Friday, March 3, 2017

A day at home

7:30- I wake up. I've been awake on and off for about 30 minutes but I'm laying in bed checking emails and stuff. At 7:35 I get out of bed. Pam's been up with the kids. I wonder if they've eaten breakfast.

7:50- Pam leaves for work.

7:52- I get Hadley a cup of water that she's been asking for.

7:59- Makena is pouting on the couch because she can't find the cat toy and she had the puppy but Hadley wanted it so now she can't play.

8:12- Makena asks me to help fold the pillow pets. She's setting up all the stuffed animals on the couch to watch a movie.

8:18- Hadley asks me to read a book to her so I do.

8:30- Makena turns on Netflix and Hadley says she wants Little Einsteins but Makena says no, she's watching My Little Pony. Kids ask for snap peas and Graham crackers and orange juice.

8:35- I tackle the huge laundry pile. Haven't done laundry in weeks. This will be about 8 loads to wash.

8:45- Our laundry card doesn't have enough money on it. Can only do one wash cycle. But I already started one machine and the other load is sitting in the other machine all soapy. The office isn't open yet to refill card.

9:05- Check office. It's still not open. I double check the hours. Says they open at 9.

9:10- The kids ask if they can take a bath, so they are in there playing.

9:13- I check the office again, still closed.

9:15- I start to clean up the kitchen.

9:30- Look up apartments on Craigslist.

9:40- I check the office again and it's still closed. My one load of wash is done and ready for the dryer but I need to get money onto the card so it works! I call the office and I'm directed to the managers personal number, and she tells me she took the day off but will send someone to the office now. I load $30 onto the laundry card and finally get laundry going.

9:55- Makena gets out of the bath.

10:00- Hadley asks for more bath water.

10:10- Makena is reading in bedroom.

10:25- Makena says she's bored and I suggest she starts looking up projects we can do with shaving cream.

10:30- Laundry
10:40- I get Hadley out of the bath. She was in there for 1.5 hours. She wants only purple clothes but the undies have pink cupcakes on them so she changes to wanting cupcake clothes. We don't have a cupcake shirt or pants so she wants to draw on her clothes. I am able to distract her with the shaving cream art project. We make rain clouds and marbled paper.

11:35- We clean up the mess. Mostly it's just me. Makena is on the computer. I realize I missed the only call that didn't cancel today when I see an email from them apologizing that they couldn't get the video call program to work. Phew.

11:45- I get Hadley set up with a cutting and taping project and continue with laundry.

Noon- Kids are in the bedroom. Realize I haven't eaten yet today. Find a leftover half eaten cookie and eat it. Start folding 4 loads of laundry.

12:11- I overhear Makena ask Hadley to ask me to make lunch. They want macaroni and cheese. We don't have any. Hadley says we DO have bunny macaroni and can get some at the store. Telling her that we can't go to the store right now since we don't have the car today doesn't help. I find a simple recipe and make mac and cheese from scratch.

12:45- We eat lunch. Kids have the mac & cheese and green beans and asparagus. We put My Little Pony back on. I didn't have enough pasta to make food for myself so I eat a few bites, pop some frozen pierogies into the oven, and get back to folding laundry.

12:50- Go get laundry, and as I'm leaving Hadley says she wants to come with me. Try to find shoes but no luck. She walks barefoot to the laundry room with me.

1:05- I sit down to fold laundry. Hadley wants more food. Makena gets it for her. Makena needs help putting the lid back on the cup. I realize I haven't had anything to drink today and guzzle down a cup of water.

1:10- I want to make a cookie brownie bar box mix. Take out a stick of butter to soften.

1:13- I sit down to fold laundry.

1:15- My food is ready, so I eat it while sitting next to the laundry pile that is growing.

1:25- Kids ate half of my food. I didn't know they liked pierogies. I'm folding laundry.

1:28- Hadley is blocking the tv and saying it's hers. I resist the urge to send Pam a text asking when she'll be home.

1:30- I get up and start making those brownie cookie bars. Hadley asks if they are ready yet and gets mad when I tell Alexa to set a 35 minute timer. She says "No! Alexa just 1 minute!"

1:38- Hadley wants me to help put together her car/train track so I do that but she's not interested anymore.

1:40- I go get laundry. Come back inside and find kids are playing a very obnoxious pretend crying baby game where they both insist they are the baby and the other one is the mom. Hadley says it's time for brownies. I say they aren't ready yet. She says they ARE ready and Makena gets her playing again.

1:50- I gather recycling and change the trash bag, try to make kitchen not a mess and try to pick up the living room.

