A hardworking Father

This goes out to all the dads out there. Thank you for spending all of your time supporting your family. Your work may get overlooked, or underappreciated at times. They might not realize how early you need to wake up to get to work, or how tired you are every day. All your kids know right now is that they have a daddy that loves them.

My dad raised me and my sister on his own. My mom was there but was hardly a mother. We had our dad’s support endlessly though. There was so many times that he just wanted a nap after work but instead he played with us, took us to the mall, or even just cooked dinner with us. It was just daily life for us so we never noticed how much work he truly put into raising us.

When I was a teenager he often worked two jobs just to keep us afloat and keep a roof over our heads. He divorced my mom and kept us two girls. He was in the process of shaping us into beautiful, headstrong, and kind young women. However with him being gone all the time life began to slip we hardly saw him because he was working so hard just to keep us financially stable.

One day a miracle happened. He found my stepmom, the most loving and caring woman in the world. We finally had the family that we always wanted, along with three little siblings. He worked hard finding a stepmother for us and a new wife for him and did not settle until he got the best. She helped me graduate high school, discover confidence for the first time, and become the person that I am today. All of this happened because my dad never gave up on me.

I finally realized what my dad did for me, when my girls were playing with their dad after work one day. I sat there and with tears in my eyes for a few minutes as I was processing all of this. I just had to give him a call, and he was there for me once again. He always is!

Fathers, one day your child will look back at you and realize this just as I have. So keep up the great job. Your children will grow into remarkable people as time goes on, and will appreciate all that you have done for them.

Eliminating Empty Foods

My family has been gradually eating healthier over this year. We are sneaking more veggies and meats into the kids’ meals. However, we still have a problem with eating a lot of carbs daily. We have too much white bread and noodles. We also let a lot of junk food sneak into our home. It is easier to eat it when it is right there available.

Sadly the problem is that my husband likes to eat these foods. He is diabetic but still loves junk food and I am in no area to judge because I sometimes eat it right along with him.  So our girls follow us and should not eat as healthy as they should.

I am going to slowly start getting the junk out of our home. Hopefully for good. I will at least follow these steps.

1.) Drink more water.- I have already gotten the girls drinking a lot of water recently. Now I need to try to limit their milk instead of letting them drink half a gallon a day. As long as I keep the cold water in the fridge they will drink it. I need to try to reduce their bedtime milk though.

As for my husband, I am going to set a cold glass of water on his computer desk. Hopefully he will at least touch it instead of drinking his diet mountain dew right away when he gets home.

2.)  Even more veggies. I am going to start making a small veggie tray and put it on the table before dinner every night. If I put pickes, peppers, and peppers on there everyone will at least try it, and at least try one other item at the same time. I will eat the veggies that they don’t want.

3.) More meat with dinner. Instead of doing a ton of carbs with the main dish I am going to focus more on the meat. Some great ways I plan on doing is a lot of pork. My family loves pork chops, and steaks, but they love crock pot pulled pork the most.

4.) Concentrating on fruit with dessert. Some ideas I have include fruit salad, cut up fruit with a creamy vanilla dip, and fruit pies like apple pie. They will up our fruit content but also give us yummy deserts to eat.

I am hoping this will let us get out of the carb cycle. It is ok to eat carbs when we need quick energy but not every night. Eating better will be super beneficial and give us all additional energy.

We will also start excercising by bringing back our family bike rides. They are so fun, and Daisy now knows how to ride bike on her own so that will be a very fun addition to our summer routine.

Nicole

Frugal Meal Plan June 5th -12th

This weekend was super hot, but we also did a lot. It was one of the type of weekends where you make several memories that will be cherished forever.

We went to the party at the library with bouncy houses, painting, and even snow cones on Saturday. It was so hot that all of us were feeling dehydrated especially Bobbie. She passed out a couple of times so lots of love and gatorade was needed all weekend long.

After a restful Saturday night and most of Sunday. We went to the local splash pad Sunday night for some family fun time, we even brought my younger sister along. She helped with the girls. I got a little break, and fun that I needed of a while now. My husband saw that I was getting stressed out a bit so he surprised me with my sister coming with I had no idea until we picked her up. It was such a great surprise.

