iPad, oh how I loathe you…..

There are very few things I despise or loathe in this world, but there is one that has come to the top of my list just in this past weekend – our iPad. It wasn’t always like this – I used to love using it and seeing my children also being able to use the features it offered.

See before our family had an iPad, we all did more together as a family. We played games together, colored, hide and seek, interacted more, doing more outside of a “screen”….the list goes on and on. But since Apple products have found their way into our home I have seriously resented introducing the iPad to my eldest son, JD.

You’re probably wondering why would she hate such a wonderful, multitasking product that could help make my life easier, and could be used as a teaching tool?20140119-154722.jpg

Our iPad was initially used for my husband for work. When it came home every now and then we would all get to use it. I was excited for our family to have one to allow us to use it to connect to the Internet without being in the home off at our pc. We slowly introduced JD to it because at the time apps where slowly being developed and we were hesitant to let our little one use it without parental help. Now realize we at the time had iPhones and occasionally allowed him to watch Sesame Street videos, PBS, and many more on them when we would go to dinner, and while we would travel.

I thought it was great when we would find educational games with counting, letters, sight words and more. What started our as a good piece of technology that was helping our family in a multitude of ways was slowly turning on me. Games like temple run and minion rush have now moved in and have overwhelmed my lil JD that the educational games never get played anymore. Don’t get me wrong these games are fun at times in MODERATION. Not only is this game playing on our home iPad but it has extended to our phones and not just mommy and daddy’s but also on into the grandparent’s phones.  I have already deleted those games that are not educational and will continue to keep my phone “game” free unless it has some type of educational purpose for the boys to enjoy learning.

Yes I know at times it is easier to give a child a phone to watch a movie or play a game to give you a few seconds to yourself. Trust me I know I am part to blame for this. And that is why after a weekend of hell of throwing fits and crying, screaming – “I want the iPad” over and over again that I am standing my ground and no longer allowing the iPad to be the “babysitter” per say to keep my child entertained.

We enjoy the library, we enjoy being outside, we like doing things together so iPad my friend, my dear – I think you’re days are numbered here soon. You may be a reward for a WEEK of great school work, no fits, etc. I see you as a 10-15 minute reward on the WEEKENDs but you will never again be “babysitting” or entertaining my child for hours on end. I’m stopping this now! And I hope you my readers, do the same. What happened to having fun, learning, games, reading, interacting with others before technology grew so big?

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It’s in a book….

Now that the crazy chaotic December is past us and we are back in our grove (back to school, back to work, etc) its time for JD and I to get back to our reading adventure we have created earlier last year. JD loves to read! He has well over 100 books, maybe even over 200 or so and continues to want more. 100_0687I’m thankful for my sister who also got him interested in the library this past summer where we have been able to continue his love of finding new books, reading the adventures they have for him and retelling the story in his own words. All without having to purchase them!

The other day I was reading – 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons by a fellow blogger, and # 4 Read to him and read with him really stuck with me. We have read to him from the day JD was born. I remember when I was home on maternity leave reading him the books he got from his Auntie Ashley. And even when Auntie would visit she would always read to him too! 100_0331 I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things where we go to the library weekly to enjoy in the actual physical books to read and enjoy the time together. Saturdays have been our special days for JD and I to go to the library, get a bag or two full of books and enjoy reading them together, with daddy or even his little brother.

Emilie Buchwald said, “Children become readers on the laps of their parents.” Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading…reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

I challenge other parents to take the time to enjoy a book together. Lets your creativity go wild with your imagination while reading!

Need some suggestions on books to read together with your young one? Check out my educational board that I started for the boys. Great suggestions on getting started together! Enjoy the adventure.

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New Year, New You but New Me?!?

After a few weeks of not blogging I thought what better time to start back up again – than to get myself rolling with the new year vastly approaching us. With 2013 coming to an end, its time for me to come up with my list of resolutions….which I hope that i can try to be able to check off and complete this year. I’m hoping that it won’t be to hard with our active family! Image

1) OrganizationFirst things first – Organizing!!! This year I want to be more proactive and be more organized at home. I feel a little purging is in our near future. As much as I love to be able to hold on to things that I “might” use again down the road and have yet to do so, its time to do just that! It will take some will power to do but I’ll keep reminding myself its for the best!

2) Take time for myself to enjoy the things I love to do.
Read more – a book a month – that shouldn’t be to hard right!?! Paint more, craft more…..
3) Family Wellness / Fitness
A great gift from my husband to the family this Christmas was a new membership to the Y here in Springfield. I’m looking forward to the classes and know the kids will enjoy their classes and the pool too. Hopefully together 2014 can turn into the family back into a fit one together!

