Monday, November 29, 2010

Why 6 Year Olds Make Lousy Criminals

Today was cold, windy, and wet.  The weather just couldn't make up its mind about what it wanted to do today, so it went with snowing sleet balls.  Strange.  But it was close enough to freezing rain that it iced over my windows.  I was on a search for the scraper that didn't seem to exist when I saw it.  The graffiti.

Written in blue pen were the initials "LJ."  "I can't believe that I was tagged by the LJ gang!", was my first thought.  My second thought was, "Huh...I wonder how they got into my LOCKED van and waaaay back into the back seat without me ever seeing them!  I'm sure glad that Lauren wasn't in there when it happened because she usually sits back there and colors on the way to.....uh....wait a minute."

Lauren (who we call LJ), the leader of the LJ graffiti gang, is now serving a two-day sentence for her artwork.

And that is why 6 year olds make lousy criminals...they aren't smart enough to write somebody else's name! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

What to Get Your Spoiled Kids for Christmas!?

Ok, so I know it's customary to want your children to have more than you had, and be more successful than you were...blah blah blah.  But c'mon...really?!  Does this have to extend to the "things" department too?

We have been struggling with what to get our kids for Christmas.  Braden wants anything he lays eyes on, and my beautiful daughter wants a DSi.  Braden will be very easy to buy for this year.  Anything related to sports, cars, action heroes, Buzz Lightyear, or Lightening McQueen will do.  But I am afraid that my daughter will learn a new vocabulary word this year: disappointment. 

I refuse to buy my 6 year old a Nintendo DSi!!  Call me crazy, but I do not think that children her age need something of that caliber.  That ranks right up with my views on kids having TV's in their bedrooms, battery-operated cars to tool around in, cell phones before they are old enough to pay for them on their own, and meth labs in their playrooms.

Now...I know that some parents are just fine with most of these things (minus the make your own meth lab kit I hope), but Jason and I agree wholeheartedly on these items not being appropriate.  Of course, I also said that I would never own a mini van too....

So where does that leave me?  Basically stuck with NO ideas for a "big" gift for my 6 year old daughter that I deem as reasonable, and that she would love.  I am half-temped to go through the mountains of things they already own and wrap some of it up.  $10 says they have forgotten they even own some of it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Your Husband Should Fit You Like Your Favorite Pair of Shoes

Now, think about that for a minute.  Do I mean that you should be so comfortable with each other that you don't mind how he smells?  No....I strongly encourage showering.  What I mean is....he should be your "go-to guy."  He should be the one that you feel so good around that you'll never want to throw him out for a newer matter how cute they look on!

Jason and I knew we were meant to be even before we were dating.  And definitely by the end of our first date I knew he was the guy, and he knew he would end up marrying scary is that!  We are NOTHING alike...well, we weren't at that point anyway.  But through the years we've developed very similar tastes in things.  I put up with his passion for hunting and all things shooting related, and he tolerates me filling our home with smelly candles and items from Craft Fairs.  We agree on how to raise our children, and we are both there to tell the other one when they need to chill out on things.

Women needs girl friends to gripe to about work, gripe to about their kids, gripe to about "women stuff."  But I think that women also need that man in their life to come home to, snuggle with on the couch, and when they ask you how your day was they don't say "Sorry I asked!" when you tell them how it really went! 

Your significant other should also be that guy who takes the kids off of your hands for an entire day "just because."  NOT because it's your birthday, or because you've guilt-ed him into it and he's tired of hearing you complain, but because he knows that you need it in order to be a better mom and wife.  And he should preferably NOT be the kind of guy who opens the trunk of your car and explodes in expletives because of all the stuff you bought at the craft fair. ;)

My pair of comfy shoes is downstairs, throwing a football around with our son, allowing our daughter to climb all over him even though it's annoying him, and who smiled and said "I'm glad honey" when I told him what a great day I had.  And he continued to smile when I told him about my purchases at the craft fair.  And that's why I will keep him around...funky smell and all. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Update on the Preschool Saga

I called to talk to the director of the preschool today.  I explained who I was and she says, "What's up?"  Like we're going to have a nice little chat...yeah right.

