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Hospital thoughts

Free Stock Photo - Hospital bed

Sunny day. Entering dark parking garage.

Dark entryway. Sterile air inside closing doors.

White walls. Winding corridors. Lonely elevator.

Nurses talking the only voices.

Uncertainty when entering room, peeking around the curtain, hoping to be intruding on the silence of the right patient. Unsure of whether he will look like a little old man or someone returning to good health.

Hugs. Talking. Concerns shared. Life updates. Sitting together. Smiles of reassurance.

Deep conversations about the future.

Loving words known.

Fresh air. Sun returns to my eyes.

These are just simple thoughts that ran through my head when I first went to visit my dad in the hospital (23 days ago). I decided to share them today as yesterday I drove my dad to a rehab facility to regain his strength before his returning home. 


Dad was in the hospital for 27 days and thoroughly enjoyed his 1/2 hour journey of freedom, enjoying ice cream along the way. What a stark difference between the hospital and the rehab facility! I’ll share those fleeting thoughts another day. Thank you to all who prayed for my dad. Pneumonia isn’t pretty.

What is it?

I’ve been absent for a week. Have you missed me? I’ve missed blogging, because usually when I blog it’s because I’ve done something neat with my kiddos. I’ve been in maintenance mode this week, though, so instead of sharing about my kiddos I’m just popping on to say hello and ask for prayer for my dad.

My dad has been in the hospital for 10 days now, going in with what they thought was mild pneumonia. Today he should be getting pathology reports for some skin biopsies for a strange rash and possibly today or tomorrow having lung biopsies. For now they are still saying it’s a rare pneumonia, but they don’t know the cause or why it isn’t getting better with the strong antibiotics he’s been on.

I’d appreciate prayer for him and for questions I’ve been fielding from my boys.

Life Gets in the Way

“Life gets in the way.” That’s probably my motto for life these past couple of months. Especially this past week.

Stock Image - Forest Boardwalk

source

I have a sinus infection. Both my boys have colds (which we initially thought were allergies so they are just not themselves which makes this mom feel so bad I was treating them for one thing and turns out they have another.)
Friday I received a phone call saying my dad was in the hospital (2+ hours away) with pneumonia and another infection (and still is) and I’m planning a trip out there to figure out what is going on – haven’t been able to because I’ve been sick, so I’m very worried.
There are lots of church nursery safety ideas floating around in my mind that I can’t seem to get on paper in an organized way and I have a meeting later this week to present them. 
My house is a mess due to being so wiped out with this sinus infection which just makes me feel like the walls are closing in.
…the list goes on. 
To say I have had other things on my mind is an understatement. I’d much rather be on that silent, peaceful boardwalk through the forest right now. I’m sure all of this is true for so many of you as moms, too! Anyway, I’m not seeking your pity, maybe your prayers…and I just bopped on here to say I’ll be taking a few personal days to get things in order. 
In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you moms out there keep your sanity when “Live gets in the way.” Are you a list maker? Do you have a support network that rushes in to help keep you afloat? Please share!

Judging Mommy

I wanted to wait until Easter was over to post this, partly so when I re-read it there wouldn’t be any Easter candy left to tempt me because just remembering this morning makes me want some!

Free Stock Images - Easter series - candy 7
© Photographer Elizabeth Ponticello | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Mrs. Cashier, please don’t judge me as a mom. Do you know what my morning has been like? Yes, you may have kids or grandkids, and you probably had a morning like mine before. However, that doesn’t mean I need your advice.

Please don’t say “Oh great, I get the crying, screaming one” in a regular conversation voice with the person checking out in front of me. I can hear you. I already feel bad as a mom having carted this screaming, crying child past all of the Easter candy displays that the grocery store has ‘conveniently’ placed so that my child cannot turn his head without seeing some and wanting it! And believe me, I understand this strategic placement of candy is not your fault, so I won’t judge you for it, OK?

Does anyone else ever feel judged by the grocery cashier? (Even when it’s not Easter candy season?!)

Organizing Mission Week 2

I started this organizing series last week with this post, where I described what I was going to organize (my piles), why I am going to organize (to reduce stress), and explained a little about the M.O.M. method that I was going to use (from The Power of Moms, a Gathering Place for Deliberate Moms). Are you wondering what you can learn from my experience? Read on, especially if you’re a piler like me!

