My baby Girl…

 

I was just thinking about all my oldest child has been through and I am very proud of her. Sometimes we are so focused on our daily lives we forget the things our children experience. They are people too and they have feelings. Situations can affect them and life can truly make an impact on them in ways we can’t comprehend.

For the longest it had only been my daughter and I due to her father’s incarceration. My daughter was a little over a year when her dad received a 25 year life sentence. Although, they still have remained pretty close from phone contact, mail and occasional visits life is still different. I think for years I was over compensating for her missing dad by making sure that she never feels like she is raised in a single parent home. I found myself often over exerting myself with buying more than what she needed. My biggest concern was the she never missed out on anything especially when it came to entertainment and extracurricular activities. My daughter is a very resilient and observant girl. She refuses to give up which is one of the reasons why she learned how to ride a bike in two days. Despite any circumstances she looks at the bright side of everything and continues to put effort into being the best she can be.

Now that my daughter is 8 going on 9 I talk to her about a lot. I explain to her that she has a divine purpose. I never sugarcoat anything. I explain to her that there will be evil and obstacles that will try to prevent her from attaining her goals. However, I assure her that if she keeps her mind, heart, body and soul in balance that she can do anything. I describe to her the importance of keeping only people around her who are concerned about her being her best self. As well as I try to lead by example by being selective with who I bring around.

As I have gotten older I have made more of an effort to focus on making sure that I spend more time helping my daughter in life with words of wisdom and giving her things that money cannot buy. I am trying to instill in her integrity, courage, wisdom, common sense and humility. I believe that if she has those traits along with her gifts and talents she is unstoppable. I have also taught my daughter that life may not always be the way you want and circumstances can be difficult. However, nothing last forever!  The best thing to do is focus on what you have to get what you desire. I think my daughter is going to be more than a conqueror and I cannot wait to see her achieve all the things I did not.

 

FROM ONLY CHILD TO OLDER SIBLING…

My daughter told me that she loved being a sister.  Yes, she said this with enthusiasm! I totally believe her because she absolutely adores her brother. Although, she wanted a sister in the beginning she adjusted to her brother extremely well. I can honestly say despite their age different they are the best of friends. Here are some things I did to help their bond grow naturally so far…

  1. Don’t FORCE it– Let the bond grown naturally and uniquely. They will have their own unique relationship and they don’t need you to try to force it upon them. Stop trying to force them to cuddle or spend time together. They will bond when the time is right!
  2. Be Upfront– Let the older sibling  know what will and will not change. I always remind my daughter that my love for her has not diminished because I have another child now. I did let he know that I will have to divide my time, but there is enough mommy to go around for everyone.
  3. Alone time– I find time for each child by themselves. For example, when LJ has “boy time” with dad I spend time with just my Heaven. During this time we do something that she wants, we eat what she likes and focus all our time on her needs and wants. Having multiple children incorporates a lot of sharing, so alone time gives them a chance to not have to share.
  4. Emphasize the benefits of being the BIG one– I let my daughter know how important her role as the Big sister is. She is the “Head Honcho”. I let her know that her brother is watching everything she does and is inspired by her. I have also made her feel even more special by increasing her Chores and allowance!
  5. Ask Advice- it’s important to get feedback from your child. Ask them how things are going and how they are feeling. Open communication helps everyone. It is very important to make sure that your children are content and they know that you care.  Change is not always easy but it is necessary in life. Once your kids realize that you are making a huge effort to include them in your decisions the transition will be a lot easier.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

As I began to transform my life into a more positive mindset my food choices started to change. Things that I craved before just didn’t satisfy me anymore. I didn’t want processed foods. I didn’t and I still don’t want fast foods. Coming from a woman who used to live at McDonalds during my college years, I thought I would never hear the day that I say Mickey D’s disgust me. Now I am not putting down anyone who wants to indulge in French fries or a MC Flurry, but you are what you eat. If you feel sluggish and sick don’t be surprised if it happens as soon as you eat those darn fries.

