Archive for September, 2010


Monday, September 27th, 2010

Today the choir teach for the co-op saw me with the girls and our conversation went a little like this:
Her: Are those your daughters?
Me: Yes.
Her: They are so sweet. They are so nice to one another. I see them talk and have fun. What’s your secret?
Me: Oh, I think they’re just that way. I’m just lucky. Though half the time they love each other and half they hate each other.
Her: Well, they’re sweet and fun to have in class.
Me: Thanks.

Because of this conversation and some things that happened in choir they girls and I had a big discussion. There was a boy who wanted to be Eden’s partner and the conversation went a little like this:

Lilah: I was already Eden’s partner, but Kyle wanted to be her partner, plus Eden’s kinda shy, so I didn’t want her being a partner with someone she doesn’t feel comfortable with.
Me: Well, how about next time you ask Eden if she would like to be partners with Kyle, so if she wants to, she can, and she doesn’t have to be shy.
Lilah: But Eden is shy, and Kyle was mean after I wouldn’t let him be Eden’s partner. I want Eden to feel comfortable, and she doesn’t know him very well.
Eden: Yeah, I don’t feel comfortable with people I don’t know.
Me: Well, how can you get to know someone if you won’t be partners with them?

After this the conversation started repeating itself. Basically, Lilah is being the protective big sister and making sure Eden is happy. Sometimes this is good, sometimes not. In this situation I think it’s not good, because she’s letting Eden continue to be shy, and at other times Eden just has to do things with people and be partners with kids she may not feel comfortable with.

With Lilah being the protective big sister, and the choir teacher asking me how I’ve taught my children to get along so well, I wondered to myself why I have two girls who love each other so much. My answer.

I think it’s because there is only the two of them and they have to love each other.

Lilah and Eden get along about 70% of the time, and the other 30% is usually a battle of wills. The statistics vary from day to day. Some days they get along for 95% of the time, other days they get along for what feels like 1% of the time, but overall they really do get along and love to be around each other, and I think it’s because they’ve only got each other, and thus if they want someone to play with, they have to get along.

This evening I continued to think about the girls relationship. Eden and Lilah love one another and have so much fun playing together. I love homeschooling because they get to spend so much time together. I love that Lilah can get Eden to laugh so easily, she really is the one person who can get Eden to laugh and smile at the drop of a hat. I love that Eden lights up when she sees Lilah at lunch and they immediately want to sit with one another at the co-op. I thought of my own youth, and spending time with my older sisters, and how they took care of me and how they would let me do things with them and their friends.

As I continued to ponder on their wonderful relationship it was then time to make and get ready for dinner, and they decided to fight over who’s stuff was what, and how to put things away and a little yelling may have taken place.

Now they’re having fun in the shower.

Sigh, sisters.

How to be a super Mom, with a capital M

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I received an e-mail last week from a friend of mine. She just got married to a man with two daughters, 4 and 6 years old, and was wanting some super mom advice so she e-mailed a few of her mom friends and asked for some advice on parenting. I was thinking it might make a good blog so I’m posting it here.

1. Do no play favorites with one child that you might get along with better. This can be hard because subconsciously you might treat your children differently, but try to be aware and make sure to be fair at all times. Being the favorite is great, but not being the favorite stinks.

2. Children are people. This is something I’ve learned. You can be a parent, a mentor, and a friend to your child. Make sure their feelings are validated and never belittle, support them fully when they’re doing something, like you would like to be supported. This does not mean you have to do everything they say, but make sure they know what they desire is important, even if not possible at that time.

3. Children are people, but they also need to be guided and need boundaries. Consistency is key. Always follow through with what you ask them to do in a timely manner, something Jon has to remind me to do sometimes. When they know what is expected of them, they do it more willingly over time. I would also add, make sure they know what the consequence is before you give it so it’s not a surprise. This can sometimes be hard, but be as consistent as possible.

4. Know what your children are capable of and what they’re not. This is tricky, but watch and see what they do. Can one easily clean her room while the other plays? This might mean one needs more time, or more guidance and help to do a chore, while the other can do it on her own. Watch and give guidance and then over time demand more of them. Let them know why more is expected of another so they know you’re trying to be fair.

5. Children will often push boundaries and try to not do things when it’s new, or not something they want to do. The more consistent you are in what you expect from them, they less they will complain and the more they will just do.

6. Tell them you love them often, and play, play, play.

7. Make time for you and your spouse.

There are other things I might suggest, but even with what I have, it’s all in what your parenting style is and what you feel is important. I feel a lot of my advice is pretty simple and well known, but it’s well tested and proven in our house.

I could probably list an experience of why I think each piece of advise is important, or why I think it works, but I won’t. Partially because some of the experiences are delicate and private but mostly because I’ve learned that they just work for us. I’m still not perfect at all my points of advice, but I know for those times I am following one of my points, life is better and my relationships are better with my girls and Jon.

What I’ve been up too.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

So life is continuously busy here at the Blake house. Last week I was a little lonely with Jon gone on a business trip, so I had a goal of going out each day so I could have adult contact in each 24 hours. It worked until Lilah got sick on Wednesday, but then on Thursday I was able to get back in the game and do stuff. Here’s a break down of my week.

Monday: Co-op open house. Basically I went and paid for co-op and saw some of the other moms and new moms. I’m helping the treasurer, since she has a baby that was recently release from the NICU, and we have a lot to figure out this term since we have so many families, the most we’ve had yet. I also visited Anna and her cute baby Alex, and did some shopping.

Tuesday: I did whatever around the house and that evening we had pizza at the park with Carolyn. Then we went back to the Svilar’s to play games and visit with Derek who does not like to venture outdoors on such short notice. Carolyn and Derek gave the girls a few things and Eden told me how Carolyn spoils them.

Wednesday: Lilah was feeling a little sick so we stayed home from the park. I was a very sad Mommy though, I think I got a lot done around my house this day, I can’t be entirely sure that a lot of time was not wasted on-line.

Thursday: I did more stuff around the house, or wasted time on-line, I can’t remember. My friend Beth and her daughters watched the girls so I could attend my first Concert Choir class at CSN. Our orchestra director for the play directs the class and convinced me to join. It was fun, though I realized how bad I am at picking out alto parts. I get to go shopping for a black dress, which I’m always excited to go shopping, and I think it will be a rewarding semester.

Friday: I canned peach jam and pie filling with Sam all day, literally. I was there from 10:20 am till just after 4 pm. We were helping one another, and though she had a lot more peaches to deal with after I left, I was able to make jam and pie filling with my 12 pounds, or whatever half a box was. It’s always more fun to can with someone rather than alone, so we had fun. My girls mostly played and Matilda mostly stayed out of the way. I then procrastinated, cleaned a little more, and picked Jon up at the airport that night. We were so happy to see Daddy and have him home with us after having him gone for 6 days.

I did do school every day, the regular house work, and even some cleaning and organizing of my hall closet and stove top. It’s funny how I’m now cleaning places people don’t see, but really for the sake of cleaning places people do see. My hall closet has been such a mess that I had to organize it to put the winter blankets away that had been hanging out in my bedroom all summer long. They are now put away until we need them in 4 weeks, maybe sooner if we have any cold spells. My stove top was just gross, so I cleaned the grease catcher things and now I’m not so embarrassed for anyone who might see them. My bathrooms….that’s another story.

I hope you all had a great week and had some adult interaction every 24 hours. I think adult interaction is greatly recommended for stay at home moms. 😉