Monday, September 16, 2019

A Typical September Weekend

Eating pretzels and chatting about Halloween costumes

The minis had the best time doing something they've never gotten to do: be mall rats. I had an event at the Museum most of the day. The minis enjoyed the events, played at the Museum, and then (while Hubs and I were volunteering) asked if they could walk around the mall. I hesitated to let them walk around by themselves, but I ultimately told them yes. It was great....until we couldn't find them. As it turns out they walked into the Disney section in JC Penny's and spent quite a bit of time there. Other than that little hiccup, our Touch A Truck event at the Des Moines Children's Museum was incredibly successful! We celebrated at the end of the day with "linner" (lunch and dinner combined) at Mac Shack (also in the mall).

Hubs and I both volunteered for the event (or "volun-told" as my husband calls it), but we got to take the kids around and in the trucks throughout the day.

I got super excited about seeing the firetruck's ladder all the way up (I wish I could have climbed it). The minis took one look and said "oh, cool" and went back to the camper.

This better be the only time I have a picture of her in the back of a cop car!

First time spending all day at a mall. They thought it was "sooo cool," like it was the first time it's ever been done.

Mac Shack is great! I've eaten here three times in the last two weeks (thanks to a lot of meetings and drinks) and I have yet to have anything less than stellar here. Give it a try if you're in the area!

I discovered my rocking tan lines later that night. Not only do I have flip flop lines, but now I have tennis shoe lines too.

The result of an exhausted mom is Ben & Jerry's on the living room floor.

Sunday was our day at home. Our oldest requested we do Chili Sunday's this fall. Each Sunday we stay home, watch football, and try new chili recipes. He actually makes most of the chili recipes, so it winds up being a really relaxing day for me!

On this particular Sunday their new Chromebook arrived, so the boys spent some time setting it up.

Since Sunday's will be our stay home days, all of our Saturday's for the rest of the year are pretty booked! We have some fun stuff planned this fall for our Saturday Family Fun Day.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Here's To Breaking All My Parenting Rules

Tonight I raise my glass (actually my can of Naturdays because I'm that sophisticated) to doing all the things I said I'd never do as a parent. This is for every ounce of formula my middle child drank because I was too mentally and physically exhausted that I dropped my 'breast is best' thinking. This is for our incredibly amazing public school educated children, who were going to be my private school, uniform wearing babies. This is for bringing my child McDonald's at parent lunch instead of the homemade vegan lunch I had prepared. This is for swearing my children would be in high school before getting their first cell phone as I watch my eleven year old respond to a text (from his grandparents).

Last week I broke my rule of no cell phones, no screens (other than the approved family TV), and more outside time. My oldest sat on his newly purchased Chromebook (because, as it turned out, trying to share my laptop and returning emails wasn't working out) for three hours doing math lessons for the week and looking things up on Google while his new cell phone sat on the table a few feet from him. Every belief, every rule I had, was left behind when I realized life would be easier with these things.

One thing I quickly realized, the most important thing about motherhood actually, is survival. Our goal is to keep our kids alive, ourselves alive, and if we're rally lucky, happy as well. I personally thrive on happiness; mine and my children's.

The first week of middle school (for my oldest) kicked my ass. Not his, mine. As the school year got underway, I realized how big this change was. When we (parents) received class expectations and how we could support our new middle schooler at home, coupled with a few situations it would have been helpful to simply send a text to my child, I made the tough calls. Well, tough calls for me, since I had to let go of what I wanted and face what was needed.

I had wanted my children to grow up in a world without a cell phone attached to them, of handwritten cursive papers, and running around the neighborhood with friends. For the most part, my children have had a good part of these experiences. However, I also realize this is not our world. Heck, my child's math class is done completely online. Those math assignments, the need for use of my laptop (at the same time I needed to be using it), and the comfort I would feel if I were able to get in touch with my oldest, when combined, made me drop some money on these newly needed items.

I created rules for these new items. Some bring me comfort about leaving behind my beliefs and wants for my children and other rules I created are for safety. If I don't think about the insane amount of money I dropped on my children last week (new clothes, toys, money for picture day, a Chromebook, new cell phone -- along with a brand new higher cell phone bill, extracurricular activities) I'm pleased that these simple (yet at the same time complicated) items bring ease into our lives. Survival is a powerful mode. I'll do anything to fight for survival and happiness....even if means second guessing and changing my "never will I ever..." beliefs.

Learning how to use the Chromebook while watching the evening news. It must have been an entertaining news report.