What Do A Black Shirt, Nick Jonas and A Shower Have in Common?

When my friends found out I was having a boy, they all gushed the same sentiment.  “You will LOVE having a boy!  They are so loving and sweet. They just adore their Mommy!”  I have found infinite truth in their words.  Here is my experience with my little adoring bundle of male hormones over the past two days.

1. They don’t care about your wardrobe at all.
My son ran into my bedroom as I was getting dressed to go out. He gave me the biggest hug and proceeded to wipe his snotty nose all over my clean, black shirt sleeve.  It’s hard to be mad when he looks down at the floor and whispers “Sowwy Mommy.”

2. They are full of curious questions when you’re dripping wet.
As I was getting out of the shower, my son swung open the door, unaware of the cold air breezing in behind him and had a serious face.

“Mommy, did you wash your butt?”
Trying to stifle my laugh, “Yes I did.”
“Did you wash your face?”
“Yes.”
“Did you wash your feet?”
“I did.”
“Did you wash your boobies?’
Smiling, “Yep, I did buddy.”
“Oh!” Satisfied he shut the door and ran away.

3. They love Nick Jonas songs.
Driving home from the grocery store, a Nick Jonas song came on the radio. It’s wildly inappropriate for kids, but if I had to listen to Raffi all day I’d go mad.  It’s a cheesy, catchy little tune, so we all sing along. Guess whose voice was heard above all the rest? You guessed it; my two-year old baby boy.

Oh (that’s why)
I still get jealous…

 

These idyllic days won’t last forever. I want to tie up all my memories in a bouquet and keep them forever. Since I can’t possibly remember them all, I’m enjoying each bittersweet moment, knowing someday I’ll have a really great archive for his future wife.

Being Sick is Good For Something

This past week brought a cloud of illness over our house.  All three kids came down with the flu, one after another, until I lined them all up in my bed under the covers and played a PBS marathon.  I would never wish illness on anyone, but it did force us to slow down.  It also gave us the chance to catch up on some good books.  What else are you going to do with a fever of 102?

My two favorites this week were Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  She is such a positive force for women everywhere.  Her voice gives me hope on the days I’m at my lowest, like having three small children miserable with chills and body aches.  This book got me through the week, bolstering my faith and my reserves as a mother.

The-Ministry-of-Motherhood

My second favorite this week was Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl.  Have you ever checked a book out from the library and found yourself dog-earing so many pages, you decide you must buy the book?  That was me.  She has so many wonderful ideas for engaging learning projects, I can’t wait to try them all with my kids.  This book is a gem for homeschooling (or not) moms everywhere.

playful book

Thankfully, we are all on the mend. Besides chronic cabin fever, we are ready to get back out into the world, back into school and work.  If you fall ill this winter season, drag out a few good books and enjoy playing catch up.

Two P’s For the New Year

I’m a mildly anxious person.  I get stressed easily.  I can get into a negative mood and nothing can shake it.  Sometimes this spills over into my home life and I show my ugliest feelings to those I love the most.  Yelling at the kids, collapsing at the end of the day exhausted, worrying about something slight, feeling depressed because I haven’t seen the sun in more than 10 days. You get the idea.

This year I promised myself I would make big changes.  Instead of my usual list of New Year’s Resolutions, this year I made a tiny list.  Only two things were on it.  I figured two things are easier to tackle than a list of twelve right?!

My simple resolution list looks like this:

1. Be more positive.

2. Be more patient.

Or to simplify even further, this year I will practice positive patience.  I like the sound of it.  Positive Patience.  When I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed out by fighting kids, annoyed at spilled orange juice, questioning everything, I will remind myself to be positive – everything will be ok, it always works out in the end, this too shall pass.  I will remind myself to be patient – yelling only makes me feel guilty afterwards, staying calm feels good, they are growing up so fast.

If you’re feeling a bit lost this new year or just looking for an easy tweak to your normal routine, practice positive patience.  I’m no self-help expert on anyone but myself, but this is my prescription.  Try it and let me know if it works for you.  Then maybe I can write a self-help book….

Hidden Message In A Book

I was reading The Courage To Write by Ralph Keyes when I stumbled upon this little gem;

image

I love finding surprises and this little note was odd, yet reassuring. And yes I do feel strange at times.

I’m a mother of three trying to find my way. I’ve always been a bit of a loner, going against the grain of what society expects from me.  I’m a homebirthing, homeschooling mother. My choices make some people uncomfortable. My husband and I have had to answer endless questions, steeled ourselves for ignorant retorts, prayed that the people who really mattered would embrace our decisions. At this wonderful time of year, full of hope and blessings, I can say we are completely happy and at peace with all the decisions we’ve made in our life.

Do people think I’m strange? Maybe. I don’t mind.

I’m a mother of three trying to find some semblance of a writing life, while teaching my children it’s ok to be different. Be strange.  Live your life your way.  Seeing this sweet little note made me smile. I’m not the only strange one out there. I’m glad I’m not alone.

