Friday, April 27, 2012

Food Saving Tips

Sick of buying produce only to find that when you get in the fridge it's gone bad?  Yeah, I'm sick of that too!  I have been so bad about not using my produce fast enough and then I end up throwing most of it away.  Thought I'd share a few food saving tips with you that I've learned.

Keep your lettuce fresh for weeks!  I learned this tip from my Mom when  I was about 18, before I left for college.  You just put a paper towel in the bag with your lettuce and it absorbs all the moisture so your salad stays fresh!  Make sure to change the towel if you notice it's pretty damp.  I remember my roommates thinking I was weird putting a paper towel in with my salad, until they noticed that it lasted a lot longer!

From my experience if I don't plan out my meals, I tend to waste a lot more than just produce.  I've had to throw meats away because I forgot I had thawed them out in the fridge (very sad).  I use to plan a ton of meals for the month, and then decide what I wanted to make for 2 weeks.  I'd make a big trip to Winco for  pretty much everything but the produce.  Then I'd get all the produce I needed for 1-2 weeks.  Saved me tons of money!  Since the closest Winco is about 3 hours away, I'm stuck shopping at Walmart or Smiths. Walmart's prices are okay, but I sure do miss my Winco!!  Now I just plan out one week at a time.  It gets me out of the house more often, which I need.  
Here is a meal planning tile my sister-in-law made for me.  She is SO talented and crafty.  She sent me a picture the other day of her new menu planner which I can't wait to get!  I'll post a picture when I get it (along with a few more meal planning tips).  In the meantime, check out her blog here for some cute stuff.

A couple other tips I've learned about preserving our food:
  • Wrap your celery in aluminum foil to keep it fresh longer.  I've haven't tried this yet, but I learned it from The Food Nanny when she came and spoke to us at our church, so it's got to work!
  • Cook your ground beef before you freeze it.  I learned this trick from one of my roommates when I was in college.  If you're like me and HATE to touch raw meat then you'll love this.  I have had to throw out a whole package of ground beef in the past because I buy it, put it in the fridge (intending to freeze it the next day), then forget about or procrastinate freezing it, then it's all gone bad!  If you cook it then you have minimal touching of the raw meat and it makes it a lot faster to use when dinner time comes.  Just make sure you completely drain all the fat off before freezing.  Also, if you're using it for burgers, make the patties first, then cook and freeze.

The last tip of today is.....don't let your kids play in the big bag of flour. :) Had to pretty much trash the rest of this bag of flour after my son go into it.  Good thing it only cost us about $6!  Though it did make for a good flour fight (which I started).  So, I guess it's okay to waste some food if it ends up in a fun time :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dating doesn't end with marriage

My husband and I on our wedding day in 2007

A common misconception is that dating ends when you get married.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  In my opinion, in order for a marriage to succeed you need to date each other even more than before you tied the knot.  Not only do you need to make time to go on actual dates, but you need to "date" each other...meaning, you need to flirt with one another, take care of yourself physically, and just have fun like you use to when you were dating/engaged.  I've only been married for 4 years, but these 3 things are the keys to success in marriage (at least in my marriage).
Flirting is important because your spouse needs to know that you still find them attractive (inside and out).  Flirting helps keep that  spark alive--you know, the sparks you felt when you first held hands, had your first date, first kiss, etc.
I am not a vain person, but it is SO important to take care of your physical self after marriage.  I'm sure most of you always took a little extra time to get ready when you were going out before you were married.  I know I did.  I always wanted to look extra special because it made me feel good and I wanted to impress him.  We still need to try and impress our spouse, and have enough respect for ourselves to not just roll out of bed and wear our sweats and bed head all day.  That said, there are and have been many days where it's a sweats and no makeup kind of day.  I'm not saying you have to get all dolled up every day, but every once in a while just put in a little extra effort.  I know my husband appreciates it when he can tell I spent a few extra minutes getting ready, though he ALWAYS compliments me on how pretty I look even when I don't wear makeup and have my hair thrown up in a ponytail.
Lastly, you need to have FUN!!!!  Whatever is fun to the both of you, doesn't matter, as long as you can laugh and enjoy being together.  Marriage doesn't have to be boring and mundane, in fact it should be more exciting than dating!  Go out on fun dates, have fun with your kids together, play games, laugh (A LOT!), and don't forget to have fun in the bedroom :) <---That really is THE most important key to a good marriage.  Marriage is not an easy road, life throws bumps in the road, but spending that intimacy together with your spouse is a way to smooth the road in front of us.  When it feels like everything in life is falling apart, intimacy is the glue that holds it all together.

