Today, we had Bear's first parent-teacher conferences.

He's in pre-school so it wasn't exactly hard core. It was the first time that trained people sat me down and talked about his development. His doctor goes over a few milestones at each well child appointment, but it's always been a "does he do this? okay" type of discussion.

It was weird to have someone give me goals for him. A written list of the things he does well and the things he doesn't. While I might have a been a bit defensive, I think I'm okay with admitting his weaknesses.

Here in the state of Connecticut, the cut off date for starting kindergarten in January 1st. Kids have to be 5 by the January half-way through the school year in order to start. Bear is a December baby so he would be one of the youngest in his class.

We don't have to decide now, but I had wanted to bring up the conversation. He'll only have one more year of pre-school before he starts, and I didn't know if he should be put in with the 4s instead of the 3s.

The teacher commented that she has a November daughter and was told to hold her back because she wasn't able to socially assert herself. That's a fancy way of saying she was shy. She would quietly ask someone to play and if they didn't respond, she would happily play by herself.
And, that's why she didn't start kindergarten until she was 5 and a half.

Since when is being shy an awful trait? Why must every child love playing in large groups and always voice their opinions? This isn't even my kid, and I'm all worked in a tizzy.

It hurts my heart to know that such a stereotype exists. Why can't we just let each kid be himself?



I have a lot of rules about dating and relationships. I know how it ought to be.

The boy must be taller.
Traditional and outdated. I'm relatively tall for a girl, and I still have night mares of 7th grade dances.

The boy's last name must come alphabetically after the girl's.
It's true love if you move down in alphabet. It's a sacrifice of sorts.

Engagement rings must not be given on birthdays, Christmas or Valentine's Day.
Too predictable and a cop out of getting a gift. Besides, how many people have already done this.

The boy should come to the door to pick up his date.
My mom made some off handed comment when I was 8 about our neighbor's boyfriend honking for her. It stuck.

While I know these are all fake rules and really no indication of a successful relationship, it was really more of a way to know if a boy knew me.

5 years ago today, Hubby proposed to me. A week after Valentine's Day. On a day that had no real significance to either one of us or our relationship.
Exactly as it ought to be.

I had a class that went late, and he always picked me up afterwards. He texted me and we met at the chocolate shop where we had our first "kind of date". It was a little suspicious since I knew he had a ring and I knew he had asked my parents' permission, but nothing happened.

We went back to his house and I went in to check my email on his computer. His away message was "Asking Stephanie to marry me... Shhhh". I turned around and he was down on his knee.

He had thought about asking me while we were out, but we're not the most public of people. It was a moment for just the two of us.
Exactly as it ought to be.

5 years later, I'm still really excited that I said yes.
Exactly as it ought to be.



A friend this question on Facebook:
Is it okay for a teacher to say "Stop flirting with so-and-so" to a student?

There were tons of responses from mothers saying it should only be done in private, and it's embarrassing to students.

Yes, it is embarrassing. Isn't that the point? The embarrassment ends the behavior.

Am I the only one that thinks shame and embarrassment are fine tactics? I'm not talking excessive amounts here, but the occasional comment and guilt trip are fine in my book. Does anyone else remember the Texas jails that issued the pink jumpsuits? It worked.

I was raised by guilt. My only lasting consequences are my unnecessary apologizes.

It makes me feel like I belong in a Puritan society. Scarlet As are a way better deterrent than prenups.


milspouse friday fill in

I did this the first week and then life got .... life-like and crazy busy. Head over to Wife of a Sailor to see some more.

1. What is your favorite MilSpouse blog (not including Wife of a Sailor who we all love, or your own)?
I love
The Mrs at Trying Our Best. She's honest about the struggles of having 3 kids and a hubby that's gone a lot, but not in the "oh I hate the world" way.

2. What are your favorite perks about your s/o being deployed (we all know there are perks)?
The "nice" answer is getting to travel to see him. We were really lucky on his first deployment and I was able to fly to see him twice (and see 4 continents in the process). The more honest answer is that I get my control fix. No compromising and waiting until he's ready to do something. It works out well though because after 6 months of making every single decision, I gladly pass the reigns and let him do his Hubby thing.

3. How long did you date your before getting engaged? Married?
We moved fast. Or at least I thought so until I met other mil spouses. We dated for 3 months and 2 days before we were engaged. I called my mom after our first date and told her we were getting married though so it was no real shock to people. We got married just shy of a year from the day we started dating.

4. What do you think your would do if s/he wasn’t in the military?
Hubby dreams big. Our joke is that he likes jobs that he doesn't have to see me much. I think his current plan is either to get an MBA and work on Wall Street or to go to law school.

5. If you could talk to the Secretary of (fill in your appropriate branch) what is one suggestion you would like to bring to their attention in order to improve the lives of military families?
We matter. How you treat spouses and families impacts job satisfaction and productivity. Please be nice. The Navy is not for forever. Family is.



He won't be this little for long.
He won't want to snuggle me so tight for long.
He won't pick to only be with me for long.
He will always be my baby boy.

Head over to Emily's post to find more pictures of mommas and their babes.


love day celebrations

I love holidays. I'm a sucker for all things holiday related. Bear is at the age where he gets holidays and jumps up and down when he sees things.

I made this. It was filled with little presents from the dollar store. It's going to be a sad day when he no longer gets so excited for a straw and some stickers.

We had heart shaped cookies, heart shaped cake pops and heart shaped Rice Krispie treats.

I used my Cricut (how fun is that to say?) to make this for Hubby. It's filled with words and dates that are important to our relationship.

We had a mini photo shoot before dinner. I saw this idea some where online. You bend a toilet paper roll into a heart shape and can get some cute pictures.

Hubby and I took some pictures. My forever Valentine.



Bear and I had quite the rumble today. He's three. And his daddy's son (translation: very stubborn).

He's a smart kid. I'm not saying he's the next Einstein, but he can hold is own among the pre-school crowd.

Our battle today was about him counting to 10. He can count way beyond 10 so this wasn't a difficult task. It was just a task he didn't want to do.

I was shocked at the frustration and anger that he brought out in me today. I'm normally fairly patient with his meanderings, and I know how to get him motivated.

Once he was in bed and looking like an angel fast asleep, I was mulling over today. Why did it get me so upset? Why was I letting a 3 year old's need to be in charge run my day? I'm the parent here. Right?

Then, I realized he had tapped into my biggest fear.

A dumb kid.

No. I was a Special Ed aid during college vacations. I loved some of those sweet kids.

A lazy kid. A kid that doesn't try. A kid that doesn't want to be smart.

Then, I talked to my mom and was reminded that he's 3. And, he'll grow out of that.


love day

Happy Love Day!
hugs and kisses,
Bear & Monkey