Wednesday, January 25, 2012

40 Questions To Ask Your Child On Date Night

I think it was daughter number five (I'm the second oldest of eight girls) who coined the term "Donut Date" to refer to when our Daddy would take one of us individually out on a "date" with him when I was young. It generally meant we were getting a donut or going to the grocery store for some root beer or another treat, which was a pretty big deal at the time. In fact, I still bug my Dad to take me on a date, except I hope it's to places like Disney World or a major music concert these days. ;-) Now, the tradition has moved on and I date my own three-year-old daughter. She gets terribly excited when I ask her if she wants to have a "mommy-daughter date". There are no arguments and she is on her best behavior while we go to the local coffee shop for a slice of carrot cake and juice! My favorite part, though? The conversation. My phone gets put away, no books are brought along, and we don't sit at a table with anyone else (though she has a way about her that attracts the elderly men to come over for a chat about her baby doll!). Instead, we chat. I ask questions, and we dream together over hot cocoa and cookies.

Dating your children is an easy and precious way to create beautiful moments for the two of you. Here are 40 Date Night questions to get you started:

1. What is the best dream you ever had, and why?

2. What is the worst dream you ever had, and why?

3. How do you like to be woken up in the morning?

4. What are the top five things you are good at doing?

5. What are the three occupations you would love to have when you grow up?

6. If you were to plan your own funeral, what would you want it to be like?

7. What are five activities you want to do within the next year?

8. Who is your best friend, and why?

9. What person can you not stand, and why?

10. What embarrasses you that I do?

11. What are you proud of that I do?

12. What makes you laugh?

13. What makes you cry?

14. What are the top three things I do that make you feel (not "know") loved?

15. What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

16. If you were to plan a sleepover, what would it include?

17. If you were to be one animal, what would you be and why?

18. What are your three favorite songs and why?

19. What one song can't you stand, and why?

20. What is your favorite movie, and why?

21. What are the top three reasons why you know you will be a good spouse/parent when you are grown?

22. What is your favorite physical feature about yourself and why?

23. What three things do you not like about yourself, and why?

24. When people compliment you, what is the top thing they say about you?

25. What are the top three compliments from others that you would like them to say about you?

26. What is your favorite Bible story and why?

27. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

28. Who are your top two favorite historical characters and why?

29. In your life, what has been your proudest moment?

30. In your life, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

31. If you were to create your own job to earn money, what would you do and how would you do it?

32. If you were to create your own cake and own ice-cream sundae, what ingredients would you include?

33. What makes you feel safe?

34. What makes you feel scared?

35. What are two things that your friends or other people you know do that you don't like?

36. What are two things that your friends or other people you know do that you would also like to do?

37. Would you rather be a boy or a girl, and why?

38. If you could go anywhere in the world and do anything you wanted, where would you go and what would you do?

39. What school subject are you smartest in, and how do you know?

40. What school subject do you struggle the most in, and how do you know?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Happens Here

I am the full time mama of a 3-year-old and 18-month-old. My children are 20 months apart. While I do work full time, I consider myself a stay-at-home mama just as much as I consider myself a working-outside-the-home mama. In fact, I find that the 40 hours a week that I spend at my "job" is easier and less stressful than the other 128 hours a week I spend with my kiddos. Sometimes, I think I'm going crazy, and I crave to go to work...the funny thing is, as soon as I'm at work, I miss my babies something fierce! It's a funny world, the blend between working motherhood and home motherhood.

Before anything else, I am a mother. Lately, I have been working 40-hours-straight every weekend so that I can be the one with my children during the week. I go in at 7pm Friday night, and stay until Sunday at 11am. Marvelous, it is, but it's also a schedule cut out for someone who belongs in a loony bin. Imagine the possibility of being awake for many hours straight and responsible for people's lives no matter how tired you are? Yes, I am a paramedic. And yes, your life will always come before my need for sleep and no matter how tired I am, you are going to get my absolute best care. Imagine packing three people up for three days, and getting your house in order before that so when you come back, you have something clean to wear.

Because I choose my children to come first (ok, after God!), I do things a little differently. I work ridiculous shifts so that I can be the one with them 5 days a week. The house is sometimes a mess because I don't park them in front of the TV so I can clean all of the time. I have no idea what current TV shows are playing. I haven't read anyone's blog in forever (I miss that!). Lately, I haven't even been able to work out (UGH). My sewing projects are still waiting, my bedroom still isn't arranged the way I want it to be, and sometimes, I get lonely being with no other adults sometimes for days on end. However...

There are a lot of things that we do. We do family. Lego creations get built. Magnificent make believe stories get told. Dancing in the living room happens. We do loud. Songs are sung. Pictures are painted. Baby dolls are rocked. Giggle erupt constantly. Tickle fights are a routine. Jumping on the bed (shhhhh!) sneaks in.We do discipline. Spankings, time out's, and "the look" may be given throughout the day---but they are overshadowed by hugs, attention, and the exchange of a thousand magical kisses. We do learning. Snowflakes are tasted. Letters are traced. Colors are mixed. Chores are done (even if they aren't real effective yet!). We do love.

Love happens here, and that is why those other things we don't do aren't really missed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Resolutions for 2012. Yes, resolutions, not goals. These are not optional.

1) Blog. Regularly. This means on Life More Simply, October's Heart, and/or Diaper Swappers. Ohhhhh, boy!

2) Complete one project/month. This could be something small, like actually pressing my childrens' hands into clay so I have keepsake hand prints (that I make every year but then give away to Grandparents!), or something large like making that braided rug that is still in the form of white table cloths stacked in my closet.

3) Pass the Critical Care Transport class for Paramedics/Nurses/PA's. I start the first week in February. This is a two hour drive one way, every Saturday for eleven weeks! It's a big deal. If you live near Rochester, NY and want to take the class with me, let me know. :)

4) Lose 25 lbs. Yup. This means getting back on the Beach Body bandwagon (Insanity, Hip Hop Abs, and I would love to acquire Brazil Butt Lift!). This also means being extremely careful about what I eat. All. Of. The. Time.

5) Purposeful Time. Spent with God, my family, and bettering my home and self.