As I said last week, I read through the Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.) start up e-book and felt a little overwhelmed, yet excited to get organized. It’s really nice that everything is broken down into steps in this system, quite literally step by step instructions are given, along with real-life samples in bonus sections if you buy the package, and it makes everything so simple! I actually dove right in while Hubby was home on school break (I thought I would be able to get my mind organized while he was home – my kiddos had other plans! That’s why this organizing is becoming a series!) I did get quite a bit done, but mostly I realized the true reasons I’m yearning to get organized as thoughts and ideas kept popping out at me as I made my way through the steps to the point of building the “Machine”, which is the real tool that will help me stay organized!

What I learned in my first week of M.O.M. by reading the start up e-book and beginning to set up my “Machine” that I think will be helpful for you:

  • Write on your calendar only what must be done on a specific day, not creating a to do list (or a want to do list)
  • Make a list of quiet-time tasks – tasks to be completed when no one is talking to me (so I’m prepared to get things done while I have this time available)
  • Make a list of things I can do while mothering (so I have a reference list to look at when I find myself with time when my kids are playing nicely and don’t need my direct involvement)
  • Group my errands together (really think about what I can accomplish while outside of the home)

In reading the bonus section “Building the Machine” the phrase “piles being nothing but paralysis” really stuck out at me. I’ve confessed before that I’m a piler. I realized when I read this that I did feel paralyzed by my piles and I knew it was affecting other areas of my life, too.

I also learned in the section about how to use my calendar, that this system will help me learn to truly prioritize my calendar (time/date) specific things first with my Next Actions coming next (things to be done, but not necessarily time sensitive.) I think I’ve always had a hard time being satisfied with doing just what’s on my calendar, that I gave false due dates to things to trick myself into getting them done and then felt guilty/stressed because I couldn’t accomplish everything in one day. Are you like that?

If you have time, you might want to check out The Power of Moms or their store! You’ll find some great resources for your family as well as for yourself as a mom!

I am hopping along today:


I have been given the M.O.M. resources by The Power of Moms in exchange for an honest review of this product. In my case I am unable to organize as quickly as suggested in this method, and am providing weekly reviews consisting of my honest opinions of this product.

Organizing Mission

I often get overwhelmed by the amount of papers I have in piles just waiting for me to organize. I hate to admit it, but I’m a piler. At one point this fall Hubby and I put shelves up above the student desk that holds my computer in the corner of our family room, complete with magazine holders (creating vertical piles) which nicely conceal some of those papers I need to organize. I have to admit I did a good job making this area look nice, with matching notebooks and folders which I tucked neatly into those magazine holders. However, the only thing that seems to be working in this organizing system is having the bills all neatly organized in a magazine holder that is located closest to the end of the shelf! Yes, magazine holders seem to be the catchall for me. But they sure look nice!
I came across this website called Power of Moms about 6 months ago and have been contemplating their M.O.M. Organizing program in their store but just couldn’t afford it, especially if it might not do the trick of getting and keeping me organized. I’m so thankful it worked out for me to review it!
The Power of Moms Mind Organization Program
M.O.M. actually stands for Mind Organization for Moms, which is really what I’ve been looking for. My attempts at organizing have always ultimately been to get to the point where I have less stress in my life because I have a clear mind, not one that is always wandering back to the things that I need to do, or think I haven’t done yet, or the list of things I want to do. I had just never thought of it as ‘Mind organizing’ before!
The premise is pretty simple and is based on the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’s been made a little more simple for busy moms. There are three basic areas that everything will be organized into: things on the brain, things off the brain, and once a week things. That sounds like just what I’m looking for! Less things on the brain ~ more organized! I read through all of the materials sent to me to get a really big picture and I admit at first it seemed really daunting. There is a lot of work to getting organized in this manner (mostly because I have so much to organize!), but I kept telling myself if this is the method that gets me to the point where I can be a more relaxed and present mom, then all the work will be worth it!
I’m just starting out on this journey to being organized. I have made my list of Inboxes so far and gotten my materials together to really get working. I’m actually looking forward to the process now that I’m going to blog about my experience (and therefore be held accountable)!
If you’re intrigued by this so far, check out The Power of Moms website and their M.O.M. strategy. It might be just the ticket for you to get organized and be a more relaxed mom too! I’d love to have others sharing on this journey with me.