On Wednesday of this week Bobbie will be done with school for the year. We are going to do homeschooling this summer just to keep her learning all summer long and get a little bit ahead in school. We will be starting a bug unit on Wednesday and that will last around 2 weeks.

Breakfast

  • yogurt
  • toast w/ jelly
  • french toast
  • biscuit and sausage sandwiches

I am trying to get the girls to eat a heavy breakfast before it gets too hot. This way they are not crashing due to being hungry when it is too hot to eat. It gets very humid here in the summer.

Lunches

Sandwiches: Ham, turkey, or PB & J,

  • served with either chips or gold fish, veggies: carrots or peppers with ranch, and fruit: strawberries or grapes

These will be made, wrapped, and waiting in the fridge and cabinet so they can just grab one and go back to learning or playing. Doing one basic meal with many different combinations helps my family save money and it works for everyone. My husband can even bring it to work with him.

Dinners

Monday- Grilled Chicken with mac and cheese

Tuesday- Chicken with mushrooms, peppers, and onions with white rice

Wednesday- Grilled Pork chops, with corn

Thursday- Chicken fajitas

Friday- Burgers and homemade jojos

Saturday- Leftover pork chops, with stuffing

To Drink

  • Water ( trying to get them to drink as much water as possible)
  • Juice Boxes- will be chilled in fridge
  • Gatorade
  • Iced tea (for me)
  • Diet Dew (for husband)
  • Milk (trying to minimize due to heat)

 

Linked to Menu Plan Monday

8 tips to help your family rock this summer

Summer is so fun. It is the season that your kids get to be home more and you get to spend more time with them. Making beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. However, that free time also comes with sibling arguments, boredom, and usually a lack of routine. It doesn’t need to be that way.

There are tons of great ways to keep your children within a schedule. So there will be less fighting, also less boredom, and keep the kids off of electronics.

  1. Set a routine. Write it down for older kids or draw it for littler kids to understand. Some things that can be on the morning routine include.  
    • Making sure they get dressed, make beds, and brush teeth in the morning.
    • Eating breakfast- Some great quick breakfasts include smoothies, breakfast burritos, and sausage biscuits. All of these are great freezer meals you just need to unthaw the night before and just warm up the next day. Wonderful for the days that you are in a hurry to get out of the house or it is just too hot to cook.
    • One chore- little kids can pick up their toys, or help you out wiping down surfaces, sweeping or just about anything you are doing. Bigger kids can clean their bedrooms, sweep floors, or do dishes. There are tons of more chores out there if you think of one feel free to let me know in the comment section.

My girls are going into this routine this summer. I will be pre-making smoothie cups and putting them in the freezer for easy grabbing. Then they will head into chores Daisy will be helping rinse off and put away the dishes and Bobbie will be wiping off the table and sweeping the floor.  Then I will give them about a half hour of free play time then they will do some homeschooling.

2.)  Make sure they learn something over the summer so they never stop learning and aren’t having to readjust themselves when the school year starts some ideas are

  • Workbooks for their grade level- These are available on amazon for you convenience but they are also available at dollar or discount stores for a great savings. There are so many different kinds that if you buy them for a cheap price you can really stock up and learn a lot over the summer. My Daisy will be working on the Schoolzone Big Preschool Workbook  and my Bobbie will be doing the Schoolzone Big First Grade Workbook. It is about the same book but different grade levels to eliminate fighting.
  • Books- Assign your kids a book that is at their reading level. When they are done move on to the next. Littles can be read to or look at pictures independently. I find that my Bobbie tries to read books by herself as a kindergarten graduate and I still read to my Daisy daily.
  • Nature Study- Summer is a great time of year to get your kids out in nature and teach them about the outside world. Some great ideas for this are bug collecting, bird watching and identifying, and plant studies.  My girls will be doing all of these units and spending a ton of time outside this summer. 
  • Growing a garden- There are so many lessons that can be taught by growing a garden. It also helps them fall asleep better, and eat healthier.

3.) For your sanity, I suggest this one. Let your kids have a quiet time or an alone time. They can do anything they want as long as they are in their rooms and being quiet. My Daisy still normally takes an afternoon nap, and my Bobbie colors and watches Monster High or some other cartoon in her age group. She is really starting to like the 1980s version of Inspector Gadget. This will enable you to reset your mind and get some things done or take a break while they are resting.

