Tag: kids

You really CAN do it! (A reflection on the last 3+ years)

About 3 1/2  years ago life took some crazy turns for us. Now that I have had a chance to breath and take a look back, I see that YOU really CAN do whatever you want to do.  I say YOU because if I could do it, than for sure so can you! Oh, and life doesn’t slow down for you.

It was the summer of 2012, I had just found out I was pregnant (with my 2nd) and was also laid off from a really awesome job that I loved.  My 1st trimester was tough. I was sick the entire 3 months, while trying to go on interviews and hide the already showing bump. I had an energetic 4 yr old that was having a hard time following all the rules in preschool and  a loving husband who was working his tail off but we live in Southern California so we are a two income family.

After job hunting for a bit, luck would have it that a former boss, who is more like a big brother, was in need of some help and so I was able to work from home.  This proved out to be a true miracle (not the first time he’s come to my rescue!).  My morning sickness lasted all day for 3 months. I was so grateful when I hit that 2nd trimester and only had to deal with the feeling of nausea. During the second & third trimester I was able to work, travel and feel pretty normal.

Once I had my baby girl (March 2013) things changed a bit.  HR didn’t seem to like the idea that I was a remote worker (old school mentality from a working mother no less!) so I got tons of lashback and had to change my role. Again, as luck would have it, I was able to land another remote gig through some amazing connections and continued working from home with the ability to be with my newborn.

Now, I did have some help because, even a full time mom can tell you she just needs a break sometimes. Add working to the table and there were times I just needed to be on the phone or someone to do the dishes.  I just don’t want you to think I did this all by myself.  Plus, I was begging and pleading in prayer, saying daily affirmations and begging the universe to help us figure out this new lifestyle (more on this begging stuff in future posts because I truly believe it worked!)

One epiphany I had while working from home with infant at breast and now 5 yr old in kindergarten, and after recently going through a job hunting phase, was that I need to finish my degree.  Yes, after many years of school and a 14 year hiatus, I felt the need (for my own conscious) to finish my degree.  I had never posted a degree on my resume (just that I attended school) or lied about having one to an employer so there were no guilty feelings there.  I was able to work with amazing companies and have great references so I wasn’t worried it would keep me from a future job (well, maybe a little) but I also just wanted finish what I started.

So, in the fall of 2014 with a full time working husband, an 18 month old (now in playcare) and 1st grader, I was working full time from home and went back to school to finish my undergrad degree.  This meant I drove from San Diego to Los Angeles twice a week to be in class with all the youngins. It’s a 3hr commute each way, sometimes longer in the evening because of traffic.  I did this for 2 quarters and I actually enjoyed it! Don’t get me wrong, it was painful, hard, scary, humbling but completely worth it.

During this already hectic time my 1st grader was having an incredibly hard time with the typical school day. He was beginning to hate school, which broke my heart, and we could see signs of anxiety begin to show on a daily basis.  We had to make a change but we were supposedly in the very best elementary school in all of Southern California.  So, we made the decision to homeschool this child, yes on top of everything else! I have no idea how I managed through that time except that I prayed a whole lot!

Life is still crazy, I am no longer employed, we are still homeschooling and figuring out what’s next for our family but I know that we will get through it. Bonus: I now have a degree from UCLA! I look forward to reflecting on this time in the years to come and sharing with you about the modern day miracles that really do still occur, when you believe, step out on faith and trust in Him.

“Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” ~ Heb 11:1

Organizing HIM gave ME more TIME!

One of the biggest challenges on school days is the morning routine….am I right?!

My son is schedule challenged, wherein he has no sense of the schedule we must keep in the morning to get him to school on time so we are not in the office getting written up because we didn’t arrive before the last bell and now all the gates are locked and we can’t sneak in and you know how the story goes.

Since his dresser was on it’s way out anyway I tried something new.  I can’t take all the credit, I did see something similar in a friend’s house so I’m just adapting it to our situation.

Carters closet

I bought a hanging closet organizer (affiliate link) and then placed his t-shirt and shorts for each day of the week (M-F).  I let him know it was there and that he would need to grab his clothes in the morning, get dressed and come downstairs for breakfast.  Before this new setup  I would usually go into his room, pick out clothes and set them on his bed and would have to nag the entire morning until it was time to leave and there was no time for breakfast and breakdowns would ensue.  With this new system, he has been empowered and has made it down for breakfast each morning on his own with plenty of time for breakfast!  I also kept everything in view (we just haven’t replaced the dresser yet and may not if this continues to work well) and he grabs his undies and socks separately.  I use the bottom cubby for pj’s and on the weekends we are relaxed so there’s plenty of time for him to pick out his own clothes or for me to go in and pick out some for him.

