Entries Tagged as 'parenting'

Making a good impression at the dinner table

12.01.2015

As a family, we are constantly working on our manners. I feel like I am constantly reminding my children about social manners, but even moreso, about table manners. I feel like dining with good manners is a way to make a (good or bad) lasting impression. Naturally, I want my children to practice good habits at home so that they become second nature when they are in public, and more importantly, when they are adults.

For the past year, I’ve had this print-out hanging in our kitchen. Several people have commented on it, so I thought with it being the holiday season, I would share our list of 10 basic manners. Feel free to print this basic table mannersPDF out for your own home.

BASIC TABLE MANNERS

1.Put your napkin in your lap.

2.No phones or other electronic devices allowed at the table. No answering them if they ring during a meal. TV stays off.

3.No eating until everyone is seated.

4.Always use your utensils.

5.Wait to talk until you are done chewing.

6.Chew with your mouth shut.

7.Keep your head up and out of your bowl/plate. You’re not an animal.

8.Ask to be excused before getting up.

9.Say thank you to the cook/host.

10.Always clean up after yourself.

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Refusing to wear a bra

9.23.2015

Remember reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. In the book, Margaret prays to God for things she desperately wants.  Things like, “I just told my mother I want a bra. Please help me grow God. You know where.”   Or the chant that Nancy (the one who actually lied about having her period) has her minions repeat while stretching their chests, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” Who does that? Who WANTS boobs to grow or to rush their period or lies about having that death sentence? Its funny to think some girls really get excited about those things (and some do. My girl has a friend who was stoked to get her first bra and can’t wait to get her period. crazy girl). I’ll admit it. I am not a fan of boobs. Or bras. But since I have them and I nursed 3 children with them, I wear them out of necessity. Or, maybe its out of vanity? So now here I am…with a daughter on the cusp of 12…who, *gasp*, needs a bra. And she is flat out refusing to wear one. I’ve been trying to figure out why. I mean, I know its not like Margaret + her friends day + age, but its not like its an uncommon thing. Several of her best girlfriends wear bras, some for over a year now. Punky_Brewster_Bra

While I didn’t anticipate her being giddy to get little buds, I had  imagined that buying her first bra(s) would be an exciting event…you know, we’d go to the mall, get pedicures, get starbucks…that kind of thing. But nope. Nothing like that. She wanted nothing to do with bra shopping, and when the bras came home, she shoved them to the waaaaaaay back of her underwear drawer. This girl…she’s so different than her brothers. They will talk to us about annnnnything and everything. But she’s quiet. Getting her to try and talk to me about why she’s being so resistant isn’t working. I suspect she is apprehensive about her changing body and the fact that she’s growing up (and living in a house with omggrossbrothers), but again, she won’t talk about it. Crap. If this is what bras are like, what’s the whole period thing going to be like? Shoot me now. Or maybe she just wants to join that whole #freethenipple campaign. Haha. Kidding. Totally kidding.

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Unplugged.

5.29.2015

I fully intend on this being a summer my kids won’t forget.  Hopefully its for the better.
For some reason, maybe it’s the warm weather, I’ve been a bit nostalgic lately. I’ve been thinking about my childhood. Which was, I’d imagine, pretty average and like anyone else’s.  At my children’s ages, I’d roll out of bed in the morning, have myself a bowl of cheerios, pull a brush through my hair, I’d throw on some rad looking shorts and a shirt and hop on my 10-speed and bike over to a neighborhood friend’s house. Maybe we’d do flips in the yard. Maybe we’d hang from the (metal) jungle gym. Or perhaps we’d put on our swimsuits and jump into the Doughboy pool, creating a bad-ass whirlpool. If we were at my pool-less house, we’d fill up the pool that had the liner bottom with the hard plastic sides and create a whirlpool on our stomachs, hoping that the force of it didn’t rip through the sides, making my parents buy yet another pool that summer.  Or just maybe we’d ride around on our bikes, stopping to skip rocks in a creek, making up scary stories about things that lived in the woods. Eventually, we’d end up biking to the community pool, where we’d meet up with other friends. On the bike ride home, we may or may not stop for a giant ice cream cone or a root beer float.  We’d be back out again after dinner, running around till the street lights came on. Sure, there were days that I played a bit of Colecovision or Atari with a friend, but never more than 30 minutes. And TV? The morning ritual was to watch The Price is Right when I was with one particular neighbor. Never anything else. If we were inside, we were sitting in front of a fan playing Life, Stratego, Monopoly or Yahtzee. Because that was what summer was about.
summer_unplugged
I’ve been losing my shit lately with my kids, who always seem to have their head buried in an iPad, Kindle, iPhone, or X-Box. And I am D O N E.  So guess what? They are going away for the summer, for the most part (with some exceptions). And I am forcing my kids to go old skool.
This past weekend, we kicked off the summer with a neighborhood gathering. And when I sat back and watched the kids running around playing catch in the street, playing cornhole, playing table tennis, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, and playing ghost in the graveyard, I realized that this was what I want them doing all. of. the. time.  I mean, I knew this prior to that, but it really hit me at that instant.

