Mom Problems: Logistics 

Hey blog! It has been way too long, and while I wanted to do a #SilentSunday post (yesterday), but this blog has been #SilentMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday for so long that I felt compelled to write something.

Right now I am in summer logistics mode, trying to plan out what will keep my lovely two children occupied, entertained, and learning a bit while school’s out. An added bonus – these activities help keep me sane, giving me time to tackle my to-do list and hopefully work a few hours for my freelancing gig. These are all good things.

The downside of all these activities is the running around and kid shuttling. I think I need a taxi driver hat!

As I look at our proposed schedule, I know it’s my own doing. We want our kids active instead of hanging out at home and peppering me with,”Mom, I’m bored.” I try to keep it reasonable with open days and times for impromptu fun, so there’s a balance. Conflicts do come up, so we’ll have to pick and choose what we end up doing at certain times. Perfect attendance is over-rated, right?

Last night I successfully registered my five and seven year old for a round of activities – awesome offerings through summer school, sports held at the same time, and a class each at our local zoo on the same day.  Today I added in swimming lessons too. Next on the list: vacation bible school, and then I think we’re all set.  Now I just need the weather to cooperate, so we can enjoy t-ball and softball games in the upcoming weeks! Too bad moms can’t control Mother Nature herself!

I’m really looking forward to summer and time will tell how well I planned it all out for my family!

What is your favorite advice to get through summer logistics planning for your kids and family? Please share with a comment!

 

 

 

Ever Wish you Could Keep Your Kids in a Bubble?

I mean this literally and figuratively, especially with what is going on in today’s world. I do wish I could keep my kids safe in a bubble, especially while they are young. I know that this is not possible, as bubbles will break far too easily. And rightfully so, for I know that they will need to learn and grow beyond the “safe” perimeter that my husband and I establish throughout their lives. But still…doesn’t it sound so nice?!

Here’s the visual to go along with it –  my kids actually experienced being encased by a bubble-tube at a recent visit to a children’s museum in Rockford, Illinois. It was so cool that I even had to try it out!

big-sister-in-a-bubble

Bubble, bubble, bubble – Pop! Big sister checks it out. 

bubble-little-brother

Then Little Brother tried it. I love his expression in the lower left picture!

Fly on the Wall: Parenting in a Nutshell

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                   http://www.bakinginatornado.com/

Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

Searching for Sanity                    http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/

The Bergham Chronicles               http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

When I Grow Up                       http://kimberlyyavorski.com/whenigrowup/

Wanting to Regress, I Guess

In past Fly on the Wall posts I have talked about growing older, mostly as it relates to my kids. In a unique twist, I heard my kids say, “I wish we were babies, and you had to change our diapers.”

Daddy O. replied, “Babies don’t earn coins for doing jobs. They can’t buy things with money. They can’t go swimming by themselves.” At age 6 Big Sister can be in the water by herself with an adult on the pool deck. Little Brother still needs an adult in the water with him at age 5.

Little Brother explained, “We would just swim on you. You do all the work, and we do all the relaxing.”

Me lamenting to Daddy O., “That’s parenting in a nutshell.” Sigh.

Camping / Outdoor Quips

While we were hiking, we had to double back to reach the correct trail. I was able to say, “Turn by the floating caterpillar!” It did appear to be floating, suspended on a thin line of a spider’s web. It was cool!

Both kids asked on our hike, “Are there wolves in the woods?”

I replied, “Just make your annoying noises and they’ll stay away.”

Big Sister was a big discouraged after fishing, saying, “I know why we didn’t catch any fish. It’s because we SUCK!” Wow, I didn’t realize she knew that phrase.  I explained that they didn’t suck, but they just needed to find a better fishing spot…and the fish don’t always bite, blah, blah blah (I’m sure she just heard the voice of Charlie Brown’s Mom.)

Wedding = Kid Free Time!

Daddy and Mama O. wedding 2016.png

Daddy and Mama O all fancy for the wedding – what I can do with time to fix my hair.

Daddy O. and I attended a beautiful wedding of an extended family member, while our kids went with their aunt and uncle and cousins. At the end of the weekend, Big Sister explained, “At our aunt’s house, you get points for sleeping in.” Hmm…maybe we should do that at home!

