Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's the Little Things

This morning my newly 4-year-old little boy extended a very special invitation to me.

 "Mommy, can you watch George with me?"

Curious George is his absolute favorite thing to watch in the world. That 30 minutes of Curious George is also when this mama knows she can get the morning routine finished without any little buddy interruptions.

 But this time I stopped to think...pretty soon he will grow out of wanting to snuggle with his mama on the couch. He will also grow out of the unbridled joy he gets watching a curious monkey, not unlike himself, finding all kinds of adventures.

"Sure buddy," I said.

 I put down the lunch supplies, grabbed his fluffy zebra blanket, and there we sat all cozy and tuned into George together.

 If it's the little things that mean a lot, than this morning's mommy/boy time ranks at the top. And these sweet times will only last a little while longer. Today, I chose to cherish this gift of time and opportunity with my baby boy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Father's Love

My mind drifts back to a time as a little girl following my dad around the yard. 

He would sit me up on the porch, or a fence post, or in his workshop in the barn and let me ask him as many questions as possible.  As I thought of new topics, I would also watch him plant his garden, work on the flowers, or fix his cars.  It was good to be a daddy's girl on Pleasant Lane.

One day, as a five-year-old in pigtails, I heard something clink on the sidewalk.  Dad picked up a gold coin and exclaimed that my fairy godmother must have dropped it.  Suspicion ran though my mind, but also a colorful imagination couldn't help but figure my fairy godmother was somewhere hiding behind the dandelions.

As I grew older, my dad continued to answer my questions about the world.  He would tell me I could do or be anything I wanted to be.  His faith in me was something that held to me and pushed me when others doubted.  His voice always gently nudging me towards my potential.

On this Father's Day,  I am thankful to have a father who loves me and always wants the best for me.  I wish everyone could have a dad like mine.  Happy Father's Day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Backyard Campfire Makes For Dinner & Fun

My boys love the outdoors and what boy doesn't love fire?  This weekend we worked hard in the yard clearing brush and trees.

The benefactors of all the labor turned out to be three little boys who enjoyed roasting dinner in the embers of our labor.

A backyard campfire is an easy thing to do and can help kids reconnect to nature while enjoying some campsite cooking and fun. 

If you don't have room for a campfire, a portable fire pit will work as well.  This is an activity that requires strict supervision and lots of ground rules, but the set up and safety preparation are worth it when you see smiles and kiddo satisfaction of making their own dinners.

Dinner preparation is easy with what we call the Hobo Dinner.

This link will show you how easy it is to prepare the dinner in foil and the kids love to custom make their own dinner in the foil pockets.  Just make sure you have heavy duty foil available or double wrap the foil packet.

Our favorite thing to do is write our initials on the packet in mustard. It is the little things you know..

For more great outdoor play ideas visit our friends over at the Active Kid's Club.  It is a wonderful site full of inspiring and engaging activities for little and big kids to have more fun in nature.  

See you outside,

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Heart Shaped Box

I remember one Valentine's Day, my dad coming home from work.

From behind his back he presents to me the most beautiful heart shaped box.
Striped red and gold with a lovely bow and filled with chocolates.

Eight years old, I can still remember my excitement when opening my beautiful Valentine. 

That heart shaped box is still with me, filled with post cards now, tucked away in my attic.

It is one of my favorite memories of Feb 14th.

Happy Valentine's Day.

"Fathers be good to your daughters, daughters will love like you do"
Lyrics by John Mayer- "Daughters"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Myrtle My Turtle Mommy!

No big boys.  Just me and the little one on a morning exploration this week.

We get to partake in some of my little guy's favorite activities, but the treat really is being an only child, even if only for a few hours.

A stop off at Chick-Fil-A for his favorite snack: hash browns, bagel with cream cheese, and a fruit cup.

He asks for ice cream.  I answer back that it is still a little early.  He calls his hash browns chicken nuggets.  I guess they sort of look like them...

We go to his favorite toy store Science Safari, a locally owned toy store that offers educational toys, science classes, and features some exotic creatures.

There's Iggy the iguana, a python, a corn snake, chinchillas, and Myrtle the turtle.  My two year old really loves that turtle.
He watches Myrtle with gleaming eyes and a curious stare and says, "Wook at it mommy.  It wook at me.  It has long neck.  It wuvs me mommy."

"Mommy turtle go home with me.  I buy turtle"  He looked at me as if surely I could make this happen.

"No turtle stays here."  I say. "Myrtle lives here.  She wouldn't be happy at our house."  I hoped he would care about Myrtle's personal happiness more than his own.  One can always hope.

"No, no, no... turtle wook at me, turtle love me, turtle go home with me!"

And with that he put his little head down on the rail of Myrtle's pen.  He looked up at me with these sad eyes and the beginning of a tear glimmering in the corner.

Boy, he's good.

I try to convince him that we can come back and visit Myrtle later.

"Myrtle my turtle. Myrtle is my turtle!"

I sigh that really tired sigh.  Huhhh...  Patience is coming hard and I'm eyeballing the door and planning our daring escape wondering if I should pick him up with the football hold or two hand cradle, and then...

 I see it, Silly Putty.

"Look at the egg, it's Silly Putty!" I exclaim holding up the red plastic egg, as if it is the best thing since sliced bread or yellow belly slider turtles.

He comes closer and eyes the egg and looks up at me and starts grinning and says, "Illy Putty, Illy Putty, my Illy Putty!"

And with that Elvis leaves the building under his own will, but now I have "Illy Putty" stuck to the car seat, but it has to be better than leaving with a turtle who probably will out live me.

Small sacrifices.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Princess Mommy

I must admit, I have become my mother's daughter.

Countless years spent teasing my sweet mama about her almost religious weekly hair appointments, and now, I too look forward to my time in the chair.

When hair is new and then...all is right with the world?  Well, at least all is right with mommy.

She feels just a little bit better, more refreshed.

Sound shallow?  Surely not.

This trip to my hairdresser and friend Emily's chair resulted in fun, yet fleeting curls.

Princess hair that as a mom of boys, you really appreciate having, since there really isn't a prom night or a gala ball in sight.

When I came home with my red carpet worthy doo my boys just stared at me with looks that said, "What the heck?"

But once they got used to it, they gave it a thumbs up.  My 5-year-old even said, "I like your springy boingy hair mama."

My oldest said, "You do not look like my mommy, but cool."

So for a night, I had Hollywood hair.  I will never be able to replicate this, but for a moment, just like Cinderella, I enjoyed my starlet hair.

Once midnight came (actually this Cinderella made it more 11:00'ish) the curls had to compete with the pull and gravity of my pillow against my temporary lovely locks. 

It's the little girlie things like this that keep us boy mamas running with some pink and polka dots.

A great reminder to enjoy the little things and savor being a girl even when you are surrounded by mud pies, shovels, and wiggly worms.  Maybe I can use those mud pies as part of some new facial treatment?  Hmmm? 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Broccoli and Red Cabbage: Super Food Spotlight

Oh, broccoli and red cabbage...I hardly knew thee.

I know that you are both healthy and good for us, but research puts you in a super food group that hails you as potent cancer fighters and curers of other ailments, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure.


Why am I contemplating this on a Friday afternoon, well...I happened to have some broccoli and red cabbage sitting in the fridge and thought it might make good complements to my omelet.

I'm also on a Fitness Challenge with my college friends and mama needs to make up for a little pizza we had last night. Ah hem..

While searching for recipes, I ran across some interesting pages that talked about the cancer fighting and other health benefits of these two fabulous veggies.

According to research broccoli has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer fighting immune boosting properties