Heart Shaped Days

photo-79

The holiday crash hit us a little hard this year.  After a very long buildup – a full month with Elfie, songs by the piano, Christmas coloring books, and baking galore…the week after was a little hard.

As much as the kids loved their toys and treats, they loved the togetherness most of all.  They loved the smell of the tree, the hanging of ornaments, and the family time spent by the fire.  They loved the us.

So when the faces looked a little sad and the missing of holiday togetherness hit its peak, Sean and I decided to take action.  We decided to make Valentine’s Day more than just one day.  We decided to eat red food, wear red clothing, and hide love notes throughout the house.  We decided that a Valentine treasure hunt might brighten a dreary day and heart decorations might just bring be in order.

I wrote more about Heart Shaped Days over on moonfrye – I hope you’ll stop by and join the fun!

Kindergarten Days

I slept in minutes the night before the big day, tossing and turning and dreaming in snippets.  A worried mind is not a rested mind.

 

She was nearly three years in the making.  She required bed rest, house arrest, and constant monitoring.  With the miscarriages permanently etched on our brains, we worried for 39 weeks straight.  Because infertility, as it turns out, never really leaves you.

 

When she finally arrived we were overwhelmed with emotion:  Elation, excitement, and relief coursed through our souls as we finally held our sweet baby girl in our arms.  Finally, it was our turn.

 

And so we went about protecting her.  We nurtured her, we snuggled her, and we were completely in awe of her every second of every day.

 

For the past five and a half years, we have built her up and watched her thrive.  We’ve cheered her on in good times and held her close in not so good times.  We’ve watched her every move and kept her home for even the slightest sign of an asthma attack.

 

We’ve taken care of her every step of the way.

 

So it only makes sense that I didn’t sleep that night.  Because the following morning, I would have to trust a new person to take care of my baby girl for four hours and twenty minutes of the day, five days a week.

 

No one loves my sweet girl as much as me.  No one knows her inside and out.  No one will ever put her first. 

 

I would have to trust them to call when she wheezes and comfort her when she’s sad.  I would have to trust that them to cheer when she needs cheering and step back when she needs independence.  I would have to trust them to help her find her voice and advocate for her needs.

 

I would have to let go just a little bit more.

 

I wasn’t ready.

 

Truth be told, I never would be…

 

Please stop by moonfrye to finish reading, “Kindergarten Days”.

Background Music

I didn’t recognize the silence for what it was until he returned from his summer of travel.  But once the silence was finally broken, it was hard to believe that I didn’t see it all along.

 

In hindsight, the silence was deafening.  It was right there in front of me for four weeks straight.  It changed the vibe of the house, it left me unsettled, and, although they didn’t verbalize it as such, it left the kids unsettled too.

 

The silence changed everything.

 

When my husband travels for long stretches, I go under.  I hide out, I play with my kids non-stop, and I do my best to somehow fill the void for them.  The phone goes unanswered.  The email piles up.  The mail is opened in order of importance.

 

I focus on the small moments of greatness before me.  I enjoy every moment with my little ones instead of waiting for him to return.  When you wait, time stands still.  When you enjoy what you have, time flies.

 

(If only it could be the other way around.)

 

In my quest to enjoy my everything, the silence went somewhat unnoticed.

 

On his second day home, it hit me.  The silence was the cause of the discomfort that occurred every once in a while during those four weeks.  In his absence, the quiet moments that we so often enjoy felt large and overwhelming.  The quiet moments seemed to scream, “Daddy is away!  Please send him home!”

 

Upon his return, the silence seemed to disappear…

 

Please stop by moonfrye to continue reading this post.

Divided by Two

In a perfect world, the storylines would always include three.  The characters, though different in nature, would find a way to connect.  Laughter would abound and tears would cease to exist.

 

Of course, in a perfect world, there would always be four.

 

But perfection, if indeed there is such a thing, is overrated.  Perfection is for people who don’t see the value in working through the process, learning from the ups and downs along the way.  It’s for those who want immediate, and perfect, success.

 

Truthfully, I’m not sure I would want to live in a world of perfection.  If there is just one perfect way, there is no room for diversity.  And if there were no room for diversity, the world would be a very boring place.

 

It was a morning like any other.  A red-hot stream of sunlight filtered through the break in the curtains, nearly blinding anyone who dared to peek through.  The sink was full to capacity with the remains of breakfast, evidence of a family well fed to start the day.

 

My two pajama clad children sat nose to nose on the couch, conspiring.

 

“If we hide behind the pillow we can surprise her when she walks over.”

 

“Yeah!  And then we can yell Happy Birthday!”

 

(Everyday is a birthday, after all.)

 

Wrapping my hands around my steaming mug of heaven (recently reheated for the third time, of course), I slowly made my way over to the play area, pretending not to notice.

 

“Surprise!  Happy Birthday!”

 

Somehow, they timed it just exactly right.  With Cheshire cat-like grins and giddy laughter they nearly knocked me onto the floor.  Remarkably, the coffee remained in tact (this mom can balance).

 

And then, we began to play.  For a good twenty-five minutes, we sat in a circle crafting our storyline.  Strawberry Shortcake was in need of an emergency visit to the doctor, and Baby Boy’s ambulance was there to save the day.

 

It was, by all accounts, the perfect parenting moment.

 

Until it wasn’t….

 

Please head over to moonfrye to continue reading “Divided by Two”.

Wrapping the Cords

The older my sweet girl grows, the more I am flooded with memories of my own childhood.  Small moments that seem to have escaped me over time.

 

She loves to help, this sweet girl of mine, and finds even the most mundane tasks a source of great interest.

 

I stood by the kitchen counter, staring out at the rose garden as I organized the various iCords that always seem to cause the most clutter.  Lost in thought, I didn’t hear her approach on slippered feet.

 

Why are you doing that?  What does it do?

 

She brought me back to the kitchen for a minute; I had almost forgotten what I was doing, as tends to happen when you’re lost in the ordinary.

 

When I looked down at my girl, so very me in so many ways, I suddenly remembered a very similar scenario with my dad when I was just about her age…

 

Please head over to moonfrye to continue reading this story.

Fashion Show

Do your kids ever go to school looking like this?  Mine do.  Stop by moonfrye to find out why I can’t be bothered to micromanage their wardrobes and see a video of one of our favorite early morning activities: Fashion Show!

Some Exciting News…

Hi friends and readers!

I just wanted to share some news with you.  As of today, I joined the incredible team over at Moonfrye.  There are many excellent writers over there, and I am excited to start writing there every Thursday.

““Look at me, I’m swinging high with my eyes closed”, she yelled as the swing set jerked back and forth with an alarming screech, threatening to come apart at any moment.  “You have to see this mommy, it’s my most amazing discovery!”  The mixture of elation and pure adrenaline coursing through her four year old body caused her to forget that I stood just two feet away, watching the whole event.

I clenched my fists and tightened my jaw just for a second as I watched her let go of the ropes.  Jumping from the moving swing is still new and exciting each time, no matter the outcome.  Please don’t get hurt…please don’t get hurt, I prayed to no one in particular.  She landed, as usual, in one piece and full of laughter…”

Stop by Moonfrye to continuing reading “Playing for Play”