Time in Juniour Kindergarten

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Celebrating Logan turning 9 months with selfies.

I’m now wise to the fact that the actual spelling of Halloween, is with an “a”, not with an “o” -as in Holloween, which was the way I’ve been spelling it. I can blame this miss-spell on being a mom late in life. Realizing that for 32 years of spelling Holloween wrong was a faux paw! Noticing this grave mistake last Halloween, I wonder what else I was missing out on when it came to celebrating with kids?

I use to tell people rather astutely that Thanksgiving was my absolute favourite celebration. Favourite most likely because it wasn’t directly linked to kids. While Easter was meant for kids painting eggs in pastel. Sitting back to give an awkward cheer when my favourite niece collected the most chocolate eggs. Deep down longing to watch my own kid dash around to collect them. I always felt like I was missing out. Deciding to choose Thanksgiving as my favourite holiday was my secret weapon in celebrating this holiday with good cheer. I would pass that Thanksgiving gravy and stuffing with such vigorous thanks. Having Logan a month before turning 39, I’m able to spend time enjoying Easter, Halloween, Christmas & birthdays again without feeling like I am a third wheel. Not only do I know how to spell Halloween without a double-take, wondering if it’s with an “o” or an “a”. Thanksgiving has become #5 on my top #10 in celebrations, beating out Victoria Day and Canada Day, though both are wonderful celebrations.

“My #5 in top celebrations”

When I met Jason, my partner and Logan’s father, he too did not have kids, nor did he see any in his forthcoming future. He was sincere that he was fine if we never had kids. So together we went merrily along not celebrating special kid infused holidays together. A match made in heaven, as we opted out of Easter with our families, rebelling against it. Our Easter tradition became hitting the grocery aisles, picking out the biggest and juiciest looking steak meant for two! Preparing our Easter steaks and baked potatoes, with all the fixins’, pardoning ourselves out of Easter egg hunts till the end of time. While there was never any easter egg chocolates left over to discover anyway, the kids always got “first dibs” on the Cadbury Easter egg chocolates, we were not amused! A candlelit dinner for two, as we gave thanks for our blessed lives given to us.

“The year we met and our scheming for Chocolate began!” Summer 2011

I met Jay when he had just turned 39, me a 34 year old, newly separated about to sign divorce papers. It was our first Halloween together, (notice the proper spelling). He celebrated by binge watching all of his favourite horror classics throughout the month. Waking up to “Michael Myers” walking at a steady pace, inching slowly towards his next victim became the norm. Me though, I wanted a Kit Kat bar!

Jason, (my Jason, not the popular horror movie character Jason), was a good sport. It was Halloween night, the kiddies were out gathering pillow cases full of chocolate candy. Jay heard my plea for wanting a big hunk of chocolate! He turned to me, most likely out of his feelings towards me and said; “Hey, lets dress up and go out trick or treating!” My mind scanned for any reason why this may not be a good idea? I couldn’t think of anything! Our conversation went something like this (remember chocolate was my driving motivational force)! ME; “It really is an unwritten rule now isn’t?” “Nowhere does it say that we’re too old to go Trick or Treating?” HIM; “Who made this rule anyway?” ME: “It’s not a religious holiday, I don’t think anyone would be offended?’ Contemplating this grand scheme of ours, deciding that the worse case scenario was that we could have a lot of people turning there noses down at us, slamming doors in our faces. ME: “I can handle it, we may get a few candies out of it!” HIM: “Should we? I’m 5’2 your shorter then me!” With his heavy grey beard he contended “We could almost pass for 18”. We discussed costumes!

“The year I went Trick or Treating as
Strawberry Shortcake” Halloween 2017
“Jason as an Ogre, ready for some Chocolate!”
“Logan as Lightening Mcqueen”

I wasn’t sure if it was the chocolate treats that I was craving, or the fact that I had missed Halloween for 18 years or more, not having kids to steal treats from. I whipped into the bathroom, it took me only an hour. Coming out of the bathroom ready to go trick or treating as a “zombie bride”. I still had my wedding gown from my former failed marriage. It was perfect, I thought people may even feel sorry for me. Thrilled to be dressed in full costume, the drought of missing out on celebrating Halloween was just about to be over. Thinking that we may just be able to pull this off. This was the night we fell in love. For me, it was because he went along with my chocolate pirating scheme. For him, I think it was because I dressed as a “rockin’ zombie bride” and I think it kind of scared him!

Celebrating Life Together

We snapped a few pics, both starting to have second thoughts, our guilt was getting the better of us, HIM; “We’re not going to do this are we?” My heart sank as I realized we were about to abort our mission, we chickened out. Although we didn’t find chocolate that Halloween night, with a twist of faith we found true love! Jason explained to me that we lived in a small town and may not be able to live this one down. Thoughts of raiding the streets were dismissed, turning the slow to kill, Michael Myers back on TV. We flopped on the couch, me still in full zombie bride costume, I fell asleep. That was how we spent our first Halloween together. When Easter came, grilling a steak for two seemed to take away any pain that came from us being neglected from chocolate. The next Halloween making a trip to his brothers house, where Kit Kat bars were plenty then hoarding a few was our best bet.

Jason’s skeleton Jack-O-Lantern
2019

Since giving birth to Logan almost five years later, I can finally say that Thanksgiving is not my favourite celebration. Christmas is met with giggles and wonder, Easter with a race for the most Easter eggs. Halloween means that we won’t be needing pillow cases on our pillows for at least a week, not until all of Logan’s (and by Logan’s I mean our) chocolate candy is gone. Not only can I proudly say that I can spell Halloween, remembering how much fun it is to make Jack-O-Lanterns with so many choices in emotions. I look at my son and I look at my family. I realize that time is what is matters most. Spending time together enjoying family celebrations, concluding that I’m not missing out on anything while Logan’s off with his friends at school. Time wrapping and unwrapping presents, time watching Christmas specials, explaining to Logan where exactly the North Pole is? (The answer is North btw). Even though my son is starting to make his own life where one day it will be without me. Us Mom’s get to have the most fun, celebrating precious time together with family, with traditions, spending time together on weekends and birthdays, where the meaning of time is just that; precious.

Loving collecting pastel coloured Easter Eggs!
“Through the sands of time, these are the days of our lives”

Time is the most precious gift that we are given in life. I am over “feeling like I am missing out on my sons life, since he started JK”. Celebrating precious time together, valuing that time is what Juniour Kindergarten now means to me. Where sure Mommy misses my little boy so much, nothing will ever be like the first 4 years together. Now, Mommy gets to make the most of our time together, where we will always hold precious memories. When time is not spent away at Juniour Kindergarten, this family will be celebrating -spending time.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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Juniour Kindergarten; A Whole New World in Letting Go.

Logan and I taking in unforgettable family moments, again making memories of the best summer ever in 2019!

The summer of 2019 will always be remembered for breathing in each moment and taking away with it fond-family memories. Making the most of our summer days playing under the Sun, inching our way closer to Juniour Kindergarten. A fresh new beginning into a brand new school start was just around the corner, for me it was filled with mystery and anticipation. With butterflies swirling my stomach weeks before, counting down the days hoping and praying for a great school year. With nail biting nerves creeping into the wee hours of the nights, as I attempted to organize and prepare every bit of new information, finding everything just to impossible to predict. Realizing that seeking out the veteran Moms for answers to many of my rookie questions was my best bet into mastering the clues of school, where I have no clue, though such fascination!

The excitement was a nice change for me, being a mature Mom, you can guess that I was a bit overdue in the the thrill of a new school start. With thoughts of my son making new friends, meeting new teachers, and being as behaved, as he possibly can be expected to. I hope and prayed throughout the summer that the school year would be welcomed with hard work, satisfaction, fun and a big bag full of joy, maybe even a great report card in November? My best hope is that we survive all this new energy, together-STILL! Learning that I am still an important aspect to this new threshold in my sons life. Logan of course jumped right in!

“Logan an independent little guy ready to tackle the school day”

While meeting and speaking to the teachers and parents, I hone in on the school structure, the regulations and a few important dates. Eyes wide, stepping in closer, tuning in with my ear tilted; leading me. With my Mom concentration zoning in on the facts of school life. With my keen listening skills moving into the groups of other parents, with extra focus! I try to take in and gather information rather quickly and intensley about the do’s and don’ts, learning the new rules of the classroom and about what is to be expected of not only my Son, but me as well. Learning that I am still a big part of his growth at school even while at home. I am here to manage this gravitation to everything he will experience, every part of his learning. Not just to sort out his lunches (a huge new development in understanding in my house). Prepping him for a world of knowledge, matching his behaviour with the same guidelines, ruled by his teachers. As we puzzle our way from day to day, the excitement is welcomed, not feared, accepted and not jaded. All though i’m a bit bewildered, I am in love with the fact that not only did I pray very hard for my son and family, I prayed that I could watch him grow, to this, I am doing, and very thankful that I am!

