Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just a Thought Thursday: 27 Reasons Kids are the Worst!

Sooooo funny.  If you need a good laugh, please click this link! I posted it earlier on my FB page - I thought I shared it on here as well but I guess I forgot!


Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: "A Pretty Good Day..."

Perspective. I often need to check myself in this area.  Dirty dishes, an overwhelming amount of laundry, crabby kids...it's all put me a little on edge these days.  I bought a book recently called "Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions" by Lysa TerKeurst.  A mother of five kids, she says she often needs to say out loud, "If this is the worst thing that happens to me today, it's still a pretty good day."

Ben refuses to take a nap, after an hour of battling with him.  "If that's the worse thing to happen today, it's still a pretty good day."

Gianna threw her food on the floor... for the tenth time today.  "If that's the worse thing to happen today, it's still a pretty good day."

I forgot to take the load of laundry out of the dryer so the clothes were all wrinkly.  "If that's the worse thing to happen today, it's still a pretty good day."

The kids were excessively whiney.  I mean, the kind of whining that goes right through you and makes you want to scream "You have no idea how good you guys have it!!!."  "If that's the worse thing to happen today, it's still a pretty good day."

And even though ALL of those things happened back to back to back to back TODAY... it was still a pretty good day.

Happy Wednesday, Friends!




Monday, October 15, 2012

"Me Either" Monday



While waiting for your little one to fall asleep for his nap, have you fallen asleep, too, to catch a few well-deserved afternoon Zzzzzzzs?

or have you ever been driving along on a rainy day when you hear a little voice in the backseat say, "Mama, pee in the grass, please." So you pull over so he can do exactly that?

or have you ever watched your son discover that if he puts his sister's rain boots on, they make fart sounds when he walks because they are too small?


video

"Eh, fart-a, my boots!"

Yea... me either ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Toddler Tuesday: Co-op Preschool

Preschool.  I researched different programs in the area and wasn't satisfied with my findings.  Ben turns 3 this month, but any program I could enroll him in would be in a 2 year old classroom since he missed the cut-off. Then I was factoring in cost.  I didn't want to pay $70-$120 a month for just a couple of hours a week.  Boo.

The number one reason I would wanted him in a classroom as young as 2 was for social reasons.  Yes, he has his sister, but let's face it - it isn't the same as interacting with your peers.  Also, I wanted him to respond to different authority figures other than myself.  But I felt stuck.  Then, my friend came up with a genius idea.  A co-op preschool.  It looks like this:

There are four moms in our "group" with a total of 5 kids (one mom has twins).  We only meet on Tuesdays from 9am-11:30am and we rotate who 'teaches.' Whoever is teaching that week hosts the class in their home.  After researching how various preschools and day cares run their programs, we came up with this schedule:

9:00-9:30am:  Free Play

9:30-9:35am: Calendar 

9:35-9:40am: Clean Up

9:40-10:00am: Story & Craft (both coincide with the day's learning objectives)

10:00am: Potty Break

10:05-10:15am:  Snack

10:15-10:40am: Interactive songs, finger plays, etc

10:40-11:00am:  Free Play/Outside Play

11:00am: Potty Break

11:05-11:20am: Playdough, puzzles, table activities

11:20-11:25am: Clean Up

11:25-11:30am: Get ready to go home

11:30am: Dismissal

Our curriculum was put together based off various websites.  Each week, we focus on a color, number, letter, and shape.  We also have an overall theme.  For example, the week I taught we learned about the color orange, number 4, letter D, rectangles, and the theme was weather & seasons.  I know that sounds overwhelming, ambitious, and nearly impossible to teach (and it probably is) but at 2 years old, we don't have too high of expectations and are looking more for exposure than retention at this point.  

We also decided that the amount of money spent on the craft supplies, snack, etc would be at the discretion of the host teacher.  Being a former teacher & having two kids of my own, I have many of the supplies I need. So, this whole idea is potentially free of charge.

If you would like to explore this option with your own kiddos & friends, feel free to e-mail me at sarah.m.nurmi@gmail.com and I can share more details about our curriculum, expectations, discipline, etc.  I will probably put Ben in a "regular" preschool setting through our church next year, but I am glad to jump start his education this way.  He absolutely loves it!  And I love having my first three Tuesday mornings of the month for just us girls (Gigi & me).


Friday, October 5, 2012

Nothin' Fancy Friday: Routines!

After almost 3 years of being a mom, I think I have finally found my groove!  Being a former teacher, I recognize how important routine and schedules are for kids - and adults, too!  I'd like to share what is working well for our family in this season of life.  Ben will be 3 on the 23rd and Gigi is nearly 13 months old. 

