Just Stand

Hello Loves! Long time with no hear or read. I’ve missed all of you and I can’t thank you enough for your checking in on me during my long hiatus away from this blog. So many things have happened to me and I’ll be sharing more about it in the coming weeks. It was crazy how many people found me on FaceBook or even reached out on Instagram and Twitter with concern. You just don’t know how wonderful you made me feel.

Nothing is wrong, I’m just juggling my hectic life and preparing for court next week. We’ll talk more about that later. But, what has been going on with me? So much has happened these last four months.  I had a woman on my staff pass away in September. She was an amazing woman who was a great staff member with an eagle eye for detail. I thanked God every day that I had inherited someone so detail oriented and knowledgeable with systems.

With her being gone, my team and I entered our busy season and tried to deal with the loss and get things done. I am happy to say that we did. My team is great and I’m thankful for all of them. Even when I’m not there they still get the job done.

Munch entered fifth grade this year. It is an adjustment because he now has 3 main teachers. His homeroom teacher teaches science to all 5th graders and social studies and health to Munch’s class. He has a math teacher that teaches math to all the 5th graders and a French teacher for oral and written communication and French reading. He’s struggling in math and French and I’ve put him in private tutoring. So, we are at the center 4 nights a week to make sure that he’s staying on level.  Do you know how hard that is?

French is crazy because the words that he is supposed to know at 10 have grown. Not just in French but in English. Many nights are spent going to dictionary.com to look up the word’s meaning and explaining it in English and then researching it in French. We’re trying to use it in a sentence to further his understanding and I feel so unprepared. Let’s just say that French this year has been hard work. However, with all that I’m proud that Munch is putting forth his best effort and I’m proud to report that he has earned a 3.4 for his 1st quarter. These teachers are so patient with me because I’m emailing every two weeks with questions, comments or concerns.

With so many things happening I still found time to grant write for the school’s PTA and just enjoy life. I’m still single which is crazy because I haven’t gone on one date since Mr. C and I broke up. I’m just not emotionally ready. Not that I’m still trying to get back with him it’s just that I have a lot going on and I’m not mentally ready to let another man in my space right now. It could be the cold weather too. LOL. I have no idea. But, I’ll be back on the dating scene in 2019.

I’m active in my sorority and just enjoying this thing called life. Christmas is in 20 days and I’m done shopping. Can you believe it? Munch still believes in Santa and I’m happy the magic continues one more year. I’ve reconnected with old friends and created new friends who have encouraged my soul beyond regard. My FaceBook friends and I actually met this summer. We had a ball.

Finally, I need to stand still. I’m learning to be more thoughtful and just stand in the midst of chaos and allow God to give me peace when all hell is breaking loose around me. 2018 has been one for the books, but I’m reflecting on how I’m approaching my 44th year next month and there are still so many things to do and so many things to say. I’m praying that the words will flow freely and I can let you into this brain that won’t shut off some nights. Bear with me.

How have you been old friend?

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

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Baby

I smiled as I watched him sleep. He was deep in dream land. Not worrying about the problems of the day. He smiled in his sleep. It was the most beautiful thing.

He was no longer my baby. He was a grown man. Thankful that he had come home for a visit before shipping off with the Navy. I closed his bedroom door.

I was feeling melancholy. Life had gone by so fast and my beautiful brown baby was now a man. Where had time gone? I wished for days of vomit and dirty diapers. Of sleepless nights and doctor’s appointments.

I sat there looking through his baby pictures and smiling. His first night home was one of pure amazement. I stayed up all night fighting sleep just to watch my baby sleep. I needed to make sure he was okay. I refused to rest.

His attempts at nursing were hilarious and painful. He refused to latch on and the pout that he made as he shut his mouth tightly always made me smile. His baby scent was the most beautiful scent I ever smelled.

I flipped the pages of the photo album looking at the first birthday photos, first day of school photos, dances and annual family photo shoots. He was a handsome child. I smiled and closed the book. I felt peace because even though my son was a grown man now sleeping soundly in the next room…he would always be my baby.

 

This post is part of the Daily Post. Today’s word was baby.

