raising a mommy

raising a mommy

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Today's blessing:
Snail mail.

I'll be honest, I've been missing the real mail since this last round of #fmfpartysnailmail ended. Since what, you ask?

You see, there's this lovely group of writers who gather every Thursday evening or Friday to share what's on their hearts: five minutes on one word, no editing. Read all about it. It's a different group every week, and there's no shame if you miss a week. Or three. Only joy when you return. How often do you get the chance for that kind of community?

Then there's this lovely young lady named Kaitlyn who decided that she wanted to move that fellowship into the real world. All you have to do is sign up, and she'll put you on a list with several other lovely ladies. Spend five minutes writing a note of encouragement to one of them each week, and they'll do the same for you! That's right - real, handwritten cards in your mailbox, each week, just for you.

Now, I'll be realistic. Some weeks, even five minutes is hard to come by. And you know what? That's okay. Among this lovely community, there is always grace. The first round, I sent out maybe 25% of my cards "on time." But they all got mailed eventually. And I received maybe 50% of my cards "on time." But I received them all eventually. (At least, I think I did. I didn't really keep track. If something came up and someone didn't send me a card, I figure there's a reason for that. No hard feelings.)

Round two went much better. I got every single one of my cards mailed out within two days of the time I was supposed to. And it sure felt good to know that I was providing consistent encouragement!

Round three starts in just a few short weeks. Won't you consider joining us? I can tell you for a fact that I will not get all of my cards mailed out on time. With a move partway through and a baby due at the end, I have no delusions about my organization. But I know I will get the encouragement that I need when I receive cards, and I know I will receive the grace that I need when I send them (however late).

Monday, June 9, 2014

our little girl: 28 months

These P updates are getting more and more sporadic. It's not that she's doing fewer awesome things, it's just that I don't notice as much anymore because they seem more normal. Or something. I'm not sure. Also, P would rather be outside than anywhere else, making it difficult for me to finish up all of my inside chores and still have time to blog. I'm not complaining about this at all - I love it, in fact! However, we may have to raise our budget this summer for sunscreen.

As always, P is talking up a storm. Though mind-blowing at times, her speech has also been one of the saddest developments for us lately. She is continues to say more words correctly that she used to say in endearing toddler ways. Luckily for us, we still hear "pan-yo" instead of "piano" and a few others. She's also getting better at consonant clusters to begin words. She doesn't quite say them together yet, so words come out sounding like "b-read" and "p-ray." So darling!

Letter recognition has really taken off lately. At last count, I would say she knows just over half the alphabet. I credit this to Sesame Street, her letter puzzle, some Baby Einstein letter books, and a really annoying little caterpillar that she pulls around the house that sings it's ABC's. I wouldn't say we "work on" letter recognition with her, but we'll ask her what certain letter are when we're reading or coloring.

This kid has a crazy good memory. I didn't think two year olds were supposed to have too much in the way of specific long term memory, but she sure does! It's usually little things that I don't even remember until she brings them up. Last fall she decided that clothespins should be called "owies" because they can pinch you. Then the clothespins went away all winter, only to be brought out a few weeks ago. What do I hear? "Mommy, do you have the owies?"

Bedtime routine has been expanded to include flossing. She loves it. We even caught her flossing with a piece of thread that had frayed off her sock one time. Gross, but pretty darn resourceful.

We have yet to make any headway on potty training. We do, however, have a bath time baby with a strategically placed hole that may aid in this endeavor. It sure would be nice to have her solidly trained before the next little one comes along, but I'm certainly not concerned about it. I can handle two in diapers for a little while!

As stated earlier, there is nowhere this kid would rather be than outside. She loves to play in the yard, practice riding her trike, and go down her kiddie slide. And walking. And running. She LOVES to go walking and running. And by walking and running, I no longer mean riding in her stroller while mommy pushes her. She wants to walk and run by herself. She gets very upset whenever I tell her it's time to turn around and go home. One of these days I'm going to pack food and water and walk until she tells me to turn around. Our record so far is five miles in one day.

