The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My game show intro

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to meet our next contestant. Colleen is a stay-at-home mom who runs a preschool 52 hours a week. When she isn't teaching children, she spends every second of her spare time:

-growing a child in her body
-preparing lesson plans
-doing the dishes
-preparing meals
-disciplining a toddler who is testing the limits
-doing load after load of laundry
-cleaning bathrooms
-grocery shopping
-and many other household duties

She also enjoys taking an occassional shower, blogging, and watching partial episodes of DVR'd House before falling asleep on the couch at 11:30."

(I'm having a bad day. Can you tell? I'm so bipolar, lol)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The School Year is Coming to an End...

A. and Jackson, December 2008

Lately I've been revising my contract, beginning to advertise and getting a head count for who is returning to preschool next year. I realized today that I only have 3 more months with my 4-year-olds and they will all graduate to Kindergarten!

I am SOOOO going to miss Z., L., S.M., and A. so much! They are such great helpers and so obedient! They are always willing to help me with anything I need.

Poor Z., since he and I spend the first hr just the two of us, he helps me with all kinds of things! He helps me set up the tables and chairs for snack/lunch. He runs things around the house for me all the time. ("Z., could you go put this in the sink for me?" "Z. could you go get Jackson's baby wipes for me?") That kid is so sweet! The other day, he saw me picking up some toys in the living room that Jackson had gotten out the night before and HE asked ME, "Mrs. Colleen, do you need some help?" He is also such a peaceful child. The girls can be quite dramatic at times and he is such a calming influence on them! When they boss him around, instead of getting all bent out of shape about it, he just ignores them and does what he wants to do. Plus, he is so sweet with Jackson. Jackson has really come to look up to these kids and Z. will let Jack climb all over him and never gets upset when Jackson gets in the middle of his play. He even encourages Jack to come play with him when Jack is particularly annoying one of the other kids!

Then there is A. She has such a voracious appetite for knowledge that I can hardly keep up with her! Today in my 4 year old small groups, we were working on telling time to the hour, writing the months of the year and addition. We just started time last week which all the 4's picked up quickly, and addition this week, and after I do the example problem for them, A. is always the first one done. She is also probably the closest to reading. She can read all the word family words we have practiced and is hungry for more, but we only do 2 word families a week. Next week, we will start learning a few sight words and I have no doubt she will be the first to memorize the words and be able to read them without hesitation! She has such a spunky personlity and is THE dominant female in the room and lets everyone know it! The funny things that come out of her mouth crack me up! I will really miss her next year!

S.M. has a very similar personality to A., but she has a deep creative mind and a very caring heart! She loves to create new scenarios in dramatic play that amaze me. She is also very quick to learn. She loves to write "words". She is like a big sister to Jackson. He runs to her and hugs her when she gets here every day. She has a little brother about 6 months older than Jack, so she knows exactly how to handle him when he gets her toys or bops her on the head. She is such a little mother!

L. we don't see much, but she is a little sassy spitfire! For someone so sick, she will tell you how it is! You just don't mess with L. She has got more attitude in her little body than most adults I know! She is a sweetie though. Eveyone gets along with L. and we miss her when she is gone.

Sigh, I guess this is how it is every year. As a teacher, you work so hard to accomplish and surpass the goals you have set for your group and when they are doing it and you are SO proud of them, they leave you and you have to start all over. That is the good thing about in-home preschool. I have a whole group of 3 year olds that I already know just as well as my 4 year olds. Next year, I won't have to waste any time figuring out what they can do. We can just start from where I know they are at!

My main worry for this summer is that without such a structured day, Jackson will lose everything. Right now, his temper tantrums are minimal (although he does throw them on occassion and he throws some whoppers sometimes!) because there is no question about why we do what we do. For instance, I've never battled him to put his shoes on because he sees that before we go outside, that is what all the kids do, so that is just the way it is! What will happen when, in addition to losing the structure and play buddies to entertain him, he'll have to share my attention with a new baby!? I fear we will have meltdown central this summer and that starting back to school won't be much easier. I know we'll get through it, but anyone have any ideas?!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Alchemist

I'm about a month behind in finishing this book for the book group that met on it, and so I'm sad I don't get a chance to discuss it. So if you have read it, please let me know what your impressions were. Here are mine:

I enjoyed the book, but not like I usually enjoy a book with a detailed plot. This was a very general book with a vague storyline because there was so much symbolism. I like deciphering symbolism every now and then, and I enjoyed it in this book, but I felt that the book was a little misleading.

