SciFi Mama

Adventures in raising a geeky child

Routines September 1, 2011

Filed under: parenting,school — scifimama @ 4:21 am

Starting kindergarten has changed up our usual routines.  Before the alarm went off at 4:45 and Paige and I would take our time getting ready in the morning, leaving the house by 6:15.  Ronnie has to be at work at 5:30 so he’s always gone before us in the morning.  I would fix a quick breakfast-y snack for Paige knowing she would eat a full breakfast there around 8.  After I got off work I would drive that hour home while Ronnie cooked dinner.  We had a nice little routine going on.  Then school started.

Now I’m up and moving with Ronnie at 4:30.  I do a few things to get ready for the day, then jump back into our bed for a quick snuggle with Paige.  (No, she doesn’t sleep with us.  She wakes up slow in the mornings and a quick snuggle with Mama is usually enough to get her up and going without a lot of complaints.)  She and I are up and moving by 5:15.  Ronnie heats up a breakfast that we’ve already mostly made.  Things like frozen breakfast burritos that I made and froze, smoothie packets I’ve got in the freezer, or even French Toast Sticks from Sams.  I finish packing lunches (both mine & hers) while she eats.  By now Ronnie has left for work and it’s me and Paige to finish out the morning.  With the change in traffic patterns we now have to be out the door by 6.

Ronnie gets Paige in the afternoon and has to do homework with her while also cooking dinner.  He’s juggling as much as I am, if not more.  Paige no longer gets a nap everyday and that makes her super cranky in the evenings.  It’s taken us a couple of weeks to get into a routine.  We’ve tried a few other things but they haven’t worked as well.  We’re still trying to get the hang of this school thing.  Ronnie has let his boss know he can’t travel for a while.  We need to get things running smooth here again before we add the stress of him being out of town for a couple of weeks and it all being up to me.  I’m definitely not ready for that.


First day of school August 16, 2011

Filed under: Family,Paige,parenting,pics,school — scifimama @ 5:06 am

Monday Paige started school.  She was so excited to go to kindergarten finally and be at big girl school.  She had her uniform all picked out and ready to go so she would look her prettiest.  We went last week to meet her teacher and get acquainted with her classroom.  Her teacher, Ms W, is wonderful!  She’s been teaching school for 20 years; mostly kindergarten and first grade.  Ms W told us she missed most of last year due to an illness which has given her a new outlook.  Ms W was beyond excited to get back the grade she wanted.  Her illness? Colon cancer.  I don’t think we could have asked for a better teacher.  Before I go much further, I’ll appease the family and post a few pics.

Here’s a few stats for the first day of school.

The required first day sign.

Family picture.

Daddy walking her to class.

Yes, the backpack is almost as big as she is.  It’s mostly empty though, there’s only a lunchbox in there and the red go home folder.


Paige is going to learn a lot this year.  There’s the usual reading, math, listening that she will learn.  But there’s also tolerance and patience.  As much as we are free thinking parents, Paige has not been exposed to special needs kids.  Not that we’ve been trying to avoid anyone or keep her sheltered, only that there’s none in our daycare and we don’t know anyone with a special needs child.  Her class has a special needs child in it.  The little girl has an assistant who sits in the class with her to help out as needed.  Paige has already mentioned a couple of times that the girl doesn’t sit down, has special scissors, and a lady to help her stay in her chair.  We’re trying to teach Paige how to be friends with her and everyone else in class.

The first day of school was declared a success, with Paige wanting to go back.  If she keeps this attitude up, the school year could be decent.


Big Girl Panties March 31, 2011

Filed under: parenting — scifimama @ 5:16 am

Wednesday morning Ronnie and I were happily asleep when Paige barged into our bedroom shouting, “I didn’t get a Pull Up last night!”  That will wake you up fast, let me tell you.  It was 5:15 and all I could think was “Oh no, there goes my other 30 minutes of sleep cuz I gotta change some sheets.”  Ronnie was taking the day off with Paige and I was sleeping in a bit later than my usual 4:45.  My next thought was who would help clean up Paige, and who would clean up the bed.  As I’m trying to get coherent enough to get out of bed, she hits us with the best news: “And I’m not wet!”

Yes, at the age of 5, Paige is still in Pull Ups.  We’ve done everything we can to help her get out of them.  We cut off liquids a certain amount before bedtime, we’ve tried waking her up before we go to bed and getting her to pee.  We’ve spoken with our pediatrician, and it comes down to this: she’s just not ready to go without peeing overnight.  She sleeps very heavy and doesn’t realize when she needs to potty in the middle of the night.  We never used Pull Ups while potty training, but had to get them for overnights, and it just continued.

