Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

Summer’s Just Begun May 29, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:01 am

Ok, so Summer has not “officially” begun in calendar terms, but it has begun in pool and beach terms.  Memorial Day kicked off the summer with a bang for the Lake Family!

We were lucky enough to be in the Outer Banks for Memorial Day…  The weather was fantastic, the beach was beautiful, and the pool was freezing.  Ok, so we weren’t lucky with everything.  That is one of the disadvantages of taking a vacation at the beginning of summer when things are not quite as warm as you want them to be.  But that did not stop the kids from enjoying our beach getaway.

Mason was all smiles! (Except for when she tripped in the sand as a wave came in)

Mason was all smiles! (Except for when she tripped in the sand as a wave came in)

Cooper got down and dirty in the sand.

Cooper got down and dirty in the sand.

We had never been to the Outer Banks before, so this was quite a treat.  We thoroughly enjoyed the laid back nature of Corolla.  If only we had been able to “lay back.”  Unfortunately having a one-year-old boy limits your ability to sit still and hang out with friends.   While the other parents got to enjoy this,

I never even got to try the Bud Light Lime.

I never even got to try the Bud Light Lime.

we were busy chasing Cooper around to keep him from jumping in the pool to get a ball or some other toy he had thrown in.  Don’t get me wrong, we still had a blast!  I always say a vacation with young children is not a vacation – it’s just the same routine in a different place.  But this had the makings of a true vacation.   Vacationing with other families brings a whole new element to it.  And honestly Mason and Cooper were amazing kids for the 3 days we were there.   So it was a more relaxed version of our daily routine.  Wake up, eat delicious donuts (the first thing Mason tells anyone about her vacation), walk on the beach, get in the freezing pool, get out of the freezing pool, eat lunch, take a nap, get in the freezing pool again, visit a lighthouse, eat ice cream, cook dinner with friends, put the kids to bed, play Guitar Hero or foosball, chat with the ladies, have a few drinks, go to bed, then do it all over again.  Yeah, I would say that is not our normal routine in Silver Spring.

Mason enjoyed playing with her new friends.

Sadly this crew is missing a key player who was a bit camera-shy.

Sadly this crew is missing a key player who was a bit camera-shy.

Cooper enjoyed his first beach trip.

The world is his ocean.

The world is his ocean.

Mommy and Daddy enjoyed some quiet moments together.  (Believe it or not, our kids slept great the whole time!)

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Thanks to our old and new friends for making this trip memorable.  Wish we could have stayed longer!  But it was time to get back to reality and a summer of fun ahead of us.

Mason's special treat for the ride home.  Sound of Music on an iPod.

Mason's special treat for the ride home - Sound of Music on an iPod.

Cooper was too tuckered out to even care that he didn't get an iPod.

Cooper was too tuckered out to even care that he didn't get an iPod.

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Calm Despite Chaos May 21, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:18 pm

The other night I realized how life with kids changes your perception of calm and chaos.  Achieving the calming state is much more difficult with kids.  I don’t know if I’m ever truly calm.  Whether they are around me or not, I’m constantly stressing over the next outing, the last tantrum, the next meal, the last mess.  It never ends.  Some days, I find calm in the car.  On the way to school/daycare, the kids can be so quiet and pensive that it is calming, and when I get back in the car after dropping them off, I can feel almost calm amidst the remaining quiet (at least for the 3 minute drive to work).  But that might be the extent of my calm.

Chaos is more typical for us.  Which is why when we went to Austin Grill for dinner the other night, it was not intimidating.  We had forgotten it was Free Kids Meal night or something, so when we walked in and saw the place teeming with little ones, it was a little surprising.  But it did not deter us.  In reality, that kind of thing almost encourages us to stay.  Like any other loud, kid-friendly restaurant, we embrace the chaos because it means our kids might be preoccupied or stimulated enough to not whine or complain about their dinner.   This was the case the other night.

Cooper was looking all over the place, eating his chicken nuggets without protest or throwing of food.  Mason was loving the older girl sitting next to us that kept waving at her so much that she barely complained that food was not at the table as soon as we ordered it.  After eating, Mason went to enjoy the band’s music on stage.  She didn’t want to dance with the other kids; she just wanted to stand close to feel like she was a part of it.  This is common of her in social situations – not necessarily joining the action, but definitely not wanting to leave it either.

After paying the patient waiter (I’ve come to learn that it takes a special waitstaff to deal with Kids Nights at any restaurant.  It is usually not the top waiters because you have to earn your seniority, right?  But nonetheless, these people need patience!), we gathered everything up and headed home.  When we got the kids in their carseats and started pulling out of the garage, I realized that I was somewhat calm.  I wasn’t stressing over anything at that precise moment.  How could that be?  I had just been in a loud, chaotic restaurant with tons of kids, loud music, and a stinky bathroom, but I was calm.  I asked Jeremy if he felt the same.  He agreed.  We were all calm.  Could it be that the chaos has become our calming factor?  Could it be that we are so used to the chaos, that it is having a reverse effect on us?  I’m still puzzled by this, but I am going to embrace it.  It was a good night (except for the haircut I got before dinner, but that’s a whole different story!)  I did not have to bribe my kids to eat their dinner.  I did not have to use a loud demanding voice to get them to not run far ahead.  Everyone was calm.  Everyone was relaxed.  Will I ever find this calm again?  Will I be forced to endure more restaurant Kids Nights to get back to that same state?  I hope not.  I hope I have learned something from all this – that chaos with kids does not have to be stressful.  It can, in fact, be just what I need.

 

Boys Will Be Boys May 15, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:47 am

It’s been hard getting used to having a boy.  Raising a boy is amazingly different than raising a girl.  I’m loving what I learn everyday, though!