** On Tuesdays Ben is in a FREE Co-Op Preschool from 9am-11:30am (more on that in a later post)
** On Wednesdays we do FREE Story Time at the Library from 11-11:30am
** On Thursdays I have a Mom's Group from 9am-11:30am ($90/8 weeks) 

So it isn't the "same old routine" everyday, and I'm not spending a fortune on things to do outside of the house.  If we don't leave the house, this is what our day typically looks like:
____________________________________________________________

Wake - 7am: Ben stays in his room until the "orange sun" turns on (we got him the Good Nite Lite)

7:00-7:30: TV time (Gigi usually wakes up during this time)

7:30-8:00: Breakfast & Clean Up

8:00-8:30:  Storytime/Books

8:30-9:00: Playroom (We also do calendar & the monthly Bible verse during this time)

9:00-10:00: Art/Instruction with Ben [Gianna goes down for her morning nap around 9am]

10:00-11:00:  Sesame Street (Gigi is still asleep, Mommy has time to clean, do laundry, etc)

11:00-11:30: Lunch & Clean Up

11:30-1:00pm: Outside Play/Errands/Playdates

1:00-3:00: Nap time/Quiet Time

3:00-3:15: Afternoon Snack

3:15-4:15: Playroom (we listen to Toddler Radio, have tea parties, wrestle, etc)

4:15-5:00: TV time (this is when I prepare/make dinner)

5:00-5:30: Dinner & Clean Up

5:30-6:30: Time with Daddy

6:30-7:00: Bath Time then Playroom

7:00-7:30: Bedtime Routines

7:30pm: Lights Out!
_______________________________________________

There you have it.  I have to admit, I first created this routine to help the kids but I really feel it has helped me and keeps the day flowing instead of having those days you swear time is standing still! Take it, tweak it, use it.  Routines are the way to go! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just a Thought Thursday...





Ever have days like this?

This photo made me laugh! I hope you got a good giggle out of it, too. ;)


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Toddler Tuesday: The Disappearing Nap...

Ben has been hit or miss in the nap department.  I went out and purchased things he could use during his "quiet time" - which is basically me closing the gate at the top of the stairs in hopes he will play quietly (hence the name, QUIET time).  Well, today I am seranaded by "The Wheels on the Bus" as he stands at the gate - naked from the waist down, mind you - 'singing' down the stairwell.  As cute as it is, I wish I had "my time" back.  To add to the  Most-Rewarding-Job-I'll-Ever-Have, Gigi had a late lunch because her nap schedule was thrown off by a two hour scream fest from 4-6am.  As I am sweeping up the food off the floor from Miss Makes-a-mess, I must remind her that the dustpan is not a snack tray.  *sigh*  In other words, it's just going to be one of those days I don't get a break.

Don't get me wrong - I love watching them grow, giggle, learn, laugh, and play.  I'm simply sharing these "am I sure I want to have more children?" moments with you so you know you are not alone.  Happy Mothering (and Fathering) everyone, and I hope you have had a few quiet moments to yourself today.

Be well, friends!

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Me Either" Monday! Sept. 24th

Have you ever thought you were being the coolest mom ever by taking your kids into the Disney Store, only to have your 2 year old throw the mother-of-all-tantrums and knock down an ENTIRE display of Toy Story figurines?  Not to mention, having to push the stroller with little sister in it with one hand while football-carrying the screaming & kicking toddler out of the store with your other hand?  Yea, me either. ;)

Or have you ever invited a friend over for a first-time play date and lunch, only to discover after they've left that the beautiful sandwich you made them was with moldy bread!? Yea, me either. ;) (Sorry about that again, Jamie!) haha

And finally, have you ever been fascinated and disgusted at the same time when you can tell exactly what your baby ate the day before, just by changing their diaper?? Yea, me either. ;)

Well friends, is there anything you "haven't" experienced lately?  Please share! I love your comments!! (Liz, Kristen, Dana...)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Me Either Monday

Have you ever stood in line for a roller coaster for three hours, then didn't even enjoy the ride? ...

When reading a test out loud, have you ever mispronounced a simple word more than once and feel like a complete idiot - even if it was just with your family? (the word was deadlines, read as "deadliness") haha ...

Did you ever think driving over a curb with your mini-van was a good idea because you saw your husband do it in his truck a few days prior? [insert loud scraping sound here] ...

Or have you ever had your kid pee on a 7th grade church volunteer while sitting and crying in her lap? ...

...Yea..... me either ;)

Anything you "haven't" had happen to you lately? ;) 
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let's Catch Up...

Phew! It's been a while... my husband was on a long business trip that left me little time to think or sleep, let alone blog! Since it's been over a week, I thought I would do a "week at a glance" to get you all caught up...

Me Either... Monday

Have you ever had your dad wear your flip flops outside, only to get dog poop all over the bottoms of them and when asked to clean them off, he used the DISH SCRUBBER to clean the poop off of them?!

Have you ever been tempted to run your car off the road when you have screaming & crying children in the back (and possibly a crying adult behind the wheel)?

