Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Apologize!

This has been quite a week! The construction knocked out my internet, then I threw out my back and was laid out for a few days! I promise to get back to normal posting as soon as possible! Thank you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Well, it looks like the construction next to my home has knocked out my internet access!! I'll try to get to a computer each day to post something, but for today this is my post! Sorry! I'll get this figured out! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

You expect my kid to remember what???

This has bugged me for quite some time. It's ridiculous how much my kids are supposedly expected to remember. Homework, of course. That's a given and I fully support it. They need to maintain constant learning. I keep educational materials at home to give them something the keep them thinking at all times when they don't have homework.

However, expecting a child, a 5 year old child at that, to keep track of a weeks worth of homework between Monday and Thursday? That's just too much! It ends up becoming the responsibility of the parents. We already know how to do this. We know how to organize our paperwork and belongings. We don't need to learn how. If we do it, which is what ends up happening in my home until said 5 year old becomes zealous about doing his homework without help and/or direction to put it away properly leading to lost homework on Thursday night, then how are they to be expected to learn to do it for themselves?

I'm a big believer in teaching a child responsibility from the moment they are old enough to put their own socks in the hamper (roughly age 1 in my book). But, I also believe that the level of responsibility given to the child should be age appropriate. Children, particularly young children, have a hard time making long term goals. For a 5 year old a week is a long time. He needs nightly homework, sent home daily. I was told that it was more work for the teachers to send home the homework daily. Really? It's the same amount of work, it's just graded all at once. Instead, many children (because I doubt my one child is the exception) are heading toward failure because 1. they are not being taught the responsibility of taking care of their own work, 2. they are losing the credit they would get if they had just done it and turned it in daily, and 3. becoming discouraged because of numbers 1, 2 or both leading to lower academic performance.

Please, I beg you, do my children and all other children a favor. Give them a fighting chance at learning the responsibility to remember a weeks worth of homework before throwing them into the practice of it.

Photo copyright Boaz Yiftach

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Refresh and Renew

Whether Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Athiest, Agnostic... Any religion that may exist... Every person, young, old and everywhere in between deserves a time to renew themselves.

Many parents forget this. Too many of us forget about ourselves while taking care of our families. We see a time to relax and rest as something to do in the future, when the kids are asleep, at school, grown.

It is too important to remember our own needs. How, I ask, are you to be expected to give and give and give when you have had no chance to refill your energy? What happens? If you are like most parents you eventually reach your limit. You get grumpy. Your patience wears thin. You start snapping. Does your family deserve this? Do they really deserve the sub-par care that an over-worked parent provides? Or, do they deserve a well rested, happy, energetic parent?

Let's look at ways we can renew.
-Meditate, stretch, yoga. Relax your mind and body. Focus on your breathing, slowly, evenly, deeply. Close your eyes and minimize stimuli, such as light and noise. Learn simple stretching and/or yoga techniques such as back stretches and pelvic tilts

-Sleep. Take a power nap in the middle of the day. A 15 minute nap can renew your energy in astounding ways. It relaxes your muscles, but allows you to remain aware, preventing the grogginess that happens after reaching REM sleep.

-Kind deeds. Showing kindness to others allows us to feel a larger purpose in life. We feel fulfilled when we've done acts of service. Look at the needs of your neighbors. Is there a widow/widower in your neighborhood who would appreciate a weekly chat with you? A new mother who needs a meal? Though it takes more energy to provide most forms of service, they renew your spirit and make you feel involved in the community.

-Take a walk. Just a quick, refreshing walk around the block can benefit you in many ways. It's a moment to reflect without the distractions of everyday life. It allows you to think and clear your head. The activity gets your heart beating, allowing oxygen to reach your muscles and brain. Have you ever noticed how you feel energized despite a vigorous workout? It's because your body was doing what it is designed to do. The air outside of your home, even if you live fairly close to a busy road, is usually cleaner than the air inside. Why? The air in your home gets trapped. It doesn't move, and when it does it's typically recirculated, leaving contagions and the air.

How do you renew yourselves? Do you have a set schedule for renewal? Remember to invite your friends to share their ideas as well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Girls Night... More Than Just A Night Out!