The other day (I am not making this up) she ran a half mile all by herself. Now, I won't say there was no stopping. She is her mother's child and gets easily distracted by things like planes, puddles, and piles of dirt. However, she covered the full half mile before she walked any distance. Obviously, I won't love my children any more or less if they do or don't share my interests, but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't one of my proudest parenting moments so far.

Favorite phrases we've heard recently:
"I want to snuggle with your face." Then she wraps her little arms around your head and nuzzles her face against yours. She is shockingly strong.

"Can I use your hands?" Meaning: "Hold my hand, pat my head, let me hug your hand," or basically just "give me any kind of physical contact!" This is especially fun when she's her car seat in the back seat of the car and I'm in the front. I've lost count of the number of times my arm has fallen asleep.

Me: "P, do you want ice cream with strawberries and chocolate?"
P: "No, just strawberries."

I was working in the kitchen, when I heard, "Look Mommy, I colored a D!" I'm sure it was 100% by accident, but still. How cool is that?!

Helping mommy fold socks. Look at that concentration.

Reading to baby

Playing her new horn. I can sacrifice my dough hook for that kind of creativity!

We spent the morning at the park a couple weeks ago, and she had a blast. More pictures here.

P's (and daddy's) new favorite toy.

You may have seen this one before, but I just wanted to reiterate how much this child loves to run.

Taking daddy for a ride on the mower

P just had to help me build her new storage shelves!

The flossing. Cute, right?

Friday, June 6, 2014

a place for everything: may

Today's blessing:

I cheated a little bit in May. I spent my $25 home budget, but I added a little bit from the "discretionary" budget to get me up to $30. I've been wanting one of these for P's toys for awhile now, and they happened to by 50% off at ShopKo a few weeks ago. What else could I do? So here you have it:

Nothing fancy or clever this month, just pulled straight out of the storage section. We have a couple great bins that we've been using for toys, but the problem is that you can't see what's at the bottom when all of her toys are put away. (Granted, this doesn't happen often, but even when only some are put away, things get buried.) My first choice solution would be to get rid of a bunch of toys. However, overly generous, well-intentioned family members and friends make this difficult! We have started to institute the one in, one out rule, and she hasn't even noticed when something is missing. Good sign.

This project was so simple that even P could help with it. In fact, she insisted. I had to break out a second screwdriver because she got so upset when I tried to take "hers" away to do some actual work!

Mommy's little helper

Gathering all the pieces. The box with the blue lid her her tool box. In spite of this, she refused to relinquish my screwdriver.

Assembling the boxes

Wearing the boxes - they're multipurpose!
I haven't noticed too much difference in the level of chaos that can be found surrounding her toys, but I haven't really done much to get it organized, either. Maybe next week.

Did you miss April? No worries, it's right here!
How about March? It's all good; click here!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

fmf: hands

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Hands


"Do you want to use my hands?"

This is one of the cutest things my two year old says. There are a lot of cutest things (earlier this week, "I want to snuggle with your face!"), but I do love this one. Basically, it means she wants to hold my hand. Or she wants me to stroke her head, pat her knee...basically, she just wants contact with her mommy.

This leads me to wonder:

How do I use my hands on a daily basis?

Right now they're dry from the load of dishes that hubby and I just washed.

Tomorrow morning, I hope they will be dirt streaked from planting my indoor herb garden. (Tips welcome; I have no idea what I'm doing!)

I use them to stir my morning coffee, prepare meals for my family, drive a car, pet a dog, pack a box...

My mind keeps going back to the phrase the ELCA has adopted: God's work. Our hands.

Now that's quite a commission.

Do your hands do God's work? Sometimes it's as obvious as helping an elderly person carry their groceries to their car. Sometimes it's as unglamorous as changing a messy diaper or as simple as holding open a door.

God's work. Our hands.

Ready? Go.


Five Minute Friday