Thursday, December 31, 2009

So Long December!!!

I'm waaaay overdue on pictures. You know you want to see my beautiful babies. So here they are in all their December glory. We had so much fun this month - we had a weekend full of snow (very unusual for Richmond in December), went to the theater, enjoyed Christmas festivities and music, learned about and celebrated a few 'new' holidays (for us) and enjoyed two weeks off that were packed full of playdates and mayhem. Looking forward to 2010!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


For those that don't know, Charlotte Reynolds, a 4-year old child and honorary student at Three Oaks Montessori School, has a terminal brain tumor. In fact, she is in her final days. I, and our entire community, feel heartbroken.

The memorial reception is my planning area, and I'm hoping some of you may be willing to help by volunteering time, resources or financial assistance in the next week or two.

Specific volunteer needs:
- Set up before/during memorial service
- Craft table management
- Serving/food table help
- Manning a large chocolate fountain (to be found)
- Balloon logistics (looking for eco friendly balloon release options - please send ideas!)

I'm also looking for donations (financial or in kind) for the following:
- Socks (100 pairs of new, long socks for therapeutic puppets the kids will make during the reception)
- Sewing notions (buttons, thread, things to glue on sock puppets)
- Chocolate fountain - the biggest one we can find
- snowman craft items
- Scrapbooking materials (any and all - especially purple or pink)
- Butterfly wings (child costume ones) - purple and/or pink only please
- purple and/or pink plates, utensils, cups
- 1,000 eco-friendly balloons or other optional eco-friendly release item
- potluck style food items - with a whimsical twist (butterflies, pink and purple)
- Monetary donations for the supplies we can't get donated
- And other stuff will come up, I'm sure.

I know I've got the best network of friends, family and lurkers possible. Thank you for your support of me and my family during our trying times. I hope all of you anonymous angels out there will be willing to help this family as well. Please email me directly (or leave a comment here) if you want to help.

- Kim

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Melancholy Month

This December has been pretty tough. There are a lot of emotions running high around here, for a lot of different reasons. Through it all I'm continually reminded how blessed I am with my girls, my home, my life in general. But sometimes the most poignant reminders are the ones that hit you hardest in the gut - things like terminal cancer, major life changes, sick kids.

So, I'm a recluse at the moment from the blogosphere. My heart is too heavy (and my mind is too busy trying to process everything) for writing right now.

The new year is just around the corner, and I hope by then I'll be more clear minded and able to write. Until then, the girls are great, Santa was overly generous (even to the tantrum queen) and I'm anxiously awaiting the changes coming in the new year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I feel like I'm going through many seasons at the moment - rebirth and spring, death and fall, my summer years and some dark winter nights are co-mingling all at once in a huge force of change in my life.

After 7 years of business ownership, I'll be stepping away from association management and eventually school ownership and taking on a new role as a business analyst (essentially what I was already doing) at a consulting firm in Richmond. It means leaving behind the flexible, at-home schedule, which I have so many mixed feelings about, but the benefits are outstanding, it's what I've dreamed of doing, and where I want to go. I haven't got all the details yet, but I'm almost afraid to pinch myself - I wanted this job, needed the change, more than anyone can ever imagine.

It seems like there have been so many goodbyes this year. Friends, relationships, clients, my favorite pet ever, fleeting childhood moments with the girls. But it's been a good year, too, and there's so much to look forward as we settle in for the long winter months ahead. I can't wait to see what will emerge this spring from all the changes that transpired over the past year.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


OK, someone tell me how to handle a tantruming three year old. Please. Because I have NO. FRIGGIN. CLUE.

As a Montessori mom, I use the 'choices' approach to help stave off about 50% of the tantrums. But some days Sadie has already escalated well out of the realm of reasonable discussion.

So I remove her from the situation if I can. Try to talk about using a calm body and kind words. But sometimes she's already over that, too.

So she kicks, screams, scratches, tears things apart, throws things, etc. And if we get to that point, well, it's going to be at least 20 minutes before she can calm herself.

A friend was here today and witnessed what transpires first hand. Sadie hit her daughter in the head with a toy, several times. When I called her over to speak to me, she refused to budge. I went to her, knelt to her level and said, "we do not hit our friends with toys, it hurts." To which she replied, "I know" and made a face. I replied, "if we hurt our friends it makes them sad, so we need to apologize to help them feel better. We don't want to hurt our friends, do we?" To which she replied, "yes I do. She's stupid." Stupid, you see, is the worst word she knows... at least at this point. It's like a curse word in our home.

So I gave a choice, we could go over and apologize to the friend and play nicely, or we could go sit down and calm down. And the screaming began. Not a "wah" but a high pitched, ear pearcing scream. I told her that "screaming is not nice, it hurts my ears, it hurts all of our ears. You need to use your words so that we understand what you want to tell us." Yeah, no effect. So another choice was given, stop screaming and use words to talk to me about how she was feeling, or go upstairs. And a hit flew. And I scooped her up, went upstairs to her room and put her on the bed.

Again the conversation about using words. She's kicking, screaming, throwing things, so obviously, no more conversing at this point. I tell her that if she continues to throw things, I will have to hold her until she calms so she doesn't break anything or hurt herself or me. It escalates. I hold her. She bites, screams. Twenty minutes pass. No dice. I put her down several times during that time, each time to get assaulted. At this point I'm wondering if my friend has left. I wouldn't blame her if she had.

Sadie calms enough, finally, to say she wants to go downstairs. I say sure, if she can use a calm body and quiet voice. She starts down the stairs, and the wails start up before we're half way down. Full blown crying again at the bottom of the stairs. Again, the choice to remain calm downstairs, or go back up. She chooses screaming. We go back up.

During this, my friend is downstairs. She's pregnant, otherwise I would have hooked her up to an IV of alcohol to help with the pain being inflicted by Sadie's wails (mentally and physically). I ask her in frustration if she has any ideas. She said sure, put her in the room and walk out. Let her tear it up. Then she has to clean it up after. Take out any special items you do not want broken. And so, at wits end, I do that. And I close the door, go to the other side, and sit against it so she can not get out. She breaks a part of the door banging and wailing. I sit and cry. My friend leaves. 40 more minutes pass. Finally she calms.

So, my question. How the heck do you deal with a kid like this? How do you a) keep it from escalating to that level and b) calm a child once he/she is a full blown tantrum? I've searched the internet, and books, and asked some friends of toddlers. They give me advice on avoiding the situation, but not one resource can tell me how to deal with it once it happens.

I'm beginning to wonder if there's a behavioral problem. My friend today admitted she'd never seen anything like this. I tell people all the time about the difficulties, but few have witnessed the full blown Sadie Tantrum. I need Nanny 911!!!!