Signs of Spring for Parents

spring, parenting, mommy blog, parenting blog, motherhood

It starts with mud. It’s caked three inches thick under your children’s rubber boots and all over their good shoes too. And they will fall in a pile of it at least once.

Then it’s the battle of the sand. You contend with sandy shoes, socks and toes. You try to add a foot bath to the bedtime routine but usually forget and shrug it off.

Grass stain removal re-enters your laundry routine.

The kids want to be outside all the time and really so do you. You let them stay up later hoping that the fresh air and exercise will knock ‘em out at bedtime.

The robins are waking your children up at the crack of dawn (which is getting earlier and earlier) and you don’t want to start your day any sooner than necessary. You consider white noise machines, switching bedrooms and hacking bushes outside your house. You wonder if a fake owl or hawk would do the trick.

You’re sick of homework. You have been diligent with the school routine for six months and you’re about ready to break some rules. Instead of haranguing your children into completing their homework, you just do it for them (with sloppy printing) and let them loose in the backyard.

A few months ago you signed up your children for outdoor sports thinking of how good it would be for them. But now you realized you paid hundreds of dollars to hustle double-time during the week and get eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Dandelion bouquets once again brighten your kitchen table.

You think they termed spring cleaning wrong. Spring cleaning is not onetime overhaul. Oh, no. It is a daily chore with mud in your entrances and dry grass sprinkled throughout your house like New Year’s confetti.

When your children show an interest in plants and gardening you want to cultivate their curiosity so you plant some indoor seedlings. You do your best remember to water them once in a while. But they die. When it’s time to plant them in the garden you have to borrow from Grandma’s hearty stock. Thank goodness Grandmas share.

mommy bog, parenting, parenting blog, spring, child watering garden

You have to remind your kids of forgotten house rules: no soccer balls in the living room, no bugs in the bedrooms and no rock collections in the kitchen (even if they are really, really pretty).

Spring doesn’t require warm comfort food. In fact, you look forward to serving quick and simple dinners. Hello submarine sandwiches with veggie sticks. Goodbye stew and shepherd’s pie.

There is both winter gear and summer gear in your closet because the weather changes more often than a 3-year-old girl. You have to be prepared for anything during this seasonal transition. One week the kids need hats and mitts in the morning and the next they get a sunburn. You just can’t win.

And that’s not all. Your children will soon need summer clothes. You tally your options: go shopping, let skinny pants become skinny capris, or grab the scissors and transform the all pants into shorts.

Those robins are singing earlier now! Just because the days are longer doesn’t mean your family can function with less sleep. You wonder if it’s humane to scare robins with a sling shot. Should you research this, or just make your call?

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4 Birthdays and a Funeral

parenting, parenting blog, mommy blog,birthday partings, mourning

Spring. The transformation of our world. Signs of hope and life after a long and dreary winter.

Spring. The season of birthdays in our family.

My youngest is the locomotive of this party train. This year we celebrated her day with a big tea party. Since pink is her color, we had pink tea, pink hats, pink tissue balls, pink toe nails, and her most adamant request – a chocolate cake (with pink sprinkles).

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This Is Motherhood

mommy blog, humor, reflect, life with kids, mom in toddler bed, reading to kid, real life

It’s a constant game of lost and found. You lose library books, sippy cups, sweaters and socks. Then you find baby dolls tucked under your covers, get well cards on your nightstand after your nap, your lost keys in a play purse. Every day you lose some and find some.

It is exhaustion and interrupted sleep for as far as I can see. Even after the baby phase there are nightmares, habitual waking, early mornings, sicknesses, etc. When I was a new mom I met some parents of teenagers and they were complaining of picking up their son from a party after midnight. All I could say was, “So you’re still not sleeping through the night?” They laughed, perhaps at my naivety.

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A superb summer

Since my eldest daughter entered into the educational regime, our lives are structured by the school calendar. We have to plan around Stat holidays, PD days and vacation times officiated by the office.

When summer finally rolled around this year, I was ready. During the last two months I had enough of school and was dreading the humdrum of homework and last minute special projects. Summer was calling my name.

My generous mother-in-law invited me and the girls to stay with her on Vancouver Island, which is basically one of the most beautiful locations in Canada. I took up her offer like a drowning sailor grabs onto a lifeline. YES! I’ll BE RIGHT THERE!

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Go West, Young Lady, Go West

young child on ferry mountian scenery

It took a week of packing and two days of driving, but we did it. The girls and I have relocated for a few weeks to Vancouver Island. My mother-in-law moved out here this winter and after setting up her apartment promptly bought bedding for us. She was beckoning and I was hungry for a change – change of scenery, change of pace.

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This Girl’s Life on Cloud Nine

Happy Girl In Ukrainian costume

My daughter, Nene, turned six this spring. And her birthday landed between her younger sister’s two surgeries. Needless to say, while being stressed and preoccupied my husband and I neglected our eldest child.

But we saw it. We saw Nene’s confidence drop. We saw her struggle with minor tiffs at school. We saw her overreact and lash out. We saw her craving our attention and acting out to get it.

We saw her hurting.

And it hurt us.

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Living in the red zone

Gauges to tell us how something is running or functioning. The tell-tale needle points to numbers or colors that indicate: good, warning or danger.

Generally I’ve been cruising along life in the safe zone. I’ve had a health scare myself, but it was quickly caught and corrected. My husband has gotten ill, but never life-threatening. And up until recently my children have had no major issues.

In the last two and a half months I’ve been in the red zone four times. And now I feel that I’m settling in the yellow zone because Nono hasn’t had a perfect recovery.

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Book Reviews for June 2016

Devouring reading material has been my passion since junior high when I read through every Nancy Drew I could get my hands on. (A new girl scoffed at me, but I didn’t care.) In high school I read mostly novels and my favorite that I can remember to this day was White Oleander.  College opened my eyes to more genres and that’s when I found my favorite – creative nonfiction. Truth really is stranger than fiction and I love a real story that is told with creativity and skill.

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The Winding Road to Recovery Post-Op

child sleeping in hosptial bed

I’ll be honest. When I saw my 3-year-old fresh out of surgery being rolled to her room, I was scared  to touch her and apprehensive to talk to her. She was as fragile as a flower petal and I didn’t want to hurt her and didn’t know what to say.  Her tiny body just had a big surgery. She was groggy, sad, hurting and full of tubes. It was 11 p.m. and we were in for a rough night.

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