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Holiday Movies and Family Traditions!

Because of the love I have for Christianbook.com, I’ve entered into an affiliate relationship with them.  This doesn’t mean I say anything that I don’t believe to be true.  I love what they have to offer and think you will too.  If you order from them through one of my links, they will pay me a small commission as a “thank you” for recommending them to you.  This will not effect the price for you at all, and I appreciate you trusting me to find great products and prices for you! 

Hey guys!  I was just thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the fun traditions.  We have a lot of Christmas traditions, but not a whole lot on Thanksgiving.  Other than to eat, and eat, and then eat some more!  One thing we do though, is  watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  I’m not gonna lie, my bigger kids think it’s boring, but I don’t care!  It’s a tradition!!  And actually, that particular Thanksgiving movie is educational.  So little emphasis is placed on learning from the character and struggles of those who’ve gone before us these days, that I really like a little something with a good History lesson in it!  Do you watch anything in particular on Thanksgiving?  Maybe the parade? We never catch the parade because we don’t have cable.  But I know that’s a big tradition for lots of people.  And of course, football! I haven’t seen this movie, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, so that’s one I’m excited to get and watch this year! 

What about Christmas?  We have a lot of movies that we watch every year leading up to Christmas Day.  Elf, Christmas with the Kranks, The Grinch….. And then on Christmas Day we usually chill out after opening gifts and watch whatever movies the kids happened to unwrap that day.  My mom and sister usually get each of them at least a couple of new movies for Christmas.  And since we’ve usually been watching Christmas movies for a really long time by time the big day gets here, it’s nice at that point to watch some “regular” movies! But we aren’t to that point yet this year, and right now I’m getting really excited about all the Christmas movies, especially since so many are on sale at Christianbook.com and some of them I’ve never heard of, so that will be nice to get to add in some new ones!  My favorite on Netflix btw, is Holiday Engagement.  I don’t know what it is about that movie, but I love it!  The kids and I also like Pete’s Christmas on Netflix.

Movie gifts for the whole family!  Rather you’re interested in rushing to order something to watch on Thanksgiving Day, or looking for some fun new Christmas titles, now’s the time to check out Christianbook.com.  But, even movies that aren’t related to the Holidays are on sale right now for their pre Black Friday sale!  They have lots of them including a whole section on their top sellers from 2017!  I’ve been browsing all day and I really think there’s a little something for everyone.  Movies are such a great gift because they can be watched numerous times, can be great for that person that’s hard to buy for, and because they cause little to no clutter!  And for that matter, any gift that can be ordered online makes life just that much easier!

Let me know what you find!  I’d also love to know, what movies do you watch every year, and on which Holiday(s)?!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

 

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You are their example, like it or not!

It’s so hard sometimes, knowing how influential we can be on our kids.  It seems unfair, really.  I mean, we can spend years acting “right” in front of them and as soon as we start to let our bad side show, they latch on to it like a spider pouncing on its latest catch…  I mean, I don’t know if spiders pounce, but you get the picture.  They latch on and suck every drop of “Mama is a bad example” out of that thing that they can get.  It’s one thing when they’re little, and they might not catch on.  But as they get older and they do catch on, you really have to be careful.  You have to think about all the character building you’ve tried to instill in them all these years, and put it to practice.  They learn so much more from what we do than from what we say.

Back to the part about it being unfair… ya know, the funny thing about kids is they think they know a whole lot more than they really do.  So all of the complicated situations that we are trying to deal with are not just our situation to deal with privately, they happen right in front of them, and they think they know what’s going on.  But they usually don’t.  So they don’t really get why we respond the way that we do, but they soak it up anyway.  And once you let them see your snarky side, you know they’re gonna embrace it.  Kids embrace anything that they see as an excuse to be snarky themselves!  You just want to express to them that “I’m being snarky for a reason. but it doesn’t mean you can just start being snarky.”  And I’m gonna go ahead and be the one to break this to ya, every negative thing they pick up from you, they will use against you at some point!  Oh believe me, it’s gonna happen.  So unfair.  And infuriating for real.  All the sweet little glimpses of your own personally that have warmed your heart to see in your child since they were little… yeah, it’s like that times 10, but in a negative way, when your own smart mouth is spitting your own bad attitude right at you!

