Tag Archives: parenting

The 3-R’s of Summer: Running, Reading & Relaxing!

3 R's of SummerIf you have been visiting this blog for any length of time, you know that I am a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I have come to the conclusion in my many wise years, and as I enter my mid 40’s (erg!) that I am a jack of all trades, master of not much! {Ouch}

Well, I am a master of picking up kids’ crap and changing diapers and cuddling at length, and breaking up fights, and all those mommy-type tasks, but the rest of my life is a work in progress! Summer is no exception.  I like to do a lot of things to be productive and get things done, but we all need some downtime, AKA: “self-care- especially us parents.

Can I get an “Amen!”? Yes, y’all!

My summer needs for self-care call for the 3-R’s:


Not a long list of races, or a long social media selfie-showoffie of my miles on end. No. Just running without a watch, no ear-buds, and sort of meditating on life runs. This is my summer jam. I am getting my mojo back to do some races for the fall. I am not a hot-weather runner so this summer thing is mixed with PIYO, the gym, and fun-runs.  In these bad boys:

Brooks Ravenna 7 Running | Hardly A Goddess

And when I say bad, I mean OLD! I have loved these sneaks- they are new in this picture!- for lots of loved miles. My knees are hurting so I know I need to shop *birthday hint!*! Suggestions are welcomed here too- I am leaning toward New Balance for my wide toe box, so if any of you have this too, I am all ears!


You can read all about my short-list for the summer, or you can follow along on my Goodreads updates, but rest assured, I am reading for pleasure and not just doing book reviews or since I am less than employed right now, no professional reading at all. So just fun books. If you have any recommendations, I will take ’em! My current read:


In between all the work of not-working (looking for a job, endless laundry, shuttling kids) I am trying to relax. Stop laughing. I know I am not working but I seem to be crazy busy. I think it’s the lack of schedule that makes me a little bit crazy. I am actually missing my routine of the school year! I caught up on my movies (Boss Baby and Wonder Woman- which by the way is super fun!), visited with friends, and been lucky enough to hit the beach, and have some nice family fun- hiking, eating out, playing games, etc.

Hiking on Block Island

Hiking on Block Island


Strawberry Picking in June!

Strawberry Picking in June

Skipping rocks at sunset

Skipping rocks at sunset

Those are my 3-R’s. Running, Reading, & Relaxing.

What’s on your summer must-do list?

Earned Technology & Screen-Time Limits for Kids

Privileges. Screen time. Chores. Oh-my!

Earned Screen-time and Limits

I am not totally uneducated on this topic. I am a librarian for goodness sake. I get it. I know too much screen time is bad for little brains. I know T.V. is a vacuum for their creativity. We read. We create. We go outside and play. But 4 kids in on a Monday night after work, with the whining, fighting, tugging at me, and it’s past dinner time…with no planned dinner, and I just give in. Hands in the air. I give up!! Yes, I do. T.V. time kiddos! This is my reality and I know although you might not admit it…it’s yours.

So…On one of my good better days…I tried a new thing that helped me manage some of this, and maybe it would help you too. It was an earned technology chart. Sort of like a chore chart, but where in order to actually use a screen for a finite amount of time, they had to do certain tasks to earn the given amount of time. For example, if they read for 20 minutes, they earn 15 minutes of screen time. But the trick is, I made them do all the items on the to-do list before they earned any time. In all, they can earn up to 1 hour of screen time, which we call the iPad or Kindle. TV is never allowed until after dinner for another finite amount of time- up to the parent, but usually around one hour (Perhaps as you cook dinner!).

For some people this would still be a lot of screen time during the week, or maybe it’s not enough for others, but I think everyone is on their own spectrum of screen allowance- this is just how I parse out my own kid’s allowed time. I think the key is actually being aware of how much your kids are on a screen and monitoring it a bit. Well rounded. Balance. After they get the routine of it, they can take the initiative to do the required checklist without whining or tugging at your sleeve, and help mom a bit too! Respect.

