February 1, 2015

Going without TV Week 3: Afterthoughts

So apparently there is a sporting event to happen today. I don't do sports. I like when Texas sports are winning but I don't actually watch them... but I do watch the SuperBowl, its a culture thing I guess, a ridiculous one but it happens and I watch it so that I'm not left out of all the water cooler talk at my work. It's a one-woman design shop. I'm that one woman (see what i did there? #jokethings). Yesterday marked the 3 weeks without TV, so today I will break the fast with a SuperBowl. I'm 99% certain it won't be worth it. Oh well.

What happened you ask? Week 1 and Week 2 of my TV fast.


This past week was busy, Busy enough to throw my kids in bed, check my email then go to bed myself, most nights. That helps when you aren't suppose to watch TV.... But if I'm being honest the YouTube and Facebook on our phone have been running a bit much. Like my phone is dead a lot.

So what's my post-mortem assessment of 3 weeks of no TV:
I enjoyed my kids a bunch: A bunch a bunch, like loosing-a-little-bit-of-patience-sometimes enjoyed my kids a bunch. But not as much as I think I would have had the TV been on in the background or if they were on some mind-numbing TV binge. As I believe it is with most parents I'm working on my patience. I have loved observing them play and explore and learn with and without me. Watching them from a distance has really just become my entertainment.

All of these are great quotes.
Things around the house: We got stuff done around the house, especially Ross, he's trimmed the trees and has become a little addicted, we may have to use the neighbor's allotted limb-trash space, (whatever they moved). We are planning an epic garage sale, we are preparing for my sister to steal take back her guest bed and dining table. We are thinking about have a designated space for kids coloring or learning, we got the garden started, we have a much longer list, but it's nice to start getting all of it started.

I miss TV at nights when I have to work: I always thought I was super productive at nights when I sat down and watched TV while designing a blog or website. Its was nice to have on in the background. But on the flip side I CANNOT watch TV and read/write at the same time. So I've been getting a lot of writing done lately. I'm more confident that I can find a good balance.

I also miss TV during dinner prep time: Cause of patience and kids underfoot.

Music & Reading: I bought a few gospel songs and have made sure that it is always on in the background, I have really loved this. I have finished 2 books and almost finished a 3rd.

From here on out: 
So we will be getting rid of 50% of our TV. And by 50% I mean we aren't cutting TV time I mean we are removing 1 of the TVs permanently and will be only using the one in the big room. We'll see if it stays there. Hopefully that will cut down on our reliability to parent with th idiot box. Also I want to be a bit more selective with my TV and especially the kid's TV.

We will get right on this after this whole Seahawks and Patriots thing... mom told me yesterday who was playing.

January 31, 2015

My Soul is a Little Split Lately

Dear Maggie and Willow,

A lot has happen recently that keeps me from writing. But I won’t bore you with adult responsibilities, recently I got back from my first vacation away from y'all. Me and your Dad went to New York and ya’ll stayed with Grammy and Papaw for 3 whole days.

It felt weird being apart from a such a large piece of myself… Let me explain (in the most abstract annoying way possible).

When you are a child, a teen, or young adult your world revolves around you. You worry about worldly things and you may love your family and your God but your whole soul resides in your body. You see things only from your point of view and its hard to understand true absolute love. You want Christmas to be fun for you. You want a vacation to be memorable for you. You find a husband that will be good for you. You want to know what God can do for you & your little world. You may be appreciative and thankful and that completely-understandable self-centeredness is normal... or at least it was for me.

Now as a 30-year old mother of 2 little girls I began thinking about life not from a self-centered point of view, but from your small, innocent, new point of view, and sometimes a much more spiritual point of view. Everything has taken on more meaning. My soul doesn’t just reside in my body, but I leave a big part of it with y'all, and that is a weird feeling. As a mom I worry a lot about that part of my soul, its very humbling and vulnerable.

We are entering that stage in your life that you are starting to understand things and I don't have all the answers.  The older I get the more I realize I won’t ever have all the answers, but I hope to at least stay ahead of y'all by 27ish years. I'm only human, and I'm starting to realize my parents were only human. I really want you to think I have the answers. I want you to think I got all of this under control, I want you to think I hung the moon tonight. My parents sure had me amazed, still do, well at least by 27 years or so.

My life revolves around making your childhood magical, educational, and safe. I am not in control of your quantity of life or that part of my soul I left with you, and that terrifies me as I am sure it terrifies all moms and dads. I am in charge of your quality of life. The quality of that little part of my soul that I am leaving with you. I have given myself over to being your mom. Being your protector. Being your magic maker. Being your teacher, leader and your childhood maker.

