Friday, May 31, 2013

Project Runway- An Occasional Friday Series- Girly, Girl dresses

One of the things I love best about warmer weather is summer dresses and skirts.  I'm not much of a girly, girl but I find dresses a way to look polished and elegant in the face of oppressive humidity .  My hair may look like I'm an extra on Soul Train, but dammit I'm not going to be sweating like a Richards Simmons video come August.  I own several dresses already but part of the requirements for the week in DC next month is that anytime we are at the Supreme Court, we have on professional clothing.

Summer in DC = Hot and Humid

Since I didn't want my first impression having me sweating like a sinner in church,  I opted for some sleeveless, shift dresses.  All that can be worn with a cardi if the air conditioning is too cold or I need to cover my arms. I'm the only teacher from all of NC (and only 1 other from the whole South) at the conference, so I feel the need to not look like a redneck likely to ask loudly, "Reckon them judges wear anything under them fancy black robes"  among the other 25 teachers.

Up first, from Talbots,  channeling a little Jackie O with a pearl necklace and earrings.  I wore flats to school but am all over pairing this dress with those awesome  5 inch patent leather wedges from two summers ago. Likely not at the Court, but for a dinner out, oh yes.

Paired with a cropped, magenta jacket gives my normal love of black and white gets a punch of color.

From Kohls on a super sale, as like they almost paid me to take it out of the store good, this navy shift.  The colors are muted and look like a Impressionist painting.   It also packs to the size of a sandwich bag making it a big score for travel this summer. I wore my favorite Kazuri bead set from Kenya that are pewter in color.

I also bought super lightweight linen pants and geometric shirt also from Talbots.  I don't normally shop Talbots, thinking they look matronly and for the over 50 crowd.  I'm going to give them a 2nd look this fall, as the items I've bought are some of my favorites for the season.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Field Day Funny

Last night as we are getting ready for bed.

Ben:  "my teacher told us we needed to write our name in our underwear for field day tomorrow."

Me:  "just what kind of events are you going to be doing?"

I'm anticipating some wet clothes based on helping with this event last year.  God help me if any of the outside activities produce anything else!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Needing a Weekend for the Weekend

  • Yes, I am glad it was a 3 day holiday weekend.
  • Yes, I am glad that I was the last faculty in the parking lot on Friday so that I had minimal amount to do this weekend. 
  • Yes, I am glad I didn't talk myself into watching the released Arrested Development episodes once I got the kids in bed.  All three mornings someone was up just after 6 am, making earlier bedtime a necessity (for me.)
  • Yes, I am glad that we went to two different cook-outs as to minimize actual cooking in my own house.  
  • Yes, I am glad for gorgeous, beautiful, non humid sunny weather to have spent a sizable amount outside with the boys. 
  • Yes, I am glad that a chance encounter at the NC Zoo gift shop revealed the best toy since Matchbox cars: kid sized binoculars. Make that until Ben dropped his, losing a non-essential piece of plastic and then going into crazy meltdown mode demanding we retrace our steps over the entire zoo to locate.  
So why do I need a weekend to get over the weekend?  I'm really, really tired from being up uber early all three days, lots of fighting, lots of whining, lots of time outs, my loosing it so badly at one point that I was embarrassed not only by my kids but my over the top public reaction to them.

I took away planned a planned picnic at a favorite Raleigh Park, minimized screen time, took away toys, put people in time out, and walked out of a store carrying Ian like a football under my arm leaving a whole basket of items at the door.  I wish I hadn't dropped the F bomb in front of them at one point.  I made it 7 good years so part of me feels like this was long, long overdue.

I love Ben and Ian dearly, but it is weekends like these where there literally was not a minute that I was not referring them that leaves me more exhausted on the end as I was at the start around 5 pm on Friday. I desperately wish I had family alive or even close enough to beg them to take the boys for a couple of hours.  At one of the cookouts I actually hid, yes hid, on a swing in the front yard until being found after about 15 minutes.  I think I may have even drifted off in the nice weather, that was until I was summoned back to reality.

