Day 20-Electronic Fasting

So far so flexible.  Like many things, that’s just how we have to roll.  The kids had a day off from school.  Jonah had all of his homework done, (he’s gotten A’s on everything so far), he read, he played outside, he practiced soccer, he played with his sister…I let him have some time on the Xbox.  We had had a meltdown the night before and realized this was a main way to stay in touch with his BFF who just moved to California.  This adjustment to the new school year, new friend hierarchy (pecking order) has been pretty hard for him.  I let him play online.  We also gave the kids an option for a family evening.  1.  play games or 2. watch a movie.  The movie won out.  

We have made some decisions moving forward on our fast.

  1. We’ll continue to restrict, if not eliminate, TV and video games during the week.
  2. We’ll open up weekends to some level of use.
  3. The kids and I go to sleep pretty early.  Once we’re in bed, it is all bets off for my husband.  He can do what he wants, the caveat is that I don’t want him complaining about not having enough time to get things done!
  4. Our 30 full day fast ends on the 25th which is a Wednesday, smack dab in the middle of the week.  We’ll end the fast the 22nd.

Till next time!!


Day 11 of the Electronic “Fast”

I thought this was going to be harder than it has been.  I am not sure my son would say the same thing.  Last Tuesday evening when my husband and I were out I did receive a text from my son that explained to me that he is not creative and has no imagination to continue NOT playing video games and watching TV.  I completely understand how he felt.  So far though, we are doing pretty well.  Jonah did tell me last night that we only have 19 days left. 

We are making  up the rules as we go along, but I incorrectly categorized our electronic “fast” as a “ban” last week and I wanted to clarify….we haven’t banned anything. 


  • In our house, no television and no video games.  The exception to that rule is on Friday, September 6. 
  • When at someone else’s house, their house rules apply.  If TV is okay, it is fine by me.
  •  Computers are okay as long as it is something creative like writing, photo editing, blogging, etc.
  • Phones are okay for communication purposes.

Lessons Learned

  • Without the electronics, we are eating more meals together at the TABLE.
  • The kids are finding books they enjoy reading.
  • Toys are being rediscovered!
  • We are playing family games.
  • Homework is less of a chore to get finished.  Even the extra credit is done by the end of the day. 
  • The park across the street is their newly discovered favorite place to be.
  • There are things that the parents can do with out TV too.  😉
  • Nothing like a good night sleep for the whole family.  Who said 8:30 is too early to sleep?
  • Samir and I have a tendency to try to go through our family time as quickly as possible to get to the television and “relax.”  Not to mention that “Breaking Bad” is hardly RELAXING!!  This is teaching us to be more mindful while we are together.
  • Need something to do?  Pack your own lunch for tomorrow!



30 Day Fast

Today is the first day of our 30 Day Family Fast.  Not a fast from food, and goodness not a fast from wine, one from electronics.  I recognize that we’ll need to modify the rules as we go, but for now it means no television (including you tube), no video games, no Nintendo DS and (according to the kids) NO FUN for 30 days.  There are a ton of reasons we are doing this but to list a few here they include.

  1. Our focus needs to be on school and getting organized.
  2. We have a limited amount of time together, it would be nice to actually see each other when we are home.
  3. Video games and TV shouldn’t replace the desire to read and do well in school….unfortunately, we’re gonna have to force it a bit. 
  4. The grown-ups are constantly complaining about not enough time to do things around the house we need to do….cut TV and we hope to have more time.
  5. We have a million board games we need to break in.

Wish us luck on our adventure.  I think it is fair to say we are all a little scared and excited at the same time. 



Four Generations

This weekend we headed to Grandma’s house for our first ever, mom and kid sleepover.  The kids had no intertest going to a restaurant as suggested by Grandma, they wanted to cook her dinner and serve it to her as if her kitchen was Chez Grandma’s French Bistro.  Grandma being Grandma agreed this was a fantastic idea.

On the drive to her house, my son asked me if it would be okay if he asked Grandma questions about how she and Grandpa met and what her life was like as a child.  What more could you ask for from your child?  I told him that Grandma would love to talk about Grandpa.  I think people avoid asking questions about loved ones who have passed away to avoid avoid triggering saddnress or loss.  I believe it must be hard for someone like my Grandma to NOT talk about the man who meant everything to her (and still does) for over 70 years.