I love more since being a mom, I love bigger. I love 100% absolutely. I don’t just love y'all more but I love your daddy more. I love my parents more. I love Jesus more. I love people more and I love all of that much deeper that I can ever think possible. God feels different now too, I know that sounds weird but to me I am more appreciative, and amazed, and even terrified at all that He has given me and that He can take away.

Together we grow, together we are figuring things out. I am not the same mom I will be in 20 years its comforting to think that my mom was just as clueless as I am 20 years ago, that's why they call them GRANDmoms. 




January 25, 2015

Going without TV Week 2: Feelin' the Burn

Week 2 without TV. Still going strong... well until today.  Let me explain.

Even before I decided was challenged to go on a 3-week "fast" without TV I had been trying to clean up my TV watching shows and started substituting vampires, crime, superheroes and lesbian prisoners for more Property BrothersBible: the MiniSeries, and 19 Kids and Counting. I was trying to find less mind numbing TV to put on in the background while we went about our day, or while I worked at night.

I'm still not willing to give up GoT, SoA, or HoC, but I'm getting a little better.

Overall I have loved quitting and changing our TV habits. Now I just have to find some good habits to replace this one. 

This week though, had a lot more stress and personal challenges that would have been great to come home and vegetate in front of the idiot box with a beer, but that just didn't happen.

CHALLENGE 1 - THE CAR: We had to buy a car this week and that itself was the most stressful thing to research and pray over. We bought a car on Wednesday and I'm just glad it is over, its a dark beige (inside & out) 2004 Honda Pilot, over 150,000 miles, I named it the Happy Honda, cause no matter how much stress came with buying Happy, I was determined for Happy to bring happy moments and happy thoughts. I decided this after a 3 hour car buying experience during a particular stressful drive home at rush hour in the dark while raining without my phone or GPS.

But more importantly to note is that the new car came with a DVD player. SOO during the drive to my parents house this weekend the kids watched a bit of Bambi.
Sidenote:  my three year old is not mature enough for Bambi. I almost lost it when Maggie was asking me from the back seat "What happened to the mother?" "What happened to the mother?"
Note: I have not read Fahrenheit 451, I think I started it once, but then a TV show came on that day

CHALLENGE 2 - PARENTS: I'm at my parents house. So even tho I have NOT sat down in front of the TV, it is on in the back ground. Parent's house is the worse when I try to restrict myself from something like TV or peanut butter cookies.

CHALLENGE 3 - TUMBLR: Ross seems to be the one missing his shows, mainly cause all his shows are discussed and shown on tumblr. So sometimes I hear him wimper when he's scrolling on his phone. He's still 100% supportive of our quest as a family. I myself, have long ago "hid" TV shows and entertainment pages I liked on facebook. I found myself delving into endless internet surfing sessions revolved around the fake character lives of hollywood people. Ain't nobody got time for 'dat!

WHAT ARE WE SUBSTITUTING TV WITH:

  • Reading: I just finished my 2nd Duggar book. Both books are so good and truly inspirational to see how Jesus and the Bible have inspired a peaceful parenting atmosphere and a ministry-minded life. We are also reading the Bible, Researching natural solutions and gardening.
  • Play: Maggie is loving puzzels and she has really enjoyed doing all sorts of puzzels, including a puzzle of the United States Map. Willow is finding that taking people's things and then running at top speed is super fun. 
  • Potty Training: I made a HUGE deal out of going to the store to buy "big girl" panties and having a big girl day with mommy and getting our toes done and buying a bunch of potty books for Maggie to read. So we've been a LOT more consistent over here. 
  • Buying stuff: Not necessarily a good substitute, but this last week I have noticed an influx of spending, not including the car we bought. Gonna have to fix that.
  • Eating: Peanut Butter cookies..... um yea, not a good substitute either.

January 18, 2015

Going without TV Week 1: Why?

Going without TV was something that has been on my mind for a while. I love ALL the TV. But I also think it is major time-suck and I kept thinking I wanted more time. More time to read, more time to write, more time to work efficiently so I could sllllleeeeep more, but I could excuse all that away cause ya know, Game of Thrones.

I have been toying with the idea as a yearly "resolution" or monthly "challenge".  But resolutions don't last and never change anything and ya know, House of Cards.

So that brought me to a recent book that I was reading called 20 and Counting a 'how-to' about raising one of America's largest families, the Duggars. And in the book the Duggars were challenged in their first year of marriage to NOT have a TV.  They survived, and they mentioned that their family is stronger because of their limitations on programming, but ya know, Modern Family.

This continued to weigh on my mind and every morning I woke up to zombie-toddlers worshipping Dora the Explorer, or little minds that were being molded by Curious George and Clifford. Me and my husband had spoken about it before and there were definite days that I wanted to just get the scissors and cut the cord. It even bothered me at night that me and my husband went to a separate rooms to watch our own shows. But ya know, Dexter, Dr. Who, Arrow, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, Vampire Diaries, The BlackList, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Sherlock, True Blood, Bitten, the Walking Dead, Downtown Abbey, Law and OrderCriminal Minds and really so much more that I'm embarrassed.

