I saw this early this week and have watched it a number of times with little Henry peering over my shoulder. He listens. He giggles. And he says, "play it again." And maybe this week as I simmer on this whole kindergarten thing next year for our Hen, I realize in many ways that whatever the choice - it will be his road and his chance to find his awesome. And there is NO doubt, with all the growth he has had this last year, that his awesome will show up whether he is in full day or half day kindergarten. It will be his time. His awesome. And he might even dance.
Recently we celebrated Syd's birthday and Ed noticed more than once that all of her gifts were quite domestic (vacuum, dishes, baby bed, dollhouse, tea set, etc). I assured him it was okay. She is loving up her dolls, dishes, vacuum, baby cradles, markers, and things. But she is also very much into the boys legos, blocks, and other "boy" toys.
When I realize I have a girl, I sometimes get stressed about raising her so that she knows her own beauty but also her strength. Not only is she kind, but also innovative and smart. I want her to to feel confidence and esteem for who she is. I want her to know that I have my Master's degree and CHOSE to stay home to focus on our family. I want her to know she can choose differently, love differently, look differently, and that it is all going to make her special.
As women we are very aware of self-esteem and how easy it is for media images and music and TV commercials to give off the wrong message. Syd is getting into putting on fun shoes, dress up princess dresses, and even has a naked Barbie for the bathtub. There is so much out there putting down the princess stuff, princess movies, and Barbie toys. And it is so easy to fret and maybe even say this stuff won't be part of our household...but then I read Girl Gone Child's blog about her daughters love of all things princess and it makes me feel okay letting her tip toe in the world of tulle and glitter. No one image, toy, movie, or comment is going to cause our Sydney to have low self esteem. Someday we'll fix up the barbie doll house my grandpa built for me, and she'll probably grow a collection to compete with my old Barbie collection. If she plays dress up and wears a crown - I am going to greet her princess Sydney for that moment.
I think it is all about balance and keeping it all in moderation. I loved Girl Gone Child's thoughts on all of this. And for awhile, I think I will have one less thing to worry about at night. Another reason I love the blogging world, it gives other mamas a chance to share their worries and revelations so that when I can't find my footing...I can sometimes get a little help from other mamas.
What girl won't grow up to feel loved when she is surrounded by this crew as she gets her bedtime stories read. Daddy is her is her number one choice for bedtime these days. She even slams the door in my face so she can get on with it. And her brothers wanted in on the good stuff last night.
It has been a cold week and I have felt pretty funky.
Gotta give a shout out to my sister for giving me encouragement, ALWAYS. For letting me know that I do great, even when I don't feel like I am. She has me swapping plans for the day so that we both are held accountable for being a little more deliberate with our time and energy. I have felt like a failure lately with the kids. The house is picked up lately. I made dinners this week. But I often times think I don't do what I used to with the kids. But it is also different around here. It isn't just one kiddo, there are two, or three. And that in itself is automatic entertainment. So they don't need me to come up with activities, outings, or other stuff. But I feel my best, when I am being deliberate and intentional with my children. I was a teacher because I love when ideas and activities bubble forth naturally and I act on them. And lately, I have many intentions and ideas but the kids are content puttering around on their own and maybe my mid winter laziness is getting the better of me. So I kicked it up a notch the second half of the week. And my energy and attitude feel like they are turning around. I get 8 more months before Henry is a kindergarten. Sydney is at an exciting and capable age of 2. Charley is 8! He still believes in Santa and has moments where he is rambling on about all sorts of things. I need to get down at their level, not worry about the mess, look them in the eye, listen, disconnect from the technology. Let the laundry pile up. And engage. embrace. absorb. relish. and feel confident in the choices I make each day. And also feel confident in the days that zip by because they are content home with each other.
A sweaty walk on the treadmill midweek with a good friend also gave me a kick in the butt to shake things up a bit too. Thanks Jessie. It is always helpful to feel heard and encouraged.
Mama getting her groove back means:
Holiday thank you notes and birthday notes were completed this week.
Igloos were glued and painted.
And water colors were attempted.
Charley informed me that they had a thirty minute "violent intruder" practice the other day. I asked him what that meant. He said they pushed tables in the corner and sat under them. He said it was in case a stranger came in the school, didn't check in at the office, and had a gun. After I picked my jaw off the floor, due to his relaxed attitude toward this whole thing, I realized it was good. He didn't seem to think this was scary or wrong. I did respond that practicing fire drills are a great proactive way to feel safe at school and this is kinda the same thing. And he said he felt safe when they were practicing this. And from there we went on to discuss the latest lego kit he wants. Like it was no big deal. Life is so different these days. Sadly.
Henry's school was cancelled today due to a furnace not working.
He got to come with Sydney and I to Sydney's school. Man alive, his old teachers were so excited to see him. They couldn't get over how much taller he was. Sydney was all smiles having him there. He shadowed her and sat by her at snack. Made me realize how he isn't meant for ECFE anymore. He's ready for he next step.
It's the weekend and before Ed left he said he would be up for renting a movie, going over our budget, planning a trip, playing a game. I love that he wants to spend time with me in the evening. And lately, the days have felt long and I crawl into bed before he exits the boys room, since he is reading the Hobbit to them and he sometimes is in there for a good 45 minutes. Waking up at 5 for working out or Sydney doesn't help a girl stay up past 8pm. But tonight, I will try.
When Charley gets home from school, Sydney always greets him with such happy babbling. And Charley is so good about giving her a little high pitched response. That girl sure loves her boys. And she calls them boys or by their name more and more.
Aunt Raina, Eli, Hughie, and Grandma Barb were here last week at this time. ALL. WEEK. LONG. Sydney has been singing Aunt Raina's name. All of a sudden she will confidently say to me, "Raina. Raina? Raina?" I respond that Raina is at home with Eli and Hughie. That girl knows her Aunt Raina.
It's been a cold week but, part of turning my week around involved getting outside for some fresh air. We remain mostly healthy because I choose not to go on many outings with the kids. We don't hit up the zoo, museums, or indoor play parks all that much in the winter. So sometimes Ed starts to notice that I don't leave the house for a day or two and then if he comes home and I haven't showered...well, it is that much more obvious, this mama needs to stand outside and breathe in some fresh air. So this week while Sydney did her stay awake up in her crib time...we hit the fresh snow and built this...
And it has been my goal to be more on top of Charley getting his homework done before he gets cartoon or screen time. We have a sheet up in our kitchen listing our weekly goals. Homework is Charley's main goal. The homework routine battle has been happening and in our house, and when it doesn't get done I know it is because I lost the energy to push through the whining and delay tactics.
Evenings are a tired time for everyone. But he needs me to be his parent and start building this homework routine now, otherwise, down the road when things pick up we'll really be struggling. He has practiced his violin for at least 10 minutes every week day in the last two weeks. He is getting his reading and math done. He has practiced his spelling words, and has completed his word of the week more timely. I am so proud of him. He actually can play some of the songs he used to just pluck, with his bow now. It is REALLY cool. And next week he starts orchestra practice.
It's time to end this.
My boy has been working hard on a United State's puzzle and he is just about done.
Aunt Raina inspired him to bust out some puzzles lately. This one is 84 pieces
It's the weekend.
And I plan to make it a good one.