Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To Be Honest...

Emily Confession:

So, I know I put on a very good show, but the honest truth is that I am not nearly as awesome of a mom as I thought I would be. I'm not saying I'm terrible, I'm just saying that I am not nearly as good as I thought I would be before I had kids. Seriously, I was the perfect mother, until I actually became one.

I think my kids know well that I love them, and want to do my best by them. But I also know that there is disappointment every day...every single day...in some event/sutuation/interaction for me. I loose patience when I don't think I should, or I want to check email when all they want is my attention. Maybe I put them off while I wash dishes, telling them that I will be there soon to play...all the while knowing that my hope is that they will end up playing something on their own and not wanting me anymore.

I'm not a terrible person or a bad mother, but as I am working through this year, the last one with Ben not being away from me more than he is with me on weekdays, I am struggling with staying focused on enjoying this time in my life and their lives. After this year, "real" school starts, and things will change. I waited my whole life to be an at-home mom, and now I really battle with enjoying each day for what it brings, rather than getting it over with so I can get them to bed and have some time to myself and finish the chores!

I will say though that I have been trying to work hard on this during the past few months, and have been feeling really good about how I am doing. My children are amazing, so that helps:). And, tonight, I stumbled upon a paragraph in some stranger's blog that just stopped me in my tracks and seemed to sum up everything that I have been thinking/feeling in my parenting lately.

From: mamabirth.blogspot.com, here it is:

"Yes, your hands are full. No you can not afford them. Yes, you sometimes mix up their names. This is not actually an indicator that you have trudged too far down the path of insanity. It is just LIFE. And life can be hard, but children are still awesome. You see the beautiful moments, where everybody gets along and where there is just a touch of the divine in your home."

Truly, those beautiful moments, the ones that only I see because I am the at-home mom...are honestly SO SO touched with the Divine. My heart almost bursts with the joy and the peace that I am honored to see and to be a part of...you know, during 1% of my day. Now the other 99%...well, we're working on that :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Boy!

Well, it's here...my tiny baby is now a 5-year-old!! Unbelievable.

In some ways, it has not sunk in at all. He can't possibly be 5. And in other ways, it's hard to believe that he was recently just 4...he's been so big and smart and awesome for so long.

It has been really amazing to see his development lately. The last few months have been good for him. For a while there, he was growing a lot emotionally, which was good, but also made him prone to tantrums, demands, and melt-downs, and left me walking on egg shells a bit...always trying to give him just the right amount of warning before any possible battle that might set him off...especially about things like getting dressed in the morning, or stopping a highly preferred activity.

But thankfully we have survived this round of development, and have moved on to better days with MUCH greater independence, a generally easy going and wonderful temperament, and with so many new strengths and skills popping out every day. 3 months ago, I couldn't imagine him being able to handle Kindergarten next year, and now I can't believe we still have 9 months to go until he starts. (Though I intend to do my very best to enjoy every bit of the next 9 months!!)

He is zipping his own jacket now, brushing and flossing his own teeth (though we still do a follow up just to be sure), dressing himself well, (when I don't get all cranky-mama on him and just do it for him to get it over with more quickly...bad mama!!), recognizing letters and numbers very well, reading a variety of early sight words (Ben, mama, dada, nana, molly, zoo, and a bunch of other ones that he knows from preschool activities), counting as high as he can (which, oddly, varies from day to day!), and even working out some early adding and subtracting of numbers. Really, the number thing has just been in the last week or two. But it is so wonderful to see him work out all these preacademic skills, and to grow more confident as a mom that next year will be well for him. He rides a bike with training wheels well, and rides a balance bike well, too. I don't think it will be much longer before the training wheels are off. He also learned to pump his feet on the swing to swing himself, though that was back in summer.

One thing we have been doing more of is playing games together, like Candyland and Hi Ho Cherry Oh. He is really enjoying the game aspect of it, though I do have to share one sweet story. I realized recently that he likes to win, but he doesn't like me to loose. If it is a close race to the finish, he is fine with winning, but if the color cards just aren't falling my way on Candyland, and he is WAY ahead of me, he will start saying things like "Oh, Mom, that blue card means you get to have an extra turn...I read it in the rules." So sweet and empathetic for such a young guy!!

