Tag Archives: Family

Mighty Mommy Monday – Do it for the Kids

It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis.  Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year AND run a half marathon in October! Join us!

 

I’m having a skinny day. You know what I mean? The kind of day where your yoga pants are actually flattering and you have energy and the soreness that has been plaguing you after every run is so minimal you forget that you pounded out 2 miles this morning only needing to stop to walk a few times. That kind of day. It’s the kind of day when I feel like I will never “cheat” on the diet or the exercise plan because I feel so. awesome.

Now, rewind to a few weeks ago when I could barely make it through half a mile and then wasn’t able to walk for two days after. I hated exercise. I was mad about my weight and the apparent inability to lose. I stood in my kitchen whining about how there is absolutely nothing to eat in a gluten free diet. On that day I was *this close* to throwing in the towel and taking the max dose of one of those pills they advertise all the time on tv for making people lose weight.

I don’t like days like that. But the reality is that no matter how great I do on my race times or my weight, I will feel down and defeated. It’s life. What I choose to do with, how I choose to modify my plan or my attitude, that is what determines how my day continues to go. Along the way, there will be struggles and binge eating and crappy nights.

But I’m trying to make this point today that no matter what my attitude is, I still have an audience. No, not you. Not really because you only see what I choose to share. My audience watches the Disney channel and runs up and down the stairs asking for snacks while I debate how many minutes I really want to run for. They see me wigging out in the kitchen because I want to eat something I can’t have. They watch me make decisions and watch my attitude as it ebbs and flows with enthusiasm. So yes, those bad days happen and my yoga pants are not often all that flattering, but there are still eyes watching how I chose to handle it. I read once that the words we speak are the ones that become our children’s inner voice; I want the voice that my children have inside them to be one that acknowledges the struggles and the pain but has a plan the ends with them being their best self no matter how hard it is to get there.

How to be in nature without feeling like you’ve gone wild

I have been loading my babies up and heading into the woods, creek bed or hiking trail for the last 4 years. It was awkward at first what with nursing and diapers and colic, but we did it. In the last few weeks of Sylvi’s pregnancy I took Liam to the nature center and we wandered around happy (him) and huge (me). A month or so later, I loaded my newborn safely into her carrier, strapped her to my chest and we headed back for another hike. Of course, that time I was so awkward and anxious about disaster and it arrived: Liam slipped right into the mucky duck pond and had to be hauled out of the cold, slimy water sobbing. Not our best trip.

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Since then, I’ve started to make sure that instead of just dropping everything and heading to the woods on a whim, I’ve got myself prepared. Ha! Now, we can go out on a hike and I don’t worry about all the things that can (and in our case, frequently do) go wrong. In my kitchen closet lives my old high school back pack loaded with our adventure kit. My back pack was purchased in 1996 and has been to college, grad school, India, Canada, Ecology field work, hospital internships, my first day at the lab, and spent an entire summer on the back of Matt’s bike while he cycled to the office. In my mind, there is no replacement for quality product.

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What’s in the bag? Some of the items might make you laugh, but I’m dead serious about it. Believe me when I tell you that fewer things derail a nice afternoon than wet socks and empty bellies.

  • Backpack
  • Field guide to North American Birds – my kids always want to know what they see and I think it’s about time for me to add a guide to plants and rocks.
  • First aid kit – oh yes. Sylvi managed to bite it today while walking down a brick path at Kingwood Center and cut her knee up even though her pants remained intact. Skillz people, skillZZZZ.
  • Spare socks and underwear – I do not kid.
  • Kids’ journals and colored pencils
  • Weather pod
  • Snacks and water
  • Picnic blanket – I keep this one in the car regardless of where we are going, you never know!
  • Binoculars – My uncle gifted us with a really nice pair for Christmas a few years ago, but I’m not up for dealing with two preschoolers bickering over whose turn it is to hold them, so we have the cute ones from Melissa and Doug just in case.

So when we head out, the time is spent answering dozens of questions and jumping in any available mud puddle. Only once have I made the mistake of not bringing my own boots and I will do ALL I can to not ever let that happen again. 

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Spontaneity is not something I’m gifted with, but boy oh boy I do so much better at it when I have a plan. I know it’s completely ironic, but with a plan for where we are going and snacks that are ready to eat. And band aids. With those things out of the way, I get to answer the questions, experience the feeling of soft moss on my fingers and listen to the creek bed while the new 3 year old is happily munching her snack instead of freaking out.

