Tuesday, March 24, 2009

spirit of co-operation

The month is ending and I am thrilled with the spirit of co-operation that cheering each other on has brought into the house! Mid month I was a little worried that I had created cheer dependent monsters (S: "I dook my dishes ovoe. Chee-oe dat I am SUP-OE!), but it's all good. Last night we had a lesson on not being jealous when others get cheered when we don't, but to focus on cheering for them. And we cheered on our last child: G got his 25-random-things completed in his journal. Later, when I returned from a refreshing cross-country ski with a friend, the children were all asleep and there was an orange with its peel scored (ready for peeling) on the table with a goodnight note taped to it. I had written in G's 25-random-things list about his goodnight ritual and he took it to heart that I had noticed. The note read: "to Mom. Love G. Good night. Sweet dreams. Love you. See you tomorrow. xxx. ps Green octopi"

No need to be jealous of others, because I'm the one being cheered.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sometimes we are cheered

It's hard to cheer when you don't feel cheerful. I've been obsessed with reading about this horrifying story about the Fritzl family in Austria. If you haven't heard, GOOD, because it's one of those stories that sticks in your mind - I was at a matinĂ©e for the symphony today, and that's what I was thinking about. I need to focus on hope; hope that God will make it all right in the end.

My DH took the children to the dollar store today (my almost 6-yr old has birthday $ burning a hole in his pocket) and S came home with a blue pom pom! That cheered me up. She wants to cheer with me. I guess the ebb and flow of life applies to cheerleaders, too. Sometimes we cheer, sometimes we are cheered.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheer teams

I wanted my children to recognize and, more importantly, feel the difference between discouraging words, and encouraging words, so that was the lesson for family night. I set up a little basketball hoop and they each had a turn to shoot hoops while we a) cheered them on and then b) yelled discouraging comments. They all agreed that they preferred encouraging words. Next week I'm going to teach a little more on the same subject. For fun I began the lesson by showing a cheer team video from Youtube. The boys were very captivated. While eating our treat at the end, we watched some more cheers, until DH typed in "cheerleader tackled" and took them down an entirely different avenue of entertainment.

My friend, Julie, lent me her megaphone from her glory days on a cheer team, to help my profession along. Boys should NEVER have the chance to amplify their voices inside. Of course, I didn't want them to use it, but they just couldn't resist the chance to take 'loud' to a whole new level.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Professions for 2009

Here's my schedule of professions for 2009: I printed off 12 goal charts from Chart Jungle, put them in a binder, and have been using them to identify my professional goals for the month.
  1. January: Historian (a.k.a. scrapbooker)  What a fun way to start off the year! You've got all those great pics from the holidays and you're ready to just veg. I created a tonne of digi-pages, printed some, and went to a full-day scrapbooking event.
  2. February: Home Organizer  I used my goal chart to pick an area to work on each week. My bedside table is finally functioning. It makes me giddy!
  3. March: Cheerleader
  4. April: Gardener   I'm such an optimist since it is snowing as I type this.
  5. May: Naturalist   I've never actually accomplished this one. . . butt, since it is snowing whilst I type, I am SO looking forward to taking the children for walks in the ravine.
  6. June: Meal Planner   I'm looking for a couple dozen great vegetarian meals.
  7. July: Artist
  8. August: Photographer   I got 2 new cameras in Dec. of last year and need to read those manuals!!
  9. September: Monk   You bet that's a profession! I will work on self-discipline and developing better spiritual habits.
  10. October: Interior Decorator
  11. November: Shopper/Artisan   Having Christmas wrapped by the end of November makes December so dreamy! At least I imagine it would ;)
  12. December: Events Planner

Friday, March 13, 2009

How This Works

You are welcome to try this idea for yourself! Here's what I wrote up in 2006 when I started choosing a monthly profession to focus on:

I’ve been a full-time homemaker for 9 years now and am still overwhelmed by the many tasks, and at other times, BORED by them. Which can lead to unhappiness, even depression, but I noticed that when I focus my energies on a new challenge, that I am happier. So I wrote down some of the “professions” that being a wife, mother and homemaker included and picked one to focus on every month. By focusing on one of these endless areas, I can actually devote the time needed to improve at it, while giving myself permission to not worry about the other endless areas. And then, when I moved on to the next profession, I will have increased skills from the previous month to apply. Make sense?

So I made my list:

professional home organizer
I have the storage that I need, I just need to organize it. I write down when ever I come across an area or drawer that needs to be organized. In this month I’ll be researching methods to be organized, implementing them, and de-cluttering.

This is for those areas that you wouldn’t worry about until you were going to sell the house: painting the trim, putting in a light fixture where a bare bulb hangs, etc.

professional chef
I started with this one since suppers were a DISASTER at my house. Picky eaters and poor planning. So, I baked with my preschoolers, and made homemade granola. I signed up for COOKNIK (5 supper recipes complete with tips and shopping lists emailed every Wed. eve for $17 for 6 months worth). Cousin K told me about Dinner Revolution, and BFF told me that Simple Suppers is opening soon: kitchens that supply the space and ingredients to make 12 entrees and then CLEAN up for you. It gave me focus for the month: when I was feeling down, I’d gather the troops to bake with me. If I started to feel guilty about some other pathetic area of my life, I’d tell myself “I’m a professional chef – I’ll have to talk to the house keeper about that”.

professional shopper/artisan
This was to prepare for Christmas, and validate my ebay addiction ;) I chose November, and was done with gifts before December began.