Dating Parents – Part I

This is going to be a two part post because I have to tell ya’ll what’s going on and I don’t want it to drag out. Please bear with me because I will want some advice in the end. Here’s what happened…

Last month, Mr. C and I took our children to view the National Christmas tree and to dinner afterwards. His son is 18 and Munch is 8. Two different decades and nothing much in common. It was my first time meeting his son and getting to sort through the emotions that I amassed as to whether or not he would like me or how he would feel about me dating his dad.

I’ve never seriously dated a man with a child. I was always adamant about being the center of a man’s attention and children didn’t allow that to happen, so I avoided men with kids. Until…

Until I became single with a kid.

I realized that I didn’t want anymore children so I really wanted to date a man with kids so he wouldn’t ask me to have any. Pregnancy wasn’t that great and I’m over it. I’m too old to try and have another baby and I wanted to spend my life loving someone and the family that we built together through love and determination.

I also needed someone who could get the fact that I’m a  working mother. That I have things that I have to do at work, at Munch’s school and with my friends and then understand that I wanted one-on-one time with my son. My son is my priority. I needed someone who could appreciate that. I dated some men that couldn’t appreciate or understand when I had to cancel a date because my son was sick at his dad’s house.

Others that said that they understood, but wanted me to have more children. Umm, nope. I’m done. I’ve closed up shop and decided that no more children would occupy this womb.

Those men were the worst. They really believed they could convince me to abandon my beliefs and bear them heirs. Yeah, like that was going to happen.

And then there was Mr. C.

He came into my life not wanting more children. Loving my ambition and encouraging me in a way that I never thought possible. His love was real. It was healthy. I was truly happy and at peace.

So, it was only inevitable that I would fall in love with a great man that didn’t want anymore children. He was willing to love me and my son as though we were flesh of his flesh and would help me raise Munch when we got married. He didn’t mind starting over. He would have a child in college and one in elementary school. I loved that about him though.

In this space that we are creating and building I’m trying to merge our lives more. Not just as a couple, but as parents. Letting the kids get to know each other and spend time with each other. We’re not rushing an instant bonding session, but we wanted our children to know how we feel about each other and share our respective lives.

But…I didn’t expect that to have an impact on Munch.

Why?

Because Munch has met his dad’s girlfriend. He likes her. He spends time with her. He speaks of her often. I had never introduced Munch to anyone that I was dating. Ever. So, him having experience with his dad’s girlfriend should let him know that I was serious about someone right?

Munch has met Mr. C a few times. The first being this summer for all of about 5 minutes in an informal setting and then he off he went to play with his friends. Then a couple of times at the house. I wanted to slowly introduce Munch to the man that I had fallen in love with. I wanted him to know that here was a man that I thought worthy to introduce him too.

Seeing as where I had taken things slowly with Mr. C, I thought that Munch would see the importance of this man in my life. That he would be able to understand that this great man is a good guy and wants to get to know him. That he would feel that man’s love ooze all out and be able to process that mommy wanted a future with Mr. C.

However, that didn’t happen. Munch is 8 after all. I was wishing on a star and I thought he would be cool. But, he wasn’t and I just wasn’t prepared for that. It started when I picked him up and I told him that we had a big day and that we were hanging out with Mr. C and his son that evening and he sighed. What? What is the sigh about I asked. He responded, “Can’t we just spend some time alone me and you?”

I was hot. Really? I explained to him that he spends time with his dad and his girlfriend all the time and it’s never a problem. I told him that I limit the amount of time I spend with Mr. C when it’s my week with him because I want that alone time with him. I said, “You can’t act like it’s cool for you and your dad to spend every waking moment with his girlfriend (I’m probably exaggerating, but I was emotional) and when I want to spend a couple of hours with you and Mr. C it is a problem.” I had to catch myself. I was having a mommy meltdown.

 

The New School – Part 3

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post.

The next day as I was driving Munch to school he then tells me that his English Language Arts teacher no longer works there. They have a substitute for that class as well. What? Are you serious? I was livid! I just saw the dang teacher on Friday and she never said a word. No “This is my last damn day at this school”. Nothing.

Why didn’t they send a note home? Is it so dang hard to get a letter together? You have 3 secretaries. Heck, I could type it up. So, if you’re keeping count. Munch only has his original music teacher which he takes weekly, his PE teacher and his art teacher. His main two teachers who make up more than 2/3 of the grades are replaced with substitute teachers.

You know that I’m dying right?