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We spend a lot of time outside playing and experiencing, but when we do our adventure hikes, I want to make sure we are getting every little bit out of it that the kids want. So if that means I have to haul guidebooks because there’s no wi-fi for miles, then so be it. I mean, gosh, isn’t that what *our* childhood was like? The internet is no replacement for the actual feeling of moss on your finger tips. So we go places that are muddy and mossy and wild. And even though it’s planned and organized and less wild, we get every little bit out of the moment we can.

Mathlete material

With all our free time this week, I wanted to tackle some educational themes so I could get a feel for next fall since we’ve decided to homeschool. I know, gasps!! It’s not like we hadn’t talked about it for years… I believe the first time I brought it up was shortly after I had convinced Matt to go for a homebirth and he was still processing the fact that there would be no hospital staff attending to our needs while our child was still new, so nothing really came of it. We entered Liam in preschool for the year and while we have all loved the experience and he’s grown so much, I just didn’t have peace about sending him on to kinder. Nothing about the school or the teachers or any of those factors, I just realized that we’d be missing out on more of his life and we’d never get that time back. We spent quite a bit of prayer and thought on this and decided homeschool is the best option for our family… right now. And I have to interject that once the decision was made and parental high fives given, I started to sleep through the night again. Ever since, I’ve been so excited about homeschooling I can barely contain myself. :) Bonus: Liam keeps asking when we will only do school at home.

Reading, writing, science and history are easy-peasy lemon squeezy for me. I love these topics and it is so simple for me to slip it in every other moment of our day. But math? Oh man. Liam isn’t as excited about numbers as he is letters so we have to work a little harder on that topic.

Counting is simple enough to work into our daily routine, but we are also working to learn how to add on. Blocks and legos are an excellent way to start up the hands-on learning, but I’m also looking into unifx cubes. My mother had a set when I was growing up and we all loved them.

We started out the week with numbers written out squares of paper and Liam had to place the right number of blocks under it. Initially, Sylvi wanted to join in, but holy wow. Competition was the name of the game in the worst way. We worked through 1-10 and then grouped the blocks together by type within the number.

Up next, we tried this blog post that was filled with ideas for using Legos in learning math. Favorite part? Measuring the creations.

Tomorrow, we plan to use this blog post because I, of course, have addition flash cards. Since I don’t have the unifix cubes, we’ll just use legos.

One of the things we do love to do together is graphing and looking for patterns. Blocks, Legos, matchbox cars… you name it and you’ve got options. AND it’s fun!

For the fall, I’m still up in the air on the math workbooks to use. I really am. For one, I grew up using Saxton math. I love the review aspect of the books afforded in each lesson, but I hate how long that makes the lesson. My mother was never one to deviate from the “plan” so that means if I spent over two hours on math completing alllllllll the problems, then so be it. A friend suggested the Life of Fred books, so those are on my radar now. The only thing I’m really sure of are the Kumon books I’ve used so far and love. And that over the years, I’ve learned to embrace the flexibility of life and make adaptations so that my kids and my family get the opportunity to really flourish because their individual needs are acknowledged and nurtured.

I really should be cleaning…

Ooooooohhhhh, spring is coming. Well, according to the calendar it’s already here. According to my bones, it’s just going to be cold and wet forEVAH. I have to finish up my spring cleaning and prepare for a 3rd birthday party, but I’d really rather be curled up watching a movie.

But the birds are back! YAY! Oh my goodness, I missed them all winter! I was hoping that they would continue to check out my well-stocked feeder, but only the deer and an occasional squirrel popped by. This morning, I cleaned out the feeder and refilled it. And then, 5 birds were thrilled to float over. My heart sang a little.

Spring break is next week, so in preparation for our week with a clear schedule, I went to the library and stocked up. Liam has 4 more letters to go in preK, so I grabbed books for those letters and a few on spring themes. I’m still working to build up our own stock of spring books, but the library is there for a reason! And scholastic book fairs :)

Today, I also ordered this weather station as a bonus Easter basket gift for the family. Liam has always shown a great deal of interest in the how and why of weather, so we find a lot of weather related books in our library basket, but this spring, I think he’s ready to start learning more. We are working on getting the kitchen boards back up and useful again. Sylvi has expressed an interest in having her own chore magnets, so I’m still working out the details and the layout. Thank goodness for those 3M strips. People like me who like to rearrange frequently, we owe our spouse’s sanity to them.

