Has Spring Actually Sprung?

My backyard is starting to have some brown grass show through the snow that was dumped upon us over this long Winter season. Slowly but surely I am realizing that maybe, just maybe we do have a backyard. I am really loving the warmer days, mind you today has a bit of a chill undertone to it, but I will take it. It’s still the 40′s which is way better than the many days of below zero we had to endure this past Winter in New Hampshire.

With Spring time here, or coming slowly anyways, many are getting that itch to start cleaning and to find some household item deals. Maybe you are on the look out for some fun things to do outside after Winter had you all cooped up. If you subscribe to Living Social by clicking the link below, you will get email alerts with deals and specials for your Spring and Summer season. I recently saw a fabulous hotel deal for Maine, but couldn’t take advantage of it just yet. I have to wait til we get a little bit closer to June.  So click on over to Living Social and sign up to get email alerts for fabulous deals, great way to boost the spirits as the weather climbs to meet our warm weather temperature preference.

As a first time home buyer, my fiance is thinking about ways to save on electricity. This is why I feel like sharing the following information with you all, because I firmly believe saving on our electric bill can be a somewhat easy task to complete. Save up to 70% in some cases with solar power, simply click the banner below to visit HomeSolar 101 and see how solar power may be able to save you some cash.

Saving money and getting deals for the Spring season are so vitally important. I know I have a huge pile of yard sale items that is awaiting for our snow to melt and a nice warm weekend to unveil for our locals to stop by and name their price. I cannot believe how quickly children outgrow toys, clothing and accessories. Surely a yard sale will give us some extra money too, which is always fun to have on hand!

What are some things you start doing once Spring has Sprung?

I Think Kids Are Suffering from Cabin Fever

We have been hit and hit and hit again by snow storm after snow storm. This Winter has made up for our past couple not-so-snowy winter seasons here in New Hampshire. I knew it was coming. Everyone knew it was coming. That doesn’t mean we like it any more than we would if we weren’t expecting to be hit hard by snow.

NH Free Winter Fun Sliding Outback

The yard, at one point, must have had about five feet tall snow in it. The kids did enjoy a few outings in the snow on warmer days but for the most part, we are all sick of the snow. It seems we now have an abundant amount of energy stored up from winter strangling us a bit longer and that, with kids, needs to be released in some form.

My kids have decided to release their cabin fever energy with tag. Inside. The house.

Our middle bedroom in the home has two doors, so the kids essentially run around and around and around. They laugh, they play, they tag each other and occasionally they let us adults play along too. While this version of indoor tag is mildly amusing and makes me smile seeing the kids getting along and laughing, it is also making me realize just how much my kids are suffering from cabin fever.

I know. I know. Many of you will say get outside, but it’s turned back to being cold and on the days it’s warm, it’s too wet outside. It’s as if even our recent warmer days are not sufficient to melt the snow away, leaving us with rain soaked clothing, feet and heads. Not fun. Kids hate that. Adults hate that.

So I beg of you Mother Nature, please release us from this winter snow that has us couped up for far too long … we all need to get outside and get some exercise. It’s a little much to play tag inside with three kids when you have a pretty small home.

Sucking it up And Enjoying Wintery Outdoors with Kiddos

I am not one for Winter. I prefer to hibernate in the comfort of my warm home than go outside and do anything. As my children get older I have found this mindset really isn’t beneficial to them, I have two kids who are snow bums and one who can go outside on occasion but doesn’t last long. I have had to become a Mom who sucks it up and goes outside on occasion for exercise and fun in the snow with my kids.

Sliding in the NH Winter time with my kiddos

It makes my kids happy that Mama is involved and interactive in their lives. My youngest and I were the first ones outside to make a new sliding trail down our backyard hill. This is our first year in this house for Winter time so we wanted to break it in. It was fun to see how fast we could slide down the hill, each time aiming to make it further down the hill than the first time. Smiles and laughter commenced.

Smiling Boys Enjoying NH Winter Sliding

Then my middle child came outside and pictured above he is actually laughing in that red spider man hat. I love when my middle son laughs because of his mood disorder, we rarely get to witness such joy in his face. My middle child had a blast sliding with us too, taking turns with his brother and me to enjoy some fun in the warmer day of this Winter in New Hampshire.

NH Free Winter Fun Sliding Outback

Last but not least, my daughter joined in. Sadly she was looking a little glum because her Dad was on the way and she wanted just a little bit more time at home with her siblings before venturing off to the weekend with her Dad. My daughter had a blast though, it’s just that she wanted more time to slide. Kids usually don’t want to pause their fun for anything, that includes leaving to go to a visit with their other parent.

