Holly May Writes

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Skylanders: The Latest Obsession

game controller

My son is three and when he decides he likes something he becomes obsessed with it. His latest obsession is The Skylanders or as his best friend calls them “sky-lanterns”. He watches the show on netflix, plays the video games, has the board game, and pajamas… He will even just play with the figures themselves.  He has gotten very adept at playing the video game. His hand eye coordination has grown immensely in the past couple of months since learning to play the game.

You may say why are you letting him play video games… he is only 3. Well, he has had a kindle for some time and played educational games up to this point. He loves any type of game we play board and video games a lot as a family and it is a good bonding time between him and his father. They look for new figures when they go to the store and love creating their own with the Imaginators expansion. There are so many customization options and my son goes in several times to change stuff up on his characters.

Even though he loves games he also loves being outside so much of his time is spent doing things outside like jumping on his trampoline. But he often tries to sneak a Skylander or two out with him to play.

Being as he is a toddler his obsessions are fleeting and I’m sure before long he will move on to something else. But I will say as far as games for children go I do like the Skylanders series. There are various versions and we have a few of them but his favorite is the Imaginators. If you are a gaming family it may be something to look into. It is available for all of the major gaming systems. You buy characters which go onto a portal and then appear in the game. He loves being able to pick which character he is going to be and can change his character at any time which is pretty awesome.  It is similar to Disney Infinity. The board game that we have is quite fun as well.

Does your child have an “obsession?” feel free to let me know about it. Also if you have any family game recommendations feel free to share those as well.


Foosball Coffee Table

foosballcoffeetable

The Foosball Coffee Table:

Who doesn’t love Foosball? I had a roommate for awhile that had a foosball table and it was pretty sweet. I have always wanted a foosball table and someday I shall have one. Another thing I am lacking is a coffee table. It’s hard to find a nice looking table with rounded corners so my toddler doesn’t take an eye out or something. And space in my house is at a premium. So finding multi-use furniture is always exciting. I stumbled across this amazing piece of furniture online that combines both foosball and a coffee table into one.

I feel like this could solve all of my decorating problems in one purchase. It appears to have rounded corners so my toddler would be nice and safe. It has a glass top and a bottom shelf so I could sit things on it which is a must for a coffee table. And hello foosball. All I’m seeing here is win. What do you think? Would you get one? Do you have one? Is it as awesome as I am hoping? I have not purchased this item (yet) and can’t review its actual awesomeness but the concept sounds amazing.

Time to Write

timetowrite

Time to write

Over the past few days I have tried to sit and write and something always comes up as soon as I sit down at my computer. The dog decides to use the floor as his personal bathroom, my toddler NEEDS my full attention at that very moment… you name it and it’s probably happened.

We have also spent a lot of family time together lately, well walking around while my husband plays Pokemon Go. I refuse to hop on the bandwagon. I am a gamer but Pokemon Go just isn’t my cup of tea. We went to a Geek Meet convention last weekend and my son won a pokeball and is now obsessed. Every morning now he asks to watch pokemon on netflix and then takes his pokeball and throws it at me and says “I choose you” which is kinda cute I guess.

Aside from my son’s pokemon obsession he still loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so we occasionally watch that as well or Paw Patrol which is right up there as well. But even with him engrossed in a show I am still not able to write as he insists I am keeping up with the action.

I’ve been practicing my illustrations when I get a few minutes and trying to read some things to improve my writing as well. My son and I have also been spending a lot of time outside playing. He would spend every minute of every day outside if you let him. Which is good.

I guess my point of all of this is not to make an excuse but to admit that finding time to write is hard. I did write another kids book but haven’t gotten illustrations done for it yet. My brain is also in a fog from not getting much sleep lately which is also mostly toddler related. Hard to admit I’m not a superhuman that can do it all. I also want to make sure that when I do make posts that they are worth your time to read so I will try to improve my posts in the future. Anyway that what how my week has been and why I’ve been slacking. What have you been up to? And if you write how do you find the time?

Shed a Tear

shed a tear

Shed a Tear

It is a hard time to be a parent. Children are growing up in a world where people are being killed for their chosen profession or the color of their skin. They live in a world full of hate and manipulation. Lawbreakers can become president. Rich people can rule the world. They are also growing up in a time where rules and authority don’t matter.

