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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another Year of Preschool

Another year of preschool....... Honestly the thought had never crossed my mind. My little Madison is brilliant and kind but truth is... she's young. At least the youngest in her class, she has a June birthday. While she turns 5 this year, she will be one of the last in her class to do so.

 If I moved her on to kindergarten, she would continue until she graduated, at 17 years old. Do you remember being 17 years old? I do... I was an idiot at 17 years old. I wasn't ready at 18 for what the world had to throw at me, let alone being able to do it at 17.

Her teacher called it "the gift of another year". And it makes sense, developmentally shes just at a younger age. But for some reason, the words hurt me. I couldn't help it, the feeling just flooded over me and of course just like any mom would, I placed the blame on myself. "Maybe I should have put her into a young 3's program", "We should have worked harder with her at home." But this kind of thing isn't anything you can prevent, it just takes time. It's like asking a 6 month old to walk, they just are not ready for that kind of thing yet.

I had asked the teacher "Well... what if we worked really hard with her through out the summer and put her in a summer class? How do you think she would do than?" Again the logic was there but the feelings clouded the point she was making. We could do that, yes, but it would still be a struggle for her to keep up. Kindergarten isn't what it used to be 20 years ago. It's more academically based, which is different from the sand tables and finger painting I remember. It's not just a time for kids to get used to being in a classroom, it's what we used to learn in 1st & 2nd grade.

My husband pushed against it, saying we should just send her on to kindergarten, she will be fine. If we had to hold her back later on, we will do it then. Holding a child back later in their school career can be pretty devastating though. They would have to watch their peer advance while they "repeat" the same grade. It's much more of a big deal.

This is when I hear my Aunt Amie in the back of my head, always saying "give it 24 hrs. Just 24 hours to process and think it over." So naturally I called family to get advice and put off making a decision until the next day.

Ultimately we decided to keep her at preschool another year. We have heard parents say they regret not keeping their child in preschool for another year but never the other way around. Giving your child more time is never a bad thing, Besides, it's not like we're in a hurry for her to grow up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Learning to pace yourself

I feel if one word could describe me it would be a busy body. I always have to be doing something. My mind is always racing about whats next, looming dead lines and what tomorrow is going to bring. At some point in your life that gets weary and either your body gives up or your mind does. This did not become apparent to me until I had kids. Before that, all I had to do was worry about myself. Now I have to bring two little people along with me. That gets exhausting quickly. The whole getting ready, packing up the car, making bathroom stops, gas stops... all those little side errands to get where your going takes even longer than it did when you were by yourself. It took a long time for me to realize it. While my body kept up with me, my mind didn't. It got to the point where my life felt like one hectic blur after another, trying to keep up with friends, go shopping, doing someone a favor, running errands, doctors appointments, go see this and go see that.

After having my second baby I finally said to myself, "No. It's okay to say no."

It's okay to say no to playing at the park: This in no way makes you a bad mom. Kids need to hear "no" anyways. After working a 12 hour shift the day before, staying up late to do homework and finish up volunteer work for my daughter's school.... well I think the play set in the back yard is good enough right now. 
It's okay to say no to picking up a shift at work: Yes you know how it feels to work short and it sucks. But that doesn't mean it falls on you to pick up every empty shift. Your work place has survived thus far before you worked there and it will continue to be there after your regularly scheduled shift.
It's okay to say no to family: Yes, you want to do everything in your power to help out but sometimes it's not in your schedule. If someone needs help moving and it doesn't work out for your schedule, suggest another time. If that's the only day they have to move, well that sucks for them. There are emergent times when you should drop everything to help but some family members will have you believe that every time is an emergency. Take it with a grain of salt and move on. They will be okay.
It's okay not to craft: Yes, you heard it. I love doing crafty stuff and crocheting blankets is by far what I'm best at. I usually crochet when I sit down and watch some T.V. but there came a point where I didn't even have time to do that. So as flattering as it was to be asked to make a blanket for someone, I had to respectfully decline.
It IS okay to take a moment for yourself: I found whether is was just going to lay outside in the sunshine, going for a walk or reading a book; taking a little time to yourself helps you regroup. Your brain needs a break and some slow down time, not giving it that can make you go cray.
My New Bottom Line:
If it takes too much time away from my husband and children, I just say no.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Get Sent Away

What's better than receiving roses on mothers day? Getting sent away on Mother's Day! No not to jail, but rather on a little mini trip. This year my hubby sent me to Chicago with  one of my very bestest friends to have a girls weekend. This was a genius gift, if I do say so myself. While he did send me away for the weekend, we both had to agree on a budget. I only had an allotted amount of money to entertain myself with, so we had to keep this fun but cheap! 

First off I'd like to introduce you to While this type of traveling might not be for some, it certainly was for us. It's a sight where people "rent" out their spare bedrooms just like a hotel room. It's cheaper than a hotel room and you get so much more than what a hotel can offer you. Our particular hostess was very friendly and accommodating. Chicago makes Grand Rapids look like Mr. Roger's neighborhood so I was a little apprehensive when we first got there but our hostess, Shaun, set my mind at ease. She also helped us navigate the bus routes to the places we were trying to get to. Well lets be honest, she did all the work. She told us what bus to take, where to walk and how to get back. Which saved us money because I would have just given up and called a cab.

Friday was wet and rainy so my friend and I did what any normal girls would do. we got in comfy clothes, opened the curtains to watch it rain and drank some delicious beers. 

The next day we took our time getting ready... yes! TOOK OUR TIME! I didn't have to worry about getting two kids ready or getting upset because my husband wasn't helping me get two kids ready. All I had to do was worry about my damn self. It.... was..... Glorious. I took a long hot shower then just puttzed around. Eventually we got restless so went to Starbucks and sat around for a couple hours drinking coffee and chit chattin'. As boring as this may sound, you don't really realize how much you miss being bored, until you have kids.

We went back to our room, got a little more dressed up and started making our way down to a comedy club. I highly recommend this place while your on a budget. It was $20 per person but at the door you can roll a six-sided die and what ever number it lands on, you get that money back!! Woo Hoo! We watched the long time running (est 1988) show of "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind"

.... yeah I don't get the title either but we nearly pissed our pants the whole time. 30 skits in 60 minutes, totally worth the trip and the money.

Went to the bar afterwards and made it home at the very late hour of 3am.

 The next day we geeked it up at the Museum of Science and Industry for about 5 hours. We paid about $24 each person for this but it took a good chunk of our time and we didn't even get through the whole thing. It was $22 for parking, which did take me by surprise, so that came out of my extra cash. The up side to the parking fee was there were several restaurants nearby, so we left and had brunch before actually going into the museum.

All in all, great idea hubby! I recommend every husband do this at least once. There were plenty more things that I had planned on doing that were either free or cheap but just didn't have the time! Please check out this link if your thinking of visiting Chicago!
It gives real insight from locals on the hidden gems that the government paid tourist website doesn't tell you!

Where would you like your hubby/ S.O. send you?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Finishing Out The Semester

The semester ended back on April 26th! and I've been busy catching up on things that have been long over do to be done. Which included a long over due hang out with friends and family! among other things.....

I finished the semester strong with a 90% on my Chemistry Final and a 93% on my English Class final.

What a whirlwind semester! I hate Chemistry AND English class. I went into the semester thinking I would just have to muddle through it somehow. Crash study for chem and just slap some words on paper for English. What actually happened took me off guard.

Chemistry was actually interesting! AT least the way my chem teacher taught it. He happens to be a high school chem teacher too, so he has learned way to keep his students engaged. It had worked for him in college too because my ADD self paid attention and actually understood!

English Class was the greatest surprise of all. Honestly I never thought of myself as a writer. Of course I have lots of thoughts but I never imagined they were worth putting down. My English professor introduced me too Ballenger and the technique of writing badly. This technique actually worked for me and class was easy! In fact I found myself enjoying writing so much I started this blog. I don't know where it will take me but I know I love writing. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Things I've Learned Along the Way

"Little town full of little people, waking up to say 'Bonjour!'" .....I'm feeling nostalgic today. Beauty and the Beast is by far my favorite Disney movie. I remember the first time I saw it, Belle was so adventurous and free spirited. I knew that was exactly who I wanted to be and didn't have the want for a small life. I was going to get out and  and see the world. Well that little girl did grow up and she did move away but quickly realized being away from family and friends wasn't as great at it seemed. 
Being adventurous wasn't quit the definition I had imagined. It was hard being out there alone without the support of your family. After about a year away, I came back home to Grand Rapids. I had to re-group myself and figure out where I was going. I couldn't exactly travel if I didn't have any money and I'm not the type of person who goes about things unsafely. (meaning I wasn't going to hitchhike my way around the country). While I was re-grouping I had a baby, started nursing school, got married, bought a house and had another baby. So here it was, right in my face. Living exactly what Belle hadn't wanted for herself. What happened to that little girl who wanted "adventure in the great wide somewhere"? 

