Tags: Children, Creativity, Curiosity, Family, Fun, Growing Up, Kids, Perspectives, Photography, Summer
“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
F is “for everything Thy goodness sends.” See more F’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Beach, Children, Family, Life, Photography, Sand, Sea, Travel, Vacation
“Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our lips, and showered salt rain upon us.” — Charles Dickens
When’s the last time you felt that lovely salty rain? Where’s the oddest place you found sand? And what’s the best treasure you brought home?
S is for sea and sand and shells. See more S’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Career, Children, Creativity, Family, Humor, Motherhood, Multitasking, Resume, Siblings
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
- 7+ years of experience growing, birthing, and raising children.
- Expertise in multi-tasking, resource allocation, conflict management, customer service, program development, scheduling, chauffeuring, and train-track assembly.
- Successfully completes numerous tasks simultaneously, including talking on the phone, digging a red Matchbox car out of my purse, wiping someone’s nose, and cutting off sandwich crusts (after washing my hands, of course).
- Arbitrates disputes over who ate whose Cheerios, who squished whose roly poly, who isn’t sharing the paper-towel-tube telescope, and who pulled the dog’s ear first.
- Teaches manners to otherwise caveman-like children who resist learning to pee in the potty, share their toys, and color on the paper (and only the paper).
- Utilizes educational resources including television, computers, and video games to prepare children for school.
- Possesses uncanny knack for knowing location of missing household items including left red rainboot, yellow cupcake eraser, favorite stuffed bunny, froggy sippy cup, and library book due tomorrow.
- Treats boo-boos from keeto bites and cat scratches to goose eggs and stubbed pinky toes.
- Manages four laundry baskets, three toilets, 56 markers, 56 marker lids, and one husband.
- Able to overcome a variety of obstacles, including sleep deprivation, wasp nests, and refusals to eat broccoli or anything green for that matter.
AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Clean floors if you don’t look too closely.
- Record WWF score once of 114 points for the word “zouk,” obtained while children were feeding Play-Doh pizza to the dog.
- Children who sleep through the night in their own beds. Mostly.
- Recipient of lifetime supply of rainbow drawings.
- Pediatrician’s 24-hour nurse hotline, 2006 to present.
- Google, 2006 to present.
- My Little Pony Online Resource Guide, 2010 to present.
Are you hiring? What skills are on your mothering resume? And would you like to be paid in Cookies & Creme Hershey Kisses, too?
I is for “I’m an innovator in my industry.” See more I’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Balls, Braids, Children, Family, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Summer, Tires
“If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life.” — Barbara Kingsolver
What makes your life sweet? What’s your favorite Barbara Kingsolver book? And what fancy hair trick (à la French braids) can you do?
D is for dreams. See more Ds at Jenny’s.
Tags: Bag, Children, Humor, Inventory, Kids, Motherhood, Multitasking, Parenting, Purse
I got a new bag. It’s big. It’s cute. And it was on sale!
It’s the kind of bag that looks like it might hold exciting things like designer lip gloss, breath mints in a fancy silver tin, an iPad, or a chic planner with entries like “Mani/Pedi” and “Drinks with J.”
But no. Not my bag. While stylish on the outside, inside it’s all business. Okay, it’s mostly business with a smidgen of chaos. Because my bag is a mom bag.
Here’s an inventory:
- 1 cloth sunglasses case with green marker stain (and, surprise, the sunglasses are actually inside!)
- 1 brown paper bag snagged from restaurant in case my sick child needs to puke in the car
- Girl’s size 6X red sweater
- Craft store flyer and coupon (Bonus: coupon not expired)
- Receipt from recent merchandise return stapled to original receipt stapled to temporary store membership card because real membership card is … not in bag
- Wallet (whose contents include a Romanian bus ticket, the Clean 15 list, a dental floss coupon, and a heaven-sent Starbucks gift card)
- 2 bottles hand sanitizer
- Tissues (unused, I think)
- Shout wipes (unused, I think)
- Fancy bottle of sunscreen from infamous weekend in Florence
- 3 tubes chapstick (Carmex, Blistex, and cherry-flavored)
- 1 large package baby wipes
- 1 pair 3T Thomas the Tank Engine undies
- 1 pair 3T Batman undies
- 1 set of instructions for a “Kids Herb Planter”
- 3 packages fruit snacks
- 1 empty fruit snack wrapper
- 3 pieces Super Bubble gum
- 1 rubber duckie
- 2 reusable grocery bags
- More keys
- Orange emergency whistle
- 3 Wendy’s coupons that expire tomorrow
- 1 “Best Smiles Dental” pen
- 1 rusted penny from the playground
- 1 rusted washer from the playground
- 1 cell phone, 14 Words with Friends games in progress, 20% of battery remaining
- 1 Sleeping Beauty cell phone with 3 dead AG13 batteries (Note to self: find and purchase AG13 batteries)
- 1 library book (Bonus: not overdue)
- 1 Sheriff Woody toy hat
- 1 green bouncy ball
- 1 Blue Bell ice cream lid
What’s in your bag? A puke bag? Thomas undies? Expired coupons? Rusted washers? And what else??