Have you ever watched your brother drink five gigantic margaritas in less than an hour because "he never gets sick" then woke up to him barfing all over the bathroom at 1:30am??

And have you ever gone into a store (NOT Pier One) to pay $50 for a throw blanket, then find an eerily similar one (NOT at Target) for $20?  

Yea.... me either ;)

BTW... I totally returned that expensive throw for the not-so-expensive-but-feels-just-as-nice version ;)

Toddler Tip Tuesday:

I wish I had a tip for you. I have been depressingly unsuccessful with my two year old :( I am going to try something new, and I'll let you know if that works! Right now, I am trying to get him to stop throwing things, hitting, pushing, and conking his sister on the head as well as taking swings at me, throwing fits non-stop, and - I suppose - just being two! At least he's potty trained, right? ;) 

Words of Wisdom Wednesday:

Lately, especially the week Thad was out of town, I have felt like there is this monster living inside me. I am easily frustrated, annoyed, and very short tempered.  I think that all the life-changing events that happened in the last year (quitting my job, moving to another state, major auto accident, having a baby, losing my mom...) has finally caught up to me - along with the everyday stupid things like my phone not working, kids not sleeping, husband traveling, getting sick,etc.  I told my friends that I feel like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty when he looks up to the sky and yells to God, "Smite me, Almighty Smiter!!" 

Well, I get the Proverb 31 daily devotions sent to me and one that seemed to hit home was "Unglued Mama."  It focused on Ephesians 4:22-24 and the part of the verses that stuck out to me was "to be made new in the attitude of your minds."  Hmm. Soooooo much easier said than done, I know.  I am going to read the book Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.  You can take a look here if you are interested yourself! I just feel like I need that extra something to "put on my new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" instead of having knots in my stomach all the time.  I'm pretty sure my current state of dark thoughts and terrible attitude isn't what God had planned for my mind.  I'll let you know if the book is worth reading!

Just a Thought Thursday:

You might not want to force infant ibuprofen down your reluctant baby's throat...she might just vomit her dinner all over you, herself, and that freshly cleaned carpet. 
(Sorry, Gigi!!!)

Just a thought...

Nothin' Fancy Friday: Meal Swap

We often bring meals to friends who are sick, are going through a hardship, or have just had a baby.  Why not do it just because?? A fun idea for you and some friends... a meal swap!  I happen to do this with my Bible study group every now and again, but any group of pals will do! We each cook five of the same meal, freeze it, then exchange! So, we get five unique frozen meals.  We try to keep the cost to around $8 per meal, and we have done it a few times successfully! I love trying new things - and it's even better when someone else has done the work for you :)  

Phew! There you have it... a week at a glance! I will try to keep more on top of blogging, but as you can see it's almost Wednesday and I have yet to post this week ;)  Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

"When you are down to nothing, God is up to something."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just a Thought Thursday: A Letter to Mom

I have been working through some really hard things lately.  I was trying so hard to figure out why I have been so cranky, impatient, on the brink of what felt like a nervous breakdown. Then I wondered if it was all this hurt, regret, and sorrow over my mom's death.  It's been 6 months, but it feels more like 6 years. I remembered I wrote her a letter and read it to her just a couple weeks before she died.  (You can read that here if you'd like).  I remember feeling so glad I did.  So, I figured it couldn't hurt to write her another one - even though she is gone.  So while waiting for Ben to fall asleep tonight I took a pen and put my thoughts to paper.  I have to say, it did make me feel better.  Maybe because I cried - hard - for a while, or maybe because a small part of me felt like she was reading it over my shoulder.  I'd like to share that letter with you now:

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

July 12, 2012

Mom,

I miss you SO much!! It just doesn't seem fair that you are gone.  There are so many things I ache to share with you. Like Ben's crazy personality and amazing athleticism.  Or Gianna's ever changing smile - she has top teeth now! - and her hair.  Oh, that hair! You would just swoon over it!

I wish you could visit us in our new place - and I'd tell you about all the people we've met here.  I think you'd be surprised that I'm working at Lakeshore again because they opened one here in Indy.  I love it! I got to help put it together from the ground up.

I miss hearing your voice.  I hate that I can't call to talk to you, and that when I come home I can only see you in pictures.

I always thought that time helped to heal wounds so why is it getting harder each day since you left?

I'm sorry you suffered so much your last years (months) of life.  I'm sorry I didn't hold your hand more while you were sick at home and in the hospital.  I'm sorry I pretended like it was any other good-bye when I knew deep down it was the last time I'd see you alive.

I so badly want to hear your voice! I want to see you.  I want to know you are in Heaven.

I feel like I would be a better mom if you were still here.  My heart literally sinks and aches when I think of you - which is often.  You were so brave.

I hope you are with your mom now.  I know that if you missed her as much as I miss you that it must be an amazing relief to be with her again.  I know you love me and I know you were proud of me - I only wish you were here to remind me.

