Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's YOUR Post Today!

8:42 a.m. Pop over to the Facebook fan page or leave a comment- today's post is oging to be written by YOU! Leave a comment here or on FB and, throughout the day, I'm going to take your comments, share them here, and write about my thoughts on the subject or my response to you. 9:18 First submission! Thank you, C. Beth Blog! Well, Liz from Eternal Lizdom Asked her friends to share their wisdom Will her Facebook buds Be brilliant, or duds? Time will tell, yes it will. (Fo' shizdom.) Fo shizdom might have to become part of my ongoing vernacular. Fo shizdom, yo. 10:00 Mim's Muddle rang in with a good one! I'm taking my daughter to meet Joss Whedon at the end of April. It's official, my parenting work is done, I've raised a Whedon-geek :-) I'd been looking forward for years to sharing Buffy with Caitlin. Added bonus is that the boys got into too. I've given up on us ever going horse-riding as a family though, it was something we had planned on doing, Adam and I used to ride every second weekend. I rode up to 7 months pregnant with both Dave and Cait. But Dave's never going to get on a horse, he'd be petrified. So that dream is dead and gone. What things did you envisage doing/sharing with your kids before they came along and disrupted all your plans by very inconveniently turning out to be autonomous individuals? I'm still holding out hope that one or both kids will be musically inclined and have a passion for theatre. I'm betting Jeff is hoping one of them becomes a gamer. I have to say, though, that part of me is really interested in my kids doing stuff that I've never had interest in. I want to be able to share my interests and hobbies, of course. I'd love to see Teagan and Zach on stage, singing and dancing and acting and loving every second of it! But I also love the idea of finding new interests through them. For example, Teagan's brief stint with soccer was fun for me because I never played soccer and know nothing about it. I think about my mom, too. I got to witness my mom sharing her love of sci-fi with my brother, Ted. But Ted took it to a new level when he took up an interest in animé. My mom supported him and even helped him create a really cool costume one year for a convention. So I really just look forward to sharing mine and discovering theirs. By the way- totally jealous of a Joss meet up!! 10:10 All Things Aging said: Well who's going to leave a comment now that C. Beth set the bar so high?! Signed, Intimidated :) Lots of people!! She set the bar high... but there is a lot more to explore! 10:11 The Mom Experience asked: I want to blog about this subject, but never seem to find the time. I know I will someday, but for now, I will let you do it - what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing the career you always dreamed of? Or do you wish you did something different? I still am not sure what I want to be when I grow up! I look forward to you blogging about this, Kristi! Growing up, I always believed I would be a teacher. Elementary education, probably 3rd grade. I started college with El Ed as my declared major. However, after starting som eof my in classroom work, my grades started to suffer. My dad had a heart to heart with my over winter break in the middle of my 3rd year and suggested I look through the catalog and try to meet up with other department heads because I didn't seem to be on the right path. I did some soul searching and figured out that my interest in the classroom wasn't about education and learning. I wanted to be a teacher so I could help the kids who were hurting, hungry, abused, neglected. That was social work. So I changed my major. And went to school for 5 years because of it (very grateful for parents who encouraged me and supported me and paid for that). Then I did the social work thing for a couple of years befor emoving to Indiana. Being a social worker with a Bachelor's degree and minimal experience wasn't going to earn me enough money to pay bills so I had to go to a plan B. My long term plan was to work and get on our feet and eventually go back to school and get my Master's. However, within months of moving here, I ended up in a temp job as an admin to the department where I currently work. I found a niche and received promotions and raises and I'm still here! I also think that, while I never dreamt of this in an out loud kind of way, I would love to be working with animals. I had friend that used to joke that I'd end up a dog trainer. But in all seriousness... I'd love to be working for the Humane Society or I'd love to own a kennel or be an animal trainer or something like that. There are definitely times that I look at my career... and this is so not what I ever imagined I'd be doing. I didn't get into this field on purpose. I didn't even really know this field existed- I was very corporate business ignorant growing up. My one college regret is that I didn't listen to my dad and minor in business or at least take some business classes. There are definitely days that I wish I could be like Miss Lori or Miss Tori and work in or own a preschool or daycare. I've wished I could leave this job and look into offers made to work for a non-profit that assists those who have AIDS. I would love to be in a field where I make a difference to people. But the truth is that those jobs won't pay the bills and support the lifestyle we lead. Instead, I enjoy my paycheck and we use it to pay for the education my kids get with Little Explorers. I am able to give to charity and support ministries and help out moms I meet through Moms Like Me and other things. I'm still able to fulfill that base purpose of helping others- it just isn't my paychecked career. I'd also love it if I could be a paid social networker. I'd love to help build companies' social network presence through mediums like Facebook and Twitter. 