Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vent

So on Facebook someone posted this:

Today while at Walmart I over heard a 3 year old tell his mom, "You're a butt-head. Did you know that? You're a big butt-head." I was *this* close to turning around and telling him, "You know, little boys that call their mothers butt-heads get eaten by monsters that hide under their bed and in their closet while they're sleeping at night." But they walked away. Probably a good thing.

And of course, there were several comments on the post.  Here is a selection of the typical comments:

You are stronger than me!

Ooh that would NOT fly with my kiddos. I would be very tempted to turn around and tell him to not talk to his mom like that!

"Frankly, young man, I think your mother should never put up with you calling her names. If you were MY little boy, you would be in SERIOUS trouble! Be nice to your mother!!!"

This post and the responses hit such a nerve with me as a parent.  I am always amazed at the condescension of people that "MY kiddos wouldn't do that" and "if you were my boy would be in SERIOUS trouble" etc...

Whose to say that this boy didn't get punished when he got home, or even in the car, once the mother had a chance to talk to him privately?  

I think what really bothers me the most, however, is twofold:

1.  The pervasive attitude that my child would never behave like that.  Or that I would never let my child talk to me like that.   Really?  Then you must not have kids!  Because they will whine, they will talk back to you, and they will at times be downright mean.  Not that any of this means it is acceptable - but by saying that your own kids would not do it is making a harsh judgment that is frankly just not true.  If your kids haven't been disrespectful to you at some point, then you must not be listening to them.  Kids learning to be polite is a work in progress, and as soon as they master one aspect of behavior, there will be something else to work on. 

2.  The second thing that bothers me is the "criticism for sport" aspect.  This is amplified by social media because everyone feels they can criticize whatever behavior they don't like, and bashing parenting skills (or lack thereof) is a favorite of women.  It is like girlish cattiness thinly disguised. Heaven help the mother whose child isn't always perfect in public, because you will be lambasted for it!

Moral of the story, as parents, as women, as mothers, heck, as human beings, we should be a lot kinder to one another, a lot less critical, and a lot more understanding.  Kids aren't perfect.  Parents aren't perfect.  But most of us are trying to do the best we can. 

  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Camping

After our first year of doing the farmer's market, Olympia and I took our families camping in my parents' backyard.  We intended on doing it last year, but our schedules were so busy, we could never find a weekend when we could both go. 

This year we were able to go camping again, but our husbands stayed home this time.  The kids had a good time, although there were some fussy moments in there as well.  Apparently it is not just adults who don't sleep well on the hard ground!  Speaking of sleeping, Quinton was bragging about how he was going to be the first one up.  Of course, this made it all the funnier when he was the last one up!  Olympia got a picture of him as proof!




Getting the fire started for dinner.  I look pretty sunburned in this picture, although I wasn't really sunburned; this picture just made me look really red.



 Domenic eating a s'more.


 The kids spent a lot of time in the pool.



Not only was Quinton the last one asleep, it seems he was still sleepy during breakfast!

 This has been an incredibly rainy summer for us here in Georgia.  It feels like it has rained every day the last month.  As a matter of fact, let me take a second to look it up....well, the Georgia Weather website at UGA says that we have had 46 rainy days since the start of June.  Anyway, where I was going with this is that because of all the rain, the water was great for canoeing, so the kids got a chance to canoe.






Domenic

Here are a few videos of Domenic.  They aren't really of him doing much, but he is such a cutie, he doesn't have to do much!


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End of School Parties

The end of the school year is such a hectic time of year.  There are a gazillion parties, programs, performances, etc...  Roman and Quinton both had class parties and luckily they didn't conflict!  Roman's party had a little song program first.  Roman is in the back - you can see him through the gaps in the other parents' heads!  (it was insanely crowded in there!)


A theme of the performance seemed to be to relax, and things will be fine.  The children recited Pete the Cat as well as some other songs.

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I have to say, the song "Everything Is Going to Be All Right" really got to me.  I became quite teary during the song, and even now when I watch the video I get emotional!


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After the music program, there was a little presentation of certificates for all the children.  There is a video of Roman receiving his certificate: "Most likely to brighten your day."  So true!

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This is Courtney, one of Roman's therapists, who worked with Roman twice a week.


Roman's two preschool teachers - Ms. Laura and Ms. Brittany.



Isn't this the most adorable little craft?  It is potato head!



Me and my favorite 4-year-old!



Quinton's party also had a song performance. Each child also shared a "Thank You" letter to his or her parents.  You can tell that Quinton was feeling quite embarrassed while reading his letter!

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Me and my favorite 7-year-old!



Tiger Cub Graduation

I signed Quinton up for Tiger Cubs during his first grade year.  He was adamant that he didn't want to do it.  "You sign me up for EVERYTHING" he would cry. (This is completely untrue since Quinton does very little extracurricular activities. Scouts is his only one!)  Well, after all the tears and all the fits, it turns out Quinton LOVES cub scouts (as I knew he would)!

