saturday morning

i love you because

…all is quiet

…i don’t know yet what the day will bring

…it means two nice long days of just us time is ahead

…i can sit with my cup of coffee before the craziness of the day begins

…there is no rushing, no place to scamper off to

…we can just do what our heart desires, all four of us

 

let her wear it

We were headed to a birthday party and my daughter had on a pink dress with a tutu (that she had picked out). She let me do her hair and she picked out a bow. Then I brought her white sandals over and she said “no, I want to wear my socks and black shoes.”

So, she did. And the socks were mismatched (as you can see). And the black shiny dress shoes didn’t really go with the dress. But she thought she looked dressed up for her friend. And I was happy that she was expressing her individual choices (at an age when she doesn’t have many choices day to day). So I told her I thought it was great that she picked out her own socks and shoes and off we went.

Especially with S being a girl – I want to ensure she is raised as confidently as possible. I know the years of self doubt are very close – and I’d like to push them off for as long as I can. The days where she will wonder if her friends will like something she wears or if someone will make fun of her are coming. But for now I’d like to let her express herself!

wear the necklace, mama

S. saw me getting dressed for a casual, impromptu BBQ at our neighbor’s house.  I had thrown on a jersey dress and was just looking for a simple necklace when she said, “wear this one, mama!” I turned around and it was a chunky, beaded one she had made me from one of her kid jewelry sets over a year ago.

“No, I don’t think today is a good day for that one,” I said. “I don’t think the colors match.” But what I was really thinking was “I only pretend to wear that when I’m home all day, I’ve actually never worn it OUT.”

“But look, this bead is the same color as your dress,” she said. And before she could say anything else, my brain suddenly came to the realization that I was being silly. And selfish. Why WOULDN’T I wear something my then 4 year old had made, and proudly? Her little hands had put that together. And given it to ME instead of breaking it back apart or putting it back in her room. And I was being an idiot giving up the opportunity to wear it for my own joy AND hers.

So I wore it. And I rocked it. And, to be honest – it looked great with my simple dress (not that it mattered). If it had been a necklace of cheerios, I would have worn it.

So wear the necklace or bracelet or hat, mama. And wear it proudly. I did, and the smile it brought to my daughter’s face and the little glances she threw my way that evening when she would look at it were nothing short of amazing.

to prevent or not prevent the summer learning slide

My daughter is in between kindergarten and first grade this summer. I’ve heard a LOT about the backward “slide” that takes place in the summer with kids – and was told if I can keep up on things like reading and math these few months, she would have an easier time come September.

I didn’t want to put my daughter in camps where they would focus on academics. I mean she’s still FIVE (turns 6 at the end of August) and I know from personal experience her school years are only going to get more demanding, her pressures will only mount more, as she gets older. So we put her in a fun summer camp 2 days a week (9-3.30) where they do field trips and art projects and play outside. And the rest of the time she is home, going to our local barns, parks and just playing in the backyard.

But, I do have her do a few worksheets a day. Like 3. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes, sometimes 20, which I don’t think is unreasonable. But she still thinks it’s mean. 🙂

That’s okay honey. I know it may seem mean…but I think you won’t know how grateful you’ll be come the fall!

that sunday morning stillness

Every once in a while, I get a perfect Sunday morning of a tiny bit of quiet time to myself. That time is now. C is still sleeping as well as S (we had family over last night so they went to bed a little later than usual). Hubby is just waking as well, so I have time to make a cup of coffee, actually READ one of the magazines that comes to my house, and enjoy the stillness.

Our neighborhood is full of young children, but right now I know their homes are waking up as well (or already up and around if there are very young kids!). I never hear it like this – just the sounds of the birds chirping, an occasional dog bark and a rare car perhaps heading to church or on an early grocery run.

So I’m enjoying my few minutes (by writing too!) because in about 10 minutes, it’s time to get C his cup of milk, pack our swim bags for swim lessons, pick up the playroom that we left a mess last night and get myself out of my pajamas.

But right now it’s amazing!

summer cousins

We took our annual trip to the west side of the state last week with some extended family. And although traveling with young kids isn’t a piece of cake, I was AMAZED at how it gets a tiny, tiny bit easier each year.

For one, the girls (both turning 6 later this year) got along much better. There were less statements of “I don’t want to be her cousin anymore” and more imaginative play than I’ve ever seen. I mean even moments where we didn’t know where they were in our rental because they were off in some corner pretending to by spies.

And the little one – although C refused to sleep in the pack ‘n play and we ended up co-sleeping with him for naps and bedtime, did great. It did mean I had to lay with him each time and then sneak out of the room, but it worked!

So it was an amazing week. Filled with what I hope will be great memories for the kids – sprinklers and beaches and water balloons and ice cream and walks to the park, all with cousins. I have such fond memories of growing up with my cousins, I’m trying to give my children the same opportunity to create meaningful bonds with their extended family as well.

A successful trip!

15 minutes with my little

It’s amazing what a little 1:1 time can do when you have two kids.

I picked S up from summer camp yesterday afternoon and we decided to stop by Starbucks. Me for my usual iced latte, and she got her usual kids hot cocoa.

But we got to sit there… together…and talk about our day. She told me all about the animal visitors at camp that day, who she played with, when she got sad, and the happiest part of her time there. If we had gone straight home, out little 2 1/2 year old often monopolizes mom and dad’s time.

Reminder to me to spend more time with my kids separately every once in a while!