Technology vs Responsibility

I get it. Technology is pretty much everything right now. Everything is paperless. Most people carry around a smart phone with a calendar on it. My husband prefers his phone calendar. Me? I love my day-timer and my wall calendar. I love post-its and paper and sharpies and all that. My husband and I for the most part have managed to co-exist with our different ways, very few appointments have been missed.

But thats not really what I want to talk about today. It’s that EVERYTHING is going paperless lately; bills, letters, and now at my children’s school. And I HATE it.


There is no longer any responsibility put on kids to make sure they bring home important notes and paper work. Everything is on the school website or emailed to us. I hate it. I remember both dreading and loving when I got to bring home stuff. I was proud when I remembered something and didn’t lose anything. My kids? They don’t bring anything home now so they don’t get to experience that and learn.

And now my kids school has started an online thing were you have to email when your kid is sick. So no more talking to an actual human. No interaction whatsoever. Yes I am sure this cuts down on the phone calls the school gets during flu season, but still. Maybe it is the stay at home mom in me, but a little human interaction with an adult would be nice.

On top of that, they also started a program online so when you need to send money to school, again the kid is taken out the equation and no responsibility at all is placed on the child, the parent simply pays online. We can’t even send $1 into school with our child for popcorn day.

My children can also do their homework online and send it to their teacher. Again, no responsibility to make sure they bring home the homework, do the homework and then remember it in the morning! No extra responsibility at all.

Yes I see the upside, my kids will never lose an important paper, they won’t forget their homework at school, they won’t forget their homework at home, they won’t lose a field trip form and miss out on it, they won’t take money to school and risk the chance of losing that if they aren’t careful.

But I also see the downside, my kids will never learn simple responsibly because they will never lose an important paper – it will just get emailed to me, they won’t forget their homework at school because its online, they won’t get marks taken off their homework because they left it at home in their morning rush, they won’t miss out on a field trip because they won’t have to bring home the form, and as long as I pay online they won’t have the responsibility to cary around a couple dollars for pizza day which they may or may not lose if they had kept the money in their pocket and went running around playing at school.

Its all part of technology and our world it seems. So many things rely on the internet. I’m not against it, I don’t think machines will rise up one day and kill us all (SkyNet). But I don’t agree with technology taking away responsibility from my kids. Simple things that for a child are big things. Simple things that lead to bigger things.

~ Michelle

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Dear Moms, Age Is Just A Number

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When my big guy was in Junior Kindergarten he was 4 years old, like all the other kids in his class. Unlike all the other kids in his class, his mom (me) was only 25 years old at the time.

My age never bothered me, it never determined how good of a mother or how much of a mother I was. But it clearly bothers some people. And now that my kids are back in school, I have to deal with it all over again.

It all happened one fine day when my son was happily playing in the kindergarten school yard. Happy as can be. I was standing watching him, while my other son, who wasn’t old enough yet for school sat at my feet playing with a toy. Another students mom came up to me and asked my age. Feeling no guilt or shame in it, I proudly answered her. Her response, as loud as she could for every parent around to hear, “OH MY GOD! You are one of THOSE parents! OH MY GOD! You are only 25!” She actually put her nose in the air and turned away from me. She has never spoken to me since, despite our children going to school together at the same school and my son is now in Grade 5.

To this day I am still referred to as, “One of THOSE moms” When some of the moms talk at school they will purposely say things like, “Not that you would know about this, you are a young mom”. Unless they are talking about getting the seniors discount, they really should just shut it.

My age has been pointed out to me since the very first time I got pregnant. This is nothing new to me. But happening at school, in front of my kids, thats just not cool.

My age has absolutely no baring on how good of a mother or how much of a mother I am. It doesn’t define me on my journey in motherhood or makes me any less of a mother. It also doesn’t make me unable to understand the importance of motherhood and the ups and downs of it all.

I am every bit a mother as the next lady who gave birth in her mid 30s or 40s. I am every bit a mother the day I gave birth when I was 17, as I am now at 31 years old and 4 kids later.

How do I put this nicely… Dear Mothers who gave birth later in life, stop judging other moms based on their age. It doesn’t matter at what age we joined motherhood, what does matter is that we are all in this motherhood journey together and should be supporting each other and helping each other. We all have the same goal; raise kids that are happy and productive members of society and reach their full awesome potential.

Age is just a number. Age doesn’t matter. Age doesn’t define how good of a mother you are. There is no guarantee that the older you are the better mother you will be. So stop judging others by age. There is no magic age.

I am 31, I given birth to 4 kick ass children aged 14, 10, 9 and 2. And I am a kick ass mother. I am every bit a mother as someone who gave birth at 35, or 45! A mother is a mother is a mother!

