Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Day

Where to start?

Mads starts school on the 24th. I am in love with the school he will be going to, think his teacher is the bee's knees....and I want to just say forget it all and unschool him! Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for him, excited about the new friends he will make and the new adventures awaiting us. But I am also terrified. All of the usual "What Ifs" are in the back of my mind, but they now have their evil cousin worries - the "How Wills". How will he react to getting up so early? How will I manage working until 1am, getting to bed around 2am, and then getting back up at 6am? How will the other kids react when he wants to wear a tie or mismatched clothes to school (something we have always encouraged was his own sense of style). How will his unique loves and passions be effected by the other kid's influences? How will we continue to raise him to know that pink is not just a girl color, and that boys can be dancers?

How will the other parents react to his mother's quirkiness, his father's quietness, and the not-going-to-offer-the-info-but-I'm-sure-it-will-come-up-eventually fact that we are in the process of divorcing? Is being a single parent just as frowned upon as it was when my mother was trying to raise me "on her own"?

Will the other kids make fun of his bentos? Will he be embarrassed by the handmade scarves I send him to school wearing in the winter? Will I be able to be as active as I hope to be with the PTA and after school activities?

Is it ok that he still forgets all of the letters in his name when asked to recite them? He can recognize it when he sees it already spelled out, but is that enough? Is it ok that he is not reading yet? That he still is learning how to write all of his letters and gets confused at times? Have we done enough to prepare him? I hear so much about Montessori students (which I so wished we had the money to send him to a Montessori school) who are way ahead of him academically. But then I see how curious he is, how creative he is when building and tying things with his toys and laces, and I hear his laughs and the pride in his voice when he completes a page on his GeoSafari Laptop...and I think, maybe we have done enough. He is polite (in general), charmed all of the kids at his preschool, very vocal once he's comfortable in a situation, and knows that his Dad and I love him. Haven't the faceless powers that do the research and reporting written long articles that is not how much a child knows at the start of school, but that they have a desire to know more? That a good nights rest, a healthy breakfast and lots of supportive love are the true Holy Trinity of getting a head in learning?

I know that as a parent, I will always have my days of relaxed confidence and my days of confusion and second (and third, and fourth...) guessing myself. He not only my heart walking around on two legs and greatest achievement, but he is also his own person waiting to discover himself.

With this new part of our life on the horizon, I have so many wonders and hopes. Most of all, I hope that he will always know that I love with unconditionally, and that he will always believe in himself. I look at my own school experiences, and instantly think that I don't want him to make the same mistakes as I did. But how fair is that? Of course I want to see him excel in all aspects, to have many true friends, and always have a confidence and focus that I never seemed to grasp. But without those "learning experiences" of losing a soccer game, having someone not invite you to a party, or having someone say that his backpack isn't cool enough, will he still learn the important lessons of fairness, kindness, and compassion? More importantly, will he understand those lessons? Will he understand why pride can be both a blessing and a burden? Will he know that just because he falls down, knowing that he got back up again will make succeeding so much sweeter?

So many unorganized questions - we will just have to find out the answers as we go. :-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cast of Characters

This is to get it off my profile. A cheat sheet to the people I mention the most!

Mads - my 5 year old whirlwind, full of emotions & giggles, holds a deep love for garbage trucks. He's my superhero, my gardening buddy, snuggle monster & Goblin King. I adore him & love being his "Mumma".

Kei - Mad's father, my truest true-blue friend & co-parenting partner in crime. He really is a certified geek. We got married in 2003, but are now separated (though we still live together in the house we bought 2 years ago). It's rough seas at times, but we're dedicated to keeping this ship sailing.

Mum & Dad - my parents. In all their eclectic glory. They hold the best casual parties & love their family with an intensity. They are amazing people but still drive me crazy at times (^_^)

Phil - my boyfriend. An amazing man, whose heart found mine when I was not looking to fall for anyone. He encourages me to be a better self, loves me & Mads without conditions, and has a fondness for video games & magic tricks.

Mr. Ken & Suki - the resident felines. Our home would not be complete without them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good news! Mads is not only is going to the Elementary school we had hoped for in the Fall, but also he will have one of the two teachers I was really wishing for and he's on the morning schedule!!! Praise God!!!

With him on the morning schedule, I will be able to take him to school and pick him up afterwards - as long as I continue to work the night shifts. Even working at 3pm, I'll have time to pick him up, get lunch and reconnect for a bit, take him to a caretaker's and then head to work. Once school starts though, I am going to put in that I prefer to work the last shift (it starts at 6pm), so that there will be as little need as possible for a caretaker between when I have to leave for work and when Kei gets home.

I'm so looking forward to kindy! Mads seems to be too. We talk about it often, so he's very comfortable with the idea. I'm hoping to join the PTA and do as much classroom help as I can. Mads has met the teacher he'll have once already, and the man is so gentle. He comes off as a mix between the Farmer in the movie "Babe" and Mister Rogers. When we went to the school Art Festival, we showed Mads the rooms and he got a good look at the classroom he'll be in. (Though, at the time we had no idea that he'd be assigned to that class, lol!) I think most of all though, Mads loves the idea that he won't have nap time anymore - poor bug hates that part of his preschool days.

