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Archive for the ‘Kid Stories’ Category

He asked me if he could help him wrap his presents for his brother and sister.  My youngest, my baby, now 7.  He is no longer a baby.  But sometimes even he will admit that he still needs his mommy.

He was intent on finding little boxes in which to put the presents before we wrapped them.  Decorative duct tape and a Lil’ Webkinz are too recognizable wrapped on their own.  So we found little boxes, the one for the Webkinz with a little plastic window where the baby seal could look out to surprise his brother when he opened it.  We got the paper, cut it to size, and began taping.  He broke the cheap 99c tape dispenser, looked up with surprise.  “It’s not a big deal, Lukey.”  A moment of relief, then a refocus on the task at hand.  I held the paper for him while he got a piece of the Scotch tape and carefully placed it on a wrapping paper seam.  His hand, still so small, so beautiful, acting in a moment of love and joy for his brother and sister.  It touched my spirit in a way I just didn’t expect in that moment, and it’s still bringing peace to my heart.

His sister loved her duct tape, and his brother gave a big smile and a Jake sized-laugh when he saw the baby seal poking his little face out.  And it was beautiful.  And it was Christmas.

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My youngest made a Thanksgiving card for Cory and me.  The message contained within said, “Daddy, thank you for making me breakfast every morning.  Mommy, even though I don’t see you much, I still love you.”

Heartbreaking, because it’s true.

I’m in school full-time.  I’m working a job I love full-time.  Just over a year ago, I was doing neither.  I was home full-time.  I was mommying full-time.  I was available to the kids full-time.  I’m not anymore.

I don’t have to be working or going back to school.  I do love what I’m learning in school.  I think that this degree, hand-in-hand with the job I’m working, could really lead to a career that I love, that I’m good at, that makes me a better person.  I want to be a better person for me, for my family, for my friends, for my community, for my world.  I want that.  And, most of the time, I’m confident that this is worth it.

Sometimes, today, through the eyes of my youngest, I’m not so sure.

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So, a year ago today I was still technically a SAHM.  I was volunteering at a teen homeless shelter, an agency of which I knew I always wanted to be a part even though I’d never stepped foot inside.  I spent most of my days taking the kids to school, then headed to the gym for a run or a swim, trying to prepare for my first triathlon.

Fast forward one year.  I’ve completed three triathlons, and a half-marathon.  I am going to school full-time.  And still doing the wife/mommy gig, the most important gig in my life. 🙂

I’ve also begun working at that agency that I’d admired for so long.  Full-time.  And today we begin a new venture in that agency.  I was and am privileged to be a part of a new team hired to bring this project to fruition from the ground up.  It has been a growing, exciting, hopeful, and stressful process.  I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process, and a lot about my co-workers.  And, more importantly, how we, with our differences, can feed off of each other to make a great team.  I think we’re getting there.

Today is the first day that we’re opening our new program.  So excited.  A little stressful (remember, stress can be good stress, too!).  And, mostly, tons of hope for our new clients.

New ventures are exciting.  It’s going to take more balancing of all of these good things than I ever thought possible.  I, and my family, are still trying to figure this whole thing out.  I am amazed at how loving, supportive, and patient my husband and kids have been.  I am one lucky lady….

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I love journaling; I’m sure that’s why I started blogging.  I keep several journals.  One for each kid, from the time I knew I was pregnant with each of them.  (Sadly, much like their scrapbooks, the journal for the oldest is rather full, while the youngest just gets a sprinkling of an entry every now and again).  One personal, one dealing with weightloss (or lack thereof), one for things I’m praying about.

I think my latest, though, will be by far my favorite.  It’s a journal I’m keeping with my daughter.  I read the idea in a book about, shocker, journaling.  I decided it would be a nice new facet to our relationship, and it has been.  I also wanted to make sure that we started it while my daughter is still young enough that she doesn’t think I’m the world’s biggest drag.  I think we managed that.  My desire is that it becomes a place where we can share our thoughts, ideas, fears, hopes, joys, questions, and answers.  I want this to be to be a safe haven from judgment, disappointment, embarrassment, and insecurity.  I want us to share the moments of our lives that may be too fragile to speak aloud, but that still need to be expressed and experienced together.  I want her to know that there is always a safe place where we can meet.

Only a few months in, I already treasure it.

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“Mommy, in the summer we can use those water guns again!”  Luke spots the toys in the basement, where they hibernate through the long winter.

In his five year old reality, summer seems another lifetime away.  Outside, snowflakes are rapidly falling to the sidewalks.  He’s home from another grueling week of Kindergarten, already changed out of his uniform and into his jammies.  He sits at the table, sipping hot chocolate.  It’s a great day, because he gets marshmallows AND whipped cream.  Life doesn’t get much better.  In his eyes, these chilly days are far removed from the pool and suntanned days of summer.

For me, it will be like the blink of an eye until their little browned bodies are running barefoot through the grass.  Just a quick flip of the calendar, and we’ll be seeing swimming lessons and days dedicated to the splashpark  littering the schedule.    Boots will be packed away, and socks will be forgotten for a season.  Bring out the Crocs and the flip-flops and we’ll all be ready to go.

Mommy time is so much different than kid time.  I sometimes feel like their birthdays come around weekly, and the time between Christmases seems to be only a matter of a few months.  Everyone told us that their growing up would fly by; told us until we were about to lose our patience hearing it.  Really, how many times can you politely smile at the same inane statement?  We knew it would be true; we know it has been true.  And yet, the reality of it seems to almost defy the laws of chronology.

So, in what will feel like a breath to me, and a lifetime to him, my little boy will trade his snowsuit and gloves for swimtrunks and goggles.  We’ll have a spring, summer and fall full of new friends, new activities, and far too many photos than the kids will ever want to entertain.  And a year from now, with the snowflakes falling and the cocoa steaming, I’ll wonder again, “How in the world has another year gone by?”

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Okay, nothing major here, just a tip on getting your kids to eat veggies.

We’ve started Crunch Contests with the kids when we serve raw carrot sticks.  Sounds basic and maybe dull?  I didn’t realize how much they would get into it!  And, we make them eat everything else on their plates before they can participate in the contest, so we get all the other nutrients in as well (AND we don’t spend forever at the table waiting for them to finish their supper!).

What are your tricks for getting kids to eat and enjoy the veggies?

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So, I’m eating a chicken leg and my four year old starts looking at me curiously.

Me: “What?”

Luke: “Is that a chicken finger?”

Me: “No.”

Luke: “Is that a, um…………….one of those things that you get at the pizza place?”

Me: “A chicken wing?”

Luke: “Yes. ”

Me: “No.”

(Now I’m the one with the confused look on my face.)

Luke: “Is it kinda like a chicken wing?”

Me: “ummmmm….kinda…..”

It’s a sad day when you realize the only parts of the chicken that your child can identify are the wing, finger, and nugget.

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