A Geek and her Babies

How one geeky Mom combines technology and old fashioned values to raise her babies.

Board Games January 25, 2012

Filed under: family,Kids — geekch1ck @ 9:02 pm
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Over the last few years our house has become video game-centric. Video games were something that Dad could do with the boys while laying on the couch recovering from his various surgeries. And, when you have one parent recovering from surgery while the other one is taking care of a newborn, you do what you can to keep everyone happy. (Please don’t judge.)

Now that Steve is as recovered as much as he’s going to be, we are trying to find things that don’t involve a screen that brings us together as a family. Bring on the board games…

This Christmas, we bought the kids games, but they were the board game variety.Scrabble,Scruble, Trouble and Candyland joined the decks of cards and Yahtzee game that we already owned.

Now, many week nights and most weekends you will find one or all of us sitting around our kitchen table playing a board game. My 12 year old is working on trying to beat Mom “just once” at Scrabble. The 4 year old is learning to take turns and count. And, we are doing something together as a family which doesn’t involve a screen (well unless you count the Android Scrabble dictionary that we use when it’s getting late and we just want to finish the game!)

How do you spend time with your family away from the screen? What are your favorite board games?

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Sam’s 5th Birthday January 10, 2012

Filed under: family,Kids — geekch1ck @ 10:02 pm

My little man turned 5 yesterday. I cannot believe that it was only 5 years ago that I held him in my arms for the very first time. He has grown so much. All of a sudden, he goes from being my little boy to a very short teenager and back again in the space of a few minutes. It is confusing and funny at the same time. He is defiant, lovable and the source of most of my grey hair. He is so much fun to have around.

Over the weekend, we decided to take him to Chuck E Cheese’s for an impromptu family party. It was the “best birthday EVER!” according to him. He played video games (his absolute favorite thing) and rode the rides for hours.

He even had a Chuck E Cheese birthday cake. (They are surprisingly not that bad!)

We all had a wonderful time but it will not be something we do regularly. It is too busy and overwhelming. The kids (and parents) have spent the last two days recuperating from all of the fun!

 

New Year, New Start January 2, 2012

Filed under: family — geekch1ck @ 9:23 pm

The past year has been incredibly busy and, frankly, overwhelming at times. As a family, we have been through many situations that we never expected. The year ended on a good note, but it seemed to be due to sheer luck, rather than any planning on our part.

During the week between Christmas and New Year, I spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out what when wrong and how we could do better in the coming year.  I came up three focus areas for my life.

Simplify

I tend to be the type of person that makes everything 10 times harder than it needs to be. Steve also has this tendency. We research everything until we are more confused than when we started. Leaving the house is always a huge production. Getting ready for bed is worse.

I also overextend myself more often than not. I start projects that I have no time to finish. I seem to never set aside the appropriate time for any task.

This year I am consciously working on simplifying our lives. I am going to seriously consider the implications of any project I undertake and set aside more time for the projects I decide to do.I am also going to work on streamlining our routines, organizing our stuff and dedicating time for simply “being quiet.”

Family First

One of the largest contributors to the problems we experienced last year was that we spent a major portion of our time and energy focusing on “outsiders”, rather than our family unit. We had people move in and out, we tried to help friends and family who didn’t want our help and we spent way too much time worrying about what other people thought. Because of this, our kids suffered and Steve and my relationship suffered.

This year, our focus is on our family. We are going to limit the time spent on other people. I’m not saying we are not going to spend any time on other people. It will just be on our terms and based on what is best for us.

Healthy Living

Although I have tried to follow Weight Watchers and exercise, I did not do a very good job and my health and happiness have suffered greatly. It is very hard to deal with adversity if you are not feeling good. I have been spending so much time worrying about Steve’s health, that I have neglected my own.

This year I am going to focus on my health. I already know this will make it easier to keep the other two goals and will improve my ability to handle adversity.

I am not only focusing on my physical health, I am also focusing on my mental health. I have started my own Happiness Project and a 365 Project where I will take a photo a day. I am undertaking both projects because it has been pointed out to me that I have lost myself over the years as I focused more and more on the kids and Steve.  It is now time to rediscover what makes me happy.

What are your focus areas for the coming year?

 

The Minstrel November 22, 2011

Filed under: family — geekch1ck @ 9:11 pm

Every year for the past 37 years, the Lykens Minstrel Association has been putting on an annual all male show full of songs and funny, family oriented skits the weekend before Thanksgiving. My parents have been a part of the Minstrel for many of the 37 years. My Dad as a performer and my Mom as the pianist. My father passed away in 2006, but my Mom is still the main pianist for the show.