Since we live in a small town and are trying to get out of debt,  I am trying to find fun, creative, and cheap dates.  Dates don't always have to be really extravagant, though that is fun every once in a while.    Just thought I'd share a few date ideas with you and some pictures of fun dates that the hubby and I have had.

Here are some cheap dates we've gone on:

  • Costco/Sams Club.  We eat at the food court (SO CHEAP!), then browse around looking at all the fun stuff
  • Window shopping.  Whether it's the mall, cute little downtown shops, or even Walmart.  We also like to browse D.I (thrift stores).  You never know what kind of gems you will find at a second hand store.
  • Gym.  I love to exercise and this really was a fun date.  I loved having my hubby teach me lots of different weight lifting exercises-not to mention it was pretty impressive to watch him lift weights :)

Here we are at the top of "R" Mountain in Rexburg, ID.  My husband LOVES the outdoors, so we've had a few outdoor dates.  A hike or nature walk is a great date with little to no cost.  If you live in a small town like us you don't have to drive far to find a good trail.  Getting out in nature together can be so refreshing.  No distractions and lots of time to chat and spend some real one-on-one time with your spouse. 

Dierkies lake in Twin Falls, ID.  We went here all the time before our son was born.  It was so close to our house, free to get in, and had some great fishing just off the dock.  We didn't always come home with dinner but it was so fun!  Fishing is a pretty relaxing, laid back activity so you also get some peaceful time together--as well as a good laugh, if you're like me and don't like to string the live worm on the hook, or touch the fish :)  I think my husband made me do that just so he could laugh at me. haha!  Fishing is also pretty inexpensive once you buy your rods and fishing license.  Go earlier in the day, and if you're lucky you'll catch dinner and you can make it an even better date cooking together!

Here we are in the summer of 2007 watching the All-American Rejects concert at the California State Fair.  Going to your State's fair, or even county fair is a great date!  Tickets aren't usually cheap to get in, but there are so many exhibits to go see, and of course all the fun people watching.  The fair people are entertaining enough to me that I don't really need anything else when we go to the fair :)  Check with your local fair and see what events or concerts they have going on.  I loved going to the California State fair because the concerts were FREE with your fair tickets!  Concerts are a fun date, not always cheap, but so worth it.  It can be a time to forget everything else and just sing and dance and have a good time!

On our way to a Rivercats game in 2007--minor league baseball game.  I'm not the biggest fan of going to major league baseball games (too long), but I LOVE going to the minor leagues! They are a lot shorter than the major leagues, cheaper tickets, and they always seem to be giving away prizes.  Rivercats games were always one of my favorite things to do in the summer.  I mean really, who doesn't love a ballpark hot dog?  If you're not into baseball, going to any sporting event is fun.  Even if you can't go to a professional game, seeing the "under dogs" is almost just as fun.  Don't' be afraid to get into it. Get out of you seat and cheer/yell during the game-THAT is what makes it fun.

Here is Kirk in Twin Falls, ID on our picnic date overlooking the Snake River canyon.  This was a very simple, yet fun date.  We made sandwiches and just chatted while we marveled at the beauty around us.  Take some time to drive around one day in your area and find a pretty, secluded spot.  We do this a lot and I'm always surprised at what we find.  Sometimes we just like to drive and talk, and see what we can see.

Also while living in Twin Falls, before our son was born, we spent many evenings up in the south hills.  It was a short 30-45 min drive in the mountains.  We would drive until we found a nice spot to park, then we'd make a fire and enjoy some campfire snacks-smores, carmel popcorn, etc.  I loved this because we were away from town, totally secluded.  It gave us time to talk about us and our goals.  One time we each read and studied General Conference talks and then shared them with each other.  Such a spiritual evening.  In case you're not familiar with what General Conference is, it's a 2 day conference every 6 months that our church has.  It consists of 4 sessions, plus a priesthood session for the men.  We get to hear the words of our Prophet, Apostles, as well as other General Authorities in the church.  If you'd like to read some Conference talks from this past conference, click here.