Poetry Is A Meal For the Heart

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads his poem, “The Lanyard.”  Even though the audience is laughing at times, I read this poem in his book Aimless Love and felt a twinge in my heart, knowing full well I can never repay my own mother, all the while realizing my own children will be at this same crux later in life. This is a powerful poem skillfully presenting the mother-child bond.

The Benefits of Natural Math

As a new homeschooling mom, I really enjoyed this article. Take a few minutes and discover how we learn and utilize natural math skills.

Laura Grace Weldon

natural math, exploratory math, hands-on learning, images: public-domain-image.com

Math as it’s used by the vast majority of people around the world is actually applied math. It’s directly related to how we work and play in our everyday lives. In other words it’s useful, interesting, even fun.

We now know babies as young as five months old show a strong understanding of certain mathematical principles. Their comprehension continues to advance almost entirely through hands-on experience. Math is implicit in play, music, art, dancing, make-believe, building and taking apart, cooking, and other everyday activities. Only after a child has a strong storehouse of direct experience, which includes the ability to visualize, can he or she readily grasp more abstract mathematical concepts. As Einstein said, “If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.”

Parents believe we’re providing a more direct route to success when we begin math (and other academic) instruction at a young age. Typically we…

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If You Can Laugh At Yourself, I Like You Already

A successful friend of mine, who had self-esteem issues growing up, told me her parents never focused on her outward appearance, instead they reminded her of all the positive things she was good at like dance and art. This is sound advice.  I needed to hear it.

My daughter was 7 years old when her best friend told her she thought she was really fat.  I was there to hear it.  I witnessed the stunned look on my daughter’s face as she absorbed her friend’s stinging words.  I don’t know who was more devastated; my daughter or me.

As a family we talk about the importance of being healthy, no matter what shape or size your body is.  God made us all different for a reason.  If we all looked like Heidi Klum life would be boring.  We stress the importance of being active and having fun, all the while knowing someday she is going to find out we are not telling her the truth.  All of these things sound good in theory, but we all know, especially mothers of daughters, that in our society size does matter.  People will judge you and make you feel less than and it’s going to hurt like hell.

As a mother, I can only hope to teach my children resilience, give them the tools to remain tenacious, not to be beat down by the cruel words of others, to remain steadfast in the knowledge that they are smart and beautiful and important.

In passing one day, my husband casually mentioned a woman who had been rude to him, adding “I don’t think she likes me very much.”  My daughter immediately said, ‘That sounds like her problem.”  Yes!  Maybe it’s sinking in after all.

As for my friend, she said her parents’ advice saved her life.  People were still judgemental, but she was able to laugh at herself.  And if you can laugh at yourself, you’ve already won.

I’m An Avid List Maker

I found this on another blog and I can’t remember where, so if this is yours, please leave a comment below then pat yourself on the back for coming up with such a cool idea!  Here are a few of my favorite things:

Making : Pumpkin Bread
Cooking : Beef Stroganoff
Drinking : Moet Chandon Nectar Imperial  (or coffee if I’m not feeling fancy)
Reading: 100 Days of Real Food
Wanting: The Perfect Nude Handbag
Looking: At Pinterest Way Too Much
Playing: Uno
Wasting: Time Wondering if I Should Stop Using Capital Letters
Sewing: Nothing  (I don’t sew)
Wishing: For A Vacation Home in Anguilla
Enjoying: My Family
Waiting: For Guidance
Liking: Jamie Oliver
Wondering: When Black Friday Will Creep Into Halloween
Loving: A Clean House
Hoping: For a Clean House
Marvelling: Over My Not Quite Clean House
Needing: Seriously…A Housekeeper
Smelling: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Wearing: Gap T-Shirt and Yoga Pants
Following: I’m Not a Follower
Noticing: The Many Talented Bloggers Here
Knowing: My Decision Was Right
Thinking: How Lucky I Am
Feeling: Hungry
Bookmarking: Calls For Submissions on Literary Mama
Opening: Not Enough Email
Giggling: At My Son Dressed in Suspenders
Feeling: Blessed

Faith in Humanity Restored

On Sunday I was patiently sitting in Starbuck’s wildly long drive thru line, smiling as the kids sang along to some unknown song.  I wanted coffee.  And it had to be Starbucks.  I know paying almost $5.00 for a cup of coffee that consists of mostly sugar and whipped cream is insane, but there I sat.  Happy.  Excited even.

I pulled up to pay when the cashier informed me the woman in front of me paid for my order.  Isn’t that nice? she asked.  I was so surprised!  I’ve heard of this type of thing happening, read about it in magazines, but never has it happened to me.  In keeping with the spirit of passing on the good vibes, I paid for the woman behind me.  As I pulled away, sipping my pumpkin spice latte, a wave of joy washed over me.  It felt good to know there are still kindhearted, generous people in the world, doing good just because.

I wonder if someone paid for her order.  I wonder how long the kindness lasted.  Did people continue to pay for one another all day?  It’s a nice thought, all that good will swirling around a little coffee shop.  I wonder if that woman in her unassuming gray car with the pink sweater and wrist brace knew how fantastic she made my day.  I’m still floating.