Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘children’

I just bought 12 ounces of organic raspberries at Costco for only $3.99.  In one sitting, my three kids polished off nearly 10 ounces of that package.  I wish they would tell me they were going to devour the whole package, so I could plan ahead and buy two packages.  Of course, had I purchased two packages, they would have sampled one raspberry each, and declared them “yucky”.

I wish my kids would tell me when they are going to nap for three hours at a stretch.  Then, I could plan ahead properly and begin a serious project.  Or (gasp!) take a nap myself.

I wish they would tell me when they are going to throw up.  Then I could swiftly guide them to the bathroom.  In time.  No fuss, no muss.

I wish they would tell me which stuffed animal will become their favorite of all time.  The one they must have to fall asleep.  Armed with this knowledge, I am Supermom.

All of these wishes, when boiled down to the core, simply would allow me to be prepared.  I love being prepared.  I love having the right snack and the right time, and preventing a hungry, toddler meltdown.  I love having the diaper bag stocked with all the necessities, allowing  me to deal with whatever life throws at me.  On the flipside, I hate being unprepared.

All of this leads me to this, one of motherhood’s best lessons:

Be as prepared as you can be, when you can be.  But, also be prepared to be unprepared.  Learning to roll with it, learning to adapt, those are skills we as moms have developed, honed, perfected.  So, just because you don’t feel prepared, doesn’t mean you’re not succeeding.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

What my husband did last night when he said he was going to go to bed:

  • Went upstairs
  • Brushed his teeth and flossed
  • Plugged in his phones to charge overnight
  • Got in bed
What I did last night when I said I was going to go to bed:
  • loaded the dishwasher
  • put away some laundry
  • cleaned off the kitchen counter-tops
  • set up the coffeepot for the morning
  • made my son’s lunch
  • started a blog post
  • read about potty training (next big thing for BDog)
  • wrote a check for Kindergarten tuition
  • fed the fish
  • put away stray toys
  • went upstairs
  • brushed my teeth and flossed
  • washed and moisturized my face (sucks to get old . . and live in the high desert)
  • checked on sleeping babies and gave them one more kiss
  • got in bed
Sound familiar, moms??  No wonder I never get to bed before 11:30pm.
What do you do when you say you’re off to bed?

Read Full Post »

Maybe your child is not as mature as you think she should be.  Maybe you think he’s little for his age, and could use another year of pre-school under his belt before starting in the big leagues.  Maybe you’re a sports-minded family, and you want to give your mini linebacker the best odds at athletic success.

Experts say, however, delaying kindergarten is not the right answer.  In fact, you just might be doing your little pumpkin a disservice.  The New York Times recently published an article highlighting  a study which tells us, in a nutshell, the best academic tool we can give our children is school itself.

Savingadvice.com

According to this article, for students young for their year in kindergarten, greater strides were made during the school year in reading and math than in children who were older.  The article discusses how children grow when they are pushed:

“In this respect, children benefit from being close to the limits of their ability”.

Just let that sentence sink in for a second.  Give it a second read.  Absorb it.

What this tells us, is that it is good to push our kids, within limits. If a child is faced with a task that is challenging, but not out of reach, it encourages them to try harder. To want to be better.  On either side of this fine line, however, children (and teachers) face the consequences of boredom or frustration.

I’ve learned this first-hand, with my son, who happens to be in kindergarten (not early, not late, right on schedule).  He does not know all of his letters yet, although he’s getting there.  He is far from reading, however.  So, I have started working with him each day.  We don’t do a lot, anywhere from 5-20 minutes when there is some quiet time just for the two of us.  And, based on this new ritual, I have learned three things about him:

  1. When pushed just a little out of his comfort zone, with support, he flourishes. “No, no, Mommy, don’t tell me the answer, let me tell you the letters!”.
  2. When pushed a lot, he shuts down.  No wonder he literally looked the other way when I was trying to teach him sight words when reading a bedtime story!  It was like asking him to do calculus before he could multiply.
  3. When he’s presented with a task that he has complete mastery of, at first it’s a confidence booster, but that quickly wanes.  What is left is boredom (“Ok, ok, Mommy, I know those letters, but what is that one, again?”) and potential disruptive behavior.
Of course, there is no right or wrong answer that fits everyone.  We must make our own decisions, based on what is best for our child.  And, no one knows your child better than you.  This is also about more than just reading, math, and kindergarten.  It is a life lesson, too.  After all, we not only want our kids to learn, we want to teach them to be lifelong learners.  We want them to have a thirst for knowledge.

We, as parents, are helping our children learn how to learn.  What a gift.  I promise, I’ll try not to screw it up.

