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Posts Tagged ‘life’

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.

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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?

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I was inspired to write this blog post by Kathy, over at Mama’s Losin’ It.  She got the idea from Ree, over at a little blog called The Pioneer Woman. Maybe you’ve heard of her?

Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!

So, here goes.

I am 36.

I have never:

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1.  Set foot in Mexico

2.  Eaten rabbit

3.  Made my own tomato sauce

4.  Flown first class

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5.  Ridden in a hot air balloon

6.  Gotten a tattoo

7.  Been to Africa

8.  Had a caesarean section

9.  Watched The Real Housewives (of any city)

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10.  Been to Austin, Texas

11.  Made my own pasta (See also number 3)

12.  Been scuba diving

13.  Ran a marathon

14.  Been serenaded

15.  Feared for my life

16.  Sang karaoke (you’re welcome)

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17.  Swam with dolphins

18.  Bought a loaf of Wonder Bread

19.  Driven a boat

20.  Pole vaulted

21.  Set foot in Europe

22.  Learned the butterfly stroke

23.  Received more than 7 comments on a blog post.  Will this be a new PR?  (I mean, I’m not asking for 800+, like Ree’s post, jeez!)

What are some things you have never done?

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Another of my favorite pictures from Disneyland.  Fountains are fascinating, no matter where they are.  Here is proof.

They could have spent hours watching the “loud fountain”, as my two-year old called it.  And, yes, there was a “quiet fountain”, which of course, was smaller.  I love how he chooses to describe things.  I mean, any old toddler can tell you that it is tall and big, but to choose to describe it as loud. I absolutely love that.  Kisses to my boys.  And, to happy memories.

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Ahhh, the First Trip to Disneyland.  It is an event.  It was more than an event in our house, it was an adventure.  We rented a minivan so that my Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law could drive with us.  This was such a great idea!  One car makes things much more simple.  And, the cost of the rental wasn’t much more than we would have spent filling up a second car with gas, anyway.

Here was my view for 7 1/2 hours (9 hours on the way drive down):

At least I got out of driving.

We were lucky enough to stay at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.  The kids had a blast playing in the pool while the grownups packed up the hotel room on our last day.

The pool area is beautiful at this hotel.  We could have spent the whole day there.  In fact, next time, I’m planning it that way.

We had a grand time.  Everyone enjoyed it, and if you asked my kids what their favorite ride was?  It would be a toss-up between the “Bullet Train” aka, the Monorail, the Disneyland Railroad, and the Astro Orbitor.  Really?  We go all the way to Disneyland, where they have the most imaginative, technologically advanced, creative, and sensory-blowing rides, and my kids liked the Railroad (can find one almost anywhere), the Monorail (really just transportation within the park) and the Astro Orbitor, barely  more than a carnival ride.

But, they had fun.  And, it was their trip.  My favorites are Space Mountain, and Soarin’ Over California (in Disney California Adventure).

One of my favorite pictures of the trip:

We got back, and it was all about getting back into the swing of Kindergarten, unpacking, cleaning, and hugging and snuggling with the baby girl.  I missed her immensely, but she didn’t seem to skip a beat when she saw me for the first time after 4 nights.  We picked up right where we left off. What a sweet girl.

And, yesterday was my birthday.  I hung on to 35 as long as I could, but as of yesterday, I had to officially let it go.  I’ve never been the type to lie about my age, or really even worry about it.  But, then, I was only 35.  Being 36 feels older.

It was a day, like any other, but was topped off with a relaxing dinner out, just my husband and I.  I absolutely cherish those dinners.  I don’t have to decide what to cook, I don’t have to clean, and I can sip my wine without being interrupted (and interrupted some more).  The food was delicious, and the company was divine.  What a fabulous way to welcome 36.  Maybe I have nothing to worry about, after all.

So, that’s why I’ve been absent for so long (almost two weeks, gasp!).  I’m back.  Stay tuned, life continues.  Missed you all!

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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.

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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?

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Very soon my husband, the two boys, my mother and father-in-law, and sister and brother-in-law will be cruising around the Disneyland Resort, staying at the Grand Californian, and even enjoying a fun-filled Character Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen.  But, what to wear?  Especially since the pool is going to get some quality play time, too.  I mean, have you seen it?

Photo courtesy of magicalmousecapades.com

I have worn a two piece since the baby was born, but it’s kind of like wearing open-toed shoes when you’re in bad need of a pedicure: I really shouldn’t.  So, I picked up this cute little suit while shopping online at JCrew today:

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Here’s to hoping it a) doesn’t look too old on me, b) fits, and c) looks decent.  I have bought lots of swimwear online at JCrew before, but it’s always been bikini separates, and I know how those fit me.  A one piece is a whole different ballgame.  However, this was on sale, and I got an extra 30% off, so what was originally $88, I paid just over $20 for.

As for clothing for the rest of the trip, I also picked up a short-sleeved denim top perfect for layering when mornings are cool:

JCrew.com

This shirt should be comfy (for long days) and will offer a little more style than a staple, such as a t-shirt.  I also plan on bringing an assortment of capris, and shorts, such as these, also from JCrew:

JCrew.com

These are my favorite shorts.  Ever.  They are comfortable, flattering, and come in a rainbow of colors.  And, being from JCrew, I know the fit will be consistent.  Sold!  Over the years I have purchased many pairs of the JCrew Chino shorts.  It seems I collect them in different lengths and colors.  The good news?  I can attest to the fact that they wear well, too.  I have a couple pairs that are at least 6 years old.

I also plan on bringing my Teva’s (they might not be fashion-forward, but they are comfy, and go with most anything):

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My final must-haves for this vacation will be my lightweight, zip-up hoodie (the best layering piece for a casual vacation), and in case I actually get to go out to dinner . . . a great pair of jeans from the Gap (with a pair of flats).  My current favorite is the 1969 Perfect Boot Jeans:

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So, there you have it.  Flattering, comfortable, and stylish clothes, perfect for a casual vacation.

What are your favorite vacation clothing picks?

Note: For more great ideas on style and fashion, check out Musings of a Housewife.  She should know, she also co-owns All Things Chic!

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