Saturday, August 28, 2010

How much do you help?

Abs is busy working on her "The History of Mr. Potato Head" storybook.

It's an adorable idea, and she has worked hard on it, but she also has a problem with fine motor skills and handwriting, so it's hard for her.  She's done an amazing job so far, and while the handwriting might not be the neatest, it's a cute story complete with illustrations.

When I got her after quiet time this afternoon (where I found her in the closet reading, go figure), she asked me if I would complete her project.  Heck no!

Apparently I am the only parent that will not be doing the project for their child.  I find that hard to believe.

As a teacher, I could tell whose parents did all the work, and those that obviously did it themselves, got extra praise and attention.  (Remember I taught second grade)

I help my kids come up with ideas, materials, and motivate them to do the project, but I believe that they should give it their best shot.  Heck, I've read blogs where people were in college and having their parents complete their projects, and goodness knows I finished college, and graduate school (twice), so I really don't need to do it again.  I'm sure the parent that helped their daughter finish their college project, also probably did all their other projects leading up to that point. much do you help?  Am I ruining her life by not helping?

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm so, really, he didn't leave me!

Back when we were stationed at Fort Lewis, many moons ago, I took a Parenting with Love & Logic class.  Gunner of course was in the field, so I had my assistant at work that volunteered to come over to babysit.  I introduced myself the first night, and then attended class once a week for about 6 weeks.

Near the end of the 5th class, our instructor came over to ask me how things were going.  I told her that my husband had left, but that so far so good.  She gave me this huge hug and told me how sorry she was that he was gone.  I looked puzzled, and said that he was gone for a month.  She thought he had walked out on the girls and me.

Fast forward to yesterday at the girls' school, and I was chit chatting with one of the moms and one of the dads, and we were talking about potty training.  The mom had a 4 year old and had battled potty training as well, and she was asking if Junior was fully trained.  I told her no, that since my husband had left and we had moved across town, that I was kind of holding off for a bit.  The dad jumped in and asked if it was possible for my ex to spend more time with his son, and maybe that would help.  It shocked me, and I explained that I was married, but that he had deployed to Afghanistan.

I guess I am so used to being around people in the same situation, and goodness knows at The Great Place, that almost everyone can understand your situation.  Now that we live in a relatively large town, I forget that we are around people again that don't get it.

What things have you said that people misunderstood because they weren't used to the military way of life?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Abs in Action

Abs in front of the Air Force Academy chapel--purple shorts, pink shirt, camo hat, boots, and carrying a ziploc bag containing about 30 pencils.  You apparently never know when you will need a sharp one.

I wish I had more pictures of her antics, but usually at the time I am so irritated that I can't even think straight.

Abs is back to waking early, although it is only 5, so it's better than 2 or 3.  In our new house we have light beige, cream like carpet.  (Can I just add, that the carpet they put in housing should be black so I can't see "stuff" on there from previous families!)  I bought red jello cups with you see where this is going?  I now have red jello ground into my carpet.  That's what happens when there is some jello left in the container and you try to cram 5 of them under the chair in the living room at once.

Currently our house is overcome with the smell of lavender.  It is supposed to have a calming effect, and sometimes on a rough day/night, I will put A FEW drops in Ab's bath.  Well more is better right?  I was sitting downstairs talking to my mom when I was overcome with the smell of lavender from UPSTAIRS.

I dragged my super sore body (the new trainer is a killer) up the stairs and found Abs soaking in half a bottle of essential oils lavender, and a few inches of water.  I should have known when she wanted to take a bath in the middle of the afternoon that something was up.  I wanted to trust her.  I'll let you know how calm a half a bottle of the stuff makes her.  I could only hope.

Maybe she needed to have a relaxing lavender infused bath after I talked to her teacher today and now have a conference scheduled for Monday afternoon.  I am currently waiting for an email about the events that occurred.  I.can.hardly.wait.

I love this kid dearly, I really do.  This weekend we will be completing her book The History of Mr. Potato Head.  Basically that means that I sit near her and redirect her to complete the project in short increments, while listening to her explain the finer points of how "You are the only mom that makes me do my own work".  It's loads of fun for both of us, and I assure her that one day she can be their (the other kids) boss.

Wish us both luck!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Letting some things slide

Trying to keep three kids involved with everything that they need, while Gunner is deployed, is turning out to be difficult to say the least.