Overall this was a fun event and I am so glad I got off my couch and went outside to slide with them, because this is a fun memory that will last in their minds always. Sliding is fun, it’s just the cold snow that isn’t so fun for me!

You Made Your Bed, But you Hurt Your Kids

On a somewhat wacko mission to hurt the relationship between a father and his children, a mother took the initiative to say and do bad things in front of her children. The mission of an ex, especially one who made the decision to leave the marriage, to break up a relationship between her children and their father due to her own insecurities and issues is so completely immoral and wrong. The problem is that television reality shows and social media accounts like Facebook seem to breed lack of common sense and good character. Sure you can blame society for the reason many people have started to enjoy drama over peaceful bliss, but in all reality we are human beings not sheep. We have the voice of reason inside of our brains and we have the ability to be better than what society may push upon us; be strong, stand up and be something more than what society portrays as the next big reality show.

Co-Parenting Gone Bad

I’m a blogger. I love attention. I personally prefer positive attention, but just like my five year old son, some people simply prefer negative attention or any attention they can get. This is fine, as an individual, but when you have become divorced and are to raise children together with your ex amicably so as to not ruin the children …. then that is where you suck it the hell up and grow up, bite your tongue and be the positive influence your children need during this time of confusion. It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible to do.

There are many woman out there, men too, that when they get divorced they seem to think it’s best to have the children pick a side. This constant battle of Mom versus Dad is more common when the parental unit has moved onto greener pastures. The ex will say anything he/she can to make it so the children feel obligated to be unhappy at the other parents home and in turn choose to side with the parent mouthing the most flack about the other parent. There are situations where the parent being a wacko and causing a ruckus actually ends up having the pages turned on him/her and then the children choose the more “sane” parent.

In New Hampshire, you are obligated to take a Child Impact Seminar when divorcing, separating or breaking up and have children together. This Child Impact Seminar is slightly messed up in some ways, because just like the NH “pro family” mentality, the Child Impact Seminar simply covers the “how things should go” when co-parenting, rather than covering the major percent of divorcees situations. That means, the Child Impact Seminar can assist those who have a positive mindset to move forward for the benefit of their children, but those who are Drama Kings or Queens won’t benefit from this course at all.

Sadly, with the children who are pushed away from one of the parents leaves that parent to make harsh, tough love type decisions. Always try to work things out without stooping to the other parents level, but if all fails and you are unable to get the children to see that Dad/Mom is happy and that you want them happy with you and their other parent – then you have some tough decisions to make. If you are a parent who has your children half of the time, correcting a wacko parent’s mistakes is easily done. If you are someone who doesn’t have the children half of the time or more often than just a few days a month, then you are going to have an extremely difficult time correcting the methods of your ex spouse.

In times when the ex has made a pretty comfy bed for your children to pretty much disown anything to do with you, yet the children still come to visit because they have no choice but to do so, it’s time to rethink what’s the best to do for the children in the long haul of life. If you have moved on and are in a serious relationship, that maybe also involves children beyond your own, it’s also time to rethink what is best for them. Sadly, when an ex spouse turns your child(ren) against you and all that makes you happy, you have to do whatever is necessary to ensure your sanity. If children don’t see a parent for years because they have decided to protect the evil ex spouse, their other parent, then there is nothing that you can do to change that. A child is only going to see the world and their parents, as the remainder of the world sees them, when they are mature enough to understand life in a whole new light.

So if you are one of those ex spouses who thought it would be totally cool to turn the children against their other parent because you are not mature enough to handle your own insecurities in life, then that makes you pure evil. A child is innocent, and should never, ever have to feel that they cannot be happy for both of their parents and with both of their parents. Do me a favor, now that you have made your bed, lie in it for a while and see for your own self just how much damage you did to your children. Then, take a moment and look in the mirror – do you see a good person or a downright evil person? If you still can see a good person and think all of the crap you put your kids through was okay, then you may just be more messed up than anyone else ever thought you to be.

Moral of the story is this; just because a marriage failed does not mean co-parenting has to fail!

“Image courtesy of smarnad/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

15 Hours Without Power

Last night our family was getting ready for our bedtime routine with the boys when BAM, flash, BOOM … the power went out.

My children do not sleep when the power goes out. I have emergency lights that are plugged into outlets so wen the power goes off they go flashing and allow for quick lighting, I have a ton of candles, which I quickly lit over the mantle. It doesn’t matter though, my children DO NOT sleep in their own bedrooms when there is no power. It simply doesn’t happen and it’s not worth the fight.