Love you.  Miss you.  Mean it.

Love,
me
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

So, as cliche as it sounds hug your kids a little tighter tonight, kiss your spouse a little longer, and call your parents to tell them you love them....

Just a thought.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Seasons of Parenthood

I have been needing a lot of encouragement lately.  Between all the changes in the last year, Thad's heavy travel schedule, and days on end being a "single" mom have not only exhausted me but made me question whether or not I was doing what I was made to do.  I asked my husband, "Do you ever feel like you aren't good at your job?" Without hesitation he replied, "No."  I tried explaining to him that I feel like the tantrums, the crying, the fussiness, Ben's constant harassment of his little sister, coupled with his deliberate disobedience are constant reminders that I suck at my job - to raise kind, loving, happy, obedient children.  Okay okay, I know I might be a little hard on myself here - and I don't ALWAYS feel this way, but you know those days I'm talking about!  Anyway, my friend Jess Wehner e-mailed this article:


A couple of my current "Phases & Moments:"

Ben: The I'm-going-to-look-you-straight-in-the-eyes-and-do-exactly-what-you-told-me-not-to-do phase

Gianna: The I'm-cutting-a-million-teeth-right-now-and-there-is-nothing-you-can-do-to-make-me-happier-or-sleep-better phase

Some Moments:  listening to Ben sing along to songs in his own little language & seeing Gigi's "scrunchy nosed" smile

Please share with us a phase and a moment that you are currently experiencing in your parenting journey!!
(if you share on Facebook, I will re-post it in the comment section)
              

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just a Thought Thursday...

When someone says they have a monkey on their back, they might mean they are struggling with a persistent, overwhelming and troubling burden or dilemma. 


Or they might just have a monkey on their back!  
Just a thought...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday ::: Potty Training

Potty training. Two words that either bring defeat or triumph into a household.  Right now, I'd say we are somewhere in between.  Ben rarely has #1 accidents, but after three successful #2s on the toilet, he has since gone in his underwear.  Today's Toddler Tip is not going to refer you to a book or a website.  It's not going to tell you to dig through those old issues of Parents or Parenting Magazine.

Instead, I am opening the floor to YOU to offer ME (and my readers) your best potty training tips & advice!  Here are a couple I stand firm by:

1.  Don't Rush It! Let your kid take the lead to tell you he is ready.  We are pretty sure our kids won't be teenagers in diapers.

2.  Talk It Up.  Your kiddo should at least know what a toilet is and what its for BEFORE the whole process begins.

3.  Be Okay With Less Than Perfect.  Accidents WILL happen.  Just be prepared to tell the Target associate your child peed on the floor in the middle of the aisle.

Now please share your wisdom in the comment section!! 

The day Ben stops pooping his pants is the day I rejoice and do a potty dance myself.  Until then, I suffer with the rest of you potty training parentals.

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Me Either" Monday

Have you ever had your child give the tiles of a department store a golden shower and be so proud he points it out to every passerby? (at least they didn't step in it then....)

Or have you ever gone to two different banks, and let your child have a lollipop from each one? Yep, that's two suckers within five minutes...

Or have you ever gone to that place hidden deep down in your soul that allows you to understand why they have a show called "Snapped" and think the next episode might feature YOU?...

Yea.... me either.


Please share something that has "never" happened to you in the comments below!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Me Either Monday

Ok bloggy friends, it's time to get original! I saw a "Not Me Monday" on a friend's blog years ago and it turns out she got it from another blog. I want CantClockOut to be totally created by yours truly, so I'm changing Not Me Monday to Me Either Monday. Same idea, but at least I won't feel like a copycat ;) So here we go!


Me Either Monday

Have you ever lost hours of precious sleep lying awake terrified because you were home alone and thought someone was in your house...

Or been too embarrassed to leave your house because you had a sudden outbreak that created a "zit mustache" on your face...

Or gave your kid a skittle for peeing on the potty, only to have him try to stick it in his butt??


...Yea, me either!



Please share yours in the comment section! We all love to laugh so don't be shy!



Friday, June 22, 2012

Nothin' Fancy Friday: Papi's Playhouse

My Dad has a lot of time, tools, and creativity.  Hence, he built Ben an awesome "playhouse!" I had to share it with you all - even though it isn't finished yet, I thought it was pretty cool!  The most impressive part is that he did it entirely from scratch!

Here is the "entrance" to the playhouse.  

 Inside the door is a sandbox! 

When you need a break from playing, you can relax on the bench and have a snack at one of the two mini tables!

 Inside, just above the sandbox, is a secret cubby!  What kid wouldn't love that??

 My dad's neighbor's kids had outgrown their swing set so he offered the parts up to my dad.  He reconfigured it and used some swings and the slide, and repurposed a lot of the wood.

We can't forget about the sliding windows and the ball track in the sandbox! You put a ping pong ball or golf ball in the small hole on the left, watch it roll down the chute through the plastic window and it pops out of the pipe at the bottom! 

