The Sassy Pear

Finding my way through my forties

I need a vacation!!! — August 8, 2009

I need a vacation!!!

Aaaaand so I’m taking one.   We are going on a short 3 day vacay starting tomorrow so I won’t be around for the next few days.  Lots of relaxing, swimming, reading, hiking, knitting, and just general playing around is in our immediate future and I can’t wait! 

I just wanted to update you on the household chore thing:  something seems to have clicked in my brain.  Whereas before it was almost hard to ask my kids to do things, but now I just TELL them (in a nice way) that I need help with xyz, and lo and behold, they help!  Sometimes it takes a wee bit of prodding, but for the most part they haven’t given me any flack about it.  Just today I told my 12 year old son that his room had to be cleaned before bedtime, or else Mr. Nintendo DS would go into timeout for a week.  I told him at 2pm, and the room was clean(ish) by 8:30.  Of course he started at like 7:30, but I didn’t nag him – I was totally prepared to repossess the Nintendo DS, but I’m glad I didn’t have to. 

Okay, well I still have tons of laundry to do before we leave tomorrow, so I better get to it.  Have a good week and don’t forget to enter the applesauce giveaway!  🙂

Hello 160’s! — June 13, 2008

Hello 160’s!

Well let’s see, what to blog about today?   For starters, I saw my doc yesterday for my weekly weigh in and I am down another pound and a half bringing me to 169.  Yeah baby!!  Buhbye 170’s!!  That’s 17 pounds down since the end of February…only 25 pounds to go.   I think the last time I weighed 169 was when I went back to work 18 months ago.  About 6 months after I started working, I tried Intuitive Eating and my weight shot up 15 pounds in a very short time.  It’s taken me a year to lose the weight that I gained in just a couple of months – major suck!!  But I’m on the way down again, and I know NOT to try that little experiment again. 


Since my eating plan with the doc is a high protein plan, I have been checking out low carb websites and such.  I always thought South Beach was a knock off of Atkins, but actually they are very different.  In researching these websites, I find that (and if you are on Atkins, please don’t take offense to this) the Atkins-type groups are somewhat militant in their stance on carbs.  It kinda scares me a wee bit.  I have always heard good things about South Beach, and the SB sites I have found were very friendly so I decided to check the book out from the library just to see what all the hoopla is about.  I have found that SB is really not like Atkins very much at all.  The main similarity is the induction phase (the first 2 weeks), but after that, SB is all about good carbs and good fats, and finding balance in your meals. 


**tangent**I realize I am waaaayyyyyy late to the low carb party.  I never did jump on the low carb bandwagon, but since I have been eating low carb lately, I understand how beneficial adding more protein to your diet can be.  I’m sure most of you already have tried low carb one way or another and none of what I am telling you is new to you.  But it is all new to me.


Anyway, if you have never read the book, I highly suggest it, if only for the excellent description of what sugar does to our bodies and how certain foods are digested.  I find it incredibly interesting and enlightening.  In the 3 weeks that I have been on my docs plan, I haven’t had any bread or tortillas, or chips, or anything else high in carbs, and quite honestly I haven’t missed any of it.  What I do miss is the convenience of these things.  It is so easy to throw a sandwich together in the morning to take for lunch, but now my quick lunch is chicken or tuna salad.  I am starting to get the hang of cooking lots of protein and getting very creative with fish, chicken, and veggies.  It’s getting easier to eat this way, and I feel good most days (the days I don’t feel great is due to not enough sleep the night before).  I will get to add in the healthier carbs eventually and I look forward to that day!!


My walking is AWESOME!!  I am getting faster and my highest speed is starting to feel slow, so I may bump it up some more.  I have even thought of adding a bit of an incline when I walk, just to challenge myself a little.   Also considering walking with some light hand weights to pump up the arms a bit.   All in all, things are going well on the exercise and eating front.  FINALLY!!


Chore update:  Monkeyboy is doing great with the chores!!  Yesterday he even came home from the sitter’s house across the street to bring the trash to the curb since it was Trash Day.  He did it without being reminded, which is HUGE! I of course, praised him appropriately and told him I was really proud of him.  He’s been doing really well lately, and even getting to his chore list before I have to remind him.  SuzyQ does okay, but I have to go through her list with her one by one and she usually does hers right before bed, but as long as she’s doing it, I don’t mind when she does it.   So far so good!!  I am sooo digging the Handipoints!!


Having the family over tomorrow to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad and my grandpa who will turn 93 in July.   93!!!!   That’s a helluva long time to live.  He’s still pretty sharp even if he can’t hear, and he is a funny guy.  It should be a good time. 

Hope you all have a great weekend!! 


The Chore Post — June 3, 2008

The Chore Post

I loved all of your suggestions for chores and I thank you all for your help and advice.   I’m glad to know that some of you are struggling with this just like I am, and I am glad that some of you already have it together so you can impart your wisdom to the rest of us!


There were some great ideas you handed down, and most of you agreed that kids shouldn’t be paid for chores, but an extra privilege or treat was not out of the question either for a job well done.   I like that and will keep that in mind. 