When I was a child you behaved in school. You listened to your teacher, you listened to the principal, and you for sure listened to other adults when they told you how to behave. While teaching I had a chat with some second graders and that conversation was very enlightening. They were instructed by their parents that they need not listen to the principal or teachers, that they only needed to listen to their parents. Fighting was okay. Getting suspended was okay and sometimes even rewarded. I knew an older boy who’s parents let him play video games all day if he was home so he enjoyed being suspended. Things have definitely changed. I saw these things in action. I didn’t just take the kids word for it but I found it to be absolutely true. Long gone seem to be the days where you were in more trouble once you got home.

It used to be if you acted out around another adult they put you in your place and told you to knock it off. Now it is no longer that village mentality. If you as much as look at someone’s kids funny you are wrong. Personally if my son is doing something wrong, and I’m for whatever reason not right on top of it, I want someone to step in. For his safety, for the safety of those around him, and for him to learn that the rules apply even if I am not around. We live in a society that seems to think rules don’t apply to them. Each individual does whatever they want because they feel they deserve it, or somehow earned it, or everyone else is wrong.

I shed a tear for all innocent lives that are lost because someone thinks they are better than another. I shed a tear for our country where the laws are not consistently upheld and promises can be broken. I shed a tear for the children growing up in this crazy time. Most importantly…

Tonight I shed a tear for the good ol’ days. The days I remember as innocent. Not that there weren’t always issues floating around but I was blissfully unaware of them. I am trying to raise my child with the same morals that I grew up with but I fear all that he will be exposed to may corrupt them. He isn’t living in the world I grew up in.

Decluttering and Organizing

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Decluttering and Organizing

Whether you are a parent, live with roommates, or even live alone organizing your living space can be very important. Having a clutter free house can improve your mood and reduce stress. Having fewer things around also means there are fewer things that can get piled up and cluttered. Both myself and my husband have a tendency to acquire a lot of stuff. We are notorious for having piles of papers laying around. Unfolded laundry can be found piled on our futon. My son scatters toys throughout the house. In an effort to help declutter and organize we read the book:The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

She developed a method called the KonMari Method of removing clutter and organizing your things. The book was very inspiring. She says to keep only things that spark joy. If you pick something up and it doesn’t bring you joy you throw it out (with a few obvious exceptions of course.) I won’t delve too much into the book because you should totally read it for yourself. There are a lot of great tips which is I’m sure one reason it is a best selling book.

Although the book did inspire me to try and get rid of some of my things, I have a bad habit of holding sentimental value with everything or I think I may use it again some day, or I may fit in those pants again some day. I’m not always honest with myself when it comes to all of the “junk” I have. Especially if something was a gift. I have made some strides to better organize myself. They don’t necessarily fit with the books theme but I feel slightly better. I put shelves and cloth cubes in my sons room and in our living room for storage of our items. It does look nice when cleaned up. The problem is my son dumps bins at a time out and it quickly gets overwhelming. It makes me better understand where the author is coming from when she talks about a much more minimalist approach. My clutter problems are solved by sticking stuff into bins, they are just more hidden.

I do feel less stressed when my house is in order and I make excuses as to why it often isn’t. ‘My toddler will just mess up what I clean, I’m just going to mess up the bed again anyway why should I make it, the dishes are never-ending I just don’t feel like doing them right now…’ Perhaps you make similar statements.

Do you want to change? Do you want your house in order? Perhaps you and I both need to take a closer look at the KonMari method and organize in a way that will bring us joy. I’m going to try to implement some of the strategies from the book. If you have read the book and have successfully incorporated her methods I would love to hear about it. If you haven’t I urge you to read the book and let me know what you think. Now I just have to convince my toddler that he doesn’t need all of those toys 🙂

Multipotentialite

hollymaywrites multipotentialite

I love to learn new things. I enjoy watching Ted talks.. Yesterday I learned a new word. The word I learned is multipotentialite, according to Emilie Wapnick a multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.

I always assumed I was indecisive or just liked too many things. But it turns out there are other people similar to me in the world. I have such a wide array of interests. I love graphic design, web design, teaching, music, computers, gaming, photography, video editing, and writing just to name a few. It is hard to choose just one that would make me happy. My goal is to put as many of them together as possible into my pursuits. I hope that writing children’s books, educational software, and blogging will help me to do this. I know I was always surprised when people knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up. I’m approaching my late 30’s and still don’t know what I want to be.

Before I became a full-time teacher I did a lot of substituting. One thing that was great about that was that one day you could be in third grade and the next you may be teaching gym class. It never got boring and if you didn’t want to go into work that day you just didn’t answer your phone. I did love being a Reading Specialist. It did offer a lot of variety. I also loved my job as a computer repair technician. But I had many more interests to pursue. Some of them I’m still exploring.