But here’s the thing.  I also don’t want my kids to see me as someone who won’t stick up for myself.  I don’t want them to grow up and let people walk all over them.  I want to be an example to them of knowing your worth (not pride, that’s different.) and not letting people make you feel inferior.  So where’s the line?  Certainly there’s a way to stand up for yourself with out having a bad attitude.  I’m just not good at it! Lol!  That was kind-of a joke.  Kind-of.  But seriously, being the example of how they should handle things is so hard.  Because again, they usually don’t get all that’s involved as much as they think they do.  Every negative, caddy comment they over hear come out of your mouth, gives them just a bit more permission to have that type of attitude themselves.  It’s just not fair.  I guess as a kid I didn’t realize how much parents were still people too.  And I didn’t realize how much growing I’d still have ahead of me even after my kids were born.  And now I have to try to grow and learn with all these little versions of myself watching my every move.  (My oldest isn’t really a little version of myself.  He’s already 5’9″, more like a duplicate version of his father, which is uh, it’s own issue. Lol!)

I don’t know what to say except keep trying to be the best example you can be.  Kids take things to the extreme so modeling any attitude the way you want them to see it isn’t easy.  I try to be very open with my kids and explain my feelings and motivation as much as possible.  Especially when dealing with other people that are difficult to deal with.  But I don’t feel like I’m really balanced in it.  That’s what I believe to be the answer in most areas of life.  Finding the proper balance.  If you’re struggling with this, you’re not in it alone though, I’m right there with you!  Feel free to leave me a comment and weigh in on this difficult topic.  It’s got me racking my brain at times.  I’m just gonna tell you again where I stand on it.  It’s not fair!

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

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New Adventure!

I can’t wait to share my newest fun with you.  If you follow me on Facebook you alredy know.  I’ve decided to work with a relatively new company called Chalk Couture.  It’s so much fun and I can’t wait for you guys to give it a try!  I want to share the fun with you all so I decided to share it here and invite you to come along this fun, easy, crafty, DIY journey with me!

What is Chalk Couture:  It’s a company that offers transfers to make chalk boards, signs, etc very easy and fun!  The transfers are similar to stencils, but it’s more like screen printing, like you’d do on a t-shirt.  You simply take your chalk paste, and smooth it over the transfer, and when you lift the transfer you’re left with a perfect image!  It’s so easy and so much fun!

Why I joined:  I’ve got a lot going on.  And although crafting was always meant to be part of the focus of this blog, I was a bit concerned that another business would take up too much of my time.  But, as much as I love paper crafting, it tends to be very time consuming for me.  This was something I could jump in to that allows me to finish a project that I love with a much smaller time commitment.  And, speaking from a business minded point of view, it’s a great company to get in on right now.  It’s still very much a ground floor opportunity and I truly believe it has the potential to grow exponentially!  I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity!  Since it’s home decor rather that just craft/hobby focused, it does really well.  Almost everyone has signs, or chalk boards in their house, even people that aren’t “crafty”.

How you can join me:  I’d absolutely love to have you join me in this!  It’s so easy, just go to my website, tiffanysmiles.chalkcouture.com, and click on “join”.  It’s a $99 investment for $200 worth of product and then a $25.99 monthly membership.  (Totally worth it for your website, especially since it includes an early release transfer each month that only members receive!)

The best way for me to explain all of this, is really to show you!  Here’s the link to the video I did live on FaceBook.  Comment either there or here and let me know what you think!  This is going to be so much fun and I’m really excited!

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

 

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First child perfection

I could write so many posts with this same title… The experience of being a mom for the first time is like no other.  I know that if you are one, you think you’re not the “typical first mom”.  I thought I wasn’t.  I had a lot of experience with children so in that aspect, I wasn’t.  I wasn’t at all intimidated by holding a new baby, and things like that.  But I was very much a “typical first mom”!  I only know that now, so go ahead a re read this if you have more kids down the line and let me know if you realize you were one too!  Those of you that have more than one, can I get a witness?!  You learn so much with that first child.  But you learn all new lessons as you keep going down the line.  Even if your first child is your only child, your understanding of motherhood is ever-changing as you grow along with that precious bundle.  (That becomes not so precious when the pod people start to take over in the pre-teen years and then gain complete control in the teen years!) Regardless of how many we have, we always realize looking back that we were particularly hard on our first born.  It’s a strange mix of having babied them like crazy because they were our whole life, but expecting quite a bit from them.  I have a video of my oldest sitting as a very small baby.  Literally, an infant, trying to reach a bowl that was in the floor next to him.  I was saying “you can get it, don’t give up.”  I watch that video now like “Just give that baby the bowl!”  I mean, he did eventually get it, but mylanta, it was a bit obnoxious to expect him to!