Speaking of which, his last day of preschool is going to be on the 30th of this month. We have family with younger children coming out for a week visit then, so it will be a good time for our days to open up. Plus, I want as much time for us before he starts kindy! It's a bit sad to be leaving the teachers and place that he's learned o much from and grown so much at. The other kids that are his age have all moved on already (there might be one or two left besides him, but no one that he mentioned regularly) and I don't want his learning and social growth to lag at all before kindy starts, so Kei and I feel that this is the best thing to do. (Besides, who's to deny that the extra $$$ each month will be a God sent gift?!)

Mads and I both have some adjustment to make once he's out of preschool. For starters, we have to get used to getting up early and out the door by 7:10am. Oi. Also, just because he's out of school, doesn't me an I want us to be lagging around the house every day. I've already been looking into day time activities for us to go do, such as events and museums. I've got to look more into some things that the local theater and Lego store do, and I fully plan on us walking to the park in the early mornings. I'm armed with homeschooling-type materials too; we have enough workbooks and educational activity ideas to teach a small army of pre-Ks. I found a couple of great unschooling and Montessori books at the library the otehr day and have been thumbing through them for daily ideas too. Don't get me wrong, every day is not going to be planned down to the minute, nor will I place such stress on filling our days that I lose sight of the fun. I'm figuring if I plan to set high expectations for our days, then when I realistically end up at the park all day with him, or spend hours organizing his room and pulling out every box game that we have - it will all be good.

On another subject, Mads went to soccer camp last week. Each morning for 2 hours, he kicked, dribbled, danced, and ran around a section of soccer field with three coaches from Britain. The coaches were great. They each had their own way of doing things, but they all worked well together at the same time. The kids all loved it, and Mads gained a lot of confidence as well as soccer skills. He was very proud to show my parents his evaluation card when they came over today and has had me read it to him a few times already. I'm going to sign him up with a league this week or the next. He isn't the best player (yet! haha) but he picked up on things quickly and has a real love for the game. He makes me so proud! I loved watching him run around, do the silly little drills, and score goals (he scored 2 in one game, I was overjoyed!!!).

There's more I want to post about - namely how Father's Day has been (we saw "Up"! It was so heartwarming!), I want to post a few photos from Soccer Camp, and there's been a bit of drama concerning K and I having a relationship but I think things are on the right track with my family now (they are not supportive of my being with him and it's been a very sore, undiscussed subject for sometime now) and the fact that I have discovered the joy of Facebook and get what it's all about now. BUT...Kei is sitting on the couch, waiting to start CSI for me, so my current crocheting project (three-leaf clovers) and I are heading over there. (^_^)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Slice of life

No "catching up post". Just a slice of what is.

I'm home from work - had a day shift instead of a night shift so I feel tired, but very awake. It probably doesn't make much sense, but my head and body are used to being exhausted after work....but they aren't so tired and I feel a little off time-wise.


I was hoping to catch the Mad Dog before he fell asleep, but he dozed off right before I go home. I'm going to go snuggle with him a little, get in lots of kisses and love yous. He's still very snuggly when sleepy and his sleepy voice melts my heart. I don't plan to wake him up - just love on him a little.

After that I have so much to do! Boyfriend K has a double-header tomorrow so I'm going to sleep over at his place so I can go to the morning game with him. (I might go to both games, but not sure yet, that will depend on how Mads is doing, how tired I am, etc.) Before I go over though, I need to shower, get my clothes for tomorrow, make lunch for tomorrow, cook some chicken for tonight and tomorrow's lunch, get my personal items together, and THEN head over. Whew!

I was rethinking going over for the past few days, but yesterday K told me his Godmother passed away and the funeral was today. When I saw him at work, it was obvious that it was weighing on him. It's awful to see a loved one hurting and not be able to hold them and comfort them. Plus, work was very hectic, lots of the higher-ups were there and everyone was on raw-nerves. How could I not go over after all that?

This is a really lame post. I want to post here for often, put up photos, put down the funny things Mads says, and detail our adventures. I hope I can carve out the time to post regularly soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year Limbo

This is the first year I have actively NOT made a resolution. Each time I start to consider, "Should I focus on xxx this year? Make a plan to xxx?", I stop myself. It makes more sense to me to apply myself more genuinely and my efforts to being a better person, a healthier weight, spend less frivolously (time and money) because I WANT to - not because the start of the new calendar year tells me to.

I want to be more true to my feelings and follow my heart's goals. This means getting off the computer and "doing" more than just "planning". This also means to be more honest with myself and really look at my emotions before reacting to situations.

I want to be more physically active, both to lower my weight/increase my positive health and to be more mindful of how I play with Mads. We both enjoy time spent sitting and doing crafts or reading, but it is important to remember the big world out there for us to explore together.