We are going to kick off spring break with Sylvi’s birthday party on Sunday. Oh my. How did she go from being this teeny little thing to the wild and independent girl she is now? The passage of time just amazes me. She requested I paint her nails this morning, so I think we will have to do that to match her princess dress she’s eagerly waiting to wear on Sunday.

As long as we are talking about growing up, Liam put away his own lunch leftovers today without even mentioning it to me. I just stood there watching him as he walked to the cabinet, grabbed a small container and proceeded to pop his wrap in there and then place it in the fridge. I’m still stunned.

So tell me, what does your family do for spring break? I’m not a big traveler, so we’ll be doing fun things around here… and of course, checking the weather.

Lately

Happy Friday. I’ve got a cake in the oven. I’m nervous about it as my last foray into gluten free baking had abysmal results. Nonetheless, Sylvi’s birthday party is in a little over a week and I really need a cake recipe. I figure if I can have a chocolate cake, then I can make my favorite marshmallow frosting. But, of course, something needs to be pink on the cake. Sprinkles?

Liam is still in preschool… it’s letter V week and I am amazed how quickly the year has flown by. His writing skills have improved exponentially. He shows signs of reading readiness and has plenty of enthusiasm. His math skills aren’t top notch. As a STEM girl, it worries me. Stay tuned. We’re going to be working the math skills in our living room over Spring Break.

Sylvi is in full-fledged princess mode. By this I totally mean that she wears her princess costumes all. the. time. We went hiking and she wore it. She has forgone actual shoes for a pair of Snow White princess shoes that are about 3 sizes too big. And by the way, if it isn’t “sparkly” she’s not wearing it.

She asked for a bicycle and a princess dress for her third birthday. Cinderella bicycle acquired. Prior to her gasping in Target, I had no idea such a thing existed. Princess dress in the works. I bought this pattern anthology and am using the 10th pattern with sparkly pink satin. Matt and I had such a laugh last night as I sat in a sea of tulle. 10 layers of it :)

And since I always seem to mention the weather in my posts this year, it’s raining. Which is exciting because I see buds on my lilac bushes!!! And the Weeping Cherry! And the trees! I celebrate the seasons for their individual awesomeness, but I’m finally at the point where I’m ready to celebrate spring. I hung the bird house and windchimes again. Oooh! And I opened the windows again.

The cake is out of the oven. And it’s perfect. Perhaps gluten free won’t be so bad after all…

Waving farewell – to my beloved gluten

Over the years, this blog has seen a lot of food changes. Back in 2007, I’d been married less than a year and needed to learn how to cook the basic foods. So I blogged about it. Then, because I’m a reader and really prefer information to fiction, I read a few books on local eating. And my goodness, it appealed to every single fiber in my body. Because, you know, as a child, I wanted to be a homesteader.

So during this time, I learned how to can and preserve my food. I had garden space all over the yard. I got pregnant and am not going to lie: having food cravings that were further than 100 miles away?  It did not go well. And let me tell you… cantaloupe was ALL I wanted come February 2009. After Liam was born, I settled into a food rut. The rut continued, with a brief trip down the comfort food lane while pregnant with Sylvi. But then, you see, Liam had more and more trouble with textures and what seemed like routine meals became a set series of meals in a rotation so I could pretend our child wasn’t struggling.

In the last two years, we’ve been working with Liam through occupational therapy and although the therapist kept telling me I needed to work more at home, I just couldn’t. Sitting at the table with a little boy who needs to be encouraged to swallow the food in his mouth, it’s exhausting. I gave up and served the shapes of pasta that didn’t take him hours to chew and swallow.

Now imagine my horror when last week my doctor looked me in the eye and said “Less grains, Laura, less grains.” She then said that my health issues were either the result of my thyroid bottoming out or lupus. So. Gluten free it is. And as Dr. House has “proven” time and again, it’s never lupus. Nope.