So, what did you do, or will you do about kindergarten?

Read Full Post »

My husband is out of town.  I can say this because by the time you read this, he will be back.  He has also been uber-busy at work lately.  He generally works a lot, but the last couple of weeks have been exceptionally crazy.  So, it didn’t surprise me at all when last night, at about 10 o’clock, he says casually, “Hey, did I tell you I’m going to Vegas tomorrow?”.

Um, nope.  No, you didn’t.  He’s not so much into the details sometimes.

At least this is only a one night trip.  Not at all like the time I found out he was going to Brussels, Belgium because of some flight times I saw scribbled on the back of a grocery receipt he left sitting next to the laptop on the kitchen counter.  I know, I know, his communication skills are positively astounding.  In the end, his trip got cancelled anyway.  But, I’m getting a little off topic.

It just so happens that I had already made plans with some girlfriends to go out tonight.  I planned it carefully, so that the baby would already be asleep, and the boys would be fed, and in their jammies.

So, now I’m faced with a dilemma.  I could a) scrap my plans for a Girls Night Out (which honestly only happens every six months or so for me.  I know, I know, I need to work on that), or b) call my Mother-in-Law.  I do have a couple babysitters that I use, but now that school is in, they are busy with sports, boyfriends, part-time jobs, and oh, yes, school.

I decided it was important enough to me to give her a call, last-minute.  Turns out she was available and happy to do it.  I am a lucky woman.  Side note:  She also watched the kids one other time this week, and has plans to help me out twice next week.  Am I taking advantage? I hope not. But, possibly a little.

Not everyone has a great relationship with their Mother-in-Law, but after 14 years of marriage, here are a few secrets I will share with you about your Mother-in-Law:

1.  She really does want to help.

So, let her.  Let her hold the baby.  Let  her do a load of laundry.  Let her take the kids to the park.  She wants to do it, and it’s really okay.  Really.

2.  She has the best of intentions.

Yes, she may feed the baby at the wrong time.  Or not warm up the bottle enough.  She might even (gasp!) stop for an ice cream treat before dinner. She is not you.  She will not do things exactly as you do.  But, if you give her instructions, she’ll do her best.  She doesn’t intentionally sabotage your children’s sleep schedule.  She’s finding her way in this whole Grandmother thing, just like you’re finding out who you are as a Mom.  And, she’s waited her whole life to be a Grandmother, so cut her a little slack.  Even if it’s a really, really small amount of slack.

3.  She loves her son and her grandchildren.  But, she loves you, too.

She loves you in a different way, and that love may change and grow over the years.  But, she loves you in a way that says “thank you for sharing your life with my son, and for letting me be a part of my grandchildren’s lives, too”.

4.  She appreciates a Thank You.

It’s easy to take anyone for granted.  I think it’s especially easy to take your Mother-in-Law for granted.  So, remember to appreciate the good things she does.  Even if it’s sandwiched in between things that frustrate you.  She’s a good person.  See Numbers 1 and 2, above.

5.  She has more life experience than you.

This one might be hard to swallow for some, especially if your Mother-in-Law is one who is constantly offering up advice, or insinuating that her way is better.  But, it is true.  She’s been married longer, and even though her children aren’t little any more, she’s been a Mom longer, too.  So, listen to her advice, and allow it to sink in a little.  No one says you have to follow it.  But, you never know what you might learn if you’re open to it.

I mean, maybe she really does have a terrific chicken recipe that’s easy and delicious (and if your husband likes it, you can just wink and say, “I know, yum, right?! It’s just a new recipe I’ve been wanting to try”). Or you can give her credit, if you’re feeling generous.  Men usually don’t care too much about that kind of thing anyway.  Either way, it’s a win-win.  Or, if you’re Michael Scott, a win-win-win.

6.  She knows you hold the cards.  And, she appreciates that you put up with her son.

It’s true.  You have a lot of power in this relationship.  And, he is the boy she raised: the good, and all.the.faults.  See paragraph 3, above.

Anyone else want to chime in?? Come on, put me in my place. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 as told in 12 photos.

6:30ish to 7am:  Boys wake up.  I force my eyes open.

7am:  Breakfast of banana bread with cream cheese, fruit, and milk.

8am: Teeth Brushing antics

9am:  Time to wake the baby so we can take CW to Kindergarten.  Poor thing!

10am:  A little quality time with the Potty Seat

11am:  Following Big Brother now that we’re mobile!

12pm: B Dog gets some quality time alone with the toys.  No big brother to annoy him share with.

1pm:  Nap time.  Shoes and truck safely stowed.  Together.

