ice cream before dinner

Today, we had ice cream BEFORE dinner.

Yes, I know it probably ruined their appetite.

Yes, I know it will be harder to say “no” to a before dinner treat the next time because “we did it last time.”

But you know what? We had a GREAT day together. They got along. They left the play place when I said it was time to go. And my goodness it was NINETY degrees today!

So yeah…we had ice cream before dinner (I did too)!

hope in the face of grief

Our neighborhood was shaken by a loss of a fellow mom nearly 7 months ago. It was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever been a part of. Not just because she was a friend of mine, lived two doors down and our kids played together all the time – but because it was (and still is) one of the most tragic things I’ve seen a family deal with.

But in the midst of it all, something small but good has happened that signifies HOPE. Our neighborhood has banded together.

People invite the father and two small kids over for dinner multiple times a week.

Neighbors set up a weekend playdate schedule so the dad and kids would have something planned to do every Saturday morning.

People shoveled walkways. Helped repair swingsets. Brought trash cans back up the driveway.

And much more.

It made my husband, who doesn’t typically show much emotion, cry as he told someone “I now know that if something ever happened to me, this neighborhood would help take care of my wife and kids.”

We are grateful to have stumbled upon this village that is now a part of our intertwined lives over the past 4 years since we moved here. But the sense of hope that I’ve now seen goes much further than that, and I’m grateful to witness it.

I see you my little

I can literally see you growing before my eyes.

Lately you’ve been into Rainbow Looms. You sit and make these bracelets and can’t wait to show them off. Your level of concentration at this newfound hobby is something I haven’t witnessed in you before.

The other day one of your friends was sad.  For the first time, I felt that you were really, really affected by the fact that she was hurt. That you couldn’t make her feel better. And so you wrote her a letter and asked me to walk it across the street to give to her mom.

Today we were at a friend’s house for a pool party. Daddy asked if he could come swim and play with you. You said not now – I’m playing with my friends, but you can come watch. And I saw a slight pang in your daddy’s eyes. “A short window,” he said to someone.  “You only get a short window.”

You are becoming fiercely independent. And I grow more and more proud of you every day. Not just at how hard you worked in first grade this year, but at the person, the real person you are becoming.

I see you, my almost 7 year old, and at the same time I feel you slipping away. I know you will fly on your own someday my little…I’m just grateful I have you here under my wing for a bit longer.

picky eater tested spinach muffins

I wanted to share a picky eater muffin recipe that was shared with me!  The only change I made is that I added chocolate chips. These muffins have an entire 6 oz box of spinach and NO added sugars (you use honey!).  My kids devour them!

Recipe is from Super Healthy Kids and you can find it here! They don’t last long in my house.

and first grade was done

S came off the bus the last day of school and gave me a silly look that said “you had better not spray me with that silly string!” A few of us moms had cans ready to spray the kids when they got off the bus. I had warned them my daughter, who doesn’t do well with surprises, may not like it, so we knew to skip her.

But then she ran right past me and into the house. I chatted with a couple of the other kids, gave some last day of school hugs, and then followed her in. I found her sobbing in her room.

“I’m sorry you’re sad honey. Are you sad because you’re going to miss all your class friends? I know it won’t be the same but we can set up playdates!”

She told me, “a little, but I’m really going to miss my teacher and I really love Ms. W.”

And I got it. I cried after school every year until about 6th grade. I had all the feels she did. Big feelings.  I told her about the time I kissed the wall of my school because I was going to miss it so much. So I let her cry, let her talk about Ms. W, and then we talked about all the fun stuff we would do this summer.

Before long she was excited to empty out her backpack and show me all the notebooks and binders she brought home.

And just like that first grade is done.  I feel like it was just a few months ago that she was born. But here she is, turning seven in August.  Time to make that summer bucket list.

Summer art

We brought back and old favorite…but because my daughter is a bit older than when we first did it, she really enjoyed it more! This can be done indoors or out.

You need:

Salt (from a canister, you’ll need more than a few shakes from a shaker)

Liquid watercolors (I buy these from amazon)

Glue (pourable, not a glue stick)

Droppers for the liquid watercolors

Big sheet of paper

First let your child doodle the glue all over the page…then sprinkle the salt on it before it dries. Shake off any excess salt that isn’t stuck onto the glue. Then use the droppers and small amounts of watercolors and drop small amounts and watch it spread! Tons of fun, especially with different colors.

Enjoy!

dad I’ve been watching you

C is now 3…and he’s at the age where he wants to do EVERYTHING that daddy does. I underestimated just how much sons want to be like the men in their life!

I mean he wants to eat what daddy is eating…if daddy wears a coat, he wears one…if not, nope. He tries to walk the same way. And most recently, he walked around our patio and used daddy’s leaf blower to “help.”

I’ve learned that letting toddlers help….even if they are making more of a mess than actually helping, is important. They feel productive, they feel like they are contributing. So this day, my little guy helped and cleaned up the back just like daddy. And of course the toy yard tools weren’t good enough – he needed the real thing. 🙂

It was a good reminder to me to be conscious of what we emulate in front of the kids as they are always watching and listening!