“Logan’s Dad helping him to school. Hoping for a great day and a great school year”

His first day was the most exciting, out of bed, lunches carefully packed, dressed in new outerwear fit for the first day of school, with far too many choices in snacks and thirst remedies. I had a ball picking out Logan’s first pair of school shoes. They had to be comfortable, suitable, sustainable and easy to get on and off. The joy of me shoe shopping was not met with equal amounts of enthusiasm, as Logan “temper-tantrumed” his way around the department store. I brushed this quivery moment aside as I jumped up and down, finding a pair that may or may not last; couple of months, if? Logan asking me days later “Mom, why are you so excited about a pair of shoes anyway?” There was just no explaining that they were his brand new school shoes, and they had to bedazzle!

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(Not an actual photo of Logan’s Shoes, these are great though. don’t you think)?
click on image for online shop, linked below
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Sure he didn’t want to hold my hand walking him to his very first class, I’ve heard it shows independence, well something like that anyway. I was happy to see him make a few new friends already on the playground, as the parents stood in anticipation seemingly stalking their children from the sidelines, not making themselves quite known. As we all made triple sure that our very keen kids walked and not ran into perhaps the wrong class, with the right teacher as opposed to a grade six classroom, with Mrs. Millar instead of Mr. Harlow. “Few they’re in!” I saw all of the more inexperienced Moms and Dads show a sense of sorrow, while the more experienced ones run off to find their freedom again, perhaps? I watched Logan enter his classroom, as I hummed a goodbye, and yes I was choked up. Knowing though, that Logan will love learning so much and enjoy being surrounded by all of the kids with so much attention on fun and play that this thought far overshadowed any feelings of sadness that surely, I held in.

Picking Logan up from school, now this adventure is a bit of a mis-shape in how I first pictured it. Hoping that my Son who was so eager for school, to play with the kids and learn Math and other such things. Thinking that he would be just as eager to come running out to give his mom a huge hello hug, maybe a kiss, as we skipped along hand in hand to the car, to go and have a warm cup of hot chocolate as he tells me all about his grand day and how he was the most behaved in his class. That was how I imagined it. The terror that followed will sit with me and my sinking heart, i’m sure for some time. Instead the very kind teacher luring Logan out from the classroom, expressing “It’s home time” opening the door for his escape to run towards me, she points at me; “There’s your Mom Logan, she’s here to take you home, goodbye Logan!” Waiting for my warm embrace, I see Logan’s face turn rapidly from eager to quite unhappy! Screaming “I don’t want to go home, I don’t like you anymore Mom, I want to stay here, I am not going home!” Now, having his own set of friends I know is much more appealing to any kid. Logan being an only child with mature parents of 43 and 47, I knew already my son was a “kid magnet” and I realize that playing with other kids out ranks me and his Dad on so many levels. Hoping this is just what they call “a passing phase”. That he will soon out grow his contempt towards me and home time, we shall see? I will be praying for this, prayers are welcomed here, so please add this to your prayer list if you may?

“Self explanatory”

Still today with a full mix of nervousness and butterflies, it marks the day of his very first school bus ride. Wondering if he will be scrambling off of the bus later when I pick him up to greet him from school with the same ill temper. Though I did freakishly hop on the bus along with him, wanting another wave goodbye, when the bus driver told me sternly “No you have to go now” I smile bashfully, hollering in my sweet Mom voice towards him, where I only saw the tip of his hat, “OK bye hunny, have a nice day!” As I jump off the bus, a bit over zealous in making sure he found a proper seat.

“Now at this precious moment, I am just about to hop onto the bus with my son, flapping my arms goodbye- being told that I need to go now”

Out this morning with my very first experience of getting Logan on the bus, as I gather around with many of the more experienced mothers and fathers, leaning in again, hoping to gain knowledge in bus riding etiquette. Later today, as he gears up to hop off the bus, I will be waiting. Though my expectations have changed from a warm greeting, as we skip home together hand in hand, to at least a “Hello mom, without turning away from me in angst” As far as he is concerned I have been replaced with his new playmates. I’m sure his screams had frightened the other parents, though they totally felt my sadness as one sweet mother piped up, “There is no judgement here!” Fluberring about with my awkward smile, I explain to all of the parents with their poor hurt ears from my sons loud sobs; “You see he is a kid magnant and he just loves kids so much, you see that’s the reason for his haltering screeches and fits about not wanting me anymore, you see he feels that his new friends can replace me perfectly, err gulp!” No judgment! 😉

As my visions of us skipping along together hand in hand are tossed right out the school bus window, as I brew up the hot chocolate anyhow (just in case), probing for questions about his school day and all that he learned. Though, for the record, Logan later did tell me that he’s very sorry for saying that he doesn’t want me anymore, saying “he loves me”, then he did give me a hug and and a couple of kisses in the warmth and comfort of our own home. The moment was just for us, it was quiet, tender and meaningful. Without a doubt, this memory I will replace instead of the terror that I saw forming on his face the first couple days, when he learned it was time now to go home!

“This didn’t happen”

While I am learning so much about my little independent Son and much more then I expected about letting go, realizing that we all let go a little bit each day. Where I can only hope and pray that he knows his mommy loves him, that I always will no matter how old, that throughout all of the stages in life that we pursue together or apart, that his mommy will always miss him, learning that we just can’t freeze time. We can though take in each breath and enjoy each moment together, making one great day, into a great life, with cherished childhood memories that Logan can take with him as he goes forward, hoping he misses me sometimes too. As I fumble sometimes as his mature mom, fully intending to give him the best life from his start to his finish.

He’s ready for JK, with learning, friends, playing with kids and maybe Mom taking a back seat, NOT on the bus next time”

“On second thought, perhaps I’ll just ask HIS DAD to meet LOGAN getting off the school bus today, it may save me many tears of sheepish torment and apologetic embarrassment.” “MOMMY MISSES ME” http://www.mommymissesmee888.wordpress.com

-TAMMY THOMPSON

AND THE WINNER IS

CONGRATULATIONS TO FRANCINE GAUTHIER! A VERY SWEET PERSON AND SOUL WHO ENTERED AND WON THE CONTEST FOR MY BOOK OF POEMS “I DREAM IN POETRY.” FRANCINE IS A BIG SUPPORTER OF MOMMY MISSES ME WITH SUCH GRACIOUS AND NEEDED ADVICE FOR THIS NEWBIE MOM. FRANCINE ENTERED BY COMMENTING ON MY LAST BLOG POST, SHE WAS THEN ENTERED TO WIN! I DREW HER NAME ON AUGUST 25TH TO WIN THE VERY FIRST OFFICIAL MOMMY MISSES ME CONTEST! THANK YOU FRANCINE FOR SUCH A SPECIAL COMMENT.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO HINA SYED WHO ALSO HAD SUCH VALUABLE MOM ADVICE TO SHARE WITH ME. HINA HAS BEEN A GREAT SUPPORT TO ME THROUGH MANY YEARS, WITH MANY THINGS AND ON THIS BLOG MOMMY MISSES ME!

STAY TUNED FOR MORE CONTESTS, GIVEAWAYS, ADVENTURES AND MANY SPECIAL TREATS AHEAD FOR ALL OF MY READERS!

Back To School Savings

Logan enjoying summer by the pool! The summer of 2019. Before he starts his first day of school, where making summer memories are an absolute must!

As the summer is about to come to a close in mid-August, when we’re pulling out our warmer sweaters, a time for unpacking from that great family trip, as we watch the daylight slowly disappear earlier each night, the time to close our cottages is upon us, a time to think about closing our outdoor pools. As we watch summer fade, we notice that in the heat of the summer was a chance to create our fondest memories. We then realize that back to school is mere weeks away. My sons is joining Juniour Kindergarten, as a newbie Mom in this area, I am all to inexperienced at this, though my budget friendly notions are set keen on my mind.

I notice a sense of excitement in the air, mixed with bitter sweet thoughts; caught somewhere between the memories we made together and the excitement of a fresh new start. It’s time to plan for the year ahead, with that comes an added hint of reality that denotes strong peaks in high stress levels. Where the days lazing by the pool, catching some rays and escaping in our summer time slumber are all about to come to a halt. Our thoughts now turn to an expensive list of necessary and needed school items! The shift between summer and fall can be overwhelming, especially on our pocket books. I decided to devise a list of a savings plans for those money-conscience, budget-friendly parents who like to save when and where they can.

  1. CLOTHING DRIVES

Kids seem to grow out of clothes and into new sized clothes so quickly. Keeping up with their growth spurts can be a huge cost, buying new clothing items can be rather expensive, even when shopping at low cost department stores, a hefty clothing bill can surely add up. I spent the last year searching for clothing drives run by local community organisations. I tumbled on many of these drives via online, where many local churches and other wonderful organisations posted these events on our fabulously friendly, fan favourite facebook.

Clothing drives have amazing selections for the whole family. Not only did I decide to go to all of the clothing drives in my area. I knew that Logan, my four year old Son, who already is a year ahead in growth as it is, that he would need an even bigger size for the following school year. I was able to find him a wide variety of suitable clothing as he starts JK, saving bundles as I carefully chose his new outfits.

“Young and diverse volunteer group with clothing donation”
-THANK YOU FOR GIVING!-

Knowing that he is still not up to the task of tackling zippers on his pants, I decided to find him pants that have an elastic waste. Dreading potty time without his Mom by his side, I am hoping to eliminate any embarasement that this learning curve could cost him.

