Raising Tots

5 Ways to (Survive) Love My Crazy Boy

My intent today was to write up my thoughts about sleep patterns or potty training with Colt.  Living with this toddler boy is chaotic…and I adore him…. #AdoredChaos at it’s best! However….. moms, do you feel me here? I don’t understand how to parent this boy!  I love him to the depths of my core! I had a dream that we had this cute little blonde boy running around long before I was ever pregnant.  But now, he’s here.  And we are Not. Alike…..

The energy level- I get.
The temper- I get.

But WHAT do I do with it? How do I parent it?  I’m searching, today’s best resource- Pinterest!,- parenting books, blogs, podcasts…. and I’m not going to pretend to be an expert.  I’m another mom, living through this phase just like the other moms next to me.

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In My Soul

Choose Joy…& Butter Pecan IceCream

Psalm 126:5-6

“Those who sow with tears will reap songs of joy.  Those who go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, will return with songs of joy”

When I was a little girl, I’d spend a week during the summer with my grandparents.  We’d play mini golf followed by a visit to Friendly’s where I’d get a Smiley Face Clown Sundae.  Every night we’d play games of cards or dominos and enjoy a bowl of ice cream.  We’d spend a day or two at the Jersey Shore and have…ice cream (and these tasty cream cakes that I still associate with sand and sun!)  Those memories bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

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Monthly Pinterest Post

Do you Pinterest?

I love pinning on Pinterest but like many of you I find myself pinning more than I DO.  When I was pregnant and couldn’t sleep, and nursing and couldn’t go back to sleep after waking up, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest.  It was good anxiety therapy for me too!  Now, I probably use it most for recipes– Crockpot Recipes, let’s get real.  Cooking isn’t my jam! What I DON’T use it for is feeling bad about myself or less than perfect.  Who has time for that?!  It’s just a fun place to steal other people’s creative and yummy ideas!

To make the most of this obsession, I’ve decided once a month to put into action one of my pins and I’ll share it here with you.  I’d love to see what you use it for too!  And if you want to follow my boards, come along with me!

Since Crockpot is where it’s at in my home, especially in the Winter, I’m going to share a favorite go-to pin as my 1st post.  I’ve not yet tried the making a million meals ahead to have in my freezer, but I have lots of those too- but I couldn’t live without my crockpot.

This post is in thanks to Julies Eats and Treats and her delicious Crockpot Hamburger & Wild Rice Casserole.  Healthy and something my whole family enjoys eating. (I have no affiliation with Julie or her blog, but it looks like there’s lots of good stuff there!)

If you decide to try it, will you share in the comments?  What do you like to do from Pinterest…besides scroll on your phone at 2am and pin!?


A Stealth Attack on Laundry

Laundry thinks it can get the best of us right? It’s never ending, it grows and grows—and it’s everywhere!  **Really—the basket is RIGHT THERE!**  I hear women all the  time dreading laundry.  I’ve had mentors who have outsourced laundry to be done because they have better things to do with their time, and THEY. HATE. IT. THAT. MUCH.  But for those of us who have to do it ourselves, I have a plan of attack I’d love to share with you!

The 1st time I got married I was 19—what? Yes.  Not even 20.  I thought I knew everything, but I was just a kid.  My Mother-In-Law (ex now I guess) is one of the most organized people you could EVER meet!  She’d come to visit and my fridge would be clean and alphabetized, same with the pantry, new décor would be rearranged or added to rooms, we’d shop for clothes and she taught me the value of spending a little more for quality that would last longer.  I really learned a lot from her.

But one of the best home tricks she ever taught me was how to manage laundry.  From sorting, to stains to a system, I loved how easy she made it seem.  She couldn’t and wouldn’t start a load unless she knew she’d be home to pull it out right away when the dryer went off.  Brilliant!  I clearly remember being out and she’d be calling home to see who might be there to pull out the laundry!  Now, with a young toddler boy who’s into EVERYTHING…and I clearly can’t take my eyes off for 2 minutes (See other posts on this…) I can’t always be there right when it goes off.  But when I CAN—I’m there! Armed and ready to attack!   (Also, when I can’t, I’m thankful I have this awesome steam, fluff setting!!)

