Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Being a better parent

I attended this great parenting workshop at church last night.

Have I mentioned how much I love our new family church it just fits so well!

The workshop had some great and simple concepts that just clicked. In fact just in the past day I’ve seen how they can really change parenting approaches and sometimes make things easier…and yet another lesson in slowing down and enjoying the moments.

As I sat there and listened it was crazy how many parallels there were to my dad’s parenting philosophy (and mom, too). Cardinal rule- thou shall not lie. Letting other things slide but never a lie. Family dinners and the importance. Making the time count- even if you have to be gone for work showing them when you are home you are “present”.
Like I said simple stuff but good to reinforce.

As I picked up mb from the kids group after the workshop she looked a little worried. I asked what was wrong and she immediately said what was the meeting about. One of the girls had told her that our parents were learning how to be stricter and make more rules (that’s what the girl said her mom told her) but I reassured her that it was about how to be better parents and a team with her as she grows up and navigates through life. She was happy to hear that and said “that sounds nice, we make a great team!” Love that girl

Well rounded

It’s funny how one word can really mean so much.

There are so many things that I am proud of mb for.

I love hearing how she is so worldly and loves learning about new cultures. And sneakily checks out a book about learning Italian.

But it’s this word that stuck with me this afternoon.


So simple and easy but it means so much.

It’s means that the divorce is not causing her harm.

It means that the crazy back and forth is not screwing her up.

It means that the family and home she has now gives her the security and unconditional love she needs to be free and secure.

It means everything is gonna be ok.

I know that. I can see that everyday. Its better than ok.

But as a mom I also hope that the the turmoil she has to endure at times doesn’t cause deep damage. I know she gets hurt by some, she doesn’t understand choices that they make…but that’s on the surface…deep down she is grounded and Well rounded.

Well rounded makes me happy!

It’s over

Kindergarten is over.

I will admit I am still in shock.

I don’t know where this year went.

I look back at the work MB did this year and the pictures of her throughout the year and I can see how much she has grown. How her pretty princess pictures have gotten more detailed. How much clearer her writing is. How much taller she is. The last of the baby face is melting away. The vocabulary amazes me on a daily basis- as an only child she talks just like TB and I. Nothing funnier than hearing her say- that is inappropriate, we have been delayed, the decision is too stressful, we must compromise, and a million other that I just can’t seem to think of right now.

She has graduated Kindergarten. Now she is a 1st grader.

I am ready, but I am not ready.

I want her to grow up, but I want her to stay small.

But we can’t stop time. She is growing up.

She had a wonderful last day. I sent her off with her Kindergarten Graduate shirt and shortly got a text from a friend asking on MB’s behalf if she could have her friends sign it.

Sign away, baby, sign away.

So she came home with 12 little signatures across her shirt and one even from her teacher.

I was happy, I was a little sad.

Then we headed off to the dentist.

I signed her in.

We sat down to play a video game.

The hygienist came out and called her name. Then sat down and told me what they were going to be doing today. Then she took MB back into the office.

Wait. What????

I am going to sit in the waiting room. When did this start?

I was too stunned to speak and afterwards I found out MB was too surprised too so she just went along and then it was too late to ask for her mom.

So I waited in the waiting room for 20min till they called me in to give me the report (all good!) and directed me to the check-out lady.

MB was getting her prizes and showing me the loot. Completely fine that she had just had her first doctor’s appointment without mommy. Other than the initial shock it didn’t faze her.

I wasn’t so lucky….it hit me hard. It’s over.

While she will always be my baby she isn’t my baby anymore.

Welcome to First Grade.


Love watching brains grow

I laid in bed this morning and did some reverse role play. “I am starving, who is going to feed me”.

They opted to take me to First Watch for breakfast.

I splurged with pecan pancakes. Extra extra yummy.

But that is watching my belly grow not brains.

As with all family friendly eateries…they had crayons and an activity page.

After copying a drawing of a dog- my girl really has an artistic skill I have lacked.

She moves on to the animal activity. She asks me to read the instructions.

Can you spell the alphabet with these animals.

And then she sits there and goes:

“Giraffe, ja, ja…G”

“Lion, la, la,…L”

“Camel, ka, ka….oh that is a tricky one is it c or k. Mr. Kinder told us that was the tricky sound.”

After we finished all the animals I wrote a few words out. M-O-P, B-A-T. And watched her sound out each letter together and then put them together for the word.

