Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mama on the Run

I am running. I've actually stopped running for exercise and now only run around. In circles. All week long. I'm getting so tired and the phrase I used over and over this past week was "running on empty." Here to there, there to here, I've shuffled, hustled been late, and tired.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Well Can You Keep It All Together?

If you are a rockstar at organizing all of your kids' papers, projects, and plans, please post your suggestions, recommendations and even pictures so that I can partake in your infinite wisdom! Our house has been taken over by paper and it's really cramping my feng shui!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mom ADD...Is The Diagnosis Real?

I swear that since I've become a mom, I've developed a problem staying on task, finishing a task to completion, concentrating, focusing, and feel that without my now three cups of coffee each day, I'm walking around in a foggy trance. I've heard many a mom complain about pregnancy- or postpartum (biological and adoptive) attention deficiancy, and while I've absolutely 100% experienced this for myself, on a near daily basis, I wasn't quite sure of it's conception, or certainty for that matter.

Now I go out with the girls on occassion for mom nights out, girls weekends away, and love, love, love that and absolutely recommend it to every mom I know. But I'm telling you, we've all talked about Mommy ADD and wondered whether or not it's real or diagnosable. I don't have a professional answer for that, only an illustration:

Today, as everyday begins for me, I brewed a half pot of coffee. As I opened the dishwasher door to grab a clean cup I hear, "Mom, I huuuuunnggrryyy...." and little feet and hands are grabbing and clawing their way up my leg dragging me to the refrigerator. "I want orange juice," I grab the OJ. "I want a yogurt," I grab a yogurt. Next, one needs a spoon, and in between I'm trying to fill up my cup. Then the baby who was content as could be, begins crying in his bouncy. I've got to grab him, go set him down somewhere else for five more minutes of playmat entertainment. From there, it's back to the kitchen, grab the half and half, pour it. One sip...ahhh. Set the coffee down. Start unloading dishwasher. "Mom, I want more yogurt." Grab the yogurt, put it on the table. Baby's crying. Shut dishwasher, go to baby. Bring baby upstairs for nap, come down. Open dishwasher again. "Mom! Can I have some water?" Grab cup, water, give to second child. Take a sip of cold coffee, put it in the microwave for first of seven warm-ups. Sip, distraction, another distraction, warm-up. Repeat.

I don't have Mommy ADD. I've got kids.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Find a Passionate Expert

ChildCare Resource & Referral
Here's something worth passing on: It is so immensely beneficial to know people who love what they do.

In my quest to find the right preschool program for my three year old, I used a network of individuals who are passionate about early childhood education, and the kind of play-based curriculum most beneficial to three- and four year-olds, and as equally passionate about helping me find the right place for my child.

I started by using recommendations of friends. As it turns out however, it's not just the school that I needed to be mindful of when choosing one, but the specific teacher, and their style of working with young children as well. The recommendations I'd had from friends, worked well...but for them. They got lucky in their child's teacher, or they'd known a specific teacher to request. I wasn't armed with that part. From there, well, you know what happened as I mentioned in my previous post (Why Can't Kids Play in Preschool?). Hundreds of dollars of deposits down the tubes. But after this last experience, I got smarter and I started listening to people who had an edge in on the field of early childhood education.

A few of my I-will-absolutely-keep-in-my-back-pocket-for-the-future resources: Patrice Sullivan, Director of Hobson Cooperative Nursery School, Trish Rooney, at ChildCare Resource and Referral in DuPage County, and Chris Bzdon, Executive Director of ChildCare Resource and Referral for Will, Grundee, Kankakee, and Kendall Counties. Let me tell you folks, these people know what they're doing when it comes to what to look for in a quality early childhood preschool program, and how to find one that suited our family. I can't thank them enough for their guidance and expertise. Each one of them spoke passionately about children, their developmental capabilities and needs, and ways preschools can help them thrive.

I'm happy to pass on, that by working with the above mentioned individuals, I found a place that warms my heart and I can't wait for my three year old to reap the benefits of his new found preschool. Cool stuff to pass on. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why Can't Kids Play in Preschool?

I'm excited. Finally. We're visiting another preschool tomorrow that I'm sure uses play in their preschool. I'm sure. I hope. Well, we'll see. This is been the hope I've had in the nearly five or six preschools I've had my son enrolled in in the past year. Yes, five or six, given one or two. I've lost hundreds of dollars on deposits, sleep, and some of my sanity over choosing an appropriate preschool program for my son, Graham. I'm sure my husband and friends are completely done talking to me about it. So, I turn to you, blog and readers to vent, veg, and pass on a little.

But first, let me tell you about the kid I'm looking into preschool for. Let me tell you about Graham. He's three and a half. He loves dancing, singing, spending time with me and the rest of the family, and is really the most amazing little boy I've ever met. He'll have you laughing within minutes of meeting him, and simply put, is pure joy. His personality is easy, it's always been, and he goes with the flow of nearly anything. Graham is any teacher's dream come true kid. But I fear he's been taken advantage of.

He doesn't get nearly enough time to play the way he needs to, or laugh, or be silly, or paint, or be a boy at his preschool. And this makes me frustrated. You see, I know what my children need in order to be independent, thriving and striving young people. I know what they need to grow and learn and become self-motivated learners and thinkers through their lives. And I know that sitting in circle time rehearsing letters and numbers for 45 minutes isn't part of the curriculum that supports his growth and development.

Unfortunately, much of my community disagrees with me. And so instead of painting and jumping and walks outside and laughing, he's been sitting, and sitting, and being talked at instead of with, and then sitting some more, in a program that advertises itself as being play-based.  When the energy level of the boys gets out of control, the class then does yoga to "relax" and "calm down." Don't get me wrong, I love the benefits of yoga for adults and children alike...love it. But that's not why I send him to preschool. And I'm fearful he's learning that being a rambunctious boy is a bad thing.

Since I know what he needs, we're moving on. Chalking this up to yet another failed attempt at preschool...just as soon as I find a new one. When I do, I'll Pass It On.