2:20- I fold laundry. Why did I tell Makena we'd organize the play area under her bed today? There is still so much to do. I thought this would be a productive day for me.

2:30- Hadley is screaming in the bedroom and won't stop. She says she wants to be loud and won't stop screaming. I'm losing my patience. I tell Makena that her job is to find a way to get Hadley to stop screaming because I just need to finish folding this pile. Makena asks "And how am I supposed to do that?!" I tell her to just figure it out. She slams the door behind her.

2:40- More screaming from Hadley. I try to distract her, I try to give her space. She just wants to scream and I.  Am. Losing. My. Patience. The brownies are ready, just in time. Hadley is crying but calms down when I tell her it's time to eat a brownie.

2:50- I'm folding laundry and show Hadley that her monkey pjs are clean so she can wear them tonight, thinking this will make her happy. She started to cry and says she wants them dirty. I rub them on the floor and tell her they are dirty now. They probably are since I need to vacuum so badly.

2:57- Hadley wants another brownie. I tell her she can have the rest of mine but after that no more. She finishes and say there is more brownies right there on the counter. I ask her where the iPad is and suggest she play the puzzle game.

3:00- Knock on the door. Maintenance comes to check our smoke detectors and stuff.

3:05- Hadley asks to watch Little Einsteins. The melody party one. As I scroll through the episodes to find it she says she wants the water one. I try a couple different episodes featuring water until finding the one she means.

3:30- Little Einsteins is over and Hadley says "but I wanted the other one!" I find it, press play, and a second later she says it's the wrong one. Makena is watching Wonder Pets on her tablet. Hadley is watching it too, but says she's still watching the tv. It feels really loud with two different shows on in the same room. Pam should be home within 2 hours, fingers crossed.

3:45- I'm finally finishing laundry and putting clean clothes away!

4:00- I help Makena make a countdown chain. 10 days until we see Hamilton!

4:12- I start the "Mama is about to be home so let's hurry and clean up!" thing. Makena says I've been cleaning all day. I say "Oh I know."

4:15- Makena says she has a busy week ahead and just really wants to rest today instead of helping pick up toys. She's reading in bed now. I try not to roll my eyes.

4:16- Hadley is screaming for another brownie.

4:17- I unload and load the dishwasher.

4:18- Makena asks if we can go to the park. I say I wish we could but I still need some help with cleaning up. She storms off angrily.

4:29- Hadley throws the iPad down. I take it away and she doesn't even pay attention.

4:30- I play with Hadley and the car set. She asks me what's for dinner. I tell her mama will be home soon and she can ask her.

4:41- Makena asks why we can't just go to the park for a little bit since we didn't leave the house today at all. I tell her that I'm feeling frustrated that I've been trying all day to clean up and it still looks like nothing has been done. And then I tell her that mama will be home soon and she can ask her, but don't count on it because mama might want to just come home and relax. And cook dinner. Since I have no plans to do that.

4:46- Hadley just realized that we've been playing with the car play-set and don't have any of the cars. We don't know where they are. She breaks apart the tracks. I ask if she's ready to put it away so I can vacuum and she meows and crawls away.

4:47- I start boiling some water for cleaning Makena's ear piercing.

4:55- I tell Makena to come soak her ears.

4:59- Hadley asks for the iPad. I remind her that she threw it and I'm feeling nervous that she won't treat it well, "I'm worried it will break and I can't let you break it." She says "But I want to break the iPad!" I tell her that I can't give it to her until I'm sure she will treat it with respect and not throw it. She says she won't. I give it to her.

5:00- I see both of the kids sitting quietly and decide to escape into the bedroom for a few moments of my own screen time.

5:01- Hadley's yelling for Alexa to stop since the alarm is going off that says Makena's 5 minutes of ear soaking is up. Makena calls for help because she spilled the water. I get her set up with the other ear and go back into the bedroom.

5:04- I should think about dinner. I should change the bed sheets. I should vacuum. I should maybe change out of my pjs but what's the point since bedtime is a blissful 2 hours away.

5:05- Screw it. I'm playing Disney Emoji Blitz.

5:05- Text from Pam that she's on her way home.

5:06- Makena needs help to not spill the water since her second ear is done.

5:07- I continue my game of Disney Emoji Blitz.

5:08- I'm laying on top of the clean bed sheets and I should really just put them on the bed so that when it's bedtime it's all ready.

5:17- Pam is home. Hallelujah.

5:19- Pam says she isn't feeling well.

5:30- I start to think about dinner but see that we need to buy groceries. Makena asks if we can order PF Changs. I say no. Then I sit down and look up how much that would cost.

