Friday, November 29, 2013

busy bee

T.R has the week off from school.  This week has shown me that she is not overscheduled. She could easily handle more, but I can't.

She has so much energy and curiousity.  if she did not have something to do, she would find something to do and keep me busy while she searched.  I don't know if her energy level is because we have given her so much to do or if she is just has that energy by nature.

All of the hours she spends in activites after the school day, are a necessity for her.  I am not a fan of highly academic kindergartens, but she thrives in that environment. Fortunately the core academics are only a few hours each day and they have lots of free play, so I can deal with it.

 Parenting a kindergartener requires a great deal of organization.  It is lots of work and I did not expect so much work.  The school fundraising is relentless and adding that to the list of things to do means our work does not end. But the parenting a school aged child part (not the fundraising) is fun.  I like being active and I want to be on fundraising next year.  When TR gets a happy face or star it strokes my ego.  I feel like at this age, her success or failure indicates what we are doing at home.

QT tells TR about his art class and she wants to take the class.  We will try to sign her up during summer.  His art class occurs while she is at school. I recently realized that all of the parents in the art class have art backgrounds.  One is a high school art teacher, another is a graphic designer, another designs audio tours for museums.   I had looking at how well they did clay projects and now I know why.  I would not have expected artists would need to enroll their kid in art.  But my mother is a musician and she had us in music, so maybe it is common.

Starting in january, QT will be taking an engineering class.  i am sure he will love it.  I wonder if it
will be full of parents who are engineers?  Mr A is an engineer, so QT will have equal footing if it is.
His clay projects from art classmight be crooked but he learned a lot and we had fun.

As busy as the A family is, I spend time trying to figure out the next activity the kids might enjoy.   I realize we picked a good school because it is full of after school activities.  I think Mr A should look into doing Lego camp there.  One day I will remember to tell him to look into that.

Dirty Laundry

A few weeks ago I told Mr A, that the laundry that had been piling up on the living room couch was an indication of my life falling apart.  At that point I had been washing, but not folding and just piling things up.

I came home later that day and Mr. A had cleaned and folded laundry and made dinner.

I recognize that most men respond to a problem, by trying to fix the problem. Mex like to fix, women like to explore the reasons behind the problem.

While I appreciated the show of support, my problem was not unfolded laundry but my lack of motivation to do it.

I like freshly folded clothes and organizing.  Laundry is my opportunity to refresh our storage spaces, and organize closets, drawers and the kids' armoire.

I cannot identify what led to my shut down, but I feel my breakthrough.

Laundry is never ending in our home.  I can wash every item in the house and before the last load can dry, there is more dirty laundry.

Today,  yes Thanksgiving, I got TR's uniforms washed, used my lint brush and neatly put them away.   I put piles and piles of laundry away. I can see the couch again.   Oh,  the joy I felt to get my motivation back. I still feel energized by the things I plan to do and the energy comes because I know I can do it!

In the days before having kids, I took at least two months off each year.  I think my body and mind shuts down from habit, but things still have to get done so I function at a lower capacity.



I do plan to return to my consistent time off.

Friday, November 22, 2013

No Shame in Family Building

Prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child.

The A family and a few other families are taking a family ski trip.  We all want to expose our children to black nuclear families.  I want the kids to know it is normal for black men to be respected by their wives and the black man as the head of their family.  The husbands are planning the trip and the husbands are men who respect and honor their role as head of the family.

I want the kids to know black people do intentionally choose a mate and plan their families.  Women who dislike their child's father, or who diminish his importance to the family, are very vocal and I think it is important to know that even if 79% of babies are born out of wedlock, and exist in matriarchy, doing this the old-fashioned way exists and is rewarding to a family. Of course choosing the right mate impacts that, so I hope by seeing nuclear families they will determine the type of mate to choose.

