Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One, two, three. Listen to Mommy!

Michaela is so good natured. When we are at Gymboree or swim lessons, she's all about having fun. No tears. No clingy-ness. It makes me so happy to see her having a good time, but one thing I've noticed is that she hasn't learned to listen to the teacher. Being a teacher, this is an important lesson in my book.

So a couple of days ago, I began to encourage her to listen to her teachers. When she does, she can do anything they direct her to. The difference since I started talking to her about this was really noticeable to me yesterday at Gymboree. I pointed out how the teacher shakes a tambourine when she's going to tell them or show them something new. Michaela caught on quickly.

Before we arrived for our first swim lesson today, I reminded her that it was important to listen to the teacher during our lesson. She did such a good job in the pool - kicking, learning to relax on her back, even going underneath the water all the way!

Once we were home, and she was eating lunch, she told me that she had listened to her teacher. Yes, she had! What was so remarkable to me about her statement was that we were not talking about the swim lesson. She seemed to be reflecting on her swim lesson. So cute!

Now, if only I could get her to listen to me when it's time to get out of the bathtub...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Temporarily anyway.

Until late August.

School hasn't been out a week yet, and I'm not fully in summer-mode, but we're getting there. I'm decompressing and trying to be less task-oriented and more experience-oriented. I think that's what Michaela needs from me when I have time off.

So we are making it to Gymboree about every-other day, and swim lessons start tomorrow. I love watching Michaela explore all the activities at Gymboree. She is fearless! It's also fun to watch her in comparison to the other children. She does not have a shy bone in her body. She's all over the place, and not intimidated by the other children or adults. Being an introvert myself, I'm just amazed at her confidence and outgoing nature. She's so much like her daddy!

We've starting taking a walk between dinnertime and bedtime. I hoped this would tire her out and help her fall asleep faster, but she usually messes around until close to nine o'clock. Where does she get all this energy?!

One of the changes I made before school got out was to start ordering household cleaning items, paper goods, and toiletries from Amazon instead of making weekly trips to Target. Our weekends had become little more than running errands, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cleaning up the house somewhat (I do have a housekeeper). As much as I enjoy shopping at Target, I do not miss it. Every time I realize I'm almost out of something, I just add it to my cart on Amazon. I've done several subscribe and save subscriptions for the things we use the most. Easy peasy. Should have thought of this a long time ago.

I'm also attempting to cook more instead of relying on Trader Joe to make dinner. I've been going over my recipe board on Pinterest and choosing simple, healthy recipes to try for dinner. I made banana muffins the other night, and froze them in sets of four for future breakfasts. I made red velvet cupcakes (from a box) yesterday, and took them to our Sunday family picnic in the park. Baking is something I really enjoy, but when I'm working it's just not going to happen. For my breakfast, I've been making a healthy smoothie recipe I found on, you guessed it, Pinterest! Who knew that spinach and flax seed (along with a bunch of fruit and some raw honey) could taste so good?

There are more things I hope to incorporate into our summertime, and I find myself getting frustrated that I haven't got it all up and running already - that's the task-oriented side of me. It's what makes me a good teacher, but it isn't really necessary for being a good mom of such a little child. Know what I mean? I just need to remember that the most important things to do this summer are things that bring us both joy. We deserve a little joy around here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Play Time!

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We are really excited to have fun at Gymboree this summer. Last summer, we just didn't make good use of our membership. The times we did go, I felt like there were just too many kids there. Today we took advantage of the "open gym time" that usually takes place in the late afternoons or early evenings. There were only about six other kids there while we were there. Nice! One of the little boys was at least a year older than Michaela, and he was pretty rough and tough. But, we outlasted him, and by the time he was gone, we almost had the place to ourselves. There are all kinds of things to climb on, jump on, crawl through, throw, slide down, roll over, etc. Michaela played nonstop for an hour. We shut the place down!

As you can hear me say in the video, I prefer this "playground" to the one at the park because it is sand and dirt-free. Once we get home, she does not absolutely require a bath. Mommy like! Sorry, I'm one of those moms. She has Grammy and Auntie to play in the dirt with...

Gymboree is so close to our house that we walked up. Michaela has a really nice jogging stroller and I want to put some miles on it before she outgrows it. So, I got a little exercise, too.

Looking forward to more fun at Gymboree throughout the summer!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First Day of Summer Vacation!

At times it felt like the school year would never end, but it finally did yesterday. All in all, it was a very good year. I had a great class. It was exciting, but also a little sad, to let them go. Since this was my first time teaching fifth grade, it was the first time I promoted a class on to middle school. Some of my students were very emotional saying goodbye - surprisingly they were boys! How precious is that? I will remember their tear-stained faces and the long hugs they gave me as a sendoff for a long time to come. Tender hearts...

When I woke up this morning, I expected to feel relaxed, but instead I felt apprehensive. I really want to make the most of our time this summer, and I guess I was afraid that I'd spend our first day in such a way that I'd doubt my ability to manage our time well. So, I started the day off with a quick prayer that I'd use our time in a way that glorified the Lord, and things seemed to fall into place after that.

We were up around seven, and ready to go by mid-morning. Our first stop was Gymboree to sign up for the Level 5 class, but I decided to have her attend the weekly music class, too. She's so musical! I can't wait to see how she is in that class.

After that, we did have to drop off some donations at our church's thrift shop, and take the car to the carwash. Alas, chores are a part of my summer plans. While the car was getting pampered, we spent a little while in Barnes & Noble purchasing some new books for Michaela with a gift certificate one of my students had given me yesterday. I found a board-book copy of The Little Engine that Could, and we just had to have that. Michaela likes it because it has trains, of course. I like it because I remember it from my childhood. So fun to read it together!

After a simple dinner, we made it to church for Wednesday night Bible study. Michaela has been staying awake well past the time I put her down, so I didn't feel badly for keeping her up late so that we could go to church. Some of the kids were conked out on mats when I picked her up, but she was still wide awake. As we walked out to the car, she told me, "Go home. Take nap." She fell asleep shortly after I put her to bed.

So, I feel like we spent our time fairly well today. 

The most "summery" part of the day was eating the first popsicle of the season outside on the lawn: