Little Things Thursday

Ok, these weeks are totally flying by lately. Can’t believe it is time for another round of Little Things Thursday, but I so look forward to this bright spot in the week.

You guys are so inspiring! I love being part of your week.

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I’m still working on my spring break photos! GAH! There has just been a few moments in between being mom, taking on clients, and running a home to edit personal work.

But summer…summer is coming! I cannot wait. We are totally crawling to the finish line at this point.

Who else? Raise your hand.

 


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Little Things Thursday

Stuff happens. Like when your daughter’s phone ends up in the washing machine…

Yep, that happened this week and became the reason I was able to do this for myself.

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Shameless plug included.

Thank goodness for an available upgrade which allowed me to give my daughter my iPhone 5s, and get the big Bertha for myself. Truth told, I needed to upgrade because my eyes at this age need to see everything in LARGE format. Amen? Amen.

It’s a win for far-sighted eye-strain sufferers everywhere.

What kind of stuff is happening this week for you?


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Boon Suds Bottle Washer| Product Review

The good folks at Boon reached out to me to review one of their new products, the SUDS Bottle Washer.  SUDS was designed for parents who are in that stage of constantly washing baby bottles and sippy cups.  Boy, do I remember those days! In our early years of parenting we did not have a dishwasher as those were not common in the country we were living at the time.  I always felt like it was a chore to really get bottles and sippy cups clean. Even though we are no longer in that stage, we are in the stage of constantly washing sports bottles for our kids.  I hand wash those because dishwashers tend to cause these bottles to expand and that leads to the dreaded leaks. On top of this, I also like to hand wash my coffee travel mugs.

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I could see that a Boon SUDS Bottle Washer could be a boon for me as a soccer mom! 5 water bottles after every game and practice really adds up to time at the sink.

To use, simply fill the basin with warm soapy water, invert your bottle, and push down a few times! Warm sudsy water splashes inside and the bottle scrubber does the rest.  It’s easy peasy to clean your bottles in mere seconds.  The basin fits in your sink and contains all the mess! This is a #ABoon4Bottles!

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I’m trying it with my trusty coffee travel mug!

The Boon SUDS Bottle Washer is now available in Target stores and at Target.com.

Check out the action here with this video!  I hope you will find the SUDS Bottle Washer a boon for your bottles! And hey moms, this totally works on those end of the day wine glasses, too.

*Post sponsored by Boon, Inc.* All opinions are my own.

 

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Bumblebean’s Smart Solutions

As you may know, I have had the privileged of curating for Bumblebean over the last year.  I just love this company that showcases specialty brands for modern moms, kids, and babies! If you haven’t had a look around Bumblebean’s site, you should definitely make a visit soon because you will fall in love with the brands.

Today, I want to introduce you to Bumblebean’s newest help for all you moms and dads out there.  Bumblebean has launched Smart Solutions with all sorts of parenting hacks to share with you straight from the community of moms and dads who visit the site! Smart Solutions was designed with you in mind.

You’ll find tips for raising kids , tricks, advice and everyday ‘life-hacks’ for everyday challenges.   You can upload videos, images or just words of wisdom, share them with our community and with friends.  We select the best of the best and rotate them through our home page for others to see.
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I’d love for you all to stop by and share some of your best hacks with the community.  I know you have great wisdom that will benefit us all as we make our way through this journey of perenthood. Maybe you’ll find a tip to employ while you are there.

And of course you’ll always find great collections curated by Bumblebean’s experts!

Hope to see you there!

 

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Little Things Thursday

Little Things grow up.

G with soccer ball

She just surpassed me in height.

It is strange to think that the little face that looked up to you, and the little arms that reached up to you are now above you. Just barely.

But her growth is still on the upward climb for a few more years, and I know that soon I will have to look up just a bit to meet her gaze.

Weird. Totally weird.

I once housed this kid, and now she is bigger than what once was her source of life.

She realized she had me beat just the other day.

She danced a little jig of victory.

Hmmph.

What’s your little thing this week?

*Please only post images that you have personally taken as this is a linky for photographers sharing life through image. No stock photos please.*


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From a Distance

From a distance we will all have enough.

No hungry mouths to feed.

That’s right.  Half a world away.  I’ll still make your dinner.  It’s my travel insurance.

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16 days to go to departure and I’m finally over the lingering cold.  I’m spending them wrapping up all the loose ends that make my leaving a little easier. I’ve been making freezer meals for the last two days so that my family can eat well when I am gone. And, well, making this investment means that my husband is more apt to say yes to more trips if I don’t leave him in the lurch.

I’m no big dummy.

I’ve made pumpkin bread with freshly pureed pumpkin to freeze for breakfasts.  I’ve made 5 crock pot meals and one casserole. My freezer is full of love… and insurance premiums.

The beer?  Just a experiment gone horribly wrong.  I hate beer.  The Punkin Ale sounded promising.  I still hate beer.

