I got my Mother's Day gift from Monster early. It is by far the best gift I have ever received. It's from his heart. And, for a kid who hates to write because of fine motor issues, he did awesome!
**Special note to my mom, click on the picture to see a larger image. Don't think you've figured that out yet.
I love the rain. I love dancing in the rain. I love walking in the rain. I love kissing in the rain. I love splashing in puddles. I do not love when it rains so hard and so much that it washes away all the topsoil from the garden. I do not love it when it floods my backyard and street. I do not love the clean up after this type of rain. That's today's job. Last night, it rained so hard and so fast that we got 3 inches in about an hour. Today, I am getting the mulch out of our driveway. I'm washing down the brand new lights on our walkway that are coated in mud. I'm hoping to salvage the hazelnut bushes I just planted. I have no idea what I'm going to do about topsoil. On a positive note, it is just drizzling now, so the kids can help me with the clean up. I'll let them run around in raincoats and wellies while I get the outside in some sort of shape. I love sharing my love for the rain with my kids.
Every now and again, we have weekends that make our weeks look relaxing. This weekend was one of them. It started out with the Run.4.Fun. It's a 5K fundraiser for the schools. I've posted this before, I'm in horrible shape. I used to run about a 6.5 minute mile. I used to run a minimum of 3 miles a day. Now, I don't run at all. I was originally going to "fast walk" this 5K. Then, Monster decided he wanted to do it with me. So, we signed up for the 1 mile with friends. It was a Mother/Son run for the 4 of us. After about the first 10 steps of the race, it was obvious how out of shape I was. It was all worth it though. As we were running, Monster said, "This is the best time I've ever had in my whole life!" Makes the sweat and sore muscles worth it. Monster wants to do it again next year. Hopefully, it won't be as painful then!
Saturday gave me a taste of what life is going to be like with two teenagers. First, we were up bright and early for Sunshine's soccer. Soccer with a newly turned three year old is a special form of torture. It's torture that you don't quite mind because it's so darned cute. The coach is seriously a saint. I don't know how he does it. He's the best! This week was funny because Sunshine's friend, [G], was not there. Somehow, Sunshine knew this. Like the girls had been texting each other or something that morning. On the way there, she kept telling me that [G] was not going to be there. Back to the story though. Without [G] there, Sunshine is the smallest one by a good 3 inches. She's the youngest, so it's not that surprising, but this week, not only was [G] not there, but the other little boy who is 2 days older than Sunshine was not there, so her being so tiny stuck out like a sore thumb. She was the only girl there as well. For some reason, this week, there were a lot of tears at soccer. Not from Sunshine, from everyone else. Sunshine was very concerned about it and kept wanting to make sure all her soccer friends were OK. She is such the little mama. I had to keep reminding her to pay attention to her coach, and then she'd happily skip off with her ball to find him!
After what seemed like the longest time, we headed home to pick up the Monster for swimming. This was Monster's first day of higher level swim. Grandma came with us. It was awesome! Monster did fantastic! Makes me wish I would have allowed him to move up sooner (I held him back because I wanted him to be ready). He even got to go off the diving board!
When we got home, it was time for the kids' birthday party. Since they are only about a month apart, we combine their parties so that it's easier for family. I don't do big bashes. I don't do themes. I do always have fancy cake though, thanks to a friend. This year's cupcakes were Thing 1 and Thing 2. My friend did a wonderful job on them! Confetti cupcakes with butter cream frosting. So yummy and cute!
Kids had a great time at their party. One thing that Monster requested was that in place of one gift, everyone bring a donation for the Children's Center. I'm happy to say we have a nice a little collection of things! Nana gave him $10 to go out and buy things for the Center himself since she's still in a sling.
Sunday was equally as crazy. We we outside all day long playing and doing yard work. So extremely tired, but such a good weekend!
Almost every night at dinner, we go around the table and ask what our favorite part of the day was. Since I'm working on making my kids more accountable for their actions and trying to get them to see how they effect the world around them, we've now added in, "What did you do today that made someone happy? Why did it make them happy?" and "What did you do today that made someone sad? Why did it make them sad? How could you change that?" The happy part is amazingly difficult for my kids. I am really surprised by that. I'm also disappointed in my parenting for that. My kids have no problem identifying something that made someone sad, "I threw a block", "I yell and scream", "I hit my sister/brother." When they do something inappropriate, I make them stop and think about how that makes the other person feel. Doing this at dinner has made me realize that I don't point out the things that they are doing to make other happy enough. The big stuff, yes, but the everyday little things, I don't. Yesterday was a good example. Monster has a very difficult time with handwriting. He struggles so much that he refuses to do it a lot. Apparently at school yesterday, he did an awesome job. I congratulated him, but never said how it made me or his teacher feel. At dinner, he couldn't come up with something he did to make someone happy. I told him he did a great job at writing. He asked how it made people happy. I let him know that when he tries his hardest and actually works on what he's supposed to, it makes his teacher happy because she doesn't have to keep stopping what she's doing to try to get him to write. I let him know it makes her happy to see he can do it. I told him it made me happy because we then didn't have to work on his incomplete writing at home so we could have more time to play together. He honestly just didn't see the connection. My kids do so many wonderful, good things throughout the day. I'm ashamed that I haven't pointed the connections out sooner. I plan on correcting that. Making other people happy isn't just about doing good deeds or some grand gesture. Sometimes, it's as simple as a smile.