I plan to blog maybe once a week or so about how my organizing is coming along and share how it’s helping me to be a better mom. I mean, this blog is about my boys and their everyday learning and if I’m not present and ‘with’ them I’m not really helping them learn along the way in the best way I can, now am I?

Shadow Play

Remember the centerpiece my mom and I made for Levi’s party using Mom’s Cricut? I planned on doing something fun with the pieces when we made them and the boys loved my idea, shadow play, the other night!

Have you ever made shadows on the wall with your hand? Our shadow play in this post is very similar. 
I took the engines (with the sticks still attached) and held them between a flashlight and the wall. We talked about how shadows are made by placing an object between a light source and whatever the light is hitting. Then we experimented making their engine shadows with other light sources and they discovered which made better shadows. (science, sensory, coordination)
They really liked this type of shadow play, even following my directions and kneeling to make their engines run along the back of the couch without their heads getting in the way. I think next time we pull these out I might try draping a tablecloth between a couple of chairs and taking turns sitting in front of it while the others have their engines between the light source and the cloth!
Have you used a scrap booking or stamping tool for fun or learning with your kiddos? I’d love to be inspired! Please share!

Guess How Much

…I Love You.

Cutie Pie and I have read this book many times before and recently he’s started this little guessing game with me before he goes to bed at night. I find this so incredibly special, but the last time we did this I realized he’s really got the concept of the book. He starts out small with something like “Mommy, I love you from the floor to the top of the bed.” Then he gives me a turn and his next statement is even bigger. He got pretty creative several times with things like “I love you from here to the moon and then to France and Paris and back!”

I love my Cutie Pie from here to the moon, the sun, around every planet, then to every country and back. That’s how much I love him!

Hungry?

I was pretty absent last week. Did you miss me? I’ve had this cold for the past several weeks and it just knocked me out. It was all I could do to keep my house going, so I just gave myself permission to let a few things go, hoping that would help me feel better more quickly. I think this was more than just a cold, though, as I felt very empty, even more dry spiritually and just all around fatigued.

I don’t think I’m the only one feeling like this lately. In the few minutes I was able to be online checking other blogs this past week alone I came across several other blogs talking about similar feelings and exploring them to different degrees. For now I’m not going to dwell in this, rather feel comforted, if that’s the proper word to use here, that others are sharing in my ‘plight’.

I haven’t been hungry for much food lately, it just doesn’t taste that good to me with this cold. However, even though I’ve felt spiritually empty, I have to admit I haven’t felt spiritually hungry either. I stopped to consider today, that sometimes we entreat our children to eat when they are sick, so I am going to try to feast on The Word. It may take time to feel better, but I have confidence in this medicine.

If you’ve been feeling empty, will you consider joining me?

Breast Cancer Survivor Interview

As I shared with your earlier this month and again yesterday, my mom is a breast cancer survivor and is totally enjoying life! I wanted to interview her and share it with you to give an idea of one person’s experience with breast cancer, to inspire you to take care of yourself by getting that mammogram you’ve been putting off, to give more than you normally would toward finding a cure, or to offer support in some other way to cancer survivors in general. I’m proud to call my mom Mom and to share her experience with her, as to me she is such an encouragement!