When I was younger, people came on buses to see the show and there were at least 4 shows each year. In recent years, there have only been two shows a year and both the audience and the “Circle” (the chorus) has shrunk, but the show is still as hilarious as ever.

The two photos above were taken with my cell phone from directly behind the piano. I have been sitting behind the piano ever since I was a little girl. At first, it was my Mom’s way of keeping tabs on us while she and Dad performed. Now, it’s simply the best seat in the house.

I love that my kids laugh at many of the same skits as I did when I was their age. For example, the skit in the photo is called the “Little People” and is a pretty regular part of the show. I don’t know about you, but men pretending to whistle through their belly buttons is simply hilarious!

It’s not all funny though. We have a tremendous amount of talented singers in our small area. Every year at least one of the guys makes me cry with their song choice. Lately, my tears are from missing my Dad. Even after 5 years, I still expect to see him up there singing, dancing, joking and having fun.

Next year, my 12 year old is going to join the Minstrel. Which would make my Dad extremely proud. His kids couldn’t join because we were all girls, but his grandsons can be a part of the great tradition!

I really miss you, Dad.

 

My Unconventional, Yet Perfect, Family October 18, 2011

Filed under: family — geekch1ck @ 11:29 pm

This is almost all of my family. Between Steve and I, we have 5 kids between the ages of 23 to 18 months. We also have two grandkids who are 2 and 5. The picture above is only missing my stepdaughter. On the right is our oldest son, our daughter-in-law and their two kids. The rest of the couch is taken up by Steve, our 18 month old, our 12 year old and our 4 year old.

This past weekend was the first time in two years that we have seen our oldest and his family. Joe is in the military and is stationed 1600 miles away from us. It was absolutely wonderful to have everyone here. The picture above was the very first time our oldest had met his youngest brother. It brings tears to my eyes. Joe didn’t even put down his bag before picking up his baby brother for a hug.

Joe spent a lot of time just hanging out with his little brothers. Annoying them like a good big brother should and giving them lots of hugs and time. Somehow, even though a ton of pictures were taken, I did not get one picture of Joe and Jimmy together. I don’t know how that happened.

Those two cuties are my grandkids. As much as Joe spent time with his brothers, we spent time with our grandkids. I just couldn’t get enough of them. Surprisingly, other than the babies, all of the kids got along quite well. Our granddaughter established herself as the leader and the boys just lined up under her rule. I figure that’s how it should be.

The two youngest had their differences as was expected. Sharing is a foreign concept and they found it quite fun to take toys from each other in order to make the other one cry. We just laughed and broke up the fights.

Father and son got to spend a lot of geeky time together. It’s fun to watch them pick on each other and take things apart. I wish everyone could have stayed longer. I miss them terribly already. I think a plane ride is in our future…

 

Back to School August 29, 2011

Filed under: family,Kids — geekch1ck @ 10:45 am

Our youngest kids started a new school last week. We decided that they should get “back to school” pictures just like our eleven year old. Here are some of the highlights:

 

I put them both in the same shirt simply because I’m dorky like that (and I think they look adorable!). They went to their school and then we went to the playground behind the school for some outdoor fun.

It was the first time we played at this particular playground and we had a lot of fun. I ran into an old high school friend who had her kids there, also. Her aunt (one of my high school teachers) organized a pick up softball game. The kids ranged in age from 1 to 7, so it was hilarious!

Today, my oldest starts sixth grade. I don’t have a picture because he goes to school from his dad’s house. I meant to get a picture over the weekend, but Hurricane Irene occupied a lot of my thoughts and I simply forgot. I’m going to make up for that this weekend.

I don’t think I’m old enough to have a kid in sixth grade, but obviously I am. I think I’m just going to go crawl under my covers and ignore this fact for the rest of the day!

 

I Need a New Bookshelf June 28, 2011

Filed under: family — geekch1ck @ 11:03 am

A local organization received a shipment of more books than they could handle.  So they are giving them away.

This is a book lovers dream.  There were HUGE cardboard boxes (I’m 5′ 8″ tall and the boxes went to my chest!) filled with books.

Most of the books are children’s books and a lot of them were damaged (that’s what happens when books are dumped into HUGE boxes and then shipped).  Nevertheless, I managed to find over 100 books.  100 new books!

The kids and I are in heaven.  There are novels, nonfiction, pop-up books, a copy of the Writers Market, programming books, puzzle books, coloring books.  Our summer reading list has dramatically grown!  I can’t wait to get started.