5:32- We are looking up Hamilton tickets and wondering if we should buy the ones that are now available close to where we are sitting so we can all sit together, or not. Hadley's still on the iPad. I haven't heard a peep from her since 5pm.

5:52- Pam is reading to Makena about the moon landing. I'm thinking about dinner.

5:55- I close my computer and think about dinner more seriously. We usually eat at 6.

6:00- I ask if anyone has any ideas for dinner. Makena makes a suggestion but I say that I don't feel like cooking it. Pam continues reading to her. Hadley's still on the iPad. One hour until bedtime.

6:12- Pam starts cooking dinner for the kids. She whispers to me something about us ordering something later.

6:17- Hadley says she wants Graham crackers.

6:40- Makena joins Hadley on the recliner where Hadley has been sitting since 5pm. They are watching Peppa Pig.

6:42- Pam says dinner is ready. The kids argue over who gets to use the brown spoon. Normally Makena wouldn't care but that't the spoon she just saved the other day from Yogurtland.

6:56- Makena keeps talking and isn't eating dinner, Pam says she's always talking. Makena asks, "Is that a compliment or not?" Pam and I laugh.

6:58- I'm hungry. Almost bedtime. Makena asks me to rap the You're Welcome song. I do. Pam asks what's going on.

6:59- We are so close to bedtime. The kids are still eating.

7:06- I help Hadley brush her teeth and put on pjs. Pam calls in a Thai food order from across the street and helps Makena get ready for bed.

7:12- I move the clean sheets out of the way. Maybe I'll put them on the bed tomorrow. Lights out, I start nursing Hadley in bed and read a book to myself on my phone.

7:14- Pam is standing next to Makena's bed while she falls asleep.

7:23- Hadley is asleep.

7:34- Makena is asleep.

7:45- Pam and I eat Thai food and try to watch a movie but I'm not liking it. The food or the movie. So I eat brownies instead and we watch This Is Us.

9:03- We consider watching something else but then turn off the tv and enjoy the silence as we play on our phones.

9:22- I think about the schedule for tomorrow and consider taking a shower. I can't remember the last time I washed my hair.

9:25- I shower!

9:45- I'm in bed on my phone.

10:30- Still on my phone.

11:04- Yikes it's late.

11:46- Got to a good stopping place in my book. Bedtime!

Saturday, January 21, 2017


1. What is something mommy always says to you? 

I don't know!

2. What makes mommy happy?
 (makes funny face)

3. What makes her sad? 
(makes funny face) That is something that makes you sad.

4. How does mommy make you laugh? 
(makes funny face and says "what gives the monkey for dinner? BOOnanas!" that makes you laugh!

5. What was your mommy like as a child? 
I don't know.

6. How old is your mommy? 
Big big big big big big big big big big!

7. How tall is your mommy? 
Like THIS tall!

8. What is her favorite thing to do? 
Rub your butt on he rug! (LOL! Like the pug song...)


Hadley, what is your:

Favorite color?

Favorite food?
French fries!

Favorite drink?
Juice, orange juice.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Go sit on the potty!

What's your favorite movie?

What's your favorite toy?

What is your favorite thing about being you?
I don't know. I like graham crackers because graham crackers are my favorite.

Where do you wish we could go right now?
Right now I wanna go right now to Magic Bridge Park!

What would you buy with a million dollars?
Guy Diamond! (The Troll I think?)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kirkwood Snow Trip!

Pretty much right after Makena's 5th birthday party she started asking if we could go to the snow for her 6th birthday. We told her we could, but then we wouldn't be hosting a big party. She said that was a deal, and all year she's been looking forward to going to Tahoe. Our dear friends have a house in Kirkwood, which is a bit closer (and snowier!) and they offered it for us to use for the January 8th weekend. And as a bonus we took their boys with us, since they had the first day of their ski team class. And I & C have been Makena's special buddies since she was a tiny baby. It's been so fun to watch them all grow up, I love when we get together!! They have such a sweet friendship, it feels more than friends, but not quite like family.

There was so much snow, it was really amazing. The 4 hour car ride went so much better than anticipated, and we arrived in time to play and then go eat. Hadley mostly didn't like the snow, despite what these cute photos show. ;) Makena was SO THRILLED that her friends were with her. While it might seem crazy that we took 2 extra kids with us, having them really made it more enjoyable for us because they kept Makena entertained!