There were a few items that jumped out at me and really made me think.  I’m not always the most patient person in the world, especially when it comes to my kids (it’s sad, I know), but Debby reminded me that … It is usually more work for you to get someone to do something new than it is to just do it yourself. So, most of the time we just do it ourself. But it is of course more benefit to the person you are teaching, and eventually will be more benefit to you.    Thank you for reminding me that I have to TEACH them how to do these things, not just give them the chore and then send them on their way, as I am apt to do.  So I will keep in mind that this is a learning experience for them right now. 


Also, Jeanette brought up a very interesting point about why now is a good time to get this going – you will never have more time to teach them stuff then you do right now! As they get older they are home less and they will have more school work and outside activities. It’s easy to let things slide because they seem so busy…. However your relationship with them will be so much better if you are able to teach them simple responsibilies now!.    I figure once they learn to drive, I won’t see them very often, and by then it will probably be too late!  So now really is the best time to instill these habits into them. 


And finally Vickie nailed down the WHY of giving them responsibilities, “i realized that one of my big break through moments was when i realized it was MUCH easier to live life with my kids and I being “on the same” side of the fence than at odds with each other. And I am very honest to the kids that they need to know how to do all the household things – so that they know how to take care of themselves”.   


I always looked at this as benefiting myself, but really they will be the ones who benefit the most from it.  



Okay, so after reading all your comments and thinking about how to go about this, I did a Google search (I love Google) for “kids’ chores” and this was one of the hits.


Handipoints is a site where kids (with a parents help) can create chore lists, and then for every chore they complete, they get bonus points to use in Handiland – a virtual town populated by cats.  The kids choose a cat and they can use their handipoints to buy clothes or things for their cat.  It’s kind 0f like Webkinz or Neopets, or something along those lines.  I asked the kiddos if they thought this would be something they liked:  they were all over it like white on rice!   I found the site on 6:30 Friday night and by 9:30 that night, my son had made his bed, picked up the dirty clothes off the floor, put his toys away, unloaded the dishwasher, fed the dog, taken out the trash, and brushed his teeth WITHOUT BEING TOLD, just so he could get points for his cat.  So far it has worked out well.  My daughter hasn’t had a chance to play with it much, but she was at Grandma’s for the weekend, so she’ll have time this week.  I think it will be a good thing for however long it lasts, and then if/when they lose interest in that, maybe they will at least have gotten into the habit of doing their chores. 


I also had a little “talk” with my son about why I want him to learn these things.  I repeated a lot of what you all had to say, like how he will someday want to live on his own and he needs to know how to do things himself, and that it will make for a happy mommy to have some help with these things.  I think he gets the picture now and is a little more willing to help when I ask him.  And I do make sure to “ask” instead of “telling” him to do things, I don’t like having orders barked at me, so I’m sure he doesn’t either.  


We had a really good weekend and I think he will be more receptive to helping out and learning some new “skillz” this summer.  Ask me in 2 months how things are going – hopefully I’ll have something good to report! 


Thanks again for all your advice and tips – you guys are awesome!!  🙂

Advice needed please! — May 28, 2008

Advice needed please!

I have this issue that I need some help with, and just to let you know this has nothing to do with fitness, or weight loss, or anything to do with healthy living.  It’s about my kids, my son in particular.   Monkey* is 11 and he is dangerously close to becoming one of those lazy, video game playing, TV-addicted kids, you know, the kind of kid we all hope our kids DON’T turn out to be.  He is very quiet, introspective, and doesn’t give us much trouble at all, but he has no drive or ambition whatsoever.  He does not have an aggressive bone in his skinny little body.   My issue is…


Summer Chores (gasp! No!  Not Summer Chores!!!)


 I know, I know, but just hear me out. 


I feel like this is the summer where he either learns how be responsible and grows into a decent human being, or he becomes completely lazy and lives with his parents until he is 30 (I CANNOT, for the sake of my own sanity, let that happen).    Also, my daughter SuzyQ* is 7, and Priss* is 3 and I know they are old enough to be helping out some as well.  I don’t expect a lot of Priss of course, but it’s never too early to start. 


I will admit, I have been at fault for not being consistent with chores, and I let them get away with not helping out far more often than I should have, but I’m at a point where I cannot do it all by myself anymore.  When I was a SAHM, sure I could do most of it, but not anymore, not with working full time, and running to different activities and such.  


We have tried charts and tickets and stickers, but nothing seems to hold their interest for very long.  I have always started with the intention of paying them for their chores, but honestly sometimes, I just can’t afford it, and really should they be paid for helping out around the house? 


So what do you all do?  What works or did work for you when your kids were young?  And what kinds of jobs do you think are appropriate for an 11 year old boy and a 7 year old girl? 


And what do you do if the chores don’t get done?  Do you ground them, or take away their toys?  This is also something I have trouble with – I don’t have a set example of what happens when they fail to do their chores.  



I am anxious to hear what you all have to say about this, so please leave a comment!  I would like to start this as soon as possible and I’ll post some of your ideas tomorrow so feel free to share!  Thanks!!



*obviously not their real names, but these are their real nicknames. This is what I call them most of the time anyway.     

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