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In My Soul, Raising Teens

The Hardest Journey

We’re moving.

Those can be tough words to hear; from your parents as a child, from a great friend who lives close by—and especially when it’s your daughter’s Dad.  Moving.  Change…. “Status quo is easy, but change brings many concerns.”

That was last November.  He had accepted a job and was moving closer to that location.  Wow.  Ok.  Although we have co-parented as long as Kai can even remember, for 10 years he has lived near my home.  Commuting with her was easy, attending sporting and school events was easy, forgetting something at one house or the other was no big deal.  This felt heavy.

For a year, she remained with me primarily & we worked it out…but communication began to deteriorate from what it had been and she was feeling more and more in the middle.  Honestly, some of that feeling was also coming with the territory of becoming a young adult, wanting to make more of her own decisions, but not knowing how to “choose”.  Emotions escalated as talk of High School became more and more common.  Maybe it’s not this way by you, but here- and because she attends a charter school- everyone asks “Where is (your kid) going to high school?  And Kai & I could never answer.  Where was she going to go?

If you had asked me a year ago if she would possibly move and go to high school primarily living with her dad, I’d have said NO WAY.  I can’t let that happen.  It’s not fair.  Her whole life is here.  I’m not the one who moved. (and possibly a laundry list of other reasons).  If you’d asked me 6 months ago, I’d said the same.  If you’d asked me 3 months ago, I’d have told you we were figuring that out through the court system now.  It was too big to handle and decide on our own.

So we started the process.  Mediation was needed.  Fighting had begun- we BOTH love her so much and want her to be with us.  But what’s best for HER?  People would ask me “Well, what does she want? Certainly she doesn’t want to move.” And to be honest, I didn’t want her to have to choose.  This is an adult decision that her adolescent heart isn’t capable of handling.  So her voice was heard, her thoughts were listened to, and as an adult I made my lists.  Lawyers were hired, appointments were made, and the process began.

Round one was UGLY.  UGLY.  I hear stories of worse—I can’t even imagine.  And those poor children.  Kids are perceptive so Kai certainly wasn’t immune to what was going on around her, but she was kept on the outskirts of “the middle”.  I was adamant, the schools were better here, I’d lived in my home with her longer, her whole tribe is here.  No way was she going to move.

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In My Soul

Solitude: From grief to a place of peace

My days can feel like chaos- sometimes in the craziness (pee on the carpet- again?), plans that don’t flow like I wrote out in my planner, or simply just how I FEEL that day- escaping for some time of rejuvenation and quiet is important.

One spring day in 1999 I hopped off a plane, my 1st time to California, and my trip didn’t start out quite as I’d imagined.  Instead of driving along the coastline or walking along a beach, I found myself at a pizza joint learning about a business opportunity from a college student named Katie.  She and I would later become great friends although her business savvy was much richer than mine, she would stand with me as a new Mom to Kai, I would stand by her in her wedding with many more moments in between and we would keep in touch even though a giant ocean and several states now separate us.  Little did I know 18 years ago, that Katie’s future mountain ranch would be a place of peace, quiet and healing for me.

God’s beauty is evident wherever you find yourself.  Just stop, look up, look down, look around—but when you are in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, you don’t have to look hard… you are surrounded by his magnificent creation!  Katie’s deck looks out on land sloping down a mountain side.  All day, cross country skiers, snowshoers and snow bikers went by.  From the moment I woke as the sun was creeping up behind the mountain tops, to the setting into darkness, I couldn’t stop looking out the giant picture windows, just taking it all in.  Soft tears flowed down my cheeks as soft snow fell in the early morning. My heart is hurting, my emotions are raw- and I sit wondering which stage of grief I’m in?

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