What no one told me

what no one tells you about your child growing up

You were born and I was a mother. I didn't fully understand that I had been a mom since the moment I saw two pink lines, that I was being handed 6 pounds 14 ounces of the most fierce kind of love. I didn't know breathing you in would soften the blow of 2 am feedings and 5 am mornings, that your gummy smile would cure a million hurts. And no one could explain the hum of bedtime stories and the clink of tiny snaps in the dryer, that giggles have their own color, their own shape. I didn't realize how many times I would re-stack a book shelf and cube cheese and cut off sandwich crusts, that I probably still do it in my sleep when you dream of a good book or midnight Continue Reading

A letter to a young mom

A letter to young moms

Dear Young Mom, I'm writing you because my oldest daughter will be 20 next week. This fact probably has you dropping me into the "as old as your parents" black hole but I'm you, just a decade or two away from where you are now. There is so much I have learned that I want to tell you and I hope it sounds like it's coming from the place it's intended, a place of understanding without a bit of judgement or an ounce of lecture. I'm sure you've had enough of that already. So here it goes... 1. You can do this. You can. It will not be easy and you will feel alone at a time when you should be surrounded by friends and parties and fun but you will make it. You might be trying to finish a paper Continue Reading

20 Lunch ideas for kids who don’t like sandwiches

20 lunch alternatives to sandwiches

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I don’t have to pack daily school lunches. It’s so freeing not having to make sure we’re stocked with bread and drink boxes Monday through Friday. Even though I’m not packing lunches all week long, we still have a day or two each week where the kids need to take a lunch somewhere for something, so I’m not completely off the hook. Two of my three little homeschoolers will not eat sandwiches so I’m always trying to come up with bread-free ways of packing them a decent meal. We’ve got enough things in rotation now that I’m pretty happy with our long list of non-sandwich substitutions and my kids generally only waste whatever veggies I try Continue Reading

Laugh for the lines

I like growing older

I have a confession. I like getting older. Like, have been waiting for it, will never complain about a birthday, like it. I became a mom very young and I spent years envying moms who were older than me, moms who were “supposed to be” moms. I envied how they knew exactly what they needed at the grocery store, how a waitress would look to them to rattle off the orders of the children filling a noisy table, how they were regarded in public, called Mrs. or Ma’am more often than Sweetie or Honey. Many years later, although I can’t say I’m a fan of “Ma’am” I appreciate every bit of the respect that comes with age. I am happy to not be dating or apartment hunting or job surfing. Continue Reading

10 Books to read this summer

10 books to read this summer

I've been reading like crazy this year, thus my rare appearances on the blog. I set a crazy goal on Goodreads for 2015 and I hate losing even in a race against myself so I'm going to read 50 books even if my whole summer is spent under the glow of my Kindle. That actually sounds like a dream summer but one I will not have until my kids can entertain themselves. I'm not yet halfway to my goal even though I should be because it's June. I have read some amazing books so far though and you must read them before the summer is over. Wherever you're heading before September take one or all of these with you. Hugo & Rose I fell in love with this author after I read one of her Continue Reading

When the big becomes small

how time changes your perspective on things

I took Sawyer for his Last Ice Cream of the Fives and while his feet dangled under our chairs at just the right height to repeatedly scrape my shins he asked the deep questions of an almost six year-old. When did you know I was in your belly? What was it like when I was in there? Did you know it was me? I told him about my intense love for processed cheese and root beer and my obsession with the home doppler that wasn't around for his siblings before him. Somewhere mid-sweet story I froze at the realization that I was looking back on my last pregnancy fondly. Never in a million sleepless pregnancy nights did I imagine myself sitting with a brown-headed boy, eyelashes tickling his Continue Reading

Tablet giveaway!

Kids learning tablet giveaway

A few months ago I wrote a post about the realities of homeschooling and now that the school year is almost over I'd like to amend my list to add about 300 more things. The first one on my new list would read something like "if you give your kids the laptop to play educational games, within 30 seconds they will be watching YouTube videos of adults making Frozen characters out of Play-doh while talking in ridiculous voices." I would love to tell you my children quietly attend to their school work while I bounce from child to child, patiently awaiting their next instructions. In reality, if I don't have my act together someone will start using flashcards to spell bodily functions while I'm Continue Reading

Building towers

Building children up

I didn't realize why Sawyer volunteered to go to the grocery store with me until we got to the check out. I was speed-unloading the cart when I looked up to see him building a tower of produce, soup cans and ice cream (in that order because tomatoes make the sturdiest tower base, I've heard). The week before I had taken Parker. He made a similar tower as the belt rolled towards the cashier but his seven year-old mind concocted something with cereal boxes at the bottom. His creation made it to the cashier before I could tell him not to make towers out of groceries, especially moving ones. The manager was one aisle away and came over, exclaiming over Parker's tower. "This is the coolest Continue Reading

Woven

In the beginning it was the minutes, the hours, the months. I tried to remember every detail, the weight of her in my arms, the almost-blue of her eyes, the shape of her eyelids as they closed. I felt panic rise as the days passed and memories blurred, I couldn’t forget a thing. She was my daughter. I wouldn’t. Repeating over and over in my mind our short moments, our last day, I hated that the edges of my memory were beginning to blur. I called the hospital once, over a year after her death, convinced they might have one picture of her that we did not. Praying they had some file containing one more piece for me to hold onto, I waited while the staff found a way to tell me Continue Reading

Autism and wandering and AngelSense

autism and eloping

I shared this story several years ago but wanted to share it again because it's such an important issue and because I'm working with AngelSense to help keep kids with autism safe. One of my closest friends has two boys with autism. I have watched her unload them from her vehicle, clinging to one while holding her leg across her van door to keep the other from escaping. If she doesn’t move quickly they will be off to whatever catches their twinkling eyes, undoubtedly in different directions. On Sunday, her beautiful five year old boy followed his curious eyes right out of their home and past the garage door. She and her husband were both home but it only takes a second. That second when Continue Reading