Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes volume 8

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 204)
1.  I need more sleep.  Both Ben and Wyatt have been waking up at night frequently this week.  Wyatt seems hungry, but we have no clue why Ben is up.  Jon has been dealing with Ben so he isn't getting enough sleep either.  And top top it off all four kids have been up before 6:30 pretty much every day this week. 
2.  Our house is officially on the market!
3.  And we already have 2 showings schedule for this Sunday.  Hopefully that is a good sign!
4.  It's March and it is snowing.  Earlier this week it was almost 50 degrees and now the white stuff is back.  Of course living in Massachusetts my whole life I am quite used to this.  The year I graduated college it snowed on graduation day.  I graduated in May.
5.  Madeline's birthday party is this weekend.  She is campaigning for an American Girl doll.  I hated to burst her bubble but that is not in the budget to be a gift from Jon and I.  She was disappointed to be told that but quickly rallied with a list of other items she would like.  We ordered her a gardening kit, princess nightgown, two princess books and a sticker set.  Hopefully she will be quite pleased with her gifts.  Tonight I start decorating the castle cake she requested.  If it comes out picture-worthy I will share.
6.  I've been feeling blue this week.  I am feeling anxious about keeping the house clean and several other things going on in life.  I need to slow down, which is hard.  I also need to stop leaving things so close to the last minute.  In order to do both I need to start saying "no" more often.
7.  I ordered the kids Easter clothes the other night.  At least that is one thing that won't be left to the last minute.  Thankfully  The Children's Place carries age appropriate clothes are reasonable prices (I am not being compensated to advertise for them, I am just VERY happy about finding clothes for my kids there!).  Have you tried shopping for dresses for anyone out of the toddler stage lately?  It isn't easy!
Linking up with Conversion Diary.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I am incredibly frustrated right now and I just need to write it out.  Right now my daughter attends a magnet school in our city.  This school is something we are incredibly happy with.  However as of the coming school year they are no longer a magnet school.  They are a regular school in the city.  Madeline can attend until 5th grade when she would move on to middle school.  However I learned today that Owen cannot attend there for kindergarten.  It is not our boundary school and he must attend our boundary school.

So now I simply don't know what to do.  I do not want to pull Madeline from a school she loves and that we love for her.  She already had a big change when we had her repeat kindergarten (a choice I would never take back) and she adapted very well and is thriving this year.  I don't want to put her through another change next year to a whole new school unless we switch districts.  Which is another problem- with our house on the market I hate to have her change schools only to change again once the house sells.  That would be four schools in three years (not counting preschool) for her. 

But at the same time I have no way to be in two places at once.  And both Madeline's and Owen's schools start at the same time.  There is a small 15 minute window but I don't know that it is enough time.  Plus the schools end at the same time.  No window.  If I am late to pick a child up they are not happy with me.  And I would be late to pick someone up every day. 

A bus would be a great solution, and it is something I am going to look into as Madeline qualifies for one year.  But that may not solve my problems depending on the time it picks up and drops off.  Plus the bus stop is not at my house, it is about 1/2 mile away.  So I would still need to drive her to the bus stop before driving Owen to school and the pick her up at the bus stop after picking Owen up from school.

I am very lost right now as to what decision to make.  I am incredibly frustrated with the schools for not having a plan in place for siblings.  When Madeline won a lottery seat for the magnet school I was told siblings could attend, they were grandfathered in.  But I was never told that the school could lose it's magnet standing.  I would not have made the choice that I did 2 years ago if I had known.

I am honestly just spilling my thoughts out on paper.  I don't know the right solution.  But if anyone has words of advice I'd appreciate them.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

This weekend I was shopping at Target when I lost my phone.  Now my phone is five years old and is not smart or anything like that.  But it is a cell phone and it works, and when you make choices in order to live on 1 income those are the only facts that matter.  So I was shopping and took the phone out to call Jon to find out what lightbulbs he wanted.  30 minutes later at checkout I couldn't find it.  I toured the store three times looking every aisle we had been to (and that was a lot of aisles) and I could not find it.  I left after leaving my name and number at the return desk in case someone found it.  Four hours later my caller ID at home showed that I was calling!  I am so incredibly grateful to the woman who found my phone, called the "home" number and then left the phone at the return desk for me.  I will be going out to Target this evening to get it back.  And I am thankful that I don't need to find room in my budget for a new phone!

Jon did the grocery shopping this weekend in order to help me out with the stuff that needed to get done.  Usually he deviates from the list quite a bit, but after some recent conversations about me possibly getting a job as a waitress (something I have done in the past) and him not wanting me to, he only deviated once and that was for candy for our date night in.  Less than $5 for our date night thanks to Red*box and the grocery store movie theater candy!

This week's menu:

Pancakes (batch cooked and frozen for quick breakfasts)
Hard boiled eggs
*all served with fruit, usually bananas

Hot dogs
Peanut butter and jelly
Pepperoni and cheese (Owen's staple for school since he cannot take his beloved pb&j)
Macaroni and cheese
Chicken and avocado salad (that's for me, I don't know if the kids will eat it)
*all served with apple sauce, fruit or baby carrots

Monday- Grilled cheese (cooked on the griddle which makes it take far less time) and baby carrots
Tuesday- Chicken (it never got cooked last week because I forgot to defrost it in time-oops!), rice and mixed vegetables
Wednesday- Brinner
Thursday- dinner out for Jon's mom's birthday
Friday- Pizza braid (I may try a buffalo chicken version with the leftover chicken meat)
Saturday- Meatball grinders
Sunday-Chili and cornbread

For more menu ideas visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.  Have a great week!

