Friday, July 29, 2011

Kids and Vacation

6:50 AM 0 Comments
We are on vacation for the second time this month. Yeah it may sound like fun but it has become a pain. The kids are at each other and well I am having a hard time sleeping so is it really a vacation?

We decided at the beginning of the month to tag along with my husband on a business trip which became a mini vacation and was super quick. The kids were awesome through most of it even when I was stuck with them while my husband worked. We did do some fun things but overall it was a quick trip.

That trip was sort of a last minute decision where the current trip is our annual summer trip to visit the family up north in Wisconsin. Yes we packed 2 kids, a dog, and a boatload of snacks to drive 2 days up here. The kids were awesome on the drive up. We didn't do a marathon drive like to Florida so it seemed much easier plus we saw alot of America we hadn't seen. Irony was the kids watched "Cars" on the way up and we drove off the interstate.

Though kids are like fish on vacation- they will go bad. Miss O had hers early this week and well Mr. L has had moments, plus I am by myself with my hubby on work travel the first week here. Needless to say, this doesn't feel like a vacation. It feels more like I am at home but living out of a suitcase.

I do have to say that my brother and sister in law have been wonderful hosts and I know it is alot to have 2 kids, 1 dog, and us all here with them and a new baby (who by the way is so super sweet).

How is it for a mom to have a nice time on vacation? It is tough because we are the ones who make the world go round for everyone. It is suppose to be relaxing which it is not. How does a Mom enjoy herself when away from home?

Vacation is tough enough but nearly impossible with small kids. It is nice to see everyone but home is way easier with them.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Homemade Multiple Bean Soup

2:14 PM 0 Comments

I am always looking for good and healthy foods for the family. Plus I am working on losing weight. I recently bought a package from a local farmer’s market store of a variety beans (black beans, split peas, black eye beans, garbanzo, and I am sure others). It was packaged as a soup mix and had instructions on the back. I had most of the stuff on there but decided to experiment some and make my own version. I do that a lot and love to tweak and make things I see my own. I have to say this was so easy and well very good. Even though it is very hot out here in Houston, it was a nice hearty soup that worked well for summer. I think it would be an awesome soup for fall as well.
Here is the super simple recipe and all you need is a few ingredients and a slow cooker.
2 cups of a variety of dry beans (black beans, black eyed peas, split peas, etc)
1lb of smoked sausage (I used a smoked pecan sausage) sliced up
1 cup of baby carrots
1 small onion chopped up
1 can of crushed tomatoes and peppers
Water to fill up the crook pot
1. Rinse your beans and let drain.
2. Pull your crock pot out and add the washed beans, chopped onions, baby carrots, tomatoes, and sausage.
3. Fill the crock pot up with water covering the ingredients.
4. Cook on high for about 3-4 hours and then turn down to low for another 4 hours (total cooking down for 7-8 hours).
5. You made need to add more water during the cooking process. I added about a cup of water when I turned it down.
6. I stirred it about once an hour to get the ingredients together. The longer it cook, the more the beans break down to thicken the soup up.
7. Serve with a scoop of brown rice (optional).
Plus it is not full of stuff and is a good source of protein. I have been doing weight watchers and one serving is about 5 points which make it a filling meal.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What kind of example are you setting for your kids?

6:25 AM 0 Comments
People always tell me how nice my kids are. I have heard so many times how well behaved, polite and courtesy they are. People always ask what our secret is and I saw there is no secret, the kids act this way because we lead by example and have expectations of them. We set a solid example for them and well the kids seem to follow.
My kids still act like little hellions (just ask my mother in law how Miss O was last week) and they get punished accordingly. Maybe we are hard or mean seeming but the kids react to it by being well behaved most of the time. I know that when I am stressed out, my kids seem to act worst versus when I am in a good mood, I see my kids act better.
I have learned that my actions directly affect how my kids are and they model their behavior after mine. My kids are polite because well I try to be polite (even though it gets harder every day with how people are becoming). I expect lots of myself, so I expect a lot from my kids. I set examples of correct behavior and how I react with them.
As an exercise, think about that thing that annoys you the most about your children. Oddly, it is likely one of your most dominating traits. My husband and I were talking the other day and he told me that our son can irk him more often than our daughter. Why because Mr. L is a mini version of my husband. I see the same looks of intense thought across both of their faces.
I notice that they enjoy similar activities and as Mr. L grows, I believe, they will find so many things in common. Your kid is a reflection of yourself. I too admit at times, I get annoyed with Miss O because she has to do things her way which is totally like me. I have tried hard to work on areas, I know that annoy my husband. I have to work on being more flexible in areas, that I have a hard time being flexible in.
Kids learn by the example you set. I know when I see a kid have a tantrum, that one of the parents must be a hot head. I know this first hand because I was a kid who through tantrums and well my mother (who I love dearly) was one. My Mom and I both worked on it as we have gotten older. She told me many times that she would get upset over things that really didn’t matter as much as she thought. We both have learned to control the tempers and find this is a far better way to be.
I stepped back myself and really evaluated how I dealt with that anger. I admit there are times I blow up in anger but it is pretty rare now. Everyone does it at some point. Another thing is that I didn’t want allow that in my house. I have a zero tolerance policy for that kind of behavior and the kids know it.
Another thing I see often is manners with kids. Overall for many they are lacking. I see kids who have no idea what please and thank you even mean. I think it is important in this day to thank people for doing the right thing and recognize when things are done the right way. I try hard to do this so my kids will and I remind them all the time to thank people for being nice. I think nice people go much further in life than ones who are not.
My kids are not perfect but I have never had anyone tell me they were awful. They have their moments and I notice they usually are at times when they are overwhelmed. When that happens, we try to work with them as much as possible to teach them how to deal when they are in that situation. The kids will react the way you teach them to react when you set a good example.