How old were you when you were diagnosed with breast cancer?
I was 64 years old when I was diagnosed, and am a 6 year survivor!
Is there a history of breast cancer in our family?
There is a history of breast cancer in our family included my Aunt Ethel, who was my mother’s sister.
How did you discover you had this disease?
I had a regular yearly appointment with my gynecologist, which included a mammogram and they found a small lump. I was then referred to one of our local surgeons.
What happened next, to determine what procedure you would have? What did this involve?
Follow up with the surgeon resulted in having a biopsy and what seemed a really long wait before getting the results. My sister-in-law accompanied me to that appointment and when the Dr. told me it was cancerous I was in disbelief at first. I was glad I had someone with me to hear that bad news. The only good part was that it was smaller than expected and could be taken care of.
What were your first thoughts? What did you do, who did you tell?
All I thought of at the time was what my husband had to go through with his gastro cancer and I did not want to have to go through the same thing. I cried a lot. When one hears that diagnosis, you think the worst. I knew I had to tell my children, which was the worst thing to do, not knowing the outcome of anything. So I just had to tell them and hoped they would pray for me.  Of course, they did, especially my youngest daughter and her husband, they were terrific.
There are many possible procedures for breast cancer removal. What did they recommend, and do you know why they recommended it?
My surgeon discussed my prognosis and the procedure that would be performed. He recommended a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy because the site was smaller than expected. My surgery was done 2 months after the initial diagnosis, with 10 lymph nodes removed for biopsy (which were negative). Surgery was performed on March 9th 2004 and I was released from hospital March 11th, with drain tubes intact, meaning they were still attached to my body. I had to care for that area as well as the surgery site during the first part of my recovery. I received radiation, rather than chemo, for 36 weeks. Even during and after the radiation treatments I had an accumulation of fluid at the surgery site that had to be aspirated in the office. That was a little scary, having just gone through everything to have another lump appear, but thankfully it was just fluid.
What support did you have throughout this ordeal and what support do you continue to have, if any?
I had spiritual and moral support from my immediate family, children, brother and sister-in-law.  My sister-in-law happily accompanied me to my follow-up appointments.  She was a God-send because she acted as a second set of ears for me. The oncology nurse practitioner was one of two that coordinated a cancer support group in my area and encouraged me to attend the meetings. As part of that group we started out in one small room and soon had to move to a bigger facility and eventually, an even larger one! Anyone can attend the meetings, survivors and caregivers, current patients-anyone interested in getting information about cancer.  All types of cancers are covered, not just breast cancer. We even have some gentlemen that attend. An “I Can Cope” event is held each October with guest speakers that touch on all phases of cancer treatments, programs available, financial concerns, as well as other programs and events in the area.

I would encourage anyone to search out a support group to attend if only to just listen to others.  Besides being able to get more up to date information, you end up with some very good friends.  It is a plus to be able to actually get out with others, especially others that know what each of us have been, or are going through.



My mom is a fighter, and through this has discovered the amount of fight she has in her. I’m happy we moved back to NYS in time for me to be there for her, even though I wasn’t there as much as I wanted to be. I’m very proud of who my mom has become as a result of all of this hardship. 


I wanted to post this interview because I believe hearing positive stories about the outcomes of this fight is important, plants a seed that the fight is worth it, even though it may be difficult. I hope and pray a cure can be found for breast cancer and all cancers, but also believe knowledge is so important. Please arm yourself with knowledge and support if this is something you ever have to go through personally or are affected by it in some way, and remember it’s worth the fight!

My Mom’s Breast Cancer – my perspective

Hubby and I moved back to New York State (from Michigan) for Hubby to return to school for his teaching certificate only a few months before Mom found out she had breast cancer. I actually don’t remember how she told me, but I do remember how scared she was and how worried I quickly became. One thing I knew for sure was that God had orchestrated this move for a number of reasons, including for me to be closer to my mom as she went through this.

My mom is a very special person. I never fully realized how strong my mom was, though, until she experienced this whole breast cancer fight, and now I totally admire her! I’m not sure why, I mean, she’s been through so much in her life, a divorce, the death of a spouse, the caring for an invalid significant other and then breast cancer to boot…why didn’t I ever realize how strong she was before? I guess just because she was Mom, and moms just keep going, don’t they? Hardly anything stops them, so why would any of that stand out to a selfish young lady?

At any rate, I remember making the 3 hour drive quite often to spend time with my mom and learning that her breast cancer required surgery. She often told me about her appointments, and told me she considered a total mastectomy because she just didn’t want to deal with the possibility of them not “getting it all”, but was told by the doctors that the lump was smaller and the success rate was considered high for a lumpectomy.

During the surgery I lifted her up in prayer more often than I think I ever did before. I wanted her to be told the cancer had been removed, that she would be fine, that she wouldn’t have to suffer endless treatments. More than that, I wanted her to be around when I became a mom, to see my kids grow, to offer advice, to see what a good job she did raising me.

After the surgery I sat on her bedside listening to the air pressure raise and lower in the machines hooked up to her legs to keep her circulation flowing. I remember her wishing she could concentrate on healing herself and not have to worry about her significant other’s care. Mostly, though, I remember how strong she was. Even though the lump was removed, along with many lymph nodes in her armpit, she was still worrying about others, wanting to make sure others were cared for, had gotten a meal, had slept at night…

I returned home and life went on with frequent car trips to see my mom and watch her progression. She was almost always in good spirits, regained mobility in her arm (I didn’t expect it to be affected quite as much as it was) and was out and about in what seemed like no time at all (to me). I was very thankful to those who cared for my mom and her S.O. daily, kept an eye on her from afar, and helped with the snow and whatnot during her recovery. She was a fighter and I believe her strength had a lot to do with it, but I also feel the team of friends and family that came together to support her added to that strength.

