Sunday, May 15, 2016

When you're an Introverted Mama

'Mommy, how come the electrical wires are always lined up along the streets and not just randomly placed?'

'Mommy, how can you tell the difference between a satellite and a star?'

'Mommy, you know that bridge by the beach near Roses house that you can open that gate to get to and when you stand on it you can look down and see the water come under you and its near the hotel that had the Luau that we saw when Bubby and Zaidy came to visit and blah... blah... blah... blah...'

'Mommy, can we get a pet eagle?'

'Mommy, are you even listening???'

Honestly, sometimes mommy is not listening. Actually very often mommy needs to switch off for a little bit as the talking and questions can just be so much that at times, mommy wants to scream.

But she wont scream, because she loves you more then life itself. Because she understands your need to be heard and will do her absolute best to listen to you and answer your questions as often as possible.

But my darling children, there are many moments that mommy just needs silence. Mommy needs to be left alone with her thoughts and not answer any questions or make any decisions or give any opinions.

There are times during the day that mommy needs to switch off to recharge because mommy simply cannot listen right now.

Being an Introvert has its amazing strengths, but being a homeschooling mother, who is with her children all day, yet really longs for silence is one of the biggest challenges I have faced as a mother so far.

I haven't found the perfect solution yet. But I'm sure it will all work out. It always does.

Have a wonderful week,

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pesach Dollars, Pesach Jobs

Ah, that time of year where its so easy to get overwhelmed with the mere thought of cleaning, cooking and planning for Pesach.

Last year I came up with a system that was so fabulous and have started using it again this year. I needed to share it because if it helps you as much as it helps me, it will make me very happy!

Step 1:
Print out these Pesach Dollars on card stock and cut them out.

Step 2:
Tell your kids that for every Pesach job they do, they will get one Pesach dollar.

Step 3: 
Tell your kids that on Chol Hamoed Pesach, they get to cash in their dollars and go to the store and buy whatever they would like. Pesach dollars expire on Yom Tov so they only have 3 weeks to start earning.

Step 4:
Watch and smile as your children happily help clean the house for Pesach!

At present, my kids, including my 5 year old, have cleaned their entire bedrooms for Pesach on their own. They emptied their drawers and closets, cleaned with a spray and a wipe and put everything back.They have started on the playroom, different shelves and also the bookshelves.

Our kids are SO capable, just make it exciting, give them some time every day to go on Amazon to see what prize they plan to buy, something to really look forward to. If you would pay $ for cleaning help, you can use that $ towards these gifts. Its a win win.

Good Luck!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Its a Giveaway! *** Dubys Pesach List***

Okay everyone, its that awesome time of year again, where we get to scrub our homes from top to bottom, plan meals, Seders, guests, trips and ALL that super fun stuff!

I am so excited to share with you a review as well as a Giveaway of Duby's Pesach List. Click Here to check out her website and take a peek at what its all about.

Here is the table of contents to give you a really good idea of what is inside this fabulous Pesach Planner:

And now, in honor of all of you being such awesome readers of this blog, Duby is giving a 10% discount to you using the code JHS613. So RUN on over to her website and buy a copy for yourself, your mom, your sisters and your best friends. They will love you and you will love the Planner.

And while you're at it, enter the Giveaway below so you can have an extra copy to save for your daughter when she grows up and makes Pesach on her own... Good Luck!

Wishing you a wonderful week and Happy Pesach Cleaning!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bribery vs. Compensation

I grew up with full time cleaning help and never had to lift a finger in my house, so this whole 'delegating chores to your kids' thing really does not come naturally to me.

I read all these articles on how important it is for kids to have chores etc. and I agree with every detail in these articles. The only thing that is very hard for me is to nag or fight with my kids to do something. I honestly would rather just do it myself if I am going to have to give up a huge amount of emotional energy to get my kid to sweep the kitchen floor. Yes, I am sure in the long run it will be good for her blah blah blah, but this is me, and I just cant go the begging, fighting, threatening route.

BUT... Baruch Hashem, I have come up with a system that really really works for me.

Cleaning help is very unreliable and expensive where we live, so I have someone who comes in 1-2 times a week to CLEAN- not tidy. She scrubs the floors, bathrooms, under beds and couches, windows etc. So thats really good. But I need the man power for day to day activities to keep the house tidy: loading and unloading dishwasher, sweeping, laundry, bedroom and playroom maintenance, vacuuming, counter and table wipe down, even cooking.

So here is what I came up with and it has been working amazingly for over a month and apparently it takes 30 days to establish a new habit, so I can consider this a success!

Each child gets to pick something on Amazon for $20 and put it in the cart. They then get a chart with their name on it and 40 boxes to fill in. For every chore they do, they color in a box. When all the boxes are full, we buy the item they put aside.