I have slowly transitioned from not only eliminating fast food and processed food to a more plant based diet. I still eat chicken and fish and hopefully one day I will totally eliminate meat.  The better I eat the more mental clarity and energy I have. If I happen to mess up and eat something processed my body can tell instantly and my mind will recognize it as well. I am on the road to eat better so that I can preserve my body. We are not here forever and our bodies are not here to last for eternity. However, we should do whatever we can to make sure that we treat our bodies with care. I have made it a habit to transform my lifestyle by making sure I keep my mind, body and soul balanced. Daily mediation/prayer, exercise and good healthy food keeps me going strong and long.

 

Soon as I get home…

After a hard day it is helpful to SMILE. There are 5 things I do when I feel like a hard day of work is intervening with the happiness of my home life.

  1. Leave my troubles at work– It is ok to be upset and tired from work, but don’t carry it home. My daughter always asks how my day was and I keep it brief. Me having a bad day is not her problem. We have to learn to separate work from home and not focus on the day we had.
  2. Unwind– I usually take a hot shower and recommend that the children do the same. I tell the kids to take off the work and school day germs. Water rejuvenates you and a refresh body helps refresh the mind.
  3. Enjoy dinner– eating a hearty dinner with light conversation always eases the tension of the day.
  4. Get off Social Media– I work on the computer all day so I try to minimize technology usage after work. I am not perfect and yes I still use my social media, but it’s getting much better. I’m still a work in progress!
  5. Do something Fun– I make it a habit to do something fun with the kids such as: baking cookies, going for a walk, going to the library, playing a board game or watching a movie. Doing something fun distracts you from thinking about the work day.
  6. Lastly, Laugh– laughter is good for the soul and when I want to get rid of a hard day of stress my children and I laugh. We are all goofy so anything can get us going!!!

Juniors Room

On June 1, 2016 my children and I moved into a new home. A rented home with a huge backyard. The home has 3 bedrooms, a dining room, an office space (YAY for me!) and a basement. We are still in the same suburb which is great because my daughter still attends the same school. My old apartment was 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and on the second floor. When my son came the plan was for him to have his own room.

It was very exciting creating his own room. So my DIY project was to make sure that everything in his room clearly stated that a little boy lived here. A Thomas the train bed, and balls all over. What are some themes that you use for your kids rooms? I would love to hear some ideas for organization and comments.

Life Before being a Mommy was……

Life before my children is a total blur….

BLACK PUMPS PINK SLIPPERS

Have you ever looked at your kids and wondered what you were doing before they were born? It is as if my life before having my kids is a blur now. I don’t quite remember how I was getting through my days without them. All I could think of is I was getting more sleep and leaving when I wanted. Yet having my children has really brought out such a great side of me. Everyday isn’t a good day but most of my days are never boring.

Yes it is challenging being a mom, but there is nothing like seeing their smiling faces daily. Everything I do is geared around making sure my children have a great life. Which is why even when I am having my worst days I find inspiration in them. Looking around my house I just noticed so many changes in my thought process. I use to…

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Exploring Nature

Nature walks are great for exercise and entertainment. My kids and I do a nature walk Thursday evening and early Sunday morning.  We don’t just do any old ordinary walk though. We do an “I SEE” walk. I think of a list of things that we might see on our walk.

Today’s list is:

  1. Squirrel
  2. Blue car
  3. Green leaf
  4. Red flower
  5. Black dog
  6. Brown Bunny.

The kids love this game. Try it out and let me know if that spruced up your nature walk!

Life Before being a Mommy was……

Have you ever looked at your kids and wondered what you were doing before they were born? It is as if my life before having my kids is a blur now. I don’t quite remember how I was getting through my days without them. All I could think of is I was getting more sleep and leaving when I wanted. Yet having my children has really brought out such a great side of me. Everyday isn’t a good day but most of my days are never boring.

Yes it is challenging being a mom, but there is nothing like seeing their smiling faces daily. Everything I do is geared around making sure my children have a great life. Which is why even when I am having my worst days I find inspiration in them. Looking around my house I just noticed so many changes in my thought process. I use to be a neat freak and had to have everything in place. Although I am still very much concerned about the cleanliness of my home I am more focused on the comfort my homes brings.

Once upon a time the backyard was boring, but now its covered with tricycles, sliding boards, barbies and action figures. Handprints are all over but its just a reminder of their presence in my home. The snacks are eaten up faster, but it puts a smile on my face when I go to the store specifically to pick up snacks they like. My baths were quiet and peaceful, but now bath time is filled with pretending we are in a boat being chased by sharks. Dinner time was neater and there were less dishes, but now there are two little people to share dinner with. I am never lonely because they are the best company a girl could have. Life is so different now. My days are way more busy. I have so much more laundry and more to clean, but I have so much more love inside of me. Most importantly I am LOVED. I think life before being a mommy was…… BORING!

