.:33:. School Closed | Home Open

In what felt like a quick moment, the world shook like a snow globe and we were all sealed inside our homes for safe containment – waving from behind glass… or at least six feet away. Now, taking on new roles with new “to-do” lists expected to tackle multi-tasking at a whole new level. Being a full-time-work-from-home-co-parenting-educator was not a career path I envisioned and definitely not a title I imagined engraved on my new office door (It’s also slightly too big for most standard plaques).

However, haven’t we all survived and thrived in this world because of the challenges we’ve tackled? The obstacles we’ve overcome? The right person who encouraged us? We are here because we derived from that one ancestor who was either a risk taker, an innovator, or maybe just in the right place at the right time. Survival of the fittest has a new definition today. A definition that requires the willingness to understand new forms of communication through technology, along with creative thinking by tapping into some old school home economics – revealing valuable skills like sewing, cooking from scratch, and whipping out the shears for a classic bowl cut. But perhaps the most important aspect of survival just may be refined juggling skills. Mastering a balance with a rhythm while keeping all entertained is a talent that takes patience, trial and error, organization and historically – clown school… 

Not gonna lie, some days have felt like clown school. Nothing against the mastery – besides the nightmares that haunted me as a child. But, really – it’s all about the art of juggling – not the reputation, shiny shoes, loud colors or noisy accessories. Although, those may be useful…

It’s been 1 month since a Friday bell rang at my kids’ school and spring break was in session. We are now about to start week 5 of distance learning with the new knowledge that school will not open up again until the fall. So, we continue to provide some mediocre schooling with crossed fingers – hoping we aren’t failing them. Our focus has shifted on what’s important – blending those vital skills with good old play. Last week’s home-ec involved learning about growing our own food as well as mask making and homemade sanitizer – just your basic activities of daily living… in a pandemic.

With school closed and home open, new motions have taken place of old habits. Colored Post-its that fill the wall, are finally starting to methodically move from “to-do” to “done” with visible progress that conclude in high-fives. Our calendar is ever evolving: with a mix of work needs between two adults and school expectations between two children, while finding new ways to keep a home in order… like turning laundry into a math game, dishes into a science activity, and dance parties for PE. We’ve adapted to one another’s needs with an open mind and transparent understanding that this will not be perfect.

With school closed and home open for (what feels like) business, we are clocking-in the moment we wake and clocking-out when our heads finally hit a pillow. Yes, I know this is how parenting works anyway but this is a new form of exhaustion. Mixing working life with life as the reading and writing teacher, the gym teacher and lunch lady, the science and math instructor, the new (and heavily under-trained) IT resource. From the comfort of our homes we are all trying to figure out how to live in discomfort. How to manage like normal, but this isn’t normal. At least, not the same familiar ‘normal’. It is a new normal for now and just may indefinitely change the way we function as a family, how our kids learn and how we work as employees.

With school closed and home open we now have a chance to stop and go a little slower – something we all need. Even on days when us parents feel like all the things might be drowning us, our little life savors sit on the side always ready to grab us, ready for a hug, quick to forgive, and incredibly adaptable. They may need school but they really want us. So, if you can squeeze it in – take time to sit with them. Learn from them. Chalk up the driveway, cook with them, go on a bike ride, plant something, just BE… for even a moment. At the same time, give yourself a break and a pat on the back. This is not easy, this is not perfect, but I believe we can all master the juggle with minimal tools (maybe keep the shiny shoes).

.:32:. a Season of Seasons

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Happy Fall y’all!        …feels appropriate.

