Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Economics of Trip Planning

The girls are raising money for a special summer trip that they are planning.  So far they have undertaken 3 endeavors.  They attempted to sell lemonade at our garage sale earlier this month.  They made $2.25.  No, they did not sell 9 cups of lemonade.  It was chilly and their was hardly any traffic this time.  They sold 1 cup of lemonade for $0.25 and a second cup for $2.00.  They are quite cute and a nice older lady didn't resist.

They have also been baking and sending brownies, and cookies to work with their Nana.  They have made $65.65.  At $0.50 an item, they have sold 131 baked treats.

Their third endeavor has been an online art gallery.  They had sold 1 painting so far and a promise to sell at least 2 more before their trip.  They are also thinking about having a gallery show for the family. complete with finger snacks and juice in fluted glasses.

They are doing quite a good job and while they will not be able to raise the money for the entire trip, they are well on their way to raising money for several excursions while away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

From Child to Kid in 60 seconds

This last week my oldest, Ginger, had a chance to show a compassionate side of herself.

Both Ginger and Sugar are used to my mother-in-law coming over twice a week.  They depend on it and they are both young enough that they don't do well when standing plans change.  Or so I thought.

We received a note that Nana needed to skip the playdate at our house and go check on her dad, who had fallen the day before.  When I told Ginger I was not really expecting anything that came next.  I was thinking she would be sad and disappointed.

Ginger was distraught.  She started to cry immediately.  I thought it was baby tears about Nana not coming over.  I was still expecting selfish child traits in my 6 year old.  I was pleasantly surprised.  She told me she was sad about Nana not coming over, but she was also sad because her Great Grandpa got hurt.

My children are lucky enough to have great grandparents that they will be able to remember when they grow up.  I remember 2 of mine, but just barely.  I don't think my younger sister remembers any.

Anyway, Ginger and I talked about the fact that the older you are the harder it is to heal and sometimes it either takes a really long time or it doesn't heal at all.  (I'm just being practical.  Some day someone in their lives is going to pass and I want a solid foundation for celebrating a life, not mourning a loss.)  They have seen their Great Grandma in the hospital and Great Grandpa not being as spry as he used to be.

Tangents aside. my little girl decided that Nana SHOULD go see her dad but wanted her to stop by our house on her way and pick up some feel better soon cards.

I was so proud.  We wiped away our tears and got out the card making supplies.  That night, instead of playing hard with Nana we celebrated with family night, free pizza and ice cream.

But don't you worry, Sugar is still in the selfish I'd rather have Nana come play stage, so I still have some baby time left.  :P

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mucking out the junk

After we decided not to buy another house right now, we decided we would upgrade little parts of this one to make us happier with it.  Step 1 is finally complete.  

We spent the last 2 months cleaning out 10 years of accumulated junk one room at a time.  The girls are somewhat used to me doing this as they outgrow clothes and baby toys.  They had NEVER seen me empty a room completely and decide what to keep and what to give away and what to trash.

I think it was good for them.  They saw that I too have a hard time getting rid of stuff.  They helped me take 5 or so loads of donations out of my house.  They noticed how the house was prettier.  Sugar still walks into a room and says how new it looks.  Ginger says, "remember when we couldn't find anything in here?"

I do.  It has been a huge undertaking but it was worth every effort.  Even the garage got a clutter make over.

Step 2 is awaiting delivery.  We created our own sofa and chair at Build-a-Sofa.  I have room to move the current futon to the guest room so my family has a room and a door to use when they visit.  In a house where the children wake up at 6:30 EVERYDAY, a room with a door is a godsend.

I am looking forward to having a chair I can sit in, hopefully alone, and a couch that I can sit in and still touch my feet to the floor.

The next few steps haven't been planned out well yet, but we are wanting new floors and a tree and a sprinkler system.

In the meantime, the children are learning to take care of these cruddy carpets so maybe they will appreciate new wood floors more.  The mean momma that I am made Ginger spot clean the carpet where she spilled pizza, there were orange spots everywhere.  Of course, it kinda back fired.  She liked doing it.  I guess I have someone to scrub my carpets now though.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thank the monks for meditation!

I have been taking yoga off and on for probably 10 years now.  I am a huge fan of breathing and meditation.  I frequently find myself taking a calming breath during the day.  Alright, maybe 10 times during the day.

One day, after I had enough of trying to calm myself, I decided to try to calm my children.  I wish I had done this sooner.  Sugar has taken to it like a true monk.  Her breaths are deep and pure and I can see her concentrating on the calmness.  Ginger has a hard time with calm.  She has so much energy and if I didn't know better I would think she had my stubborn streak and our ancestors ability to hold a grudge.

I made the entire family sit on the floor one day and I taught them how to breath.  My husband has been doing yoga with me for a few years now, so he helped guide the children as well.  It helped immensely that very first time.  The negativity and snipping coming from the little balls of energy reduced and they could smile and laugh as DH and I told them what happened once upon a lamaze meditation, or at least what we could remember before we fell asleep.

Sugar has been fleshing out her happy place, being careful to make sure it doesn't touch too much on Ginger's happy place or else they wouldn't be happy anymore.

Sometimes I catch Sugar in her meditation pose and I can't help but smile and take a deep breath of the calm she is creating.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Earning Computer Time

My girls recently got their own computer stations.  Their computer are many years old, but they don't notice.  They can watch their math lesson DVD and they play PBS kids games.   Since this is so new to them, they need help not loosing track of how much time they have wasted in front of the screen.  

I am hoping they level out on their own and they do seem to be doing better about not getting sucked in completely.  In the meantime, I typed up a horribly simplistic chart for earning and spending their time.

They can earn time by doing school work, happily.  They can also earn time by cleaning up their spaces.  This one is very simple to catch on to.  I won't even talk to them about computer time unless the toys and games are all put away first.

I set a kitchen timer for them so they are learning what 15 mins feels like.  I doubt I will have to use the chart for long, since today they have not even asked about the computer.  (xbox instead, which is harder to get trapped in for them.)

My 4 year old is learning her way around a computer.  They 6 yr old offers help, albeit loudly (headphones.)  My 4 year old is good with a mouse now and doesn't need too much help.  I think she needs a trackball though.  The corded mouse is a little short for her.

Ginger, my 6 year old, needs to stop being so smart.  She created a login and password for one of her game sites yesterday.  When I noticed, we had a conversation about what information not to tell the computer.  We will likely have this conversation many more times.  Of course, Kevin and I have this conversation with a lot of people.  

Our mantra: "Do not put it on the internet unless you want EVERYONE to know about it." Stalkers, pedophiles, enemies, best friends who might one day become enemies, your neighbors, politicians, clients, grandmothers, the boy you used to date, but then you broke his heart, the first girl you kissed.  If you put it on the internet your future employers will find it. (Seriously, I know a man who searches for you on the internet after he gets your resume but before he calls you for an interview.  This is the new norm.)

Anyway, this is not my soapbox, this is about my cookies.  So far, anything on the internet about my cookies is all my fault and I plan to keep it that way for now.  And I will drill it into their heads for future use.

There had better never be drunk pictures of my kids on the internet, and I WILL be looking for them.