Saturday, March 30, 2013

Goodbye Easter Bunny

(Warning: this article includes a discussion about the existence of certain characters. Please do not let your believing children read this since I do not want to be responsible for being that big, mean lady who spoiled all the fun.)

This year is a big year for me. Well, for the parenting part of me. We are sending our oldest off to college in the fall, our son will be entering high school and my youngest are on the verge of disbelief - mythical character disbelief to be specific.

When I picked the girls up from school earlier this week they stated that one of their classmates didn't believe in the Easter Bunny and then they asked me, "Can you believe that?"

Now I'm not an inexperienced parent, nor is this my first time round the Easter basket. I've successfully navigated these types of questions for eleven years. But something about this conversation had me on edge. I got the feeling that my girls are choosing to believe there is an eight foot cartoon bunny that will enter our locked house in the middle of the night despite their common sense, simply because I told them there was.

Friday, March 29, 2013

I Quit, Again!

It has been awhile since I've written Finance Friday here at To Write a Better Story. Some of my readers will remember that during most of 2011 & 2012 I dedicated every Friday to documenting my coming-to grips with our new financial situation. 

For the most part I wrote to help me survive those tough days, but - about half way into the series - I began to sense that I was touching a nerve for some people. All this time I thought I was alone in my struggle when - only after being gut wrenching-ly honest - did I find others who identified.

Suddenly I wasn't alone.

And suddenly there was a sense of purpose to sharing my story. 

And that's all I have ever wanted.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Monday

I read a fantastic article this week from The New York Times about the importance of telling your children the stories of your family: The Stories That Bind Us. Apparently knowing their history can make children more resilient.

If I want to do anything for my children it is that ... let them know where they came from, how they got here, what we overcame in the process, what went right for us and, yes, what went wrong. Knowing their history is a large component of making them feel connected to something bigger than themselves.
Feeling connected creates a bond.
A bond connects us through thick and thin.

That's why when our family was gathered around the table for brunch on Sunday we tell stories. We eat and we talk. I love that. I love that so much that I'm willing to cook (and destroy the kitchen in the process) in order to bring my family together around a meal.

So this meal plan I make every week - yes it's about staying in a budget and serving healthy(ish) food but it's also so much more. Do you talk at the table? 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sleeping Beauty at Her Best

I think I am a pretty decent mother. I mean if forced to admit it, I would confess that I enjoy my kids' company, I'm a good listener, I rarely yell, I don't text and drive and I make a point to have family dinners regularly. That may not be mother of the year material but for us it works. Or at least that's what I thought until the other day.

Just the other morning, in the midst of our routine my daughter said very nonchalantly, "I threw up last night." Stunned, I drew her into my arms to comfort her and said, "Oh baby, you should have come to me. I could have helped you.”

“I did.” she said, “I came in your room and called your name but you never answered me."
"You did?" I asked incredulously. "Well, honey, you should have woke me!"
"Well,” she hedged, “I didn't want you to be mad."

And there it was. With her big brown eyes and brutal honesty she thrust a dagger deep in my heart.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Menu Monday

It's another Monday. I know not by the calendar but because none of my children wanted to get out of bed this morning. Funny how that is never, ever an issue on, oh say .... a Sunday morning.


It's the time of the week when I look at the Sikorski Tribe calendar and make a menu for surviving the upcoming week.

Hopefully the following menu will keep us all happy (including me! the one who has to stand in the kitchen and prepare this stuff!). That's why I only pick easy to prep, simple ingredients that are budget friendly.

Thanks for stopping by To Write a Better Story! Have a great week!

Monday - Reuben Sandwiches (Happy St. Patrick's Day!), Oven Baked French Fries

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday

Wednesday - Hot Dogs, Carrots with Ranch and Cottage Cheese

Thursday - Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches & Twice Baked Potato
our meat department has the best potatoes and at $2 ea it's worth buying instead of making. but if you want to make yours here is a great recipe from the totally amazing Pioneer Woman.

Friday - we treated the family to pizza!

Saturday - Campbell's Enchiladas with Chips and Cheese
(made with left over chicken from chicken sandwiches)

Brunch - Bacon and Eggs to-go, Fruit Salad and Cinnamon Roll Cake

If you love menu's as much as I do check out other menu plans from
or follow me on Pinterest! Recipes I want to try and Recipes my family loved!
Thanks friends!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Of Binkies & Blankies

(This article appears in the Saturday, March 9th edition of the Review Atlas, a GateHouse Media Company as a part of my weekly Practical Parenting series)

You don't have to be a fan of the Peanuts comic strip to know about Linus and his blanket. The famous character was often drawn carrying his beloved, albeit tattered blanket.

If you take note at all the small children around you, chances are you will notice their love objects as well. 'Lovies' come in all shapes and sizes: blankets, pacifiers, stuffed animals, dolls and thumbs. How important are these objects of affections and what do parents need to know about them?

First, it is crucial to recognize that love objects are very important to small children and it is OK for parents to encourage this behavior. From birth infants have an innate need to suck. This action serves a twofold purpose.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Algebra Regrets

You know when students, high school age in particular, stop learning in class because they don't believe they will ever use that information in their adult life? Well, they're wrong. I know because I couldn't help my eight year old with her math homework the other night.
Granted I'm not gifted with numbers. I know this about myself. That is why I am not at all offended when hubby insists he should be the one to balance the checkbook. We both know if I do it we'd be one month away from financial ruin.
I could try and blame my poor math skills on Ms. Saia. She was my Pre Algebra teacher my freshman year of high school. I distinctly remember asking for help but never understanding her explanations. So, I wrote math off as one those totally unnecessary skills I'll never need anyway.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Sled Path

It was our 6th snow day of the school year.
We would all be home ... again.
My children revel in the 'free day': Netflix, XBox and a good book.
We don't brush our teeth. We don't get dressed and we certainly don't care.
Every other day we, like most families, are quite active.
Most nights we have places to go, teams to be on, practices to attend.
We do busy well.
But snow days - they just sort feel like nature is forcing us to take a break.
Just be.

I'll admit, I kinda like it.

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