I found out that a simple life wasn't so bad after all. That adventures don't have to take place so far away from home and being a mother has been my greatest adventure by far. It's been the pleasure of my life.

That you can't really go places without knowledge or money. I do still want to travel but all of that will happen in good time. After I finally finish school and we pay off our debt (#DaveRamsey) it will finally be our time to occasionally wonder off the beaten trail.

That you can't fly with your feet on the ground but also that flying around without knowing what direction to take is not adventure, its living life aimlessly. Wandering may take you places but knowledge will get you to even greater ones. 

Going on an adventure isn't nearly as fun if you go it alone. My husband is a homebody and I have the spontaneous spirit. We balance each other out very nicely. I love getting him to try new things while other times he is my voice of reason saying "mmm is that really the best idea". No, not all of my ideas are.

All in all my life has been very blessed and full of  spontaneity. Maybe Belle had meant something else by adventure. Besides hadn't she gotten married in the end and lived happily ever after in a castle? Well so did I, only along side a chicken coop.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Birthday surprise!

I LOVE my birthday. I love the attention and the surprises! and my wonderful husband just GETS me, ya know?  
He took me rock climbing! Yeah, I got that reaction a couple times. Even I was like... oh... oh okay cool. Yeah let's do this.

I kid you not! It was so Fun! If you've never been you need to go! It's a great workout!
We decided to keep with the healthy theme of my birthday and went for sushi afterwards. It's a new place called Haru, by where we live!

Best place you've been for your birthday?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

7 Things That Never Occurred To Me As A Mom.

My mom had all of us kids within three years of each other (Yeesh! I know) That coupled with my parents knack for moving a lot made me and my siblings pretty close. We were all the same age growing up and as a result never really got exposed to babies. Yes we had cousins younger than us but it wasn't like I was old enough to babysit and I was more interested with what my older cousins were doing than playing with a baby. So when mother hood rolled around for me, I had no clue what I was doing.
I had read books, pamphlets, online articles, you name it, I read it. But there is doing something in theory and there is doing it in practice. Boy oh boy was my little Madison a wonderful crash course in that. And the surprises keep rolling in with Mr. Lucas. So here are 7 things that had either never occurred to me, never thought I would do or just plain surprised me.

1) Compromise. What is that? I'm right, there's only black and white, no grey area. Well a toddler doesn't care about your hard-headedness when she refuses to swallow the carrots in her mouth.

Okay, swallow and you can have a little bit of juice.

 2) Have you ever pee'd with a little person sitting on your lap?... I have. I didn't even know this was a thing.

3) When I found out I was pregnant I thought I'd miss taking my time to get ready. Because you "don't have time for yourself" when you have kids, right? What I really found out is, I had WAY too much time on my hands in the first place. Plus I love getting my little girly ready along with me.

4) Dirt doesn't really hurt.

Let him eat the leafs, he'll learn.

5) Kid's are pretty clever. My husband, Matt, told Madison boys were icky. She then asked "are you a boy daddy?" Ha-Ha! Good One Madison.

6) I didn't realize my heart could hold so much love in it.

As silly as it sounds I was worried I would love one kid more over the other. Or I would feel bitter towards one kid for taking my time away from the other. All that non-sense floated away once Lucas was born.

7) Not On Bit of Jealousy......
Now I know this all depends on a kids personality. Honestly I was expecting it and read lots of materials about what to do. It would be the natural reaction to have when you were an only child for so long. What I wasn't prepared for was not one bit of it came out of Madison. She didn't get jealous when I held the baby constantly and was always wanting to be involved some way!

What has surprised you as a MaMa?