Wednesday, June 26, 2013

School's Out!

This is it, the last day of school for my oldest daughter Grace.  No more lazy days with just my youngest Leah in the mornings, no more watching Real Housewives of some place when Leah has her nap, no more quiet afternoons before the evening rush.  Darn you school!  I'm sort of kidding, part of me will miss Grace being away most of the day - learning and being entertained by other kids but a bigger part of me is looking forward to getting to hang out with Grace more - I miss her and all the silliness that comes with her.
I'm sure all parents of school age children say the same thing, and since now I am one of them I get to say it - I can't believe my daughter is finished her first year of school!  That flew by, some days more than others but it does seem like I was just getting her ready for school and now she is finished JK.
My daughter was really excited this morning, we had been counting down to today - mostly to help her hurry up in the morning (only 3 more days of rushing in the morning, you can do it Grace, just get ready for school!)  Grace is looking forward to her summer break, although she did inform that summer has already started but she is excited to be going to the beach and being allowed to watch lots of tv...could I get away with having her spend her summer either at the beach or on the couch? Is that ok or would that make me a bad mommy?  The big thing she is excited about though is becoming a SK, that could be because I told her that after today - she will be a SK and I know the thought of her being older is big deal (it messes me up though since I treat her older and expect her to act older than the 5 years that she is).
I remember being her age and looking forward to what felt like endless days of fun, just being able to play or read or swim - pretty much whatever you wanted.  Summer fun I think is the big fun part of childhood and I am hoping to start those memories with Grace.  I have also started stock piling craft ideas that she can do after this weekend when I know the words "mommy, I'm bored " will come from her mouth.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Curious Leah

Sometimes I feel as if I have a new puppy or I guess an untrained dog living with us.  My youngest, Leah, is 18 months and she gets into EVERYTHING! I'm sure I've written about her abundance of curiosity before but over the last week or so, it seems to be in over drive.
Last week, as I was with my oldest, Grace, at her dance class, Leah who was suppose to be watched by her father, got into not just one of our indoor plants, but both of them.  I was told the story afterwards about how my husband found Leah playing in the dirt - he scolded her, cleaned up the mess, explained plants are not sandboxes and gave her something else to play with.  He left the room only to come back to find Leah taking the dirt from the other plant onto the floor and couch.  Either she thought that this houseplant was ok to play with or she might as well even things out.  But, she was scolded, the mess was cleaned up and again it was explained to her that she is not to touch the plants.
Fast forward to yesterday where I was checking something on my computer, in the same room with Leah.  I turned around to find our ottoman, which we use to try and keep her away from the plants was now a lovely shade of dirt brown.  I thought she was playing with one of the gazillion noise making toys since I heard it going but in fact she was covering the toy in dirt.  Leah was put in time out, the mess was cleaned up and she was reminded that she is not to play in the plants.  The whole thing reminded me of the time I found my dog when I was a kid, trying to hid her bone in an indoor tree that we had.  I walked around the around the corner to find the carpet covered with dirt and a bone sticking out of a hole that my dog had dug.
This morning as Grace was watching 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' before school can you guess what my youngest was doing instead?  That's right!  Playing in the plants!  At this point I know it's not her fault, it's mine for being stupid enough to think that a toddler would 1, actually listen to what her parents have to say.  2, that she would stop doing something she obviously enjoys doing.  And 3, think anything would change.  I know what some of you might be saying - why do you leave her alone? Because if I was with her all the time, nothing would get done in our life.  Or why don't you move the plants - well they are too big to really move.
Sometimes I am slow when it comes to remembering how kids behave - Leah is very different than Grace was at her age.  Grace, while not a perfect child, wasn't as curious about things as Leah is.  I know I am not suppose to compare, I am suppose to embrace their differences.  I am suppose to enjoy constantly walking behind my toddler telling her to stop banging on the windows, that no we are not going outside yet so put your shoes back,, please close the cupboard. I am suppose to love that my youngest loves splashing in the toliets, even though I remember to put the lid down and close the bathroom door.  I am suppose to giggle when that same child screams bloody murder as I try to wash her hands after her toliet playtime.  I am suppose to laugh when she throws her breakfast, lunch and dinner on the floor after I keep telling her to not throw food.  I am suppose to smile in delight as she pokes my eyes out in the early morning while screaming "EYES!".  I am suppose to think it's cute when my daughter throws a tantrum on the hallway floor because I asked her to put a block away.
In all honestly, the hard part of parenting a second born isn't really figuring out the differences but actually parenting - finding the patience to give each child the attention they want.  Leah is being a 18 month old and has sadly quickly discovered if she misbehaves she will get attention, not always smiling laughing attention but attention. These last few days, I have been able to spend one on one time with my youngest outdoors something she really loves and have noticed a difference.  She is more willing to listen, to please me, of course this change could also be because she has been able to get her digging in dirt need out of her system.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My weekend alone

