We’re Sending Sam to Boarding School…

Not really, but this was the conversation we had yesterday evening and I thought it was pretty funny.

Sam: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….. (Sam pretending her pen is a sonic screwdriver from the show Dr. Who)

She doesn’t look like it, but she can be a total dork!

Mel: DAAAADDY… Sam’s being a dork!

Greg: should we send her off to boarding school?

Mel: oh that’s mean…SAAAMM, daddy wants to send you to boarding school….

Sam: Daddy, that’s mean

Greg: Do you even know what boarding school is?

Sam: a school where you learn about boarding?

Yup…

Kid’s say the cutest things don’t they? I burst out laughing when I heard that. But then I thought…

Greg went to boarding school…

Personally, I think boarding school is for parents who just don’t want to deal with their kids, and unfortunately this was actually the case with Greg’s parents.

Or at least that’s the impression I get.

Greg has really bad ADHD. I have it too, but it’s much easier for me to control. I didn’t know I had it when I was a kid, but I had all the symptoms except the hyperactivity. I became very adept at controlling myself as a child because my parents, okay my mom, was a bitch.

No really, I can say that, she really was a bitch, still is actually. I’d go into the whole story, but it’s easier if you just read the article I already wrote if you want the gory details.

Suffice it to say, my mother was very controlling, and I became adept at “staying inline” to keep my mother from screaming at me.

That bitch can scream!

See… total dork!

I would do everything in my power to avoid her fits of screaming. Living with her involved constantly walking on eggshells and sleeping until 12pm or 1pm in the afternoon on weekends. Just to avoid hearing her yell at dad for shit that happened 40, 45 years ago.

Greg, on the other hand, had… different parents. Not to say they didn’t discipline him, but his mom sort of, how do I put this delicately… babied him? Instead of giving him confidence, and teaching him how to cope with ADHD, she took him to millions (ok a few) doctors and had bazillions (okay, lots) of tests done on him to find out what was “wrong.” There’s nothing wrong with him.

NOTHING.

But an 8 or 9 year old whose constantly taken to doctors and tested (understandably) starts to think there is something wrong with him. Then they send him off to boarding school…

See what I mean?

Because they couldn’t “fix” him, they sent him off to a high school that they figured could fix him. And that just made things worse.

He rebelled, did poorly at his studies, pissed off his teachers, and generally just didn’t give a shit. Unfortunately, this has seeped into his adult life. But that’s another blog post.

Sam has really, really bad ADHD. It’s actually one of the main reasons I homeschool her.

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is high intelligence. Not to brag, but my IQ is over 150, which makes me a good example. Greg’s is up there as well, and he even admits that he was never challenged in school. Neither was I, I sort of just coasted through high school, but I kept my grades up because my mother would have given birth to some huge fucking animal had I come home with anything less than a B-.  (I did get a D once… NEVER AGAIN I told myself… I didn’t hear the end of it for months…).

Homeschooling Sam… here she’s coloring her page on digestion. We did it together, and she had a BLAST!

Sam would have the same problem. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll remember me saying how she colored a page out of an adult anatomy coloring book and actually learned something from it. She’s brilliant, and because of that, I know she’d have a horrible time in an actual classroom setting.

I do add in elements of a classical education, and as I said in an earlier post, I have a homeschool notebook for all her work as well as a lesson planner. But we also do a bit of “unschooling” where she essentially leads the way.

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the things she has asked to learn about, like chemistry, and physics. She finds science fascinating and loves art, so I use that to my advantage. I also know she can’t sit still for more than 20 minutes (maybe 30 if I bribe her) before her brain just can’t take it anymore and she starts to really fidget.

A classroom teacher has too many kids to supervise to be able to know all that about my little girl.

Greg’s mother was a teacher, and apparently had too much of a “classroom” mindset to consider homeschooling. But I think Greg would have done very well in that setting. He’s even admitted as much.

So, no teaching Sam about boarding….

See, I totally went off on a tangent… Told you I had ADHD…

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Life as a WAHM Series – Guest Janine Huldie Offers Some Advice

First things first:

Now with that out of the way… 😀

Once again, Janine is back! WOOHOO!!! I love her posts. I find them so inspiring! Today, Janine is kind enough to share with us some advice on getting started as a WAHM as well as on some of the things we may forget about in the beginning, like taxes!

So grab a green beer, and enjoy Janine’s post!

