February 24, 2009

A Hooray Moment

There's nothing better than when a child discovers something new and amazing. Those small baby book-worthy moments that you want to treasure forever. As a special needs parent, it sometimes takes longer than expected or hoped for to reach some of the tiny goals. The flip side of that is that you appreciate things you never thought important. I'm thrilled to continue to put things in my son's baby book, and he's almost 4. But it's bittersweet. A big hooray that he accomplished something, but a sad sigh that it took so long.

Anyway, back to why I'm writing today. Yesterday we had one of those hooray moments. Alex is not one for coloring, so other than at school with the O/T he doesn't get too much 'writing' practice. He found a pencil somewhere in his travels and decided to sit down and draw. He made a few amazing circles, and attempted what he said was the letter A! However, my favorite part of the experience, was the moment when I showed him what an eraser was. When you think about it, you don't really think about it. It's an eraser, big deal. Does its job and you move along. But not to my boy! I turned the pencil over, erased a bit of his circle, wiped away the crumbs, and he just stared. And stared. I could hear the 'huh' in his head. He then drew another circle and attempted to erase it! I'll be jotting that one down tonight "2/23/09 - used an eraser!"

The little things in life truly are amazing gifts some days.

February 22, 2009

If I were to quit my day job,....

...what do you think I would choose to be instead? Don't get me wrong, teaching is my calling in life. But there's always that teeny tiny voice in the back of my head. Some people will instantly say I'd be a cupcake-ateer, which to some degree is true, but there's one much bigger voice in my head. A voice that's humming. A voice that would like to be on a big stage, dressed in black, behind a microphone, in between two other people, bopping & swaying to the beat.

Have you guessed it yet? I would choose to be a backup singer. Sure the lead vocals are super, but what is a song without the extra "oo ooh's"' and "la la's?" Not to mention the stage presence as 2 or 3 backups work together to move, groove, and harmonize.

If you ever take a ride in the car with me, pay a bit more attention when the radio is on. Most of the time I don't sing along with the song, I sing backup. I'm practicing all the time. You never know when the day will come. There I'll be, front row at a Billy Joel concert, and one of the backups will pass out and have to leave. Good thing I've take the time to prepare. I'm here for you Billy, the show must go on! :)

Special Delivery!

Many of my friends are teachers, so I felt it necessary to give a big shout out to LL Bean today for my new bag. I had this same bag all throughout college, but lost it long ago, and really needed a functional school bag. By far it is the best bag I've had over the years! Easier to carry than a tote, little nooks and crannies for all the supplies, and very durable. So if you're ready for a change from a tote weighing down your shoulder, I highly recommend slinging a funky messenger bag on!

February 21, 2009

Good morning!

Before we moved to the Poconos over 10 years ago, we visited often. What I remember the most about those visits is the people in the area. We could drive down any street, in a neighborhood or through town, and people would wave. Better yet, get out of your car and they would say 'hello' or 'good morning'! Coming from a place where people would bump you out of a doorway, grumble under their breath, or give you the finger on the road, we found this behavior very very odd.

It took a while to warm up to the idea that we had to participate as well in this strange tradition. If we didn't, we'd be the oddballs from 'that New York City'. Slowly we began to wave here and there. We only said hello or good morning when someone else said it first. But over time, it grew on us. Became part of a regular routine. Made us feel like a part of the community. I liked it.

The other day I went to a gas station a half hour west of here. "Big city" area, where the population is at least triple of our area. Got out of the car, started to pump, and a man popped his head around the next pump over. "Good morning! How are you today?" After a few minutes of conversation and a 'have a great day!' at the end, I got in the car and smiled. It started my day off on a great note. I remembered why we moved here in the first place. I liked it.

Any time we go back to NY now I try to bring back with me what I've learned here. Of course it's not always received kindly, but 9 times out of 10, I catch people by surprise, and they welcome it. Maybe cranky city folks just need a little good old fashioned kindness. :)

February 7, 2009

Your kids go to bed at what time?!?!

7pm. That's right, you heard me. 7pm is bedtime for both of my boys on any given night. Many of our friends ask us as the weather/seasons change but the answer is always the same: 7pm.

Of course everyone loves to comment that it's waaay too early, that as the boys get older it should be later, that I'm not giving them enough time to play after dinner, etc etc. But the little fact that they all seem to be missing is quite simple. On most days my boys get up by 5:00am. Yup, you read it right. If I put them to bed at 9 or 10pm, up at 5am. If I take them to the pool all day, then the zoo, then somewhere else, 5am. Their internal clocks are set with such precision, it's amazing. So, getting up at 5am, spending the day at school and the late afternoon hours playing, they truly are tired by 7pm. We have our regular routine and they are both asleep within 5-10 minutes.

On the flip side, I have friends that say 'oh my gosh, (name) didn't go to bed until almost 11pm last night!' Not 'didn't fall asleep', but 'didn't go to bed'. To each their own I suppose, but my thought is you have no right to complain if you put a 4/5 year old in that position.

My boys are rough and tumble boys, constantly moving, and never take naps. It's my responsibility to mandate a firm bedtime to ensure they get enough rest for the next wild day. Yes, there are days throughout the year when they go to bed later. Please don't think we make them miss any fun things because of it. But, general rule of thumb is 7pm.

Ok, I feel better now that I said that...