I'm heading into a hard week at work.  New state tests are rolling out that include 40% writing components that must be graded same day.  As part of our salary is now tied to testing results the pressure is on from all directions to deliver and hope of 6 questions you hit the right material from the semester of instruction.  Bill is already on call for last minute pickup as I don't know how long the grading will take each afternoon.

The directions on HOW to grade the assessments took a 90 minute meeting and a 60+ page guide.  To add to the craziness when the test must be given has changed so many times over this semester that the review time originally slotted now falls AFTER the test will be given and still must be used in an academic way.  Aka.. no watching Forrest Gump and calling it history.

On the flip side of all this crazy negativity is the Final Countdown is on for summer to begin. Despite lots of care taking this weekend, we did have some shining moments of enjoyment including most of the rest of our zoo trip yesterday. Bill got our grass mowed and worked on some house projects.

Speaking of Final Countdowns, Arrested Development is here people.  There are two types of people on this Earth:  those who get the humor and those who don't.  I'm fairly sure that passing category 1 is my litmus test for friendship.

I'm most likely MIA for the rest of the week.  Have a super four day week all, myself included.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The bastard of school supplies: Glitter

Yesterday my US History classes put up a hall way long review covering the entire course.  I am super proud of their work and effort, especially since in the last days of school motivation is hard to come by for anyone.  I brought in a cart full of materials to be used including paint, markers, and yes the bastard of school supplies, GLITTER.  
After the final class was finished I heard over the annoucements as lunch was starting, "would the teacher working with students in the 2700 hall please contact the office." As much as we did clean up there was quite a bit of glitter in the hallway.  I think it was worth explaining the mess given the final product. 

Happy 3 day weekend.  On tap at Casa Vinson:  finishing porch plant buying and mondo amounts of yardwork, a cook out with friends, finish painting two chairs for the backyard, and heading to the NC Zoo before the weather is too hot.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stitches are out!!!

One very happy 3 year old celebrated with a trip for ice cream last night.  Our pediatrician commented that the 5 stitches in his leg looked great and to make sure we heavily sunscreen the area to prevent scaring.  I asked about using some of my leftover silicone scar sheets to help, which she agreed likely would also help but encouraged us to use them at night when he slept.
Ian had chewed out 2 of the 3 stitches in his lip but it had healed well enough that no further action was needed.  Did it help that within 5 minutes of being home the boys were playing basketball and Ben hit Ian in the mouth with the ball by accident?

A little blood, some TLC and a dressing down to Ben to please be careful Ian seems to be back to normal.

That is until we are likely back in urgent care with my little Evil Knievel.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

RIP Mr. T and other randomness

Yesterday in the pouring rain as I was backing out of the driveway I noticed that I had inadvertently run over one of our frogs.  I truly hope it was not Mr. T (Mr. Toad-my 2012 mother's day gift from the boys.)  A quick text to Bill ensues, "dead frog, will remove before I get home." It was a case of the Mondays coming off a typical weekend.

We split the boys up on Saturday morning, with Bill doing a Lego event with Ben, and Ian with me.  Given that the poor kid's lip looked awful by Saturday morning we opted for a quiet morning of library story time, trip to Target, and playing outside.

*Note our weekend as captured by lots of crappy i phone photos.

Sunday I took the boys to the Gotta Be NC Festival. It's like the State fair, but a 10% of the size with 10% of the crowd. It still has the best of the kiddie rides and if it can be fried and/or put-on-a stick food.  It looked like rain so once there we blitzed rides, ate hot dogs and ice cream, and played  were swindled out of $15.00 playing midway games.  Once it did start raining we opted for the Horse and Dog show.

Calling it a "show" is a stretch.  Basically it was a bunch of vendors of dog and horse feed, a family showing a horse with choreographed moves/tricks to Gospel music (only in the South), and a sad, sad display from local FFA and 4 H organizations.

I *tried* to take a picture of a invigorating trifold board display about the Short History of US poultry, but alas with no one around I didn't want to give the impression I wanted to talk about chickens with my two boys in tow.

