Thursday, March 19, 2015

Best Big Bro

There is this small boy I know. He's an incredible little dude. For a very very long time I thought it was just going to be me, him and his Daddy. And then along came a tiny little Bug. She was our wonderful surprise. But here's the thing. I don't think I actually knew how amazing my small boy was until my tiny girl arrived. I was compelled to write this post to say what an amazing brother he is because I was cleaning and making lunch today and the tiny one was out in the trampoline while her brother was playing baseball in the back yard. As I glanced out the window I see her bouncing/stumbling toward the opening in the net. I run outside to save her from certain DOOM but small boy had already run over to her rescue. And this is just one of the many times he has been there for her. 

 He loves her unconditionally. 
It's actually kind of sickeningly adorable. 

There is not one person on earth (including D and I) who can make her laugh like he can. Like serious fat guy belly laughs. In fact, the first time she ever giggled/laughed was at small boy. I almost died it was so adorable. 

They are even starting to figure out that when they team up they are a stronger force. Lord help me. 

And despite all the crazy shit she does to him (destroying his Lego creations, always trying to take what he's playing with, terrorizing him while he's doing homework, biting, hair pulling, hitting, throwing things at his head, the list goes on and on) he keeps his cool 90% of the time with her and I could not ask for a better brother/sister duo to parent. 

There are a lot of times where I'm pretty sure he has saved my sanity. He's SO helpful. Not only helping me with things but helping her with things. When she gets mad he almost always runs to try and make her happy by giving her something or trying to make her laugh. She also changes her shoes, jacket and attempts to change her clothes about a million times a day. I can't keep up with that. But where I slack, he helps out. He helps her change and put on her shoes almost every day at least once a day. He reads every single book she brings to him. He helps her get snacks and drinks if she is hungry or thirsty. 

He is almost 6 and she is almost 1 1/2. I can't believe they are so old. I can't believe he is so old. And such a good kid. I have no idea how I got so lucky with him. He's a kid and he can be difficult sometimes but there is zero way I would change anything. He's one of the most kind, responsible, and caring people I have ever met. Tiny girl... I hope she can take note. She reminds me of a rabid badger. I hope she can learn to be so compassionate and helpful from him as time goes on!

A Time I Had

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Suck It Pinterest Parents

OK so we all know I am a "recovering pinterest parent." But here's the thing. Today is St. Patricks Day. What the hell happened to starting your day with an Irish coffee, followed by a Guinness at lunch and more merry drinking the rest of the afternoon/evening while you enjoyed food that probably wasn't Irish in any way? Oh yeah all while proving your badass parenting skills by keeping your children alive while you drank all day.

Based on my facebook feed here is what I am supposed to do on St. Patricks Day:
1. Make a leprechaun trap.
What the shit is this? I just can't. CAN'T.

2. Pretend that a leprechaun snuck in our house to leave goodies in our shoes.
3. Make special green jewelry for my girl child so some asshole doesn't pinch her.
4. Make a special green leprechaun tree to hide gold in
5. Put green dye in my toilet with green footprint on the toilet seat like a freaking leprechaun broke in my house and peed some weird diseased pee that they walked through and didn't flush.
6. Put together a bag of "rainbow seeds" from crap colored candy so we can grow a rainbow.

Don't get me started. I could go on for a while with all the stupid shit that parents did this year. The problem? I KNOW these people. Like I have met them and interacted with them in real life and I thought they were cool. I give a pass to the poor parents whose children were ASSIGNED to make a leprechaun trap in school. LAME.

Here's the thing. IF I were a leprechaun I would want to be left the hell alone. And I would mind my own G. D. business. No I do not want to be trapped. No. I do not want to bring a bunch of useless crap and leave it in your dirty stinky shoes.
If anyone tries to bully my girl child because she isn't wearing homemade green jewelry then they are going to have big issues with me. I take Krav. I can cut your face open with my elbow. And I will if you screw with my child.
No. I will not make a special tree for my house so anyone can hide anything in it. I have a hard enough time finding crap my children play with that they shouldn't in the first place. I am not constructing a special time consuming hideaway for them to stick my wallet or my sunglasses. No. Just no.
As for the toilet. >.< If I sit down on some stupid green footprints because I am too tired to rememeber I did something this stupid then I deserve to have footprints on my butt. And if anyone breaks in my house to pee weird colors in my toilet, again, I can cut your face with my elbow. Leprechauns probably pee golden anyway. You know those little dudes down beer, not water.
I am not growing a rainbow and I'm not teaching my child to "grow" one either. Maybe I'm a grinch and I take away all the magic but my kid is so interested in science that there is no way I am going to tell him that rainbows grow out of candy. I'm just not.

But I will show you that I can still keep he magic alive (with the most minimal of effort!)
Small boys breakfast. Fruit I already had cut up. Green smoothie including peas and spinach.  

Tiny girls breakfast. The zucchini muffins were frozen. Just thawed them this morning!

My daily green tea, 2egg spinach feta scramble and green grapes. 
 BAM. Festive breakfast. It took me like 5 minutes to make everything. All I did different than I would have any other day was make sure they had all the fruit on their plate and arrange it in a rainbow. Zucchini muffin pot o'gold. I seriously thought about this a couple minutes before making them breakfast. They were so excited. I don't need a damn trap to keep the magic alive. And I kept my food greenish! Without dye. Win.

I also made a mint chip "ice cream" with banana, spinach, mint extract, a tiny bit of coconut milk and some dark chocolate chips. It's pretty damn close to the real thing. Dessert. That's all we are doing for this holiday. I lie. I blew up two green balloons that kept them busy for like a half hour before small boy went to school. Eat your heart out pinterest parents!(honestly I probably did the food thing for me. Every once in a while I just like to make pretty and creative food.)

A Time I Had

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nerd Fitness

I am tired of eating like crap. I just am. At the beginning of this year I went nuts. I completely overhauled our pantry.I chucked all the crap that had ingredients whose names were too hard to pronounce. I chucked everything that had three or more different kinds of sugar in them. I chucked A LOT of crap. And I do not regret it for one second. I wish I had a before shot of my pantry but this is the After:

Aside from eating like crap, I am also tired of misinformation. There are about a billion things you are supposed to know to be healthy. Eat this, don't eat this, eat X number of times a day...blah blah blah. Then you see those facebook posts "3247382742983642385762387 myths about food" or "67 things you think are healthy but aren't" or whatever. Bleh. Too much. What do I believe? 

THEN D showed me Nerd Fitness and I fell in love. They back everything with science and instead of spouting that this diet will work or this workout plan is the best, they give you options and help support you in making small lifestyle changes very slowly so that the changes become HABIT. Because if you are just doing something for a small amount of time like giving something up for lent or doing a 6 week diet/workout plan to fit into a swimsuit for the summer, it's not going to stick. Period. I know this. My family has made small changes over the years. We have never really drank soda or juice. It's just habit. We don't eat out regularly. Maybe once or twice a month. MAYBE. The last few months I have made it a point to buy MORE veggies and prepare them in different ways so we just plain eat more of them. 

NF gives you small goals to change your daily life into a more healthy one. And they back everything they say with pure science. So if you are wondering why something works then it can help you. Why does paleo work? Why does strength training work? Why will a billion hours of treadmill or elliptical not be as effective as a well rounded workout plan? 

Not only that, I signed D and I up for their fitness academy. If you know us you know that we are incredibly huge gamer nerds. Guess what? Now we get to gain XP and "level up our lives." Yeah. We complete quests (nutrition, goals, fitness) and gain certain xp for doing them. And then DING. Level up. 

I'm super excited about it and happy to not constantly feel like crap because of our nutrition or lack of motion. The kids beg to go on out evening walks. They join in our circuit workouts. They do "yoga" while we plank. And small boy started trying to do wall handstands with me. It makes my heart happy to instill a love of moving and good nutrition in them so young. 

A Time I Had

Friday, March 13, 2015

Don't Burn out Baby!

 OK so I am a mom. I love my children. I will do whatever it takes to protect them and make sure they are happy. So there's that. 