My kids will think the norm is black kids having mothers and fathers, together.  I was looking at the student list for TR's school.  I noticed that one kid had two mothers, about 3 kids had mothers only and the rest had two parents.   The little girls do a hand game and part of the words are,  "I can call my mommy,  I can call my daddy." The kids are so sassy when they say it.  

It is a beautiful thing to see young black men picking their kids up and knowing that people still value family and black folks can still build communities.  So many black women attack black men and their worth to the family and society, so it is great to be in a school, where the majority know the worth of black male fathers and husbands.

I read an interview by the grandson of Malcolm X and he mentioned how he was not planned.  He said he would look at the white folks who had kids and always had something planned for those kids. He said,  ".......They plan for their kids. We don't. That's cause we don't plan our kids. "Malcolm-x-grandson-breaks-silence/

I am from generations of married people and fathers who were the head.  When I was a kid, my grandparents had lots of married couple friends and my mother's best friends were all married. I used to observe those couples and ponder what type of husband I wanted.  I was 10 when I told my grandmother I did not want a weak husband.  One of her friends had a weak husband.  He was nice but she was boss.

I viewed planning children, not from a birth control perspective. My family planning was to choose a mate worthy to be father to my kids.  It's too late to correct the situation, once the child is conceived.  Children love their parent even when the parent is a mess.

I really hope QT has a strong preference for women who want to build a family and want a good relationship prior to the family.  I hope he has a strong distaste for the women who think they should be honored for erasing the father of their child.

The path is full of choices.  I want my kiddies to choose the choices that will make life good.  I want them to avoid choices that will create preventable challenges.

My hope is that nuclear families will make a comeback,  if nuclear families continue to disappear, I want to put my kiddies in environments where they can know children of parents who believe the nuclear family is the optimal way to raise a child.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Response

Mr A wrote a great post today.
Jumping The Broom

Years ago (like 2000) I was taking a class and was running late.  I missed the train that would have gotten me to class at the time I wanted.

Running late and missing that train impacted my emotions and outlook.  I pondered going home and told myself I was having a bad moment.

I then gathered myself and recognized that I was having a bad moment and that moment was due to my own poor planning.  I told myself that I control my response and I could give up or go on.  I caught the next train, arrived late but did not let that misdirect my purpose.

Anyway,  accepting that I can control my behavior and my response has helped me since that day.  God does give peace in the midst of a storm and as long as I have my wits about me, I can move forward and up, in peace.

In other things,  I think it is cute how some folks will search for something bad to say.  All of that energy could be used to say something nice or nothing.  I get if the bad comment is natural but sometimes it is easy to see folks had to search.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mr A's blog

Check out 'Damn It Feels Good to Be A Father'

http://difgtbaf.blogspot.com/ 

Or click here   DIFGTBAF

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coming out!

Mr A and I are going to be on t.v.

I do not want to identify myself via blog and have strangers or meanies knowing my government name.

So if you already know my name snd such, shoot me an email and I will share deets.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

School thoughts

I consider TR's school to be excellent! TR is enjoying being a learner.   She is not being taught to memorize and regurgitate but to understand and apply what she learns to the future. She has to learn sight words and now when we read stories she reads the sight words and other words that are familiar or that she can sound out.  She is reading and comprehending, so that pleases us.

Parents at her school have to agree to commit 25 hours per year to the school program.  As a result parents are active and involved.  We had a field trip last month and there was one adult for every 2 children. I now see why private schools can do more for less money per student. Parental involvement reduces costs and involved parents determine educational success of the student's.

TR wore her schoolnuniform to cheer practice at Mr. A's high school and one of the girl's told me she had attended the same school.  She told me she loved it and that her father was very involved while she was there.

As small as her school is, the offerings are large.  They have p.e. daily, music, art, science and a variety of extracurricular activities.

TR has her core classes in the morning and the arts and p.e. in the afternoon.  She comes home singing songs she has learned and new games.  I dislike full day but I am glad to know it is not a full day of core academics.  She gets to spend time in creative disciplines.

