What I Did and What I Wished I Had Done ...

Sunday, July 06, 2014

By Lisa Lemieur, author of  http://picklesandcheeseblog.blogspot.com/

8 Things I Am Glad I Did When My Kids Were Little
1. I am glad I volunteered as much as I did in my kid’s classrooms.  When they were in elementary school I was there a lot.  Sometimes I was the “Room-Mom” but most of the time I was just a helper.   And I’d like to think my kids liked having me there.  Believe me, they won’t want you there when they are in high school.  Get it in while you can.

2. I am glad I hand-made most of the Halloween costumes for my kids.  One year I sewed my daughter a Ladybug costume and I still have it.  She was so cute in it and I still can’t bear to part with it.  Another favorite of mine was the year she was a scarecrow.    My son was the world’s cutest cow one year and the costume I think he loved the most was when I made him a Darth Maul costume from Star Wars and painted his face and he got to carry a light saber.  For boys, it’s all about the weaponry.    As the years went by, the sewing machine gave way to fabric glue which is one of the world’s greatest inventions…that and duct tape.

3. I am glad I baked with my kids.   Some days it was very hard for me to do.  Some of those days I just wasn’t in the mood for the mess.  And oh what a mess they could make.  But they always loved to help bake anything and everything and I usually let them. 

4. I am glad I saved all of their letters to Santa.  They are delightful to read.  They still don’t know that I did this.  I am going to wait till they are a little bit older before I pull them out.

5. I am glad I kept a photo scrapbook for each of our kids.  I also kept a family album.  The kids still like to pull out their book and look at all the photos detailing their school days, birthdays, and holidays.  I’m sad to say I haven’t scrapbooked in quite a long time.  I really need to get back to it.

6. I am glad I made my kids write thank you notes for their gifts.  It was not an option.  Still isn’t :)

7. I am glad that I wrote in all of my cookbooks.  After making a recipe from one of my cookbooks, I would write the date and the reason or occasion for which I made it.  The other day I pulled out one of my books and opened to the page with the Baklava recipe we made for my daughter’s Greek Festival when she was in the fifth grade.   Another recipe I came across was for the peanut butter cookies that I have been making since my son was 3 that he just loves.  There is the Beef Bourguignon that my daughter and I made together for a French class project and the crepes my son and I made for his French class project.  It’s always fun to open up a cookbook and see my notes and remember what I’ve tried and how the kids and my husband liked it.

8. I am glad I took a photo of our kids on the first day of school every year.   They didn’t want to do it so much when they were teenagers but I made them and I still do.  This year I took my son’s photo with the dog standing next to his car.  He’ll be glad I took that picture when he’s a grown man.

8 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently
1. I wish we would have started earlier and saved more money for college!  We’ve been responsible with our finances in almost every way I would say except for this one.  Our goal now is to have our kids finish college with as little debt as possible.  We are doing okay with one in college right now but things are tight.  Please don’t rely on the idea that your kids are going to get scholarships.  Scholarships are not as plentiful as we were led to believe.  If you are lucky, your student will qualify for one but for the most part you are on your own!  Start saving now!

2. I wish I would have taught our kids when they were really little to make their beds as soon as they got up in the morning. That way it would be a habit for them now.  It’s rare that their beds are made before I get to them.

3. I wish I had known not to have had tunnel vision when it came to picking out a new home, neighborhood, and school.  When we moved to this area our kids were just starting elementary school.  I was so focused on picking the elementary school that I gave almost no thought to the middle and high School.   We loved their elementary school but had concerns about the middle and high school as they got older.   Because of that, we ended up moving to a different neighborhood and school district when it was time for middle and high school.  Expensive lesson to learn.

4. I wish we would have taken a winter vacation and our kids had learned how to ski.  Growing up in Michigan I learned to ski when I was young and did all the cold weather activities like ice skating and sledding.  We have taken many vacations to the beach over the years, I just wish that maybe one of those vacations had been spent on some wintertime fun. 

5.I wish I would have had more professional photos taken of our family and of the kids.   We were always trying to save money.  More professional photos would be nice to have today.

6.I wish I could have mastered baking sugar cookies and decorating them.  I never got the hang of making them.  And it’s not like I didn’t try.  They always seemed to stick to the cookie sheet or would brake. So disappointing.   The idea of decorating sugar cookies still appeals to me but I know better and have given up.   I’ll stick to cupcakes.

7. I wish I would have video taped my kids more when they were teenagers. And I would suggest taking as many photos as you can of your kids (especially teenagers) with their friends.  I wish I had more photos of me and my friends from when I was a teenager and so I know my kids would like to have them too as they get older. 

8. I wish we would have gotten a dog sooner.   We got our Golden Retriever Oakley four years ago and we LOVE her.  Our kids were in middle and high school when we got her.  Oh sure, having a puppy is like having another toddler in the house and then there is the endless amounts of dog hair everywhere.  But now I find myself thinking about all the years and the dog hair covered memories we missed out on. :)
becky johnston commented on 11-Jan-2011 08:20 AM
between this and the chocolate dipped clementines, Lisa, you are a wealth of information!!!!! :)
Kay commented on 11-Jan-2011 08:45 AM
Could have written this myself! I think the most important thing is TIME. Spend as much time with them as you can. When they are bugging you to play with them, remember that ten years from now YOU will be the one bugging them to hang out with you!
Lisa W. commented on 11-Jan-2011 08:57 AM
I really enjoyed this post. It made me feel good to know I already do about half of the first eight things! I love the idea of writing in the cookbooks - I loved cooking with my mom and now I am always cooking with my girls and I know someday I would enjoy looking back at notes like that. I definitely going to try to start that one!
Jill commented on 11-Jan-2011 09:07 AM
Thanks for the tips and the reminder of how quickly it goes by. I try to remember that when my 5-year-old wants to be held/carried/grab my leg/crawl in bed in the middle of the night... she probably won't acknowledge my existence in 10 years so I'd better soak it up now! And I'm bad about not putting pictures of non-family in my annual Snapfish photo book (I'll never catch up on scrapbooking!), so this year I made sure I included friends. I'll have to remember that one for future years.
Luciane at HomeBunch.com commented on 11-Jan-2011 10:19 AM
This was so fun to read! Having two little ones I felt inspired to teach them something new: do their own beds! :-) ... and about that "puppy", I wish I had the time/patient right now, but this opened my eyes a little bit more about that. :-)

I just love coming here! :-)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Luciane at HomeBunch.com
Lisa commented on 11-Jan-2011 11:00 AM
It's so exciting to see my blog post featured here today! Thank you so much! I am a big fan of Triad Moms on Main and even though my kids are older, I still great information here! Keep it coming and continued success to your wonderful website!
Laura Walsh commented on 11-Jan-2011 12:04 PM
Lisa, what a wonderful and sweet post! I was so excited to see your post on Triad Moms on Main today, exciting!!! :)
Susi Willis commented on 11-Jan-2011 04:24 PM
This was so tender and heartfelt. I didn't raise any children, but have the best daughter that I was fortunate enough to get in marriage. Your ideas are splendid and I absolutely love the writing in cookbook one.. I will save this for the possibility of grandkids...thank you.
Sara commented on 11-Jan-2011 08:53 PM
Thank you both to Triad Moms on Main and Pickles and Cheese, I stop by a few times a week to getall your awesome tips! What great blogs!
Jessica P. commented on 11-Jan-2011 09:00 PM
This blog gave me some good ideas, but also made me sad. I hate the thought of my kids growing up. Great addition Moms on Main!
Scott commented on 11-Jan-2011 09:58 PM
A little thing we started here is that any time we get new bedtime books, I let the kids sign and date them inside the front covers with Sharpies. Sometimes they draw pictures too, and it's already fun to look back at those things even a couple of years ago. Will hopefully be priceless when I'm reading those Dr. Seuss books to my grandkids!
Rene commented on 12-Jan-2011 09:27 AM
What a great list Lisa and a few of them had me in tears. Yes, to more pictures. You simply cannot have enough.

KC commented on 13-Jan-2011 02:28 PM
Great job, what sweet thoughts!

I am glad that we bake too and glad that we spend lots of time outside - buy lots of backyard toys and get dirty... its worth it!

Also, be your child's advocate and let them be kids! We spent waaaay too much time at a so-so preschool because it was the "it" school. Make it easy when they are little!
Nichole@40daysof commented on 20-Jan-2011 05:13 PM
I love this post!!! Such great things to think about. Especially the writing in the cookbooks. I never would have thought to do it. :)
Kelly commented on 28-Jun-2011 05:22 PM
Great post! It's easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about the bigger picture. Thanks for a new perspective.
Amy B commented on 28-Jun-2011 08:39 PM
Wonderful post!
Elizabeth commented on 29-Jun-2011 12:52 PM
I loved this blog! It is always great to hear from mom's of older children to help keep what is important in mind, while chasing after a toddler, while trying to get ready for work and keep the dog from jumping on the counter and.......:)
Lori commented on 29-Jun-2011 08:55 PM
Great advice...need to start doing some of these things while my kids are still young!!

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