Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"I Snuggle My Mommy"

In about 3 weeks, I will be going back to school.  In the meantime, I am not only trying to get myself ready by planning my curriculum maps and school supply lists, but I am trying to get Lucy ready to go back to daycare on August 12th, which means, no more staying up incredibly late with her mama, mandatory rest periods instead of "play all day" periods, and no more snuggling mommy in order to get to sleep.  I am weaning her off of the paci by only allowing her to have it for car rides and sleep, and pretty soon, I will be eliminating car rides.  Potty training is still....hell.  So I am keeping her in diapers for now.

The problem is, I am trying to savor every moment too.  I know that (God willing) this will be my last summer of just Lulu and me.  I know that she is growing up fast, and she won't be in this stage forever of always wanting to be with me. 

This summer I have caught myself complaining a lot of just being tired...tired of playing shapes all day, or tired of playing cars or singing songs.  I have said numerous times that I am tired of just being the constant entertainer for 9 hours straight....I have even said that thank God I have my career, because I am not stay at home mom material. 

Then tonight, as we were forcing Lulu to go to sleep at her new mandated bed time, she kept begging to "snuggle Mommy, I please snuggle my mommy."  Although we didn't let her, I wanted to so bad that it hurt. 

And just then, I started to miss her.  I still have 3 weeks with her, just my Lulu and me, and I already am aching for our summer alone together.  Of picking out her clothes together in the morning, where she constantly grabs things that don't match and I say "Nooooooo" really loudly and she laughs and goes and grabs something else that I won't let her wear. 

I already miss her begging me to let her put on my make up.  I let her.  She tries to eat the sponges though, so I have to watch her carefully.

I already miss our walks at the park where she recalls our routine.  "I go to the park, Mommy, and I eat a sucker and I eat fruit snacks, and I play..." 

I already miss her begging me to go shopping, and when we do, I already miss her telling me that I look "beautiful" or "marvelous" when I try something on.  I miss when she wants to play toys, or to play flash cards.  "Mommy, what animal is this?"  And I always get confused because she is holding up an orange rectangle flashcard, and there is no animal in sight. 
I miss her wanting to "cheers" me all the time when we get our drinks after the park.  When I work on school stuff during the day, I miss her grabbing my books, and pretending to read them.

My little girl is pretty amazing.  I know it is normal to be tired of the same old routine, but today it hit me like a punch in the face that my normal is fleeting.  It won't be like this much longer.  She will continue to grow up, and we will expand our family, and get busier, and buy a new house, and jobs will become crazier....but until then...
So to quote (kinda) the lines I read from Little Critter almost everyday in our mundane routine...

 I am so happy to be...spending my summer, just my beautiful Lulu and me. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!! And Take the TV with You!!

I have had quite a bit of "mommy guilt" lately.  I did this last year too, where I start out the summer all "gung-ho" about planning fun stuff for Lucy and I to do.  See, my life is all about planning.

I plan the weekly grocery list, and if it is not written down precisely on a list, I cannot go to the store. 

I plan how much money I have by constantly looking at, writing down, and tweaking my budget.

I plan lessons for my students, even in the summer.

I plan out my weekends.

I plan out how I want my house decorated.

I plan, I plan, I plan.

I am not a fly-by-the-seat of my pants person, and I am very much like that as a mom.  I wanted to plan weekly activities and crafts, and I did it one week before I realized...this is NOT going to work.

I can't check Lucy off of a list....in fact, she is really in charge of our daily routine.  Her mood dictates the whole day sometimes.  Sometimes, she just wants to play outside at her water table and sandbox.  As a planner, my insides scream: "we can't, because we haven't done our learning activity!!!"

Then I get mad for being a planner.  It is way more work to plan.  I work so much all of the time, I don't want it to be work to stay home with my kid.  And lately, it has been starting to feel like work. 

So this week, I have eased up a bit.  So what if I don't hit the park by 10:00 A.M. every morning.  Leaving at 11 because Lucy wants to play with her toys won't make me a bad mom.

I will tell you what has though (not that I am a bad mom, but why I have guilty feelings).

This week has been really rainy, so Lucy has been playing in the house a lot.  I started watching court TV, especially with the whole Zimmerman trial.  I don't watch it for entertainment purposes, but I am really fascinated lately with our judicial system, and how the media portrays certain situations (well, all situations).  So, I have left it on in the background, and have it on in the car, and get updates on my phone, yadda yadda.

