Friday, November 7, 2014

let's get real.

For those of you who don't know me in real life or otherwise don't know, Joel and I recently became foster parents.  There are hard parts, but overall we love it!  I have been thinking about some things lately, though, and ask as many of you as want to to chime in.  The invitation's extended to people who have young children, people who have had young children in the past, and people who were young children at one point and remember what their parents did.  And anyone else with something to offer. :)

I keep having questions come to mind that I want to ask other parents.  I need someone other than blogger moms to compare myself to.  Slash... I know I shouldn't be comparing myself at all, and it's really not that.  I really feel pretty good about my mothering and how I do it.  I guess I just read these articles and see pictures and want to know how REAL people really are.  


How much TV do you watch?  We watch about an hour a day - one episode of "Mister Rogers's Neighborhood" (a kids' TV show I love and don't get annoyed by like the shows our current kids like) and sometimes part of Dolphin Tale, which they love.  We would maybe watch more if they had a longer attention span... haha. :)  

What kinds of snacks do you eat?  Sorry, but we're mostly crackers.  I know we should be fruits and vegetables or string cheese or yogurt... but we're mostly crackers.  One ate a saltine cracker sandwich today for his snack.  I don't care if you judge; I feel fine about it.  I mean, we're not going to do that every day, but I feel fine about it doing it today.  

It was just Halloween.  What do you do about candy?  Ours probably eat like... five pieces a day.  Not always, but often I let them have one after a snack or meal.  It depends on how well they ate their real food.  I don't feel bad about it - candy stashes don't last forever and it's only been a week.  

I know this is a hard question to answer, but how much do you actively play with your children?  I've heard some people say it should be all the time; I've heard others say if you do half an hour dedicated playtime in a day, that's great.  I, personally, am a huge proponent of individual (and with other children) playtime.  I play with them a lot, but I also do a lot of sitting back and watching - or not watching.  I consider it a victory if they'll play in the backyard without me being outside.  I try to make sure they know I'm paying attention to them, and if I'm on the computer, I typically only do productive stuff (not checking Facebook, blogging, or reading blogs), but I think it's important to not always play with them.  They tend to use their imaginations better when I'm not actively participating and they learn about conflict resolution, and I like that.  When I play with them, we're dancing, reading, playing at the playground, or drawing on white paper usually.  We're not doing elaborate crafts, practicing writing in sand, or taking tours of cool factories.  

What about fruits and vegetables?  I give them one at lunch and one at dinner.  So... two-ish servings a day.  (How big is a serving of fruit / vegetable for a person who only eats half a cup of food?)  Sometimes we have apple or watermelon for a snack.  I should be better about that, but the excuse I'm giving myself is that they weren't raised with me, so I'm allowed to transition them into fruits and vegetables.  (The real reason is probably that I don't always think of it or feel like fighting when I think crackers are decently healthy.)  Also, we eat cereal for breakfast every day and a sandwich almost every day for lunch, usually with meat and/or cheese OR peanut butter.  

People talk about how parenting is so tiring and moms never take time for themselves.  It is tiring, I often have to get up a few times during the night with a crying child, and I'm worn out at the end of the day, but I also take a nap - or at least a close-eyed rest - every day.  Quiet time is about an hour every day after lunch.  Hopefully you didn't break anything while I was having mine and you were ignoring yours.  Oh, and when it's time for me to take a shower, want to watch the Disney channel?
EDIT: I don't say bring that up to say that people who say parenting is tiring are wrong or to say I do things better than anyone.  Parenting is DEFINITELY tiring and what works for me doesn't work for everyone.  It's just, when I wrote that paragraph, I had just barely read an article about a mother who was always putting herself on the back burner and wanted to say that doesn't need to be the case.  You're important, too!  (I didn't have any negative comments on this part, but it's just been sticking in my mind and rubbing me wrong, so I wanted to explain.:)

Oh, and we basically have no toys.  We have a lot of Legos, a lot of books, some plastic food, and a slide in our basement.  That's about it.  I love not having the clutter or needing to find places to put toys, and they really haven't seemed to need more than that.  Also, we hardly ever have to clean up.

So.  What is your parenting life like?




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“I was a fool!” Percy roared.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Thursday, November 6, 2014

review: Sleep Number SleepIQ bed

As I've mentioned before, I'm a member of a website that gives me samples in return for reviews. (If you're interested in learning more about the website I use, here's a link: http://h5.sml360.com/-/ge2y)   I'm not a huge fan of putting random reviews of stuff on my blog - I prefer to review stuff that I find in my regular life and love :) - but I agreed to review this! (and I'm getting a free pillow for it, which I'm super excited about) so here we go...

