Hubby 2.0

10 May

My husband attended a conference in Seattle all of last week. I was less than enthralled about it because that left me and the 2 kids to fend for ourselves. Not only was I going to have to take out the trash, but there would be more of “Where’s daddy?” and “When is daddy coming home?”. I already have to hear these questions enough; I was not looking forward to being bombarded.

As it turns out, I did not get asked these questions anymore than the average week. Why? Well, my husband has gotten into some bad habits of coming home later and later, and when he is home the work is not put away. The cell phone is perpetually out, and the laptop is set up on the counter. So, though he was out of town for the entire week, the kids seemed to miss him only about as much as the average week.

Why am I telling you these less than endearing things about my husband? Because he has decided to change. While at this conference, he took a training called the Corporate Athlete course (free plug!), and it caused him to really take a look at his mission (goals) in life.  He decided he needed to make some adjustments, and I’m so proud.

I’m not going to repeat his mission and story verbatim, but what I took from it is that he wants to be the best, engaged husband and father he can be.  He has seen that he’s been a bit selfish, and he’s ready to change.  I think it takes tremendous courage to look at yourself in the mirror so honestly.  We are calling his new transformation John 2.0.  I can’t wait to see my upgraded hubby in action!

Among the list of his new habits, he plans take better care of himself through exercise and diet, to be home by 6pm, put the cell phone away (no checking email while the kids are awake), include his family in his hobbies, and turn off the TV when we are having conversations.  Each one is a little thing — but they add up to a man who is HOME when he is home.

I don’t want to make this sound like I had a horrible husband.  Not at all.  I had a wonderful, loving husband who brought home flowers to his adoring wife for no reason at all.  A responsible husband that did the laundry every week.  A loving father who played on the floor with his kids. 

But, a man who can look at his faults — really look at them — and make a decision to change?  That is a man with courage.  That is a man I love with all my heart.  I love you sweetie!

BTW: Published with permission from the Hubby. πŸ™‚

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Friday fill-ins

7 May

Here we go!

1. Salsa and I refuse to say “chips.” Because it’s so obvious. Oops.  I already said it.  You got me.

2. I really need to get Clue the board game — my daughter would love it.  Plus, I love all the characters names — Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet and you’ve even got Mustard.

3. By the time I get home my hubby should be back from his business trip from Seattle.  Yay!

4. Luscious fresh fruit is what I look forward to most when grocery shopping. Too bad my stomache isn’t on board with that.  Stupid IBS (irritable bowel syndome for those who really didn’t want to know!).

5. And I was dreaming of eating all that luscious fresh fruit.  With no repercussions.  Did you hear that stomache? Stupid IBS.

6. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai Lama …is there anything else better?!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spending some time with my hubby while babysitting my friend’s kids, tomorrow my plans include getting a massage and Sunday, I want to have a nice Mother’s Day with my family!

Slanty eyes

7 May

My daughter totally caught me off guard this morning for a “teaching moment.”  I hope I did OK.  The conversation went something like this.

A:  “People in China have eyes that look like this.”  A takes her fingers and pulls the corners of her eyes back.

Mom:  “That’s not nice, A. Daddy’s eyes look like that.  You shouldn’t make fun of the way people look.” 

A:  “No his eyes don’t.”

Mom:  “Yes, they do.  Did someone at school say that?  You should tell them it’s not nice to make fun of the way people look.”

A:  “Daddy’s eyes don’t look like that.”

Mom:  “Did someone at school say that?”

A:  “No.”

A is now upset.  I have a very sensitive child.  She runs off to her room.  She needs time to process.  She was upset all morning, but did not want to talk anymore about it.  I reminded her that if other kids were saying things like that, she should either tell them to stop or get a teacher. 

This stuff starts early, huh?

Tell me Thursday: Growing like a weed

6 May
My daughter, A, has been growing like a weed!  I look at this picture and cannot believe how much she has grown.  When she falls asleep on the couch — she now takes up the whole thing!  When did that happen? 
She’s still only a Kindergartner (soon to be done with that!), but I now have “real” conversations with her.  Wow.  How time flies.

When she was about two and a half, my husband became convinced he would have a tall daughter.  I figured she would not “out-grow” us.  We have a standing bet around 5′ 6″ (my husband’s height — though he says he’s 5′ 7″).  I’m not sure what the winner gets, but at this rate, I might be the loser!

parenting BY dummies

Wordless Wednesday

5 May

Tuesday Tip Jar: 5 ways to let your Kindergartner get themselves ready in the morning.

