Friday, January 27, 2012

Nap Time

We are in transition. To nap or not to nap. The pattern has been two days of napping followed by two days of no napping. The no-napping-days are pretty stressful by dinner time...fussy guy and fussy mama.

Often, I find my little guy like this:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Toys for a Three-Year-Old Boy

One of my posts that continues to be popular is the one I wrote last year about what to buy my two-year-old son. Now it is time for an update since that same little boy is approaching three at wild speeds!

He still plays and loves his Thomas the Train set. I could get him more accessories this year, but we just got him some fun things for Christmas. (Rumbling Bridge and Toby's Windmill) And I know in this next year his train obsession will wane as it did for his older brothers as they went from three to four.

He loves Beyblades, but what he really loves to do with his Beyblades is disassemble them and interchange the parts.

Here is the "problem": he already has everything he could ever want. This is what happens when you are the 3rd of three boys. Our house has plenty of toys and he has plenty of things to do with his time. He's excellent at playing by himself and coming up with childhood adventures without the aid of more play things.

Of course, a mama can't not buy him something. So I did purchase him a little music and drum set. I hope he loves it. I hope the parts don't get scattered throughout our house. But I'm feeling confident. This little one loves music! He's constantly singing, playing drums, and finding ways to create tunes and rhythms. His favorite activity is dancing with his brothers. The spend a good portion of their after-school-time dancing upstairs to rock 'n roll music, off of Daddy's IPOD. Guess I could get him his own IPOD, but that seems totally ridiculous, right?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fine Motor Skills Manipulative: Total Engagement

A very archaic laptop took up space on our desk, much to my husband's annoyance. He wondered why I kept it there. Not sure. I thought about donating it to my son's preschool...they have a mechanics center where kids take apart small electronics with tools. But then a better idea whizzed through my cranium, "Set up my own center for find motor skills! The boys were in heaven and so was Dad. I think I might start picking up these little treasure from time to time at thrift stores. It is my latest parenting tip!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Anticipate: My 2012 Word

I’m being attacked by New Year’s pressure, pressure to make a resolution…at least one. Every day it seems like I come across an article on how to improve my life, my cleaning, my eating, and or my body sculpting. I try and resist these bombardments, but in all my post-holiday-hustle-and-bustle I did come across a list of house goals I had made for myself three years ago. I had misplaced this list and had only kept it around long enough to mark off ¼ of it. But, get this: with great joy I picked up a pen and crossed out every remaining item on that piece of scratch paper, 19 in total. I completed them all!

This moment felt providential, like I was being prodded and whispered to that yes indeed, I should make some plans, make some goals, some resolutions. Obviously my past “resolutions” had been successful. I had redecorated and painted the back bathroom, office, master bedroom, hallway, piano room, and boys’ bedrooms….outside stands our kids’ play structure and a very used and loved BBQ. I had written and published a book, taken several planned trips with my family, and become involved in my son’s school through various volunteer activities. Accomplishment feels good.
I have new ideas and goals for the next few years swirling around in my head. In fact, I chose a word to frame my year around: anticipate! I want to sign my oldest up for piano and art lessons. I want to take a family trip to Yellowstone and Disneyland. I want to continue to remove the wallpaper in my two-year-old’s bedroom. A started this, deviously, during naptime. Oh, and I definitely want to get my youngest potty trained. It is time for a new era in the Schneiter home, the No-More-Diapers-For Me-Era. I’d like to finish the rest of the siding on our house. But most of all, the thing I think I really want to focus on is releasing myself of some of my mommy commitments.

Nearly seven years ago I made a huge life shift from working woman to stay-at-home-mamma. It was hard. I have to admit: I didn’t really like it. I found myself getting through the day by focusing on 30 minute increments of time: fold laundry, plan dinner, walk to the park, story time, read books, give bath….the exciting, fast-pace, energizing, and exhausting day of being a teacher offered a bit more stimulation in contrast to a day with one newborn baby. So I filled my days with meaningful outlets that allowed me to integrate my life and the life of my children into one: mom group, indoor park, play dates, preschool volunteer, teach Sunday school, coordinate school newsletter, write, writing group, book group, direct church women’s retreat, lead a small group for our church…..the problem is that as I progress through life’s natural evolution I have continued to add great outlets to my docket and have not allowed any of my activities to go extinct, making my days busy, harried, and a bit too much. On top of that, I am feeling the transition out of the preschool years. (By Fall I will have two out of three boys in full-day school!) I think my role will be looking different and changing once again in the next few years, and I want to be ready for it. I eagerly anticipate this.

I anticipate the New Year and the next few New Years to come. I want to be ready for them and what they will throw at me. I want to transition well and learn, once again, how to organize my day. I am eager to find another list and be able to cross everything off of it knowing I have done well. And so I will embrace the tradition of resolutions and make my goals. I can’t wait to find this new list and cross every item off of it!

Wishing you an excellent 2012!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year

I am quite optimistic about this new year. I am excited for what it brings:

-summer with Daddy home, he promises not to take a summer job like in years past
-house projects, finishing our siding
-camping this summer, a lot, with the boys
-building a tree fort
-two boys in full-time school!
-wrapping up old commitments and opening myself up to new directions/opportunities
-finishing up my next writing project and sending it out to the "right people"