1:24 From my friend, Louise: I'm having trouble getting Evan to eat. Good news is what he does eat is healthy (bread, dairy, healthy cereals, some fruits). I need to know that it's ok to give my child the same thing every day (and tips on getting him to try new....although if I give him something new he just pushes away and won't even touch it) I'm not sure I feel qualified to answer this!! But I do have ideas and I do have kids that like to eat stuff that other kids don't. Teagan, being 5, is working really hard to have a list of foods she flt out doesn't eat and I'm working really hard to know when to respect that (mac and cheese or broccoli) and when to push (spaghetti or green beans). I think that as long as you know he's getting protein and fruits and veggies of some sort each day, you're doing fine. If you were throwing your hands up and saying "He won't eat anything but bacon, ice cream, and cheetos!" it would be a different problem! Here are a few things we do at home that seem to encourage trying new things: 1. Get them involved in the shopping. "I can't decide... green apples or red?" "What kind of vegetables should we have with chicken?" Teagan loves it when I let her decide on our frozen veggies at Trader Joe's. Zach likes helping to pick out fruit. We also like to have a little fun in the produce section and I pick up different fruit or veggie items and ask if they know what it is. 2. Get them involved in food prep and cooking. I haven't been as good about this lately. But Teagan will ask to be involved and I try to find things for her to do. Last night, she wanted to shred the cheese with the grater for her ravioli. I had fresh romano (I'm trying to get away from buying pre-shredded since it is normally coated to prevent caking and I want to eat cheese, not cheese and chemicals) and I held the grater and she held the cheese and had a "grate" time. (sorry, groan, groan) FitCity has a lot of recipes that you can do with your kids- even as young as ours are. I did a snack mix where I got out all the ingredients, got a plastic tub and some scoops, and let each kid scoop out what they wanted from each option and make their own snack mix. 3. Let them graze. Sometimes, sitting down for a meal is a stress that makes eating worse. The toys and entertainment all around is far more interesting! So sometimes, I'll take an egg crate or muffin tin and just fill each little space with a different snack that I know the kids like. Blueberries, cut up cheese, turkey pepperoni, strawberries, cantaloupe, crackers, etc. Then it stays out and in reach and they can get something to eat when they feel hungry. We also have a snack bin that I keep loaded with things they are welcome to get and eat anytime they want something. So I guess the real advice here would be to keep the stuff you want to limit out of sight and reach. Put the stuff you want to encourage down low and freely accessible. 4. Don't stop introducing new stuff! Put it on the plate but don't say anything about it unless asked a question. Don't try to entice them to eat it, don't try to persuade, don't make a deal of it at all. Just serve it. I do however like to make a big deal about special and different food that I put on my own plate. "Oh!!! These beets are SO GOOD! I am so glad tha tno one else in the family likes beets because I don't want to share them!!" Mrs4444 posted a fun game they used to play in regards to getting kids to eat- The Stealing Game. Overall, just keep it laid back and fun. When it becomes a stress area for you, he will know it!! His tastes will grow as you gently encourage and make food exciting. 2:11 My pal Flartus asks: what's your favorite childhood summer vacation memory? We actually didn't take a lot of vacations when I was growing up. We did fun things in the Lexington area- visiting State parks or the Kentucky Horse Park, for example. But when it was just me and my mom, the budget didn't allow for vacations in teh traditional sense. Once she and my dad were married, vacation time and travel was used to visit family. This usually meant going to NE Pennsylvania to visit my dad's side of the family or going to Peoria, IL to visit some family friends. Not big vacation hot spots! I do remember going to Disney World when I was around 5 years old. The family had travelled to Jacksonville, FL for my aunt's graduation from medical school (I think). My mom had saved up and she took my to Disney for a day! I love looking back at the pictures from that day- like meeting Chip N Dale! However, there are 2 clear memories I have from being at Disney. The first was waiting in line for It's A Small World and someone saying that there were alligators in the water. The second was getting separated from my mom and following the advice she had taught me on what to do if I ever got lost. The first thing I did was find an employee- the popcorn vendor. The second thing I did was tell him I was lost and told him that my mom was wearing sandals and a hat with a feather in it. I looked down low at shoes and he looked up high at feathers and we soon found my mom. I think it is because I don't have a lot of vacation memories that vacations are so important to me. I think I would have enjoyed a