Casa de Phillips contains one Dr. of Industrial Organizational Psychology, one former special ed teacher now stay-at-home mom, one adorable preschool boy with such a zest for life he can barely sleep past 5am, and one spunky two year old girl whose birth we blogged live (that little fact will likely come back to haunt her in junior high). We all need a little bit of saving sometimes.
Let's be honest...who doesn't love a good confession post? I personally love to pull up another person (read: another mom's) blog and read their confessions. It makes them seem a bit more real and makes me feel a bit better about my own misgivings.
Confession 1: When Isaac was three, he became obsessed with chewing gum. I told him he had to be four. Now that he is four, I have pushed the age up to five basically because he forgot all about the whole "age four" rule.
Confession 2: There are still Christmas plates hanging on a rack in the wall in my kitchen and a Christmas doormat at the front door. Decorating for the holidays is terribly fun. Undecorating for the holidays is just terrible.
Confession 3: In a burst of new year organization, I purchased several new plastic containers. Said plastic containers are living in a corner of my kitchen, waiting for the day I will fill them with something grand. I am hoping this day arrives sometime before Spring.
Confession 4: (Almost) every Monday morning, the two little ones in our house have a "picnic" breakfast...meaning they eat their breakfast at the picnic table in front of Playhouse Disney. I know eating and watching TV simultaneously is one of the contributing factors to America's obesity problem, but picnic breakfast days just make them terribly happy. And make one meal time a week a lot less "chatty".
Confession 5: The other day I asked Miss E. what she was going to do when she was a mommy like me. She first informed me she would be a doctor (like PopPop) and also be a mommy who would 1. Check her emails and 2. Go to the grocery store. I asked why she chose those two things to which she replied, "Cause that's what Mommy's do."
Confession 6: There are a few veggies out there that I DO. NOT. LIKE. Since I am the cook, I "conveniently" forget to add these veggies to my plate (a little fact I attempt to hide) yet make my children eat them.
Confession 7: My children are looking forward to a big activity later today: playing in the mud. Our backyard is a bit of a mud pile right now, which makes for some excellent digging. Yesterday afternoon the two had quite the time creating a garden. They plan to finish these plans after nap time today (I established the rule of "No mud before nap".)
Confession 8: Isaac brings how little reading books each week from preschool. He reads them and we send them back. Last Thursday...on the way to preschool... I realized we had never pulled out that week's books to read. Nice. Fortunately we have about an eight minute drive to school, in which time I made Isaac read his books aloud to us several times. Then I prayed he would not reveal to his teacher that we had waited to read his books until on the way to school that morning.
Confession 9: I secretly pray every morning that the vitamin we give E. makes up for her poor eating habits. The girl would live on carbohydrates if we let her (which we don't).
Confession 10: Isaac and I have been working on how to tell time on a "real" clock. He has the basics down and is starting to understand the more complex ideas behind time. Last week when we were working on it at the table, I got myself confused with my attempt at explaining increments of time. Sometimes I question how I got to be a mother.
Confession 11: This week is going to be an exciting week on the ol blog here. Be sure to check back often for details (and a possible give-away!)
Taking a quick break from some heavy-duty writing to pound out a blog post about nothing. My eyes are beginning to cross and I do not know if I can bear to read one more statistic or evaluate one more parental concern about their child's education. In the past month I have become the preschool expert.
I can chat up anyone about Reggio Emilia approach to preschool (group project, anyone?), can pinpoint the best Waldorf school on the East coast (there are not any here) and can list (alphabetically) the ins and outs of starting up your very own co-op preschool out of your basement.
Someday this article will be finished. Did I mention it is (*hopefully*) going to be a series?
Most likely I will finish all of this just as my two are ready to move on to Elementary school.
(By the way...the above picture is actually where I went to preschool ions ago. Love me some Ms. Curtis)
We have a little secret here at casa de phillips...
Evelyn is not potty trained.
Correction...Evelyn was not potty trained until New Year's Day.
In four months, Miss E. will be three years old (it pains me to type that). Before she turned two, she was wearing underwear on a regular basis. Just like when Isaac was a toddler, I noticed that E. diaper was always dry while she was awake. Thinking she was ready for potty training, I picked up some princess undergarments at the local retail store and plopped her down on the potty.
