My Kids and My Dogs Have Several Similarities!

I look at my children and laugh each day…I can’t imagine life without them. They are awesome! My son, the oldest child, is pretty well behaved. You tell him to do something, he usually obeys. My daughter on the other hand, has those second child traits. She is stubborn and could kick some serious butt. I think she could kick her brother’s! You tell her to do something, and she will look at you and immediately do what you told her not to! She is my patience tester when she is tired and having a bad day. I know one day her strong-will could be beneficial, but probably not during the teen years.

Recently, we thought it would be a good idea to get a puppy to be friend our other dog. I have no idea what we were thinking!!! And of course, it was our daughter that talked us into that nutty idea. Our older dog is obedient, and our puppy is stubborn and strong-willed. See any similarities yet? If I look at the dogs and tell them to quit play fighting in the living room, my older dog looks at me with that look of, “Mom looks very upset, we better listen and go outside!” The puppy looks at me and goes right back to the fun.

Hmmm….two of each of them? Not sure about this!

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New Halloween Tradition? NEVER!

So we live in one of those massive size subdivisions that has more houses than many small towns. It definitely has its pros and cons…if you want to pass butter from your deck to your neighbors with little effort…perfect! If you are looking to have privacy, or hoping your child having a temper tantrum in the floor is not heard a house or two down…not the best! If you want your children to be surrounded by plenty of kids for playing, and plenty of parents that can hang out with a glass of wine on a Friday night relaxing, it has it benefits.

Well, last night was the first year we changed our Halloween tradition and left our bright and lively hood. With both kids having best friends in the same neighborhood a little drive away, we decided we try something new. The downfall you ask? Bang_ConcreteWell, those houses have spacious one acre lots and it was quite empty because those homeowners decided to visit our on-top-of-each-other neighborhood for Halloween. More bang for your buck and fast…three houses vs. one per acre. And not only were their houses further apart, because so many of them were not home, it was dark and you only got candy at every 4th or 5th house. Now, even using that common core math, I don’t think you benefit at Halloween with the one acre lots!

Needless to say, we tried something new and have decided next year it is back to the tradition on our own street of compact housing. The company last night was great, we just have to show them the benefits of coming to us (see key points above). Of course, I love to joke about suburbia, but we honestly love our community. And honestly, my kids forget about the Halloween candy within 3-4 days, so I couldn’t care less about the candy either. It is simply interesting to see how hard it can be to change traditions, especially for the parents. Traditions are great things and something I hope my kids remember when they are older.

The Yellow Envelope

I am a very fortunate person. I have two healthy children, a job that is pretty flexible when it comes to children events, sick kids, doctor’s appointments and more. But some days, no matter how hard I try, I feel I just can’t get it right. Dance two days a week, soccer two nights a week…and God bless all you people that have more than two kids. Hats off to you! Between my kids, two dogs and husband, I am full. Now honestly, usually the husband behaves.

Not sure how your week works, but believe it or not, my craziest day is Tuesday. I’m in the office until 5 p.m., from there it is pick up the kids and get to 6 p.m. soccer practice. Still not too bad…the fun you ask? The chore of getting homework, official dinner ready (snack provided before soccer), lunches made for the next day and signing off on the lovely yellow envelope the teachers send home every Tuesday in the backpacks at 8 p.m. Oh, I forgot…getting the kids to bed. Don’t they know any other day would work better? I feel I am lying when I remove the school work for the week, sign and return the envelope saying I have reviewed the contents, when in reality, looking at what came home in that will have to wait until Wednesday. Oh, I want to see their work, look at their grades and talk to them about it…just not on Tuesday!

In addition to preferring a different delivery day, the yellow envelope has created a great deal of humor in our home. My husband’s job is far more time consuming and involves frequent traveling. So, I handle all school things. Recently, we were at some friends’ home and discussing how the soccer team was going the get their summer camp message out to all the kids in the school. Eric and Allison are both teachers in our school system, and agreed they’d just be placed in the yellow envelopes. My husband, with a very puzzled look, quickly asks, “What are the yellow envelopes?” Eric quickly stopped Jonathan…”I would not go there Jonathan…you are only burying yourself.” Now keep in mind, we have a 5th grader and a 3rd grader…this envelope has been a part of our lives now for nearly 6 years. Needless to say, my husband now knows about the infamous yellow envelope we all love!

Honestly, as my kids keep growing up way too fast, I know it won’t be long and I will miss this envelope. And funny enough, that is one thing I save at the end of each school year.

I believe in Santa, but the Tooth Fairy?

My oldest child is getting to the age where soon those deep conversations about Santa will surface. Now, he’s my sweet boy that wants to believe no matter what he hears. And of course I love that, but I realize I may only have one or two more Christmas seasons in which the secret will be safe. On the other hand, my daughter is the younger one, and once she hears the rumors, the secret will be over. It deeply saddens me! If only I could slow down how fast they are growing up.

