Pre-school challenges

A few months back when our family decided I would take a part-time job I knew changes were bound to happen but what none of us realized were the things we'd be dealing with in pre-school.  The first major thing that happened was our 3 yr. old sweet daughter getting bitten on her birthday of all days by a boy !!  I could have ripped the teachers head off but I bit my tongue and was pleasant but firm with them.  The reason we chose for me to stay home with them for 2 years is so they got a good foundation of right from wrong, manners and most of all they were protected and safe with us.  Now we send her off to the world and that foundation is being shaken by behavior from other kids who may not have that foundation.  In addition to getting bitten, the latest thing was a booger was wiped in her hair and another boy kicked dirt at several of the kids.   Mama bear's feathers again have been ruffled should I stay home again and prevent this?  Really this is pre-school!!!  We looked at several schools and this one was faith based and recommended by a friend.  My husband and I have had so many conversations over do we switch her or just have faith it will get better.  We're going pre-school shopping this week to keep our options open but really I didn't expect to have to worry about these things repeatedly between 3 year olds!  I guess parenting is a series of worries and just when you get comfortable with something it changes….

Is that dinner?

So tonight at dinner our 3 yr. old said I'm not hungry, as I always do I said well I'm sorry to hear that but you still have to come to the table and sit with the family while we eat the yummy dinner I worked hard making.  After she moaned and groaned a little more she reluctantly climbed up in her seat.  I made mahi mahi (pan seared lightly with olive oil, lemon & veggie seasoning), carrots with brown sugar and butter-yum and risotto this was a more upscale dinner than the boring spaghetti or chicken and rice we throw together during the week.  So I new from experience rice is no longer on her radar but surely she'd eat the carrots …afterall they are "her favorite vegetable" she started to stick her nose up and we just went on merrily eating and ignoring her comments..meanwhile her 20 month old sister devoured everything and wanted "more mahi".  While we were commenting on how good it all tasted a few bites went in and then the mmmm's started she finished all of her mahi and even ate a carrot or two so don't give up and pass the yogurt or cereal over to them afterall does any toddler ever really know what he/she wants???

throwing out the rules for a day or week!!

Gosh its been awhile since I've blogged and to all of my loyal readers I am sorry I got a little lost in me and realized how much I missed writing.  2012 is off to a great start for my family and I but I am still having some inner struggles with where I am supposed to be.  One week I am completely content working and then the next I cry dropping off my littlest and feel like the worst parent for going back to work part-time.  Guilt is a tough one and I love my children so much it is also hard to trust that others will watch them and care for them just fine without me.  I have also been under alot of stress even with a part-time job come responsibilities and new things to learn, mistakes and expectations of yourself.  This weekend I decided we've been too regimented and I've been worrying to much and we needed some sponatenity so Friday night we went to a great outdoor restaurant called Inlet Harbor on the water that also has a pirate ship for the kids to play in and live music!  We had a leisurely family dinner while the girls played and I danced with them.  Great night, followed by another great day at an outdoor festival today.  I had a date with my oldest and we got a cupcake, got her face painted and just enjoyed the day.  Then I got a hot chocolate and we met up with dad and sis for some errands and home for a yummy dinner.  I can get so caught up and the daily ins and outs I forget that my husband and I need to have fun just as much as our children so get out there and make some new memories!

A new year

Well this year as I contemplated what my new years resolution might be I reminded myself my resolution should be something I do daily or at least on most days and something attainable and that will bring me joy.  So I vowed to not make a resolution but to make a commitment to stop with the unending rule book and lighten up on myself and others.  I managed to have a pretty rough end to 2011 by worrying about everything from daycare sicknesses to should I work or not, to why doesn't this person like me anymore, after I realized staying at home full-time wasn't great for me and got a part-time job I am learning the girls also needed a change.  Madalynn needs to play with kids her age and have a break from her sisters unending poking and prodding and following her big sis around.  Cassidy had just entered the toddler phase and being as I just went through it less than a year prior I needed my own adult time.  So this perfect job that god found for me is turning into more than I could have ever hoped for.  I have decided in 2012 to live in the present more, eat more ice cream, stop overthinking (or at least try to), stop trying to control the journey for others they have their own path, and enjoy every minute with my beautiful daughters and husband.

