Sunday, September 18, 2011


I have been waiting for a LONG time for a bit more freedom. I have had a kid with me most of the day for almost 11 years. While I love my babies I really needed some time without them. They need lots of attention and require me to stop whatever I am doing to help them all the time. This isn’t anything that you don’t already know. Parents everywhere know this whole heartedly. If you don’t have kids then it’s a bit harder to comprehend. During your waking hours hire someone to poke you, jump on you or call for you every 5 minutes for 10 years…’s like that. And for each additional kid add a poker, jumper, interrupter to the mix. Good times….

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I am very proud of my kids and I think they’re terrific. They are well mannered, play nicely most of time and are very lovely. But even still they can drive me bonkers. Like right this minute, they have interrupted me 32 times since I started this posting. I am not joking.

I am only one week in and I already feel like a different person. All 3 of my kids are in school this year and I feel a whole new sense of freedom. I haven’t done much yet but I have big plans. This week I walked and climbed the stairs twice, rode my bike twice and had lunch with friends 3 times. I don’t want to accomplish too much too soon. It might set precedence and I certainly don’t want to do that! ;-) And having all that fun didn’t stop me from getting done twice as much as I usually did with the poker, jumper, interrupters at home with me.

At 2:30 I have been coming home and getting ready to pick Kees up from school at 2:45. We come home and chat for a few minutes and then Coulter and Sophia come home on their own. I am relaxed and ready to have my kids home again. I miss them and I want to hear about their day. I know this is the beginning of them flying the coop but right now is such a great time for us as a family.

Sophia said to me on Wednesday, “Mom, you’ve been in a really good mood.” Believe me, it’s because I have had a break. I feel badly that I haven’t been in as good of a mood and that it is so recognizable but I do feel so much better. This is the job that I have been waiting for. This is the kind of mothering I was made for. When I have “me” time I am much more apt to have quality “them” time. It comes much more easily. I have big plans to get things done….eventually. But for now I am REALLY enjoying a bit of freedom.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I am a Supportive Mom

I love my kids. I don’t think anyone would deny that. I think they’re awesome and better than most kids. It’s my job to think that. I tell them when they’ve done a good job and I don’t pussy foot around when they have not done a good job. I give their teachers permission to correct them and I would never say, “Oh my kid would naaaeeeaaver do that.” Because they would. What do people think? Teachers don’t know kids and their behaviors? It’s what they do. They know kids. And I believe that most of them are in it because they genuinely like kids and want to help them. I choose to believe that my kid’s teachers are acting in the best interest of my children and their class mates. Until further notice, I will believe this. I have had teachers thank me for being down to earth and working with them to come to solutions instead of taking my kid’s side and denying that my kid could possibly misbehave. I know they can and I know they have.

I am not the “get on the floor” kind of mom, I am not a “helicopter” parent, I am not overly protective and I am not one to “praise them for nothing” kind of mom. That makes me NUTS!....Oh little so and so, you kicked the ball during soccer, yay, good for you. Shut up! You are supposed to kick the ball during soccer. Terrific, they hit the lowest rung. The other day I saw a little girl (about 2) playing on her mom’s IPhone at the soccer practice for her older brother. A ball rolled off the soccer field and bumped up against her. Her mom bent down and said, “Good for you Lucy. You did such a good job stopping the ball. We’re going to call you Goalie.” And then she proceeded to pat her on the head and continue with the oohing and aaaahing. Give me a break. The kid wasn’t hurt and she wasn’t even paying attention. I would be more apt to call her Door Stop or Stump but certainly not Goalie. That kid is going to grow up thinking that she is Super Kid and then she’s going to go out in the world and wonders why everyone isn’t awed by her presence. “Well Door Stop….there are LOTS of Door Stops out there. What else do you have?” She’s not doing her kid any favors.