On our drive to the wedding we were enjoying some 80’s music. I heard the station identification and said, “Wait, is this the oldies station?!”  Daddy O. remarked, “Yeah, we are oldies.”

While up north we saw a few “Man’s Sale” signs. My sister and I laughed, wondering if men were for sale.  A few miles down the road more signs gave a few more clues as to what a “Man’s Sale” was – fishing, hunting, clothing for men, but it was a good laugh!

Little Brother’s New Game

At the step in our garage that leads to our home there were four water bottles lined up. Daddy O. asked, “What’s with these water bottles here?”

Me: It was a game. Little Brother would ride his bike around the garage and would deliver me a water bottle that he pretended was a bottle of wine. Then he’d ride around again and pick up another bottle and deliver it to me. I think it’s a good game.

Daddy O: Okay then…

Now shoo fly, and go check out all of these other posts!

 

Parenting is Like a Family Bike Ride Part 2

Last year I wrote part one of Parenting is Like a Family Bike Ride, and it’s hard to believe that one year later my oldest has ditched her training wheels for good.

Sometimes kids make up their minds quickly.

Early on in summer Big Sister asked to have her training wheels taken off of her bike. I stalled a bit, saving this project for Daddy O., but finally, tired of waiting (and having a tendency towards impatience) I broke out the tool box and took the training wheels off myself. The result – she tried it a few times and was scared of falling. We’d practice every now and then, but she would find something that wasn’t quite right. Her helmet was too small. What if she fell? She wanted knee & elbow pads.

Some More Motivation – and Safety Gear

We shopped for a bigger sized bike helmet together and found a really cute, pink & purple set of elbow and knee pads and gloves. Daddy O. would walk beside her, holding on, as they practiced balancing, braking, stopping.  I’d help her practice, which involved a lot of holding her bike as she whispered to herself, “I can do this. I can do this.” It often was more talking and waiting than actual riding. Grandma even practiced with her for a brief time, only making it two mailboxes down from our own home, but still, she was out there, cautiously figuring it out.

I was talking with complaining to my sister about our biking riding woes and asked how her two boys learned how to ride their bikes without training wheels. She told me that they worked on it EVERY DAY. I shared this idea with Big Sister – using her aunt’s method, which is already cooler than what mom says, and she agreed.

A Little Push to Get Started

I went along with her unique routine that she established with Daddy O., which was a pass of braking practice before trying to pedal on her own. I’d hold onto her bike seat as she mentally prepared herself and said, “I can do this.”  With a little help, she started on her own and rode down a few houses. We turned around and I helped her start going down the street with a little decline to give her some momentum, so she could just coast and balance.

It’s amazing what a little push can do to get kids going on the right path. Don’t we as adults often need a little push and encouragement in our own lives too?

A lot of Work & Dedication Pays Off

We spent a little bit of time each day trying to ride her bike. We did miss a day here or there, but all of the consistent practice really helped build her confidence.

Similarly, there is A LOT of work in parenting, and you have to be show-up each and every day for your kids.

A Time to Let Go

Finally I heard, “No, Mom, don’t hold onto the back of my bike seat. I’m going to do it myself.”  And like that, she was off on her own!

there-she-goes-on-two-wheels-go-mama-o

Look at her go!! Whoo hoo!

Now she wants to take a quick spin around the block and ride her bike almost daily. When I look back to our “practice sessions” I thought it was taking SO LONG, but lo and behold, she gained confidence and learned how to ride on two wheels. This is a continual lesson in patience that I’m still learning as a parent!

1st-time-bike-riding-on-two-wheels-without-help

Big Sister and Daddy O. celebrating their ride around the block together.

Sure, she’s fallen since then, but we’ve heard an immediate, “I’m okay,” and she’s hopped right back on her bike and kept on riding. Wow – how proud I am of this little girl! If she approaches all challenges in life like she’s done with learning how to ride a bike, she will go so far.

As my kids grow older, there are more and more times when I can let go and allow them to figure things out on their own. And yet, there are still times when I hear “Mom” being yelled out, so I know that I’m still needed.

Stay Together

Today I can ride my own bike right next to my daughter. We can ride through the neighborhood at a leisurely pace and chat a bit. I hope this is something we can continue to enjoy to do together for years to come.

As for Little Brother (almost 5), I am still walking beside him as he grows more comfortable with his bike and training wheels. I know it’s only a matter of time when we’ll take those training wheels off and pedal away together for a family bike ride. Until he’s ready for that, I’ll wait patiently and hold on to this time.

 

 

Fly on the Wall: Cuckoo Gaga Cray Cray

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 10 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 6
  • Little Brother, age 4

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links at the bottom of my post for a peek into some other homes:

Can you Hear Me Now?

Ever feel like family members don’t listen to you? This happens all the time with my kids and happened recently with Daddy O. It went like this:

Me: There are extra english muffins in the freezer if you want some.

Two minutes later, Daddy O: Do we have english muffins?

Me: Big sister likes blueberries now.

Two minutes later, Daddy O to Big Sister: Do you like blueberries?

Me: Honestly, you didn’t hear me say those two things just minutes ago? Sigh…

Fashion Feedback

I did some shopping online and we had some interesting reactions to what I found.

Big sister: This is our like a belt on my sandal! I love them. (The “belt strap” is by her heel.)

Sandals

Adorable- do they come in my size?

Little Brother: Shirts should cover my privates. (Upon trying on his new size 5 shirt, it covered his privates.)

Daddy O.: No, shirts don’t have to do that. I think Mom was saying that she likes shirts that cover her privates when she wears leggings.

Mama O in workout gear

This is an example of what I mean – I like a longer top to cover my “privates” when I wear leggings / spandex. This is my workout gear with #noMakeup #noFilter

I don’t always look cute when I workout. I also have these mannish, padded bike shorts. I’ll take function, comfort, and a good workout over cuteness anytime!

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Me: (reacting to another online purchase) Isn’t the back of this sports bra cute?

Back detail of new sports bra (same yoga outfit as above).

Daddy O: Isn’t that like something Kendall Jenner would wear?

Me: Ugh. Did you really just say that?! How do you know what she wears?

Daddy O: I read it online.

Me: Wow, what a great way to spend your lunch hour! (Why did I ask? As a side note, cute sports bras are NOT comfortable. Don’t buy this kind of stuff online if you can’t return it. Ugh..but at least I won’t be wearing something that causes my husband to compare me to Kendall Jenner!)

Where do they come up with this?

Daddy O: Don’t be Cuckoo Gaga Cray Cray! (to Big Sister) Eat your breakfast.

Me: Wow, you came up with that one?

Daddy O: Yes, I guess I did.

Me: A new low in parenting, Daddy! That sounds like something from that Barbie show – lol. (Or possibly a new high in parenting as he relates to our 6 year old daughter – ha)

I’ve been calling Big Sister my mini-me for some time. Here we are together in a selfie that she didn’t want to be in:

Mama O and Mini Me

Anyway, she told me this week, “If I’m your mini-me, then you are my big-me.” Good point, but mini-me sounds way cuter! We talked about this last month, and she suggested I’d have white hair in a few months. It’s tough being the “big-me” I guess!

Mealtime Goofiness

Big sister to Little Brother (who was acting goofy at dinner): You can never be president!

Me: like he’s acting so weird that this would be brought up if he ran for president? Hmm when you were 4 we heard you had bad table manners.

Little Brother: (eating grapes) This tastes like chicken. (What?!)

Day Without the Kids

We had a very fun Saturday out, meeting family to canoe / kayak and go on a brewery tour. As usual, we were cutting it a bit close and should have left earlier.

Daddy O: What’s our ETA?

Me: Late!

Truth be told we were actually right on time. The rental place on the river opened right at the time of our canoe rental, so we made it! YES!

More Fantastic Fly Posts

Now, shoo fly & click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                   http://www.bakinginatornado.com/

Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

Searching for Sanity                    http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/

Southern Belle Charm                   http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Eileen’s Perpetually Busy               http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/

Molly Ritterbeck                             http://mollyritterbeck.com/