The message of the book was that everyone has a Personal Legend to accomplish. Most people don't accomplish their P.L. for various reasons. I think that the author was trying to say everyone can aspire to be greater and that when we do so, everything around us becomes greater as well, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, I felt that everyone's Personal Legend was outlined as this huge thing, like discovering a treasure or accomplishing something so great you'd become well known for it, whereas I feel that many of us are living our Personal Legend just by being who we are.

Personally I know I have many talents, but just because I am a great soccer player or a decent singer doesn't mean I am meant to become the next Mia Hamm or Aretha Franklin. I think the author mentioned a few people along the way that were accomplishing their Personal Legend in a not so glamorous way, but I felt that the major focus was put on the alchemist who could turn lead into gold or the boy who is in search of a treasure. If everyone has a Personal Legend, and yet we need all types of people in the world to do all types of tasks, does that mean no one's Personal Legend is to be a trashman? I don't think so. We need trashman and they serve a very important role, too.

I guess the book made me a little uneasy, like I was missing a joke everyone else understood, and everyone around me knew it. I felt a little embarrased after reading the book: does everyone see that I am not accomplishing my Personal Legend or am I actually achieving it, but just feeling self-conscious? I'm going with the latter.

I have thought and thought about what my Personal Legend could be, and I truly don't feel like I have missed anything. Maybe my Personal Legend is just to be a teacher. Teaching makes me happy, I am talented at it, and I like how it touches and changes the lives of other people for the better. I feel fulfilled as a person by the roles I currently play in my life as a mother, wife and teacher. I know there is always room for improvement, but I feel like I am on the right track and that God is pleased with me, so I am pleased with me. ;)

I liked the book though. Good pick, Joy is My Goal, you got me thinking!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cupid's Arrow & Getting Spanked

My good, sweet husband decided to jump the gun on Valentine's Day and brought home a dozen roses for me today as we were sitting down to lunch. Having just learned about V-Day traditions, Z. said, "Mr. Ben, did you get shot by Cupid's arrow today?" hehe, cute, I thought. Later Z. asked me, "What happens when two boys get shot with Cupid's arrow?" "Hmm..." I said, thoughtfully, "I don't know if that works. You'll have to ask your mom about that one, she might know better than me." Yikes! Don't really want to have that conversation with a 4-year-old.

Later lunch conversation turned to "the baby in my tummy." I said that I believed that the baby in my tummy was up in heaven and thought, "That lady would be a good mommy for me" and chose to come to my family. I told S.M. that I thought she probably chose her mommy when she was in heaven, too. She thought about that for a moment and said frankly, "But she spanks me a lot." I laughed and said, "Good, I'm glad she spanks you. I think that means she cares that you make good choices. If she didn't teach you how to make good choices, you might grow up to be someone who steals or hurts people." They all seemed shocked that that is a possible reason for why grown-ups make bad choices, pondered that for a few moments, then the conversation turned to who gets spanked and what for.

Okay, so maybe this isn't Leno comedy material, but I just enjoy the way children's minds work. I love my job! ;)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thoughts on Motherhood

I caught a glimpse of my swollen belly this evening. (Normally I would have hurriedly covered it in disgust. I hate the loss of control over what my body looks like during pregnancy. Maybe it's vanity, but I think it is more about me being a control freak...)

Anyway, this evening, I stopped and stared at it at every possible angle in the mirror. "I'm doing this again..." I thought. A little fear rose in my throat, and then I smiled. Maybe it will be hard, and maybe I'll regret doing this again right now with everything going on, but I am so grateful to be a mother.

My year and a half of experience (like I am on old pro, haha) with motherhood has taught me that there are days of extreme frustration. I have felt like the weight of the responsibility of my family is all on my shoulders at times. The feeding. The getting up in the middle of the night. The caretaking of a sick kid. The cleaning. The diaper changing.

