Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lucky Lady & Bath Stuff

"If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love,
you have to find the courage to live it." -Anonymous

I rushed to catch an early train home from work last night so I could do something I've been wanting to do for a while--give my kids a Sensory Bath. 

(I know--some of you are wondering what the heck that is. I first discovered this idea on this cool mama's blog and she continues to inspire me with all of her fun themes for bath time.) 

My kids watched in eager anticipation while Kathleen and I filled the tub with green-colored water and hung the decor. 

Yep, it was a St. Patty's Day themed Sensory Bath (you know how I heart the holidays). 
The kids were completely enthralled. They loved playing in the green water and with the green Legos, foam numbers and letters. 
The bath was scented with fresh gardenia essential oil so the kids smelled delicious well after bath time. 
 (The fun Lucky printable is from here.)
The plan was to have a bath full of balloons but, I had a hard time finding green balloons in the city and the ones we had in our craft drawer weren't the greatest. So, we planned a very special surprise with the one balloon that was cooperative.
I kept building up the excitement for what was inside of the balloon until Hunter couldn't take it anymore.
We had some small scissors and asked him to help us cut it open for the big reveal but he was a little nervous it might make a big Pop sound so he asked Dave to do it. 
(He's covering his ears in anticipation.)
As you can see, it was balloon-excitement-gone-awry. The water and blue coloring filled balloon which was intended to magically turn the bath a beautiful teal color exploded shooting blue everywhere.
(Uh, "A" for effort right?!)
 Regardless of the mess, the water did turn out beautiful and the kids had a blast. (So much so that after threatening at least 45 times that they'd have to get out of the bath if they kept splashing, we finally followed through. We hear this "consistency" thing is important in parenting.)
 After bath we got our PJ's on and finally decided to wear our multiple Mardi Gras beads (thank you Suzanne!) that were somehow frightening in the bath tub yet not outside of it.
Yeah, the kids were pretty darn happy.
In its own special way, the bath was a little magical. A nice way to introduce a new holiday to my kids. 

The magic; however, wore off around 3 a.m. this morning when Little Miss had some bad dreams and refused to go back to sleep without Mommy holding her. After fighting it for almost two hours, we finally brought her in bed with us. 

I didn't sleep much after that but, as she snuggled close to me she smelled of sweet gardenias and I realized that I'd better treasure this moment because one day I know that, given the choice, I will give anything to trade a night of sleep for a baby nestled under my arm.

Dave woke up early to run and sweetly made me coffee and eggs before he left. He also prepared breakfast for the kids so I wouldn't have to worry about it and for that I'm grateful.

After he left I snuck back up to our room to work on the blog when I heard a sweet little voice asking, "Hunter? Hunter?". I turned around to see this.
We did our good morning hugs and our ritual of looking out the window to see what the day is going to bring. That is when I got a glimpse of her hair. 
No wonder they warn against babies sleeping on adult pillows. Frightening!

Soon big brother was up, so we ate breakfast, tamed the monster hair and watched an episode of Veggie Tales before heading to the Y with Daddy to play basketball.

We have more fun plans for the weekend and knowing that spring is almost in our grasp makes it that much more exciting. 

I smile when I think about flowers, warmer days, a new baby and dyeing Easter eggs. Yeah, although lacking sleep, I'm one lucky lady. 

I need to admit though....I do like the idea of green shamrocks and finding gold at the end of rainbows but, I don't believe in luck. Not even in the slightest. I believe in being blessed and in a God who delivers situations and experiences that don't just happen by chance but by choice. 

Our days are often made up of what would seem not-so-lucky but, even given those busted-balloon type of times in life, if you wait out the fulmination, it nearly always gives way to beauty.
"Nothing happens by chance, my friend...No such thing as luck.
A meaning behind every little thing, and such a meaning behind this. 
Part for you, part for me, may not see it all real clear right now, 
but we will, before long."
-Richard Bach

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

22 Months & Marbles to Spare

Do you ever have those moments of feeling that you might just not be cut out to be a mother or everyone else seems to have this parenthood thing figured out but you? 

This past week I've been having those moments. (Please tell me I'm not the only one!)  I've even questioned how I'm going to handle having three when, lately, my first two seem too much to wrangle. 
I often wonder how many of us moms feel this way. Questioning our competency, comparing ourselves to other mothers we see in the outside world and trying to hold everything together while carefully teetering between keeping a balance to the scales or slipping and seeing everything fall to the floor. 

