in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

perspective



left: diligently removing pjs one foot at a time. 
right: dirt is a boy's best friend.

today in dfw, a beautiful week-old baby girl is being laid to rest by her aching family. and today in dfw, the grey sky and chilling rain seem a perfect reflection of the sympathetic ache felt by anyone who hears this family's story. may they be uplifted by prayers and love from far and wide that somehow, somewhere, they might find some peace.

*  *  *
sometimes god and his universe conspire to give you exactly what you need.

today it is the weather that gives expression to my emotions. sometimes you need that mourning.

last week, it was a relatively simple message from a facebook friend who posted this thought: our children need our love the most when they deserve it least. i won't try to attribute that one -- many very wise folks have said similar things and i'm probably misquoting anyway.

but it rang in my head as i reflected on john's behavior, and how we respond to him. it speaks to the underlying motivations of his behavior. it speaks to the fact that it's easy to have higher expectations of my precocious guy than he could possibly uphold -- that at three and a half, he can speak like a five year old but that doesn't mean he has the emotional maturity and self awareness that even a five year old has.

so largely thanks to that message, we've been trying something new. when john acts out -- when he sasses, when he argues, when he doesn't listen -- we've been hugging him. holding him and telling him we love him.

we don't ignore the bad behavior of course. we talk about it. we talk about the choices he is making. and we talk about how when he chooses good behavior, it makes us so proud.

and remarkably (or not so much), it's helping. i'm not claiming it's a silver bullet miracle cure for acting out. and i'm certainly not claiming that we are executing this new strategy as well or consistently as we should. but i will say that there has been a little less yelling in our house. a LOT more hugs. and at least a little more good behavior. and i hope we are slowly learning to fill a need that john has for love and affirmation, so that he continues to make good choices that come from a place of knowing his parents love and support him. 

*  *  *
yesterday, it was a sense of peace about a challenging decision to change daycares. while the place the boys have been thus far is perfectly fine, we have had the nagging feeling that john needed a bit more challenge. that he needs maybe a little more structured learning environment and an opportunity to learn new things. i have felt almost ridiculous thinking these things at three years old ... but after much consideration we've decided another place is better equipped to give both boys what they need. so on march 10 they will have a little more transition, a little more change -- but i feel relief when i think of it now that the decision is made. 

*  *  *
and today, again, it is perspective. it is all in your perspective. 

today, a crying sky reigns grey over a funeral that shouldn't have to happen. that is proof that there is so much about god's plan that i do not understand.

but what i do understand is this: my family is so blessed. we are gifted with so much richness in this life. and i hope that is a perspective i might never lose.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

everybody talks

brothers telling secrets

friday on the way to work, the moon hung low in the sky, huge and orange. john was ecstatic to see it, and kept exclaiming, "mommy, look at the big man in the moon!"

i kept listening to his glee, and we talked about the moon for several minutes. eventually he got sort of quiet and pensive. and he said, "mommy, why is the moon at the bottom of the sky?"

of course i explained that the moon rises and goes up high, blah blah blah, but it stuck with me: the bottom of the sky. there's a certain poetry to the way children see the world, i think, a simplicity and beauty that i love to relive through john's eyes.

and his words never cease to amaze me. he has a way with them, i think. and he charms me all the time, but i'm his mom -- i think i am constitutionally required to be charmed.

but it's not just me. this morning when my husband picked john up from sunday school, his teacher told him that they were reading a poem today and john asked, "is that a haiku?"

i couldn't stop laughing when my husband told me that story. a haiku? what does my three-and-a-half year old know from a haiku? he says he learned about it on his iguy, which i suppose means caillou or barney or fireman sam or someone talked about haikus. and i don't really think john's about to start composing 5-7-5 poetry anytime soon.

but i am amazed that he recognized a poem, and recognized that it was related to a haiku, and remembered the word haiku. it's amazing the things kids know even when we are completely unaware of their knowledge.

*  *  *
meantime, charlie's begun chiming in on our morning drive conversations. as john and i discuss the moon, or the upcoming day, or a dream he had, we are accompanied by a nearly nonstop babble of "ahh ahhh ahhhhhh aha ha hahahh ahhhhhh," punctuated with a laugh here and there. 

my boys, the conversationalists.

Monday, February 3, 2014

boys in pjs

the best little couch potatoes ever
like probably most of america, we watched the super bowl yesterday -- no big parties, just in our pjs at our house watching the game.

no commentary from me -- don't care much about football, the commercials weren't great, the halftime show was entertaining enough -- since i think everyone else has already said all that matters.

what matters to me are those two brothers up there, snuggled on the couch, watching football with their daddy.

thought #1: charlie is going to outgrow big brother very quickly. even allowing for a little optical illusion with him closer to the camera, he looks HUGE!

thought #2: i should keep this photo for when they are beating the holy crap out of each other in a couple of years.

thought #3: i could watch them snuggling all day long. football? what football?