Second-hand stores have plenty of stock for every age of growth for everyone in the family. Second-hand stores have been my savings grace for my first go at back to school. Not only did I save so much money over the past year as I took stock in what Logan would need to be fit for school, I saved myself some last minute shopping stress and a crucial amount of time that could be better spent together as we are drawing near the end of summer.

As I gathered clothes for Logan, I noticed that I must have saved thousands and even got everything Logan needed to look smart and comfortable as he makes his mark in JK. All that’s left to buy for Logan now is the ever essential socks and underwear. Seeing that I was able save so much, I am able to spring for Logan to have a pair of brand new shoes, knowing that proper footwear is a must at any age. That, along with a fresh new hair-cut, he will not only be ready for school, he will be willing to get up and go!.

As September rolls in, I will be thinking ahead about winter wear. Visiting clothing drives and second-hand stores once again. Finding him the most outstanding winter coat, barely worn is on my list of must-haves. Saving for Christmas is in near site, where “Santa Claus” may need to cut back a bit in order to bring every kid on his “Nice” list their Christmas Wish! As Logan grows through the years, so do I, but that doesn’t mean that my debt needs to grow along with it.

2. PLAN FOR THE UNEXPECTED WITH GIFT CARDS

Gift Cards are a great way to pick up much needed and necessary school item in a pinch! I plan to get one from a store that both sells clothing and food. Where sending my boy to school with a “Pink Shirt” with my handy gift card, where I’ll know he’ll be set up for “so much success!” 😉

I have noticed that schools, especially elementary schools have become quite spirited in introducing themed days to their curriculum. It is fun for kids to go to school on pink days, yellow days or on crazy hair days. These are just some of the themes I have heard other Mom’s mention. Honestly, I don’t believe my Son owns a Pink shirt. Being so budget conscience, I have decided to purchase department store gift cards each month, not costing over $25.00. Never knowing when I will need to run out in a spur to fetch a pink shirt for my little guy. Not only am I ready for the anything with my handy gift card in hand, I am saving my Son days of ‘trife” as he won’t feel left out form a class full of kids sporting “Pink” on pink days!

Another great thing about having gift cards on hand is during times when the cupboards and fridge look darringly slim, or times when coming up with fresh and new lunch ideas have visciously ran out. Being able to dash out with a handy gift card in hand could save on the stirred up chaos within the home! Not only will it help fill your kids lunch boxes or bags, it will help fill up their tummies so they can get back to learning. Their Teacher’s will appreciate it and so will their grumbling tummies.

3. IT’S PICTURE DAY

Save $40.00 when you take your wallet sized pictures to a kiosk to be blown up for family and friends. The cost to have wallet sized pictures blown up, runs up to around $20.00. “Few, what a savings!” Giving these keepsakes as a special Christmas gift will be well loved and well appreciated, especially for Nannies and Grandpa’s!

Not only is school pictures fun for kids, their Teacher’s and for their classmates. It is also so much fun for parents. Seeing everyone dressed for success, in their best dresses, or favourite pant sets can be such a dear moment to capture. I know I appreciated my Mom saving all of my school pictures, remembering my Teachers and classmates year after year can be a great way to look back. For parents who are wanting a complete set of pictures to hold on to, or hang up on the wall, but who also want to save money, there is a great way to have the best of both worlds with only spending a quarter of the costs.

When you order your picture package, whether your kid had a bad hair day or has juice stains on their face, purchasing “Wallet Sized” pictures then taking them to a “Picture Printing Kiosk” blowing up the small wallet sized pictures to a more suitable wall frame size, can be a great idea in savings, as well it makes great gift ideas. Giving bigger pictures to family, friends and loved, now that’s a double savings!

Having memories of our kids as they grow is important to us and also so important for them. Looking back on school days can be quite gratifying as they close the gap into adulthood. Cutting on costs can be even more gratifying, while using the extra money for a rainy day can be the most gratifying of all.

4. BULK LUNCHES AND SNACKS

Bulk up on Food items at the grocery store. That’s a savings of at least $80.00 per/mos. Not to mention saving on spoiled foods, where Moms everywhere could only hope their child liked the taste of broccoli.

There is no getting around it, I know what my Son likes to eat. Knowing that sending him to school with celery or carrots may be a waist in food, also a big waist of money. I am sure to find spoiled food in his lunch box when he comes home from school, throwing out massive amounts of fresh foods is not in my budget. Not only will he be left hungry after choosing not to eat the veggie snacks, I am sure his mood will sour, feeling rumbles in his tummy during school and when he arrives home. This is one area that I am not wanting to toy with. Eating a well balanced lunch is mandatory for a proper day of learning and getting along. I have decided to buy his school lunches in bulk.

My son loves pizza, so buying store bought pizza at $3.53 to make the night before, heated in the oven, then slicing up a couple of slices topped with veggies such as green peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms. It is a great way to save on costs and time, not to mention adding a mix of veggie toppings can help him maintain a balanced lunch without all the fuss. A pizza for one person, can sometimes last up to two or three days when stored properly. Also making for a great after school snack. By heating up the pizza in the microwave, then packing it tight with tin foil can keep it fresh and warm for lunch time. Not only am I saving on costs, I am saving on time. While the oven cooks the pizza, we could be having special family time. As the oven takes care of the pizza, I could help Logan tackle his homework.

My Son enjoys eating Chicken or Veggie hot dogs. Sending him with hot dogs is one way to save on costs. I find that he likes it when I cut the Chicken/Veggie hot dogs in bite size for easy handling, tin foil can keep his favourite food warm and his belly full. Crescent rolls found in the frozen food section costs just a couple of bucks making 8 crescent rolls. Rolling them with Chicken or Veggie Wiener’s, preparing and cooking them the night before school can be a real time saver and money saver. Adding a slice of ham and cheese or Jam dolloped in the centre, can be the perfect choice to spark your kids taste buds at lunch time.

Although you know your kid may not eat the celery you pack them, adding cheese whiz to the menu or tuna fish already pasted on or in a small tupperware container for dipping is sure to be a big hit, as well as healthy and tasty. Not only will your child be getting a proper source of vitamins and minerals, I am sure their Teacher’s will appreciate your efforts.

While picking up a few cans of fruit costs only 99 Cents, portioning them into small tupperware containers is a great way to give your little learner the gift of health and balance. Feeding your kid with nourishment for the brain and body can go along way in their learning throughout the years. When they come home with their first A+ you will know why!

Summers come and summers go, but summer memories can last a lifetime! Trying out these savvy saving tips can benefit in so many ways. Saving for that family vacation next year can be your families ticket to making even more memorable moments together. Where saving thousands of dollars in clothing costs, food costs and school costs, not to mention saving on time, can be very rewarding! Not only rewarding for you as you watch your child learn and grow, these tips can be very rewarding to your savings account! Making the most of our summer’s together for all of our future family memories, as we laze together in the summer slumber and sunshine, by the pool or at the cottage.

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I Dream In Poetry By Tamara Thompson 2019
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Juniour Kindergarten Is No Joke.

Tammy Thompson Blogger
@ Mommy Misses Me & @ i. Blog Your Business
Author of Before You Were Born, I Dream In Poetry, & Poems of a Codependant.

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Being a Mom, the most important role there is in life. Full of days and nights that could scare the pants off of any person into a fright of heart trembling worry and that’s just to put it lightly. They say “These are the easy years, the early years are nothing, wait until they are a teenager” -Oh dear! We are about to start a new chapter in our lives, as our young boy starts his education in JK. Now with only a month away, our lives will be forever changed, a good change I can imagine. I am a bit frazzled by the fluster of a new start, with mixes of butterfly’s and moments of wonder. Is he ready? Am I? He is, I know he is.

I look back to the first four years of my sons life. Nights of me waking every hour to check on him when he was a newborn, with all the breathing tests, tickling his feet, seeing him move around and grumble, then sauntering back to my bed for another hour of glorious sleep. The diaper changes and feedings were easy, flip, flip, tug, snug, the diaper is on, good. He’s clean and washed, he’s fed, he’s sleeping, he enjoys baths and story time, cuddles and hugs. I loved, watching the milestones as he learned to crawl, or walk up the stairs and say his first words. I knew there would come a time though that my boy would get sick, or have a high fever, maybe fall down or bump his head. I knew that there would be days of sickness, what I wasn’t ready for is the all consuming fear and dread as I held my breath until he was well again.

His first fever was from a rash, this was one of the scariest mom moments for me! It would be my first test in mommy medical first aid. I was glad to take this heat rash on for size. He was only weeks old, seven if that. Of course wrapping my boy in seven blankets in the near summer, would cause a heat rash. As I watched his face turn in to prickles with little blisters, I thought his face would be forever scarred by my ill attempt to keep him warm. I picked Logan up and we headed over to the pharmacy. “Yes, it’s a heat rash” the pharmacist old me. “Use this,” he gave me a small blue tin. “What, that’s it, that simple?” He gave me very easy instructions, “Dab this on his face.” At the time I thought that I had blistered my son forever! That was my first big scare being a new mom. The cream worked, I dabbed his face, then made sure he was cool enough not to get another rash, rocking him underneath a ceiling fan. Then came our first family flu, we all had it that time, our very first winter flu together. With a trip to the hospital for of our “family-flu-check up,” my head in the toilet, while administering an anti-dehydration liquid for my sick kid.