I told her that we were removing Braden from her center and that this change was effective immediately (or really, last week).  I told her that I felt like I owed her an explanation as to why he wouldn't be returning so that she could take care of things herself.  I also mentioned the fact that I had considered going directly to her licensing rep from the state, but had decided to talk with her first.

I told her everything that I had witnessed during my visit last week.  She listened very politely to what I had to say, and when I gave her a chance to speak she sounded extremely upset (that any of this had taken place) and also very sorry that we had to deal with all of it.  She said that she would be taking care of the problems that I had brought to her attention immediately, and I have a feeling that her staff is in for a brow-beating for a few things. 

Overall, I am glad that we are sticking with our plan of taking him out of that environment and I am also very glad that I spoke up about all that I had witnessed instead of just fuming about it.  This way was more productive and I also get the satisfaction of knowing that I got these women "in trouble."  I know that sounds childish, but, mess with my kid, you mess with me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Even "Super-Mom" Makes Mistakes!

Last Thursday I had Parent-Teacher Conferences from 8:00AM to 8:00PM.  But I had to take time out of my 12 hour day to be a parent as well.  I wish that I had done this sooner. . .but hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it.

I went to observe at Braden's preschool today.  Not good.  I am sick to my stomach about what I witnessed.  I am kicking myself that I didn't observe there sooner. . .like maybe BEFORE I enrolled him!?  I am a teacher for goodness sake.  Why didn't I think to do that?  Why?  Well. . .because I'm human and I can't control everything that happens to my children no matter how hard I try.

What prompted the visit in the first place is that Jason took him to school on Tuesday and didn't like the chaos that he witnessed.  Once he said something about it all of the little comments that our babysitter Kim and her husband had been making about what they were seeing at his preschool started to make more sense.  Jason and I decided that I needed to go and see for myself, from the perspective of a teacher AND a parent, in order for us to make a more informed decision about whether or not to keep him there.

The very minute I walked through that door I knew that I wasn't going to allow him to return to that place.  Not one person stopped me and asked me who I was, what I needed. . .nada.  I sat there for 15 minutes before anyone even realized I was there!  During those 15 minutes I witnessed the 4/5 year old's teacher screeching at them about stupid things, my son's teacher manhandling a toddler, screeching at the other kids, not having ANY control over her group, and not doing anything academic with them during "circle time."  Then, my son got pulled aside to work with another teacher during a small group time, and she interrupted the other teacher to ask how to spell Braden's name!!!  He's been a student there for a whole 1/4 and they don't know how to spell his name??!!

About this time, Braden notices me.  He runs over and hugs me.  Then the young teacher with him asks me if I'm his mom.  When I say yes, she asks me how to spell his name!  Can you imagine the body language that I was portraying at this time!?  I walked over and sat down beside Braden while he worked on his "project."  All it really was, was drawing his face.  The "teacher" would ask the kids what colors they should use for their faces, and instead of having them find those colors in the crayon box, she handed them the colors!  She passed up what could have been a review of the colors just to make the project take a shorter amount of time.

Once he was done he returned to the whole group where they were singing songs.  It was very apparent to me that they were not used to doing many songs and that the teacher was just trying to impress me, because the kids HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO DURING THE SONGS!  Needless to say, she couldn't have done much to impress me by this point.

Finally I had to say goodbye to Braden and get back to my conferences.  It took all that I had to leave him there with those "teachers."  As I was leaving, not ONE of them said goodbye to me, or thanks for coming...nada.

Do NOT send your child to Storytime Preschool and Daycare in North Sioux City, Iowa.  The day that I observed was Braden's last day and I would rather NOT have him in ANY kind of preschool, rather than take him back there.

The director will be getting a visit from me today.