 Bowling, now that's a fun date!  Fun with just the two of you or as a group.  I'm pretty sure almost any town has a bowling alley.  Throw in some soda and pizza and you've got a pretty fun date!  Check with your local bowling alley to see if they do a glow bowling at night (glow in the dark with lots of light and music).

We often spend many date nights at the temple as well.  To me, there is nothing better.  There has NEVER been a time that I wen to the temple with my husband and afterwards thought, "that was boring".  Each time I go I learn something new, and it really helps strengthen my relationship with my husband.   Because you don't really talk much in the temple we like to go out to dinner as well, or at least go get a dessert.  We've been to quite a few temples, but since we're going to Salt Lake City this weekend, here is a picture of us in front of the Salt Lake City, UT temple.  To learn more about temples, click here.  There is also a great article about temples written by a non-Mormon.  Click here to read!

 My husband and I are food lovers.  We love making food, we love eating food,  and especially love going out for food.  Our favorite food by far is sushi!!  I had never really tried it until we started dating.  It was actually the first date out that we had.  It was then that I fell in love :)  Sometimes a simple dinner out is just what a marriage needs.  Nothing better than not cooking dinner, leaving the kids with a sitter, and letting someone else serve you.  I like going to sit down restaurants so we have plenty of time to talk and flirt while we wait for our food.
This is from our 4th Anniversary, eating of course, sushi! 

Well, I hope this got your creative juices flowing and you're now full of date ideas for you and your spouse.  I also should mention that it is traditionally the man who plans the dates, but when you're married it is important for the woman to plan a few dates here and there.  I'm actually planning a romantic getaway this weekend for me and my hubby.  It's fun to be the one in charge sometimes, especially if you're like me and you LIVE to plan things.
Now go and give your spouse an extra hug and kiss and get out there this weekend, or sooner, and go on a date!!!
I'll post more date ideas as we do them or as I think of them.  What are your favorite dates that you've gone on or would like to?  Cheap, expensive, simple-doesn't matter, I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It won't be like this for long

As I sat here listening to Pandora, trying to decide what topic I would blog about this morning, the song "It won't be like this for long" by Darius Rucker came on.  If you have not heard it, click here.  I was first introduced to this song my best friend Melissa when she came to visit us a couple weeks after our son was born.  I often think of this song and how I need to cherish every moment I have with my children.  In those very frustrating parents moments it can be hard, but I'm really trying to enjoy every stage my son goes through.
Here is a good example of enjoying our children's stages in life.....

Our ward (church congregation) has a playgroup every week with any and all mothers and their kids.  My friend who is in charge of it plans fun, cute little activities for the kids to do each time.  Last week they had balloons and were decorating plates.  Well, my son (and a few other kids) combined the two activities and started coloring on the balloons.  They are washable markers so it mostly stayed on the kids instead of the balloons.  I wasn't paying super close attention, and next thing I know he has turned into a blue monster :)  My friend felt so bad that he got marker all over himself, but I just looked at him and started laughing!  I mean he had marker in his hair, ALL over his face and arms, and quite a bit on his shirt.  At that point I just thought, "Well, it's over and done with, and it's washable markers.  Who cares-he's having fun."  It really was so hilarious to me.  Sometimes kids just need to get a little dirty, and it's okay.  I sure wish I could always remember to have this kind of attitude.  If I could keep this happy attitude I'm sure I'd be a less stressed out Mom.  
Now, I'm not saying it's okay to just always let your kids run free and get super messy/dirty, but sometimes we need to let loose and not worry about it.  A little dirt don't hurt, right?  So next time your child is coloring and it ends up that most of the coloring occured on their body instead of the paper, or they come inside after playing outside completely dirty with grass stains, and they look up at you with that big happy smile, just smile back :)  Clothes can be washed, children can be bathed, but memories cannot be repeated. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Healthy Eating