2pm:  While little siblings sleep, play time for the Big Brother, CW.

4pm:  Backyard water play.  Summer lives on for a few more days.

6pm:  Dinner for the boys: macaroni and cheese (K has already eaten she’ll be asleep shortly).  I cook the broccoli with the pasta.  Time saver.  I rock.

7pm:  We have just entered the Lego phase in our house.  I already have a love/hate relationship with them.

8pm:  A little Thomas the Tank Engine before bed.  See, I can be a Fun Mom.  Note the sleepy eyes and big belly.  Love that.

8:30pm  Bed time for the boys.  The baby has been in bed already for approximately 2 hours.  Aren’t I lucky?  Sweet dreams, babies.  I love you.

For more Ordinary Day posts, check out Baby Rabies.

Read Full Post »

I find myself so tired by the end of the day lately.  Not tired like a pregnant woman who falls asleep on the couch after dinner, and not tired like a new mommy who falls asleep while her newborn nurses sweetly, and rhythmically.  No, this isn’t one of those kinds of tired.  It is different all together.  It’s more like . . . mental and emotional . . . exhaustion.  My boys tag team me during the day, getting on each other’s nerves like only brothers can.  And, then once I’ve wrangled them in and out of the bath, into their jammies, brushed their teeth, and read stories, my littlest boy, B, has decided that getting out of bed at night (over, and over, and over) is much more fun and fulfilling than actually falling asleep.  Truthfully, at this point in the day, I am just done.  Completely drained.

But, I know there will come a day when I will (and I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it) really miss these days.  I know that someday it will once again be about me.  Will it . . . really?

On the days (more lately than usual) when I feel my life is really hard, I need to remember to reflect, and appreciate how lucky I really am.  I have three strong, beautiful, funny, and intelligent children.  I have the loving support of a husband who agrees it is important that I be home for these years.  I have in-laws who are caring, thoughtful, helpful, generous, and who are a big part of my children’s lives.  My parents are equally involved, caring for their grandchildren in ways I can’t.  They love them simply, without the messiness of being their parents.  They cheer them on, hug them tight, and love them unconditionally.  My kids are lucky.  So am I.  

I don’t have a child with autism.  I don’t have a special needs child.  I don’t have a child with health problems.  My husband and I are healthy.  We still have both of our parents, who get to spend time with our children on a regular basis.  I am so lucky.

So, why do I complain?  Because it is human nature.  We want more, with a side of more, and extra more.

So, I’m going to try remind myself to be grateful.  Sometimes just remembering not to sweat the small stuff is all it takes to improve perspective.   We just need reminders of what is the small stuff.  Today I’m going to hug my kids, and count to ten, rather than send steam out my ears, wasting precious energy being frustrated and irritated.  Because, I don’t want to be drained tonight.  And, being grumpy takes a lot of energy.

So, how do you improve your perspective, and keep things in check?

Read Full Post »

Wait . . . isn’t there a blog with that title?  Oh, yes, here it is!  http://www.ishouldbefoldinglaundry.com/  Beth has a great site, you should check it out!

But . . . back to this post.  I really should be folding laundry.  Or cleaning the kitchen.  Or planning dinner.  But the house is . . . quiet.  For the first time today.

So, rather than do the smart, predictable, productive, and mommy-like things that need to be done, I am gabbing away here.  I actually think that’s healthy, too (or at least I tell myself that so I don’t feel too guilty).  I do need something that is just for me.  Something that is therapeutic, and that I enjoy.  This fits in well, too, with my life with three little ones.  I don’t need a sitter (although that would be nice), and I absolutely adore the community of friends and women who read this and can relate.

But it does beg the question, what did I do all day that kept me from folding the laundry that’s poured over a portion of my couch?  I know I haven’t sat down, except to feed the baby.  So . . . what have I been doing?

Jo-Lynne wrote a post at Musings of a Housewife almost a year ago titled What Do You Do All Day?  I have revisited that post today, and I’m tempted to keep a time sheet (as she did) to see just where my time goes.

I’m sure that making meals and cleaning up meals takes up a chunk of my day.  And there is the shuttling of my oldest to and from camp this week.   And we did take a much needed trip to Target this afternoon.  Oh, and I mopped the kitchen floor (was way past the deadline on that one).  But, seriously.  I mean, I didn’t even shower this morning.  Don’t wrinkle your nose.  You know you’ve had mornings (days) like that.  And, I did shower last night.  So there.

But, where did the time go?  What else was I doing?  I think I will track my time and see what happens.  Wanna join the club?  All the cool kids are doing it. . .

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: