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.

 

 

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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!

wpid-20130626_114256-1.jpg

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/

 

Back to School Shopping – The Struggle is Real

Remind me next year to just sign up for the school supply kit that they sell!

After four trips to stores and one final online transaction today, I am happy to report that I am done with back to school shopping for my two kids.

At first glance, the lists look so easy, right?! I combined the lists for 4K and first grade and thought it didn’t look too bad! Right?! Hmm…let me tell you how it went.

I took a first attempt on my own at Target and crossed a few of the easier items off my list. I decided to use the huge supply of pencils we had at home and buy an electric pencil sharpener to pre-sharpen 24 pencils. This IS straying from the list, but I’ll see if the 1st grade teacher will accept it. We honestly will have these pencils for YEARS if I can’t let my kids use them at school. So anyway…first attempt on my own was relatively okay, but I couldn’t finish it all in one swipe because the items on the list didn’t seem like a good price or weren’t matching up as listed.

I made the mistake of taking my kids along for my second attempt at back to school shopping at Target, and it was stressful. I have to read and re-read the list to make sure I’m buying the right thing in between shouts of, “Mom, mom! Come here! I want this!” I kept shutting that down, and after an hour in the store (we had a few other things to buy) I was D-O-N-E!

It’s so frustrating matching up what you need with what the list says. For example, here’s what I was trying to buy:

  • Two highlighter markers – chisel tip, yellow & blue
  • 2 – Clorox Disinfectant Wipes – Fresh Scent, bleach free, 35 ct.
  •  5 – black chisel-tip dry erase markers (low odor)
  • 15 large Elmer’s Glue Sticks (purple, washable, dries clear)
Back to School display Sharpie

Look at this colorful display, looking all cute. If only back to school shopping were easy & fun!

This display attracted my attention, but upon closer inspection, did it have what I needed? No! Well, unless I wanted to buy a pack of ten highlighters for the two colors that I really needed.I looked at the pretty colored ten pack of highlighters and thought, “No, I’m not wasting my money on that!” I even vented to a random woman shopping near me, and she shared that she was a teacher:

“I get it, and I appreciate the detailed list, but it also drives me a bit crazy finding the exact match!”

I ended up finding highlighters in a two-pack in yellow and blue at the Dollar Store on a shopping trip sans kids.

I moved onto the chisel tip dry erase markers. My daughter needed 4 and my son needed one. Ugh…I ended up buying two packs, so we have some extra that maybe we’ll need for next year.

When with my kids, I saw a three pack of Clorox wipes. Upon closer inspection, I needed the Fresh Scent, NOT the Citrus Scent. The pack included two of the citrus scent – NOT what I needed! Ugh…again! I had to bail after that annoying realization. Another trip to Walgreens helped me find the Fresh Scent Clorox Wipes in 35 ct. Whew!

And don’t get me started on the glue sticks – my 1st grader needs 6 and my 4 year old kindergartner needs 9, making it 15 glue sticks.  Apparently they must eat the glue for snack time.  Seriously, how is it possible to make that many projects that require so much adhesive in one school year?!

One final trip to Walmart.com helped me find the remaining Ziploc bags, including one size 4XL bag and a few boxes of Kleenex. It was so nice to just do my shopping online to get those last few things.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am happy  and grateful that I can afford to buy my kids school supplies – crazy as the lists may be, and I will be the first to admit that this is such a #firstworldproblem / mom struggle. I know that teachers need these supplies for their students and sometimes pool them all together for the entire class to use (not sure if this still happens in 1st grade). Teachers know what supplies hold up and work best, which is why the list is so detailed.  As a type A mom, it IS really annoying, trying to get it all right. Next year I should simply do one of the following:

  • build a stock pile of school supplies to avoid minimize the annoyance of this shopping in future years
  • do all of my shopping online
  • buy the school pack of supplies offered by a 3rd party

Next year if you hear me start to complain about back to school shopping, just shut me down and tell me to listen to my own advice on my blog!

Checking Things off our Summer Bucket List

Earlier in summer we created our family’s bucket list, and now that it’s almost August, I thought I’d share what we’ve been up to.

Mama O.'s summer bucket list

Mama O.’s family bucket list for 2016 

There’s a lot that we’ve done! From camping, fishing and playing checkers to ice skating, the zoo, and my son’s choice, “be lazy and boring,” it’s been a fun summer in Wisconsin. 

His “be lazy” comment reminds me of an old post I wrote about regular old summer days as I remembered them growing up…days when we’d whine about being bored with nothing to do, forcing us to invent our own fun.

As summer school ends, we’ll have some less hectic days where we can sleep in and let the day unfold as it will. While I’m looking forward to it, the planner in me wants to fill up our calendar more. Either way, I’m sure we’ll knock some more items off our bucket list and just have time to relax. 

Here are some pictures of our summer thus far:

Scenes from summer

From top left: some serious reporting at a weather exhibit at a museum in Chicago, fishing, riding the boats at Bay Beach, being lazy, hiking by Lake Michigan, watching ducks.

Fly on the Wall – Getting Older!

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.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on the links at the end of this post for a peek into some other homes.

As I re-read my quotes for this month’s Fly Post, I see a similar theme of everyone getting older, and not just my kids, me too! My 6 year old thinks I will age very quickly…read on for the gory details of what I have been hearing lately.

Observations of my 6 year old    

So we have this sign hanging up in our kitchen:

Sign in our kitchen - family rules

Big sister (looking at the sign): Did you know it doesn’t  have a period. And it would go on and on.

Me: So you’d read it really fast like that?

Big sister: yeah.

Me: Should it have a period  or exclamation  point?

Big sister: a period.

Me: You are too funny! You’ve really  learned a lot in kindergarten. You’ve had some great teachers!

On Growing Up

On Little Brother’s last day of daycare, the owner said, “I knew this day would come.” It also coincided with Big Sister’s last day of Kindergarten. There were tears for my four and six year old “babies” who are not really babies anymore! You can read more about my thoughts on that here.

Another sign of Little Brother growing up is that I don’t always get my daily snuggles at breakfast. Big sister commented one morning: Morning snuggle is fading.

Sigh…so it is! But I’ll gladly take it when I can get it.

Making Envelopes?

Both kids: Watch me make an envelope
Me: Licking paper does not make an envelope.  (Oh well, it kept them busy…and I guess there are worse things that they could be licking besides paper.)

Licking paper

Showing off his envelope

Aging Quickly

Me to Big sister: We are similar. We have similar personalities. We look alike.
Big sister: but my hair is longer.
Me: And I will always look older.
Big sister: Maybe When I’m 7, you’ll probably have white hair! (She turns 7 this November! Fortunately I don’t have gray hairs yet!)

The Summer Struggle is Real

Me to kids: Don’t let mom’s car be a garbage dump!

I wrote “You Might be Home with your Kids for Summer If…” with the garbage dump as one of the main signs.

Randomness

I made a great overnight crockpot breakfast casserole recently, and it received mixed reviews.

Little Brother on my egg casserole: I don’t want any yuck-a-role / gross-a-role
Big sister: No, it’s yum-a-role!

Little Brother: It’s not sea weed, it’s lake weed! (on swimming and catching a lot of sea weed while camping).

Here they are before fishing (so excited!).

getting ready to fish

My two little fishers – ready to go! Only Big Sister caught one.

I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying summer as much as we are! Thanks for stopping by. Now be sure to check out these links below:

Baking in a Tornado              http://www.bakinginatornado.com/

Juicebox Confession                    http://www.juiceboxconfession.com

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

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

Searching for Sanity

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

Molly Ritterbeck          

http://mollyritterbeck.com.com