What season are you in? Life season, that is. Are you growing a baby, weaning a baby, trying to decipher baby gibberish, saying “no” too many times to a toddler, explaining sharing (on repeat), decoding tantrums, protecting a sensitive soul, scratching your head at a new form of math, running around to all the activities, working too much, using Shipt for everything, because you can’t bare the thought of bringing your pack to Target (that is definitely a season), losing sleep, gaining weight, trend hopping, bandwagon jumping, making new mom friends, losing loved ones, letting go, taking chances, making big life changes, feeling regretful, feeling grateful, taking a new job, going back to school, having heart to hearts – that have occasionally broken your heart, taking on a new hobby, re-connecting with old friends, empty nesting, selling your home and traveling the world? … I could go on and on. Too many seasons to wade through.

I’ll tell you where I’m at.

Not all the above, but much of it…

Honestly, I am in a Season of Seasons. I think it’s safe to say that we all are in a Season of life that is overlapping with other seasons. Sounds chaotic. But surprisingly, history has proved that we have the capacity, as humans – to take on such chaos. Wade in it’s waters, jump in it’s leaves, clean up the mess of past and present seasons, while preparing for the upcoming seasons. It’s like a never-ending game of Tag. Goodbye baby season, tag-you’re-it walking talking melting down season (I think that’s a few seasons in one right there). Or maybe it’s more like a game of Red Rover. Some seasons break us and knock us down and others make us stronger and whole again, sometimes simultaneously.

So, when you feel stuck in a “season”, think of it this way :

You are the strongest ever at the beginning of a season, because it hasn’t wore on you yet… and in the midst of any season, a new one is forming and you may not feel (even an ounce) that you are unknowingly regaining the strength to tackle the next season, while the old one sneaks away and becomes a memory.

So in actuality, you are much stronger than you think – even at your weakest moment.

With so much overlapping and in a constant state of flux, you just might be in a Season of Seasons. Really it’s what life is filled with. Add a little (or a lot) of grit, tenacity, emotions, some coffee or wine and that fancy spice mix you keep saving for who-knows-what, and we are all in this together… just sending Red Rover right on over.

…and when you see a mother, a neighbor, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger breaking down, stressing out, overwhelmed or even sharing with the world how amazing life is – leave your criticism aside and give them grace in the midst of seasons. Cheer them on as they celebrate and give them a pat on the back, a hug, kindness, and some sympathy as they seek that strength that’s hiding deep down.

I share this because I sit and sip coffee while kids are at school – a season that felt like eons away, only a couple years ago. I can feel the overlap and transition of seasons as I get back to work again after 6 years of being home. With simultaneous feelings of weakness and strength, I am savoring the transition and excited for the twisty road ahead – filled with new and overlapping seasons.

Here is my grace to you, strong mama!

.:31:. a M O T H E R S | D A Y.


on a New Year we resolute, envisioning change and exciting things ahead. Clinking fancy stemware while smooching your beau.

on a Birthday, we find solace in celebration of any sort, while attempting to leap gracefully into another year of life – hoping to be better than last year and avoid the extra wrinkles and aches of aging… believing that turning 29 (yet again) is amazing!

a New Year and a Birthday – two of the many events that mark a celebration for all to enjoy in their own way.

No discrimination, no struggle, no wait or wonder. We all go to bed one year and we all wake up in a new calendar year or a new year of life. Nobody is left behind. Their is no criteria for these holidays besides just being.

on M O T H E R S | D A Y we are reminded of our title and how it became. A unique title not held by all. Some of us are reminded of the wait before the celebration. The questions, and worries. On a day like Mother’s Day, we watch the little people that we’re raising, shower us with love in their own special way. We open our arms to sweet homemade gifts and cursivey quotes of affirmation and celebration for a job well done.

“Thank you for mothering our children.”

“You’re an amazing mother.”

“You deserve this…”

“MOM = WOW”

I write to remind all you Mothers that today isn’t just another holiday like the others. It’s a club with a member’s only card, a bouncer and a handshake… and if you don’t get in you either try again next year or decide that this isn’t the title that suits you. But it isn’t a simple “check yes or no” application. It’s a process – for some, a long and tedious one – and a quick signature won’t do.