Looking back 4 months ago when she brought home her first reader where I swore she just memorized the books by the 3rd night. She now amazes me by reading the book 80-90% on her own the first time through…and when in doubt she starts to sound it out. We might not always get the word…but it is amazing to see how far her little brain has come.

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2011 has arrived

Just like that.

No bells or whistles. A couple of nice bottles of red. Hanging out with my love and his family, watching Tin Cup.

Then the ball dropped….and it was 1/1/11.

We spent 1/1/11 heading home. We picked up MB from her dad’s and caught our flight back to AZ. Back to the sun…and surprisingly cold.  TB and I had managed to get a friend to pick up Indy and I had begged the kennel to open for us even though they were closed…so we came home to our littlest one, which made us all happy.

A late night run to In-n-Out for the 3 of us and I had to smile. Sitting in In-n-Out, eating, talking, laughing. I could tell that MB and TB felt the same way that I did…we were HOME, and it was good to be HOME.

So now what to do with 2011.

I really don’t know….I am still focused on my goal carry-over from 2010. My first half-marathon is in 2 weeks. 2 weeks! TB hasn’t gone further than 5 miles and I am starting to get worried about him….not that he won’t get it done, but the recovery with so little training. Me, on the other hand, am feeling pretty good. I know it is going to be tough. I know I am going to a walk a little bit here and there…but I am excited for the challenge and I can honestly say I love running. Today as I did 5 miles and conquered the hill that brought me to tears in 2010 I thought…when I am done with my training this will probably be my regular run. A massive mountain climb, 5 miles total, 60 min or so out running. My regular workout- who would of thought.

So while my head is totally focused on that….I know there are some things I want to do better in 2011.

  • I want to do more with photography. I want do play around more and get creative, both in the images and the post processing.
  • I want to continue to cook more, from scratch. Try more new recipes. Continue to put more fruits and veggies on the plates.
  • I want to find a new job. Time for a change. Time for more growth. Time to get energized. (I leave that side of my life off the blog, but those in my real life know that is time for a change)
  • I want to get out and explore AZ more. Try new restaurants. Do more hiking. Explore.
  • Continue to make amazing memories with my lovebugs, strength the bond that has filled my heart in 2010.

That last point is probably the most important and my biggest commitment to 2011. I do that all for my little one. Tonight as we enjoyed a little R&R time in the hot-tub I asked MB what her top 5 things were in 2010.

There was playing with friends, going sledding, playing hide-n-seek, and then she said goofing around with TB.

Really when you think about it, isn’t it really just that simple. Shouldn’t we all be able to review the year for us with similar things.

So my overall promise for the year is that when we sit in the hot tub next year and think about 2011 that MB, TB, and I will have a simple list of fun times with friends and family and US that will consider our best moments of 2011

Click to vote every day!

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Just another day in the ‘hood

So we are just pulling in from picking up MB from camp and me from my run.

We see our neighbors out on the skateboard and so MB runs out to say hi.

Not more than 10 min later we had 3 more neighbors join us and were having a regular block party play-date.

There were skateboards, scooters, hula hoops, jump ropes, double dutch, chalk bubbles…and even some gingerbread cookie decorating.

9 kids in total, 1 dad, 2-4 mom’s depending on who was taking a shower…..and a full 2 hours outside running out the rest of the sugar that was in their system.

I never grew up in a neighborhood like this.

While I have no complaints about my childhood…we had the beach instead of neighbors…I have gotten used to the ‘burbs and am enjoying it. Kids playing in the streets…having so many friends around as easy play-dates, really doesn’t get much better than this.

Oh but wait it does….as I sat outside I realized that this time last year I was rotating inside a mini-van while the kids sled in -10 degree weather. We wouldn’t be outside chilling like this.

So 2 points for the neighborhood and 2 points for warmer weather.

Now off to enjoy the zoo-lights without freezing my butt!

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Accidents Happen

Ok so MB would probably hate that I was writing this post, but fortunately she can’t read just yet.

Today seemed like a normal day.

We got MB off to school and then I sent TB off to work.

After a full day of this and that I headed to the bus stop.

Off came my little vet (today was career dress up day) with a fire-hat on. Guess the fireman came to school today as well…

As she crosses the street I realize that she doesn’t have the same pants on she went to school in.

Not connecting the dots fast enough I asked her what happened to her pants.

Very calmly and matter of factly she told me that she didn’t want to talk about it, she would tell me when we got in private.

Whoops I got it now.

