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!

Cheers to a mom’s weekend

This past weekend I took a “girls trip” to Austin. We sort of settled on that city because none of us had ever been, and we heard it had good food. At the time I agreed to go, it seemed like a good idea. But then as the time approached, like every time I know I’m leaving my kids overnight I started feeling sick to my stomach wondering why I even made these plans.

At the end of the weekend, I was SO glad I went. It was great to spend time catching up with frienda. Exploring a new city. Laughing by the pool. And recharging my batteries. We seldom get to do that as moms – for example, when my kids are in bed, I’m o line trying to order more diapers or figure out which classes I may want to look into for them.

And the kids? They survived whole I was gone. Dad and grandma did a great job keeping them happy and healthy.

So here’s to mom’s weekends everywhere – even though we cherish our time with our kids, I feel like it was a good investment in being able to take some deep breaths for a couple of days.

kindergarten progress

I am amazed at how much my daughter has learned and grown in Kindergarten. Her last day was Thursday, and she came off the bus a combination of smiles and a little sadness behind her eyes that I’m pretty sure only I could see.

“Are you happy you’re all done with school?” I asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “But I didn’t want to leave the classroom. Or the school. Or the bus. Or my friends.” I knew what she felt; I distinctly remember kissing the wall of my kindergarten classroom when nobody was looking because I was really, really going to miss it, and even at 5, I knew it.

But I assured her that the summer would be just as fun. And so would her Wednesdays and Fridays at summer camp. And then First Grade! She would be a first grader come fall.

Her teacher sent home all the binders and workbooks they had been using throughout the year.  I had seen some of them because I was a frequent helper in the classroom. But there was one that especially caught my eye – it was a monthly writing sample.  I could not believe how she went from barely legible scribbles to complete sentences with detail in pictures. And how a teacher of 24 wiggly little 5 and 6 year olds can successfully teach so much to all these kids.

I’m so grateful for all S has learned….it brought tears to my eyes looking through her little “science notebook” and leadership binder.  In a way so much is expected of our kindergarteners now – but I think she did okay!

hold your friends close, dear daughter

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S came running off the bus the other day with half of a best friend necklace around her neck. “Mama, look! My friend gave me this. We’re best friends!” and the joy on her face lit me up as well. “She has the other half and we are going to be friends forever!”

I hope she and M are friends forever. But in reality, I know that kindergarten friendships sometimes fade.  Just like ones in grade school, middle school, high school, and even into adulthood. But I also know that she will find some friends that are just gems, like I did, and that they will be one of the most important parts of her life.

So dear daughter, I wish you an amazing lifetime of blossoming and joyous friendships. In the beginning, they will be the friends that you swing with, bike with, and play house with. Then those friendships will transition to those of confidants; you will giggle with secrets of boys and groan about homework together. Then you’ll enter another phase – one where your friends will carry you through heartache, significant life changes and disappointments. Some of those disappointments may be through broken friendships – but you will have friends to carry you through those as well.

And I hope you give your heart to your friends as well, and give them all the love they need through their own ups and downs. That, dear S, is an important part of a friendship – how you both support them and celebrate their joys alongside them.

Most of all, dear daughter – I wish you a circle of friends that wrap you in their love. That know from one look what you are thinking and feeling. And that can sense when you need a little something that only a good friend can provide. And I hope that you know what a treasure a good friend is. Hold them close to your heart and give them all the love you can in return.

lesson learned: leave the trampolines for the kids

So my husband kids and I decided to go to the trampoline park Mother’s Day weekend. We usually have fun when we go as a family – we all buy our passes and jump. C tends to sort of just run around from thing to thing, but he LOVES jumping so it’s a lot of fun for him.  S loves it too…she and I often see what we can do (who can jump higher, who can do a tuck jump the best, etc.).

So this time, we were jumping….and I went up for a really HIGH jump (as I called it).  I felt an enormous amount of pain in my left knee and immediately went down. It didn’t pop – but I did manage to tear my meniscus slightly. So with all the young kids staring at me, this 43 year old woman had to be helped off the trampolines with a bag of ice.

I spent most of mother’s day weekend in bed with my leg elevated and iced.  I guess the one good thing is that I wanted a relaxing weekend – and I couldn’t do much, so it all worked out.  But 2 weeks later and I’m still hobbling around. Lesson learned – leave the jumping to the kids the next time!  Happy Mother’s Day to ME!