that stillness

I like this daily prompt. And not just because black is my favorite color to wear; anyone that steps into my closet can quickly tell that’s the case.

It reminds me of nighttime. When all is still. When the kids are safely tucked in their beds, all cozy. When it’s time to get things done…and reflect.

I miss them when they’re sleeping. I see their little toys scattered about as I pick up the house; I see their little shoes in the mudroom where they were tossed off. But as a relax into the black of the night, I have a sense of peace.

That we’ve had another great day…that they’ve grown physically and mentally….that these little wonders are mine to shape and help grow. And I realize again in that darkness, when my thoughts are my own and uninterrupted, how very, very luck we are to have each other.

 

via Daily Prompt: Black

my guys

The one on the left? That’s my husband. My partner in life. The person I know I will grow old with. That I’ll be spending all my days with once my children have long left the house and started lives of their own.

The little guy on the right? He’s the one that has made me realize how big my heart really is. Before he came along, we were a family of three.  My heart was so incredibly full with love for my daughter that I worried (probably like many other soon-to-be-moms-of-two) how I could possibly love another child as much. But then he came along…in all his perfection, a little boy.

I had one sister growing up so although I was around little boys occasionally, I had never  observed my mother with a son. I was utterly, completely unprepared for the special place in your heart that only a son can hold. It’s just the way he needs me – it’s somehow different than how my daughter needs me.

And those big blue eyes and long eyelashes. Somehow they just look even more adorable on a little boy.

Sometimes when I see my husband and son together, I’m so grateful that C completed our family. Obviously we would have been thrilled to be blessed with another daughter as well. I just love seeing my two guys. Perhaps my husband feels the same way when he sees me with our daughter.

So grateful.

 

halloween candy and allergies

In the past, I’ve always had two bowls of candy I handed out. One that was “regular” and one that was nut-free. I would always ask the kids before I gave them the candy to ensure they were able to actually EAT what I handed out when they got home.

This year – I’m going nut free. I realized I was singling these kids out unnecessarily. Why not just give out something most kids will be able to eat? I found plenty of bags of “safe” candy for kids with nut allergies (starburst, smarties, suckers). So this year, that’s what I loaded up on. The same for everyone (keep things simpler for me too!).

Happy Halloween!

Andddddd he tried to climb out of the crib

I knew this day was coming. But he’s only 20 months old!

The crib is on the lowest setting of course.  But he is SUCH a climber.  My now 5 year old daughter S didn’t even try until she was well over 2. But C? All boy. This morning my daughter was in playing with him and she literally stopped him from climbing out and screamed for me.

Now what? I have a sleep sack I will make sure is on at ALL times when he’s in there, but I am at a loss because he’s WAY too young to sleep in a toddler bed. But, at the same time, I’m not willing to risk him getting injured climbing out.

I thought about putting the mattress on the floor – but in our case that wouldn’t be safe as there is a gap between what would be the top of the mattress and the bottom of the crib.

Argh.

Daily Gratitude

via Daily Prompt: Gratitude

As cheesy are this may sound – I feel a sense of gratitude each day.

For these beautiful kids that I get to raise.

For being married to my best friend.

For having a roof over my head and food in my fridge.

For having my family close by and therefore an extended village.

For having a job I love.

For living in a beautiful state that experiences four gorgeous seasons each year.

For being raised in a home where we always had enough…never wondered where my next meal was going to come from so I could focus on school and preparing for adulthood.

I am conscious of these things each and every day – and don’t take them for granted.

So grateful.

miracle behavior charts

We use a behavior chart at home. The one we like to use is similar to this:

We use it for 5 year old S. I like that we can switch out the behaviors and write in our own depending on what she needs to work on a little. We have a reward system set up too. But ours isn’t as good as her teacher’s.  It’s like the one at school is a miracle! And you know what the reward is that all the kids strive for? LUNCH WITH THE TEACHER. Brilliant.

It’s a vertical chart with colors. Everyone starts out the week on the color green, which is in the middle of the chart. Throughout the week, she tells you to move your clothespin up or down depending on what is going on. You help a friend tie her shoes – you move up . If you are on purple (3 colors up and the highest on the chart) at the end of the day Friday, you eat lunch with the teacher one day the following week. If you are on red (3 colors down and the lowest on the chart) – you get a call home from the teacher.

The kids LOVE it. They talk about it constantly. And we’re almost 2 months into the school year and there is no sign of it wearing off. It’s like a miracle.  Part of it is not wanting to disappoint the teacher, but part of it is that amazing rewards.  Kindergarten teachers sure know what they are doing.

I think I’m going to give something like this a try in my home!

 

this kindergarten thing

I was extremely apprehensive about my daughter starting kindergarten this fall. For one, she’s my oldest so there was a bit of a “letting go” struggle on my part. Additionally, she turned 5 at the end of August (in our state, the cutoff is September 1). So she is the youngest in her class. And in this day and age where “redshirting” is so common, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should be keeping her home until she was 6.

But she (and we) have adjusted quite well.  She comes home happy and energized (this was surprising for me, I was sure she’d be exhausted). When I ask her about the best part of her day, she sometimes says “I don’t know mama, kindergarten is so much fun my whole day was the best part!” (which is awesome to hear). She is learning A TON. She went to preschool for 2 years so she knows letters, sounds, and basic sight words – but she’s so proud of how she’s learning to make her letters the right way, the difference between “I am” and “Am I” as well as learning French.

She takes the bus (that was another huge area of worry for me). But somehow, she manages to get to school and back just fine and LOVES that as well.  As a child, I remember loving the bus ride too – so it’s no wonder.

I just hope she continues to love learning.  I’ve noticed at the bus stop, the kindergarten and first graders are the most excited to go. Once the kids hit around 2nd and 3rd grade – they seem to not enjoy it as much (no doubt because there is a little less playtime). Our state is a common core state – so there is definitely more structure than I would like for a 5 year old, but somehow the school has managed to make it fun.

So I’m thrilled S loves it. And I hope her love of learning never fades!