I did take this awesome picture instead while the boys were fighting over a choice of free erasers from the NC Sheep society.  Fill in the blank: I love North Carolina because _______________________. (Did you say, "informative displays about RECTAL MUCOSA BIOPSY while eating a double corndog"?)

On the way out we checked out the BMX bike stunt show.  Needless to say you know you are a boy mom when you have out your phone videoing for future viewing by one if not both children. Even more awesome was the blaring Beastie Boys and 90s rap for the crowd's enjoyment.  At one point Ben looked up and said, "you KNOW this song mom?"   Also, why was there a clown making balloon animals within feet of crashing bikes.  Aren't hardcore BMXers and people that enjoy a good balloon animal two separate audiences?

 * Note ride name:  "Kick Bootie"

Last night I let the boys play ridiculously late outside.  I was talking to my neighbor, all the kids were playing in the first rain-free moments of the day.  When Bill drove in around 8pm he couldn't believe we were still outside.  Maybe it was the awful news of the tornado and knowing that kids were unaccounted for in the aftermath, maybe it's just wanting to get a head start on lazy summer days and being outside as long as possible. Maybe it was just wanting to play with the boys instead of working.  Maybe to all possibilities.
*note amazing butt shot of Ben!  Also, am I a bad mom for 
NOT wanting him to win a giant Rasta monkey? 

One of my favorite speakers at Listen to Your Mother was about what it is like to be the last time to do  many of the mundane activities related to raising kids. She talked about final events in her Senior son's life and how being on the verge of the empty nest feels. I am a good decade away from even starting this conversation with friends and family.  Maybe because every year as the school year winds down with graduation and senior activities I once again reflect that the time is just so, so short. That someday I will wish for a normal (hectic) average day with the boys.  Given the news from the midwest, I took a little longer at bedtime last night, checked on them an extra time before heading to bed, and stopped and watched them sleep before leaving this morning.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ok, now I get it One Step Ahead!

I used to get the catalogue One Step Ahead.  You know the one that has you convinced you really needed a chair that would convert from high chair to one your 18 year old loves to sit in while she ignores you texting.

This one.

Obviously we needed to purchase the much scoffed knee pad and helmet combo.  You know the one that you wonder what type of overprotective idiot would buy.

Yesterday as I was waiting at Ben's weekly appointment, I was contacted that Ian had run full on into the corner of a outside table at day care.  His mouth was bleeding and he was naturally upset.  Since both our pediatrician and our family doctor has both just closed I headed over to the urgent care we wanted to go to on Sunday.  Unfortunately the pediatric urgent care was closed and we headed to the ER.  Unlike Sunday he was much more upset, and once the doctor looked at his mouth, determined he would need stitches.  She even confirmed a tooth was loose.

Great.  The stitch count for this week will be going up. It appeared he needed 3 stitches in his lip.  Ian had to be immobilized for her to numb him up, this time not with the cream but with a needle. We wrapped him up in a bedsheet like a burrito or like some bad rebirthing scene in a Lifetime movie.  He started screaming even louder as we laid him down.  A nurse immobilized his head and I grabbed his thrashing torso and legs and basically pinned him to the bed.  The whole procedure took less than 5 minutes, but it will filled with sobbing so bad that the doctor had to stop in fear she was going to puncture his lip with the numbing needle.  At point point he started spitting blood, hitting all three of us in the face.  He was more hysterical than I have ever seen him.  Once finished I literally scooped him up and just held him until he stopped sobbing and started telling me to kiss his lip and make it better.

The doctor was so kind and patience,offered him a popcicle, sticker, and trip to the prize drawer.  I happened to notice she had all this stuff about Water for Kenya including a framed tshirt from a recent fundraiser.  Lo and behold if she doesn't go to Crosspointe AND is on the 2013 summer medical team.

Ian finally was calm enough to walk to the car.  He even was hungry enough to eat a decent, soft foods dinner, and happily went to bed with a dose of Motrin.  I expected that by morning he will look like Mike Tyson got the better of him.  Wait, didn't he bite an ear, not a lip?  Whatever, this week can suck it.