Friday, March 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday volume 7

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 204)
One more week until Madeline's birthday party! She and I are going shopping this weekend to get the party supplies.  Lots of pink and purple items to be purchased!
I really, really, really wish Wyatt would be more consistent with his sleep at night.  I am in no rush for him to outgrow the baby stage.  I love this age so much.  But never knowing when he will wake, or how many times at night,  it's getting a little weary.  I'm fine with getting up, I just do better on a schedule.
We've been busy cleaning and shoveling out items this week.  A large donation pile went today.  Many boxes were moved to my parents' basement to make the house appear bigger.  It's 1100 square feet with 6 people, there is only so much room for all of our stuff.  Next week the realtor comes and our house will officially be for sale.  Again.
Selling a house is almost enough to make me become a minimalist.  Almost.
Trying to find a house that is in our budget is not as easy as I would like.  But we have outgrown our "starter" home.  We originally planned to be hear 3-5 years.  The house was bought in 2004.  See how well those plans went?  The perfect house is out there for us.  I just need to find it.
Jon is working on his license and will be done in June.  Next year this time he will be working on his Master's degree.  I am so happy for him!
Jon was able to pick Madeline up 4 days this week.  That was 4 days I did not need to wake anyone up from nap.  Pure bliss.  I love that man!
Speaking of naps, I am having napping issues in this house. We have three bedrooms and three kids who nap.  Seems easy right?  But Madeline has a bedroom to herself.  Ben or Wyatt naps in my room.  The other naps in the boys room.  That is where the crib, bed and pack and play are .  So where do I put Owen?  Right now he is in Madeline's room but that only works if he leaves her stuff alone.  I can't put Ben down in her room, that would equal chaos.  Wyatt no longer naps in the swing which was my old solution.  I need to figure this one out soon!  Nap time is precious around here.
Linking up with 7 Quick Takes Friday.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fair does not mean "the same"

This is a popular saying in our house, "fair does not mean the same."  When you have kids between 7 years and 7 months fair cannot mean the same.  If Madeline throws something her consequences are not the same as if Ben throws something.  And rewards are not the same either.  What is appropriate for a kindergartner is not always right for a 2 year old.  I'm certainly not feeding the 7 month old the same as  the almost 5 year old.  And I don't have problems with this.

Today it occurred to me that this saying, "fair does not mean the same," also is true when it comes to activities that I enroll my kids in.  Madeline and Owen take gymnastics classes because they like them.  If one stopped enjoying the classes we would stop going with that child.  Madeline and Owen went to many playgroups as younger kids because they liked them.  Madeline did music classes with her Nana and loved them.  We tried them with Owen but he kept saying he didn't want to go.  We pushed a few times (thinking it was control, not dislike, that prevented him from going).  But after several months I realized he didn't like the class and my mom stopped signing him up.  Everyone was happier.

Today I had a realization with Ben.  For the past 6 months I had him enrolled in a weekly playgroup at a local children's museum where I volunteer.  I have been taking the kids since Madeline was 2.  Until now there were no issues.  Madeline still talks about these playgroups.  And Owen remembers going and is sad we go on a day that he is in school.  But back in November Ben started telling me he didn't want to go.  At first I thought it was simply 2 year old stubbornness and desire to control the situation.  Ben has this stubbornness in spades- he will tell you the sky is green or that it is sunny when it is raining.  That is just Ben.  So we tried over and over and over again.  Some weeks it went very well.  Other weeks he cried the minute we got there.  And I kept pushing thinking I was failing him if I stopped taking him since I took the other two.  But then a few things happened.

For one we missed the last three weeks do to scheduling issues and he didn't ask about it once, not one mention aboust this playgroup.  That was my first clue.  Then he started complaining the minute  I mentioned it today.  That was the second clue.  Next when we got there nothing would convince him to go inside.  In the past I could get him in for some part of it.  Today he wanted nothing to do with it, I had to go in and had to carry him crying to get what I needed.  That was clue number 3.  So I gave in and we came home, 10 minutes after arriving.  As soon as he was in the car he was cheerful again.  And then when we got home he was happier.  He made no mention of the museum or the friends there.  He played happily with me while Wyatt napped.  And that was my fourth and final clue.

That is when I realized that "fair does not mean the same" can apply to scenarios like this.  I am not a bad mom for giving in to my 2 year old's wants during timeslike these.  There are times where he cannot make the choices, there are times when what I say goes for many reasons.  But for things that are for him, things that are supposed to be fun and playtime activities, well shouldn't he be able to choose whether we go or not?  I finally realized that yes, this make sense.

So we are taking a break.  The playgroups run for the school year and take summers off.  I plan to not attend any more sessions this school year.  We will use the playground over the spring and summer as all of my children enjoy it.  And I will see what Ben says between now and September.  We may try again in the fall, 6 months can make a huge difference.  Or we may not and I will try again when Ben goes to school when he is 4 and I will take Wyatt when he is 2 and can enjoy it.

I cannot parent all of my children exactly the same.  They are all different.  I will parent them fairly based on their individual personalities.  And "fair does not mean the same."