Monday, April 30, 2012

Confessions of a Lazy Parent...

Regardless of my body's protest, I woke up early this morning to face the decision I adamantly made last night. I have been making comments for about a week that it needed to happen, my family all heard my series of rants loud and clear...although they didn't really acknowledge them or agreed with them.
My family, including myself, is in a very unhealthy relationship.... with the television. I feel like I (more than Lupe, because I am home with the girls the most) have nurtured and allowed  this relationship that I have always said would NEVER happen in my home.
I am not sure why Tenly's lazy refusal to read last night is what finally broke me, but it did.
Tenly did not even know that children's shows really even existed much until she was about 2 years old. I welcomed the "help" of the black box after Gianna was born, there were moments that I embraced the convenient baby sitter as if my long lost friend. Therefore, Gianna has almost always been aware of the TV.
I was still cautious about how much they were around and exposed to it. Also, closely monitoring what they watched (FYI: Just because it is a cartoon does not make it appropriate for a child.). Regardless of my intentions, over the years I find that "distraction" in our home WAY to much!
How I, we, ended up here I am not quite sure. It would be convenient to blame it on my children or my husband. But, since my kids only do what I allow, and I am home with the kids way more than my husband- I have to take full responsibility.
The reality is, I have become a Lazy Parent and conveniently hired Nick JR, Disney JR, and Sprout to babysit way to often. There is no getting around the convenience and ease of having these "babysitters" at our remote fingertips- but we parents also know that it doesn't make it right.
I am embarrassed that I have dreadfully become " of those...", the thing I always said would NEVER happen. I declared, proudly, that my kids would always be surrounded by books, puzzles, crafts, games and a parent sitting by doting on their every word and action.
To clarify, Tenly and Gianna are not glued to the TV- their imaginations are to big and energy to robust for that. But, they are in front of it way to much. They both LOVE reading books and doing puzzles and crafts and cooking- why aren't I capitalizing on that? Because somewhere along the line, it's become to much work- that is shameful.
Several months ago, Lupe and I found much of our time together was spent catching up on DVR. To help, we removed the TV from our bedroom (some are shocked we had one in there, and some are shocked that someone can live without a TV in the bedroom) and are so glad we did. We do not allow a TV in the girls room- and never will-so, in a way it was a double standard. But, although that helped, I (Lupe may disagree, lol) still feel like we should be able to function without the invasive 3rd party. My friends, Annette and Bobby, in Texas made a change not to long ago to benefit their family (they have 3 beautiful children). They "cut the cable" and eliminated TV from their home, and the results are more reading and family time- not such a bad thing! I have some friends in this area who only allow an occasional movie or DVD, and they and their children have lived to tell the tale, lol!
Today, when Tenly arrives home from school, I am going to apologize to both of my girls for being a lazy mom and allowing the television to steal our moments from us. The excitement of the many things we can do that are so much better to fill the void is hopefully going to spark them. I am a much better parent than this and am fully capable of caring for my children without allowing "that thing" to be constantly interfering.
We are not cutting the cable or getting rid of the TV, but it will have specific times of when it will and will not be watched. Our family time will be filled with fun and entertaining each other instead of depending on the black box to fulfill our every need. I am going to press for "No TV Monday's", on this day the TV will not go on at all.
Funny enough, today (and all week) it is suppose to be raining ALL DAY! Talk about getting creative! We've made it through with making collages, doing puzzles, dancing, reading many books, and a little cooking. Although, Gianna is losing patience with me typing at this computer, so it's time to wrap it up.
LAZY- I despite that word and hate it associated with me. So, the change begins- it is going to take work and probably hearing some whining  along the path- but it will be worth it. Taking responsibility and making a change, I believe it is one my girls will thank me for one day......well, it better be!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Me + New Project= Accountability......

I have been avoiding writing this post. As I am finding myself heading in a new, scary, unknown direction, it is time for me to write about it. The only problem is, my fear of failure. There are not very many people who know about my little project I've been working on- and that has been comforting. If people do not know about it, I will only be considered a failure to myself and a few others IF I do not succeed. On the other hand, if I put myself out there and let everyone know what I'm doing- I am able to accept encouragement, advice, and am allowing to be accountable when the times get rough and I'm discouraged. Is the possibility there that I wont be successful? Sure. Is the possibility there that I  will be successful? Sure.
The things that roll through my mind are questions like: What if people laugh at me for even considering such a task? What if no one believes in me? What if I do all this work with NO success? Am I even able to take on something this big? What if everyone I approach rolls their eyes at me? What if no one helps? What if no one cares? What if this really is a stupid idea and I can't see it and no one tells me??????? The list goes on....
The part that excites me, is that despite those and other questions- I am going to do it anyway. 

