April 1, 2014

I'm Unplugging...A Little

The time has come. The preparation and busy-ness of the last several months is coming to a head, and I know that there won't be much time for writing this month. So if you don't see anything new on the site for a bit, it's because I'm off packing and moving boxes....or unpacking boxes in our new house....or carting Zip to baseball practice or Bee to soccer....or headed to Montreal for my stepsister's wedding....or just taking a deep breath and a long walk in the spring sunshine!

I have so many posts percolating in my brain, so as soon as we're settled in our new home I'll be back at the keyboard. What would you like to read about? Ways to foster healthy sibling relationships? A round-up of different behavior plans we've used over the past few years? Parenting and white privilege? How the word "pause" really is helping me feel more balanced in 2014? Let me know! 

And, if you'd like to see an annoying number of photos of our new digs, I'm happy to oblige. After so many months of planning and anticipation, I do feel a bit like a new momma welcoming a new baby. And you know mommas can't resist sharing photos. 

In the meantime, here are a few oldies but goodies to enjoy, from deeeeeeeeeeeeep in the Musing Momma archives, circa 2011 (or before anyone besides my friends were reading).

  • Underacheiving Overachiever, about the realization that I've replaced my ambitions for a grand career with ambitions for being a great mom - and I'm happy with that

And if none of these work for you, scroll on down to the "search" box on the right, type in something parenting-related you want to read about, and I bet you something comes up!

May April treat you and your family well!

March 27, 2014

Multiracial Round-up: Great Posts & Blogs from Around the Web {Vol. #3}

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand....We're back!

The Multiracial Round-up was a big hit when I started it last fall but, alas, life got in the way and it slipped onto the back burner. I'm going to give it another try, with a goal of posting a round-up at the end of each month that shares great posts I've come across touching in some way on the intersection of race with parenting and family.

And I'd like to add one more piece. If you have a question about parenting and race - and it can be anything - email me at musingmomma@gmail.com.  I'll ask the question on my Facebook page (anonymously or not, your preference) and share the responses, as well as my own, in next month's round-up. 

Now, grab a cup of coffee and settle in. It's been a long while and I have LOTS to share!

March 25, 2014

Sensory Processing & Everyday Parenting

On a recent snow day (one of many, because you know how this winter went), I was sitting at my desk working while Bee napped and Zip played outside. I stopped to look out the window at the falling snow and caught a glimpse of Zip out of the corner of my eye. There he was in the backyard, log-rolling in the snow. He rolled and rolled and rolled. He rolled all the way across the yard, snow in his face and I'm sure down the back of his jacket too. He rolled until he reached the bushes along the fence, then stood up, satisfied. And I had to smile because that is just so my Zippy.

Zip is a child in constant motion. If his mind isn't engaged, his body is. When Zip was a preschooler, he need to touch everything. I remember wondering why he needed to touch the walls while he walked from point A to Z, or pick at my hair and clothes while we read books, or make constant noise while he brushed his teeth. Why couldn't he just keep still? Sure, he is a kid being a kid. But these are the things that exhaust parents, aren't they? So we reminded and then we reprimanded and then, when we got really frustrated, threatened consequences. "If you can't keep your hands to yourself while we read, story time is over." "Enough with the noises!!!"

A couple of months ago I attended a professional workshop on sensory processing. I thought I was going to a workshop on strategies for executive dysfunction. Executive dysfunction consists of a set of interrelated skills such as planning, attention, emotional control, impulse-control, and so forth, so problems with  ED often overlap with ADHD and other developmental disorders. Although my kids have neither, I figured I might still pick up some strategies that could help at home and work toward my continuing ed requirements at the same time. To my surprise, at least 75% of the workshop was about sensory processing...which in turn impacts executive functioning. 

As I sat through that workshop, light bulbs kept going off in my head. I kept thinking of my boy, and realized that understanding the role of "sensory processing" can benefit any parent, not just parents of kids with developmental delays or ADHD or autism spectrum disorders.

March 23, 2014

My Moment in the Spotlight on BonBon Break LIVE

This week I had the honor of being a guest on BonBon Break LIVE. As much as I love to be in the limelight and actually enjoy public speaking, I am always super nervous beforehand and this was no exception. I can always tell I'm anxious when my teeth start chattering, which they did off and on for an hour before the interview. But once things got rolling, it felt like I was talking with an old friend. Probably because the host, Val Curtis, is in fact a friend (but not old).

I was so appreciative for the opportunity to talk about colon cancer awareness. Val asked me to read my post about my sister's initial diagnosis out loud, which was truly a special experience for me. Then we got to talking about how, as moms with kids 7 and under, our kids talk about poop a lot....especially at the dinner table. We also chatted about how we can raise our kids to be appreciative and grateful for what they have.

I haven't actually watched the interview. I'm just going to trust I did okay. Please don't tell me if there was lipstick on my teeth.

What is BonBon Break LIVE?
Every Tuesday at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific), BonBon Break's Editor-in-Chief, Val, interviews a different blogger as part of a video series that offers an opportunity to hear bloggers read their work in their own voices. Each interview is streamed live as a Google+ Event, and viewers can join the conversation or ask questions on the Event page or via Twitter (#bonbonbreaklive). The interviews can also be found on BonBon Break's YouTube channel, where they live forever and ever, and on BonBon Break's website. I tune in almost every week. I hope you'll check it out too!

March 16, 2014

My Child, The Leprachaun Expert

I managed to make it through seven years of parenting without building a leprachaun trap. Until today, when I remembered that Zip is supposed to bring one to school tomorrow. The realization triggered an oh $*#@ moment because we already had a jam-packed day and when the heck was there time to build a leprachaun trap? I also quickly realized that, in this family, building a leprachaun trap would be no small project. Of course not!

Zip: Momma, how tall is a leprachaun?