Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fun Homework Caddy

Fun Homework Caddy!!
I saw so many posts on Etsy for homework caddy's and one day I was walking with the kids through Target and came upon the summer clearance area.  And there it was!!
Clearance for $3.00!!
I was an aha moment, no need to go buy an expensive Rubbermaid container, ( although I do love Rubbermaid), this fit my purpose.
It has the perfect spacing and amount of space for what we need!
Now I had to solve one problem, it was deep!!
Problem solved, paper towel scrunched up in the bottom of each section to bring items to the top!!
Also while the color is fun, wanted to add a splash more of color!!
So after seeing all of these ad's on TV for designer duct tape I went and picked some out :)

The kids love it and we store it in the office and they just go and grab it after school, put it in the middle of the table and everything they need is right at hand!!
Here is the finished Homework Caddy!!!

So are you inspired to make your own homework caddy??  It's super fun and super easy!!!
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Road Trip Michigan to Florida

Well we have two weeks left before our first road trip to Florida from Michigan.  I'm excited but nervous at the same time.  It will be my husband and my two kids ages 10 and 6.  I've been reading blogs and going on Pinterest for ideas on how to keep kids occupied on the 21+ hour drive!!

First off we are very fortunate to have the Chrysler Mini Van with dual DVD player :)  That will keep the kids busy on and off during the ride.  I've gone and bought a bunch of new movies for the kids that they haven't seen before.

On all the different sites and pins these are the ideas I'm going with...

  1. Little toys from the dollar store.  Only give them out one per hour while awake for good behavior.  I've bought glow in the dark sticks for night time travel.  Crayons and coloring books and many other little things.  I will wrap them for extra excitement.
  2. I've downloaded new music to both of their iPods.  My kids love love love music!
  3. Put new apps on their iPods, learning apps and games.
  4. A suggestion from a friend on Facebook, I'm printing two maps of our route and numbering the route along the way and having them laminated.  Then when they say how much farther I can tell them what number we care getting close to or just passed.
  5. Food!! Snacks are a MUST!!!
  6. Pillows and Blankets in hopes that they will sleep :)
  7. Road Sign Bingo (I think I might play as well!!)
  8. Digital Camera
Other things I've found that I've added to my must bring list:

  1. Wet Wipes
  2. Garbage Can (small) with garbage bag, just in case that unforeseen moment happens and the kids get sick... and for the obvious, garbage.
  3. Charger for the iPods for the backseat. (lucky there is an outlet back there)
This is our first time driving to Florida and the kids are very excited to see the different sites along the way.  We are planning on stopping frequently to let the kids run around and stretch. 

We are hoping this will show our children part of our wonderful country and make great memories!  Also this will hopefully show them how lucky they are to fly everywhere we've gone on vacation.  While the drive down might not be so bad due to the fact we will be seeing a lot of new things, I'm sure the drive home will be worse!

So what are your must haves for long road trips with the kids?  Did I miss anything?  Suggestions are ALWAYS welcome here at Momstew :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Giving up Soda!!

59 Days and counting...  I have to be honest.  Before I gave up soda (the only kind I drink is Coke), I would start out with one in the morning and have the good intention of only have that one, right!  I would have another at lunch, then another at dinner and with a snack at night.  And there where days where I would have even more than that.  That is a LOT of sugar!!

 So with trying to live a healthier life style the one thing I knew I needed to start with was giving up soda.  I've tried before and made it a month, maybe a few days more, but that's it.  Always an excuse to have one.  At first sip it would be way to sweet, but eventually you get use to it again.  And there is nothing like that first sip in the morning, feeling it go through your veins.  Probably like other people who have to have their coffee in the morning!

I use to be a social smoker in my early twenties and believe me giving up cigarettes was much easier!!  It was hard giving my the carbonation and the cold caffeine flowing threw my veins, it woke me up.

Friends have suggested carbonated flavored waters.  I've tried them all!  But I'm sorry, yuck!  If I can't drink my beloved Coke, then I guess I'll be giving up all carbonated drinks as well.

So what you ask have I replaced my soda with?  Tea!! Hot tea, ice tea, water and an occasional hot chocolate.  I went through horrible withdrawals, the headaches, being lethargic, you name it I went through it.

But today is day 59 and I'm feeling great!!  I don't miss it as much as I use to.  Yeah, when I go the movies and get a popcorn do I want a soda, you bet, but now almost everyplace I go has unsweetened ice tea, so I'm safe in making the right choice!  (or I bring my own unsweetened tea in my purse, shh don't tell anyone!!)

So what have you given up?  What has been the most difficult part of giving it up?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Drama Free and Loving it!!

For a few months now I have been changing my life by living drama free.  It entails much more than what the title implies.  It's is a healthy lifestyle change.  Kind of like when you have a healthy lifestyle change with eating right and exercising.  Same thing, but more on the emotional and actions side of how you live your life.  I'm going to share with you how and what I've been doing and how it's changed my life!