So now? Now I have to start adapting all my recipes, learning to use gluten-free flours and pastas and most of all, I need to expand my horizons once again. And I need to expand the experiences of my little boy. In the last 10 days, we’ve eaten a very grain-light, gluten-free diet. It’s hard for him. While the other three in our home are enjoying the variety and the almost-three-year-old is stealing all the broccoli out of the serving dish before I can even sit down, my little guy is slowly, but surely being forced into more and more variety.

So what does that mean for this blog? Weeellll… I guess I’ll have some recipes to post again! Ha! But seriously. When you don’t stray from a rotation of 10 meals, there isn’t much to share. I ordered several new cookbooks and am excited to try more gluten-free, paleo type meals. I didn’t realize how much I relied on breads and crackers to fill my belly until I couldn’t any more! And with the extraction of gluten from my diet, the joints that have often swollen and been so painful by the time I went to bed that I could only limp around, have seen a dramatic change. As I’ve done more research into the adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism, I’m learning that I also need to adjust my workouts, so as to not place additional stress on my body. Funny. All these years, I’ve been working so hard and it’s just done more damage!

Tomorrow you’ll get a post about one of my absolute favorite vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo snacks to kick off the week! Now… if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out what side I’m going to serve with the glorious Maple Dijon Chicken that’s roasting away in my kitchen. But don’t worry… the pug is really enjoying all these changes. Really. A lot. :)

Lunch solutions

Lunch is at 1130 here. School at noon. Quiet time at 1230. Three days a week this hour is very busy for me because I’m scrambling to make sure little ones are completely dressed, fed and snack is packed for preschool and are out the door on time. (Which, considering that we live across the street from the school shouldn’t be an epic feat, but for some absurd reason always is.)

Because we all seem to really thrive on routine around here, we try to have the same basic routine every day. (Key word: try.) Lunch, clean up, something educational (Today we graphed Liam’s 46 matchbox cars by color… Mom is a super-nerd, I know) and then the kids are in their room for about an hour while I work or make business calls. I try to keep things pretty simple at lunch so the afternoon, I’m able to be productive instead of cleaning up lunch. Or wishing we had had a good lunch. A couple weeks ago, I started searching Pinterest for good lunch ideas. And you know what? Tortillas are huge. I’ve been working with Liam and his therapist to help him handle new textures and we’ve finally overcome the tortilla crisis!

I’m learning to make our lunches fun and quick. We are having these power wraps (each packing a punch of 6-7 grams protein for each wrap), meatballs dipped in feta dip, pb&j puzzles and every now and then mac and cheese. I also bought some fun picks and suddenly, the kids are scarfing down everything on their plates… including pizza. (Yep. They don’t like pizza. Unfathomable, right?)

Power Wraps

  • Small tortillas
  • hummus
  • thinly sliced turkey
  • shredded colby cheese

Spread the hummus all over the tortilla, sprinkle on the cheese and place the turkey on top. Roll up and slice in half.

I’m leaning pretty heavily on this meal, hoping it stays a favorite for a while! There are summer picnics to pack for! And then, kindergarten in the fall. Oh my. By then, I’m going to be the one needing the extra power!

 

Valentine’s #FAIL

Sometime after Matt and I got married, I decided that if I was ever to be a stay at home mom, I’d need to get my holiday decor together and CELEBRATE!!!  I began building my stash of seasonal kitchen towels and spatulas and even had signs to frame that I found on trendy homemaking blogs.

This morning, I woke up and thought I’d better get cracking on a sweet breakfast of heart shaped pancakes and bacon. Only we had no bacon, sooooo… pancakes it was! I whipped together the batter and could not for the life of me get those darn lumps out. But whatever, surely the squeeze bottle would smoosh those right out. The first two pancakes were questionable in shape, the third awesome. As I delicately traced out the fourth, I felt the bottle jam, so I shook it and resumed squeezing. POP! Batter flew everywhere. The floor, the wall, my pj pants, and all over the stovetop. We had run of the mill pancakes for breakfast thankyouverymuch.

The rest of my day passed without incident, so I figured it was safe to attempt a cutesy supper. I even got inspired enough to take down the rest of the Christmas decor before Matt came home and bake red velvet cupcakes. I should have probably stopped there, but it was just too late. Before I knew it, I was cutting heart shapes in the pizza dough, the provolone cheese and the pepperonis.