chance to spend time with just my mom and dad, dealing with a hotel and navigating restaurants and having family fun amongst strangers where it was just us and not having to focus on a family dinner at this house or fixing this porch or going to see so and so. 4:28 From my friend Jennifer (met her through an online birth board when I was pregnant with Zach- that's also how I know Louise!) I am struggling with going to work and leaving my babies in daycare. Words of encouragement or insight? This is one that just doesn't have an easy answer. When I first returned to work after Teagan's birth, it tore me up. I fretted and cried. I hated being away from her. I trusted our childcare provider and knew she was getting loved on and cared for. I just missed her and knew she should be with her mommy and not a "stranger." For at least 6 months, I cried everyday on the drive to work. It was a nearly impossible task. My work suffered. I'm lucky I didn't lose my job during that very difficult time. I eventually had to make a choice. Find a way to stay at home or find a way to be the best working mom I could be. You can see my choice- I'm still working. There are days it is incredibly hard- like when one of my babies is sick and I have important stuff going on at home and have to leave them home with Daddy or call and find someone to step in. Then I feel guilty for interrupting someone else's day, I'm not as focused at work because my heart is home with my kids, I feel guilty because then my repsonsibilities aren't being handled the way I know I can handle them- at home and at work. It can be ugly. On those days- I just make each decision to the best of my ability and keep plugging through until the day is over. And there are days that I am truly thankful that I can drop off my kids and go to work. And I don't jus tmean the times when Teagan is having hour upon hour of meltdowns- but that's nice, too. I truly appreciate that I have an office with a door that locks. I can go to the bathroom with privacy. I can eat a meal without little fingers in it. I am earning money that goes into a college fund for each child, that pays for a fantastic preschool (and private K for Teagan). I am able to support this little side hobby of blogging and online connections and that has afforded me many opportunities. I guess I just finally came to terms with the idea that I have to put my faith and trust in God and His plan for my life. There was never an indication that quitting my job was the thing to do. Even on the darkest of those days when I would leave Teagan and sob for 30 minutes on my commute to work, I knew that I couldn't just go in and quit. Something kept me going on the path I was on. And there is a reason why I am still here and still working. Maybe it's because my kids would never have gone to Little Explorers if I wasn't a working mom. Maybe it's destined that Teagan and Zach be in the care of Miss Lori and crew. Maybe it was part of the grand scheme for me to meet Miss Lisa and have her be part of our lives. Maybe I wouldn't be as involved at church if Teagan wasn't in the preschool right next door. Maybe there are people in the workplace that I interact with that I am somehow am supposed to do soemthing with that is in that big old unknown plan. So when I'm frustrated, I pray. I pray or meditate and listen to that little voice inside me. When it is time for me to be done here, they will either throw me out or I will quit. If the time comes that it is important for me to start planning a way to stay home, I will know it when it comes. I have faith that I am on the path I need to be on and that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. That brings me a lot of comfort. Doesn't mean I don't get stressed out- and those days are the ones where I just have to focus on each choice, each step, each minute to get through the day. Photobucket


University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community said...

Well who's going to leave a comment now that C. Beth set the bar so high?! Signed, Intimidated :)

Kristi said...

I want to blog about this subject, but never seem to find the time. I know I will someday, but for now, I will let you do it - what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing the career you always dreamed of? Or do you wish you did something different? I still am not sure what I want to be when I grow up!

Alison said...

I'm kind of in the same boat career-wise: trained & loved teaching, but the jobs weren't there and ended up in a decent, well-paying office job. (BTW, I also dream of running a kennel or working for the HS!)

My office job is certainly less fulfilling than yours, but I like the fact that it leaves me free to pursue the things that make me happy: teaching in a less-demanding situation, learning more about food w/Miss Chef, working at the restaurant now and then, volunteering... I feel like having a "boring day job" allows me to try lots of different things outside of work, because my career job was so demanding.

So, I don't have a question...just responding to your answer. If you want a question, how about...what's your favorite childhood summer vacation memory?

Mrs4444 said...

This was a great idea. Next time, maybe break it up into parts and put up a chunk at a time? Sorry I missed it!

We have some friends who perform every year in community theater as a family. The started when their kids were your kids' ages, and today, both of their kids love theater, so I'm sure your dream will come true if you continue to share your enthusiam.