About a month ago I attended a seminar "Living Drama Free" hosted my Fonda Milana.  It was life changing and brought me closer to bringing God back into my life.  I look at people in situations in a whole new light.  I'll admit I've always been an attacker when dealing with situations and people.  And I wonder why I'm stressed??  It's all in how you handle things.  Here are some recent examples of how I would have handled things and how I handled it this time and the outcome.

First my son Bradley was being bullied at school (at least that is his thoughts on what was happening).  So my old self would have emailed the teacher and basically given her an ultimatum and if she didn't fix things for my son, then there would be hell to pay.  You know, mama bear to the rescue!!  But this time I really thought about things, thought them through... then I acted.  First emailing the teacher what my son said, reminded her that my son is ultra sensitive so he may be over reacting.  But also that he many not be, and to please assess the situation and get back with me.  I told her how much I appreciated her help, but I really want my son to be in a healthy environment and at this time he's scared to come to school and is actually getting sick over it (literally). 

From there the social worker met with Bradley and found out this situation started back in Kindergarten when the two boys had the same teacher, so their is a history now up until fourth grade.  They are going to talk to both boys separately and get them to work together on the situation.  I explained to the social worker what I had explained to my sons teacher and also told her I'm not sure what is going on in the others boys life and maybe that is contributing to him acting out like this... this shows compassion for the other child, since we never now what is going on behind closed doors.  While that does not excuse it, at least that would give us some insight and let us pray for this boy.

Today my son went to school and had a great day.  I'm not sure if something further has happened, maybe us praying for this other boy helped, I sure hope so.

Situation two.  This past Saturday at Life Time Fitness  we signed our kids up for Parents Night Out, a benefit they offer where the kids get pizza and a drink, get to swim, play games and rock climb.  So my husband I bought movie tickets online and where very excited to have a night out knowing the kids where going to have a blast as well.  So while I'm getting ready my son asks, "Are you sure it's on?" (the last one had been cancelled due to only two kids being signed up).  So I thought you know what I better call even though they didn't call to cancel.  They tell me its been cancelled.  So now of course my blood pressure is going up and I'm pretty upset seeing as we have plans.  I tell them we already bought tickets and I never got a cancellation call. They said we weren't even on the list???  So I explain after they cancelled the last Parents Night Out I had them move us to this date.  Obviously they dropped the ball and didn't do it.  So I called on Monday talked to the head of the department, and they where only willing to give me back Life Time Fitness Bucks so we could come back on another date. So I explained about the money we lost on the tickets for the movies, and what were they willing to do about that.  I never got a call back from the General Manager, the head of the kids department or the Assistant Manager under the General Manager.  All I got was excuses, after excuse, not good.  So I called Fonda Milana from the Drama Free Living seminar and told her all of the above and she not only calmed me down, but helped in how I was going to handle things. 

I had planned to call Life Time Fitness back again, but I was out running errands and low and behold it brought me down the street where Life Time Fitness is located, and something pulled me into the parking lot.  I went in and talked to the head of the kids department and got the same run around and excuses.  So I kept my calm and asked to speak with the manager on duty.  Ended up being the sales manager for the club.  He was not familiar with the Parents Night Out, so I explained it to him.  Then explained the above.  He felt horrible about what happened to us, so he accommodated me big time.  Refunded the Life Time Bucks that I used for Parents night out and gave me an extra 100 Life Time Bucks to use for whatever I wanted.  He was more than willing to make me happy.  But let me tell you how I started out the conversation with him, which made ALL the difference.  I told him how much I loved the club and that my children loved it as well and have never ever had a problem and how disappointed I was on how things were being handled.  So he handled it like a pro!

Now if I had gone in all pissed off and ranted and raved, I may have rubbed them wrong way and they may not have been willing to do anything for me.  Hence showing people understanding and compassion accomplishes a lot more than a negative attitude!!

This was an amazing amazing day for me.  I thought about how to handle things before I did.  I was doing things like asking if someone with one item in back of me in line wanted to go ahead of me.  To see the shock and kindness on their face was worth the extra few minutes it took for me to check out.  Sometimes is just the little things.

Are you living Drama Free?  Do you want to learn to live Drama Free?  If so, go to Fonda's Vision website and sign up for one of her seminars, I promise you will not regret it!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall and Family

One of my families favorite times of year is Fall.  Leaves changing color and that fresh smell of winter coming.  Bonfires and roasted marshmallows.  Oh yes, and lets not forget the Cider Mill and fresh baked donuts!!

Every year we make a trip at least twice to the Cider Mill, sometimes the same one sometimes a different one.  This year we started out at Yates Cider Mill and the kids just loved it!!

This is the first time we've brought the kids to this one since they where babies.  Not sure why, it's close and really good!
Here are some pictures from our visit...

Kids are always so good about posing for the camera as you'll see :)

Feeding and petting the animals was a hit!!

 The kids loved the pony rides, didn't we all at one time :)

And yes mom we do have to stand in the middle of the river on a rock!!  Thank goodness they didn't fall in!

