Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chores and the Similarities in Generations

Doing dishes - photo copyright © 2013 Mandy Ross
 While dealing with my children and their chores, I realized something about my own childhood. When I was a kid, my sister and I shared the chores of dishes and laundry. We would alternate who did what each day. I have always been an “I’ll get to it when I get to it” kind of person, my sister is not. She has this clear memory of me slacking off so she would do my chores. I hate to burst a 20+ year old bubble, but that wasn’t the case.

Just like Bug getting mad at Boy Wonder who has yet to unload the dishwasher. He’s not slacking off; he just hasn’t gotten to it yet. His dad told him to have it done by the time he gets home after work. It’s not even noon yet, but, she’s in the kitchen putting up the dishes that are clearly his chore. I told her that she can’t be mad at her brother for not doing his chore when she didn’t give him the time to do it. She knows that their dad said that their chores had to be done for them to go to the lake this weekend and she wants to make sure that they get to go. So, after nagging her brother to do it, and him choosing to finish his video game first, frustration got the better of her and she took matters into her own hands.

I think this is probably what happened to my sister and me when we were kids. My sister got tired of nagging and I didn’t feel any hurry to get it done, so she just started doing it for me. It’s so weird to see parts of my personality and parts of my sister’s emerging in my children as they interact with one another. It’s definitely helping me to realize that things weren’t the way either one of us thought they were.

I honestly thought she wanted to do my chores, because them being undone was driving her crazy and it was just easier for her to do it herself. If she didn’t do them, I would get to them eventually. It didn’t really matter to me if she did them or I did them, as long as they got done by the time our parents got home or before I went to bed. I didn’t get mad at her if I had to do my own chores, but I didn’t appreciate her nagging me about them either. I don’t do well with nagging, especially if I know it needs to be done and I’m the one who’s supposed to do it. I don’t think anyone likes to be in that position, especially when the deadline isn’t looming so close that you couldn’t possibly get it done in time.

Once Boy Wonder had beaten his video game, he came out of his room to unload the dishwasher and put up the dishes. He found Bug up on a stepstool putting up the plates. He helped her finish putting up the dishes and then they walked out of the kitchen to go play a game together. Eventually, she might learn that he will do his chores in his own time. She’s going to have to learn patience and to not resent him when she willingly does his chores for him. He’s also going to have to learn that she won’t always do his chores and to not try to wait her out until she can’t take it anymore. Not like I did that to my own sister, or anything…

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Simple Scrapper May Blog Hop


 Welcome to the May edition of the Simple Scrapper Blog Hop!

I have a couple layouts to share with you. The first is using one of the templates available to the Simple Scrapper Premium Members this month.


The next is using one of the twelve May Story Starters included with the Premium Membership.


Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter a giveaway for a one month trial membership at Simple Scrapper. There are three ways to enter and three winners will be selected. To be eligible, you must enter by 11:59pm CDT on Wednesday, May 8.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, go check out the amazing inspiration all the other Simple Scrapper Team Members have to share with you by clicking on the links below.

Simple Scrapper (Jennifer Wilson), Lisa Corbin-Polak, Ronnie Crowley, Margrethe Aas Johnsen, Amy Kingsford, Samantha Landay, Pam Lozano, Aimee Maddern, Jean Manis, Van Nguyen, Melissa Priest, Celeste Smith, & Sara Strickland

The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping. Each month members receive a new collection of sketch templates and Story Starters, story-focused prompts for pages and projects. Want to work with our collections for FREE? Simple Scrapper is having a call for new team members.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Winter Blahs

I don't know what it is about February, but I get the "blahs" the same time every year. I just don't feel like doing anything. I crave sunlight, fresh fruit and sleep. It's very odd, but familiar. Now that it's March, we're getting closer to spring, but I'm still not over my "blahs."

So, to get myself through this time, I like to add little bits of happiness to my days. Like planning what to do with the children while they're home on Spring Break later this month or tackling small craft projects. I've also been opening up my blinds and letting what little sunlight has been shining into the house. I'm trying not to think about what a failure I feel like and focus on what I'm doing that's good. Sounds easier than it is. 
Notebook for our Spring Break planning - photo copyright © 2013 Mandy Ross
I put together this cute planning book for our Spring Break using a notebook I picked up on clearance for $.98 from Target, some washi tape, Thickers and an Amy Tangerine date stamp. It's not perfect, but it's my first foray into covering something with washi tape. I think I might need to get some more solid colors or paint the notebook first next time. I didn't start with a solid colored base and it shows.

Another good thing I'm doing, is that I've managed to take a photograph every day this year. I didn't start the year intending to do a picture a day project, but here I am. I think I'll continue doing it as long as I can. Some days I only take one picture and it's not always of the most profound thing, but I think it's giving a little insight into how I spend my days. I also don't feel as if I need to have my camera glued to me all the time. There have been a lot of "photo opportunities" that I didn't take because I was caught up in the moment creating memories. So, I don't feel bad about it. Cutting down on mommy guilt is always a good thing. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

What We've Been Up To

   February has been full of the winter sickies around here. First, Boy Wonder got the Chicken Pox. Yes, he really did at 8 years old, even after having received the vaccine. Luckily, because he had the vaccine, it was a very mild case and didn't cause him much more than some itching and a little whining. The girls were spared, thankfully.

   Bug was sent home from school on Wednesday with a mild fever, 100.5, and a headache. She was not allowed back to school until she had been fever-free, without medicine, for 24 hours. I gave her medicine as soon as we got home, the fever went away and never came back. So, she had a free day at home on Thursday. We went to the craft store and baked cupcakes for Valentine's Day. She went back to school on Friday and was in the nurse's office with another headache, but no fever. I'm not quite sure why she gets headaches at school, but not at home. She had her eyes checked and got glasses in the Fall.