It was a really wonderful trip. It snowed on Saturday, which was Makena's first time seeing it snow. I love snow so much and being in such a beautiful place with so many feet of fresh snow was just magical. We couldn't build a snowman, or even make snowballs, because the snow was so powdery! Sledding was mostly a failure too, it was so hard to walk in snow up to my waist! The big kids played so well together, and for the first time ever Makena fell asleep in a different room than one of us! I made s'mores brownies and we sang Happy Birthday to Makena and I just really wish we could live somewhere with snow. Maybe some day soon!

New Year. Same lack of posting.

We are 6 days into 2016. Pam's at a night class. The kids are playing in the bath. I just grabbed the chromebook and instead of getting distracted and doing anything else online I quickly opened up this page!

I don't do the whole New Year's resolution thing. I'm not really into setting goals and stuff because that doesn't work for me. But I did think to myself "I sure hope I can carve out time to update the blog more regularly next year."

As usual there's a LOT that I feel the need to catch up on. I want to pull up my FB page and do a quick scan of photos I've uploaded to get a refresher of our summer fun highlights. Instead I'm going to jump right in and just say that I have a 2 year old an almost 6 year old and these kids are the best things ever. Things have been going really well, we just finished our awesome 2 week holiday break where Pam got to be home with us that whole time. (Yay for school jobs, at least this time her time off was paid!!)

We are about to spend this weekend with Makena's dear friends I & C at their family's mountain house in the snow. Makena requested a trip to snow in lieu of a party for her birthday this year. All year we've been looking forward to this!

And wouldn't you know, Makena just asked me to help her dry off and now Hadley's trying to get out of the tub too.

(I'm going to save this and try to come back soon!!)

Hahahaha. Well, now it's January 21st. I've opened this window a few times but oh, it's hard to find time to sit quietly and type!!

I'm going to start a new post now all about Makena turning 6 and our snow trip.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Makena is 6, Birthday Survey Results Are In!

Makena is 6. She fell asleep 5, and woke up 6. She asked to go to bed early because she was worried she wouldn't sleep well since she was so excited for her birthday. (Christmas Eve and the night before our snow trip were both horrible nights of very little sleep.) 

One day she will be 16. I wonder how much she will change, and how much will be the same. She had a very hard time staying asleep-

I went to bed at 10pm. I woke up at midnight when Hadley wanted to nurse. Then I woke up at 1am when Makena told me she was too excited and couldn't sleep. She got in bed with me and tossed and turned until 2am when she said "I'm still awake" and I made her go lay with Pam. Then at 3 Hadley woke up crying. She wanted to nurse from the other side, but wasn't satisfied with me just leaning leaning over so she crawled to the other side of me. Then at 4 I awoke to a thump and screaming when I scooped up Hadley from the floor where she rolled off the bed and landed face first. At 5 I lay in bed unable to fall back asleep. At 6:30 Makena came in and asked me to get up.

Pam made her pancakes for breakfast that she wanted, plus strawberries even though they aren't in season, not very sweet or yummy or red, weren't organic, and cost like $7. Then we had her go into the bedroom for a bit while we set up her gifts, including a brand new bike! She recently was at a friend's house and tried the bike and rode it like a champ, asking for one for her birthday. Pam was determined to buy her one, and this purple one is so perfect.

Her little face was so shocked and happy when she saw the bike!! She and Hadley both love the bell. We stayed at home for the day and did each others hair and nails for fun. Instead of a party we invited a couple friends to dinner at P.F. Chang's. 

This is what I wrote on fb about my big girl- 

Makena spent some of her birthday money to buy Hadley the Sago Mini Babies app. (Which is adorable and I totally want to play with it too!) She's the best big sister. She is just really so sweet, silly, thoughtful and empathetic. She enjoys vegetables and singing and is constantly drawing and writing and creating. I'm continually amazed by how well she reads. And how easy she is to parent.

She's such a joy to be around, I'm so happy we are homeschooling this year because 5 has been so wonderful and I'm glad I didn't have to share her with anyone else all day. We love to cook together, take baths together, watch movies, do each other's hair while pretending we work at a salon, play games, build forts, and write each other notes.
When I ask her for help 9 out of 10 times she does so happily. She's quick to offer suggestions and takes initiative to solve the problem when she knows I'm struggling with Hadley. She doesn't push my buttons, she turns the dial down when needed and I rarely have to ask her to do something twice. She is funny and lovable and fills my bucket in so many ways! She just asked what I'm doing and I said I'm writing all the things I love about her, and she smiled knowingly and said, "Are you writing like a hundred things?" I love her so much.
I hope that year 6 brings her more chances to explore outside of her comfort zone, more opportunities to work on friendships, more fun adventures, and more understanding about the world around her and her very important place in it.
(Note- she went into the bedroom sadly saying that Hadley is ruining her birthday because all she wants to do is play with the new app now. I'm always honest about the good AND the bad!!)