I was trying to figure out why we are so hard on the first one and I think I know what at least part of the reason is.  I think it’s because we haven’t yet really grasped that our child is human like everyone else.  We really do think that child is perfect, and thus want to make sure everyone else realizes it too!  And not in a sense of showing off, just wanting people to appreciate how truly special our child is.  Now, every child is special, but as we get some parenting under our belt we realize our kids are gonna make bad choices just like everyone else.  Our kids are human and everyone else doesn’t see them as the center of the universe, even though we do.  If my oldest misbehaved in public I was mortified.  Actually my first or second. It’s a good thing I had my kids in the order that I did, because my littler kids are way more difficult than my first two, and I would have long decided I’m just the worst mom in the world had the 3rd and 4th come first.  Thankfully before they came along I had already started to learn, and accept the dreaded fact, that my children aren’t perfect.   That’s not to say I don’t still get anxiety over certain situations,  but I’m better at accepting it.  You see, then I also always felt like their behavior meant I was a good mom.  I now know that some kids are just harder to handle, and even if you are a consistent, just parent, you can not fully control some people.  So while extreme situations still mortify me, the simple wining in the store doesn’t make me feel like I must be doing something wrong because my kid isn’t acting right.  I get looks that imply that, of course (yeah thanks for that, as if the tantrum isn’t bad enough!) but I know that it’s not always my failure.

The oldest also gets the brunt end of the deal when you do have more because they’re expected to act right because they “know better”.  Isn’t it funny, my oldest was 7 when Gracie was born.   He seemed like such a big boy to me.  At that age, I expected him to act right and would say “you’re 7 years old.”  Now, looking back, she’s 6, almost as old as he was then.  But she doesn’t seem so mature to me.  And he still gets “you’re 13 years old, she’s only 6.”  Even though he was expected to “know better” at 7.  I’m not saying she gets by with everything, she doesn’t, I’m not dumb, I know she knows what’s what.  But he’s still the one that I expect to make the right choice in spite of everyone else because he’s the oldest.  I am very careful not to give him responsibilities that are unfair though.  So while I might ask him, or Carly (2nd child) to fill sippy cups before we leave the house, or grab diapers, I don’t ever hold him totally responsible for his siblings.  (except on the rare occasion that he babysits one, but that’s never more than 2 hours.) But in some homes the oldest has to take on that responsibility due to circumstances.  If that’s the case for you, please make sure to give that child some “down time” to just be a child.  And I think we should all spend a bit of our energy making sure our oldest knows how special they are to us, and that even though we might expect a lot from them, we are very proud of them and love them just as much as when they were that tiny baby that changed our life!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

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Halloween costumes for teen/preteen boys, that aren’t scary.

So, I told ya’ll that I don’t let my kids dress up as anything scary for Halloween.  I wouldn’t anyway, but especially not since I have very little children as well and don’t want them to be scared.  But with older boys it can be hard to find costumes that aren’t scary.  I thought about that and wanted to offer a few suggestions.

  1. Darth Vador-  Darth Vador is great because he’s kinda “scary, but not scary”.  He’s a scary guy, but the outfit and mask won’t be giving anyone nightmares.
  2. Other Star Wars Character’s- Light sabers are cool and fun.  I don’t care how old they get!
  3. SWAT, police officer, or military- My son had a SWAT hat and vest last year that was meant as an adult costume from Walmart,  and it was a good “dressed up, having fun, but not too all out because I’m not a little kid” costume, in my opinion.  I think anything you can grab at an Army surplus store would bring the same effect.  I’m sure Walmart would also have something that would do the trick in these cases.  And boys of all ages feel cool when they dress up as these real life heroes, even if they don’t admit it!
  4. Detective/FBI-  Similar to above, but can totally be home made.  And he can pull off acting like he’s not dressed up if he sees anyone that he suddenly needs to be “too cool to dress up” in front of! (wink, wink)
  5. Martial Arts- if you want to be specific he could be the karate kid, or Jackie Chan, even Chuck Norris (If he knows who that is!). If he’s in Martial arts he has a quick easy costume ready to go already!
  6. Shrek-  I just think this would be fun!  And hey, he’s an ogre, so he’s another good “scary, not scary” choice.
  7. The State Puff Marshmallow Man- My cousin is such a good sport.  Her little boy is going as a Ghost Buster, and he was so excited that there was a State Puff costume!  So, yup, she’s doing it!  She’s dressing up in it just for him! That being said, I think it’d be fun for a teenage boy, especially if he has younger siblings going as Ghost Buster’s as well!
  8. Skate boarder/athlete- This could be as easy as carrying a skate board or a specific type of ball.  Or go a step further by dressing as a specific athlete.
  9. Doctor/nurse- easy to pull off with a stethoscope and scrubs or just a white lab coat.
  10. Hip hop dancer-  He would get to dress “cool” and act like it aint no thing!  Bonus if he can break out some cool moves!

