Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm the Loser Preschool Mom. You know, the one the other moms talk about.

So, first let me say something. This is my first go-around. This is my first child experience. My first being-a-preschool-mom experience. There is no rule book for people like me. People like me whose school-age mommy instincts might be a little off. I never had friends with kids and my sister didn't have kids. I've had no one to learn from.

And before I had my boys, all I worried about on Valentine's Day was where my boyfriend/husband and I were going to go for the big romantic evening. What was I going to wear? Should I buy a new dress? What was he going to get me? Was I going to be disappointed? Was it going to be romantic? What was I going to order at the restaurant? How should I fix my hair?

Now, with kids, I haven't even showered, I don't care what I am wearing, and my husband and I don't care where we eat, as long as we get to get out of the house for a couple of hours, kid-free, and eat something that I didn't cook.

So, keeping this in mind, it might be understandable that I can be the loser preschool mom. I sometimes don't know the rules to being a preschool mommy. Or I might forget the rules that I have learned from watching TV. Ahem.

So, here is my confession. I didn't know the rules of preschool today. You know, the unspoken rule about getting Valentines for the kids in your son's preschool class. Yeah, I missed that one.

When I picked my son up from preschool today, he had a little bag with his name on it, full of Valentines and candy from his classmates. I was mortified. I guess I thought kids only gave out Valentines in elementary school. I didn't realize it applied to 1-2 years olds, as well. My son doesn't even know what a Valentine is. To him, it is just a piece of paper to shred.

I feel awful. My kid is the weird one whose parents didn't splurge for Valentines for everyone. And it isn't like there are a ton of kids in his class so maybe no one will notice. Oh no, there are only 7 kids in his class. You can't help but notice it.

Well, all I can say is that I will know better from now on. And here is a warning to all you new parents who might not have had kids until later in life and have 8 million other things to worry about besides dinosaur Valentines: make the dinosaur Valentines eight million and one. They apparently gotta be done. Whether the kids know what they are or not.

On a lighter note, here is a picture of my 2 yr old on his first Valentine's Day, 2 years ago - he was five months old:

And here is a picture of Harry - today is his first Valentine's Day and he is also five months old!

I can't believe that Harry will start eating solid foods in just a few weeks. The last five and a half months have gone by so quickly! Max was already sitting up by himself by this age, so we put him in his highchair. Harry cannot sit up by himself yet. He doesn't even support himself with his arms. He just falls right over! Not sure how we are going to get him to sit up so we can feed him. He falls over in his Bumbo too! He still has trouble holding up his big ole' head. We will figure out something...

maybe put him in his highchair and stuff a bunch of blankets all around him? How can we keep his head from falling over? These are the questions I ask now on this Valentine's Day. New adventures!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thank you, Uggs. I have evolved.

So, I think I have evolved. Just slightly. Part out of necessity, part from age, part from learning what is truly important.

Here is the scene:

I wanted a pair of Uggs. I have wanted a pair of Uggs for years, but couldn't afford them. Didn't care. Still wanted them.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, my husband, out of nowhere, told me I could go buy a pair of Uggs and a couple new pairs of jeans (I've been wearing the same pair of jeans since before my first son was born. Yikes. I think hubby got tired of looking at my sagging butt jeans). I was shocked. I asked why? And he said I deserved them. Whoopee! Thanks for noticing.

So, off we head to the mall, two kids in tow. Now, if you have ever been shopping with your little ones, you know that it sucks and it is not relaxing or enjoyable at all.

My 5 month old was crying out of hunger and having to stay in his stroller. My 2-yr old was crying out of boredom and loss of freedom. But, by God, I wasn't leaving without my Uggs!!

I tried on jeans like a woman on fire. I raced to the shoe store like they were giving out free shoes. With only a few meltdowns by all four of us, we left the mall with my black sweater Uggs and my 2 new pairs of nice jeans. Yes! (said while pumping my fist)

But, after arriving home, I realized that something was terribly wrong. My husband kept asking me if I was excited that I had finally gotten my precious Uggs and new jeans and I kept saying "Yes!" on the outside, but on the inside, I felt nothing. No excitement. No joy. No-thing.

And I realized that I would have been just as happy if my jeans were from Old Navy and my shoes from Target. I actually felt ridiculous for spending such a huge chunk of money on one pair of shoes and some jeans. I felt silly.

Now, you never would have caught my twenty-something self saying anything like this. I had so many pairs of shoes and so much clothing that I took up 2-3 closets all by myself!! But, my 36-yr old self is different. My clothes now take up half of one closet.

Like I said, it is partly age and realizing how ridiculous it is to spend so much money for a brand name. It is partly necessity because over the past few years, my husband and I have had little money and we have had to stop buying things for ourselves - I got used to it.

But, it is mostly that I have realized what is important in my life. Having kids made a big difference. Instead of the most important thing to me being that I appear attractive and stylish to onlookers when I leave the house, now the most important things are my kids and their happiness and their health. Now, I want them to grow up feeling good about themselves. And I feel good about that. I feel practical (and believe me, I have never been practical - I'm a Leo - I like nice clothes and shopping).

As a teenager, I remember my grandmother never buying anything new for herself. She would wear hand-me-downs from my sister and I. She spent her clothing budget on us. I didn't understand that before I had kids. I thought how ridiculous it was that she could afford new clothes, yet didn't let herself feel how wonderful a new outfit can make you feel about yourself.

But, now I get it.

She loved us more than how the clothing made her feel. And she didn't need to spend an ungodly amount of money on clothes and shoes to feel good about herself. It meant more to her that we felt good. Because that is what made her happy.

And I can tell you right now, it makes me happier to see how cute my son is in a new shirt than it will ever make me feel to see how cute I look in a new shirt. I'm not near as cute as my son. :)

And, thank you very much, I believe I have evolved.


Now, don't get me wrong.

There is no way in hell that I am returning my Uggs. I'm not that evolved.

But, I can pretty much guarantee I won't buy them again unless I have a ton of excess money to burn.

And if any of you tell my husband about this, I will deny it and delete this post! Let's not get crazy, now. Men never need to know these things.

(And btw, my new jeans sag just as much as my old cheap ones. Apparently, you can't have a flat butt or I-had-two-babies hips if you want your jeans to fit properly. Expensive jeans can't solve everything.)