Moving Day

Yesterday was moving day here on in these small moments!

We’ve moved over here:

www.inthesesmallmoments.com

so that we can stretch out a bit.

So, if you’ve bookmarked us here, be sure to check your bookmarks

to be sure that they’re pointing you in the new direction.

Also, if you grabbed our feed, please grab the new one!

Come on over!  It’s cozy over there!  I can’t wait to welcome you.

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And How Would You Like Your Eggs, Ma’am?

My head nearly exploded this morning over breakfast.

Here’s what led up to my brush with insanity…

Me:  Katie, what would you like for breakfast this morning?

Katie: Um… (stares blankly)

Me: Would you like waffles and yogurt?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Okay, how about french toast and a banana? Does that sound yummy?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Hmmm…how about scrambled eggs, toast, and blueberries?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Oh, I have a great idea! How about cereal with raspberries?

Katie: Um…no thank you.

Me: Katie, okay, then you tell me.  What would you like for breakfast?

Katie: Something else.

This is when I nearly lost my mind.

And I woke up.

Our kitchen has turned into a full-service restaurant, with menu items spanning two pages.  I never intended for it to become this way.  When she was smaller, I decided what she ate, put it in front of her, and she ate it. End of story.

There is something about being a mother that I never understood before I had children. We want nothing more than for our children to eat.  We want to know that we’ve filled their little bellies with nourishment. One of the ways that we show them our love is through the food that we offer them.  We take pride in providing them with the healthy foods that they need to grow and thrive.

It is for those reasons that I began offering her choices, I think.  Though I’ve never wavered on insisting that her food is healthy, I have allowed her to make choices that sound good to her in the moment.

Our ship got off course slowly and now I don’t recognize where we are anymore. So, I’m throwing in the anchor and figuring this thing out because it’s that or I lose my mind.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin picking the main portion of the meal.  Scrambled eggs and toast, for example.  And to allow her to practice good decision making, I’ll let her pick her fruit.

Because, honestly, it’s this, or I’m putting out a tip jar.

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Not a Single One…

I am so grateful for this man…

…a man who has been by my side through everything.

Katie recently had her 3-year check up and Craig was there.

He has always been there…

He didn’t miss a single prenatal appointment with any of our three pregnancies.

He never missed a single of the 837 classes we took while pregnant…he even attended the breastfeeding class, as he recognized that his support would likely be what got me through those early days of nursing.

He has been at each and every one of the kids’ appointments with the pediatrician.

His committment to our family and his desire to be there for all of the moments, big and the small, fill me with love and gratitude.

Thank you, Craig. I truly love you.

This post is linked to the Thank You Journal at Alli ‘n Son.

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Pull Up a Chair…Fifteen Basic Table Manners for Children

I wasn’t terribly surprised by the incredible response that I got to a recent post, How Rude…Ten Basic Courtesies for Children.  It seems that we’re all just a little fed up with living in a society that puts little importance on common courtesies.  

I truly believe that manners must be instilled when children are young and if they aren’t practiced at home, they’re less likely to be used when away from home.  I cringe at the thought of my children being anything less than courteous and pleasant to others. 

How Rude…Ten Basic Courtesies for Children was by definition, quite basic.  I could have gone on for pages, my list is that long.  But, I thought I’d break my rants up into bite-sized pieces so that I don’t look like such a rigid crazy person. 

Becca, from bare feet on the dashboard asked that I offer up a list of basic table manners next.  Thanks for the suggestion, Becca.  Here you go: 

Basic Table Manners

(This is a rather long list for little guys; try choosing a few age appropriate manners from the list and once you’ve mastered them, add accordingly.) 