Junior gets out of preschool at 4:15 and on the opposite side of town I am supposed to have Abs at OT at 4.  Then you tack in that every other week Em has Girl Scouts at 4 right in the middle of the town, something had to give.

I called OT, because that was the only thing I had the power to change.  They said they had three weeks of therapy open at 8:30 AM.  I think I can make that work.  I hope I can.  I'm disappointed she has to go back to missing school, but it's all I can do right now.

I should cut myself some slack.  Now to try to figure out when they can take ice skating lessons and TKD.  Nothing like a little excitement!  At least my new momagenda will be here and I can see everything laid out on paper, which makes it easier.

Em is going camping this weekend, so I am trying to find some fun stuff to do with Abs and Junior.  I guess there is always the museum in Denver that they love.  It will take us several visits before we see it all.

I had Junior's preschool orientation yesterday.  They asked for questions and he raised his hands and asked where the bathroom was.  He had already pooped in his pants.  Maybe he will be potty trained one day.

Personal training today and then Junior is going to take advantage of the 16 free hours of daycare and spend a few hours there this afternoon so I can get some things done.  I've got a list of things to knock out, but I am going to miss my little sidekick....although not enough to cancel his reservation!

How do you handle the guilt of not being able to do it all while they are gone, or do you not have any?  Tell me I'm not the only one that beats themselves up!

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a change

Last year when Abs would come home from school, she never had anything good to say.  I have no friends.  We don't do anything but worksheets.  I'm so bored.  No matter how many times I talked to her teacher, and even though she had about a hundred years of experience, Abs was bored.  

Granted we have only been in school for a week, but every day when I pick up the girls, Abs is so excited about school!  It's such a change from last year and so nice to hear her talk about friends that she is made, activities that they are doing, and things that she has learned.  Em is starting to settle in, and has gotten over not switching classes, and she loves her teacher.  Hopefully this year continues to go this smoothly.

I have orientation for Junior's preschool tomorrow.  They know he isn't potty trained, and told me to send him in underwear.  Maybe they know a magic trick?  He will only go for a few hours in the afternoon, and in the morning he will go on post twice a week.  I wasn't planning on doing two preschools, but since I workout in the morning and he just hangs at the Y, where they basically monitor the kiddos, I thought he might get more out of a controlled environment.  We'll see how it works, but he is excited about both schools.  I'm just hoping he gets potty trained!

Both of these schools are costing me a whopping $44 a month.  One is free (through the school district) and they will evaluate him for an IEP and if he doesn't qualify then they will give me a note which I can submit to insurance and then he will get his speech therapy.  At least that is how it is supposed to work!

I registered the kids for CYS, and it has changed so much.  We get 16 free hours of daycare a month, $300 per kiddo to use on SKIES classes (language, dance, swim lessons, sports, etc.), registration was free, and I know that they will take the necessary precautions for his egg allergy.  

This also frees up my time to volunteer with both Junior and the girls, which they are all excited about.  I can workout, try Crossfit, and start my 30 day challenges (more to come on that one!).  

So.....what programs does your post/base offer if your spouse is deployed?  Do you take advantage of them?    What more could they offer to make your life just a little bit easier?  (Ours also will mow our lawn once I submit his deployment orders)

Tonight is also my favorite night of the week....trash night.  4 down, 48 to go.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Remember all those unsafe toys we used to have on the playground?  I remember being in elementary and having this huge "rainbow", which was a wooden arch with pegs out the side.  We would climb up it, turn around on the 4 inch wide beam, and then shimmy down.  I don't see those anywhere anymore.  We always had kids that were falling off of it and getting hurt.

Another piece of playground equipment that we haven't seen in years, is the merry-go-round.  I remember kids pushing people so fast and furiously that they would throw up.  Other kids would try to jump off and I remember more than one broken arm or leg in elementary from this piece of equipment.

I had totally forgotten about the merry-go-round until we went to the park yesterday.  Junior didn't know what it was.
His sisters filled him in, and in no time he was hooked.  He was begging kids to come ride it so that he could push them in circles.
He finally mastered pushing and jumping on for the ride, and was in heaven.

I never liked the merry-go-round because I always felt sick after riding on it.  

What other pieces of playground equipment do you remember as a kid, that they don't usually have now because they are deemed "unsafe"?
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