The Family

The Family

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day #62: as easy as riding a bike

   Riding a bike. Reading. Potty training. What do all of these have in common? So far, they have been some of the most frustrating things to teach my children! It's the things we take for granted, the things we don't think twice about, the things that feel like we've been doing forever. And attempting to teach children how to do it is at times, maddening.
   I took a FB poll recently and discovered that many mom's of boys potty trained closer to the age of three. I know every kid is different, and I know boys are slower at the whole potty training thing than girls. Savannah was a little over two when we started with her. However, she was interrupted by a move and new baby, so she wasn't fully potty trained until just after Luke was born, around 2 1/2. I decided it was absolutely unacceptable, and not to mention crazy expensive, to have two children in diapers.
   To be honest, I'm not looking forward to potty training Luke. I'm in no hurry. Sure, diapers are gross, but they are so convenient for both mommy and baby alike. Potty training is inconvenient. for me. I remember abandoning full shopping carts in the grocery store because Savannah had to go right.that.minute. I'm good with putting that off a few more months.
  Just when I had decided that this summer would be the perfect time to begin potty training, Luke has shown a lot of interest in using the potty. We talk about the potty regularly, we sit on it, we read books about it. Well, last night was the third night in a row that he peed in the potty during bath time. He said he had to go, got out of the tub, stood on his little stool, and peed into the potty! And oh the smile on his face! He is just SO proud of himself. Or maybe he knew what was coming- a pack of fruit snacks!
   I guess if he's really ready, I'm ready. I mean, it is all worth it in the end and ohmygosh- I won't have any of my kids in diapers!!....which also means the end of the baby era. which is a little sad.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day #61: The backpack part 2

Yes, I'm still talking about the backpack. But this is my last post on it, I swear.
   I decided that the best way to approach the backpack situation was to send my daughter in, armed with her backpack, and see if the teacher decided to call me out on it at the end of the day. I thought about asking if I could bring the backpack, but I feel like since this is a preSCHOOL, I shouldn't have to ask. So I packed up her lunchbox, gloves, extra pair of underwear, and library book and sent her in. At the end of the day, her teacher did call me out. She told me that Savannah did not need to bring a backpack. I asked her where I was supposed to put her gloves, she told me that they teach the kids to put them inside the arms of the coat which I think is stupid. I asked her where I was supposed to put her change of underwear in case of an accident, she told me they have extras at school if that happens (gross, I'd like her to wear her own pair of underwear). I told her that it just makes sense to have a backpack so that at the end of the day(and at the beginning when I'm attempting to get us all out of the door), I'm not holding five school items when I could just put it all into one bag. Unfortunately for her, she made the mistake of telling me, "They just don't need backpacks." Which of course, makes no sense at all. Because they do need them. That's like saying I don't need a purse. Yes, I could hold each item in my hands and stuff them in the sleeves of my coat, but why would I do that when there is something that has been specifically designed to hold my crap?? She then said they don't have room for them and that Savannah's backpack took up HALF of their space designed for lunch boxes. Yes, I'm sure it took up half of the space. So I asked if there was any way they could invest in some hooks for the backpacks, to hang up high so they are not in the way. She looked at me and with some MAJOR attitude said, "Do you want to buy the hooks and hang them up?" To which I said, "I think I just might do that."
   Savannah has only attended this school for a total of two weeks, but in those two weeks I haven't been impressed at all. And I feel like when you pay a monthly tuition, you should be impressed. I don't feel like she has been getting nearly as much out of this school as the one she went to in Virginia. She starts kindergarten in the fall! I want her to be fully prepared and I don't feel that this school is doing that for her, and not just because of the backpack issue.
  Coincidentally, I had been calling around to different schools for Luke for next fall. I had already figured out I didn't want him at this school. I came across one that sounded great and decided to go check it out because registration for next year was already open and filling up fast! I went there and FELL IN LOVE with the director and the school. They seemed more organized, more education-minded, and just nicer. On a whim I asked if they had a spot open for a 4 year old, like right now. She said a spot had just opened that day. Uh huh. Am I taking her out of her other school over a backpack, no. But I know how I am. And every time I walk out of that school holding all of her schoolwork, I'll be thinking, "This could have just gone in a backpack!". But more importantly, this new school leaves no room for doubt and worry that Savannah won't be prepared for kindergarten. I felt confident after speaking to the director (who is also the 4 year old teacher) that Savannah would go into kindergarten with a leg up, and thats really what I want for her.
   Another plus about being the new girl in town- I have no reputation; I have nothing to ruin and nothing to prove. But maybe I'll try not to pick fights at the new school.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day # 60: backpack