Then, it happened! One day, I seemed to get the hang of it. Learning tricks that would ward off any cold or fever, my mommy confidence began to grow! I learned the best trick from my brother who has two kids of his own. He told me the best secret in aiding to the onset of a cold or fever. He explained that by applying vicks-vapo-rub to the feet of a child once asleep, then wrapping the feet in a warm towel, heated with damp water. Without a doubt, this cold and flu zapper worked just like my brother said it would. My confidence grew each time I tried this. The fevers went down, quick and painless, I could breathe once again! Thanks brother, no cold and flu health scares! Knowing a first aid box, was ready for use to help aid with any nasty colds, cuts and/or bruises.

All of that was scary enough! Now that Logan is entering JK, I realise that JK is no joke! The scary times are about to raise the hairs on my neck, raise my eyebrows, with days of worry and nights of weary once again! Will there come a time during his school days, where I can breathe a sigh of relief, as I did when his blisters were relieved from a small blue tin? Will my mommy instincts kick in and grow like when I cared for a sick little boy? I am about to be the Mom to a JK KID, this is just as scary as when he was sick for the very first time. I am sure I will fumble just as before, wrapping him up in seven blankets, bringing on heat blisters, in the heat of the summer, (I did that, errrk!)

I have no idea what the next chapters look like or will feel like for Logan as he enters JK. I know there will be many challenges ahead of him, good days and bad days, with lessons to be learned and days to fill with fun, frolick and frenzy. This is his journey now, he of course will still need me. Knowing and trusting that Logan will do great even if I am not there to hold his hand, I will surely be there when he gets home. With the ups and downs that we all face, this is his ride and although a tough ride sometimes, I will remain in the front row or in his side car, or at the dinner table, picking him up, dropping him off, helping him with homework, reading stories, playing with him, making Birthday cakes, taking him on adventures, showing him the world, while he learns the best he can in the classrooms. I know that looking back on the last four years, although sometimes very scary, like when I added way to much sunscreen and it got in his poor eye. I can see Logan enjoying school, making a lot of friends, going on field trips, enjoying his teachers and the lessons being taught. I will always cherish our first four years together, remembering as if it were yesterday. The confidence that came for all of us; we grew a happy family. I’m the Mom I always wanted to be and no matter what changes as life moves forward, I still get to have the best seat in the house.

DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT IN THIS BLOG POST FOR A CHANCE TO WIN I DREAM IN POETRY, A POETRY BOOK BY ME ABOUT THE UPS AND DOWNS, THE CHALLENGES WE ALL FACE, AND OVERCOMING.

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My Highly Sensitive Boy.

Logan desired to hang out with Mommy & Play hookie. To the donut shop then!

I was in shock, I was horrified, I was confused and it didn’t seem like it was getting any better. Logan was having a lot of trouble adjusting to juniour kindergarten. I think we all were having a time with it. Adjusting to so many things; new friends, a new classroom, new rules, all of the learning, playtime and his teachers. Getting phone calls though about Logan’s behaviour wasn’t something I was anticipating. Being told that he was punching and hitting and using very strong words, wasn’t something I was expecting, it wasn’t how I ever saw my son behave prior to JK. I must say that his teacher’s and I became very close, one teacher just about became my new bestie, over the many phone calls and the emails about Logan’s mis- behaviour. We took this very seriously. Punching, hitting, name calling, being mean is just not allowed, not from where I sit! Seeing that he never portrayed this behaviour before, it was brow raising, I was puzzled, almost at a loss until I discovered “The Highly Sensitive Child”.

Boys will be boys, yes some will say. Logan made a few friends on the onset of school and then his behaviour became worse. Not only did I feel very bad for the kids who were having to endure this behaviour, I felt bad for me; yes ME! Mommy had to figure this poor behaviour out and put the breaks on this rather quickly. At first, the shock overcame me. Then my Mommy spidey senses kicked in, we all have them. After speaking to the teacher’s, finding resolutions on our own for managing this behaviour was helpful. I talked to my Dr’s., Logan, “now a fighter on the playground” where before he hadn’t a clue what the word “PUNCH” meant, was punching not only the kids, but punching at home as well. After speaking to my Dr, and then following up with my own research, I found that Logan’s is a highly sensitive little boy. What does that mean?

The highly sensitive child feels everything and feels things very deeply and differently from other children. Feeling others emotions while at play, at the very point they would feel them, feeling others emotions along with their own emotions. They have a strong sense from others, feeling their moods just as they would feel their very own. Without speaking a word, they can instinctively feel every sense. The highly sensitive child becomes stimulated quite largely, distracted quite easily, upset, frustrated or sad for no reason it seems. They would rather be amongst small groups due to this. Without trying to, they take everything in, they become overwhelmed and uncertain about how to process it. From what they see, to what they hear, what they smell and touch, even tastes are sometimes repelled by them due to their high sensitivities. Other’s thoughts can be felt merely by sensing through their mannerisms, grasping their physical environment can be difficult to manage as well. One article noted that they feel very similar to how animals feel with the same animal instinct, their instincts are anticipated with keaness, from what is about to happen to what could happen. They can feel past hurts deeply, then have a hard time shaking it off, they become troubled by these upsets.

Encouraging an outlet for such over-stimulation seemingly act as a tool, offering a gateway to feel only what they are feeling not what others are feeling, blocking out things that are a burden to hold on to and to hold in. Helping them process unneeded sensitivities, letting go of unwanted feelings that are not of their own. The highly sensitive child becomes more in tune with their own emotions with using coping tools, giving space for them to block out these sensitivities in their environment. Giving time for games, fun, joy and creativity act as a coping skill that could be tremendously beneficial. Only 15% – 20% of kids have a high sensitivity instilled in them. A video on YouTube calle “The Highly Sensitive Child” by Dr. Ted Zeff made complete sense. You can find this video by Dr. Ted Zeff at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ6pdmmMwuI

The teachers, the Dr’s and I concluded that Logan is part of the 15%-20% of highly sensitive children. An article about the highly sensitive child from “Psychology Today” titled “The Highly Sensitive Child” by Maureen Healy; Creative Development, https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/creative-development/201106/the-highly-sensitive-child speaks about this tendency in children. It is a gift not an illness, is a great leap in the understanding of these children. The Dr’s, Teachers and I, then went on to devise a plan to help Logan.

The first coping skill I tried to combat against his poor behaviour at school was putting a toy or a piece of paper in his pockets, as he goes off to school in the morning. When he feels quite overwhelmed, hurt of frustrated, I have taught him to put his hands in his pockets and squeeze away. He loves this and now asks if I remembered to put toys in all of his pockets. The teachers and I have been successful in teaching Logan the ‘hands to yourself policy” & “nice words only.” Giving Logan new phrases to speak about his frustrations. Teaching him to say, “Now that doesn’t make me very happy.” Also teaching Logan to tell the teachers about his feelings out on the school yard or in the classroom, when the tackling usually occurred. Today, Logan is having a great time saying nice words, making sure that I am aware of his great word choice, as he now stretches out the nice words, nodding in a very slow and comical way, asking me if I heard him say that? One day he called a toy “stupid”, he came over to me then said; “Mommy I wasn’t calling you stupid, it’s my toy, not you, okaaaaaay?” Good for you Logan!

Being highly sensitive, is a really great quality to have. If kids are taught coping mechanisms, giving them tools throughout the different stages in life, it can benefit them in beautiful ways. I can imagine having all of these emotions as a four year old, not being able to know ways to source of them. Sometimes not sure what to call them. Actually Logan’s father is highly sensitive and of course so am I. Knowing that this is hereditary makes total sense. It can be difficult even as an adult, both his father and I are empaths, knowing what people feel & think is part of being highly sensitive.

After visiting with my Dr., we went through the many things that Logan likes to do for play time. After crossing sports off the list as Logan would much rather commentate on the neighbourhood basketball players then play basketball. Instead he offers enthusiastic encouragement when they shoot the ball in the basket, “Oh you got it in, good job, good for you” or “You did it!” sometimes he reports too when they miss the net completely, Logan offers his commentary, “Oh that one didn’t go in, that was not a good one, try again!”; Logan says.

I remember a time on the playground Logan rounded up the pre-teen kids, involving them in a game of Dinosaurs. Logan directed the 4 kids to play as T-rexes and run around the playground chasing each other. At home he likes to walk around like a zombie character, he likes to play make believe games with figures and lately he likes to play “jail time”. Where I am a criminal, he is a police officer on duty, though a very nice police officer at that. As he pretends to offer me a lot of food, gifts and where I can go home any ol’ time I like to visit my family because they miss me, he says “I think you are good”, even though apparently I “rob for money.” One time Logan pretended to let me take his cop car out for a cruise as long as I brought it back by morning, he let’s me loose, unlocking the gate. Let’s just say that I don’t think Logan will make a good cop.

