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Thursday, October 20, 2011

No TV? No way!

So this morning while I was helping my kids get ready for school I heard this on the radio, "No TV for kids under 2". Apparently it can impair language development or something. I didn't get to hear all of it.

I did google it to see what the "new" report said. Basically it says there's no educational value for kids 0-2 and it impairs language and sleep. This is the best I found. If you google it you'll see just how many there are.

Well, now that gives one pause. If only to say, What the Hey?! Stay with me here.

We all know that there's plenty of Educational TV (or so called some might say) out there. Most of us probably grew up on Sesame Street.

I had a single Dad. For awhile an Aunt did live with us but that's another story. For the most part of my younger life, he was a single Dad. He worked the grave yard shift at the rail road. During the day he'd work on cars of family, friends, friends of friends, etc.. When he could no longer work at the rail road working on cars became his full time job. He really had no one to watch me. He worked from home so he could both provide and watch out for me. Can you say, lots of TV? I can. I watched lots of TV and VCR tapes. I can't say if I watched any TV from 0-2. It's likely I may have watched TV in my toddler years.

For sure there's more programs now for kids than when I was a kid. More channels and more ways to watch than ever before.

The thing is. Most parents are not letting their kids watch TV for it's educational purposes. They're letting them watch it so they can get things done. I grew up having to entertain myself. Now while I will play with the kids and get silly with them, I also encourage them to find their own things to do. TV is not always what they choose. I've watched and heard them play countless silly games with each other or friends outside or in their room.

BUT anyway this is about the watching TV educational or not.

I am guilty of letting my kids watch programs on the TV. Heck, while I would get the older 2 ready for bed Meg would be in her play pen in our room watching Sprout. Bridge for the longest was a Noggin (now Nick Jr) fan. Sean, your classic channel surfer. Speaking of Sean, many, many nights I sat up with him during his infancy and the TV was on. He was forever plagued with ear/sinus infections and just never did sleep well at all. Plus, there's the fact that when I'm home the TV is almost always on as background noise if nothing else.

I don't feel guilty that I let my kids watch TV.  I felt we've struck a balance. I also felt like letting them watch it was helping them learn and keeping them out of my way long enough to cook or clean or whatever. (Pretty sure the whatever doesn't need explaining *wink wink*) My kids knew what channels or shows they could watch. They're even pretty good at knowing what I'd deem inappropriate. The utter horror of my son not getting to watch the Simpsons was forever debated between me and him. This is where I'm sure his hatred of the term "Parentocracy" came from.

Now my kids not only watch TV but they also use my iPad a fair amount. Most of the time they are wanting to watch Netflix on it while they wait for their TV/Computer turn.

I'm not wanting to debate TV vs No TV or is it really educational. I just thought it was funny. Especially considering I don't know anyone who's kids hasn't watched TV. It's probably a good bet that the so called experts don't always follow their own advice/guidelines (just saying).

I grew up watching TV. I have fond memories of watching Sesame Street and Saturday Morning Cartoons. Things like Gun Smoke and Wheel of Fortune with my Daddy. Going the the video store every Friday to rent movies. For me and Daddy our time was going to the local dirt track on Saturday to watch the race cars. I turned out alright. So far, I think my kids are fine. We get out and do things together. Maybe not museums or anything. We still manage to get quality non TV time together.

Does make me wonder what those Your Baby Can Read people are gonna do now. I mean, they guarantee if you use their program (videos w/flash cards) that your kid can read as an infant. Think they're sales are gonna go down do to this report?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Coming Back Together ~ The Beginning

I am on a mission.

I have fully accepted this mission and I mean to attain it.

This is way more important than  when me and Hubs mucked out our room. Like 1,000,000 x Infinity more important.

I blogged awhile back about things are what they are but they don't have to be. I've been in prayer and meditation about it. Yes I have. I am almost positive the time is now.

Today while sitting in church and listening to the message on forgiveness I realized I had nearly forgotten about it. About my mission. What I want and need. Not only for me but my for family. Not just my immediate family but the whole family. Too long our family has been apart and dare I say living in the past. Holding onto past hurts and insults (for lack of better wording).

