MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #12

So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since I spent most of my evening talking to a fab teacher and a DOCTOR OF EDUCATION pondering my future as an educator, I thought this might be fun to fill out while wondering if I could actually teach preschool.

1. The best thing my parents taught me to do when I was a child was…

… be close to my cousins. I have dozens of cousins from both sides of the family ranging from forty to sixty-five years old! My brother and I (both of us are in our mid-thirties) are the youngest so we’ve got second cousins (or “nieces” and “nephews” as our family calls second cousins) who are just a month younger than my brother and that generation has started to have children of their own. Needless to say, I can’t remember everyone’s names all the time because then you grow up with your cousins’ cousins but family parties are always loud and will fill you up with lots of food and spirits!

2.However, one thing I wish they did differently was…

… make me stick with piano lessons. Junior high happened and I wanted to quit. They basically said okay. Later after high school did I realize that had I continued I probably would have been able to attend college on a music scholarship. On a related note, also when I was in junior high, I was offered a full-ride scholarship by our church to go to the city’s Catholic high school for girls but my parents said no because of transportation. It was on the other side of town but most of my family lived there and I could have been dropped off. Coulda shoulda woulda, right?

So now I’m in a dilemma with our oldest who I just found out today has been selected to register with the official USA gymnastics league or whatever it is so he can start competing! Like I just found out tonight and it is so late I haven’t called R to let him know because he’s asleep so after the two teachers I talked to, y’all are the first to know! He DOES NOT want to compete and I don’t want to make him do it if he doesn’t want to; on the other hand, I don’t want him to have any regrets like I kinda do about how some things could have turned out differently, ya know? I don’t know. I need to hear your opinions. Be nice though. Thanks.

3.One thing I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t is…

… scuba diving. I’ve always wanted to learn, especially because my high school chemistry teacher was so expressive and content whenever he talked about his adventures in the Monterey Bay. My husband was talking about trying it out with a friend out in Virginia Beach but held back because of money issues. I told him he HAD to do it because when will he ever get the chance to scuba dive in the Chesapeake? Also, then I could learn and then we could go together.

4. One thing I never thought I’d try but I have is…

… trying to lose weight after weight gain. I’m happy that I’ve never given up on myself. Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed; I found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” I don’t know what it is about quotes lately but finding out that others have been in similar situations makes my dilemma a lot less stressful.

5. If I could give my 16-year-old self one piece of advice I’d tell myself…

… to quit being so self-conscious, especially when it comes to clothes. I’d say, “GIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRL, puh-leeze wear as many things as you can that you think MIGHT make you look fat because you’ll regret not dressing like a ho-bag while you had the chance and the body have fewer choices when you get older.”

A walked into the gym and declared, "I'm going to get on the balance beam first."

Your turn!

Day 4: Pushing limits

Today I scrubbed the kitchen island countertop and purged boxes of my teaching history.

The kitchen is eighty percent decluttered. The top cupboards and pantry are done. I have the bottom cupboards and under the sink to figure out. I also would like to revisit the junk drawers and put away or donate all of minor random things once and for all.

I went through several boxes of teaching. I kept a few books on education that I enjoy reading, in and out of the classroom. I set aside primary, phonics, and ESL books for another friend who teaches second grade. More stuff is scattered throughout the house and will soon be given a new home in a couple of classrooms, finally getting used and helping children learn.

I don’t know why I thought I should give away most of my things. I think I just didn’t want to feel tied down to them. I wanted to stop waiting for a job and to give all of these wonderful resources a new label other than “stuff in my garage”.

If there is anything that I know for sure, it’s whatever you let go into the universe it will come back to you ten-fold. Call it karma, optimism, whatever you want. When you let go of something whether it’s money or negativity, or in my case, teacher supplies, you will be rewarded exponentially. Now I’m not saying declare bankruptcy and you’ll win the lottery. I’m just saying when you quit worrying and focus on more positive thoughts and actions, the more you’ll notice the positive things in life. Maybe some of my stuff wasn’t effective for ME but that doesn’t mean that someone won’t find it useful.

My daughter A pushed her limits today in gymnastics and learned a new skill on the bar. She was the first in her class to do a reverse pullover. I don’t even know if that’s the right phrase. All I know is that when she’s holding herself up above the bar, she can swing herself all the way around, legs first. Whoa, right?

My son M pushed his limits with his video games tonight. I allow video games during the week but only if homework is done. He finished early because he’s gotten wiser about time management. Unfortunately there’s some rule about “saving” his place in his game where the enemy has to be defeated, the level has to be completed, the stars have to be aligned, whatever. It took him fifty minutes to save a game. All of our commute home from the gymnastics studio and then some!

Fifty minutes! That’s absolutely ridiculous. He was pretty upset that I yelled at him but I don’t apologize at all for being a hard-ass. Not at all. Had he been reading he would have put a bookmarker in his book and went about his bedtime routine. As I put him to bed, I told him that he needed to come up with a solution so that this doesn’t happen again.

Do your children have video games and if so, how much do you allow them to play? Do you have different rules for summer or the weekends?

Also how much do you emphasize school and homework? How do you work with your child’s teacher?

Oops, snuck in child-rearing questions but this is the week of everything. Do you have clutter in your home? How do you get rid of it? What do you consider clutter?

There you have it: stayed off Facebook for a solid week, Zumba-d my ass off for an hour (no, wait… it’s still there), cleaned the countertops, purged teaching clutter, saw my daughter push herself beyond her limits, and am helping my son define his.

Also noteworthy: had Rubios for dinner (first time going out to eat in a week, yay!) and said no to a drink at a Starbucks-like franchise called It’s A Grind. That last one took strength because it was so hot this afternoon, my friends had delicious icy caffeinated beverages in their hands, AND even offered to buy me a coffee!

Have I reached my limits yet?