We often forget that many may never celebrate this day for themselves. Many see this day as a sad one, because loss has doused them in sorrow. Some may put this day on an unattainable pedestal, expecting all the glory because… labor, late nights, breast feeding, ppd, etc. Some may want to hide from this day, avoid the spotlight, just live like it were yesterday. And don’t get me wrong, mothering and all that comes with it, is nothing to turn our heads to. It’s a powerful experience filled with exhaustion, pain and incredible emotions – a true reason for celebration, after even small successes! 

The first year I became a “member” of Mother’s Day, I let all of the stress and fervour of year one parenting cloud my vision. I let out this huge breathe I had been holding in, as if reaching Mother’s Day was some sort of goal. The finish line for the past year. “Yay, you did it – your first year of parenting! Happy Mother’s Day!”. After watching so many women in my life enter this club with apparent ease (so I thought), I was finally celebrating!

But something important often slips through the cracks on this day. Something that cards and flowers don’t equate to. This year, with 2 little humans running around and having pretty intellectual conversations now, I am struck with how my view of Mother’s Day has changed. As much as I mother my children and care for them like I should… they have truly formed the mother I am today. I am a “member” of Mother’s Day because of them, not because chose to be a mother.


They came into this life and looked up at my clueless face with zero expectation and 100% trust. When I stumble, they continue to trust. When I break, they see me clearly between the cracks… and because of this unfiltered and no-judgement relationship I am a mother. When I look into their genuine eyes, I see pure and honest love that is always working to penetrate through my emotions. When I anger, I still see that love in their eyes. When I am ashamed, it remains. When I am sad, they worry. When I feel clueless, they trust. When I am filled with joy, they join the party!

So, I am asking this year – why do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Because the local spa has a great deal and the flowers this time of year are glorious? Because your annual Mother’s day feast is fit for a queen and very instagrammable? Or do you celebrate to honor? Honor the little lives that honored you on day 1 – after all, they gave you the pass into this “club”.

I celebrate for them – the extension of my life that didn’t exist 5.5 years ago. Two little people that love me no matter what. On a day like Mother’s Day we can all give ourselves the gift of grace and gratitude for the badge that we wear – the badge that appears in wrinkles and bedhead, dry shampoo and unfolded laundry. So if you don’t get that spa or those flowers, or your feast is a flop – dig deep and find the honor that hugs you no matter what side of the bed you woke up on. The hands that still need you… through tantrums and teen angst, they still choose you.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and the beautiful generation of humans who are unknowingly raising you in motherhood.

.:29:. TGIF (parents)


Those overly expressed four letters.

A term in everyone’s vocabulary, conversation, hashtag, end of week post, greeting or facial expression while exiting work after a long week. An acronym we all understand and have probably expressed at one point in our life.

As a Stay-at-home-mom, I laugh a little when I say TGIF these days. I’ve seen the funny quotes and GIFs that say “Happy Friday! …oh wait, I’m a parent.” and thought, “oh, c’mon it’s just Friday, not that big of a deal.” …until it became a big deal. As a parent it quickly became a controversial day. A day I constantly looked forward to but didn’t have the greatest feelings toward, at the same time. I often think about how different I felt when I would say this as a school aged kid or a yuppie (young urban professional), pre-kids… working long hours, reporting to someone throughout the week and dedicating most of my time and energy to M-F. My week was filled with pleasing all the “suits and heals” for a pat on the back. I saw the weekend as my refuge and I was thankful for the last day of the week that lead me into two days filled with my own agenda.

Now I feel different when I share with the world how thankful I am for Friday. These days, I am always in my workplace, M-Su. My clientele may be small but I am readily at their beckon call. No real break. At least not a break where I could sit quietly and read or chat with a co-worker. Not a break where I could eat a nicely packed lunch made just for me in an environment that is void of all household distractions. Yes, I am still thankful for Friday but I also send my thanks for all the other days. Thankful I woke up with some sort of energy allowing me to be somewhat successful… leaving my clients not only happy but also fed, clean, cozy and in one piece at the end of every.single.day.


