Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - National Dog Day

National Dog Day is celebrated on August 26th. Do you have a favorite dog photo to share?

Monday, August 21, 2017

If you give a mom a minute, she’ll want more time – why planning ahead is important

photo credit:The Counselor Mom

Would you agree that parents are busy people? Today's blog post is one that I posted five years ago , about a day in the life of a busy mom...me. As back to school time approaches, I am reminded of this busy time if year. Maybe you can relate.

Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you had just a little more time to get things done? In some cases it may be poor planning that caused a lack of time to get things accomplished. It can strike any one of us…the dreaded lack of time. It happened to me.

I thought I awoke early enough one morning to begin my routine, but the time monster had a different plan. Murphy’s Law took over - whatever could go wrong, did go wrong.

The clothes I planned to wear needed to be ironed. The iron never got hot, so I had to search for a different outfit. Once dressed, I headed to the kitchen to make my lunch. This easy task was compounded when I couldn’t find the lid to the plastic storage container I wanted to take (for my salad).

I only had 15 minutes left before I needed to leave for work. If I only had more time.
I began putting together the rest of my lunch, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My first hurdle was to open the squeezable bottle of jelly. Easy enough? Nope, the cap would not flip open. I finally got it open with the assistance of a butter knife.

In my hurriedness I squeezed the jelly quickly. Splat. Too much jelly that I could not squeeze back into the small neck of the bottle. Perhaps a call was needed to the Welch’s company.
If I only had more time.

Of course I had to stop and jot notes for this blog post. I was going to be late for sure and I still had not had breakfast. The cereal I poured was waiting for me, but I had to stop to pee. No time for breakfast, I just poured the cereal back into the box. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich would suffice as breakfast once I got to work.

Just one more stop and I could make it to work only 10 minutes late. There is a grace period right? I had to stop by the post office and mail a bill payment. After all, I got up early and addressed the envelope.

Once I got in the car, I realized I walked out without my cell phone. I took it off my belt because I stopped to pee. My phone is like American Express, I can’t leave home without it.
More time would have helped.

After retrieving the phone, I was on my way. The post office was only five minutes away, then another five minutes to work. I dropped the envelope in the drive up mailbox and headed to work. Mission accomplished.

My bill was on its’ way. Wait did I put a stamp on the envelope?
If only I had planned ahead.

What has been your experience in not planning ahead?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fitness Friday – 3 signs you’ve had a good workout

A-Train's Super Fit
How do you determine whether you’ve had a good workout? Do measure this by how much you sweat, or how sore your muscles are? I’m guilty of this. The experts say this is not necessarily an accurate measure of your workout.

The amount of sweating you do is subjective.  I may break out in a sweat looking at a 25 lb. weight the trainer said I need to lift 50 times. A beginner may be able to use sore muscles as a sign they’ve worked out hard, because these are muscles they haven’t used frequently. This may not be true for someone who exercises frequently. So let’s hear what the experts say.

Below are 3 signs that psychologists say indicate that you had a good workout

1.      Difficult to hold a conversation – try talking mid-way through your workout, if you answer with short one or two word responses, you’re on target. I was an example of this during a recent fitness class. We were swinging kettle bells and I was singing along with the song blaring throughout the room. The trainer looked and me and said, “You need to grab a heavier bell.” I guess I should not have been able to sing a whole chorus while swinging the bell 15 times. Hmmm.

2.     You could barely finish your last rep – the experts say this is a good sign because it means you have fatigued your muscles.

3.      You slept soundly – you sleep through the night without waking up as much.

Read the entire article on signs of a good workout here.

The next time you hit the gym, go ahead and work up a sweat, but change your routine if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while. What would you add to the list of signs you’ve had a good workout?


Monday, August 14, 2017

Muffins with Mom – Backpack of Blessings

photo credit: Gloria Dei Kids

Notebooks, markers, pencils, crayons and backpacks…all of these items now line the store shelves. There are plenty of school supplies that can fill your child’s backpack. This year why not throw in a few blessings?

Sometimes kids are anxious about the start of a new school year. Slip a little something special in your child’s back each for a week or any time frame you decide. Below are 5 ideas to get you started.

1.     Write a poem – Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I packed a special treat just for you (it’s ok to be corny).
2.     Draw a happy face (or picture of a sun) on a yellow piece of paper and write the words, “You are my sunshine.” Tuck the piece of paper into one of your child’s books.
3.     Pack one of your child’s favorite treats.
4.     Create coupons for your child and put one in her backpack each day (eg. Good for one day with no chores or good for staying up 30 minutes past bedtime).
5.     Give thanks for all the blessings you already have.

Parents what would you pack in your Backpack of Blessings. Here are a few ideas for you.

1.      Thirty minutes of uninterrupted relax time.
2.      An evening of family time (doing something together)
3.      A good book
4.      Being able to help someone in need
5.      Give thanks for your journey and the things you have overcome.

If all the notebooks, markers, pencils and crayons were emptied form the store shelves, what would you stuff in your Backpack of Blessings? 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Muffins with Mom – The teen chef

My son was away at college four days when he sent me a text message that said, “When are you sending the first care package?” He was so excited get away from home and be on his own that he forgot to pack a few items. Among those forgotten items were a skillet and a couple of pots for cooking that I suggested he take.

One item my son remembered to take was the George Foreman grill. Living off campus, my son knew he would have to prepare his own meals.  He purchased groceries after arriving at school. Thus began his cooking journey.

Day One
I received a phone call from my son after his first meal preparation.
“Ma, I grilled some chicken breasts on the George Foreman. I used dry rub, then used Soy Sauce on them too. And I made rice in the rice cooker. My first meal was a success”
He was elated.

Day Two
My son sent a group text to me, his brother and his dad. It was loaded with emojis and a message that said, “I made tacos today and washed all my dishes afterward. It was a good day. Call me Ratatouille."

Day Three
Aah, day three…was different.
The group text we received said, “I tried to make pancakes and bacon, it didn’t go so well. The pancakes were super thin and the bacon almost burned.”

A pancake gone wrong

"Blackened" Bacon

Day Four
The text message on this day said, “I’ve cooked everything that I know how to cook already & I’m hungry.”

By the end of day four, I called my son to remind him of the simple meals he could prepare. “You can make spaghetti, you know how to brown ground beef. Just boil some water and put the spaghetti in the pot.”

“I don’t have a pot to boil stuff or a strainer.”

We have come full circle, back to the items that my son needs in his care package. My teen chef is learning to prepare meals and experiment in the kitchen.

What meal ideas or suggestions do you have for a teen learning to cook?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Words of Wisdom – Encouragement for parents to give their child

Take time to smell the flowers
1.      Act with integrity at all times
2.      Don’t compare yourself to others – you are unique
3.      Take care of your health
4.      Discover your passion-find what you love to do and go after it with all your heart
5.      Love yourself
6.      Learn to forgive
7.      Nurture friendships
8.      Be grateful
9.      Embrace change

10.  Laugh a lot