Tag Archives: childhood

Throwing Caution to the Wind

Craig and I strive to make healthy food choices for our children.  We realize that it is our responsibility to ensure that they have a healthy attitude toward food and that they make good choices as they grow older.  We’re teaching Katie about serving sizes, which nutrients she gets from each of her foods, and why some foods aren’t great choices. 

Having said that, we’ve relaxed the rules a bit this summer.  She had an ice cream cone last week, a lollipop the week before. 

We’ve come to realize that a large part of encouraging healthy eating habits is teaching her about moderation in all things.  We worry that if we don’t allow some small indulgences now, she may rebel when we aren’t with her.

So, with that, I present to you the following…

That right there?  That is a small moment.  A small moment of pure joy. 

Also?  A guarantee that for a few days, there will be no other treats.  ;)

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A Collection of Joyous Small Moments

I haven’t shared the beauty in a while, so I’m going to take this lazy Sunday afternoon to do just that! 

I promise, I’ll be brief so that you can spend your moments exploring these wonderful treats:

In a recent post, At Least for Me, Kris, from Pretty All True, lovingly wrote about her eldest daughter’s transition from her crib to a big girl bed.  When I read it, my heart grew so big it nearly exploded.  This post is beautiful and tender and I could reread it many times over.  Though it spoke to me partly because we recently introduced Katie to her big girl bed, this story of a mother’s intense love for her child is a gift for us all.

Andy, from Crazy with a Side of Awesome Sauce, recently captured a lovely small moment with a gorgeous, warm photograph, Golden Afternoon, that made me peaceful and happy.

My favorite food is salmon.  Every time I eat it, I am overwhelmed with bliss and caught in that very moment.  Meredith, from In Sock Monkey Slippers, recently posted a recipe for Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Salmon that screams out for me to make it and eat it entirely by myself.  Some things simply cannot be shared.

I am often struck by the way we remember things and by which bits of an experience stay with us.  Jen, from Denton Sanitorium, has written a beautiful post, M is for Memories, that thoughtfully questions how her children will remember their recent vacation. 

Though Guilty Squid never fails to make me laugh, I read a post this week that made me giggle, guffaw, and cry with laughter.  I loved it and I think you will too. Read it here:  This is the story of how I thought this Hollywood writer/director/producer was proposing to me. As it turns out, I may be proposing *for* him.

Chris Jordan has captured the essence of living in the moment with these beautiful shots of summer bliss:  The Camera Just Loves This Kid

Now, I’m off to feed Katie some watermelon!

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Sometimes You Get the Opposite of What You Expect

I love my children.

I love playing, reading, and snuggling with them.

But you know what else I really love?  Naptime.

These moments allow me to rest and recharge for more playing, reading, and snuggling.

Matthew chose not to nap today.  It could be his teeth that are bothering him, or perhaps the ever-present reflux, but he absolutely refused to succumb to a good afternoon nap.

Fearing the worst–a crabby, clingy baby–I somewhat begrudgingly retrieved him from his bed. I was rewarded with hugs and smooches and we ended up having a wonderful time together.

He was calm and happy, interactive and pleasant.

Obviously, he and I don’t have as much time alone together as I had with Katie when she was small.  But this afternoon it was just the two of us.

It was one of those small moments that I speak about so often…and though I am still a huge fan of naps, I have to admit that having him all to myself wasn’t so bad.

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It Might Be Time To Let Her Grow Up…Just a Tiny Bit

If I could freeze time and forever keep my kids little, I wouldn’t even hesitate to do so.

I love the squishiness of their little bodies and the wonder that they see in everything.  I love holding them and feeling the way that they just melt into me.  I even love the way that they are still dependent upon me for so many things.

I won’t even pretend that I’m one of those moms who eagerly awaits the first day of school, sleep away camp, proms, graduations, and weddings.

I’m the mom who truly mourns the end of babyhood and toddlerhood and I’m often in complete denial that my children are getting older.

I’m starting to realize, however, that it might be time for me to fully acknowledge that Katie is a preschooler and as such, she is ready for some big girl stuff.  (Thank goodness for Craig’s calm demeanor and his encouragement to let them grow and change.)

This is a picture of Katie’s bed:

Katie's bed as it was when we brought her home from the hospital and as it still is.

Yep, our three-year old still sleeps in a crib (and yes, we still use a video monitor on her).

I’ve often joked that we were going to keep her in her crib until college. And while that’s clearly an exageration,  we did plan to keep her in her crib until Matthew was sleeping through the night, as we thought it would be easier to handle one nighttime challenge at a time.

Well, that day has come.  Matthew’s been consistently sleeping through the night for a few weeks now.