So yep, these next two weeks are all about getting ready.  There is shopping, packing, schooling, scheduling blog posts, and with a side of freaking out a tad.

In a good way.

Linking with Good Random Fun, Songography, Wednesdays Around the World, and Black and White Wednesday…where I am clearly breaking the rules, again. 😉

 

 

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Little Things Thursday

Hey Friends! It’s time to celebrate Little Things Thursday!  My little things are coming in the Instagram format today, and I love Instagram’s ease in capturing all those little daily moments.

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On this past Saturday I declared that, “I hated Saturdays”. This was a bit strong in the emotional department, but I was needing a good airing. My husband caught on and promptly whisked us out of the house for a day in Atlanta.

We played in Grant Park, briefly, because there isn’t much there. We stopped by Atlantic Station to walk around. We caught a school performing arts showcase, or something. We enjoyed Italian Ice, and just basically sweat like pigs. We love going there, though.

As dinner approached, we drove to Midtown for Indian at Desi Spice and the shopped for groceries at Trader Joe’s, which the kids think is the best thing ever.

School is going well as you can see by that Ace of a science test! We are enjoying the freedom to learn this year as well, which feels really good. I’m keeping regular office hours this year, which keeps every email or correspondence from becoming the “Tyranny of the Urgent”.  I’m totally loving those boundaries, for my own good.  I love to be available a little too much, which can keep me distracted.  I’m finding more balance this year.

Each of those is a little thing, but combined feels like bounty.  I’m so thankful.

Where’s your bounty this week?

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.

 


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Landslide

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you.

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But time makes you bolder
Even children get older

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Daily life as a mother at home can feel like a landslide. There is never a lack of someone or something to care for. I know I have struggled in the past with feeling as if there was never a moment to breathe. Even as I walk around my home today, there are slight feelings of being overwhelmed at the accumulated mess. The day started with a clean home, but it rarely lasts. Let’s make that never lasts.

Because we live and learn here…all day.

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Like most moms, I feel the tug between duty and the desire for life beyond the home. But lately I have been reminded by sheer observation that these days don’t last forever. The day will come when our home is no longer like it is today. Because of that, I can be free to enjoy what we are right now. The day for me time will come, but now is we time.

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The days of folding little clothes are fleeting. Lovingly making meals for 5 will give way to 2.

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There is battle in the midst of these “raising” years, but they will surely end. I don’t want to wish them away. I want to enjoy them.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

It is just a season.  It’s a good season.

The next season may be good, too…but each season should be savored.

This year I am feeling more freedom to focus on being present right where we are.  I’m tuning out outside voices that suggest that there is more.  I do want more, but that focus is shifting to less of what the world defines as more.  I’m remembering that life is more than just what is in it for us.  It’s about serving and impacting.

I can do that right here, and I can do that out there…but right here comes first.  Sometimes putting right here first will mean me going out there as an example.  It’s a paradox, but I understand it.

And I’m getting older too.  

And wiser.

Linking up with Songography| Landslide | Fleetwood Mac and Good.Random.Fun.  and Wednesdays Around the World.

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It’s okay. And other thoughts on disability.

We are finishing our first week of school for this new year and it has been great! Truly great.

But ya’ll, I’m learning some things that are sometimes difficult to accept and talk about.  I’m feeling brave though, so I am going to give it a go.

I think my kids may have some mild learning disabilities. 

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You may or may not know that I have a degree in Early Childhood Education, and while I do let that background weigh in, it’s my mama gut that tells me this might be true.  As a homeschooling mom I am able to see first hand what issues are present, and that is a blessing.

When my daughter was 4 someone casually made an offhand remark that they thought my daughter was ADD.  I wanted to pop that girl right in her unsolicited comment.  However, being a mom, I cried instead.  Her assessment was due to the fact that my child was more active than the other kids around us, and didn’t like to sit and color in the lines like they did.  My child is very out of the box in her creativity.  There was a cultural difference of thoughts about these things due to the fact that we lived overseas. The cultural differences didn’t matter, she simply labelled my kid publically.

And I was mad.

My daughter struggles in math.  So did I.  Her tutor recently suggested that my daughter might be ADD.  My mama bear instinct started to rear its head again, but I simply stated that I did not know if her assessment was true. She did not have that diagnosis and we wouldn’t be seeking one…thank you very much.

Again, I was upset that anytime someone struggles there is this need to slap an acronym on them in order to make heads or tails of it.  I decided to just entertain the thought though, after I cooled off.  Maybe this assessment would actually serve us? Even if it is not true, what is the take away for us?

My daughter said to me that she didn’t think she was ADD, but if she was, she couldn’t do anything about it. She was not going to worry.  It’s not a big deal, she said.

She is right.  What does it matter?

