we don’t use the word fat in our house

I came across a post today that confirmed why I have a rule I have in my home.  With a daughter, S,  who is about to turn 5, I am very conscious of ANY comments I make around her in regards to physical appearances.  I don’t say that makeup makes me feel pretty (I just say that ladies like to use it for fun); although I’m not at my ideal weight, I don’t talk about feeling “fat”; and, I don’t use the word “diet” – instead if I’m watching what I eat, I call it an “extra healthy eating plan.”

The post above made me sad. I worry so much for my daughter – that she will learn, through peers, that some people define themselves through physical appearances. I dread the day that she comes home and worries about being fat or not pretty enough and wants something to change about how she looks. She is, in my eyes, absolutely perfect. But I know that as girls grow older, it is bound to happen.

I had a relative in my house a couple of months ago talking about how they felt fat – and I pulled them aside to let them know that I’d appreciate it if they didn’t talk like that around S. I think she thought I might be a bit overprotective, but knowing how early girls start picking up on things like this I want to be careful.

I hope S never loses that free spirited, carefree, eager-to-put-on-a-bathing-suit-and-run-through-the-sprinkler type of personality. But, I know it will change and insecurities will set in. I just hope it is later rather than sooner, so as long as I can control the conversations in my home I will.

today, we made a mess

As the days fly by and get shorter, I am more and more conscious of how fast time is going by.  I think it really took having kids to realize how fast it truly flies. So today, C and I took some time to paint.

We often have Pandora’s Toddler Radio on in the house (especially on weekends when we’re all home). I feel like I have memories that will remain etched in my mind today of this morning; sweet toddler music playing while little one discovered the joy of fingerpainting.

He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it at first (and yes he did try eating it, of course it was non-toxic!). But I’m guessing it didn’t taste good as he only did it once.

I think it was great from a sensory experience, and fun for he and I to do together. He made two masterpieces…which are still drying but are dated for his art bin that we’ve started.

Loved it!

a great bath toy!

Okay so I want to share a new bath toy that mama and kiddos are both happy with!

We received these bath pipes as a gift. They are awesome.  No holes that make it hard to get water out (read: no mold); my near 5 year old loves setting them up in a way that allows her to use her imagination; and my near 18 month old can’t get enough of pouring water in the top and watching it come out the bottom.

boon bath

A really great thing about how these boon bath pipes are made is that the opening at the bottom is smaller than the top – so you do get some “watch time” after dumping the water in the top.

Definitely recommend!

Back to school knots

When I was young, back to school time was always met with mixed feelings in my young mind and heart.  Sadness to see the summer go, butterflies at the thought of new teachers and new classmates, and the excitement at the smell of new notebooks stacks of 3 hole punched paper and pencils.

As a mom now, back to school hasn’t meant TOO much.  S has been in preschool for two years and C is too young to go, but it wasn’t a huge deal. This year, it is.  S starts kindergarten in 3 weeks and I’m sick to my stomach over it.

It’s a mixture of things, once again.  My fear of whether I am starting her too early and should have “redshirted” her.  Will she be safe on a bus that has K-5th graders on it? What if the bus breaks down? Will she eat her lunch in the 20 min allowed? Will the two small recess breaks allowed be enough for her little mind and body?

And will she be sad and lonely? And if so, will there be someone that notices in this new sea of students where the cafeteria ratio of adults to kids is something she has never experienced.

I know these are all things that may happen and if not, she (and I) will make it through. But the thought of putting her on that bus and not really knowing what is going on from 8.15 to when she returns to the curb at 4.15 has me sick with worry.

I guess I have 3 weeks to figure it out.  The last thing I want is to appear nervous or sad when she’s climbing those steps on the bus. Ahhhh letting them go is so hard!

Much, much harder than I ever imagined when I wasn’t a mama.


Doing nothing 

That is what we will be doing this weekend. 
Well, other than one single swim class (that’s a non-negotiable skill for me, S goes every Sunday and C will be starting his baby classes soon). I am suddenly very conscious that we have but a few weekends left in the summer – and I’ve decided I’m not scheduling anything. 

So this weekend you will find us just relaxing. Maybe out back, maybe inside playing Monopoly Jr., but we aren’t going to be committing to anything other than unstructured time. 

I see my kids so free and happy, and I know before long there will be homework, stress about school and friends, and pressure to be the best they can. For now, I just want them both to run through the grass barefoot all day. 

Doing anything. Or nothing at all. 

shimmer on the water


Today’s post of the day was actually perfect for me. We just got back from a vacation at the beach in Saugatuck.  I can still remember the way the water at the beach looked…and at the way my kids stared at it. We had a beautiful, sunny day – and the sun just seemed to dance on the moving water.

It was lovely…and a great memory.  I haven’t had a chance to download my pictures yet – but i’m hoping I was somehow able to capture a good one.

our family vacation…we did it!

We did it!

Although this wasn’t our FIRST vacation as a family of 4, it was probably our hardest. Since little C was born (now 17 months), we’ve done a waterpark weekend, a week in Mexico, and now we did a one-week rental near the beach in Saugatuck. This one was the hardest, but also I think the most important.

We met up with some of my husband’s family that doesn’t live near us, and that we’re lucky to see maybe once or twice a year.  They have two young kids as well, same age as my kids. I believe strongly that I want my kids to grow up knowing their cousins (my sister-in-law does too) – so we planned this week with our two families. 4 adults, 4 kids, and lots of chaos.

The kids had a blast. At times the girls got on each other’s nerves, but that’s to be expected with 2 almost-5-year-olds.  We did the beach. We did ice cream downtown almost every day. We did movie nights. We did the park. I really do feel I gave my older one a week to remember (my younger one is probably still wondering what happened!).

I have a couple of things I’d do differently the next time, though – so something to think about if you’re planning to rent a place with another family. The space was sufficient – 5 bedrooms. Keeping the house clean and 8 people fed was tiring! Although I thoroughly enjoyed the family time, I came home pretty drained and with a backache.  Next time around I would do 2 things differently:

  • take advantage of the mid-week cleaning service the rental offers for a fee (linens, vacuum, mopping) – will save a few hours of time and make things less hectic
  • eat out or order in a few times (we cooked ALL of our meals at home…the next time, I would definitely plan ahead to accommodate preferences/allergies and find some safe places to either get take out or hit the restaurants!)

We plan to make this a yearly tradition…can’t wait!