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Showing posts from November, 2014

Christmas Quiet Comfort

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Black Friday is our big day to change the decorations in the house over from the Orange and Browns that have decked the halls from Oktoberfest to Thanksgiving to the Red and Greens of the Christmas holiday season.  This year we were in the thick of this transformation when I had to run an errand and pick up a few supplies for dinner. On my excursion I saw a neighbor of ours and said in my very cheerful voice "Hi Neighbor! How was your Thanksgiving". As soon as the words slipped out of my mouth her eyes reminded me in that split second that perhaps I shouldn't have been quite as cheery in my greetings. It had been such a long time (for me) that I had almost forgotten that it was much earlier this year that she had lost her grown son in a terrible accident. My heart sunk and I wondered how I could have let that slip my mind so easily. 

She was super nice and just politely said "It was quiet". She went on to tell me how she had celebrated the day with other friends…

A Week of Gratitude: Saturday

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It just seems right to end our week of Gratitude with a quote by GK Chesterton: 



"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
This is a seriously cool quote on Gratitude but the main reason that this is our wrap up quote of the week is because of GK Chesterton's wife.

We know that the wife is often time the strength and stabilizing force in the career of a successful man (yes this is a cliche - but it's true. And conversely a supportive husband can be a force behind the career of a successful woman. But in this case we are talking about GK Chesterton's wife.)

GK Chesterton was married to Frances BLOGG. 

She was his rock throughout their entire married life and just possibly the first known Blogger.... A woman ahead of her time.



With Gratitude we move on to the Hanukkah and Christmas season!




A Week of Gratitude: Friday

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We can't ignore Black Friday.

It is strange to have such a wonderful holiday immediately followed by a day called "Black Friday". I understand that the term Black Friday is supposed to be a good thing - it is the day that retailers everywhere go into the Black for the year which means they have made money and are no longer in the Red. I do understand wanting to get a good deal on a product. Saving money is one of the best things a Stay at Home Mom can do for her family. Keeping a handle on the family budget is vital.

On Thanksgiving day we gather and celebrate family time and we relax together. On Friday we leave the comfort of our warm homes to wait in crazy lines early in the morning for a chance at a great deal? This doesn't make alot of sense to me.

If you are a Black Friday shopper you may be reading this post on your smartphone while you wait in line but most likely you are checking your coupons and just trying to stay warm.  But when you do see this perhaps y…

A Week of Gratitude: Thanksgiving Day

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Happy Thanksgiving!




I feel a very unusual sensation — if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.                                                                                           ~Benjamin Disraeli

A Week of Gratitude: Wednesday

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Final Prep Day.

Today is Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it is time to do the final checklist to make sure we have everything for tomorrow.

The thing I am grateful for today is the ability to live and learn.  Years ago we did THE major Thanksgiving Faux Pas. We forgot to pull the turkey out of the freezer to let it thaw before Thanksgiving day.  After that fateful holiday we learned that you don't do that. My husband made a checklist so that would never happen again. And we were grateful that some restaurants and grocery stores are still open on Thanksgiving day.

Today we are Grateful for the ability to learn from our mistakes.



Here are a couple of famous mistakes that worked!

The Chocolate Chip Cookie: When Ruth Wakefield of The Tollhouse Inn couldn't find her chocolate powder to make chocolate cookies she broke off pieces of a semi sweet chocolate bar and put them in the cookie dough expecting the chocolate to melt into the dough. The bits stuck and we now have a classic cookie…

A Week of Gratitude: Tuesday

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I was born on a Tuesday. Tuesday's child as the old poem goes. 

Monday's child is fair of face, 
Tuesday's child is full of grace, 
Wednesday's child is full of woe, 
Thursday's child has far to go, 
Friday's child loving and giving, 
Saturday's child works hard for a living, 
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day 
Is fair and wise and good in every way.

So, as far as Tuesday's moment of Gratitude today I suppose, personally, I can be grateful that I was born on a Tuesday.

But it is a good reminder that sometimes we find ourselves in situations beyond our control. How do we make the best of our situation even if we are a Wednesday's child - full of woe. How do we find gratitude when a family member is sick? How do we celebrate Thanksgiving when the family home just burned down and insurance adjusters won't be able to process your claim for six months? How do we find gratitude when bad things happen to good people?

Whatever be the depth of wo…

A Week of Gratitude: Monday

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With a Song in our Heart


One way to feel that sense of gratitude through your entire body is when you are singing and dancing. When you have little kids in the house they love seeing mommy dance and sing. It makes them happy.

So on this week of gratitude remember to turn up (or on) the music just a little bit and dance around your house. It will make you feel better and it is good exercise.

This past year we bought a small portable turntable so we could listen to all the record albums on vinyl that we had stored in our basement. This makes me very happy and very Grateful.

Here are a couple of the albums I put on when I want to lift my spirits:



I particularly love the song Tiajuana Taxi - it just makes me happy - when the taxi honks its horn in the song it always makes me giggle.



The song that makes me super happy on this album is September but actually the entire album is great.



This Ska band just makes me happy. The music of Streetlight Manifesto is high energy and will help you get your ho…

A Week of Gratitude: Sunday

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Thanksgiving is this week. Yep, that happened. Even if you are super organized the holidays seem to sneak up on us each year. Instead of getting stressed about all the things that have not gotten done it is time to just take a deep breath and focus on the most important things - the little cherubs who break out laughing when we say a goofy word or when we make a silly face. 

As a Stay at Home Mom one of our top job titles for the next several weeks Chief Memory Maker. We are building family traditions for our children and our families. One of the best family traditions is laughter. Filling our homes with Gratitude, Laughter, and Love is one of the best gifts we can give our children.