Logan loves to act and use his imagination as a highly sensitive boy. At 2 years old, tumbling over in a full comedic fall. Me turned petrified that he just fell and hurt himself for no apparent reason? He bounces up, laughing at my reaction. It did look pretty damn real though. He acts out all the parts to so many of his favourite movies. If he is playing Woody from Toy Story, he flops on the bed so quickly, down he goes when “Andy is coming back to his room to check on his toys.” His father plays with him, where lava is on the ground and together they bounce around all over the house trying to save themselves from the burning lava. We hide toys for him to find, as he imagines all the places it could be, saying “HOT” when he is close. Logan’s face lights up, his spirit soars, he is happier, he is having fun, he is doing what he seems to love to do. After our imaginary play is over, Logan is calm, he is easily comforted, he laughs and starts to make funny jokes, he is more centered & easy to talk to. Many times now where once he would easily be in a fit of screams, he is better tempered, able to handle the more intense emotions when it comes to me not allowing certain behaviours or giving him constricts. Laughing and playing for a couple of hours has really helped Logan with his sensitivities. Imaginary play is the name of the game, so to speak, though -but literally!

The last coping skill that we discovered through our research was to redirect our language, instead of saying; “No, you can’t do that” We take that phrase out completely and replace it with, “If you do that, it would hurt you, or it would hurt this area, or this person, that is why I don’t want you to do that”. This goes a long way when he wants to do something that could cause alarm.

The teacher’s have noticed that when it is time to line up and leave the classroom, Logan’s stress level escalates, he’s unable to cope with the intensity of the commotion. They have decided to get him ready first, getting on his coat and boots where there is less movement. This has helped a great deal. They allow Logan to have one on one time with the teachers, or kids, as Logan likes this very much. Also giving him space to be by himself is another coping tool for Logan, getting away from the busyness of the day, taking a breath on his own, looking at a book to calm his sensitive spirits. They have seen improvement which makes me very happy as any mom would be.

I am very proud to say that the teacher’s, Dr’s and Logan’s father and I came together in this area of learning about Logan’s behaviour. Understanding what was beneath his angered emotions, his outbursts, his poor word choice, his hitting! There was a time, I felt that we would not be able to succeed at overcoming what was happening with Logan at school and at home since school started. Going forth, it is my job to discover new ways for coping tools. Let’s face it, toys in his pocket at age 13 may not be the best move. It is great that his creativity is being utilized, watching how much he enjoys using his imagination. Playing roles whereas pretending to be a cop, Logan would much rather let the criminals free, going for a joy ride in his cop car as long as “the prisoner” makes it back by morning. Knowing that my boy has a talent for using his imagination is a big leap in creating a wonderful outlet and coping skill to utilize as he grows, flourishing hopefully, rather then tied up with deep anxiety and mixes of out pouring emotions.

Mommy? Who’s Mommy?

“I’m Mommy”
Mommy Misses Me
http://www.mommymissesme888.wordpress.com

It’s not easy when your kid goes off and running on a life’s whirlwind adventure without you. While Logan is embarking on the time of his life, I’m simply not there to watch it all unfold. Somehow it feels as though I am missing out. I am finding that the new school structure is changing and causing a shift in our relationship. With all sorts of activities that I hadn’t planned, nor’ implemented! To him, I am not seen as the focal point that I once was. Fine, so be it, I’m sure I can deal with it.

The start of school was exciting, somewhat like the Intro for the movie -Grease 2. Parents everywhere shouting, with such odd determination and tone, singing “Back to School.” Now that the break out dance number has concluded, I’m happy to say that my boy is settling nicely into school. Today, it seems more like the movie “Otherhood.” I could so relate to this movie. About a group of caring Mother’s locked out in the cold, not at all the centre of their son’s universe. (Great movie, by the way!)

Movie Grease 2, one of my favourite movies.
“Taken from GIF, get the best of GIF on Giphy”
https://giphy.com/explore/grease-2

The night before the first day of school, I carefully packed Logan a rather bulk lunch. I seemed to be enjoying this task rather gleefully, much more than I had anticipated. Massively eager spending two hours in the kitchen! I was tipped off later that afternoon, being reminded that creating an Eight course meal for a four year old, including 2 full lunch boxes jammed together, was plane unnecessary! When a bit of reality set in told me, I was being forced, YES FORCED 😉 to have to wave goodbye to my son.

I know full heartedly that there’s so much life for Logan to live, so much for him to see and do. I am head over-heels-excited for him, still there is a small part in me that feels as if I’ve been replaced! That’s the best way I can describe it. I suppose there will be many days ahead, probably when he’s a pre-teen; for him- I may be just become a passing thought. I’m already fearing the day when I may become an irritating thought…! Who am I kidding? The possibility for this is quite high, as far as teenagers go. I’m now certain that the changes in our relationship will continue to shift. A paradigm, I never even considered.

It’s his back…

I suppose I’m needing to keep up with the pace, knowing that the stages Logan goes through, are my memories of my Son’s life, but not my life. I am sure if I can manage to “let go” little by little, my Son and I could continue to share a close bond with a loving connection.

Imagine someone is trying to jump and then someone tugs on that person’s leg to pull them back, that is the complete opposite of what I am wanting to accomplish. I know I’m not looking forward to the day when my Son starts calling me by my first name with an attempt to be “Oh so scholastically sarcastic, aloof, and distastefully indifferent!” I guess I will have to manage that as well? By wiping a tear to carry on marching slumberly together with all the other Parents being called Nancy and Tom, Lorraine and Hank.

BBC-ROGER MOSEY BLOG TV
“TV to stream 24 channels for digital Olympics
Post categories: Olympics
https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/rogermosey/2012/04/since_the_start_of_our.html
10:00 UK time, Tuesday, 3 April 2012

It’s a weird feeling when I hear Logan speak about somethings that he’s been learning at school. I have to stop myself when I look towards him, with my brow half cranked; he speaks and leaves me with such mystery! I ask him; “How on earth did you learn how a grasshopper hops?” Catching myself, before I confront him with my disapproving mom voice….”JUST WHO TAUGHT YOU THAT?” I then recall he has a set of wonderful teachers who are masters of their domain in professional teaching. I fluster, “Aww yes.” His classroom is full of learning and engaging opportunities. When Logan only wanted to share with me what he learned at school, and I should just shut up and listen up to hear about his day. Letting go-lesson number 1 out of 3000 or 60,000, not yet verified?

“Learning & Education”
PINTEREST
https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/558657528758850522/?lp=true

The vortex of our relationship is somewhere caught between, “Mommy wake up, I need you for my milk”, to “Mommy? Who’s Mommy?” I find myself clearly watching my step, freezing sometimes, like in the game of freeze tag! Moments are filled without me being fully sure how to proceed next? Most times, I’m thinking of ways how not to mess up his young life! (I don’t think I have yet), although I hear all of us Moms do to some degree.

Having this new clarity is taking some time to sink in. I’m not always going to be his whole world, though he will always be mine. He won’t always be jumping into my arms and frankly I couldn’t see it when he’s 25 anyway. I realize he’s not always going to want to partake in our outings to the Zoo, I do hope that I won’t be bribing my 30 year old son with candy or toys just to suppeace my yearning for bonding time. If I can manage to do this Mommy thing semi-right; hopefully it’s enough that he won’t despise me.

For now, I still seem to hold much Mom power. It’s priceless when he realizes that I am the one who brings him milk in record breaking readiness, keenly to keep my place in his life. I’m the one who can keep his thirst at bay! Who’s Mommy? Well, Mommy brings the milk! I do intend to use this to my full advantage for as long as I can. Only a pure attempt to assure his continued adoration for me. Notioning to him, making sure he is aware that, “Look Logan see, I am the nourishing and nurturing one, you do need me?!” It seems that during milk time I am a high viz. I’ll most certainly be there during days when he needs a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to, a hug to help him flourish, instilling courage and confidence with all of the that love I can give him.

“It does that body….Ya, you know what it does”

Tracy Rodriguez on Pinterest
wiselearners.com
Lawrenceville, GA  ·  Jesus loving, Harley riding, apron wearing homemaker. My pins: homemaking, vintage style clothing, crafts, food (THM, Paleo & Low Carb mostly) & gardening.
https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/450008187736738256/?lp=true
“SCHEDULE FOR THE 50’s HOUSEWIVES”

This is Logan’s life now, where I suppose I can watch from the sidelines? Who am I kidding, I’ll be the one cheering him on as his star cheerleader, performing back flips when he soars off on his own. Understanding that he’s the one who will be throwing the ball and if he wants, I’ll be the one to catch it.

When Logan steps through the doors, home from school, it seems he is much too tired to hang up his backpack, instead he tosses it to the floor. I’m the Mom who picks it up. Well, at least for a little while longer.

NOW A FUN CONTEST !!!

WIN 1 0f 2 $25.00 gift certificates/cards to OLD NAVY & 2 winners will be selected!

CONTEST STIPULATION: THERE HAS TO BE MORE THAN 10 COMMENTS ENTERED IN ORDER FOR CONTEST TO BE PLAYED. So get your comments in so I can pick the prize draw winner & you can win! CONTEST CLOSES NOVEMBER 20th 2019.

THE RULES: SCROLL THROUGH THE BOOKS BELOW and COMMENT telling me, which book is your most favourite & why. You have until November 20th to get your comments in & it has to be a comment on this blog only.

WINNER WILL WIN A $25 GIFT-CARD to OLD NAVY. There will be two winners.

COMMENT to share with me your favourite book shown below & don’t forget to tell me why!