I want to take a few classes to give me an edge on my work force competition. Namely, a Spanish class, a Teacher's Aide class, and a Spanish for Educators class, all through the local school district's Adult Education.

Speaking of work, I plan to be working only hours that compliment when Mads is in kindergarten, come this Fall. I will be the one to drop him off to school, and I will be the one to pick him up when school lets out. In my mind, and in the reality I will make, that is the only option. If I work only the hours he is in school, that is perfect. If I work an evening shift and leave for work around dinner time, that is fine by me also. I will do what I have to do.

Which leads to me the feeling of limbo I am having. I will find out today or tomorrow when I start training for my new position as Courtesy Clerk at Grocery Store X. I am excited and very thankful for the new position. It brings a guaranteed 24 hours of work per week, weekly pay and schedule, and a new start since it has no relation to my current job. The pay is less, but the guaranteed time makes it worth it. Once I find out the training and schedule for G.S. X, I am also supposed to be calling the boss at the Pet Store and "we will go from there". Due to gossip from a source I thought could be trusted, and a few other hunches I have, my job is so on the line that I don't think I will be working there by this time next month. When I went in to get my paycheck on Saturday, I was sat down and talked to for half an hour. It is very obvious that she wants me to quit, and many times in our conversation she left it open for me to do so. She insulted my personal life (something that she found out through a no-longer-trusted-coworker is "disgusting" to her), and said she no longer sees the old enthusiasm I used to have. (That's what happens when you don't give your employees a schedule for 3 months and then expect them to do twice the work in half the time, all the while telling them that they are not worth what you pay them). I figured I was going to be fired outright, but instead everything is put off until I find out my 2nd job's work schedule. Then, in her words, "we will go from there". I plan to work there until she fires me. Plain and simple, I will put up with whatever is thrown at me because I need the money to meet my Fall goals.

I don't like not knowing how the bills will be paid this month, though. I don't like the uncertainty of not knowing if I will be working tomorrow. Today (and hopefully not tomorrow also) feel like the calm before the storm. This week I need to visit 4 elementary schools in preparation for the open enrollment that starts Friday. In less than 5 weeks, I will be in Florida for a family vacation, but I have not confirmed with the Grocery Store boss that I will be able to have the time off. (It was very briefly touched on during my interview, but with a fever of 103 that day, I didn't think to go into more detail.) On one hand, it would be nice to only have the Grocery Store job with it's hours and schedule, but we do need the money from both. That was the whole point. I don't like this feeling of powerlessness - not being able to do anything but wait and see how the next two days unfold.

I'm putting all of this down, stopping before I go off on much more of a tangent, and going to leave it. If all I can do is wait, I should use that time constructively, not just sitting and wringing my hands or fussing over details that are out of my control.


For my new job, I need black shoes, black pants, and a white collared shirt. While I do have all of these, my black shoes are heels, the black pants barely fit, and the shirt is close to see-through. Thank God for gift cards because once I find out when training is going to be, I'm some shopping to do.


Yesterday was Kei's and my 6th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by doing nothing out of the ordinary, though my parents brought us a pizza and a gift. If I had not been sick, and Mads had not been sick, and work had not been what it has become, we had tossed around the idea of me asking for the weekend off and then spending a day in the Bay or something. But I was sick and on doctor's orders to be off work and rest until Sunday. Then Mads became sick. Then, I was given the weekend off anyways. So we were home yesterday. But we were happy that Mad's fever was finally gone, as suddenly as it came. We sorted through my yarn stash, Kei did chores for us, Mads watched Pink panther cartoons and Totoro a few times. We all talked and laughed and bickered a tiny bit. We just went through the day without any plans. It would have been nice to go somewhere and do something, but it was just as nice to be home.

Also, I finally gave Mads what he's been asking for almost daily for a little while now - a mohawk. He had been wanting me to shave his head again for the last month but I kept putting it off. His hair was at the cute not-long-but-kinda-hedgehogish stage that I lovelovelove. He has such thick, perfect hair and grows the perfect tiny sideburns. I hate to cut it. But on New Year's Eve he saw a man with a mohawk and declared that that's what he wanted. Right then. Even though his temp was 102.8 and he only wanted to be carried or lay on the couch. Every morning since, he has asked if I would shave his hair into a hawk. The boy was determined, I tell you! (^_^)

The Before Shots:

And, the After Shots:

He's so hard to get a photo of sometimes! The last photo was actually taken by me having the camera ready and Kei suddenly pulling away the pillow Mads was hiding under (and laughingly taunting me, "You can't take my picture!".

Mad's is awake now and it seems a Grumpy Bug woke up with him, Lord help me, haha. But his fever is gone still, thank goodness. Maybe we will get out the paints today. Go buy some grapes after I take a shower and have an indoor picnic.

I might be in limbo, but I will make the most of it and enjoy the calm.