Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: If I Have to Tell You One More Time

This is a parenting book. I found it through Pinterest and I wish I would have read it years ago when I was just starting out having babies. I have read parenting books before, but most of them had things in them that I would never say to my kids ("Oh bummer! Looks like it's time for the Uh-Oh song". Never in a million years), or they were just not my style. But this book was completely different. And the thing I liked the best was that it taught me how to be a more calm, positive parent. This book is written in a way that the techniques can be used for kids from the age of 2 & 1/2 up to teenagers. I love that I can implement the same strategies for my 5 year old as I can for my husband 10 year old and everything will stay the same as they get older. I hate parenting books that have different things to use on different ages. Don't you want to do the same thing for every child at every age so you're not always having to change the way you parent? As I read this book, I took notes on the different "tools" and wrote down examples on how to use them so I could share it with my husband. I know he won't read it, but he might read one little section I typed up on the When/Then tool: WHEN your chores are done THEN you can watch one TV show. Or the Either/Or tool: EITHER you turn off the computer now OR you will lose your game time tomorrow. I have been using some these tools since I started reading the book and guess what? They work! For real. Some of them are totally common sense (if you ignore a temper tantrum, your child will stop throwing them), but there were lots of new things I learned (the reasons kids misbehave is because they want to have POWER or they want to feel SIGNIFICANT). I make lots of parenting mistakes. I yell a lot, lose my cool, say things to my kids I later regret. But this book has really taught me how to be more positive with my kids, how to stay calm when someone is kicking and screaming on the floor, and how to discipline in a way that teaches my children and helps them to learn how to be more responsible and feel better about who they are. So if you have kids, any age, check it out. It's on sale at Amazon right now, but I just got my copy from the library. And take notes...you'll want to have something to share with your husband so he can get on the same page as you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pinterest Post: Overnight No-Cook Oatmeal

I tried this recipe last night and had it for breakfast today. So good! I saw this on FB and Pinterest and it was a yummy, easy breakfast that would be great on a busy morning (school starts in 4 weeks!!) or before a morning workout. This is the recipe I tried today:
3/4 cup (6 oz) regular vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup oatmeal, not cooked
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
sprinkle of cinnamon.
Mix everything in a container with a lid, cover and refrigerate overnight.
This is a great recipe because you can make it a million different ways. Any flavor or type of yogurt (the original recipe called for Greek yogurt), any fruit mix ins, nuts, honey, etc. I made Dave taste it. He said it was okay. Logan would not try it, but I think Trevor might like it. If your kids do like oatmeal it would be fun to let them make their own the night before with their choice of fruit and yogurt. This was good to eat before I worked out (I hardly ever work out so don't be too impressed) and it filled me up enough so I wasn't starving after working out (so I didn't need to eat a brownie for my after-workout snack).
Husband rating: 3 out of 5 stars
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Kid rating: My picky eaters were not interested and my kid who tries everything was not awake before I ate it all.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Old Yeller

Long ago, when Colin was a baby and Trevor was 2 or 3, I remember yelling at Trevor for something and then going outside to get the mail. As I slammed the front door and walked down the driveway towards the mailbox I could hear through my open upstairs window Trevor crying in his room. I realized that my neighbors probably just heard me yelling at my kids and now heard crying and I could only imagine what they were thinking. You would think that experience would have stopped me from yelling at my kids, but it didn't. Dave always told me that when he first met me and during our first two years of marriage he thought I was the most patient person he had ever met. Then we had kids and that changed. I would always pray for patience, for anger control, to be a better mom and not yell at my kids, but it seemed the more I prayed the more I yelled. I think the Lord was testing me and I was failing, big time.
But I am happy to say that I am now a recovering yeller. I have not yelled at my kids in over a week. For real. Last week I watched a webinar on parenting. I knew the webinar was more or less just an advertising tool to get people to buy the book and pay for the online classes. But I watched it anyway, and one thing really stood out to me. The lady giving the webinar said that your parenting personality has a lot to do with how your kids behave. She said what you do will reflect what your kids do. If I'm a yeller and can't control my temper then my kids will be the same way. If I am calm and speak to them in a respectful way then they will do the same. I know I have heard this before and I know Dave and I have talked about it before but it finally hit me and this time it sunk in. So I've been trying it out and it works, for the most part. My kids still fight and throw temper tantrums, they still disobey and talk back, but there is a huge difference now. I don't yell. I don't argue with them. I don't pay attention to their tantrums. And their behaviors are changing. I don't know what it is but all those 10 years of praying must have finally paid off because I have never been able to control my temper like I have this past week. And right now as I write this Logan is sitting next to me yelling because he doesn't want to do his chores, "Mom! Mommy!! MOM!!! You're not listening to me!!!!" and I am just ignoring him, kind of laughing at him and happy that I don't have the urge to yell back like I used to. Keep praying for that patience, Moms and Dads, because eventually it will come. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Clean and Organized

