School Lunch Boxes and Kids Chores

I wish I was the mom who let my kids have school lunches. I have seen the school lunches and I am glad they are there as an option for some kids but my kids will not be eating them. Maybe on a rare occasion I do let them have it, but not usually. I can’t let Aj have school lunch for he gets really stuck in a routine so if he has it one week he will want it that same day next week, and so on and so forth.

This means every night of the week I am to make a new lunch for my kids. I try to spruce things up but overall they end up with similar lunches each week. I usually try to sneak in a healthy option of cucumbers or sliced peppers or something for the little man because I am determined to get that kid to like more food options besides unhealthy ones.

Kids Can do Chores From age 2 and up

After a long day of work at home, picking up kids and dealing with homework. The last thing I want to do is pack up a lunch. Sure, I have been making uncrustables from home on the weekends. It helps alleviate some time. I also slice up green or red peppers to place in sandwich bags for quick toss into the lunch boxes but that doesn’t alleviate the time needed to clean each of the three kids lunch boxes out and pack it all up for the next day.

This is where chore ideas are coming in. I need my three kids to get back on track with chores. I think their new responsibility will be to empty and clean out their own lunch boxes. Why not? They are 5, 7 and 11 plenty old enough for that task and as I have sunk into this life I am currently living, I have started to lose some of myself and that includes making kids do some chores. We are a family and the kids have always had responsibilities but I got sucked into where I am now and they have fallen backwards along with me. It’s time to start assigning lunch box cleaning to the kids.

I think the best way to alleviate the chore list for mom is to encourage more involvement from the kids! At age 2 the kids are plenty old enough to start having small tasks to do around the house. I have always explained chores to my kids like this, “we are a family and as such, we are to each do a small part to help each other lead a funner day. If we each have a task to do, that alleviates it from Mom’s hands and in turn creates more time for us to spend together having fun!”

Wish me luck …. it’s never easy to get kids BACK into chores after slacking for over a year!

 

Where Did We Spend Our Mother Daughter Day?

We recently were able to have a Mother Daughter day during February vacation. This was a planned event because my ex husband contacted me stating he had vacation time to use, he wanted to use it to take our sons an extra overnight during the vacation. I was so happy, because I only get a break from my sons for two days every other week during the school year, during Summers they see their Dad twice a week for a few days alongside their every other weekend visits. School years are long, and it’s sad the boys can’t see their Dad as much so I am always game to say YES when he asks. If the boys want to go, they can go, simple as that.

My daughter was so happy when I told her we would be having a mother daughter day during the vacation! I thought maybe we could go to the Upper Valley Humane Society and hang out in their cat community rooms or maybe go visit my sister and baby niece. Ki was game for both. We timed it just right so that we were able to visit my sister and get some fam girl time in while still head to the Humane Society afterwards to get our kitty time in.

Mother Daughter Day

Livy has grown so much, she is about 13 months old now and walking. While Livy is only saying a few words, she has a whole lot to say. She loves books and she loves her Auntie as well as her cousins. Livy is a joy to be around. My sister is shown above in the right photo getting a HIGH FIVE from Livy. The things Livy has learned amazes me, my sister is truly an amazing mother.

We had a blast just hanging out with the girls. My sister, my daughter, my niece and me laughed so hard and chatting it up. Livy even started to brush our hair, what a cutie pie!

Mother Daughter Day

This was such a great day to have with my daughter and I am happy that we enjoy visiting with family because that made the day  more special for my sister who is often home without many friends. You know how that goes, you have a baby and all of a sudden you have to find more Mom friends because those friends who don’t have kids just “don’t get it”. The joys of motherhood. It was a happy time this day though and allowed me to be in my happy place for a few days afterward.

Mother Daughter Day

Livy is climbing all over the place and laughing a real belly laugh now. What a fun thing to witness, a babies first laughter. It was adorable. Livy was trying to climb over her cousin without success because those pants were keeping her from lifting her leg high enough. It cracked us up watching her climb everywhere while babbling her own stories to us!

We had a great couple of hours visiting then ventured off to the Upper Valley Humane Society where we sat in the cat rooms trying to get shy cats to come to us, reading all of the information on the adoptable kitties and wishing that we could adopt a kitty right now. I know we can’t afford a second pet at the moment, so we simply go and socialize with the kitties from time to time in hopes that it brings the kitties some joy to have company while they are waiting for their forever homes at the Upper Valley Humane Society. 

It was a wonderful day. I am always thankful to get a mother daughter day in. It made February vacation all that more special for us.

What Brings me Absolute Joy?

Each day I wake up to the same routine for two weeks in a row; Aj needs his specific morning routine and breakfast ready for him. My youngest needs his scrambled eggs or toast or cereal whatever he finally decides upon after 15 minutes of being indecisive. My daughter, the eldest of three, wakes up groggy but always has a slight smile on her face when she gets a hug from Mama. Each morning I wake up to children happy, healthy and thankful for their Mama who wakes up each day bringing them joy, but what I get in return is nothing money can buy.

February Vacation with my Kids

Each day I get a new perspective on life, as I am working to ensure Aj’s day goes as planned, that there isn’t any kinks to offset him before school to get him frustrated. Each day I wake up ensuring each child’s needs are met, for when my children’s needs are met, so are mine.