Doing the best you can

I've realized thru my metamorphosis into a mom that perfection is a distant memory I used to often try to attain but now have finally realized its o.k. to have dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor, its o.k. to let the kids watch more than 1 tv show, its o.k. to say the wrong thing to people I love sometimes because I am tired or having a bad day, its o.k. to not be working full-time, its o.k. to have not showered today, its o.k. to feel overwhelmed and lonely sometimes -motherhood isn't for sissies but it is often unappreciated at this age, it's o.k. to have a girl day or treat myself to a pedicure-AMEN.  The bottom line is we each set our expectations of ourself and we can change those to a new normal at any time so I am vowing to lighten up on myself and others.  Perfection is overrated and as my dad says this is all building character:)

A childs love

After a few days off flying off the handle and having a less than serene attitude I finally feel like me again and as I tucked my daughter in she gave me the biggest hug… one of those I don't ever want to let go hugs and I hung on a little longer too and sang her 2 more songs because really isn't this the kind of stuff I dreamed of when I had children, yes the nights are long but the days are short and in the blink of an eye here my 1st born is almost 3.  It was one of those special moments I had to blog about because I can get wrapped up in a case of the waaa waaa's myself and I'm not age 3 when you are allowed to whine and cry, at age 34 more is expected of you and I learn more and more about what really matters in life and its moments like these….

Achieving Balance

As I was flying off the handle this morning over my daughter pushing her sister down once again I was reminded that I don't currently have balance in my life.  I go a few weeks with it then someone gets sick or I'm up all night with a kid or you name it happens and then that perfect balanced week from the previous week goes out the window…what I am learning is to ease up on myself although as I type this I realize that is not entirely true I am pretty hard on myself for yelling at the girls too much as I am a worry wart or saying things the wrong way and in turn possibly hurting someone.  I will say I am trying "to be the change I wish to see in the world" but I have to remember that starts at home by being an example for my girls and husband. 

The guilt trap

So after many months of getting the urge to find a part-time job the seemingly perfect one for me and my family at this time has come my way but what also comes along with the excitement of having some adult conversation and mental stimulation isssssss mommy guilt and let me just tell you I hate mommy guilt but it is only natural I mean after being thrust into a full-time stay-at-home mom after being laid off a year and a half ago I immersed myself in playdates, creative play, imaginative play, arts and crafts and lots of elmo and dora:)  But what I've learned is sometimes being at home 100% of the time is not good for all parties.  Being a type A personality I pride myself on people and being at home alot of the time was a change for me, most days we'd try to venture out but there is also the unpredictability of toddlers.  My husband and I decided a few months it would be good for me to get out a few days a week and god has provided that exact opportunity.  The coming months I will blog more about work/life balance and how we can do and have it all as mothers, I just no longer have to make the most money or buy the expensive clothes:)  My perspective has changed so much for the better and as my children continue to grow it will change even more.

Toy Reviews-Age by Age

As I was looking around the house I was thinking what a great idea it would be to give information on all of the many toys we have at each age and how good or bad they were…I know I asked alot of my mom friends these questions but thru trial and error some are better toys than others…

For ages birth-4months.

We used teething toys, a bouncy seat, Fischer Price Oceans swing (photo below)-used for 2 kids and held up great!, an infantino giant tummy time pillow and rattles thats pretty much it

For ages 4 months-10 months

Our Fischer Price Jumperoo, soft covered books, crawling toy, stacking blocks, Fischer price laugh n' play kitchen, toy drums and musical instruments where indispensable

For 12 mo.+

Our playkitchen (bought at Walmart-says Step and is red & grey) our toddler who is 2 1/2 and our 15 month old have sooo much fun creating meals for us it was one of the best toys we could have bought!

Walkers or push cars-I have a a love/hate relationship with because they fall alot when taking their first steps so you have to keep a constant eye

Little Mermaid Vanity Set-this I found at a consignment store and love it!
The girls both play with it equally once the baby became mobile she started interacting with it and now they do eachothers hair

Fall is in the air

If you live in FL the first day when you can actually walk outside and not feel like you can't breath is the beginning of fall in my opinion:)  The last 2 days have been beautiful and it got me thinking we have been indoors quite a bit the last 2 months because of the excessive heat and boy is it hard to entertain kids all day everyday mostly indoors.  I know we are all estatic about the change in seasons and I am equally as excited to put out fall decorations-yeah!  Today we rode bikes, swang and played in the sandturtle, a little Vitamin D goes a long way.  If you have a special craft idea please share it.  So here's to fall crafts, pumpkin painting and beautiful weather!