   I don't consider myself an expert on anything really. But I feel like I am when it concerns the best way to lug around all my kid's crap personal necessities. I took Savannah to her new preschool last week, brought her backpack and was told, "Oh she won't be needing this, you can take it home." Okay, I get it, it's preschool.  She is supposed to bring only a lunchbox with a small snack. However, upon picking her up everyday last week, she had an art project, a book from the library, a note from the school, and the coat that she shed sometime during the course of the day. oh and her lunchbox. And I have no backpack to put it in. So now I'm carrying all of her stuff, trying to keep tabs on both kids, and weave in and out of the cars in the parking lot (because there is not a carpool line, but I'll rant about that another day).
   I know, it's a petty complaint, but it's a stupid not a well thought out way of doing things. And since I'm the newcomer to the scene, I feel like I'm in the perfect position to ask why the kids don't bring backpacks. I mean, is there a way I could kindly suggest that the 4 year old class bring backpacks? I would really just like to hear the reasoning behind the decision. If there is any. I've said it before, but it's the little things that make a big difference in a mother's life like... coffee, or helping a frazzled mother with her shopping cart, or a nap. And bringing a backpack to preschool is one of them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day #59: New Year Resolution

   So I'm about a week late on the whole resolution thing. I've completely given up with the big resolutions, like being a size 0 or becoming fluent in Chinese;  I've moved on to much more achievable things, that way, I can actually accomplish what I set out to do. And then I can brag and be like, "yeah, I kicked my New Years resolution's butt". Last year, my resolution was making sure everyone in my family and Tyson's family (my new brother -in- laws included) got birthday cards on or before their birthday. Not just a phone call, FB message, or belated card. an actual snail mail legit birthday card. I know, it seems like a puny resolution, kind of lame even, but it's something I really wanted to make a priority; that  everyone's birthday was acknowledged. And guess what? I did it.
   This year I wanted to resolve to do something just as low key, yet just as important. Now, I don't consider myself a Type A personality per se, but if I had to be lumped into such a category, I would be closer to the Type A people. Those people. I'm a "see what else you can can get done before you must absolutely go get yourself and the kids ready" kind of gal. A scheduler, a planner, a non-procrastinator, a lets-do-things-my-way, Yoga SUCKS (because who can move so slowly and calmly for an ENTIRE hour??), multi-tasking, read two books at the same time type of person. So I end up vacuuming the entire house or folding that last load of laundry before I realize that I have less than twenty minutes to get all three of us dressed and out the door. Don't get me wrong, I'm not guilty of being chronically late. Oh no,  I mean, I get us there on time, but it ain't pretty folks. Unfortunately there is a lot of yelling, empty threats concerning mostly fruit snacks (or the lack there of), and running around that happens to get us to where we are supposed to be in a timely fashion. And that is such a sucky way to start out the day. Because when I start my day that way, it's hard to get out of the rushing around funk that inevitably ensues. That being said, my resolution this year is to start getting the kids and I ready and dressed much earlier than I feel is necessary.
   I have put this plan into practice the last few days, and let me tell you, my mornings are actually enjoyable! I know. Crazy. Let's see if I can keep it up for the year.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day # 58: the one minute rule

   So I was reading my Good Housekeeping magazine, while soaking in a hot bubble bath, when I came across an article that caught my eye. It was about staying organized, on top of things, so you don't fall behind in household chores. I feel like I am behind all.the.time. Trying to catch up on housework is like, well, an unrealistic goal. a myth. Before I had children, my apartment was spotless, I mean, take-your-white-glove-and -run-it-across-the- mantle spotless. I cleaned once a week, the entire 475square foot, one bedroom apartment. Scrubbed every floor, toilet, and sink. Nowadays, with the exception of that one time a cleaning crew cleaned my house, my whole house is never clean all at the same time. I clean a room a day, so by the end of the week...I have to start over again. Oh and laundry, it is never ending! When I finally think that I have gotten it all washed, dried, folded, and put away, the hampers are full again......but I digress.
   So, as I'm reading my GH, the "one minute" rule grabbed my interest immediately. The rule is, if it only takes a minute or less to do it, why not do it right then? Such as hanging up your coat,  putting those three lone forks into the dishwasher, or unsubscribing to an email. Hmm... I like this rule. Because although I would classify myself as someone who is organized, and generally likes order, its the little things that I let slide.  I look at the BIG picture: clean clothes, dinner on the table, checking facebook.....but the little things often get overlooked. That pile of shoes at the bottom of the stairs. Or the couch pillows that are scattered across the living room, or the junk mail from last week. But really, if I would just deal with those little things as they come up, they wouldn't be there. Or, as a mother of young children, my days are filled with random one minutes here and there throughout the day. Imagine what all I could accomplish?
   I don't know about you, but when my physical surroundings are in order, I feel more internally in order as well. And I am much more productive (and just nicer) when my house is clean and in order.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day# 57: Rude people

