Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My daughters' school rocks!

Today, I was locked out of my daughters' preschool. It made me smile. It gave me one more reason to love her pre school. But I didn't need another reason. I have plenty.

1) The teachers are awesome! They are loving, kind, firm, creative, tolerant, smart and overall pleasant to be around. 

2) From the moment we entered into the school over a year ago, we became a part of a family.  We look out for each other and treat each other with respect.

3) She is exposed to many many cultures on a daily basis. She learns about other families and their traditions, as well as other holidays and cultures.

4) The school is thoughtful enough to give my child a present on her birthday and at Christmas. And they don't hesitate to give back to families in need.

5) They are available for questions and concerns and are ready to offer help and advice whenever possible. 

6) They make it easy to leave my four year old daughter with them three days a week. 

7) They teach my daughter how to learn and the skills necessary to succeed in school. 

8) They put on awesome child centered programs for Christmas and at the end of the school year.

9) They help my daughter realize how special she is everyday. 

10)  They are dedicated to my family, our well being and our safety.

For these reasons and so many more, it wasn't a question as to where my son will go to school next year. And on Friday, when the tragedy happened in Newtown, I had no fear of sending my daughter to school today. Because I know she is loved, safe and sound there. 

Thank you to the staff of E.L.F. School. You are awesome! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Skipping a beat

I know I haven't written in a long long time. I have a lot of thoughts going through my mind so I thought I might try to write it out. Friday, as many know, was the unspeakable Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. I was shocked and somewhat desensitized when I heard about it. It didn't hit me directly. I was upset by it and sad for those who lost their loved ones but I wasn't sobbing or bewildered. It was just as though another news story had happened.

As the day went on and there was an outpouring of emotions and grief, I began to wonder why I wasn't more affected by this tragedy. I started to feel a little guilty. Sure, when I went to go pick up my four year old daughter right after I had heard about it, I gave her an extra hug. And when she asked for an extra snack, I didn't argue. When my two year old son woke up from his nap, I squeezed him tight. And I did think about those families that wouldn't be able to do the same.  But, in the past, when I hear of these tragic events, I become mildly obsessed with the news coverage. This time was different.

I didn't want to read about it. I came to figure out later that my non emotional state was denial that it happened. And the fact is that as a former teacher, a parent and a mental health advocate, it hit too close to home. And because my kids are younger and won't be exposed to it, I could easily deny it.

But I can't anymore.

I can't deny that as a former teacher, it is terrifying to think that any teacher had to go through that. I asked myself, would I have given my life for my students? Absolutely. Because as a teacher, that's what you do. In this case teachers took a bullet. In other cases, teachers sacrifice their own life after hours worrying about kids, how to get them to learn and be the best they can be. Teachers are deeply undervalued and it is not only sad but disconcerting as well. I hope that teachers are seen in a different light soon.

As a parent, it is unfathomable that my children would be gone in a blink, right before Christmas, never to experience their joy again.

This weekend I had an experience I hope to never happen again. Amongst a weekend of Christmas joy, (we went to Dutch Wonderland and Strasburg Railroad's Santa train) my Son went missing. It felt like 5 minutes, (my husband says it was more like 20 seconds). We were all (14 of us) standing around waiting to get on the train. My two year old son was in the middle of all of us. Then it was time to get on the train. And he was gone. Horrible thoughts ran through my head. I took off to the front of the train to the steam engine that he was obsessed with.

I ran, hyperventilating, yelling his name, tears streaming down my face. I thought, "This is it. This is my tragedy" I thought he would be inspecting the hot steam engine from beneath. I thought he was taken. I thought.....of everything. Then I heard, "We found him!" And I turned around and there he was. I squeezed him tight and didn't want to let him go. I sobbed. (He had gone behind a building and was looking at another train). My heart stopped. And as I shook off the heart attack feeling, I thought, "He is still here" and I thought about all of parents of the Sandy Hook victims and how they can't say that. And how unfair it is.

While I watched my children in awe of the train ride, Santa and the general feeling of holiday loveliness, I smiled, slowed down and allowed myself to feel the season and enjoy my family. I took pictures and slowly, made good memories of the day instead of the day I lost my son.

Happy Holidays and love your family this season.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Honesty is the best policy

Let's be honest.
It's January 4th. I have one New Years Resolution that I want to keep. I want to save $5000 this year in groceries and health and beauty items. So far so good. I saved over $60 at CVS the other day.
The other "resolutions" I have made is to keep on top of the house better and maybe get a part time, in-house job.
But let's be honest. I have two young children. I have little patience for much beyond them. I feel accomplished when laundry and dishes are done. I feel accomplished when my kids are fed, clothed and behaving somewhat ok. (The three year old has been challenging that accomplishment recently).  And so, today when it is 16 degrees outside and I don't want to leave the house, I am ok with that. For today. The laundry is almost done. The dishes are half completed. My kids have been fed, and clothed. They have not napped today therefore the behavior component is questionable. But you can't have it all.

As for this blog, maybe I'll write again, maybe I won't. I'm being honest. I'm currently being fed "tea" by my three year old daughter and therefore being interrupted quite frequently. It is difficult to write.

Anywho, I have dreams of loving my current abode and organizing it so much that I am happy with the current amount of space we have. I have dreams of being a put-together super mom. One who does educational things with her children everyday and blogs about it. One who looks like I popped out of "My Style Board" on Pinterest. But let's be honest. I didn't shower nor change out of my ultra comfy clothes until 1pm today. My kids have been playing with their toys that Santa went overboard on buying and I'm ok with that. As for educational insight for my children: My 3 year old daughter started a new responsibility chart today. I'm hoping it will keep her in her room and quiet during quiet/nap time. Again, I could have created quiet time activities for her room, but let's be honest. I still have to do the dishes and finish the laundry. And then it will be time to make dinner.  And then I will have to do the dishes again.

Oh one more honest thing: I HATE DISHES!!!!!!!