Motivation

What motivates and inspires you?

This is a question I am asking my self a lot lately. There is a quote I fell in love with when I was in High School.  Every so often I bring it up and each time it has a new perspective depending on the stage I am at in life. Each time is profound.

“One must learn to live, not just how to make a living. But how to find a path of beauty in this life. We begin by knowing who we are.”

~ Chief Powhatan Wahunsunacock

At this point, I know who I am : A Mom, a writer, a friend, a warrior.

My beauty: helping others, listening to my children play, loosing myself in a story.

The one thing that is not set, making a living.  They say do what you love and the rest will follow.  Do what you are good at and the money will come. I was a great teacher, but never financially stable.  I am an amazing Mom (or so my family tells me), yet we still struggle.  I enjoy writing and sharing my stories, still not bringing in the income.

Ironically, what is working: cleaning!  Before my family expanded, first with my love, then with the loves of my life.  I cleaned every weekend like I was built for it.  People would come to my home, I would apologize for the mess and they would look around bewildered at what I was talking about.  This has not changed about me, only my ability and opportunity has changed.

My family all nap from 11 – 1:30 PM every day.  This means I must be quiet as I am unable to nap at that time it was my prime cleaning time for so long.  Now it is my study time as still try and finish school (always good to have a back up!)  Soon it will by my writing time on the days I am not cleaning other peoples homes.  For many this does not seem like a great way to spend there days for me it’s perfect. Why?  It allows me to LIVE!  I can spend time with my two greatest beauties that push me to do more, be more.  That is something I never had while working at a traditional job.

Would you not do what ever it takes for these two?

Snuggling
Snuggling

I will and am!  And it gives me the freedom to make memories with them, that is motivation enough for me!  What motivates you?

Where did the time go?

It is difficult to believe fall is officially here, we are heading into October and I have not written since August.  Where did the time go?

The end of August was filled with last minute summer day trips.  More visits to the aquarium as both my children decided they did not want to nap and miss another second of summer. Another visit to the Garden State Discovery Museum with friends.   A day with a friend at Sesame Place before school started back up. The last weeks of summer where filled with adventures for the kids and sleep deprivation for me.

My son started back to preschool three half days a week starting September 1st.

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One would think this means more time to get things done! NOPE!  My son cannot be dropped off until 9 AM on school days and has to be picked up by 12 PM, otherwise we are charged fees.  This means by the time I get home, clean up from the morning chaos and sit down to study, job search or write I have maybe an hour before my daughter comes home and needs to be fed and go down for her nap.  This gives me maybe 30 min before I need to go an pick up my son from school.  Instead of having more time I feel like I have less.  It is taking me three times as long to finish these last lessons for school then anticipated mostly due to lack of time and ability to concentrate in the time I do have . . . as my son has also decided that he is a big boy now and does not need to nap anymore,  That is what I get for potty training, putting him in a big boy bed AND taking away hos binki all in the same week!

My daughter . . . .She is my love and my test!  She has an amazing personality already.  She has a smile that melts your 2015-09-11 07.48.08heart, loves to laugh (especially at her brother!) and is determined to walk so they can play together!  During the daylight hours she is a good girl.  She knows what she wants and when she wants it and as long as that happens she is a happy girl,  Once the sun sets, all bets are off!  Despite feeding her solids and giving her a bottle of expressed milk to make sure she is full, she will wake up in the middle of the night and demand to be nursed every 90 min – 2 hours or will scream bloody murder!  I tried telling her this schedule does not work, she doesn’t care.  Rationalizing with e 9 month old never works. *SIGH*

She is working on her two top teeth so I am hoping once they break our night time schedule will get better . . .until then she is an angle during he day and a she-demon at night. Good thing I write as sleep deprivation does wonders for the imagination . . .and good training if I ever become a secret agent!

In addition to all the family craziness I have begun stressing over the fact my unemployment will soon be over.  Once the end of October hits we have no guaranteed income.  Yes I am almost finished school, but that does not mean a position is going to magically fall in my lap!  I am and have been putting applications out for a variety of positions since May, not one has resulted in even an interview. This means time for me to start looking outside the norm.

In addition to traditional positions I am putting myself out there for house cleaning opportunities.  At this time residential and under the table, but with enough interest I will go full on business mode!  I like cleaning though you cannot tell by the state of my home right now.  I find it very therapeutic to clean, helps work out the frustration and leads to good thinking time.  So if you or someone you know is in need of a house cleaner, regular basis or one time deal, shoot me an email at karenscleaningdoneright@gmail.com   I am willing to do what ever it takes to care for these two monsters!

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Our Vacation Part 3 – The Final Installment

We are home and had a day to recover.  Last week was a whirlwind of adventures and went faster then expected.  Some of them not planned.

