25 October 2006

Let them be two

... or three, or four, or whatever their age is. That's what we're supposed to do, but I am one of those parents who hangs on and resists.

Today is Drew's birthday. His 2nd birthday. I can't help thinking of him as my baby still. We had resolved that he was our last child, so everything I did with him, I did thinking I'd never get to do it again. That resulted in a strong bond.

This week I made the huge step of giving him his first haircut. He has a beautiful head of blond curls, which contradict his chubby stature in such an endearing way. I guess you could say they are his saving grace. So I've been afraid to part with them, to essentially let go of his babyhood.

I guess the fear here is forgetting cherished moments with our children - when they are so tiny and still and eager. It doesn't seem fair; the amount of time we get to enjoy seems to pale in comparison to the amount of time we invest - actively, mentally, emotionally. All we can do, really, is live in the moment. You may be surprised, it might last longer than you think... (and those baby curls may just stick around).

19 October 2006

Mortifying Mommy Moments

You know the ones. When your child goes stiff as a board as you try to quickly exit Sacrament meeting. When you let a bad word slip out in the fawyer. When you walk out of the church building, get in your car, drive all the way home, and realize you've left your toddler in the nursery. When you accidentally answer the door in your robe over nothing. When the door knocks just after you've screamed at one of your children. You open it and realize you forgot you had an appointment. With a parent educator. In your home. You're still in pajamas (albeit better than semi nakedness) and the living room has been taken over by millions of playthings. When your toddler metamorphosizes into a little hellion the minute you walk through your visiting teachee's door. When his blood curdling screams can be heard throughout the aisles of Target.

There are days when we think to ourselves, I am not cut out for this. Motherhood has stripped me of my dignity! I had one slew of days not too long ago. I plopped down on the sofa after what seemed like 100 hours on my feet to feed the baby and sing unamusingly with my toddler to his favorite CD. And he ever so softly reached over and placed his chubby little hand on my arm and began to stroke it while he listened to me sing. Then I looked down at Sasha who had just moments ago been red in the face with tears and got a big toothless grin followed by a few happy raspberries. And I thought to myself, "This is where I belong. This is what I am supposed to be doing. This is my validating moment, and it does not matter that no one else is here to witness it."

10 October 2006

Moral of the Day Monday

Just when you think you might sell one of your kids, they go and do something adorable. Adorable in a way that only your kid can be. My 7 year old daughter made me a card this weekend. Inside the cover it says (and I quote):

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Here is a card for you!

And on the other side:

Dear Mom, I love you more than you are sweet! You are lucky to have me.

Lol. So, the moral is... if you think you might lose it with your own kid today, just remember how lucky you are. To have them, of course. Not the other way around. Smirk, smirk. ;)

The lovely CMommy has tagged me to do another meme. I've been given 4 words for which I have to share my first impressions. They are internet, preschool, attire and design.

Internet - to which I am *somewhat* addicted. Lol. I remember the first time I really used the internet. We'd just had our first child and moved to Hawaii. The best shopping we had in Honolulu was in Waikiki and I hated trudging through the thick crowds of tourists. So I didn't venture out much, except to the local grocer, food stands, flea market and beach. So I thought I'd check out the world of online shopping. I was immediately drawn to the sales, the free shipping, the save $10 on $50 offers you can find on the internet. I remember my first purchases. They were of course for my baby girl... I bought a couple pairs of $4 shorts from the Gap and a $5 romper and got a free t-shirt and socks! Then when I went on bedrest for the first time (second pregnancy), my husband offered to buy me a laptop. I thought he was crazy. What in the world would I do all day with a laptop? WELL. Let me tell you, there's a lot you can do! That is how I first met MOFs. THAT is how this blog came about. The rest is history! (What does that cliche really mean, anyway? It just seemed appropriate here, lol.)

Preschool - enrichment for little people. Preschool is just so dang fun I wish I could go! Lol! I have been fortunate to find some superior programs for my tykes, too. I love that you can get a break just a couple mornings a week AND give your child their first mini learning and cultural experiences. It is also great for preparing them socially to enter Kindergarten.

Attire - something I think about often... What is appropriate wear for around the house? Yoga pants and a t-shirt. What is appropriate attire for the grocery store? Maybe a step up - jeans and a shirt. What is appropriate attire for shopping? Something too nice for flip- flops, lol, but not over the top. Plus jewelry. What is appropriate attire for a date? Something classy. A girl's night out? Something sassy. Church? Something that makes you feel good. After all it is the one recurring day of the week you have the opportunity to do your hair nicely and make up your face without interuption. Ideally, anyway.

Design - it's everything! I am extremely detail oriented. From my house to my blog! I guess my background in art helps me out here, but everything I do I approach with good design in mind. And it is something I just love to incorporate. I could browse magazines and tour homes and visit tiny unknown little shops for hours. I am constantly looking for new ways to use typical things. Reinventing everything. And I have to have a steady flow of change, too. I can't keep anything - my home, or myself, looking the same way for very long.

