Monday, June 10, 2013

looking for motherly advice and other random bits

1. Today was the first day of summer vacation.

I usually have an intense feeling of dread come the end of May, knowing that the impending "Are we doing anything fun today?" broken record of voices that serenade me approximately .07 seconds into summer break are about to begin, but this year is different. Not only are the kiddos getting older, but we've also got things going on this year. And when we don't? They occupy themselves with the xbox.

Which leads me to a question:

How much time do you let your teens/tweens play on video games?

During the school year, there is no gaming Monday through Thursday. It's their responsibility to "earn" their game time by reading. It's a 1:2 ratio, so one hour of reading gets you two hours of games to be used on the weekend. Problem is that I haven't got a 3 month plan for when they are home all day. The boys were given the assignment of presenting us with a proposal of what THEY felt was fair, but until that's worked out, my default today was to just let them at it while I was at work. Anyone who has boys (girls too?) knows that Minecraft can suck them in, so is a few hours a day too much? 

I haven't decided. 

2. Michaels had the stuff in their $1.50 bins on sale for a buck. We like to give the church girls a little something something for their birthday, and these fun pens are the ticket: already boxed, and they can sit for months in the closet without going stale like food would. It's also a great way to use those ribbon leftovers, if you can't throw stuff like that away.
Hypothetically speaking.

3. Usually summers aren't that productive around here, but I'm determined to both take it easy AND get some long overdue projects done.

We sold the bigger boys bunk beds awhile back, which gives me the perfect excuse to redo their room. Once I can mange the funk smell up there, get rid of that couch, and talk them into letting me paint over that stripe. Negotiations are not going well.

We also sold our bed (for $50 more than we paid for it- yipee!),

{old bed}

and in turn bought a lovely "fixer upper" piece for $40. That leaves me exactly $110 left over. For a girl who never has anything to spend on anything, I feel like I've won the lottery.

4. It's almost disturbing how much trash my friends get gifted. Menus turned into paper bows,

dollar store tins that were already cheap to begin with but really LOOK IT when you can't find the lid that came with them. A cereal box cut into a circle and covered with scrapbook paper hides my shame.

{and by the way- if you're on instagram and like to pimp presents, I'd LOVE to see them. 
Snap a photo and tag it with #wrapyourcrap. Triple Bonus Points for using trash.}

What are you doing this summer?


  1. Minecraft is boss at my house. My husband tells me the boys are actually learning stuff when they play. I think it's dilating their pupils and making them forget to do their chores...which would include showering and using deodorant. Yes, they have to be told each day to do it.

    We give the boys (12 and on-the-brink-of 14) 2 hours screen time...including all video gaming. They also get an hour on Netflix. The end.

    (Love your crap-wrapping eye candy every time...and I will mention here that everytime I see a post with your crap wrapped I can hear you saying from your TV appearance "gotta have balls for Christmas" *snort*

  2. you crack me up. Really. Every time. I am actually buying for the 9 year old's bday a couple of Minecrat Kindle guides. For real.
    During school days he gets half an hour. On weekends it depends on play dates, the weather, the state of the confederation (we're Canadian) and what not. He is an only child with a mom on disability and there is only so much his dad can go on bike rides, play soccer and so on. I can't make deals with reading because he already reads everything including during dinner, which does not make me proud, but it's better than most alternatives...
    Luckily we get to go away a lot during summer but the laptop goes along, so he'll still get a few hours of electronics daily, unless he is in the water. I prefer Minecraft to TV shows so except for my objection to his near obsession... it's all fine.
    Good luck with the redecoration project.

  3. I just blogged my recent 'Ode to Summer'. We have a Wii, but it broke awhile back, which we meant to fix, but kept putting it off until, well the kids got used to it. For the summer, I posted some rules about electronics (includes all). It's permission only. And if you ask me if you can watch TV, play video games, etc, I'll ask you the following:
    1. Is your room clean?
    2. Are your chores done?
    3. Have you spent 30 minutes reading?
    4. Have you been outside to play today, or got some exercise?

    If they're answered those questions to my satisfaction, they know that I won't say 'no.'

    I know a lot of other Mom's that trade reading time for equal video game time over the summer.