He has also been really introspective about Christmas gifts this year. He has been questioning me a lot recently as to why Santa doesn't always bring you exactly what you say you want...why it's not a "place an order" kind of deal. And then this week, he told me that he had decided to not ask Santa for anything specific. He said that he would just let Santa decide what he thinks Ben's gift should be, and then Ben would be happy with that, instead of wishing it was something else! Such an awesome kid!

I will post some recent pics/birthday pics as soon as I get them uploaded, but in the mean time, here are 2 pics I have been meaning to post since August.

Ben's first day of preschool this year.

Monday, November 8, 2010


We had a pleasant Halloween here this year. Nothing too fancy. To be honest, I think we were all still coming down from the excitement of a wonderful family wedding (Uncle Marty and Aunt Aubrey) the weekend before, so we weren't up for much.

Plus, we just aren't one of those families that "does" Halloween. Great example: when it came to picking costumes, here is what transpired:

Approximately 20 minutes before it was time to trick-or-treat, I dragged our box of dress up clothes out to the living room, dumped them out, and asked the kids to pick what they wanted to be. B deliberated for about 4 minutes, torn between the Thomas outfit he ultimately chose, a Bob the Builder costume he wore 2 years ago and also to his preschool party this week, and the fire fighter costume he wore last year. M deliberated for about 3 seconds and decided to be the "fancy princess", complete with wand and high heels. Costumes for 2010...done!

We headed out with Granny, Grandpa, and cousin Jacob and another friend of Jacob's in tow, made our way up and down the block, and headed home. Trick-or-treating for 2010...done!

The kids dug into their candy, easily finishing off 1/2 that night...eating a lot, and giving a lot to Jacob and his friend in a fantastic spur-of-the-moment game called "throw the chocolate at the 12-yr-olds and watch them fight over it!!". The rest was gone within 2 days, continuing my belief in letting the kids have at it for a few days and then just being done with it all, rather than a 2- or 3-peice at a time sugar drip that lasts for weeks or months. Candy for 2010...done!

All in all it was a great year:) One of these days we will have the kids plan out their costumes and order them in advance, but at 4 and 2, it's nice to still be keeping it simple. Enjoy the pics!

Happy family with our awesome pumpkin carved by Daddy and our decorative squashes grown by Aunt Riri, Uncle Curt, and Cousin Anna!

The lovely "fancy princess" in her heels. She was SO mad when I insisted that she had to put on real shoes for the actual trick-or-treating! She almost decided to not go at all she was so mad! But she brings up a good point...what kind of fancy princess goes out in tennis shoes??!!

A handsome train! To be honest, I was a bit surprised that he never wanted to be Thomas before this year. My mom got him this costume months ago, and I thought for sure he would insist on this one only...rather than deliberate for a whole 4 minutes! But to be honest, he likes Thomas enough...but REAL trains...now that is where it is at!

Sweet kids!

Molly loved watching Daddy and helping him work on the pumpkin.

Sweet Daddy and Kids!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Oh blogworld...where to start!?? I have been gone for so long! New fall schedules, many singing gigs, a temporary second part-time-job, and a camera lost for 6 weeks have all conspired to prohibit me from blogging lately. I'm so behind that I'm not sure where to start.

Rather than jump in to the 304,239,301 stories I want to tell, I guess I will start with one new skill that Mister B has picked up.

He's been growing "up" so much lately. Really developing many school and early reading skills. Lots of letter and sound reading, and lots of good emotional growing too. He's gotten his "bravery" up a lot these days...which is what we call any time that he has to do something he is nervous or scared to do. Hopefully I can go in to more stories later, but to start, here is his newest development.

Yep, that's right. When he's hungry, he can feed himself! It's so sweet when he decides that it is time for him to take lunch-matters into his own hands. We will be playing, and he will get hungry. I might offer an apple as a snack, and he will think about it for a moment, then his face will light up and he will announce, "I know! I'll make myself a sandwich!" He'll tromp off to the kitchen and take care of business. So industrious!