A Geek and her Babies

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

My Happiness Project January 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — geekch1ck @ 11:04 pm

One of my goals for this year is to follow Gretchin Rubin’s Happiness Project. I read the book last year and, like Gretchen, felt that my life could be a little bit happier if I was systematic about it. Each month I create a list of resolutions centered around a common theme. Each resolution is actionable and I keep track of my progress on a spreadsheet.

This month’s theme is “Energy” simply because everything else will be easier, if I have more energy. My resolutions this month are:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Track WW Points
  • Drink water
  • Tackle a Nagging Task
  • Organize

It is the 11th day of the month and I can’t say I am doing it perfectly, but it is helping. I am sleeping better and eating a bit healthier. I am also getting a lot of tasks accomplished that I have put off for quite some time.

Some days I think the “nagging tasks” resolution is sapping my energy. I have been running all of us to at least one appointment a day for the last 10 days. It is rather exhausting. But, at the end of the day, it is one less thing that I have to worry about and I sleep better.

I’m not sure if I would consider myself happier at this point, but I’m not worried. It hasn’t even been a month and I’m still working out all of the kinks. Overall, like the 365 Project, I think it will be a good way to focus myself throughout the year.

How are you focusing your energies this year? Do you have a year long project? If so, how is it going?

 

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!

 

Gifts from My Dad January 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — geekch1ck @ 11:00 pm

My Dad, aka “Pappy George”, would have been 70 years old today. Unfortunately, he went to be an angel 5 years ago, mere months before my second son was born. I have missed him every single day since then. And, every day, I wish I could pick up the phone to ask him a question, tell him something that the boys did, or just simply hear him laugh.

Today, on his birthday, instead of being sad, I decided to think of all of the things he gave me while he was here.

My Love of Reading and Education

He was an avid reader and had a very large collection of books. He would become interested in something, whether it was baseball, Old Testament Religion, or the Amish culture, and he would read everything he could find on that interest. He never had the opportunity to attend college but I would bet he was better educated on his favorite subjects than many college graduates. He passed that “need to know” on to me.

My Love of Music

Dad (and Mom) loved music, both listening to it and singing in church or with the Minstrel. He always had music playing loudly in the house.  Music was a huge part of our lives. I am grateful for my musical “education”. Because of him, I enjoy all types of music from Big Band to Barbra Streisand to “Percy the Puny Poinsettia.”

The Ability to Laugh

My Dad was always goofing around and laughing. He loved to play tricks, tease and kid with everyone. He was one of the end men in the Lykens Minstrel and enjoyed dressing up and performing the skits. When we were kids, he would make faces at us that simply made us laugh until we cried. One of the biggest things that I miss about him is his laughter.

The Ability to Talk to Anyone

When I was a kid, my Dad’s love of talking could get rather annoying. “Quick” trips to the post office would last an hour, as he talked to everyone he met. Now that I’m older, I admire and strive to emulate, his ability to talk to anyone and make everyone comfortable. If you looked uncomfortable or shy, my Dad would talk to you and tease you until you came out of your shell. He simply enjoyed people and it showed.

I will always miss him. I will always regret that he never got to meet his two youngest grandchildren. But, I strive to pass the same gifts he gave me on to my children. I love you, Dad.

 

365 Project January 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — geekch1ck @ 10:55 pm

One of my goals for this year is to complete a 365 Project. The goal is to take at least one picture every day for an entire year. I had this project in the back of my mind for quite some time, but when I got a digital SLR for Christmas, I decided that this was the year to complete the project.

So, on January 1st, even though I really didn’t think about taking a picture until late at night, I shot the above picture of Steve and Sam watching TV and posted it to the project website.

When reading about this type of project, many people say it gets harder as the year goes on. Life gets busy and you forget to take a picture throughout the day. I believe them. Today, we spent a large portion of the day at the Dentist office. It was something I would love to remember because the kids had such a good time playing while their Dad got his teeth cleaned. But, I didn’t take the “big” camera with me.

I decided that the camera on my Droid would work just as well for the project and took some shots. Unfortunately, the only one that didn’t come out blurry was this one:

This is a fine picture, but I thought I took better ones of both boys playing. Oh, well, it’s still a picture and it still get go in the scrapbook as a reminder of the day spent “playing” at the Dentist.

I know there are other sites for the 365 project. Flickr has a Project 365 group or you could simply put all of your photos on Facebook in a separate album.

I prefer the 365 Project website and interface, so that is what I went with. I think I am going to make a separate scrapbook page for each week so that at the end of the year I have a 52 page book that I can simply print and enjoy. I will also continue to make separate pages for special occasions, but this project is more geared toward celebrating the “everyday.” A daily photo journal, if you will.

Do you have any year long projects you are working on? Have you started yet?

 

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.

 

Weekly Goals November 21, 2011

Filed under: 10 Goals — geekch1ck @ 10:37 pm

Source: etsy.com via Kristen on Pinterest

So, my discipline is still not quite up to par. I cannot seem to find my rhythm or the correct placement for my things in this new house. It seems was also a week for purchasing everything in site. My budget went out the window this week because everything that could break or rip, did.

But, I still have my goals and I understand that I am a work in progress. We will find a rhythm and life will fall into place.

Here is how last week went:

Preschool

1. Thanksgiving Hand Craft
2. Read to kids every night (This is ongoing. It is our quiet time each evening

Household

1. Get Box Spring Upstairs ( This is no longer my goal. Steve has to cut it down the middle. So, it’s now Steve’s goal)
2. Type and Print Household Rules
3. Cook ahead for Thanksgiving (We decided to have Thanksgiving catered this year because of how busy everyone is.)

Writing

1. Work on Website (Ongoing, until I am happy with it)
2. Write everyday ( I didn’t do very well with this one)

Personal

1. Weight Watchers
2. Exercise 3 days
3. 30 minutes of “me time” a day

Here’s my goals for the next week.

Preschool

1. Salt Dough Ornaments
2. Read to kids every night

Household

1. Scrub Carpets
2. Fix Stove Door
3. Thanksgiving Desserts

Writing

1. Work on Website
2. Write everyday

Personal

1. Exercise 3 days
2. Finish Crocheting Baby Blankets
3. Sew Advent Tree