4) Try new recipes/Cook more together as a family
We tend to get in ruts throughout the year/seasons on the meals we like to have and those that are easy to make to get the job done. I’m hopeful with my pinterest boards that we can jazz up our meals and try more enticing entrees as we go!

5) New Business
I’ve been kicking around the idea of my own business (graphic design, analytics, web, etc) and think this year will be the year to start taking bigger steps to making that dream a reality!

To help me complete these goals I will keep blogging each month on the progress making each month its own special project per say. Will you join me and take the new year and make a new “you” too!

Resolution 2014 Pinterest Board of Ideas!

In Rememberance….

Today and tomorrow will be hard for my family.  We lost a very amazing, intelligent, loveable, caring, dear individual last week.   Grandma & Great Grandma Antoinette Marie Picco Fyans past Wednesday, December 18, 2013.  Even though we do not see you Grandma – We know you are hear with us.  You have taught all of us many valuable lessons in life but the one we know you would want us to remember today and always – is not to be sad but to be glad and happy.  You are in heaven looking down on us, smiling as we remember our times together.  Knowing that some day we will be reunited together.  Tribute to Grandma Fyans

I truly am blessed to be part of the Fyans family and to call you Grandma.  I know you came into my life for not just a reason, nor a season but for a lifetime.  You have taught me no matter what keep going and moving.  No matter what speak your mind and let those around you know what you think.  Love you Grandma Fyans!  I look forward to seeing you in Heaven some day.

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People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person. When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
~Author Unknown

 

20 Things to Say More Often

Have you ever been part of a conversation or over heard a conversation that included something like:

“Do this….” or “Why haven’t you…” or “This would have been better if…”

I think we could all add many many more to this list. Many times I have felt in conversations I have either been involved in or overheard might have had a better or much different outcome if there were better ways of saying the message. Have you been in one of these situations? I know I have. Probably too many to say the least. I tend to find myself thinking back on a situation/conversation that has happened that could of resulted better. Many times I think we allow ourselves to let our attitudes, the environment we are in, other outside elements to take a simple conversation or simple question to extremes.

I saw a great video the other day quite frankly puts it in perspective. How many of us know the “Kid President”. I know we all have had to at least seen one or two of these adorable but meaningful videos. Well I was happy to come across a friends post on facebook that had the video – Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often. If you haven’t seen it please take a second and watch when you have time.

Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often

Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often

#13 & #12 – WOW he hit it on the nose! I think many times we forget these two simple things that help make any situation, conversation, etc go better. PLEASE – that is definitely one that we might need to rethink in our house. With both the boys, I know I find myself constantly saying, “Don’t do that, Don’t take that from your brother, Share, etc.” What about you? Do you think saying please might help the conversations in your home go just slightly better?

#10 – I Don’t Know. This one is another great one – I think sometime we find it hard to say that we don’t know. Its not failure – it a time for us to stop, reflect on what the question, quest, whatever you have going on and think – how can I better figure this out? I might not know it now – but together (in my family at least) we can figure it out together. Takes time but together anything is possibly, right?

#5-3 – This is for my boys. I know there are many times that we are trying to talk, J and I would agree, that sounds, the disagreeing, and above all others the yelling happens. AGGGGHHHH – That’s what boys do right!?!?! Guess we need to be more open to letting them express themselves to be happy, to enjoy their life as they have it! Just best when maybe mommy and daddy are not in a deep conversation or trying to give instructions per say?!?

All in all – all very good “things” we should all say more often. Thanks Kid President – you hit this one on the head. You definitely have given us the “things” we say can help make the world more “awesome”. What would you add to it?

No, Means No….

Do you have days where it feels like all you say is “No” to your children? “Don’t do this, don’t do that, share with your brother, don’t mess with the dog, sit down to eat your dinner, are you listening to me”, etc. Well, welcome to our house the past few weeks. Our two little boys are blessings. We love them completely and want nothing but the best for them. However, on days where we are constantly struggling to get out the door on time for school, work , or to listen to each other without interrupting, it sometimes takes a toll on your own spirit. What am I doing wrong as a parent….what am I missing here,…..

passStress in our house has been up ever since J was back in the hospital again a few weekends ago. Trying to ensure that everything is ready for the family just in case something did happen to either J or I has been on both of our minds a lot lately. We want to be sure that no matter what our boys are taken care of, can continue to go to school as we have planned, have everything they will need in life. Don’t get me wrong – ensuring we have everything together is the right approach – but is very stressful at times. I personally don’t like thinking about J leaving us or not being around to see my own kids grow up. This added stress has definitely put some strain on the family.