While raising 5 kids alone, I'm sure you've already guessed I rarely get a break and moment to myself. They do go with their dad every other weekend, but those weekends I'm catching up. Laundry, decluttering, organizing, etc. It truly is never ending. Even when I get a 'break', I still need a break. This is where the girls night comes in!

Girls night is more than just getting out of the house. It's a movie with real people and real plots in them, not just cartoons and dancing animals. It's realizing the movie you chose to see is incredibly boring and deciding to narrate it yourself with ridiculous plots that would be way more entertaining. It's talking about men, it's talking about decorating, it's talking about clothes. It's a time when you aren't the responsible adult you are the other 364 days of the year. For a few hours, you aren't picking up toys and checking homework.

Now, don't get me wrong. I adore my amazing kids. They are my life, my light in this world. I do everything for them. But sometimes, you just need that solace.

Today, I will continue my mommyhood, catching up on laundry, putting away books, dusting, windows, and organizing. But last night, I was able to feel carefree and 20 again.

Photo copyright graur codrin

Friday, May 6, 2011

Every Woman Ought to Know...

2 years ago I began taking an incredible class taught by an incredible woman. I was fresh out of my marriage and needed to feel strong when I heard about the class a friend at work was taking. I jumped on the invitation to go and fell in love with it right away! I feel powerful! I feel competent! I feel wonderful learning and growing in this class.

What I'm talking about is Ed Parker's American Kenpo. It's a martial art style that is very streamlined, designed for use in confrontations you may run into on the street. We are taught how to get out of holds that one might put on you in an attack. The reason I say every woman needs to know this is because it's, essentially, in depth self defense.

In this class I've learned how to get out of holds like bear hugs and headlocks. Wrist and shoulder grabs. I now know how to react to an attack whereas before I would panic. I've caught myself reflexively blocking and moving away when I would normally cower. I still don't know everything there is to know about this art. It's a lifestyle type of martial art. I've been learning for about 2 years and I'm an orange belt (meaning I've passed 2 tests), so I have a long way to go before I'm even close to knowing and mastering everything. It's quite possible I'll never know everything, but I'm not going to stop trying to learn it. Feeling strong because I have the basics to protect myself is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introducing, *trumpet sounds* The facebook page!

No one person has all the answers when it comes to parenting. I firmly believe in the 'it takes a village' notion. We need many minds working together, helping each other, to find the best way to parent our children. I know what's worked for me, and I will gladly share that. However, we all have those things that have worked wonders for us and we just wish we had a way to let others know about it! This blog will be a community blog. All parents, everywhere, need to be able to share their knowledge. This is where the Facebook page comes in.

I've decided that I will be featuring 5 parents and their wonderful advice each Monday. How do you get featured? Simply join the Live, Love, Learn: A Parenting Blog Facebook page and begin posting your advice! Each week, the 5 posts with the most likes will be featured, along with a little bit about the contributor. So, go post your advice now to be featured this coming Monday, and post every week. Also, be sure to click 'like' on any piece of advice you find insightful or particularly helpful. Share the Facebook page and this blog with your friends. This will allow us all to benefit from the wealth of knowledge out there, and have more fun with games and discussions. The more that participate, the better it will be ;)

Click the link below and lets start having fun!

The Evolution Of Cleaning a Bedroom

At first, you insist they clean it. After a few days who ends up doing the work?

It starts out a mess, after several days of “Clean your room. It’s a mess in there!” Toys, books, clothes, even candy wrappers shoved under the beds. That’s the joy of expecting your kids to take responsibility for their belongings, lol.

You decide you are tired of looking at the mess each time you walk by, so you start shutting the door. The next time you open it the mess has multiplied. I don’t think I want to know what GI Joe and Barbie do when that door is shut, but the toys multiply somehow! Eventually, you start missing the sunlight in the hall that that one room provided. ‘How on earth,’ you begin to wonder, ‘does one room catch all of the light when there are 2 bedrooms on that side of the house!’

You fold. It’s their responsibility, their toys, their clothes, their mess. They should clean it, right? Well, it’s your hall that is now dark and dismal, and they seem to feel no consequences of having a messy room which means, of course, the bedroom will never get clean by them… unless you work with them.

You call them into their room and delegate. “I will pick up the toys,” (of course, they will play with the toys if they are assigned that chore) “You pick up the clothes and put them in the hamper, and you,” meaning child #2, “pick up the books.”

Everyone begins their work, working nicely side by side. You diligently pick up the toys, even scanning the carpet for renegade Lego pieces. Child 1 talks and talks as he gathers the laundry. Child 2 sits and reads the books, but slowly places them on the shelf with your gentle prodding, “No, sweetie, it’s time to clean, not read. But I’m glad you enjoy reading so much!”

You continue to focus on the toys, Lego. By. Lego. Eventually someone has to go potty or someone needs a drink. Of course, the first time they come back immediately. The second time, it takes a few minutes to return. The 3rd time, you call. They come. The 4th time you leave your post in search of the missing party. The 5th time, however, you give up. You finish the toys, you finish the clothes, you finish the books. You make the bed, you do a last minute scan of the carpet for those dang Legos, rev up the vacuum and put the finishing touches on the room. By now the children who live in that room are off enjoying the sun, riding their bikes, or zoned out on the couch with a book.

“They’ll learn,” you tell yourself, “someday…. I hope.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For the Love of My Children

Lately, I feel like I’m trying to do it all but achieve nothing. I go, go, go all day and what do I have to show for it?

I just want to sit back and sigh and press the reset button. But there is no reset button. So, I must press on and make the best of what is in front of me now, and that is my children.

My children need me, they come first. I need to make sure that, above all, they are taken care of. I need to be certain they have clean clothes, healthy meals, and, most importantly, a mother who loves them, accepts them and is their stable rock. They look to me to be the one urging them on, ‘do your homework, best handwriting,’ ‘make sure you clean under your bed too,’ ‘don’t forget to brush your teeth.’ They look to me for the love they can only get at home. The love that speaks louder than the nay-sayers at school. They listen to me to tell them that they are special and wonderful and can be anything they want to be. And they can. They’re just kids after all, and they need this chance to be kids. They need to play in the mud and get distracted by something glittering in the sun. They need to get lost in books, and pretend to be ninjas. This is when they learn to cook, not when they have to cook. This is their time to pretend, to grow. At this time in their lives, they have so much ahead of them, and it needs to be nourished and encouraged. I love them too much to take that away from them.

School will come again in fall. My business is still in the works and will come together eventually, and if I’m diligent in looking I will find that job (or some form of income) that lets me start my business and works around family and school schedules. My kids are here, needing me, now, and they need 110% of what I have to give.


I’m a single mother of 5 between the ages of 3 and 10. My kids are incredible. They are kind, polite, respectful. I couldn't ask for anything more. I'm just so happy to be blessed with them. I’ve been ‘single’ for almost 3 years, and will hopefully have the divorce finalized this summer. I’m an artist in many ways, but I promise you I can’t draw to save my life. Instead, I use my camera and I perform.

Words, poetry, is kind of a new thing for me. I would jot down notes in my notebook while bored as a teen, but haven’t really written anything until lately. I met an awesome friend in my theater class recently who sort of sparked my interest in writing again. Photography, however, I’ve loved since I was 10. I fell in love with images and photos, good photos, almost 20 years ago and decided I was going to be a photographer. About 7 years ago I got my first SLR camera and began learning how to create good photos. About

5 years ago I got my first digital SLR. Since then I’ve honed my skill more and more. I admit I have a long way to go before I’m one of the great photographers of our time, but I will get there.

I spent just under 8 years as a stay at home mother and have been, over the last 3 years, trying to figure out where I fit in this world, what I have to offer. I’ve come to realize that you need a degree to get anywhere. I am a full time math student. Why math? Well, you can get a job doing almost anything with a math degree. And math comes easily to me. I can tell you, though, it is incredibly difficult trying to resist switching my major to theater, lol. At this time, I’m contemplating a double major… Math and art… What a combo, lol. What type of art? So many forms of art, it’s hard to choose! Photography is an obvious choice, but theater is another obvious choice. Music, dance… Art is too vast a subject to easily make a decision, lol.

For now, though, I am just being me. I’m trying to get a photography business going, looking for work I can do part time that will allow me to be home with my kids most of the time while I figure out this whole business thing.