At some point in this silliness, I realized that no one was going to ooohhh and aahhh over my hard work so I texted a photo of the pizza to my friend and asked her opinion. She’s not a kitchen person, so she thought it was awesome. I took that as a cue that for sure the rest of my family would celebrate my questionable knife skills.

Two pans of heart shaped goodness when in the oven and I was bound and determined to not throw away the left overs, I tried to trim the crust into elongated hearts, and used up the last of the cheese and pepperoni. Congratulating myself on not wasting anything, I popped it in the oven and sat down to enjoy my family. After supper, dessert and Legos, I swore I smelled something burning, but the pizza was on top of the stove so I moved on with my life.

I was on the couch with Sylvi watching You Tube videos of Rend Collective Experiment when it dawned on me that I had left that final pan of pizza in the oven for over an hour. Feast your eyes.

Next year I might just order pizza.

Fear: realized

Welcome to the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about parenting fears.

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In those days before becoming a parent, I spent my thoughts preparing for every possible scenario. First aid? Check. Heimlich Maneuver?  Check. Extra locks on the windows? Check. Attack from a sicko on the bike trail? READY!!!!

I know how to look for signs of concussion fashion a tourniquet out of pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Disaster preparedness? I’m on it. I was raised by a cynical realistic police officer… and as a result, I don’t mess around. But try as I might, there are things I cannot fully prepare for, a car accident being one of those things.

Please understand that I’m a very cautious person by nature, so driving is not something I take lightly. Checking out safety standards is one of my strongest skills… I am a Type A, after all. So when we got in our car on January 30th, every one was belted in; I was an alert and defensive driver. And then less than five minutes later when I was screaming while our car spun around, I realized one of my worst parenting fears: the car accident.

This fear ranks pretty high on my list because no matter how safe a driver you are, you are never really alone on the roads, so there is always the chance that someone else isn’t as concerned with safety as you are. But here’s the thing about fear: you can conquer it or let it control you. As someone who used to have a panic attack every time I left my home, I’m going to tell you that it’s far more worthwhile to conquer those fears than it is to let them control you.

My car stopped spinning and came to a rest, no one was seriously injured and there were people who came along to help me. (As a side note: This was my father’s last accident to occur while on duty before he retired. Also, the last time I will ever get to drop his name and watch the officers jump into action with fear. It was fun while it lasted, right?) It is no longer practical for me to hide in my home whenever I am afraid. I have to not only leave the house, but drive. And drive with the kids in the car again. So I talked to the kids and I told them I was afraid, but I would face my fears so I could be a better mama for them. This does not mean that I am driving around town like I used to – I am still flinching and feeling a cold chill when I go through intersections, but I’m not going to let this fear control me.

After the accident, I asked Liam if he was afraid and he simply asked to see what happened to our car. Our car was a little two-door coupe – he never saw the other car coming, he didn’t understand what happened… he only wanted his boot, which had been knocked off in the impact, back on his foot. So we stood next the car and he looked at our crumpled door, raised his eyebrows and “humphed”. Then, he simply moved on with his life.

Yesterday, we drove to a playdate and a squirrel jumped out in front of me. I drive a sizeable SUV now, but I still don’t want to squash anything! So I gasped and swerved. And Liam told me not to be afraid. I’m not real big on sharing my fears with people, but he needs to know that I’m not perfect (although, he’s getting a pretty good idea of that from everyday living) and that I struggle with fears like he does. Our experience wasn’t something I’d like to go through again, but there’s a lesson in this for my kids: Mama gets scared, but Mama doesn’t hide… even if she really, really wants to.

So the next time, Liam or Sylvi tell me they are afraid to do something new or are afraid to hop up on the bike again after a tumble, we can talk about the accident and how even though I was afraid, they helped me be brave. And now, I get to help them. I get to help them with fresh empathy and understanding… and for those reasons alone, I’m glad my parenting fear was realized… and survived.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (list will be final around 5pm PST February 11):