In the trees, so much fun!!!

Family time is the BEST time!!

I think from the thumbs up that the kids had a great visit to Yates!
What is your favorite time of year? 
Look for my next post on the second Cider Mill we visited!  Much different experience at both!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bullying a Personal View....

You'll hear people say everyone goes through it.  It builds character.  I'm not sure if I agree with all of those views.  I think a child bully just ends up growing into an adult bully.  Unless of course it's handled by their parents and they turn their child around.  We can only hope.

We are dealing with bullying in my home right now.  I don't know if I should be thankful that my child is not the bully...  All I do know is my heart breaks every time something happens.

We have tried to handle it by talking to the parent of the bully. The parent is a "not my child" parent.  I think we've all come across one of those or more than one of those in our parenting time.  And I'm sure we'll come across more of them in the future. 

It's gotten to the point where my child won't go outside, has gotten sick three days in a row.  This is a child that use to love going on bike rides and playing outside, now the backyard is the only refuge.

So wanting to handle things the "right" way, since talking to the parent amounted to zero help, we called the police.  The officer was wonderful.  Gave us all the ins and outs of what we can do legally and when to call 911.  Now we have a report filed, so if there are any problems they have something to look back on.

The officer said sadly that this bully would be his problem in six or seven years.  How sad is that!!  We had video and audio of some of the bullying, and while he agreed my child was being bullied, they didn't threaten or touch my child so there isn't anything they can do.  But did put the video in the file as proof.

Next problem.  So the bully sends younger kids he can control to bully my child.  Even one of my child's best friends.  This child would rather bully my child as not to get bullied themselves.  I understand this, but when my child was asked to do the same, my child said no, now that's character!

So my husband goes down to talk to my child's friends mother, to let her know what's going on.  She won't answer the door.  So in turn she texts me and tells me her child is upset and she doesn't appreciate me putting her child in the middle!!  I'm like, I didn't, your child put themselves in the middle by bullying their friend for another bully!  So she promptly de-friended me on Facebook and walked down the street carefully not crossing in front of our house, literally going across the street then back again to talk to the bullies mom.

When my husband tells me this I am in complete shock at the lack of character, morals and values of these moms.  If a dad or mom came to me and told me my child was doing something to their child the world as they know it would come to an end! 

What is wrong with parents today?? Please help me with this one because I can't for the life of me figure it out??? 

Now one of the kids that was bullying my child on video has stopped.  My husband talked to his dad who is a middle school teacher and his child admitted to everything, even that the older bully was having him do it.  This child is no longer allowed to play with the older bully and his dad actually had his child come down and apologize to mine!!  Now that's parenting!!!

But let me tell you, if I had this dad go and talk to the mother of the older bully, she STILL wouldn't believe it!  She is in so much denial it's scary how her child is going to turn out.

I take bullying VERY seriously.  I've read to many stories of kids hurting themselves or others because of it.  I won't let that happen in my home.  If that means I don't have any female friends on my block, so be it.  I have enough close friends who love me and my children.  I'm here to raise my children to be good to others and I will not tolerate children or parents of those children that wear rose colored glasses when it comes to their children.  I will not stay quiet.  I will act!  I am a mom and I will go to any length to protect my children.  And if that includes the authorities, then I will use them.

Have you or your child(ren) been affected by bullying?  I did when I was in grade school and then one day I said enough was enough.  You treat people the way you want to be treated.  I love my friends like family and they know it. 

We teach our children that body's are for hugging and kissing (and sometimes tickling), not hitting.  We also teach them that words can hurt like hitting and they can also feel like a great big hug!

Can you feel the frustration in my story?  How would you handle it?  How do you handle parents who won't deal with it or pull the not my child excuse?  I'm doing the best I can with my children, but there is not much I can do about someone else's child unless they break the law.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eating Healthy & One Bad Weekend!!

Wow, I've lost 15 pounds just working out and doing Weight Watchers on-line and watching my calories.  Not sure how many calories I'm burning, but must have been more than I was taking in, hence the 15 pounds.

This weekend I had way to much wine and then a not so healthy breakfast on Sunday morning.  Went to a local place called Paulie's where their Crepe's are very yummy.  So I ordered one of the specials that comes with two crepes, two eggs, two pieces of bacon and two breakfast sausage links.  I ate everything but the bacon.  I did not feel well after breakfast or for the rest of the day for that matter.  And I know it's because of the wine the night before and the fat laden breakfast Sunday morning.  My body is use to eating oatmeal in the morning, not the above, at least not anymore. 

I'm starting to see what some of my friends who routinely workout and eat right are talking about when they eat something their bodies are not use to.  It's a yucky feeling and so not worth it.

Tomorrow it's back on track for me.  My trainer is coming over and then in the evening I have physical therapy for my ankle.  Which I consider a workout as well.

Next time I go out for breakfast/lunch or dinner I am going to try to make a much more healthy choice. 

Did you make the right choices this weekend?  How are you going to change in the coming week?