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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kindergarten days

There I go again.  Taking off from you guys and acting like I have something better to do.  Truth be told, I rather be talking to you but I've got noses to wipe, diapers to change, and Homework ...what's that? Homework to do??  Ok, only a few random assignments, but there is another form of "homework" that comes when your child starts kindergarten.  Nobody tells you about this one.  You just think you'll get up, maybe brush your teeth, pour some coffee, pack a lunch and give them a kiss goodbye... then freedom!  Nope.  That's not what happens folks. 
Let's start with lunches.  Back in the day, my mom would slap a PB&J, maybe leftover meatloaf sandwich (yes, I was embarrassed but their good) or if your my mom, Jelly Bean and PB sandwich (she was fun).  and guess what?  we would eat it!  Not these days.  Actually maybe it's just my kids.  First, it needs to be well balanced or you might get the imaginary label of a malnourishing mom.  So you have to cut up some fruit for the kid - X2 here.  Fork out a fortune for Gogurts because all the kids have them - X2.  Make something of substance in a sandwich -X2.  Oh wait, Rooster informs me that he doesn't like sandwiches in his lunch. Open up a can of creative juice and pack that kid a pumpkin flax seed muffin with some cream cheese.  Add some milk and make it all fit in those tiny lunch bags.  Ahh, lunch is ready.  But wait, they need breakfast and you need to pack them a mid day snack, balanced of course.  Open more creative juice because they are too tired to eat and it's not practical to refrigerate the afternoon snack. 
Then get them dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, everything in the car and off you go.  You get home, do some cleaning and you need to bake a snack for them because they will be starving when they get back.  You get them home only to find more mail in both bags then you receive in a week at home.  Do they want to dance? swim? girl scouts? PTA? buy a shirt? sell a candle?  Phew, I don't know about you moms out there but kindergarten is wearing me out!  Then there is the new attitude that comes from being good in school all day...
So how are your first days of school going?  Teachers?  Seasoned moms?  Tell me it gets smoother!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Breastfeeding...where's the applause?

This week is National Breastfeeding Awareness week and has me thinking...I know, uh ohh!  Anyway, I'm currently breastfeeding my third child.  My first two were both weaned before 6 months of age due to returning to work when they were three months old.  My career in Michigan required countless hours in court and full days in the field.  I just really struggled with sitting on the side of Michigan Avenue pumping breastmilk.  I felt I had done my duty and didn't mind the weaning. 
Then came my third, little Beaner.  We had since moved to Lexington which was a much more liberal town than any we lived in Michigan.  Most of my close friends make eco friendly choices, utilize organic food for their children and well, breastfeed.  I'm not talking a few months either.  It's not uncommon to be at a playgroup and see a two year old nurse.  When I decided to quit my career and stay home with my kiddos, I also decided there was no reason I couldn't successfully breastfeed for as long as desired by both me and my daughter.  By now, the recommendation was at least one year and if possible, two years.  I was bound and determined. I even took my first breastfeeding class.  The first time I breastfed in public at Sam's club, three different women approached me and commended me for breastfeeding.  My mouth dropped open!  Especially since in Michigan I was given dirty looks for breastfeeding in public on more than one occasion.  So what is my current beef?
Well, here it is.  My little Beaner is 15 months old and happily breastfeeding.  She is my largest child (I raise twigs for kids) which I attribute to breastmilk.  She is a very independent, healthy and happy toddler.  Yet, my support group outside of Lexington often asks me when I'll be done breastfeeding?  It's not uncommon for them to say to my husband, "Is she stilllll nursing?"  My Beaner still co-sleeps and breastfeeds but is so happy! I personally would like my body to my self at times but I really love the intimacy breastfeeding gives you with your baby.  It has truly bonded us so much more than my other two and I only regret that I didn't breastfeed them longer.  I think  I was really expecting when I talked to family and friends an applause for my continuing efforts to give my Beaner the best milk possible rather than being asked when we plan to stop breastfeeding.  My own husband, I love him dearly, but I know he would be glad to see an end to the breastfeeding.  I don't blame him for wanting his wife back but in the end, they are only babies and toddlers for a short time.  Why not give them the best in life? 

So this week, I encourage you to say a word to those breastfeeding moms in your life who might just need that extra applause to keep up their good work.  Just imagine the diseases we could fight with an increased use of human milk?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Only 8 days left until Kindergarten!  Where did the time go?  Is it possible I have two children leaving me for school next week?  Am I really suppose to be this anxious?  The fears are endless...will they starve because they can't open their string cheese? will they even realize they have a lunchbox?  will they forget to go to the bathroom and then be too scared to ask? will they get lost? will they cry?  will they share?  The list is endless...

Then I think about their teacher.  I think Kindergarten teachers have to be saints because anytime I throw a birthday party, I feel like these little rascals wear me out.  How do they do it every day with a smile on their face?  How do they get them all to follow along so they can actually learn something?  What do they do when one is crying? How do they deal with the parents???  Now that has to be a tough one. You have the parents who think their child is the only child and needs special rights. You have the parent who thinks their child is gifted and you can't tell them otherwise.  You have the parent who needs to talk to you everyday about their child. You have the parent who is too busy to talk to you about their child (hopefully not many of those).  And the parent who just can't let go.  I think every parent  may struggle with a bit of each of those but I have resolved that my relationship with their teachers is one of the most important relationships I can foster.  After homeschooling for a year, I have learned how difficult it is to teach the core concepts that build a foundation for future learning.  As parents, I feel it is our job to educate our kids.  Now I have this person, a teacher, willing to do it with me.  She is the one with the experience, energy, and resources to do this job with me and I plan to take advantage of this opportunity for my kiddos.  I look forward to hearing what they learn every day and seeing how I can incorporate this into our daily routine. I look forward to the lists of books to read, math to practice, and projects to create.  I look forward to having two new experts in our lives to help educate our two oldest kids. 
Now, if I could just complain for a minute about the supply list, cafeteria food selection, early start time...