Today she is a breast cancer survivor, an advocate for cancer awareness (especially breast cancer). She continues to be very involved in a support group, I Can Cope, that is in her area and often is attending meetings and being a friend to another cancer sufferer or survivor. My mom is an amazing lady!

Just a little comment about my mom. Since her surgery several years ago, her significant other passed away. Another man has received the privilege of getting to know my mom and together they have done many things I believe she wouldn’t have done had she not met him and had she not experienced all she did with breast cancer fight and discovering how strong she really is. She has traveled, discovered new hobbies, even gone hunting and shot her own fowl! My mom is strong and a fighter in more ways than I ever believed she was! And I’m so glad I could learn from her by standing by her side through breast cancer. I’m so happy she’s a survivor!

Please come back tomorrow to read my interview with my mom about her experience in her own words. I hope it gives encouragement that the diagnosis of breast cancer is not a death sentence, but can be something that reveals the inner fighter in a woman!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Are you dressed for Breast Cancer Awareness month? Are you wearing pink, or a pink ribbon? Did you even know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month?

I have a special interest in this month because my mom is a breast cancer survivor. Dedicating several posts this month and possibly an interview or two with a survivor to breast cancer awareness is my little way of showing my support to those fighting this nasty disease and my appreciation to those who have helped my mom through her journey to become a survivor as well as hopefully making others aware of the resources out there for sufferers, survivors and loved ones. I hope to also share resources and sources of hope in case anyone reading may need them or know of someone who does.

Blogaholic Designs”=

If your blog is not dressed for breast cancer awareness yet, check out Blogaholic Designs  – there are 10 buttons to choose from to let others know you support breast cancer awareness! Let everyone know you support Breast Cancer survivors, are a survivor, or love a survivor by adding one of these buttons to your blog! (I almost went with the train-ish themed “I Pink I can!” on my sidebar, and I might just have to switch it out before the end of the month and leave it there since my boys love their trains and their Gramma is a breast cancer survivor!!) Isn’t it a cute way to show support?

 
To learn more about how you can show support, or to receive more information about breast cancer, check out Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Our Anniversary Date

Hubby and I went for a little drive and spent the day of our anniversary at Corning Museum of Glass. It was so much fun spending the day with him, without having to stress over little fingers touching (and very likely breaking) the glass pretties we saw! I love having random days to live, laugh and love together while growing a healthy relationship with my Hubby!


About 12 anniversaries ago we started taking pictures of our feet, Not sure why, but we didn’t miss this tradition this year! It always has been by something significant about how we spent the anniversary, like in the sand, or in this case by the sign painted on the sidewalk as you walk up to the museum.


The museum does have a hands-on section, but the majority of it is not overly kid-friendly, although there were many kids there. Hubby and I got some really funny pictures! It’s amazing how much glass distorts things!


We also managed to get into a glass-blowing show. It is actually amazing how easy they make the process look! They are so detailed in explaining the whole process of making a beautiful vase and then they drop it into a bucket of water to show how important it is to complete the process properly. What’s really unexpected is the boiling of the water due to the 1,000+ degree temperature of the vase!

Corning, NY is a very quaint little spot to visit itself. We ate at a delicious wood-baked pizza shop right across the street from a glass shop. The main touristy street houses many shops I would have loved to checked out had it not been a Sunday. I think many of them might have been opened, but at a later time than would have allowed us to still take in the glass museum. I would love to go again! (Also, I was told if you hold onto your receipt you can show it for free admission for the rest of the year. I’m not sure if this is accurate or not…)

Click here for more information about Corning Museum of Glass and don’t miss the note about kids and teens under 19 are Free!!

Please note: This post is an independent review. I was in no way compensated by Corning Museum of Glass, although I did purchase suveniers of my own accord. It is simply an expression of my opinions about my visit to Corning Museum of Glass.

