Reason #48 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks

Katie has been wanting so badly to do a cartwheel.  Her gymnastics instructor has been trying every week to show her how.  So, I thought, I’ll just teach her.  I mean, I must have done 5,329 of them when I was a child. 

So, we did them the other morning until we were laughing so hard we were falling over.  (I may or may not have pulled a muscle in my hip when I was doing them, however!)

She didn’t perfect her cartwheels, but she showered me with smiles, hugs, and kisses because I did them with her.  Those minutes spent giggling and falling over made her happier than I could have ever anticipated. 

Moments like that are the ones that I hope she always remembers.  When she’s a grown woman, with children of her own, I hope she flashes back to doing cartwheels with me.  I hope she remembers just how joyous she has made me.

When was the last time you did a cartwheel?  Should you be inspired to do one, I have a word of advice.  Stretch!

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Bittersweet Changes

Dear Sweet Matthew,

When Katie was a baby, I delayed solids until I felt increasing  pressure from others to introduce her to cereal.  I held my ground until she was 8 months old, when I caved because her pediatrician suggested that I have her iron levels tested.  The thought of a blood draw was enough for me to cringe and immediately introduce her to cereal. 

Though she liked eating and did well, I have always second guessed that decision and wondered if I should have held out a bit longer.  Before you were born, I decided that I would wait until you were 12 months old to begin solids. 

For the past couple of weeks, you have been wanting to nurse every two hours and have seemed truly unsettled after nursing.  You have also begun waking up at 5:30 every morning to nurse.  You’ve been crying so often and lunging for me, hoping to eat.

So, after a great deal of internal debate, we did this:

And you absolutely loved it. 

You get so excited when we place you in your high chair.  You smile between every bite and you are happier throughout the entire day.  You were hungry and it breaks my heart that my determination to make it to a certain date kept me from doing what was right for you earlier than I did. 

As much as I know that you were ready for solids, I can’t express how sad it makes me.  You are quite possibly our last baby and with each milestone that you reach, you are less my baby. 

Nursing is such an emotional experience, one that unites us in such an amazing way.  And if I’m honest, I have to admit that I like that I have been giving you something that no one else could.  We never gave you a bottle, so every single bit of your nourishment up to this point has come directly from me. 

You were 8 months and 12 days old when you first had cereal. 

And for 8 months and 12 days, I could look at you and know that it was my milk that helped you to grow and to thrive.

I love you, Matthew, and I am so grateful for the connection that we have.  I promise to always do what is best for you, even if it isn’t the easy choice for me.

With love and snuggles,

Mommy

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Knees of a New Crawler

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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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Without Friends I’d Be Dead. Stop Calling Me Dramatic.

Although I fell in love with Alex months ago, it was her recent commitment to limiting how much television that she allows her children to watch that made me realize that she is perfect for Small Moments Mondays.  By limiting television, she is attempting (and succeeding) to be more present for her two beautiful children. Whether she’s playing chase, dragging a kiddie pool through her house, or playing Go Fish, she is living in the moment with her children and she is making those memories that they will all carry with them. Check out her  Harcore Television Challenge!

I truly admire Alex, she is honest, open, funny, intelligent, and vulnerable, all of which are evidenced in God, What If I Cannot Handle It?, My Son, Revisited, and Our Common Humanity Is Easier To Find Than You Think.  Check Your Pants.

I am so grateful that our paths have crossed. I would certainly call her my PF.

(If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, here’s a brief rundown, Twitter Cheat Sheet.)

Thank you, Alex, for coming by and sharing your small moment with us!

Without Friends I’d Be Dead. Stop Calling Me Dramatic by Alex

I don’t do small very well. I have a loud laugh, big ideas, and a tendency to forget to use my INDOOR VOICE.

So Small Moments Monday intimidates me.

And as I’m staring at the computer screen, I have a twelve DM interchange with my best bloggy friend. Saying nothing and everything.

How’s your morning?

Stress poops, ahoy!

Your readers rule.

What do you think about this idea?

I’m crying.

Why didn’t you sleep?

We should tell them I’m your organizational coach. Haha.

She didn’t even TRY to murder me. Boo.

I hope today is a better day.

Our friendship is a fluke. I respond to something random in a conversation I’m not technically included in. She follows me back because of it. I DM’d her about a song. And then tell her that it’s stupid because she probably gets DMs about the song all the time. She says no, she’s never heard of the song. In the process, I accidently guessed her real name.

She and I needed more than 140 characters to finish our conversations over the next few weeks. We moved to email. Then exchanged phone numbers. Then met in person. Then the big finale FACEBOOK FRIENDS. (Friendships are TOTALLY like dating. Except for the kissing part.)

All the while, we refer to each other as pfs. Potential friends. Until one day I realize that we are FRIEND FRIENDs. But ff is already taken so we go nostalgic and breaking out the pf here and there.

And now I have this person who gets blogging and mothering and twitter-ing and insists my impatience is apart of my charm. (After I DM her: WHERE ARE YOU five minutes after my first DM of the day.)

Last week, while discussing BlogHer, I warn her of my overpacking tendencies (I GO BIG PEOPLE) and she responds: I am an underpacker. Together, we make one functional adult. Hoorah!

I can’t imagine traveling this bumpy road of blogging and writing and social awkwardness without a pf.

If you don’t have one, get one! Go out on a limb with someone you like in this bloggy world. Because as big as the Inter-ba-nets may be, it’s just made up of people. And moments.

Moments that wouldn’t be the same without friends. Meanwhile, you can always DM me… if you like loud impatient people.

When Alex Iwashyna isn’t DM-ing with her pf, she blogs at Late Enough mostly about life, parenting, marriage, politics, culture, religion, and her inability to wake up in the morning and not hate everyone. Often zombies, fire, and rude Southern people make appearances, but Alex can pretty much guarantee that she’ll still be in her pjs while fighting them off. She also hangs out on the Twitter as @L8enough and Facebooky.

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Twitter Cheat Sheet

I am so excited that tomorrow is Monday (I honestly never thought I’d be able to say that), as I will be bringing you another installment of Small Moments Mondays

If you aren’t on Twitter, you really should be some of the terms in tomorrow’s post might be unfamiliar to you.

So, in preparation, I thought it might be helpful to offer you a bit of a cheat sheet for the Twitter vocabulary you’ll encounter.

But before I begin, if you aren’t sure what Twitter is all about or why you should even care,  How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live , explains it all quite well.

Here are some terms that you might find helpful when reading tomorrow’s post:

Tweet: a post with a maximum number of 140 characters.

DM, or Direct Message: a private message sent between two people.

Follow: When you follow someone, you are essentially subscribing to their tweets.  (Unlike Facebook, they do not need to accept a request, nor is the follow automatically reciprocal.)

And some general terms that you might find helpful should you decide to give Twitter a try:

RT, or retweet: the re-posting of a friend’s tweet.

Tweeps: a blend of twitter and peeps (people), a term used to refer to friends. 

Should you decide that Twitter is for you, check out this extensive Twittonary!

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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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