My list of worries for why making the switch from a crib to a toddler bed worries me is long.  Here are several of them:

  • Will she still nap?
  • How will we make sure she stays in her bed?
  • Will our great sleeper suddenly start waking in the night?
  • Will bedtime be stressful?
  • Will she wake us up at say, 5:00 am, by standing at the side of the bed and giving me a heart attack?

Although my worries are plentiful, I’m beginning to feel that the list of benefits to her being in her own big girl bed is growing longer.

And as much as I dread the switch, there’s also a tiny part of me that is eager to see her face as she realizes that she’s being given a bit more independence.

There will be tears…and they will all be mine.

If any of you have any tips on how to make the transition go smoothly, I eagerly welcome them.

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Reason #63 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks


This morning we were running errands when Katie spotted a huge fountain and wanted desperately to get closer.

We didn’t have a ton of time to finish our shopping before we had to hurry home for lunch and naps, but she asked so nicely that I indulged her.

We sat and watched the fountain for 15 minutes and she laughed with glee every time the water shot up.

There was no errand more important that seeing how happy that little bit of time in front of a fountain–a fountain that I’ve looked right past more times than I can count–made her .

Lunch was delayed, naps were late, but we were happy.

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Going Home

Kicking off Small Moments Mondays, a series of guest posts focusing on the little moments in life, the moments that can be so easily taken for granted if we don’t slow down to savor them, is Kris from Pretty All True.

If you’re really lucky, you meet a handful of people in life with whom you feel an immediate connection.  These people are a gift, whether it’s because they make you feel comfortable, encourage you to stretch yourself, help you to laugh, or offer you tremendous kindness that simply envelopes you.  Kris embodies all of these qualities and I can’t believe my good fortune for having met her.

One of the things that I admire most about Kris is the way that she fully embraces each moment of life.  Perhaps as a result of a childhood that offered her far more than her share of heartache or because of the beautiful little family that she has built, Kris savors life in a way that I truly admire.  When I was in the early stages of brainstorming this idea, she immediately came to mind, as she, though sarcastic and quick witted, appreciates the beauty in her life.

Though the first thing I noticed about Kris was her amazing sense of humor and her ability to tell stories that pull you in and make you feel as though you are somehow a part her world, she has a quiet tenderness and ability to make you feel as though you are important and loved that continually surprise me.

Thank you, Kris—for guest posting, for sharing your story, and for being my friend.  I am grateful for you.

Here’s her reflection on a small moment from her life…

Going Home – by Kris

Some of my saddest memories from childhood are of going home.

My home was broken and jagged and filled with sharp shattered bits of unexpected pain and sorrow. It was my reality. And most of the time? There was just acceptance.

And so, at the end of the school day . . . at the end of a trip to the grocery store . . . at the end of a trip to the library . . . I would just go home. There was sadness and fear, but also a sense of inevitability. Resignation. This was my life. This was my family. This was my home.

I would go home.

There were a few times in my childhood when I left our home for more than just a day. It didn’t matter where I had gone . . . the contrast between this other place and my home sometimes seemed more than I could bear. My heart would ache with longing for this other that I could not have.

Then, always, there was a going home.

And as I stared out of the window on the journey back home? My throat would clench so that I couldn’t breathe. The pain was so tight and jagged it felt as though I was swallowing glass. The increasingly familiar landmarks would blur before my eyes.

Going home.

Sigh.

A long time ago.

Today? I drove my daughters to a nearby state park and we rode our bicycles through the luscious humid green. Rode until we were exhausted and sweaty . . . in an enormous loop back to where we had parked the car.

Climbed in.

“Daddy’s making lunch for us, right?” asks my older daughter as she clicks her seatbelt.

My younger daughter answers happily, “Yes! He said he was going to make hamburgers on the grill!”

I start the car. I crank the air conditioning. I switch on the radio.

I drive down the tree-lined path out of the park.

We haven’t lived in Oregon very long, and I still get confused about directions. So I sit at the park exit, trying to remember if I am supposed to turn to the right or the left. Honestly? I have no idea. Everywhere I look, everything is just green.

Hmmmmm.

The GPS in our car? I love it. My favorite thing? There is this helpful touch-screen prompt, and when you select it? The car will give you directions home from wherever you happen to be at that moment.

And so I push it. The little prompt that says GO HOME.

I love going home. Every single time.

And that GO HOME prompt. It makes me smile. Every single time.

So I turn to the right.

“Ready for lunch, girls?”

“Yes!” My daughters yell in unison, “Let’s go home!”

It’s a small thing, really . . . it’s just going home.

But for me? Every single time?

I love to go home.

Stop by and visit Kris at Pretty All True.  Take some time to poke around, read a little of this and a little of that, and wait, some of this too.

Sprinkled in here, and here, and there are posts that take your breath away and stay with you, challenging you to truly think and appreciate life.

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Pure Joy

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