But there have also been the days of extreme elation. The firsts that only I witnessed. First smile. First step. First word. First time he successfully used a spoon. I could go on and on. It is true that mothers bear an enormous responsibility, but what an incredible payoff on those good days!

Jackson is teething (AGAIN) and he is waking up in the night, which as a deep sleeper, I loathe! But there we were cuddled up in the comfy brown microfiber rocking recliner that I had to have when I was pregnant with him. At 2:00 am we watched 15 minutes of DVR'd Backyardigans (he won't sit still if I sing) and he drank some juice and cuddled up next to me and fell back asleep, comforted by just the rocking motion and the sound of my heart. I almost didn't want to go back to bed (almost, I said).

Then he is always so cheerful first thing in the morning. He is the perfect offset to my morning grumpiness. His excitement to see me every morning and chirpy chattering repeating everything I say makes me smile.
"Let's go change your diaper" "Di-pah"
"Want some bites?" "Bi pwe"
"I think Zion's here." "Zi-uh!!" (racing for the door)

My heart aches for the women I know (I can think of 3 off the top of my head) who would make excellent mothers and ache for this responsibility. They see woman give birth (or terminate an unwanted pregnancy) every day to children they don't want and can't take care of, knowing that they themselves would make excellent mothers. They have a sense of what they are missing, but the truth of it is, they don't have a clue HOW MUCH they are missing.

When Jackson came into our lives, I thought, "We are finally a family!" And the funny thing is I still don't feel like we are a complete family. I feel more spirits, even after this one, that are meant to come to our family and I can't wait until I have everyone here with me and I sense that they feel the same way. I don't know how many that will be, I will leave that up to prayer.

All these emotions were going through my mind as I stared at my belly tonight. And you know, I may never be a high-powered corporate executive or accomplish whatever some women feel they need to accomplish to be seen as equals of men, but I know my life makes a difference because I am fulfilling part of God's plan for me as a woman. I don't want to be equal to a man. I know that just the role of being a mother makes being a woman incomparable to being a man.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


This picture was taken when I had to put Jackson on the BRAT diet when he had the diarrhea bug for so long. Even eating plain ol' rice can be fun.

These days he will NOT let me feed him anymore. Everything we give him to eat must be food he can feed himself. Also, he insists on a fork or spoon with every meal, which are both called "poon" in our house. I am not allowed to help him with the spoon, he will push my hand away and say, "No."

"Back away from the applesauce, woman!"

In the afternoon when the kids wake up from nap and sit down for snack, Jackson likes to sit at the table with the big kids. He will actually sit on his bottom in the chair for long periods of time. Sometimes the kids like to say the ABC's and point to them on the kiddie table and Jackson will do this, too. Most of the letters in his version of the Alphabet song sound like vowels though, but he does sing it in a recognizable tune.

On the weekends when the kids are at home, Jackson occasionally demands a "seat" (a big kid chair) and table to sit at for meals. He will pull them out from the side of the fridge and drag them to me in the living room if I do not oblige quickly enough for him, all the while saying, "Deeeeet! Deeeet!"

This was just a funny pic Daddy snapped when static from the couch got the better of the squirmy worm wriggling around on it!

Jackson LOVES bathtime! After dinner, all we have to do is say, "Bathtime?" to Jack and he takes off like an Olympic sprinter for the stairs. He climbs the stairs all by himself. He loves to splash and kick. (I don't love it so much, but I hate to squash the excitement of bath.) He especially loves it when Daddy pours cold water on his head. I thought it was cruel at first, but he shudders and laughs so hard, it really is funny.

These are pictures we took on our blessed Snow Day last week. Jackson got into the dress up clothes bin, pulled out the knight cloak AND hat and brought them to me, saying "Ep me, pwee! Ep me, pwee!" (Help me, please! Help me, please!) The cutest thing was that Ben taught him to announce his arrival with a little mock-trumpet sound, so he kept running around the house saying, "Duh-Duh-Duh DUH!" He did NOT want to take these clothes off. I think he left them on for almost an hour. At one point, I tried to take off the hat because his nose was running, but he threw a fit as soon as I took it off, so I had to wipe his nose and put it right back on. By the way, thanks Grandmollie, it is a good present for all of us!

I took this picture today when Jackson woke up before the other kids did at naptime. He found his daddy's tie that was hanging on a chair in the kitchen, wrapped it around his neck, and then put my shoes on. He then stumbled toward me and said, "Bye-bye, Mama!" I thought it was so cute, just like Daddy, going off to school.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

23 weeks - not much to tell

According to the What to Expect When You Are Expecting book, I have entered into the 6th month today! YEAH!

I had my 4 week check-up yesterday and all is well. I have gained 5 lbs in the last 4 weeks which is not surprising considering all the junk I have been eating. Gotta get better about that. I am still under par for where I was with weight gain with Jackson, so I'm happy about that, but at the rate I'm going, I'll catch up fast.

I got scolded a little about how much Dr. Pepper I am drinking. Obviously my doctor has not read my blog and so is not informed on what my life is like. (Okay, that was a joke. I know it doesn't matter what my doctor thinks, I need to be healthier for the baby...)

Next month I have to take the fun sugar test, have my check-up sono since there is a wierd issue with fluid in one of the baby's kidneys (the dr is not worried about it, just wants to keep an eye on it), and have another check-up, so I'll be there for a while.

We are going back and forth with names. This poor kid may never have a name. We still like Samson the best, but Lincoln and Karson are serious options. Personally, I am hoping for a miracle that Ben agrees to Anderson. I think having an Andy and a Jack is kind of a throw-back to the 50's and I like it, but Ben is not having it.

Little Baby #2 is kicking all the time. He is quite strong. I can see his little kicks shaking my belly when I am taking a bath, but they aren't distint body parts yet. Sometimes I feel my whole uterus contract which happened with Jackson early, too, and I thought it was Braxton-Hicks, but my doctor said those contractions don't start this early. So what is it? I don't know. My theory is that this child is as strong-willed and determined to not be restricted in any way - just like Jackson.

To my friends who keep requesting belly pics, I have decided not to oblige. Looking back on my first pregnancy pics, I shudder. I think documenting the fatness of one pregnancy is quite enough. I look about the same now as I did then, so you can look at those pictures if you want to. Sorry. I am not eager to show the world right now. It is a good thing I work from home and can wear sweat suits if I want to. ;)

Sunday, February 1, 2009


If I don't get a chance (courage) to bear my testimony today in church, then I just want everyone to know that I have a very stong testimony of the necessity to pay tithing. Personally, I can't afford not to pay my 10%.

When Ben started school and I quit working, we didn't pay tithing because we didn't have an income. Before that, we were always full tithe payers. Since starting my business, we haven't paid tithing. Not because we didn't want to, didn't have the money, or didn't have a testimony of tithing, but because we simply weren't sure at what point we had started to make a profit after all our start-up and monthly expenses. To pay tithing required that we sit down, look at our records and figure out what we have actually earned from the business. Neither of us have had the chance to do that. I guess we have procrastinated. We knew we would have to do this in January anyway when we got ready to file our taxes so we figured we'd just calculate it then.

Not a good idea.

In the last week, my car wouldn't start - needed a new battery. Ben got a flat tire. My dishwasher is making a funny sound and a melting wax smell wafts from it during the drying cycle, but dishes are coming out clean, so I have to call someone about that on Monday. Then today I walked into the laundry room only to step in a large puddle of water seeping from the washing machine. Arrgh!

That doesn't even include all the sicknesses we have had at my house in the last month. This morning after the puddle incident I looked at Ben, and in frustration I said, "Seriously, who did we tick off?" He laughed and said, "The tithing check is in my wallet." He had woken up early and looked at our records and estimated how much he thought we needed to pay. I guess if we need to pay more or less, we'll find out when we do our taxes.

Anyway, I do have a strong testimony of tithing and paying it promptly, whenever that is for you. I know we have procrastinated, and I feel strongly that we are having to learn our lesson about that. I know when we give back to the Lord, he blesses us for it, and when we don't, well...chaos ensues.