Friday, December 30, 2011

Re-Creating Christmases Past

Christmas isn't really about the presents.  It's about re-creating Christmases past. Helping your children have that feeling of fun and excitement that lasts for a month. Creating traditions and memories. Here are some of ours that just make Christmas magical.
Making cinnamon rolls.  Thank you Mom for teaching us all how to make these and helping these yummy treats become one of our (and our neighbors and extended family members') traditions!

Gingerbread houses.  They may be a little smaller than we grew up making, but it's such a great tradition to load up on sugar and make these treats. Candy on the house, candy in my mouth, candy on the house...We love inviting friends over to make these with us.

Acting out the nativity scene while reading Luke 2. Dad was an angel, and the naked baby was a sheep.  I wanted him to be baby Jesus, but was told by our 6 yr old director and costumer that he would just get into everything.

Is there any better way to describe the exhaustion of Christmas night after a month of excitement?

What a great time of year for making memories!

Friday, December 23, 2011

To my single friends: The selfishness of motherhood

There is a misconception sometimes in my mind and other mothers that when you become a mother, you become instantly selfless.  It is definitely true that having a baby gets rid of some of your selfishness.  You can't worry about only yourself.  There's another little one relying on you and you frequently have to put your baby's needs before yourself.  But. There's still this reserve of selfishness.  I think we frequently save it to unwittingly display on our single or childless friends.

I was thinking about this as I've had the opportunity in the last month or so to spend some time with several of my single and/or childless friends.  The truth is that not all single people are selfish and not all mothers are selfless.  I find that when I'm chatting with some of these friends, they spend a lot more time asking me about my children and life than I spend asking them about their families and lives.  It's tempting to just go on and on about your own children. It can become a very unbalanced conversation/relationship.  Thank you to my single friends with whom I can hang out and not have it be all about my life or children.  You teach me much about the importance of  a 2 sided relationship and true selflessness!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Confidence in motherhoood

I have confidence in motherhood.  I don't remember when I arrived at this point, but I know it wasn't when I had my first baby.  I think that may have been one of the many reasons why I had such a hard time when I had my first child.  My confidence was shattered.  I was humbled.  I was so used to knowing what to do and how to do it, and it was extremely difficult to admit that in many ways I had no idea how to be a mom and take care of my new baby. 

I've probably mentioned this before, but some of the best parenting advice I ever received was from one of my sisters, who had 5 children already when I had my first.  She told me, "Trust your instincts.  You're the mom. You will know what's best for your child."  I had read too many books from "experts" and wanted them to tell me exactly what to do for my child.  I had to come to a point where I realized I could receive inspiration for my specific child, and that maybe my instincts would not agree with what a parenting book told me.

I look at new moms and see their fumbling with their babies and I can relate and also know that I have finally passed that stage. Every parent is different.  And every child is different.  It's wonderful to get to a point where you feel like you know how to care for your child specifically.  Not that there aren't those many moments of "I have no idea how to deal with this child." But there is a confidence that comes in knowing that you love your child and can care for them adequately. Let them bring on all their problems.  I'll do better than my best.  I have confidence in me.

Friday, December 9, 2011

You're my best friend

"You're my best friend, Mom."  "You're my best friend in the whole world, Dad."  Aren't these words you love to hear from one of your children.  Granted, it's from a 2 year old and sometimes her stuffed puppy is her "best friend ever". But still, it warms your heart to hear it.  Maybe I can remind her of this when she's a teenager and Mom and Dad don't seem like her best friends.  Even better, perhaps I can record it and play it in a repeating loop while she's sleeping after she reaches those teenage years.  I'll take it while I can.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I hate homework

I really don't like homework.  Never have.  Never will.  I was one of those kids who did their homework on the bus or in the hall before class (or during class).  It was one of the things I was happiest about when I had finally finished school.  Working full-time, I could come home at night and not have to worry about any homework, papers, projects, etc.

Enter kindergarten for child #1.  Homework begins again.  Granted, it's kindergarten, so it's not an overly large amount of homework.  But still.  It's homework.  Four days a week.  She's in kindergarten, so it's not like I can have her read the assignments herself and do it without any assistance.  And the homework can be fun for her with things like "write down your recipe for pancakes" as an activity for the letter "P". But it's still homework. 17 more years of this. I'm counting down.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Easily amused

My children are easily amused.  I wish you could better hear the sound in this video.  Did you know that if you attempt to inflate your belly button with a bike pump it makes a fart sound? How do they think of these things?
 I love this link that really explains how easily children are entertained. Once again, who needs video games or TV?