10.21.2008

And back to our regularly scheduled program...

Reality hit me in the face today. Hard.

You know how sometimes you just forget how things are. It's like I forget that my life if different now that I live here and I think that things will be like they've always been. Day-to-day stuff. Things you just expect. My daughter will wake me up no later than 6:30 this morning. I will run out of sippy cups by noon. I can go to Target and get a Starbucks kind of thing. And then, it doesn't happen and it throws you. That's kind of what seems to happen to me out of the blue.

We decided BB was going to go with dad to the barber. Now let me start by saying BB has always gone to Cookie Cutters, the full blown fun for kids hair place. He loved it. We made it a big deal "what a big kid you are, going to the barber!!" yada yada yada. He likes his hair long, we like his hair long and his sister is finally over pulling it. yeah! But the bangs. they are too long, always go right in his face and all day he is pushing his hair back. so time to hit the barber, like daddy. I never really worry about how it will come out, we just usually do a little trim, like twice a year. seriously.

We walk in and it's total old school barber shop. Of course it is. Mr. Barber has a DIY bench/chair that sits on the arms of the older-than-dirt barber chair. This immediately freaks out BB. I explain to the guy that we like it long and curly, but need to trim it. This is my standard phrase. So he cuts off 1/2 inch, which really wasn't enough, but whatever. Then I explain the bangs. Next thing I know he combs them down (BB has his face down too cuz he is NOT happy) and then the cut. straight across and pixie bangs. NOOOOOOOOOOO! Too late.

I also heard Mr. Barber trying to convince BB that he "has to get his hair cut, cuz you don't want to look like a girl right?" Gee, thanks. That's helping immensely Mr. Barber.

We are now country. And my son has the haircut to prove it.


Our babysitter came over today so I could get some cleaning done before our guest arrives tomorrow. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this girl yet???) I tell her my story and she lets me know that she also cuts hair. I look up and the clouds parted to shine a golden beam upon me. She's coming over tomorrow to trim it up a bit. I have no idea how we are going to manage this, but my boy will not go out in public with pixie bangs and wing tips.

This evening provided me with the second slap of reality. Wal-mart. Do I even need to say more? I actually have a secret crush on Wally World. I love that I can go into one store and see so many different things. It's like shiny object syndrome really. But my Wallyworld here vs. Indy WW is night and day. At least Indy WW tried to be cool, compete with Super Tarjey even. Not a chance in the Valley. We are back on weight watchers and my selection of reduced fat items is quite limited, as is the quality of produce. At least there's always good people watching.

The bonus: I almost forgot to mention the bonus point round. 9 times out of 10 I get a personal story from my cashier. Tonight the break lady came over and Mary told her she was starving! She came on at 2:30 and hadn't eaten yet and she doesn't eat on breaks because she doesn't want to get in the habit of eating every time she takes a break and yes, she does drink a lot of water, but you know she just sweats it out and she is used to not eating anyway, just this past weekend she fasted from Saturday night til Monday morning because her sister was in town the week before and all they did was cook and eat and cook and eat and she had a doctor's appointment on Monday and she had to weigh-in on target so she just had coffee and water all day long. And guess what? Mary weighed-in right on. But then we should have seen her cuz she was so crazy and hungry but you know, she stopped by the nursing home to feed her husband first and no way would she eat there, you know that nursing home food is so nasty. "okay honey, you have a good night and don't forget your ice!"

I really can't make this stuff up.

10.20.2008

Life gets in the way

I have a love/hate relationship with falling asleep with my son at night. (He's a cuddler and we read, talk, sing and then lay in bed together for a little while) It gets sooo comfy and relaxing. I really cherish this time because I know at some point I won't get it anymore. On the plus, it makes me go to bed early, sometimes too early. But then I am faced with the big dilemma.

When I wake up at 2ish, do I move into my own bed, with my husband (fight the dog for my spot, go to the bathroom, and then wait....) or sit tight and fall right back to sleep? I usually can't go back to sleep once I get out of bed- any bed. So here I am, 3:33 a.m. on the computer after being awake for over an hour. If I don't fall asleep with him, I'm wired, overtired I guess, and don't go to sleep until 11 or 12. The babe is always up by 6:30, with BB up around 7.

The best bet is to just not fall asleep with him, and then go to bed early. A HA! Brilliant, no?

I drool when I hear mom talk about how they had to wake their kids up at 8 to leave the house on time. Or how they all had a lazy morning.... sleeping until 9:30. seriously? I haven't seen 9 a.m. as a wake up in years. I was pretty excited when we finally got BB to sleep in.... past 5:30 a.m. So I stagger out of bed to "MMMMMAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMAAAAAA! OH MAMA!! MAMA!! MAMA!!" she wakes up yelling. such a pleasantry to start my day. Gimme coffee... now. The worst part is even if I punch G to get up and get her for me, I'm either totally awake by that point, or he does get her and then I can't go back to sleep due to the noise. Our rental has old, cheap doors that don't block much noise. It's a lose/lose for me.

