The First Week of Summer

The first week of summer is almost complete, and so far the children are enjoying the heat.

No school or homework, staying up late; oh this is fun…we can stay up past eight!

Summer camp’s fun, and time at the pool; oh why must we ever go back to school?

But before you know it, the whining begins; boredom and antsy and missing their friends.

Adventures and movies and hikes, will they do?  Coloring, puzzles, and how about the zoo?

But just blink your eyes and soon you will see, another summer has passed and school it will be.

So I’ll take some whining if I get hugs and kisses, because one day it will be what mom misses.

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More Time Off?

Let me start by saying, I truly admire what teachers do.  And I do not believe they get paid nearly enough.  With my two kids, an occasional bad day can be very draining, much less if I taught 20 of them.  We have been very lucky with teachers so far…I have loved all of them!  I helped my son’s teacher occasionally this past year and I can certainly see the reward of being a teacher…IF all the children are well behaved.  There really are a lot of sweet children out there.  But as with most classes, when I occasionally helped his teacher, there were a couple of kids that I found to be rather challenging (to put it nicely); and I bet my child could be one of those challenges at times.  His teacher amazed me…she was always so calm and mellow; she just had that soft voice and “the look” that made the kids feel guilty for letting her down.  You know “the look” I’m talking about! (I often joked with my husband that she had to drink a lot to be that laid back!) I admired her teaching style. 

Now here is the dilemma…as one who grew up in a fairly strict home with discipline, I have decided I am definitely not teacher material.  Of course, I certainly agree with taking spanking out of the schools (like they had when I was a kid), but let’s face it, teachers have very little options when it comes to discipline these days. However, I am quite jealous of the many breaks teachers receive.  Our county is now on a calendar that has a week-long fall break, a week-long winter break, a week-long spring break, in addition to the normal two weeks of Christmas break.  And let’s not forget summer (I realize they do work some in the summer). Think about spending the summer at the pool and having plenty of time to rejuvenate throughout the year!  As a working parent I think about all the money I could save on child care/summer camps if my job had the same schedule.  My three weeks of vacation certainly does not cover all the school days off.  So, I think a new job needs created for those of us that are not meant to be teachers in life, but provides the same work schedule.  Any ideas? 

Colors of Happiness!

Back to the grind we go!  It is Monday again…oh I mean Tuesday.  I must admit, it was a lovely weekend.  And I could definitely get used to the four day work week.  The weather was excellent for the most part.  We got in some pool time.  And this crazy thing happened…due to the overcast morning yesterday, we were really productive around our house.  What in the world???  The kitchen drawer in our house that has never properly worked is now working; my son’s bed has needed a replacement bracket that is now fixed (I think some boys were jumping on the bed!), and my wonderful husband placed my bird feeders on the deck so I can see all the birds that come to visit.  The gold finches have been beautiful! Light bulbs were replaced in all those places like the basement and closets that have been ignored; and I have loaded up many of the paint buckets to take to the store so they can be shaken up again for the numerous touch-ups that are needed around our house.  I never knew walls could look so bad.  When pondering about why these walls look so bad compared to our last house I remembered there was one key factor missing at the last house…kids!  Of course, I’ll take those messy walls any day (but they are certainly at the point where touch-ups are required).

Speaking of paint, color amazes me.  Yes, I am one of those weird creative minds that believes color can be therapeutic.  Why is color so amazing?  Depending on the shade of red it can be a color of passion or aggression.  Yellow is a happy color in my opinion.  Blue skies make me calm.  What about gray?  Gray seems very gloomy to me; an overcast sky can really leave me feeling rather blah.  That is why I am often so curious why offices use it as a color for walls and cubes.  Can we make cube land any more dull and boring? Before my current job I worked at Home Depot’s corporate office which consisted of endless gray cubes and walls. Shouldn’t a place like Home Depot have bright, colorful walls…I mean, come on, they sell paint!  And honestly, I believe it is the color scheme in Walmart that makes my children behave so poorly. We walk into Walmart and within 30 seconds my children are in rare form.  Although their logo is blue, our Walmart has all gray walls.  Now I don’t want you think my kids are angels in Publix or Target (I still bribe them with something from the $1 section if they behave…something I swore I would never do).  But I will go 5 miles out of the way to avoid Walmart just because it is never a pleasant experience.  You can look all over the internet and find varying emotions of color, so who’s to say which one is right and wrong, but I certainly believe the color in a room can affect one’s mood.  What do you think?    

Here is a color chart I found on Pinterest…  

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A Frozen Summer

It may be hot and sunny here in the ATL but inside this house it is still Frozen…yes I can almost quote the movie because I have seen it so many times. I even have three songs from the movie on my iPhone (as requested) so we can listen to them in the car! Well, I was unloading the dishwasher when my daughter told me it was time to play Frozen. A little curious what that meant, I stopped the dishes and played along. Basically, she wanted to start from the beginning and reenact the movie. I was quickly corrected if I got any line wrong.

