Saturday, February 06, 2010
The other day I bloged my goals for the 28 day program and then later in the day I had a mini-revelation. Part of the 28-day program and the Fast Break program is to set rewards for your good behavior. Follow through with a goal and you should reward yourself. Well, I this ah-ha moment about my 5 year old daughter.
My little 5 year old is a smart little cookie. Since she was born husband and I have always said that we better watch out because she was just too smart for her own good. Actually we have said this about each of our kids and it is turning out to be true. My son's first grade teacher says over and over that he should be in 2nd grade not first, he is just too smart. Anyways, this 5 year old of ours is also our ACTIVE child. She is not hyperactive or any of the other activity related disorders. She can and does focus for extended periods of time on things that interest her. The trouble is that Kindergarten does not always interest her. She is having difficulties with a variety of the aspects of Kindergarten. Fortunately her classroom behavior is an area where she does very well. Unfortunately she does not see the need to focus on things like the alphabet, how to write letters, numbers and sentances, or even how to read and recognize the "sight words" Kinders are expected to learn. On her last progress report she did manage to bring up most of her grades into the acceptable range, but still had and "N" -not satisfactory-in writing. I asked her teacher what she needed to do to bring that grade up and learned that her letter writing has improved to the acceptable range but that in writing sentances she does very poorly. The children, at this stage, are just copying sentances the teacher writes on the board. Things like "I see a dog". My daughter scrunches her words all together or leaves out entire words. The sentance "The month is January" turned into "The January" in her journal. She also forgets letters in her own name!! I think she just wants to hurry and get it done and so she leaves letters out to go faster. Unfortunately this lowers her grade. While pondering how we are going to get her to work on improving her work I was picturing the many battles to get her to write extra sentances and practice her name. It is often a battle to get her to do her homework and the scene stretching before my eyes was not a pretty or pleasant one.
Then the reward system came to mind!! Hey, I thought, if it works for Sparkers, shouldn't it work for my daughter??? Today was the first day of extra sentance writting. We went to the store and let her pick out her own little journal to write her sentances in (there was not a big selection because she still uses the paper with the three lines (top, bottom and middle to help her write the letters the right size for Capital and lower case). But, she picked out her book. I picked up some rewards (I hate to say but right now the reward is M&Ms-I don't want her to learn to equate rewards with food, but for this purpose and our budget M&Ms is the best first choice-once she is used to the system we may find a more suitable reward). We chose M&Ms because she likes them and I think 3 little Ms a day will not be too damaging in the long run. We did set the limit at 3 per day so that there will be no going overboard with the candy. I gave her her first sentance "I see a dog" and she immediately went to work on her writing. She did everything I asked her to and did it well. She even drew a picture of her walking our dog, Baxter at the top of her page. She spent quite a bit of time on it and she did very well. She put her spaces in and each word was written exactly right. The system worked!! The interesting thing is that the other two kids are even asking what they can do to earn Ms!! I'll have to keep my eyes open for little trinkets in the dollar bins and maybe even set up a sticker reward system-collect stickers to earn bigger prizes, once the Ms run out and they are used to how this works.
There is a broader application for just about everything we do here at SparkPeople. The system was formed around correct and basic principles that every human can relate to and benefit from. Reward good behavior, make changes in small portions, don't deny yourself every pleasure and find new ways of accomplishing goals. It all makes sense!! Thank goodness!! Well, bed time-got a run to do tomorrow!!
Friday, February 05, 2010
Caz posted this (she borrowed from a friend too) and I thought it was great so here is my version!!
A is for Age: I’ll be 41 in June
B is for Butt: Soft and squishy but working on making it a lot less so
C is for Career: Worked for 10 years as a secretary in a Mental Health Unit of a hospital-first in an out-patient (come and go as you please) unit and then in a locked (not going anywhere until doc says so) unit. Left work to take care of item K (see below)
D is for Dad's name: Lonnie
E is for Essential items to bring to a party: cupcakes (I have 3 kids this is what a party means to me for now)
F is for Favourite song or music: Oh wow-how could I pick just one. I think I've got one from every genre. Never Give Up from Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band is one and It's How You Live from Sherrie Call is another. Die Donau by Smetana is my favorite "bubble bath/relaxation" music. I could go on for awhile
G is for Goof off thing to do: Scrapbook. When I am serious about goofing off out come the multitude of photos that need to be artistically arranged into multitudinous scrapbooks.