I guess my mind starts to race about all the things I just didn't get to during the day- which always seems to be a ton. Tonight I realized the momma-teacher isn't ready for school tomorrow. hmm... can we call doing returns at Kohls and Tarjay a field trip?? We did read Llama Llama, Mad at Mama and thought maybe we could re-enact the book. (they go shopping together, llama hates it, but then they get ice cream). hmm.... then I would be fighting my WW points. damn. I was going to switch our days to M/W this week instead of T/TH since we have a company this week.

What I really need is a planning retreat, you know like the big companies do (or used to at least when they had more money). 2 weeks would be great, in a mountain cabin. I would have cable TV and internet, but only outgoing calls and emails. There would be a great little market walking distance with cheap wine and a fantastic deli. Oh, and a huge porch with a bench swing.

The first week I could sleep in a bed all by myself, whenever I wanted, watching MY shows (not noggin, not discovery kids, NOT ESPN) Go into total nesting mode. I would survive on tomato and cheese sandwiches and cereal. Oh and coffee and media lunas from AR. The second week, after I was all rested, I would practice. Practice doing the laundry, clean house, planning menus, cooking on a schedule, doing research and lesson plans, counting points, doing flylady --- without other people around (i.e. my family) messing up my system! After these two weeks, I would be golden. really.

Life just gets in the way sometimes doesn't it? ;) So my modified verison of this vision of "My Life" is scaled down. Try my best to have a happy, healthy, smart, involved family and maybe less dirty dishes. and coffee. lots of coffee.

10.15.2008

The New Frontier

I've been getting the questions now.
So you homeschool?
Wow. Homeschool, how's that going?
I can't believe you are homeschooling, I couldn't do it.

Honestly, I never thought I would be doing Home Preschool, or as BigBoy calls it "Basement School". We literally turned our nasty, musty basement into a homey, cozy, people friendly space in a weekend. We bought some bound carpet remnants at one of my new favorite stores, Ollies. Moved all the toys downstairs. Changed some lightbulbs out. Put together our Gorilla Racks (these rock! from Costco), opened some windows, bought a new jumbo dehumidifier, moved some furniture and a desk into the space and VOILA! Basement School!

As soon as I found out we were moving here I got online and started to look for preschools. I also tried to contact various people in the college for advice. Basically what I got from most people was OH! XXXX Christian School is Woooonderful! and that was about it. well, yah, about that. G is Jewish see, and I'm Catholic, but we don't really go to church or temple right now and sending BB into Hard Core Evangelical Preschool probably isn't going to jive. just a feeling.

I finally found a few that sounded good but they were either full-time, all day or didn't have spots open. We jumped on the wait list for a place right near us that sounded great, #10 on the list. Then I finally heard back from a school that sounded perfect. Child lead, outdoor play, part time, affordable and semi-close. they would even hold my spot til we moved in a few weeks. Done! It started out fine, the other moms seemed nice, but the space was tiny. 15 kids here? Okay, they have a huge playground. then we had "issues" with BB cleaning up before the end of the day. They also had a LOT of sitting down time. Not BB's best trait and I don't blame him really. So I wasn't happy with how they handled discipline (the next day he couldn't play in the room for part of the day) and then his behavior got worse and they sat us both down in the tiny tots chairs and talked to us. I felt like I was the one in trouble. they tried to make him feel embarrassed ("all his friends were watching him, weren't they BB?") So I pulled him. The worst part was they didn't even call me back to find out why exactly I didn't feel it was a "good fit" and then wrote me a note in his stuff that they thought I was making a great decision. Bite me. So after sobbing to G and BB's teacher from Indy, I decided to become Mommy-Teacher.

I know there were a lot of issues at the start of school, we had just moved, it was a new school, new rules, etc. But instead of working with that, they complained. After the fact I also found out the teachers did even less standing up than I thought. BB one day decided to just flick the lights on and off with his hand on his hip as his way of cleaning up. huh? apparently that's what his new teachers did during clean up. Great role model.

I'm basically modeling it after our co-op preschool in Indy (I loved it!) and we are going play based with lots of field trips. We also joined a weekly home school co-op group when we moved, so that was already in place. I'm actually liking it a lot more than I thought, although, we're not as structured as I'd like it to be. But hey, I'm doing it and the kids are learning and having fun. Mission accomplished. I'm trying to make outings fun and a learning experience. We are doing a lot with farms, apples, pumpkins, etc. His former teacher is coming out next week and is bringing me a goody bag. woo hooo! I think my main goal is to do "school" 2x a week-Tues/Thurs, homeschool group on fridays. Monday and Wed. will be down time or playdates. I actually feel like I am more relaxed not having to get ready for school with two kids. It's nice to have the flexibility to do what we need and not have to feel like we are rushing all the time. Probably a better transition to living in a new place anyway.

