Friday, April 24, 2009

Empty-headed lately

I haven't had too much to say this week when it comes to being a parent. This is probably because I don't think I've been a very good one the past several days. We have been tossed head first into the throes of the Terrible Threes and I am L-O-S-T. My sweet, curious, entertaining boy has turned quickly into a defiant, button-pushing, not so innocent person that I feel I hardly know. No matter what we ask him to do, the answer is no. Likewise, anytime we need him to get moving on something, we are ignored. And the only thing that he will respond to at all is either sternly saying "You're not listening" or calling him Lampie, who is the bad boy on Pinocchio that turns into a donkey. He hates being called Lampie.

I am exhausted! My child has moments where I stare in awe...and not in a good way. His temper tantrums are back, including hitting himself, screaming, slamming doors and doing whatever else he can to take out his frustration and/or get attention. When does he turn four???

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Working moms and taking time

I have been guilty in the past of taking zero time for myself, especially during motherhood. As working moms, we often have a lot of guilt about the amount of time we spend away from our kids. How could we ever take even more time away from what little we already have with our kids? I subscribed to that guilt for about 2 years of Myles' life. Now, on the other side, I feel much different about it.

First of all, let me be clear: spending time with Myles is my biggest priority. With that said, I want the time I spend with him to be good, quality time...during which everyone is happy, fulfilled and fully engaged. I have found great happiness and fulfillment in taking a few extra hours each week for me.

Working is NOT time for me. Face it, most of us working moms are doing it, at least in part because we have to. Some of us to get some enjoyment out of spending time with other adults and thinking about things other than kids, but it still doesn't suffice as being real time for us. And we don't set the hours either. I don't know a mom (even one who loves what she does) who wouldn't prefer to work less hours. It simply isn't an option for most of us.

I spend most of my "me" time either working out or with friends. I run about 3 times a week at a total of about 90 minutes. I go out with friends every other Thursday for another 3 hours. I have a monthly date weekend with my husband and Myles stays with my parents for a couple of nights. And I try to squeeze in errands and a little shopping during lunch breaks at work.

It really isn't a lot of time, but it gives me just enough to recharge and treat myself well. It has also done wonders for my marriage and helped me build a good support network, which anyone could use! When we are together, just me and Myles or as a threesome, we make it special.

Motherhood - especially when you are working - is a balancing act. Taking time for oneself, in my opinion, helps you balance everything else with a sharper mind and calmer spirit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Movin' on up!

I had a note in my box yesterday that Myles is being "promoted" to the three year-old classroom! The big holdup was his potty training...they even moved two kids younger than him up in January! But now that we're over that hump and he is no longer having accidents (and going on his own without being asked), he's officially ready!

April 27 is the big day for him and I know it will be hard. Once we got past our issues in December (see old blog posts), things really looked up and Myles has become very close with his teachers. They told me yesterday they H-A-T-E to see him go. From what I gather, he does a good job of entertaining the young ones in the class (who have just turned 2) and they also say he comforts all of the kids when they are sad or hurt.

For me though, this is a good thing. Although the teachers have been great, I'm ready for Myles to be more challenged and I think being with older kids will be good for him. The curriculum in the twos class is written for twos. For several months now, Myles has shown signs of boredom. He will now learn new skills and once again be one of the youngest in the class, meaning he'll learn from his peers.

My big boy is really all grown up!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mean words

Myles has been obsessed lately with the word "stupid." He tried saying it at school a few weeks back and was told by a teacher that it is not a nice word and that he shouldn't ever say it to someone. Well, that was enough to pique his interest and he's been nonstop ever since. We wondered where he heard it and finally realized it was on the movie Pinocchio. Every time he hears it, his ears perk up and he immediately gets wide-eyed. "That man said stupid, mommy," he'll remark. "That's not, no!"

It's actually really hilarious. Of course, I have to keep a straight face when he scolds the character on TV because he is oh-so-serious when he does. But it is funny that he's become so obsessed.

He also tells me daily about a classmate, who apparently says the word stupid every day. "T. said stupid, mommy!" Of course, I have to ask him what Ms. Monique said. And it's the same every day..."No no, T. Don't you say stupid, T."

I never thought I'd be so amused and interested by such conversations. But I am. And I have them every single day. This is the life of the mom of a 3 year-old.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Five - 5 ways to have fun this weekend

It's the weekend again! But I don't know how it is that the weeks seem to get longer while the weekends seem to get shorter. Ugh. Here are five ways to have fun with your child over the weekend, some of which may make the weekend actually feel longer. And of course, as is the norm with me, most of these things are free or very low cost.

1. Go to a local park. This is a staple of our weekend. We love visiting new (and tested/approved) parks to help Myles get out his energy with some monkey bars, climbing walls, swings and slides. And the weather is good for it this time of year!

2. Go for a long walk. OK, so I'd have to throw some running in there. But if you're not a runner and you want some exercise, take your child out for a walk in the evening, before the sun sets but after the temperature has started to cool. If you're not a walker either, try a bike ride.

3. Get some ice cream. After this, you may want that walk. We love to take Myles to McDonalds, Brewsters or Cold Stone for a sweet treat, especially when he's been a good boy.

4. Pitch a tent in your back yard. Myles has a shark tent that we got him for Christmas, that is currently taking up about a quarter of his playroom. He LOVES being in the tent, yet we've never taken it outside, where it is supposed to be! Task #1 is getting Billy to mow the ridiculously long weeds that have taken over our back yard. Then we can pitch the tent and spend time looking at the stars.

5. Go swimming. We may hit the beach this weekend. I'm not totally bikini ready but it's supposed to be hot here until Monday (when it dips back into *gasp* the 70s) so maybe a beach day would be nice. If not the beach, we can always hit my parents' resort, which is about 45 min. away and boasts amazing pools and probably isn't too busy at this time of year. Don't forget to pack a picnic lunch.

What do you like to do with your kids to make the weekend memorable and fun?