I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately to help me get inspired to write more frequently. One of the games bloggers like to play is something called the “Thursday Thirteen” where a blogger will list thirteen things related to a topic. I decided to write about things I am not proud of. I have had people in my life comment on the fact that I seem to have it together and they are impressed by my self-discipline. They are fooled since they see such a small part of my life. There is actually much more bedlam in my life than there is order. Now, I want to set the record straight with these 13 things.
I would like to make this a regular feature of this blog. I am addicted to Feedly and finding great articles to read. My house would be much cleaner if I would quit reading blogs. Here are some of my favorite finds for the week.
Find books at your local library when shopping At Amazon: I love shopping at Amazon. I love books. And, with a degree in Library Science, I love my library! This is an awesome extension for Chrome. I tested this out and it works very well. It even shows you how many copies are available and allows you to place holds on the items. I added multiple libraries to my extension.
For the last several weeks I have been thinking about this blog. I haven’t made it a priority in my life. Heck, the last time I posted was over Mother’s Day weekend. That was eight months ago! Embarrassingly, I set all these goals for 2016 which you can read about here and here. One of those goals included blogging twice a week. Shortly after I wrote that goal, I completely quit writing this blog. I’ve even wondered whether or not I should shut this blog down, but my husband convinced me to keep it out there in the blog world in case I change my mind. He knows me too well!
First, let me make it clear that I love my children with all of my heart. I have a wonderful family and I believe that I have been blessed with my two precious daughters. So, I am not writing this to complain. I just found this entire day to be amusing as it did not turn out to be the day I hoped it would be. And, next year, I think I would be happy not celebrating this special day as it would save me some grief. It’s the unfulfilled expectations of this day that I find disappointing. What I wish I could do is spend the day with my own mother hanging out in a hotel room somewhere sharing a bottle of wine and apologizing for all the strange Mother’s Day celebrations we must have had when I was a child. I appreciate my mother so much more since having my own children. I just wish I lived closer to her so I could really honor this woman who sacrificed so much for me.
After some major stage performances for my kids and myself, I am finally back to blogging. I was hoping to get back sooner, but life got it in the way. I will resume posting tomorrow.
It’s been over a month since I posted my 2016 goals. You can see that post here: My Goals for 2016. In order to keep myself motivated and to see where I stand, I thought I would try to give a monthly update on how I am doing with these goals. One thing I realized is that I set way too many goals and I will keep this in mind for next year when I repeat this process.
(Disclaimer: Some of the links are my Amazon affiliate or referral links).
1. Eat a healthy diet and cut down on the number of fast food trips we make. I am doing a fairly good job with this. While we still pick up food on an average of once per week, I had a three-week stretch in January where we ate all home-prepared meals. This required a large amount of planning on my part, but I was able to do this through the help of Emeals. Every week I try to change our diet up a little bit by eating fewer processed foods or by eating Paleo. My kids have eaten more vegetables this year and enjoy the clean eating and paleo plans on Emeals. This has been great especially for my youngest daughter who ate a large diet of plain noodles prior to these meal plans. While I have not eliminated the noodles completely (this is what she eats in her lunch most days), she is getting a balanced dinner most nights. What has helped tremendously is to have them each pick out a meal every week that they help prepare. This ownership in the meals has helped increase their desire to eat vegetables. My kids actually fought over who ate more than their share of brussel sprouts….true story! (This is the only vegetable they absolutely love, but I’ll gladly accept that.)
If you have been following along in my reading series (links contained at the bottom of this post), I mentioned introducing your children to rhyme through story books. One of the first steps to learning how to read is learning to enjoy and recognize rhymes. You can read that post about rhyming book suggestions here: Great Rhyming Books. Not only should you read rhyming books to your kids, but there are also some interactive activities you can do to teach them rhyming skills.
According to the chart located at Reading Rockets, the next step for building phonemic awareness skills is for kids to recognize rhymes and be able to play “odd word out” type games. An example of an “odd word out” game would be to ask which of these words do not belong? cat, boy, hat, mat.
Reasons to Use Intellident Toothbrush ShieldsThere are various methods of how one should store a toothbrush. My husband and I have a toothbrush holder which keeps our toothbrushes upright (and exposes our brushes to the “elements”). Even though they are exposed, this seems to work well for us and we have not had issues with illnesses. The standard upright toothbrush holder doesn’t work for my kids. They used to use this, but the toothbrushes would only end up on the sink countertop sitting in puddles of water from when they washed their hands. They have started storing them in the medicine cabinet which is much better than the countertop, but I still feel like they end up in a pile of filth which accumulates throughout the week. I looked up toothbrush storing recommendations from the American Dental Association. You can read the recommendations at the following link: ADA’s recommendations.The ADA states that toothbrushes should be stored upright and that they should not be covered. Covering toothbrushes creates a humid environment and makes the toothbrushes more susceptible to bacteria growth. The ADA also lists many other recommendations which are worth reading at the above link. The Intellident Toothbrush Shield covers your toothbrush. However, it is different from the plastic travel covers you often see. On the Intellident site, you can read that “plastic caps and covers retain moisture and constrict air flow making them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.” The Toothbrush Shield is made from a “breathable” mesh cotton material. The packaging states that the shield “blocks microbes as it wicks moisture away from brush bristles.” It has been tested to be 99.9% effective barrier against airborne and surface bacteria. If you are going to cover your toothbrush, this could be the way to go because the air circulation isn’t as much of an issue. Plus, you are instructed to replace the shield every 7 days. For maximum protection, Intellident recommends changing it every 3-4 days. For our family, changing them once a week is preferable because we can schedule it on the same day each week, making this task easier to remember. Each package contains 10 disposable shields. Each shield is individually packaged in a peelable paper cover which is a little difficult to open. There is an opening for your toothbrush. My youngest daughter needs help getting the toothbrush into the slot the first time it is used, but she can do it independently after that. Both of the girls like the shields and I like knowing that their toothbrushes aren’t sitting right on top of germs. I also like that my oldest daughter can throw the toothbrush into her ballet bag and the shield sits on her brush securely. I’m not as worried about her storing her toothbrush in her ballet bag. The only negative I can see for these covers is that you have to be vigilant about changing them. Intellident also sent me a mouthguard shield which I didn’t use since we don’t have a need for that. You can read more about that and the Intellident Company on their website https://www.intellidentproducts.com/. The toothbrush shields run $2.99 on both Walgreens.com and Drugstore.com at the time this writing. Walmart.com sells them for $2.47 at the time of this writing and I am able to order these for free pickup at my local Walmart. The toothbrush shields are an item I would recommend especially if your kids are on the messy side. *Disclaimer: I received this product for review purposes only. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.
Family Goals11. Spend more focused time with my kids. I get so distracted by everything that needs to get done at home that I feel like I’m not always giving my kids my full attention. I want to spend more time one on one with my children this year. I would like to set up a one-on-one monthly date with both of my children. 12. Encourage our family to do more for other people. We are extremely busy, as most families are, and it seems like we don’t spend enough time doing charitable work or enough time doing things for other people. I would like to get into a habit of performing one family act of kindness each week. 13. Go on a date with my husband at least once a month. I can’t think of the last time my husband and I went on a date. We spend a lot of quality time together at home, but we don’t ever go anywhere together without the kids. I want to make date time more of a priority. I found some great winter date ideas at this webpage: Club 31 Women. 14. Spend more time reading aloud to my kids. Right now we are reading
Anne of Green Gables