Reaction Triggers

Yesterday I talked about H.A.L.T. (Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, Tiredness) and how they might be related to our childrens’ behaviors. Today I’d like to talk about our own behaviors in relation to H.A.L.T.
I often find myself analyzing my kids’ play after an altercation, paying attention to what I discover and watching for it again, as a warning sign, in attempts to keep the unwelcome behavior from recurring. However, last week Pastor said something during his sermon that made me as a parent think about my behavior. He said it is important for us to know our own warning signs. 
How often as a parent do you feel badly about your reaction to something your child did? Was it appropriate to the behavior, ‘justified’ or was it triggered by Hunger, Anger, Loneliness or Tiredness? When you do feel badly, do you ever stop and think about how you could have reacted differently, or do you just go on hoping you won’t ‘blow’ it again?
There are quite a few blog posts out there right now about Positive Parenting. I agree with a lot of what they say about our children’s behaviors, reactions, etc. I also think we as parents should get in touch with our own triggers. I’m glad I came across Simple Mom’s post about H.A.L.T. and I do believe the timing was important as it relates to the sermon I heard, that maybe I need to apply the H.A.L.T. line of thinking to my own behavior. How about you?


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Behavior Triggers

Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. I remember reading a little about H.A.L.T. on Simple Mom recently.  Here is the snippet that clicked with me:

See, a key element in the successful practice of positive parenting is the ability to set our children up for success. It requires some effort to be thoughtfully and intentionally proactive in creating rhythms, routines, and environments in which they can feel their best.

Are you familiar with the HALT slogan often used in recovery programs? The idea behind it is that when a person is in recovery (specifically, addiction recovery), there are moments when he or she is vulnerable to making poor choices. HALT reminds us that when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, there is a need to be more sensitive to good decision making.

I actually was not familiar with the HALT slogan, but Hubby and I have often talked about how when we pay attention to our kids in relation to the areas of Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tiredness we can often discern the cause of certain behaviors or stop unwelcome behaviors before they show themselves. I mean, it’s hard enough for us as adults to make good decisions when we are hungry, angry, lonely and tired, how to we expect children to make good choices under the same circumstances?

Please stop by Simple Mom and check out her post about HALT. It’s worth the read, and the thoughts it brings to mind!

I initially started to blog today about intentional parenting, about ‘setting our children up for success’, but as you’ll read tomorrow, I felt strongly I was to introduce this H.A.L.T. concept to readers who may not have thought about it before, or at least to give what we already know and practice a name. I guess this ended up as one big re-write!

In terms of our boys, Hubby and I have been trying hard to offer a healthy snack, encourage the use of words when the signs of an altercation creep up, to cuddle and get involved in the playing along with gentle conversation when we notice crankiness and to pull a child away to read or cuddle on our laps when they seem a little tired. This seems to keep difficult interactions at bay, for the most part. Another big thing in our family, though, it offering enough opportunity for gross motor play. When there isn’t enough throughout the day, altercations are more prevalent.

Have you been observing your kiddos a little more closely? Have you noticed any correlations between behavior and Hunger, Anger, Loneliness or Tiredness?

Gotta make some changes

So I want to be a better mom. Well, sometimes I think it would be easier to get different children! Just kidding. I’ve actually been doing a lot of thinking about this since posting here. I’ve come to the (simple) conclusion that I’ve been slacking. Yup, I know, we’re all allowed to slack a little bit, or at least to slack once in a while, but I think my slacking as a mom started innocently enough, but grew without my realizing it. Either that or I’m just plain lazy, which could explain a lot, too!

I’m baring my soul here, which is saying something because I know my mom and mother-in-law read this – no comments from you, ok? I have decided to try to change some things, listed in no particular order:

  • I will try to make showing my husband love and attention a priority. Not only is this important for our marriage, but also for our children to see.
  • I will try to relax and have fun. Maybe even laugh with my husband and boys.
  • I will try tot let my 2 1/2 yr old act his age. Same with my 4 1/2 yr old.
  • I will try to see things from my boys’ perspectives before reacting.
  • I will try to wait to see if my boys’ can resolve their issues before stepping in, unless it gets out of hand.
  • I will try to put myself first. (I know, this one sounds funny, but I honestly believe if we don’t take care of ourselves, then we can’t take care of our kiddos to the best of our ability. It also teaches our kiddos that we are important, too.)
  • I will try not to listen to the list of things that need to be done calling my name. (I think that’s one voice I can/should ignore!)
  • I will try to to not use tiredness as an excuse.

Just like in my last ‘serious’ mom post, I’m not writing this for pitty or anything, rather to have it in writing, which will sort of hold me mentally accountable.