The big question always comes up. What are you going to do about socialization? I actually feel like he is getting better socialization this way. We have older kids at the co-op group and he just adores these kids. they are so sweet and are 7/8 years old. He has soccer with 3/4 year olds (he can feel like a leader) and I can pick and choose his playdates. The Babe (aka Sis/Sissy) also gets the benefit of these days and outings since there is a bunch of younger siblings in the co-op that she gets to play with and her favorite is a sweet girl, 8? who adores babies and toddlers. Sis loves sitting on her lap, having her pick her up, etc. It's very sweet. Plus we are always around the college kids, they have a regular babysitter scheduled, and this past weekend my son when up to an adult he didn't know and asked if he could please have a turn on the swing soon. And I haven't been called a poopy head in quite some time. Pretty good social skills in my book.

Lisa 2.0, New BFF?

I'm going to put on my good "Jewish Wife" hat and say that this is a good time to start blogging again.... what with Yom Kippur and all. Okay, so it's atonement, but if you choose to follow the positive aspects it can also be about renewal and becoming the person you want to be. I want to be a blogger again. so here goes:

Up to speed in a flash:
The biggie- we moved to Virginia, Shenandoah Valley
G is a professor and coach full time- yeah!
Big Boy is 4 1/2, The Babe is newly 2.
We actually sold our house in Indy!!! a bit of a loss, but we got rid of it in this market.
I'm home pre-schooling and actually liking it!
Things are good.

When we last had an actual post, I was doing my Manifestation Board, a la Oprah. Did it work?
Copied from my post:
  1. nice big, green house plant fern- More green plants in my house. I realized we don't have ANY!
  2. picture of a balanced scale.
  3. woman doing a yoga pose with "Fit" written under it.
  4. map of California with Sacramento highlighted.
  5. picture of a male teacher.

1. We got a nice house plant as a welcome gift from the Facilities Dept. (our house rental). (Check!)
2. Our life is soooo much better. G comes home everyday for lunch, is on a professor's calendar, and has specifics on how much the team can travel, practice, train in off season, etc. I LOVE D3!! (Check!)
3. uh, not so much. Part of this renewed Lisa is going back on weight watchers. I'm a big ol fatty, and really uncomfortable. more on that later. (no check)
4. We ended up in VA, NOT CA. But I also wanted to be within a day's drive to my sis, who recently moved to NY. (half a check?)
5. My man got a job teaching (and coaching at a great college) (Check!)

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5. Not too shabby.

So now I find myself striving to find this new and improved version of "Lisa" yet again--Lisa 2.0

Lisa 1.0 was pretty reliable, but Lisa 2.0 has some major improvements- a helpful partner, regularity in flow (cash flow that is), and a new platform (the Shenandoah Valley is ready to explore!). Extra bonus, all the "debt" applications has been removed to allow less stress on the system. We're still in the beta version, we need to get it a little stream lined to take up less space (like 20 lbs.). But that starts easing its way in tomorrow.
hold on a sec as I take another bite of my deluxe Annie's creamy mac and cheese shells.

Where was I? Today was an interesting day. I pulled out the full length mirror I just bought and was totally depressed. It was my A-Ha moment, but not in a good way. I look like a pear. I would say How did that happen??? But I know. I'm a stress eater. The job search, the moving, the unpacking, being in season (VB), the "preschool incident" and then taking on the new role as mommy-teacher. It was just easier to eat crap. I did start planning our meals a few weeks ago, but I need to find healthier options. I must be doing something right though as BigBoy (BB) recently informed a kid at soccer that muffins weren't healthy. For the day I was "That Mom" I'm sure. The weird one that is the health food junkie. HA! Moi??

We had a playdate with a mom I met at Chick-Fil-A (so my junk food eating was Needed! See?!). She seemed sooo cool and her kid is 3, but BB had a lot of fun with him. She is preggo and so we talked about having two kids, etc. yap yap mommy talk..... Turns out her kid goes to the preschool I really wanted BB to go to- it's just up the street too.
I felt like school girl talking to a boy I had a major crush on. "So maybe we could get together and have a playdate with the boys?" (PPPPPPLLLLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!) We ended up not even eating inside and just going through the drive-thru.

So we planned to meet up today at a local park. I felt like I was getting ready to go on a date with a boy. How old am I? I actually did my hair, put on makeup, cute mom clothes, etc. We had a great time and I like her even more. My heart went a flutter when she was telling me a story and referred to me as "a friend of mine". yahoo! Maybe she is "my person" in the making. My Valley BFF. She's cool, I think around my age, lives close by, stays home, and seems to parent similarly. It's so hard to find mom friends. You like them, but can't stand their kids. You love the kids, but think the parents are flakes. You get along with both, but parent totally differently. You stay home, she works full time. So for me, the new mom in town, I'm pumped and this makes my day.

I'm going to post, just to get my blog ball rolling. Maybe I'll even have some readers!

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