4.) Afternoon chores. Afternoon chores are great for getting toys picked up by littles and the table set by bigger kids while you are making dinner. It will totally help pass the witching hour with minimal complaints. My girls are each assigned one of these chores. The only thing I do not let Bobbie put on the table are the plates because I am scared that she will break them and feel bad or hurt herself.

7.) Stock the Fridge- There is nothing worse than going to make lunch and realizing you are out of something or barely have any food left. I usually feed myself and Daisy leftovers during the school year. But I totally stock the fridge in the summer. For drinks, I buy a ton of juice boxes and water bottles and put the on the inside of the fridge door. For lunches, I premake two kinds of sub sandwiches turkey and ham. I also cut up and bag up fruits (strawberries, apples, and pineapple) I also do this to veggies (carrots and green peppers). Sauces are great for kids to dip veggies in so they will eat them so I make homemade ranch dressing for them. We also keep chips, goldfish, and trail mix bagged up for snacks. This keeps my kids eating healthy and being able to grab their own lunches or snacks when they are ready for them.  

8.) Remember to have fun and go some places during the summer to get out of the house. Some of my favorite places to go include the mall, and the pool. We will also have one family vacation this summer to their Uncle Matt’s house. They love their uncle and his wife and they have a son that is ten but he still loves to play with the girls. They have so much fun there. Are you planning a summer vacation? I would love to hear about it in the comment section.

My girls and I are going to rock this summer having so much fun together learning and playing. I hope these tips help your family do the same. Do you have any tips that may be helpful to other families? If so feel to share them below.

How and Why I only keep clothes I feel good in.

DSCF3166

A lot of women struggle to find clothes that they like and actually fit well. I shop at the local thrift shops for mine. I know some people do not like this but it is what works for me in this current phase of life.

I love keeping only clothes that fit me and I like for a couple of different reasons including
1.)I can keep less things in my closet at once eliminating clutter
2.)My daughters like to pick out my clothes for me. It makes them feel special.
3.)I can easily and quickly get dressed in the morning.

This seems hard to do and costly for most people however I have a few different frugal ways do this. I usually only spend $20 for several different clothing items at a time. It gives me the ability to change up my style whenever I want to. I do this by

1.)Shopping at the deep clearance rack at Goodwill. If you actually look you will be quite amazed at how many things you can find that work for you left behind by others that don’t have the same style taste as you.
2.)I also like to look at the color of the day, the tags that are that color are half price.
3.)Using a local garage sale group on facebook and wait until the seller lowers the price a bit. Most moms use the garage sale groups but buy instantly. I like to wait a day or two of the items not selling then buy them once they lower the price a bit.
4.)Buying a neutral color item and make it more exciting with timeless pieces of jewelry like rings or necklaces. My favorite color is silver. If you get things that never go out of style and work for you it can limit the amount of money you need to spend on these items.

If you are unhappy with your clothes use some of my tips and get a closet full of clothing that you are excited about! If an item is too bland go ahead and add a pop of color with timeless jewelry. I hope some of these ideas work for you. If you have any other ideas of how to liven up your wardrobe frugally feel free to add them to the comment section below.

5 ways to reduce your child induced anxiety.

We all love our kids but, sometimes they simply drive us crazy. As someone with bipolar depression I know this all too well. I am working on being a calmer mother this year. I have come up with some simple steps to lessen anxiety in these hot headed situations.

The first three will work if you have some time on your hands. These will work when your children are cranky or you are having a high anxiety day naturally without the children driving you nuts. Have them play in their room or watch a cartoon to be able to do these activities.

  1.  Get creative with some kind of art project or writing something. I know a lot of people that are great at paint or drawing. It is super fun and calming. My creativity in unleashed through my writing. It helps me have a more focused mind about what I am writing about and less about the world around me. After just a few minutes this will help you be more relaxed and ready to face the challenges of parenting once again.
  2. How you look has a lot to do with your confidence level and how you feel. If you are stressed out maybe a few minutes in the bathroom will do you some good. Maybe you have time to take a quick shower, and put on some makeup. If not you can still always put your hair up, and put on some perfume and lip gloss. It will help you be calm and you will also look great for the rest of the day.
  3. Prepping dinner is a calming thing that you are going to have to do later in the day anyway. So chop your stress away with those veggies and fruits. I know peeling potatoes gets rid of the anger that has been boiling inside me. Making homemade bread tastes great and the kneading process is very calming. This will also help you make a wonderful and nutritious meal for your family.