It has already gotten lots of use!  Thanks, Dad!!! =D




I hope you are outside enjoying the summer! 
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just A Thought... Thursday



Thad, you might want to work on those casting skills. I already know you are a great catch! Just a thought...

hahahahahahaha 
I love corny jokes! =D

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Shopping With Tots


Shopping without kids is without a doubt much more peaceful, pleasant, and productive.  Here are a few tips for those times when you have no choice but to take your tot(s) along for the ride:

 1. Plan ahead! Make a list and try your best to stick to it. Knowing the layout of the store and putting your list in order is a huge help!

2. Don't expect your toddler to last beyond two stops (i.e. bank, grocery store, department store, etc). I read that somewhere...

3.  What is one of the most helpful "tricks" when it comes to parenting?  One word: DISTRACTION. It's become an art form, really.  I always get Ben an apple when we grocery shop.  It keeps him occupied and he gets a healthy snack! I make sure I grab a produce bag to throw it in when it's time to checkout.  My friend, Jess Wehner, gives her kiddo popcorn to snack on while she shops.





4.  Let the kids help.  Ben loves putting things in the cart, opening the frozen food doors, and putting things onto the checkout belt.

5. Try to go right after or long before a nap is due.  After breakfast is the best time for us.

Need a little more encouragement?  Just think - I know bringing my kids to the store can be a good thing because I don't have the luxury of just "looking around" - and for me, that translates to saving money! haha

Happy Shopping, Friends!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just A Thought Thursday


Hey Ben, you might want to reconsider your "hugging" technique - it strongly resembles a headlock.  
Just a thought.


Feel free to leave your own 'just a thought' on this photo in the comment section below!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: I Was Going To...

I Was Going To...
    By Sarah Nurmi

I was going to teach until retirement... but my kids took priority.

I was going to stay out late with friends...but my kids took priority.

I was going to scrapbook and make cards last night... but my kids took priority.

I was going to have a guest room... but my kids took priority.

I was going to get ALL the laundry done in one day... but my kids took priority.

I was going to buy some new clothes...but my kids took priority.

I was going to go on an evening run... but my kids took priority.

I was going to take a shower...but my kids took priority.

I was going to be a self-seeking, self-interested, egocentric ME ME ME... but my kids took priority.



Thank you, Benjamin Eero & Gianna Brooklyn for teaching me what it truly means to love others more than you love yourself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Why Didn't I Think of That??

I came across Today's Toddler Tip in Parents Magazine:  
Juice box in a cup.


It has all the fun & excitement of a juice box, yet eliminates the mess that little squeeze-happy hands make! 
Yay for simple, easy fixes!



Monday, June 11, 2012

Not Me Monday: June 11th


I did [NOT] get to the store and 5 minutes later walk out because Ben would not sit down in the cart basket, was choking his sister, and then proceeded to jump in the cart. *sigh*

I did [NOT] totally spaz out when I couldn’t figure out how to install Ben’s car seat

I was [NOT] absolutely ecstatic over getting a dresser & nightstand to put in the loft for a very modest price – Thanks Jack & Amy Hough!!! (That’s when you know you are getting old… you get giddy over furniture!)

I did [NOT] use Ben’s uneaten chicken nuggets to put in my salad and considered it my protein for the day.

And finally, I did [NOT] use the booster seat and high chair as means of containing my kids so I could finish folding laundry without having my hard work strewn across the room.

What is something you did [NOT] do this week?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nothin' Fancy Friday: Personalized (Bathroom) Decor

As we are getting settled after our move, I am having fun coming up with ways to decorate and, of course, organize our new home.

I just finished the kids' bathroom.  I love trying to define a space belonging to the kids, but I still want it to look classy. I'm not that into the cutesy froggy shower curtain with matching toothbrush holder and soap dispenser.  So, here is the look I went for:


I took some bath time pics of the kids, edited them on my computer (I don't have any fancy programs, I just use Windows Live - which came with my computer), then had 8 1/2 X 10 photos printed from Walmart.com.  They were just under $3 a piece I think.

 Gigi girl in her ducky towel!


Ben with a bubble beard!



Then, I found matted frames at Walmart for just $5!  Here are the photos all framed up and ready to hang:





Then I added this little gem on the vanity - it makes me smile every time I see it :)


Here it is all put together

And there you have it!  Of course, it all looks much better in person, but you get the idea! My next project will be the "playroom" in the loft.

*ANOTHER IDEA:  I originally printed those photos with the intention of hanging their towel beneath their picture - but after I picked up the photos I realized one was portrait and one was landscape so it didn't quite look right.  I'll hold on to that idea for next time, or when I feel like we need a change. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: Qualified?



