Thursday, January 24, 2008

Having an older sister has it's downsides...

Tboy is all boy. He loves everything that involves balls, tools, or cars. He warms up to men faster and would prefer to play with men (grandpas, uncles, etc.) instead of with women (grandmas, aunties, etc.). He loves to tackle, hit, sword fight and shoot (though TDaddy encourages the shooting of water over guns, not being a gun type of guy himself).

So I really am not concerned about his masculinity.

But when the main focus of your admiration and favorite playmate is your older sister who is extremely girly.... well, lets just say that it rubs off some.

For a while his favorite color was pink, just like sister's.

"I ballet?" he will frequently ask (Tgirl has taken ballet for nearly 2 years now).
"No," TDaddy will respond, "you play football!"

When playing dress up with Tgirl, he usually wants to put on a princess dress of some kind and high heels.

He would really like to carry a purse everywhere he goes, usually a pink one.

We got him his own boy doll and blue doll stroller as he loves playing with Tgirl's dolls and taking them for rides in the pink princess doll stroller.

And then the other day the Tboy and Tgirl were watching a video. A Disney Princess sing a long. One of the many songs on it was from Mulan II, "I Want to be Like Other Girls" sung by 3 Chinese princesses who want more freedom in their lives:
"...I want to be like other girls.
Climb up a tree like other girls can
Just to be free like other girls
Get to be..."
Well, you can probably guess what Tboy has been overheard singing to himself multiple times in the last few days as he plays...
"I want to be like other girls, I want to be like other girls, I want to be like other girls..."

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Baby Store

conversation with the 3 year old at bedtime:

-Daniel has a baby sister.

-Yes, he does. You don't have a baby sister, you have a big sister.

-Yeah. (pause) Mama? Someday we go to the baby store and get a baby sister?

-Well, I don't know about that.

-An someday, my big sister will turn into a baby again and me too.

-Oh really? When will this happen?

-When I dis many (holds up 4 fingers).

-But then who will be my big boy?

-(big grin) Daddy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Child Free Time

I love child free time!

Now, mind you, I'm not saying that I don't like spending time with my children, or children in general (I am a teacher after all). But when you are with them 24/7, well.... it is just nice to have a little child free time.

It doesn't come very often. Partly because on weekdays I am working, weeknights are spent at ballet class or drama class and getting ready for the next day. Weekends are taken up with chores, errands, church, and Sunday dinner at my mom's house. So the amount of time available for child free time is very limited. Combine that with TDaddy's schedule and the fact that I just don't often ask for time off and there you have it. Child free time doesn't come very often.

So today the kids and I went to church and then to my mom's for lunch. But instead of spending most of the afternoon at Grandma's house we came home and they stayed with TDaddy while I went to the mall.

Usually, when I have child free time I head to Barnes and Noble and browse among the books and read for a few hours. Heavenly! Today, however, I had a different mission. I needed pants.

The last eight years I have spent pregnant 3 times and with my weight fluctuating quite a bit. I have been on the slow and steady down slide in my weight in the last 7 months or so (Yeah!) and the result is that I have 2 pairs of pants that fit. Now granted, I do mainly wear skirts to work (They just changed the dress code recently to allow women and girls at my school to wear pants year round. Before we could only wear pants during the winter time). But with a recent cold spell, wearing tights with skirts and bundling up in sweaters, coats and scarves just wasn't cutting it.

Anyway, my mom met me (it is easier for me to shop for clothes for myself with another person, I always feel like I need a second opinion) and we shopped.

It was great! In a couple of hours we were able to find 3 pairs of pants on sale, get new batteries put into TDaddy's watch, and get a cup of coffee and just sit for a bit (OK, so Mom had coffee, I had tea - I love tea, but I can't stand coffee!). We were able to talk about whatever we wanted to with no little ears listening and it was just relaxing not to be minding any children! I picked up a couple of Little Caesars pizzas on the way home for dinner tonight and lunch for the lunch boxes tomorrow and got home in time for a game of Disney Scene It.

The benefit of child free time? A more relaxed Mama! A relaxed Mama, as opposed to a stressed one, is able to enjoy her kids in the stage they are in. A relaxed Mama isn't easily irritated by all the little things that the kids do. I was able to sit and play the game with TDaddy and the kids and enjoy it. I wasn't feeling like I couldn't wait for the game to end so that I could get up and go get something done.

And that is a good thing.

I don't want to spend my children's childhoods wishing the time I spend with them away. And I'm pretty sure that isn't God's plan either.

So, an occasional child free afternoon is a very good thing!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Re-reading a Favorite

For Christmas TDaddy got me a set of Cherry Ames books by Helen Wells (Boarding School Nurse, Department Store Nurse, Cruise Nurse). I read many in this series of books as a child and LOVED them! I found the stories of a nurse during the WWII era and following fascinating. So much so that I seriously considered becoming a nurse. It seemed so romantic!

Then I realized that I wasn't very good at math, didn't love science, and was a bit queasy when it came to blood.