Now it's time for a chase. I tag Morning Glory, Kristen, and Itybtyfrog! Your words are classic, forge, home and charity.

09 October 2006

Moral of the Day Monday

Moms have no secrets. Although we like to think we do. The secret to unchipped dishes (cupboards filled with melanine/acrylic in all its cool modern varieties). The secret to a quiet toddler. The secret to a spotless house. The secret to a well balanced family diet. The secret to no cavities, ample sleep and complete obedience. And yes, chances are someone else has a dang good chocolate chip cookie recipe, too.

The truth is, we all have our formulas for success. And we are all successful in different areas of parenting or housekeeping or family health. I for one am great at loving children, but not disciplining them... getting them immunized on schedule but not taking them to the dentist... throwing a memorable, but usually overscheduled birthday party... remembering the allergy medication, but not their vitamins.

Moms are also pretty easy to read, although we wish we weren't. Behind the pursed lip smile is the mantra "I think I can, I think I can." This may be accompanied by a crying toddler. The wary eyes/black circles but still glowing expression belongs to new moms. As do the thoughts, "Please excuse my dreadful appearance and the growth that remains in my midsection." The "mission in mind" expression belongs to veteran moms. There is a quick and hurried, but organized and confident way about them. The zoned out expression from any and all moms means it's time for a new school year to begin! Or Christmas break to end. Not that any of us would like to admit we grow tired of our children from time to time. We're all trying to survive. We're all hoping to thrive.

And moms can be spotted pretty easily, but we'd each like to think "I don't look like a mom." We know not to wear white "stain magnet" shirts. Or black "snail trail highlighting" shirts either, for that matter. There are a few "mom jeans" still in existence - but they are an endangered species thank goodness. There is the mom bag on the shoulder, these days cleverely disguised as a purse. There are the mom cars - minivans, SUVs, complete with wrist spranging amenities. Yoga pants/capris, Old Navy tees, cute tennies/flip flops and "mom dos".

One thing not kept secret is how well moms can multi task. It is not uncommon to see a mom wearing one child, pushing another in a shopping cart and successfully balancing 2 weeks worth of groceries while singing "Old MacDonald" (to keep whining at bay, of course). They are also completely equipped with snacks and binkies and other distracters. Hence the need for the mom bag with the bottomless pit. At home they are capable of calming a fussy baby while cooking dinner, overseeing homework and blogging. ALL at the same time. ;)

My mother-in-law gave me some great advice this week. Truly one of the greatest "momisms" I've ever heard. We were talking about each of the kids, their struggles and their successes. I was beating around the bush for some encouragement because I don't wear my weaknesses on my sleeve very well. She said her mother - one of those highly admired supermoms - was once asked "Which of your kids do you love the most?" And she simply answered, "Which ever one needs me the most at the time."

While not one of us may hold the secret to a perfectly blissful parenting experience, we likely have some secret tidbits of wisdom brewing, just waiting to be unleashed.

And that's the moral of the day.

06 October 2006

Fall is here (or at least it should be)

Nettie has invited us to share our fall decorating ideas. I have a difficult time accepting that Fall is here. We still have temps in the 90s! But, I do sense that there is something in the air. And it is always fun to kick off the holiday season with some fun decor.

I love, love dried gourds:

And wreaths... I have one for every holiday and in between!

I got this little guy for $1 at Target. Ain't he cute?

And this flower filled letter box was inspired by my mother-in-law, uber fabulous interior designer that she is!

Happy Fall to all!

02 October 2006

Moral of the Day Monday

Floundering here in a sea of confusion lately. I've been questioning my parenting skills. Scrutinizing them, really. Feeling sub par. And looking for answers.

There are times when I feel so on top of my game. And then there is now. The opportunity to improve my mothering skills staring me boldly in the face. A challenge I warily accept, but one that I know will make me stronger.

How much of your wisdom do you attribute to being a mother? For me, all of it. Who knows how many of life's lessons I'd have learned had I not had children. Or how different I'd be. I am borrowing a quote that one of MOF's shared recently to help explain:

"There was something so valuable about what happened when one became a mother. For me it was the most liberating thing that ever happened. . . . Liberating because the demands that children make are not the demands of a normal 'other.' The children's demands on me were things that nobody else ever asked me to do. To be a good manager. To have a sense of humor. To deliver something that somebody else could use. And they were not interested in all the things that other people were interested in, like what I was wearing or if I were sensual. Somehow all of the baggage that I had accumulated as a person about what was valuable just fell away. I could not only be me--whatever that was--but somebody actually needed me to be that." -- Toni Morrison

When I consider what my life was before children, I do find motherhood liberating. Exhausting, but liberating. Nothing else in my life has made me stronger. And with strength comes confidence and freedom - from worry, from the fears that may immobilize us when our child hurts, suffers or when we don't know how to help them overcome something.

What are your thoughts? How do these words apply to you?