So many times I get wrapped up with cleaning the house, doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher that I forget to take time to enjoy the four year old that wants to play pretend. My first impulse is to say, “give me five more minutes sweetie.” But I have tried lately to step away from the crazy house maintenance and spend that special time with my kids. My son will ask for cuddle time…I love cuddle time! Before I know it they will be grown up and thinking mom and dad are so NOT cool! My house is far from spotless. If you want to come by, you are more than welcome, I just need an hour to hide laundry, shut doors and clean up enough to make things presentable. But I love this priceless time with my kids that I will never get back. There will be plenty of time to clean later.

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Summer is here!

Well, it is officially summer (as far as school goes).  I am proud to say I shed no tears at my daughters pre-k graduation. Maybe because, unlike when my son graduated from pre-k, I know what is on the other side of the rainbow….an excellent school where we know and love the teachers. Or maybe it is because we are not really closing the Primrose chapter in our lives yet, between summer camp and after school. Or it could be the 5 years of friendships my son had built at Primrose all got split up and sent to different schools…even today those are my son’s best friends and the families we spend the most time with; my daughter’s class just never had that tight bond.  I’m not sure…but it was much easier to smile than expected.

On a lighter note, the pool is open and everyone is ready for the holiday weekend. Our neighborhood pool is like a major water park! And on holiday weekends like this it is so crowded it just looks like a bunch of penguins standing up in a pool (Honestly, the temperature of the water is still cold enough penguins might enjoy it!) Several small slides, mushrooms, dumping buckets and more for the kids and even a huge slide for anyone 48″ or taller. I have not tried it yet. We have lived here 7 years! Have you ever seen one of those coin machines where you drop the coin in, it goes down a tunnel and drops into a bowl where it spins round and round then drops out? Well, that is how our slide works. And I haven’t found the urge to test it yet. I have promised I will try it one day but it will definitely require a couple of beers first. The funny part is, due to all the top notch pool attractions, we have lots of “new” friends in the summer. I already had a friend invite herself yesterday. I have decided we should charge a fee to all our “new” friends each summer and it might cover our neighborhood dues each year. Now off for some summer fun!

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Laugh More!

OK…I have a confession to make…I am one of those sappy, emotional moms when it comes to things like Pre-K graduation and end of the school year honors day events.  And the teachers never make it easy.  They love to compile photos from the school year and make a video for the parents with the cheesy, emotional music that makes it very hard for us sappy moms to hold back the tears.  But today I have made a promise to myself not to cry (too much) at my daughter’s Pre-K graduation.  How I plan to go about that is still to be determined.

I have researched “funny things” on the internet.  None of them seem to be funny enough to keep me distracted.  I guess the best thing I can do is remind myself how much money I will be saving next year when my child enters the public school system.  I’m feeling rich already! Alright, the word “rich” might be an exaggeration.

It is so interesting to see things through the eyes of a child.  At the age of four, my daughter already talks about how she can’t wait to grow up.  She hates nap time and is eager to start kindergarten, have braces, drive a car, have kids, drink coffee…the list goes on.  What I wouldn’t do for nap time now! We spend so much of our lives excited to grow-up and when we get there, we want it to slow down.  I guess this is a process that will never change, but I certainly try to remind my children to enjoy being a kid.  Enjoy laughing at the simplest things.  My kids will laugh continually at my son making the arm fart sounds.  Really????  Now I’m not suggesting adults start doing things like that, but I do think we could benefit from a little more laughter.  So, I am setting a goal for myself to slow down, stress less and take time to laugh more.  I’m going to keep track of my progress.  Let’s see if I have made any improvements by next week…I’ll keep you posted.

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Too Fast? Too Slow?

We live in Metro Atlanta which keeps rapidly growing.  Honestly, I think the population is greater than some small states.   And although I have lived in big cities all of my life and am used to the fast paced lifestyle, I often wonder if it is moving too fast.

My job is simply ten miles north of our home in a city called Cartersville, but it is not included in metro Atlanta…and they are proud of it!  They want nothing to do with Atlanta. The pace of life there is moving at half the speed of smell.  I am continually amazed at the difference in culture just ten miles apart.  Where we live families are busy with their over committed schedules and everyone seems to be in a hurry.  Need to cross the road?  You better check twice!  Someone might run you over.  You need to change lanes in traffic?  Good luck!  The light turns green…you have about two seconds to go or the car behind you will be honking.  Go!  Go!  Go!  But oddly enough, everyone seems happy.

In Cartersville, if you need to cross the road, people will stop in the middle of traffic to let you cross (without a crosswalk).  The light turns green and you’re not paying attention, no problem, take your time.  Horns are not needed.  They just recently got an express oil change.  Again, no rush!  Everyone has lived here since birth, and except for a possible trip to college, they stay here for life.  I try to remind them that I-75 runs through the middle of their city.  Get out and explore the world!  But everyone knows everyone and loves it.

Due to the fast pace I have gotten used to in life, the snail pace they live at almost stresses me out at times.  As I see the two speeds of life I often wonder who has it right, or if there is a middle ground.  Does time slow down if you move at a slower pace?

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