Preschool has helped this mom learn a great deal; a LONG entry today!
Nick has now been in preschool since just after Labor Day. He goes three days a week for 2.5 hours a day.
In this time I have watched him become a leader, rather than a wallflower. I am amazed. He is such a sensitive, affectionate child, but that has often resulted into other children (especially his little brother) walking all over him. Nick has never been assertive, which we have been working on with him.
I am pleasantly surprised at his accomplishments. We know how bright he is...he counts to 100, can write several words, spell at least a dozen, and had the Pledge of Allegiance memorized after learning it one day in school. He has my brother's Ivy League intelligence, and sometimes this has affected his ability to be on the same page socially as other children his age. This is the key reason we enrolled him in preschool: for the socialization.
Nick is a leader; a social butterfly. How did this happen in a matter of 3 weeks? I am not sure. He absolutely loves going to school. He wakes up with a smile, arrives there with a smile, and walks out of class laughing and talking with his new friends. I am so proud of him! He just goes to school and tells me, "Mama, I am going to ask so and so if he wants to play tag." He is so outgoing now, and always has a warm smile for the others.
In these 3 weeks, however, I think I have learned more than he has.
It truly seems as though I just gave birth to Nicholas. It seems impossible that time has passed this quickly. I just didn't realize it until he started going to preschool! The fact that the baby is 27 months old is hard for me to believe. He is so wild--so active and independent--a real ham. Where has the time gone?
What I have learned kind of goes along with a blog post from a couple of weeks back. I have learned that you have to let the little things go. In the 2.5 hours Nick is at school, I am in the yard pushing Ben in his swing rather than doing another load of laundry. Those towels waiting in the dryer are of no importance; watching Ben collect bugs or swing or play Ring Around the Roses solo are more moments I hope last just a wee bit longer. Before I know it, Ben will go off to preschool and that will mean both of my babies have grown up.
We are not having more children. While I am so happy to be passed the newborn baby stage, and thrilled not to spend yet another pregnancy on bedrest or have more worries going into labor at 32 weeks, I am realizing that my babies are growing up fast and there is nothing I can do to stop time (except by snapping pictures, but it is not the same). These moments are so fleeting. I wish they would just last forever.
If you would've told me when I was in high school or college that I would have ever felt this way, I would've laughed my head off. Being a *gasp* stay at home mom, driving a minivan and being a room mother were far from my life's desires at that time...Of course that all changed after I met Tom, but that is a story for another day.
Anyway...back to learning. I have learned more from being a mother than I ever did throughout high school or college. The boys have been my greatest teachers. One of the most profound lessons they have taught me thus far is to do what you want to do, not what other people want you to do.
The boys are masters at this...
For them, it is not such a good lesson to learn, as their idea of not doing what others want them to do involves ignoring my directions (such as time for bed, time to brush teeth, stop playing outside, etc). For me, it has been wonderful!
Some business lessons learned....
These past weeks since I have scaled back in terms of my business, I have found true happiness. Every now and then, I get an instinct to do it all again--"just this once" making soaps for a few customers who have been asking me about a long time favorite...and I planned to do so. I told my sounding board/my voice of logic/my darling hubby about this plan and he gave me that look...the one that says, "Good Lord, now what are you getting yourself into again?"
Again, he reminded me about the time spent, the fact that I don't love it anymore...and this brought me to another decision I have not wanted to come to but have...my facial items. Last week I decided I would just sell them online at a wonderful consignment boutique. After I send my newest batch, though, this is going to be it.
Part of what I love most about my facial products is the fact that I ask every single person detailed info about their skin...I then customize serums and moisturizers for them. In order for me to keep this business, I would have to drop that aspect...and since every single person has different needs, I wouldn't be 100% happy knowing that someone is buying a serum that really should have an extra essential oil or two to be most effective. Does that sound silly?
Instead, I will post my recipes for my products in my blog so that you can make them yourself at home! I will post my recipes for my eye balm, eye serum, facial serum, face cleansers, lip balms, lip glosses, mineral makeup, etc...as well as where to find the supplies!
I am not giving up my interest in natural skincare....that passion will always be here as long as there are unsafe products on the market.
I will continue my passion for natural skincare and for corporate accountability when it comes to product ingredients. I will keep writing letters to government agencies about how dangerous it is not to follow the lead of the EU when it comes to ingredients used in cosmetics and skin care sold in the United States. I will continue to write to companies like Bare Escentuals who claim certain products are all-natural and preservative-free (see my post about parabens in Mineral Veil) and offenders like Philosophy, who sell products to "benefit" breast cancer research when those very products have cancer-causing agents. Companies care about dollars and cents, for the most part.
Something about me that only a few people know is that I am a Reiki Master/Teacher, having been certified in early 2005. This is a very important part of my life. Mastering reiki has brought a sense of calm and inner peace to my life. It helped me deal with the grief of losing my father. It helped me to become more interested in holitic health, reflexology and herbology (after reiki, I became a certified herbalist), and has just kept me centered. Reiki is powerful and wonderful and is something spiritual. The connection of mind, body and spirit is of great importance to me personally. I used to give attunements and also self-treat daily. When I became so busy with Flour City Bakery that it took over a chunk of my life, I no longer had the time or discipline to maintain Reiki as a key part of my life.
I am thrilled that I am able to be back practicing Reiki regularly; it is really about personal growth, relaxation, discipline, self worth and spirituality. Practicing Reiki is just a part of my day, much like making sure I drink the water I need, eat enough colorful fruits and veggies, walking, washing my face at night, etc...
I am also having fun exploring my more creative side. It is lots of fun. Last night I made a decoupage shabby chic picture frame...it looks great! I also made an altered art shabby wall hanging. That looks cute, too. Best of all, and something I will never forget, is that this is something that brings me joy. It does not take time away from Nick and Ben...I am able to watch every Yankees game with my hubby and cuddle on the sofa every night. I can spend an hour brushing the dog. My time is 100% on my family when it should be, not worrying about turnaround time or driving to the post office in 2 feet of snow (hey, it'll be here soon enough since this is upstate NY)!
I will, in the next month or so, be launching my dot.com site (northfieldroadgifts.com) and will feature my cards, artwork and soy tarts/candles. I enjoy Etsy. It is a great community and I have met some wonderful ladies there! I'm going to have my own site again so that I can avoid the listing fees, final percentages, etc...and be able to list every tart I offer.
Another main factor in deciding to stop with the facial care is something that just happened...The store where Flour City Bakery products were sold here is now going to be carrying my cards, so that is great, and I have LOTS of cards to make for the holiday for them. The gift shop features a great deal of shabby chic, primitive and Victorian items and I know Northfield Road Gifts will do great there!
My friends and hubby know that my long-term goal is to open a brick and mortar shop with an in-store coffee/tea bar. I say long-term because it will all depend on my children and what is in their best interests. I know that this will come to fruition. If I have a dream or a goal, I am not one to say "It will never happen"...I am one to go out and make it happen, and know this will be the same...much like Nick told himself he was going to go out and make new friends at preschool...another lesson my son has taught me.