summer_kickoff

So this summer, we will be biking to the pool. We will be hiking trails. I will let them do lots of exploring. I’ll be shoving them outside.  I know one of my kids will be ok with this. He and his buddies tend to gravitate to being outdoors more than my other two.  He actually came home with this in his pocket. His friend put it together.  And I thought, “YES! This is awesome!!!! This is what being a kid is about!!!”

summer_fun

Apologies to my children, but you’ll thank me in the future. I promise it.

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I have a teenager.

3.05.2015

.newborn aidan
I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that 13 years ago at 6:57 am, I gave birth to a 21″, 7lb 15.6oz baby. And today, that baby is 5’3″ and 86lbs. And he is a teenager.
Am I even old enough to have a teenager? I am too young. Way too young (Ok. Not really. But in my mind’s eye, I am perpetually 25).
aidan leaves
My baby is no longer a baby.

I feel like we’ve grown up right along side him.
I mean, I was 28 when I got pregnant with him, still in graduate school. 29 when I had him. He made us parents.
baby aidan
Despite the fact that I had worked with children for many years while in school and for a year after school, we really had no idea what we were doing (does anyone?). I still feel like, most times, we’re only acting like we know what we’re doing. Although I think we are doing ok. Just this weekend, he said to me, “mom, it shouldn’t matter about what is on the outside. It’s what’s in here that counts.”
aidan stickers

But really, as parents, we’re all in this together. Struggling. Just trying to raise these people to be good, confident people. Giving them the foundation to make the right decisions. To make a positive difference. And to go forward and do whatever it is that makes them happy.

Age 2

Age 2

3 years old

3 years old

4 with attitude

4 with attitude

5 matey!

5 matey!

Spidey Six

Spidey Six

Seven!

Seven!

Eight years old

Eight years old

Hanging Ten

Hanging Ten

Too cool for 11

Too cool for 11

Twelve.

Twelve.

It is bittersweet to see them grow up, is it not? There have been some rough spots along the way (hello 5th grade! we did not enjoy you one bit), but 13? We like you. Welcome to your teens, baby boy. We’re excited to help you navigate these next few years. Happy 13th

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Super Simple Valentines

1.27.2015

My 5th graders still hand out classroom valentines, but they’re now at the age where we have to be extra choosy about what they may say and their busy schedules don’t allow for the fun (albiet time consuming) handmade valentines that they used to send out.  And of course, they completely poo-poo’d the idea of sending those cheap cards in the box (“MOOOM. Those are so boring.” said the pre-teen girl).

Pear Tree Greetings Valentines

That’s when I found these cute yet simple lollipop holders from Pear Tree Greetings. I was able to pick ones they thought were appropriate and cute and customize them to their liking.

Lollipop holiders via Pear Tree Greetings

If you order now, you can get 15% off and free shipping with the code BEMINE15.  Offer is good through February 7th. Further details can be found on their website (and while you’re there, check out this adorable free printable!)
Pear Tree Greetings classroom valentines

boy valentines from Pear Tree

Do your kids give out classroom valentines? Handmade or storebought? Candy or trinket or nothing?

Disclaimer: I am a Pearista for Pear Tree Greetings. I was provided with product for this review, but opinions are all my own.

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