The past 5-6 months or so I have been stressing out about where the small boy will be attending school next year. He has been going to a private school since he began preschool at age 3. It is an amazing school. At 5 years old he reads long chapter books with expression and comprehension. He does multiplication at the meal table even though they are not formally teaching it in class yet. He is better at geography than I am. He spells words I didn't think was possible for someone his age. He can tell time on an analog clock. He knows how to count money. He has received an incredible education. BUT he is a perfectionist. He has high expectations for himself. He wants to be the best. He is highly competitive. Now I used to think these were attributes that would be PERFECT for a school like he is attending. But over the past few months I no longer think that. Preschool was an entirely different ball game. The kindergartners come home with 3-4 worksheets of homework every day. These usually take small boy no longer than 15 minutes to do. Lately it's two digit addiction and subtraction and fill in the middle number (37-__=17) papers, 1 or 2 language arts (I think they are working on "doer" and "doing" parts of sentences this week) and like a real life thing like money or time.  And then they have book work. Read a story. Answer the questions about it at the end. OK fine. 

I think it's starting to get to him. He's smart and knows the stuff and I think he's just tired of all the work. I can see him headed for a burnout. WHAT?! He's 5. FIVE. He can not burn out before he is even in a grade with a number in it! So when it became possible for us to kind of afford putting him into first grade next year we had a lot of thinking to do (this was like a month or so ago). And as of this moment and a few weeks before our answer is NO. Absolutely not. We tried for charter schools but the public school system in Vegas basically has every single parent trying to get into the same charters. Well we tried for 4 campuses. 2 were completely out as far as our lottery number. One is still a slim possibility (#5 on waitlist) and the last...well let's just say I hope they have their shit together as far as education goes because they sure as hell don't have it together when it comes to communication, deadlines, or even telling people the correct information. So I'm guessing that is out too. 

So small boy will be attending the public school we are zoned for. It's taken me months to wrap my head around this idea. Truth is that he is going to be bored. From what I have seen the things the first graders are working on now are things he has known for quite a while now. So he is at least a year ahead. OK. But here's the thing. He will get a chance to be a KID. HE can run and play and learn some g.d. patience. Not everyone is going to learn at your pace. Sometimes you have to wait for them. Sometimes you have to do that WITHOUT goofing off and getting in trouble. This will be a challenge. But there are a lot of things they don't formally teach in school that you will have to learn. 

D and I plan to supplement his academics in school with outside enrichment. I don't want to shove more academics down his throat after school. We will keep him in TKD where he can continue to learn discipline and responsibility and outside of that we plan to learn Spanish as a family. D plans to do science experiments with him and I plan to draw and make books with him (all things he is interested in now). If he asks to learn about something we will teach him or find someone or something that can. 

So in conclusion, private and charter schools: I love the idea of you but I am not stressing anymore. There is no reason to. I have an amazing and very bright little boy who will dominate any school he goes to. Would we love the extra resources other schools could offer? Of course. Can we, instead, step up OUR game as parents? Absolutely. Schools don't owe us a damn thing. We are lucky that we live somewhere that can offer our child a free education, no matter what they are able to teach them. And our kid is lucky enough to have us. Because we want him to learn. We want him to pursue the things he is interested in without pushing him to the point of a burnout. Bam. 

A Time I Had:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Moving on

So when I first moved to Vegas I met a woman. She was so put together. She was focused on her family and making them as happy and as healthy as she could. I envied her. I envied her because I was still at the point in my life where it was so easy to get sucked into adult drama. Still at the point where I put more than I probably should have into "friendships." Over the past few years I have watched the small boy go from a tiny little 2 year old to an incredibly smart and talented almost 6 year old. We have added a spitfire of a daughter to our amazing little family. I have been through a lot of shit and the only adult that has been there for EVERYTHING, my "bff," is D.

