Yesterday as I was tucking my oldest who is 5 in she said very matter of factly, “Mom I will never be a bully”. I wanted to be sure I understood her so I said “Did you say bully sweetie?” Yes mom she replied. “Today at school we read a book about bullies and I will never be one.” I said “Do you understand what a bully is?” Yes-someone who picks on their friends or is mean to them. I gotta admit this was the proudest I have ever been of her in one day she had made a decision to not be part of the crowd to be apart from if need be to stand up for herself and her friends. The next thing she said blew me away I asked what she would do if she saw a bully. “I would tell them No don’t be mean to my friend or me and I would tell someone.” I hugged her like I never wanted to let go and told her she was the coolest kid I’ve ever known.. she has this kind soul and amazes me at her poise at such a young age. So the moral of this is it is never to early to start having conversations that could change your life or the life of someone else.
Our daughter started Kindergarten in August and I'll admit I had many emotions ranging from will I like her teacher to will she be safe. After attending her schools kick off dinner and open house I now know how much she loves it and my anxiety had gotten a bit better. What I didn't expect to be the most stressful part of the day-the after school pick up line. My husband and I both agree, it's insane. If you get there early you sit in your car and wait forever for the people ahead of you to get their kid. If you park and walk up then you are bombarded by parents you may never be friends with and some you wish to avoid. For example the mom who has given you the cold shoulder at three kids birthdays and is snobby every time you try to start a conversation she is looking at you with that smug smile saying a short, very insincere "Hello." I used to think I had to be friends with everyone but I learned I don't and some people will never like me nor I them but having to interact with them in this setting is interesting. So the other option is go a few minutes late and if you time it right you may catch your kid right when they come out-wrong then someone had to go potty and your stuck waiting making idle chit chat in the hot sun while your brain is saying "I should have just done the car line." Or worse your kid is the last one standing there and says "mom I was waiting and waiting for you, dad or sissy". So I will still do the pick-up because I adore my kid but I don't have to like it, right? Can anyone else relate?
Today my parents, girls and I were sitting around talking after we decorated their tree and I was putting together a list of rather amazing coincidences or "god winks" as I call them. This season I love to look back and connect the various amazing events that have occurred this year there have been many. A few months back I changed my attitude I set some boundaries and stopped rescuing people. I also stopped doing things I didn't want to do. I made time for those things that are important to me, 1 being writing. Last year I queried soo many magazines and finally felt a bit defeated after none responded that was until……one finally did!! Fast forward a year later and I can now claim I am a published article two times and one even paid me a little and sent me 5 copies of the magazine. If that isn't god saying keep on trying I don't know what is. Then there is the job…last year I enjoyed another wonderful 12 months being back home but was craving some brain food. I didn't go to college to not use my brain and as much as I love my girls I wasn't using my brain doing crafts and trucking them to playdates. I needed more. So I prayed and stumbled across a career website I never go to and found my perfect job for now a least:) I work part-time in my field doing something I love, helping kids!
I'd be lying if I said this year was perfect or I handled every situation like a grown up. Nope not quite there yet but I did handle it sober and gracefully. I apologized when needed and let go of some people who need to grow on their own and whom even though I want them to change, are not ready to.
This is truely my favorite time of year and even though families are not perfect I have finally gotten to the age where I accept, embrace and love all of our imperfections whether we fight, hug or drive eachother nuts we are there for eachother in the end.
Attention parents there is a recall see above link
Before I had kids I never really thought of the importance of a pre-school curriculum now that we have 2 toddlers one who can navigate our I-Pad beter than me and figure out a matching game in seconds, I find myself obsessing over it frequently. We have been overall pretty happy for the past year at a faith based school which is small and offers an age appropriate curriculum as well as VPK when the time comes. However I'd be lying if along the way I haven't questioned things, I question them all of the time because I tend to compare too other programs. A friend recently put her kids in a unique program at a local high school for future educators to earn childcare hours and create a lesson plan etc. Ever since I heard of this program I have been comparing and contrasting our's to their's, oh they get to go on a school bus, we don't yet, oh they get 1:1 attention being as there is 1 student assigned to each child, our's is 1:8 but then I remembered our's are certified pre-school teachers. I also asked my daughter what she likes about her school" I like playing with my friends, lining up to go outside, doing crafts and my teachers." There you have it she's happy! Now when will I stop second guessing myself? In speaking with others it doesn't sound like it will be happening anytime soon:) So I picked a knowledgeable person in education who used to screen programs to see if they met state requirements. She said do they have early learning centers that promote creative play? Yes, Do they have a set curriculum, letter of the day, crafts etc. yes, Are the teachers loving? Yes, Do they have a playground-Yes then whY do I keep worrying, well in part because it's who I am and the other part is I want to set our kids up for excellence but also allow them to be kids:)
Today we made these adorable wreaths, we bought the wreaths at Target 2 for a $1 at the $1 bins up front. We went on a scavenger hunt walking down our street and neighborhood looking for acorns, leafs and berries. They turned out sooo cute and we decided they make great decor around candlesticks.
