Safe place...

Nov 20, 2019

Max is our adventurous child.  But the perfect sort of adventurous, the kind that wants to sit on your lap while trying a new food, or explores new experiences with excited trepidation but only if it falls within the current set of rules.  He doesn't dart in the street to feel the rush of playing human frogger, or stick gum from under the table into his mouth to test his immunities.  He trusts his gut, is always two steps away from a handhold and and one step away from adventure.

But the most unique part about Maxwell is his straight up fear of being embarrassed.  He is willing to try anything but not at the risk of breaking rules or being laughed at.  He is shy and sensitive but not in a way that is obvious.  He doesn't cling to my leg from fear, but hesitantly explores, and then lets the emotions wash over him.  He likes to know what is expected of him, and to realize that he did something wrong gives him a sense of unease. 

Chris found the picture below the other day and reminded me of how when Max was reprimanded as a toddler, he would run to the closest shower and cry.  EVERY SINGLE TIME.  The shower was his safe space.

Max still needs a safe space, and yesterday when his face fell and I knew the tears were coming, I followed him up the stairs and handed him his current comfort item, as he calmly and gently repeated on loop "I don't need you right now", I gave him a hug, walked away, and told him I would be there if he did.  I think sometimes this is all I can do, even if I am inclined to be a hover parent and take irrational steps to avoid seeing my kids cry, possibly to the detriment of creating better human beings, I will always be their safe place if and when their first choice fails.

Bounce house, pinatas, and cake...

Nov 12, 2019

The makings of a perfect birthday party.   This is the second year planning a co-birthday party for Dominic and his cousin Miles and there is no one I would rather plan a party with than my sister-in-law. We are always synchronized in our desire to make a two hour span of time that is fun for kids with the smallest amount of effort from the adults, and thanks to the perpetual sunshine of Southern California, the mess can be somewhat contained outside.

Happy birthday boys. We love you.

We recently made the decision to turn this previous formal dining room into a play room, and I am obsessed with the versatility of this space.  Can't wait to watch the kids continue to play here for years to come.

Halloween 2019...

Nov 5, 2019

Another year in the books.  This year we had a Pokemon Trainer, a Pikachu, and Mal (from Decendents 3). 

Found this comment in the archives...

Oct 18, 2019

My Granny was born in 1918 and unfortunately passed just months shy of her 100th birthday, she was 92 when she typed this message into a comment box, probably crossing her fingers and more likely saying a prayer that it would be received by it's intended recipient, this blog.   The life altering moments she experienced in her time on Earth were abundant.  All that was tangibly left behind are the black and white photos of her life, vinyl records of her playing violin, and tapes filled with her stories.  Those, and this comment above, a time stamp of one of the many inventions she had to conquer.  My Granny's love language was leaving notes, and this among many others will forever be cherished.

Anxious mom...

Oct 16, 2019

This little dude is gone three days a week.  I have started working those days, and as much as I dreamed about skipping out of daily piles of laundry and constant "watch this" requests, I miss being a stay at home mom.  I miss being able to pin point exactly where every fit is coming from and what triggers every emotion, I miss being able to describe the personalities of my kids to the very last word that came out of their mouths.  I feel like every day away is a day that they slip further into themselves, a beautiful thing when you are not the anxious mother on the other side.  

Playing hooky...

Oct 1, 2019

Our kids have been battling the back to school, every day sports/extracurricular activities, late night, early morning, fatigue.  Along with a rotating everlasting cold and numerous cough induced family wide wake up calls, we were generally not getting along.  So last Friday at the end of another long week and a very late bed time, Chris and I decided to let the kids sleep in and surprise them with a day off from all necessary duties.   They all slept an hour past the normal time we begrudgingly shake them awake and convince them it is worth getting up for another day.   Which tells me that their little bodies needed the rest. Scarlett woke up wondering why it was 7:30, Dominic woke up oblivious to the fact that it was Friday, and Max was just happy it was his weekend.

I informed them that we were skipping school and going to Knotts Berry Farm.  And so we did, and it was the perfect reset for our family.  If you can believe it, Scarlett actually laughed and showed happy emotion, not woe is me emotion.  And she said it was the best day ever.  So parenting win.  It was so refreshing to see my kids be kids.

It is so easy to get caught up in the "we must" and "we have to" part of life, and unfortunately, I am the biggest enforcer of these statements in our home.  I can get so fixated on "but your teacher says" and "our duties are", and equate the kids lack of desire to perfectly perform insignificant menial tasks, as failure.   Thankfully Chris is the exact counter to this insecure part of my parenting.  He reminds me what is important, and the perfectly performing child isn't it.  But a happy, well rounded child definitely is.  So step one to resetting my mindset and remembering that my kids are still kids, be okay with playing hooky (and chose a theme park that has literally NO LINES).

Box houses...

Sep 27, 2019

Harvest festival time of year...

Sep 25, 2019

I still have a long way to go before I forget how wonderful it was to associate fall activities with hot chocolate, scarves, warm cinnamon apple donuts, muddy rain boots, and wheelbarrows full of assorted freshly picked pumpkins. 

I know I won't get to experience changing leaves or desire a hot pumpkin spice anything for another two months at best, but I did enjoy wearing a weather inappropriate pair of overalls and flannel while sweating myself silly and pretending it's fall at the kids annual harvest festival last week.  At least I looked like I belonged at a PNW pumpkin patch and my kids had fun.  Win, win