   Muffin has had her off days, but nothing serious, so far. She had her 4yo checkup at the end of January. She had a fever for a couple days afterwards, but has been doing well since then. I haven't been so lucky. Saturday evening, Andy and I were on a "date" when my face started hurting. I took some medicine and felt better, but Sunday I woke up feeling awful. I even took a nap in the afternoon and I never take naps. I'm not feeling much better today, to be honest. My face, throat and chest all hurt. I really hope it's just a small cold and not something more serious.
My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic title screen
   Since we're all feeling so puny, we've been doing quiet things that don't require a lot of energy, like playing video games. We've all gotten a bit obsessed with the My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic app on our iPods. Yes, plural. I had to put it on both of them, so we could all play it.
My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic ball bounce game
   It's one of those games where you build a town by moving ponies in and setting up shops for them to work in. You also play games with the ponies; one is a ball bouncing game, another is apple picking and there's a bonus game where even the non-Pegasus ponies get to fly. Nothing too difficult. It's good fun when you're not feeling well though.
My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic apple picking game
   We're trying to save our hearts and gems to purchase special ponies, like Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash. It's a "freemium" game which means it's free to download and play, but if you want special ponies, shops or decorations, you have to shell out real money to buy more gems to purchase the items faster. It will take a long time to save up enough gems to buy some of the specialty characters. Especially when your children decide to use the gems to buy something else and you have to start all over. Not that I would know anything about that...
My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic "Hearts and Hooves" title screen

   There was an update to the app on Valentine's Day. The town is now celebrating Hearts and Hooves Day. It's all lovey-dovey in the store and there are new love themed challenges along with new ponies and decorations. I don't know how much longer it'll keep the kids' attention, but they're having fun with it. I know there are some games that we've purchased that haven't held their collective attention this long.

   This post is not sponsored by My Little Pony or the app. I'm pretty sure they've never heard of me or my blog, but I thought I'd put that out there in case anyone thought I was making money off of this or got the app for free to promote it. I did get the app for free, but so can everyone else. It's available on iTunes and Google play.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Simple Scrapper February Blog Hop

Welcome to the Simple Scrapper Blog Hop!  I hope you're having a wonderful day. This month, I've got a couple layouts to share with you. The first is using one of the new Premium Membership templates/sketches from the February collection added this month.
The next is using one of the February Story Starters included in the Premium Membership and a template/sketch from the archives. I chose this prompt out of the 12 provided.
Speaking of the Premium Membership, use this link to enter a giveaway for a one-month trial subscription to Simple Scrapper: Entries will be pooled and one winner will be selected at 11:59pm CST on Wednesday, February 6. You may enter from multiple blogs. 

Make sure to check out all the inspiration from the rest of the Design Team members by clicking on the links to their blogs listed below.

The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping. Each month members receive a new collection of sketch templates and Story Starters, story-focused prompts for pages and projects.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Experiencing Art

Homage to the Square: Joy by Josef Albers - photographed at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - photo copyright © 2013 Mandy Ross
This week, I have visited the local art museum twice. The first time, my husband and I took our older two while the youngest was with the grandparents. We walked the trails on the museum grounds and saw Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture before going inside the museum. Our 6yo giggled at all the people sculpted or painted without clothing, but really seemed to enjoy looking at the art. She even wants her hair cut like a girl in a painting from the mid-1800s. The 8yo had been there before and wasn't excited by much, but he also didn't complain while we were there either. That was a definite win.

The next day, the 6yo and 4yo were painting and the 6yo told her sister that her painting of multicolored dots was "art." No ifs, ands or buts about it, it was art. The 4yo was very intrigued. So, we took her to the museum while the other two were in school. We did a much shorter tour of the museum and started out in the Experience Art Studio where she could draw and create things before taking her to see some of the "pictures" as she called them. She kept telling us what she saw in the paintings, which I think is a lot of fun. One of the painting resembled a target to her. She kept pointing and asking, "that's art?" I think she finally understood why her sister was telling her that her painting was art. It was similar to the contemporary art we were looking at.

I had to show her my favorite piece - Homage to the Square: Joy by Josef Albers, which is pictured above. She was not impressed. Her sister hadn't been either. I don't know why, but I like it. Amazingly enough, Andy's favorite painting in the museum's collection is in the same gallery. He likes Snow on Alden Brook by Neil G. Welliver.

I don't know why it took us so long to take the kids to the museum. I think that as long as we don't drag them there every weekend, they'll still be excited about going. I'm just glad we have the opportunity to share something like this with them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Custom Ponies

The other day, I was reading a post on Epbot. Jen had created a super cute custom pony in the My Little Pony style. She linked up the generator by generalzoi on deviantART. I just got around to using it, but the kids and I had a lot of fun with it.

I did mine first. Just to see how it worked. You know, so I could help the kids later.
I named her Clara. I think it suits her. Not really MLP standard, but I don't really care.

Then, the 4yo had to make 2 ponies. The first one is her version of Pinkie Pie. We call her "Pinky Pi."
The second is her take of Princess Celestia. Modeled after the pink toy version she got for Christmas, of course. We're just calling her Princess.
Once the 6yo got home from school, she had to make her own. She calls her Chelsey.
Not to be outdone, the 8yo chose to create his own. With the help of an online name generator, he's calling his Wicked Shadow.
The kids like them so much, they've printed them and hung them on the walls of their bedrooms. Sometimes, it's something so simple that can bring a lot of joy. For an afternoon anyway. I have a feeling this won't be our last visit to the pony creator.