Five beautiful lullabies you probably don’t know…but you should

If you're tired of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, check out these 5 beautiful songs that will send your little ones off to sleep with wonderful dreams. Bedtime is one of my favorite times of day. Yes, partly because I know I’m finally about to have a little time to myself, but also because it’s when my crazy wild boys finally slow down, snuggle close to me, and let me sing my favorite lullabies to them. Continue reading

Getting on his level: a behavior experiment

Getting on His Level: A Behavior Experiment...Or, what I learned when I started looking in my son's eyesIt happens every day: I ask my three-year-old to get his shoes, and he’s too lost in a world of car-eating dinosaurs to even notice me. I repeat myself louder, from across the room as I’m trying to wrestle a sweatshirt over his little brother’s head so we can rush off to…wherever. I refill their water bottles and am slipping my own shoes on as I realize Little Man is still sprawled out on the family room floor, playing away. Continue reading

Hazard lights & realizing you’re not alone

Car Dashboard copyLast Friday, I completely lost it. Not the yelling-like-a-maniac-over-spilled-milk lost it, but the collapse-on-the-floor-and-cry kind of lost it.

It started out with a simple plan to go to the store to pick up some chocolate for an at-home date with my favorite man. He’s been facing some crazy deadlines at work so we haven’t had a lot of time together lately, and I wanted to make the weekend count–to have some real quality time together. So, I got the kids bundled, grabbed the diaper bag, found the keys, got everyone buckled in, and turned on the car. Continue reading

The best toy I ever gave my kids

The Best Toy I Ever Gave My Kids...sometimes all you need is the wide world and your imaginationI stood on the edge of Walden Pond, watching my boys play. We’d spent a long day touring around Revolutionary War sites nearby, and the boys were thrilled to stop for a bit and have some freedom to run and explore. Continue reading

It’s okay to be a tortoise

It's Okay to be a Tortoise copy

I’m a list-maker.  To me, there is something triumphant about sliding a pencil across an item on my to-do list, marking my accomplishment.

“I am productive!” I yell (internally, of course, because it’s nap time and I am NOT risking waking up my children and ruining my productivity).

I’ve always been a task-oriented person. It’s important to me to feel like I’m making progress each day…contributing to the world in some way. And one of the biggest adjustments to motherhood for me has been Continue reading

How I won the “mom guilt” battle with myself

 

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Several years ago I made a decision that changed the way I think about my daily choices.

I banned one word from my vocabulary: SHOULD.

It’s a simple word. Most people use it frequently: I should call so-and-so. I should do laundry. I should exercise more.

So why did I get rid of it? For me, “should” is a dangerous word. Should carries a negative connotation that makes me immediately feel guilty for not innately wanting to do something I “should” do, or for not feeling a way that I “should” feel. Continue reading

Speaking to kids: watching what we say & how we say it

Words and Atom Bombs copy

I’ve always known that words have power. Power to weave vivid stories that set my imagination afire, to cut my soul deeper than any knife, to bring hope when I sit in darkness. As a writer, I’m always seeking for the most accurate words, the ones that really communicate the abstract ideas swimming in my mind.

As a mother, I’ve found that the words I speak to my children have power to shape their actions and their perceptions of themselves. Both what I say and how I phrase things make a difference in how my children respond. Continue reading

Save the world and get your kids to clean…a win-win scenario

Cleaning Up & Save the World 2 (720)Kids love to play. Play = messes. And that’s okay with me. Messes mean that my boys are busy exploring, building, growing, and otherwise doing exactly what I want them to be doing. But they also seem to be naturally much better at getting everything out than they are at putting it away again. Continue reading

Why I buy almost everything for my kids second-hand

I’m a penny-pincher. When I was little, every week I went through the Sunday paper and clipped coupons for my mom. Now that I’m grown up and running a household of my own, I have become acutely aware of how much it costs to keep everyone fed and clothed. I almost switched to cloth diapering (not really, but the thought crossed my mind) when I calculated how much diapers for two kids was going to cost per year. Kids are expensive, so anywhere I can save money and not lose quality, I try to do so. Continue reading

Three lessons re-learned this Christmas

Christmas has come and gone this year, and we had a wonderful holiday. We kept the celebration small this year, and I was grateful for that. Last year, we had 25 people in our house for Christmas dinner (pretty much my husband’s entire side of the family), which was wonderful, but total chaos, too. I loved having a small group of just six this year. I even got to take a nap in the afternoon (which pretty much never happens).

As I’ve thought back about Christmas this year, I’ve realized a few things–successes and failures on my part–that I hope I will remember in the future. Continue reading