Friday we planned on visiting my husband’s family.  They live about 3 hours from my parents, so we planned a pit stop about half way between the two.  After doing a quick google search we narrowed down to either Christmas town or  Gatorland as both were about the halfway point and not to far off the path we plotted.  We chose Gatorland thinking it would be a small park like a nature preserve type experience and just enough to walk around and stretch our legs, maybe grab a quick bite to eat.  We should have researched more!

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G wrestling a gator . . . at least a fake one.
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Uhhh That is probably not the best place to take a break!
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Daddy wants me to do what???
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I should sit here?

Gatorland apparently is a huge attraction in the area and not what we expected at all!  They had a spot where you could have a picture taken with a baby alligator.  Since my husband has a picture of him holding an alligator as a child he wanted our son to have one too

.

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Like this?
Aww baby alligator!
Aww baby alligator!
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Ummm not sure about this snake . . .
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Ok but hurry!
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Not much between us and them.

After we got the pictures out of the way, we went for a walk.

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The Crane’s do not seem to mind.
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They are sneaky though.
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And brazen.

Gator land turned out to be more of an adventure then we expected.  What was suppose to be a 10-15 min break turned into an hour and a half exploration!  We did not even see or do everything they had to offer!

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Our daughter did not seem to mind!

Of course my daughter and I took a selfie while the boys explored one of the observation towers.  There was also a water park/ splash pad section and a children’s play ground we did not get to explore despite my son begging for us to go.  We did stop at the gift shop and bought some super cute outfits for the kids and toy gators for my son.

Once we got back on the road we were already late getting to our destination.  We did have a great visit with my husband’s family.  Unfortunately I was so busy meeting and catching up I did not get any pictures!

As we left later then expected we did not stop back at Gatorland on the way home like we thought we might.

On Saturday we spent the morning at the beach.  This time in the ocean instead of the cove.

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What is this stuff?

At first our daughter was not sure what to make of the sand.  She quickly decided it was fun!

This is fun!
This is fun!
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Nana and Pop Pop
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My boys in the water.
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He is a big boy now! All by himself.
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Playing in the waves.
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Catch me Daddy!
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No you catch me!
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Playing in the sand.
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My husband taking my daughter out, her first ocean experience.
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She doesn’t seem to mind!

As you can see my family loves the beach!  And yes, we stayed longer then expected.

Ye-ha!
Ye-ha!

After the kids and my husband had a brief nap we went to the river near by my parents home.  They had a Christmas in July celebration.  It was mostly vendors selling their wares, but there was a playground and splash pad and my son had fun.  Before we left we took a brief walk along the river where of course my son had to pose!

I 'd rather eat Momma's bracelets
I ‘d rather eat Momma’s bracelets

My daughter on the other hand was not impressed!

Sunday was a chill day as it was the day before we were scheduled to leave.  We started packing and played in my parents spa/pool.

Later that afternoon my Sister, her boyfriend and my Aunt and Uncle came to visit.  It was great to see everyone before we left.

Once again, I did not take any pictures.  My Aunt did, hoping to get copies!

Overall a great visit and one we will do again once we can!

My son and husband on the train to the terminal in Orlando Airport.
My son and husband on the train to the terminal in Orlando Airport.

Our Vacation – Part 2

As promised, the next installment of our unexpected vacation has arrived!  It’s amazing to think our time here is almost over.  When we talked about 8 days I was wondering how we are going to fill the time, I should not have!

Wednesday was another relax day.  In the morning we spent time around the house.  My husband took our son for a nature walk and to the pool while my daughter and I took a walk up to the store for some supplies.  It’s amazing how much my son eats and doesn’t eat at the same time!

During nap time my oldest sister, Cheryl, who also lives in Florida, arrived.  We went to the beach.  Just as we arrived it started to rain!  It was not a hard rain and the cove we went to was not crowded so we stayed.  I am so glad we did!  Despite the rain, ants, no-see-ums it was an amazing experience.  There was not one but two manatees!  I was holding baby girl so no pictures nor did I get super close.  Some of the people who were there did have the experience of the manatees rubbing up against them!  Some of the people said this was a first, wild manatees!

Thursday was the BIG day, we went to Disney!  Once we go there, guess what happened . . . .IT RAINED!  Not all day thankfully.

It was sunny skies on our drive to the park, as we got closer the clouds got darker. Just over the park it was raining and started just as we parked the car.  We did not let it deter us!  The day had it’s challenges, in the end my Mom and son had fun, that is what it was all about!

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Magic Kingdom
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So exited G needed Jazz hands to show it!
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Two thumbs up for the parade!
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Who’s Goofy? We are!
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Which castle is this? We were going to eat here but could not remember the name to make reservations.

Since dinner at the castle did not work and after another downpour while we were on Ariel’s Under the Sea adventure we made our way to downtown Disney and dinner at the T-Rex Restaurant.  Late of course!  Our Reservation was at 3 PM, we finally made it there by 4 PM.   We called ahead and said we were running late, thankfully they still honored our reservation as both my boys (son and husband) had a blast!

