started kind of tossing everything onto the front passenger seat starting with the kids’ meals in their bags, and setting down the drinks in the cupholders.  When I went to put down the two cardboard chicken sandwich containers, mine being on top, it slid off and onto the ground where it promptly popped open and the sandwich landed  inside out.  I’m not afraid to admit that at this point if I had a swear jar it would have been making bank.  I saved the other box though so at least it wasn’t a total loss.

What happened? asked my husband with that aforementioned look of cringey amusement on his face.

I dropped my sandwich.  I said, in a not so pleasant voice.  But the good news is that I saved yours.  

I opened the box to show him and that was when we saw the box was empty.  My husband had already finished his sandwich and just left the empty box on the table.  In my haste and embarrassment to get out of there, I had just grabbed it without checking.

Clink, clink, clink.  More money into the swear jar.  Not my best moment, I told you.

I yelled at my husband, my kids, and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when we got home.

Later, I apologized.  After thinking about everything I tried to get to the bottom of it all.

Why had I gotten so mad?  Sure there had been a few annoying things to happen that day, but nothing that should have made me that upset.  I realized it had been the other patrons kind of whispering about our family while their kids sat and ate quietly.  It made me mad.

Why did we have to be different?

It’s not an easy question to ask.  I do feel that hubby and I are matched for a reason and the same goes for our boys.  They are ours.  That is no accident.  Is it always easy?  *%&^$# no, it isn’t.  My husband and I have talked about this in the past and he made a point that stuck with me.

We get to experience what it really means to be a parent.  We have to work twice as hard for them to do half as much.  They don’t just pick things up easily from the world around them.  We are in the trenches, gritting our teeth, sighing, blinking back tears, and encouraging each other.  We can do this because we have to.  Because they are ours.

I’m writing all of this down to refer back to in the next heat-of-the-moment.  I know there will be another.  And another, and another.  But, just think of all the great stories, we’ll have to tell?

Have a great week!