This week we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving with a series of inspirational quotes and sayings that can help us remember that the most important part of the Thanksgiving is giving Thanks.

A WEEK OF GRATITUDE

SUNDAY

Gratitude through the ages

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he…

The Holiday Survival Guide: Over the River and Through the Woods

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The holidays are a great time to get together with your family and friends. This means Travel. Getting to Grandma's house may be as simple as going across town or as complicated as going across country. 

When I was a kid I remember this adventure to getting to Grandmas house as super fun and super easy. We did, as the song goes, literally have to go over the river and through the woods to get to her house.  My mom would pick us up out of bed, somehow get us into our winter coats over our pjs, and slide us into the back of the car (pre-car seat era) at 4 in the morning. We would sleep most of the way until it was time to stop for a breakfast break and then we would drive our parents crazy with our refreshed energy levels until we did finally get to Grandmas some time after lunch. It was a long drive. We sang songs, we played car games, and we occasionally had a good sibling argument in the backseat. This was always met with the ridiculous question from our Dad,  "Do you want me…

The Holiday Survival Guide: Thanksgiving at Your Parent's Home

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In our last installment of the Holiday Survival Guide we talked about Survival Tips when you are hosting the Thanksgiving dinner at your house. Today, we are sharing our tips for survival strategies at, not just someone else's home but your parent's home.
For one of you - your spouse or you - it will mean spending the holiday at your in-laws house. Whether these parents are your in-laws or the people that raised you there can be varying family dynamics that can be stressful.

In a perfect world the news of your engagement was received with a loud roar of applause from the family members gathered around at the time. Your Dad wipes a small tear from his eye but then gives the lad a hearty handshake and says "welcome to the family son". Your Mother gives your future husband a big hug and says "Now - you will call me Mom from now on". Or something like that. For some of you out there that may have been the scenario. But for many others that Norman Rockwell moment …

The Holiday Survival Guide: Thanksgiving at Your Home

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Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays.  It's all about family, food, and football. Trifecta!

It can also be sort of stressful if you are having the family over to your house for the big dinner especially if there are young kids around and grandparents. This can be doubly stressful if there are grandparents from both sides of the family.  

Years ago we realized it wasn't so much about making sure that everyone was happy it was more about managing expectations.  Here are the 5 Holiday Survival tips for Thanksgiving when you are hosting it at your house:

1.  MANAGE EXPECTATIONS

At least one week prior to thanksgiving (even better two weeks prior) send all your guests an email letting them know how excited you are that they will be joining you for Thanksgiving. If they don't do email then you should call them or contact them in their favorite way to be contacted.  Let them know clearly what is on the menu. These days there are always food allergy considerations or just food…

Read beyond the headlines and exercise every day

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A headline in the news today is sure to get alot of attention.
why women gain weight after exercise
Any normal person, especially any woman who is trying to lose some baby fat, is going to say "Oh my goodness! See! I just shouldn't exercise. I don't want to GAIN weight!".  
Read the News Report on this study HERE
When you see a headline like this it is important to read that article. Full disclosure: I am a social exerciser and could not be put in the category of exercise fanatic. So there was an appeal to this headline. I could take this research and show my husband and my mother and tell them that I would love to exercise more but I don't want to gain weight.  But the article is more of a sensational headline than anything else (as most of these kind of articles are). It doesn't answer the question of why women gain weight after exercise. In fact, it does say that only some of the women in a study group (not sure how many women) seemed to gain weight after …

Beyond Burnout

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Being a Stay at Home Mom is a tough job. This last week, tragically, we have been reading about one Stay at Home Mom who apparently had a mental breakdown and threw her 6 year old off a bridge. She had asked for help. She had reached out. There is no excuse for throwing your child off the bridge. None.

This is not the first time that something like this has happened. It is also not the first time that someone has murdered a child. But when this act is done by the child's mother the case is exponentially horrific. Your mom is supposed to watch out for you and love you and keep you safe. This case is the definition of tragedy.

So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed and burned out?

Here are a few tips to remember

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE

It seems like it. Often. You have these little people around you who adore you but they will challenge you in every way imaginable. Just remember - you are note alone.

2. If you are getting the same answer to your question - ask a different questio…

That's Not a Choice We Want Americans to Make

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This has been a tough week for Stay at Home Moms. On a good week we often get a bad rap for this choice we have made to stay home with our kids and be their primary care giver. But this week the term Stay at Home Mom has been a lightning rod for the political efforts to expand public preschool.

Recently, President Obama spoke about Stay at Home Moms in a speech he gave promoting the expansion of public preschools. While I support any expansion of educational opportunities for our kids the comments made by the President did not seem to help move forward the cause of Stay at Home Moms and the choice we make to stay at home OR the case for early public preschool opportunities.



Whether you are a Stay at Home Mom or a working mom there is still the problem of women earning less in the workforce than men.  This is not the fault of the Stay at Home Mom for making the choice to stay home and raise their own kids. This is a case of equal pay for equal work. The solution to equal pay for equal…

Many in U.S. have poor nutrition, with the disabled doing worst

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It is no surprise that most US adults are not getting enough vegetables in their diet every day. When we don't get enough vegetables in our diet our kids often miss out too. It's important for us to teach our kids how to make good food choices by setting a good example.

Even on a good day the average person has a hard time ensuring that their diet has everything in they need. But what if you have some disability that creates even more challenges for you. Beginning in 2008 researchers began looking at the diets of more than 4200 people who were qualified as disabled.  The big challenge with this study is that it is based on self reporting.  People doing research know that there is always a level of inaccuracy with this kind of study but in this case the number of people responding the study is so large that they were able to get to some interesting conclusions.

One of the most interesting things that have come out of this study as far as we're concerned is that the dietary…