the same but different

I was watching my kids play in the summer rain last week. They were both excited to get out into it. We’ve had a big heatwave in Michigan; and even though it was a humid and muggy day, the rain was welcome.

S ran out and was jumping, laughing and spinning in circles. C strolled out with an umbrella and took it all in. Watching S, looking up, sticking his hand out.

They were both enjoying, but in their own way. And it was a reminder to me of how there is more than one way to do something (or enjoy it). S wanted to get drenched and feel it up close. C wanted to feel it – but in his own, guarded way.

It’s a bit ironic because their personalities are actually the opposite – S is more guarded, whereas C just jumps right in without a care in the world.

So it was fun to watch. And oh to be a kid again!

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)!

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.

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!