I will be the first to admit that I am not the best housekeeper. I see all the things I have to do and I get overwhelmed and then I don't do anything. But this week that all changed. I've been a little obsessed with the blog A Bowl Full of Lemons for about a few weeks now. I stumbled upon it while I was on Pinterest and it's been a blessing. I found this great Daily Cleaning Schedule and tried it out this week. I didn't do everything on the list every day, but I did do a lot. Each boy got a "color" for the week and did that chore every morning and they did great. There were some complaints, but they got on board and it really helped. I love how clean the house was on Monday. My bedroom stayed clean all week (and the bed got made every morning). I woke up every morning to a neat and clean kitchen. There weren't as many Saturday chores to do today as there usually are. My kids were perfect angels all week (not really). I noticed that when my house looked good I was in a better mood. I was the nicest mom all week and never yelled at my kids (not really). I've really been in an organizing/cleaning mood lately and today Dave helped out too. Here are some of the things we've been working on:
We have a HUGE closet upstairs. We took everything off the shelves, threw away the crap and put stuff back nice and neat. We even had extra space for the holiday decorations that were in the garage.

When we got a treadmill upstairs in the TV room it was in the way of the book shelf. So I got a new shelf to fit under the window and put the books there. I love this new shelf. The basket is where we keep all the library books so they don't get lost. The shelf was $50 at Target and they had all different sizes and colors.

The playroom is always messy. Always. I threw away a bunch of junk, rearranged the shelves, and  table and brought out the toy canisters that were in the closet. Now everything is out to play with AND half the closet is now empty!

More room to play now, every toy is out and organized in it's own bucket or bin. I put the little table and chair in here along with the white board so Logan can play "school".

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book page wreath

via http://jonesdesigncompany.com/
I've been wanting to make this Book Page Wreath (click for tutorial) for forever. When we finished painting our bedroom I thought it would look great above our bed because of the contrasting of colors. Over the weekend I found a blog called A Bowl Full of Lemons. It's all about cleaning and organizing your home. I found a great cleaning schedule on the blog and got all excited to clean my house. Once the house was clean yesterday (the kids each chose one thing on the cleaning list to help with) I decided I needed to add something decorative to my bedroom. I went to Michaels and got all of my crafty supplies and after dinner I started making my book page wreath. Doing crafts in a house full of boys is not always easy. They ask a ton of questions ("Why are you tearing up that book?!"), they touch the glue gun even when I tell them not to, they look at what I'm making with strange expressions on their faces. When I first started this project I was full of great expectations at my crafting abilities. Partway through I wondered if I was just crafting disabled since my wreath looked pretty crappy. As I continued on, burning myself with the hot glue (and thinking of my sweet friend Erin who had a tragic hot glue gun experience as a kid....love you girl!) and slapping pages on my wreath, I could see it transforming. The more pages I added the better it looked and I realized that I AM crafty! I finished my wreath in 4 hours (I think the tutorial told me 2 but that is a big, fat, lie) and hung it up before I crashed into bed for the night. I love it. Dave said it looked fine (not the "Amazing job, honey! You're the best crafter ever!" I was looking for). When the boys all woke up this morning and found their way to our room I asked what they thought. They're just like their dad. "Oh, it's nice." Ugh. I get no appreciation around here.
My wreath. Maybe it's my reader/English teacher/writer self that makes me love it so much. There are lots on Pinterest so go look and get inspired.

I love how it looks above the bed. Super simple, but it adds a little interest and texture to that big, empty space.