Boys are messy.  And boys like to eat!

Boys are messy. And boys like to eat!

We’ve had issues with Mason’s pickiness over the years, but Cooper has so far shown that he is not as picky as her.  He will eat almost anything.  He loves to double fist too!  Whether it be pizza or quesadillas or pancakes, the boy loves to stuff his face.  Why we have not used a bib yet is beyond me.

Don't you just want to squeeze all that chub?

Don't you just want to squeeze all that chub?

Boys are loud.  Boys are rough.  But boy oh boy, do they love their mommies!  I just can’t get enough of him.  (Ok, that’s a lie.  When he’s whining and screaming and throwing tantrums over doing things his way…  then I have had enough of him.)  I mean, just look at this kid.  He breaks my heart.  And I have a feeling he’ll be breaking girls’ hearts for some time.

You've got to love him!

You've got to love him!

 

Mothers and Daughters Part 2 May 7, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:30 pm

When I was pregnant with Mason, I had no inkling whether she was a boy or girl.  Most women say they have dreams or they just “know” what the sex is.  People would ask me, and I would say, “Really, I have no feeling one way or the other.”  So as I sat on the operating table getting pricked by an enormous needle on October 14, 2005, my doctor asked me the fateful question, “What do you think it is?”  I again said that I had no clue.  So she pushed me, asking, “Seriously, just guess.  What do you think it is?  And how much do you think it will weigh?”  Out of my mouth came, “Girl.  9 pounds.”

Twenty minutes later (possibly longer since Mason was very happy way up inside my belly and had no intention of ever leaving the womb even after 41 weeks), the doctor announced, “It’s a girl!”  Over to the scale she went…  She came in at 8 lbs. 15 oz.  They decided to round up to 9 pounds to make it easier.  So there it was.  Girl.  9 pounds.

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I often wonder where that inkling came from.  For 10 months, I couldn’t put my finger on what was inside my belly.  And then in the 11th hour (really the 6,889th hour), I just blurted out “girl.”  Was it just a lucky guess?  Or did I have that mother’s instinct I had felt without for the entire pregnancy?

No matter how you slice it, I was the new mother of a beautiful baby girl.  What had I gotten myself into?

I love having a daughter.  Luckily I have the benefit of mothering both a daughter and a son, so I can enjoy both worlds.  Having a daughter has ignited the internal debate between my girly side and my tomboy side.  I love when Mason wears dresses, wants to paint her nails, walks around in my dress shoes….  But I also love watching her play soccer (It’s still a struggle to actually get her to play soccer at soccer practice, but a tomboy mother can dream, can’t she?), wrestle with her daddy, play in the rain, climb around at the playground….  We can watch girly movies together while we paint our nails, and we can…  Ummm…  Gosh, what tomboy things do we do together?  I can’t think of any offhand.  I guess we know who won that internal debate!

She was a diva early on.

She was a diva early on.

In the past several months, though, the mother-daughter relationship has been a tempestuous one.  One minute she’s loving me like no one else can, and the next she’s hitting and screaming at me for trying to help brush her teeth.  It’s rough, and she’s only three!  I tell Jeremy that we will not make it through the teenage years if this keeps up.

Then I think of my mom and my relationship with her.  I can’t remember how my relationship was with her when I was three.  I do remember some big fights during the teenage years, but it’s hard to decipher if they were related to being a teenage girl or being a teenage girl whose father had unexpectedly died or being a teenage girl who had just moved across the country.   I do know that my mom has had a good chuckle hearing stories about my relationship with Mason.  I even think the words, “Payback” might have been uttered while she intently listened to my problems.  In the end, though, I don’t mind.  I have a great relationship with my mom, and only hope that Mason and I have the same when she gets older.  I know it will be rough at some points, but I wouldn’t trade all the fights and disagreements for the amount of love Mason gives me and the pride I have in her.

3 Generations

3 Generations

This morning she and her classmates held a Mothers Day Breakfast at school.  They sang us songs, fed us, gave us presents.  It was wonderful.  At one point, they were supposed to stand up and say what they wanted to be when they grow up.  (I was expecting Mason to say a Mommy, based on the first Mothers and Daughters post.)  The kids ahead of her said they wanted to be a mermaid, a princess, a firefighter, a pirate, and a sailor.  Mason said…  wait for it….  DOCTOR!  And I have it on video, so I’m going to hold her to it!

She's had a lot of doctor practice.

She's had a lot of doctor practice.

I think this girl will surprise and amaze me every day.

And you know what?  I can’t wait!

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They Love Me

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:26 pm

I am extremely blessed.  I know that my kids love me.  Case in point…  Last night, Kristin, Nana and myself were playing “Goal” (new game invented by Kristin involving a laundry basket) with the kids.  It was a happy time except for the fighting over who got the ball next.  After one too many fights, one too many tantrums, and one too many high throws that almost knocked over the stereo speakers, I had to end the game.  I started taking the laundry basket to the basement, which involves me going through the kitchen, which must then involve closing the gate to the kitchen.  As soon as I rounded the corner to go down the basement stairs, the crying broke out.  Full on screaming.  “Mommy!”  But really what I heard was, “Mmmmmoooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”  When I came back up the stairs, both Mason and Cooper were at the gate screaming their heads off.  I opened the gate, pulled them into my arms and the crying quickly stopped (or at least that is how I’ll remember it.)  I guess they missed me.  It’s nice to be missed when you take the laundry basket downstairs for 30 seconds. It has nothing to do with the fact that I had ended the game.  It was all about them missing me.  I just know it.

 

Mothers and Daughters May 5, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:13 pm

Last night, Mason told me, “Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a mommy like you so that I can help you.”