My son hasn’t decided what he is going to do this year, but these are definitely some suggestions that we will be considering.  He did tell me that he’s probably just going to wear that SWAT vest and stuff that he wore last year to the Halloween party at Tae Kwon Do.  Works for me!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

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The Mom stress of kids making friends…

I love seeing my kids play with other kids.  The laughter, the fun, the imagination.  I love to just listen to them talk and play.  The stuff they come up with is always so funny!  (And often enlightening to how they perceive the world, if you pay attention.) Isn’t is funny how we get nervous for our kids when they go some place new?  I never knew that when I was a kid.  That nervous feeling inside when you are going into a new place, and have to face a new group of children that you know nothing about, and wonder if they will like you or not.  Or if you’ll be able to make a friend…  Yeah, I never realized until I had kids of my own that I would feel it for them too every time.   I remember when my oldest was in pre-k.  We went to the first parent teacher conference and we could walk around and look at things they had made, and the little play areas, etc.  There was a couple near me that started to talk to the teacher.  She was telling them about their child’s behavior and such at school (good report, not negative) and the mom anxiously interrupted her and asked “Does she have friends?”  It was interesting to me.  Of course we want them to have friends.  It’s lonely for a kid to be at a place with lots of children yet feel alone.  And that whole “just be yourself” bit makes complete sense to us once we are grown, but it’s not so easy for the young and insecure.  I guess the best we can do is teach them confidence and hope it takes.

It’s definitely easier when you just take your kids with you to a friend’s house who has kids.  Funny because we just expect them to get along with our friend’s children.  I guess it makes ok sense though.  It’s almost like family, and you expect them to get along with cousins in the same way.   It also happens in reverse sometimes when we start talking to their friend’s parents.  We become friends too and then they get to see them when we get together.  I’m glad I’ve liked the moms I’ve met so far.  That would really stink if your child formed a really great relationship with another child and their parents got on your nerves, or you just flat didn’t like them! I would assume that will happen to me at some point, but I’m thankful it hasn’t yet.  Although that might be something I’ll ask some people about and write a future post on, because I think it would cause some interesting scenario’s!  I guess not if you don’t spend much time with, or talk to, their friends parents.  But I can’t, in good concience, let my child go anywhere with an adult that I know nothing about.  Sometimes you can feel a bit goofy.  Like it’s no big deal and you’re being “the weird one” but I don’t care.  I take safety very seriously, and though I do realize you don’t truly know a person by having a few casual conversations with them, I still like to try to get to know them at least a bit.  Of course you can also have that difficult situation where you know and trust the parent, but you know they are just enough different than you that you worry about the influence when your kid’s there.  That’s a hard one.  I’m ok with my children being around people that are different that me, that’s like, living life 101, right?  But I’m pretty conservative in a lot of ways and being around people that think the things I worry about are no big deal, could influence my child in a way I’d prefer not.  Of course if another adult ever told my child that I’m wrong and being too strict, my kid wouldn’t spend time with them with out me anymore!  But they can still pick up on little attitudes and stuff.

It’s hard isn’t it?!  We can’t keep them in a bubble, we want them to enjoy life and get to have fun and have friend’s.  But man, there’s so much to think about!  I probably over think it.  But I’m a mom, that’s my job! LOL!  Anyway, do you have any helpful advice you give your kiddos about making friends and being a good friend themselves?  And what interesting situations have you encountered involving your child making friends?  I’d love to know!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

 

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Time to choose Halloween Costumes!

