31 Days of Real Life: Day 11

Today when I got home from work, the boys were in the front yard, learning how to use their new slingshots that my husband had made for them this afternoon. After they got home from school, they went on a walk to find the prefect branches and then did some slingshot engineering. He is great with the fun stuff and I'm thankful for that. They though it was the coolest, and I was happy that no one shot their eye out. We've had enough excitement for one month already!

 

 Jack selecting the perfect rock. 

Jack selecting the perfect rock. 

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#write31days: Day 3

The beauty of this 31-day writing challenge is that there are no rules other than consistency. I must commit to sharing bits of real life each day this month, but how much or how little may vary. I could expand upon the words and phrases: rushing, dinner in the crock pot, teaching, prepping sub plans due to teacher training tomorrow, many tasks and little time, etc. BUT expansion is completely unnecessary unless I want it to be. With that freeing revelation, I will just highlight a small part of my evening...

 Because mama has to relax when and where she can. Here I am lounging in the bed of the ER where I had to go get my stitches removed tonight, following a nasty mini bike accident a few weeks ago. Evelyn told me I was acting "vewwy bwave" and held my hand.

Because mama has to relax when and where she can. Here I am lounging in the bed of the ER where I had to go get my stitches removed tonight, following a nasty mini bike accident a few weeks ago. Evelyn told me I was acting "vewwy bwave" and held my hand.

 Suckers. Cartoons. They were happy. Mommy was happy. Success. 

Suckers. Cartoons. They were happy. Mommy was happy. Success. 

Now the kids are in bed, Chris is on his way home from recording school, and I've got a not-so-hot date with a laundry basket. I know, I know. Don't be jealous.  

Be sure to follow along on my Facebook page, and check out the rest of the posts in the Write 31 Days series:

Day 2

Day 1

#write31days Launch Post

No Baby, I Won't Catch You This Time

The kids and I went to a new (well, new to them, anyways) playground this morning, and they were of course testing out the waters, seeing what they could climb, jump off of, and slide down. They are all usually pretty adventurous, and while I admittedly used to hover a bit when my oldest two were younger, I've now found great comfort in hanging back and letting them find their own way. 

Today, when Evelyn attempted the big kid slide for the first time, she checked to make sure I was nearby before she climbed the stairs. She sat at the top of the slide and asked me to wait at the bottom. "Come closer mommy! Catch me!" she cried. So I did, and when she reached the bottom, I found that she really would have been just fine without me there. She may have been scared because of a long-ago previous slide experience where the force, angle, and slipperiness of the equipment made her slam right off of it and into the ground in an ego-damaging butt-plant. Maybe she thought she needed me there to save her from potential harm. But she was fine. 

So, the next time she went down and implored me to catch her, I told her that I'd instead watch from the sidelines. "No baby," I said "I won't catch you this time." 

She went on to slide down by herself over a dozen times, and I heard her say, "Dat was AWESOME!" with a legitimate fist pump for added enthusiasm. I saw her get bumped by someone coming down after her and heard her respond, "I'm okay." I saw her do things by herself with pride, over and over again. 

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There will be so many times in life that they will fall. That they will stumble. That they will walk a rocky road life will be hard. In this world we will face trials and tribulations, right? It's a given. And as their mom, it's instinctual to want to shield them from harm. But doing that every time won't teach them about real life. I've learned that it's okay to say "I won't catch you."

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That's not to say that I relinquish my responsibility to care for them when they are hurt, or that they need to fend for themselves in every single way. That's crazy. I know that they need me. But they also need to learn how to fall and brush themselves off. They need to make mistakes, own them, and learn from them. And they can't do that if I'm always standing in front of their fears or opposition. I know they are little now, but as we all know, time flies by at an alarming rate when you're raising your babies, and they won't be little for long. Before I know it they will be in high school, and then in the vast beyond known as the real world. They will need to operate and face failures without me. So, in small ways here and there, I will choose to say, "No baby, I won't catch you this time." And I hope it adds up to make a big impact on their hearts.

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Save Your Sanity at the Dinner Table: 3 Tips for a More Manageable Mealtime

Whether my husband is away (as he is now, on military orders) or here at home, dinner time with my three young children can get a little crazy. Maybe it will be easier when everyone can cut their own food. Or, even sweeter, when they can MAKE the food themselves! But since my oldest son only knows how to make toast and popcorn so far, and for some crazy reason they all need to eat dinner every single evening, I’ve had to create an arsenal of some tricks to make dinner time a little bit calmer and somewhat save my sanity. Don’t be fooled, it doesn’t mean every meal is perfect. We are a real family with real kids who make real messes.

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Preserving Moments all Year Long: Making a 2016 Memory Jar

I love the act of creating family traditions, moments that you can look forward to each year. I guess I just appreciate the predictability and comfort that traditions provide. Today I'd like to share the details of my favorite New Year's Eve tradition, but it's one that involves some (super simple and fun) prep work throughout the year, beginning in January.

 

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