I had wanted to do this same survey every year on Makena's birthday but I haven't. It bothers me so much that I have all these great ideas, but then when I sit down at the computer they rarely end up happening!

1. What is something mommy always says to you? 

I love you.

2. What makes mommy happy?
 When I hug you!

3. What makes her sad? 
When I'm gone.

4. How does mommy make you laugh? 

5. What was your mommy like as a child? 
6. How old is your mommy? 
That's easy. You're 33.

7. How tall is your mommy? 
I don't know. As tall as 1 of me and 2 of Hadley?

8. What is her favorite thing to do? 
Snuggle me. 
9. What does your mommy do when you’re not around? 
Go on your phone. 

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? 
Help people nurse.

11. What is your mommy really good at? 
Helping me. 

12. What is your mommy not very good at? 

13. What does your mommy do for her job? 

14. What is your mommy’s favorite food? 

15. What makes you proud of your mommy? 

16. If your mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be? 
Pinkie Pie because you like parties.

17. What do you and mommy do together? 

18. How are you and mommy the same? 
We both like veggies.

19. How are you and mommy different? 
I like olives, black olives.

20. How do you know your mommy loves you? 
That you always say "I love you."


Favorite color?

Favorite food? 
Black olives

Favorite drink? 
Starbucks Iced Tea

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A veterinarian. 

What's your favorite movie?

What's your favorite toy?

What is your favorite thing about being you?
I like myself 'cause I love my sister.

Where do you wish we could go right now?
To I & C's house.

What would you buy with a million dollars?
A huge house with 2 bedrooms 5 bathrooms and I would also want 2 bunk beds one that belongs to me and one for Hadley.

What's the best thing you've done this past year?
Go to the snow!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

So many new changes! A pet, homeschooling, and jobs!

Oh my, I have a LOT to update! This is going to be a long one.

I'm not sure where to begin, there's a lot to cover and this might jump around out of order.

I'll start by saying that we have a new (furry) family member!! We got him on 8/15, the day before my birthday! It was Clear The Shelters Day, which I saw advertised as a free pet adoption day, so we went to two different locations to check out the kitties. Makena was really smitten with him, and her opinion really mattered since she's skittish with pets. She really wanted to take him home, so we jumped in! We decided his birthday is 6/6/15. He became terrified the moment we brought him home, and it was a rough few days giving him personal space when we just wanted to cuddle him. Eventually he came around though, and now he's silly, rambunctious, cautious with new people, and EXTREMELY tolerant of Hadley's enthusiastic hugs. He has a cat tree that he can escape to for some time alone, he likes to keep an eye on the action and will sometimes come over to Hadley to play! Makena likes to play with the laser pointer with him, and even though she still frequently yelps in fear when he runs across her path or jumps up next to her unexpectedly, occasionally I'll spot her gently petting him while he sleeps.

In other big news, we have a KINDERGARTNER! School was a pretty stressful topic for a while. I'm not completely comfortable with public school as a whole, and have always loved the idea of homeschooling. (Actually I love the idea of unschooling even more, but that's a different ballgame.) Luckily we have a really fantastic parent participation school in our district, there is so much interest in it that they have a lottery to see who gets to attend. We went to all the information meetings and events, and were crossing our fingers that Makena would get in.

For me it felt like a good compromise. She'd still be in a public school, but I'd get the chance to be heavily involved and am a fan of their project based curriculum and unique programs. On the other hand, she'd be left in a classroom with many other students for a lot of hours every day. For some kids this might not be a problem, I admit that I'd prefer half-day kindergarten (and less school time for all grades!), but for Makena? I was VERY concerned about how she would navigate her emotions around this huge change. I know her well enough to make a well educated guess that she would hold herself together just fine in class, quietly following all directions and not causing any trouble at all. But at the end of the day when I picked her up to go home I think she would completely fall apart into a puddle of emotion. Only to repeat this pattern over and over. I feared her health would suffer, that the stress of spending all that energy being "perfect" at school and the challenge of peer interaction would send her over the edge. It just felt so very wrong to force her into a situation where I didn't think she would thrive.