  1. Use your utensils.
  2. Sit up nice and tall. Don’t hunch and keep your elbows off the table. (Sitting up helps with digestion.)
  3. Don’t put too much food in your mouth at one time.
  4. Chew with your mouth closed.
  5. Never talk with your mouth full.
  6. Never burp at the table.  Enough said.
  7. Eat slowly, chewing your food fully. Wait a few seconds between bites.
  8. Don’t begin eating until everyone has been served.
  9. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.  Ever. 
  10. Don’t lick your fingers clean, always use your napkin.
  11. Keep your napkin on your lap.  (Your napkin should be used only to wipe your face and hands—never to wipe or blow your nose.)
  12. Do not stretch across another person to reach for something.  Politely ask for it to be passed to you.
  13. Always say thank you for your dinner. No matter how simple the meal, remember that it was made for you with love.
  14. If you are served something that you don’t like, keep that opinion to yourself.  Do not hurt the host’s feelings.
  15. Ask at least one other person a question about their day and really listen to their answer.

Next week, I’ll be offering up a list of restaurant manners, for your sake and mine!

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Missed Kisses

I am so absolutely grateful that I am able to stay home with my children while they are small.  I appreciate this opportunity to be with them day in and day out, for every smile, all of the giggles, and the constant changes.

But today?  Today has not been fun.

Since early this morning, one of my children has been crying at any given moment.  And at times, they’ve cried in chorus.  I’m not sure what’s going on.  But I do know that I feel like I’m going a bit crazy.

It’s a vicious circle I think…they cry, and I get tense and impatient, which they pick up on, and they cry more.  Now they are both finally napping and here I sit. Crying.

There are times when I don’t handle things as well as I could and that guilt always creeps up on me, takes up residence in my heart, and gets cozy when they sleep. 

An example?  In order to go anywhere, we have to pass a park that Katie always points out.  She waves and blows kisses to the park EVERY TIME we pass it.  It’s so cute that we’ve actually video taped it so that we never forget the innocence and happiness that she radiates in that moment.

Well, today on the way home from swimming lessons, she was exhausted and didn’t notice when we passed the park until we were about a mile past it.  Then came the tears and the pleas to turn the car around so that she could blow kisses.  It would have taken me 4 additional minutes to indulge her, but I drove on, telling her that we had to get home for lunch and she would have to make up for it tomorrow. 

We came home and she cried for a half an hour.  Now, I’m not a novice, I know when I’m being played and that wasn’t the case.  She was genuinely heartbroken and the sobbing was out of control.  Then, Matthew, the sensitive soul that he is, began crying in a show of solidarity and it all just felt overwhelming.

So now I’m sitting here, regretting the way I handled it.  And I’m thinking that in that moment, I wasn’t really present.  I was going through a list in my head of all of the things that I needed to do.  I just shrugged off something that was important to her.  Something that would have been so easy to remedy.

When she wakes up?  We’re getting in the car.

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Will You Be My Friend? Yes or No?

Since the middle of July, I’ve been participating in the SITS Girls ProBlogger Summer Challenge, along with nearly 500 (!) other bloggers.   The challenge is 31 days long, with a new task every day.  Yesterday we were asked to find a “blog buddy,” someone we could run ideas past, enlist for honest feedback, and who would give us a nudge when we’re in a rut or going off course. 

When I first read the details of the task, I had flashbacks to grade school, where we had to buddy up with someone for field trips.  I remember  assessing my options, trying to decide who I’d want to hold hands with for an entire day (yes, I know that I over think everything!).  Then, there was the anxiety while building up the courage to ask someone to be my buddy. 

So, who did I want to hold hands with in this challenge?  I took a deep breath and asked two people, both of whom are willing to be stuck with me for a bit. 

Today I’m introducing you to Alli, from Alli ‘n Son

Why did I ask Alli?

I chose her because we are similar.

We share similar parenting/life philosophies.  She is optimistic and grateful.  She is a slightly OCD momma (yes, M&Ms must be eaten in pairs of matching colors). She’s the stay-at-home momma of a spunky, energetic, and often frustrating two-year old boy. But she is thankful for each and every moment and even has a day dedicated to just that, the Thank You Journal each Thursday (stop by and link up). You can often find her up to the knees in potty training, bubbles and all things balls.

And, I chose Alli because we are different. 

Take just one look at Alli’s blog and you’ll see how incredibly creative she is.  She just oozes great ideas.  She takes beautiful photos and is a whiz with Photoshop.  I’m hoping that if I’m a great buddy and I don’t pick my nose, she’ll share some secrets with me.  I would love to be more creative and I’m hoping she rubs off on me.  She’s a self-described wanna-be photographer and gourmet chef, a highly creative woman and one-time graphic designer, all rolled into one.

