Sun. Warmth. Ice cream. Italian ice. Treats like the old days with Dad. But this time I’m driving.
Sun. Warmth. Ice cream. Italian ice. Treats like the old days with Dad. But this time I’m driving.
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.
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.” That’s probably my motto for life these past couple of months. Especially this past week.
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!
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?!)
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:
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?
I am hopping along today:
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?
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!
…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!
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?
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!
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.
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?
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:
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!
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!
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
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!
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: 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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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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.