Poor, poor Ian to now have 8 stitches from head to toe.  The silver lining is that he can get both sets of stitches out on the same day next week.  Thank God for small miracles.  The miracle being 3 years on this Earth without a ER visit, broken bones, or stitches.   We have somehow managed to break our own record in 4 days.

By the way, as I was looking up the illustrious "noggin and knee protector" the only example I could find was this.  Obviously I am WAAAAY wrong about the popularity of those wanting to shrink wrap their kids.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Do the right thing

Last night I was getting close to the end of my rope.  Work has evolved into 12-14 hours day after day as we head into the 1st run of a new state exam.  Lots o stress, lots of work to get people to the finish line.  This was the work that has come in since Monday.  Monday, folks.  More is coming in before the weekend is out. I have not even turned on a TV in almost 2 weeks other than for the boys, not even at the beach. I'm really, really tired and am trying to just hang on 'till the end of school. Primal Scream.

I've had some interesting parent meetings and conversations of late, none of which will be discussed other than to say, "thank you to parents who do the right thing." Thank you for not defending behavior, or language, or actions that you know are blatantly wrong from your child.

Back to last night where I proclaimed to myself that if I had to go home after wasting an hour dealing with a camp sign up snafu then I was going to punch someone.  I didn't even have the energy to dump a bag on a plate and schlep to the table.  Ben suggested we go to Moes.  Frankly I'm a Chipotle kinda gal, but the boys love the queso and chips.

The boys were horrible, especially Ian who I had to physically restrain to keep him from trying to run out the door everytime someone came in.  We would have moved tabled but we already had such a mess where we were sitting.  Ben headed to the bathroom where I had to eventually go and knock on the men's room door asking if he was ok.

He finally emerged saying he had an pee accident.  I assured him that no one would know and once home we would take a bath and change clothes.  Then he stopped me and whispered, "I was really mad so I put a bunch of soap in front of the door so some one would fall down."

As much as I wanted to put parenting on autopilot, I leaned down and said we need to walk back in and let the manager know so that someone didn't get hurt by falling.  Ben protested, he started crying asking if Daddy had to know. We sat back down with Ian in my lap and quietly said that it was ok that he had an accident.  It was ok to be mad and also sad that it had happened, BUT the right thing to do was to let someone know.

We found the manager (a 20 something confused looking guy.) I assure Ben that I will be beside him and want him simply to tell the manager that someone needed to check the boys bathroom as there was soap on the floor.  I told Ben that he didn't have to say he was mad or why he was mad, but simply to let an adult know and that he was the one responsible for putting the soap on the floor.

Ben stammered but finally said he was sorry.  He even added he was mad and that is why I did it, obviously leaving out the pee part.  Once we were home, I had gotten the kids ready for bed I told Ben that I was proud of him for doing the right thing, to own up and take responsibility.

While not the huge, sweeping life and death moments of life, to me this is where you teach character and the values you want them to carry into adulthood.  Sometimes one step forward leads to another in the right direction.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

With really sore butts and really full bellies (hearts too!)

The plan was to arrive by 6 pm, eat dinner on the road, arrive in time to hit the grocery and check in with time to hit a hour of water slides before bed.

The reality was checked in at 11 pm due to really long workday, trying to get last minute packing done, and having to take care of some must do items before getting out of town.

We made lemonade out of lemons as we opted to stay an extra night to make up for the lost time and mom talked the manager into matching our lower rate for peak Sat night. Mom rules.

 I had *hoped* that with a midnight bedtime they might sleep until say 8 am?  Nope, everyone up by 6:30 am.  We ate a breakfast of Sugar Mama cupcakes and hit the playground before the waterpark opened.

The kids literally went for the next 13 hours strong, despite my insistence that mom have a quite time.  Mom laid on the couch while the boys hung out reading a book while the boys playing cars on the balcony and reporting back the number times the ice cream truck appeared. Ian spent an enormous amount of time on this vacation in his underwear reading a monster truck magazine.  I'm not sure if he's three or a 40 year old Bubba.