Here are some examples of her best stuff:

 
So, pop on over there and leave her a comment.  Maybe you could tell her that I have clean hands, I’m pretty friendly, and I don’t pick my nose.
 
And, stay tuned…I’ll be announcing my second buddy soon!

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Blissful Moments

On this week’s Small Moments Monday, Andy, from Crazy With a Side of Awesome Sauce is dropping by to share with us a recent small moment that she won’t soon forget.

Andy and I are still getting to know one another, but what I love about her, and what makes her a perfect guest poster for this series, is the way that she approaches her life, seeking out happiness wherever it may be found. She isn’t one to rest and wait for happiness to find her–she is out there creating her own bliss. And for that, I truly admire her. She’s also ridiculously adorable and beautifully eclectic.

Thank you, Andy, for stopping by and for generously sharing one of your lovely small moments with us!

Blissful Moments by Andy

When the sweetest woman on the Internet asked me to guest post on her blog and that the subject was blissful moments, I jumped at the chance. My first thought was, Guest post? Hell yes! That means someone likes me! Huzzah! (I’m a bit of a nerd.) My second thought was, Blissful moments is (are?) my middle name.

I had so many ideas. See, living in the moment is one of my favorite hobbies. I hear you scoffing, Hobbies? scoffy scoff scoff. But you can stop that right now, because if you think about it, you’ll realize what I mean. To find joy in little things, you have to actively lose yourself in a moment and soak it in fully. You have to practice the art of appreciating life, to quiet down and feel that unique joy. Trust me on that one.

So what would I write about? Perhaps that time I found an open air cafe in New Orleans and sat all night sipping coffee and listening to live jazz in the warm, spring breeze? Or maybe that time I was hiking in Yosemite and came over a ridge to see the world’s most gorgeous and pristine lake? Or maybe about how every time I’m feeling cruddy, my cat will crawl right up on me, purring like a hemi engine, which will annoy me at first, but inevitably makes me completely happy?

I was still thinking about it last week as I made the long drive from So Cal to my new home of Portland, Oregon. I had only been settled in a couple of days and was feeling quite overwhelmed and I decided to go for a run and meet my new neighborhood on foot. My thinking here was that the exercise would clear my head and I’d get to see my digs on my own terms.

But I am an idiot. Because I lost my house key. Apparently stuffing your key in your bra is not a good idea. Who knew?

My roommate was set to be out of the house for at least 3 more hours and I knew she wouldn’t be checking her phone. I retraced my steps at least four times, got just about lost doing so, and finally gave in and settled in on my porch to feel crappy and oh so sorry for myself for failing at life.

About 2 hours into waiting (I jest not), the sun started peeking out of the clouds and a cool breeze settled on my face. Then my two pint-size neighbors, Kegan and Emma came out to play on the front walk. They could not believe I’d locked myself out Why’d you do THAT? (children can be so honest) and decided that the most fun they could have was to entertain me. Emma (who is about 9) told me all about spiders and how to feed ants to spiders and how Hercules was killed by Hades (I didn’t even try to tell her the actual myth). Kegan (who is about 3, I’m guessing) showed me his special rocks that are really fire and how they make his car fly. See it fwying?!?

And pretty soon I had forgotten I was locked out and that I failed at life that morning. I was laughing and playing with these two as if I had chosen to sit on my front step for 3 hours. I had been forced to slow down and listen to life. And I thought, This is it, woman. This is a nice moment. You can choose to feel like total crap or you can settled into the moment and enjoy it.

See? I can choose to seek out the little joys, but sometimes life knows better and will force me to try harder to be happy. I hear ya, Life. I hear ya.

You won’t regret stopping by and spending some time with Andy over at Crazy With a Side of Awesome Sauce. Take some time to get to know her through her stories and enjoy her stunning photography. A handful of my favorites are Pony Tail, Like Color Etched on Canvas, No One Nose, and Beanstalk, as in Jack and the.

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