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.

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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…

Spring Catch 22

It is that time again…spring!  I love spring…the beautiful Atlanta weather has returned, the longer days are almost here, spring sports are back in session and people are outside and interacting more. There is just one small downfall (besides the pollen). As you start running into friends and discussing your need to get together and catch-up after Georgia’s “winter” hibernation season, you realize you have no free time. Between both of my children, Monday through Thursday are all taken with soccer practice; then games are on Saturday and Sunday, leaving us one free night…Friday. Now what are the chances two families are free the same night? Pretty slim. The other family has lacrosse…or baseball…dance…you name it. So you end up planning to get together again when school lets out and sports are over. How has society turned to such a fast-pace lifestyle, that we hardly have time to sit down and hangout with friends for an entire season? Of course team sports are very important to our family. However, my children are often just asking for time at home to play with the kids on our street. Is the balance we are living right now really out of whack?  What are we teaching our children? I don’t know the real answer…

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Magnificent Manners

First thing this morning I had one of those annual check-ups for insurance that requires one to go 9-12 hours without food and drinks. I can handle the “no food,” but no coffee does not go over well. Especially on a morning in Georgia where it feels like 16 degrees (with the wind chill). Yes, all you people up north can make fun of us…I am perfectly OK with that. Anyways, I could not get to the Starbucks across the street quick enough after my appointment. The most impressive part was the little girl inside Starbucks, who I am guessing was around 9 or 10 years old, that stepped outside to open the door and hold it for me. Of course, I can handle the door on my own, but I am always impressed to see children that have impeccable manners. It is very encouraging to see those still exist. I would be extremely proud of my children if they did that. Yes…this is coming from a mother of two younger children who know this takes time and continual effort…and good manners are something we always enforce. I simply hope what I try to teach them sticks one day. It was very promising to see hard work in this area can payoff as a parent.

Our First Trip to the Beach

The time has come.  My husband is 100% mountains when it comes to vacations and getaways.  I would say I’m 75% mountains and 25% beach.  Well…I told him it was time…our kids definitely need introduced to the beach, as much as he hates it. The trip is booked, so we shall see how this adventure goes. It will definitely be interesting! This is not the type of beach adventure where one goes and sees the beautiful coast of Maine with light houses and rock walls. Oh no!  This is Disney-World-Threw-Up-On-The-Beach!  Myrtle Beach with the kids’ water slides, the lazy river, the Ferris wheel, you name it! Wish me luck! Pictures to come.   

Back in the Swing of Things

Well, the school year is now underway. The crazy summer had me slacking off a little on the blog. My kids are loving school, even the kindergartener. Unlike my son that cried and reached for me as I walked out the door, my daughter simply confirmed I would come back for her, then said good-bye without the tears. The odd part…we have been in school for over two weeks now, and today Emory cried as I dropped her off in the carline. “I don’t want to go mommy!” Wow, did that tear at my heart strings. How can their tears make us moms so emotional? So of course I cried on the way to work. I am such a sucker!

On a lighter note, my son has had a smooth adjustment to second grade. I think he is actually starting to build friendships and looks forward to school.  Always a good feeling for us parents! Now, the most entertaining part of the school year so far are the updates I receive from my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and par pro. One morning I was actually pulled aside in the hallway and told “Emory is PERFECT!” Oh my gosh! Are you sure we are talking about my child? Perfect? Really?  “She just sits in class, obeying all the rules, raises her hand, stays quiet when asked to.”  Now I’m not sure if they are amazed at any child who behaves like that, or just because they had my son two years ago, and she just is not behaving very Bohlander-like.  Regardless, the word perfect did give me a good chuckle.  Thinking I should record her and her brother fighting one afternoon and show that to her teachers.  She has quite a devil side to her.  Lucky for her, she is super adorable!

Despite all the joking, I honestly have to say, we are so lucky to have two happy, social, normal children that love school.  It makes our lives much easier.  I am thankful every day for our excellent school and teachers.  Another year is underway…boy does the time fly!

Friends and Family

One of the most challenging things I have found over the years is finding families that work well with your own. Oh sure, I have plenty of girlfriends for girls’ night out. That is not a problem. But when searching for the family that you want to come over, hang out, cook-out and let the kids play together, it is quite difficult. There are a great deal of requirements (in no specific order):

1. The husbands must have similar interests and get along
2. The wives must get along
3. A boy around my son’s age
4. A girl around my daughter’s age
5. The other child(ren) must not destroy my house (I am pretty laid back, but I must not fear the ceiling is coming through onto the main floor at any time!)
6. Oh, and the kids must get along

Wow! Is that even possible? Over the past few years our greatest friends have stemmed from the friendships my son built while at Primrose. There are four or five families that usually do very well together as a group, but only one family that I can truly say is a perfect fit for our family. The Martins meet all the above requirements, except there is one problem…the husband travels 4-5 days each week, and the wife travels a fair amount. So, when the weekend rolls around they are ready for some family time together, and that is certainly understandable. As a result of their traveling jobs, we only get to see them about once every three months. Being the social people we are, we have decided we need a clone of them to fill in the rest of the year. My husband has compared them to Land Rovers…you need two so you always have one when the other is in the shop.

I often wonder why it is so hard to find that perfect family. Of course the age and gender of the kids always plays a major role in this situation. We have some other friends that match the age requirement with the children, but they have two girls, and my son doesn’t really find it fun to play with three girls. I don’t blame him, do you? Dress-up, pretend house and school are not really up his alley at seven. How about some superheroes and Legos?

My husband gets frustrated with trying to find men with similar interests. I understand his frustration. Unlike women who can always make small talk about their children, men are not going to sit around drinking wine talking about how Billy Bob went potty for the first time. So they definitely must have more in common; running, beer making, something.

Now there is one small problem I sometimes find with wives…I don’t do high maintenance. I cannot deal with moody women. What mood will they show up in today? I also am not the best at softening my opinion. I certainly say it nicely, but we may disagree. Who cares? That is what makes life interesting. So women that are easily offended usually don’t work with me. As a result, I have found I often do best drinking a beer on the front porch with the guys, then I won’t get in trouble.

So maybe this is a challenge that continues during each stage of life. Does it change as your kids get older and make different friends? Or is this just the life of living in a major metropolitan area where things are constantly changing?

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