Have you ever felt called to do something, but after giving it some extra thought decided you weren't "qualified" or "good enough" for the job?  It could be anything.  Maybe you felt a nudge to serve in your local church, homeless shelter, nursing home, etc. Maybe you've always wanted to volunteer in your kid's classroom, or offer help to a neighbor.  Maybe you wish you had a different job - that "dream" job. Then you second guessed yourself and it became a distant thought, at best.

Well, I heard a phrase the other day:

God doesn't choose the qualified, He qualifies the chosen.

What does that mean anyway?  It means if you truly feel that God is pointing you in a direction - that He has chosen for you - that you feel you aren't good enough, skilled enough, had enough training in... it doesn't matter.  God will pave the way for you. You just need to make your next step the first step. He will take it from there ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Stranger Danger!


I picked up this great tip from my friend Nicole W...  

One of our biggest fears as parents is that our child(ren) will be abducted or kidnapped.  My toddler tip today: A Secret Password.  If anyone is to pick your child up from school, a party, practice, the park, etc. then they MUST tell your child the "secret password."  If the adult doesn't know the password, your child knows it is not safe to go anywhere with him/her.  It is important that your kiddo knows that it is a secret - that is not to be shared with anyone. Mommy and daddy are the ONLY ones who may share this special word with anyone.  Practice scenarios with your kids, too.  This will make them well equipped to deal with such a situation – God forbid it ever occurs.

I know I can’t implement this quite yet with Ben or Gigi but I certainly plan to when the time comes!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not Me Monday :: June 4th

When checking out a new church this weekend, I DID NOT almost laugh out loud in the middle of prayer when I realized the pastor reminded me of Schmidty from The New Girl 
#celebritylookalike 

 After coming back downstairs from changing Gigi's diaper, I DID NOT find Ben's legs and feet covered in pen #toddlerart 

 After hiring a babysitter to watch the kids so we could finish moving the last of our things to our new place, we DID NOT use some of that time to eat dinner out 
#minidate 

 And finally, I DID NOT say I would be "clocking out" of this blog until April 18th, only to return June 4th ;) #oops

 So tell me... What is something you did [not] do this week?? 




 ::: Happy Would-Be Birthday, Mom!!! Miss you so so much <3 :::

Sunday, June 3, 2012

By Popular Demand...

Lately I have had several friends ask about and comment on my blog and how they love(d) reading it. Thank you, friends, for this encouragement! I took a sabbatical of sorts from the blogging world, but by popular demand I'm back!! I can't say that I will post everyday as I originally - and so ambitiously - set out to do when I created Can't Clock Out. But, I will do my best to keep inquiring minds inquired :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Fun Fruit!

Today's Toddler Tip is a quick one:  Have you ever had an Edible Arrangement?  We were lucky enough to receive one on Valentine's Day and Ben couldn't get enough of eating the pineapple and strawberries off the sticks... so we saved them! Now, he loves eating his fruit off a stick :) With summer right around the corner, this would be a fun way to serve fruit to your kiddos.  :)




*Safety Tip: Be sure to collect the sticks promptly after fruit is eaten.  This will discourage them from doubling as weapons, or a make believe "toy" to run with ;) 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not Me Monday

I am NOT addicted to Draw Something on my iPhone

I did NOT lay in bed and cry in the middle of the day because my husband has been gone for four days, and will be gone for another six

I did NOT drink coffee at 5pm the last two days just so I could function

I did NOT wash chunks of vomit out of my 7 month old's hair at 12:30 in the morning

and finally, I did NOT devour countless numbers of graham crackers smothered in nutella :)

What is something you did NOT do this past week???

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Clocking Out!

Hello friends!

Just letting you all know I will be "clocking out" from now until April 18th. My family and I will be visiting my dad & siblings for the Easter holiday, then we head to Florida for our first vacation as a family of four!

Be well, friends! "See" you again in two weeks!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: OUCH!


Warm weather certainly brings sunshine, smiles, and trips to the park - but it can also bring skids, scrapes, and the other kind of trip... the one that makes your kid face-plant at the park and stand up with a mouth full of gravel and a nice gash in his knee. You know the kind...

Today's Toddler Tip:
Pack yourself a travel First Aid kit.

I carry one in the diaper bag and I have one in the car and house as well. The one in my diaper bag was free from my hospital! I went on their website, filled out a quick survey and received it in the mail shortly thereafter - you should look into seeing if your hospital provides free first aid kits, too! :) It is small with a few essentials: antibiotic ointment, various sized bandages, antiseptic towelettes, and aspirin and antacids (the last two are for me!).

*****
The one in the car has a few more things (pictured below)... a better variety of bandages (including butterfly strips), anti-itch cream for those nasty bug bits, antibiotic ointment, chapstick, cleansing wipes, etc. I picked this one up at Walmart for just under $10 (definitely worth the small investment).


