When Do I Sit Down?

Modern mom just trying to make it!

Why moms don’t really get vacations June 12, 2013

Filed under: Family Fun!,moms understand — hmyers1 @ 7:28 am
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You know what I did on vacation? LAUNDRY!!! I admit I am happy I did it so it is now one less thing to do when I get back but still it is vacation. As a mom of three 7, 4, and 7 months I know that a mom never truly gets to take a vacation. I have spent most of my time at the condo with the baby feeding him or letting him nap. A few years a go I did the same thing with E at a music conference and the TV had terrible Chanel’s and the Internet did not work – it was terrible!!! At least this time I have ok Internet and ok TV. In fact the best part of vacation has been watching the Chew and drinking a glass of wine as the baby napped.

Don’t think that once you kids are grown that you get out of the mom trap on vacation. We are here without my husband so when I can’t take the kids swimming, out on the boat, to get ice cream, or whatever other activity their is guess who gets to do it MY MOM! She even made a comment that she had done nothing for her self at one point.

It was my mom or I that took care of most of the meals and the dishes. We did plan to eat at the condo to save money and my step dad helped with dinner. When all was said and done the majority of the work went to the moms.

So what if all the moms just went on vacation together? I don’t know about you but I don’t think I would want to come home to the aftermath of being gone for more than about three days and the prep work to be gone would be sooooooo tiring that I would not enjoy the vacation. Don’t get me wrong my husband is a fantastic guy and does a lot around the house ( even laundry ) but it is just not the same.

So I guess I will never have another vacation……well maybe in 18 years when the baby goes to college I can sneak one in.

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Saving on Summer Vacation June 9, 2013

There are lots of ways to save on summer vacation. We truly do a family vacation. We go on vacation with my mom and stepdad…..and my sisters and brother in law…..am some times family friends. We are lucky that my parents have a time share about less then two hours from our house and we have access to a beach house in South Carolina for cheap through the company my step dad works for.

We still try to save even with the fact we have some nice vacation spots.

1. Bring you own food keeps you from eating out and spending money. Even if you are staying in a hotel that does not have a kitchen keeping things like fruit, nuts, granola bars, peanut butter, and crackers around it can save a lot of money. If you have a small fridge think about lunch meat and cheese. We also go shopping when we get there if it is a long trip ( South Carolina is an 18 hour trip for us so we pack food to eat on the way and food for breakfast and hit Sam’s Club after we get there. This year we will be feeding seven adults, two kids, and the baby.)

2. Stay some place with a kitchen so you can cook!

3. Check for things that are free – breakfast, kids eat/stay free, pool, appetizers, Internet….you get the idea.

4. Go with extended family or friends and split the cost. This works well if you want a date on vacation too. If your friends have kids you stay in and watch all the kids one night and your friend gets to do it the next.

5. Check for free activities before you leave. With the Internet it is so easy to find parks, festivals, or other free activities where you are staying.

6. Do they have free laundry? Both place we go I can do my laundry for free other then the cost of the detergent. I know that doing laundry on vacation does not sound like fun but it saves me a lot of work when I get home. I bring a laundry bag and we put all the dirty wash in it as we go. The day before we leave I do at least one load of wash in, fold it, and pack it in each persons bag. When I get home the dirty laundry goes down the steps as soon as I walk in the door and everyone’s bag goes to there room with clean clothes to go back into their dresser!

What are your tips for saving money on vacation?

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Home Summer School May 30, 2013

 

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This year K is going to summer school. This will be the first year normally we do it at home.  She is excited because she will get a jump on 3rd grade (and she cried on the last day of school because she did not want it to be summer….something is wrong with that kid.) E will still go to daycare most of the time. I still have to pay to keep his spot for the school year and he loves playing with his friends. I do not send him all the time. This week he only ended up going two days because of family activities and make up dance lessons. The baby is home all summer. He is changing child care providers so we saw this as a good way to work on his development with some one on one time and to save some cash! I still need to have some activities for the kids to do so they are just not in front of the TV or trying to get on my iPad.  K summer school only goes until the end of June so I still have all of July and August to work with them.

We have some busy bags that I need to get out so we all remember they are there. I am going to make them Summer Binders with work book pages and make an award to put at the back and a coupon to get an ice cream at the Dollar General. We also have rehears for a production of South Pacific that the big kids are in. It is an hour drive and it is a professional theater so it will be a good learning experience for them.  They are not in the show much so there will be some down time and the Summer Binders will be a big help with that I think.

Like I said in my post yesterday we do the library and Barnes and Noble reading programs. (We got the Barnes and Noble one for K yesterday and she had completed it).  I look for other activities for us to do as well. I have pined some things on Pinterest that I am going to look at too.