So the next time you are out and see a young mom, be nice, don’t judge.

~ Michelle

Planning A Family Trip

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

This weekend I had lots of plans. Then germs hit the house. You have got to love back to school! So pretty much nothing got done this weekend, unless you count cuddles and naps! Then yes, lots got done.

So now here is Monday morning, I feel it mocking me and daring me to try to accomplish everything I want to do. And all with very little sleep and no coffee! Which basically means I am writing a lot of lists and notes down so I don’t forget anything! Because truth be told, I don’t have a lot of time to sit around being sick, I have so much to do! See in less than a months time we are taking a family trip! Not just any family trip! We are taking a week long trip to FLORIDA! And we are driving! Driving! Driving with my toddler who, to put it nicely, HATES the car! And we only have a week to get there, and back! So it should be very, VERY, interesting!

So I need to start planning what I need to pack, and buy for the trip, and it true me fashion, what I can make for the trip!

This will be the longest car ride for my toddler, and the longest time away from home. So I want it to go as smoothly as possible. Because no one likes a cranky, tired toddler that can scream like a angry screaming banshee on fire.

This isn’t the first time we have made this trip, but it is the first time with my toddler, so it feels like the first time and I am so scared and nervous and I have no idea what to expect. See the last time we did this trip, I only had my two boys, and they were 6 and 5 years old. They could sit in the car the whole time we were able to drive straight down over 24 hours with no meltdowns or issues. Also we had my parents. The adults outnumbered the kids, and it was wonderful!

This trip, it will just be my husband, me and our three kids! The kids outnumber us, and that is kinda scary! Not that they don’t outnumber me on a daily basis, but this is going into unknown territory.

So far I have snacks planned. Lots of snacks. Because growing boys love food, and my toddler loves food. As for anything else? I still working on that! Snacks, food, bathing suits, more snacks!

And did I mention we are leaving in less than a month?! The days of last minute packing and planning and so far behind me, I don’t even remember them! Everything now is plan, plan, plan!

It may seem a bit much, but if I don’t plan like crazy and have a million lists my anxiety will go crazy. Think of it as feeding the beast so it shuts up. Ok, maybe not shuts up, but at least calms it down just a little bit!

Back to planning and writing! And just when I thought our trip to Niagara Falls with all three kids for 2 nights was a big deal…

~ Michelle

 

2 Years, The Countdown Is On

My kids are at school, and I am sitting at the kitchen table alone with my toddler while she nicely eats her lunch. Just kidding she’s playing with her food and most if it is on the floor already.

I can’t help but wonder… Now what? How long will this last? And what happens after?

My two boys are in school, already Grade 5 and Grade 4, and my daughter is already two and half. She will be going to school in 2 years. 2 short years.

The house is already eerily quiet without my boys here. But I love it, because I get one on one time with my daughter. But I can’t help but wondering… What happens after? After she goes to school?

I have been a stay at home mom for just over 10 years now, by the time my daughter starts school it will be 12 years. 12 years I have been home with little humans around me, to care for, to play with, clean up after, snuggle with, all day every day. But when my daughter starts school, thats it. She is my last baby. What will I do?

I have two businesses now as it is, Sugarplum And Applesauce , and my newest, Inspired By Five. Well 3 if you count this blog. For the first time ever I will actually be able to work without interruptions. But it is not the work I am wondering about. It is more about how I will spend my day without little humans around me all the time? How will it be to not be needed like that ever again? Not not have my day revolve around someone else?

I love having my kids home, but I also love sending them off to school and seeing them grow and blossom into their own individual special person.

But lets face it, going 12 years with someone always home with me, to having no one home will be a big change. And yes I know it is not for another 2 years, but 2 years in motherhood passes a lot faster than 2 years any where else! I can’t help thinking about it now. Maybe it is in attempt to prepare myself for it. Or so I can cherish this time that much more? I don’t know why, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

At some point every mom goes through this, its natural and unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.

I know these next two years will pass by in a blur. A blur of snuggles, playing, reading, tantrums, play time, more tantrums and so much love.

I love my little humans and the time I have been given with them. It is so quick, but so jammed packed with awesomeness.

outdoor fun

~ Michelle

Back To School. Grade 5 & Grade 4.


My boys are back to school. Its hard to believe. The summer went by in a blur. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I just sent my boys off to Grade 5 and Grade 4! I still remember those grades like they were yesterday! Especially Grade 5, a lot happened that year. I was living in Kenya. I met friends that are still in my life today. I had my appendix out. Which resulted in 3 hospital visits after that including another hospital stay.   I went on a school trip to Mt. Kenya, which resulted in one of the hospital visits and being sent home early. Good times.
And now here I am, the mother of a son in Grade 5 and another son in Grade 4.

