Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your First

It's moments etched in my mind. 


Your first cry.


 Your first step.


Your first night in a big girl bed.


Your first bike ride.


Your first ballet class.


Your first day at school.


Your first lost tooth.


Your first sleepover.


Your first piano recital.


 Your glimpse of the world through nine year old eyes.

Happy Birthday my love.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Um...

So tonight I was perusing Facebook harmlessly (I know, NOT Pinterest!  Aren't you shocked?), just minding my own business, when I ran across a post from a college friend of mine that stopped me in my tracks.

Did you know it's been 15 years since I first set foot on my college campus as a Freshman, ready to take on the world?

(No, of course you didn't.  The point is, I didn't either)

FIFTEEN YEARS.

Gulp.

That makes me, like, old.

So, uh, when did this happen exactly?  And furthermore, are the next 15 years going to go by as quickly?

Because in another 15 years I will have an almost TWENTY-FOUR year old (omg!), a 21 year old, a 19 year old and probably only my baby at home with me, a mere 17 years old (sniff).

I seriously need to stop time.

Like, for reals.

(I keep thinking that if I talk like I did when I was in high school, then maybe somehow how I'm not as old.  Is it working?)

Friends, anyone been slapped in the face with reality lately?  I'm realizing my days of needing wrinkle cream are not that far off.  Maybe they've even already arrived and I'm late to the party.  Yikes!  By the way, I totally wanted to find a picture of myself in college, but they're all up in the attic (this was pre digital people.  Yes, I know.  That old.), and it's like, a thousand degrees up there.  Plus we don't have a scanner.  So there ya go.


OH!  I did just get a cute new haircut (chopped off TEN inches!!) and color.  





Maybe saying "like" all the time won't sound completely ridiculous now?  I'm bringing it back people!

(wow, this was (like) the longest PS/footnote thingy EVER)



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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can I Get A Woot Woot!?


What's this I see?



Backpacks?  New clothes?  Freshly sharpened pencils?


Ah yes.  You know this song.



Sing it with me now:



It's the most wonderful time of the year!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Because We Don't Have Enough Girls



Meet Molly.  

yes, we just might be crazy.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

The House Thermostat



Several years ago, we were having a particularly difficult time with Princess #1's behavior.  I don't remember the details at all (proof that this too shall pass!), but I do know that it was occurring right around the time Princess #2 joined us, so she would have been around the age of 2.

Desperate for sound advice, I took myself to the place I knew I would get some answers, the internet.  Thank God for mommy message boards right?  I don't know how June Cleaver survived without them.

Anyway, I found myself on a message board full of caring, devoted, and attached mommies who were passionate about intentional parenting.  For me, being the newbie, I had no idea there were so many parenting philosophies or that I even had one (I later learned my own default parenting philosophy was a combination of my experiences in being parented, and my expectations about parenthood.  But that's another post for another time).

I poured out my heart in a post about Princess #1, describing her behavior and my desires to change it.  I probably referred at one point to how she seemed to turn into this monster of a child I did not know.  It was true.  I was praying that someone would read my post, relate to it in their own lives and tell me what to do to fix it.

So you can imagine my shock when I anxiously checked back for a response and found not sympathy and empathetic responses but rather chastisement about my attitude towards Princess #1.  Suggestions that I stop seeing her as a "monster" but rather a small human who was incapable of controlling her emotions and reactions stopped me in my tracks.  That wasn't what I meant at all!  I was totally being misread!

Or was I?

I remember leaving the computer in a huff, feeling let down.  I do not remember how we addressed Princess #1's behavior at that time.  Clearly we got through it and I moved on.  But I never forgot the sting I felt at the words of the women on that message board.  Women who did not know me, did not know my intentions, or my heart.  I felt unjustly judged.

Now several years down the road into parenthood, I'm able to assess the words of those women with a little more perspective and clarity.  While I immediately took offense to the suggestion that perhaps the problem lie more with my reaction to the behavior than the behavior itself, I now can accept the wisdom in that idea.

I can see it now, most clearly demonstrated in Princess #1 as she nears the age of 9.  If I expect her to behave badly, she does.  If I perceive her to be a difficult child or in a difficult phase, she is.  As much as I hate to admit it and tire of the responsibility, I control the climate in our home.  And that includes the behavior of my children.

That's not to say that it is peaceful all the time or that my children never throw fits.  Believe me, they do. But as I've matured as a parent I've discovered that the key to diffusing tantrums and changing behaviors lies in my attitude toward my child and my reactions to that behavior.