For the past 6 weeks or so, I have begun writing a book. Now, let me clarify- not any type of story or anything like that (that truly terrifies me)- but a resource guide. What type of resource guide? I'm so glad you asked!A resource guide for Moms in the South Florida area. Listing everything "Mom's"- from freebies, activities, parks (did you know there about 500+ parks in Broward County alone!), schools, home schooling, mom groups, sports leagues, links, education, etc.
When we moved to this area, I looked for a resource such as this to help us adapt to our new home and area- and didn't really find anything. Thank God I found myself in a Mom's Group at Community Christian Church where the other Mom's were able to recommend doctors, parks, and many things to do in the community and surrounding areas.
Within the last 6 weeks of research, I have discovered SO much stuff in the South Florida area that I am excited to try out and tell other moms in the about.
The literary field is very intimidating and the more I learn, the more intimidated I get- kind of like a Chihuahua being stared down by a Bull Dog. The only thing that qualifies me for this task I am taking on is being a Mom- although that in itself is a lot of qualifications, it still leaves me feeling like I'm drowning and overwhelmed at times.
A wonderful friend gave me some great ideas on some ways to gather more information and put it out there. So, I am going to be starting another blog (as soon as I have an afternoon to get the many pieces together) to tell people about all these wonderful paces I am discovering and laying the ground work to compile the information into a great resource guide.
I am going to ask a HUGE favor....I need everyone possible to follow this blog- even if you don't read it much- pass it along to others after you sign up to follow it! It would really help me as I begin the process of developing a proposal to contact/speak to literary agents and publishers. Please keep your eyes out for the new upcoming "mom blog"- I need you to follow that one, too!!! That's right, I'm resorting to begging.
This blog is going to be changing a bit- I really want to begin telling the stories of other moms and women out there to have a variety of perspectives on many things. So, if you have something that be relevant to another mom or family- message me. I have a whole list of mom's already who I am going to be contacting to give perspectives on things!
Hold me Accountable- I need you to! I can do this- with God's help, and I am going to try my absolute hardest.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Happenings of Late and Peace

I'm feeling just a tad guilty for not blogging in some time- it has not been intentional and at the forefront of my mind. I have mentioned before that I do not write a post for the sake of just writing one, I always want there to be a purpose behind what I write- sometimes it's to help me, sometimes it may be something I think could help another and sometimes both. Well, every time I've sat down to attempt a new post, I had nothing. So, I've waited and now here I am.My mind, my spirit, my thoughts, ME- are in a good place. I wake up in the mornings to peace. To many that may not be such a big deal. But after the roller coaster my family has been on within the past 18 months, peace is welcomed, adored, and embraced. Mind you, the past week has been a little crazy.
After I was not able to attend a dear friends wedding at the last minute (that I was bummed about), but we decided we would go ahead with the already planned trip to Clearwater to visit with my parents over Easter weekend. We went sight seeing, had lunch with cupcakes and ice cream before Lupe had to head home to work and we stayed to finish out the holiday. Swimming, Easter egg hunts, Easter dresses, Easter baskets, church Easter celebration, and a sick little girl. On Saturday afternoon while we were swimming, Tenly began feeling yucky and we later discovered a high fever. After a couple of days we had a nasty cough to match the fever that she then shared with her sister. After missing 3 days of school, it looked like she was doing well enough to return the next day. That is, until she was up all night coughing and the fever returned the next day. Yesterdays doctors appointment revealed a double ear infection and bronchitis- YUCK!
Gia is still recovering but both are finally doing better. (Dreading a whole weeks worth of makeup work)
In the midst of that, another infection showed up on my right chin (total count now is 5  infections). This one was minor in comparison to the others and is already disappearing and I am thankful.                                                                                                                                          Also, Yesterday, Lupe had some dental work done. After the feeling returned to his face, he was instructed to take 4 Motrin to ease any discomfort. So, at around 5:00pm he did just that- it wasn't until he couldn't keep his eyes open that we realized he had taken 4 Motrin PM's! Needless to say, he was out for the night. Not that it adds anything to this story, except it was quite funny! The whole family is currently on some type of antibiotics for something. Now just to make sure we take the right ones, lol! (Lupe is no longer allowed to manage or buy medications)
"You POOR thing..." has been said to me regarding the craziness of the last week. I found myself very frustrated by these comments- this is nothing! I was not sharing the situations for pity, but just to communicate a typical wife/mom's events of the day. I guess I needed, or wanted, to hear how great everything seemed inspite of the very small curve ball thrown at us. Don't feel sorry for me, come on- in comparison to all the other junk- this is nothing! We got this, God's got this! It kind of makes me laugh now, because we are just the opposite place of that- we are in complete peace. Not that I do not appreciate concern, I guess it just hit me the wrong way.
We are finding our family at a bit of a crossroads having to make an important decision (I can't go into details YET). As Lupe and I were talking last night (before Lupe drugged himself to sleep), we were discussing options and how we felt directed in the situation. My heart was overwhelmed and thankful as Lupe put his arms around me, and as the man God has placed over this family, began to pray for clear direction in the situation. At that moment, once again, we were engulfed in God's peace knowing He was in control and everything would come together in His timing.
I have also taken on a project that I am both elated and terrified of! I'm not at a point of sharing yet (is that just mean??), but know I will in due time. Just pray that God will open the doors that need to open, I would have divine appointments and direction, and that I will not be controlled by fear of the unknown.