Monday, January 31, 2011

The little things in life!

So I've been dying to write lately, but have been coming up dry trying to think of something to write about. Seems that life is fairly routine at the moment. Nothing too earth-shattering happening. But it occurred to me today that in that routine are small, daily things happening that I should be celebrating and rejoicing in. So, here it goes... my daily, normal life, celebrations!

1. Home Reading - Every mother with a kid in kindergarten is familiar with this phrase! Last week, Evan finally started bringing home those little home reading books in his mail bag. It came with a little booklet for me to use to keep track of the reading we do together and to communicate with the teacher about his progress. I love this! I truly love this!!! Here's my little man finally learning to read. And he LOVES it! He wants to read to me at bedtime now before I read to him. He's sounding out words all around us as we go through our days. The downside of this whole thing is that the secret code of spelling words when hubs and I don't want him to know what we're talking about is now becoming obsolete. We'll have to think of a new secret code! Perhaps it'll take him a while to figure out Pig Latin!!!!

2. Patience and perseverance - Let me start by saying that my little lovey has always been pretty high maintenance. He's very sensitive and gets easily frustrated. And he has always given up easily if he doesn't do things perfectly right from the start. He's a perfectionist even at 5. He takes more time on his school work than any other kid in his class. His colouring is perfect. He will erase and start again if his letters aren't just right. And he puts a ton of pressure on himself to be good at anything he does. Hmm... not sure where he gets these traits!

But in the past few months I've noticed a change. Perhaps it's a bit of maturity coming through, I'm not sure. He seems to suddenly have more patience and a better attitude about learning a new skill. Case in point... he just started Hockey Fundamentals. He's skating well but has never had hockey equipment on, nor has he ever played hockey on a team. The first time he went to hockey, there were about 40 or 50 kids on the ice. They did a skating drill to separate the kids into groups. They started them all at one end of the ice, blew the whistle for the kids to start skating and then blew it again to have them stop. The fastest kids went to one group, the middle kids went to one group and the beginners/slowest kids went to the 3rd group. This is great in theory, but my Evan doesn't know how to stop on his skates so he just kept gliding along till he stopped. This put him far enough down the ice to be in the middle group of kids!!! 99% of the kids in the middle group had team jerseys on, which means they all play on teams or have played on teams in the past and are there for more ice time and to perfect their existing skills!!!! This is not my kid!!!! I was immediately concerned. Evan was the smallest in the group (as you can see in the picture above!), the slowest in the group, couldn't stop on skates and couldn't skate backwards. I was worried that he would get frustrated that he couldn't keep up with the other (bigger) kids. In the past, one bad experience would equal giving up. But you know what... when he came off the ice at the end of the hour, he was smiling. He was so excited. His reaction was completely different from what I had anticipated. His words were "Mummy... did you see me trying to stop? Did you see me skating backwards?" I have to admit... I cried a bit that night because I was so proud of him. He's understanding that it's not about being the best on the ice... it's about trying hard and having individual goals and successes.

3. Sloth Be Gone - Okay this one is about me... not the kiddo. It's not quite as interesting but it's still noteworthy for me!!! 2 years ago I started running. I'd never run before. So I set a goal and in October 2009 I ran my first 5k race. My goal was to simply finish and run the whole distance and I did it! I was very proud of myself. I never thought I'd be able to do it. 5k isn't a long distance, it's no 1/2 marathon, but for me it was a goal and I was happy I accomplished it. In the summer of 2010, I set myself a goal of doing a 10k in October. I trained hard for the summer and into the first week of September. Then it all fell apart... I went on my girls getaway to Vegas to celebrate my 40th birthday. Life got busy in the few weeks leading up to that trip and I fell off the training wagon. After the trip I never got back to training. I didn't end up doing that 10k. I felt very sad and even more disappointed in myself. I really let myself down. And then became a sloth!!!! I was miserable about being so lazy but I couldn't seem to get out of the rut. So, in January I thought I'd better do something about it. I signed up for boot camp with a friend of mine. We decided to sign up for one night a week just in case we hated it! But funny thing is we both LOVE it. We get out of the house for our kids' bath time once a week, we chat, we moan and groan our way through this hell class and we feel great! When this session is over, I will sign up for another session and likely do 3 days a week instead of 1. I am a sloth no longer!

So, there you have it. 3 things going on in my life right now that should be celebrated. Sometimes (often) it's not just the big things in life that matter, it's all the small, seemingly insignificant things that matter the most.

What are your little celebrations? Feel free to share them here! And enjoy this little video of my monkey at his first practice!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Are you a good mom?

So, I have this friend (I'll call her KK for short)... I think she's a great mom. But yesterday she emailed me and was very upset. It seems her 8 year old had just discovered packaging for a gift that was supposed to be from Santa. He started questioning her and in her haste to get out the door in the morning, she couldn't come up with a viable reason for why it was in her closet. The cat was out of the bag! She was feeling guilty for not being able to keep the magic alive for a while longer. I think she was also feeling bad because she was scheduled to work late last night and wouldn't be able to go home and have a good old heart to heart with her son to make sure he was okay with the news! She was also concerned about her 8 year old spoiling things for her 5 year old. She was not feeling like a good mom.

But... let me tell you... this is the same friend who schemed and planned for months and months to surprise her 2 boys with a trip to Disney for Christmas. In the weeks leading up to their trip, she was giddy as a school girl. She couldn't contain her excitement. And it wasn't excitement about the trip itself, it was excitement over how the boys would react to the news that they were going on their first trip to Disney (including a Disney cruise!). To me, this is the sign of a good mom.

I started thinking about this last night and wondering why we moms are all so hard on ourselves and why we don't take our own advice. When my little man is upset about not being able to do something perfectly, I talk to him about not being so hard on himself. I say things like "Just try your best. That's what matters!" Why do we not realize this is the same for us? As mothers all we can do is try our best for our kids. Things won't be perfect all the time and that's fine. We need to realize this and not get down on ourselves when things don't go as planned or when we don't have all the answers. We need to listen to our friends who tell us we're amazing and we need to believe them. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but this one seems like an okay one to strive for!

That's my pep talk for today!

PS... I'm sharing the Halloween pic because for me, that's just a little example of me being a good mom... You see, I'm really not big into dressing up for Halloween but it made Evan happy to see me as a cat!