Monday is the start of a long tedious race that I will not win but I proudly signed up for and would never quit. It’s a race with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. My cheerleaders are few and my shoes are worn and often feel like they were made for someone else. At times I find myself running into the wind and blazing sun, up a hill and in the rain, dodging trains and unexpected hail. I slip and fall a lot, yet still muster up the courage to rise with a grin.

Also, after staying home with little ones for so long, I think about how my relationship with Friday has dramatically changed. There’s no slacking, pat on the back or happily relieved head-nod from a co-worker who says, “TGIF!” while excitingly retreating to a weekend of freedom. After staying home with two little ones for more than four years, I think about Friday often. I think about the two days that follow with some extra help and more opportunities to rest and reset. For this I am grateful. When that second set of hands are in the door for more than dinner and our bedtime routine, I feel as though I can breathe a bit easier. However, I still find myself completely exhausted by the busyness of the weekend. We often do more on these days because we can. Routines are broken and all are tired from running around doing family activities. So, as I look forward to it, I find myself dragging by the end.

I am also grateful that the extra hands are even an option for me. I know many who don’t have this luxury, who don’t have the help and just keep chugging through the weekend, letting Friday pass by as if it were Wednesday. To those solo parents, I am amazed by your stamina, strength and continuous effort and I hope you are ocassionally or someday blessed by time to yourself – to fully rest and reset.

_____

Confession, I still say “TGIF!”. I pass it to a cashier while shopping, say it to a neighbor and hashtag it on my choice of social media along with a heavily filtered mug of fancy coffee or a tall glass of wine. I even jokingly say it to my husband while our children attack him with hugs and so many requests when he’s home. I am thankful it’s Friday, because I’m grateful to be alive and well and surrounded but those who mean the most in life. But in all honesty, as a stay-at-home-mom Friday is just another day.

TGIF 😊

 

 

.:25:. PLAY, It’s simple.

 This morning I woke up with my girls and asked (as I do every morning), “what do you want to do today?”, and (as they do every morning), they excitedly responded by saying, “PLAY!!!”.

In the complex and constantly developing mind of a child, play is simple. It’s basic and requires minimal effort to ignite joy and fulfillment. Encouraging imagination isn’t complicated… with the use of tangible or intangible tools, PLAY is happening all the time in the mind of our kiddos and it becomes even more exciting, fulfilling and memorable when we also participate. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t “play” with my children every second of the day and they don’t want me to. They need to play with others and they definitely need to play alone. This is all part of their development.

However, too many parents get carried away by it all and (at times) I am one of them. They structure the day so tightly that they forget that play has to happen naturally. I reflected back on a day last week. Someone asked what we did and I blankly said “nothing”. I felt a bit unproductive, like a bad and lazy mom, and slightly embarrassed that we didn’t do anything on a beautiful day. But wait!!! We did so much more than nothing.

Danced and tumbled in the grass. We practiced somersaults and rolled down the hill, made angels in the grass and compared it to the snow that will come before we know it! We looked at the clouds while talking about the scratchy grass on our backs, and noticed the smell of summer in the air. Practiced whistling like the birds and counted the small planes departing from the local airport.

Read. They listened to my words attentively and made visual connections with the shapes of the letters and the imagery in the book. They recognized when I skipped a word, pointed out the yellow hat on the man, and counted all the fruit that very hungry caterpillar ate.

Pretended. We are at a fun stage. My girls love pretending. They acted out scenes from a favorite story, they made up their own story with an exciting “once upon a time” and a joyful “the end!”, they pretended to be the animals at the zoo, a doctor to their toys (fixing ‘owies’ and checking hearts) and they sweetly rocked and changed their babies like the little mommies they are.

^ This may seem like nothing, but to your child it’s exactly what they want and need!