I am not joking when I tell you that my 10 year old walks into the kitchen and unloads the dishwasher every morning, without me having to say a word. My 7 year old vacuums the living room, no questions asked. My 5 year old sets and clears the dinner table. I KNOW kids should do these things naturally without being rewarded, but the way I see it, they are learning that when they work hard, they will get nice things. I also believe the more they do it, the more naturally it will become, case in point, my 10 year old got his Lego after a month of doing chores, and continues to do things without me asking- not as vigilantly as before, but he's doing it until his next chart goes up.

The kids are so happy to help, to fold and put away laundry, sweep the kitchen etc. and there has been NO nagging, begging, fighting or pleading on my end which honestly was my main goal. And everything is getting done.

And now when I do need to ask one of the kids to do something in the house, it is not met with any excuses. It just gets done and they run and color in a square. Thats it.

I really don't consider this bribery. I consider it compensation for chipping in in keeping the house clean. The kids bedrooms are clean every day without me having to ask. The laundry is folded and put away daily. The dishes are washed and put away daily, and things are running smoothly. Kudos to the moms who have their kids doing this without a reward system- hats off to you. But for me this works wonders. Worth every penny.

Good Luck in your home management endeavors!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Shira: My Design Sketchbook Review

I was so happy to have my 8 year old daughter and her best friend review a copy of Shira: My Design Sketchbook by Y. Nadell.   A few months ago we reviewed the first book, Adina: My Design Sketchbook (see Review Here)  so she was so excited to get her copy of Shira.

Honestly, having her design modest outfits is so fabulous. The book teaches her how to make different patterns and designs, prints and color combinations. It keeps her so busy.

Her best friend ran home (she's also our neighbor) and asked her mom to buy her BOTH books.

Get this for your daughter. Get this for your niece, your cousin and your neighbor. Its the perfect gift and their moms with thank you profusely.

I know you will enjoy it as much as we do!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Worst Day Ever!

My 5 year old daughter is very emotional and sensitive.

Recently I have noticed that when she gets upset or frustrated about something, she makes a very dramatic comment like, 'this is the worst day of my life!' or 'I am having the worst day ever!' which is often followed by a river of tears.

In her little world, things need to go according to plan. Things need to look a certain way and be a certain way. And when they don't, it really is, to her, the worst day ever.

A few days ago, we were headed out in the car and her sister sat in her booster chair. She looked at me and wailed, 'mommy, this is just the worst day ever!'

I looked at her and very calmly said, 'No. It FEELS very frustrating when someone sits in your booster chair. They don't belong there, you do. It's a difficult MOMENT. Lets ask your sister to move so we can get through this moment.'

She looked at me and very calmly asked her sister to move. Her sister moved, and she got into her own booster chair and we were off.

Ever since that day, when something happens, she comes over to me and says, 'mommy, I'm having a difficult moment, can you help me.' And we work through it.

I think it is so important to teach kids the importance of how our lives are made up of moments. And sure, there are going to be some really hard or sad or frustrating moments in our lives. But that does not mean that those moments need to define our day, or week or existence.

For my little one, she caught on pretty fast. Lets deal with this moment. Then the rest of the day can be pretty great. Its just something that has happened and we will get through it, giving the rest of the day the chance to be wonderful.

May we all be blessed to get through our own difficult moments. Let them not define our day or our lives.

Have a peaceful and restful Shabbos,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

5 Steps to Stopping that Cold in its Tracks!

It's that time of year- even in Hawaii... where the kids start complaining about a sore throat, headaches, mouth boogers, stuffy noses, runny noses, all those symptoms of a cold.

Over the years I have developed a 5 step program for my family that we do at the very first sign of a cold. The older we are, the more aware we are of these symptoms and can catch them before they turn into a full blown cold.

I really want to share these steps with you because Baruch Hashem, it works.

The moment you feel something different in your throat or neck, start drinking. We are talking ALL day, all week, until you feel good again. The second I hear the word 'sore throat' my poor family are put on a chicken soup diet for the week, we are talking every night for dinner and sometimes even for lunch. Make sure to throw an entire head of garlic in there. Then its tea with honey all day and water water water. Lemon Ginger tea, Echinacea tea, plain hot water with lemon and honey. Its all good. All the liquids really dont give the cold a place to live and flushes all the toxins out of our bodies.

The moment you feel the tiniest bit stuffy, or headache, twice a day use this Sinus Rinse. It will destroy any bacteria that wants to settle in those passages. Do it twice a day until symptoms disappear. For younger kids, use the Saline kids spray.

Zinc, Echinacea and Vitamin C are great at the onset of a cold. It wont make it go away but it will make it last so much less time. Oregano Oil is really strong and not pleasant to take but it is incredible. If you can handle it, do it.

 From the moment you feel something brewing in your body, take a really really hot bath for at least 40 minutes. Add 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup Epsom Salt and a few drops of Lavender essential oil. The reason you stay in for so long is so your body can sweat out the toxins. Try do this at night before bed, even if you do it 3 nights in a row, it will knock that cold out of the ball park.
 After the bath, go strait to sleep. This is really important as your body needs time to heel. Forget laundry, house work, get yourself a week of early nights. Your body will thank you.

May you all have a healthy winter and hope this is helpful! 
Wishing you a wonderful week,

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