Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mommy and Me Work Day

Recently PJ has been having a harder and harder time dealing with some attitudes and approaches of the German kindergarten system. It doesn't help that he is still having some challenges health wise that make him feel physically uncomfortable. Some days are good, most days are just average, and some days suck.

Last week was especially rough and on this past Tuesday he had an unusual and especially strong, negative reaction to entering his kindergarten group. He kicked, cried, clung to me. I tried to go but my parental intuition spoke up. Loudly. I got as far as my car, took some deep breaths, and turned around again. I secretly watched my little guy for a few moments and could see he felt sad, uncomfortable, awkward.

It is important that we all learn how to deal with uncomfortable feelings. It is important that we learn to adapt, to grow, to work through situations that cause us difficult feelings. We start developing those skills as soon as we are born and we continue developing them throughout our lives.

And sometimes we just need a break. Sometimes we need to be sheltered and cuddled and given space to not deal with the negative feelings.

So I picked up my almost-four-year old, held him extremely tight, told him how much I love him and that we were going to have an Exception Day together. Thankfully I work at a company that offers infrastructure for tight-moments. I could have worked from home - like I do more than half of the time anyways due to the global natural of my work - but I needed a printer.

So we went to the office and into the dedicated "Eltern-Kind Büro" (parent-child office) space for a few hours.
Side note: how awesome is it that that isn't yet another "mommy&me"?

I had never used the "Eltern-Kind Büro" before and was extremely pleasantly surprised that there is an entire playroom with tons of toys, books, and space. All of this was right next to a quiet, clean, tidy temporary office space with monitors, laptop docking stations, phones, charging units, and more. Actually it was much better stocked than the various office/desk spaces I use when I am in the office.
PJ was stoked. All those signs of sadness, uncomfortable-ness, and awkwardness dissipated. He was excited, proud, curious, active. Which is how I personally want to see my almost-four-year old.

It worked really well. I wrote, edited, and posted an internal blog. I updated a strategic presentation. I held two relatively informal meetings. PJ popped in and out but on the whole he was quiet and focused. Then suddenly I heard a very excited and extremely loud yell of excitement, followed by "Mommy! You have to come now and see what I did!"

This is what I found.

Look at that face. That excitement. That pride. We made the right decision. Everyone won.

The next day he walked into his kindergarten group, had a not-great-but-not-sucky day, and practiced learning how to deal with those uncomfortable moments. If only adults did the same.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Proud Fashion Girl

Our little lady loves to pick out her own outfits and her results are very fun.

Notice the fabulous hat and the brand new sandals with heart-shaped bindings.

This is a simple one-piece outfit. Its the confidence that makes it.

The hat really pulls it together.



Friday, June 26, 2015

Bedtime Silliness

"It is of critical importance that the family bedtime ritual is a stable, soothing set of steps to guide the childrens' transition from play to rest." - sleep experts

My kids totally disagree. They usually rile themselves and each other up right before bed. It is as if they held onto a slice of fuel throughout the day 'just in case', and now they have to burn it off as loudly and as quickly as possible.

These days, they usually do this by pretending to put themselves both to sleep in PJ's bed. They bounce and flop all over the bed, yanking on the blankets, and tossing around the pillows, all while loudly calling out "night, night" and booming with laughter.

It gets really loud and really wild. And they love it. 

Sometimes bedtime can be fun. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Castle Gardens with Spider-Man

Recently we went to the castle gardens for a short family outing. PJ wore his Spider-Man costume. 

At the start of our walk Bean grabbed his hand and they walked like this for a good while. 

Sometimes he looks so big, so grown up and then I see him from a distance: so small, so young, so full of what makes him, him. 

Things like proudly giving his sister a ride on the stroller

And showering her with love and pride. 

I have two special children. So special. 

And aren't they all?


Monday, June 15, 2015

First Family Drawing

My little man brought this home recently. It is the first depiction I've seen of our family. From the bottom right corner and heading up the page: 
- PJ who has "big, big eyes"
- mommy with two smiles because she is "sehr happy"
- papa with extra long legs because he is "the biggest papa on the welt!"
- and Jelly Bean who is "small but okay"

That's pretty accurate for our family too: happy, close to the heart, and cuddling all close together a good chunk of the time. 


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Melted Hearts

My little (I'm big!) boy is sick with fever and aches. He has reverted back to his habit from when he was still a baby (and then a toddler) and needed to feel safe and connected. He digs his fingers into my warm armpit and then falls deep asleep. 

There was a time when this annoyed me: his nails were too sharp, his fingers too cold.

Now, after too many weeks or even months of Big Boy, this small return to a unique baby-habit... my heart melts. 

How did I get entrusted with this special soul? 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

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