I am finding it very interesting reading them again from an adult viewpoint. I am not as enamored with them now as I was then. Life in general is very romanticized in the books. Life, as it is depicted by Wells, just doesn't ring true. The main character, Cherry, hops from job to job never sticking to anything for any length of time. She has a different romantic interest in just about every book. There are a few reoccurring male friends, but most of the time she has a new beau in each new situation she is in. As the book draws to a close and she solves some kind of mystery (that she has broken rules to solve and been forgiven for because of the results she has gotten), she and the current beau are growing closer and closer. And then in the next book, he isn't mentioned at all.

Now, granted, as an adult, I also understand that in order to write a whole series of books, Wells had to put Cherry in many different situations so that the books would remain exciting for her target audience of young girls. I think that part of the purpose of the series was to entice girls into the profession of nursing, so they had to remain exciting. And as for the men, well, if Cherry had stayed with the same man for any length of time during that era they would have most likely ended up married, had children, and she may or may not have continued in her nursing career. That would not make for interesting books (not if you are going for an exciting career nurse genre of books).

So while I am a bit disappointed in the stories, I realize that it is me that has drastically changed. I am not as romantic-thinking as I once was. A bit more jaded. A bit more realistic.

So I will continue reading them. Remembering the romantic girl I once was. And I will enjoy the books for what they are - exciting, romanticized stories for young girls.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Learning the hard way

Why, oh why do children insist upon learning the hard way? Why can they not simply listen to the wisdom of what I know and have already learned, and obey?

This evening, Tgirl chose the hard route.

She has been having some issues with her attitude lately. Well, that and her tone of voice. Last night she had some consequences for talking smart to her daddy. Tonight she tried it on me.

Dear girl, I give the warning, and I mean it. Really. I do. I don't want to follow through. But I will. Must you really push and push until I have no choice but to follow through?

I told her if she talked smart to me again we would be turning around in the car on our way to ballet class and going home to an early bedtime. Apparently she did not believe me. Probably thought I had too much invested in this whole thing, too much preparation and hassle had gone into trying to get her there today. And she was right-but wrong. Right in that I wasn't happy about doing it, but she talked smart again, and so I pulled over in the turn lane to make a U turn.

"No, Mama, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

"Me too, baby. But you may not talk to me like that and you will learn not to."

Smart comment from Tgirl. Much argument from her. Whining. Tears.

I am pleased to say that I managed to stay very calm and followed through. Neither of these things is easy for me to do.

So we got home. She explained to TDaddy why we were home so early and took a shower. Played in the shower a bit too long while I was distracted having conversation with TDaddy. I dried her hair and she went to bed.

And realized that going to bed at 6:30 is no fun. Begged. Cried. Started to act smart again. And almost earned going to bed again early tomorrow.

Thankfully, she is currently snoring. She finally went to sleep at 8:15.

If nothing else, parenting has definitely given me a tiny bit of insight into how God must look at us, his children. We insist we know better than He. We kick and scream and talk back and have horrible attitudes about life and the lessons He is teaching us. So we leave Him really with no choice but to allow situations into our lives so we can learn the hard way.

Somehow I have the feeling that often he feels about this method of teaching and disciplining the way I do. It isn't something that I enjoy. In fact, punishing her (or her brother) really does "hurt me more than it hurts you." Before becoming a mom I never realized how much it could hurt me to just give a simple time out. Never realized how tortured I could feel inside watching my child make a poor choice and then have to live with the consequences.

So I am sorry, Lord. I really am sorry for all the lessons I have insisted upon learning the hard way. Thank you so much for sticking with me and for continuing to mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray that I may become more pliable that I may learn my lessons easily and not insist upon experiencing the consequences. And when I do insist in my poor choices, I pray that I may have the grace to not whine about how "unfair" it is.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First Post

So here I am. I discovered blogs less than a year ago and now have a number of them that I read on a regular basis. It is amazing how technology can change your life! This time last year I used the computer at school to create newsletters and the occasional worksheet. Then TDaddy got me a laptop.

What more can I say... I now am able to check my emails whenever I want to (well, whenever I have a wireless connection anyway). And I have to admit that that is one of the main reasons why I wanted my own laptop. To not have to fight for time online with TDaddy and Tgirl! Now that I have it, not only do I check email a minimum of once a day, but I've discovered blogs and podcasts ("friends" all around the world!), put the children to sleep every night using the iTunes on my laptop, and am constantly looking things up, or playing games to earn Tgirl more money for her Webkinz, etc...

Then for Christmas, TDaddy gave me a Palm Pilot - well, he gave it to me near the end of December so that I could stay orgainized during the holiday season. More technology!!

I was always a bit resistant to technological ways of doing things. I love books. I love paper. I thought that I was more a tactile kind of person who needed to touch and feel things for them to seem truly real (outside of matters of faith). Now, I think it is safe to say that I am officially hooked on technology. If you took my laptop, wireless connection or Palm away from me I am pretty sure that I would go into withdrawl. Withdrawl from things that, while I certainly knew exsisted, were not major parts of my life at all just 8 short months ago.

Now here I am starting a blog. I have always thought that blogging looked like a fun thing to do.

...Can I maintain a blog consistently with out letting it take over all of my free time? We shall see!