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NEVER say never…

3 Jun

I must confess…I have never been a fan of the child safety harness/backpack.  I need to apologize to any parent that I may have stared at a little too long with eyes of wonder and possibly judgement…I walked in their shoes….through four airports.  I was nervous someone was going to scream “free the leash kids!!!” every time I was approached by a stranger.  Strangely enough, I only received words of encouragement from those happy to see me keeping my toddler close in the busy airport setting.  Whew!

I guess I imagined my son would walk like a well-trained dog when I strapped on his “monkey backpack.”  Instead, he acted like his usual toddler self….walking wherever he wanted to go, pulling on the tether when I didn’t follow, and falling to the floor in a temper tantrum when I still didn’t budge.  The backpack/harness is also a great way to develop sibling animosity.  My daughter was determined to be the controller of the leash and my son could not dislike that arrangement more.  It caused countless scuffles and screams between the two.

So, I carried my son through four airports.  I was envious of every parent I saw pushing a stroller and wondered why I thought it would be simpler to bring less baby “stuff” with me on this trip.  But, every time I had to rest my arms or search for an item in my bag, I was very comforted by the tug on my wrist from my son’s tether…I knew he was within arms reach even when I had to look away.

Snow day 3…The Great Escape.

4 Feb

Thursday was our third and final snow day.  I broke my previously mentioned New Year’s resolution and booted up my laptop because I was out of ideas to entertain the children and myself. I had several seemingly great ideas lined up after just a few minutes of searching “snow day crafts for kids.”

We started with coffee filter snowflakes.  My daughter has been banned from using scissors since the incident I mentioned a few months ago, but she was excited about the project and promised not to touch her OR her brother’s hair.  I had just bought a new package of the wrong-sized coffee filters, so I started out feeling really great about this project.  Unfortunately my snowflake idea stemmed from an online source that suggested decorating them with glue and glitter.  We didn’t have any glitter in the house {probably because I despise it}, so we used sprinkles.  The mess was outstanding. I will never attempt this project in my house again!

The second project on my list was “crayon cupcakes.”  They took our crayon box from looking like this…

To this…

And, finally this…

I thought my daughter would love this project and from what I have seen her do to crayons in the past, I was convinced she was a skilled crayon-paper remover.  As it turns out, neither of us had the patience and I quickly found myself searching online once again to find an easier way to peel the crayons.  Soaking them in warm water was the trick {where was my common sense?}.  After our crayon cupcakes cooled, the complaints starting rolling in…Who would have thought blunt edges would make coloring within the lines so difficult!!  To top off my disappointment, the wax leaked through the muffin cups and into my muffin tins.  Another mess to clean up and another fail in the project department for the day!

I was going to bring our final snow day to a close in the kitchen stirring up some homemade finger paint {why?  I don’t know.  I must enjoy making my life difficult}, but my husband rescued me from my child care duties an hour early.  So instead, I sat at our hand-print smudged backdoor with my favorite little guy and watched my favorite big guy, little girl, and our clubhouse dog play outside in the freezing cold.  

Later that night after my kids were in bed, I joined some of my neighborhood mommies for dinner and drinks.  House arrest was officially over!

The fan.

12 Jan

Children are THE greatest blessing.  I can’t think of anything more amazing.  They are truly God’s greatest gift.

– – – – –

We had only lived back home in our “new” state a few weeks when we were visiting my in-laws at their home that was now just a short drive from our house.  My daughter was about 9 months old.  She was a chubby little ball of smiles and excitement and she was very attached to her mama.  I followed my husband into the office to join his parents in front of the computer {for what, I cannot remember} while lifting my daughter over my head.  She smiled and squealed at me in delight…..THUD, THUD, THUD….I felt her body vibrate through my hands and she broke into tears.

I  had just lifted my daughter’s head into the moving ceiling fan.  Not even in the privacy of my own home, but in front of my husband AND both of his parents.  I’m pretty sure I had never felt like more of an idiot or made myself appear any more incapable of caring for a child than I did in that moment.  I was hot with embarrassment and tears filled my eyes as I cried with my child.

The good news was…no damage done.  No cuts, no bruises, no concussion….and no memory of the incident whatsoever!  Ceiling fans are not near as dangerous as they look!!  The bad news…My husband would not let it go.  If he made any little parenting faux pas it would always go back to….”well, at least I didn’t put her head in a fan!”  He always said it lightheartedly and only to tease me, but it always hurt my mommy pride just the same.

Fast forward two years and add an approximately 3 month-old son into our family picture.  Imagine my husband excitedly getting our son out of his crib post-nap. Now imagine my reaction when I heard a loud THUMP, THUMP followed by a distressing fuss {he’s a tough little guy} from my baby boy.  I peaked my head around the corner to see my husband sheepishly calming our son with the ceiling fan spinning above his crib.  No questions asked…I knew what happened and my husband’s face read like a book.

The good news….no damage done to our baby boy.  The bad news {for my husband, anyway}…my husband had blown his ammunition.  We were once again on an even playing field…and no word of the fan incidents have been mentioned  in our home ever since!