I plan to do this in the summer and share the joy of art with my children. Do a sketch a day, just like my profs taught me. Do a painting on location with the older boys (at the cottage).

early childhood developer
I am going to take time to play and craft and learn with my children. I will plan stuff from the www.familyfun.com website. I never get around to this, but once I focus on it, I will be better skilled at incorporating it more often. I've now done this for one month, and decided to toilet train Sabine. I also stopped to teach Everett to play "Go Fish" and to pronounce the letter "s". Not EXACTLY as planned, but I did develop some children, I guess.

professional house keeper
Tanya told me about www.flylady.net which is a site where you can sign up for daily and weekly house cleaning reminders. I didn't follow the whole schedule, but I did try the "home blessing hour" and setting my timer for 10 minutes for all tasks. An improvement.

female escourt
Funny, eh? But homemakers need to keep the husband happy, too. And I’ll have to be escourted to fancy places every week, and I’d better get something new to wear to those fancy places, hadn’t I? If you’ve read the “Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” you know about the “frump syndrome”.

When NOT having a garden is overwhelming, it’s hard to embrace the extra task of gardening, but I do love it, once I start. My yard really benefited from all of the extra attention and I really had fun.

events planner
How many times have I thought “tomorrow is ______ (insert special holiday here)” but not had anything planned? Any month of the year could benefit from a little events planning. I’ve chosen this one for December, this year, but I want to plan out the rest of the year too. I’ll look through Family Fun again, and put reminders into my calendar.

What more do I need to write? I’m hoping that I will develop some skills here, so that I address things that need to be repaired (and ironed!) more than once a year.

professional historian
Code name for SCRAPBOOKER. You can get a lot done in one month if you are a professional!

[not to be confused with naturist (nudist)] It’s studying nature. I never spend enough time outside, nor do my children – so I’ll focus on it. We could try bird watching, bug watching, hikes in the river valley, or visit a different playground every time.

Then I assigned them to the upcoming months and decided what to do as that professional. And lest you think that I have it all together, you are mistaken; that part about doing the ironing more than once a year? NOT a joke.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

G in junior high

Lest you believe that I am uber-organized, I will tell you how I worked my profession into supper last night. I didn't have a child scheduled to cheer for last night, but we were short one plate, so I pulled out the celebration plate and gave it to K. I hadn't started his 25-random-things list, so I said that we were going to work on it as a family: so that's what we dedicated our supper conversation to. That worked, too, because E came up with "He gave me his Scooby Doo Learn-to-read books" which I hadn't thought to recognize. Once we completed the list, we cheered for him and let him hand out the Trebor candy. How's that for thinking on my feet? Nice.

Then I went with my oldest to our first junior high open house. I wanted to throw up, cry and freeze time when I thought of him; my sweet, innocent, eager G; being thrown into the jaws of junior high. Breath. By the end of the evening I was feeling positive and even more committed to the importance of cheering him on!! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

S is for Super

I picked a day for each child to get to use the celebration plate at supper, so we can focus on them. Last night was S so she got the plate and I read the "25 Random Things About S" that I had written in her journal. We all had a good laugh (she's a funny girl) and she was proud to share her list of favorite things with us. She now says that blueberries are her favorite fruit, since blue is her favorite color. News to me! Then we did the "Super" cheer for her and she got to hand out the Trebor candy to everyone. YUM!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

professional cheerleader

My first post. I don't know how to make my blog look decent and we'll see if I can actually get this to post. The purpose of this blog is to journal my project: being a professional stay-at-home mom. Now, what I mean by that is that I pick a profession to focus on every month. This month I am a professional cheerleader. No (sorry DH), I don't have a sexy little uniform, but I do have a pom pom (yes, only one) but I found some killer cheers on the interweb:

"S-U-P-(pause) E-R. Super, that is what you are. 
SUPER! (clap. clap.) SUPER! (clap. clap.) Yaaaaaaaaaaay, (name)."

"1 cent. 2 cents. 3 cents. A dollar.
All for (full name) stand up and holler. Whoooo!"

This professional choice was inspired by my son, E, who asked me to skate behind him, cheering him on as he worked to learn how to skate. So I did. I skated around the rink, offering him words of encouragement and hooting and hollering when he regained his balance or got back to his feet after a nasty spill. And when he finally got it, we skated around the rink together and I got to share the joy that he felt in his accomplishment (and I got to share that joy for 20 laps, LONG after the rest of our family had headed home). I realized afterwards that the most devoted cheerleaders that our children will ever have, are their family. If we don't cheer them on, who will? Maybe a wonderful teacher, or an inspired coach, or an exceptional neighbour. . . or maybe no one. And it made me think about the times that I finished watching a child at their practice and the words I offered, after they worked hard for that hour, were to point out where they could work harder. CRAZY! I've got to cheer them on, and that's what I'm focusing on this month! 

Goooooooooooo Samber!