Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Summer Survival Plan

Wasn't it just September? I could have sworn that I just went on my four-store half-day quest with Alec for his Toy Story backpack for 3-year-old preschool last week. But somehow we've managed to fly through nine months of preschool, and now the boys and I have three months of driving each other crazy quality time together.

Alec on his first day of 3-year-old preschool

Alec just finished his second year of preschool, and at his end-of-year party I had to fight to keep the tears back. I didn't want to cry because I was sad that my little boy is growing up so fast. I wanted to cry because for the next three months I don't have three mornings a week where someone else is keeping one of my boys entertained.

Alec on his last day of preschool

I am definitely not one of those moms who is creative or good at coming up with things to do. My idea of creativity is opening up the kitchen drawer with the big utensils and telling the boys to go to town.

Instead, I am one of the moms who hears about something really cool that another mom did and thinks, I wish I had thought of that. Then I proceed to "borrow" the idea. Hey, my boys will never know the difference. And besides, isn't that basically the whole idea behind Pinterest?

So with Alec used to doing really creative crafts, fun activities and playing with 15 other kids for three mornings each week, I have a feeling the transition into summer may be a bit challenging. I mean, a drawer full of big spoons is great, but it only provides entertainment for so long.

In order to help with this transition, I've really been trying to get Alec excited about the fun things we can do over the summer. So the other day when he told me he was excited for summer, I breathed a sigh of relief. I asked him what he was most excited about, and do you know what his answer was? Our upcoming beach vacation? Nope. Swimming in the pool? Nope. Amusement parks? Nope. Are you ready for this? Corn on the cob. Yep, that is what my 4-year-old is most excited about for the next three months. The sigh of relief that I had breathed moments before was quickly replaced with panic. I realized that I needed to come up with a plan.

My plan to survive the summer is a basic one. If it's a nice day, we will be at the township pool trying not to drown each other. If it's not a nice day, we will be trapped inside at home trying not to strangle each other. And regardless of the weather, assuming we have all managed not to drown or strangle each other, I will end each day with a celebratory bottle glass of wine once the kids are sleeping. It's that simple.

With my new plan in place, I'm starting to feel a little bit better about the next few months. I'm sure once we get into the swing of things, I'll have no problem keeping the boys entertained. With the pool, beach, amusement parks and play dates, I'm sure we'll have no problem surviving the next three months. And besides, if we are having a trying day there's always Pinterest and corn on the cob.

I guess it has always been one of Alec's favorite foods...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Mother's Day Picture

This Mother's Day was my fifth Mother's Day as a mother, and on Saturday (the day before Mother's Day) I told Chad there was one thing I wanted for Mother's Day. After he gave me a look that said Do you realize that Mother's Day is tomorrow and there's no way I'm going to pull off getting you something else?, I think he was relieved to hear my request. I wanted a picture of me with my boys.

Why did I want a picture of me with my boys? Well, there's the obvious reason that I am their mother and it was Mother's Day. But as I was searching through more than two years worth of photos to find a few photos of me with Alec and Chase together to use as profile photos, I found about three. Three photos of me with my boys. From the past two years. I'm not great at math, but I'm pretty sure that works out to about one a year.

It's not that we don't have photos of the boys. I didn't count, but I'm pretty sure we're into the five digits of photos of the boys. And there are plenty of photos of the boys with Chad, the boys with grandparents, the boys with friends, the boys with the dog. But only three photos of the boys with their own mother.

Why were there only three photos of me with my boys? Well, mothers wear many hats, including but not limited to chef, nurse, maid, and now photographer. Since I'm always the one taking the pictures, I never seem to make it into many photos myself.

So after Chad learned that all I wanted for Mother's Day was for him to take a picture of me with the boys, I think he felt like he got off easy. At least he felt that way until picture time.

You see, since I've been the family photographer for four years now, I've learned a little bit about taking photos of kids. I've learned that it takes about 50 photos just to get one kind of good one. If I want a really good photo, I can count on at least 100 tries, a little bit of luck and lots of frustration.

So here is a glimpse into my Mother's Day picture:

Attempt #1: Let's try to get a shot of the three of us on the couch.

Chase is looking at the camera like I'm squeezing the air out of him, and Alec is looking somewhere else.

Now Alec is begrudgingly looking at the camera but Chase is looking somewhere else.

Alec is already tired of having his picture taken and is now goofing off, and Chase is ready for his nap.

Now Chase is goofing of and Alec is once again not looking at the camera.

Well at least I'm still smiling.

Ok, I think we've all had enough of our first attempt.

Attempt #2: Let's go outside this time.

The boys actually look good...it's me who wasn't ready this time.

Ok, I'm ready now...but the boys are not.
I don't even know what's going on here.

More goofing off from the boys.

I'm pretty sure this was Chad's attempt at humor.

Let's try to get the boys to give me a kiss before calling it quits.

And the Winners:

I honestly don't know what people did before digital cameras. I can't even imagine how many photos were thrown away and how much money was wasted on photos of mom's butt.

So next year when Mother's Day rolls around again and I tell Chad that I want another photo of me with the boys, he might think twice about feeling relieved. At least I can't complain about not having any pictures of me with my boys now!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Facebook and Twitter and Guest Blogs, Oh My!

If you're a follower of my blog, I'm sure you've noticed that there hasn't been much activity for the past few months. Well, there's a good reason for that. While I've been busy with the boys and birthday parties and gearing up for summer, I've also been busy getting ready for some exciting times at Mommy's Always Write!

I started Mommy's Always Write about two years ago, mostly as a way to share my thoughts and experiences of motherhood with my family, friends and anyone who would listen. But over the past year, it has started to become much more. I have had several wonderful opportunities to write for national and international parenting websites, and I have discovered how much I really like to blog. It's actually a little bit addicting!

So I have decided it's time to take Mommy's Always Write to the next level. I've been spending my recent "blogging time" creating a facebook page (www.facebook.com/MommysAlwaysWrite), starting a Twitter account (@TweetsFromMommy) and working on some exciting new guest blogs that you'll be seeing and hearing about in the coming months. Plus, you can expect much more frequent posts on my blog itself.

And speaking of the blog itself, I am also excited to announce that Mommy's Always Write now has its own unique domain name. You can now find my blogs at www.MommysAlwaysWrite.com (but don't worry - you can still get there using the link you have been using for the past two years as well).

I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who reads my posts, whether you have been with me since my first post, or whether this is your first time visiting my blog. It's always great to hear about people who read my blog, whether I personally know you or not! I've been amazed to learn about people that follow Mommy's Always Write who I never would have expected. That's part of what I love about blogging!

Oh, and you should also know that I have a little bit of an indulgent side to me too... I absolutely love reading comments and getting feedback about my blog. Positive comments are awesome, but I also welcome criticism or suggestions on how I can improve. My day is made every time someone comments on a post or "likes" my new facebook page or follows me on Twitter. Seriously. I'm easily amused.

I am very excited about this next chapter of Mommy's Always Write, and I hope you'll join me on my journey. So with all that being said, I invite you to read, "like," follow, comment and enjoy!