Pam didn't agree. She thought Makena would be fine anywhere. She's an easy going, good-natured kid, and we also attended our local neighborhood school info night and Pam thought it would be great for Makena. (Side note: that is the elementary school I attended, and it's a wonderful school. I just don't think it would be a good match for Makena.) We had many discussions about what to do, while we anxiously awaited the letter that would announce our fate. I wanted to homeschool Makena for kindergarten if she didn't get into the school we put down as our first choice, and Pam wasn't completely comfortable with that idea. The letter came and I was devastated that she was #18 on the waitlist. It seemed like with those odds she wouldn't get to attend. I cried. I cried and panicked and if I was the praying type I would've prayed hardcore. I relented that fine, we could send her to the neighborhood school, even though in my heart it felt like a terrible mistake. Pam said if anything bad happened we could just take her out of school, but I wasn't worried so much about some*thing* happening, as I was about the experience as a whole being too much for her.

I took time to explore my feelings more in depth. I made my case, and once I was able to more eloquently state the reasons why I felt homeschooling would benefit Makena more, Pam agreed. Besides, there is a wonderful homeschool program offered though our school district, so we met with the support teacher and learned more. Makena would attend a science/community class (in a classroom at a local elementary school) once a week with the other 11 kids in the program. Another day of the week would be spent at the off-site art class. And we would take at least 2 field trips each month, with plenty of other opportunities for community building events. Plus there are twice monthly individual meetings with the teacher to go over anything we want to discuss and submit paperwork. I liked the teacher right away and felt it was a blessing in disguise that Makena didn't get into the first choice school. All along we had kept Makena in the loop and she was a bit disappointed to know she didn't get in, but more excited about homeschooling. So we enrolled her in the program and I breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn't have such a stressful year ahead.

Of course that meant I needed to figure what to do for homeschooling, but I felt very much at ease because for 1, Makena is smart and enjoys learning. 2, kindergarten isn't even mandatory here so it was pretty much just for fun. 3, it's kindergarten, nothing intense, and besides the amount of actual work that gets done in a classroom is so minuscule compared the the amount of hours kids spend at school. 4, I had the support of an already formed homeschooling community through the program we enrolled in, which includes a resource teacher (who does all the legal paperwork on my behalf), all the curriculum we need, plus all paid field trips and activities.

So we were all set! I even volunteered at a huge homeschool convention to get a little crash course. It was so great to meet people and chat about homeschooling and I witnessed the kindest most thoughtful children. I've been around a LOT of kids, of all ages. But these kids were different. They interacted with everyone the same way, from babies, to their peers, to adults. They didn't stick to playing with their own sex or gender, and it was so refreshing to see. I even got to attend a lecture about kids who struggle with perfectionism, which I learned a lot from. I picked up a few strategies for helping support Makena, so when she tries to write a D and accidentally writes a B, instead of trying to convince her that "it's fine, no big deal, just calm down and do it over and it'll be fine" a better response would be "you are very upset and worried that you ruined the whole paper. It is disappointing that after all of the hard work you did now there's a mistake."

Here's a great reminder for me-

"Acceptance is the missing element in shifting perfectionism from an anxiety-ridden malady to a gift of excellence. Once she knows it’s OK to be the way she is (no matter what that is), she can naturally start to relax about it.

Validation can make a big difference fast! Validation is not agreement or encouragement. It is understanding that sounds like this:

“You really wanted that to be perfect! You tried so hard and still messed up. You are afraid that everything is ruined. No wonder you are upset! That’s not how you wanted it!”

The rules for validation are: no fixing, no judging (good or bad), no teaching, no questions. This is the step of connection. You can’t change her mind, but with validation, she can.

Total validation allows people to drop their defenses and start to look inward for the thoughts and beliefs that are creating the feelings of pressure. When those thoughts and beliefs are finally found and validated, your daughter will be on the path to some much needed relief and self-acceptance, and be more open to seeing perfectionism as a strength."

Okay, so we were all set to homeschool! First Makena had to "graduate" from preschool! They practiced the little promotion ceremony and after all the parents gathered they walked into the room and one by one were called up to sit with the teachers. They said some really sweet things about each kid and handed them some goodies.

This is the scrapbook I made for her-

 This is the plate she made-

And then it was SUMMER BREAK!!!!

Makena made a bucket list of all the things she wanted to do over summer. 

We did a lot of it, but not everything. And of course we did lots of other fun stuff that wasn't on the list. One super awesome experience was getting to attend a day camp. Makena was lucky enough to be gifted several days of camp from a friend/old coworker of mine who works there. After I contacted her to say how much Makena enjoyed the animation activity at a local camp fair we attended she offered us the free days. I was thrilled but hesitant. We didn't have a NEED for Makena to attend camp, and she certainly didn't want to attend without me there. But I had a long phone conversation and we discussed her questions and concerns, and we even got to meet with the camp director for ice cream beforehand. Makena was excited and I was excited she'd get this opportunity!