These next methods are things that you can do with you kids next to you.

  1.  Drinking water can calm your mind quickly and also make you feel healthy. There is nothing better than a cold glass of water on a hot day! It also gets you mind thinking of eating healthy.
  2. Going outside is a simple and fun method to relax you. You can sit on the porch and watch them ride bike, go down the side, or anything else they want to do. A great thing to also do outside is take a walk. It will help you get a workout into your day. Either way will calm both you and your children down for the rest of the day. It will hopefully help them fall asleep earlier.

I hope these tips help you stay strong on high anxiety days, and be a more happy parent!

How I have been healing in 2017

DSCF2382

This pic is from 2015 but it is one of the best ones I have of me and my girls.

In the beginning of this year, I have been going through a lot of pain. Several things have really broken me as a person in my life. I have never really allowed myself to heal from them. I just kept on going.

The first thing is the death of my beloved grandma. I was her “special one” the one that she loved the most. She babysat me a lot when I was very little before my little sister was born. After that, she took me shopping every weekend from age 7 until  I graduated high school. We spent so much time together. When she got sick me and my husband were there to visit several times to help her out. However I wasn’t there when she needed me the most, the night she passed away. I thought I had until the next morning after me and my husband worked a 12-hour shift but she passed away that night. I never got to say goodbye. It hurt so bad for the rest of my life.

This year I realized that it will be a whole in my life forever, but I need to allow myself to heal for my sanity. She would not want me to worry and hurt about it as much as I have been. She knows that I love her due to my past actions. Always talking to her every night when she was lonely because she was seperated from my grandpa. I also helped her a ton in the hospital when she was sick. Remembering the good things really helped me heal.

The other thing I am healing from the poor treatment I received from my mother while growing up. She treated my sister as her special one and made my clean our room alone, and allowed her to beat me up while growing up. My mother self self injured herself a lot due to her schizophrenia and she also hit my because I looked too much like my dad. They were on and off again all the time growing up, and I was and always will be a daddy’s girl. I also grew up self injuring myself. It is a scary habit and I have always been trying to fight. My worst nightmare is that my girls pick up on the habit. My mom has ruined my life but I forgive her.

The ways I deal with it are forgiving her and my little sister, and being a better mom for my girls than she was for me. I never want to see my girls go through massive problems like I had to deal with. I love them so much! We talk about once a week, it still tough but I need to forgive her for the both of us.

I am also getting medical help for my bipolar depression. This has helped me immensely.  I no longer have the super depressive periods of my life that I used to have, and I also do not get manically happy where I end up ignoring my girls due to cleaning the house all day. I also have a medicine that I can take if I have panic attacks that used to make me injure myself.  I  am at a super calm and happy stage in my life and I hope it lasts forever.

Nicole

Ten Ways I am rocking Motherhood!

I was nominated to do the ten ways I am rocking motherhood challenge by Elizabeth at worth writing for.

I try to be the best mom I can be every day. I ran into a really awesome challenge that inspires you to think of and name ten reasons that you rock as a mom. At first I could not think of any specific ideas but then I really thought about it and starting writing an idea down on at a time when I thought of it. I now have more than ten but I will bring you my favorite ten things that make me rock as a mom.