Yesterday, I had the worst headache. And I think its because of having the TV and phone in front of me all the time lately.  I am a big advocate of technology, but also a big advocate of creativity and reading, and activity.  During the school year, my DVR is always 99 percent full because I never watch anything, I just record it for a snow day or nap times....then I never watch it.  Lucy is only allowed 2 episodes of TV a day (unless Daddy lets her watch more) and yet, I find myself watching it all day for this trial.  Granted, I think the trial symbolizes so much for our country right now, which is why I am hooked, but I won't get into that here.  However, I also found myself turning on TV for Lucy just so that she would leave me alone so that I could continuously watch the trial in the kitchen.  I would get mad that she wouldn't nap, because it cut into my trial time.

What in the heck am I doing???

 As a parent and a career-oriented person, there has to be a proper balance of "me time" and responsibility time.  With that being said, this week has all been about the obsessive part of me that usually only comes out in my cleaning or nagging of my husband.  And I have been surprised at myself.

So, right now, right here, I make two promises.  One, I will not over-plan my summer with Lucy.  I have to accept that her learning or brilliance will not suffer simply because we play outside all day.  And two, I will not let HLN ruin my time with Lucy.  I will save my obsessiveness for my house and husband only.

Til next time,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Butterflies All the Way Around

This week was my first week off of school for the summer, and my first week off with Lucy.  I always freak out about summers off, only because I am such a workaholic that I worry that the same ol' routine won't satisfy me.  I can't just lay around and be lazy.  I feel like I have to constantly work to achieve goals, whether that be cleaning my house, planning for that BCSN's Teacher of the Year Award (why the heck won't my kids get on the ball and nominate me?? Darn it, I wish I could nominate myself, haha), or getting the most out of time with Lucy- I am a planner.  Lucy is so smart, and although I would like to take most of the credit, and I do in public, I do attribute it a lot to her educational daycare.  So...in the absence of daycare, my goal with Lucy is to keep educating her with themed weeks.

This week we conquered butterflies and ladybugs.

Successes: symmetrical butterfly crafts, and fingerprint lady bugs. We also colored a lot of bugs and we read the fun facts.  I also think that having a very regimented schedule helped.  We walk every morning at 10 at "the forest" as Lucy says (by the way, the Tickle Monster hides in the forest, so we are quiet when we walk in particular areas) and then we come home after Lucy is done swinging at the playground.  At home, we do our learning activity/craft, have outside play time in the water, go eat lunch, watch one Disney Junior program, NAP, wake up, snack, Free play or one more show, then DADDY IS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Failures: my being a poor and non creative craftswoman.  Our fingerprint ladybugs did not turn out how I would have liked because I had to keep turning my back to check Pinterest on my phone to see if I was doing the craft right, and then Lucy would go hog wild in the paint.  Messy all the way around.  Oh, and another failure would be comparing Lucy's art to Pinterest.  Toddlers aren't making half the stuff people are saying they are.  Just sayin.'  But, with that said, there are some very crafty moms out there, and I am jealous of you.

Now on my other thoughts this week:

Potty training is my HELL.  How do you even teach a child the urge to go?  And now she insists on M and M's just for sitting there....and since I gave in a few times, I guess that is my fault.  I even tried tickling her on the toilet on purpose so that she would go, and then she did, and now when we sit her on the potty, she has to make a game.  "GET OUT PEE PEE!!" she yells, which is cute, but that is what I said when I tickled her, so now she waits to be tickled.  AHHHHH!!!

Lucy watched fireworks last night at her Aunt and Uncle's for Summerfest.  To say she was adorable was an understatement.  "SO beautiful" she would say.  "From outer space!"  As I watched her, I knew that God gave me the sweetest little girl on the planet.  I knew I wanted to experience that moment a million times over.  Its not like she was doing anything spectacular, she was just oohing and aaaahing over fireworks.  But it was the most beautiful thing I have experienced in a while- watching my daughter experience something new.  I know that I said before that I am not ready for baby #2, and to be honest, I am not.   I am still scared out of my mind.  But watching Lucy gave me butterflies and confirmation that being a mommy is the best job.  It is worth the scary parts.