Halloween 2016

It’s that time again!  What do you do for Halloween?   We honestly aren’t really big on it, but we do have a lot of fun letting the kids dress up.  My little one’s especially, love to dress up for play all through the year, so an excuse to go out in public in their costumes is always welcome!  (Although my son was seriously that kid that went everywhere in his Captain America costume for the better part of a year…) So, I’m curious, what are your kids going to be for Halloween?  My girls already got Jo Jo Siwa  costumes from Wal-mart.  I’m not sure if they will both go as Jo Jo, but they’ve got the costumes and they’re actually really cute!  Wal-mart even had these really cute pink light up high tops that go with it really well.  And for right at $20!  If you’ve seen  high tops like them elsewhere, you know that they usually  cost around $60 minimum.

I’m not sure what my thirteen year old will be, and my four year old is leaning towards a power ranger, or a dinosaur   All of these are, of course, subject to change.  Probably more than once before it actually gets here!

Now, here’s the kicker.  What should the baby be?!  I’m so excited to dress her up, but they have so many cute costumes that I don’t know how I can choose!  My oldest was a snowman for his first Halloween.  That was easy, because “Frosty the snowman” was his favorite song, so when we saw the snowman costume we knew it was perfect!  Those types of things work out so well, but there’s really nothing she especially likes right now.  (Also presenting a problem for her First Birthday Party in Nov.)  I know it doesn’t have to have a special meaning, I might just pick one that I can’t resist based off of adorableness!  (is that a word?!) I’d love to know what your babies have been for Halloween?!  And what’s your process for choosing the perfect costume?  Or do you just let them pick something?

I thought maybe it would be helpful to compile a list of just about fail proof costume choices.  I think these suggestions are best for children in the 5-12 age range, but everyone is different so I’d decide based more off of personal taste than age.

Girls- 

  1.  Jo Jo Siwa. –  I might as well put this one on here since it’s obviously a popular choice.  Both my 6, and 11 year old daughter’s  just had to have it!
  2. Descendants- Any of the character’s from the Descendants movie’s will probably be a great choice.  Plus since we are talking Halloween here, these characters are perfect because they’ve got that bit of “good to be bad” attitude since a lot of them are, of course, the children of villains.  As a matter of fact, my daughter just had to get the Evie wig when we were at Walmart.  I guess she’s hoping for more than one occasion to dress up…
  3. Wonder Woman- The movie is new and very popular, so you probably can’t go wrong with a Wonder Woman costume.  I also noticed at Walmart, that there are a few different options for Wonder Woman (One pants outfit, I think I saw two different skirt options) so that’s nice for girls with varying tastes.
  4. Any Disney Princess-  Of course, especially for the younger girls, you probably can’t go wrong with a Princess.  I suspect Belle and Moana will be some on the top of the list, since those movies are more recent.
  5. Super Hero-  I saw a lot of Bat Girl costumes, including the oh so fun Lego Movie version.  Not all girls wanna dress up as a Princess, but don’t dismay, because there are plenty of super hero options available as well!

Boys-

  1. Power Ranger-  This is first on my list becuase my little one is obsessed with Power Rangers, and the movie is still pretty new so I’m thinking it’s gonna be a popular choice.
  2. Super Hero- Batman, and/or Lego Batman will be  fun for boys, and I’m still gonna say any Avenger would be a safe choice.  There’s not a recent  movie but it’s heroe’s are still very loved!  My kids are also still very in to Superman, Spider Man, The Flash, etc.
  3. Minion-  Minions are fun for all ages, and if you have a little one that wants to go as one, it’s fairly easy for other members of the family to join them by putting together normal clothes to match what a human character on the movie wears!
  4. Star Wars- It would be fun to dress up as any character off of Star Wars!
  5. Minecraft- I don’t know how to dress up as Minecraft.  I did see one strange looking mask.  But if you can get creative and find, or make, a way to dress up as anything off of the game that’s all the rage with kids of most ages, it’ll probably be a winning idea!

I can’t wait to see what we end up with this year!  Feel free to leave me a comment and share what your family will be going as, or even let me know how it went after the fact!!

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Sunday Morning Hustle!

Hey friends, how are you?  Did you survive another Sunday morning?!  It’s funny that our preordained “day of rest” can be so stressful isn’t it!?  We want to relax on Sundays.  And we usually can after church, but Sunday mornings for many of us tend to be less than leisurely!  And the more kids you have the harder it is to get everyone ready.  Have you ever thought about the fact that you probably leave later for church than you do to take your kids to school in the mornings?  So why is it so much harder?  I think a big part of the reason it that we actually care what they look like on Sundays.  LOL!  I mean, I expect my children to look presentable for school, but I’ve def let them go in some outfits that I just didn’t “get”.  For me, it’s also the fact that only two of mine go to school.  So while everyone does have to get dressed in the mornings, I’m not as concerned with what the little ones are wearing, as just the fact that they have clothes on!  And goodness knows Holidays are worse!  Not for everyone, but for the freaks like me that make everyone wear matching clothes…  (At least those clothes are usually chosen in advance though.) I love leisurely Sunday afternoons, but man, those mornings are stressful!  I can’t make it a morning with out stress for you, though I’d like to.   But I have some simple things you can try that might help.