Yes, my daughter is a dreamer.  Yes, she struggles to pay attention sometimes. Yes, she doodles when she should be working. Yes, she struggles in math.  Some of this is just personality. Some is distractibility.

But okay, let’s deal with it. Let’s find strategies to refine those things that need attention without seeking to alter who God has created her to be.

Additionally, I see signs of dysgraphia in my youngest.  At some point last year, he began to cry whenever he had to write thoughts on paper. It was if the world had ended.

At first I chalked it up to being a young first grader.  Then I thought he was manipulating me.  Then it was a lack of confidence and a thousand other thoughts.

He complained about hand and arm fatigue.  He cried he didn’t know what to say.  He developed “stomach aches”.  If you ever had a conversation with him, you’d have a hard time believing that this boy with a huge vocabulary couldn’t write any of his thoughts down without tears. We made progress, but the situation hasn’t gone away.  Even though we are having a good start to school, he has cried three out of five days when time the time to write came.   Yet, he so desires to write! He really wants to be able to write.   He cries if he has to draw something representative.  His drawings are not at the second grade “level”.  Something is up.

My instincts point to dysgraphia. 

He reads well.  He speaks well.  His math skills will knock your socks off.  He remembers everything.  He is focused.  He is determined.  He is bright. He wants to please.   But, I think he has a slight disability with writing.

What does it matter?

There is no shame in not being able to do everything perfectly.  So why do we instantly feel guilt, shame, and as if we are failing our kids when they show signs of weaknesses? Why do we see that look in the eyes of others that seems to suggest, “Well, if they were in a real school…”.   Why do other people want to assign blame for disabilities as if any of us have any control over our natural abilities? Or those of our children.

Who cares? Learning disabilities do not equal dumb. It means you have a few hurdles to jump and may need to work a little more intentionally.  I worked hard for my A’s and B’s and I think the return on that investment is character and perseverance.  I don’t listen to can’t.

We have to pay attention to the needs we see in our children and not hide them because we might lose a few bragging points among our peers.  Personally, I love a little adversity.  I love kicking a challenge in the butt.  If my kids have weaknesses, we will kick those challenges in. the. butt.  Those who feel superior, pity or ashamed can kick rocks.

I’m so happy that I can be right here identifying needs and personally addressing them.  If my youngest needs to play with playdoh to strengthen his hands, we can do that. If he needs any sort of therapy, we can do that. We can do exactly what we need to do, and that is a great feeling. I actually feel so encouraged that I can say, “Ah ha! I see what you need. Let me help.”  We all have forms of disability.  We all need help from time to time.

I think a lot of the initial discouragement goes back to this fierce mom competition that we see on a daily basis. You only need a quick scroll through Facebook to see it.  We all have experienced those parents who have all of their significance and security tied up in the abilities of their children.  There’s a lot of need floating around to be the best, the most, the smartest.

But that’s not us.

We are going to be honest about our needs, and tend to them.   So far I am loving this year that is just freeing us up to love learning right where we are.  I’m seeing such a spark of enthusiasm to grow already.

That’s what education should be.

We are on our own track, and do not need the comparisons to pace ourselves.  Learning is an intrinsic reward.

I do not know for sure whether we have clinical disabilities, but we will own whatever is there.

We won’t feel anything other than blessed to be able to come alongside our children as we prepare them for the calling on their lives.

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Little Things Thursday

My husband took our kids this evening to give me a little break.  I’ve been knee deep in details, and really just needed to have a little downtime as summer comes to a close.  Even if only for two hours.

Also…my kids will not stop bickering.  That’s a sure sign that we need structure and work.  Our days need purpose.  Summer has had its purpose and now it is time to move on, for my sanity.  And might I add their well-being?

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My quiet time of sorts was used just to tie up loose ends around the home, put out fires in my email inbox, and journal about what changes we need to make in this coming school year. I felt like someone had to pull me to the finish line this past year.

I really need a time of getting centered before new beginnings.   While I know that I have such good intentions about changes this year, I know that distractions are such a thief.  I want to live more intentionally about so many things.  I want my family to a priority and that means saying no to things that don’t fit our vision across the board.  I don’t want us to live as warm bodies, but as purposeful beings who use our time and talents wisely.

I’m realizing that I’m a person who paradoxically needs quiet to think  and loads of creative stimulation.  When I don’t get either I can feel caged very quickly.  So I want this year to provide more balance in these two areas.  I don’t know how that will look yet, but I’m praying that I figure it out.

One way might be in giving ourselves more freedom to not have to be slaves to checking off boxes.  I don’t even want to be slaves to “normal”.  I want this year to be about the journey of enjoying life as art.

Because life is the artwork of our creator, even though we try as might to mess it up at times.

I’ll need y’all to remind me.

So yeah…all this from a little quiet and a cup of tea.  I hear the garage door opening and that means the troops are home. Quiet time is over.

I’d love to hear how you are seeking to live artistically.

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.

 


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