  • When Parents’ Fears Escalate — If we didn’t self-doubt, we probably wouldn’t care enough about our children to struggle with understanding them. But how do we overcome self-doubt? Read advice from Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., guest posting today at Natural Parents Network.
  • What ifs of addiction — After seeing how addictions of adult children is badly hurting a family close to her heart, Hannah at HannahandHorn shares her fears for her own child.
  • Sharing My Joy — Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares her fear that others think she is judgmental because she makes alternative choices for her own family.
  • Building My Tribe Fearlessly — A meteorite hit Jaye Anne at Tribal Mama’s family when she was seven years old. Read the story, how she feels about that now, and how she is building her tribe fearlessly.
  • Fear: Realized — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares how her fear of car accidents was realized and how she hopes to be able to use her efforts to overcome the remaining fears to help her children overcome their own.
  • I’m a Negligent Helicopter Parent — For Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow, the line between helicopter parenting and negligent parenting is not so cut and dried.
  • My Greatest Fear For My Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits that she has struggled with not allowing her fears to control her and how the reality of this was blown wide open when she became a mother.
  • Procactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears — Every parent has certain fears related to dangerous situations, That Mama Gretchen shares ways she is preparing herself and her children for emergencies.
  • Homeschooling Fears – Will My Children Regret Being Homeschooled? — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares an interview with her now-adult children that answers a question she had throughout their homeschooling.
  • An Uneasy Truce — Homeschooler and recent convert to unschooling, Tam at tinsenpup shares just a few of the things she tries to keep in mind when fear and insecurity begin to take hold.
  • Fearing the worst, expecting the best — Tarana at Sand In My Toes writes about fears that come with parenting, and why we must overcome them.
  • Can I be the parent I want to be? — Amanda at Postilius confronts her struggle to peacefully parent a preschooler
  • Out of Mind, Out of Fear — How does Jorje of Momma Jorje deal with her pretty steep, long-term fears regarding her son’s future?
  • I Don’t Homeschool to Manage My Kids’ Transcripts — One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s fears of parenting is that she will get so caught up in the monotony, the details of homeschooling, the minutiae of everyday life, the routine of taking care of a household – that she will forget to actually be present in the moment with her children.
  • Beware! Single Mom Camping — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her first adventures as a single mom. She laughed, she cried, she faced her fears.
  • Parenting Fears And Reality Checks — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares her three biggest fears as a parent – that most parents share – looks at the reality behind these fears, and offers a few suggestions for enjoying parenting.
  • Parenting fear : to kill a pink rabbit…Mother Goutte tells us the story of a pink rabbit that disappeared, came back, and became the symbol of her worst parenting fear…
  • Roamingsustainablemum considers whether allowing your children freedom to explore the world safely is harder now than in the past.
  • Meeting my parenting fears head-on — Lauren at Hobo Mama had many fears before she became a parent. Learn how they all came true — and weren’t anywhere near as scary as she’d thought.
  • Don’t fear the tears — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger worried that letting her children cry when going to sleep was tantamount to the dreaded parenting moniker, CIO. She discusses what actually happened after those teary nights, and how she hopes these lessons can carry forward to future parenting opportunities.
  • Will I Still be a Good Mom? — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot worries about her mothering skills now that breastfeeding is no longer the top priority.
  • Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me… — Kristen at Baby Giveaways Galore discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them.
  • Fears — Meegs at A New Day talks about how her fears before parenting led to a better understanding of herself and her desires for her daughter.

No Skeletons Here!

Yesterday afternoon, my living room looked like this: 

Today… I can see the carpet! I probably should have been out shoveling like all of my neighbors, but, um, I didn’t want to. And really, it’s so satisfying for me to look at the closet, with the organized baskets, coats that are actually being used and freshly painted walls. I sorted through all our coats, purged out the ones that are no longer the right size (that was embarrassing… 4 for me!) and took the kids’ snow gear to the basement to be treated for stains and washed. When it comes to kids’ outerwear, I’m finding that if you purchase brand names on sale, you’ll find excellent deals and you can resell them once you’re done with them for a tidy profit.

With this project completed and reminding me how wonderful a time of year it is to start the clean/purge/paint cycle, I’m working on a Spring Cleaning list. And by “spring”, I mean done-before-spring-so-I-can-run-and-play-outside! Lots of little projects, closets to paint, bins to organize, that kind of stuff. I always check out the posts on I Heart Organizing and Clean Mama for tips, inspiration and how-tos.  As I was telling my friend, Nina, this morning, I’d have never thought to paint the inside of a closet until I saw it done on I Heart Organizing! And wow! What an impact!

As the snow continues to fall, I’ll be here, making my lists, and planning for the time when I can go outside. The planning is what keeps me content; knowing there’s an order to my time gives me hope for the sunshine!