This scenario (or lack of) repeated itself for the next eight months.
E. would wear underwear all the time (except when sleeping). E. would hardly ever have accidents (I can think of four total in the eight month span). E. would sit on the potty when asked. E. understood the mechanics of using the bathroom (one of the blessings of having children close in age). E. understood what it felt like to need to use the bathroom. Yet E. would never "produce" anything on her potty.
The child has a bladder of steel...and a stubborn streak the size of Texas.
Knowing my child and her tendency to do the complete opposite of what is asked of her, we did not force the issue. She continued to wear underwear, she continued to not have accidents and she continued to wait until she had a diaper on at naptime or bedtime to accomplish her business.
Until New Year's Day.
The family had just gone and had our first family movie theater experience. We were on our way home from this lovely experience when a little voice piped up from the backseat, "Mommy, do I have on a pull-up?" (When out for long periods of time, we put her in a pull-up just in case...but it is always dry). I quickly asked her if she had to use the bathroom. Knowing we were mere minutes from home, I pulled one of the best tricks a parent can pull out of their hat.
"E., wait to use the bathroom at home and I will buy you a princess toy."
Amazingly, the child did what her mother asked and waited (princess toys are a big currency to her). The husband wheeled the car into the driveway, I pulled E. out of her car seat and rushed her into the house all the while my parents are wondering why we had suddenly become a tad insane (they were behind us in their car). I plopped Miss E down on the potty....and it happened.
The child used the potty.
Much cheering, clapping, and dancing followed.
Everyone had to examine the "results". Everyone had to make a comment about it. Everyone had to give E. a hug.
Then this mama had to make a mad dash to Target in search of a princess toy (Thank you, clearance section, for meeting my needs).
Since then, Miss E. is a potty trained pro. She goes when she needs to. We all still stand around and cheer. Then we continue on with our day.
Isaac has gotten in on the action as well, encouraging his sister in her new-found skills in ways that only a brother can...by having races to see whose "results" can happen the fastest and in the most quantity. I have overheard the two discussing said contest (it has a name, which I refuse to type in fear of the google hits it may generate) in detail on more than one occasion.
Parenting is such fun some days, isn't it?
What is your family's "dirty" little secret? You know you wanna share...
Between the two us, the husband and I have grandparents who (collectively) have been married for over 240 years.
The two of us do not take our marriage vows lightly, nor do we consider this union to be one of convenience that can be tossed aside when someone gets an itch, a hurt feeling or a sense of boredom.
We have many examples laid out before us through family members who have tread the martial waters and we strive to meet these examples (and expectations) laid out before us. From the very beginning of our marriage (and even before), we have looked at our relationship in very realistic terms. What do we want to accomplish? How are we going to reach our goals? What if the other person commits such crimes as leaving dishes in the sink or letting the bathroom drawer be a mess 99.3% of the time? How are we going to walk side-by-side through life together, navigating the waters of romance, disappointment, parenting, financial issues and life in general?
Not only are we very realistic about our relationship, we are also very realistic about the relationship examples we aspire to. Sure all our grandparents are still married to the same person, still trudging through life with their original spouse (only one is a widow, losing her husband after 59.7 years of marriage). Yet, within those collective 240 years of marital bliss (which there was plenty of) lie a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of arguments, a bit of heartache and a enormous dash of reality. The key is that they kept (keep) on fighting, kept on working towards the goal, despite their issues.
Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, released her second memoir titled Committed in which she sheds a realistic light on marriage. I am eagerly anticipating getting my hands on this book (after the 8 people before me on the hold list at the library finish it) and seeing what insights Ms. Gilbert has to share.
In the meantime, Tobe recently drew my attention to this link. It is an interview CNN had with Elizabeth Gilbert in which she discusses her views on marriage. I found it to be very interesting and quite true in places.
On cold winter days, when inclement weather is predicted, children across the area can be found huddled in front of the television silently willing the local newscaster to say those magical words: "Schools are CLOSED today."
When such a phrase is issued, cheers abound.
Then parents scramble to think of some way to possibly entertain those excited, soon-to-be bored, children while stuck at home in cold temperatures. When frigid temperatures and cold winter weather strike, be prepared with indoor actives that will keep children occupied and parents sane...(to read more, please go here)