Parents!!! Enough with the pressure. You don’t need to go places all the time. You don’t need to be so busy. You don’t need to have the best and biggest toys. Play does not require a plan. It’s doesn’t require a location, a certain day, and it definitely doesn’t require a reason! Play happens every single second of the day for children and it’s important that we recognize this with encouragement and support. I am not doing “nothing” when all of the above is accomplished in one morning. We are busy bonding, building brains and making memories.

With all of this in mind, I love going places with my children and I appreciate the importance of learning and exploring other places than home. But, what I’m also learning is to ignore the pressure and not feel so bad when we do stay home to PLAY. If you’re the type of person that needs to get out all the time, I commend you and I am sure you are making wonderful memories… but just know that when you stay home, you are still surrounded by many opportunities for your kids to PLAY, explore, learn and simply be happy.

Some days it’s just too much to expend all my morning energy into packing a car for two kids, quickly dressing pokey children, eating on the run, and skipping naps. It’s just not always worth it.

I encourage you, you reading this, you with the to-do list in your hand and the plan ready to be implemented. STOP for a moment and just let your littles PLAY at their own pace.

One day, they will leave the house and you will beg for them to come home as much as they can. Enjoy these days, these simple days of PLAY while it lasts… and go roll in the grass with them!


THAT is what PLAY is all about. Simple, beautiful, PLAY.

.:24:. To Err.

lemonplant

:: when life gives you a lemon plant, have patience and watch those lemons grow!


During pregnancy or preparing for baby and the first years that follow, parents turn into walking talking teaching machines (and many years after). Trying to avoid error in parenting, perhaps? Unfortunately, error is inevitable.

| To err is human; to forgive is divine.” |                            – Alexander Pope

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Well, thank you Mr. Pope but forgiveness to oneself can be difficult and doesn’t feel very divine when I can’t seem to figure out my newborn’s needs, when I’m up all night with an uncomfortable child who can’t tell me what’s wrong, when a kiss on a boo boo is not the answer, when I first heard the words, “I don’t want you, mama.”

>Where did I go wrong? <<

What happened to my machine… that teaches “right” and “best”. How did I err and why does it not feel human?

This is so easy to think and so easy to point the finger at yourself. “Going wrong” is just not the route I thought I took. From the start I did what I was suppose to do.

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Per the suggestion of some psychologist somewhere I remember reading children’s books out loud while my little girls developed inside me. Even before that I quickly had my hands on parenting books – making sure my husband and I were well prepared to raise smart, curious and wonderful little people.

>This is where I went wrong.<<

Well, kind of. I’m not saying being prepared, educated and excited is wrong but…

I didn’t allow myself to just be. I found myself referencing every “how-to” book and following steps like a puppet. When I let certain things work themselves out and I relied on my gut for answers – those were the moments we I learned so much more. To watch in awe as their little brains developed. Physiological and emotional growth cannot be fully controlled by anyone else, but that being. It’s a beautiful thing that we (parents) think we have so much control over. We have a little more control at the beginning and then we pray (really hard), that are teachings help them decide what is “right” and “best” as they go from scooting to running a marathon right before out eyes. While they are figuring it all out… they will ERR and it will be ok – especially if we are there to tell them that it’s all ok because they are HUMAN.

We don’t get a report card to see how we’re doing with our children. We don’t get to meet with a coach who high fives us for our victories or benches us for our faults. What we get is this…

>without request, unprompted<< children who say “I wub you mama”. who look you in the eyes and say “thank you”… and then “you’re welcome” – because that’s how they hear it ☺️.  Who joyfully sing their ABCs and really everyother song you sing together. Who surprise you by counting past 10 one day (did I teach them that?) and curiously ask and tell me what color everything in the world is.

