Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gaining confidence

Nathaniel has finally gained confidence and has found his voice.

It's such a relief. This is the same boy who a year ago wouldn't speak up when he was in pain and needed help at school. He also wouldn't say anything if someone was picking on him or had hurt his feelings.

However, this year at kindergarten I have enjoyed watching him come out of his shell. I have seen him act silly in front of the entire class, I have seen him confidently do what he wants to do instead of joining in an activity that other kids are doing, and I've seen him "use his words" in a way that shows that he is sure of himself.

Last week at school one little girl was hanging on him a little bit. Nothing major, but she was holding onto his shoulders and trying to "help" me get sunscreen on him (it was really sweet). Nathaniel, however, did NOT like her help and boldly (but not in a mean way) turned to her and said, "Stop it!" He said it three times, but she eventually got the idea. And, he didn't cry. :)

However, today showed me that he really has become more confident in who he is.

Sam took Benjamin with him when they took his mom to the airport tonight. When they left I was out in the garage starting laundry and cleaning up some things, so Nathaniel and Aaron were in the house alone for a few minutes. When I came back inside Nathaniel came out of his bedroom with a look of surprise on his face. He then said, "I thought you went to the airport with grandma!"

I looked at him and said, "No, Dad did. Wait, did you think I left too?"

Nathaniel said, "Yup!"

He was perfectly fine even though he thought that we had left him alone with his little brother. A year ago, he would have come unglued!

I did ask him what they were doing to do while we were gone. He said, "Play. And wait for you."

He makes me laugh...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good enough is okay.

I'm a weird, late night, "really ought to go to bed, but I'm going to read a random blog on the Internet anyways" type of person. I have gotten better in that my normal bedtime has shifted from 11:30pm to around 10:30 pm. Much to Sam's relief.

Anyways...the last few days a thought has been mulling around in my head and I've read a few blogs that have caused me to react a bit internally. So, I'm going to process it out here and see what other people think.

There's this thought out there that "I turned out fine" is not a good argument for parenting. Because, after all (as some parents are pointing out), do we want "fine" children or "exceptionally great" children?

So, if you let your children eat candy and stay up late and watch hours of non-educational t.v. and use the argument, "I did that and I turned out fine", then really you are a lazy parent and how dare you procreate?

(By the way, the above statement is an exaggeration of one point of view).

Here's my thought. Sometimes parents have to go into survival mode.

As a very busy mom of three small children (plus wife to an amazing man who does way more than his fair share of everything--except breast feeding, lol) there are days when it's enough that my children are dressed and not pooping in their pants. The images of having a clean house (with no clutter or dust), healthy meals that don't consist of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and children who are not whining or fighting, are finally leaving my head.

Do I strive to do things well? Of course! I want my children to eat healthy food, and we do everything we can to make that happen. Junk food in our house looks like tortilla chips and salsa or gold fish crackers with the occasional animal cracker thrown in (yes, there is sugar and corn syrup in it. Sue me). We buy organic when we can, we make them eat their vegetables, etc. But, sometimes it's easier to order pizza on a busy night. Sometimes, it's easier to say, "yes" to the piece of candy rather than say "no" and face the whining.

I want my children to have great imaginations and not sit in front of the t.v. for hours at a time. So, we do have limits to how much t.v. is watched and when. But, there are days when I need to get stuff done and it's easier to say yes to just one more episode of The Amazing Spiderman! (hooray for 1960's t.v. on Netflix!) so I can mop the floor or finish preparing a lesson rather than deal with the outcome of fighting children while attempting to get stuff done.

And you know what? So far, my kids have turned out fine. In fact, I might dare to say that my kids have turned out more than fine. I know I'm their mom and I am biased, but I think that a lot of people would agree that my kids are pretty pleasant to be around.

I think that parents need to get off of the judging train and be more encouraging. I think that it's perfectly "fine" that we don't know where our kids are going to attend high school. (I wish I were exaggerating when I say that someone was slightly horrified that I haven't planned that far ahead.)

To make a long post longer, there are a few things that I cringe when people say, "I turned out fine" with.

Car seats: Yes, the car seat laws are intense and perhaps when we were little we were just "fine" rolling around in the back of the cars or *gasp* riding in the open back of a pick up truck. But, how many people were killed or horribly injured when a car accident happened that might have been "fine" had they been properly secured? So, yes, I will err on the side of caution with car seats and keeping my kids in them as long as necessary.

Bike helmets: Yes, I grew up not wearing one and I was fine, but I also never fell off of a bike and hit my head. Sorry, my kids will wear helmets when they are on their bikes (and skateboards later on). And, if they don't want to wear one, they won't ride.

But, other than that (and a few other hopefully obvious things), we all do the best we can and honestly, if my kids turn out "fine" I'm okay with that!

What do you think? Could parents be more supportive of other parents in your opinion?

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Just a quick update, mainly to show off the new look of the blog. Isn't it pretty? And look! We even have a picture of our whole family (from Christmas light looking, but...still) ---------------------------------->

Nathaniel: He has taken off on his reading and has turned into a real book worm. As in, "Why are you asking me to do anything mom? Don't you see I'm in a book?" Type of book worm. He is reading chapter books and is able to tell me what is going on in the book as well. :) He is definitely flourishing. He also learned how to ride his bike and is doing well in Boy Crew (an all boy drill team at school).

Aaron: Aaron started speech therapy last week and I think he will do well. Part of his problem is that he simply needs to slow down and think about what he is saying. Also, he needs to work on his 's' sound, but it will come. At least we are working towards a goal. And, he is paying more attention when he talks. He's so sweet. I mean, super sweet and loves to give hugs and kisses and take care of people around him. :)

Benjamin: Some time in the past few weeks Benjamin morphed into that not tiny baby/almost toddler stage. He's most happy surrounded by people, especially his brothers. He loves to clap and dance, and will joyfully teach anyone around him to clap as well. He crawls super fast and will stand and walk around on the furniture (or pushing a laundry basket), but he prefers the quicker mode of transportation.

Sam and I are fine. :)