Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring Break

My kids had Spring Break this week. While lots of our friends were heading out on the road, we decided on having a “staycation” this year. As someone who is a big homebody, I was VERY happy to stay at home for Spring Break. I’m not against taking the kids on a road trip or going somewhere fun during Spring Break, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year.

Since we were gonna spend most of our time at home, I decided to take advantage of that opportunity. I was relieved I wouldn’t be spending yet another week of jumping in and out of my car to drive kids back and forth to two different schools, to appointments, run errands, etc., so I pretty much stayed home as much as possible. I also slept in on a few of those days (that was nice!!) and stayed up later than normal. Aside from this, I got some things done around the house. I sorted through dressers/closets and got rid of clothes we don’t wear or that don’t fit anymore. I also organized Jesse’s room and cleaned the garage. Jennifer had been bitten by the “Spring cleaning bug,” too. She rearranged her room and also went through all of her clothes to get rid of the rejects. 

In addition to that, I also took the time to get caught up on things I had going on but hadn’t found the time to finish. I had some items in my “to-do” drawer that had REALLY needed my attention, and I also got caught up on reading.

Another thing I did was finish up some projects I had to sew. I have not done any sewing for a long time because I didn’t like it before. But this time around, oh my gosh, I LOVED it. It was just sooo relaxing. I really enjoyed sewing and plan to do more of it. Jesse also got in on the sewing. For the very first time, he gave sewing a try. He did make one mistake but he did pretty well for the most part. He also got to learn how to be patient when threading a needle.

Here is Jesse sewing for the first time (I am in this picture too):

I also made the kids pancakes for breakfast on a weekday morning. I usually don’t have the time for THAT when we have the school morning rush!

Jesse got to play with his friend a lot this week and Jennifer got to have a sleepover with one of her besties. Jen being a night owl, she also enjoyed not having a bed time!

The kids go back to school next week and I’d say their Spring Break was not so terribly bad. We did get to do some things and that’s good. Now we’re ready to get back on track for a busy school week – and, me, a busy writing week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A child tried as an adult

As a parent of a young child, I often have to remind myself of 2 things:

1. He is only 7 years old.

2. He’s just a child.

That second one pretty much does it for me. Yes, my son IS still just a child. He is a child and I am the adult. No matter how mad he makes me, I STILL have to be the adult, the mature one, and act accordingly. I have to set an example because I am his parent, his role model.

But I also have to understand that, yes, he IS just a child. He does not understand everything we grown-ups understand. He is not mature enough to express himself as an adult. He is still LEARNING and GROWING. And, unfortunately, there are some things he has not been taught yet.

And also unfortunately, that ended up being a problem for him today.

Today, Jesse was at a playdate at his friend’s house. After a while, he came home really upset and told me he had been banned from his friend’s house. I asked him what had happened and he said he had done something without asking permission: He explained he had been playing in the backyard with his friend then he had gone into the house and into a hall closet looking for something and he got in trouble for that. After a while, he thought he could go back to play with his friend outside. But after I explained to him what exactly it meant to be “banned” from somewhere, he broke down and cried. My heart really went out to my little boy as he sat on my lap with his head against my chest, sobbing. He had so looked forward to playing with his friend again and now he couldn’t.

I was a little concerned about this, too. I felt that banning Jesse for what he did was a little drastic. I mean, he is just a little boy and he didn’t know he had to ask permission. That had never been explained to him. I texted the child’s father to talk with him about it and after I got more information, I apologized and asked if I could walk Jesse over to apologize in person. I never got a response so I had Jesse text him his apology. I had also offered to host playdates here from now on because Jesse and this boy are best friends but still no response on that either.

I am a little upset over the whole thing, not only because of the punishment but also the fact that Jesse had even done that. But Jesse is VERY upset because he thinks he’ll never be able to play with his friend ever again. This child is his best friend. They’ve been buddies for years and they have even played soccer together. I tried to console Jesse that at least they’ll be playing soccer together again soon, but it was of no comfort to him. He was miserable thinking he’ll never get to play with his best friend again.

I also feel guilty too. I haven’t EXACTLY explained to Jesse what’s expected when he is a guest in someone’s home. I have not told him he needs to ask before playing with something that doesn’t belong to him when he is at a friend’s house (we HAVE gone over that many times at home with his sister’s stuff) nor have I told him that he needs to follow the rules when he is at a friend’s house.

But I know that, as a little boy, he tends to forget things. (Boys ALWAYS forget things!!) And I realize too that because he has hung out at that house so many times and we’ve known these people for years and they’re our good friends, there is a sense of familiarity among us and it’s a whole “mi casa su casa” sort of thing when he’s there. I understand that could’ve been what made Jesse feel comfortable enough to do such a thing.