4 May

Here’s my first try at a Tuesday Tip Jar.  Let me know if this is helpful! 

I hear parents complain that they have a hard time getting their kids out the door in the morning — dragging them out of bed, tangled hair, “where’s my socks?” and “I’m HUNGRY!”  Well, in my house, my 6-year-old Kindergartner gets herself ready. In fact, sometimes she’s ready before I’m out of bed!  Often, she’s the one nagging daddy, “are we going to be late for the bus???” (he is in charge of getting her to the bus stop).

Now, I’ll admit my daughter is pretty responsible for a 6-year-old, but we did a lot of “prep” to have her be this independent in the morning.  Here’s my tips for helping your Kindergartner be independent in the morning:

  1. Pick out clothes at bedtime.  This is a no-brainer, right?  Ok, I admit I’ve forgotten lots of times, if you do it enough your child will remind you! 
  2. Put an alarm clock in their bedroom and set it.  They don’t even have to be able to read time yet — just have to know how to turn it off!  We have one that has “sounds” (birds, rainforest, waves) in addition to the radio and BEEP BEEP, so that seemed more appropriate for waking her up.
  3. Show your child how to do her/his own hair. And don’t criticize her when it’s less then perfect!  It’s OK if your kid’s hair is a little bit moppish.  They will gain confidence, and gain their own sense of style.  They play on the playground everday — it’s going to get messy anyway!
  4. Have breakfast food that they can access.  We have fruit bars, bananas, fruit cups, and cereal.  The key is to have things that do not require YOU (the parent) to be present in order for them to get started with breakfast.  My kids know what are acceptable choices for breakfast from the pantry, and can get them out themselves in the morning. 
  5. Have school supplies ready to go.  Make sure lunches, backpacks, and anything else that is needed for the day is already packed and waiting at the door.  I usually go through my daughter’s backpack after she gets home from school, and repack after she goes to bed.

That’s it. Oh, I also have one more tip for those who like a little peace in the morning:  show your child how to turn on and off the TV! I don’t mind if my daughter watches a cartoon in the morning — after she’s done with everything else.  It motivates her to get ready.

Fill-in Friday

30 Apr

1. I was enjoying one-on-one time with my daughter last night playing “Walk the dogs”.
2. I went to bed last night and I left my book The Art of Happiness on the steps — it will not be finished yet!
3. Why would you sell your customers a product that you are betting will fail? Is it too much to expect large American financial companies to act ethically?
4. The gulf coast was in my thoughts today.
5. One of my father’s favorite sayings is He who dies with the most toys wins!
6. “I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” – E. B. White — I know that feeling!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Date Night with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include getting the dog groomed and Sunday, I want to enjoy spending time with my daughter at the Girl Scout mother/daughter tea party!

Tell me Thursday: It’s a good thing they are cute.

29 Apr

My family has 2 cats, one dog, and 2 kids (plus one hubby and me).  It’s the all-American suburban demographic, including a nice sized two-story home with 3 bedrooms.  With all that space, you’d think I could sit somewhere — anywhere — without having a warm body touching me at all times.

No, it is not possible.

Somehow I have become the pet/kid whisperer, and if I decide to rest my tired feet in any location for more than — say, 30 seconds — I will have a furry critter or small child invading my personal space.

And I LIKE my personal space. 

I’m sure some mothers might see me as “unattached” or unmotherly for this, but I am my OWN person.  I need my OWN space.  I like — no love — to snuggle with my kids and pets.  But I sometimes feel like I’m being stalked in my own home!

If I rest on the couch?  Kids and dogs are clammering for the spot next to me.  The dog will even sit at my feet waiting for a kid to get up, then jump up on the couch — usurping the spot.

If I work on the computer?  One kid next to me asking “can I see pictures?”, while a cat wiggles her way in behind my back.

If I’m in the bathroom?  While I have learned to lock the door, a cat usually sneaks in first.  Meanwhile, I listen to knocking and “Momma?  Momma?” for the entire duration.

If I want to sit at the kitchen table and try to have an adult conversation with friends?  Peek under the table — you’ll see an interesting “game” of “block the kid from mom’s lap.”  He usually squirms his way on anyway.

After my children go to bed, the animals reign supreme. They dictate my bedtime.  If I do not go to bed on-time, a cat will meow at my feet until I head up the stairs. 

It’s a good think they are cute.

Wordless Wednesday

27 Apr

Virtuosos at Granny’s

26 Apr

Three virtuosos giving a concert today at Granny’s house.