So the next time you go to have some fun outdoors, make sure you are prepared with more than a kiss for your kiddo's boo-boos. Bring that first-aid kit along for the ride, too!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Not Me Monday: April 2nd

I did NOT wake up drenched in sweat this morning (gross!)

*******

I did NOT go down a slide at the park, only to get my butt soaked by a small pool of water that collected at the bottom of it
(rookie mistake! I should have checked beforehand...)

*******

I did NOT pin a million cute Easter ideas on Pinterest, even though I probably won't complete a single one of them

*******

and finally, I did NOT spend literally the entire weekend (plus most of today) doing laundry!

*******

What is something you did "NOT" do this week??

Friday, March 30, 2012

Nothin' Fancy Friday: Meal Planning


Since going down to a single income, we have grown accustomed to a fixed amount to spend on groceries each month. I have found that planning meals ahead of time and clipping coupons has made a HUGE difference in the amount of money we spend on food - and we don't waste nearly as much food, if any, as we once did. It also lets everyone know what is for dinner, and allows me to have one less thing to think about that day since the meal is already decided!

Here is my meal calendar - it is dry erase and as the topic of today states, "nothin' fancy."


I usually plan 2 weeks at a time to keep ingredients fresh. I choose my meals first, then compile a grocery list based off of those. Next, I will visit websites to click coupons. These are the sites that I use:




I have them bookmarked, so I just click on the icon at the top of my web browser and it takes me to the most current coupons they have. So easy! Select the ones you want, print, and you are on your way!

I'd like to challenge you to try this for one week and see how it goes. It may seem like a lot of work and time, but I think you will actually find it liberating.

Thanks again for following CantClockOut, and have an awesome weekend!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursdays: March 29th


I am thankful for...
A child's innocence and cuddly new puppies
(our friends, the Houghs, got a new black lab!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Not Just Show & Tell...

In order to expect certain behaviors from our children, we need to model that behavior. The old adage “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t bode well with toddlers. They are a monkey-see, monkey-do breed of tiny humans and we need to be the person that we want them to be. It's not just about show & tell, it's about tell & show.

It sounds like common sense, right? Unfortunately, common sense isn’t all that common after all. I am just as guilty when it comes to this! I have, however, been more diligent in the way I act around my children. This doesn’t just set a great example, but it makes me be someone worth looking up to.

I think this can apply to all relationships in your life - You may have heard the phrase "Be the change you want to see in the world." Replace the words 'the world' and insert any of the following: your friend, your spouse, your sister, your brother, your child. I hope this convicts you as much as it has me!


Peace & Love- and Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Learn & Play


Okay, maybe it's the "teacher" in me but I am excited to share some great resources for learning play. I thought it would be cute one day to teach Ben how to recognize and say the letter "B." Okay, fair enough right? Well, I was astonished when all of a sudden he knew EVERY letter of the alphabet, and I only "taught" him 1 of the 26 letters! I am convinced it is a combination of television shows (oh no, am I an awful parent because my child watches television??) and some educational toys & books. Here are some things I would recommend:

Television: SO controversial, but I truly don't see the harm in letting your child watch TV. Not only does it keep the parent sane, but your child WILL learn from it! I do believe that limiting viewing time is crucial - it cuts back on defiance at bedtime (or possibly any other time) and also decreases the chance of your child developing sleep issues (horrible nightmares). Some great shows are Word World (pictured below), Super Why, and Sesame Street.


Also, pbskids.org is a wonderful website with learning games, episodes, printable coloring pages, and more.

Toys: These toys are pretty annoying, but I have no doubt they played a HUGE roll in Ben learning his letters, numbers, and even animals. They provide audio reinforcement (saying the letters/sounds/words) so the child learns through that repetitiveness. TAG readers are also a great buy (you can find them at WalMart).


My Own Leaptop by Leap Frog and ABC Text & Go by Vtech

Books: Reading to your child is so important. Ben has learned a lot through books as well. Some of his favorites are Curious George's ABCs, Elmo's Search & Find, and Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet.

Finally, I would recommend reinforcers like flashcards (Eric Carle has some really cute ones), puzzles, and wall decals like the ones I put up in Ben's closet:


I bought these on sale at Lakeshore Learning Store for around $10.00. It came with a lot more stickers, but I just chose to put these ones up.


It is absolutely amazing what these little sponges (our kids' brains) can soak in. That being said, it's important to be mindful of what your little one is exposed to. By choosing products designed with learning in mind, you are giving your child a great gift!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Not Me Monday: March 26th

I did NOT forget it was Monday and almost slacked on posting today...

**********

I did NOT cry after Thad told me his travel schedule for next month
(gone 14 days, which in mother-with-two-little-kids time is equivalent to a year)

**********

I did NOT almost have an anxiety attack last night thinking about flying to Florida
(it's coming up fast!)

**********

I did NOT almost go to an Open House yesterday, even though we can't buy again for another year (thank you, short sale....)