H is for Hometown: Hemet-this year makes 30 years of Hemet being my hometown!!
I is for Instrument you play: Piano and used to play flute-don't know if I could get a note out anymore, but still play piano.
J is for Jam or Jelly you like: Raspberry-I am in a nearly monogomous relationship with Raspberry Jam-if I cheat on Raspberry it is only with another berry (blackberry, mixed berry, etc.)
K is for Kids: 3-son-6. daughter-5, and princess 3
L is for Living arrangement: Home with hubby, 3 kids, one beagle, one terrorist cat and a fish. (cat likes to hunt children, hence "terrorist cat")
M is for Mom's name: Barbara (Barby to family members and if you spell it Barbie you are obviously NOT a family member-LOL!!)
N is for Name of best friend: Oddly it depends on the day-I don't have one of those true best friends, but I count my sister (4EVERADONEGIRL), Jenna and Chrystal among the best of the best
O is for Overnight Stay in a Hospital: Just shy of 1 week at 11 years old for a throat infection, 5 days each for each child (all were c-section)
P is for Phobias: high open spaces (inside a skyscraper-no problem, rooftop of a 1 story building a problem-my heart stops when the doors open on Tower of Terror and all I can see is how high up I am (even though I am inside the combo of falling really gets me) and narrow spaces (not claustrophobia per se-closets are not a problem but under the bed or a very narrow hallway is a problem)
Q is for Quote you like: "Time has little to do with Infinity and Jelly Doughnuts." Favorite quote since teenagehood. It comes from the hit show Magnum P.I.-mmm Tom Seleck is still a hottie even though he is getting old.
R is for Relationship that lasted longest: My husband and I will be married for 11 years in July.
S is for Siblings: 1 brother and 1 sister
T is for Texas, ever been? No
U is for Unique trait : I am the only person in my family with green eyes-everyone else has blue (my sis's are grey)
V is for vegetable you love: or Lordie so many- Tomato-I KNOW it is actually a fruit but EVERYBODY classifies it as a vegi. I LOVE tomatoes!!
W is for Worst traits: I'm a slob at heart.
X- is for X-rays you've had: I've been x-rayed but I can't remember why. I must be getting old...
Y is for Yummy food you make: I like to cook so there are lots of yummy things I make-some of them good some of them not-my cabbage rolls are delish, I make awesome rolls and pumpkin bread and my kids love my brownie cupcakes. Dinner tonight was Baked Potato Soup and that was pretty yummy too.
Z is for Zodiac sign: Cancer-I've always had a love/hate thing with my zodiac sign-I love that it is a water sign and that the moon is important to me (I don't really give much credit to horoscopes but I've always had a thing for the moon), but I hate that the medical community has given an entire class of aweful diseases the same name as my sign.
Copy and paste this into a blog and lets all your spark friends get to know you :)
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
My sister and I are taking the Spark 28 day program. I haven't had a chance to read "THE SPARK" just yet. It just got passed to me from my sister so I am starting with the program's chapters and then reading the rest. Week 1 has six steps-1. Set fast break goals, 2. Plan your SparkTime, 3. Reaffirm your focus, 4. Set up shop, 5. Choose your rewards, 6. Learn about what you currently eat.
1. Set your fast break goals-I have 3...
a. Drink 8 cups of water a day. This is actually a carry over from the first time I did fast break. But, with the cool weather I have been coming up short most days so I figure now is a good time to get back into the habit.
b. Stretch for 10 minutes. I have been meaning to get my yoga back on track but it is not happening so a couple rounds of Sun Salutation each day will meet both goals.
c. Read an inspirational story or book-hehe that one is easy now that I've got the SPARK in my hot little hands!!
2. Plan your SparkTime-my mother gave me the Spark Planning Calendar for Christmas and I have used it to some degree but I am going to start using it to its full potential.
3. Reaffirm your focus- I've lost track of some of my goals and the long term and short term goals have all short of rolled into one long goal so...
a. Short term goal- run a 5K in May
b. Mid-term goal-run/walk a 10K in June
c. Long-term goals-reach a healthier weight, and run a half marathon.