OK, now, I promise to get back to the lighter stuff……and to reflect that lighter side, I’ve decided to keep this brighter blog design.  Any ideas and comments on that would be very welcome! Now, if I can only figure out how to get my ‘Grab my button’ to work!

Observing

Have you ever stopped to observe your kids? I don’t mean like a science experiment, but just sat back and watched them? How do they interact with others? Play by themselves? Talk with others their own age, older, an adult? Do they play gently or rough? Do they play the same with boys and with girls? What toy do they tend to play with the most? A doll, a block, a truck? What kinds of words do they use? What kinds of emotions do they show?

I remember one of my early childhood education classes very clearly. We were each assigned a specific child to watch in the school-run childcare center. It was details like these that we were to record, but in actuality we were to record every detail of the child’s behavior and interaction over the course of time we were in the facility. It started out seeming very boring, but as I learned in the class I realized it was actually quite interesting watching the child grow socially and emotionally as I read back over the observation notes.

After writing the posts earlier this week (here and here) I found myself sitting back and watching my boys. I really took joy in that, and it dawned on me that even in just a week they’ve changed so much! I  sat and totally listened to a story Cutie Pie told to Sweet Pea. It was amazing the new words he’s picked up in just a few days and the way he uses them appropriately! I was watching Sweet Pea play on the playground at church and the way he climbed the ladder to the slide so quickly without anyone’s assistance…I could see their little minds ticking away, processing, figuring things out, and it was exciting!

I encourage you to take the time to sit back and just watch your kids sometime this week. Just take it all in…and in another couple of weeks do it again and see how they’re growing!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

The Mom I want to be

Did you catch my post from yesterday? This is sort of on the same thread, but maybe a little more rambling…

I want to be the kind of mom who opens her home to her kids’ friends. I want to be the kind of mom who plays with her kids, whose kids arent afraid to truly talk to her. I want to be the kind of mom whose kids get messy and dirty right along with me and who want me to get dirty along with them. I want to explore with my kids, to learn with my kids and learn from my kids. I dont want to be the mom who just sits in the stands, but who is involved with the team. I want to be a better mom!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Back to the basics

Sometimes I get caught up in every day life and forget the little things. I don’t mean things like giving hugs or sharing kind words. I mean the simple things in relation to my interaction with my kiddos. I used to be very conscious of counting with them when I saw more than one item on a page or stopping to talk about something we saw when we were walking. I used to always be looking for opportnities to share with them.

Lately, however, I’ve been tired. I see them playing well together, and instead of watching and/or joining in, I go and do the laundry or the dishes. Not that that in itself is bad, but I find at the end of the day that sometimes I’ve chosen to do other things rather than have fun with my boys.

Writing that makes me feel like something other than a great mom. However, I know from talking with other moms that this is entirely normal. Having posted about it, though, I hope to be held mentally accountable and to be conscious about being present and seeking out opportunities and experiences to share with them. I want to be a part of their fun memories, not the mom who was always doing chores…These guys are worth not doing chores!

What I learned this year

My kiddos know what they want to learn

My youngest is strong-willed

My oldest is eager to learn new vocabulary and readily integrates it into his daily conversations

My youngest is slow to trust those who aren’t in our immediate family/friends, but when he does he’s their best friend

My oldest learns quickly through watching then trying and needs a lot of encouragement

My youngest needs comforting and assurance, but quickly resumes his exploration

My kiddos keep me feeling young

My boys are learning every day and so am I

My confidence as a mom continues to grow by leaps and bounds

My heart has grown more than I could ever imagine

Thought for Thursday

Thought: Now that I’m this age am I old?

My birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be hitting another number ending in zero. For some reason I don’t feel that old, at least not as old as I thought that age was when I was 20. I wonder if it is because our boys are so young, which means their friends’ parents, who have become our friends, are so much younger than us. Yesterday friends came over, a 3 1/2 yr old, a 10 month old and their young mom. Am I really 14 years older than her? I don’t feel that old! On the other hand, I have friends who have kids in the service! That makes me feel old!

I’m so very thankful my boys keep me feeling young! And I’m very thankful for those who still think I’m 28!

One Mommy’s Snow thoughts

After some nice warm days at the end of last week we had a day full of snow falling today. This reminded me of something that came to mind when I was gazing out the window the evening of our last snow storm. I thought I’d share, even though it isn’t completely about my two boys and hubby. I hope you don’t mind! I’ve never shared my thoughts like this before, so I’m a little shy to press publish.

