Sunday, January 5, 2014

Be THAT mom

One of the reasons I am slow to post lately is that...drumroll please...we have a new computer!

Which should be the best news ever.  And it IS.

But the learning curve with this puppy is throwing me for a loop.  It is an HP Envy - 17" laptop with touch screen.  So after nearly 7 years working on a MacBook, I am teaching myself how to 1. Work with a PC and 2. learn how to work between a keyboard and touchscreen efficiently.

I'm getting there...but it is taking time.
I Love this!
Tonight my youngest son got sick.  He was moving SLOW before and after dinner and was out of sorts.  We can always count on him to clean his plate and have boundless energy until the bitter end (ie: bedtime) but tonight he was rubbing his eyes and at one point fell asleep cuddled into me on the couch.  My mama heart was warm.  He is a very busy 4 year old boy with precious little time for cuddling.  So even though I could tell he wasn't at his best, I loved that brief time on the couch.

And then 10 minutes after my cuddles he threw up.  ALL over the couch.

Which wasn't a big deal because, come on.  We have 4 kids.  This stuff happens.  My husband and I have the triage team thing down to a science. 

I cleaned up the boy, we worked on the couch/floor and then I took him upstairs for a shower.  He was so lethargic and was happy to lay in my arms afterwards, wrapped up in a towel.  And THAT right there is maybe one of the best parts of being a mom.  Making your child feel safe and secure and clean and warm.  Where they feel like everything is going to be OK because MOM is here.  That is the best.  And that stuff is when I am at my best.  That's when I'm fully present and the kind of mom I want them to remember.

I have noticed, with my older kids in particular, that the memories we are making as a family never seem to include stuff we have bought or even places we have been.  The kids remember FEELINGS.  My oldest is almost 11 and even with that short life he has nostalgia for certain places or foods or events - and it is always tied to how he FELT in that moment.  I want to commit to remembering to be the mom that inspires happiness and zest and creativity and warmth and JOY.  I want to be the mom I want them to remember.

My oldest son was sick recently in Utah over our Christmas vacation.  It was a weird 8 hour flu thing - throwing up, fever, chills, pain - the whole 9 yards.  And naturally he wanted mom at 4 AM :).  I ended up making him a little bed in the bathroom so that he could be near the toilet but could at least lay down.   As I was getting him situated, in his feverish sick state he started telling me about ALL of the other times he has been sick and I have been there to take care of him.  And how thankful he is for that.

Seriously.  THAT is the good stuff right there.  I'm not a fan of vomit or breathing machines late at night or runny noses.  Or of struggles with friends and bad grades and forgetfulness.  But I am a HUGE fan of my kids and all of their quirks and personality.  And this time is passing by so fast.  SO fast.  In a little over a decade all of my children will be out on their own and the time for intense mothering will most likely be over.  They will be on to new adventures and friends and even families as they create their own lives and loves.  And I WANT them to remember mom in all the best possible ways.  It's important to me.

So today I commit to being a more present mom.  More compassionate.  More forgiving.  More creative and adventurous than I already am :)  So that someday when they think on the word "mom"...there are lots of warm memories that are attached to my name.

DIY: Kids Kitchen Makeover!

This post is originally from my personal blog back in 2009...

I hit the jackpot with a wooden Pottery Barn play kitchen for my kids this past weekend. While it had good bones, it really needed some TLC.

Here was our humble beginning:

I began this process by taking the doors and hardware off and taped it up in preparation for paint. Also, the kitchen was too short for my tall four and six year old so I simply attached feet. The feet are spindles from the stair/banister section at Lowes. I predrilled some holes in the base and screwed the new legs in. BOOM! Necessary play height achieved!

Then it was off to painting. I did away with all over priming since the existing pink was a great base. I simply roughed up the surface with a light sanding with some sand paper. I gave the new spindle feet a quick light coat of white spray paint I had on hand for priming. I used glossy red spray paint and it took two full bottles.

This part took awhile because I wanted an even finish. I allowed for drying time in between coats.

I then repainted the original silver components, added a tile back splash (out of necessity - I messed up with my spray paint on that section), added a new silver piece to the door and embellished it with an antique silver star. I made a little curtain with fabric from my stash and hung it on a small tension rod from Target. Finally, I visited my local Goodwill and picked up a few random small pots and pans. You would be surprised how many small containers there are at thrift stores that are the perfect size for play kitchens. The last piece was a food play set from Melissa and Doug. And that was it! DONE!

It took a little work but was such a fun project. Luckily, Simon and Sophie love it almost as much as I do and have been enjoying it tonight. It is a solid piece of furniture and I am hopeful that it will last not only through my four kids but their kids too. Bon appetite, kiddos!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hi friends :)

I feel like I have been a negligent host of late.  Well...for several months actually.  One of my goals in the coming year is to pay more attention to this space of the interwebs that I own.  This is a place that acts as my design journal, landing spot for ideas, journal...everything.  Over the holidays I had some delightful downtime and found myself getting newly inspired by some new-to-me blogs.  I REALLY appreciate fresh inspiration.  SO...I promise to be more attentive and really make this blog as beautiful and helpful as I know it can be.

So without further ado, welcome 2014! 

2013 was a stretchy kind of year.  Does that even make sense?  I guess that I mean 2013 stretched me I some new ways, painful ways at times.  There were a lot of ups and downs.  There were many times throughout the year when my husband and I would look at each other and say "Is this really happening?".  Or "What on earth is going on?". 

The good news is we came out of 2013 stronger, braver, more excited about the future than perhaps any other year before.  And that is always a good thing.

I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me personally, and for my family.  BRING IT :)