– – – – –

God’s second greatest gift??  It may just be a child’s lack of memory during those first few years of life {it gives us parents a chance to get it right!}.

 

New Year…new way.

9 Jan

Happy New Year everyone!  Better late than never, right?

One of my new year’s resolutions has me spending A LOT less time on the computer and therefore, less time blogging too.  To be very specific…I’m only allowing myself 30 minutes once my children are in bed to catch up on facebook {I’m extremely addicted,} read the blogs I follow, and return emails.  Of course I have to allow more time for things like blogging or working on my online photo books {I ♥ Shutterfly!}, but I am only doing those things when I have set aside time for them…hopefully after I have a chance to workout AND the mountains of laundry are folded.  I absolutely love the internet and the ability to look up every little piece of knowledge that I could ever dream of in seconds, but the quick stops I was making at the computer throughout the day were adding up and I knew they were sucking a lot of precious time out of my day.

A sorority sister of mine {yes, I was a sorority girl…funny I haven’t mentioned that sooner, right?}  writes a blog that I have been reading since its inception.  This week, Hollywood Housewife blogged about Life In Increments.  I was amazed at how much it applied to my life as of January 1, 2011.  Even though I haven’t been setting a timer for every task I need or want to do, I have made myself more aware of time I am spending on certain tasks and limiting the things that are not important or productive.  I know it all sounds so simple and so common sense…I even wonder why I wasn’t doing this before!

The thing that I couldn’t agree more with Hollywood Housewife was when she discussed what she called “face time” with her child…time that strictly belongs to her and her daughter…no multi-tasking.  I spend 27 out of 28 days a month {I am at work for that missing 24 hours} with my children.  We are always together…cleaning house, running errands, eating meals, going to playdates…and doing the occasional kid craft.  There is no nanny, no pre-school, no Mother’s Day Out….it’s all me {and my husband once his workday ends, of course}.  I didn’t think there was any way for me to spend more time with my children, know them better, or love them more.  I was wrong.  The more quality time I spend focusing solely on my two, the more in love I fall.  It makes me sad and disappointed in myself to think of the time I have already lost playing, talking, reading, and even holding my children while I did other menial and non-productive things…especially surfing the internet.  2011 means that if this Mama needs a little break it’s going to be in the rocking chair snuggling with my little guy or taking a “nap” on my daughter’s bedroom floor while she does “makeovers” on my hair.

So far my “less computer” resolution has evolved into a “life in increments” resolution and has been just as great for me as it has been for my little family.  I plan to make this a resolution that becomes habit {unlike my eat healthy and get in shape resolution…ha!}.

Oh, Christmas Tree!

5 Dec

I was so excited as my daughter’s second Christmas approached.  She was 17 months old and although she didn’t really understand Christmas, she was excited about all that was going on around the house.  We chose a safe spot in our home to display our tree and ripped open all of the lights and ornaments.  My daughter soon found a “ball” and immediately threw it down on the floor…it didn’t bounce as she expected…it shattered into a million pieces.  One of her “Baby’s 1st Christmas”, mommy’s favorites, hand-painted {not by me}, thought I would cherish for forever ornaments was history.  I screamed…Olive cried…I cried.  It was horrible.  The rest of that Christmas-season went off without a hitch.  Olive spent her afternoons sitting, snacking, and reading on the presents under our tree…those images are a few of my husband’s and I’s favorite memories.

Now fully-knowing my attachment to certain Christmas ornaments I decided to leave every one of my pretty glass ornaments in their bubble wrap, packed away in their special Christmas-colored storage box.  Last year a few of my favorites perished again on the tile floors of our new home.  I knew there would only be more casualties this year with a newly walking and very curious toddler BOY in the house!

I have heard of people putting their trees on tables or only decorating the upper-half of their tree.  I couldn’t do it.  Having a pretty, and might I add, REAL Christmas tree is just part of the Christmas season for us.  So, I hit up the $1 isle at Target and spent $8 on 50+ sparkly, non-glass, unbreakable bulbs.  My kiddos and I dug out all of the tin, wood, and material ornaments we already had and we decorated the tree together.  The only thing that would have made it more of a perfect Christmas memory was Christmas music playing in the background…instead it was my daughter’s choice-another Disney princess movie.

Maybe keepsake ornaments will visit our tree again next year.  Beauty isn’t everything!  Peace of mind while my kids {and cat} enjoy their Christmas tree is!

New Category: Lessons Learned

8 Oct

I’ve been home all week with two sick little ones.  They were healthy enough to play hard and destroy the house, just too boogery-nosed to go out in public unless I wanted to get the well-deserved evil eye from other mommies out there.  Day four of confinement has finally come to a close and I am actually anxious to get in our toy and cracker-crumb ridden vehicle tomorrow so we can get out of this house!

This week my daughter has proven an earlier hypothesis of mine: the terrible twos are only the prelude to the even more terrible threes.

Lesson learned:  Kiddo scissors may be safer to cut with, but they are no more safe for the child’s hair than regular scissors.

Thank goodness for Friday…I’m so happy my husband doesn’t work weekends!