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Waiting fr our table. T-Rex standing guard.
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My boys figuring out if they want to explore or eat!
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Nana and Pop Pop
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My daughter more impressed with my bracelets
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T-Rex!
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Giant squid. Tentacles and eyes moved!
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Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!
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Over the table next to us!
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The cave changed colors. Not sure what the Triceratops felt about it.
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Or the “bump heads” as my son calls them.
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Thanking Pop Pop for a great day!
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There is a what behind me?
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Is that a . . . .
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Awww baby triceratops!

We are on a real vacation – Part 1

With all the changes in our world we have not considered taking a real vacation this year.  Between the birth our daughter and my loosing my job the finances just were not there, or so we thought.

This year my Mom turned 70. My sisters and I were at a loss to give her to make this year special.  Last year on her birthday was when things fell apart between my Mom and brother resulting in us be locked out of his and m nephews world.  I do not know all the details and will not go into them, but do know my mom lives for her kids and grand-kids.  Not seeing her oldest grandsons has been devastating this last year.

As a result my two sisters and I pooled together the funds for my husband, two kids and I to fly down to Florida for 8 days!

My Sisters! Donna (Left), Me (center), Cheryl (Right)
My Sisters! Donna (Left), Me (center), Cheryl (Right) and Gavin (front – picture crashing!)

I am so grateful for my family!  Unfortunately my sister Donna was not able to get the time off from work to join us.

The first few days were spent catching up with my Mom.  We came in early on Sunday and spent the day at home.  Monday my Mom and husband took the kids to the beach in the morning so I could study (nerds are cool and school waits for no one!) The afternoon was spent at a local swimming pool with splash area for the kids.

Tuesday we changed it up and became tourists!  Our daughter stayed home with Nana and Pop pop and we took our son to Universal Studios Adventure Island.  He loves dinosaurs and that is where the Jurassic Park section is located.  He is only 3 so we knew our options where limited.

We did not get to many pictures in this part of the park as my son was always on the move!  Here is some of what we did get to see!

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Water Cannons!
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Watch out! G cooling off after riding the pteranodon flyer!
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OH NO T-Rex!
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Awww nice T-Rex!
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Lunch Selfie
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Look!
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Ahhhhhhhhh!
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Allosaurus! Run Away!!!!

 

It wasn’t all dinos at Universal.  Before we left we did a quick stop to Diagon Alley for wands and Butter Beer.  I also got a distant look at Hogwarts.

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We have arrived!
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Hog warts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Hoggy Hogwarts!
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Butter beer!
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Actually we all got some!
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Our wands! Funny how the 3 year old got the biggest one and my husband has the smallest one!
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The two worlds we wanted and did visit. Dinos and magic, perfect together!

 

We did not get to visit everything we wanted, bu will be back another time.  Our next vacation installment . . . DISNEY!!!!!

A day out

This week shaped up into a good week for me and goals set.  I was afraid that it might be the opposite with son finishing school last week for the summer.  I LOVE this kid and I can admit he is needy. He currently likes playing with Momma and Daddy. Sometimes to the point where we cannot get anything else done. We are working on getting him into some more independent play. Not to much though as we know he will not want us around forever, I, for one, am dreading that day!

Everyday this week I have gotten in some good study time. This is something that has not happened consistently in about a month. My original goal after loosing my day job was to be finished school by now. Failed that goal miserably! New goal is to finish by end of July. I also do not want to miss this opportunity to be with my kids.

Yesterday afternoon we took a break from the standard and made use of our Season passes to Sesame Place. The kid’s Dad stayed home to work on our son’s big boy room (this will be a different post when finished!). This made me a bit nervous to take both kids without someone to either watch our 6 month old or take out 3 year old on rides.

In order to keep both kids happy and safe we stayed mostly in the Tiddly Winks section. My son loved it! He played alligator in the wave and splash pools. Ran around Ernie’s Water Works. Made and smashed sand castles in the sand box.

My daughter took it all in and frequently laughed at her brother’s antics. She fell asleep on the way home and still slept through the night! We also get to see some furry friends while we were visiting.

G was a little shy, but Oscar the Grouch eventually won out.
G was a little shy, but Oscar the Grouch eventually won out.

After meeting Oscar, my son was on a mission. To find Cookie Monster and Big Bird. We did not see them, but we did run into another furry friend!

It's Murray!
It’s Murray!

As you can see he was more open to meeting Murray!

Family Time at Sesame Place!
Family Time at Sesame Place!

On the way home my son and I chatted as his sister slept. I promised him we would go back soon and see Cookie Monster and Big Bird. As we pulled into our development and got closer to home he said “Today good day.”

Yeah it was, so glad to have the opportunity to have these days too!