Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just the Way I Am

Just the Way I am (The 7 Habits of Happy Kids) by Sean Covey

I couldn’t believe it when Jelly Belly found this book. How many years have I known about this author and the 7 Habits of Effective People, Effective Families, Effective Teens. I have gone to classes, workshops. I think I can recite them. Okay maybe not. But there I was sharing this with my daughter and I loved the message. Talk about building up some self-esteem. Pokey the Porcupine learns to accept the way he is. He learns to walk away from Biff, the school bully, who makes fun of him on a daily basis. Pokey decides that “He was not going to let Biff ruin his day.”

A short, sweet and to the point book that teaches the child to Be Proactive: You’re in Charge of your feelings. If Pokey the Porcupine learns to accept the way he is then so can I. My favorite part is The Parents Corner. It was a great tool to practice reading comprehension and to have valuable discussion. For us it went something like this:

I ask her... Name 3 things you like about yourself

1) I like my hair

2) I like my hands

3) I like my arms

"Mommy, your turn, what do you like about yourself?" And then I froze. It took me a minute. I really struggled. Yikes! I need to revisit these habits.

1) I like my name

2) I like the color of my eyes

3) I like being a mommy

She says, “My turn…”

1) I like my hair

2) I like my hands

3) I like that you are my mommy

And my heart melted.

Highly recommend this book. This book is a great way to prepare young kids for the inevitable. Kids can be mean. Chances are someone will make fun of her at school, the park, or somewhere when I least expect it.  It’s up to me to teach her how to handle these situations before they happen.

What will you say when someone asks, "What do you like about yourself?"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The Butterfly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden:

Pictures taken in October 2009!

You are stuck with me!

Today, I had one of those days where I feel like telling Jelly Belly, “Sorry you are stuck with me.” I was cranky, irritable, just not having a good mom day. I always feel bad afterwards. Guilt, it gets the best out of me. She did nothing out of the ordinary, but I am not proud of the way I handled things today. I gave up yelling for lent today. My husband laughs at me. I think I have done pretty well. I usually find enough patience in me to explain in a calm way why I don’t like it when she takes her socks off at the gym’s day care or at the playground, or why she shouldn’t do this or that. I try to take the time to give her options so she feels somewhat in control of her life. I give her warnings and explain the consequences she may face. Today was not one of those days. All I wanted to do was scream “because I said so!”

I had no patience for her silliness, or energy to ask her a million times to do something. I should have known it was going to be one of those days when she came in to the den holding her plate, cup and bagel all at once, she was so proud. “Mom, I can carry all of this” and then suddenly everything slips out of her tiny hands and she drenched herself in water, yep, the cup was full. We were late to the library once again.

In the afternoon, I realized I needed to check my work email. I set up a worksheet for her to do, she usually loves these. She calls them her homework. Today, she lasted less than 3 minutes. Then, I set up a puzzle for her in the same room, but she had no focus. I finished up my work and actually sat down with her. I was not in the mood for puzzles. My patience was thin. Then, sweet little belly wanted to sit on my lap. Not a terrible request, but I wanted no part of it! I wanted my personal space. I wanted her to stop talking. She then got upset because I did not want to share my apple with her. I knew the only reason she wanted it was because it was mine. She had just finished lunch. I catch myself. Did I really just tell her NO, it’s mine! Yikes, I give in. She sucks on my apple and then gives it back to me, all soggy. Gross.

Then she got upset because I picked up the wrong puzzle piece. “I wanted to do that one”, she says. Any other day, we would have worked through it. Today I made it worse. It ended up with me saying or maybe yelling, "I need some alone time". She was so upset, but admitted she was tired and wanted to take a nap. Yeah, right!! But she had quiet time in her room, it lasted maybe 30 minutes. Then she comes out and says, “Mommy can we please have a happy ending”. And I manage to give her a smile.

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

What am I tackling this week? I volunteered to host an Easter Egg Hunt for the Mommy Co-op that I belong to and it is this Saturday! This means I can no longer avoid cleaning the house. I always tell myself to get on some type of schedule but I never stick to it. I always wait until the very last minute and then stress!
I always start with the kitchen.... Here is our island!! Every week, or is it every day that I say I will not let it get this bad.  I had 30 minutes to throw something in the crockpot AND give the kitchen a transfomation before we had to head out. Good thing Bella was in the mood for a popsicle, she willingly went outside to play, she even asked me to close the door so flies don't come in to the house!!!

Before and after pictures:

I even had time to put up some Easter decorations without spending any money. I bought a few things after Easter last year and managed to find every stuffed bunny that Bella owns to decorate. She had a blast!

And now onto dusting, vacuuming, mopping and everything else! Oh it's going to be busy week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jelly Belly and Me # 2

I am getting more and more excited about this Mommy and Me challenge. Today, I realized how true it is... not too many pictures with Jelly Belly and me, especially ones that are not posed. The challenge to change that is definitely on!

She was sitting on my lap as I began looking and searching for pictures of the 2 of us together. Looking through pictures is one of her favorite things to do. I hope this really helps her remember all her childhood memories! She is especially fascinated with pictures of me when she was in my belly!

I am guilty! I failed to take a picture of her and I this week. But these pictures are not too old.....
We traveled to the Bahamas in June '09 and mommy and daddy were destined to have a great time at a Bon Fire that included unlimited drinks! She must have thought we were the best, funniest parents ever that night! She even remembers mommy doing the limbo!

Pictures were taken by Daddy, before the real fun began!

Join us in Mommy and Me!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friendship Friday

Every Friday I will be blogging about friendship...
Friendship means everything to me! Isabella and I are both lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends!  Bella began experiencing friendship at a very early age, before she even turned one!
I met G's mom during story time at our local library when our girls were about 5 months old.  Since then, we have had lots of FUN together, and shared almost everything with each other!  Here they are at the library when they were about 14 months old!

Their friendship has truly blossomed!!

Taken at Tolmachoff Farms in November 2009.

Now it's your turn....Join me in Friendship Friday! It can be pictures, stories, anything you'd like to share about having FUN with friends! Happy Friday!

Don't forget to enter your own link to your Friendship Friday post below!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chinese Cultural Center

Last month, Isabella and her preschool class went on a field trip to the Chinese Cultural Center. I had never been there (unless you include a visit to a nightclub during my college days!) so I was just as excited as she was. The thing I liked the most about this field trip is that I would have never thought of taking her there, never ever, would I have thought of exposing her to the culture, the gardens and the beautiful architecture that we saw.

I do have to comment that her preschool class was very excited that day and full of energy. They had been doing Chinese New Year activities all week; they were full of anticipation and were ready for their trip. We had beautiful weather and we were outside. If I would have given that some more thought, I may have enforced a few rules and explained appropriate behavior. But her being in preschool and taking field trips has been a new adventure for both of us. Isabella is usually well behaved in public, and I am not always prepared to handle how easily she can be influenced. Kids often associate being outdoors with running and climbing, and boy was there plenty of that!! I needed lots of patience that morning and had to take her aside a few times to remind her that this was not a playground.  This outing was full of teachable moments.  I think she purposelly ignored me around her friends!  Luckily, Daddy met us for lunch that day at one of the restaurants so we were able to talk a bit more about what we were looking at.  Overall, I would take her again.  How else is she going to learn how to act and appreciate the things around her.  A few days later she talked about China, the statues and  and how chinese letters look a lot different than the ones she is learning!!  That to me was worth it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday at the Zoo

Our trip to the Phoenix Zoo on March 19, 2010

Click on the picture, Mama arangutan drinking her coffee and reading newspaper...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jelly Belly and Me

A few weeks ago, I decided that Isabella and I were ready for a Girls' Trip. We drove to Riverside, California to visit one of my good friends. I must admit that I was a bit nervous. If you really know me, you know that my mind is full of "what if's?" but we did it!! And our little adventure was empowering. It was empowering in the sense that it was the first time that I have driven that distance on my own and with my daughter. The two of us together, away from daddy. The trip validated me as a mother. It made me realize how much I enjoy her and that I am doing a great job.  Now that is something that I often forget.  It's hard not to doubt your parenting skills, to wonder if you are doing a good job or not, especially with your first child.  Hanging out with my friend and being away from home, away from routine gave me new perspective.  It also helped that Jelly Belly was very well behaved (up until the last hour or two) and as I was leaving, my good friend said to me, "I love watching you with her".

Now, it is your turn! Join Krystyn for another Mommy and me Monday....

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Hosted by Krystyn

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Isabella is on spring break this week and oh how I wish that I still was! I just had a week off work, yep, my spring break gone, over, good bye. Yes, I know on most weeks I only work 2 days a week, Mondays and Thursdays, so I will not complain; but, it was so nice to be home with my kiddo. I am a bit worried because this past Monday, I had the most unproductive work day of the entire school year, or at least it felt like it. Work has been busy, I have to make the most out of my two days there. In general, I have been feeling good about work and what I do; I feel like I make a difference, I feel somewhat important. But Monday, I just could not get back into the groove of things, I wasted so much time. I missed Isabella. I was wishing I was outside with her enjoying the beautiful AZ weather. I know it will only last 2 weeks before the sun starts burning! Did I mention that I did not want to be there? And that my office does not have a window? I managed to take care of a few things but mostly:

I played with my phone.
I got on Facebook ALOT!
I organized our bills.
I made a few important calls.
I found out that our church is not having vacation bible school, and I so wanted Jelly Belly to go.
I emailed a couple of friends.
I drafted Mommy Co-op emails.
I came up with a very long "to do" list (not work related!)
I got American Express to remove a finance charge, love them!
I played on my phone some more and realized that spending all that money was worth every penny.

So hopefully tomorrow goes a lot better. I have the best job ever, the people sometimes not so great, but it is absolutely perfect for me right now. I don't have anyone waiting for me. I set my own deadlines, I rarely have meetings, I know what needs to be done and I do it. I am an independent worker who on most days can motivate myself to get my stuff done. Maybe I was having one of those days, those days that I wish I didn't have to work at all and could be a full time SAHM. But it is only twice a week, I will not complain. I have to admit that Isabella's smile and kisses and even disciplining her (even on those bad days) is so much more rewarding than anything I ever do at work. To make up for my lazy Monday at work, I have kept busy at home. Between ballet, story time and a play date, I have made the time to take her to the park, to feed the ducks and read many, many books at Barnes and Noble. We are also planning on going to the zoo on Friday.

What are you most proud of this week?

My Tuesday morning!

I have the best husband in the world! Today is Tuesday, which means it's story time at the library. I was woken up a little later than usual today so I knew I better hurry. I got Isabella some breakfast, got her dressed, and got my running shoes on. I was determined to get at least a 30 min. workout before heading out the door. I woke my hubby up like I always do, and asked him to get up and brush her teeth, and do her breathing treatment so I could work out.
Today, I got no complaints from him...I began my work out, before I knew it, 45minutes had gone by and for most of it, she was not near me, pure silence, I was able to listen to music; and, I must say he kept her away from me without the TV being on! He read a book or two or three! Isabella even said, "You could have worked out more, so daddy can read more books."
He rocks! Not only did he brush her teeth, do her treatment but he also put the library books that were due in our library bag and then he did her hair!! I need to say that again, he did her hair. One day I will take a pic of just the tangles in her hair. Now that was super nice! He has been so helpful lately in the mornings now that I am trying to workout more and more. So with all this help, I don't understand how I am always late to the library, we are talking every week! I am one of the last moms to walk through the door, today they had already started singing!
Oh well, at least we made it! Daddy this Shamrock is for you!

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