My job is Mom.

Being a Mom has brought me absolute joy. Being a Mom has brought tears to my eye. Being a Mom has left me tired at an early hour. Being a Mom has left me wondering, “am I doing this right?!” Being a Mom has opened my eyes to the world through children. Being a Mom has brought me absolute joy.

When I can begin each day with hugs, kisses and I love yous and end each day the same; that to me is my success story.

What Brings me Absolute Joy?

It doesn’t matter what falls in between; the normal chaos of raising a middle child who thrives on his day to go as planned and structured the same each day while also juggling his two siblings that are more free spirited like their Mama. It doesn’t matter how drained I can feel at times and want to curl up and cry over the fact that my middle child is struggling. You see, my middle child may be struggling but he doesn’t see it that way. My middle child sees himself as a loved boy, with parents who adore him and work hard to ensure his life is lived to the fullest. My other children see a brother who struggles but is a joy to play hide and seek with or pretend play MineCraft or Sonic. My family sees each of us for the love we have together, because together we bring each other absolute joy.

This is my happy place, my safe zone and it is also that for my children. So when asked what brings me absolute joy, my reply is simple;

Being a Mother.

More About School Vacation Week – Fun with my Family

School Vacation Week Is Nearing an End

Look at that little goofy boy there! My five year old son is the family comedian, always the laughing one in our household. K-man loves to make us laugh with his goofy antics, this is him during the magic carpet rides we gave during school vacation.

Magic Carpet Ride – Indoor fun for all kids and a great workout for parents arms – lay a blanket down on a slippery floor, have children (1-2 depending upon size) sit or lay on blanket and pull it around house. It’s so much fun! Guaranteed some laughs.

School Vacation Week Is Nearing an End

I had a great day one day this past week when I made pasta salad and grilled cheese sandwiches for my three kids plus my daughter’s best friend who had slept over. Many talk about stay at home moms not being as fulfilled as those who work outside of the home but this particular day I noticed something about my feelings, while cooking in the kitchen for the kids;

While cooking away in the kitchen, slaving over the stove & hearing the kids laugh and chat in the living room, I felt a warm feeling in my heart. I felt so completely fulfilled in that moment; that one moment made me realize why it is I work from home, because no job outside of the home could ever give me that heart felt warm feeling I experienced in the kitchen that day.

 School Vacation Week Is Nearing an End

We enjoyed a lot of silly moments this week and I am blessed to have such a close knit relationship with all of my children. I enjoyed our mother/daughter day on Tuesday. My daughter and I spent a full day together without the boys, which was long needed. I shall write about that day later. My youngest loves climbing on me, but he forgets that I am his Mama, not his Daddy, and a bit more fragile. A lot of unplanned fun unfolded this week and for that I am truly thankful to have experienced.

Allowing my kids to be who they are and embracing them as individuals really helps us to enjoy each other on a deeper level. Each of my children are so different than the other but together we are a match meant to be. I am blessed to be able to be their Mama.

School Vacation Week Is Nearing an End

Jenny the Pug had some fun too, she must have been slightly lost because of all this activity during the week. Jenny usually spends her weekdays with me working from my desk while she sleeps but even Jenny enjoyed having the kids home this past week for some family together time.

This week has reminded me that I am meant to be a Mom, it’s the one job in this world I have held since working at age 13 that I feel more fulfilled in that any other job I held in my life. Each day I learn something new about myself, my kids and what being a parent entails. I am truly blessed.

Happy First Birthday to my Niece Livy

Today my niece turns one year old, I cannot believe that one year ago today I was at the hospital with limited time waiting for Miss Olivia to come to this world. I sadly missed the arrival, and she ended up having to come via c-section but I did eventually get to meet her while she was at the hospital with her Mommy.

Brandy Holding Baby olivia

From that first day I fell in love. I held this little baby and felt a love I never thought one could feel except with their own child. Now I know what my sister felt that first time I made her an Auntie. It’s such a loving emotion.

Baby Olivia

Spending time around Olivia was and still is important, while they live about 40 minutes away from me, I want nothing more than to have a niece who loves & knows who her Auntie is. I had an amazing Auntie growing up and know how important that relationship can be, secondary to the child’s parents of course. I visited and continue to visit Olivia frequently, along with my children and fiance.

Ki and Baby Olivia

Miss Ki was so happy to finally have a cousin on her Mom’s side and it was a girl so that was even better. After all, Ki only has two younger brothers – no sisters so when Olivia came into this world she was so excited!

Baby Olivia and Mom

My sister and Olivia are shown above, I have enjoyed watching my sister go from just a sister to a sister who is a mother. The changes I have seen in my sister over the past year amaze me. There are no words to describe the love I have for both Olivia and my sister, it goes deep within my heart and soul.

Baby Niece Turns One

Picture Taken January 13, 2014

Today … I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVIA, YOU ARE NOW ONE! And I also say CONGRATS TO MY SISTER, YOU ARE NOW A MOM TO A CURIOUS, SOON TO BE WALKING LITTLE GIRL!

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