TAMARA THOMPSON (TAMMY) Children’s Author’s/Poet/Speaker owner of i. Blog Your Business on Blogger The Healthy Way @Blogspot, Tamara is a Social Media Coach & Assistant through promoting.

https://butterflybee888.wixsite.com/iblogyourbusiness https://iblogyourbusiness.blogspot.com/

Book Titles include:

BEFORE YOU WERE BORN Traditionally published Paperback by Chipmunka Publishing.

Available at Chapters/Indigo/Barnes & Noble/Amazon/Chipmunka Publishing, and independent dealers world wide.

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/before-you-were-born/9781849912051-item.html?ikwid=Tamara+Thompson+before+you+were+born&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0
Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Chipmunka Publishing
https://www.amazon.ca/Before-Were-Born-Tamara-Thompson/dp/184991205X/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Before+You+Were+Born+Tamara+Thompson&qid=1569790646&sr=8-3

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK Illustrations by: Jason Mann

http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2534
Chipmunka Publishing

BUSY WITH BEE Illustrations By: Charlotte Drewery

Amazon E Book Busy With Bee
https://www.amazon.ca/Busy-Bee-Tamara-Thompson-ebook/dp/B012HVHAYI/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=busy+with+bee&qid=1569792144&sr=8-1

POEMS OF A CODEPENDANT Traditionally published book

Chipmunka Publishing.

Special NOTE: Spelled incorrectly to bring light to issues of illiteracy. http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2478
Download from Amazon.ca or Paper Back from publishers site, Chipmunka Publishing.

I DREAM IN POETRY Published by Thompson, Cover Design by: Jason Mann

Published By: Tamara Thompson in Paperback on Amazon, also in available as an Audio in Audible on Amazon & iTunes
Narrated by ADRIENNE WHITE
https://www.amazon.ca/I-Dream-Poetry-Tamara-Thompson/dp/1797482904/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=I+Dream+In+Poetry&qid=1569790730&sr=8-1

THE FORWARD’S Written & Published by: Thompson

Illustrations by: Jason Mann

Available in paperback only
https://www.amazon.ca/Forwards-Tamara-Thompson/dp/1688300198/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Forwards+Tamara+Thompson&qid=1569793233&s=books&sr=1-1

THE FORWARD’S are a fun, zany, wild and wacky bunch. They are six friends who like to do things their way. Oh, but to these misfits and odd-balls, they don’t see it that way, if they did, they would do it their way anyhow. The Forward’s never seem to mind what anyone else thinks, whether they are dangling high up on the ceilings or filling your house with balloons for no reason at all. For them, everything is backwards and upside down. When you’re with The Forwards, please be careful, because they love to cause mischief, chaos and confusion. With so many misunderstandings you just never take life too seriously. Where to The Forward’s a pup is not really a pup….

Jason Mann is Thompson’s Husband. Logan is their Son who inspired Mommy Misses Me as well as Before You Were Born, Happy Birthday Jack & The Forward’s

The Forward’s is the authors Latest Children’s Book.
The Story was created by Jason Mann & Tamara Thompson

http://www.mommymissessme.888.wordpress.com

Thank you for reading MOMMY MISSES ME!!!

Sent To Crafters Corner, a Personal Crafters Choice.

http://www.mommymissesme888.wordpress.com

There’s no pretending, no denying it, no hiding the fact that this Mom of a busy 4 year old is not a crafter born, bread and made. Growing up as a girl guide was craft central. Being a girl guide expanded my horizons in many ways. Learning to tie ropes into seven different types of knots, handling a sail boat, the many horse back riding adventures, fundraising, building a campfire with all the safety measures that go along with camping, hosting dinners at nursing homes, and learning to make jam with half the sugar and less fat as gifts for Christmas. I’ll never forget the time we learned how to boil stew in the ground for our dinner. Craft time though was not my neitch! With many people asking and nudging my Mom along the way as to “Why does it take your daughter triple the time to finish a craft compared to other girls? In an attempt to build on my crafting abilities, my Mom hoping to overcome my slow to grow crafting skills, decided to send me to craft camp, the nightmare that followed stuck with me as I was singled out for the rest of my days as a girl guide, not giving a damn about crafts. The leaders of craft camp wondered why I had kept a suitcase full of half finished crafts hidden away in my tent? At home, a stack of half made crafts from school filled my closet. Chucking my arts and craft in the trash as I jaunted home. I am certain that my Mom hid her head on the approach of many of these questions, noting that my popsicle stick house didn’t pull together in time We realised that I was never going to be asked to be part of crafters corner. The answer was simple, I was a kid who didn’t enjoy crafts.

I loved music and dancing, still do! Crafts are not my choice as a fun downtime experience.

My eagerness in craft making faded fast each time my poor speediness was pointed out. Instead, I was sent to crafters corner, a punishment or label given to me as “not the craftiest of crafters in the bunch”. So far, from where I sit in Motherhood, watching my Son, with no formats in showing that he has the crafters edge as well, or has not attained to this skill of creativity as of yet! He is very young where it is far to soon to know for certain if he takes after me in this pass time ritual. I watch as Logan turns his nose down to colouring pages with crayons and markers each time. He may or may not have a the arts and crafts gene pool, as does his Dad, being a well established abstract artist, with many desirable and tasteful art pieces to show, (on walls, not at all stuffed in closets!)

I am not a worried Mom as I am sure he will be drawn to so many fascinating activities, where quietly leaving the craft world aside may very well be his crafters choice and nature. My choice as his Mom is to not deter him away from making anything creative, if he chooses to do so in his time of creating. I don’t think I will be testing out his crafting productivity with a timed clock for measuring his status, nor did my mother thankfully! She brushed this poorly delayed small motor movement activity aside to help enrich my scope of learning with other things that I favoured, though she did become a Girl Guide leader, making sure we adventured in many other life skills, training and learning, not only crafts. Possibly my son will be a crafters picasso, possibly not?

I see focus and drive and determination. A crafter kid as he joins JK? I’m not so sure about yet, I’ll stay open to learning about what he likes to do with his time spent?

I do remember the feelings of awkwardness, as I looked at my Mother with a bit of sadness in her eyes. She never received near as many crafty gifts as the other Mothers. Unless my Mom went about looking in my mixes of crappy crafts tucked clear out of site in my bedroom closet. With many days of craft time ahead of me, as my Son moves towards Juniour Kindergarten, whether he takes to crafts or not is a desire in skills that is for him to determine. As his Mom, “the non crafter”, I’m prepared to answer the countless questionable reasons as to why he may not finish his crafts to bring home to me. I already know he is remarkable, crafty kid or not.

I am up for the questions about my son’s possible lack of interest in the visual arts. A simple answer to many questions about such things goes like this; “He doesn’t like it”, “He does like it!” “He sort of likes it” “he likes learning and doing this activity much more” and “he is good at this!” “He is not fond of it.” “He may not see the importance of it?” All great answers to many questions of maturity and milestones.

Easter crafts, a must do in our family tradition, we did enjoy this crafting moment together.

A few years back a 27 year old came to my home for a casual visit, he was a friend of a friend. My friend decided to bring him along for the ride to come to my home to visit Logan. The tag along became determined to conclude after meeting my son, that he was showing early signs of ADHD/ADD; Logan being but 2 years old. Spilling out numerous other professional diagnosis; summed up in record speed. Speaking again in detail how my son lacked in certain aspects of proper function and behaviour, that I should be glad that I am now aware and prepared for this diagnostic mash up that I suppose comes with schooling?

I felt terrible for this young man, knowing that what he took away from his education was casted out as a LABEL! Where his most precious years of learning was about his personal dysfunction! He did this seemingly out of care and concern to for-warn about what my son will need to endure, what I will need to gear up for as his Mother. Most possibly he made these assumptions to seek out another to wear a label right along with him. Possibly for this young man, there was a sense of purpose if he could shed this light. He continued to warn me about behaviour tendencies to watch for, to pay close attention to certain signs as he was already all too eager to suggest. I shook these mastery of clues of mis diagnosing my son as gracefully as any mother could. Mourning the fact that this young man of 27 had possibly missed out on what schooling could have and should have taught him; name any subject!

Instead, he seemed to grasp the ideals of pre-diagnosis rather keenly and astutely. His predictions into my son’s development were quickly dismissed by me, though I was sad that this man had been labeled through the most precious years of his life, speaking and hearing people label him was most likely his motivating factor when speaking to me that day.

Instantly, I felt that this man had somehow been abandoned by the teachings of proper education. Thankfully, I come with a strong background in learned child psychology, taken through many years of sociology and psychology classes, where we start learning about the stages and developments of newborns. I have delved heavily into college courses through the child and youth worker program as well as years of applied nursing care. As well, since my diagnosis as a 21 year old, I continued to learn and educate myself.

Learning is life-long, no matter the age. Here I am at off to learn a bit more researching about the arts. Now, the year I learned to master Jello, one of my best years in learning to bake.

Where the only questions in my sons behaviour go something like this, “Did you have a good day?” “What did you learn?” “Did you listen to the teacher?” “How was that test?” “How are you managing?” “How are you feeling?” “Did you make any new friends?” “Did you have fun?” “Do you need my help?” “What do you want to do tonight?” “Are you hurt?” “Why are you hurt?” “Are you OK?” “Did you hurt yourself?” “How did you hurt yourself?” “Were any others hurt?” “Don’t Hurt Others!” and “DON’T HURT YOURSELF!” I am sure not going to cramp his style with arts and crafts, laid out to him as a behaviour developmental dysfunction. Without even giving him a fair chance to explore his capabilities, this I am most interested in. What a way to zap out someone’s energy and take the zest out of life for anyone! Imagine telling an 70 or 80 year old that she didn’t finish her crafts in near enough time, then to wonder why she couldn’t keep up?

