Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Our summer has been fun, but full and busy. We have travelled to Minnesota, had LOTS of guests (and now my dad is coming today), and have been under constant construction since April. The backyard has been unusuable this summer, the toy room has been overtaken by a teenager with a large amplifier and big shoes (that are left all over) and even bedtime is often later due to summer outdoor activities.

None of this is good for a boy who thrives on routine and structure.

Harry has been struggling, behavior-wise, for the last three weeks or so. He is emotional, annoyingly mischievious and has become a terrible dinner companion (his manners are atrocious...again). After disciplining him last night about something, I suddenly hit the wall. The camel's back broke. Call it what you will - I was done. I calmly told him to go to his room and said that he had just lost the privelage to go to the family bowling outing with Ella and Dad. I would be staying home with him.

Consequences. Why are they so hard to give? I pride myself on offering solid parenting advice to the families I've worked with for the last 15 years in my profession. I have read books on parenting and have even attended parent groups and the occasional evening seminar. I know what to do. I know how to set boundaries, offer consistency, focus on the positive, and the importance of follow-through.

However...it is ALL easier said than done.

Last night Harrison and I, after he calmed down enough to have a discussion, talked through the missteps he took which caused his demise. He was able to tell me that the hurried and disheveled life we lead is causing him stress. (It wasn't that coherent, but I got the point.)

This is when I struggle with parenting. This is when I wonder if his behavior is my fault. And this is when I usually back down and wonder later which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Today we have to ready the house for the arrival of my dad tonight. I'll try to provide three solid meals, on time. We'll have a quiet time after lunch and we'll draw and read books at some point. No outings, no pool, no nothing. Hopefully this will quell whatever goes on in his little head. It's all I can do - control this one day.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Brotherly Love

Found this posted at the top of the basement stairs the other day.
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Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pacific Heights, San Francisco

I don't understand why life can't be like a great vacation. During our trip there was a minimal amount of conflict. I think we slightly raised our voices one day over which road to take when we got lost in the Napa Valley. (Do not snicker - it can be done.) However, the minute we drove into the driveway (and I saw that "someone" had moved my rose bush in 100+ degree weather during a drought in a desert climate) the stress and conflict began. He went back to work - I went back to full time parenting - and the drama we call "life" began all in an instant.

There must be a way to achieve balance. I wonder if this is normal. Was I really that naive to think that this wouldn't happen?

I guess so.
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Friday, July 06, 2007

The 4th in San Fran

What better way to spend a romantic vacation with your husband than to hook up with two young Irish backpackers we met in an Irish pub?
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

pigeons and pretty views

This is the view from our window in San Francisco. I know I should've taken more of the incredible cityscape, but the pigeons are fascinating me. They are right outside my window and make those cool pigeon coos.

We arrived yesterday afternoon and immediately decided that a little run was in order. Chris mapped out this great route that took us down by the marina. Quickly we learned that there are hills here. Big hills. I have to admit that we ran for an hour and only stopped a few times for traffic. Until the end. Chris ran straight up this long, steep hill and that was when I had to yell "uncle". Today we are sore. We walked a few miles to and from our drinking hole last night and that about did us in. (Try walking up a super steep hill intoxicated...it's not fun.) We took the car today to tour around. Only the flat places. We have a stick shift and don't want to roll back into anybody.

More food and drink tonight. Fireworks over Fisherman's Wharf. A little more sightseeing this afternoon if Chris wakes up from his nap.

Life is really great. I can't believe I get to do this.
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A vacation...not a trip

View of Napa Valley from Rutherford Hills Winery

Often, after traveling with the kids, I'll return from time away more exhausted than when I left. A good friend of mine in Green Bay told me early on..."You need to rearrange your thinking - you're not going on a vacation - it's just a trip." So I would drag car seats, diapers, toys, etc. all over the country and swear a lot, but at least I got away.

I have not felt this way this time. I desperately miss my kids. Worry that they are not having fun, or that their routine is getting so screwed up I'll never get it back, but not enough to go home. Chris and I are having a great time. We began by driving acrross the surface of the moon (some call it Nevada) and then landed in Lake Tahoe for the night. (I NEED to own a cottage there.) Sunday we came to Napa. (I NEED to own a villa here.) And now we're heading for San Francisco. We have reservations for two nights and then we'll see how we feel. I think we may stay a third night there and then head back to Truckee, CA for another night. We brought our road bikes and found some great routes that we want to try.

I can see why people like vacations. This is really cool.
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