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!

Advertisements

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Where is the Charmin?

Yesterday, the husband was sent on a mission to stop by the grocery store and buy a couple of things before company came over. On the list was toilet paper. Evidently additional details were needed. Now as much as I do love my Charmin, it can be a little pricey, so I will bend and go with Quilted Northern or Cottonelle, depending on which is on sale for the week. But we do have softness standards. Jonathan comes home with single ply Scott’s toilet paper. A leaf would have done a better job. But I played along until I got to the store the next time.

My daughter went in the bathroom and came out quite disturbed. “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Where is the Charmin?” After a burst of laughter, I explained I would fix the situation at the store, but we still needed to use the paper dad had bought. She walked over to dad to have a serious, deep conversation about her toilet paper requirements, and explained that girls need this far more often than boys. “Dad, this is like paper on your bottom!” Needless to say, I think Jonathan understands the toilet paper softness requirements now.

To add to this story, I think our dog is also a toilet paper snob. He loves to sneak in the 1/2 bath and grab the toilet paper off the holder and chew on a good roll of Charmin. I have not figured that one out…but I saw Zeke walk into the bathroom, play with the roll and walk away. Even the dog was not interested in the Scott’s single ply. Have I created these toilet paper snobs? Needless to say, I hope my daughter never ends up stranded in the woods with nothing by leaves for a wiping resource.

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.

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!

untitled

The little things in life…

fun master picture

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?

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!

2014-01-30 09.50.38

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.