I am not the healthiest person, as far as eating healthy goes.  I love to exercise and do great with that, but I have such a hard time eating healthy.  I LOVE my sweets and I do love fruit, but try to get me to eat a vegetable and you'll likely get the same face your toddler makes when he/she sees vegetables on their plate.  I've gotten better in the last few months since I've been home full time and have time to cook.  I've realized I need to do better because I'm setting an example for my son as well as my future  children, not to mention the fact that I'd like to stay fit and trim and live well into my nineties!  
One way I try to sneak some veggies into my diet is green smoothies.  I LOVE smoothies!  Recently while grocery shopping I found these Jamba Juice smoothies mixes.  They are delicious!!!  A little spendy compared to buying frozen fruit and making your own, but these taste so much better and are definitely cheaper than the real Jamba Juice.  I'll have to try the other cheaper brands and see how they compare.  I try to keep Spinach on hand so that I can add it to my meals.  Spinach is such a healthy food packed with nutrients and vitamins, not to mention the fact that it has hardly any calories, fat, or carbs!  I LOVE to add spinach to my smoothies as well as other dinner meals, such as spaghetti.  I chop it up and add it to my spaghetti sauce.  You can't taste it and it's an easy way to get some vegetables in my son's diet (and mine).
Here is a delicious smoothie I made for breakfast this morning, which my son just came in and helped me finish drinking.  Mmmm, it's so good!  You should try it!

I've tried all the different Jamba Juice smoothie mixes that Walmart sells, and the Caribbean Passion is my favorite.  I love these mixes because all you add is 8-10 oz of apple juice, then of course some raw spinach.
I don't measure how much spinach I put in, I just cram as much in as possible.  Each time I make a smoothie I try to add more and more spinach to see if it ever gets to a point where I can taste it.  So far, so good!  I think this is the most I've ever put in a smoothie and I still couldn't really taste it until the very bottom of my smoothie, but even then it really wasn't that bad.
Here is the finished product.  Yes, it is very green and may not look that great, but believe me it's delicious!!  This would also go great as part of a St. Patricks day breakfast.  Technically this makes 2 servings of smoothie, but when I'm eating it as a meal I like to drink the whole thing.

Lastly I want to share a healthy shake recipe that my sister told me about.  I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure she just made it up.
Chocolate soy milk (I use the light version, which has fewer calories)
1 frozen banana
about 1 Tbsp peanut butter
Raw spinach

I don't have exact measurements on the amount of milk or spinach, but I'd say just add enough milk to get the thickness you prefer in your shakes, and pack as much spinach in as possible.
I make mine in my magic bullet, so I just pack everything in until it's full.  I start by adding the frozen banana.  Make sure the banana is frozen or it will NOT be the same!  Next I add the peanut butter, then I pack in as much spinach as my magic bullet will hold.  Last I pour in the chocolate soy milk until the cup is completely full, then mix!  It turns out to be such a delicious chocolate shake that makes a great snack or dessert when you are needing a little sweetness.

Do you have any green smoothies or other healthy drinks you like to make?
Have a great Friday and remember, even though it's the weekend you can still eat healthy and stick to your goals.  Don't let Monday be the day of regret, stay consistent. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger

My strong husband--hope I don't get in trouble for posting this :) FYI, this was taken in the photo booth of our Mac.  He really does have big strong arms, but not a tiny face, haha!

  I truly believe in the above quote.  To me, it means that we are going to have hard things to work at, but that is exactly what we need to do--work at them and by doing that we will grow and become stronger.

We all have our own individual trials and struggles in our lives.  I know that God gives us these trials so we can work at overcoming them, learn from them, and that in turn helps us to become a better person.  Overcoming trials involves finding out what our talents are and using those God given talents to stomp that trial to the ground.  We need to have patience and faith and know that we are never alone.  Not all trials are meant to be beat/conquered in this life, which at times can be very frustrating.  Some of us have trials that will continue to be with us our entire life.  I'm not quite sure why that is, but I know that the Lord will not give us anything we can't handle.

