Category Archives: Household

Confessions of a Summer Stay-At-Home Mom

Whew!  It’s been almost 2 years since my last post!  The second kid really IS twice as much work.  More on that another time…

Well, I have been home  for the summer for ONE WHOLE WEEK (because, contrary to the beliefs of non-teachers, we really don’t stop working until nearly July… if we’re lucky), and I have come to realize a few things about being a summer stay-at-home mom (aka – a teacher off for the summer).  They should be worded more as confessions than realizations, because I am not exactly proud of some of them.  Here they are:

1) While I have never looked down on stay-at-home moms, I gain a new appreciation for them every summer.  It can be exhausting breaking up fights, cleaning up the house (see confession #2), taking kids from place to place, finding budget-friendly activities to fill time, and making sure that you keep some semblance of a schedule amidst the desire to throw caution to the wind and take the kids to the pool during nap time.

2) My house is no cleaner in the summer than it is during the school year.  I always have these great aspirations to scrub walls, shampoo carpets, rid the boys’ toy closets of McDonald’s trinkets, etc.  And yet, nap time comes, and other activities eat away the time… like writing this blog post.  I have done some scrubbing, but I wouldn’t exactly want someone showing up at my house right now and witnessing the chaos that is the remains of lunch on the kitchen table.

3) I have given my kids Popsicles for breakfast.  Now, before you call social services, my munchkins had 100% juice pops, so it was basically a frozen beverage.  Back before I had kids, I would have been appalled at shenanigans of this caliber.  But now, I rally for the removal of the “dessert stigma” that surrounds Popsicles of the 100% juice variety.

4) Target is a constant temptation.  I always have a legitimate list.  Really, I do.  But more often than not, trips to Target are an excuse to take the boys somewhere and get out of the house.  This was especially true when I could walk to Target.  Thankfully for my budget, I now have to hop in a car and, therefore, I think about it a bit more.  For maybe 5 seconds… as opposed to 2.

5) I have engaged in napping experimentation.  There is nothing worse than going on a family vacation, only to have super-cranky children because they won’t nap or go to sleep on time simply because they’d rather goof around with each other (an occasion they don’t often get because they have separate rooms).  To remedy this, I have been attempting to have the boys nap together.  It has failed miserably, but I keep trying, hoping one day my dreams will all come true and I will be able to come back from a vacation rested.

6) I love my children, but I have threatened to sell them.  Clearly, I never would sell them.  But, as I pulled Isaiah off of Mason for the 109834534894275th time on Friday, I wondered what price they would bring in at the rummage sale I was hosting.   It may be because they’re used to having other kids to play with and they don’t get on each others’ nerves as much at daycare.  Or it simply may be that I am not used to seeing them interact for days on end without any separation from one another. Which, in some ways, makes me sad. But…

7) I like not working… sometimes.  Despite frustrations of having 2 kids under the age of 5, I feel truly blessed to have a job in which I have this time with them at home.  But it also reaffirms that, for my family, it’s a right decision for me to work.  I say “a” instead of “the” because it would also be “right” for me to be a stay-at-home mom, but I think that teaching affords me the opportunity to be around other people, gives my kids experiences with other children, and makes my family appreciate our time together when we have it.  By mid-August, however, I think we’ll all be ready for me to go back to work.

My next post will be within a few weeks. I have done a TON of reading over the past few months, and I’ll have some reviews for you.  God bless your week!

Mice in the Car and My New School Year Goal

Well, friends, another school year has begun.  Mine has been, let’s just say, eventful.  But I believe that my feeble brain has conceived yet another teaching analogy inspired by an unrelated part of my life.  Here it goes.

So I’m getting Mason in his car seat, trying to get a move on to attend day #5 of professional inservices when I see them: mouse poopies.  In my car.  On Mason’s seat, in my cup holders, on the dashboard, everywhere.  Do I have time to clean them out?  Of course not.  So I cringe, wipe them off of Mason’s seat, strap him in, and call my husband crying on the way to work.  Got home, vacuumed the car, Clorox wiped everything possible, and yet, later that night, more poopies.