Janine’s Advice

Janine's HP Profile

Janine’s Hubpages Profile

“Rome wasn’t built in day!”  I heard this some many times over the years, but will be honest no truer statement can be spoken when one decides to become a WAHM.  There isn’t one easy formula to actually becoming a WAHM.  But when you do make this decision, you will learn quickly that you will have many options and probably be a bit overwhelmed, too.  So, I will try to give you some pointers from what I have gone through from the beginning of my WAHM trek.

Where better to start than at the beginning.  So when I first started this journey, I thought I would write for one site (Hubpages) and see where it took me.  And at first this worked just fine for me, but then I yearned for more than that.  I also tried my hand at content mills and this too left me feeling like I needed so much more.  It wasn’t until, I began blogging that I found my true passion.  This led me to writing an actual book.  Granted even though the book is written I still need to edit and I am no where near done with that yet!

And even with blogging, I have tweaked my content, as well as advertising and even doing sponsored posts/giveaways.  Trust me, I am still evaluating what works here and what doesn’t as I write this.  The point is being a WAHM gives you a wealth of opportunities, but it also leaves one like I just stated constantly evaluating the job you are performing as in what you can do better and what might not be working at all.

Also, even though I write online there are so many opportunities and not just to write.  I know many who have businesses where they sell a product or service, whether it be their own personal website, through Etsy or even on Ebay.  The decision is yours, but make sure you are utilizing your best talents.  If you are crafty, then you may very well want to do something that uses and plays on those talents.

The next thing you will definitely take into play is time management.  If you are a parent like I am you will also probably have to work around your children’s schedules.  Working online is not like working outside the home, whether you work in an office retail or any other place of business.

When you work at home, yes you can set your own schedule, but you may find that you are working many more hours than if you were just working a typical 9 to 5 job.  Trust me, I have been there and I have had to learn how to balance my work and my life, too.  And this too is still a something I quite frankly struggle with, because I am truly dedicated and love writing.  However, I do constantly now remind myself to step away from time-to-time, because I have a life, too and I don’t want it to go on without me.

Another consideration being a WAHM is that you need to have some sort of book keeping to keep track of your income and expenses, too.  I found great resources online for this here and modified it for myself.  You don’t want to be caught come tax season with your pants metaphorically down!!  I was able to purchase the book Your Blogging Business to help break it all down for me.  And the best part it is deductible on your income taxes, because it is an expense.  You may not be making much in the beginning, but still you need to start somewhere and this is a good place to begin.

There is probably more that goes into working from home, but these are the tips that come to mind for me that seem to be the essentials for anyone just starting this journey.

My final words are good luck and hope this has helped break being a WAHM down just slightly.

Thank you Janine! These are some excellent tips!

Thanks for reading, and once again I’d like to wish everyone:

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!!

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Getting Organized: Owner’s Manuals and Warranty Binder

My last post talked about the homeschooling notebook I created for Sam.

Today’s post will talk about the owner’s manual and warranty binder that I created for all of our expensive purchases. This one is still a work in progress, so there really isn’t much to say about it. But I can say, it has come in quite handy!

Because warranties and owner’s manuals are so bulky, page protectors don’t really work well. Stuff can easily fall out of them, and they’re just a royal pain in the ass.

I found a video on YouTube that explained how to make one of these binders using expanding polypropylene envelopes with a velcro closure. I LOVE them!!

Despite my being on a “pink kick” lately, I actually got these in blue. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, they do go well with the blue binder.

I plan on adding tabs to the envelopes, but until then, I used a sharpie marker to label the outside of the envelopes with the name of the product that corresponds to the owner’s manual and warranty information inside the envelope. The laptop and camera are actually pretty thick, surprisingly.

This actually worked out really well recently. About a week and a half ago, I had to exchange my new Nikon D5100 because for some crazy reason the autofocus lens stopped working. I had started making this binder at the same time I was deciding what to do with the camera. I hadn’t been all that happy with it, the pictures were a bit blurry and of course there was the thing with the autofocus. So I was deciding on whether or not to return the camera and buy the Canon Rebel T3i, or simply exchange the Nikon.

Exchanging the Nikon was an attractive option because Amazon will send out the exchange item right away, and you have 30 days to return the defective one. After laboring over this decision for days (you can ask Janine, she was kind enough to ask her hubs some questions for me about the Canon), I decided to exchange the Nikon.

Much to my surprise, Amazon upgraded my shipping to overnight. Awesomesauce!

I packed up the Nikon and thankfully had put all the pertinent paperwork in the warranty binder so all I had to do was grab everything in the camera envelope and stick it in the box.

I was proud as a peacock, because I knew I had packed everything up.

Until I realized that I forgot to pack one of the eyepieces that attach to the viewfinder. And of course, I realized that AFTER UPS came and picked up the package!