We finished up talking to our friends and as we headed home. Then MB told me she had an accident at library. Something about the teacher not letting her go and then she couldn’t go and the teacher would think she got lost…so while looking for her book she just went. Ok this is a first. We talked about not waiting to the last minute to go in the future.

But accidents happen.

Now the part that makes this worth posting. MB wasn’t upset at all. She proceeded to tell me how sweet her friends were. How her friends C and M were so nice and helpful and went with her to the nurse. I have to admit I was really surprised.

I was expecting tears and some tragic event where kids laughed and she was teased. You know all those horrible things you hear and read about. I expected that to be what she went through today.

But no. Compassion and sweetness is still alive in her kindergarten class. Innocent, goodness, and all the other words of love that I can think of.

Just makes my heart melt. I want to go in and squeeze all those little ones and I might just do that tomorrow when I volunteer. And for now we are going to have a movie playdate just MB and I. Bring on Ramona and Beezus.

A surprise visit from Czech

The “big” gift for MB this year was a visit from Czech.

I was very lucky to have had a live-in au pair when MB was an infant/toddler. I had one girl from about 3mths to 1 year and it was good….then I had SJ come join us. She was amazing. A kindergarten teacher from Czech she become part of the family. I will never forget our Friday night girls night dinner and our attempts at keeping MB from eating the entire dessert.  I could go on and on about the memories, the fun times, the experiences…it was just wonderful. She left to go back to Czech when MB turned 3.

3 years. We have kept in touch via Skype, Facebook, and postcards. Never as good as face to face. We had hoped to make it to Prague this year but it was just not working out. So we decided to bring SJ to us.

I knew MB remembered her, we talk about her often…but would she really remember her?

SJ and TB arrived home just in time for the bus stop. We headed out there. MB got off the bus and went straight for SJ. I would say she remembered her for sure.

The visit was a blur. Lots of talking. Playing. Halloween Parties. There are 2 moments that stand out in a visit full of smiles. The big “welcome” hug. And tonight as they lay in bed together reading a bedtime story. MB’s pick had been the photo book SJ put together when she left. Photos of the 2 of them together over the 2 years SJ had been with us. Memories that I am sure MB doesn’t remember but was reliving through the photos. As I saw them nestled in her bed, my eyes filled up. We were so lucky to have SJ in our life….and it is wonderful to know that those 2 years together are going to live on as we continue to add memories together.

Happy Birthday MB

Today is your birthday!

6 years old. I can’t believe it.

You are just as sweet as you were the day you were born.

This past year has been another eventful one. Never a dull moment with you sweetie.

Here are just a few of the recaps from your 5th year of life.

  • We went from a family of 2 to a family of 3
  • We made a big move across the country to Arizona
  • We finally found things “settled”
  • Orange has become and remained your favorite color
  • You have racked up the frequent flyer miles…and now have upgrade status. Your favorite thing about first class is the food. Yes the food.
  • You have entered the Apple generation. You are proficient in the touch and the iPad. Won’t be long till you are teaching me things.
  • You started Kindergarten. So many new friends. The playdates and activities are endless.
  • You took your first horseback riding lesson. The first of many to come.
  • We made our first visit to see puppies…I see one in your future.
  • You continue to be the sweetest little girly thing

I love you to pieces MB. You continue to amaze me everyday and while I wish you would stop growing up so fast I love the little lady you are becoming.

Your laughter, your smiles, your determination. You take life one big bite at a time!!!!

Happy Birthday!!!

Spiders, Spiders, and a Pillow

Leave it to grandpa to bring out the best Halloween memory.

When I was little I was scared of spiders. I still don’t really like the 8-legged creatures, but I have learned to kill them.

Well my dad had the cure. He got the biggest ugliest nastiest black plastic spider he could find and put it on my pillow.  I had to sleep with it on my pillow at night till I was no longer afraid.

I don’t really recall those nights and if it took me awhile to go to sleep or not…but I did survive.

Well a box came this week for MB. It was from Grandpa. The box was pretty big, we had no idea what was inside.

MB opened the box and pulled out lots of shredded paper and…you guessed it…A BIG BLACK PLASTIC SPIDER.

Gotta love him. He saw it and said I have to send this to MB. It had a little note saying to put this on mommy’s pillow.

Now every night when I go to bed I find that MB has snuck into my room and put it on my pillow.

This morning when I said how did that spider get on my pillow it freaked me out last night.

MB proudly said I put it there. When asked why– she matter-of-factly told me that cause Grandpa told me too.

Gotta love it!

Are you ready for Halloween???

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