  1.  I’m a big fan of laying clothes out the night before.  I make my kids do this for school,  but it’s also so helpful for church days.  And not just the kids,  it’s almost imperative that I choose clothes for the littles and myself the night before.  And here’s the bonus;  decide how you’re gonna fix hair and find all accessories!  Don’t assume she will be able to grab her pink headband when you ask, and definitely don’t assume shoes will be readily available!!  There are only a few places in my house that I put shoes, so I don’t understand it.  But, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late somewhere (not just to church) because of a random missing shoe!
  2. Have a breakfast plan.  Rather this is baking muffins the night before, a slow cooker breakfast, or something that you routinely make on Sunday mornings, have a plan.  Lunch time is often a bit later  on Sundays, so a good breakfast is really important.  But in the rush of the morning it can be hard to make sure everyone gets fed.
  3. Spend some time with the Lord.  I know this seems counterproductive, because you’re too busy to stop.  But a few peaceful moments of prayer and/or reading your Bible can make a major difference in the rest of your day.  It will help you to focus on what’s important and get you ready for service.  Just think how great our church services would be if we all came prayed up and ready to worship/serve!

These things would all be good tips for every morning, not just Sundays.  And they are things I try to do for everyday.  I just think it can be a bit harder to focus on routine for some reason on Sunday mornings.   I hope you’re Sunday’s can be more peaceful going forward!

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

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When you need to stop and enjoy the blessings.

The other day turned out to be a bit of an eye opener for me. I’m rebuilding my blog after a year of not having time to work on it. Learning social media as I’m still fairly new to it. And trying to figure out lots more business oriented stuff that I’m super excited about. But I also have 5 kids at home. So to say my time is limited is pretty much an understatement! It was evening and I was actually getting some work done when my oldest asked me help him find something downstairs. I know a lot of bloggers have their homes and such pretty much under control. And I love reading those blogs and getting tips and inspiration. However, I don’t hope to fool you into thinking that I’m one of those bloggers… Let me just tell you my basement looks like Toys R Us, along with a few small homes, barfed all over it! And it’s unfinished which doesn’t help a compartmental thinker like me because it means no orginaization! Don’t call hoarders. (You will want to if you see it, but then you will be the cause of the only episode with a nut kicking and screaming and not letting them get near her stuff. And no one wants that.) But for real, it’s not pretty… Anyway, going to find something amidst the piles and boxes of junk, can be quite an undertaking. But I went anyway. While we were looking for said missing item, he found his old safe. It’s this little safe that you open by speaking a password. He got it for Christmas when he was around 4 or 5 years old. I can remember him asking for it. What do you want for Christmas? He’d say “a safe that only opens to my voice.” That was exactly how he described it every time you’d ask. It was so sweet. He was the cutest darned thing I’d ever seen! When he found it and picked it up and sat next to me holding it and smiling about how much he used to love it, it made me remember that precious little man that he once was. And I could tell he was tickled by the memory as well.

Later in the evening I was working on something else when it was time to nurse the baby. I could transfer what I was doing to my phone and finish it while I nursed her, but I thought about being in the basement with my son earlier and decided I’d hold off on it and just nurse her. I quickly knew that looking into her little eyes while I nursed her, and talking to her was the best thing I could have been doing at that time! I’m not going to get to hold her for long, nurse her, make her smile just by being silly, so I want to appreciate it while I can. Life is so hard to balance, but these things didn’t take long and ended up being very special moments.
Don’t miss the special moments while you’re busy being busy! The laundry won’t fold itself, but it will still be there when the baby is asleep. The dishes won’t wash themselves, but they’ll still be there when you come back. I’m bad about not wanting to stop what I’m doing when they want to show me something. I mean, once I go and see what they want, and get back I have to figure out what I was doing and sometimes it feels like I’m starting all over. Usually just for a one minute story, or trip into their room to see something they’ve made, or how they’ve fixed their Barbie’s hair. But really, if you think about it, it usually is just a one to five minute interruption, to show them that I value them. To show them that what they are doing is interesting to me and that I care about what’s important to them. I certainly don’t want them to figure it best not to bother me because I’ll get annoyed, and I don’t care anyway, when they have serious things going on that they should be able to share with me. I hope more times than not, I’ll remember to stop!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

tick placed in excellent check box with red pen

Turn off your brain!