Tags: Camping, Children, Family, Fun, Kids, Motherhood, Nature, Outdoors, Photography
“Camping: The art of getting closer to nature while getting farther away from the nearest cold beverage, hot shower and flush toilet.” — Unknown
Camping is a mixed bag for me. Or should I say, a mixed sleeping bag?
I don’t like bugs. Or sweat. Or dirt. Or marshmallows. But my family does. So I go. Twice a year, as per a verbal agreement between my husband and me, I drag myself into the woods, along with three kids, a gigantic dog, an even more gigantic tent, sleeping bags, air mattresses, firewood, s’more fixin’s, peanut butter and jelly fixin’s, water shoes for 5, hiking shoes for 5, stuffed animals for way more than 5, camp dishes and utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, a hefty supply of hand sanitizer, and a thousand other things.
We spend the weekend killing mosquitoes, peeing in bushes, toasting droopy hamburger buns over a campfire that blows smoke in our faces, and getting dirt wedged semi-permanently into our fingernails and toenails. But we also fall asleep to a cricket concert and wake up to an avian serenade. We pick dandelions and track ladybugs. And with sticky, grape-juice-colored fingers, we steer matchbox cars through sand pits and stick tunnels.
So I go. And it’s worth it. Despite the 27 loads of burr-laden laundry that always come home with us.
Does your family camp? Got any favorite ghost stories? And marshmallows — yea or nay?
“X” is for miXed bag … See more Xs at Jenny’s on Thursday.
Tags: Bunnies, Children, Chocolate, Easter, Eggs, Family, Holidays, Humor, Kids, Siblings
March madness? At our house, it doesn’t involve basketballs or brackets or neon yellow sneakers. It’s all about the eggs. And the chocolate. And making sure your siblings don’t get one more string of crinkly fake grass than you in their baskets. Not to mention jelly beans.
The hunt for eggs is mostly complete before Mommy drags herself out of bed toward the gleeful shrieks coming from downstairs.
The dog finds eggs, too. And eats them. This does not turn out well later.
Small children devouring chocolate bunnies results in sticky fingers, chins, cheeks, eyebrows, elbows, nostrils, knees, toes, and ear lobes.
As if more sugar was needed, there is syrup for dinner. Oh, and, bunny-shaped pancakes.
But … No yucky black-licorice jelly beans enter the premises under any circumstances.
Three sets of small fingers search all baskets a minimum of seven times to ensure that tribute has been distributed equally.
The cat protests the bunny ears forced on his head by eating some faux purple fur.
No one falls asleep until at least two hours after bedtime. And, somehow, there is no leftover Easter candy for Mommy and Daddy to sneak.
If I get to the grocery store early enough Monday morning, there are always a few teeny-tiny bags of heaven-sent Cadbury mini-eggs hidden behind the giant generic chocolate coins on clearance.
And that one last dyed egg? Will just not be found.
What signals Easter at your house? How do your pets involve themselves in the celebration? And where did you find that last egg?
Tags: Batman, Boys, Children, Family, Flags, History, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Travel
“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.” — Lorraine Hansberry
What historical sites (like Fort Sumter in 1, 2, and 4 above) give you pause? Are the clover blooming where you are? And why is it that a Batman shirt makes almost everything better?
“Q” is for all quiet … See more Qs at Jenny’s.
Tags: Children, Family, Fun, Holidays, Kids, Love, Perspectives, Photography, Play, Valentine
“Who, being loved, is poor?” — Oscar Wilde
Who makes you feel rich? Are you raising a tree-climber? And do you have the peel-off backs to those foam heart stickers littering your kitchen floor, too??
“L” is for love … See more Ls at Jenny’s.
Tags: Balance, Birthday, Children, Family, Motherhood, Multitasking, Parenting, Personal, Perspectives, Relationships
In exactly two months, I’ll be 35.
If I’m lucky, I still have half of my life to live. And if I’m not so lucky … well, I have less.
What have I done with the time that’s gone? What haven’t I done? What do I want from the time that remains?
I have no idea. And no time to contemplate it between the loads of laundry, the sticky breakfast dishes, the cat puke, the potty training, the freelance work, the sleep I’m not getting, the calories I’m not burning, the endless piles of toys, and the downloaded movie queue I’ll never, ever make it through.
Or maybe I should put it this way. We have clothes to wear, meals to eat, and dishes to eat them on. We have healthy pets and healthy kids. We have work that pays the bills. We have more fun ways to spend our free time than we have actual free time. We have each other, and we are lucky. I am lucky.
But I still can’t ignore this emotional tug to take stock and re-prioritize, to dig around in my mental sandbox and see what’s buried in there. Won’t that ultimately make me better? A better woman, a better mother, a better partner, a better person?
Too many days, I feel myself bracing for the chaos and noise and dirty socks I know are coming. I wish for something to be different, but I’m not sure what. Or how. Or even why I want something to change.
Because I am lucky. I am. I know this.
Like the plastic gold coins my boys just unearthed in the playroom, my own treasures are already within reach.
How do you make time for a little honest-to-goodness soul-searching? What helps remind you that you’re lucky? And what’s been recently rediscovered in your family’s playroom?