I Showed up at the Dog Groomer Instead of For My Hair Appointment…

Photo from Pinterest 

Since I started working for the family business and am spending more time getting ready to teach a social media class at the UW, I’ve had little to no extra time to write here. I miss it. Working part-time has been an interesting balancing act that has had both good and bad outcomes.

The first month I went back to work, I was pretty much a wreck. I forgot a birthday, didn’t pay the monthly piano lesson bill, and showed up at the dog groomers instead of for my hair appointment—and even now, I’m sure I’m neglecting to remember what else I forgot. If you know, don’t remind me, please. It’s over. :) More

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Multiple After School Activities ~ Crazy Making or Valuable Experience?

I have always had a two activity per child rule for after school programs. Any more than two activities per child per week, and things get a little chaotic around our house. This has been an easy rule to stand by and uncomplicated to manage because Bella & Olivia have both enjoyed the same activities for the last several years.

Things are different this school year… More

Exercise Is For All Sizes!

Each one of these women is an Olympic athlete.

This picture challenges the notion that a specific size is the only indicator of health and fitness.

Exercise will make you stronger and feel amazing no matter what your size! More

Over-Scheduling

Sometimes it’s difficult to resist the temptation of over-scheduling ourselves and our kids. At the beginning of each school year, I fill Bella & Olivia in on their options and they chose what they want to do. I don’t let the girls participate in more than two extracurricular activities at a time. Sometimes I think they can participate in “just one more” activity because it’s hard to turn down all of the exciting opportunities that are available for kids these days, but I know that if we add just one more organized activity we all pay the price. Free time is essential.

There are times during the school year that I feel too busy, hurried, and pressured to go-go-go. I have good intentions, but sometimes I over commit to too many activities myself. I absolutely love summer because there is a simplistic relaxed vibe and much more time for unstructured creative play.

Over the extended Memorial Day weekend, the kids ran wild outside for four days straight and did not participate in one structured event. They did not complain of being bored once and they played so hard they practically fell asleep before even falling into bed. They had a great time. It was awesome.

Yay. Summer is almost here…

I don’t want to be over committed. Studies have shown that unstructured, creative play is crucial for optimal child development. If you are feeling the pressure of over-scheduling yourself or your kids, just remember that free time is just as valuable, if not more, than structured time. Don’t cave into pressure. The kids won’t “fall behind” if they don’t sign up for every possible activity available to them. They will just end up feeling pressured, stressed, hurried, tired, anxious, and disconnected if they are over-scheduled. So go outside, play, be creative, and have fun! That is good for everyone!

When Saying “No” and Speaking Your Mind Feels Good!

I went through a uncomfortbale–and much too long–phase of being the “Yes” woman. Some people took advantage of the temporary role I played as “that person”. I could be all things to all people at all times (or so I thought). Yes, I’ll be room mom, library volunteer, preschool helper, class auction project go-to-girl, help tutor kids during school hours, bake whatever dessert you please for whatever event you want, watch your kids, and do whatever else you want me to do… No problem. Sure, I’ll set my own personal needs aside to make my house look perfect, cook delicious meals, and attend every social function I’m invited to (even if I don’t want to). And yes, I’ll agree with you to make you happy, tell you what you want to hear so that you’re not upset, or just keep quiet so things stay calm. I’ll keep my own thoughts to myself and internalize my feelings. How healthy does that sound? Not very…

One day, I just couldn’t do it anymore; I had enough. I was tired and feeling taken advantage of. People knew I would say yes because that’s what I did, but what I had loved doing (helping) became a chore and expected of me–I wasn’t having fun anymore. It was my own fault, of course. I let it go too far, and I didn’t set boundaries. Also, I wasn’t feeling like I was being authentic by holding back my true feelings, thoughts, and opinions. Is that really the example I want to set for our girls—to be an un-opinionated martyr. NO! I am a smart woman with thoughts and opinions that are worth saying aloud.

I needed to reorganize my life in a hurry, and I did. I was done with that old way, which was actually not the way I had been growing up. It was time to go back to my spunky, energetic, respectfully opinionated self that I was before I had lost my sparkle. More

What Are You Waiting For? Guest Post by Nicole Mangina

We all have some thing that we are putting off in our lives. The timing isn’t right. Someone else needs to step up to the plate….. It usually involves phases such as:

I’ll be happy when…
I’ll relax when…
I’ll take more time off when…
I’ll travel more when…
I’ll spend more time with my family when…
I’ll invest more when…

What are you waiting for? More

How Does She REALLY Do It? Guest Post by Working Mom ~ Nicole Mangina

Note from Liz: Today I am guest posting at Nicole’s blog, The Ninja Moms, where I’m writing about “Frazzled and Frumpy to Fabulous, Feisty, and Successful!” I hope you’ll check it out after you read this!

Here’s Nicole…

Nicole Mangina is the mother of Alex and Ryan, otherwise known as “Thing 1 and Thing 2″ and “the Monkies”.   She is also married to Gary ~ her incredible husband, best friend, love of her life, sounding board, number 1 fan, balance, and all around great guy.

Since getting her real estate license in 1996, she has built a successful real estate career in the Seattle, Washington area and absolutely loves what she does.  She has always been a very driven and goal oriented person, which has worked perfectly with her real estate career.  Nicole has two main sayings in our house ~ “Failure is not an option,” and “Forward motion at all times”.

How does she REALLY do it?

You know her. She is a working mom that makes it all seem so easy.

Do you ever wonder how she really gets it all done in a day?

Well here are some insights you can use today that will have you gliding through your day with the grace that will have others wondering how YOU do it. More

Identity Crisis by Tracie Stern ~ Who Are You Now That You Have Kids?

I had spent the last ten years of my life traveling the world as a model and only having me to worry about. I knew exactly what to do the minute I was confirmed for the job. Whether it involved international travel, multiple days of work, foreign languages, or just a quick drive down the road. Whatever my agencies threw my way I KNEW I could handle it.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my now six-year old son, I was so excited. I was engaged to my husband when we found out about Ramsee. It was such an exciting moment. Over the next several months, my life took a turn for the unknown. More

What’s For Dinner Tonight? Italian Country Pork Recipe (Crock Pot)

This is so easy and yummy! Have it prepped and in the crock pot by 1 p.m. and you’re golden. The pork is so tender it falls off the bone. This dish is listed as the magazine  Fix-It and Forget-It editor’s favorite.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4-6 bone in thick cut pork chops More

Patience by Liz Nord

People who don’t know me very well, think I am a very patient person. Let me tell you right now: I have zero patience and it’s a problem—my problem. I’ve trained myself to keep my impatience under control and to appear calm, cool, and collected. I definitely have much more patience for children than I do adults. I want to be patient. I try hard, but under the surface, I can feel my impatience brewing, waiting, and wanting.

I’m not a brat. I swear. I’m a nice person. I do “act” patient with my kids, family, friends, and acquaintances most of the time. My impatience is just some weird glitch I’ve had since I was a kid. My mom thought I would outgrow it after having children, and she was genuinely surprised when that never happened.

It’s not that I act outwardly impatient towards people and situations; It’s just that I’m completely freaking out inside.

I’m thinking things like: More

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