This camp was great, we got to take it nice and slow. First of all we were allowed to arrive and leave whenever we wanted, which worked so well with our varying car availability. We didn't have to rush out the door or stress about it. And they provided snacks and lunch! One less thing to worry about. We met with Makena's camp leader and she was very sweet. I'm sure I came across as being overbearing at times, since I was there so often, but everyone seemed comfortable with my presence! I love that at this camp parents are allowed (and welcomed) to walk their kids in and help get them settled. I even stayed with Makena twice over lunch time, and they offered me food! (Anyone who offers me food is seriously my BFF.)

Makena quickly figured out the ideal times to be at camp. She absolutely hated the all camp activities, saying they were boring and that she felt confused about what to do and where to go. She also didn't like the games because she didn't want to participate and it was too loud and chaotic. Her favorite part was being free to choose the activities she wanted to do, and coming and going between them on her own. I was surprised at first by that, I thought she would feel lost and just stand in one place afraid to move. But now it makes sense, she didn't have to talk to anyone, she could just pick a different room/activity whenever she wanted.

She liked the style studio, and the animation studio. Bread making was also a hit. Here she is in a dress she made, with bags and bread she made!

There were times when it was frustrating that she needed me to walk her into camp. But I could tell it was making her nervous to walk by herself into a crowd and get her bearings. The difficult part was mostly Hadley, who was eager to run around and play. I often was trying to get her to nap but the timing was off, and I admit to getting annoyed with Makena on a couple occasions because it would have been so convenient to just drop her off! The camp has a check in/check out policy where we could leave midday and then return, but it bothered me to spend 20 minutes getting Makena settled in, then come back to check on her 1.5 hours later (which was when a transition period happened that she wasn't comfortable with) then sometimes she wanted me to stay for lunch, or to leave then, and I would bargain with her that she could hang out with me and Hadley for the hour and then return to the camp. But oh man that was a lot of driving around. So yeah, some parts of our experience were a huge pain, but I learned a lot about Makena those days.

I would sometimes spy on her while she was there, and I watched her quietly doing her own thing, rarely interacting with any children but sometimes talking to the leaders. The director and I communicated often, checking in about how she was doing and giving me heads up about any changes. The last week of camp had a huge bump in enrollment, so there were many new kids and also more staff. I happened to be there one day and was watching Makena through a doorway. She was laying on a bean bag chair, the same spot she had been in 30 minutes prior, while kids around her played. My heart was aching for her. She looked lonely and out of place and uncomfortable. But I didn't go to her. I just watched to see what else she would do. Suddenly an announcement was made for everyone to go to the field for an all camp game. Makena stood up and panicked. I saw her whole body tense and crumble, and she burst into tears. Kids were running excitedly out of the door and she spotted me. I tried to give her an encouraging look but she continued to freak out and came darting into my arms, sobbing uncontrollably. We found a quiet spot and I asked what was wrong. She didn't want to talk, but eventually she told me that she panicked because she didn't know where I was and she didn't want to have someone tell her it was time to go outside, since she didn't want to participate in the game. I told her that she didn't HAVE to, that she was allowed to tell them that she didn't feel like it, but she said, exasperated, "I know, but I didn't want to have to talk to anyone about it!"

It was becoming painfully clear to me that we had made the right choice to homeschool her.

Which is ironic, because just a week before the start of school we got a phone call that her spot on the wait list was open, and if we wanted her to attend the amazing parent participation elementary school, she could.


I was shocked. We didn't anticipate that at all. After everything up to that point, I couldn't imagine sending her there. Especially not on such short notice!! Makena would need time to process it. Pam and I discussed it briefly and agreed we would stay with the homeschool plan, but we told Makena that she could decide. She didn't want to discuss it at all. She froze a bit and said "But we already talked about it and I'm only going to do homeschool!" So that settled it! Of course we don't want her feeling like she's missing out on something, so it was crucial that she was part of the decision making process. It's hard because she's young and can't fully see all the pros and cons of each option, and being home with mom obviously sounds better! I couldn't believe we were going to give up our coveted spot. But I really feel like keeping her home for at least this year was important for her emotional development. Dropping her off with a group of kids and a teacher she doesn't know for long days full of transitions and chaos just seems like too much for her right now. It just doesn't feel right to put her in a situation that isn't the right fit, when the option to homeschool is available and something I'm excited about! And she's my wonderful silly thoughtful little girl, who I love spending time with. Win-win!