Well done mom. You are on your way.

In an effort to NOT recreate the wheel, here are some great charts that I like a lot and have used myself, when I don’t just write them out in chalk or crayon on a sheet of paper!

Busy Kids Happy Mom Blog: Earned Technology Chart

This one is my favorite- It encourages the enjoyment of other things: playing, reading, outside time, and still has a chore in there for good measure. I have been loving this as it’s really adaptable to my kids of ages spanning 6 yrs.old to 11 yrs.old. A total hit with me.

Natural Beach Living Blog: Summer & Holiday Earned Screen Time

I like this for weekends. It is a somewhat relaxed and open ended screen amount, but still leads the kids to do other things, and also makes the expectation set that they must do other things first before indulging in an all out screen fest.

Living Well Spending Less: How to Create a Chore Chart that Works

I like that this post has lots of chore-chart ideas to customize for YOUR OWN family. Nobody’s families will work just like mine, I know, so this chore chart can be adapted to work for earning technology as opposed to money, like an allowance.

What do you do to control screen time after school or on weekends? For now, we are super busy with sports, but there are those pockets of time, where my kids just gravitate to the screen. I would love to hear what you are doing! Let me know in the comments~

Inspire Me: Enjoy the Parenting

Inspire me quote for kids and teaching

There are so many times, that I rush around trying to do things myself: faster, better, faster…that I don’t see that my kids are watching. They see that I am working instead of enjoying my daily life. Since I want them to appreciate what goes into making a life, and not just think that things will be done for them, I need to remember to slow down and let them help.

This little scenario played out last night as I was finishing up the dishes and about to do the floor. I asked her to help me a little, by sweeping.

My little: Are you going to pay me?

Me: Nope.

Little: Why not?

Me: Because you are part of this family. And we all do our part to help out. Grab the broom.

And so she did. I gave her my spray mop too. Which she looked at as a real treat. Seriously. She asked if she could mop. They love this mop. And it was perfectly done! Well, perfect for me. I got to do some straightening up as she was mopping, and another little, helped with laundry. It was a group effort, and I didn’t feel like a jerk that was being forced to clean, while everyone else was having fun. No more martyr, right?

My word to reflect on this year is “Enjoy” and I want to enjoy my home, not feel burdened by it.I am inspired by the positive result of last night,  to continue to show my kids how to do more to help keep the house nice. I think involving them in working as a family, to accomplish these little tasks, makes them feel proud of helping to create this nice feeling  of ‘home.’

And I get my floor mopped. So, there’s that, of course!

I read all sorts of blogs on the daily, not a few of which are about raising my kids. I get so many good ideas and support from other moms (or dads) that have great life-hacks or parenting approaches that make sense and are helpful.  Sometimes when you are in the middle of something, you can’t see the bigger picture: which for me, is to raise happy, well adjusted kids. If you are like me, most days, you are just trying to get through the craziness of the day! These are just a couple of my faves:

Hands Free Mama– This is a slow read, because I am literally studying it. I want to absorb and practice every last one of her words. It is a game changer and she has a blog too, which is easier to read in little bits, which I do that too!

Life as Mom– I have been reading her blog for a looong time, and she never fails to inspire me as a parent. She has a different lifestyle than I do, but her approach and no-nonsense parenting, and organizing tips to keep kids scheduled and happy, is a big time saver. We have used her “High-5” for years and there are so many more little gems on her blog too.

There are lots of others that give me a laugh or are very mom-centric, but the two above are about enjoying the kids, and helping them grow to be their own confident, kind people. I only have a few more years of cuddles before they probably won’t talk to me anymore, so I am going to try my best to make sure that they DO want to talk to me when they are 13, or 15, or whatever. I would love it if they feel like they belong to a wonderful family too. If they feel that they are what helped make it that way… it would be the best. Enjoy~

What are some of the places you go to find good parenting advice or support?