Another Year, Another Post!

The past few months have flown by, it would seem.  Between season changes, houseguests and our first all-four-of-us vacation together (longer than a weekend…) we have stayed busy.  Even the pet portion of our family dynamics has evolved.  I’ll try to catch you up… I say this as if we are pen pals, and I don’t even know if I know you.  Funny, that’s just how I roll…

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IMGP9341My son has been growing by leaps and bounds.  He managed to outgrow almost ALL of his pants in the course of a few weeks, and managed to no longer be able to squeeze his head through the holes of many a pajama top.  He seems to have waves of eating more than we can believe fits in his stomach, and then spends an equal number of days eating so little that I marvel at him having any energy at all.  We are still working on phonics and reinforcing letter recognition and it is still a challenge, but every day we make some progress.

MIMGP9316y daughter has also grown, and her stage of life comes with it’s triumphs and challenges as well.

You can probably tell, from the photos alone, that she is a spunky little one.  She is so full of energy and so motivated to learn.  She is not just a sponge during school time- it also applies to eavesdropping on adult conversations or mimicking my parenting and testing it out on everyone she meets.

She’s taken to turning down food, purely on the basis that it isn’t the color that she wants to eat.  You read that correctly… I hear things like, “No, thank you.  I only like brown foods, like chocolate or pretzels.”  Having such a wonderful vocabulary presents it’s challenges.  Needless to say, my children do NOT eat chocolate and pretzels all day.

IMGP9353-001For every dramatic challenge, there is another moment of extreme caregiving or just pure love – from each of them – and I find myself relishing the delights of having two preschoolers in my midst.

Recently we discovered one very important difference between our children – and how they approach the world.  My son will see something that he wishes to do, and he will ask, “can I do that?”  It is a loaded question, with an implication that he is aware that he may be unable, and there may be risk.  When he asks to try something, he truly means “try.”  My daughter, on the other hand, sees something she wishes to do and she announces, “I CAN do that.”  Even if the risks or reasoning for her inability are presented, she keeps her chin up and is convinced that she can somehow prove everyone wrong.

For instance, during a recent pool trip, she announced that she could swim and wanted her swim floats off.  Upon taking them off, and under close supervision, she simply kicked off and began to sink.  No, she hadn’t had swim lessons.  Yes, we explained that it takes practice to swim.  She DID hold her breath and was rescued, from herself, nearly immediately.  Although she stated that she was finished swimming, she also announced that she could now use the big kid slide – because she swam.  Oy!  My son, on the other hand, asked if he was big enough and we explained that he needs to learn how to swim first.  To that,  he offered to practice kicking and floating on his back.  Score!

Differences, like these, are so important to realize.  It impacts how we respond to requests and explain things to the kids.  It also prepares us, and other folks who visit or help care for our kids, to take certain things with a grain of salt – Imagine if she had actually convinced someone she could swim, somehow.  It also reminds us that our children are not carbon copies of eachother, or of us.  It forces us to look at THEM.  I love that!

As for our pets, We have two miniature schnauzers.  One will be 12, this year.  The other will be 7.  The eldest is nearly blind and losing hearing, while also suffering from arthritis.  Our poor old man!  We also have had changes in our fish tank, which was a new addition to our home in the fall, last year.  We started off with guppies and a variety of fish.  We ended up raising 22 baby guppies and finding them (and the adults we had started with) homes.  Having live-bearers in the tank was a fun learning experience for us all, but we were ready to move on.  Now, we are enjoying our Bettas, Neon Tetras, Snails, Shrimp and Plecostomus.

Last, but not least… the parents.  My husband and I… We are doing Okay.  We decided that we need to get back onto the good-eating bandwagon and get healthy.  This isn’t a selfish goal.  Our children will have better lives if we have more energy and teach them healthier habits.

One of the ways we are getting on track is by using the Misfit Shine.  The shine is a fitness tracker that can be worn in a wriststrap, or on a magnetic clip orr in a necklace.  My hubby was so sweet, to get me a Shine AND the necklace for it, for Christmas!  Double tapping on it shows me how much progress I’ve made on my daily goal and then shows me what time it is.  It also tracks how much I sleep and breaks it down into deep or light sleep.  I enjoy checking out the results each day on the android app (I hear the iOs app is way better.)

The app syncs with MyFitnessPal, an online site that allows me to enter everything that I eat and then keeps track of my calorie intake.  If I’m extraordinarily active, according to my Misfit, it will give me extra calories to use as well.  I use the website from my computer, or the app on my phone.  So far, it has been a great accountability tool, and has forced me to really look at the nutritional value of what I’m eating.  All good.

The kids are so interested in our Misfits (my in-laws got one for my hubby too!  Gotta love wishlists!) that we are planning to buy them the cheaper, plastic versions – the Misfit Flashes.  We won’t do the calorie tracking just yet, but it will aid in tincluding them in the challenge of being more active.  They already understand the process of tapping to check progress and they will enjoy having their own.  As soon as they come on sale again, I hope!

Well, my monkeys are demanding my attention.  Actually, as I was finishing this up, they had me sandwiched on the couch.  Snuggles and tablets and typing- Oh My!  I hope that you and yours are doing well, and I look forward to being more active here, as well as in my own personal world.  “See you soon!”

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