Back To School Time

It’s been a full summer of relaxation and fun for our family here. Still, my daughter is crazy excited about going back to school. Next week, she will step onto the school bus and embark on her first day of 1st grade. It helps that she was assigned to the teacher she was hoping to get and she has a good idea of what a full school day entails, as she experienced full-day kindergarten last year. Let me give you some advice on preparing for Back To School Time.

It’s my prayer that she will have a love for school throughout her entire education. As her mother, I feel my role is to help nurture her educational needs and passions. This, of course, begins with quality preparation and also includes some moments of celebration.

Last year I learned a few things about getting my tired child out of bed in the morning, battles over clothing, dealing with the morning rush, and avoiding the after school meltdown. Planning ahead makes a big difference in how smoothly the school year will start and progress.

Here are some important ways to prepare for Back To School:

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In Memory of my Mom

My dear mom´s birthday was on July 8th. She died 8 years ago (only 11 days after her 59th birthday).

I always felt lucky for having Sonia as my mother. When I was little, I once wrote her a card that said ¨You are my favorite mom¨. She and my sister always made fun of that card, but I still think it makes perfect sense. I wouldn’t have traded her for any other mom. Just wish you were here.

As a quick glance about her, I can say that she was a funny person, an optimistic, a problem solver, an animal and plants lover (not a beach lover like me, she preferred the country) and an endless curious one. She read more books than I can imagine and every time she wanted to know about something, she would get a book on the subject. That’s where I got this certainty that we can learn anything on our own. She was an unstoppable learner.

When I was around 7-8, every night I would lay with her on her bed reading books and each night we took turns on rubbing each other backs.

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Have A Happy Mother’s Day

When I was younger, I always imagined changing the world somehow. I wanted to make people feel okay and smile, I wanted to be a comedian. I wanted to save lives, I wanted to be a doctor or a nurse.

I wanted to make people safer at night, I wanted to be a cop, firefighter, or Marine. I wanted to help people learn about the world, I wanted to be a teacher or scientist. I wanted to take people somewhere else in their mind, I wanted to be a writer, artist, or musician.

But then, I grew up. I got married. I became a mother. And I began seeing everything I ever wanted to do, fade away. I always wanted to be a mother, but I wanted to be more than a mother. I still wanted to change the world, but doing it all was so hard, I didn’t know if I ever could. I was just me.

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Give kids space

I had two couple of friends coming to visit me. They were eager to meet my 5-year old, and I could take the chance to meet them first and tell them a little about how to deal with her.

“She doesn’t like to be called a princess, beautiful, or ugly. She doesn’t like any attention from strangers. She won’t say hello or goodbye, I’m sorry if she looks uneducated at first, she is just really sensitive to meeting new people. Don’t even think about touching her¨.

They understood, as they are parents of grown children and had their own stories on the matter.

Then, we picked Luísa up and went for a pizza. As expected, Luísa didn’t talk to them or look at them much. When she asked for the salt and one of them passed it, she said in a low voice: ¨Mom, I asked YOU for the salt¨. Usually, she won’t take anything from a stranger´s hand.

My friend apologized: ¨I´m sorry, I won´t bother you anymore.¨ It was a pleasant night, and soon Luísa was sleeping in my lap.

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The reality of it all

My oldest friend and I got pregnant with our firsts within two months of each other, and although I was envious that being eight weeks ahead of me she got to be un-pregnant first, I was secretly relieved that she delivered first because I wanted to know exactly what I was in for. Being my oldest friend, I knew she’d spare no detail.

“What was it like?” I asked her when she called to share the happy news – she’d had a baby girl. I was perched on the edge of the couch nibbling nervously on the phone cord. “Did it hurt?”

“It wasn’t that bad,” she said. She offered a few details but insisted that it wasn’t a big deal at all. “You’ll do fine,” she reassured me, and I believed her.

It’s true, I did fine. Julia’s delivery wasn’t one that you’d see on an episode of A Baby Story – it had more downs than ups – but I got through it. However, it was nothing like I’d expected it to be and afterward, I was kind of pissed at my friend for so obviously leaving out the nitty-gritty.