We spent the afternoon on the beach, eating ice cream, digging then jumping in big holes, walking on the beach looking for shells and chasing birds (Ian only.) We went back to the water park after dinner where we oscillated between how many times we could slide without hurt butts and soaking in the hot tub.

Saturday we basically did the same thing, although the boys slept until 8:30, which was near awesome as mom went to bed at 10 pm.  Add it up people:  that is nearly 11 hours of sleep.  A freakin' record for me.

We ate more ice cream while swinging looking out of the ocean, played more hours on the beach, spent more hours on the slides and the "raky river- Ian".  That evening we ventured out to the strip where a very excited Ben and Ian loved that it was the first night of Bike Week.  Mom loved explaining the lack of clothing on the Harley Honeys.

We ate greasy burgers, played arcade games, and walked along the boardwalk.   At one point Ian thew his toy car, just won with his arcade tickets over a fence.  Guess who scaled the fence to retrieve?  From Ben, "nice job mom, you didn't even split your shorts!"

As we were sitting watching the Ferris wheel Saturday night, about to head  back and start packing up, I asked the boys what their #1 favorite thing?

Ian:  eating ice cream
Mom: sleeping
Ben: (without me prompting him!) spending the weekend with just you mom. (Ben wins the mother's day sentiment contest)

As we near 7, Ben is reaching that "not cool mom" when I grab his hand or run my fingers through his hair in public. I am all too aware that we are on the down side of thinking I am the coolest person he knows.

Even Ian, when given the choice follows Ben over mom's instructions in the cool department.  I can only offer food and clean underwear, but Ben offers killer monster truck race, naked wrestling, and bed jumping contests.  

It is times like the 72 hours we spent away from the day to day of work and school that made this the best mother's day gift I could ask for.

Thank you sweet Ben. Thank you sweet Ian, for making me your mom.  I love you both so, so much.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Interruption at the ER

We have a wonderfully, fabulous weekend at the beach.  We had such a good time (and we got there SO late on Thursday night, ) that we opted to stay an extra day.  It was SO what we all needed, especially me!

Key to last night within an hour of being home and the boys were playing outside when Ian fell unto the edge of the construction dumpster outside our neighbor's house.

Result:  a trip to the ER since Urgent Care had just (like within 10 minutes) closed.  Ian did well, given I would have been screaming my head off,. Wait, I think I did like around Thanksgiving last year when I had to have 8 stitches in my finger. He was quiet the whole drive over with Bill applying pressure to a nasty 2 inch cut below his knee.

Five stitches, lots of Lego Ninjago watched on the ipad while waiting later, and some mother's day dinner take-out we were back home, he was asleep in our bed by 10:30.

Poor guy.  The only thing that makes this story better is at least it happened on the end of the weekend filled with waterslides, hours on the beach, and lots of time being silly.  Ian alone ate his weight in ice cream.

Be still my heart Ian, you are a trooper.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Random act of Mother's Day kindness

Last night I had the chance to see Raleigh's first Listen to Your Mother presentation with some friends.  How awesome to hear 15 local women share their stories.  Each of the short essays covered a facet of motherhood, from babyhood to sending your child off into the world.  I can honestly say that I took something away from every lady (and the solo, ballsy man) who spoke.

My friend offered me tissues, which of course I proclaimed that I wouldn't need.  *Note- for more that one essay I was brushing back tears. Dammit!  Being a mom has been the highest of highs in the last seven years, but also the lowest of lows.  So many of the pieces echoed the exhaustion and bliss that coincided during these few, short years.

I'm heading out to drive the boys to the beach for an overnight trip to the indoor waterslide resort we visited in January.  On the agenda:  eating the Krispy Kremes, eating Sugar Mama cupcakes, popcorn and chips. This would be breakfast, folks.  We plan to hit the waterslides, walk on the beach, dig in the sand.  Basically, I plan to wear the boys, as well as myself out being silly and playing.

