Posts Tagged ‘Wednesday Mom: Janelle’

Family Time

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
It is important to spend time together with my family. I love playing board games and puzzles at home, talking about our day at dinnertime, and taking trips together. Now that Tate is more confident riding his bike, we can finally add family bike rides to that list. With the hundred miles of bike paths throughout our town, we are definitely going to put them to great use.

Tate is working on mastering his biking skills. He feels more secure riding up and down our street. We ride all around our neighborhood going over the standard safety rules. The hills are extremely tough, but his little legs do their best to make it to the top. Jack is teaching him how to pop a wheelie, stand up, and ride with no hands. I hope we don’t have any major accidents from those lessons.

This fall, I want to take more bike rides, especially now that the weather has cooled down. It’s a fun activity we all enjoy and I want to promote an active lifestyle to the boys. I’m excited to explore new places around town, together as a family.

Mom to Mom

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Over the weekend, my husband and I attended a friend’s wedding. I knew the groom, but not another soul present. I met a few people my husband knew from the Navy and mutual friends of the groom. The two couples joined us at our table and the wives hit it off like we were long time friends.

One of the girls mentioned she had two boys ages three and five. She loved them dearly, but admitted their youngest was a challenge. I had to confess to her that my youngest sounded very similar to her child. She was in the throes of toddler-hood and felt like she couldn’t get a step ahead. She was seeking advice from me about how to take control of stressful situations, what disciplinary actions I took, and whether the meltdowns ever fade away. I gave her the best advice I could, regarding what worked (and didn’t work) for me, as the parent of a strong willed child. But I assured her, that I was still learning.

The next day on the long drive home, I thought about the conversation. I specifically remember hard and emotional days when I felt like the world was closing in around me. I remember my little toddler whom I couldn’t control. I didn’t think I would go a day without Tate having a crying fit over the wrong colored cup, screaming and wiggling when buckling the car seat, the picky eater, or the destruction the little guy could unfold. But, lo and behold, I feel the meltdowns are fading and there are more smiles than tears.

Tate has come a long way over the last couple of years. He is showing maturity at home and at school. He still has his moments, and times of OCD, but his emotions are manageable for both him and me. Tomorrow he could swing back to his old ways, but I know he has it in him to control his feelings, and do/say the right thing.

Dribblers

Friday, October 6th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Tate signed up for the “Lil’ Dribblers,” his school’s second grade basketball skills team. The club develops hand/eye coordination, patterning skills, and teamwork. Students learn choreographed group dribbling skills and perform for a variety of audiences, such as local high schools and even a nearby university.

Tate came straight home and hand delivered the club sign up sheet to me, insisting he join. Tate started practicing this week. He is excited to learn something new with his friends. If I can’t find him in the house, I can hear the bouncing basketball in our driveway. He is working on his skills, and loves to show us his progress.

I’m excited to see the second graders perform. I’m sure they will do better than I ever could. I can only image the patience required of the PE teacher who teaches about fifty second grade students how to dribble basketballs and perform skills and tricks. The noise and sight of basketballs flying around must be mind-boggling. I’m glad Tate is having fun, and happy he is learning about a new sport.

Tweener

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack was always our laid-back child who rarely gave us trouble. Once in a while he voiced his opinion or made it known he didn’t like/agree with something, but mostly he just went with the flow and was a happy camper. In recent weeks, my husband and I have noticed some shifts in Jack’s behavior/mood. He is more physical with his brother, and his attitude is starting to fire up. Dare I say he has entered the “tween” stage of life.

Jack is now a fifth grader. I expect changes to occur in his life, both good and bad. He no longer wants cuddles from me all the time, he prefers to sleep as long as possible on school mornings, and his hair-do is more important than leaving the house on time. He is growing up, and there is no denying it.

I grew up with two older sisters. We had our tiffs, but for the most part we got along. We shared one bathroom, toys, clothes, and managed not to kill each other. Raising children is not easy, but boys are rough and tough, and I’m still trying to accept it. Thank goodness my sisters give me great advice about situations with my older male nephews.

Testosterone is on the rise in our household!

Love Notes

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I occasionally put little notes in the boys’ lunchboxes. I like to remind them that I am proud of them for being kind, for their good grades or for playing a great game. I want to share my thoughts and encourage them, to let them know how much I love them. I think it is a simple act that helps boost their confidence throughout the day.

I am old school, and I still keep a paper daily planner. It’s literally how I keep my life in order. I write everything in it, appointments, birthdays, and school/sports events. I even include random things like trash day, and reminders to mail birthday cards and bills. I have tried using my phone’s calendar app, but I find the old paper planner more satisfying. I love to cross things of my to do list through out the week. The boys know just how important this planner is to me by how often they see me using it.

One Monday morning, as I flipped to a new week in my planner, Tate wrote me a note in my planner. It was a simple message, to let me know just how much he loves his momma. It made my day to see his adorable handwriting, and his creative way to show affection. I asked him about it, and he said he wrote his message months ago and wanted me to find it as a surprise. Little acts of kindness, from my children, make me melt. I love to see him make big strides in life, but the little ones are just as important.

 

Irma-geddon

Monday, September 18th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Our weather forecast was threatening for days. Every channel was a warning about how intense hurricane “Irma” was projected to be. Obviously, Floridians had to bear the brunt of the storm, but the strong winds, rain and tornadoes would threaten a large portion of the southeast. Here in our neck of the woods, south of Atlanta, we knew we would face Irma in some form. Late Sunday, area schools announced they would be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Monday, Mother Nature followed through on her threats. We live in a neighborhood in the woods, full of large pine and oak. I was worried all week that one of these beautiful trees would fall on our house. The winds of tropical storm Irma bent our trees in our back yard and drove the rain sideways. It was an impressive sight to see. Obviously, it was nowhere near damaging conditions experienced in the Caribbean, Florida or Texas. My heart aches for those who are rebuilding their lives due to the recent storms.

Our neighborhood was littered with tree limbs and downed trees, but we were lucky and had no structural damage or loss of power. Thankfully, the tree that fell on our property fell away from our house and into the street. Our neighbor had a large tree hit their deck/steps, but barely missed their house. I’m happy it wasn’t anything worse. Today we’re all helping to cleanup the debris and put this hurricane behind us.

Jack and Tate handled the storm well. They didn’t know what to expect, since this was their first hurricane. They witnessed the hysteria of all the stores running out of water, bread and milk, and gas stations low on fuel. I assured them all is well and that we had plenty of supplies. We kept our eye on the radar and hung out most of the day. We eventually meandered over to our neighbor’s house to wait out the storm together. There were moments of concern, but overall we were extremely fortunate.

 

Back in the Groove

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack and Tate have been in school for a month now. They are familiar with their teachers, feeling comfortable with their peers, and are studying hard for their exams. We have established our routine for the school year.

Jack is coping well with increases in homework and assessments this year. I’m doing my best not to hover over Jack’s homework responsibilities. He has plenty of experience doing schoolwork at this point. He knows where to check for his homework assignments and what do. Some days it’s hard for me, but I know he needs to learn those skills for the future.

Tate is adapting well to daily homework. This is his first year he has specific assignments, worksheets, website review, and of course, reading. I’m hoping his positive attitude continues throughout the school year. After school, sometimes he is exhausted and it affects his willingness to get his work done. However, he has more organizational skills this year. That alone makes me a happy mom.

We still have a whole school year ahead of us, but currently I think the boys are doing a great job, even while fighting the colds they keep passing back and forth. I’m looking forward to cooler days where we can get outside after school and play… after all the homework is complete, of course.

The Mom/Parent Network

Monday, September 4th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
When Jack was a baby, I had a group of moms I could count on to ask questions about parenting. My sisters were my go-to ladies, but my local friends were usually immediately available. It was so nice to have the support when a child got sick and ask questions about the best things to do to make them feel better, tips on how to settle down a screaming baby, play dates, and preferences on items my friends thought were good/safe.

When Jack got a little older, and we had our second child, we lived in a new town. The close-knit support from the military wives group was extremely beneficial during those first few months of exhaustion and stress. We were showered with meals, gifts, play dates for Jack, and long term friendships that I am grateful for. Once I felt I had my life back together, I did my best to help out others and make sure they received the same support I did.

Fast forward to today, another new town, and our first attempt at civilian life. We’ve spent the last year making new friends and neighbors. My boys are developing new friendships that can last even longer, because we don’t have to move every 3 years. We’re finding the same support here, if not better, just like we did ten years ago. We found a car pool, babysitters, and even neighborly gifts on my doorstep to brighten my day. Our neighbors keep watch over our home when we’re gone and check in on us if we are sick or need help. I do my best to reciprocate these acts of kindness. I’m a big believer in karma. It’s truly a blessing to have these special people in my life.

Despite the cliché, it takes a village to keep up with schedules, work, and life. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. I try to live my life and treat people the way I would want to be treated. I hope I can be a contributing member of our village.

Eclipse

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Finally, this week was the big eclipse. We all saw totality photos and videos. But if you ask those people who saw it in person, there are simply no words to describe it. We live a few hours away from the path of the totality, but we had a 97% total eclipse here without driving anywhere. Our kids had school, so we stayed home. Fortunately, we checked them out after lunch, in time for the eclipse.

In a rare moment of foresight, my husband purchased certified eclipse glasses weeks before the retailers ran out. He also made a pinhole camera with a pizza box, which projected the solar eclipse on the ground for people to see without glasses. My kids had lessons in science class to prepare them for the event, and my husband gave a great bonus lecture throughout the event.

We went to our neighborhood pool and watched the eclipse with our neighbors and their kids. It was a wonderful experience for our kids, and even the adults were impressed. The temperature dropped, the shadows danced, and the sun faded to only 3% of its regular brightness. It was pretty amazing. My only regret is that we missed the “totality” only a few hours away. Our friends who made the drive were rewarded with an even more spectacular view. If we ever want to see a totality again we are going to have to drive or fly MUCH farther away.

Feelings of Frustration

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack started a new soccer season this week. I signed him up for a skills camp, like he did last year. The players have practice every night this week, and then play a mini tournament on Saturday. They learn all kinds of new skills and techniques during the week and show them off during their tourney.

Jack loves playing soccer. He has improved immensely over the last few years. My husband and I love cheering for him and his team at games. The games get intense and so does Jack. This isn’t the little Jack who used to stop kicking the ball and wave hello to his mommy anymore. With soccer come speed, aggression, and fancy footwork in his age group.

This season, Jack moved up an age group. When I watched him practice the last several nights, I can tell he is frustrated. He told me the other kids are “so much better” than he is. Jack is definitely feeling the pressure to compete with the older kids who have more experience. We discussed the importance of staying positive and practicing his heart out. Jack is the type of kid who feels defeated if he doesn’t get it right the first time. He is a competitive perfectionist who gets deflated when he isn’t. As a parent, I try to be supportive by encouraging him, and helping him realize gradual improvements through practice.

I hope Jack’s enthusiasm for soccer survives this season. I know he will do well with practice and coaching, I just hope Jack feels the same way. Competition is not easy.  Jack’s hard work today, in stifling heat and humidity, will pay off this season. I just want to see a smile back on Jack’s face sooner rather than later.