Monday, November 24, 2014

Say Yes to Hand Turkeys

Majorie Pay Hinckley said, "Whenever possible, say yes they're only kids once!" I love this quote, but I don't live it very well. I don't like messes, I'm not good at playing, and I'm not spontaneous. I'm not exactly a "fun mom." I have other strengths, but every once in a while I remember to say yes.

Thanksgiving break has already begun around here and naturally we had to make hand turkeys. This was planned and not a big deal for me. Three-year-old's hand painted and turned into turkeys, five-year-old's hand painted and turned into turkeys... "Mom, can we paint your hand for a hand turkey?"

I said yes. That might not seem big to you. And it didn't take much effort on my part, but the girls were really excited to paint mommy's hand. The looks on their faces was worth an extra yes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Awesome Mom Moment

Some people call this a Mom Fail. I get that term, but there are plenty of moments when I truly feel like a failure so I prefer to call it an Awesome Mom Moment--with sarcasm on the Awesome.

If there is lightning nearby, my daughter's school requires a signed note to release her to a parent to take responsibility for taking her out in the bad weather. Which makes a fun time carrying a baby in a carrier and dragging a toddler along with me in the pouring rain and then adding a five-year-old to the crazy train on the way back to the car. I leave home at about 2:50 to pick her up. Without fail, if there's going to be lightning, I hear it first at 2:45. Today was one of those days.

With the carrier and an umbrella the baby stays pretty dry. The toddler wears a raincoat and though it slips off her head a little, she loves the rain and doesn't seem to mind it. She often gets smiles from passersby because she's enjoying herself so much.

Today on the way back to the car, the two-year-old was not enjoying herself as much as usual. I was holding her hand and kept asking her if she was okay, but she didn't answer. I was a little concerned, but decided to just get to the car. As we walked through the parking lot, she was really slow and I kept pushing her to move faster to get out of the way of cars.

As soon as we got to the car, she looked up at me and said, "Mom, I'm underwear!"

Awesome. I pushed my daughter to move faster through the parking lot while she waddled along with her soggy pants around her ankles. The good news is her rain coat covered her backside so she wasn't actually exposed. The bad news is that I couldn't see that her pants were down. I'm an awesome mom.

This picture isn't from today, but as soon as we got home, the girls ran in the rain just like this. So I'm pretty sure I was forgiven quickly.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Missing the Cozy

I do not miss snow. Pictures of the first snow that family and friends post on Facebook make me nostalgic, but deep down I know how much I hate being cold and especially how terrified I am to drive on snow and ice.

But there is something about a cold and snowy outdoors that makes your house feel that much more cozy. When you come in from the extreme heat and humidity, you feel relief when you come indoors to the AC. You peel off as much clothes as is acceptable and sprawl out under the fan and hope that no one will touch you and get you all sweaty again.

When you come in from the cold and snow, you take off your coat and boots. You put on new, warm socks and curl up on the couch with a blanket. You hope that someone will cuddle with you to help warm you up. You eat soup and drink hot cocoa and look at the world outside and feel safe and warm.

I miss that feeling. It's finally cool enough to wear covers when we sleep (some nights) and every once in a while we need a jacket in the morning. But it's just not the same.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lizard in the Living Room

My baby’s been a little sick lately, so I haven’t been getting much sleep. Then I started getting sick. Two nights this week I fell asleep before 8 p.m. So yesterday when the baby went down for a nap and didn’t scream when I set him down, I decided to rest on the couch.

My two-year-old was snuggled up against me and watching a show. Just as I was about to drift into sleep, she screamed and told me that there was a lizard on the wall.

 Lizards are common in Florida and it’s taken a while for my girls to get used to them. The two-year-old in particular still gets scared when she sees them on the sidewalk. And she really stresses out when they cling to the window screen outside. I was sure that she saw one on the window, but she knew better. “No, Mommy. It’s on the wall in the house!”

Sure enough, peeking from behind the curtain was a baby lizard. In my house. I’ve heard of this and dreaded it. I don’t care that they’re harmless or how many bugs they eat—I don’t want one in my house.

First I tried opening the door it was next in hope that it would choose the outdoors. The movement scared it into dashing behind our big foam-filled bag. I moved that and found it sitting in the corner. I tried to trap it with a Tupperware dropped over it, but those little buggers are fast and it ran behind the couch.

And then I couldn’t find it.

My daughter relaxed because “the stupid lizard” was gone. I freaked out because I had no idea where it was. I spent much of the rest of the afternoon searching for a tiny lizard and imagining all the places it could end up in the house and fearing finding it days or weeks later dead somewhere.

When my husband came home, he found it and with help from a friend who was over for dinner, eventually got it outside. But not before it lost its tail that wiggled around on the floor. I guess we’ve been initiated into being real Florida residents. But I did not handle it well and will likely freak out just as much next time.

The good news is we swept behind the couch.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Have a Gratitude Attitude

If you grew up on the Brite Ideas tapes (yes, cassette tapes), then you sang that title in your head.

November is an obvious time to focus on gratitude. I've had this quote on my mind lately:

"Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. ... It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be." - Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Yesterday was one of those days that was really hard to feel grateful. A sick screaming baby, not being able to shower till my husband came home, a daughter getting her toenail split open, dinner spilled all over the family room rug.

I am very far from being thankful in my circumstances. But to try to get there, I'm going to find something specific I'm grateful for in the moment each day this month.

I can't say that I'm grateful that my daughter hurt her toe, but bad situations can bring reminders of things we're grateful for. I'm grateful for a husband who handles those situations calmly. He used to be an EMT and teaches First Aid, so little things like bloody toes don't freak him out. I'm also very grateful that he was there when it happened so he could take care of it.

How do  you stay thankful in your circumstances? This is something I need to work on.