Because the harsh reality is that I can't control my children and what they do.  Try as I might, guide as I may, they are their own people and they will make their own choices.  Even at the young age of 2 when I cried out in frustration at Princess #1's behavior.  While I was seeking ways to control her, the wise women of that message board were gently (or maybe not so much) trying to show me that all I could control was myself.

It's still a work in progress.  I'm still a work in progress.  There are many days I respond in frustration or irritation and I watch as it ripples down through the girls.  A blunt reminder that I need to take my job as house thermostat seriously.  We will have phases, some that are pleasant, some we wish to forget.  With four girls the drama level is guaranteed to be high.  But all the more reason for me to be on my game.  There is a saying that hubs has at his work: Assume Positive Intent (and I know that my friend Jess is going to bust out laughing at this reference).  I try to keep this thought in the back of my head as I confront a new behavior or issue.  My children only know how to be children.  My attitude towards them and this behavior is going to set the tone for how we deal and manage the situation.  I need to intentionally choose to approach them with love and understanding and at times firm guidance and discipline.  I am the adult, I have more control over my reactions and emotions and therefore it is up to me to provide a safe place for my children to explore their own feelings and to learn how to take charge of their own reactions.

My friends, how well do you do at being your house thermostat?  What is the climate like in your home?Have you run across a situation where you know your attitude towards your child could have been better?  Or do you do a good job at this?  What sort of suggestions do you have for mama's who want to improve?
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ugh, I Know

Here I am, not posting all summer long.

Then I come on with all these promises of goodness and cleverness and, um, frequency.


I pitch the awesome Inspired Reality idea (have you read about it yet?  No?  Go ahead, click the link, read all about it.  Then go to Pinterest and decide what you're going to try to turn into reality and blog about it.  But finish reading this post first, because once you go to Pinterest you'll forget to come back.).

And then I disappear again.

Life sure isn't convenient for a blogger (gosh darn those kids wanting to be fed and all).

So here I am, carving out a bit of time.  I do want you to note the time I found to carve is of the late night variety.  See, I'm making an effort.  I should be in bed.

But I'm not in bed yet, mainly, because I want to tell you that my awesome friend Jess is featuring me today on her uber cool blog Peanut and Pistachio in a post about stay at home mommies.

She asked me all sorts of serious questions and I had to give her these wise answers.  I know, you can laugh now.

ANYWAY, you should go check it out because this is about as close to famous as I'll get.  And you'll also get to learn some cool facts about me.  Like... what do I always keep in my freezer?

You know you want to find out.

PS.  I was totally going to post a pic of Jess and me, but the only one I had was a very unflattering one of us on a hot and sweaty July 4th.  I need to do better about getting pics of me and my friends!  Anyway, you're off the hook this time Jess!


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Monday, August 8, 2011

Are You Inspired?


I've written before about my love for Pinterest.  I'm telling you, it is without a doubt the best time suck evah.  Thanks to the inspiration from others, I've become a decorating guru, I have all sorts of parenting tactics to try and I've made at least 3 meals that hubs has requested to be in permanent rotation.  I have become a master at knocking off good ideas.

So, if there's anything I love more than being inspired myself, it's seeing others inspired as well.  My awesome friend Jess and I came up with a fun little idea.  She explains it all in detail on her blog but basically, we want to see what inspires you and how you've recreated it!

(of course, this is all just a ploy to see more creative ideas so I can knock those off too.  *wink*)

It's alot more fun if lots of people participate, so jump in!  Grab the button below to put in your post and get ready to be inspired!






PS.  We're debating adding a Mr. Linky so everyone can easily find inspired posts from others.  Good idea?  Let us know!


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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good Stuff Ahead

I am super excited for two reasons:

1.  I feel my blogging mojo coming back.  I KNOW this has you doing the happy dance.  Right?  I've got all sorts of goodness floating around in my head.  It's about to make it's way to paper and onto your computer screen soon.  I know, it's almost more than you can stand.  You may need to sit down to recover. It's OK.  No one's looking.

2.  Along the lines of #1, my gal pal Jess over at Peanut and Pistachio (if you aren't reading her blog, you should.  Go do it.  Now.) are cooking up something fun.  It's going to involve you, Pinterest and mad creativity.  So get ready to flex your crafty muscles!  It's all coming soon.  Very very soon!

So that's all.  I'm going back to trying to not melt.  Did you know it's like a bazillion degrees outside?  I think I may love my air conditioner right now.  It better stay on my good side.

So until next time, stay cool!




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