Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jump Starting My Week.

Yes, even weekends can be crazy.

Sometimes it's impossible to get caught up on things over the weekend, and I rely on a lazy Monday to get things back on track. Yesterday was supposed to be our lazy Monday, but shockingly, things don't always go as planned.
We have been staying busy lately, which might partially explain my lack of blog posts. As school and everything else winds down, we have also found ourselves doing things such as:

Learning to ride a bike.

Repairing a deck.
This awesome Mud Run with mom friends.

And on and on...
So yesterday, on our supposed lazy Monday morning, when I chose not to shower and get ready for the day before conquering breakfast with the kids and school, it is no wonder that the engine wouldn't turn when we loaded up at 7:35 in the morning. 
It's no surprise that the battery was dead as a doornail, which by the way—have you ever wondered what that saying means? Look no further
And it was unusually chilly yesterday morning; as I unloaded kids (2 of them still in PJ's) from the van and called my husband at work, I kissed lazy Monday goodbye. As I waited for our sweet neighbor to come with jumper cables, I scrambled to dress my little ones more appropriately for the weather and switched myself from PJ pants to jeans.

While we rushed over to school, then on to Goodyear to switch cars with my husband, followed by 3 consecutive shopping errands, I struggled to keep perspective on our Monday turn of events. While I worried over the fact that I might run into a familiar face in public with my ragamuffin kids and my day-in-the-life-of-a-mommy attire, my kids joyfully sang and played in the backseat and played eye-spy in shopping carts.

I am realizing more and more that these trivial upsets in my routine shape me more than any lazy Monday ever could. How can I really rate a dead car battery, a tardy kindergartner and an annoyance in my change of plans in the big scheme of things? I keep thinking back to one year ago when our little guy was hospitalized for viral pneumonia. 

It was scary; it helped pull everything into perspective for us. It reminded us to be thankful for the truly important things and people in our lives.  And you can bet we held them all a little closer and tighter that week.

I think of my friend Sarah who is a passionate advocate for the people of Sudan. I think of those woman and children near the Nuba Mountains who try to avoid bombs and famine while I sit here typing in my house, stressed about surviving until Season 3 of Downton Abbey.
I have to keep my own undesirable situations in perspective, and learn what I can from each tiny trial.  And as our crazy Monday morning finally culminated in a spectacular moment of triumph when Mason used his potty in the front of the Camry in the Post Office parking lot because we were out of other options, I had to laugh.
And even though I'm pretty sure I sent at least one exasperated text yesterday morning using words like “blerg” and “annoyed,” I'm very thankful for these lazy manageable Mondays. And even though Mondays are the potholes in the road of life, it's true, these tiny potholes are molding and preparing me for who knows what. It's not very hard to recover from the inconvenience of a dead battery and a trip to the store in Pajamas and no make-up.  I'm still trying to keep the big picture in check, remembering that these little warm-up stretches are hopefully making me more flexible for future, bigger potholes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Toddler Toy: Upcycle a Wipes Tub

This Huggies wipes tub was just too cute to throw away! I decided to recycle it into a fun little activity for my 2-year-old. (Incidentally, I recommend the Huggies tubs over other brands because of the rubbery opening that is softer on little hands.) Ever left your toddler alone with a tissue box or wipes tub...to come back later and find it had been emptied one-by-one? Yeah. The fascination of one little white corner appearing after another...

To fill my tub, I pulled out a bunch of fabric scraps and cut rectangles about the size of a small paperback book. I tried to find different colors and textures--velvet, satin, flannel, and corduroy.

Then I cut some different shapes--oval, triangle, circle, heart, and square. I even pulled out a couple of my son's favorite old t-shirts that were in the rag bag because of holes or stains and cut out the front picture. This is a great option for anyone who doesn't have fabric around. The nice thing about t-shirt fabric is that it won't fray around the edges either.

If you knew your child would play with this over and over, you may want to go to the trouble of hemming the edges of your cloths. I didn't bother.

When I gave it to my son this morning, he had a lot of fun with it and got some good practice naming his colors and shapes. To keep it interesting, we made up games, such as "Find me the green cloth!" and "Sort the shapes."

It's a quick "toy" to make, and something that can be pulled out for Quiet play when Mom needs to make a phone call or fix a meal!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Fresh Batch of Lunch Love Notes for Springtime!

It is hard to focus on school when it's sunny and warm and the green grass is calling. 
I wanted to cook up a fresh batch of love notes for my big guy to remind him that the lazy days of Summer are just around the corner--he will make it!  We all will make it!

It's time to finish strong; here are a few more love notes to print and place in your child's lunch or in his room or at the breakfast table as we finish out the school year!
Simply go here and print your own Lunch Love Notes!  If you want to make re-usable notes, print on cardstock and laminate them--my son usually brings his notes back home with him.  Hang in there....Summer is coming!
"Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.
~Reginald Heber.