    Just my more than 2 cents :)

  4. I don't have a cool enough phone to use Instagram... but check out my use of an icecream container on my "New Life" post :) Your summer is my winter... either way I'll be giving birth in about 6 weeks...yikes!
    As far as computer use goes... well, I figure as long as they're not spending the entire day on there you're probably o.k. But I'm not quite a parent yet so ask me in a few years!

  5. My boys are 7, 6 and 4 and beg to play our Wii all day every day. I told them they have to read for an hour to get an hour of play time. They happily read (the 4 yr old looks at books, or his older brothers read to him) and then I let them play pretty much for the rest of the day. I make them do chores first though, so their game time ends up being a couple hours or so every afternoon/evening after reading an hour, chores and swim lessons (at the moment). I'm dreading when they become teenagers that play video games!

  6. Hi! Summer does seem to bring on boredom from kids. My hubby and I both work all day, granted hubby is next store.
    We created a summer schedule for our kids years ago, that now at ages 12 & 15 still sticks and works well for us. They can hang out and craft, read, or game in the morning but have chores that need to be done before lunch because Dad comes home to eat with them. Then they go to the pool or out to the farm with grandpa to work with livestock. After we get home from work they hang with us or their friends riding bikes or whatever... we just try to keep them moving. Hope you enjoy your summer:)

  7. One of my 8 year old twins would spend all day on Mindcraft if I let him! My 16 year old told me that Minecraft is the new Lego. He said that Legos has become an adult toy because it comes in "sets" and is now built by instructions and put on a shelf. He said that with Minecraft they are creating and problem solving very similar to free form Legos. I figure with that argument I don't feel so bad letting him play :)
    We still don't allow him on it all day but I don't feel guilty for the time he does play.

  8. You could keep the same school hours like - no electronics between 9am and 5pm and then the reading rules still apply :-)

  9. I really can't offer any advice on the video games except that we haven't let them in the house yet because I didn't want the constant fight over time spent on them. Our oldest is 8 though, so they haven't really pushed it yet.

    And I have to say that I thought of you this week as I was getting the gift ready to send to my daughter's birthdad. His wife is having their first baby together...and I didn't wrap a thing. Part of me felt bad because you've taught me so well how to do better...but we wanted to cram as many hand-me-downs in with the real gift as would fit in the flat-rate box.

  10. I've got nothing other than I snorted over your hashtag. :)

  11. My only experience setting limits, is when we did a Church History trip and spent tons of time in the car. For every paragraph of the Family Proclamation he memorized he could play the game boy for 30 minutes.

  12. i think you should know that i don't pimp out my presents. i don't even give presents anymore. i just send my kids to parties and pretend we forgot the present at home, but really i never got around to buying one.

    people pretend to like us anyway, but i'm pretty sure i'm sort of a loser.

    then i make a joke and toss my hair. and laugh at my joke. then walk away like esceleto on nacho libre after delivering a note to ignacio.

    i try to do that in public as often as possible. it weeds out the good people from the bad.

    yet nobody gets presents.

    it's all good.

  13. do you think people will ever find these comments i leave on your blog and then click over to my blog and then just scratch their heads about all of this? i dunno.

    let's think about the people.

    (staring at the camera for a really long time.)

  14. I think when summer comes their reading to gaming ratio should last but also throw in some extra time if they get chores done like mowing the lawn or cleaning out the attic.

    from Annie Nickerson @PhD in Computer Science

  15. Wow! I'm so far behind! What I'm doing this summer is totally NOT what I want to be doing. On June 2nd my Mom fell and broke her hip. On the 3rd she had a rod put into her femur from the very top to the very bottom of it. She had totally shattered the upper part of the bone. We thought she was in store for a hip replacement, but the doc said it was so bad that there was no way they could do that.
    From there she went into a rehab facility, where she is now and we are planning on moving her to an assisted living facility in the next week or so. Well, that is if we can find one that has a room for her.
    In the mean time, we have cleaned out her entire house, stored a bunch of stuff and gotten rid of a bunch more. She took a reverse mortgage quite a few years ago, so luckily we don't have to deal with selling the house, just have to turn it over to the mortgage company. Still lots of calls and paperwork needed to be done. I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Now the important thing is finding a place for her to live.
    So as you can see, my summer isn't what I wanted it to be, not by a long shot, but we're getting through it and I have faith that all will work out in the end.


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