I expect my kids to do more, work hard, be kind and try their best. I am not going to blow smoke or give them false praise. I make these promises to my kids because I am a Supportive Mom……. I will heap on the praise when it comes to true effort being made. I will cheer for you when you have a game and I will really cheer if you are doing your best. You don’t have to be the best as a matter of fact you can even be the worst. If you are giving it (whatever it is) your best effort I will be your cheer leader. I will be your advocate. I will be fierce to protect you. I never thought I was very tough but I can be downright scary to ANYONE that might try and hurt you in any way. I will help you learn. I will protect you from the things that I can and I will comfort you when you’re hurt by the things that I can’t. I will cry with you and I will laugh with you. I will support you. I will guide you. I will love you…..always….and I will love you more than you can possibly understand until you have a child of your own. I am your Supportive Mom.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On the Blog Again....I Can't Wait to Get on the Blog Again

It has been far too long since I have blogged regularly. It isn’t because I don’t want to blog. It’s because I have a busy life and family. I love blogging and at times it’s been the thing that has kept me sane…..or as sane as I am I guess.

It’s been an up and down week for me. Do you want the good news or the bad news?..................................................................................................................................................................................... Well? Alright then, you get the bad news first. I like to end on an upswing.

The bad news is that my car was prowled last night. One of my kids, I won’t say which one, left the car unlocked. My kid went in there to get something they forgot. I remember thinking, “I need to make sure the car is locked.” And then life got busy and I forgot. They took my GPS, my speaker for hands free talking in the car, a bunch of gift cards (but not all of them) and my Leatherman multi tool, a total of about $400 worth of stuff. No it’s not the end of the world but it is a huge violation. The van was in our drive way. No it wasn’t locked but damn….it was in MY DRIVE WAY. I have filed a report but I don’t expect to get any of that stuff back. It is yet again a reminder to all of us that we need to lock EVERYTHING. It is very disheartening. So that is that.

Now the good news. I am happy to report that there is much more good news than bad news. First, while we’re on the topic of stolen stuff, I got my bike back! Yep, it is the bike that was stolen in April. It was new and had all my cool stuff on it, air horn, odometer, bell, lights etc. It was in great shape other than some cob webs. I knew that it wasn’t stolen to be ridden; it was stolen to be sold for cash. It was found at a pawn shop. The only bummer part is I had to pay $40 to the pawn shop or they would have held it until they could prosecute and collected some of their money. It was worth it. I couldn’t have been happier about that. I don’t know what I am going to do with it but it’s back.

The kids are back in school. It means getting up early and I did have my kids trained to sleep in this summer. I liked that part. Actually, we had a great summer and did lots of stuff. The kids, Bob and I traveled, played and had a very successful staycation. We enjoyed going to the pool but I couldn’t get anything done when I was at the pool every day for hours on end. I enjoyed just hanging out but things were NOT getting done. I was sick of “bored” kids, making food and cleaning up the kitchen all day, doing extra laundry and the general mess that goes along with having 3+ kids in the house all the time. I was done with summer.

And this school year is better. Why you ask…………because all 3 of my kids are in school from 8:45 to 2:45. 6 years ago when I had Kees I had him in August so my son could go to school when he turned 5. He wasn’t ready. I was totally ready but he was not. I debated whether I should send him anyway but in the end I decided that he needed one more year of preschool. It was a place where he was totally happy. Shoot. But I have to say it was absolutely the best thing for him. He is a totally different kid this year. He’s confident, more adventurous, he’s independent and just more rounded out. He is definitely ready for school.

Today was day #4 of full day kindergarten and he is totally happy. I love his teacher and so does he. I have known her for 6 years and she lives near-by. I told her this summer that he can be really difficult but all she saw was this funny, smart little boy running around being friendly. Yesterday they had a fire drill. When they got outside she had to call roll. When she got to Kees’ name she called it. He didn’t respond. She called again. He didn’t respond and she started to get nervous. After about a minute she saw him and asked him if he heard her. He said, “Yes.” And when she asked him why he didn’t respond he said because he couldn’t hear the “S” on his name. She asked, “Did you know I was calling your name?” And again he said, “Yes.” And then she gave it to him. He knew she was serious and when it comes to safety he could not be doing that. She told me this story in the hall at drop off and then said that she could see what I was talking about this summer. She really understands now where I am coming from with this kid. Fabulous, an ally. Maybe she can do what I have not been able to accomplish.

