Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A little of this, little of that, and growing up

Today is the first day of November.

Are you kidding me? Where did the time go?

Time just seems to move so quickly when life and kids happen. I try to take it all in, but I wonder some days how much I'm missing. I hope not much. I want to remember everything.

I've been busy lately with a little of everything. Working at the hospital, teaching childbirth classes, Zumba fitness Sunday through Thursday (sometimes twice in one day on top of my normal gym hours), and Divas in Defense. Thank goodness the majority of this is done while the kids are in school and daycare so it doesn't make me feel like I'm cutting my time with them.

The Divas in Defense doesn't really take that much time, but I get so much from it. For me it's like giving back and letting people know it's okay to say "NO". After our visit to "The Nest" http://www.thenestlexington.org/ a few weeks ago I see things in such a different way. You see, my partner in this venture, that asked me to come on board, used to go to this place when she was a child. Being the older daughter of a bipolar and quite unstable mother, she found herself dirty and homeless on more than one occasion. They lived in the ghetto of Lexington which to this day is a very scary place. I believe that is what makes her so passionate about what we do and her passion has definitely reached a place in me. I was so fortunate to never have to go through anything like that in my life. I was never destitute or homeless. I've always had clean clothes....maybe not what I wanted, or what my friends had, but at least they were clothes. And I guess I had toys. I never remember really wanting all that many toys. I do remember the Christmas Santa brought the Atari. I was on top of the world :) I am so grateful to God and my parents for being stable. And although life wasn't always perfect, it was still a good life.

Alexander went for his 4 year check up last week....17% BMI. I guess that's what happens when you're almost 42 inches and 38 pounds. Wow!! His pediatrician talks about how smart he is....of course he's a lot like Ryan. Always reading and watching "Word World" What would we do without that and "Bubble Guppies"? I'm glad he's a little bright :) On the flip side, he's hit the terrible 4's. Two's were okay and three's were good, but he's learning to talk back and push the envelope. I'm sure the people in Target thought I was abusing my child the other day as I put him in the front of the buggy. He was in the back and kept standing up. I promptly picked him up, swatted his backside, and set him down....kicking and screaming the whole time. Him, not me, although I felt like I could. He's just as bullheaded as his older brother (and his mother) It's going to be a long year....

Ryan on the other hand, turns 8 in 13 days. Wow. And it's not just the age. He is really beginning to mature in such a way that amazes me completely. I had a parent teacher conference last Wednesday. In the beginning I was not a fan at all of his teacher. I didn't like the way she presented herself on orientation night and she didn't talk a lot. Maybe she was nervous or something. Then a few weeks ago, I got together with all of his teachers, the parent resource, and social worker at the school. I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page as far as Ryan was concerned. Certain things were addressed and I felt very good after leaving there. But it wasn't until the one on one with his teacher that I truly felt like Ryan was going to flourish this year. We went through things from the beginning of the year until now with her showing me his progress in writing. She talked about how kind & loving he is. Of course, I know all of these things, but to know it carries over into other places other than home makes my heart happy. Then we just chatted. It's amazing how in just a few times of talking, how she knows me very well. She said, "I feel like you are very strong and confident and don't let what others think bother you. You are yourself and it doesn't matter what other opinions people my have". She so hit the nail on the head. I mean, I don't want people thinking badly of me in any way, but I also don't put up a front. I am what I am, like it or not. This is me. I try to raise my kids the same way. I want them to appreciate what God gave them and work with it as best as possible. She and I talked a lot about being grateful for things and how I try to impress that upon Ryan (his school is very diverse and that's good for him). As I left, she walked me out to the front door and said, "I feel like I just need to give you a hug" It was one of the most real hugs from an almost total stranger I have had in a long time. Heart felt and meaningful which felt so good. I know this teacher is here for Ryan.

But speaking of his maturing.....he received a cool cat the other day. It's something that gets handed out when the student is excelling, or striving for personal best...things like that. He got one for "helping others" His teacher had written in his planner to make sure I asked him about it. Come to find out, he saw a younger student having trouble with his backpack and stopped to help him zip it up. It makes my heart so happy to know that for all the years of struggles we've had, something has really gotten through to him. Even this week.......Monday we got a letter about a play they will be attending and the cost of $10. I just said in passing I may send some extra money because not all parents have even the extra $10 it would take for their kids to go. I explained to Ryan again, just how blessed and grateful we are to have what we have. And although he says it in his prayers every night, I wasn't sure how much he really "gets" it. Until this morning, when I saw him emptying his piggy bank. When I questioned him, he said he wanted to help out, too. "Help out with what?" I asked. "You know, with the money for the play." I had tears in my eyes. Knowing that my son is grasping the concept of helping and loving others, sacrificing self for others. WOW!! Thank you God for allowing me to teach him and open his eyes.

We also had our Halloween adventure last night. Some houses were scary......we didn't even go to those. Some were just down right fun and the kids had a blast. Ryan decided he would go as Kowalski from Madagascar and Alexander chose to be the dragon Ryan had at that age but never wore (he hated trick or treating a few years ago). They were both so cute and got a lot of loot.....yes some I've already raided. I'll work it off tomorrow when I teach Zumba fitness and stretch with yoga :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe start to the holiday season.

Blessings to you all