4. Set Up Shop-Candy, Kool-Aid and other junk has crept into my house over the holidays and hasn't left yet, the house guest who never leaves. I think most of it is gone now and I am reasserting myself over my shopping habits and my unwanted houseguests have recieved thier eviction notices. The second part is to retrieve my fitness gear from under the bed. It went into hiding over the holidays (a very small home left no room for tree and gear to co-habitate) and is still hiding under the bed and getting dusty. Out it comes!!
5. Choose your rewards. I already have a great list of rewards on my main page but I am adding some for each week of the challenge. Drinking all my water earns me a new pair of socks (stole this reward from my sis, except I've been coveting a new pair of socks from Save our Soles for a while now and this is a good reason to justify them-Save our Soles sells really good socks that are SUPER cute and good quality). Stretching for 10 minutes gets me a new bookcase (I have books living in boxes it is time to get them back on a shelf). Reading gets a new book (makes sense huh?).
6. Learn what you eat. I am paying closer attention to the nutritional info printed under my recipes and aiming for more balance at each meal. Balance between entree and vegitable as well as variety and colors served. Also, I am paying more attention to WHEN I eat. I have caught myself slipping into some very bad, old habits. Like skipping a meal or allowing my "snacks" to turn into mini-meals-oooo very, very bad.
So February is the month of the holiday dedicated to love. I am going to celebrate Valentine's day by showing myself some love, giving myself some much deserved attention and renewing a very important relationship. Hope everyone is having a great week!!
Monday, February 01, 2010
So, the last little while I have been on kind of a new foods kick. In an effort to eat better I have been planning menus and testing new recipes, putting my library of cook books through its paces like crazy and my kids have all gone on self imposed diets!!
I am not limiting the amout of food they receive and there is always plenty to eat, but they are refusing to try the new stuff-for the most part. I do have to say I am very proud of my 6 year old. The boy in our family, he is a notoriously picky eater-you can't tell-he is built like a line backer (not fat!! Just extremely sturdy-I know that sounds like a mom thing, but you would have to see to believe-he is just a human tank plain and simple), but he is horribly picky. He has done a very good job of at least trying the new foods. Polenta Beef Stew (exactly what it says-beef stew served over a polenta base) was a flop with the kids-I loved it. Sweet and Sour Chicken (a super delicious low fat version) was also a flop with the kids, but a huge hit with hubby and me. Cabbage Rolls were untouched by the girls, but the filling was devoured by the six year old, only my husband and I ate the whole roll-cabbage and all. The three year old is the WORST!! One look and it is "mommy, me not like this". The six year old is a carnivor at heart and at least agreed to eat the meat in each dish.
Last night was the Sweet and Sour chicken. I served it in bowls over brown rice. It was quite comical looking at each bowl at the end of dinner-hubby's bowl and mine scraped clean (it was REALLY good), each of the kids' bowl had a lump of cold rice with pineapple chunks and green pepper strips laying on top with not a bit of chicken left in my son's bowl, but enough chicken left that the dog had fun picking out the chicken from the girls' bowls-he also left behind the rice, pineapple and peppers!! LOL!!
Last week the broccoli soup and then a couple days latter the carrot soup were both looked at as if they had bugs in them. In fact I think the kids thought the wild rice in the carrot soup was bugs!!
So, the good news is the kids will not starve. I know this. It is still a little disturbing to watch 3 kids barely eat dinner. The other good news is that, eventually, they will get used to green things being served as a meal, as well as orange things and maybe even yellow things. They will eventually figure out that this stuff is actually VERY GOOD stuff. Granted the whole family was a little worried about the cabbage rolls (not me I ate them A LOT during my time in Germany and have missed them dearly, but was always a little intimidated by the rolling etc.), but hubby was brave and showed the kids how to dive in and pretend until you figure out if it is good or not. Hubby judged the cabbage rolls a "keeper" BTW.
Asking my family to expand their tastes is not an easy mission, but we will get there. I just know that someday my 3 year old (maybe not until she is six, but hey, I can wait) will actually request mom's cabbage rolls for dinner and someday they will not blink at a chunk of squash sitting on thier plate. And that, my dear SparkFriends, will be a good day indeed.
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