We had a wonderful time, my Aunt Janet came over to complete the full 4 generations of Ostermeier’s!  My kids were thrilled that Aunt Janet actually LIKES to play games with them and doesn’t mind getting down in the dirt.  For dinner, the kids served mac and cheese, huge deli sandwiches, salad, hummus, and cupcakes that we bought from the cupcake truck.  They ran around the backyard like my sister and I did as kids, we visited my aunt’s house and investigated her back yard, we played some games of Uno, ate sweets (cause as my daughter says, Grandma is the best sweet maker around), Grandma and I continued our effort to trace the lineage of our family tree combining folder after paper folder and logging them in to Ancestry.com.  It was especially sweet when Aida told Grandma that her middle name is Tongret and that her great grandpa painted a picture just for her.  Grandma chimed in that yes, he sure did.  In actuality the painting was painted by Grandma’s dad, Bland Tongret.  Grandma gave it to Aida when she was born because we chose Tongret as her middle name. 

Grandma made a wonderful breakfast, cinnamon rolls, eggs, cinnamon toast, extra crispy bacon, YUM.  We ended up messing up grandma’s house beyond recognition (sorry).

I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend with my family.  I can’t think of a better way to honor the life of my grandfather.  His spirit and presence is everywhere in that house.   At one point Grandma said, “It is good for the kids to know this place.”  And she is right, this house of Grandmas has been a fixed beacon in my ever moving life.  This house is home, filled with love, love, love. 

Grandma and Aida!

Grandma and Aida!

Sandwich bigger than the plate!

Sandwich bigger than the plate!

menu, restaurant, kid

“restaurant” menu

family viewing photo book

Here Aida shows Grandma and Janet our family photo book. Jonah wants to see too!!

Things happen in Threes

Thirty nine years ago on the Friday before spring break, I was hit by a car.  This was long before the cell phone.  The accident was my fault.  I was too young to cross a busy street alone, but had also tired of calling my dad to escort me back and forth across the street.  As I crossed the street, I got sidetracked by a dead rabbit in the middle of the road.  A young woman couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting me.   

Eleven years ago, as I drove down a busy street in Oak Park Illinois, a 10 year old boy dashed in front of my car.  There was no way to avoid hitting him.  It happened in an instant, tossed over the hood of my car.  I don’t know the full extent of his injuries and probably never will.     

Accidents really do happen in threes.  This weekend as my daughter played at the park across the street from our house, one of her best friends, a precious little gift of a girl,  was hit by a car.   This was followed by…ambulance, hospital stay, skull fracture, panic and tears from friends and family, worry, xrays, eye exams and bad hospital food.  It could have been so much worse.  Not to get all Jonathan Edwards on you, but I was reminded this time, like the time before that…that life can change in an instant. 

Please, remind your children to use the crosswalk, be an example of that rule, and as a driver, pay attention. 

I worry that the fourth time I won’t be so lucky.  Slow-Property-Sign-K-1311

Rocking boots this season…look what else arrived!!!

Three years ago I shopped at a rather expensive shoe shop and found a pair of boots I just HAD to have.  They were way too exepensive for our budget somewhere between $250 and $300.  Weeks later, I returned during a sale to get the boots and they were gone.  Since that day I have regretted not buying the boots.  About two years ago, I turned to ebay and set up an auto search for the boots and my size.  A few times over the years, people would post boots, but not my size…until recently.  I finally got my boots.  Corso Como in my size and I paid a whopping $85 for them.  Smooth like butter and so flipping cute.   Yay ebay.


When I opened the package today, and I saw that thing, I was like.. “yay!”

I have been on a quest lately to find high quality tailored clothes that rock and wear like art.  So, I went a little Etsy hunting and got this piece that I LOVE so much I almost don’t want to share it with you cause I don’t want anyone else in my neighborhood wearing it.  But, alas, I have to share the details.

The dress I fell in love with on Concertino.

In late September I found the shop Concertino.    Her tag line says “all items in my shop can be make plus size!”  I LOVE this woman.  I was curious to see what she could make in plus size, what she couldn’t, how she could tailor and change items to make them exactly how I want.  For all of these questions I got immediate, polite responses.  I headed out to a tailor and had all of my measurements taken (which I keep with me all of the time….just in case I see something great.)  On October 16, I e-mailed my order to Concertino with my measurements and a special request to make the front of the dress a little longer than is shown in the photo.  She promptly sent me an invoice and added $9 for the customization.  She kept in constant contact with me, updated me when it was in the mail and sent a tracking number.  Yesterday when I opened the package I was seriously jumping for joy.  The dress is a piece of art.  I have had  compliments on it already.   I don’t want to take it off.

Me in my dress. In my head, I look JUST like the girl above. 

I am going to order a coat.  I have to have one.  So beautiful.