They are determined to complete tasks on their own, gently pushing me away… This is new to me. I’m proud but a tiny bit sad that my babies have hit the ‘no mama, I can do it’ stage. They are particular when it comes to colors and specific when we choose books. Decisions are complicated but powerful. When they make one, their excited eyes delight with joy and confidence… “I will brush my own teeth, mama!” “No mama, I will read the book.” “I don’t need to hold your hand, mama.” “I can do it ALL by myself.” This confidence amazes me. They can’t be trusted to do all the above by themselves just yet, but I can’t get in the way of letting them err.  We’ve all heard this and have probably said it before but, they need to fail before they succeed. The common conflict and result from failure is the fear to keep trying, the fear that failure may occur again. We can’t allow this fear in our children and at the same time, we can’t allow this fear in ourselves. We are HUMAN and we need to watch our little ones err, praise them for trying and encourage them to continue, while showing them that we also err and keep going.

As a parent, the most difficult part for me is knowing that they can keep going through failure in all aspects of life. That they can forgive themselves and others who may fail. I will not always be there to offer a helping hand or a wise word when someone shames them for failing, when someone discourages them or denies them the ability to succeed. But I can give them the best tools to embrace err, positively respond to negativity, succeed in their own way and be happy and confident little people.

Thank you Mr. Pope for shedding so much light on us humans – even before your fellow innovator, Mr. Edison, brought us an actual light.

Now, I must get on with my day… embracing err along the way.

 

.:19:. This thing called “bond”.

 

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Alaina (left) + Hannah (right): 20 months

April 10th marks National Sibling Day (according to someone, somewhere). I like to jump on bandwagons sometimes and celebrate random things. But this to me, this isn’t as random as one might think. I truly think this is something to be celebrated. The blessing of a sibling is amazing. We are born adoring our family, defending, protecting, and looking up to them. We soon find our own identity, we make our own choices and at some point we branch out and form our own life and family. But we never forget where we began. We may have our differences, strong views and perspectives in life, we may even lose touch or drift apart, but something holds us together – a memory, a story, a person… weak or strong, we always have a BOND.

I may be a dreamer, as I imagine my girls will remain best friends for the rest of their lives, thinking about how they’ll make the news… “90 Year Old Twins, Still Best Friends” (as they giggle over tea and hold hands).  Of course, my husband and I will be 120 living in a glorious place probably learning about such news via SKYpe (get it?). ah ha, ok (and I will not be a retired comedian).


Since day 1, I have been fascinated with this world of twins.  How special it is to raise two at once.  Chaotic and challenging in it’s own right, but this unique bond is simply amazing. I really wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I am always surprised, taken aback and even a little offended (but I get over that quickly) when I get those looks of “good luck” or “no thank you”, as if raising twins would be the most horrible thing ever. I’ll tell you, it is not. Watching them grow up together is really the best thing ever.

{the beginning}
I recently found myself reflecting back on day 1, when my girls came into this world together, well… 2 min apart.

After a shocking welcome, followed by gasping screams of “I’m here!!!” my babies’ fears seemed to subside when they were near each other. When I first held them together, it was beautiful… and when they made eye contact, as blurry and non-identafiable as I’m sure it was, I could see their heart rates increase on the monitors. As a first time mom, with preemies, and in the Special Care Nursery, I was actually scared “what was happening?”, but I quickly understood.

hospital girls

 

Eyes locked. hearts raced. hands touched. tiny coos emited from the mouths of two. two babes. sisters. twin sisters.

As I stared at two sets of tiny everything, my mind raced with wonder.

Do they know…

they lie beside a tiny shoulder they will someday cry on, another set of feet they will run and dance with, another mouth to chat and giggle with, hands to hold and hug each other with?

what fun they will have exploring this world together?

how much they love each other?

how much they’ve changed our lives?

{and the rest of their life}
I cannot predict their future, but I can pray that they remain beside each other. I pray they find comfort on each other’s shoulders when that time is needed.  I hope they can keep up with each other and wait for one another…even when one wants to go fast and the other wants to slow down. I hope they can speak the truth and advise each other while holding back words of regret. I pray they can support each other as they sometimes “learn the hard way” and as they make those big life decisions (college, career, love, family). Through thick and thin, good and bad.  Sisters, siblings, what a wonderful bond.