My little boy at one of his Dad’s art classes, certainly being social and more interested in the kind people there, then creating at this time.

As I listened with one ear and watched my son become excited with the friendly visitors as he loves people, young and old alike, then having a 27 year old eager with a hand full of diagnosis. I felt that society had failed him. If I find out one day that yes, my child does have a mental illness, it will be met with great professionalism, with strong guidance, it will be well researched, well determined, with many grounds of reliance, with proper care and attention, being well advised and highly attuned with recognition only from a doctor that I trust, completely. I am not going to take just any ones word for it.

To hinder the natural growth cycle in any child or youth, adding a label for them to associate with, for me and for the Mom that I am is a complete malfunction in growth and learning. Creating a bubble of labels where perhaps these labels are far to nourished. Looking at this 27 year old with what seemed to be a mask of scars, imprinted as a tainted label. I was not at all upset or displeased with him as a person or visitor in my home. I felt maybe that someone or something in the school system most likely failed him, as he knew less about the many strengths that he possessed and more about my sons possibly shared behavioural tendencies. He was most certainly wanting to connect with me and my son on this level. Will I take his word for it, not at all. Wondering as I often do as to why there so much bullying in schools today compared to years ago? Pronouncing and presenting any sort of diagnosis will be heavily disregarded as a poor attempt to perhaps control a classroom.

Making memories of summer fun! I am all for that.

Could it be that the label alone causes a discourse in all further activities and actions towards the enrichment of what life is; a flourishing amount of lessons taught and learned. I, for one will not be seeking and searching for clues as to why my son likes to get out of his seat a lot, give up on crafts, whimsically run and jump, scream or be loud at play. I allow him to say no to things he does not like and he does so with honest vigor. I also allow him to pick out the things he likes, including the foods he likes to eat, to the activities he likes to accomplish. How else will he know how to decide things for himself in his latter years? I do know where to go for these answers if he does need help, already.

A week ago I was sitting amongst a table of women, all shouting out mental illnesses that their kids have been diagnosed with. To have this form of understanding of children for me, is a health hazard! I believe this wild paradigm of diagnosing is out of focus, out of balance and out of control. For whatever reason these diagnosis, have “caught on.” Not to say that these illnesses do not exist as a way mastering and understanding kids and becoming aware. For parents it may very well be a mental illness rearing in their child, for kids it means possibly not being invited out to a movie with their peers. Again listening to a group of mothers pour out a list of mental health concerns with the intended name tags that go a long with it was a lot for this mental health advocate and mother to fathom.

I could imagine their motherly concern and worry. Just as I have been examined, assessed and told that well… I have “schizophrenia” oh wait… no not “schizophrenia” but “schizoaffective disorder”, nope, wait wrong again, I have “seasonal affective disorder”…wrong, it’s “insomnia” (because I like to stay up late and write while everyones sleeping) Gosh darn it nope, my bad… It’s “anxiety and depression”, oops, no it’s not that at all, it’s “BIPOLAR” YES that is it, “Bipolar 2” mind you, not “Bipolar 1”! Possibly I just had a really bad year or two? Maybe I will just fine tune some of my creative writing abilities and sort this all out?

I was told that I was not good at making crafts in due time, people asking my Mother “Why is your daughter so much slower at this?” Crafters beware there may be a stigma attached to this fault in skill if not done with little creative ease and effort! I didn’t learn to bake either as a young girl, but a cake I can now bake slow to the take at 34. Then the day came when someone asked me to hit a 75 mile per hour fast-ball for my Dad, I was in a slump, it was my turn up to bat and I did, scoring a triple! As a busy and active kid growing up, this was something that I loved to do, it was something that I was good at. I made many years of fond memories as I couldn’t wait to get on the ball field, playing baseball as often as I could. With many years of practice and play hitting and catching many baseballs being thrown my way, many times scoring the winning run or catching a hard grounder at third-base, getting the runner out or coming home with scraped knees as I slid home, never to be sent to crafters corner again!

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My Preparation to JK

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“Time flies when you’re having fun!” This was said by Alexander Pope, the greatest English Poet from the early 18th Century. That old adage is truer for me at this very moment then it ever was. With only two months left before Logan starts Juniour Kindergarten in September. Time is now of the essence! I have so many questions orbiting inside the circumference of my poor Mommy brain. Inching closer and closer is Logan’s first day of school! Questions like; “What do I pack for his lunches?” I’m tempted to ask every experienced Mom I know. “What about friends?” “Will he be making a lot of them?” “What about the bus?” Do I take him to school myself? Or is doing the quick rip-pull away-drop off, to the bus driver the best way to go? I am pretty sure these lingering questions, will last for an eternity. Learning as I go everyday, scrambling! Not only preparing my son for JK, but preparing him for life!

“The bus pick up and scoot away with your child inside of it somewhere, hopefully sitting and behaving”.

The ups and downs, the challenges in life are everyday and ongoing. My biggest triumph today, is to figure out what to put in his lunch. If I pack carrots, will he eat them? What about drinks, what if he is thirsty and has nothing to drink? What if he has a bad day? How hard will my heart drop with disappointment for him? My task in lunch prep is to make sure Logan has enough “healthy snacks” as this is a must in today’s society. Will I be able to tread the waters as Logan learns to swim them? My Mommy preparation skills are coming in at full force. My checklists are being made, much like how we prepare for Christmas Day. Another season lasting almost two months. It seemed like only yesterday when I held Logan in my arms, singing lullaby’s, with my squeaky and tired, Mom voice. Squeaky and tired because I am a Mom. Let’s face it, a crackly voice comes with the territory. It seems our time spent together cuddling is fading fast! The days of slumber are behind us. When Logan was a tiny baby boy, learning to crawl, reaching his milestones as I clapped along, these are just fond memories now. Sending him off to JK, for me is a whirl-wind of fluster with mass mixes of emotions. I know Logan will adjust to his new surroundings, while my new surroundings will be gapped with emptiness. With two months left of our long lingering days of slumber, I still have a lot of preparation to do!

“My new surroundings, wondering if I packed enough juice boxes”

I’m 43, Logan just 4 years old. Looking back to 1980, the year I started Kindergarten is a 39 year difference, almost 4 decades later, if my grade 3 math is correct, which I am not totally certain it is. Still, it was a long time ago. My Mom, keen on her fashion sense, bought me the coolest duffle bag. It was going to make me or break me and she knew it! A multi coloured LIFESAVER bag, if the kids made fun of me or not, that was up in the air, it was a gamble that my Mom and I were willing to bet on.

In the 1980s LIFESAVERS were an extremely popular candy that us kids would get as a treat if we behaved well enough. LIFESAVERS just may not cut it in today’s world. Possibly a new TABLET will suffice as a treat for Kindergarten goers in this day and age? My Mom must have known I could pull of the cool duffle bag and wear it well. All so that the kids would include me in their fun and games, not leaving me out during play time. The LIFESAVER duffle bag did what my Mother had intended, I was in with the kids. The LIFESAVER bag saved me in terms of child’s play.

“My cool LIFESAVER duffle bag, warn with my cool jean jacket of course!”

Is there a certain bag that I can give to my 4 year old boy, that will “save” him in the same way? I’m not sure what the “going fashion” bag or nap-sac would be in the age, where we are in 39 years apart? Does this even matter to kids these days? Or is it the use of electronics that will set Logan up for a good life? Showing the world that Logan means business. Needless to say, I am a bag of nerves. Where I really don’t think a the LIFESAVER bag packed with coolness is really going to cut if for this JK! I am up for the challenge though, as I prepare Logan for his brand new adventure of learning?

I wasn’t the best student in Kindergarten. The teacher’s name was Mrs. Wilson. The first day of class she sat us in a circle and said, “for every good behaviour that we do, we get an award at the end of class”. A necklace with a number on it, she showed it to us, I was not at all impressed! It was a string of blue wool, a cut out piece of paper, pasted with the number 1, 2 or 3 on it. She told us if we behaved and listened we would collect these hand-crafted awards to wear. These necklaces were not at all appealing to me, I was already set in fashion with my more rainbow coloured duffle bag. I thought it would be easy enough to skip this step.

“An award much like the one I thought I could do without.”

It was close to home time, she would then call us out one by one to give us our necklaces. It seemed three weeks went by. I was the only kid not to receive these woolen awards. I was gratified enough with my LIFESAVER duffle bag, possibly already “too cool” for this dangling crafted material. Not only that, it seemed like the kids were expected to do a lot of hard and heavy work in order to receive them. I decided to bow out of these tiring tasks and responsibilities, save my strength for more play time. I sat watching the kids scurrying around to clean up their mess of toys after playing with kitchen sets, dolls, cars and trucks. Daydreaming I’m sure! I was already showing traits of the REBEL. It was close to home time, Mrs. Wilson took me aside asking me; “Why, I had not helped put the toys away?” She asked me; “Why wasn’t I participating?” She pointed out that I wasn’t raising my hand to answer questions about the ABC’S and 123’S?

