29 June 2010

Cry Baby

I don't cry.  It takes an awful lot to bring me tears or even close.  Over the years, I've been through a lot of ups and downs...  Being a Navy Wife, goodbyes, hellos, long deployments...  It's all part of the deal I signed up for, so I've had to make myself more immune to the emotional ups and downs.  The side effect is that I am less apt to get emotional at other events in our life.

On June 21st, my eldest son "graduated" from sixth grade.  I was proud of him, for sure, but I admit to being cynical about the day's event.  I mean, graduation?  Really?

Don't get me wrong.  My husband took the morning off from work, we took the camera and video camera, we were ready to document this mildly momentous event in our first son's life.

We lined up outside the cafeteria and filed in when the doors opened.  I positioned myself on an aisle seat so I could easily move out to shoot my photos and video.

The cooling system in the room was not working well,  everyone fanned themselves with the event programs. 

The student council president started the event with the Pledge of Allegiance.  As a Navy wife, I get goose bumps every time I hear it.

The principal opened the ceremony with some thoughtful remarks, telling the kids to be the best they can be for themselves and the middle school next year.  She said there could only be one best at any given thing but everyone can be his or her own best.  A nice thought, but hard to hear since the sound system was on the fritz.  

Between the heat and the poor sound system,  I have to admit that I kept checking the program to see how many things were left before we could vacate the premises.  

Finally, the kids came to the part in the morning when the they thanked the parents for all the support and love we've given them over the past seven years of school.  One of the students read a thank you and then all the kids came out to the parents and handed us a rose and a personal letter.  

Next, the kids took the stage to sing.  Seeing Zack up on stage, singing, "You'll Be In My Heart" did it to me.  I got choked up.  Seeing my nearly 12 year old, first son, moving from elementary school, on to middle school, suddenly became an emotionally charged event for me.  

I admit, I teared up a little bit, but for the most part, I beamed with pride.  It has not been an easy road for Zack.  He does wonderfully academically, but any given day is a struggle, socially, and to see him up there, with his classmates, knowing the possibilities that lie ahead, was a great feeling.  

I am glad they made a big deal about the commencement from 6th grade to middle school.  

Every event can be a big deal or less so, depending on how the adults in a child's life handle it.  It was a big deal to Zack and to all of his classmates.  It really is a moment of moving from "little kid" to tween.  

Next year, these kids are going to be held to different standards and will be exposed to many more adult experiences.  

The teachers and parents celebrated our kids' milestone.  I'm glad we did and look forward to all that is to come.

Next year, my youngest will start preschool.  Will I cry when he gets out of the car in the carpool line?  Now I'm not so sure that I won't...

17 June 2010

Have you seen these diapers?

The commercial for the Huggies Jean Diapers is stirring up a bit of controversy. 

It turns out that certain networks won't include the ending tag line which includes a reference to pooping.  Give me a break!  It's a commercial for diapers.

I bought these diapers. I think they are cute, so if my littlest one is running around the yard in a diaper that isn't cloth, better he should be in these.

However, I do think the commercial is a little creepy.  I think that if the voice over was done in the voice of a 2 year old it would be funnier and more appropriate, but the humor does out weigh the creepy factor, in my opinion.

What's up with our culture when sexualizing a 2 year old is ok, but a poop reference isn't?
Give me a break.

Style Choices

What is a parent to do when a child makes a questionable style choice?

She lets him do it.  Usually.

A child has to be permitted to make these choices, which, in the long run, don't harm them.  They help the child figure out who he is. 

Of course, as with everything, there are exceptions...  If I know that a style choice will lead to teasing at school, the least I will do is warn my child that it could happen and then let them make the decision.

I also make them wait a few days if the change is dramatic.  I would not want them to make a rash decision and regret it soon after the change was made.

As far as fashion choices go, I usually stay out of it, other than saying, maybe, "just so you know, black shirt and blue shorts do not really go well together, you might want to think about changing."  If we are going out and I want the kids to look nice, I have been known to put my foot down.  Usually, on those days, I pull the kids' clothes out the night before and lay them out so the boys just put them on without thinking.  Usually, this method works, but not always.

I am writing this because I have recently been there and done that, again.  My 6 year old, who has had long hair for most of his life, has been saying he wants to get a shorter spiky hair style.  I put him off for a few weeks, but a few days ago, he became very sure of his desire for the new look.  So, I made the appointment, we printed out a style picture from the internet (love google images) and yesterday he got his hair cut. 

It was not easy for me.  I love his hair long, and it is kind of his signature look.  But I knew I had to let him do it.  In the end, it looks great.  Totally different, but fabulous nonetheless.

He feels proud that he made the change and hopefully he'll take this experience with him as he grows and matures.

07 June 2010

Make your own frozen treats!

We love Trader Joe's for all their great products, but my new favorite is their Fruit and Cream Yogurt cups.  The kids LOVE them and I created a great, healthy dessert with them.  Stick a popsicle stick in the top, stick them in the freezer and you have a delicious, frozen treat.

The milk used for the yogurt is rBST free and the cups have 4 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat per serving- GREAT for our growing kids!

Thanks Trader Joe's!

The Difference

What's the difference between preparing for the birth of your fist baby and preparing for the birth of your second (third or fourth?)  EVERYTHING.

Here are two...

How many weeks are you? 
First time Mom- "22 1/2"
Third time Mom- "twenty um, wait, January, February  (counts on fingers) um, about 5 months."

Do you have your layette together?
First time Mom- "Yes, I have 12 onesies, 6 creepers, 10 pairs of cute little socks..."
Third time Mom- "Yeah, pretty much.  I think the clothes in the newborn bin are clean, I mean, they were clean when I put them in there and the lid has been on..."

01 June 2010

In the throws of the TERRIBLES!

When a toddler enters the terribles, stand back, make a battle-plan and then move in.

Do not, I repeat- DO NOT go in without a plan.

My plan with the in-house 2 1/2 year old- time out in a naughty chair.  Lately, I've spent a lot of time walking back and forth to the naughty chair.  Harold often fights the time out, so I just walk him back to the chair and repeat, "time out, 2 minutes."

When he completes the time out, I bend down to his level and say, "you were in time out because..." and explain simply what happened.  Most often, lately, it is because he has thrown something or done a great big arm sweep across a table to make a giant mess on the floor.

I am sure there are many parents who can relate.  A toddler can be a terror, but I am soothed by the knowledge that they come out on the other end and return to our sweet children, whom we knew before they entered the stage of terribles.

Whether it's the twos or the threes is irrelevant.  I've learned from experience that kids enter and leave the terribles at different times.  What is predictable is that the terribles are a phase, like any other stage of development.  They are asserting their independence and new skills.  We have to help them through it all and guide them in their development as happy, healthy kids- oh, and protect the other siblings who often bear the brunt of the outbursts!