**********

And finally, I did NOT start 5 days worth of reading today, that is "due" tomorrow
(oops!)

**********

WHAT DID YOU "NOT" DO THIS WEEK??


Friday, March 23, 2012

Nothin' Fancy Friday: Poppy Seed Chicken

Hold on to your hats people! It's another "Foodie Friday!"

This week: Poppy Seed Chicken

It could just be called "Delicious," but don't just take my word for it! It's super easy, and sure to be a family favorite. Thank you, Jessi Nurmi, for the recipe! Here is the breakdown:

Ingredients:

1lb of chicken, cooked & shredded
1 can cream of mushroom
1 c. sour cream
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of poppy seeds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Spread chicken evenly on bottom of a greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. Spread sour cream
mixture over chicken. In another small bowl, mix melted butter, Ritz
crackers, and poppy seeds. Sprinkle over entire dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden & bubbly. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thankful Thursdays: March 22nd


I am thankful for...
... all the fun bubbles can bring :)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: A Bad Day

“It’s just a bad day, not a bad life”

Hmmm. I need to remember this. It’s hard to believe it when you have several bad days in a row – then it DOES seem like a bad life!

My son is more than officially in his “Terrible Twos.” You’ve heard the phrase, but have you actually EXPERIENCED it? I put that word in all capitals because it truly does seem all-consuming. I feel like I am living with a ticking time bomb that deliberately disobeys, throws astronomical tantrums, hits/pushes/punches, gets up 4-5 times a night, and is relentlessly stubborn.

I believe the politically correct term is: “spirited.”

I can rephrase the quote by saying, “It’s just a bad phase, not a bad kid.” He can be so very sweet and has the best laugh of any kid I have ever known. He loves making his sister smile and gives her lots of hugs. He says "I yuv you" to me in his sweet little boy voice that I know won't survive puberty. I need to hold fast to these qualities and hope the bad ones get weeded out sooner rather than later!

But where have I heard that three is worse??

Heaven help us!

hahaha

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Your Babysitter Will Thank You!


I got this idea from my sister-in-law. I made a “Babysitter Binder” that includes anything from emergency information to kids’ schedules to instructions on how to work the television. It is so nice to have all this information in one place, instead of scribbling something on a notepad that may or may not be sufficient for your babysitter to have an evening of smooth sailing with your kids. You want your sitter to focus on your kids, not be flustered.

This binder is a no hassle, all-inclusive book of answers to babysitter’s FAQs! I can already hear them thanking you for making one. J

Here is a sample of mine:

Here is what is on the inside cover - "quick" activities in case they run out of things to do :)

**An all important page (which is not pictured because it has personal information on it) has all the emergency contact information. Our kids' full names, dates of birth, mine and Thad's phone numbers, emergency contacts, our pediatrician's information, our insurance information, and the number to a medical hotline that is available 24/7. Obviously, we would have the sitter call us first - this is more for anyone watching them while we are out of town (or if they can't get a hold of us for whatever reason).**

Next, I have the kids' bedtime routines


A "manual" for all the technology we have!


A couple of "quick references"


And there you have it! Your babysitter’s bible. ;) So what are you waiting for? Get started so you can have a care-free night out with your spouse - you deserve it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Me Monday: March 19th

I did "NOT" get super excited about finding my laminator and think of all the new labels I could make
#superdorkycraftlady

**********

I did "NOT" football-carry Benjamin from a park full of people while he kicked and screamed so much I thought I'd have to take out his birth certificate to prove he was mine
#imnotakidnapper

**********

I did "NOT" make a "Do Not Ring Bell" sign to put on the front door during nap time, but am leaving it on there 24/7
#donotdisturb

**********

And finally, I did "NOT" stay home from church for the 6th weekend in a row and watch the podcast instead
#afraidofthenurserygerms

**********

Remember, DON'T BE SHY!
Let's hear something you did "NOT" do this week!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursdays:


Ben has been very challenging lately.
Impatient, whiny, crabby, demanding. The classic 2 year old behavior I suppose.

I am thankful for moments like the one above:
A smiley boy on a nice sunny day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Just Do It!!

Today's post is plain and simple. Just Do It!

As I think of my mom and how fast those 17 months flew from her diagnosis to her death, I wish I had just one more day with her. One more conversation. One more hug...

I'm talking about being intentional. We all have these thoughts: "I should call _____ and see how they are doing" or "I should send ______ a card to let them know I am thinking of them" or "I haven't e-mailed _______ lately, I should do that..."

You get the picture.

Put those thoughts into action and Just Do It!

You might be amazed at how such a seemingly small gesture can have an astounding impact. You never know if that is the phone call, card, or e-mail that a certain someone needed to make it through that day.

If you care about someone, go that extra step to let them know that you do. You never know what tomorrow may bring, so avoid the woulda-shoulda-couldas.
You won't regret it, and the recipient will be so thankful you did.

Happy Hump Day!