It was a recent car ride with Avery, when he tells me he believes in Santa, but not so much in the Tooth Fairy. When I asked for an explanation, I had to work hard to keep a straight face! “Mom, the Tooth Fairy has got to be you and dad…sometimes she forgets the first night!” Oops! Confession…we have had a couple of those, but I have always tried to cover it up with a letter from the Tooth Fairy explaining that she ran out of time because so many teeth were lost that day. It appears he’s not buying that.

The part I have struggled with is how to be reasonable and expect them still to believe. We were lucky to change the conversation topic from the Tooth Fairy, but another day he admitted he did not believe the Santa where we have pictures taken is really a brother of Santa’s. I agreed with him on that and explained the pictures were just something mom and dad liked to get; hoping if I give him a little credit for figuring that out, he’ll believe in the real Santa a little longer. If only I could slow down time…

My life is ruined mom!

At ten years old…really?

So it is Red Ribbon Week at school, which means another round of spirit week for mom to coordinate. Yea! Today…PJ day. I could honestly endorse this ONE. It made my life much easier this morning when getting ready for school. Just add socks and shoes. Perfect!

Well, of course, we don’t really make sure the kids have matching tops and pajama bottoms each night for their sleepwear, so this did require a little work yesterday. Off to buy new fall weather pajamas for the year. We found exactly what we needed rather quickly. Owls for my daughter, and I fell in love with the “Y’all Yeti for this?” set I found for my son. Now, I thought it should have been covered in Yeti coolers and cups, but it was actually covered with the big furry yeti instead.

So, I broke away from the office today and had lunch with my son, only to find he still had on his hoodie because he was embarrassed about the Yeti joke (even though he liked it yesterday). Despite his friends saying how funny the shirt was, he would not give in. A few seconds later he turned to me and said, “Mom, my life is ruined!” He said it with a small smirk so I don’t feel too bad for making fun of this situation. I assured him I would make his life much more miserable later in life. Ten years old is nothing buddy!

But my favorite part was the adorable, little red-headed girl across from me that said, “Mrs. Bohlander, did Avery just say you were ruining his life?” I replied, “Yes.” Sydney went on to say, “Good! Then you are doing your job as a mom!”

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Yes, You Can Have Candy After You Brush Your Teeth!

School is back in session and the morning routine, or should I say struggle, is back in place.  Despite my husband’s wise advice of, “Well, you may just have to get them up earlier,” I have to remind him, I could start last night and I would still be pushing them out the door 5 minutes late. They are kids!  Two kids I love dearly of course.

So, I started thinking strategically last night, how can I simplify the process in the morning and get them out on time?  There really is no simplifying the process honestly…how hard is eating breakfast, getting dressed and brushing your teeth?  But I still needed a creative idea.  So this morning I told the children that the first one to get ready got a piece of candy.  They always love some competition. It worked beautifully!  They even had time to watch TV for 5 minutes.  Well, my daughter won and got 3 skittles.  Upon receiving them she asked, “Mommy, can I have the candy now even though I already brushed my teeth?”  My response….SURE!

Now, I probably will not be considered for Mom of the Year, but my morning battle disappeared and everyone was happy.  So was it really that bad of an idea?  I won’t ask their dentist!

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The little things in life…

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I have the joy of helping at my kids’ school once in a while; it is so nice to see what takes place during their day and how much they love it! And what a huge relief to see your children interacting with other children, happy and loving to learn. (On a light note, based on the “college fund” that we gave Primrose Schools in the early years of their lives, they better be the smartest, most social children at the school!)

Just last week there was a Mardi Gras wagon parade at the school (it was delayed due to the EXTREME winter weather Atlanta experienced that caused school cancellations the week before…yes “EXTREME” is sarcastic!). This parade was something that seemed so uneventful to the adults, but the children were so excited about this wagon parade all day, that the teachers had a hard time keeping them focused on school work. I look at these types of things and look at my kids every day and realize how much your perspective changes in adulthood. Why does it take so much to thrill us as adults? My children are always so excited about their next birthday, losing their next tooth…I am about to turn 40 and let me just say, I am not counting down the days because I am so excited…I am counting down the days I have left in my 30s wondering where the time has gone and wondering if we can slow things down.

I try my best every day to encourage their creative minds, pretend play, youthful thinking but sometimes it does require me to take a step back and correct myself. As grown-ups we often try to rush them along in our busy days and I remind myself, how unfair that is. Let them play school, color and make a mess on the kitchen table, paint, dress-up, make paper airplanes…let them be kids. And mostly importantly, learn something from them…slow down and enjoy life. The house doesn’t have to always be spotless. And who cares if dinner is not on the table at 6PM as planned?