On the way home to pick up the kids I left some flowers I arranged for a friend experiencing the first mother's day without her mom. Last year Ben and I honored my mom by completing some random acts of kindness such as volunteering at our local animal shelter and food bank.  It did my soul good to honor her through giving. This year I'm getting time with my boys, the sand on my feet, and when I return picking up this framed piece for my wall.

A very happy (early) mother's day.  May your day be joy filled with goodness.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday- SQUEEE!

Date: Last week the US Supreme Court is in session and expected to rule on gay marriage and DOMA

Location:  Georgetown University Law School

Event:  A week long teacher institute on the Supreme Court

Who is going: ME! I was selected for this national program for teachers!!! I'm already going in July to a workshop on the new digital photography collection at the National Archives. This was the cherry on top of  a summer of history geekery.

*Note A reception AT THE SUPREME COURT on our final night. EPIC AWESOMENESS.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Keeping it old school

Conversation at Daycare pickup yesterday

Director:  "I wish more parents shared your view on setting limits, you are our dream parent when it comes to knowing you support what we/teachers are trying to do at PCA"

Me:  "are you referring to the fact that I stated that if Ian continued to be ugly and disruptive at naptime that I am fine with his teachers reminding him what would happen at home"

Director:  "yes, the co-director and I commented that you don't often hear the phrase, you are going to be spanked from today's parents.  We (now referring to his teachers as well) have commented that with spanking being a parental taboo, behavior they have noticed a slide in overall behavior and kids not parents setting the tone at home."

Me: "yes, in the thirteen years I've been teaching it is almost night to day to what I see and hear in my own classroom with older kids. I don't think we are doing kids favors but not holding them accountable to a high standard or for playing the my child didn't/wouldn't card. What they learn at three is how they act at thirteen."

Before anyone gets on the judgy judgement train that spanking leads kids to have lower self esteem (I agree), teaches them to fear (I agree), teaches that hitting and violence is a means to an end (I agree), unless you punish right then and there it is pointless (I agree), just hear me out. I agree to all criticisms on some level. I have come to a place in parenting where spanking,selectively used, has a place and when used I hope is effective.

I have mentioned before that Bill and I were raised in drastically different homes on the ground of discipline.  Finding middle ground, setting expectations, setting rules, and how we follow through is an ever present source of communication and conflict between us.  Bill and I have agreed that spanking needs to be reserved for 1. times when he is endangering his life, i.e running away in a parking lot, 2. Causing such a disruption that normal tactics of time out, removal from the situation, loss of toys/activity are not working after repeated attempts, usually over multiple days.

The 2nd is a slippery slope as at what point does Ian's continued pushing it constitute a spanking.  Is a pop on the arm equivalent to a pop on a butt? What about an old fashioned blistering spanking?  At what point does it become loss of control on the parental part? I really struggle with where this line is defined for each child.  To me there is a vast difference between being a Tiger mother who belittled and bullies her children and being a parent who sets and expects boundaries with follow through and not empty threats.

Last week Ian spent 4/5 days in the office at naptime.  His teachers and directors reported that Ian was up running around and making so much noise that other kids were joining in and not sleeping.  I know that with a room full of 3 year olds, even getting a short nap out of them means you have 30 minutes of much needed quiet. At school, his teachers have been drawing a colored dot at the end of the day on his hand. Ian identifies behavior with Ben's colored card (red, yellow, green) system at school.  We are also doing "bear bucks" with Ian on a smaller scale. The dots have helped with lots of lying from Ian about his day, even when he tries to wipe the dot off, as he did last week leaving his face streaked with red. I usually pick up when his regular teachers have left and it's an easy way to communicate how his day has gone along with a written daily report.  

Naturally if he does not sleep, the afternoon likely will be filled with time outs. The witching hours between pick up and bedtime are hair-pulling frustrating.  I cannot tell you how many nights Bill arrives home to me frazzled and at my wits end from working a 10 hour school day, a traffic filled commute, and then a rush to get everything done with the kids before bedtime and bed.  