See you next week, it will be PRINCESS week at the Koz house!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Lulu's Last day of School!

I wrapped up school on Wednesday of this week, and then Lucy finishes today.  We decided to keep her in school (educational daycare) until today so that she can bring in party stuff and say a proper goodbye to her teachers and friends.

She brought in cupcakes, which are her favorite treats at the moment, and a nice Mickey Mouse card for her teachers. 

I love her daycare.  I love it a teeeeeeny bit less than I did at the beginning of the year, because of a few staff switches and Lucy's favorite teachers put in their notices.  That was hard for me both as a teacher and a parent, and it made me wonder if my parents (of my high schoolers, that is) feel the same.  What if I left?  Would the parents be just as heartbroken? 

When Ms. J and Ms. S left Lulu's daycare, I was devastated.  Lucy talked about them, loved on them, and learned so much from them.  When I found out that Ms. H was taking over, and she was about the age of my graduating seniors, I was upset.  I wanted experienced "mommy" teachers with my girl all day. 

That made me think, do parents care what teachers their children have, even as high schoolers?  I love my academy, and as of right now, wouldn't dream of leaving, but if I did want to make a professional change, I know that I would be passed up on interviews due to my experience.  Right now, the trend in education is "hire the cheapest" educator possible.  More experience means more expensive, and although the young pups coming out of college may seem like a great choice because they are eager and cheaper,  I feel like schools are going to suffer because of that decision to disregard experience.  I am a better teacher for the years I had to sub, because I had to learn a multitude of different classroom management styles and build the self-confidence to run my own classroom.  That was achieved by subbing for 2 years.  I think that should be mandatory upon leaving college.

But back to my main point, I like Ms. H just fine...but boy, she isn't nearly as "good" to my Lulu as Ms. J and Ms. S.  I hope by next year, I see a change, or Lulu and I will be switching facilities.  That will always be the price Lucy pays for having an educator as a mother.....she will never have to settle for anything less than what I believe she should be provided.  

As far as today goes, Josh took the day off and we will be house hunting, since we may be expanding our family in the near future, so it is time to get the ball rolling.  I will also start meal planning and activity planning for Lucy's summer off with me.  I am on the search for toddler activity blogs!!

Have a great weekend, everyone.  As I have noticed in a lot of my posts, my tone has been changing...I used to be pretty good at interjecting personality (my humor and sarcastic self, haha).  I hope to get back to the more authentic voice.  Writing is a way that I feel connected to myself....if that makes any sense.  I have changed the course of this blog many times, because I have a variety of things to say.  It started out with a therapeutic way to survive the loss of Gabriel, and then I wanted it to be a journal for Lucy (I tried handwritten journals like I did back in the day, but technology kept calling my name!) and now, I feel a calling to just, well....to write.  Whether it be about toddler activities, my climb up the professional ladder,  education as a whole, or my handicapped dog, I just want to write, plain and simple. 

I hope you enjoy following along. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The End is Near!

The end is near!  The end of the school year that is!

I have been working a bunch more than I usually do.  This year, I was in charge of prom, the year-long Senior Project, Senior Advisor, newspaper, yearbook, and all teacher professional development.  It was a lot to take on, and I was so glad to do it.  This year has been the most rewarding years of my career, and I feel like I am truly the teacher I dreamt I would be.

Since I had been so busy, that meant a lot of late nights at school.  I didn't really think it was affecting Lulu that much since she is with her daddy or grandparents, but when I spent Memorial Day with her, it became apparent how my absence has irritated her.  Some call it terrible twos, but I know when my daughter is just being ornery versus wanting her mommy's attention.

The hitting and the kicking was the worst.  She spent the majority of Memorial Day in time-out.  I also think she has been getting time-outs at school, because she is bragging about them.  "Mommy, I get time-out...not listening," she says.  Yep. Sounds like Lulu alright. 

Tonight, with the first day of exams underway, I miraculously didn't have any school work to do tonight, so I spent the entire evening with my girl.  She and I played flashcards, read books, ate a snack....She loves certain books, so much so that she reads to me because she has them memorized. The book she is obsessed with now is called "Ten Little Ladybugs" and although Josh and I think the book is a bit morbid (I swear that all 10 ladybugs die....) Lucy loves counting down from ten to one.  One line reads, "three little ladybugs drinking up the dew..." and she laughs hysterically.  It is something about that word, dew, that makes her laugh.  So then I was laughing.  And she kept laughing.  After reading it about 3 more times, it was all snuggles and cuddles on the couch, kisses and huggies, and I knew that I was the luckiest mom in the world.