Right around when all this was going on I saw a post on Facebook about a job opportunity that looked intriguing. I applied, and through the long application process became more and more excited about it. And then I was officially hired! I'm thrilled to say I'm now a Tinkergarten leader! I get to lead outdoor classes for kids and their grown ups, and I'm having so much fun with it. It's very part-time, and my kids are welcome to join me in the class. Makena likes to come be my helper, and my mom was watching Hadley for me since she's not as inclined to stay in one place. I just finished my first session, and I love that I get to decide how much I want to work. I'm on a break now with the busy holidays coming up, and I'm excited to start again in January. I really enjoy being in a teaching role again. And it's such a great supportive team to be a part of, plus I get to make a little money while feeling like I'm contributing in a meaningful way in my community!

And speaking of new jobs, Pam found an amazing new position! After a long time of looking and hoping for something great she deserved, she is now a school manager at a very nearby private school. It's so nice having her home every day before 5pm! She doesn't have to rush around to several different jobs, and she is really enjoying it which is so awesome. We are really happy, it feels like she finally got a break!! I love that she is happy there, and she also gets school vacation time so that's an added bonus! It's only a couple miles away, so she rides her bike sometimes. Unfortunately there isn't a bus that goes directly there without a transfer, plus it takes a ridiculous amount of time to go a pretty short distance, so that doesn't seem like a viable option. We mostly drive her on the days that we need the car, but then it's hard to kill time and keep Hadley occupied until we are ready for our plans. Anyways, 2 moms working jobs they enjoy... things are looking up for our household!!

So, our school year started, and it's going great! I was planning on being organized with themes every week and a daily schedule and all that. Buuuuuuuut that just hasn't happened. And what we are doing seems to be working! We feel very busy, and I quickly found out that homeschooling is a bit of a misnomer since we rarely seem to be home!! Tuesdays we have science class with the rest of our group. They are a very sweet bunch of kids ranging from K-8th grade. I love seeing how well they play together. The first few days were rough and Makena was VERY weepy and timid and I'm pretty darn sure she's got some anxiety issues. I was a bit of a wreck when I made that realization. I imagined a life of struggles ahead for her, and all I want is for her to be happy and healthy and confident. But now I have better insight on how to help her cope, and I feel like just having a few tools up my sleeves has already made a difference.

As far as schoolwork goes, Makena can be such a perfectionist that she has a hard time when things go wrong. Writing a letter backwards is enough to make her want to crumple the whole paper and cry. That can be frustrating for both of us. The actual requirements of paperwork that we have to submit is pretty low, so I've been trying to keep things simple for her sake. Makena likes to play pretend school, where I act like a teacher and she sits at a little step stool pretending it's a desk. It can be tricky with Hadley, she hasn't been napping these days which is very difficult! She used to take these great long naps and Makena and I would have time to play games and play and do schoolwork.

Speaking of my darling Hadley! This little one brings us all so much joy! She is fierce and funny and always on the go! She says so many more words than Makena did at this age. I can't believe she's almost 2 years old. 

She's not even close to being potty trained. She pays no mind to requests to look at something, to stop doing something, to come here, etc. Unless she wants to! You just never know, she does her own thing! She loves trains and planes and doggies and kitty cats and bugs. She has started playing pretend a little, today she was walking around with her hand by her ear saying hello and bye bye. She likes when you pretend to sleep and then she says "night night!" and you surprise her and "wake up" and she laughs. She shrieks with laughter often. She also shrieks with anger. She recently learned how to jump and knows almost all her body parts. (I like that she knows elbow!) She asks for "nil" which is her word for milk, aka nursing. Sometimes she will pull Pam's hand to make her get up from the rocking chair and then pull me over to sit, climb onto my lap, and start nursing. Books don't keep her attention for too long, unless she's on her potty when she requests books. Her favorites are the "That's Not My___" ones, or any books with textures inside them to feel.

Lately she's really been attached to this yellow stuffed duck that a family friend gave to Makena for Easter one year when she was little. And Makena is fine with letting Hadley take it around with her when we go in the car, because Makena hardly ever makes fusses about stuff like that. She is so patient with her little sister. Sometimes she goes into the other room to play, and sometimes she gets frustrated by Hadley messing stuff up, but mostly she's so loving and gentle with her! She can tell I get frustrated by Hadley being a handful and offers to help distract her while I make dinner or whatever. 

For the longest time Hadley was calling me "Mmm-hmm" as in, the noise you might make for saying "yes". It was humorous but also annoying. She would point to each of us, "Mama, Nya-nya (Makena), Mmm-hmm!" But now she's calling me Mommy ("Mah-mee!") and it's just the cutest thing when your baby calls you Mommy!!

I'm going to finish up this post now because it's been several days in the making. I want to do a post about all the fun we had over summer. Look for that in about 6 months. Lol. ;)