Urgent! Grab Your Milk, Bread and Beer!

Oh my gosh!  There is snow headed to Atlanta!  Time to stock up on bread, milk and beer.  Especially the beer!  So, the expected accumulations are unknown at this time…it could be an inch it could be three.  And in the end, it will probably be none.  Everyone gets all excited then not a single flake falls.  But IF it snows, one inch shuts down our city for one day, three inches is at least 3 or 4 days.  This is pure entertainment for those people in Boston. And honestly, we even laugh at ourselves in Atlanta.  But Atlantans are like kids in a candy store when it comes to snow.  We always wish really hard for at least one snow a year because it gives us a couple free days at home.

Let’s not forget Snow Jam 2014.  Within about one hour Atlanta was in gridlock on the back roads and interstates.  There may have been an inch of snow on the ground at that point!  It took my husband eight hours to get home what should have been a 35 minute drive. Both of our cars have four wheel drive, but it was difficult to get around all the two wheel drive cars blocking the roads.  (I was able to utilize sidewalks and things to get around all the cars that were in the way.)  It was quite an adventure.

But the most amazing thing I learned from Snow Jam was the wonderful community we live in.  We had kids stuck at schools, families stuck in cars and people walking several miles home barefoot in the snow (just kidding about the barefoot…I just had to throw that in there). Those with four-wheelers were making trips back and forth to rescue people from the roads and schools all during the night.  Those without four-wheelers were placing gas containers on their front porches for them to use.  One guy was even picking up pizza orders at the pizza place for everyone.  Groceries, food, you name it…everyone was helping each other. In the end it really made us appreciate everyone around us and realize, that despite the craziness in life we can all come together when needed.  (That sounds kind of deep considering it was 1 maybe 2 inches of snow, doesn’t it?)  

My children sometimes wish we lived in a city with more snow, but I warn them, those cities have equipment to keep the city operating and it takes a lot of snow to cancel school up north.  The drama and excitement snow creates in the south is far more exciting!

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Heart of Gold

We live on a great street in a wonderful neighborhood located in the middle of suburbia.  Yes, even I make fun of suburbia, so go ahead!  But fortunately, it does provide my children with a safe street full of kids where they can play sports and hangout…of course the houses are on top of each other (but the good thing…less yard to mow).

Our street has about ten to fifteen kids that play outside on a regular basis.  Ages range a great deal, but for the most part everyone tries to include everyone.  When it comes to the boys on the street, my son is the youngest of the group, however, we have a couple older ones that do an excellent job watching out for him.  Unfortunately, none of them were present yesterday when six kids were playing basketball in our driveway.  Playing in our yard is always welcome, and it does often to seem to be the basketball goal of choice…not sure why.  Anyhow, it had started with three elementary school kids then two high school aged kids joined the game.  I was watching out the window to see if my son was getting the ball since the older kids joined the game.  Avery started playing recreational basketball this past season, but he still has less experience than all the other kids and often has to fight for the ball.  I understand this will improve over time, but of course a mother is always protective of her babies.  On that note, I try to avoid being that helicopter parent.  I called Avery to the door after a while of seeing him be left out and quietly told him to speak up and say he wants the ball too.  I doubt he said a word.  My Avery has a heart the size of Texas and he just wants to make sure everyone is happy.  For example, last night his sister had her cup of water taken away at bedtime because she was mad and kicked dad.  Avery took his cup of water to her when dad walked away.

Last night, while sitting on the sofa, I asked my sweet boy, “Honey, does it upset you when the big kids don’t give you the ball, or do you just enjoy having all the kids at our house to play?”  It broke my heart when he said he wants the ball and wants to play too.  I took the question a little further and said, “Do you want mom to speak up and tell everyone to make sure everyone is equally included?”  (Not sure what age parents start becoming embarrassing.) I was actually surprised when he said yes to that as well.

Sometimes it is so hard to keep yourself in line as a parent.  Where do you let your child fight for themselves, and where do you step in?  I certainly would not walk down to someone else’s driveway and give orders, but when kids are playing in my driveway, my kid gets to play.  I look at my children and see so many differences.  My daughter, who is three years younger, has no problem fighting for herself…remember, she kicked her dad when she was upset.  But my boy has the huge heart and always wants to play nice and fair; I really hope he does not get walked on in life for being so sweet.

Valentine’s Fun Stick Guilt

Last year I had that mom guilt…the guilt that made me feel my children needed to go to drastic measures to make overly creative Valentine’s cards for their friends.  And yes, although cute, I realized that was simply me feeling that guilt. I’m curious why moms often feel that guilt. Well, this week started off with one child home from school with a stomach and then me sick with a cold (performing at half the speed of smell).  I am blaming my cold on my daughter’s kindergarten class that had six kids out sick yesterday (this was her third stomach bug since December).

Anyways, since I’m still feeling pretty blah from this cold I took the lazy route yesterday and bought the Valentine fun stick packets for my kids to give out at school.  My children thought those were the best things in the world!!!!  So my question, why do so many parents feel like their kid must take this extraordinary product to school when the simplest thing makes the children happy?  Even now I still feel my children need to add a sticker or something special to the packet so it looks like we put work into it. The funny part, I recently found my son’s box of cards from last year thrown in a corner of his room.  So obviously this isn’t something they think much about after Valentine’s Day.  We won’t talk about why it is still in a corner of his room…that is a whole different subject…

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Better Late Than Never

Although it is already February, one of my goals for the new year was to put more focus on my blog. Better late than never, right?

Honestly, I am a full time working mom with over fifteen years of advertising and journalism experience, seeking the perfect job that would give me more flexibility for my two young children that are just starting all the commitments…soccer three nights a week, basketball, school activities…you name it. It is a great struggle for me, because my past ten years have been spent working in a government job, which honestly, has been a little too slow pace. Prior to this job I was at Home Depot’s corporate office where everything was due 45 minutes ago. I am guessing there must be a middle ground. Something challenging and flexible….is that asking too much? I am continually intrigued by the balance of life that so many people are looking for. Most people want their minds to be challenged, but want the balance for family. Why does that seem so far fetch these days?

I look at my children every day and think how fast they are growing up. Before long I will blink and they will be off to college. Yes, I am one of those sappy moms that gets a little teary-eyed at the thought of them getting so big! Now I certainly would not go back to the infant days with interrupted sleep nights and diapers, but I truly love the ages they are now. They still ask mom for cuddle time and need a kiss to make boo-boos feel better. If it was only possible to slow down time a little, it would help.

So I am hoping to find a little more direction in life this year. A new, challenging job with flexibility. Possible? We shall see.