I would love to send QT to a school that has different languages.  That school is $20k so that is unlikely to happen. I do plan to save up and let both kids do summer camp there.   I still have not figured out what might be the best educational environment for QT.  I think he likes structure more than TR, he is also a builder of things. I would like a science/art based school for him, but the nearest I have found is 30 miles away.

While I was typing this QT built something using discovery kids pieces.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

No cohesion so randoms it is

I cannot get a post together.  I write, save and never publish because something new occurs before I can complete the post to publish.

Competitive gymnastics

TR is scheduled to begin competiting in January.   She is the only black girl in the group, she is the youngest at 5 and she is one of the best.  Probably the top 2 girls.  I say that not as a bragging mother but based on the coaches assessment.  Gymnastics coaches are a bit cruel with their assessments.

The other parents are excited about their kid going to team, while I am dreading the 12 hours, the money and the reality that my two kids will not have that time together.  I had two kids, close in age for a reason.  TR is willing to give up dance, cooking, and after school activities to do this.  She said she wants to do a floor routine and if she wants to do that, she has to do everything else.

I don't want her to burn out.  She is 5.  I plan to be radical about this.  If she wants a day off, we will take it.

QT was invited to do the pre-team program. I don't think he would like that.  He is 3 and has not expressed a love of gymnastics.  He is good at all sports.  I don't say that as a bragging mom.  Strangers stop me and tell me and my eyes tell me.  QT plays pretty much every sport and is good.  He has amazing hand-eye coordination.

When TR was 3, I took her out of gymnastics and put her in dance. She requested to return to gymnastics.  She loves gymnastics and QT merely enjoys it.

Play dates

I met a mom at gymnastics last year.  She has a boy and girl and a husband.  I enjoy getting together with her.  It is great to have a mommy friend, who has the same home scenario as me. I have a divorced mommy friend but the one time I mentioned her ex she let loose on him.  I feel like I cannot mention Mr A, around a woman who is mad at her kids' daddy.

We had a play date last night and the girls did a fashion show, dance and the boys did a science show.  It's interesting to me how her son and TR have similar personalities and QT and her daughter have similar personalities.   Those personalities make it easy for the kids to get along because they are used to dealing with a sibling. Mr. A and I have a now annual ski trip planned with another black family and I invited this mom and her family. This year we will have 4 black families, each one has two kids, a girl and a boy. We could do a Why Did I Get Married type event. It is so great to get together with other black families because it is strengthening and we can support each other. In a society that treats married black couples with kids as an offense, it's nice to be around others and be a norm.

Work time
I do not know if TR understands that I work for myself but she is a businesswoman like I used to be. When I was 7 I would set up a table in the house and try to sell things. TR has an outgoing personality to her sales pitches are more direct. She gives people things and tells them the price. I had an idea my grandparents and mom had businesses but I do not know if that inspired me to try to start businesses at 7. Whatever drove me, is also driving TR. She is younger then I was when I started. Although now that I think about it, I run a concession stand, so maybe that is what she noticed.
School

QT is enjoying his activities but I want to find something else (non-sports related) for him to do with other kids. We did not enroll him in preschool because he will have a bunch of years to be at school and then work. Being at home and relaxing won't happen again until he retires. TR got her first progress report. I look forward to seeing the next one. I would love to get a rubric that identifies her skills as opposed to just saying meets/ exceeeds expectations. I do not know what the expectations are.

Work

Business is booming.  In the midst of this boom, Mr. Amey is helping me develop my strategy to enter a creative retail beauty business.  It is going to be funnnnnn.  Teamwork makes dreams work.  I realized my business ideas are inspired by my kids.  I was envisioning a business close to gymnastics, so my kiddies can have a place to relax without us driving home. I enjoy the look I get when I tell people about my new venture. I went to law school because I figured a legal background would help me in business.