Currently I've been struggling with some trials of my own.  At times it feels as if these are the kinds of trials that will be with me my entire life.  I don't know if that is true, or if I just haven't learned yet what I need to from them.  Either way, it's important that I don't lose focus and get discouraged and just say, "Oh well, forget it, there's nothing I can do about this".  <----That can be very hard at times.  I'm so thankful to have such a loving supportive husband that helps keep me focused and doesn't let me get discouraged.

If you are going through a trial(s) and feel really discouraged and frustrated, don't give up.  Don't get down on yourself either.  Just think of it this can learn so much from working on and conquering that trial.  In the end, you will have learned so much from that experience, that it will help you in so many other aspects of your life.  It will give you the skills to know how to look at an issue and think, "Okay, how can I beat this, and learn from this?"  It is also so very important to not look at your life and the things you struggle with and compare it to others around you.  I have such a very hard time with this, but I'm working on it.  EVERYONE (no one is the exception to this) is struggling with something.  Others struggles may not seem like trials to you because everyone has different talents and things they need to learn. That is why we CAN NOT judge others or look at their lives and think that they have it so easy.  I heard a great quote in church a while back about this.  I can't remember who said it or when but it was something to the effect that, we need to treat everyone we meet as if they are struggling with something/having a bad day, and that we never know who is going through a tough time.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if we did this?  It would be such a happy place to live.

Overall, I just want you (and myself) to remember to stay strong in the face of trials and find strength in the Lord to overcome them.  You are strong and you can do it!!!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, April 13, 2012


That's exactly what today has been...a success!!!
I just LOVE when I have days like these-don't we all?  As you know from a previous post, I'm now staying up after my husband goes to work so I can get things done before my son wakes up.  Today was an extra early day (4:30am!).  I wanted SO bad to go back to bed, since I went to bed at 11pm last night, but I resisted the urge and stayed up.  I really love watching the Today show but I know if I sit down on the couch that early in the morning I will be asleep in no time, so I instead got right to work on my to-do list I had made the night  before.  I am much more productive when I go into the day with a game plan.  When I make lists I like to make a list of things that need to get done by the end of the week, then I pick items from that list that I want to accomplish that day.  It makes me feel like I have a little bit more of a choice when I do that and I find I am more successful.  
Anyway, by 9am I was able to meet these goals:
Balance the checkbook/update our monthly budget
Start laundry
Clean the kitchen-dishes, counters, stovetop, table, sweep and mop, vacuum rugs
Water grass in backyard
Clean our half bathroom, including the floors
Then I had some "me" time and looked online for some baby items we will be needing 

A big factor in my success this morning was that my son slept in until 9:30, which is totally out of the ordinary.  He's usually up by 8 at the latest.  I think he was catching up on his lack of sleep from the past few days when we were out of town.  It sure was nice though to have 5 hours all to myself this morning.

Since then I have also:
Finished all the laundry (still need to fold some)
Cleaned my sons room and vacuumed it
vacuumed the stairs and upstairs hallway
watered the plants
cleaned all the light switches downstairs and some spots on the walls
cleaned the upstairs bathroom, including scrubbing the bathtub
swept and mopped the entry way

All I have now to do is:
mop the bathroom floor in our upstairs bathroom
Return a dvd to the library
Get the mail and mail some birthday cards

Here are a few pictures from my successful day, in case you needed proof :)

This is my favorite thing--empty laundry baskets.  It seems to usually only last a day or less, but it's a pretty sight while it lasts.

Beautifully clean kitchen. Just need to tackle the stack of papers on the counter.  That seems to be the drop all for our stuff.  Please tell me I'm not the only one that has a pile of random papers and things to be sorted through, all the time!

My son's room.  I even made the bed, my Mom should be proud :) I have always been HORRIBLE at making beds, but it really does make a difference and completes a room.
By the way, my son jumped into the bed not 10 minutes after I made it, of course :)

Our Island bathroom, where we can pretend to be living in paradise :)

Now, to some of you this may not seem like a whole lot of work, but when you look like this...