I shrugged to this, “I Dunno.” Shrugging my shoulders, I told Mrs. Wilson, “I don’t really want the wool necklaces Mrs. Wilson, I don’t like them all that much.” (At least not half as much as my LIFESAVER duffle bag). Mrs. Wilson said, “Well this is Kindergarten Tammy! You will only go to the next grade, if you do the the things I ask, like put away toys.” “DING DING DING!” A bell went off in my little head. “Oh…we’re really suppose to put the toys away, and actually to do the things you ask”? I thought it was an optional choice and one that I could live without, the necklaces were anything but pretty.

“Not a picture of me. I still wear outfits like this though.”

My first lesson in Kindergarten was to decide whether or not to listen to our teacher and behave. I thought it was a great trade off, to sit on my own in a corner left to daydream. It made sense to me, as the necklaces were a bit hideous. Deciding to opt out on this lesson in good behaviour was for me, a sound choice. She corrected me; “NO Tammy, as a student, you must do everything I ask you to do.”

That day before class was ending, I received five wool necklaces, somehow tangled up amongst the other ones in a bin. I picked out the ones I wanted. What I didn’t know, was that we had been asked to return the necklaces after we put it on for a short time, then we could reuse them the next day. Mrs Wilson said; “Good job Tammy! You receive five necklaces today, now put them on. OK, now back in the bins”. This fast, first rule was new to me and even more less appealing! The kids then stacked their awards back in the bins before grabbing our bags and coats to head home. I got my first necklace awards and continued to do as Mrs. Wilson and as my future Teachers asked.

Is Logan going to be the Rebel student that I was? While, his Father is wired with the same REBEL tendencies…I’m not sure what chance Logan has in this. Will I be asked to make trips to the principal’s office, sorting out Logan’s non-conforming behaviour? We will have to wait and see!

This is Logan reading to Mommy at bedtime. “I’m sure Logan is going to be well behaved and receive wool necklaces.”

As I shop and strike off lunch menu items, gathering wardrobe pieces to carry him through the seasons, purchase coloured marker and scissor sets, along with his new nap-sacs year after year. These items could either make him or break him, as did my LIFESAVER duffle bag. I marvel at what they expect from Logan and from me. Learning ABC’S, 123’S, to listen and behave. Making sure he is dressed accordingly; not too cold, not too warm. That he listens and does what the Teachers ask in preparation for a solid foundation, giving him the fundamentals to lead a good life. Where a LIFESAVER duffle bag may not be the only thing needed to take along with him.

“The lunch list – and my prep skills!”

Hold on to your hats, because this ride will be filled with excitement, twists, turns, ups and downs. As I prepare my boy to become a man, not today, though it will happen! The day when he comes home to tell me that he has graduated school and it’s time for him to join the world. Contribute in someway, somewhere, in some place. All I can hope is that he is not cold, but warm, that he has food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, that he has clothes to dress in, and a means to live in comfort. With suitcases to pack, full of his belongings, to go on amazing trips to see things.

I have yet to know how Logan’s life will unfold. I do know I will be preparing him for his journey, hoping he will have the most excellent adventures. Just as my Mother did with me, buying me the ever coolest duffle bag of the 80s, probably saving up her pennies, to ensure that I get a good start.

My Journey To Juniour Kindergarten.

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I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. I was one of those rare cases who was having major difficulty conceiving. I was not about to give up, I was 38, my partner Jason 42. We still had a bit of time to master the art of conception. Where Jason seemed to be indifferent about having kids. For me, it meant everything! His mother was a great child bearer and nurturer with eight children and 27 grandchildren. I was a rarity in his family, it seemed we would be coined uncle and aunt for eternity. I wanted to be a mom and have a family of my own, I was not about to throw in the towel on motherhood.

2013 in the “Hood” where we lived, Stayner, ON Canada. Our dog Cobra was our baby then.

Jason and I stood together through some hard and heavy storms, (not literal rainstorms). We had lived and just about survived everything together. We met by chance, or luck I would say. Both of us had lost our jobs living in the city at the beginning of the recession. We met when I moved to the small town of Stayner, ON, North of Toronto, ON Canada. It was love at first site and before him I wasn’t sure that love even existed, at least not for me. Everyone could see the love between us, they would comment endlessly on how perfectly matched we were. Even his mother and 4 sisters would admit proudly that we were just meant for one another! We knew our chemistry was strong, for what we were about to go through together it had to be. Meeting at the turn of 2011, if you remember that was during the worlds second largest recession “The Economy Crash of 2008”, we felt meeting and falling in love during one of the worlds largest pit falls in history was heaven sent. He would protect me from the dangerous riff raffs that seemed to follow me home, with motives that I could only guess what the outcome could have been, and I would tackle bills, count dollars and cents, make sure our hydro stayed on, bought food and managed the home. The way I was going I would never have survived the recession, if we hadn’t have met when we did in this desolate time never knowing how we would fetch our next meal. We lived only on love, our bond, hope and passion as we guided each other through these storms, that lasted for a decade.

“We held on to tight, as we navigated through times of struggle”

We went from years of hunger, starvation, to the loss of loved ones, selling our belongings online became a past time to ensure we were going to be able to eat a meal. Waking up in the morning to devise our master plans on finding food or buying clothing took up a lot of our days. We became great masters at “strategy” and “maneuvering” never giving up in our pursuits to acquire the necessities of life. Never mind the shoes we went through trotting to and fro to get our grub; four years went by in a flash. Being with him, falling in love and meeting his family made it barrable. It would take us years to rebuild. We dug our way out of that hole and continued to scrape our way forward, really clawing our way back up.

So, like I was saying. I was having trouble conceiving, Jason would shrug his shoulders to this, each time I brought it up. We were great climbers already, so I knew we could manage having a baby. It was September of 2014, we had made a small move to just around the corner from where we lived. Moving from a small, shabby, sheik, 500 sq ft, apartment in a seniors building, paying only $120.00 a month for rent, it was controlled housing through an agency of the Ontario Government for low-income renters. Moving to a two story 1200 sq. ft. home, paying full rent and full hydro costs, with more room to grow. And that we did, soon after I found out I was pregnant!

“A cold day in January, most likely I was off to fetch us some food”

I remember cleaning and vacuuming a lot more then I could ever recall and enjoying it much more then anyone ever should. So there I was vacuuming like I would win a cash reward for the cleanest carpets in the hood, (obviously nesting!) I knew I felt different, my stomach felt heavier, I was moving slower, I must have tripped over the area rug 19 times that afternoon, wondering why I was so clumsy? Then I felt my boobs; yup; tough and tender. I took a pregnancy test from the dollar store, came home tucked it away in my make up drawer where I knew Jason would never see it. Woke up, and Yup, a baby boy on his way!

Logan two-years old, enjoying the swing. My World!

When I told Jason, I could tell he was just as happy as I was, his past impartial attitude about being a family, possibly a tough guy front? He didn’t look puzzled and his jaw didn’t drop in a state of mass-confusion. Jason pulled me in as I let my vacuum clumsily crash to the floor. Hugging me he gushed. We were together climbing through the trenches for already going on 5 years, those times were now far behind us, with a baby boy on the way, we couldn’t wait!

Logan was born after a very difficult 4 day labour. “What? 4 days you ask…” Yes, four days at home, water soaked just about everything in there. The Dr’s and Nurses didn’t believe our baby boy was ready to come out to see the world, even seeing that I was 10 days overdue. He was only 7 centimeters dilated, having an emergency C-section on May 25th 2015, 9.11 lbs at 8:08 am, our son was born. Coming home with our newborn it looked like someone had installed a whirlpool upside down, instead of a nursery. Logan Paul Mann-Thompson, happy, healthy we had a family.

Mommy’s first day with Logan, after a 4 day labour and delivery. An emergency C-section.
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Now, if 4 days of labour was not a climb into motherhood, I don’t know what would be. Logan is 4 today, starting Juniour Kindergarten in September of 2019. He will be embarking on his own journey, entering a life of wonderment, learning, growing and becoming. A mature mom at 43, seeing her only son get off to school, I have many mixed feelings with many questions, hesitations and concerns. Juniour Kindergarten is the marking of the beginning of his young life, a time now where I won’t be the centre of his universe. I know I will be delighted watching him make new friends. Sure, I will be eager to clap along when he learns to tie his shoe laces, (even if I am not that one that teaches him). Am I ready to miss him so much, when he is off learning to add and subtract, spell his name or play on the monkey bars at recess? I am not so sure. Hopefully he will be able to say, as he jets off into his own adventures that “Mommy Misses Me”

WE ARE FAMILY
I HOPED LOGAN WOULD STAY THIS AGE FOREVER! HE KNOWS…. “Mommy Misses Me”

Now comes the time when I become just part of his young life, where I would much rather be the center forever. I am not totally attached to this idea. If I learned anything since meeting Jason and falling in love in the most desperate and impoverished era of our lifetimes and throughout history it is this. We can survive anything, even our 4 year old starting Juniour Kindergarten. I’ll be learning the ropes now from Logan, and I am sure I will be asking the more experienced moms and teachers a lot of questions.

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