This is the ceremony when he graduates from a Tiger Cub to a Wolf Cub.  Each color is supposed to represent different aspects of character development during the last year.


I know I am biased, but doesn't he have just a beautiful silhouette??




Crossing over the bridge to become a Wolf!


2013 Piano Recital

When Quinton started Kindergarten, I made the decision to cut back on my piano students.  I had 17 at the time, but I decided to cut back to only 5.  I figured that there was no point in being a stay-at-home mom if I was unavailable to my children when they got home from school.  Somehow, over the last two years, that number has crept up to 9, but I am trying to hold strong at this number.  It helps that 3 of those are home-schoolers, so I am able to teach them in the morning while the kids are at school, so it doesn't cut into the time I have with the kids after school.





 
Since I have a much smaller number of students, I have been having the recital at my house.  Here are a few photos of the kids as they are arriving and while they warm up.





Now these videos might only be interesting to a mother.  They are of Roman singing his songs from his Preschool.  They are pretty long, but I think he is adorable!

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Some Random Photos

In this post are a lot of pictures and videos that don't really fit in any other category, so I thought I'd put them all in a "random" post.


My parents set up this little pool by the big pool which the kids just love.  Here Roman, Domenic and Savannah are having a great time!



I had to take a picture of this because it was just so funny.  I always ask Domenic what color he wants for his plate.  Lately, he has gone a step further and wants the entire matching place setting.  It doesn't matter if he already has a drink in a yellow cup, he MUST have the blue cup to match his blue plate and blue bowl!  Sounds like my child!



I know what you are thinking: "Is this kid always such a mess?"  And the answer is "Yes!"






I just thought this was the strangest looking moth, but so pretty, too!  Check out the antennae - they look like little ferns or leaves!




As part of my kitchen decor, I decided that I would create new art for each month/season/holiday as appropriate.  I am really not an artist, so this was my attempt at some "April Showers" art.  It should be noted that it is now August and I still have the April artwork up...



I really liked the name of Quinton's restaurant!  


So Roman's Circadian Rhythms are really off, which from anecdotal evidence on-line, seems to be normal for people with NF-1.  He has been this way since he was born, but luckily, now that he is older, when he gets up in the middle of the night, I don't have to get up, too!  He is very considerate and tries to be very quiet, so most of the time now I don't even know when he is up (typically he wakes up between 2 and 3 AM)  Anyway, when I came down one morning, there was Roman, asleep on the couch after being up in the middle of the night, but he has in his hand some leftovers!  I thought it was so funny, that I got a quick picture in before he woke up!


 Quinton loves to play with the camera.  Here are a few shots that he took of himself.  These seemed to really showcase his personality, so I had to post them!




Olympia and I decided not to do the Farmer's Market this year.  As the time was approaching to commit for the market, we were really dreading it.  Once we are there, it is a lot of fun, and it feels good to have people coming out to the market just for our booth, but it is SO MUCH work, while not making that much money.  I have to say that this summer has been so much better for me and the kids since I am not spending 8 hours every Friday baking and every Saturday at the Market.

However, we are still fulfilling special order requests.  This is a cake that my neighbor ordered for her husband.






Below are a few videos; 

1. The kids swinging outside on a beautiful day.  The other boy is one of our great neighbors, Grant.

2.  Roman telling a story.  Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as dramatic as he usually tells a story.  He told me the story and it was so adorable the way he did it, that I asked him to tell it again for the camera, but I guess he wasn't feeling as dramatic on the retelling.

3.  Roman and Domenic showing off their dance moves!

4.  Domenic eating some ice cream.

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Domenic's Third Birthday

So our youngest is now 3 years old!!!  It is so funny how perspective changes my idea of age.  When Quinton was 3, it felt like he was so old.  Since Domenic is the youngest of our three boys, no matter what his age, he always seems so young to me! 

As an example, when Quinton was this age, he already had his own log-on for the computer and could navigate the computer completely independently.  I haven't even let Domenic try to do anything on the computer because he just seems "so young" to me, but obviously it has nothing to do with their actual age, but just what I think they can and can't do.  I really should get Domenic his own log-on.  Perhaps I'll do that after I update my blog!

In any case, here are some pictures from Domenic's birthday:



We got him some soccer goals.  He hasn't shown any particular interest in soccer yet, but being the third of boys, we already have a lot of the regular boy toys, so we are trying to find gifts that will be useful.


Happy Domenic!

My parents got him a wheel barrow.  He LOVES his wheel barrow and uses it outside all the time.

Here is a video of Domenic opening his present


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I have yet to master taking a picture of myself.  But here are a few of me with my little guy!