Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Create Memories in Busy Times

Sometimes I get so caught up in the action of meeting a deadline that I don’t have any time to be in the present with my children–I’m just looking at the task that needs to be completed. And something that I have found completely shocking is that I don’t remember those busy times.

Not a single one of them.

It’s like I’m not here. Where am I? And where did all that time go when I could be interacting with and teaching my children?

I’ve realized I need to slow down. To live in the present and not be rushed into the future. If it takes an honest thirty minutes to get out of the house, plan forty. And enjoy that extra time to snuggle while helping to put shoes on, to teach them how to tie knots, to let them pick out their own clothes, to watch them learn and grow.

Those are the things I remember. The times when I got on my child’s level and related to them. When they showed me why an ant was amazing, why the lake was magical… When I listened to the music of their giggles and chatter.

I’ve found it’s just not worth it to rush through everything–to get to the future faster. It is worth it to spend the time to know, understand and remember your child.

Remember in the midst of busy days to create memories.

Dance Pants

We love music in this house. We sing almost everything from “where’s the milk” to “time for bed.”

It is perfectly delightful.

And at some point on almost every day we blast the techno. DJ Tiesto is a household name–Weasley even asks for it. Wiggles shakes her booty in a flurry of smiles and giggles and flailing limbs. In my eyes, nothing is more wonderful.

I was a dancer until I had children, my husband and I met ice skating and we love to go dancing on our nights out. Movement and music is part of us. And as such, it is part of our children.

In the parenting trend of Baby Einstein and The Mozart Effect, I diverge.

I spent Weasley’s babyhood immersing him in classical music and exposing him to every composer that would supposedly boost his intelligence. And you know what? Baby Einstein taught him how to sit in front of the TV and listening to Mozart pretty much bored him (except for Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca–that made him dance his funny little toddler pants off).

As a music major in college, I was convinced that classical music truly had the ability to “organize one’s brain.” But what I came to learn as a parent is that is just doesn’t matter. I honestly don’t have any control over my children’s intelligence level. And why would I want to control it anyway? We live in a society so full of messages that your kids don’t fit in a particular box. They move too much, they talk too much, they read too late, they walk too soon… It’s never just “your child is so good at who they are.”

Now, I am not saying I don’t have an appreciation for classical music. I spent my entire childhood dancing ballet to classical composers and went on to study music in college. I have a great amount of classical music education under my belt but I really feel that kids need a variety of music in their education.

Something that made me realize classical music isn’t the only thing your child should listen to is Kindermusik. I got my Kindermusik teaching license when Weasley was still a toddler. And I was shocked when I realized there were very few classical music pieces in the Kindermusik lessons. In fact, most of their music depended on what age the child was and how to get them interacting. Music + movement! This got me thinking. It doesn’t matter what music the kids are listening to as long it makes them move and smile.

For us, that’s techno.

And let me tell you, the kids love it!

He’s A Big Kid Now

My Weasley is growing up. I just had a glimpse of him being his own person and living his own life–discovering and experiencing things as only he will.

He was playing outside in the spring sunshine and came running into the house whispering,

“Mom! I have a surprise!”

There was a sweetness and gentleness in his tone that made me completely attentive. The first thing that ran through my mind?

“Oh no, this is it, he has found some sort of wild pet and he is bringing it in the house.”

It was just something in his tone. It sounded very caring and tender. Next thought I had was

“Is it a mouse? A bird? A rabbit??”

He walked gently around the corner with his hands cupped together.

“Ok brace yourself,” I thought.

“Look mom! I found a caterpillar!!”

“Whew. Ok. Oh how cool, honey!”

I don’t know why I was so terrified of what he was delivering to me but the thought of a mouse or bird getting loose in the house was, well, ew. Then I realized that it was inevitable. He is finally a big kid–and a boy none the less. Creatures will find their way into my house. And that’s ok. When I was a six, I would bring newts and snakes into my mom’s house. (Maybe that’s why I was nervous!)

But what I really realized in the whole scene was that he is living his own life. He is discovering his own experiences with the world. I am not guiding him like I used to. Things like caterpillars weren’t a surprise before because I was there. I was guiding him in his play. We’d discover things like that together. In a way I miss it. I miss searching for ants and caterpillars and seeing the look on his face when we found one. But I am so thankful for having those moments with him. And I am thankful for him experiencing them on his own and for him growing up and having his own experiences. And I am thankful for him still wanting to share them with me.

I love being a mom!

Keep It Real!

After taking the Mom Pledge I started thinking about all the things I have not posted on my blog–all the things about my parenting habits that I’m afraid to share with other mom’s. My honesty is held back for fear of being criticized. Last thing I need is to feel bullied when my goal in life is to be happy, right? Not if it means denying myself.

For me it’s time to start being me.

No pretending.

After all, isn’t pretending just a way of making other mom’s feel bad about themselves? I have no desire to “show anyone up.” But I do have a desire to be me. To be real. Because being yourself is so darn good!

So as part of my commitment to not giving a voice to mom bullies and to keep it real here on my own blog, I’m going to dedicate myself to, well, being me. I have nothing to hide and I’m proud of my kids, proud of my husband and honestly, I am proud of myself for how I care for and raise my absolutely wonderful and fantabulous family! So prepare yourself for a few posts about how I raise my kids in ways that some just might not approve of….

It could be shocking!

Simplification Tactics

Last week I tackled the kids toys. It was a bit overwhelming to start but once I got into it, it was easy. I threw out everything that wasn’t a matching set, was out of batteries, (I hate battery operated toys), broken, or anything that just wasn’t played with in the last few months (that took care of a lot of it). But in my very impatient opinion it took too much time to accomplish. So when I moved onto sorting kids books, I took on a new tactic.

We had lots of books that were never touched and I’ve often wondered if we should keep them for some unknown reason. So I pulled all the books off the bookshelf and stared at them all for a few minutes completely overwhelmed (and slightly buried) before I began sorting them into “keep, maybe keep, look at them again, get rid of, and torn.” Yeah, lots of piles and I was incredibly overwhelmed. That’s when I decided to only put the “definitely keep” books back on the shelf. When I looked at the rest of the piles, it was easy to just put them all in the “get rid of” box.

The shelf looked clean and simple and meaningful. I didn’t want to add anything else to it. So my new simplification tactic is to pull out all our “definitely keep” items from amongst the clutter and just give everything else to goodwill.

There is no reason to sort.

Just pull out what is necessary and discard the rest. It is much faster and takes less brainpower. Thankfully I am easily distracted so once something is in the goodwill box, I can’t remember what it is! (I never needed it anyway, right?) Simplifying this way eliminates the “what if I need this someday” question. That question is usually my downfall in simplifying.

I am very excited to experiment with this tactic throughout the rest of the house. Today I am tackling linens and possibly clothes. My next step will be to purchase some clear boxes and make sure everything has a place. Using the boxes will also make moving easier since everything will be pre-packed. And the kids will have a difficult time opening the boxes so I will always know when something is being played with–no more surprise messes.

I am so excited to simplify.

Hopefully by the end of Lent, the house will be completely decluttered just in time for spring and outdoor fun!

The Mom Pledge

BWS tips button

I am so excited to take the Mom Pledge and be a part of such an encouraging blogging community!

Raising kids is hard–especially if you are told you aren’t doing it right. Every child is different. Every parent will do things differently.
And there is no one person on this earth that knows how to raise another human being perfectly.

Discouragement is the worst thing a mother can experience. As a parent there have been many times when I have been told my parenting was insufficient. And it brought me down. Way down.

My desire is to love my children. If I teach my children nothing else I want them to know joy. And Love. I hope to give them a foundation for a happy life. Everything else is fleeting in my opinion.

If your child doesn’t have all their immunizations, if they don’t potty train by two, if they don’t learn to ready by five, if they throw a tantrum in the grocery store, it just doesn’t matter–it is a fleeting moment in time. None of that matters and I don’t want to know any one person’s opinion on why or why my child should or should not have or do a certain thing.

There is no magical formulation to raising a human. It is complicated. And personal. And difficult. And beautiful. And emotional. And amazing. There is no point in telling a mother they are wrong in how they raise their kids.

I have no desire to feel more knowledgeable or powerful than another mother. I want to be a part of a community of mothers that love their children and encourage each other. I hold no parenting answers. I will accept advice when it is solicited. I will admire the knowledge that another mother has learned over the years. But I will accept no hostile comments toward my motherhood. I love my kids. And I will do everything in my power to show them that and to raise them to be happy human beings. But in order to teach them happiness I need to be happy. Happy with myself and happy with my kids.

And I know I make mistakes.

And most likely I will know it when I do make a mistake. Telling me I am not a “good” mother for whatever reason will only make my life dark. I choose to ignore the hostile comments and focus on the love I have for my children.

I am new to the blogging world and I love it! But everything I say in my blog is my opinion and it is about things that work for my family. In no way do I expect what I say or do to work perfectly for another mother. But I do hope to share a laugh or encourage another mother. And I hope I gain encouragement from other mom bloggers. There is no reason to share hate or hostility.

I long for a community of women who listen, discuss and encourage each other. We are all humans raising humans and I love and respect the challenge and joy that comes with that.

And to all you mothers, you are doing a great job!

Vegan Brownies

Some friends came over this weekend and made these vegan brownies from literally a can of beans and a brownie mix.

They are so good!

We are not vegan but I don’t really want to make regular brownies again. They are fluffy and cake like. And oh so easy!

How to make them:

1 brownie mix
1 can of black beans

Pour can of black beans (with water in it still) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add brownie mix to beans, mix. Pour batter into greased 13×9″ pan. Cook according to box instructions.

Yeah, that’s it.

You could make these anywhere you have a way to mash the beans and a heat source. I’m thinking brownies while camping, what do you think?