I don't know what I can do about it. All I know is that someone must be the beginning. I know I can do this. Not alone but with God backing me. With prayers and positive thoughts.

It's all powerful stuff. We do not have to be separate. We have chosen to be so because it is easier to not face it and pretend it doesn't exist. To just let the chasm in the family get bigger and bigger. It can end with us. Those that choose to face facts. To see that we are only hurting ourselves. The not knowing each other and the families we've begun. It's like my kids are paying for what happened 32+ years ago.

I happen to be in the middle of both sides of the original catalyst. I get it. I know the pain. But the way it went down does not have to continue through the generations. We cannot hold onto all the pain and hate or it will tear each of apart and drive us crazy.

The past is the past. It is what it is and cannot be changed. It's what we do with it that matters. For too long hate, pain, fear have ruled. Now it is time for love, healing, forgiving, and moving on to begin.

I don't know how. Actually, yes I do. One step. Just taking the first step. It has to begin somewhere. I know my Mom would not want her family to be the way it is now. Old hurts and new ones causing the family to separate and be weakened. I know my Grandma wouldn't want that either. Their lives meant more than that.

I am on a mission.

I have fully accepted this mission and I mean to attain it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mission Accomplished And Then Some!

So yesterday I posted that me and Hubs were on a mission to find a chest of drawers and muck out our room. We were way over feeling like we lived in a storage room. Our battle plan was to get started as early as possible. The more time we had to find the right chest of drawers the better.

This is a good idea of what our room looked like. 

Of course, it is usually not this messy. I took these right after kids left for school.

Given we planned to muck out the room and do some rearranging, I saw no point in making the bed or picking up. 

Of course, a good breakfast is always a plus before going on the hunt. I just love Whataburger! I like breakfast but hubs, not so much. So he can get a burger and I can get breakfast. Perfect!

We found nothing in town. The Goodwill and resale shops sale things like chest of drawers almost as soon as they get them. There are couple antique malls here but hubs and I decided not to check them out on this day. Mostly because he didn't like them when he shopped there before.

This had us going to nearby Cleburne. They have all kinds of shops. The first place we stopped at had one chest of drawers and it wasn't exactly antique. At the second antique mall, I found two potential chest of drawers. Hubs, was not enamored of them. Something about too 40's ish. I think that's why I liked them.

So, on we went. First to the Goodwill there. Which again had nada. Then to a new/used furniture store. Which also had nothing and were very proud of what they did have.

 Hubs then decided we'd also look for storage cabinet or something of the sort for his massive coin stock. Off we went to a place he knew of. Sadly, they didn't have what he was looking for. We did however meet a rather unusual occupant of the business.

Apparently, he/she is sort of a pet. It uses a kitty litter box. Repeat customers bring he/she food. I think the workers are even able to pet it. I know they hand feed it. We were told he/she appeared at sometime in the summer. Since we are in extreme drought conditions it makes sense he/she would seek out shelter. It was just a baby raccoon when the business noticed it was hanging around. He/she keeps the same hours as the business.

We then headed to Benbrook. The antique mall there was really nice. Hub did get a little irritated of my several too many Oooo Shiny Moments. But, in the end we found just what we were looking for. Two potential chest of drawers. One eve had matching vanity. We were leaning towards that set so we could be rid of the rickety shelf that called itself our desk.

The price was putting us off. Especially since we were on limited budget. The mall owner contacted the seller and she brought the price from $370 + tax to $300 and she'd use her own tax id so we didn't have to worry bout the tax. We had told the sales lady of our recent experience of being robbed and that they of course had no care for the furniture they were so mad to go through. Thus why we were looking for replacements. We'd have brought ours when we moved but didn't think it'd fit.

An unexpected blessing, she was willing to not only help us out but work with us. We briefly considered taking the chest of drawers and putting the vanity in lay away. Decided if we truly wanted to organize the room we needed to take both pieces home. Okay, so I talked him round to it. (He said just that to me when he decided to agree with me.)