We had no power, no heat and barely any access to food because we had no way of cooking. Thank goodness most of us had already eaten something for dinner and we have a ton of water jugs for drinking water.

The kids realized that, while there was no internet, that my laptop worked and Minecraft was able to be used in creative mode without internet. The three kids bundled up on the couch and proceeded to just be silly having fun on Minecraft.

We laughed so hard, we smiled, we had fun.

Then it was time to wrap up for bed. I made a neat little bed on the floor of our bedroom for all three kids. With about 6-7 blankets the three kids snuggled up on our bedroom floor and kept warm overnight, when we woke up there was still no power.

Finally about 10am we got power back on. It was a long 15 hours but we made it and the house only got down to about  52 degrees which isn’t all that bad. Thank goodness it wasn’t below 0 outside or something, it is afterall Winter in New Hampshire – anything is possible.

In the morning, our neighbors brought us coffee and donuts from dunkin donuts, it was a pleasant surprise and really sweet gesture. I am thankful in times like these that we have the most wonderful neighbors ever and that we have each other – a very close knit happy family!

Nothing beats having power though … thank the Lord it’s back on!

The Cashier Made my Jaw Drop

When I go into a specific store in my town, I note that most cashiers are off to the other side of the store, leaving the front of the store near empty of any workers. The other thing I notice is the poor customer service form most of the employees there. Granted, there are a few who are really nice if you catch them on the right day and then there is the person who appears to be the manager of the store. The manager or so I am going to assume the manager of this store is iffy, sometimes he looks non approachable and grumpy then other days he looks like someone you can joke around with.

I ventured into this store the other day for some items and upon checkout I noted that I get this “look” every single time I say “debit” when the total comes up. Some stores need you to say what payment type you are using so that they can hit a button on their cashier screen, so I just always assume this store is the same way. I always say debit to them and then proceed to slide my card and pay for the items I purchase.

IMG_20130607_084550This particular day I decided to ask the manager looking dude, “Do I need to tell you when I am using debit or not” and he looked confused, so I explained that some stores need to know what payment method you are using. He said “no you don’t. The only payment method that needs to be mentioned is EBT (food stamp/cash assistance card) when the person is buying both food and non-food items”. My reply was “oh ok, well I don’t have EBT so that won’t ever affect me to have to state I’m using a particular card”. The manager looking dude then replied in such a way that made my face turn red, me make a giggle of “wow I can’t believe he just said that” and also understand where he is coming from …  he said

oh ok so you work for a living then?!

I seriously was jaw dropped. You see, I have written on my other blog Happily Blended a lot about how I know state welfare is there for a reason, it helps people who need to get back on their feet. I have used food stamps before, many different times in my life I was in a position where I had to use the system for what it’s there for. I never had any plans of using it as a tool to be lazy nor a tool to simply not be an adult and work for my money. The system is there to use not abuse. That is the sad thing about the days today, so many are abusing the system instead of taking on jobs.

There are jobs out there, it’s just a matter of sucking it up and taking a job that surely may  not pay the bills completely and sure maybe you still have to be on assistance for a bit at some level, but try. That is all everyone should do is try to show effort to feed their kids by working hard and pay the bills by working hard. For me, I couldn’t live off of state aid, for one you can only be on cash assistance for 5 years of your life in New Hampshire. I had to use about 1 year of that when I was first thrown into single motherhood with my first born. Throughout her life I had to use cash assistance for that one year total, but within six months of that 1 year I did have an administrative assistant office job. Eventually I worked within six months to be off assistance. I have a mindset that I wouldn’t feel successful and secure unless I was making my own money.

I was raised to be independent, determined, stubborn and a move forward sort of person. While I can totally find what that manager type dude said to me, he isn’t really in a position where he should say such things aloud at work. What if the person behind me was someone like I was back in the day, a person who had to use assistance to get back on their feet and in turn were molded into the pre-judgement that they are just losers that can’t work for their own self?! To me, that’s sad.

I may no longer be the person who had to use state assistance but I was that person who used the system for what it was for and look at me now, I am making it being self employed! I think that people need to remember that no one can judge another person unless they are walking in that person’s shoes. No person can fully relate to another person, never. Each of us walks a different path in life. I wish judgement would cease a bit. We all do the best we can and for those who truly are just being lazy and doing the minimum possible to live, well those people need to be stepping up and get their head out of the butts. For the rest of us who try our best and keep moving forward working harder, don’t mold us (rather them) into the shadow that has been cast upon those who are on state aide.