It's a big accomplishment! I'm actually kind of strange sometimes.  I'll get in these moods where I just want to clean! --and not just straightening up the living room and vacuuming, but full on deep cleaning, like cleaning out the fridge or scrubbing the oven.  Not sure if this is my nesting instinct or not, but I'm loving it.  I never nested when I was pregnant with my son so I guess I'm making up for it now.
 Now my back is sore from all that cleaning so I think I'll be taking it easy the rest of the evening.  Ahh, so nice to have a clean home!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No means No (and maybe means yes)

Maybe doesn't always mean yes, but that's just something I use to always say when I was little :)

How do you teach a 3 year old that no really means no??  My son is a typical toddler that likes to say "No" or "Nope" to pretty much anything and everything (even if it actually is something that he wants).  The past few weeks he will say he wants something (sometimes throwing a fit, sometimes not), so we will ask "Do you want ____?" And he will say, "Nope!" So I will put that item away or say, "Ok" and walk away.  Then he yells and throws a big fit because he really did want that thing.  So then we would usually give him that item (or whatever it is) after asking him again if he wants it, to which he will say "Yes".  This does not seem to be the wisest way to handle this, nor is it making situations like these any better-they just continue to consistently happen throughout the day.

Today I decided that if he acts like he wants something and I ask him if he wants it and he says no, then I will not give him that item no matter even if he throws a fit about it.  I think the previous way we were handling it was just making him learn that if he wants something then all he needs to do is throw a fit and he will get what he wants.  I DO NOT want a child that throws fits and acts rude when he doesn't get what he wants.

I tried this, this afternoon and it was quite the scream fest.  With my son screaming that is, not me-I was very proud of myself that I kept my cool, though I did have to raise my voice a few times.  Anyway, after he said "No" to wanting milk, I put it back in the fridge, to which he started screaming and crying.  I told him that if he wanted it he needed to ask nicely.  He kept screaming  and saying "Nope" so I told him that I was going upstairs until he wanted to be nice and ask nicely.  That mad him even more mad and he followed me upstairs.  I tried to talk to him and help him calm down but he didn't want me near him, even though he kept saying, "Mom Mom!!"  I eventually had to put him in the corner for talking rude, then he finally calmed down after a while.  It was such a long, semi-frustrating ordeal.  I am just wondering if any of you have any tips or suggestions for me on what to do in situations like these.  I'm all about getting advice and learning new parenting techniques.  Thanks in advance!

I would also like to add that during all of this I wanted to just scream and yell at him and lock myself alone in my room  for some peace and quiet, but I resisted.  I've really been working hard on not getting so upset with my son and having patience.  It is VERY hard at times, and sometimes I don't fully succeed, but I'm making progress.  It just takes recognizing and knowing when you are getting near your boiling point.  When I am more aware that I am starting to get really upset sometimes just stepping away from the situation for a minute or so helps me to stay calm.  I can't always step away from the situation, so it just takes a lot will power (and TONS of practice) to just tell myself "stay calm, don't freak out, stay calm".  I really do say this to myself over and over.  Sometimes it's okay to talk to yourself-right? :)  Another thing that helps me is I'm always so embarrassed and upset with myself when I freak out and act like a toddler myself, that and I don't want to have to tell my husband how I acted negativly.  I much more enjoy telling him how I kept calm and handled the situation like the adult that I am!
So if you tend to lose your patience quickly with your children, or anyone else, just remember that it takes a lot of practice to have patience.  Don't give up or get down on yourself, just take a breather and try again!  And it's okay to take a few minutes to "cool off" after a major meltdown from your child.

Early to bed, early to rise

...makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  Well, I hope it does, because I am really wishing I was back in bed.  As I mentioned in the previous post, my husband gets up very early for work (today wasn't quite as early only 5:15am).  Normally I head back to bed after he leaves and my son wakes me up between 7:30-8am.  That isn't very late in the day, but if I don't get up before my son I feel like I don't get nearly as much done as I'd like.  As I'm sure most of you are, I'm much more productive when my child is sleeping.  I use to stay up for a few hours after he went to bed so I could get some things done and have some me time to unwind from the day.  That was hard, because I also wanted to spend some alone time with my husband and then I'd end up going to bed around midnight or later which will not make me healthy or wise!
My goal is to stay up after my hubby leaves and have my alone time in the morning, and be ready for my boy when he wakes up.  My husband and I were talking and thought it would be better for our son if I'm up before him, instead of him waking me up.  Hopefully I can teach my kids better sleeping habits than I've established for myself.  I need to be more of a morning bird instead of a night owl.  For those who know me, this will be a hard transition, but so worth it in the end.  I hope this helps my daily schedule and helps me get a lot more done throughout the day-including getting to the gym earlier in the day!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