Most mornings I would ask her if her Pull Up was wet or dry.  Just a little checking in from time to time to see how she was doing.  The past couple of weeks I haven’t been asking.  Just too tired in the mornings and not really wanting to push her on it.  Wednesday night we put her to bed in big girl panties; this time on purpose.  Let’s see if we can go for two nights in a row.


Life in a Nutshell March 30, 2011

Filed under: Daddy,Mommy,Paige,parenting,sick — scifimama @ 5:37 am

Paige has been sick off and on for a week.  It’s her sinuses.  Everything is blooming here to the point that my green car is yellow.  All of us are having sinus problems.  When school calls to go get her because she’s either thrown up or is running a fever, our schedules get changed up.  Monday it happened just as Ronnie was supposed to get off work, so that was great timing.  Tuesday I took off to spend the day with her.  We had a movie day watching Tangled and The Neverending Story.  To my surprise Ronnie had never seen it, so I got to share it with both of them.  Neither of them liked it as much as I did.

Soccer practice is taking up time and making things more interesting.  Cooking and having decent meals is getting harder to do when we don’t get home until 6:30 and bedtime is at 8.  Our first game is Saturday morning.  It should be interesting watching the group of them trying to play a game.  No idea how well it will go, but as long as Paige is having fun, that’s all that matters.  One of the Dad’s there annoys me at practice.  He’s too competitive.  This is five and six year old soccer.  He’s out there with a boy only 4, says he’ll be 5 soon, and telling him how he has to score and to run faster, and all sorts of things like that.  It really bothers me.  I think at this age they should be out there learning to play and be good sports.  They will win some games and lose some.  I want Paige to enjoy the game either way and to realize that for every team that wins, a team doesn’t, and be nice about winning.  I don’t think this dad has the same ideas.  When we signed up we were given a booklet of information, including a guideline for how parents must act, or risk being banned from their children’s games.  Something tells me this dad won’t be around for long.

I’ve used my time off to put together the goody bags for Paige’s Easter party at school.  I’ve also stuffed the eggs for the Easter egg hunt they’ll have that day.  And I purchased the paper products for the party.  I think I’m pretty well ready for a party I can’t attend.  I’ve used up all my vacation time taking care of a sick baby girl.  I do still have a tax return to finish up this week.

For the most part things are hectic, but it’s exactly as I would expect.  Things never seem to settle down and go perfectly smooth.  If it does, I would wonder who’s life I’m in.  Things do have a tendency to work out.  Ronnie is off work Wednesday.  That means I get to go to work and not worry about getting that call that she’s sick.  I posted her symptoms on Facebook and found out that the same thing has been going around the 2 year old room at daycare, and typically lasts a couple of days.  If that’s right, then Paige should be able to go back to school Thursday.  Cross your fingers that it really happens that way.


Lesson learned March 7, 2011

Filed under: parenting,pics — scifimama @ 4:53 am

I was emailing with some of my imaginary friends this week. We were trying to figure out something to do to help another of our friends. One year ago she lost her youngest child at only 21 months. We came up with a few ideas and had moved on to discussing other things, all centered on our friends heartbreak. All of us have young children, we met because we all had kids in January, 2006. We each kept coming back to how Ava affected our lives. Please keep in mind that of the women in this conversation, I’m probably the only one to have actually met and held her in person. Even then she was only a small infant at the time. We are, for the most part, a group of women who have only met online and through text messages.

We each talked about how we’re more patient with our own kids now. If we are having a bad day and want to snap, we don’t. When we’re up with a puking child 2 nights in a row, haven’t had any sleep and are pure cranky, we try to feel happy with it. For each of us it keeps coming back to that one thought that goes through the back of our minds: “What would our friend give to do this for Ava?” That thought can quickly change your opinion on how hard your situation is. Another thing I think of is something my uncle told me. His granddaughter died at 3 months of SIDS. Just after the funeral he and my aunt had stopped at Walmart. They were picking up things to go away for the weekend for some time alone. There was a grandmother in the parking lot yelling at her granddaughter who was probably 3. Grandma had just cleaned the windows and didn’t want little fingerprints all over them, but there they were. As she yelled at her granddaughter my uncle went up to her and told her to be thankful for them, windows washed and he had just buried his grandchild; he would happily take fingerprints on a window. Hopefully that made her stop and realize what’s really important in life.

Ava wasn’t here for a long time. What she taught us in those short months is how to be thankful for the children who don’t listen, puke all night and talk back. Her gift to us was the ability to see how wonderful these things are, because it means our child is here for us to hold.


How? March 2, 2011

Filed under: Paige,parenting — scifimama @ 5:19 am

How do parents with several kids do it? Or single Mom’s? It’s only Tuesday night and I’m exhausted! As I type this it’s 9:27 PM Tuesday night. I still have to put away the left overs, clean the kitchen, and get everything ready for school and work tomorrow. And tomorrow’s a field trip day, so there’s even more than usual to do. Since I got home at 6:15 I’ve made supper, given Paige a bath, talked to Ronnie, Skyped with Ronnie, read bedtime stories, gone to pick up my check from the consignment sale (don’t worry, Aunt Wii was here!), talked to my Mom, and played some on Facebook.