I remember thinking when I was little that the days would just drag  on and on. But now, it is as if someone has push the fast forward button on my life. I’m not sure I am ready for this. Every time I feel like I have my kids figured out, they go and grow up and change on me. Always changing, always growing.

I wonder if my parents ever felt like this? If they did they never let on. Maybe they just had better poker faces that I do, or they just handled it all a lot better than I am.

Lets be real here for a minute. Completely honest. I am a complete wreck over how fast my kids are growing up. I don’t feel like I am handling it all that well. I am an emotional wreck. I feel like I am constantly playing catch up. Always just one step behind them. Just when I think I have it all figured out, they go and grow up a bit more, not a lot, just enjoy to change every single thing!

Something else, HOW AM I OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE KIDS IN GRADE 5 AND GRADE 4?! Ok… never mind lets not go there.

Back to the important thing here… My kids. School. Such a bitter sweet thing! I am so incredible proud of them! They are such awesome little humans. They love school. They do well in school. They behave in school! But they are growing too fast. I love watching them grow and reach new milestones, but does it have to happen so damn fast?! This mama isn’t fully prepared for it.

Time to pull up my big girl panties, and handle this like the mom boss that I am!

Onward and upward.

Forever changing and forever growing.

Now… If I could get people to stop telling me when my daughter will start school and talk about how quickly that is coming, that would be awesome!

~ Michelle

So Many Passions

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Oh Monday. I have such a love/hate relationship with you. Monday for me is like a mini new years, in that I feel energized, motivated, hopeful, and dream big. But it is also Monday, and Monday can be a little mean. Monday is the Murphy Law of the week, if something can go wrong, it will. Yet every week my hopes grow, and every week… well Monday.

I have so many things I want to accomplish. So many plans. So many ideas floating around in my head. It is completely overwhelming. I have no clue where to start. I try writing out lists, but my lists end up having lists, and those lists have sub-lists, and it never ends.

I have so many passions and not nearly enough time. I want to do it all. And I will do it all. I just have to figure out how to manage my time so I can do it all. I love my blog. Its pretty awesome if you ask me. I love my first business I started, it has grown into something I never expected it to. Sugarplum And Applesauce is my baby. I found a new passion in my new jewelry business, Inspired By Five. And now I have a new passion I never knew I had, making wooden signs. I made two for my parents and I have so many more in the works. But it comes back to time. Everything takes time. Especially if you want something done right and done well.

Of course there is my biggest passion, and life calling, who I am, however you want to refer to it, I am a mother to three beautiful children. I love my kids. They drive me completely crazy but they are my life, and they bring me so much joy, and they steal so much sleep from me, but they are prefect and I love them.

So instead of setting out 10 goals for the week, I only have one. Organize my thoughts and ideas, and figure out which ones can be done first, and make an action plan to accomplish everything I want.

Being a mom is my first and most important job, but I still want and need to do other things and follow my own dreams and passions that don’t involve my kids. Which is easy enough to say, another thing to figure out the time, and whole other thing to get over the mom guilt of it. Yes there is mom guilt. I hate mom guilt. I have it all the time, and its stupid, and a waste of time I know that. However I still can’t shake it at times.

So this week, is about organizing my thoughts and ideas and passions. That shouldn’t take too long, right?! … I may need more than a week.

What do you hope to accomplish this week? What are your goals?

~ Michelle

 

Backyard Painting With A Shower Curtain

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and I saw that Todays Parent Magazine shared this story about a moms amazing backyard for her kids. I fell completely in love with her yard! It is amazing! I want to play in it. It also got me thinking. I don’t have a forest in my backyard, but I do have a backyard for my kids, and I have been thinking of what to do about painting with my toddler. My toddler LOVES to paint. But paper outside just doesn’t seem to do it, and we would paint right on the fence, but she didn’t like to finger paint on that. So this is where this article gave me the solution.

Hang up a clear shower curtain in the backyard! Its perfect! The rain can wash it clean, or you can. And the possibilities for my little artist are endless!

We didn’t have two trees close enough to tie it to like the mom in the article. So this is what we did, and you can to! All you need is a shower curtain, string, and a fence!

First stop, the dollar store!

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Next go outside, get some string, and string it through the loops. Next tie up the ends to the fence! Poke holes in the bottom so you can tie down the bottom corners as well!

Next step, get paint and have fun!

Even the big kids got into it! Everyone LOVED IT!

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This has quickly become the favourite spot in the backyard!

We put this up yesterday and already this morning my toddler was asking for this as soon as she finished breakfast!

I have a feeling we will be going through a lot more paint now!

~ Michelle