There comes a time, about once a year, where I am fortunate enough to go away.  Away from my home, my family, my friends.  I get away from it all.  Where I get to do what I want, unwind, read, write, sleep in and if you believe it I get to experience every mom’s dream – I get to go to the bathroom – ALONE!  Yes, completely alone where there is no little person asking me a question, or putting their cold hands on my legs or where I get to have a shower without an audience, or reacting ‘Psycho”  or even just hearing “momma?”  Yes, for one weekend a year, I get to be alone…..and I love it!
I recently had my quiet time weekend.  It was the second time since becoming a mommy and I couldn’t wait for it.  I love my family, and when they aren’t around I do miss them but sometimes momma needs to be on her own.  Momma needs to be able to be quiet without having to talk all the time.  She needs to be able to take a walk without having to explain the world around her. Momma needs to be able to have dinner – hot.  She needs to be able to watch cheesy movies or ones with adult language.  Sometimes Momma needs to be able to go to the bathroom alone!
I use my alone weekend to recharge my mind, my heart and of course energy.  I use the weekend to think about me and be able to really miss my family so that I can appreciate them and all the crazy things they do again.
The first time I was able to get away, I was really nervous.  I trust my husband but he does things a little differently than I do when it comes to the girls.  I called home a lot to see how things were going and was a little sad how much fun they were having – with out me around. My girls didn’t even miss me!
This time, I still talked with those at home – but it was more my husband calling to see how I was, maybe I was a bit to eager to leave.  While my girls had a fun daddy weekend, I did hear that he was told how he was doing things wrong, not the way mommy does it, which I couldn’t help smiling over.
There is something about being alone that I need, that I think all moms need at some point during the day, week, or year.  I don’t think I could be alone for long periods of time but a weekend is good enough for me.  I need time with my girls, with my husband and with my friends and family.  But I have realized that I also need time on my own – especially before school lets out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I mentioned last post that next time I would tell you about some house guests that we had, well actually that Grace had.  I really need to thank my daughter’s teacher for this because it was her that introduced my daughter to her new friends – the Chipmunks. 
The trio just appeared one day, with no warning – one day Grace just started talking to Simon and asking who the female chipmunks were (The Chipettes).  I figured one of Grace’s friends were into the Chipmunks and was playing them on the playground, I had no idea that they watched the movie in the class during indoor recess.  I have no issue with my daughter watching the movie or with the trio singers, I watched the cartoon growing up so it was kinda nostalgic for me.
It got to the point where the Chipmunks and Chipettes were always around, in fact Grace became Jeanette (the one with glasses), I was Brittany and Leah was Eleanor.  My husband was Dave.  Grace, er I mean Jeanette, was always talking with Simon – I mean always, on the way to school, probably during school, when she played outside after school.  They brothers would have dinner with us.  And they would sleep with Jeanette at night, unless of course they were keeping her up and then I would have to tell them to either keep it down or leave (they would usually keep it down then.)  I played along, how could I not?  I downloaded Chipmunk songs, I found the same cartoons that I watched and showed them to Grace/Jeanette.  I embraced  this stage.  Maybe because I was a fan or maybe because I finally got the whole imaginary phase. 
Grace has sort of played this before- become someone else for a while.  There was the time she only wanted to play Mickey and Minnie, then there came the time when she asked to be called Cinderella, and then Rapunzel (which included a long scarf for her hair), then Miss Piggy (which included a lot of Moi’s)  and then Merida (from the movie Brave which also came with a bow and arrow).  At first I would be annoyed, I didn’t want to talk like Mickey all the time or play the evil Stepmother (who really does?).  But then I guess as Grace got older I started to miss the baby Grace and realized that one day she won’t want to play with me,  it might not be a game of her pretending to be someone she isn’t, and I started to encourage her pretend life – I would be the evil stepmother, I would call her whatever she wanted me to and I would sing the songs and act out the movie.  The Chipmunks of course were different, there was no movie to act out, Grace came up with her own stories.  I would sit back and watch her play with her new friends – if you haven’t seen a five year play pretend alone, you must it’s really interesting to see what they come up with and how they see the world.  Yes, I’m not a saint and there were times when I asked to speak to just Grace.  I told her that the Chipmunks weren’t allowed to go someplace and there was one weekend when Grace wasn’t listening that I told her the Chipmunks left (she informed me that they came back to visit her though).
Sadly, the Chipmunks have left us, for how long I’m not sure, Merida has returned with her bow fighting off bears as I try to speak in a Scottish accent.  I love that my daughter gives us all parts (my husband is the bear king and Leah plays all three of Merida’s brothers unbeknownst to her).  I know one day this won’t happen anymore and I will miss it but until then I will be whoever my daughter wants me to be in her imaginary world.  Who will she be next, I’m not sure but I know it will be a lot of fun – most of the time.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What has been going on.....

I have been meaning to write a new post, but life just seemed to get in the way.  So since my last post, much has happened in our loud household.  Leah has seemed to get over whatever was bothering her and keeping her up at night.  Although she now needs to sleep with many, many stuffed animals - including a large dog called 'big dog'.  I am crossing my fingers and toes that I haven't jinxed myself.

What else has happened.....ah yes, I am now officially a dance mom, and no I am not those crazy moms you see on that show called 'dance moms'.  I just mean that my oldest had her first dance recital- so now it's official.  The whole world of dance isn't new to me, I took lessons when I was a child - ballet, tap, jazz and if you believe it baton (what it was the 80's!)  I was in recitals and I enjoyed it.  I don't recall what it was like gearing up for a big show except for how it felt to be on stage with the lights, make up and hairspray!  It was weird to be standing on the other side of the stage.  I tried to explain to her what a recital was but I don't think she really understood it even though she had been working on her dance along with her friends for weeks. Then the big weekend came, yes they had to do 2 shows!  She didn't say it, but I know Grace was nervous.  Her and I arrived early for rehersal and it seemed to help her, so did putting on her costume and I'm sure the dousing of glitter didn't hurt either.  When the time came, I stood in the curtins as my daughter took the stage. I watched her skip and point and jump and smile.  I couldn't help but tear up a bit watching my Grace perform (she had mentioned to my husband that being on stage was her dream).  Since then I have been able to removed the multiple cans of hairspray and glitter used on Grace's hair and have watched her try to re-create the entire recital (including the tap dances and ones on pointe) and I believe there will be many more dance recitals (maybe other type of shows) in the future.
Grace has also started asking just how famous is she since her picture has appeared in two local newspapers.  I really hope I have not given birth a Kim Kardashian.

Next time I will write about the new house guests living with us.