After two days of the same report and coming home to talk about bad decisions, missing favorite toys and his one tv show after dinner the behavior continued on day 3.  We took in puzzles and flap books and asked if these could be his special, naptime books.  His teachers reported he looked at them and within minutes was up again being completely disruptive. They tried again and again he disregarded them. I asked the director if she would email me or call me (even pretend call) while he is in the office to scare him that I know when he is being disruptive.

On the third night I talked to him about the consequence of spanking if he spent naptime in the office the next day. As you can guess what happened on day 4, even worse behavior. I spanked him at bedtime after talking about the day and the poor choices with a huge reminder that I loved him no matter what but that he would not continue to be disruptive and ugly to his teachers.  I told him that for every day he was in the office he would be spanked at home.  Friday as well as yesterday have so far been better days, he napped and thus did well.  The weekend was rough as he refused to sleep either day, but did stay in his room for a solid 45 minutes each day.  We separated the boys to minimize fighting.  

Three for Ian is proving to be just as troublesome as it was for Ben.  Instead of issues surrounding refusal to poop in a potty, this is about utter defiance and pushing boundaries.  Ian simply does not care when he looses toys or activities.  He will laugh in your face and tell you repeatedly, "I'm not going to do ______."
I swore this would not be the road I would take, but I feel like I am out of options when he is at a certain point and needs diversion.

I'm rereading the Your 3 Year Old by L. Ames for help as this age is just tough. Thoughts/suggestions appreciated without judgement.

Monday, May 6, 2013

When running errands alone is better than a vacation

Keeping it real people, last week kicked my butt. From lots of end of year paperwork and mountains of grading, ick factor from failing students acting out to ongoing issues at home.  Come Friday night, I was spent.  I did make myself go by the gym on the way home and made myself run and use the TRX bands upper arm and core aka torture devices.  Thank you "last chance playlist" for giving me any motivation to have gotten out of the car.

My plan was to go to bed early Friday as well as Saturday and get up normal 5:15 time and get ahead of some grading.  Didn't happen.

My plan was to try and get caught up on the 5 loads of laundry not put up from LAST weekend as well as attack the mountain of laundry from this week.  Kinda happened.

My plan was to use the time Bill took the boys to Free Comic book day to it's maximum usefulness. This did happen as I ran through all the errands I had put off after working late every day last week.

Grass mowed, $1000 spent on the car aligning and buying new tires, kids played outside an enormous amount of time, 3 freeze ahead dishes prepped, early service at church, birthday party attended
 = our weekend

Sometimes you just have a weekend where going to the grocery alone is better than a Caribbean vacation. Ian's behavior, potty accidents a plenty, picking fights, and refusing to nap both days added to the fun.

Such was this weekend.

Only picture worth posting would be Ben and Ian and their haul of comic books.  This would be one of the few times both were not fighting and hitting each other. Correction- Ian walked across the bed bending the covers, leading to a whole new fight.

My goal for this week is to dig out as much as possible.  I am driving the boys for an overnight beach trip to the cool indoor water park we visited in January later in the week  I am literally counting down to leaving Thursday  afternoon in minutes.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

You Go Girl!

I've always thought of some RuPaul expression or some sketch from 1980s In Living Color every time I heard this phrase.  Frankly if you use this phrase in my presence, expect to be heckled.

Somehow it seems fitting to express how much you should see the new documentary Film Girl Rising. My documentary film buddy mentioned to me when went to the Duke Documentary Film Series last month that we should make it a monthly get together and see something.  We've been making a list of films to see.  She brought up Girl Rising to kick off our tiny film club.

Just as I hoped, there was an almost packed theater of mothers (a few dads) and daughters (and yes a few, uncomfortable looking sons) in the audience.  The movie doesn't say something that hasn't already been said about the plight of women in the developing world.  The stories cover child brides, denied access to education, poverty, bonded servitude, and sexual assault. What makes this movie different is the appeal children-friendly graphics and storytelling to relay each of the the stories. Even the topic of rape was handled in a 'tween friendly way.

Girl Rising made me think of what I already came away with in Kenya, that education is the ticket to a better life. Consider making Girl Rising on your short list of things to watch either with your older children or with family.  It may be a repeated story, but one still important to hear.