I read this blog post by   called Do-It-Yourself Summer Camp. It had some good ideas and some were like things I have done in the past. I love keeping journals. One summer we had a food journal, a field trip journal, and a nature journal. This was when K was in preschool so she drew all of her journals.

I will post updates as I get things done. I plan on starting this Sunday or Monday. Sunday starts the 42 day stretch that my husband is gone so I will need all the structure I can get.

 

 

Summer Savings – Free Play Day!!! May 29, 2013

We had to go into town today because my 4 year old had a dance class that he needed to make up. With school being out I was able to take him on a weekday. I had all three kids with me and because 7 year old starts summer school tomorrow I thought we should have some fun. I did not want to spend any money (I did by lunch and I could have done that cheaper but I wanted to get vegetables so I splurged at the food court at bit). The first thing we did was go to the play place (or as I call it the pink eye play place) so the big kids could play and I could feed the baby. We played for about 25 min and headed off to the food court for lunch. We also made a stop at the family bathroom to wash hand and I would like to thank the person that decided that the family bathroom was a good idea.

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We love the pink eye play place.

After lunch we hit Barnes and Noble to play with the train and to pick up the summer reading handout for my 7 year old. The summer reading program is free!! Kids in grades K-6  read 8 fill out a  reading journal  and they receive a free book.  You can pick up the handout in store or print a PDF from their web page.

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Photo is a little blurry because the baby hit my camera when I took it – sorry!

The baby is napping now, big kids are playing, and I cleaned house some. The next part of our free play day is the local library. We will check out some books and play a bit before I have to make dinner and go to my church job. Remember to check you library for free summer reading programs as well. We do the activities we can at the library in the small town we live in and at the library in the big town next door.

The best part about this day, other then being free, is that it saves time. The first two activities and lunch were all at the same place. The faster we go from one thing to the next the less wining I here and the less I have to pack, unpack, and repack kids. The library in our town is only 3 min from the hose so making the run out there is no big deal.

What is your favorite free activities?

 

Penny Pinching Patio Project – Outside toy storage May 19, 2013

One of my goals was some outside toy storage so the kids can get to a few toys with out me having to let them into the garage. This way I can send them out if I am working on something in the house or doing something with the baby that will not let me go out. They can stay in the back yard and be far from the street and I can still see them from every room. We had been using a Step 2 plastic toy box in the garage for years  but it was not working well for us any more. I had my husband drill several holes in the bottom and then he attached three pieces of 2×4 so it was off the ground so it would drain and would be heavy enough to not blow away.

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This solution is by no meas water tight. It did rain some last night and when I checked it today it was nice and dry. The real test will be tonight. We are on the edge of a massive thunderstorm right now and then there is another one about 30 min behind it. Everything we have in it will be fine if it gets wet so I am not that worried.

I got the toy chest used about 6 years ago for $25 but for the sake of this project it was FREE because we had all of the things already. You just have to think outside of the toy box and get a bit creative with the things you have.  Any other good ideas for outside toy storage??

 

Penny Pinching Patio Project – 5 min project that cost a $1 April 2, 2013

Home with a sick kid today but I thought we needed to get out for a bit. After playing on the trampoline for a bit we went over to check out the project patio. I had some potting soil left from last season and an empty flower pot. We plated the harlequin flowers that I had gotten the baby for Easter at the Dollar Tree.

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It does not look like much now but in a few weeks should add some color and softness to the patio. The green pot helps add some color too! This project used soil and a pot that I had from last year so the only cost I had was the cost of the flowers – $1! The flowers say they attract birds and butterflies so that should be an added bonus.

 

Penny Pinching Patio Project – First day of hands on workings!!

Last Friday was a wonderful day! It was 62 outside and sunny.  Hard to think that we had 6 in of snow on the ground on Monday and my husband and daughter had a snow day.  We got a lot started today.

THE SHED!

I said something about how ugly the shed was and my husband got up and left the deck where we where sitting watching the kids play. When he came back he had some white spray paint and started painting the side of the shed.  He used one can and it made a HUGE difference. He just did the rusty part and it looks sooooo much better!

004He only did the top left corner but it looks so good.  We are only going to do the side you can see from out house and the road and see how far we get with the spray paint we have. So far this project is Free but we will see what it costs in the end.

THE TRAMP!

So we moved the tramp so you can’t see it from the road. It is now just about the only think I can see when I look out my back door but that is ok. (I think this means that the kids have won and are now going to take over EVERYTHING).

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The best part about this is the kids can get in from the deck. My 4 year old does not need help and I don’t have to be outside to see them. I can see them from the family room and the kitchen so if I need to get something done they can still play! Another wonderful thing about this is if the yard is muddy they can get to the tramp and stay clean!

 

The kids and I also swept all the leaves off of our patio so it is ready to be worked on! I can feel the excitement! Now to get the pallets from my step dad.

 

 

 
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