Then my church challenged the community to a 21 day fast, which usually means I should give up soda or cheese or some biblical food item, but instead they mentioned TV directly, so that was a slap in the face to my subconscious and really I thought "January is still winter break for TV, I can manage 3 weeks without screens consuming my kids lives and my time. Let's see what will happen."

So.. we did it. 

I knew that I would be tempted if I didn't just appeal to my inherent laziness and get rid of the TV (I'm too lazy to pull a tv out of a closet and plug it in when I want to vegetate). So I woke up last Saturday.... and we turned the TVs off. Ultimately I actually had to...
  • Remove the tv from the living room, 
  • Covered the wall mounted tv in our Room
  • Hide all remotes
  • Blocked Hulu, Netflix and You Tube from my computer and I also blocked Facebook (more of a work-related time sucker)
THE RESULTS: Things have changed around here and I noticed it almost immediately.

ONE, THE GIRLS: Maggie (3yo) and Willow (1yo) have gone about their day as if nothing has changed. They haven't asked for it except the first day when Maggie thought it was broken and that dad would "fix" it. I've noticed a huge difference in their concentration, imagination, and general play time with different toys. Maggie is loving puzzles, Willow is glued to this erasable drawing toy and both girls have been playing with their dolls. Don't get me wrong, they are also a bit more mischievous lately too, getting into things and spaces that normally wouldn't have come to their minds

TWO, THE SILENCE: There were days that I would come home and the noise level was intense with 2 toddlers, the TV, the dog, and the other going-ons. Now, its a little more peaceful and the girls are playing by themselves (sometimes too quietly for 2 little girls) for minutes at a time.

THREE, THE EXTRA TIME: I'm not rolling in extra time that I'm bored or unaware of what to do with myself but I have found more time to read, write, have some Bible & meditation moments and get some to do list stuff done. Its been nice.

FOUR, THE HUSBAND: We have talked. I'm not saying we didn't before the Shut Off of 2015, but now I feel as if conversations are happening that didn't before. Even if we are both sitting in the same room doing different things, now instead of the TV being on in the background to occupy the silence its us communicating and just shooting the breeze like some old married couple. 

Hopefully this peacefulness, self-awareness, God-centric time continues. Stay-tuned....

Also have I missed any life altering news coverage or gossip? I heard the Cowboys lost, Jennifer Lopez arrived naked to the Oscars...again, and that DFW might sink into the ground by earthquakes, but was there anything else?

November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

It was 3 days of Halloween activities. I had a little Queen of Hearts and a little Ursula. 


The outfits worked the best on day 2, but that day was the biggest bummer in terms of available candy. :) On Halloween we got to go trick or treating with the neighbors. We had so much fun, but 3 days is a lot. Sorry the pictures are out of order and kinda jumbled up.

September 29, 2014

Sisters & Sorry

So I decided to keep my personal blog stuff over here on blogger.... I temporary moved it over to my professional design wordpress site because.... well, i don't know... I'm a sucker for self-inflicted internet problems. Some of my pictures went missing in the process but after a few Google searches I realized it wasn't the actual move it was .... google. Weird. So if you find a post that has missing photos... I'm sorry. Blame the internet. Here's a .gif of my girls being sisters.

August 16, 2014

Summertime Painting

Today I decided in the spur of the moment to throw the paints outside with the girls. I even invited the neighbors over real quick. I love my neighbors, they have 3 kids with 2 girls one about a year younger than Maggie and another about a year younger than Willow. So perfect I couldn't ask for better neighbors.

And since 30 photos of painting is just not enough, I attached another 15 when the neighbors came over for some bubble time last week. :)


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July 11, 2014

Summer Swimmings and Bubbles

I love these girls, and even tho the pool had a hole and was leaking air, we filled it up and turned on the bubble machine tonight. I always feel so incredibly blessed to be a mom, and also incredibly blessed that I didn't drop the camera in the water. :) These girls are so different from one another, I can't get over Maggie's "thinking" tongue, Willow's giant smile and the giggles. Oh the giggles.
IMG_0637 IMG_0660Tasting bubbles.IMG_0634IMG_0732 IMG_0717This girl loves the water. She just wanted to lie down in it.IMG_0642Bubbles, bubbles bubblesIMG_0667IMG_0698Can't decide which one I like more above or below, cause one of these has to go on the wall!!IMG_0699IMG_0737 IMG_0643

Never stop smiling Willow.... never.IMG_0715 IMG_0655 IMG_0708IMG_0671 IMG_0682 IMG_0685 IMG_0730 IMG_0735Yea she was told it was almost time to get out.