Luckily, my husband is not cheap when it comes to things such as this. He got the pricey traps.  You know, the “no see, no touch” kind that are little pods which lure the dastardly creatures in and kill instantly?  Lo and behold, the little beast was no longer living the next morning. He had a hasty funeral that ended in the garbage can.

So here’s my analogy between the little crapper who lived in my car and teaching.  No, readers, I will not be referring to my students as “little crappers”.  Rather, I compare the unwelcome mouse to those unexpected things that come up in the classroom on a daily basis: random farting noises spread by giggling 8th grade boys who know better, a frantic secretary who calls looking for a missing student, the fourteenth message over the PA system in the last hour, the comment “but we did this last year” from students upon receiving an assignment, etc.

Are these things frustrating? ABSOLUTELY!  You’re trying so hard to keep students focused and give them the best opportunity to succeed in life through the skills they learn in your class, yet your efforts are thwarted at every turn.  But what I learned from the little mousie who thought he could conquer my car is that you can either complain about it or do something about it.  You can either become frustrated at your noisemaking students or you can make every effort to show them how to behave in a classroom and why it’s an important lesson to learn. You can either become frustrated about the calls you get or understand the importance of having secretaries so you don’t have to do all of this.  You can take your students’ complaining about already having done an activity and use it as an opportunity to teach them the value of rereading.

My goal this school year, besides the always-present goal of being SuperMom, is to take these inconveniences and DO something about them.  I spend a lot of time whining and complaining about things, but I don’t have time to do that anymore.  I HAVE to be efficient with my time and find solutions to my problems that make whatever curse I face into a blessing.

That is my rant for today.  It is time to make cookies, exercise, and shower in the next 45 minutes.  Can I do it?  YES I CAN!  Bless your weekends!

New Product Picks

Over the last several months, thanks to coupons and awesome sales, I’ve tried a few new products from the grocery store/Target.  Thought I’d share with you:

1) The new and improved Colgate 360 ActiFlex toothbrush.  Usually I just go with the free ones from the dentist, but I had been sick and needed a new brush, so I had a coupon and it was on sale.  Best 50 cents I’ve ever spent!  Every time I brush my teeth, it feels like I just went to the dentist!  I know people love their WaterPics and stuff, but this is the best manual brush I’ve ever tried.

2) Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid. I’ve been trying to buy more natural products and this was one of the first. It’s not too much more expensive than the regular stuff. I get the Free and Clear variety (they also have Lavender but it makes me sneeze) and it does as well or better on my dishes than the other brands of dish soap. I just learned that their website has good coupons, so I’ll be trying their other cleaning products. (Sorry… can’t do the “clean everything with vinegar” thing.)

3) Always Infinity Pads. If you’re a dude and reading this, move to #4. If you’re a lady, I HIGHLY recommend these. They’re thin, don’t leak EVER, and really comfortable. A little more expensive than the other line from Always, but they’ve been running specials at Target and so it’s been cheaper to buy these.

4) Pampers Cruisers with DriMax. I know, generic is way cheaper. But coupons and sales make these not too bad, and you go through WAY less diapers because these are so absorbent. I can’t remember when Mason had a blowout with these and he has fewer diaper rashes in these than in Huggies. Plus, Pampers has a rewards program. If you’re willing to collect and enter (or text in) the codes, you can get some great products like Radio Flyer gear. My aunt buys huge boxes on Amazon and gets great deals. I just cut coupons and watch sale ads.

5) Barnes and Noble Nook Color. I know, you Amazon Kindle people are all going bonkers about this one. And no, I didn’t get this from Target or Pick N Save.  But I LOVE my Nook. I’ve never had problems reading in sunlight (I always wear sunglasses anyway, which helps) and I can check out books from my library even if I have to wait a few days. Plus, it doubles as a tablet, so I can go online, take notes, listen to music, and store files. Buyer beware: If you are a bookaholic like me, it is ridiculously easy to buy books and not even realize how much money you’re spending, so try the library first!

Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy the day… it’s beautiful!