Today I had one big task to accomplish, buy a present for my MIL, she'd asked for some skincare items and so that seemed simple enough. I was at the mall with my two daughters and letting them play before making the purchase was probably a rookie mistake but I am a seasoned veteran and thought it made more sense to wear them out. After having to chase down my 2 year old 3 times and get her strapped in the stroller I thought time to get the gift. The friend I was with suggested Macy's or Dillard's. So I went to Dillard's, I wasn't greeted and actually think I saw some eye rolls and smug comments like" Look at her with the out of control toddlers."
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In the years pre-kids I used to love cooking fancy meals for friends and my husband. I would relish the idea of finding difficult ingredients or challenging myself to make something I never had. Fast forward to now and I have two young children ages 2 and 3. As you can imagine most of our meals need to be prepared at lightning speed so, there is usually some bantering between my husband and I unless I have actually had one of those rare weeks where I make a meal plan and stick to it:) Usually what happens is 4pm rolls around and I start getting hungry and either call him on his way home from work or start seeing what ingredients we have. Thank god for the sites where you can type the ingredients you have and pow you have a dish!
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O.k. A few weeks ago I blogged about some of the getting to sleep and staying to sleep issue's we were having with our 3 1/2 yr. old. The first thing I did was go to the library and check out a few books to ease her fears about dreaming and nightmares. We checked out The Dream Shop by Katharine Kenah and Moonbear's Dream By Frank Asch. We ommitted a few pages in the The Dream Shop because it also talks about nightmares and we didn't want to focus on the negative. That night after we read both books I also put a clock with large digital numbers in her room, she has been asking about time and how long she sleeps etc. so I think we were working on 2 things; getting her to stay in bed and ease her fears. At bedtime, I plugged the clock in and explained to her why we need a certain amount of sleep, we went through the whole family- that mommy & daddy sleep, sissy, our dog Harlee and how if we don't get enough our body and mind dont work properly. She asked me how many hours she needed to sleep for and I told her and she proudly went to sleep smiling at the clock. A week later and every night she says "I need to go to sleep until the sun comes up" she has not fussed or come out of her room since.
As I type this after another week of getting 2-3 hours of sleep I feel shakey, anxious, and have a twitching eye, so I did some research and what I found is lack of sleep is dangerous. Repeated lack of sleep causes a whole gammit of medical issue's not to mention the foggy brain syndrome which can cause everything from forgetfulness to short reaction time while driving, to being more predisposed to illness. So, basically I feel terrible. Last night my husband and I lay in bed baffled by the recurrent sleep issue's we have had since our eldest was born. She has always woken up, well with the exception of maybe 2 months of her life she rarely stays asleep. I thought we were growing out of this phase after the wakes up improved a few months ago and then we entered a nightmare phase and "I don't want to go to sleep." After chasing 2 of them all day when 8pm comes around I am wiped out and usually getting pretty impatient. So we tried walking her back to her room repeatedly, we tried being nice and patient, we finally had to close the door to which she started kicking it and screaming but within 5 minutes she went to bed. Of course we opened it right after she was snoozing but the guilt I feel for not being able to fix what is wrong or for having to be the bad guy when part of me says "maybe I should sleep in her bed". I tried that once and for weeks she was expecting it! I am at a loss, we tried the chore chart and put stickers for every night she went to sleep without fussing but that even stopped working, we have 2 night lights in the room, I have looked under the beds with her to ease her fear but I am ready for this phase to be over because it is hard to take care of others when you feel terrible yourself. Email me if you've been here firstname.lastname@example.org