  1. I cook a good dinner every night with as little pre made foods as I can. I find it to be frugal, and more healthy than buying premade foods. My favorite foods that I make on my own are chicken sandwiches, and mac and cheese. I also make bread from scratch once a month and I am currently trying to get motivated to do it daily and not buy it store bought anymore. This helps my husband be home with my girls more instead of working overtime which provides a more stable home life for my girls.
  2. Kitchen time with mom!- I let my girls in the kitchen with my at least once a week. We often bake cookies together. Sometimes my five year old will help me with dinner and my three year old will help serve it. If I don’t teach them these much needed life skills to feed themselves nobody will and they will be stuck buying pre made foods as adults or else having to learn everything off of the internet as an adult like I had to. I want better for my girls than I had growing up.
  3. I am a work at home mom. My girls will always be able to count on me to be home with them. I can watch all of their firsts. I can help them with their homework, and cook dinner for them every night. I love this quality time I have with my girls and would not trade it for the world.
  4. Dance parties. If we are all getting too stressed out I will turn on my girls’ favorite song Crazy Frog on loud enough for them to hear it, and we will have a dance party. It will make everyone happy again and help promote a stress free home. This is especially helpful if my husband will be home any minute because he deserves peace and quiet when he gets home from his stressful day at work. Plus the girls are in a great mood and ready to give him his get home hugs and kisses. (Yes this is actually a daily thing in our home and I love it!)
  5. I allow creativity! My five year old daughter is a very creative girl. She comes up with her own outfits and hairstyles every day. Some of these outfits are quite colorful and not quite perfectly matching, to the level that some other moms may change their kids’ clothes. I just let her wear what she wants as long as it still looks somewhat ok. I don’t want to squash her creative spirit, and she goes to school with a smile on her face.
  6. Books- I read to my girls every night. I usually read their library books right before bed twice during the week. Every other night of the week they pick out one book each and I read it to them. I believe that reading is very important and a great way for them to gain knowledge at a very early age. If they begin reading early hopefully they will keep those habits throughout their lives.
  7. Play- I play with my girls every day for at least a half hour. I put a spin on it though, that they don’t really realize. I make the games educational. I have my 5 year old write a story of her own and read it to her sister. I also write my own story to read to both of them. Another big thing for us to play with together is play dough. It makes both girls be creative with their hands and keeps their brain busy.
  8. Crafts- Crafting is good for the soul. It helps you relax after having a bad day. If my five year old daughter is having an extremely hard day after school we hug and then do a craft together as a family. We like to make heart people, play dresses, and paper snowflakes. There are tons of other crafts we do but these are the most common ones.
  9. Passions- As a mom I never gave up my passion to write. I write all the time weather in my head planning, typing on the computer, or on paper. It keeps me calm and gives me something to be excited about every day. It helps me not go over the edge screaming at my girls when I have a bad day. We all have our own bad days at moms but how we handle them is what counts.
  10. Stepmom- I am a supportive stepmom I my 20 and 26 year old stepkids. I am very close in age to my stepson so it is more like a brother and sister bond with him but I am still very supportive of both of my stepkids. My girls love when they visit and I love the fact that I can carry on the support in life that my own stepmom gave me growing up even though we were someone close in age. It just makes me feel great to be following in her wonderful footsteps and I love how much she taught me about life, and how it turns out good if you just keep a positive attitude.

 

This is what I thought of when I searched myself for my good qualities of why I rock as a mom. We all have our good qualities but these are mine. These are the things I try to hold true to in the good times and the bad.  If I stop doing one of these it feels like my life is out of whack and I go right back to it, it is my rhythm of life. I hope my girls one day look back and appreciate all the things I do for them as I look back at my own mom and stepmom and appreciate everything they did for me.

The perfect doll Blanket + toddler homemaking tips

      My Daisy is a super nurturing two-year-old with amazing homemaking skills. She walks around and hugs everyone all the time. She loves to cuddle. She also loves to take care of her baby dolls, especially her Baby Alive doll she so affectionately named Elsa.

She takes care of her doll all day long from getting her dressed in the morning all the way down to putting her to bed at night. She is such a good little mommy to her doll. She always has had clothes and diapers for it. However, she was missing one major thing for her. A blanket for her little baby doll to sleep with. She would beg for one every night. We used small sized towels but it was not the same thing as a real blanket.

Then one day I found the perfect one on Etsy. It was made by an amazing mother and daughter business called KraftsbyAngandLiz. They make amazing doll clothes and doll blankets that are extremely high quality. As soon as you touch the blanket you will wish that it was a full sized blanket. The blanket is super soft, cuddly, and just perfect for your little one to wrap their doll in and cuddle it all through the night. There is one thing that makes it even more of a perfect fit, though. It has the Elsa character on it. So she has an Elsa character blanket for her little doll that she named Elsa. She is completely happy with this blanket and it made a perfect early birthday gift for my sweet little girl.

