Real Things

A friend asked how my Christmas was today, and I told her– it was pretty good. Moments of fun and moments of “WE’RE NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!” She told me that she’d never know it by my blog– that I seem like the “world’s best mom”.

You guys. I don’t want to be THAT person. The one who puts on a show of perfection. Wonder mom who seems to do all things.

I’m not. I have my strengths as a mom, but I also have tons of weaknesses.

1. Something that I left out from Christmas Day?

I showed my kids the following adorable Christmas video.

Afterwards, I asked them who that was all about and Reed said “Moses?”

2. My cabinets are a HUGE disaster.
IMG_8946

If you look closely, you will notice not only the mess, but also evidence of my chocolate covered pretzel addiction. I regularly sneak candy behind my kids’ backs.

3. My floor desperately needs to be vacuumed and mopped. Ugh.
IMG_8917

4. That Advent calendar. Yup, I rocked it.

Here was December 8th’s card.
IMG_8948

We did it. And here are the canned goods on 12/27.
IMG_8949
… by our back door. And I took a can of beans out last week for dinner.

5. I adore my sweet dogs, but they leave a huge mess everywhere around them. Nose prints, much?
IMG_8923

If you are still under some illusion about me being the “world’s best mom”, just ask my kids. Although I actually did, and Lena told me that she just wants me to not correct her ever. And Reed wants me to stop dragging him to the dog park. But, there’s a lot more than I wish I could change about myself and more I’m sure they’d say if they understood what I was getting at. I lose my temper and yell or speak harshly. I regularly (as in, almost always) skip class parties. I’ve never volunteered for anything at school. We almost never have friends over to our house, which I know Reed would certainly like me to change. We are late to school at least once a week, sometimes every day. And I am a couple of minutes late to pick them up almost every day. Doing homework with my kids sends me into fits of frustration. I only share the fun stuff on here (usually), but there are lots of days where my kids watch too much TV while I sneak chocolate and don’t do anything productive. It’s true.

I’d love to do better at those things, and a lot more. But, I’m learning to not feel bad for what I cannot do and learning to not feel guilty about what is in the past. My friend Bethany shared the article, Parent Guilt – A Silent Epidemic, in my first Imperfect Friday post and I really enjoyed that. My friend Jill(who is fabulous and looks gorgeous even right out of bed, so obviously she doesn’t have any self doubt whatsoever) wrote this post, Why I Don’t Suffer Mama Guilt, which is also awesome. I’m sure I’ve read more great articles on perfect and mom guilt recently, but I’m currently suffering from another common parenting epidemic– mom brain.

Whew, anyways, I have some more photos to share with you today– and I promise they are not of my dirty house this time, so I will be back later!

My Baby in a Big Boy Bed

He is growing up so fast. Earlier this week, he started regularly climbing out of his crib. He had only done it once before, and he began to do it at every naptime and morning. We quickly removed the front of his crib, converting it to a toddler bed.

Two days in a row, I’ve realized I haven’t heard from him in a bit and I’ve gone upstairs to find him asleep. Yesterday, it was in the middle of the floor on Reed’s pillow. But, today, it was like this:
2013-12-27_0003

How adorable is he?
2013-12-27_0002

He is becoming such a sweet little person. A phrase I hear about once a day is “I want a hug, please.” I bend down to scoop him up and when he is done, he runs back to playing.

He seems so big to me now, using more and more full sentences, eating soup with a spoon and developing more patience. Lena also seems so big to me now. But, he’s just a tiny bit bigger than she was when she came home, although certainly much more vocal and physical than she was just after her homecoming.

12/24/10.
PC250022

IMG_8741

Merry Christmas!

Ah, Christmas. I told the kids that they weren’t allowed to get up until it was light out. Of course, they were downstairs the second any sunlight came in their windows.

2013-12-26_0003

My favorite memories of 2013 present-opening:

  • Reed and Lena handed out gifts. When they tried to give Gus one of his, he just said “no”. They had a brief stand-off, where they tried to hand it to him repeatedly, and he kept calmly saying “no”. Until I finally told them to just set it down and he’d open the rest of his gifts later.
  • Another was when he opened his Yo Gabba Gabba DVD and stared at the case in wonder and confusion for about one whole minute. Finally, he smiled.
  • Reed and Lena exclaimed “all of our pictures!” when they looked at their photo albums that I had made from one cent Snapfish pictures and dollar store albums. They took time to look through them before moving on to the next gift.
  • Reed’s reaction to watching Gus and Lena open the gifts he had picked out for them. He was so, so excited to see them open what he had picked out for them. He got Lena a “purse”(makeup bag?) and Gus a Hot-Wheels car.
  • Both Reed and Lena’s reaction to Reed opening Lena’s gift to him. She picked out toy nunchuks for him, because he loves ninjas. And he loved it.

After the present excitement had died down, we crossed 3 things off of Reed’s winter break to-do list by decorating gingerbread men.
2013-12-26_0001

Gus told me he wanted to decorate a cookie, but I knew that would happen. Lena told me that she “accidentally ate part of it”. I knew kids + cookies + candy = inevitable munching, so I just asked them to decorate more than they ate, which Reed and Lena did without a problem.

The toy-of-this-Christmas is definitely Reed’s remote control car. Lena also got a remote control car and Gus got a little remote control robot, but Reed’s is the big hit. Gus loves it so much that I’m tempted to get him one of his birthday. 2013-12-26_0002

Merry Christmas, everyone!
2013-12-26_0004

‘Twas the Day Before Christmas…

Giant icicles hung from the home.
2013-12-25_0003

All the weimaraners were stirring,
2013-12-25_0001

Eager to roam.
2013-12-25_0002

Candles were lit, Silent Night sung.
2013-12-25_0006

And the last Advent card was finally un-hung.
2013-12-25_0004

A movie was watched, then kids tucked into bed,
Where they wiggled and giggled as legos danced in their heads.

Presents were scattered underneath the tree,
2013-12-25_0005

What could these gifts possibly be?

Tomorrow the children will come down to find
all of these presents with someone special in mind.
Paper will be ripped;
they’ll have quite a ball.
Now mama must sleep;
Merry Christmas to all!

Winter Light

Spending time with my camera is a sure-fire way for me to clear my head. My boys were busy, but Lena was mad at them. Awhile ago, I saw a little trick on Pinterest– throw a blanket in the dryer for a few minutes, then, when it’s toasty warm, wrap your kid in it and take them outside for pictures. It was a good day to try it.

Super easy, but not quite what I was going for.
2013-12-23_0008

A little bit later, I decided to try again. I grabbed the rushnyk that Andrei gave us.

2013-12-23_0001
Cute, but still not quite what I was going for. The headband seems a bit out of place.

2013-12-23_0004

2013-12-23_0006

2013-12-23_0005

We also had the big brother and the warm blanket with us.
2013-12-23_0003