I’m trying to be patient and I’m firing off emails and asking questions. My main issue is this is the mission of the school:

The mission is to provide a rich, challenging, rewarding instructional program based on literacy that will allow our students to become competent French speakers who are active, compassionate, and lifelong learners. We will uphold high expectations and accountability for ourselves and for our students. We will maintain positive and professional collaboration while maintaining open communication with parents and other stakeholders.

This is from the school handbook that they make every parent sign. The last sentence says “We will maintain positive and professional collaboration while maintaining open communication with parents and other stakeholders.” Umm, when Forrest? When will you maintain open communication?

I sent another email to the program coordinator to ask about why grades hadn’t been updated in English since 9/14 and the teacher is no longer at the school. Worse, he had an English report due that we’ve yet to see returned and no grade is entered. Are you serious? It’s been a month. They have to find a better way to communicate. This is their mission and at this point, they are failing themselves.

Jennifer from the blog Confident Parents – Confident Kids asked some questions about teacher’s in her post entitled “How Do You Feel About Your Child’s School”

I explained my situation to her and she was very encouraging. She suggested the following:

Wow! That’s tough on everyone it sounds like. So many teachers have left and a new administration. Everyone is dealing with a lot including that Program Coordinator. No wonder she’s not keeping up with grades with that many to enter. Great that you called her. At least you know what’s going on. Being short-staffed is super tough. And sounds like the drop by option is not an option. Since your hands are tied in so many ways, I would tend to focus on my son. Perhaps do a little extra practicing with him. Make it fun if you can.🙂 Trust your gut. If you think he might be struggling in a particular area, give him more support and practice with you. You’ll feel more empowered like you are able to do something and no matter what, the time with you and the extra practice can help him. It sounds like you are trying to be patient, stay positive and wait until the dust settles. That’s smart. Give the new administration a chance to address the issues. And get ready for your parent teacher conference next month so that you can use that time/meeting well. Here’s an article that attempts to help you make the most of your limited time in a parent-teacher conference. All the best to you! Know that all you are doing for consistency and your child’s development is helping and supporting him! Hoping things will improve over the coming month!

I told ya’ll that I love my blogging family right? I will take her suggestions and be patient. I’m also going to level set prior to the county wide parent/teacher conferences in a couple of weeks. I did learn that since grades aren’t being put in regularly as required by the board of education that I can protest any grade that I am not satisfied with.

Ah, you got to love justice right?

Check out Jennifer’s post for suggestions on parent/teacher conferences.

The Bike Riding Chronicles

So, a couple of weeks ago I began teaching my son how to ride his bike. Yes, I’m late. No, I don’t have an excuse. Yes, I actually do have an excuse…he didn’t understand how to peddle. LOL!

Not a good excuse huh?

Well, I actually bought him another bike in May because he was too tall for the other bike. I got an 18 inch bike with training wheels. It’s the tallest bike that they had a Toys R’Us that has training wheels. But, he was excited.

We bought the helmet, but I passed on the arm and shin guards thinking that a little scrape never hurt no body. Okay, not true. I was being cheap. My munch was so happy to get a new bike and helmet he didn’t care. He just wanted to ride.

We finally took the bike out and began practicing and it was a hot dang mess. Can you believe it? He complained the entire time and couldn’t figure out the circular motion of pedaling. I was hot, tired and frustrated. He wasn’t even trying.

I literally got in my car and cut the AC up and made him practice without me while I called Mr. C to complain. He laughed, “I’ve been there, but you have to keep at it. He’ll get it.” I sighed. “No he won’t” I said. “Do you think riding a bike is important?” he asked. “No” I responded. He told me that it is and I needed patience.

He wasn’t out here in the baking sun with his hair curling up trying to teach Munch how to ride a bike. He was at home in the AC. He suggested that I push Munch while he’s pedaling so that he can see the pedaling at work. I agreed and that worked. Can you believe it?

Munch started pedaling by himself. I was so super proud. I shot a video and sent it to his dad and Mr. C. His dad was so happy. Our son was getting it. We felt like we were doing something. Wow!

Mr. C on the other hand told me that the seat was too low and that’s why my Munch was struggling. “You need to raise the seat” he said. “I don’t know how to do that” I stated. “He replied, “I’ll do it”. Umm, I liked that.

Guess what? He did it too.