Coulter has a great teacher too. He has Ms. Barry. She’s the same one that Sophia had. It’s nice to know your teacher. She is what he needs. He doesn’t give me lots of information but he comes home happy every day. “Coulter, how was your day?” He reports, “It was GREAT!” every day.

Coulter and Sophia are now in the same building so they can ride to and from school together. This is great too. It saves me about a half hour in the morning since I don’t have to drop them off. And now they’re coming home together too. Again, a half hour saved. I’m loving that. Sophia sends me a text when they get there and another one when they’re leaving the school. It has been a great way to communicate.

And Sophia…. She had a tough second half of the year. It was very important to me that Sophia have a good year academically but also socially. She had some middle school type problems with friends last year and was told by her teacher to, “Handle it. You need to figure it out.” By the end of the year I was done with that answer. THEY’RE 10 and they need help.

Sophia’s teacher this year is not afraid to step in and help them figure out these issues. I talked to her on the second day of school and she said, “I see the issues that other teachers might not and I know how to handle them.” She has been a middle school teacher for 11 years and has a background in counseling. Hooray!!!! She said if kids are having a hard time getting along and they set a boundary with someone, that someone needs to respect the boundary. I appreciated that. We agreed that everyone needs to be civil to one another and show respect but they don’t all have to be buddies. It was a relief when I met her and I am grateful that she isn’t afraid to get in the middle of the kids and their issues.

Sophia had been very concerned because she is in a mixed age class with 4th graders. I didn’t care about that so long and the teacher was awesome. She is. And Sophia hasn’t mentioned the 4th grade “problem” this week. I think it is becoming less and less of an issue even to her.

We also had a really nice visit from my mom and Ed. They were here for a short time but it was nice. Sometimes when my mom comes it can be really stressful for me. I am her daughter and at times she still feels the need to “mother me” to a degree that feels like torture. I try to make it nice for them and I think I do. But no matter how low impact a guest is, it is still a lot of work. Sometimes my mom is low impact….other times, not so much. This time was low impact and nice. It was truly lovely.

Soccer started when school started. Coulter has had 2 practices and 1 game and has been playing really well. It’s been great fun to see him grow and develop. He is a natural athlete and I would love to see at least one of my kids excel in sports or at least a sport. Just like school….when I ask him how soccer was he says, “GREAT!” I love that kids attitude.

Kees starts soccer tomorrow and is more than a little excited. He has to wear full soccer gear just to kick the ball across the street with his brother. He got Coulter’s old soccer shoes, got his own ball and borrowed Coulter’s jersey. You can see how proud he is to be doing all the stuff the big kids have been doing all along. He is part of the big kid gang now and he is feeling it.

We enjoyed the last 2 days of the pool. It closes for the season on Friday but the open swim was over on Sunday. There was the ice cream social at school and everyone had a great time. PTA (I am on the board) started last night and we have our first general membership meeting next week. Back to school night is tonight and tomorrow for the 2 campuses. Horse riding starts soon, soccer is in full swing, Coulter may be taking an art class after school, everyone seems to have friends and be getting along. We are back in to the full swing of school. So far it has been a great year.

And I have some time! I am thrilled. It’s only the first week and I haven’t done much but I did go out to lunch today and am going tomorrow and the next day too! I have done more laundry, organized a few things, gone through mail and paid bills. It has been nice to do it without having someone interrupt me every few minutes. I will do more but for now I am enjoying the bit of a break.

And I started walking the stairs again. I have partners set up for 2 times per week, Tuesday and Friday. I need to start yoga, yes Rebecca….yoga. There is a studio near my house and I am going to go. I remember when I was growing up I would laugh at my dad when he was stretching because he was so stiff. Pay back is a bitch. I’m not laughing now.

So there is the good the bad and the ugly. Here at the Leek’s it’s mostly good and I plan on keeping it that way.