Last week I attended a bible study and we had a discussion around how most people as kids were only asked “What” they wanted to be when they grow up, as if the career or job title are the only method to define us as individuals. As I reflected I never remember being asked personality traits that I wanted to exude as an adult. If asked “What” am I, I could rattle off job titles, responsibilities, etc. etc. but if I was asked “Who” am I, that’s a different story, it would force me to think a little longer to come up with an answer.
So as parents I think it is equally important to have our kids set their sights on their dream job or career, but it’s also helpful to help them define who they are now and who they hope to be in the future. What are some traits that I want my daughters to have as teenagers and adults? I want them to be intelligent, honest, responsible, respectable women with integrity.
The other day my brother was having a conversation with my daughter about what she wanted for her birthday. She told him and he responded by asking her “what if you don’t get it” she responded and said “Well, I will be happy with whatever I get”. I immediately thought, we are doing something right! At 5 years old she already has what some people don’t have at age 25, a true sense of appreciation. It’s not always what you say to your children as much as it is the example that you set for them.
Keep focusing on the who…..
Today my first-born turns five and I decided to write her a letter that I hope she will cherish forever. Happy Birthday Taylor!
Before you were born we imagined who you would look like, whose personality you would have, and what kind of person we hoped you would be. You have totally exceeded our expectations and are more than we could ever imagine. Being your mom is one of my greatest achievements and I love you so much! I have watched you grow from a little seed in my stomach to a beautiful girl with big beautiful eyes filled with so much promise. As you turn five and look forward to starting school soon, I have noticed how much you have grown and are becoming mommy’s big girl, and I look forward to sharing many more special memories and watching you grow and mature even more. I thank God for choosing me to be your mommy.
It’s that time of year! The new year school is here, new book bags, new folders, pencils, uniforms,
Yay Nooooo……and BAM…..It hits me! I am so excited about my baby Taylor going to kindergarten and all of a sudden I have the feeling that I’m not ready…..she’s ready….but I’m not. Deep down I know there is no turning back, she will always be my baby, but not A baby. There is something about starting elementary school that seems like the beginning of forever, after all she will spend the next 19 years or so in school learning, meeting new people, growing, and being influenced.
If you are like me and are experiencing “Kindergarten or First Day of School Anxiety” imagine how our kids feel? Here are a few tips with coping with the First day Jitters.
1. Find a cool book about starting school or Kindergarten. Kid’s love to read about other kids adventures and the associations can also help. (Check out Countdown to Kindergarten, Keisha Ann Can, and Mouse’s first day of school)
2. Put a smile on your face Don’t let them see you sweat about leaving them on the first day or week for some kids.
3. Don’t linger too long. Give them an opportunity to say their good byes and have faith in the teacher to distract and comfort them.
4. Start the back to school routine before school starts, it’s tough to jump back into that schedule after a long & fun summer.
As scary as it is for me, I know that through these experiences her life will be shaped, she will meet some great new friends, and learn a whole lot that will carry her through the next 19 years of education.
Growing up I remember every Saturday we got up earlier then should be allowed on a Saturday and we went to eat breakfast at OHOP (Original House of Pancakes for those who are unfamiliar). No matter how late I went to bed, rain or shine, we were there every single Saturday. It was an unspoken rule in our house that Saturday’s were Family Day. It is moments like those that shaped my life and created so many fun memories with my family, that I will never ever forget.
So a month ago we deemed Monday, “Fun Day” in the Terry Household. We let our oldest daughter pick what fun family activity we will do every Monday and we make it happen! We wanted to have something fun for our kids to look forward to as many summer weekends are usually filled with Weddings, Baby Showers, and BBQ’s, although the kids like to go, it is usually more fun for us than it is for them.
Creating a fun family day doesn’t require a ton of money, but some special time, and lots of love!
Check out these pics from our previous Monday Fun Day’s!
Our first Monday we went bike riding and had a day at the park
Trip to Brookfield Zoo
Water Day at home and water balloon fight
Chuck E. Cheese
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Have you seen the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler? In the movie Adam Sandler is a hardworking father and husband and he is given a universal remote control which allows him to fast forward through certain moments in life such as sex, family time, and arguments, so he can get to fulfilling his career goals faster. His intentions of personal growth and creating a better life for his family were good, but in the meantime he was failing at being a husband, father, and friend, and missing out on so many valuable moments.
How many of us are guilty of this? Or know people that do this? They focus so much on their career, dreams, and providing for their family that they forget how to just LIVE. At some point we have to recommit ourselves to our spouses and families, and find some balance.
Here are a few thoughts to reflect on when you get in those busy type of situations:
1. Is what I’m focused on worth my attention?
2. Is my focus important or is it a reason to stay busy?
3. Busyness does not equal productivity.
4. Can I reschedule or hold off on what I’m doing until a later time/day?
5. It’s okay to relax and take a break, everyone including yourself will thank you!
Throne, potty, the pot, bathroom, toilet, pee-pee room, the little girls and boys room, and powder room.
Whatever you call it, all of us had to master it at one point in life, some later than others I thought my second go-round with the potty would be easier. Hey I thought this is my second child, she’s a girl, my oldest got it pretty quick…….I’m good! With my oldest daughter Taylor, I started introducing the potty at around 18 months, by her 2nd birthday she had it, no accidents or anything. My method…..I let her walk around the house with no bottoms and when she had to go she went to the potty….no more, no less.
