Friday, June 27, 2008

Best Form of Flattery

My 15-month-old toddler has really begun to imitate my husband and me. For example, the other morning I wiped up something from the floor with a wet wipe. She watched and then took a wipe out of the box and started wiping the floor herself. Yesterday, I was putting things in piles on the dining room table to bring upstairs while holding her (because there's nothing like a "waah waah mama mama up up waah waah" to make me want to clean one-handed). A little while later (when she actually let me put her down), she started moving her books from one pile to another.

There was a huge discussion on Ask Moxie the other day about getting the chores done, with emphasis on sharing household work and childcare with your partner (if you had one), which lead to modeling behaviors such as how to clean in front of your child. I hadn't really thought about this aspect of raising my child, this modeling how to clean (and in my case, how to schedule the cleaning person, which I learned from my mother) and even just pick up. I know that I want to teach her to put away her own toys, and now that she likes to "put stuff in" I am showing her how to put it in the shelves I bought (I swear I'll write an update about my wonderful new furniture soon).

But I hadn't thought about how important it is for her to see us picking up, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, doing the chores that come with maintaining a household so that she learns that it is a normal part of life. So that she learns how to imitate that behavior too. I know that the Montessori method includes household and everyday activities, and now I realize why that is important.

What she doesn't need to see is me flipping out about the state of the house and the level of disorganization that the house is in. It was hard to move while pregnant, and things never got fully organized. There was only so much Londo could do, and I was exhausted and stressed and unable to lift heavy objects. Once the baby came, everyone said to let the household stuff go. So we let it go. And go. And go.

But I cannot live like that. I am missing important papers with deadlines and late charges because my stuff is so unorganized. My office/craft room is really a storage room, full of baby clothes, piles of papers, books, china and goodness knows what else. It's been driving me crazy for months, but I just haven't been able to get to it in the way I need because first we need storage bins, the buy shelves for our storage room, rearrange the storage room, buy another filing cabinet, go through piles and bags of papers to file, move the china from one set of shelves to another, move the cleared shelf to the guest room... etc. etc. etc.

What's worse is that it's flowing over to other rooms in the house. This was the root of my freak out the other night--and freak out I did. (Right in front of the Pumpkin, modeling excellent behavior right there. But that's another post.) I couldn't come home and cook because there was no clear counter space. And I flipped. After putting the baby to bed, Londo and I attacked the kitchen, throwing stuff out, reorganizing some cabinets. Last night, we cleared out the dining room. Luckily, I had already gotten the family in good shape thanks to the new shelves, couch and coffee table. This weekend, we are buying more storage bins and working on the storage room, which will lead to the ability to clean and organize the guest room and my office.

Not only am I feeling better about starting to wrangling in the chaos that is my household, but I am determined to model the way I want to live my life to the Pumpkin. I want her to see that if things have a spot, it's easy to put them away. When you are organized, you can find the things you want and need. But it doesn't happen magically. You have to take the time to get it all in place, and you have to have the right tools for the job. So I won't wait until she's asleep or have someone take her out of the house. We will do this in front of her. So she will see that you don't have to let chaos rule your life.

If she is going to imitate me, I want to be sure that she is imitating the good things I do. The things I think make life better. She already knows how to create chaos, as she and all children are born with that ability. I want her to see how to create order too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why Can't I Be That Person

I wish that I didn't put things off when I don't want to do them. I wish I would just attack it right off and get it out of the way. When I procrastinate, it just weighs on me, and weighs on me. When I finally force myself to do it, I am unhappy that I'm having to do it, have difficulty concentrating, and am stressed because it is getting done so late.

And I don't have time or creativity to write a good post cause I'm stressed and busy. This sucks. I suck.

Bangs head against keyboard repeatedly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Meet Up! This Time, Dinner Out!

It's high time we DC Area bloggers and readers get together again. I think we all wish that we were able to talk more and get to know each other more at the first meet up. Don't get me wrong, I loved meeting the kids, seeing how cute they are, and watching them do the developmentally appropriate things that my child is/will be doing. But kids and the zoo leave little time for adults to sit around and chat. And I like to sit around and chat.

So this time, let's do dinner out! Without the kiddos! With drinks (for those who want them)! Woo hoo!

First step, go to that lovely little poll I put up on the left side of my blog and vote for which night you'd be able to get a babysitter or convince your partner to watch the kids. If you select other, please say in the comments of this post which date you would prefer that is not listed. (Hmmm, I haven't checked any of these dates with my husband, so they may be subject to change. hehe.)

There were requests that the adult night out be located somewhere close to a Metro stop, and since I'm on the MD side, I am suggesting the Bethesda Metro stop. It's not in DC, so we don't have to deal with DC night life (I'm old). It's not far outside of DC, so no Metroing way out into MD. And there are a ton of really great restaurants right there (all walking distance from the Metro). But if you have a better area in mind, please suggest it in the comments. I'm just throwing Bethesda out there as the best one I can come up with.

If we do go with Bethesda, I'm going to suggest Cafe Deluxe, which seems to be nice without being outrageously expensive. But please check out other options and feel free to suggest something else! I have not been out at all in Bethesda in a long time. Here's a great guide to downtown dining in Bethesda if you also need a refresher.

Last item is timing. I am going to suggest that whichever date we go, let's get there relatively early. I will make reservations*, but you know how crowded good restaurants in this area get! Doesn't matter to me how late people stay, or if we move to another location after dinner for more drinks or coffee or something.

What do you guys think?

*The reservations will be under the name "Cara." I just want to make sure everyone knows right off. (That was for you, Burgh Area Bloggers! haha)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Question of the Week - Retro Re-Makes

I will start by saying that my weekend without baby or husband was fantastic. Wow! I didn't realize I needed that break, but I really did. Fortunately, Londo realized I needed the break and not only encouraged it but came up with the idea and planned how it would work. That man is the best, and my sanity thanks him for all that he does.

I'll go on (and on) about the weekend in another post, but I did want to mention that I got to go out to dinner and a movie with my SIL and parents. We ate a fantastic meal at a nice restaurant, where I didn't have to worry about anyone eating but myself. Then, we saw Get Smart, which was really a great movie! I was worried Steve Catrell would be over-the-top or the humour would be all slapstick, both of which would have just frustrated me. But it wasn't either! It had good action and was actually REALLY funny! I can't believe how much I laughed and enjoyed it.

And it made me want to see the old TV show episodes, which I used to watch on Nickelodeon. Just like the new, really well done Battlestar Galactica got Londo and I to watch the old episodes, which were pretty campy but fun. Or the new Transformers movie made me want to watch the old cartoons.

So the question of the week is:
What show or movie would you like to see come out as a re-make?

I have so many I'd like to see, but I'm going to have to think about what my final answer(s) will be. I'll post it later. For now, tell me what you'd like to see!

Update:
I figured out my answer. I want a remake TV show of The A-Team. And I pity the fool who doesn't agree with me!