Trapper Keepers & A New School Year

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved the first day school. I loved the smell of new notebooks and pencils. I loved picking out new shoes for my school uniform and I really, really loved picking out a new Trapper Keeper. Yeah, I know I’m a weirdo. But, it’s the honest truth.

Besides the new Trapper Keeper and color coded folders, I think I’ve always liked a new school year because it signifies a beginning. Everyone gets a fresh start. There is the promise of something new. There is the anticipation and, of course, the fear of what lies ahead. There is so much to learn, so much to be discovered.

Although my school days are a part of history, I can still enjoy the start of a new school year vicariously through my children. I knew I had them for a reason! Even though my daughter is only in Pre-K and not yet fully invested in the whole school thing, I’m still excited.What can I say? I guess I’m still a bit of a nerd at heart.

I can’t wait to see all the projects she’s going to bring home. I can’t wait to hear about all the things she is going to learn.  I can’t wait to pack her little snacks. I could go on for days about all the things that I’m excited about, but you would probably fall asleep.

I always think of the beginning of the school year as a great time to start new things and new routines, no matter what age you are. It’s a great time to kick start a workout regime or maybe just work towards some type of personal goal. I know I have a lot of things in mind myself once I turn that calendar to September, which by the way is something else I love…switching the calendar to start a new month, but I digress. Anyway, I think you get the drift. This self-proclaimed nerd can’t wait for the start of the school year! Maybe I’ll even go out and buy myself a Trapper Keeper just for nostalgia 🙂

Girl Scores Big With Sofa Ads

As a mom, it’s really funny to see the types of things kids latch on to. Some kids like certain shows due to a specific character that grabs their attention. Others latch on to a catchy theme song, while others like commercials. I know my kids like those M&M commercials where the little pieces of colored chocolate sing. I have to admit they are pretty entertaining.

For one girl in the U.K., it wasn’t candy, but rather sofas that really got her going. Ten-year-old Amelia Howarth loves ads for ScS sofas. So, she decided to write to the company to let them know. Not only does she love the ads, she also apparently acts them out for her family. Talk about a fan! The company was nice enough not only to respond to her e-mail, but also to invite her family down for a behind the scenes look at how the ads are made. They even got to meet the little girl who appears in the ads Amelia loves so much. Amelia even got to share her ideas. How cool!

It’s really great to hear a company responding to a little girl so well. She will remember something like this her entire life. It just goes to show you that there are still some companies out there who care about their customers as well as kids.Who knows, maybe little Amelia will become the next big advertising executive thanks to all this attention and interest. And to think it all started with a commercial. Sometimes little things do lead to big things.

Sleep in Your Own %$!@# Bed

Before I became a parent, I swore on my Dunkin’ iced coffee that I would never allow my children to sleep in my bed. Ever. Well, maybe when they were sick. But, that was it. No other time would they ever be allowed into my sacred place. Fast forward a few years and a couple of kids later and you’ll see a regular visitor in my bed nearly every night.

I don’t know what it is, but my four-year-old loves my bed more than a Caillou marathon. If you knew my child, you would know that is saying a lot. The funny thing is, she never used to be that way. But, it seems as though she booked part of her summer vacation in our bed…with a one way ticket. She falls asleep in her own bed, but then there’s some mystery as to what happens in the middle of the night. All of a sudden, I hear the pitter patter of little feet down the hallway followed by someone climbing on my back to get right in the middle of the bed to find “her” spot. Within seconds she is fast asleep. I, on the other hand, am slightly annoyed and uncomfortable. Take this routine and multiply it by seven and you have my week.

Aggravated with the sleeping conditions in my house, I naturally turned to the internet to help. All of those baby sites must have some heavenly advice to get my child back in bed and me not clinging on to the edge of the bed like I’m going to fall off a cliff. Of course many of the “experts” say you just have to keep walking them back to their beds. Trust me, I’ve done that plenty of times. It only leads to a repeat performance an hour or so later and me drinking a gallon of coffee the next day. A real lose-lose if you ask me. Other sites suggested putting a sleeping bag along my bed so she is in the room but not attached to my back. I can tell you that would go over like throwing away all the Caillou videos in my house. So, that option is out the window. There was one suggestion that peaked my interest…the sleep fairy. I had never heard of this magical creature. I think she’s the tooth fairy’s third cousin. See, she leaves little gifts under kids’ pillows when they sleep in their beds the whole night. If you’re not in your bed, she can’t find you, thus you lose out. I really thought this would work. I told my daughter all about this wonderful fairy who was going to make all of our dreams come true. Her eyes lit up and I thought we were really onto something. After a couple of nights of still sleeping in our bed, she asked why the sleep fairy didn’t come and leave her a gift. I explained for the 100th time that she had to sleep in her bed for this gimmick to work. She said “oh” and finished her pretend picnic. Let me tell you, she could care less. The sleep fairy better find another house. Ugh.

My next step was to talk to the pediatrician during her yearly check-up. She also suggested the sleeping bag thing. When I told her that would never work, she suggested a sticker chart with a reward system. You see, I had been taking things away because my daughter wasn’t sleeping in her bed. I was told to try positive reinforcement instead. How about me booking a room at the Hyatt? That sounds pretty positive to me. So instead, I introduced the whole sticker chart thing with a tier of prizes. The first would be a trip to Nuvita for frozen yogurt. She loves that place so I thought this had to work. Well, a week later I have sheets of princess stickers, an empty calendar, and a craving for Nuvita. Ugh.

The doctor did say she would grow out of this. I mean how many 15 year-olds do you know who still sleep in their parent’s beds? So, I guess there is still hope. Until then, perhaps I have to bring the sleep fairy with us to Nuvita with stickers and a calendar for all of this to work.

Why You Need to Read This Blog

As a mom and blogger I read a lot of stuff online. Some things make me laugh. Some things make me cry. Some things I don’t even finish reading because they are a waste of my time. Then there are some things that become so stuck in my brain that it’s just crazy. Recently, a blog I read did just that.

A friend of mine shared a post by Rachel Martin about why being mom is enough. I have to admit I’ve read and wrote plenty of these kinds of posts so many times before that I almost glazed right over it. But that morning as I was scrolling down my Facebook page, I was thinking about life and how sometimes staying/working from home drives me nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and am happy with my life as it is right now, but sometimes I look at my “to do” list and think how pathetic it looks. When you’re biggest decision of the day is whether to cook mac and cheese or chicken nuggets for lunch, you begin to reassess your life and your choices. I didn’t need an expensive college education for that, now did I? Unfortunately, society makes women think there is something wrong with us if we choose to “just be a mom”. With that said, I decided to click on this link. I am so glad I did.

As I was reading it, I felt like Rachel had been in my house watching my every move because it sounded like a scene right out of my day. From the morning routine to the almost pulling your hair out by noon, I thought Oh my God, this is me! Although you know other moms are going through the same stuff, on this day, it was especially comforting to read her words. I felt like she was actually talking to me, telling me to just chill out and be grateful. It’s okay to just be a mom.

Through all the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s so easy to forget the little things that make motherhood enjoyable. Reading books, playing outside, playing dolls…I think you get the idea. We get so caught up with trying to be some type of supermom, that we forget that these little things are really the big things.

So, although I may not be making life altering decisions all day, the time I spend just being a mom really is enough…even on the days when I think it’s not. That’s why I found this blog so uplifting. When you stay at home with your kids you don’t have a fancy project to be proud of at the end of the week or some big paycheck to cash, and that can become depressing at times. But, you do have lots of hugs and smiles that really do mean a lot more, even if we forget them at times.

If you’re a mom in need of some words of encouragement, check out this blog. You’ll thank me later.

I Love Birthdays

Every since I can remember I’ve loved birthdays. Whether it was mine or someone else’s, I loved everything about them. The cake, the gifts, the parties…there was just nothing bad about a birthday. Now that I have kids of my own, I love them even more. There’s just something about seeing a little face light up when all the spotlight is shining on them.

With that said, there’s also a lot of pressure to make their day as special as it can be. At least that’s the way I feel. Now that my older daughter gets the whole birthday thing, I don’t want to let her down. Truth be told, I don’t really think she cares what she eats or what she does. But for some reason, I do. So I made sure this year I asked her what she wanted to do and where she wanted to eat. Of course she picked her favorite restaurant…Texas Roadhouse. But, she surprised me when it came to what she wanted to do. I thought she would want to go somewhere different or do something different. But, she just wanted to play outside with her toys and ride her bike. Easy for me! Let me tell you, she was so happy. So, perhaps all that self imposed momma pressure was for nothing? Hmmm..

I noticed that she just liked the fact that it was her birthday. She kept telling everyone she was the birthday girl. Unfortunately at age four she gets the whole present thing and does look forward to certain things…like a doctor’s set. That’s all she’s been talking about for months now. I honestly think if she didn’t get that, there would have been some disappointment. Luckily though, mom and dad fulfilled that request.

I’m sure as she gets older the birthday requests will get more demanding and much more expensive. So, I think for now I’m going to enjoy just buying a doctor’s set and playing outside. I thought I would need to do so much more to make her day special, but sometimes simple is better.