  You guessed it, today I'm venting about discussing rude people. Or oblivious people who come off as rude because they don't know what they're talking about. And yes, I may have encountered one of these individuals today at the commissary on base. Clueless single man. No, I do not expect single men to empathize with a woman who has two young children, but I expect common curtesy or at least an insult to the face and not behind my back.  That's not asking too much, is it?
   And here is where I tell you my tale of woe. So it's FREEZING here- like 35 degrees with a wind chill of 20.  I went to the commissary to scope it out and pick up a few items. Well, on base they have baggers who take your groceries out to your car. Unless you go through the express lane, which I did. So I took my cart out with the kids and my few bags. Only after I had unloaded my cart and gotten both kids buckled into their car seats and cranked up the car, did I realize that there were ZERO cart returns in the entire parking lot. none. I would have to go all the way to the front of the store to return my cart. So I did the unthinkable. I carefully placed my cart in a parking space not occupied by a vehicle and got into my car. I know, I know. I was being that person. But I seriously rarely do it. But I did not want to leave my kids in a running car to return my cart. I chose my kids over the cart. However, the wind was blowing and my cart slowly moved toward another car and tapped it, ever so slightly. Well, about this time I started to feel guilty....and then I see this man. The rude man. He is watching me like a hawk from his car parked a few spaces away. So I jump out of the car, grab the cart, and sprint to the front of the cart and return my cart like a responsible patron of the commissary. As I'm shoving my cart into its designated place, this man (the rude one) walks behind me into the store and says under his breath, but plenty loud enough for me to hear,  "That was not a good thing to do!". Really?!? So I turned to him and said, "First of all, if you cared so much and saw me with two small kids, you could have taken the cart from me and walked it to the front. Secondly, you know what's not good? That I just left my two kids in the car to return a stupid cart? And thirdly, next time you want to call someone out on something, say it to their face."
   Okay fine. I didn't  actually say that. I ignored his comment and hurried back to my car. But after thinking about it and having adequate time to prepare my statement, that is what I wanted to say. And I also wanted to key his car. Or at the very least, ram a cart into it. It's one of those situations where you are so caught off guard by someone's comment, you aren't prepared to say anything. But honestly, if I had said what I wanted to say, I probably would have regretted it. And I wouldn't have said it all calm and collected. Knowing me, I would have yelled it.
   If I had seen a mother abandon her cart in the parking lot (which I have seen, on many occasions), I would have understood why. You know what I do at grocery stores? If I see someone who is finishing unloading their groceries (mother or not), I always go up to them and tell them I'll take their cart- that way they don't have to put it away, and I can get my kids settled in before getting into the store. I love it when something I do benefits others and myself at the same time. It's a win- win, and who knows? maybe taking that person's cart helped them out more that you know. Or maybe you just saved a parked car from being hit by a cart.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day # 56: Starting over again

  I can't say I was super excited about this last move. Besides the obvious hassle of moving, I was just not ready to invest in new friends, find new schools, learn my way around a new city, find a new church, a new gym, a new routine. You get my point, I'm not comfortable with change. It puts me, and most people I think, far from their comfort zone to make drastic changes in their life, like moving to a new city. and starting over again.
   Today is the first day that Tyson is at work and I am home with the kids, attempting to start this new year in this new place right. I think the best place to start is where I began this blog- just continuing on my way to becoming a better mother. Sometimes that is simply setting a good example for my kids with my attitude. I don't want to start over again, but that is where my life is right now. In a few months, I'll find my new groove and this will all be a distant, fleeting problem. But until then, I need to show them how to adjust to a new life, and how to do it happily. So many kids (and adults) have the mentality that if they don't feel like doing something, they shouldn't have to do it. But that is a horrible (and selfish) way to go through life and I sure do not want to teach my children that that is acceptable. I don't feel like unpacking those last few boxes, but I'm going to. I don't feel like making friends and going out of my way to introduce myself, but I will. I didn't really feel like moving to another state (again) (that is even colder!), but I'm going to have a positive attitude about it.
  And I think I'm going to try to be a way cooler version of myself in Maryland. The upside to moving? Reinventing yourself.