A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook the other day. Along with the article, she posted this, " This is why today's youth has such an awful sense of entitlement. Such a shame. What happened to your kid doing wrong and HIM getting punished at home? Kick his @$$, ground him, make him accountable!! ". Sadly, this doesn't surprise me. It was only a matter of time. Next, parents will be suing teachers for making kids pay attention and behave in class. What is this world coming to? Where are the values? Another friend of mine is a college professor and he's been saying for years now that the generations right behind us are lazy and have a strange sense of entitlement. They have very poor work ethics and believe that things should be handed to them. They believe everything is negotiation. Don't like your grade, go try to negotiate with the professor, when that doesn't work, go to the Dean. Our future is in THEIR hands? I'm all about fighting for what you think is right and standing your ground, but laziness and cheating are not things to fight for.
I'm very strict. I take a lot of heat for it. I hold my children accountable for their actions. It's going to go one of two ways, they will turn out to be responsible, dependable, independent adults, or they will hate me and rebel. I'm taking my chances on it being the first. They do something they shouldn't at school, swim, soccer, music, art, etc, there are consequences. Those consequences shift depending on interests, time, etc, but there are always consequences. At swimming, if the kids act up in lessons, they lose free play for the next time we go. If they act up again, they lose free play for the remainder of lessons. Unlike a lot of parents I, a) watch my kids while they are someplace, and b) have no problem pulling my kids out in the middle of something and leaving if they are not behaving. To many people this is extreme. I don't see it that way. I see it as a logical consequence. You can't behave, you don't get to do it. It's simple. My kids also are starting to understand that there are positive consequences as well. You behave, you get to continue doing what you enjoy. Isn't that how the "real" world is supposed to work? When did it shift? When did people start thinking, "Eh, I don't have to follow rules. I just sue people who get in my way and say it's my right"? Forget about even being responsible for their own actions, where has human decency gone?
Back in December when we were doing our Advent Acts of Kindness, after dropping decorations off to the birth center at the hospital, Monster decided he wanted to do something like that again. We decided that we would make Mother's Day cards for them. This plan has been in the making for almost 6 months now and I kept getting asked when we were going to do it. Finally, with Mother's Day a week away, we made our cards. I got the general idea from this site, but wanted to change it up just a little. Yesterday, we made 20 cards. They turned out super cute. We'll deliver them at the beginning of next week. I mostly love that my kids were so happy to do something like this for other people.
It's ironic because I had decided to write about working out and then a friend of mine did the same. However, we have two totally different takes on it. I hate it. Really. I don't like being hot and sweaty and sore. Not fun. Doesn't make me feel good to have that "burn". I always did it though because I wanted to stay in shape. I've always envied people who enjoy working out, like my husband. He doesn't have time to do it often, but after he works out, he feels fantastic and is in a great mood. After I work out, I hurt and just want to lay around. Maybe I should actually clarify even a little more. I'm talking cardio and weights. I love yoga, but yoga is supposed to make me feel all mellow. I just don't have much time for it. No time, you may be saying. That's right. My husband leaves the house before 6 am. It's 6:25 right now, and my son is up. So forget about mornings. Afternoons? Not a possibility since I have one who doesn't nap and one who wakes up randomly. To make it just a bit better, if I tell the big one I'm going to do pretty much anything, he'll wake the little one up. Nights? Again, Husband isn't around. I start my day at 6 am and work until 8 pm. Last thing I want to do is work out. I want to go to sleep, but, I actually want to see my husband and talk to him, so I'm up until 10. I stretch in the mornings because it helps my back and neck, but that's all there's time for between when I wake up and get coffee and when one of my two kids may wake up. I tried to get on a routine, but when Husband leaves anywhere from 4:30 am to 6 am and doesn't get home until the kids' bedtime (if he's home at all), there's not a whole lot of room for routine. I would suck it up and just endure the torture if there were time, but there's not. Looks like I just need to come to terms with shopping in the plus section.