I absolutely adore the few close friends I have and they are truly irreplaceable. But I feel like I have finally reached that point that envied before. The majority of my focus is put towards my family and myself. Instead of worrying if I was able to make it to the girls night out because I might miss something, I keep to my family nights and my health. I have several issues with health since I have fibromyalgia. I can no longer constantly go out, drink, eat whatever I want and stay out til 2am. And quite honestly that doesn't really sound super fun to me anymore. I love spending time with friends. I do. But it's not important to me to make every single party or night out that any of my girlfriends make. It's not important to me to catch up on who is talking about who or who made a fool of themselves or who offended this person or that person. It's incredibly refreshing to be removed from all of that.

I would not change any of the things I have been through here. I would not change the going out or the drama. Did I enjoy ALL of it? No. But it got me to where I am. I feel like I am a better mom because I am no longer scheduling or attending the endless "playdates" to make sure I don't go nuts and get my friend time in. I tend to get sucked into making it about me. This is not to say everyone is that way. But now that I am not doing the million weekly playdates, I am less stressed, I am more attentive to both my kids, I have more patience with my kids and quite frankly I have more fun with them. They are amazing little people. They are hilarious. They are all kinds of things that I might miss if I didn't spend more quality time with them. I love that I have changed me to be better for them.

I am not perfect and I am not put together by any means but I am more focused on my family and less focused on if I am everyone's bff or if everyone likes me or if I'm in the right "clique" (yes that still exists if you are an adult and it's unfortunate).

My family cooks together. We read together. We go on walks together. We make art together. We workout together. We learn together. We makes friends together. I listen to them. I find out what they want and we make it work for US. Not just for me. And I love that I have recognized the things I was doing wrong and have worked to make them right.

A Time I Had


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Here we go

So it's obvious I have not blogged in a long time. I'm not going to play "this is my catch up post, sorry I haven't been around." I'm going to say a couple of things. 1. I had a beautiful little girl since last I was here. She's wonderful and insane and makes it so I don't have time to do things like blog. And 2. I am taking a page from a wonderful friend's book and I'm going to blog the way I want. It won't be full of entertaining banter unless I feel like it. It won't sugar coat anything. It will be able whatever I want. It may be full of rants. It may be full of things you don't want me to talk about it. If you can tell something might offend you, skip that post and be on your way. Like my friend said, I may not be for everyone.

So these posts are probably not going to end up being linked to facebook posts. But here's the thing, you can keep up with me. I'll post about the things happening in our lives. And there it is.

Run down:
My tiny boy is amazing. He's kicking some serious smart school ass. This is good and bad for a number of reasons. It's good for obvious reasons so I won't bother. It's bad because we can no longer afford the school he attends. It's also bad because he is performing at the top of his class. At the top of his class at a school that is already academically advanced. We sit at the meal table and he begs me to do multiplication with him. He's 5. He reads chapter books. Not like a robot. He doesn't just read words. He reads them with expression. He reads them with comprehension. He knows how to spell words I don't even know how to spell sometimes. He is beyond curious about everything. This means that next year we have to up our game and supplement the shit out of his education. And so we have chosen (with his input) to learn Spanish as a family (mine is very rusty). D will do Science experiments with him. I will do drawing lessons with him. I want his education to be fun and even if we could afford his current school next year I would not put him there. He has a perfectionist personality and is incredibly hard on himself. To put that type of personality in that kind of school for longer is something I see as bad. I don't want my kid to burn out at age 6. Pass. He's also kicking some serious ass in TKD. He stepped up serious time into an advanced class that is about 7000x more intense than the tiny tiger class he was in. I know I'm his mom but BAM, that kid is good. So proud!

My tiny girl is insane. That is all for now.

I have started krav maga. It's kicking my ass. I have wicked bruises all over my body. I love/hate it. It turns me into Golem. "You should go precious." "But it hurts us precious" "But you loves it" "Nooooooooo."

D is almost done with his masters. Yay! Shift work is nuts.

K9 hasn't eaten anything inappropriate lately. Win.

And lastly (just to stir the post), most people are crappy drivers, smokers are selfish, anti-vaxxers make me see red and the laws restricting teachers in Kansas make me want to punch people in the baby makers so they can't procreate more idiots.

A Time I Had