Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vocabulary Lessons

Someday soon (or not) I will delve into the myriad of reasons why I haven't posted in 6 months.  There are many memories that are stored in the recesses of my brain, hundreds of pictures to download, and even more snippets of stories that are saved on my phone.  I'll get around to them.  For now, without being bogged down by how or when to start, I'll give you a vocabulary lesson from S.

Me:  Hey guys, do any of you know what the word relieved means? 
S: Sure, relieved means "Phew!"
Me (unsure she really gets it): Can you use it in a sentence?
S: Phew!  I'm relieved I ran away from that tiger!

So yeah.  I'd say she has a firm grasp on "relieved."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wasting Time

The first 5 years of my Salad's life were busy.  Busy in the sense that I kept the 4 of us busy.  I filled our days with playdates and field trips and adventures.  But even with all that, we had time to fill.  Hours that I didn't want to spend sitting in front of the TV or tearing up the house.  So sometimes . . . I'd waste time.  I'd drive past the "ladybug car" at the church up the street, we would drive home the long way so M could check the progress on house that was being built, we'd look up why electric trains can run in the rain without it being dangerous, we'd stop by the SPCA during an errand day, or walk to the pet store after we picked up the dry cleaning, or chased trolleys down State Street.  I loved those days. 

Now though, I don't have a second to waste.  We'll still do many of those things, though regrettably, I feel like I'm rushing through them, through life.  Always rushing, so sometimes I don't let us walk to the pet store and I drive home the shortest route. 

So here is my pledge to my Salad and myself - we will waste more time.  We will slow down.  Use our imaginations.  Tickle.  Cuddle.  Draw.  Listen to more music.  This summer, we'll swim.  We'll skip rocks.  We'll skip baths

I want to love these days, too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I read back a few years on the blog.    2 year olds are busy.  3 year olds are hysterical.  4 year olds are sweet.  But 5 year olds?  At least mine - they are tough.  In retrospect, so much of this year in parenting has been hard for me - emotionally, that is.  So hard, that I haven't wanted to blog about it - the stories I have to tell are less than flattering pictures of our lives. 

M's behavior this year has been persistent, insitent and consistent.  My reaction to this behavior has been to feel disheartened, defeated and guilty.  He goes from 0 to 60 in mere seconds - tantruming and overwhelmed.  And I shut down.  I tell him to go to his room, calm down and speak to me when he's not crying.  I'm ashamed to admit that at my best in these times, I tune him out and at my worst, I yell.

But the other night, when he threw a fit because the girls had a different fort in mind to design, neither of those reactions felt right.  I flashed back in my mind to a time in 6th grade when I was so frustrated with my life, I spewed hateful words at my family.  I remembered the kind of cry that feels like it will never stop.  Like you may never catch your breath again.  Like screaming is the only way someone will hear you.

So I knelt down and told him he was being really clear with his feelings.  I told him I understood that frustration.  I asked him how I could help and he climbed right into my lap.  He buried his head into my neck and I felt his hot tears.  I sat quietly and hugged him tightly and soon he was calm.  After several minutes, he said "Girls, I just wanted you to listen to my idea."

Clear as day, he let us know what was going on in that emotional little mind.
Note to self - try to hear what is being said, even through shouting and tears.     

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Repeat Performance

All too often, I find myself trying to recreate past perfect days.  I set up unreasonable expectations about the Salad's behavior, thinking something like "We've been here, we've done this, we loved every second and no one cried or yelled!"  But I don't take into account that particular day's details - maybe we got less sleep than the last time, maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this particular day, maybe someone is coming down with strep throat and I don't know it yet.  Who knows?

So when my parents suggested taking a picnic to the Wings Field one warm October day, I though why the heck not?  We'd gone a very long time ago and had an amazing experience.  But I knew to lower my expectations.  Just in case.

Turns out, it was another awesome day.  We got to spend time with Grammy and Poppy.  We got some much needed vitamin D and watched plane after plane take off and land.  We also got to talk to a pilot and stand close enough to a Medical Helicopter when it was landing that I actually had to hold onto S, for fear that she could be blown backward.  It was as perfect as the last time.
And that my friends, is nothing short of a miracle.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Originally written October 10, 2012

Conversation from this morning:
Me:  "OK guys! Make sure your library books from school are in your backpacks. You have library today."

S:  "Oooooh! Yeah! Books are my most favorite thing."

Picture from this afternoon, as M and A dug in the dirt:
Imagine how awesome her life is going to be once she can actually read!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When FEELINGS need to be enough

I hesitate to write this post, lest anyone think I doubt our decision to send the Salad to half-day Kindergarten at a local catholic school.  Thus far, it has been an excellent experience, that my babes and I have both enjoyed.  There have been relatively few growing pains.  We are learning a lot and have made many liked-minded friends.  We have new sweet routines, like individual homework time and helping button uniform shirts. 

However, I have been feeling nostalgic since the weather turned cooler.  There are days when I would love to stay in our PJs all day and snuggle under a blanket and watch movies.  There are days I miss holding my gaggle of children's hands as I walk through the supermarket parking lot.  Certainly, we still do those things, but they are left for the weekend.  I prefer more spontaneous days. 

Lately, though I realize there are things we used to do each week, that we'll never do again.  I watched the toddler story time begin at the library this morning, as I searched for an advent book.  I got choked up as I watched little babes, back into their mommy's laps to settle in for a story and then hurry over to the table for a simple craft.  We've outgrown those story times and while we've moved on to other reading rituals, they aren't so sweet or simple.

I passed our playgroup building earlier in the week.  We spent 3 fall's/winter's worth of Wednesdays there - playing with our friends, sharing snacks, struggling to settle at the end for circle songs, watching out 2, 3, 4 year olds push bins of toys into the closet at cleanup.  I asked the Salad what they remembered about it later that day.  M said he couldn't remember what I was talking about.  My heart shattered.  Not for the growing up, not for the loss of routine, not for the 2 hours apart each day.  I'm not even sure why.  I guess I don't want the last 5 years to be for naught.  I've poured every once of energy into filling their days with joy, I'd prefer them to remember specific days, habits, rituals.  Though in the end, if they look back at their childhood and remember feeling joyful, isn't that enough? 

I guess so, though I'm going to be better about updating this blog.  For photographic evidence.  Look, dang it!  You had fun!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Win, Schmin

R coached the Salad's soccer team this season.  He wasn't supposed to, but when the email came that the person who was supposed to coach had backed out, he felt obligated.  Our last name is 1/4 of the roster, after all. 

Out of the 9 kids who regularly came to the games, one boy played in the dirt patches, one boy wore the sideline cones on his head during the games, one boy spent more time than he should have whining, and one boy's mom told me he was too polite to actually try and kick the ball away from other people.  So that left the girls to rally together.  And most of them played really well.  Just not well enough to, you know, win a game. 
I am so proud of my family.  The Salad didn't complain once about losing every game.  They just got out there and played their little hearts out.  Of course, the promise of snacks and playground time with a new soccer friend didn't hurt. 

And I'm proud of R too.  Those kids had fun.  Granted, they didn't know that each Saturday R would wake up and ask me "Do you think I can talk the opposing coach into 4 - 3 minute quarters?"

Listen, what people don't know won't hurt.