At this rate I won’t be in bed until well after 10 o’clock tonight. That wouldn’t be too bad, but that alarm going off at 4:45 in the morning is just too early! I have to get up early in order to get me and Paige ready for the day. Neither one of us wake up ready to go. We both need to ease into the day. We’re not so much seize the morning, as we are giving it the beauty queen wave as it glares at us from clock yelling at us to get moving and stop laying around. If we can muster enough energy for the wave even. Most mornings we barely give it a nod of recognition. Monday I even managed to sleep through both alarms! I must have turned both of them off in my sleep and went straight back out. I woke up with barely enough time to get us both ready and run out the door.

I just don’t see how I could do this if we had more than one child. And single Mom’s? I don’t know how they do it. A very good friend is a single mom to two kids. I’ve watched her do it, and I still don’t see how. She’s also the one picking up Paige from after care Wednesday and Thursday for me. So not only does she keep up with her two active kids, but she’s volunteered for a third as well. Suppers have been quick and easy. Sunday I cut up fruit for my lunch and put it in serving size containers, I packaged the meat for sandwiches into their own baggies (toss bread into the sandwich container, add to lunchbag, and run out the door), I even put little groups of lunch foods together on a cabinet to make it easier to throw stuff together last minute. Have I mentioned we’re usually running out the door late? It’s all helped, but nothing helps with all the other things I have to do.

I’ve decided all housework can just wait, other than putting away food & loading the dishwasher. Before Paige goes to school on Friday morning I have to make her a Mardi Gras costume of a literary character, and turn our wagon into a matching float. Paige has decided to be The Paper Bag Princess. If you hav a girl and don’t own this book head straight over to your favorite bookstore and buy it now. You can read the rest of my post later. It’s about a princess who saves the prince. We don’t need to wait around for a boy to do it for us, girls can do it all for ourselves (while wearing cute shoes, according to Paige). I’m thinking our wagon is going to turn into a dragon cave if I can ever find that stuffed dragon we have around here. Oh well, off to find a dragon!


Green Belt March 1, 2011

Filed under: Paige,parenting,pics,tae kwon do — scifimama @ 4:55 am

Paige has reached the level of Green Belt in Tae Kwon Do.  Ronnie and I are very proud of her.  Just like with the yellow belt, she tested one night, on a Thursday, and we went back on Tuesday to see if she had made it.  We were beyond proud when we saw her run up when her name was called.

Off with the old belt.

And on with the new.

Now that she’s reached this level, we’re moving on to a different activity.  We’re proud of her accomplishment and how she stuck it out.  But, it’s just not active enough for her.  I’m about to become a soccer mom.  We aren’t those parents who overload their children with activities.  We only want her doing one thing at a time.  Anything else is just too much at her age.  Our only requirement is that she finish what she starts.  The Tae Kwon Do could be ended at any time, so we decided to end it now.  There’s still a month before soccer starts, but we needed to end now.  You see, green belts spar with each other.  I have no problem with Paige sparring with others in class since it’s structured and safe.  In order to make it safe we would have to invest in sparring gear.  Neither of us could see spending that type of money when we know we’re going to be stopping the lessons in a month or so.  It seems a waste of money to us.

Paige is a rather active child.  Tae Kwon Do has taught her some discipline and has increased her attention span and how well she listens to us, it has also increased her self confidence.  For that, we’re thankful.  It accomplished exactly what we hoped it would. She’s still as active as ever though, and her classes twice a week aren’t cutting it.  She can’t sit still during the time the other kids are practicing and gets easily bored.  Paige bored is not a good thing, it makes her act up and then she spends time sitting on the bench.  With soccer she’ll be out running most of the time.  We’ll have practice Monday and Wednesday evenings with games on Saturdays, most likely in the mornings.

Paige has been asking to play soccer.  Turning 5 at the end of January finally made her old enough to play.  We’re not sure how much she’ll like it.  If she does, we’ll sign her up for the next season.  If she doesn’t, I think we’ll try gymnastics next.  Again something active that will keep her going for most of a class time.  We want her to try different activities until she finds something she wants to stick with.  What she participates in we leave mostly up to her.  We’re willing to let her try most things once, as long as our checking account agrees.  Horseback lessons twice a week?  Probably more than we can afford.  She’ll have to learn to ride from her cousin Stephi.  Soccer, gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, those are all things we can handle.  Now let’s just hope she likes it as much as she says she will.  Otherwise she’ll be a cranky 5 year old going to practices and games.


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