Monday, April 30, 2012

Standardized testing... dun-dun.

Today is Bebe's first day of standardized testing, ever. I don't remember when I first took a standardized test, but I do remember that EVERY SINGLE YEAR the "example" to teach you how to properly fill in the dot was the same. It went something like, "A baloo is a bear..."

Last week was a review week, filled with "practice tests" and last-minute cramming in of new concepts (like division--how fun!). 21 pages of practice work accompanied her home last Monday (due Friday) and every night there was mourning and gnashing of teeth...

This morning brought nervousness and insecurity. "What if I get ALL the questions wrong?" "What if I forget to put my name on the test?" I did my best to assure her that she'll do fine, that we don't get her individual tests scores, that no matter what all we want is for her to do her best. D and I prayed over her this morning, and I think that helped her feel better.

Let's hope the day (and the next TWO WEEKS! I don't remember them lasting so long) goes by fast.

I'm just looking forward to 2 weeks of no homework at night. Yippee!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Early riser...

Usually I'm up around 6:40, and I'm dragging myself out the door with Dois in tow (usually D brings Bebe to the Y in the morning) around 7:45 or later. It's like I can't seem to just get up and out.

This morning, though, I NEEDED to be to work early (have to be off early to take Bebe for some blood work--THAT should be fun). I set the alarm for 6, got right up, woke up Bebe, and the 2 of us were up, dressed, fed, and out the door by 6:35! Some sort of miracle.

Right now I feel awake... and am excited just thinking about the "extra hours" I'll gain at home tonight. I'm hoping to get a lot of housework crammed in so that our weekend goes a lot smoother. D and I have a date on Sunday night, and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm boring.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's what Bebe thinks about me.

Every single day when I pick her up from after school, I'm assaulted with questions about my "favorites." "What's your favorite color?" "What's your favorite food?" "What's your favorite animal?" "What's your favorite song?" "What's your favorite kid's movie?"

I know my favorite color, but the rest of those? My answer is always, "I don't know." I can't make something up, because after my answer, ANOTHER round of questions come. (Like if I say pizza is my favorite food, she'll ask me why, what my favorite toppings are, what I like most about pizza, etc.)

I think it's just the instant assault that throws me off, too--I never know what she's going to ask, and like I said, the questioning is CONSTANT. It's the end of a long work day, and the last thing I want to do is be interrogated on my commute home.

When I told D the other night that I'm boring--I've lost all my imagination, creativity, etc. he just laughed. But seriously? Sometimes I think that this lifestyle is sucking it all out of me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A balancing act

Yesterday morning at 9am, my phone rang at work--Bebe was complaining of a headache and a stomachache and needed to be picked up from school. I called my husband and we played the, "Who needs to work more?" game. While D has more time off available, my workload is more flexible. But this sudden phone call added more strain because LAST week the same thing happened--but with Dois instead of Bebe. In the end we wound up splitting the day--D picked up Bebe and I came home at lunch and we "switched off." I tried to get Bebe into the doctor for an appointment, but the earliest available with her pediatrician was at 10am TODAY. So, again, one of us had to take time off.

Every time one of the kids is sick, anxiety sets in, big time. I can use vacation time if I have no sick time to spare, but we've booked a cabin for a week in July (our first family vacation in 3 years NOT involving visiting family) and as it stands, I can not take another minute off of work or come that week, I won't have enough hours to cover it. D has a heaping pile of sick days available to him, thanks to his previous position where furlough days were "banked" because they were a high-volume office. When he WAS sick, they used a banked day, not a sick day, so when he transferred to his new position, he brought almost a month's worth of sick days with him. That would make you think he's the default person for caring for the kids, but his workload differs from mine, in that critical deadlines can be missed if he misses a day during certain times. So when the phone rings, and it's school or daycare on the other end, the decision-making is so hard.

Having yesterday afternoon off, though, was awesome--I did a load of clothes laundry, a load of diaper laundry, put all the kids' clothes away, and worked out at the gym. If only I could figure out how to work 4 9-hour days and a 1/2 day once a week. I would totally do it! I couldn't believe how refreshed and energized I felt after doing all that in one afternoon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Motherhood and Perfectionism don't go together.

