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.
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.