Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Has Arrived

Happy Sunday!  So, the last several days here have been gorgeous.  Cool in the mornings and evenings and up in the 70's to low 80's in the afternoons.  Perfect.  Since the weather has been so cooperative, we've been spending some time at the pumpkin patch.  Ben and I have already been twice.  Once during the week and once on the weekend.  The weekday was awesome. Almost no one was there, so we pretty much had the run of the place.  The weekend, well, the weekend was busy, but that was expected.  Greg really wanted to come with us, but we switched from cable to Direct TV and he had to be home so the service man could install the new system.  The jury is still out on whether I like it or not.  It seems we lost a lot of good channels and gained a lot of infomercial channels.  Greg loves it because the sports package is superior and the picture is clearer.  It was a money-saver for sure, so that's always a plus.

Anyway, here are some pics of Ben at the pumpkin patch:

With a dancing Shrek and Fiona....

Jumping on the bouncy pillows....

                                                    In the "Corn Bus"....

                                                         Climbing the hay bales....    

Coming down the long tunnel slide.....

We had such a blast.  I'm convinced that the pumpkin patch is one the best places EVER to take Ben.  He runs/bounces the ENTIRE time.  We stayed between 2 and 3 hours each time we went, so he really got a chance to run wild and get all that energy out.  Which made for a pleasant nap time :-)

Switching gears a bit.  My marathon training officially started this week.  So far, so good.  My first "long run" was a 10 miler that I completed earlier today.  I decided to run it on my favorite rural trail because A) It is mostly pancake flat and B) It is very beautiful.  Especially this time of year.  I decided to take my phone with me, so I could snap a few pics.  

The scenery on the trail alternates between trees and open prairie.  Here is a nice prairie pic:

And one of a more treed portion of the trail:

There are also several cute wooden bridges like this one:

 And some winding creeks:

There are also a few homes here and there.  Most are off in the distance.  This one was fairly close to the trail though.  I thought it was quite picturesque.  

It's so much easier to run 10 miles when you have nice scenery to look at :-)  Have a great rest of the day !


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Comparison Game

I think I've mentioned a few times on my blog that I am a perfectionist.  My mom saved all our report cards growing up, and my kindergarten one has a comment from the teacher that includes "cries when she thinks she isn't doing something correctly".  That says it all right there.  I have always been my own worst critic.

Here is Merriam-Webster's medical definition of perfectionism:

: a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially : the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness

Umm, yep, pretty much.  

As I get older, I am becoming somewhat better at cutting myself some slack.  Being a parent, however, tends to lure that perfectionist in me right back to the surface.....often.  I am not proud of that fact.   If Ben is behind in an area, I automatically think it was because of me...because of something I did or did not do.  And I frequently catch myself trying to "gauge" where he is in comparison to other kids his age we know.  I know this is ridiculous.  What can I say...despite my perfectionistic tendencies....I'm NOT perfect.

I think this past year, though, I have been a lot better about just letting go and letting Ben be who he is. And what a little joy he is!!  The boy is hilarious.  He is silly and dramatic and wild and loving and completely and utterly full of life.  He is one of the happiest and healthiest children I know.  And I am finally starting to embrace the fact that comparisons are a miserable waste of time.  No two children are alike....and that is what makes life BEAUTIFUL!!

Unfortunately, just when I go a decent period of time without partaking in the comparison game, something always seems to draw me back in.  Today, it was the dreaded "Development Questionnaire" for Ben's 4 year check-up.  Ok, I know he doesn't turn 4 until December, but....hello!....I'm a perfectionist, remember??  And perfectionists are preparers!  So, I decided to take a look at the questionnaire today to see where he needs to be development-wise by the time he turns 4.  Here is the first question (or, should I say, statement):  Have your child write his/her name in the column to the right.


Instantly, panic set in.  Surely this can't be right.  Four year olds are supposed to know how to write????  So I quickly consulted Mr. Google and sure enough, a developmental milestone for 4 year olds is writing their name and starting to write other letters of the alphabet.  Immediately, I was kicking myself for (purposely) avoiding "childhood development" websites.  I stopped doing this a year or so ago because all it did was make me a crazy person.  Those sites send my perfectionism into serious overdrive. 