Ok momma, we are all guilty of this one!  Is it almost impossible for you to turn off your brain when you need to?  Or for that matter, to know when you need to…?  I go to bed at night and I swear my brain is spinning in circles at full speed! It’s like I just can’t slow it down.  I love having goals, and working toward those goals.  I love working and having projects that excite me and require something of me.  I love that my kids are involved in clubs and extra curricular activities.  And I love making crafts for said clubs, events, and school

parties, etc.  However, all of these things require time, thought, planning… you know, brain power.  And when I lay down to go to bed, (or take the occasional much loved nap) it’s sometimes hard to turn off my brain and go to sleep.

 

Sometimes it’s not even a matter of trying to sleep.  Sometimes it’s that you’re trying to work on something but your brain is all jumbled and you can’t think straight to do it.  Equally frustrating, and rather unproductive.  I thought I’d share a few things with you that I do to calm all the chaos that’s going on in my head.

  1.  Brain Dump.  If you’ve followed me here, or on social media for very long you know that I love a good brain dump.  If I can’t think straight and it’s really causing an issue, I know that it’s time for a brain dump.  You can do this many ways, but I just grab a piece of paper and start writing.  You might think it best to only write projects and big things.  Or the things you want to do in the next specific amount of time.  And if that works for you, do it that way.  But for me it’s everything.  I mean everything.  I just start writing and I write down everything big or small, present or future (even past if it’s on my mind).  Once I get it all down and out of my head I can start to focus on what I’m actually doing, or what I need to do.  That or go to sleep, if that was the purpose of said brain dump.
  2. Doodle. Doodling is similar to a brain dump except it helps when you don’t know what to write, or don’t want to write for some reason.  Sometimes you just don’t feel like writing everything down, but you need a brain release.  Doodling is great for that.  Sometimes I even doodle for a bit before I do a brain dump.  It just helps me to loosen up the cobwebs so to speak.  You can draw random things or take some time to learn/practice an art form such as hand lettering!
  3. Break out your planner.  I am a planner girl so I love planning.  I know not everyone does, but it really does help.  When you are thinking about dance practice, gymnastics, tae kwon do, hair cut appointments and a big work project…  It helps to grab your planner, or a simple calendar, anything that represents the days to come, and write it all down.  When you can see what is going on and when, it helps to get perspective and not feel like you have to remember everything.
  4. Pray.  When I feel like I’m losing it and I can’t get a handle on things, I take some time alone to talk to the Lord.  I ask him to help me and to give me perspective.  To get my stuff figured out and be able to keep up with it all in the best way possible.  If you’re not the praying type, I still recommend taking a few quiet minutes to yourself to clear your head.
  5. Get some fresh air.  Fresh air works wonders!  Open a window, and sit next to it; go out and sit on your porch, maybe with a good book.  If possible, maybe even take your work outside with you, you might find it much easier to accomplish.  Or go for a walk.   A nice walk outside can do wonders for a jumbled brain!
  6. Exercise.  Some love to work out, some hate it.  I have a love hate relationship with it.  So while I will tell you on most days that I love it, other days I might say it’s awful and if I run I will die.  Yes, I’m that fickle!  But it’s been proven that getting your heart rate up for a few minutes a day is good for you and I personally feel like there’s little that helps more in the attempt to release the fog inside the head.
  7. Veg out.  I offer this tip reluctantly because over use of this one can lead to less health and productivity rather than more.  However, if you can’t give your hamsters a break, it might be time to just plop yourself in front of a movie, or favorite tv show, and forget all your worries for a bit.  Especially if your situation is rather stressful.  Sometimes we need that bit of escape to be able to reboot.  I personally recommend this after the options above so that when you wake up the next day, things have been dealt with and are ready to be addressed, rather than just having been pushed aside, leading to more overwhelm when you pick back up where ever it was that you left off.

It might take some time, but try to teach yourself to relax when it’s time to relax, focus when it’s time to focus, and not think too much when it’s time to not think too much.

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany