I’m a Believer…a Tomorrow Leader…and this is My Chance

Being away from my little Anthony for 4 days was enough for me.

I’m a mom…and I live and breathe for our son and my husband.

I have really looked inward this past year and realized the importance of writing goals and achieving them.

Prioritizing has been HUGE for me.

I don’t like to say no to people. I’m a giver. You ask, and I’ll do.

I’ve realized over the course of the last year that sometimes, that’s hurtful to the people closest to us.

Are you like that? A giver?

We give and give and give and give. What’s left for our family? Ourselves?

Seeing Anthony come into our room in the middle of the night and snuggle into my neck was the best feeling ever. He was so happy and content that crazy mommy was back….right where she belonged.

I learned a lot at my conference and am super glad my husband gave me the opportunity to go.

Priorities were to get home Saturday night so as to be with my two favorite people all day yesterday for Fathers Day.

Sure, I missed a few presentations, but I was with my family. Priority number 1.

If my actions are not in line with my priorities, I’m not happy.

Stomach aches and stress are really a thing of the past.

Living and loving life.

Own It…great song by the Black Eyed Peas. My friend Christine Dwyer played it at the conference this weekend. Check it out and take a listen to the lyrics.

Follow your heart!

I’ll be following mine. 🙂

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Going on a Picnic Game (no supplies needed!)

Reading Cereal Boxes to Help Your Child Read

Cleaning Lady and a Babysitter

Stay at home mom/business owner/nanny.

That’s me in a nutshell.

But…I’m working on my personal trainer certifications and working my business every day?

How does one accomplish GOALS and be the best MOM to her child(ren)?

Well, it took me some time to realize this…but being the best mom meant DELEGATING some tasks.

Top two things I have done in the last 6 months that have made me be able to stay on top of everything:

1. Hire a cleaning lady

2. Hire a babysitter

I grew up with that mentality that you don’t hire anyone for something that you can do all by yourself. Well, there are only 24 hours in a day, and if I want to do what’s MOST important to me, then something has to give.

I have learned that the amount of work and quality of work that can be accomplished while you are paying someone to do the little things for you will be more than worth the $ you spend.

I have a high school girl that we know and trust come twice a week for 2 hours in the afternoon. She plays with Anthony while I go down the hall in a study room and study for my certifications and work on my business.

I just can’t do that with A around. IMPOSSIBLE

The time I have knowing that Kelly is coming every other week to clean is fabulous too. Instead of Anthony climbing on me while I get up to clean the high cabinets or trailing behind me begging to use the dustbuster vacuum, I can spend that time playing with him.

Take a look at your goals and priorities.

What can you delegate out so that you can be a better spouse/parent, etc?

If you are in the Chicagoland area and want a referral for a cleaning lady, let me know. She’s a friend of mine from college.

Time Capsules to Start Off Summer

Did you ever create time capsules as a kid?

Simple and easy to do.

As summer begins here, this is a great activity to do with your kids that are home from school.

Round up some objects such as:

* a pair of his/her socks

* a coin that was created in the current year

* a small toy

* a current picture of him/her

Also, have your child:

* draw a picture

* make an audio of them singing a song, or a video of them performing/playing that can be transferred to a cd

* write their name out on paper

Grab an old shoebox, or something of that sort, and have your child decorate it with stickers, markers, or other odds and ends from craft stores (check the clearance aisle at JoAnn’s or Michaels!) and glue them on.

Place everything in the shoebox. Be sure to include the current date and year on a slip of paper.

Dig up a place and bury the box.

Dig it up next summer, or in a set number of years that you and your child(ren) determine!

What other items would be good to include in a time capsule?

Please share in the comments below!

A Balancing Act

Writer’s block got the best of me last night. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about today.

My friend over on Twitter, @Techyturner suggested I write about balancing work, social media, personal hobbies, and family life to be the best person you can be.

How can you be the best _________________ (insert occupation) possible?

Biggest thing that’s helped me: write out a daily plan and stick to it.

Here are some tips of how this works for me:

1. Write down on paper the night before what you WILL accomplish the next day. Limit it to five things. The five most important things that will make you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Scratch them off as you complete them the next day.

2. Determine your priorities, and write them down on paper. What’s most important to you? Writing it down helps you stay committed to them.

3. Determine whether you are a morning person or a night owl. Now make the best of that. I value being a stay at home mom, and that is my number one priority. How can I get everything done then if I’m focused on the Anthony? I know I’m a morning person. I set the alarm for 5, and I get up. I work for an hour until he wakes up at 6. Uninterrupted. Make the most of nap times and after bedtime too.