 "See??" I told myself ,"SEE??".  "This is what happens when you "let go".  Are you happy now?!?".

Let me just take a moment to tell you.....Ben is NOWHERE NEAR being able to write his name.  The most intricate thing he can draw is a circle.  A very LARGE circle, because he hasn't quite figured out how to make them smaller.  Trust me, we've worked on it.  

So, like a nut, I started Googling to find parenting websites that are chock-full of other "worry wart" parents like myself.  My first click sent me here:  

Please read it. It is such a great reminder for all parents.


When I read it, I actually laughed out loud.  Ok, God, I hear you.  Time for me to take a step back and CHILL.  

And with a smile, I closed my laptop.  End of Google search :-)

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Beginnings

Hello again!!  I decided it's probably time for me to start blogging again.  Don't you just love how reliable and un-flaky I am as a blogger??  I have determined that I'm going to have to force myself to start blogging at least once a week.   I think my problem up to this point has been that I would only blog when I had some "news" or something semi-interesting to share.  The issue with this tactic is that the life of a stay-at-home mom is not what most would consider "interesting".  Soooo, I'm going to go ahead and post once a week....even if you (and I) are bored to tears.  Consider yourself warned.

Ok, so, because it's been a handful of months since I last blogged, I actually do have a few fun things to share.  The first being that Ben started PRESCHOOL!!!  Can you believe it??  I know I can't.  And it is the most precious school.  It is a house that has been converted into a preschool for ages 3-5.  It has been around for such a long time that when I went for parent orientation night, they asked that any parent that had attended the preschool when they were little, raise their hands.  About 5 or 6 of the parents raised their hands!!!  And two of the three teachers that work there, were teaching when the parents were there as students.  I think that says a lot about what an amazing school it is!  And Ben is IN LOVE with the place.  This was his first week going (twice a week, in the mornings) and he ran from me both times when I went to pick him up.  He kept yelling "Mommy leave!!".  Can't you just feel the love?  Here are the "first day" pics:

             Ben holding the sign that Pinterest makes you believe you MUST HAVE!!!.....

Love this big, cheesy grin!!  Can you tell he's excited to be going to school??

And, a view of the all-important backpack!

In other Ben news, his talking is really starting to explode.  He graduated from speech about a month or so ago!!  Each day, his sentences are getting better and better.  And he says the most hilarious things and has a tendency to be very dramatic (I wonder where he gets that from).  Like today, he took off his shoes and said "I put in laundry room."(that is where our "everyday" shoes are stored)  followed by "Mommy, come open door....locked"(we have a child lock on the laundry room door...we keep household cleaners in there).  Anyway, when I didn't come quickly enough he let out a big sigh and then said "Or, not".  And then said "Put shoes right here" and sat them on the kitchen island.  HA!!!  I say "Or, not"(preceded by a sigh) sometimes when I ask Ben to do something repeatedly and he continues to ignore me.  So funny.  At least now I know he hears me!!

Also, Greg just got a promotion!!!  This is something we having been hoping and praying for awhile now.  Our lives over the last couple of years have been in a constant state of "we could move at any time, so we can't really make any long-term plans".  Just when we were both coming to the end (and I mean the VERY end) of our ropes, a position opened up right here in Lincoln and Greg was asked to interview for it.  We were really hoping it would work out, but we didn't want to get too hyped about it because the vast majority of the time, if you want to continue to "move up the corporate ladder", you are going to have to relocate.  That's just the way it works.  But, after all the interviews in several different states, God saved the best for last....and Greg got the job....and we get to stay here in Lincoln.  Now, a year or so ago, I don't know if I would have been pleased with this outcome.  I was kind of over Lincoln and ready to move on.  However, I've really grown to love this place.  Everything has settled into a comfortable rhythm and I'm so glad we get to stay awhile longer.

Although I could write about a 5 page post right now (lots to share).  I'm going to cut myself off for today.  Catch ya next week!