Tags: Books, Cats, Children, Kids, Photography, Play, Rain, Summer
“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James
D is for downpour and distraction and delightful. See more D’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Autumn, Children, Fall, Halloween, Kids, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Pumpkins
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot
Are you wedded to autumn like Eliot (and me) or to another season? Have you made your annual pumpkin-patch pilgrimage yet? Are your Halloween costumes ready to go??
W is for wheeeeee! and wonderstruck and wedded to autumn. See more W’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Birthday, Children, Creativity, Daughters, Growing Up, Milestones, Motherhood, Personal, Relationships
She’s been 7 for three days.
This girl, the one missing her front top teeth. The one who loves sequins almost as much as she loves rabbits. The one who graduated to chapter books when I wasn’t looking.
She roller skates. She backstrokes. She rides her bike, the one with the sparkly purple streamers, without training wheels.
She’s wise to this blog thing and suggested I write about “that funny growl Bun makes when he’s cranky, which is a lot, Mommy.”
She has a slight addiction to funny cat videos on YouTube.
She digs in the dirt. She makes her own mud. Her fingernails are a mess. She doesn’t care.
She does this thing now where she rolls her eyes and sighs when she’s exasperated. There’s usually an “aye yai yai” to go with it and, occasionally, a sassy hand-on-the-hip gesture.
She read a book on global warming this summer and decided to start an environmental club. There are 15 members and counting. So far, they’ve planted bean seeds, cleaned up the neighborhood park, and made nature collages. For the next meeting, she’s planning an autumn-focused sing-a-long and maybe some choreography.
She leaves me purple sticky notes on the kitchen counter with reminders like, “Please fix my bird’s wobbly beek” and “I prefer grape jelly for my luntch.”
When she grows up, she wants to run a store called Love Bunnies. She’s got a business plan partially drafted, complete with a social media component. She’ll sell real bunnies, stuffed bunnies, bunny clothes, bunny food, bunny snacks, bunny toys, and bunny bling. There may be a line of bunny ballet slippers. She will oversee things, and Giggles will be her minion. They are both okay with this arrangement.
Last week, she researched bats on the computer and wrote a nonfiction book about them because she had a little time before swim lessons. There may have been a glossary.
Last month, she got an award at school for, among other things, “general awesomeness.”
She’s 7. She’s amazing. And she’s mine.
I think I’ll celebrate with some choreography.
V is for she’s growing up so very fast, it’s giving me vertigo. See more V’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Balance, Children, Fun, Growing Up, Life, Motherhood, Perspectives, Photography, Play
“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” — Alexander Woollcott
Are the leaves and acorns falling off the trees where you are? What’s your learning-to-ride-a-bike story? And have you patted a fluffy bunny lately?
T is for truth and training wheels and tenderness. See more T’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: 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: Boredom, Bugs, Children, Growing Up, Heat, Motherhood, Play, Summer, Sun, Vacation
Three kids. One mom. One house. One week. Only 79 days of summer vacation to go. But who’s counting? (Me, me, me!)
Here’s a recap of our first week of vacation:
Trips to Target: 1
Scoops of ice cream: 13
Trips to splash park: 1
Goose eggs acquired at splash park: 1
Number of times swimsuits laundered: 5
Water-bottle refills: Oh, who can remember?
Containers of yogurt consumed: 19
Items lost: 1 dress, 1 hat, 1 stuffed bunny, 1 temporary tattoo
Items found: 1 jacket, 1 flag pin, 7 bottle caps
Books checked out from library: 15
Episodes of Curious George watched: I plead the 5th.
Lunches at Daddy’s office: 1
Tantrums while lunching at Daddy’s office: 4
Number of homemade muffins delivered to the fire station down the street: 23
Firehouse tours: 1
Ice-cream factory tours: 1
M&Ms smashed into ice-cream-factory floor: 7
Scraped knees: 5
Band-aids applied: 3
Summer reading logs in progress: 4
Tubes of sunscreen used: 1 1/2
Roly polies collected: 9
What’s your summer been like so far? Are the heat and the boredom crushing you, too? And how many roly polies are living in a jar on your coffee table?
C is for summer crush. See more Cs at Jenny’s.
Tags: Children, Clutter, Collecting, Collections, Curiosity, Kids, Motherhood, Parenting, Trash, Treasure
We collect things. (And by “we,” I mean everyone in my house under age 6.)
It borders on obsession. (And by “obsession,” I mean, well, obsession.)