With Morgan my youngest, my experience has been quite different. I don’t know if it because I feel like potty training is the end to babyhood and were not planning on having anymore kids or she just isn’t ready. So I realized that in fact she is pretty much ready to start potty training, it’s really me that isn’t ready to let my baby graduate into a big girl. I won’t miss changing diapers…..buying diapers….oh yeah and buying diapers. I had to come to terms that although she won’t be a baby in age and actions, she will always be my baby, diapers or not.
This week we branched out into our 2nd Round of Potty Training…..I’ll let you know how it goes….First the paci is gone and now this.
Leave me a comment! What has been your potty training experiences?
Hey y’all! Thank you so much for hanging with me! Life has been sooooo crazy, with the busyness that already accompanies the summer months, Taylor graduating from Pre-K, and finishing up my graduate degree.
This has been a longgggggg road, three years filled with late nights, long papers, and never-ending threads. In between Morgan was born and life happened. But I’m still here! I am so grateful for all of the love and support that I experienced during this time. As an adult with a family, when you make the decision to go back to school it is not only an adjustment for you, but it is one for your entire household. When I get my degree on Sunday it should read LaChaya, Darrell, Taylor, Morgan, and Bernice because they were just as responsible for my completion of this than I am, I couldn’t have made it without my TEAM.
As I get ready to pull up to graduation on Sunday, my last stop on the Road to MBA; it is really a time of reflection for me. If I could be transparent with you guys…….I am nervous! The pressure is on to use all of this information that I learned, to continue to be productive, not get too relaxed, and not to mention student loans!!!!! As fear begins to sit in…..this feeling is all too familiar, this is the same feeling of uncertainty I felt when I first made the decision to start grad school…what if I fail…….what if the work is too much, and look at me now at the end of another chapter of life. I can’t wait to experience what the next chapter holds as I chase kids and BIG dreams.
Thanks again for your support!
Image from bookweekonline.com
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
― Emilie Buchwald
This week has been set aside as Children’s Book Week (May 7-13). No matter what stage of life your child is whether they are six months or sixteen, reading is very important to their learning and social skills. A greater emphasis should be put on reading not only this week but everyday of our lives. In children reading enhances their vocabulary, thinking skills, and concentration. It has been shown that children that have been read to before their preschool years have higher aptitude levels , longer attention spans, and better memories.
Many schools and libraries are holding special events for Children’s Book Week or you can check online at http://www.bookweekonline.com/local for events happening in your area.
Here are some fun things you can do at home to encourage a greater love of reading:
- Take turns making up stories with your child
- Play dress up as your favorite story book characters
- Make custom book marks
- Take photos and write stories with them
- Help your child write their own books
Yesterday Taylor and I created our own story book and we had so much fun spending quality time writing and drawing. I’m sure she will remember this when she gets older, I know I will. Happy Reading!
You parents with older children held out on me with this one. Before becoming parent, I never knew how difficult it was finding a suitable Preschool program and Kindergarten for Taylor. As we have been going through the process of choosing schools, this has reminded me of the process I went through selecting colleges when I was a senior in high school. I am stressed out over Kindergarten! What school is she going to? Having cubby and curbside meetings with other parents.
Lengthy Applications, specialized testing, short letters, application fees, tuition, financial aid, open houses, interviews, and waiting lists…..is this Kindergarten or College??? If Chicago had better public schools with adequate funding, would all of this be an issue? In Taylor’s Pre-K class alone, almost every kid in the class is on some sort of waiting list for the exact same schools because everyone wants their kid to go to the best schools in the neighborhood. On one school list she is # 106…..really? This same school only has one kindergarten classroom with a max of 30 students…..even #5 on the waiting list most likely won’t make it in.
Pre-K and Kindergarten are the very important fundamentals in our children’s learning years and if it is this difficult for an informed parent to get access to many opportunities, what happens to those children whose parents that won’t go through the pre-college lengthy processes of Pre–K, Kindergarten, Junior High, and High School, how will they ever make it to college?
So you parents with children under three, here is my gift to you. Start looking at preschool’s NOW! Don’t wait until your child’s third birthday when it comes to picking schools and starting the application process….start the pre-college process ASAP.
I want to be married NOW!
I want my dream job NOW!
I want a new car NOW!
I want kids NOW!
NOW, NOW, NOW……we don’t necessarily put the words together like this but this is how our inner voice sounds. We sound like Morgan when she wakes me up at 3am some nights screaming “MILK” and I dreadfully sleep walk to the refrigerator and oblige. We live in a world of instant gratification, everything is instant; food, these get rich quick schemes, press here for a free iPad (yeah right), and quickie degree programs. The truth is most of us want things to happen quickly or overnight and this is why most people settle for what is quick and don’t pursue their true passion.
What if when God was creating the earth and everything in it, he said hey, I can do this in three days instead of seven, would everything be as precise? Would there be four seasons or two? Interesting fact: If you are growing an orange tree it takes around three years for the tree to mature and begin to consistently bear fruit and around 27 years to fully mature. It took your mother nine months to nurture and develop a healthy baby that is so wonderfully you!
All I am trying to say is all of those things didn’t happen overnight, they went through a process to turn into something worthwhile. If short-cuts had been taken in any of those instances we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t enjoy the fruit of others hard work that we enjoy everyday.
I want to encourage you. It may seem like its taking you longer than most to finish school, hang in there you will finish in your own time. People may be putting the pressure on you, why aren’t you married with kids yet? It’s ok, take your time, it is something else you should be doing right now. Why isn’t your business taking off right now, you have been working on that plan for a while now? It’s okay progress is not always linked to a specific time.
It’s ok to slow down, think things through, and don’t allow people or in many cases ourselves to pressure us into NOW.
Have a great day!
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