We all have setbacks throughout our day (unless it's an unusually perfect day!), or sometimes an entire day can feel like a setback.  It can be hard getting motivated and staying motivated after a setback happens.  I sometimes have weeks that feel like a setback, but I am working on not letting that discourage me and picking myself back up and getting back in the game.  Since this seems to be a common factor among all mothers, fathers, adults, or pretty much any human being out there, I thought I'd share a few of my tips for getting past these and getting out of the "rut." If it gives you ideas on what you can do, then great, my goal is to at least get some motivation going.  Sometimes just writing out what I do that is working really helps motivate myself, because when I am in the situation I easily get a negative attitude and feel there is no end or relief in sight.  That is a big reason I started this blog, so I can get my ideas and experiences out of my head so I can refer back to this to help me in those hard times.

Some days I wake up and have absolutely no motivation to even get out of bed (I am NOT a morning person).  I really wish I could just jump out of bed in the morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for the day.  Sadly, most mornings my son has to almost drag me out of bed.  I will say though, that I get up between 4:30-5am every morning to make my husband's lunch before he goes to work-then I usually go back to bed though I'd like to stay up and be productive before my son gets up.  Anyway, it is really hard for me to get motivated to get some energy and start going on my day and the tasks that need to be accomplished.  I don't have an exact thing to do to help me get going, but I just have to tell myself that I am an adult and my son needs me.  He needs me to be his mom that helps get him dressed before noon (all too often that doesn't happen), that keeps the house orderly and tidy, he needs a mom that isn't lazy and lays on the couch all day while he watches tv.  I just have to always remind myself that I am his example, he spends the majority of his day with me and he will follow in my footsteps so I need to make sure my footsteps are going in the right direction.

I can be totally in the groove of being super motivated and accomplishing tons, and then BAM the setback!  Something comes up, or some disaster happens, or a big temper tantrum (bound to happen with a 3 yr old), and suddenly my day comes to a halt.  It's important to have patience and deal with the situation and get back in the game of getting things done.  My son/family comes first, and all the other things (for the most part) can be set aside.  It's important for me to not look at the things I didn't do, but instead look at what I did do.

I was just telling my husband tonight that I feel like I didn't really get much done today.  I took a few relax breaks (important when your 27 weeks pregnant), but for the most part didn't really waste a lot of time doing nothing.  Then I started to list to him all that I did do, and he thought that I'd really done a good job.  I still feel like I didn't do as much as I should.  I'm trying to stay motivated and not let that get to me.

Anyway, this became a lot longer post than intended, but that's what happens when I'm the kind of person that could write 5 pages about literally nothing-sure came in handy with high school essays. :)
I would sure love your feedback on any tips or suggestions to getting past those setbacks we all have and staying motivated to get things done.  Let me know what works for you!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Parents Pledge

I have a subscription to Parents magazine, and as I was looking at my latest one I found inside what they call The Parents Pledge. It is a list of 11 very simple things we can do with our children to help them have a love for learning, and things that will really boost their confidence and knowledge.  
For me, I sometimes have a hard time embracing big tasks as they can seem very overwhelming.  This list however seemed very simple and easy things I can do almost everyday with my son to help him grow.  I realized today that if I just start with baby steps in trying to be a better mom it will be easier for me to succeed.  I need to try a little bit every day to be better, and soon it will (hopefully) get easier and I can accomplish those much larger motherly tasks/responsibilities.  
I pulled this page out of the magazine, signed it, and am really going to strive to live it everyday.  You can print it here, and even email it to a friend too!  I encourage you to take a look at it, and start today to try and be a better parent.  I'm no perfect mom, but I know that there is always room for improvement.