But now he knows he cannot feel that way at his friend’s house. He has learned that lesson the hard way, unfortunately.

I really do hope he will be able to play with his best friend again, and not just at soccer. I totally respect the dad’s decision not to have Jesse in his home, but I really, really hope Jesse and his friend can continue to hang out in some way and have some playtime together somehow, even if it’s at the park or just to ride bikes. They shouldn’t have their friendship put on hold or destroyed over something like this. Jesse made a simple mistake, he is sorry, and I would feel really bad if he lost a friend because of that mistake.

As of 3/22/15, this matter has been resolved. Jesse will be able to play with his friend again, just on different terms. Things will be different all around, from now on.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Dr. Seuss Extravaganza

This evening, I took Jesse to the Dr. Seuss Extravaganza that was being held at his school. For all of this week, his school has been celebrating “Dr. Seuss Week.” Theodor Geisel, AKA Dr. Seuss, was honored this week because his birthday was on Monday. There was a different theme for every day of the week (like “Silly sock day” and “wacky Wednesday”). The school does this every year during the week of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Jennifer had fun participating in those days and at the Extravaganza when she went to that school. Now it was Jesse’s turn. We didn’t go last year because I wasn’t feeling well but this year I was fine so we went. I was glad Jennifer came along with us. It was a chance for her to visit her old school and see some of her teachers from her elementary school years.

When we went this time with Jesse as the student this time around, I really didn’t know what to expect. When we’d gone before, when Jennifer was a student there, I remember pushing Jesse around in a stroller. Now he was on foot! And who knows what would happen?

The “on foot” thing was actually an issue. The kids kept disappearing! And when I found one, I’d lost the other one! So, at first, while Jesse was going from one activity to another, I was constantly keeping tabs on where both kids were. Jennifer didn’t really want to play the games, though she DID paint, because she was more interested in exploring and finding her old teachers. (We did see quite a few of them and she also said hi to the principal. They were all surprised at how much she’d changed!) Thankfully, though, I didn’t lose them. I managed to find both of them when one or the other went off my radar.

There were a lot of people at the event but it was not too packed. Also, it was not too “out of control,” either. People got into lines and the lines were managed okay and games/activities moved along smoothly. Well, that was until Thing 1 or Thing 2 made an appearance! Jennifer was amused to still see Thing 1 and Thing 2 at the Dr. Seuss Extravaganza. They were up to mischief, as usual, and just being silly. They were a hit and Jesse got excited to see them. He was also excited to see the Cat in the Hat.

After the games and activities, we visited the book fair then Jesse got his face painted. Then it was time for us to go home.

We had a lot of fun at the Dr. Seuss Extravaganza, I am so glad I was able to take Jesse this year and also glad that Jennifer came along, too. I think it was good for her to say hello to some of her old teachers and I know they were happy to see her. I look forward to going again next year. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Spring cleaning -- both offline and online

It’s not officially Spring just yet, even though we have been having some beautiful and sunny weather here in Eugene, but I’m already starting to do some “Spring cleaning” around the house. Getting rid of things we don’t want/need, minimizing what we have too much of, and just getting things organized.

And I have noticed that as I have been doing this offline, I am starting to do it online, as well. Today, for example, I unfollowed over a hundred people on Twitter. I unfollowed them because I was either no longer interested in them or what they do, or I was not getting followed back. (Shallow, I know, but I don’t care.) With writers, that’s especially true. If I support a writer, I feel that writer should support me in return. Some awesome authors out there are definitely doing just that, and I give mad props to celebrities I’ve followed who follow back and actually communicate. (Communication is one of the key factors I use on whether or not I follow people on social media.) I understand people are busy and can't really keep up with everybody that follows them on Twitter, so it's nice when they do. But I get it that businesses, sports teams and major newspapers, etc., typically don't just follow everyone back. It's the other writers out there and people I KNOW who I would like a follow back from. (Though I am more patient with people I know in real life.) Anyway, I just felt it was time. So I got some of that done today. I’ll be doing the same thing with my Facebook account as well as other Internet sites that I frequent. It's just time to "clean virtual house."

I find it interesting that I am doing this “Spring cleaning” on the Internet. Granted, sometimes I’ll update sites and make pages a little more current, but that’s something I’ll do every once in a while. Or with just a few sites. Right now, though, I’m definitely “cleaning virtual house” with everything I’m involved with online. I just feel better if everything is more current and just the way I would want it to be.

This just may be a new trend for a lot of people, doing the “Spring cleaning” online as well as offline. It only goes to show just how much of our lives are connected to the Internet and how we’d want everything to reflect our lives a little more accurately.