One thing that brought joy to my 9 year old son before school starts

There’s a lot changing this school year. We will start school all online and it’s going to take a lot of getting used to. We aren’t sure what the day will look like, how we will manage work and school, and where we are all going to zoom at the same time.

Anxiety is building a bit with my grade schoolers, my 9yo son in particular. He’s worried he won’t wake up in time for class because our schedule has been so off this summer (mom-fail on keeping that sweet, sweet 9pm bedtime).

So we talked about a strategy to help him wake up in time. It included getting him an alarm clock that projects the time onto the ceiling so he can easily see it in the dark.

After I set it up I brought him into his room and shut the door with the lights off and you’d have thought it was his birthday! Big smile on his face and doing a happy dance. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. Now I kind of want one.

The strategy is:

  • Figure out how much sleep he needs (borrowed mom’s fitbit for that one)
  • Set our wake-up time
  • Count backward to figure out what time we need to go to bed to get enough sleep
  • Go to bed at that time (thank you projection alarm clock!)
  • Set alarm for wake-up, just in case

It’s simple and seems to be making him feel better. We’ll have a lot of challenges this year. For now I was happy to help put a smile on his face.

Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

Life is not a montage

I feel like I’m waiting for the musical interlude and for my life to magically change before my eyes.  That’s the way movies tell me that change happens.  But, of course, in my mind I know that is not true.  Wha?!?!?!

In face, change is PAINFULLY slow sometimes.  Other times, I mull over something for a long time and then change feels really fast but, in fact, I have to account for the mulling time.  I actually love it when this happens, though, because it usually feels really right.

I have to make my own montage.  It’s not going to be nearly as sexy or quick as what I’d see in a movie but I will know the change is happening.  That is what creates the calm inside of me.

My first big goal is to become a minimalist.  I have been reading this and this and I have been observing my life and realizing that I am never going to feel like I have space in my life for the truly important things until I clear out the extra clutter in my house.

I have two kids, I work full time, my husband works full time, and we spend our entire weekend cleaning and purchasing stuff for the next week.  At night we cook and clean and sleep.  We might even squeeze in something extra if all goes well with bedtime.

I don’t want to end up watching my kids move out of the house and realize I wasted all that time with them trying to simply keep up with everyday life.  I’d love a part-time job and I will be working toward that.  In the meantime, I will be clearing out the clutter.  I’m hopeful that some of the things I learn in these books and from observing my kids and my life will click for me.  My hope is that it begins to affect other areas of my life and help me feel more calm.

We shall see…

Wise words for parents and beyond


I remember watching Celebrity Rehab (yes, I watch all rehab and addiction shows…it’s an addiction…DOH!) and Dr. Drew said that addicts who have neglectful parents often do better at rehab and are more likely to kick the habit than addicts with helicopter parents.  This really shocked me!  It didn’t make a lot of sense until I heard some very wise words from a very wise woman…

Continue reading

The Sweetest Boy and a New Business!


So I’m trying to start a business selling on Etsy and at local craft fairs.  I have wanted to do this for some time and I am hopeful I can learn enough to grow a business into a full time gig.  And I’m happy to say that I have finally begun!

I posted some bracelets that I make on Etsy and tonight I made soy candles!

I am feeling proud and excited and scared all at the same time.  So many worries but so much opportunity.

The very best part, though, was after I finished making the candles (flavored vanilla) my son gave me two high fives and a big kiss and came to look at my candles (he was very impressed).  Then my husband took him to bed and on the way I heard him sniff the air and say “Those candles are very yummy yummy in my tummy”.

My heart be still.

I love that kid.

Blurry weekend, and not in the good way


We had quite a weekend.  Having two kids is a wonderful experience, and the hardest thing I have ever done!  We have been having some sleep issues and this weekend was no exception.

I got into work this morning in a haze and it reminded me of an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Lilly and Marshall are delirious from the new baby and everything looks and sounds like it’s happening under water.  That is exactly how I feel today!  I remember laughing pretty hard during the episode and the relief that washed over me to see an accurate portrayal of this cloudy feeling.

As a result I searched the interwebs found some pretty staggering statistics about sleep and parenting:

  • New parents lose 44 DAYS of sleep in the first year of a child’s life (that’s 44×24 hours=1056 HOURS)
  • Parents get just 5.1 hours of sleep per night in their first year
  • Surveyed mothers survive on an average of just three-and-a-half hours’ sleep a night for the first four months of their baby’s life
  • Half the surveyed mothers said that the sleeplessness had caused fights with their partners
  • 83% of new mothers surveyed said that sheer fatigue put them off sex

This all feels true.

What’s amazing is that as hard as it all is, I can and am doing it.  I would have never predicted that I would react this way when I had kids.  I thought the husband would do most of the work but it turns out, I am stronger and more resilient than I realized.  And actually, those middle of the night moments can be really special and bonding.  After working and being in daycare all day, sometimes it’s what we both need.  I mean, I’d like the sleep and we both need that, too, but the middle of the night is what I tend to remember most about babyhood.

In the end, I’m learning a lot about myself, and growing into a parent.  And someone who drinks a lot of coffee.

Can any parents out there relate?!


PS If you really want a good laugh, Google ‘mom multitasking’

Motherhood Monday – Sibling debacles and great site!


We’ve been having a little trouble in our household with pushing and hitting.  After this past weekend I decided to start the Google search to see how we can handle it better.

I love the internet when it comes to parenting, there are some wonderful experts out there that help me learn how to do things in a new way that help me stay true to who I WANT to be as a parent 🙂

In my search I found this great site that has all kinds of videos with topics of every kind. They are all really insightful and short enough for parents with little kids.

I was able to get some perspective on the issue and help in elevating my thought process in handling these sibling issues.

Two experts I love already are  Shefali Tsabary, PhD and  Gila Brown, MA.  They give me hope that I can be the parent I want to be.

Luckily my kids also really love each other so I have no doubt this stage will pass, but I’d like to do it with some grace!

On a fun note, have you seen Hank Azaria’s web series about parenting?  I love it.  Here is a funny (and informative!) video about toddler sharing.

Toddler Tantrum Part II: What do I actually do and say?


I read somewhere that we send a message at least ten times a day that our toddler’s emotions are not okay with us.  Whether it be offering a cookie when they get upset or asking them to be quiet or relax.  Once I started thinking about it I realized I do it all the time.  I made a commitment to notice and try to allow my toddler to feel his full range of emotions, no matter how uncomfortable for me!  Read on to see how I do it.   Continue reading

Toddler Tantrum Part 1: What does he need from me?


We’ve been going through a lot of transition lately and it’s been really tough for my toddler (he’s a month and a half away from three years old).  This is such a tough age because there is no reasoning with them, they are a walking ball of emotion.  Mostly it’s sweet, kissy, cuddly emotion but when it goes bad, it goes really bad.

The hubby and I were really confused and unsure of how to handle it, not to mention frustrated and at our wit’s end.  So this is what we did…  Continue reading