Hope this helps, Happy New School Year!

2-Week Meal Planner!

HOORAY ~ IT’S HERE!

I’ve compiled my REALISTIC 2-week meal planner based on what I’ve been cooking.

This menu is based on personal experience with an agreeable husband, semi-picky 6yr old and anything goes 18-month old.

Every child is different and has different likes / dislikes.  This is meant to give you a template to continue planning your meals 2-weeks at a time.  It will also give you options and a go-to menu if you just don’t want to think about it or need some new ideas.

I’ve also included a few of my favorite recipe sites so you can add to your collection.  Hope you enjoy it!

Breakfasts include items you can make for a week of meals, like these two great recipes I found from other bloggers – pancake muffins and clean egg waffles.

For green shakes, my basic recipe is:

  • coconut water
  • protein powder
  • power green mix (kale, chard, spinach)
  • frozen banana & frozen mixed berries
  • ice

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Some of my favorite dinners came from these sites – family friendly cheddar chicken and meatloaf muffins – another good one for leftovers or lunches!

NOTE: I did not accommodate for any food allergies or sensitivities so adjust your menu accordingly and although my family tries our best to eat all organic, you can choose according to your budget where and how you shop.

 PicMonkey Collage

Download a spreadsheet version here!

School Starts Tomorrow….YIKES!

This may be a bit late but I need to get ORGANIZED! So, in the event that there are any other parents out there like me, waiting until the last minute (really, I think it’s just me wanting to stay in denial that the school year is actually starting and summer vacation is over!) I will be blogging for our good fortune this week on Organization.

  1. An Organized 2-week meal plan w/menus and recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner! 
  2. Organizing a week’s worth of clothes so that your kids can help themselves!
  3. Pre-organizing for paperwork and artwork that will definitely be coming home.
  4. Organizing your calendar with activities, sports and meetups.
  5. An organized weekly family time because really, this is the most important time of the week!

So follow along, our first post will be up first thing tomorrow morning (unless, like always once I get started on something I just can’t stop and it ends up getting posted later today!!)

Good Luck to all you parents and kids out there with a new year of adventure, learning and growing! Happy Laboring today for the first day of school!

School Supplies 3

If one more person asks if my son has been diagnosed with anything…

Disclaimer: this may sound like a rant!

Once again, we (both parents) are in my son’s classroom for a meeting regarding his behavior.  This is by far the largest group we’ve met with yet…both Kinder teachers (they have a job share), the principal, school counselor, special education teacher and school psychologist.  I have to admit that I’m totally apprehensive going in to each meeting.  I always assume the worst, that they’ll tell me my kid is uncontrollable and should be on meds.  I’m always ready to defend because I’m convinced that he doesn’t need meds.

At the age of 3 1/2 we were asked to have him seen by an MD for potential physical issues because he wasn’t 100% potty trained! Then a behavior specialist who observed him in school and came to our home.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m open minded enough to take action and get all the suggested help and/or doctors notes requested of me.  I’m just convinced that my son is quite brilliant, knows how to push buttons, and has a mind to only do the things that interest him most.  That just didn’t happen to be sittingstill in a circle QUIETLY for 30 minutes 2x daily with a group of other kids his age.

So as I thought, we were asked to go through all the screenings/assessments/whateveryouwannacallthem again.  I have a slight twinge of sadness with this process but I have to admit, the public school we are at is one of the best in our state, if not the best.  The help he has received thus far has been fantastic and the potential help he will receive going forward is encouraging.  I was most encouraged by the acknowledgement by teachers and staff that he is bright, he is capable, it’s really just a focus issue.

So, as I breathe a little easier, I will process the requested paperwork (still with a bit of sadness) and realize that my son and his brilliance just can’t be contained in the public school system as it is.  Being that we are a dual-income family I’m not about to start down the road of homeschooling (although it has crossed my mind) but I’m grateful for the help and the capable teachers that recognize his intelligence above his behavior.  I came across this article called Unlock Your Fidgety Child’s Ability To Learn and Focus that really describes what type of learning that just makes sense with my son.

The encouraging piece to all this is he will be getting more individualized attention, he’s not the only one (because sometimes as a parent you feel like your kid is the ONLY one) and he is still a brilliant, happy and hilarious little guy that lights up my world.

roar