My baby is getting more confident on that bike and I don’t feel we’re ready to take the training wheels off just yet, but I can’t be happier. I love that he’s crossed two major milestones this year…learning to tie his shoes and to ride a bike. Baby steps that are finally paying off.

Yay Munch!

Random: My Munch May Be A Genius

In other parenting news I wanted to share some random things munch says and does.

Reading

Munch has to read 20 minutes a day. I ordered all these books from scholastic.com and then bought 5 more books at the book fair. He was ecstatic. “Mommy, I have so many new books” he said. “Yes, let’s get a book to read.” Five minutes passed and he still hadn’t selected a book. “Munch, what’s the problem?” I asked. “I don’t like these books. They are no color pictures and they have too many words and pages” he said. “Dude, you’re 7. Time to up your reading game. Adults don’t have color pictures in our books” I said. After some digging I picked up this book:

9780060097912_default_quickLook“Nope” he replies. “No color”. I then picked up this book to compromise. It is all in color.

9780545499088_default_pdp

“Nope” he replies. “Too many words.” “Well that’s too bad. We’re going to read it for the reading log this week. It’s 20 chapters. We will divide them up” I replied.

Future Plans

Munch has been telling me since he was 3 that he wants to be a doctor. “Good baby. Mommy’s gonna figure out how to pay for medical school even if everyone in the family has to take out a second mortgage. Oh, and that includes your godparents.”

young-black-doctor

Then last week he says “I don’t want to be a doctor anymore. I want to be a police officer now because they have the power to change the world.” “Really?” I responded. I thought, dang. There goes the first doctor in the family.

A National Guardsman and a police officer hold their positions at City Hall during a protest Wednesday in downtown Baltimore. Thousands marched, demanding justice for an African-American man who died of severe spinal injuries allegedly sustained in police custody, but most were off the streets shortly after the 10 p.m. curfew.

But, I like the way he thinks that police officers have power to change the world. I pray he keeps that innocence. I pray that the world changes and makes that a reality for him.

Behavior

A couple of weeks ago we took photos with our favorite photographer for our upcoming photo shoot. We had an 8 am photo shoot on a Sunday and I had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to get there. It was a cold (39 degrees) morning and I knew that munch would not be a happy camper. So, he asked me, “Mommy, can you please download Sonic Boom on my Ipad?” “Um, it depends if you act right during our photos. Ms. Erin is going to take our pictures and if you smile, behave and do what she says then I will.” He looked at me and said, “Didn’t I already do good? I mean I got 8 A’s, 4 B’s and 2 C’s on my report card.” I laughed and asked “How bad do you want me to download Sonic Boom?”

Score one for mom because here is a photo from the photo shoot.

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Oh, how I love this kid.

Disclaimer: I did a Google search on all the photos except that of my child. I don’t own those that were found on Google.

Friends of Your Marriage

Lee and I recently celebrated our 8th year of marriage. By no means is it historic by most standards, but we are very proud. Lee and I come from somewhat similar backgrounds. His parents were never married and my mom married my dad after I was born and divorced before my 10th birthday. When Lee and I got engaged, we immediately began pre-marital counseling. One of the things we unanimously agreed on was the fact that neither one of us was raised in a successfully married family, so we needed help. Successful marriages take work and we wanted to take advantages of all the things available to make it happen. A great piece of advice that I received before I got married was that “The key to a successful marriage is two people who believe in the institution of marriage and will do whatever it takes to fight for it.” I loved that thought. I began to wonder would Lee and I fight for our marriage? We spend so much time fighting over the little things, but would we fight for the sanctity of our marriage? Would we preserve what God has blessed us with and not let any foreign or domestic invaders inside of our house?

I was scared at the thought that our marriage would be a failure, but I’ve learned how to work on the issues and not hide behind the problems. When I seek counseling from friends about our situation, they laugh at me and the situation, but their advice comes from a place of love. Until today, I didn’t know that they were “Friends of Our Marriage”. These friends give supporting and encouraging advice and tell us that we can weather the storms that come our way. They are the community that promised to love and guide us through our marital journey. Lee and I are thankful for the Friends of Our Marriage. There are too many to name, but you know who you are.
Do you have friends of your marriage? Read this article and find out who really is a friend of your marriage and who is a potential jump-off.