Rocks. Sticks. Seeds. Acorns. Leaves. Pamphlets from the doctor’s office. Bits of ribbon. Bits of bark. Paper scraps. Glue-sticks lids. Old keys. Lollipop wrappers. Junk mail. Junk-mail envelopes. Broken pencils. Barbie hairbrushes. Pony hairbrushes. Full Tic Tac boxes. Empty Tic Tac boxes. Full Tic Tac boxes that mysteriously become empty Tic Tac boxes. Bouncy balls. Straws. Take-out menus. Subscription cards from inside magazines. Flower petals. Yogurt lids (washed, of course … okay, mostly washed). Found coins. Business cards. Buttons. Toilet-paper rolls. Little circles from inside the hole punch.
The kiddos collect by day. And I discard by night.
With secrecy, stealth, nonchalance, and not a single ounce of Mommy guilt. Because, otherwise, I would be overrun by detritus, miscellany, and things that decay.
Occasionally, my ever-zealous Giggles will find one of his treasures that I thought I had tucked out of sight in the recycle bin — the cellophane address window from the weed service advertisement, for example.
“Mooooooooooooooooom! I was saaaaaaaaaaaaaving this. It’s important! Who. Threw. It. Away??” His words flick through the air like darts.
I do what any self-respecting mother who values clutter-free space and aims to minimize the time she spends vacuuming each day. I lie.
“I have no idea, sweetheart.”
And after he’s in bed, I sneak in and tuck his animal blankie up around his chin. I put his favorite stuffed mouse on his pillow next to him. I brush the soft blond tendrils from his forehead.
And with one deft, nearly invisible swipe, I take his treasure from wherever he’s re-hidden it. And I throw it away. Again.
Because there’s more treasure waiting to be discovered tomorrow. And the next day … and the next day … and the next day …
Do you expect to see your kids on Hoarders one day? How do you handle “treasure”? And what did you collect as a child?
Z is for my zealous hoarders. See more Zs at Jenny’s on Thursday.
Tags: Challenges, Chaos, Children, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Multitasking, Parenting, Relationships, Sanity
It happens every day. At 2:42 p.m. Or thereabouts.
Mommy loses it.
It starts just after I pick up Lollipop from school. We pull into the driveway and tumble out of the car in various stages of undress. Because somebody couldn’t make it the three minutes home without shedding their socks. Or headband. Or pants.
We burst into the house like the prelude to a fireworks show. Pop! … Pop! … Pop! … Only instead of smoke and color, we leave behind backpacks and sticky lunchboxes. Torn wisps of a junk-mail envelope. Acorns. Shriveled dandelions. A collection of seeds and a few slimy tissues.
Then somebody wants a snack. Goldfish. No, Cheerios. No, goldfish and Cheerios. Not the Honey Nut kind, the other kind. In the green bowl. No, in the yellow bowl. The other yellow bowl.
Then somebody else wants goldfish and Cheerios and it’s not fair that he got them fiiiiiiiiiiiirst.
Then somebody needs a bottom wiped. Or a booger extricated. Or a mosquito bite calamined.
Or a Barbie dress buttoned.
Or a marble removed from a matchbox car.
Or a marker lid fished out of the dog water.
Or a sticker unstuck from the kitchen table.
Or a pencil sharpened.
Or the yucky brown spot cut off the banana.
Or some batteries replaced.
Or some pretend-cupcakes put in the real oven to pretend-cook.
Or a stamp for a letter that may or may not be a blank sheet of paper.
Or more goldfish and Cheerios in the yellow bowl (no, the other yellow bowl) that is now lodged under the couch. Between a giant dust bunny and the very last shred of my sanity.
And I invariably say something like, “Oh, for Pete’s sake, just go play outside!” Or “My ears can’t take it anymore!” Or “Mommy needs QUIET!” Or “Just go and watch TV and leave me ALONE for 5 minutes!”
And I think Did I really just order my children to watch television?
I hate that it comes to that. What’s more, I hate that it comes to that so often.
Tiny hands tugging on my shirt, always tugging.
Demands, some polite, yes. But some … not.
Shrill voices trying to out-shrill each other for my attention.
Tears. Fighting. Noise.
Laundry that’s fluffing. Again.
Dinner that’s half-cooked or over-cooked. Or PBJ … again.
Mommy who’s grumpy. Again.
By the time my husband walks in the door, I’m ready to lock myself in our dark closet and curl up with my son’s yellow blankie. I crave silence. Darkness. Sensory deprivation. Recharged batteries. Sanity.
Oh, sweet sanity.
Help Wanted: How do you negotiate the blessing that is a chaotic family? How do you keep a fingernail’s hold on inner peace? And how many times have you locked yourself in a dark, quiet room?
“W” is for Help Wanted … See more Ws at Jenny’s on Thursday.
Tags: Art, Children, Gardening, Kids, Motherhood, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Spring
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Live in the question.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
What questions are you living in? How important are the answers? And don’t you wish they made grown-up-sized rocking horses?
“U” is for unsolved … See more Us at Jenny’s.