Isn't it lovely! It's quirky beautiful! Big bonus that hubs loved it, too!

I wasn't fast enough to snap pic of the chest of drawers.

We aren't quite done getting our room all organized but it's coming together quite nicely.

 I wasn't brave enough to take a pic of the closet before. It was filled w/all kinds of MILs and maybe BILs storage stuff. It looked like a closet ready to burst. I have no idea how we got anything in or out before.

 Again, not yet picked up from the morning rush.

The chest of drawers! Finally, we can find clothes easily w/o digging through laundry baskets!

Our room is finally starting to feel like a room. Who knows how much longer we'll be here. It's just nice to have a room and not a storage closet. 

Plus, since Sean sleeps on a pallet in our room, this arrangement gives him more space on the floor that before. He had been laying between the rickety shelf/desk and our bed. No bueno. He's much happier now that he can stretch out a bit. Me, too. I no longer have to pick up items he knocks off in middle of the night. Nor do I worry that shelf/desk will fall on him.

Hopefully, I can share the 100% finished pics soon. This at least gives y'all an idea of how it is now. 

As I was cleaning the chest of drawers and the vanity/desk I realized something. These two items are the first ever chest of drawers and vanity/desk we've ever bought. Most all of our furniture had been given to us by MIL. The only exception was the sofa and matching chair we bought when we moved in together. There was once that make do desk from Wal Mart, but I don't count that as a major furniture purchase. That will forever make this set very special to me. Some day it will have a home in one of the kids rooms or a guest room.

We had so much fun spending the day together on this adventure, I hope to be blessed enough to do so when we do finally have a place of our own again. Was definitely more time consuming and more adventuresome that going to a major furniture store. It was also infinitely more rewarding.

(P.S. While mucking out the room no music was on. Just the sounds of kids totally taking advantage of distracted parents and running amok. In case you were wondering.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today Is The Day!

Today is the day!

I wish I could say today is the day we are moving out of in laws house and into our own place again, but we're not.

So, what could be almost as good as that? (we all know moving into our own place again would totally rock) Me and Hubs are going to muck out our room and make it more livable for us. I won't lie, I'm hoping he's the labor and I'm the supervisor, but I doubt it'll go like that.

First we are going to see if Goodwill has a chest of drawers! (Thanks to the idiots who trashed our old place our chest of drawers is unusable and we have no place/way to refinish it at this time) If we do manage to get a chest of drawers we can finally find things w/o digging through the 2 baskets of stuff we have in this tiny room.

Then we are going to get cracking and make this room look like it should. Too bad we can't paint it. I've always wanted a teal bedroom. That'll have to wait til we have our own space again. MIL is very against the color teal in any form on walls. I hope when we have our own place again that I can show her how awesome teal can be.

This mucking out of the room should lead to interesting conversations and music choices. The music being the most interesting as we have varying degrees of differences in our tastes. So, I guess NKOTB is out but then so is oh I don't know maybe Pink Floyd.

Please don't give me that look! I can only take so much Pink Floyd and it's so not muck out a room music. However, neither is NKOTB. Hmmm, maybe the Beatles? I'll let y'all know.

Now upon reflection of this marvelous plan, I'm wondering if once we get the room just so if suddenly, Hubs finds a job, and we then are able to start looking for a place....You get the picture? As much as we like the pros of living extended family style, we really need our own space. 5 people and 2 rooms just doesn't quiet fit. I mean, we share the whole house but Sean needs to have his own room. The girls, really need a bigger room to share. We just can't have that here. This house really isn't big enough for the 8 of us living here.

So, today we get this room organized. Where it leads to? Who knows. But at least it'll feel more like a room  than not. We'll feel more at home rather than temporary guests.

Today is the day!

(After hubs informed me we need to find a dresser first, I came back to edit this post. Now, I'm thinking  DUH! It'd totally help to have a place to put things while we muck out the room. :P )