I don't think anyone can appreciate how hard parenting is until they experience it first hand. Parenting continues to teach me lessons that I never could have learned from even the best of Ivy League schools. 
No matter how frustrated some moments or days become, I know that it is my job to be the parent. It is my responsibility to set the example because my kids, after all, are fragile tiny souls that crave direction, boundaries and the need to know they are loved regardless of how they act. 
And, just when I feel that I'm not up-to-par or I see someone else who obviously has it together because their kids seem to be perfect, the tide changes and I see the fruits of my parenting labor rise to the occasion. 

Dave has been taking the kids to the museum a lot lately and Hunter is drawn to the media room. He enjoys getting on stage, throwing his hands up and announcing to all of the other kids what they will be doing for the next song. 
I can't help but laugh because, YES! That's my son and he's gonna be a leader.

Although often defiant with me, those leadership skills are going to be what makes him say "no" when all of the other kids are saying yes. 
I had just finished telling a friend that Emerson has a much shorter attention span than big brother and I often find it challenging to find activities to keep her interested. 

When she woke up from a nap this week, I had an activity laid out that was intended for Hunter. Emerson showed an interest in it so I modeled how you used a spoon to move one marble at a time from the container to the cup. 
She played this activity for a rock solid hour. 
Sister proved me wrong. 
Anyone that knows me well knows that I'm an avid reader and especially of parenting books. 

Although I garner a tremendous amount of information from these so-called experts in the world of parenting, I know that its just not so black-and-white. 

Parenting, as with many other things in life, is gray. There are many days that we will question our ability in this role in life; however, there will also be days that we are confident we've got it all figured out. 

Just like my girl knows she indeed does have a long attention span, its just Mommy who needs to get onboard with just what it is that makes her little girl tick.....Such as, wearing big girl pants and strutting her stuff because she is about to be two.
(Sissy "tap dancing" like Tilly in her favorite video.)
The marble activity continued to play out long through the week but, as with most things in life, she eventually tired of it and moved on to something else. 
It was a constant reminder that the role of parenthood is an ever-evolving process. Just as our kids continue to learn and change, so do we. 

And, you know what? No one has it all figured out. Even the wisest of parents will tell you, if they're honest, that they made mistakes and lots of them.
But they'll also say that its through those mistakes that the best lessons were learned. 
"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives you the test first, 
the lesson afterwards."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

We've been keeping the last couple of days full of baking, making and fun...

 1) Water Sensory Box for scooping, pouring and playing.
2) Cupid's Toast - Cinnamon toast sprinkled with love.
3) Marian and I hosted our first Parents' Night Out for the kids' school. We had a great turnout and it was tons of fun. I even snuck in a date night dinner with Dave beforehand. 
 4) After church we found Hunter playing with a microphone loudly announcing, "I want to make a difference! I want to make a difference!" (Not sure where he learned that but go brother!)
 5) After church we baked cupcakes and Hunter was excited to play Sioux chef. 
He also had the chance to use the mixer for the first time. He was a little nervous at first but, after watching me do it for a little he jumped right in.
 6) Since the cupcakes wouldn't be done until after bath, we opted to have shaving cream cupcakes instead.
 ...combined with a bubble bath, it was the ideal decadent treat.
 7) The next day our Super Sitter decorated cupcakes with the kids. 
 I felt the need to taste test one that night and it was definitely delish.
 8) Today we went to the Valentine's Day Party at school where we ate red and pink cookies with loads of sprinkles, our mini cupcakes and, another favorite, flat pretzels. Afterwards we traded Valentines with our friends and went home to rest. 
Debra and her girls are stopping by for our regular play date and then Daddy is coming home early for our special Valentine's dinner. Although I'd like to say it will be a meal made up of pomegranate marinated pork chops and spinach, I am playing the pregnancy card tonight and we're having breakfast for dinner--egg and sausage casserole. We may even have a side of pancakes....Until then, hope your day is wrapped up tight with loved ones!
(Inspired from this awesome mama's blog)
Thanks Uncle Joshie and Kathleen for helping us make our V-day cards happen! We love you both!

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