Watching my two innocent sweet baby girls grow right before my eyes, is more than a blessing, it’s an honor to be their “mama”.  I am determined to guide them together, teach them to love each other and always have each other’s backs. Partners in crime (to be expected), both of my social gals are beautifully unique; outgoing, silly, wispy strawberry blonde (Alaina) and timid, serious, clever, brunette (Hannah). It is so awesome to watch them teach and learn from each other as they explore the world in their own way. They had one another before I even knew them and I pray this amazing and unique bond will only strengthen throughout the years.

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tummy time + learning to sit is pretty fun with a partner.

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“I wub sissy” is a favorite phrase.

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Now, at almost 2 years old, I watch my once preemie girls learn to comfort and defend each other. With caution and delight I witness their precarious wobbly run as they excitedly chase one another. I can’t help but belly laugh along with them as they roll around on the floor or dance their little hearts out – clapping, screaming and stomping their feet ~ I’ve never seen such passionate little dancers. Waking up to their chit chat/giggle sessions is simply wonderful. And the hugging… Well, it may result in a tackle on the floor but it’s all good intentions!


This thing called BOND… I think they’re getting it.

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::Happy National Sibling Day::

.:13:. {quickly} rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

This is our first Christmas with two little ones that can run, scream, grab, yank, kick, pull and probably anything else someone with a black belt can do. Toddlers + a Christmas tree do not mesh well.  Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. So, we decorated our tree very quickly and caged it up.

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Hannah (left), Alaina (right), Vulnerable Christmas tree (caged)

The entire process took an hour and it included a lot of “no no no”, crying, screaming, falling, tree grabbing, ornament breaking, a lot of coffee drinking by me+the hubby, not the babes – at least I don’t think they had any… or did they?  That would explain everything! …or they’re just toddlers. So, going back to the hour that it took.  I must be clear, this was record time for us.  Much longer and we would have a very unhappy tree, prostrate on the ground and the screaming decibels from our tiny shriekers would most likely increase tenfold.

We actually went back and forth between getting a tree or not.  Is is really worth it?  Will they even care? How are we even suppose to decorate with them running around? Where do we put it in our small home with a toy invasion problem? Well, as you can see we opted for the addition of a tree amongst the toys (toys not pictured as they are perfectly scattered just outside of the perimeter of the photo to your left).

With our coffee buzz and overtired brains, we thought – why not capture this “decorate with toddlers” experience somehow?!  A time lapse of us doing just that turned out to be pretty funny and honestly, exactly how it felt.  Rushed, busy and kind of crazy ~ Not just our life, but I’m sure how most people feel around the holidays. We are always rushing, greedy, needy, stressed out, thinking about what we want and where to buy that perfect gift, waiting impatiently in lines for “the best deals of the year”, and sometimes forgetting the meaning of Christmas.

Well, in the hustle and bustle of the season and the event that took place between our kitchen and our living room, we managed to enjoy. And I am happy to report that our tiny vulnerable tree (free from small fierce hands) is nicely snuggled in the middle of gifts and protected by our play yard. >>This is what these circular gates are for!!<< So far so good.  We've had it up for almost a week now and it remains intact, with very minimal needles on the ground, happy as a fir tree can be.  I retract my statement/question from above… "Will they even care?".  I've decided that our girls do care.  They see the tree lit in the dark at night and every morning and still act as if they've seen it for the first time. Big eyed girls, in awe, so giggly and happy to be in it's presence. Sounds like my two tots probably grasp the meaning of Christmas more than most of us.

From our family to yours, Enjoy!

 

 

.:12:. caught in the storm.

calm

High, screeching winds. Hard and heavy hail. Unforgiving rain, changing direction every 30 seconds. Uncovered, unprotected, undeserving but the most necessary place to be.