JD has also been having some issues at home with listening, following through on instructions, not talking back, the list could go on and on. Not sure if other 5 year old boys tend to do this or not but it can be very testing of our patience. With stress and tiredness raised in our household it has allowed for our impatience to grow. Not just with the kids but between J and I too. Stress has this horrible way of turning something that really is a little mistake into a horrible ordeal. Hurtful words, disappointment, closed off from others, etc……why? Feeling that way is no fun. It sucks actually. I hate looking back on how I personally responded and feeling horrible for how I personally acted. Wishing I would of responded differently – took time to breathe and really assessed what I could of said differently, reacted differently. I’ve been in search of guidance, others who have gone through similar situations, and have been happy to find a few resources to use as we work through this period of time.

Something I really want to try and hope will help in our situations in our home – is trying to “Identify with them” – Thank you Real Delia for your Tips For Adulthood: How To Be Less Impatient With Your Kids. We also have a book called – The Explosive Child – that we have been meaning to read now for a few months. I feel this might be something both J and I try cracking open and reading here soon.

We stress the “take a deep breath and count backwards from 5 or 10”. I think Mommy and Daddy are in need of there own teaching and will be working on this too – no issues is worth the amount of frustration or stress we have had in our house lately….and no one is to blame. Shit happens! Excuse my french – but it does. Instead of being determined to “win” or be the one that is “right” I plan on trying to understand – identifying with the person who seems to be having and issue or problem. I want to slow down my response times to things that seem to set me on fire if you will, and try to see things for what they really are. I love my family, I love my husband, and I love my kids with all my heart. We will make it through this as we have many other situations, struggles, challenges God has given us.

I must keep reminding myself – God only give us what he knows we can handle…..We need to think first and then act. We need to embrace this current season of our life….When I’m/We are tired, frustrated, broken, stressed, discouraged, worn-out, and hopeless – I/We need to remind ourselves to talk with God. God will make a way when there seems to be no way.

Toys, Toys and More Toys

If you’re lijoyofgivingtopke us, we have a million, ca-zillion toys that seem to continue to either show up at our house or can’t leave our house. “Mommy I can’t get rid of that toy, I love it!” – to a toy that hasn’t been played with for at least 6 months to a year.  Or I have heard – “Mommy, why are you trying to get rid of this! I love it!”.

The ToyOur toy collection as we will call it here, started when we had our first little one, J. He was the first grandchild for my side of the family and the first boy grandson on my husbands side. Hence, boy toys were bought ALL the time. Our basement has become the “Toy Chest” with a full large room filled with toys. You might remember the movie from 1982,  “The Toy”.  Do you remember his toy room – well imagine it in my basement!  Now I am partly to blame for the enormous amount of toys since I tend to hold on to items, for that “just in case” opportunity to a rise that we might want to play with that lone Lego set or why get rid of the baby toys when at the time we hadn’t decided if we were done having children or not.

I have became the one who “stored” all of the toys until that very special day came that we would need or want to play with it again. My husband would suggest I have been “hoarding” the toys per say. But – things are going to be changing.  Ever since our second child C came around, we knew that we would indeed use them again. Both being boys should like pretty much the same stuff, right?  Interesting enough C would rather play with JD’s big boy toys instead of his own toys for his age and size. Who would of thought!

Something J and I had talked about a little while ago was finally making the point to go through the toys with JD and have him tell us what toys we could get rid of.  A chore I am a little nervous about.  When JD was 2 or maybe even 3 we had talked to him about “Playing Santa” and giving away some of his toys he doesn’t play with and give them to those in need.  I’m hoping that in the coming up weekends we can work with him to pull together toyjoyofgivings and do just that- let JD play “Santa” and donate his toys to those children who are less fortunate.  I’m hopeful that JD will help us donate to a local charity, daycare, or a place in need of gently used toys for those who are in need. I now ask you, my readers, do you know of a location looking for gently used toys for children?  Please contact me if you have suggestions for us.  We are open to helping those in need for this giving season upon us.

“Every child loves gifts, both giving and receiving them.  This Christmas let your children bring blessings to others.  Gather names – friends, relatives, classmates – and let them pick a name and make a gift, or a card to give out.  It’s difficult to say who will enjoy it more.  The child who loves to give.  The friend whose heart is touched with love.  Or me (or you), the parent, who sees your children learn to give and receive love. ” God’s blessings to you and yours as we enter into the Thanksgiving season and the birth of our savior Jesus Chris who is the reason for the season.  He gave us the best gift anyone could every give and receive!