Tuesday, June 22, 2010

{Crickets Chirping}

Once again, I have sorely neglected this blog. If anyone is out there actually checking for updates, I apologize. If I'm just talking to myself, well, then I guess I apologize to myself. :-)

I've been reading a lot of new blogs lately focused on healthy lifestyles and the like, and have toyed with the idea of doing the same, if for no other reason than to force myself to eat better. In theory, I won't get pizza and breadsticks for lunch if I have to post about it, right? But then I think, "what if I start a whole blog about food and then fail miserably?" Hmmm...

Where am I now? Well, Monkey has started day care on a full-time basis, in anticipation of his transition to preschool next month. Now excuse me while I take a moment to freak out over the fact that my baby is about to turn 3....

Wow. I really don't know where three years have gone! Monkey has turned into such a smart, funny little guy. He still has a temper, and is mischievous beyond what I expected at this age, but I just LOVE talking to him and hearing the funny, wise, or silly things that alternatively come out of his mouth. Just last night he tried to convince me that we need to paint his room yellow. When I pointed out that it already IS yellow, he pointed out the flaw - apparently he wants it to be WIGGLES yellow, as in the color of Greg's (or Sam's, depending on what DVD you watch) shirt. This pale yellow nonsense just isn't cutting it for him. He also chastized me last night when I tried to put him back to bed after a middle-of-the-night tornado warning, reminding me that "YOU got me up, Mommy." So observant, these kids...

Anyway, job-wise, Monkey's transition to full-time mirrors an effort to put in more hours on my part as well. In the first week, however, I'm finding that my best intentions are being frustrated by more compelling home projects, namely, trying to get rid of all of Monkey's old stuff that I tried, but failed, to sell in last weekend's big neighborhood garage sale, and painting the master bedroom, in anticipation of finally, after five years of begging, getting a new furniture set. You know, one where the pieces actually match? So, yeah, the real work has, if anything, suffered MORE than usual this week. Oops. It would have helped, however, if Once Upon a Child had given me the courtesy of a personal phone call to let me know they were moving their store, saving me a needless 40-minute round trip this morning, that will have to be repeated tomorrow now that I have successfully tracked them down.

Health-wise, it seems like every Monday is supposed to mark the start of a healthier lifestyle, both in terms of eating and exercise. I find that a work-at-home setup, while great in theory, leads to more snacking out of boredom and less exercising than one might think. And I confess that my willpower is weak, leaving me susceptible to many "it's too hot to exercise today - maybe I'll just start fresh tomorrow" moments. And man has it been hot!

I have taken some positive steps. I've started buying more organic fruits and vegetables, and try to keep the house stocked with a decent assortment of them so that I have good foods to choose from. I have tried to eliminate the "bad" snacks from the house, but confess that they still find their way in from time to time, only to disappear far too quickly for the wrong reasons. I'm not much of a "plan the week's menu" in advance kind of girl - I'm not sure why that is. As a result, I'm often a victim of what there is to eat in the house, and it's hard to both keep a variety, and keep from having food go to waste. Still working on that balance. It would be easier, of course, if Monkey and his Daddy liked the same foods that I did, but all too often I find myself preparing 2-3 separate meals, struggling to get them all to the table at the same time. One of my goals is to find more common meals that we can share, and wean Monkey off of his "peanut butter quesidilla" (i.e., PB on a flour tortilla) and "fishie crackers (i.e., Goldfish) addiction. Do you have any healthy meals that your toddlers really love? I really need to work on expanding his horizons, food-wise!

In the spirit of honesty, but not BRUTAL honesty, I'll confess that today has not been a good day so far, diet-wise, so I will refrain from posting about what I've eaten, with the goal of having something to be proud to share tomorrow! And on that note, I'm off to try to get some work done before the day gets away from me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Return of Mommy Guilt

As Monkey approaches age 3 (what? already? not possible...), talk has turned to preschool vs. day care, and what changes we need to make to our routine to make sure we don't inadvertently ruin Monkey's chances at getting into college before he even starts Kindergarten. (Just kidding. I think. I hope...)

And so, we've gone round and round on things like part-time vs. full-time, new school vs. old school, and multi-age classroom vs. 3-year olds only classroom. Seriously, I never realized there would be so many decisions to make, and so soon.

I'll spare you all the debate, and let you know that we've decided on full-time, old school, and multi-age classroom. Fingers are crossed. And yet, with those decisions made, we still had to deal with the final issue of timing. Should we let Monkey enjoy his last couple months as a care-free not-really-going-to-"school"-school toddler, basking in a part-time schedule, spending extra quality time with Mommy, and then switching to part-time in the fall, on a "traditional" school schedule, after the switch to the new classroom happens this summer? Or should we just get all the transitions over at once, possibly traumatizing Monkey in the process? And then, to complicate matters, our school offered us a third possibility - take advantage of a full-time opening now, then switch to the new room next month, and bam, transition complete, perhaps before Mommy was mentally prepared for it all.

And that, for better or for worse, is what we've decided to do. I tell myself it's not because I'm a crappy SAHM, who is running out of ways to amuse Monkey on "our" days together, and is going broke taking him to the zoo and out for pizza and breadsticks (which, in Monkey-ese, means about 3 breadsticks and half a slice of cheese pizza - thanks for the carbo-loading, Mommy...) I also tell myself that this might be the "best" way to ease his transition, increasing his days while he's still in a room that he knows and loves, and hopefully fast-tracking the transition to the new room by having it occur over the course of a solid week, as opposed to broken up over two weeks of part-time attendance. And who knows? Maybe Monkey will surprise me this year and will be EXCITED about moving to the "big kids' room" (yep, I'm trying to play it up already). Maybe he won't cry every day for three weeks when I drop him off in the new room. Maybe he'll immediately bond with his new teachers, and won't look at me like I'm taking him to the "wrong" place, away from his beloved Miss Amber and Miss Laura. A mommy can hope, right?

And of course the biggest question of all remains unanswered - what will this part-time work-from-home Mommy do when suddenly she has the "opportunity" to contemplate returning to a full-time work atmosphere? Hmmm, perhaps we should let this just be about Monkey for now...