This is how I describe my day with two snotty nosed babes, overflowing with tears and cries to be held, lack of sleep and hungry yet demanding nothing but to be cuddled.

I found myself in the middle of our house, on the floor in the midst of a storm made up of toys/clothes/food/kleenex, trying to tame two wild animals that really needed me but only fought over me. Clawing and climbing me, as if it were a competition to reach the top of Everest. My back aching, stomach muscles clenched while holding my two unhinged maniacs, trying my hardest to stay calm and relaxed (ha). My face in the line of fire – tiny hands poking at me like sharp tree limbs, slimy little faces rubbing against mine, thrashing elbows and headbutts. Contemplating a forfeit by laying down, hiding under a blanket and letting them go at it. A million serious questions and concerns running through my head, like “where are my ear muffs? why didn’t I put my hair up? how do I calm them down? how do I get up?…”

They look at me with desperate eyes and pouty lips, certain that I am the cure. Waiting for some sort of magic pixie dust (that only moms have), to make it all better.

For us, on this day it’s just the common cold (really, nothing more). I can’t imagine worse and my heart is heavy for those who are dealing with so much more that include hospital visits, bills above their heads, uncertain of the next day. From a minor scratch to long term illness, we do everything we can to be the cure for our little ones. Unknown to the outcome, we do our best to stay strong. We battle the storm with bravery, sprinkle our pixie dust, hug and kiss their discomfort and pain away until we are fresh out of x’s and o’s (which we never are).

xoxo…

.:11:. an ode to the pin.

I love Pinterest and if you were to look at my page http://www.pinterest.com/sclochie/, you’d agree and you might think, ‘wow, this gal is so creative, fashionable, has great taste in food, super organized’.  Oh how I love that it can appear so!  I have to admit, I’ve done/accomplished a fraction of a fraction of what I’ve actually posted… I’m sure this is the case for most.  And yes, I know… “pinning” isn’t proof or validation of my creativity, but it does something to the creative soul. It has now become an inspiration for me to actually be creative, fashionable (to a very tiny degree), slightly food savvy, and organized (when I make the time).  I get this strange buzz of excitement when I “pin” and think “oh, I can’t wait to do this and that”…  But realistically most of what I pin is just a tiny piece of hope that I will do one of the 2,000 + pins.  I’d love to know how other mom’s out there find motivation to do all the great freezer meals, craft beautiful and cheap artwork, reorganize their entire house to look like it should be on the pages of Martha Stewart Living.  Please tell me!

With my girls, I think about the future a lot.  Sometimes too much.  My husband reminds me that I need to just enjoy the moment more – they are only little for so long.  He is right.  But still I find myself daydreaming about tea parties, coloring books full of scribbles, barbies on the floor, princess gowns in the closet, broken-in and “loved” books, bins full of construction paper and stickers on the wall…  It’s so lovely to think about.  But I am enjoying every moment of snuggle I can get with my 17 and 20 pound peanuts.  I blame Pinterest for inspiring my daydreams.  I have a folder labeled ‘for the kiddos’, containing not only things for my 16 month olds, but ‘best books for beginner readers’, ‘how to communicate with teenagers’, and so much more that is really not necessary at this stage of motherhood. So, I’m obviously relying on Pinterest to be around for many more years.

I believe that some day I’ll be able to accomplish maybe a little more of a fraction of a fraction of the clever, crafty, delicious and orderly ideas that sit, collecting virtual dust.  Until then, I will keep pinning – holding onto hope that I will have that kind of time someday… Until then, I will be patient and live in the now.  Ok, I may still sneak off into a crafty little daydream to add more ideas to my “boards”, which I’m sure would have collapsed months ago if these were tangible ideas hanging from my old dinky cork board that I recently “freshened up” with new paint (thank you pinterest)!

“Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can”. -Unknown, via Pinterest

baby hats made from old sweaters.
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