4. One thing at a time. We all want to be known as great multitaskers, but the brain can’t function that way. Set a time limit for a certain project/task and give it all your attention. For example, going to be working on social media? Shut off your email, shut off the tv, put down the book, and set a timer (or keep your eyes on the clock). Work on social media for the hour, and then shut it off and begin the next task.

5. Never stop learning! All of us have more to learn! Constantly be a student of your area of expertise, but also read books that will help you in your personal development. Check out my post about great books to read.

How do you do it all?

What tips would you add to my list?

Potty Training….Tips, Tricks, Readiness

After running into my friend, Lisa, outside on campus a few days back, I decided that I was ready….ready for potty training.

Well, that and that fact that we were down to 3 diapers Wednesday night when I was getting Anthony ready for bed, prompted me to tell Anthony…”We don’t have any more diapers! Anthony, say, ‘No more diapers!’ ”

He repeated, “No more diapers!”

Well, with that…we were ready for Thursday morning in big boy briefs.

Has it been easy? NO

Has it been worth it? YES

Thursday, day 1, was a complete mess. Since it was warm outside, we spent most of the day out there.

I probably did 5 loads of laundry, and changed his clothes just as many times.

I cleaned pee briefs and poop briefs.

I almost gave up, but after being cheered on by my neighbor and friend, Karlie, I kept with it.

Oh how easy it would be to throw a diaper on him again and go back to normal!

But…I thought to myself…that would make Anthony think that this is always only temporary and if I do a “icky” job at it, then mommy will put me in the diaper again.

Onward!

Day 2 was messy, but a little better. Day 3 was almost mess less…just 2.

Nights are dry.

So, as we are still in the middle of this, what did I learn and realize?

BOTH mom and child have to be ready.

You’ve got to be able to stay home for a good 5-7 days and KNOW there will be messes and more messes.

I was ready last summer, but Anthony wasn’t. He was only 18 months, didn’t have enough of a vocabulary yet, and really wasn’t interested.

When he was 2, he was beginning to be more interested in playing with his little play potty. This was a good sign. I wasn’t ready though. I maybe should have been, but I wasn’t ready to be cleaning up all the messes. It was winter.

This has worked out great.

So…my tips.

1. Pick a good time for BOTH of you. Watch for signs…is his diaper dry for a long period of time? Does he grab at his diaper? Tell you when he’s wet or made a “poop”? Does he have interest when he’s in the bathroom with you?

2. Have your child help pick out some fun underwear. Have at least 10-12 pairs.

3. Wait until warm weather. I’ve just found it easier to be outside most of the time. He’s been wearing shorts, so not as much of a mess down the pants. Also, less floor clean up when you are outside.

4. Have a sticker chart with EXTRA special stickers. I let Anthony play with stickers on a regular basis (working on motor skills as he places them on the paper…a teacher thing 🙂 ) , so I surprised him with sparkly Oscar the Grouch stickers.

I quickly was running out of those! My hubby had an excellent FRUGAL idea. Get some of those HELLO my name is stickers or anything you are not using with a sticky back. He printed out pics of Buzz and Woody and taped them on to the HELLO badges. He cut them out and we had a ton of makeshift stickers! It’ll save you some $$

5. Be silly for him! I shouted YAY!!!! YOU DID IT!!! and clapped my hands while I danced around each time he went on the potty. Anthony got such a kick out of it! He clapped his hands and laughed each time! I know that was motivating for him!

6. Reward with allowing him to pick a treat. We are not big with giving treats all the time, so this is a big deal in our healthy home. Each time (especially on the first two days) he went on the toilet, he got to pick his treat. He chose a small square of chocolate once, mango sorbet once, some mini chocolate chips once, and many times he picked the mint chocolate patties I froze for him. All allergy free of course!

I’ll admit, I was afraid of this last one, but he doesn’t even want the treats anymore…and this is day 5. He’s tired of it. The novelty is wearing off.

7. Set a time for no more liquids at night. My friend Karlie gave me this tip. For us, we stop at 6/6:30. Anthony goes to bed around 9. Depending on your child’s bed time, you may need to adjust that. This totally has helped with a dry bed at night!

These are the tips that have worked in our home this week.

Nothing drastic, but it has worked. Tip one is really the most important in my eyes.

Both the teacher and the student need to be ready!

Ok readers…SPILL IT! What are your tips? What has worked for you in the potty training world??