Coffee and My kids

The smell of hot coffee and my kids playing is therapy for me. After a stressful week of looking at numbers all day, my mind needs to just take a hiatus. Both coffee and my kids give me a warm and happy feeling. There is something about drinking coffee on the weekends when I am off work. Coffee Monday through Friday at work is strictly to keep me from falling asleep. When I have coffee on the weekends I am relaxed.

I usually start my Saturday morning off with a huge pot of French vanilla coffee. Saturday morning is our hot breakfast day.  I am a working mom and I get up super early everyday. Therefore; there is no time to sit down and have breakfast with my kids daily. Saturday is our day to either go out for a big breakfast or for me to make a huge breakfast at home.  The kids favorite breakfast is banana pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream on top.  If it is nice outside we go out and have breakfast on our patio deck.

I enjoy these moments because my kids and I are able to bond and live in the moment. I think my best blog ideas arrive on Saturday mornings. What are some of your ways that you relax on the weekends with your kids?

8 Ways to balance work and mommy life

Being a mom is tough but being a working mom can be even more challenging. Below I created a list of 8 things I do daily to help get through my single mommy life without pulling out all my hair. This is in no particular order. Try them and they might work for you too!

  1. I Pat myself on the back-Don’t beat yourself up! Don’t feel guilty! Every mom can’t stay at home to raise the children. Some of us have work outside of the home to provide for our families. Just do your best to not let your guilt consume you. Give yourself a compliment and realize that you are doing the best you can for your children.  My children admire me for being a mom and maintaining a career. It doesn’t matter what you do just don’t dwell on the sorrows of what you are going to miss out on but focus on what you will gain.
  2. I Get the Right Help-Find a great childcare provider or a trusted family member or friend. Find the right people that you trust so that your mind will be at ease while you are at work. Make sure that person has the same morals and values you do in a safe environment. Make sure they are reliable and love children.  There is nothing like worrying about your children while at work. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  3. I Make Mornings Rock-I know it sounds crazy and everybody isn’t a morning person, but it can be done. I get up at 4:30 am, I have to be at work at 7:30am. Crazy right?  No, it really helps me because I mentally prepare myself for my day. My morning routine starts with prayer and exercise, getting the kids clothes together, packing lunches, making them a small breakfast and after I wake them up we all watch SID the SCIENCE kid before we head out.  The whole purpose is for my children to see me relaxed and ready for the day. It puts them in a better mood and we aren’t rushing. I won’t claim that every morning is perfection but its organized.
  4. I Create a Fun Family Calendar-My dinner menu, our after work and school activities, fun time and everything that counts is on that calendar. It keeps our life organized and helps the children remember what we have planned together. It gives everyone something to look forward to.
  5. I Don’t hold it in- Find someone to talk to. Let people who truly care about you know exactly what you feel, if you need help and what you are going through. You will be surprised who can help and what available resources there are out there to assist you in raising your children.
  6. I Stay in touch with my kiddies- While I’m at work I email and text my daughters teacher just to keep up on what she is learning in school. My babysitter sends me pictures of my son and I am able to visit on my lunch breaks when I want. Just those minor connections make me feel like I can get through my work day knowing that they are safe, happy and healthy while I am away.
  7. I ignore distractions– When you get home try to shutdown social media, unnecessary gossiping sessions, polluted television shows. Now I am not saying give up all your guilty pleasures, but take TIME with the kids. Go out and enjoy nature when it is warm. Put your phone down and communicate with them. Building a strong relationship when they are young will develop as they grow. Let the kids know you miss them and you want to catch up. Understand that time waits for no one. Appreciate it and live in the now.
  8. I Recharge and have ME time– Maybe you need a nap, or to take a bath with no disturbances. Whatever you need to do to relax yourself, do it. Never feel guilty about having time away from your children. Every mommy needs a break. If you take care of yourself you can take care of others. If you are drained out and don’t give yourself any time to recuperate from life’s daily struggles then you will be no good to your family.