We tried out the new Sleep Number SleepIQ bed recently, and it was cool! It has sensors in the air of the mattress (the part that firms or softens depending on your Sleep Number) that tracks breathing and heart rates during the night.  In the morning, it send the information to an app on your phone / ipad / etc. and tells you how you slept the night before.  It tells you when you were most restful, when you were moving around, and when you were out of bed, and then gives you a score out of 100 on your overall sleep.  Then you can use that information to improve your sleep the next night.  (For example, if you think your  sleep number is 35 but you only score 65%, change your number tomorrow and see if your score goes up.)

It's SUPER comfortable, but that's really just any Sleep Number bed.  I'd never tried one before and was amazed at how uncomfortable it made my bed at home (that I love) seem!  Haha :)

I really love the idea of this bed. I like that it tracks how well I'm sleeping and gives me feedback to help improve my sleep. I think, in that way, it's very unique. It's the only bed I've ever heard of that does that. I also like that the app allows you to keep track of what you do during the day that may affect your sleep - what you ate, whether you exercised, etc. I wish that it tracked more than heart and breathing rate, though. What would really put this bed over the top (in my opinion) is if it tracked REM cycles, too. Also, it's pretty pricey. I've never spent several thousand dollars on a bed before, and to be honest, if I wanted to get the kind of technology that the SleepIQ bed offers, I would probably just buy a FitBit or something for $100.

But you don't have to take my word for it! Here's a link with some more information about the Sleep Number SleepIQ bed if you're interested in trying one out for yourself: http://h5.sml360.com/-/hrph




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This story, my dear young folks, seems to be false, but it really is true, for my grandfather, from whom I have it, used always, when relating it, to say complacently, “It must be true, my son, or else no one could tell it to you.”
“The Hare and the Hedgehog”

Friday, October 3, 2014

Humidity feels like a "welcome home" blanket.

I spent some time in Oklahoma this summer and carried a notepad with me, writing down all the little things I saw that make it feel like home. :)

cowbell hanging off a truck's front bumper
neon orange and camo shirts
the cook was wearing work jeans and poop shoes [shoes that look like they're meant for walking around in poop]
family-owned and -run restaurant
TREES
green green green
right after "Welcome to Oklahoma" was "Now Entering Cherokee Nation"
wife beaters (the shirt, not the person)
Humidity feels like a welcome home blanket.
windy roads
big fields of nothing all over the place
regular houses with huge front yards
hills make the road look like an S
non-privacy fences in not-shady areas [aka, the trees aren't the privacy fence], if a fence at all
people are so nice.
homey





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“Hogwarts is threatened!” shouted Professor McGonagall.  “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

busy living

Sometimes life is too busy and also too good to take pictures.

Sometimes I wish I had a photographer shadow who could take pictures of those moments for me
because, let's be honest,
there'd have been some gems from the last couple weeks.




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"Thing was, they bit off a bit more than they could chew with Gran.  Little old witch living alone, they probably thought they didn’t need to send anyone particularly powerful.  Anyway, Dawlish is still in St. Mungo’s and Gran’s on the run.  She sent me a letter,” he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, “telling me she was proud of me, that I’m my parents’ son, and to keep it up."
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Friday, September 12, 2014

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it...

I did this.


It was freezing!

which is why I made a fun video.

I figured, if I had to do the uncomfortable part, I might as well get to do a fun part afterwards. :)

P.S. For those of you thinking, "Freezing? There was hardly any ice in there," it's true.  There was hardly any ice in there. because we only own two ice trays.  So the pot sat in the fridge for a long time, and let's be honest - fridges can get water pretttttty cold.





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Out of it, his hair overgrown, his face cut, his robes ripped, clambered the real Neville Longbottom, who gave a roar of delight, leapt down from the mantelpiece, and yelled, "I knew you’d come!  I knew it, Harry!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AUGUST

August's goal check-up time!
My goals in August were to brush my teeth at night (I know, I know, you're all disgusted that that wasn't a habit before) and to floss once a day.



Here's my question:

Do you know how hard it is to reach a goal about improving your oral hygiene when you spent the first day of the month at the dentist and he told you not to change a thing about your oral hygiene because your teeth and gums are AWESOME?!

It's really really really hard.

Soooooo.....

Flossing - Yeah, I was horrible at that.
Brushing at night - Probably 50/50.  

And yet, the dentist's (and hygienist's) words are still echoing in my head, so I don't feel bad about it...




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…[T]he goblin rarely left Harry, Ron, and Hermione alone together for more than five minutes at a time: "He could give my mother lessons," growled Ron, as the goblin’s long fingers kept appearing around the edges of doors.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Monday, September 1, 2014

things I'm loving today


flats of raspberries (12 6-oz packs) for only $10!!




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“Harry Potter,” he squeaked in the tiniest quiver of a voice, “Dobby has come to rescue you.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows