Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to School

Hello all you Foxy Mamas out there! 

First, I'm so excited to be blogging with my lovely sister-in-law. We are like two peas in a pod. Learning to be amazing young moms. I'm 27 years old and mother to a beautiful, smart and sassy 7-year old. I've been a stay at home mom, working parent and college student. We have had one amazing ride thus far. I'm married to the man of my dreams. He could sometimes be my polar opposite but you know what they say....

 Well enough about me. I'm super psyched because SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION. I get so excited for the start of school. School shopping, freshly sharpened pencils, adorably packed lunch boxes, little yellow school buses full of happy children. I just LOVE it.

 Now that my daughter is 7 and going to second grade, I have learned a thing or two.

 Here's what has worked WONDERS for us: Structure. Structure. Structure. The single most important tool for staying sane has been setting a routine. Our first year, when she went to Kindergarten was DEFINITELY a learning experience. It was totally hit and miss. Some days she would wake up like an angel... but most were full of morning battles, tangled hair, mis-matched socks and the occasional piece of dry toast while running out the door just barely making it on time. Not every day was like that buuuut... way more then I'd like to admit. I'm happy to report that is no longer the case. We have got this down.

I was looking to end the morning madness. I scoured Pintrest for ideas, and found some great routine charts from IheartOgranizing.com. (LOVE her website). We've tweaked the schedule to fit our needs and our mornings are amazing. Everyone knows their role and what to expect, its been a total transformation. Not to say that there isn't the occasional bout of whining, but its a far cry from the morning nightmares of years past. We timed the routine, and it takes about an hour each. We can now relax in the morning knowing we have enough time to happily complete our routines and get out the door, fed, well dressed with time to spare!

 This is the little command station on her wall. Its got her AM routine, PM routine, calendar and checklist of cleaning chores.

The cleaning checklist every night insures that her room doesn't get out of hand. I included things I would normally have to nag about like "pick up your shoes by the door." These little chores are usually done within 10-15 minutes and make such a difference. No more looking for lost sneakers while rushing to school.

I hope this helps! Being proactive is the best defense against morning meltdowns!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Totally Awesome, Incredible Two's!!

You can never under prepare or over prepare to become a parent. In fact, you really can't "prepare" until you've become one. There are so many parenting styles out and books to teach you to become the best parent, but in reality being the best parent is not about other parents excepting the way you raise your childern, but rather, your children seeing you as the best! And that's what matter's the most! What your child will remember you for. It took me a while to really understand what I just wrote and to be honest, I still have to put that in practice because of the person that I am. <<People Pleaser ALERT>>

This month of August we became 2! By we, I mean both Leland and I. We both are learning together and that's the fun part. I want Leland to remember me for letting him be him. So here are some things we have taught each other and continue to learn: 

Listening:  For Leland- he will listen and then do. In fact, we both are learning sign language together! Super Awesome Language! (post later). As for me, I'm learing to listen to his request more. Since he is speaking more, he is able to share with me what he wants to eat, drink and sometimes he can tell me stories about airplanes and cool trucks. 

Cleaning: Leland has this fasination with cleaning. Absolutely loves to sweep and wash dishes! however i might suspect he likes that part because he gets to stick his feet in the sink and "play with the water". For me, its teaching me to always clean. To show him, a clean house is how to live and please God. (btw, my house is not always clean, its a work in progress) 

With pop pop
Cars oh cars: I think cars is in a man's genes. I'm learning that playing with cars is pretty rad, especially when mommy makes bridges and even sometimes we go inside the trucks and listen to all the cool sounds the have. <<HONK HONK>>

Photography: A picture says a thousand words! I'm learning to really appreciate every memory and moment. I'm constantly snapping pictures.<<SNAP, SNAP, SNAP>> In fact, I think I've become a professional photographer. Leland has learned to take selfies lol and poses for me now. He understands mommy takes a lot of pictures, but if he's not willing to I will respect and understand that.

Swimming: My mother in law bought this awesome swimmy thing and little by little he is learning to swim on his own! PROUD MOMMY MOMENT!  No expensive classes, just on his own. You see when they explore and when their ready, they learn on their own. As for me, swimming has showed me it's a serious workout, even more when you add a toddler. But I also now have an excuse to play old school games. Marco... Polo...Marco or how about sharks and minows. 
Sharing: This is something we are learning as we go. At this very moment everything is "mine" and I'm trying to Found a balance of how to teach him to share and understand it's still his. Any suggestions please feel free to share. I will get back to this when we are better at it. 

Hands on: We are loving to touch everything and anything! Leland is so independent that he wants to do everything. And I'm kinda ok with it! As long as it's safe of course. Here's an example: wants to open the door or buckle his seat belt. By all means go ahead smart boy! 
What has it taught me? Patience. because I can open the door and buckle his seat belt in a jiffie, it will take him 10 mins. But again, that's ok for me because he's learning. 

Let them be, let them learn. You see when we see them getting into things it's just them wanting to see if the switch turns something on and see the toilet go down. The world to them is so innocent and huge! They have the right to know. and well that's my advice to you newbies, explore with them and you will see how much you thought you knew wasn't really a lot. Let them teach you a thing or TWO. 

Well, that's the lesson we have so far since we're TWO and all. Hehe.

See you next time. 

Momma and Leland.