Crisp, stern, straight edges cut by the snow blower 
black pavement peeking through from the driveway beneath
little boy footprints, daddy footprints and sled marks are seen etched into the white
Soft, heavy snow after dark dimly lit by the streetlight
fondant icing now covers any trace of black, softening the cold, bold corners
only faint imprints and memories remain of little boys’ laughter with their dad

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Gramma!

Gramma visiting always makes for a fun time! This time the destination was the park around the corner.


Sweet Pea usually runs around following Cutie Pie and doing what he can…climbing the stairs and sometimes being daring and trying the wavy slide, running to the smaller structure climbing the stairs and sometimes trying the bumpy slide, running to the swings and laying on his belly over one while lifting his legs and saying ‘Weeeee!’

This time Sweet Pea did all of those things, and then, much to our surprise, ran to the giant slide, climbed up it like he’d done it all his life (with Gramma close behind, of course, but not having to help at all) then, after getting to the top, making his way back down the ladder, again with little help. A few minutes later he wanted to climb it again. This time I climbed with him and when we got to the top he asked to be picked up, so we went down the slide together. Boy did that child smile!

I find it a little funny that my children will be a little more adventurous with my parents around, but many times go back to their ‘normal’ curiosity after they leave. We’ll see if this was one of those instances the next time we go to the park!

Rhyming Swing

For the past couple of weeks our neighbor boy, who is a 2nd grader, has been coming over when we’ve been outside in the afternoon. At first this was a little annoying as sometimes I felt like I was baby-sitting him while his grandmother stayed inside, but it has turned into a fun activity time for Cutie Pie. They often kick the soccer ball around, play hide and seek (finally someone is getting through to Cutie Pie that you don’t yell “Here I am!” as soon as the person finishes counting!) play in the sandbox and swing.


Now, Cutie Pie loves to swing on his swing set and will sit there for hours if you let him. At first Neighbor Boy told Cutie Pie he was too big for our swing set, but Cutie Pie was pretty convincing in telling him “Mommy is bigger and she swings, so you can too!”, meant in the nicest way, I’m sure! Neighbor Boy was in for a treat because that day Cutie Pie decided to start a new game…he says a word and you have to rhyme as many words with it as you can. Once you say a word that doesn’t rhyme you have to use that word as the one to rhyme with. That’s the nice thing about this game – there’s no loser! Neighbor Boy chimed right in rhyming after I rhymed the first word and the game went on for about 15 minutes!

Neighbor Boy has been coming over quite frequently since this game was introduced. They kick the soccer ball around, play hide and seek, then head back to the swing. As soon as they start to swing Neighbor Boy spews out a word that Cutie Pie has to rhyme with. It’s almost like this little tradition that goes on now. And I have to say I don’t really feel like I’m baby-sitting anymore! Sometimes Sweet Pea even tries to get in on the action repeating words they say and getting all proud that he is one of the ‘big boys’!

My First Award!


Thank you, MaggieK at My Mommy Adventure, for my first award! I’m so excited!

7 THINGS ABOUT ME:

1.) I love being wife to an incredible Hubby and Mom to my boys
2.) I really need to get out of the house and talk to adults more often!
3.) I love my friends, although these days they may not feel it as often as I’d hope
4.) I love exploring with my boys and learning something new with them
5.) I hope some day to take a fantastic adventure vacation, even just to stay overnight somewhere!
6.) I really don’t like cooking – I love baking!
7.) I love chocolate chip cookies

Now time to pass it on to some of the blogs I’m currently loving, check them out!


The rules…

1. Thank the person who gave you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic! (in no particular order…)
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

PS…get your button by right-clicking on the badge and save it to your computer. Use your usual pic hosting site to make it happen! Wear this badge proud!!

My First Post

I’ve been wanting to start a post for a while, but things always seemed to keep me from it. I have been recording first words, phrases and all the really neat things little ones do for the first time since my 3 year old was born. Cutie Pie has given us so many laughs and sweet moments, then Sweet Pea came along 16 months ago and has given us even more joy. I can’t justify simply writing things down in a notebook any more. I am hoping this blog allows me to write down simple Mom moments and memories and record photos that will be meaningful for me, but also give ideas and insight to others for daily life and fun with 2 adorable blonde boys and a wonderful best friend/hubby and Dad.