WHOOPS!!!

But I didn’t forget any of the paperwork!!!

When I received the new camera, I (of course) went outback and tried it out. To me, the pictures still seemed blurry for a 16 mp camera. But maybe I just had my standards set too high. So I got on the laptop and did some research.

I found sample images for both the Canon Rebel T3i, and the Nikon D5100. The Rebel is an 18 mp camera, so I thought comparing the two was going to be an exercise in futility. However, the images showed that the Nikon took a much clearer image – for me. Let me explain.

I like taking photos of nature, especially close up shots as in macrophotography. This Nikon takes AMAZING macrophotos. Originally, I thought the Nikon took blurry images of landscapes (leaves and trees were especially blurry – or so it seemed). But when I compared the Nikon and Canon sample images that involved trees, the Nikon was by far the clearer camera.

I’m finally at peace with my decision.

After playing with this new Nikon for about a week now, I can saw I’m extremely happy with it. It can actually keep up with me, and the autofocus still works!

Just for shits and giggles, I compared two images of the same tree in my backyard, one from the old Nikon and one from the new one. I found  that the new Nikon images were indeed clearer. So it seems I got a defective camera initially.

I’ll leave you with a few shots from the new Nikon that I’m extremely proud of, but don’t forget that tomorrow, Janine is back with her third installment of the “Life as a WAHM” series!!!

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Getting Organized: Sam’s Homeschooling Binder

Yesterday, we worked on our financial binder.

Today’s post is geared toward the homeschooling mom. I created a homeschooling binder to keep track of all of Sam’s schoolwork so that if the superintendent ever decided she wanted to bang on my door and demand to know what I’m teaching my daughter, I can whip this bad boy out and say “all of this!”

I created a cute title page for the front of the notebook and even made a matching label for the binding. It actually looks pretty cool if I do say so myself.

I used a HUGE binder for her notebook. I’m not sure how big the rings are, but they’re way over three inches (I think).

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Getting Organized: Our Financial Binder

Yesterday, I showed you how to make your own blogging planner.

Today, I’m going to show you how to make a Financial binder to keep all of your bills, bank statements, and taxes organized. I got this idea from a blog post awhile back. I feel bad because I don’t remember who I got the idea from, but I admit the idea was not my own!

I used to have a small finances section in my home management binder, but unfortunately, I never used it. I’m just not a budget person. I know, weird right? As much as I love organization, you’d think I’d keep a meticulous budget. But sadly, no.

What I actually keep is all the billing statements I get and as I pay them, I write down the day, time, amount of payment and how it was paid (including confirmation numbers if there are any) on the statement itself. I used to file all of these statements in my file drawer, but I kinda ran outta room!

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Getting Organized: My Blogging Planner

Since I manage four blogs, organization is essential! I used to have post it notes and paper all over the place for all of my ideas and memos, but keeping track of all of that for each individual blog just wasn’t working. I read a post about a blogging planner via our Bloppy Bloggers group on Facebook and had the proverbial “AH-HA!!” moment.

I’m quite proud of my blogging planner. It took me awhile to find printables that worked for me, but I think I finally have everything I need. I even got a cute pink three-ring binder to keep everything together! It has to be pretty and functional or I won’t use it!!

My blog planner. I had to make the front page of my planner pretty... if it's not aesthetically pleasing, I won't use it!

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Life as a WAHM Guest Series: Janine Huldie’s Daily Routine

I’m proud to welcome Janine back to Mommy Writings for our second installment of Life as a WAHM. Today, Janine tells all about her day and how she manages to get everything done! I don’t know about you, but I’m ecstatic to see how Janine manages to blog, and care for her family as well as the household.

Janine’s Daily Routine

Janine even received an award for her amazing mom abilities!! Photo courtesy of Janine's Confressions of a Mommy - a - holic

Janine even received an award for her amazing mom abilities!! Photo courtesy of Janine’s Confressions of a Mommy-a-holic

I am back for the second week and installment.  This time out, I am going to share my daily routine as a WAHM.

Having two small kids that are only 16 months apart only one word can describe my daily life and that is “Crazy!”  That said if you were a fly on the wall in my home, you would see that I begin my day usually between 6:30 and 7 am in the morning.

The reason is that my husband and partner in crime wakes up to get ready for work around this time.  The house is still relatively quiet, because he usually goes to take a shower and our girls are still asleep.

I admit the first thing I do with having peace reign is open my trusty friend, my Macbook and go through e-mails that have accumulated from the night before.  Once I get to the bottom of them and check out new blogs and Hubpages articles published by friends overnight.

