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Ahhhh…..

I love the smell of a clean house!  After an insanely crazy week that involved 3 days of working 12-15 hours each day, online classes that are kicking my backside, meetings for my special needs children at their school, the last day of school for the kids until the fall, and our adoption hearing, my house has suffered.  Today the kids and I spent a few hours doing some really heavy hitting cleaning.  We cleaned all three bathroom and mopped the floors, vacuumed the entire downstairs, decluttered the living room and unearthed my kitchen counters, did umpteen loads of laundry and put it away, and the kids picked up their rooms to “mom standards”.  What do we get rewared with for all our hard work?  A thunderstorm of epic proportions!  We had planned to take the kids swimming at the pool after dinner, but my husband has to stay late for work and now it is raining like crazy.  I should just let them go outside and dance in the rain, but with the lightening, I can’t chance it. 

Tomorrow we are having my mom and stepdad come for a visit!  A rare treat.  I love seeing my mom so I am super excited for her to get here. We don’t get to see her all that often and to top it off, my best friend is coming over too.  I hope we can get the yard mowed and the patio cleaned off though tomorrow morning so we can enjoy the outdoors.  Let’s hope the rain holds off tomorrow evening.

Summer’s Coming

And I am not ready at all.  I was sitting at my desk when I realized that in 3 days mykids will be out of school, and I have nothing planned for them.  I have some ambitious things for myself planned, including the cleaning of my basement, but I am sure the kids are not going to find that to be great entertainment for their time off.  I dread summer months with the kids complaining that they are bored and have nothing to do, while trying to park themselves in front of the tv for 14 hours a day.  I also dread losing my personal goals by trying to pacify them for 14 hours a day.  I have a full summer for myself between working full time and going to school full time plus the usual parental and home responsibilities. Did I bite off more than I can chew?

And now my housekeeping frenzy has ended.  I abandoned the newly formed ideas I had and the routines I was establishing and now it is all falling apart again.  Work has been unusually hectic for the past two weeks and I feel mentally and physically exhausted, which is not an excuse.  I exchanged my “do it now” for “do it later” which became “I forgot to do it at all”.  My bed did get made today, and my clothes got put away, laundry finally got folded and the rest of it washed.  The dishwasher ran twice today and the sink was full too.  Tonight the house looks a bit better.  Tomorrow is another day.  I will try my best to do better for myself tomorrow.

I think I have finally broken through to everyone in my family!  I see a huge imporvement in the way my wonderful husband and the kids react to the chores that need done in our house.  Yesterday my husband helped me fold and put away laundry and he even cooked dinner and helped with the dishes afterwards!  Today he helped with making beds and picking up the house.  There have been fewer dishes in my sink and my counters are relatively clear.  What an awesome feeling!

The kids didn’t give me a hassle tonight when I asked for 15 minutes of their time to do a few quick cleaning items.  They even cleared the table after dinner with no complaints.  This makes me really happy and even though I have a few things on my list that I would like to get done tonight, I think I am going to let them go until tomorrow.  Everyone helped out and I think we deserve a bit of a break as a reward for a job well done.

Fun with Five.

Yesterday I decided to take my kids to the local military museum for their Army Heritage Days.  I wish I would have remembered my camera.  What an awesome day!  My co worker Chris told me he was taking his son and I decided to steal his idea and take my kids since the museum is only 1 mile from my house. 

The event started off with a pair of parachute jumps from the 82nd Airborne into the field outside the museum.  We got to see them jump and the chutes open and stood to watch them come down safely.  It was a gloriously sunny day with a bit of a breeze so it was not too hot to be walking around outside either.  We spent some time in the WWI trench exhibit getting lessons on everything from gas masks to machine guns by the reenactors.  We climbed in and out of trucks and humvees and the kids got to help “build” a cinderblock building with some engineers.  We climbed the fort and talked to the Native American reenactors.  The kids got to play with stilts and hoops from the colonial era as well as watch people cook without modern conveniences.  There were so many reenactors from the French and Indian War all way through the Vietnam era.  We climbed in and out of buildings to see how people lived and worked long ago.  I could have stayed all day but the little guys needed food and naps. 

If anyone gets to visit the Carlisle, Pennsylvania area I highly suggest a walking tour of the exhibits outside.  It is located at the Army Heritage and Education Center.  Worth the trip in so many ways, but don’t forget your cameras!

As I am sitting here, listening to my 5 year old son whine, I wonder if I am the only one who does not let their kids sit in front of the TV, Wii, computer, etc?  I do enjoy playing the games on the Wii, but don’t feel that any of us need to be on there for hours every day.  I also do enjoy watching tv, with and without the kids, but don’t feel it is healthy for them to be parked there all day long.  Maybe it is because I was raised in a more rural setting where we spent most of our time outside playing in the woods or fields.  My brother and I spent most of our time outside in the fresh air, unless it was raining really hard.  If it was light outside, we could be found climbing trees, playing ball tag, or basketball, riding our bikes, or roaming the wooded areas in search of playmates and treasures, and the occasional snake.  Even today, I love to sleep in a tent and cook over a fire.  I don’t need electricity and running water to survive, but I do like my showers.  I am afraid that I am turning my kids into helpless creatures because they are not exposed to the world of nature daily.  We live in a town setting with little green grass, and no real opportunities to experience nature on a daily basis.  Their friends spend most of their time attached to electronic devices and my kids desperately want to follow the same path. 

I believe in a healthy mix of technology and the lack of.  I know that by forbidding the Wii, computer, tv, I am creating a drive to “need” it.  I don’t mind if they watch the occasional tv show or play a game, especially one that gets them up and moving.  I encourage them to ride their bikes, play at the park, and be kids.  My son has given up on his Wii quest momentarily, but I am sure he will be back later.

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there.  We had a glorious weekend here.  Eric got 3 days off in a row which was heaven!  We spent time together, relaxing and enjoying our family.  Saturday, Aidan became a Webelo scout and we enjoyed a great pot luck dinner with the other scouts and their families.  Orren is looking forward to the fall when he can join in scouting also.  I do love the scouting organization and the things it teaches.  I am very glad we signed the boys up. 

I spent my day at work today.  Twelve hours of sitting in the station with nothing to do.  I did manage to get one of my last homework assignments of the semester finished and submitted.  Only 1 more test and 1 more written assignment and I am done!  For two weeks anyway.  New classes start May 24th.  Hopefully tomorrow will prove as productive, in one way or the other.

My house is staying relatively picked up and clean.  Our new floor attracts dog hair like crazy so I think we will have to be sweeping it daily now instead of weekly but it is a small thing to do in exchange for a beautiful looking floor.  I am doing well with keeping up with the small tasks such as wiping down my bathroom daily, making my bed, and getting the dishes all done before I go to bed at night.  I feel much better and less stressed in the mornings when I wake up to a clean kitchen.  The kids are falling into the new routines as well.  They have been doing well at putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher and washing the pots and pans after dinner.  They are working at picking up after themselves before bedtime and after school.  Hopefully we can keep a good routine going.

Today I received some wonderful gifts from my children.  6 beautiful white roses, 1 pink rose, 4 hand made cards, 2 cards, 2 necklaces made by my littlest boys at daycare, 4 pink petunias and a lot of hugs.  A perfect ending to Mother’s Day.