Maybe you are similar to me and just didn’t know it was a thing. If so don’t be hard on yourself there are others out there. What interests do you have? How are you using these interests in your career? Do you easily get bored with projects? Let me know in the comments what you think about being a multipotentialite if you are one or if not how you came about your one true calling.

And if you haven’t already you can check out Emily’s Ted talk to find out more:  https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling?language=en

she also has a website http://puttylike.com/

I have no affiliation with either but found it to be very interesting.

Warcraft for the Horde

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For my birthday I watched the Warcraft movie.  I was an avid player of the World of Warcraft. I played that game for many years. I was even the guild master of a raiding guild. I however did not play the original Warcraft games. My husband has since shown me those games though. I understand that some of the Lore changed in the movie. Since I didn’t play the game before I had to look up some of the back story.  Although it appeared to be a flop in the United States Warcraft actually did very well in the box office worldwide.

View the Wired article here: http://www.wired.com/2016/06/warcraft-and-the-future-of-blockbusters/

Which excites me I hope that there will be a sequel. I thought the graphics were very well done. I feel like anyone who likes fantasy would like the movie even if they weren’t familiar with the games or the books. They spent a lot of time on detail in small things like even hair on the characters was very noticeable. It was very nostalgic for me to see some of the things that I was familiar with in a more real-life setting. It almost made me want to go back and play the game some more. Warcraft takes place before the World of Warcraft but it’s in the same world and there are a lot of similarities and you are introduced to a lot of the parts of the game. And as a bonus the theater I went to had reclining seats which made my experience even better. Recently I’ve been a little busy and haven’t been doing much gaming. I did however watch the E3 2016 coverage from this weekend. A lot of promising games seem to be coming out in the near future. One of my favorite franchises is Zelda so I was excited to see the gameplay demo for that one. It looked like Nintendo really decked out their booth which was cool.  I also saw demos of virtual-reality. It’s amazing how far things have advanced since my childhood. Even the movie Warcraft I watched in 3-D. I don’t know if I’ll go back to playing WoW but I give the movie a thumbs up. And I learned that my son is baby Thrall incarnate. “For the Horde”

Dancing in the Rain

It’s been raining here for days.  We often play an outdoor movie on the weekends.  My toddler was getting antsy since he hadn’t gotten to play outside in awhile. We had cancelled the movie yesterday.  Today we checked the weather, the showers were supposed to be over by movie time and as it was getting closer to sunset the sun poked through the clouds and it looked as if it was clearing up. After looking out the window we decided to give movie night a shot.  We gathered up our gear and went to set up.  Just as we got there the clouds rolled in and within a few minutes we were in a downpour.  I’m used to the weather being predicted wrong but it was still disappointing.  We looked at each other and instead of being upset just stood in the rain and then we danced.  My husband and I danced, then my son and I danced in the rain.  Then after being thoroughly soaked we went home.  Sometimes when the rain comes you have a choice as to whether to let it upset you or to embrace it.  Many times I have let it upset me. Tonight I chose to dance and also made a friend of ours get soaked with us which also made it more enjoyable.  I hope when the rain comes your way that you choose to dance and least sometimes.

The Artist

An artist can find art anywhere.  Toddlers are artists.  This morning my toddler found art in his oatmeal.  He spread it all over his table and arms and couldn’t have been happier.  I couldn’t yell at my young Picasso because it was so innocent.  But oatmeal does not easily clean up so I needed to tag team with my hubby.  He took the toddler to the tub while I tackled the table.  Although I wouldn’t choose oatmeal as my medium I do wish I would take the time to find the joy and beauty in things around me.  I take many things for granted and sometimes forget how to enjoy the simple things.  I challenge you and myself to find art in something unexpected today. See something as if it were the first time and notice its beauty.  We were all artists once and can be again.

Today

Hey it is today. The page is starting to shape up and look like a real website. How about that!  I think of many things to write especially when I should be sleeping.  But then as I sit down at the computer every single idea disappears. My mind goes blank and I stare at the screen waiting for inspiration to strike. Isn’t that always how it goes.  I tried to set up speech recognition on my laptop so that I could “type” a bit quicker. Alas, Windows 10 is too glitchy and my microphones (yes I’ve tried a few just to make sure) stop working so slow and steady, tap tap tap, it is.  For now I’ll have to say that setting up the page and cleaning my house today made me productive.  There is more work to be done but sleep is calling. Sweet dreams for now.