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Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gifted

Ellie has always been ahead of the game with academics but we have never pushed her to perfect her understanding. We have just focused on cultivating her love for learning.

Unlike another girl in her class, Ellie has never had private tutoring and yet is always pulled out into the higher level groups.

So recently askew tested for the Gifted and Talented program.  We got the results today. Without knowing any details around what this means (a letter is being sent home tomorrow) we were told that she didn't qualify as gifted but she did score high enough to be put on the "watch list," whatever that means.

Our initial thought was about how we have failed Ellie. No doubt she could have past that test if we focused a little on pushing her. Have we failed her in not giving her more opportunity through external lessons?

Or is it ok for kids be kids? This likely won't scar her for life.  Isn't it interesting how easy it is to feel into the trap of making everything into a competition for labels?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Choices

I have always thought, without a doubt, that I could not do the stay-at-home-mother gig. I am a much better mommy if I am not around my girls 24/7 and I have always enjoyed the adult aspects of a challenging career. 

Some may say that I don't need to work, and I suppose strictly speaking they are probably right. We do not need my paycheck to cover our expenses but we do need it for our other behind-the-scenes plans.

Given this, as the girls get older and more fun to spend time with, without the same level of difficulty that having young children requires, every now and then the debate is opened for an internal conversation with myself.

This often happens on Mondays and some Mondays are worse than others. This last Monday was one such Monday and I found myself admitting it to a few colleagues.  I could not shake the thought of how nice it would be to stay at home with my girls.

So I left work early, rushed to get the girls... and then proceeded to spend the next few hours reminding myself of why I love to work. Nothing particularly bad happened but it was definitely one of those nights where I was tired and well... kids will be kids.

The next couple days at work might have been mentally challenging and draining but I noticed a distinct internal excitement because of I know that I don't need to work. I CHOOSE to work.

It's a powerful statement to be able to make and I consider myself incredibly blessed to be able to say it. I can only imagine how powerful it will feel when we reach the moment where neither if us need to work but we may CHOOSE (or not) to work anyway.

I have the perfect balance. Life is good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cheering up

MOMMY: Addie, you seem to be having a sad morning.
ADDIE: Yeah. I just don't think I'm going to be happy.
MOMMY: I have an idea! One thing I know always makes you happier is if you do something very nice to make someone else happy. I happen to know for a fact that it makes you happy when you make others happy.
ELLIE: Mommy, don't worry. I can help her!

... and at the end of the day, I had this gem to cheer me up. When I expressed how happy I was to receive such a beautiful gift, Addie smiled her big beautiful smile and said "It worked! I had the best day EVER!!!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Four Thumbs Up

Addie approved with four thumbs up.

And not to be out-done by her sister, Ellie insisted that she approved with six thumbs up.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The best present

With celebrating Christmas among 4 sets of grandparents, as well as our own little family, combined with celebrating a week of Hanukkah with Aunt Erin's little family... let's just say that with gift giving spreading across the month of December is prime time for our kids to develop a strong sense of entitlement.

So it comes as a bit of a shock and definitely a pull at my heart strings with both of my daughters, on separate occasions, whispered in my ear something along the lines of:

"Mommy, I don't know what to ask for Christmas because the best present is my family."

With all the frustrations that come with the holidays, and trust me... they exist even for me, it warms my heart when my girls can remind me that it's not about the frustrations or materialistic things. I love them for it.

Lap Cat No More

So much for having a lap cat.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The two scariest times of the year

Taking the tree down from storage and putting it back up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 09, 2014