One thing I have learned and that I try to do is read and share as much of my friends’ work as possible.  I think we can all agree that it is nice to know that you have people who do have your back and care enough to read, leave a short comment and even share or pass on to others if possible.  So, this is exactly what I do in the early portion of my morning.

Once that is done, my latest post that was pre-scheduled usually is live by then and will share on all the social media networks that I can.

Then it is usually time to either wake my girls or have them awake and raring to go.

Emma is my morning person.  She very much loves the morning and from the time she was about 2 years old would tell me, “The moon is not out and the sun is, so it is time to wake up!”

However, Lily (Ms. Go Big or Go Home) usually will wake up crying and whining telling me, “I want juice!”  Yes, she has one track mind and this kid knows exactly what she wants.

Once, the first glass of juice is had in the morning.  Then, both my girls use the bathroom, because they are both fully potty trained (Emma is 3 1/2 years old and Lily is a little over 2 years old).  Yes, I know Lily is young to be completely potty trained, but am so thankful that she is and totally was all her (if you read my blog, you know the story behind this).

The girls love their skirts! Photo Courtesy of Janine's Confessions of a Mommy-a-holic

The girls love their skirts! Photo Courtesy of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommy-a-holic

Once the bathroom trip is done, my girls get dressed for the day.  And I do have two little princesses (even as I write this Lily is walking around with her Barbie Princess doll that sings, “Princesses want to have fun!”) that need to wear skirts everyday.  Yes, I swear these two kids both won’t wear an outfit unless a skirt is a part of it.

Breakfast is next and then I do their hair, because they are again Princesses, especially Emma, who doesn’t like her hair in her face (Pigtail, ponytails and recently braids, too rule!).

Once I am done with this (I am truly grateful for this), I get to take a shower.  My parents live upstairs, so usually the girls hang out with my mom, during this time.  And I get a few minutes of peace and quiet to take shower, which I swear I love my mom for more than life itself!!  That shower makes me feel human and then I am able to get my real day started.

The next portion of the day includes getting a workout in (even for a half hour) on my stationary bike, while the kids play and hang out with me (I am trying to get slim/fit for the summer).  They usually watch Disney Jr and by this time Doc McStuffins is on.

After this, I check in online for a bit and then I get lunch together for the girls.  We usually eat lunch (yes I try to get a quick bite to eat, too).  During lunch, silliness usually reigns and even a bit more crazy times can also occur.  Lately, I have had to fight Lily to eat this meal (for some reason my picky eater has decided lunch is optional).

On the days, Emma has pre-school it is usually around this time that we take her to school and then I come back to try to get Lily to nap.  If Emma doesn’t have school, she too will nap (she still loves her naps).

If nap-time is successful, this is when I get to write and also check in on social networks to see what is new.  This is truly my most productive time of the day and that is why I have tried to hold onto nap-time with my kids for as long as I have.

Because once nap-time is over, then it is either time to go get Emma from school or even think about dinner and bath-time.

Kevin and the girls. Photo courtesy of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommy-a-holic.

Kevin also gets home from work now between 5:30 and 6 pm.  And once he is home and everyone has eaten dinner, then the kids are usually occupied playing in their room for a bit, Kevin works out for a bit and I surf the web, reply to comments on my own blog and possibly comment more on other blogs, too for about a half hour checking in on friends and such.

Then, it is time to unwind for the day.  We usually hang out together with the kids for a bit.

And after that, it is bedtime, where the girls use the bathroom, brush their teeth and then get tucked in.  Lights are usually out at this point, but I would be lying if I told you they went to bed that easily.  We usually get a few trips out of bed for each girls asking for a tissue, one last kiss or anything that could prolong falling asleep, but once they are asleep I must admit we are lucky, because for the most part they sleep all night and don’t hear from them again until around 8 am the next morning.

Once they fall asleep, I usually catch up on the DVR, read or finish up any last minute chores.

And that my friends is a day in my life.  Not very glamorous, but it is my life and believe me when I tell you I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  Yes, it can be crazy, but then again it is also quite entertaining, especially some of the things that my kids come out with daily and that is why I blog/write, because I never want to forget this time in my life and have a record of it to share with my girls when they are older.

Thanks again Melissa and will be back next week with a bit of advice for the WAHM that is just starting out.  Until next week!!

WOW! I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted after just reading this post!! Janine, you truly are an amazing woman! Thank you so much for sharing your day with us!

If you’d like to be a guest blogger for the WAHM series, leave a comment below, or email me.

If you like my blog, please don’t forget to vote!! You can vote once a day, and you’ll have my undying gratitude if you do!! 🙂

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