Browsing Category "parenting"
3 Jan
2014
Posted in: parenting
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Much Needed Christmas Break

I had a list of activities for Christmas break and days we could do them. There were places I thought we should go….paint pottery, swim, museum trips, movie theater, etc. The factor I didn’t consider was the kids might not want to do those things. The kids might actually be content to stay at home. What the kids needed was a break from the bustle of life.

reading Christmas break

They allowed me to take them to The Science Zone and to see Frozen at the theater, but they were most happy during Christmas break in their pajamas hanging out at home. As grateful as I was for the break in our schedule, a release from having to get people to places they needed to be, checking homework and making sure lunches were made, the kids were even more grateful. The boys are away from the house during the workday. They want to be reunited with their games and the joy of playing with each other. It is mostly joy, with a handful of bickering, a dash of rowdy and a smattering of backtalk. Little sis is ecstatic to have her favorite playmates around, even if they are ignoring her 100th mock ballet recital while they try to finish their game of Trouble.

board games Christmas break

Dr. Seuss was right, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” As an adult, the highly-scheduled life I lead, isn’t much different from the lives of my school-aged children. Their days are structured and ordered for them. These breaks in the school year are for them to shake the confines of rigor. They just want wiggle room and space to do as they want. The kids and I are helped by the opportunity to abandon our schedules and relax. Monday marks going back to the grind of life. The Christmas break will be a fleeting memory in one week’s time.

building LEGOs Chirstmas break

I felt like I wasn’t giving them enough over Christmas break by mostly staying home. I felt like I was failing them in some way by not taking us from activity A to place B and out to lunch. I felt that way until I sat down and talked to them about the reality of their break. This is what they wanted. They wanted to be left to their own devices. They just wanted freedom from a schedule as much as I did. I told them last night to choose anything they wanted to do today, emphasis on anything. The boys just wanted uninterrupted video game time together on the Wii. Screen time is a rarity at our home. Our daughter this morning asked if she could change clothes as many times as she wanted. Such simple requests. Maybe in the new year I’ll stop making this life of mine more complicated than needed.


 
Do Over
By     |    Dec 31, 2013
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Do Over

Today is a do over. Yesterday was not one of my best performances as a mother, also not my worst. By the afternoon, I was ready for the day to be over. Everyone was ready for a do over. Nothing horrible happened. I was tired. All four kids had forgotten how to listen or respect each other. I was sarcastic (more than normal) and short-tempered. The kids were breaking the simplest of rules. They were picking at each other. I... [Read More]

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5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)
By     |    Dec 23, 2013
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5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)

When our youngest was born four years ago, I felt like I was treading water and never getting anywhere. My to-do list encompassed far too much and little things in the house drove me nuts. Now there are things I don’t worry about anymore that I used to try and control. These are my top five tasks I used to waste my time and energy dealing with or worrying about when really they don’t have anything to do with me.... [Read More]

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Christmas Lights Tour
By     |    Dec 21, 2013
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Christmas Lights Tour

Driving around town looking at houses adorned with Christmas lights and blowup decorations is one of our favorite seasonal family activities. We count nativity scenes and vote on which home is our favorite. The excitement is palpable leading up to loading up the car and heading out. Tonight we ate dinner, the kiddos took baths and put on pajamas. We made hot chocolate in to-go cups and loaded up the vehicle. Before I even got into the garage, our 4-year-old... [Read More]

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Allowing Independence
By     |    Dec 18, 2013
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Allowing Independence

A conversation in the women’s locker room at our local rec center  yesterday keeps replaying in my head. I wish I could be back there and talk about allowing independence in our children with the other mother who decided to engage me. In hindsight, I know what I want my retort to be. I want to sit down with her and really talk about parenting, mothering, what it all means. I want her to take a step back from her... [Read More]

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Random Thoughts From Real Life
By     |    Dec 7, 2013
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Random Thoughts From Real Life

Our third grader told his 4-year-old sister she was on the naughty list and would “never ever ever ever get any presents ever if she kept touching the LEGOs.” Now she’s obsessed with this so-called naughty list. I’m thinking brother J may have earned himself a spot on the list. Apparently I’m using the crockpot too much lately. This morning J asked if our oven was broken because I haven’t been using it. Of course, when he came home from... [Read More]

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Favorite Games for Preschoolers
By     |    Dec 4, 2013
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Favorite Games for Preschoolers

We’re a board game and card game loving family. Having children ranging from 4-11 years of age makes it a little tricky to find games everyone is willing to play and more importantly, enjoy. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite games for preschoolers, just in time for Christmas shopping. These are games that all six of us willingly play and are easy for our 4-year-old to join in with us. Tumblin’ Monkeys — Colored sticks are randomly placed through... [Read More]

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Connecting Reason to Christmas Traditions
By     |    Dec 2, 2013
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Connecting Reason to Christmas Traditions

If you’re in Walmart and you hear someone belting out Christmas songs as she shops, that would be me. I honestly forget other people can hear me. I’m not humming the tunes either. I’m singing like I’m alone in the car. Singing carols is one of my preferred avenues for spreading Christmas cheer. I apologize in advance. I feel like a horse out of the starting gate when Thanksgiving week arrives and the holiday season begins. I’m giddy I tell... [Read More]

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Revamping Our Thanksgivng Traditions
By     |    Nov 30, 2013
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Revamping Our Thanksgivng Traditions

I’m crying uncle and throwing in the towel. Next year my family will be revamping our Thanksgiving traditions. Not one of us really enjoys eating turkey or stuffing for that matter. This year my 9-year-old put a seed of doubt in our Thanksgiving traditions. Days before the big day, J wanted to know if we were eating turkey. Me: “Of course, it’s Thanksgiving.” J: “The pilgrims didn’t just eat turkey. They had deer, fish, lobster and turkey. There might even... [Read More]

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Three Christmas Gifts
By     |    Nov 22, 2013
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Three Christmas Gifts

Several years ago, we instituted a ‘three gifts’ rule at our house for Christmas. The number of packages under the tree made my stomach turn. It was pure excess. I felt the meaning of the Christmas season was being diminished by the urge to buy the newest, shiniest thing. We picked the number three because that’s what Jesus was given by the wise men in celebration of His birth. My family celebrates Christmas, not for the boost it gives our... [Read More]

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Keeping Perspective
By     |    Nov 20, 2013
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Keeping Perspective

I realize, more often than I’d like, the lessons I’m teaching our children are not absorbed they way I intend. It seems lately my teaching is a little off the mark. I find myself backtracking and getting a little defensive. Case in point: breakfast this morning. Our third grader has hypoplasia on one of his permanent bottom teeth. That tooth is noticeably discolored. Our reserved boy has been picked on several times regarding it, and he’s become increasingly self-conscious when... [Read More]

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Speech Therapy — Child Development Center
By     |    Nov 19, 2013
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Speech Therapy — Child Development Center

Recently I’ve been reflecting on our 6-year-old son’s path to overcoming speech obstacles with speech therapy. His therapy ended 18 months ago when he tested out three months before starting kindergarten. Therapy was an amazing process for both C and I. Happy. Joyful. Exuberant. That’s our third son. Very little dampens his spirit. We knew he was having problems with his speech. The “k” wasn’t there. We had him tested at our local Child Development Center several times and waited... [Read More]

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