I'm a perfectionist.

Everything has a place. When something is put away where it doesn't belong, I meet the offending object with a sigh and must place it where it belongs immediately. I don't like people putting away my dishes and silverware, or the kids' toys, because I know EXACTLY where everything belongs and they don't.

Perfectionism makes delegating hard. I have a hard time asking D to put away the kids' clothes for me, because I know I'll find Bebe's shirts in her pants drawers, her pajamas in her underwear drawer, and her dresses folded instead of hung. I don't ask him to stuff Dois's cloth diapers for daycare because he won't line up the inserts just so and they'll leak. I even have a hard time asking Bebe to pick out her clothes because if they don't match, it drives me bonkers. (Or when she decides to wear something like a winter coat on an 80-degree day.)

Tonight within 50 minutes, our living room went from completely clean to this:


Doesn't exactly look like the home of a perfectionist, does it?

Motherhood will do funny things to you...


This past weekend was one of those weekends where I was in WAY over my head. And I knew it. Yet I attempted to "do it all" anyway, and the result?


I wish I was one of those people who could just take things in stride, but I'm not. I get stressed, obsessed, and overwhelmed.

This weekend was just filled with entirely too much stuff. Saturday was The Great Cloth Diaper Change, Bebe's gymnastics class, and swim lessons for Dois and I (all between 8:30 and 11:45am). Then after a quick shower and lunch, I was off to a bridal shower (I had been up until midnight Friday crafting bookmarks and making homemade strawberry sorbet for it). I could already feel the tension building at that point--my mind had a list a mile long of all the things I had to-do that I wouldn't be doing. The shower only lasted a few hours, but when I got home the kids were awake and missing mommy time, my sister-in-law was there (she'd come over to watch them since D went to work), and all I managed to do was get one load of laundry done before I crashed out of exhaustion.

Sunday we woke up bright and early (thank you, children) and headed off to Mass as a family. For weeks I had been promising Bebe a trip to Disneyland just the two of us, and wouldn't you know, without much thinking I had set the trip for yesterday! Somewhere in the morning, while getting ready, I freaked out. Just a complete nervous breakdown.

There was still laundry in their baskets from last weekend's laundry. Washed and folded, but not put away. There were two hampers full of laundry that still needed to be washed, not to mention a pail of diapers. The kitchen was a mess, there were toys all over the floor in both of the kids' bedrooms, both kids needed baths... The list was just SO LONG in my head that I lost it. And then, after becoming a crying, sniveling mess for about 30 minutes, I cleaned myself up and off we went to Disneyland.

And we had a blast.


We've never gone before, just the two of us. I took her on rides she hadn't been on before. We laughed, we hugged, we talked... it was fabulous.

I really thought my meltdown on Sunday morning ruined the day. I'm so glad it didn't, though. Now if only I could figure out how to avoid such a meltdown in the future.

Of course, as I'm on my way to work today I started rattling off the list again: the laundry, diaper wash, kids need baths, clean the kitchen, make dinner (and enough for tomorrow's lunch), put away laundry, etc.... Thankfully, the panic hasn't followed. Not yet.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome to my blog!

What kind of mom are you?

There are so many labels out there for parenting nowadays. Helicopter parenting. Permissive parenting. Positive parenting. Attachment parenting.

When I gave birth to my daughter 7.5 years ago, I had an idea in my mind of what "perfect parenting" would look like.

And then pretty quickly, as her own unique personality developed, it all was blown out of the water.

I struggled to define myself as a mother. I didn't fit in any particular box.

I started calling myself a "whatever works" mother. In fact, I think that's the most accurate description of the type of parenting I practice. Whatever works.

And upon meeting the tiny bundle of joy known as my son 16 months ago, I learned that "whatever works" can be different from child to child.

I hope to use this blog as a peek into our everyday lives, as a means of sharing my own experience of motherhood, and to walk the path with so many other mom-bloggers out there.