If you want a super nurturing child with homemaking skills here are some tips.

  1. Show them a great example if you are nurturing to them then chances are they will be nurturing to others because it is just a natural behavior to them. Give them lots of hugs and kisses.
  2. Let them help you clean. Let them follow you and do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, and other homemaking skills. The more they learn now the more likely they will grow up to be able to be a good wife and mother in the future because it will come natural to them. My little Daisy helps me with all of the above on a regular basis. She is learning how to fold laundry right now and tries to learn more daily.
  3. Let them have one doll that is more important to them then all of the rest. If you give them limited toy options they will be more likely to feel that they are special. As soon as she got her Baby Alive I only kept on other dolls out and put the others in the closet. She now uses the doll she affectionately named Elsa exclusively. As soon as we get done cleaning for the day she goes to her play kitchen and “teaches” her doll how to do all of the homemaking skills I just taught her. It makes for great practice.

      So if you want to teach your little girl homemaking skills there is still a way to do it in today’s world. You just need to work on it daily and have a lot of patience. I know it is God’s will for my little girls to have these skills no matter how they choose to use them in the future.

Nicole

A great routine for school success (DITL of a 5 year old)

dscf2998

My Bobbie is very creative and takes a long time to get things accomplished because she wants to add her personal touch to everything. She starts her getting ready for school routine the night before like many children.

4 pm- Homework Time. She always has some kind of homework. Whether it is a simple day counting to 100, or a harder day consisting or reading a book and doing a worksheet. She does it all right before dinner so she doesn’t have to worry about getting it done all night.

4:15 pm- Daddy’s Home- She always gives him a big hug when he gets home, and they talk for a few minutes. They play together if she has all of her homework done. They love playing video games together on his computer. World of Warcraft is their game of choice.

5 pm- Dinner is done. We pray and teach her her some kind or a moral lesson at dinner, tonight it is how she is supposed to protect her little sister and not fight with her. She starts leading the conversation talking about games they can play together and say she loves us all so much.

5:30 pm- Bath time. She uses her favorite bubble bath that was custom made for her. It is a pink cotton candy scented bubble bath. She also uses her favorite shampoo and body wash She splashes and relaxes with her little sister.

6:00 pm- Out of the bath she picks out her clothes for the next day. I do this so I have time to make sure her outfit is school appropriate while she is sleeping so there is less arguing in the morning. She watches a video or two after this if she has time. She really likes surprise eggs, and my little pony.

6:30 pm- Lights out! She needs a lot of sleep at night or she is very grumpy in the morning. (Oops my fault, she is just like me when I was a kid.) She will sleep until 6:30 am if her little sister does not wake her up. She cuddles with her favorite teddy bear she has constantly held on to since she was 9 months old. She got it from her great grandpa.

6:25 am- I turn her favorite music Crazy Frog on her tv. This gets her to wake up happily.

6:30 am- She puts her outfit on and gives her little sister morning hugs.

6:35 am- It is time for her to put on her favorite accessories. She loves her custom made necklace. It is pink and sparkly just like her cheerful personality. She also uses her lip gloss, children’s perfume, and lotion. They all are custom made and smell like cotton candy. All accessories were made by Divinely Inspired by Nicole and are super high quality, and extremely durable. My two-year-old has the same things and are all safe for her and she hasn’t broken her necklace yet after a whole month.

6:45 am My precious Bobbiesue helps little Daisy May pick out her clothes for the day. I try to down a cup of coffee at this time. This is pretty much their morning play time. After they pick the outfit out I get Daisy dressed.

7:00 am- Both girls get their snow pants, coats, hats, and gloves on. This winter has been crazy cold here in Wisconsin. I need to make sure both girls are super bundled up before getting into the warmed up car to get to the bus stop.

7:10 Get in the car and head to school super excited about the upcoming school day.

I hope this gives you a little insight into her life and how we keep her home from school time as fun and productive as possible. Her life is full of love, cuddles, and lots of learning.

Admissions Of A Working Mother
Mummuddlingthrough