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Home Schooling; A Viable Alternative to Conventional Education

Statistics show that elementary homeschooling is the ideal time to start a homeschooling program for a child. Children who enter homeschooling during the elementary years are the students that tend to succeed the most.

Throughout the course of their homeschooling, these children will reach the highest level of academics when compared to the national average. Additionally, students who start young, often find themselves three to four grade levels above that of their public school peers.

On the other hand, high school homeschooling can be extremely challenging. By the time a child reaches this level of education, they may be far too advanced in their educational needs to be taught by you.

If that is the case, it will be necessary to seek out various resources that are available for homeschooling, including preparing for the GED certificate as an alternative to the HS diploma. Online resources that provide both curriculums and textbooks are available, which will allow a child to learn through the web.

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Nursing Mom Story

I had been working as a nurse on the Mother-Baby unit for two years when Terry was born. It a different kind of feeling when you get to hold your brand new baby for the first time and the first thought that pops into your head is “Hmmm. He looks like he has Down Syndrome.” The nurse, who was one of my friends, took him to the nursery and when she returned, I asked her if she thought he looked like he had Down Syndrome.

Everyone in the room stopped and stared at me. She said that they were talking about it in the nursery. The next day he had his echocardiogram and his heart was normal, so I convinced myself that I was being paranoid. The day after we went home from the hospital we got the call from the pediatrician–despite his doubts, Terry has trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome).

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A mother letting off steam

Being a mother can be the source of opposite feelings. For one part it’s beautiful and rewarding, for another is really frustrating. Today I want to talk about the downside of how my experience has been lately. My oldest daughter is 4 years old and going through a heavy phase of resistance.

We are having at least a month that she refuses to take a shower every single day, for instance. Some days I manage to convince her nicely to do it, some days my approach is not so nice.

My daughter is 4 years old and going through a heavy phase of resistance. We are having at least a month that she refuses to take a shower every single day, for instance. Some days I manage to convince her nicely to do it, some days my approach is not so nice.

She’s been saying no to so many things that are simply driving me crazy. I counted the nos and yes and they’re at a rate of five nos to each yes. Even when I´m not asking anything, she says no.

It’s like an infantile mind game and in this game she wins, because I can´t cope with the excess of resistance going on every day and eventually I’ll break down and have a screaming attack or I’ll be harsh and make her do things not in a mindful way at all.

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Can We Be Good Moms When We are Overly Tired?

My Mom Skills really suffer when I’m feeling exhausted because inevitably my mood turns into a funk and my creativity goes down the drain. I’m also not terribly patient when I’m tired.>

Then add to that the stress of knowing the dishes need to be washed, the laundry needs to be folded and put away, the bathrooms need to be cleaned (they are really grossing me out!), and I need to find time to clip coupons, look for sales, and get my grocery shopping done. Oops, let’s not forget meal planning too!

It’s no wonder I’m quick to fly off the handle, having a total mommy temper tantrum when my kids approach me whining “I’m bored! What fun thing can we do?” I know you’ve been there too. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Because I am, however, striving to improve and be a more patient and fun loving mom, I’ve been reading about the women of the bible to see what kind of mom’s they were. I haven’t been able to find anything about whether or not they were fun moms though.

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How To Help Your Child Overcome Fear Of Thunderstorms

I’ll never forget that day.  I was pretty young, with my dad, in Indiana. We were at a wedding, although I have no idea whose wedding it was. I just remember it was an outdoor celebration. Or at least it was until the tornado sirens started blaring. I recall watching the dark sky above, my heart beating fast with fear, and seeing people running for shelter into a nearby basement.

That vivid memory burned into my mind and left me with a nasty fear of severe weather, particularly thunderstorms and tornadoes. Thankfully, living in Southern California, severe weather wasn’t really an issue, as we got maybe one mild thunderstorm a year.

Okay, well there was that one random day when I was driving home from work and watched the line of cars in front of me on the highway come to a sudden stop as a tornado in a nearby field crossed the road. That was a pretty freaky and bizarre moment.  I’ll admit I put the pedal to the medal to get home once the traffic started moving again.

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