I can't wait to give her all my attention.  Maybe next year I will find the balance between my kiddo and my other kiddos.  I just refuse to stop being involved at school.  Those are my kids too, and I want to raise Lucy to understand the importance of good adult role models and what a difference they can make for teenagers.   I know a lot of people can leave work at work, but I can 't.  Just like I can't stop thinking about my Lucy while I am at school, I can't stop thinking about my classes at home. 

I hope my students make good choices over the summer.   I do worry about some of them, especially since I won't be around this summer to "hold their hands"...I will be too busy holding the hand of my little girl, and LOVING every moment!!

Kick off to summer 2013!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baby #2?

Before I go on with my new post, I want to thank you for the comments on my last pity-party post.  What kind words of encouragement you all gave me :-) 

Today I broke down a bit.  My boss says that I have a soul of steel and she is right...I never get emotional that often.  I get emotional when I am frustrated, or scared...and even as a high school teacher, I am not frustrated too often.  I was pretty numb when I lost Gabriel, and even then, I only really cried in private...and when I wrote these posts.

My high schoolers are graduating.  Some of them have been my English students since the 8th grade.  It really points out how old I feel like I am becoming.  And although I am not really old (almost 31, or as I say to my students, "29 heavy"), knowing that 5 years ago I got hired at a small community school, was assigned an 8th grade class, and now I get to watch them graduate, makes me see time and how it has elapsed.  I saw my seniors literally grow up. 

5 years ago, I was hired.  That is all it took for Josh and I to start talking about having kids.  We just wanted me hired in my field of study.  And once I was...the idea of Gabriel was conceived, and soon enough, he was.

We all know how that turned out.

And beautiful little Lucy- who is turning out to be quite the terrible twoster, may I add, turned out perfect. 

And now, we are talking about Baby 2. 

It is amazing how my feelings about babies and pregnancy have changed.  Once upon a time, I couldn't fathom the thought of not being pregnant.  Now I struggle with feelings of being scared to be. Josh talks and talks, but to be honest, I don't even want to try. 

Life is good.  Life is sooooo good.  Beautiful todder, who is smart...my God, is she smart.

My job may not be my dream job monetarily speaking, but wow, am I serving my purpose.  I have always wanted to make a difference for high school kids.  And I know that I do.  Thinking of my seniors leaving...I feel like I am having separation anxiety, because it has been them and me for 5 years.  Granted, I have other classes, but they were mine first.  They pulled me through that time when I wanted to give up.  They needed me too.

My marriage is better than ever, and I see so many parents of two or more struggle.

But everything I just said is just a list of excuses.  The fact of the matter is, I am scared.  Now that we are actually talking about trying again, I am scared.  I don't want the high risk appointments, the constant blood draws, the ultrasounds....most people relish that they have ultrasounds, not me...I know that they are just checking to see if my baby has a defect or is even alive at all.

It's just scary.  It is scary that Josh wants to try again....like soon. 

So I broke down today...because with prepping for graduation and the LOADS of work I am doing, I don't want my summer to get here.  Because I am scared to try. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

I miss writing

Sometimes, its hard to write because I don't even know if anyone reads this.  However, do I really need an audience? 

This started out as a miscarriage blog, and it was so therapeutic.  I actually did my best writing in a long time. 

Then, I thought I would shift gears and turn it into a Mommy blog.  But there is so much more to me than that....(even though its the best part of me...)

Now, I just want to write.  Is there an audience out there for writing about....anything?

I do a lot of TV watching.  It is so depressing.  I used to be a writer.  I used to be a reader.  Now I am a reality TV show junkie.  I also am starting to live on my I-Phone.  As a mom, this isn't the type of parent I want to be.  As a human being, it is for sure not who I want to be.

So, I hope there is an audience out there for me.  I am even getting ideas for a small book/story I want to write.  I used to do that stuff all the time.  Maybe I will write some stuff here.  Why not?  It is my blog after all.  If no one reads it, then no one reads it.

Will you read my blog?