Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


On Noticing Defining Moments & Failure

In fourth grade I had a defining moment. Not some big scary thing that happened to me, but an experience that formed me for years to come. It probably passed other students by and was forgotten forever, but it stuck with me.

For the first time in our young lives we had a 4th grade student council. There were the tradition roles like President and Vice President and then there was the PR role (public relations), which basically meant you were in charge of making posters for different events throughout the year. THAT was the position that made my eyes sparkle! I wanted to be the PR chair!

We were told to select which position we wanted to run for and then we were tasked with putting together a speech to deliver in front of the class and campaign posters to hang throughout the classroom and hallway.

On noticing defining moments.jpgI was all over it! I remember practicing my speech over and over with my parents. I remember my dad giving me advice to emphasize that phrase a bit more or use a little more enthusiasm when you say those words. I remember my mom reminding me to smile during it. I remember coming up with what I thought were insanely clever slogans again with the help of my parents, “One for all and all for Holl,” and “She’s one Holl of a candidate.”

There were two open PR positions, three people running, and with every bone in my body and every fiber of my being, I believed I was going to win one of those positions. I had this in the bag! I actually don’t think I was even aware of the competition, because I just assumed I’d win the position of my dreams.

And then voting day came. And then the results were in. And then Kurt and Emily won. And I lost. I remember being shocked. I remember thinking about how people picked two other people over me. Did people not like me? Were my slogans not cool? Was my speech not good? I remember this as my first real loss. My first real failure.

I know I was disappointed with the loss, but I was blessed to have parents who told me constantly they were proud of me, so that helped in the recovery. I didn’t stay in a dark hole about the loss for long. I moved on and it wasn’t something I remember caring about much the rest of that year.

BUT as I look back and think about formative experiences from my childhood, this one will always stick out to me as probably the first moment I experienced failure AND it formed how I viewed failure for many years to come. Basically, avoid it at all costs!

If you think back to your childhood, is there an experience that impacted you in a positive or negative way well into your adulthood? Maybe you aren’t even yet aware of how deeply something impacted you.

Did you have a defining moment, a moment that taught you to start living or doing things a certain way?

This experience taught me FAILING = TERRIBLE. Don’t fail. Don’t come in last. Failing is bad. Failing is scary. Failing is embarrassing.

This probably helped me in some ways, by developing my attention to detail, my drive and determination, and my attitude to want to win and strive to be the berst. It also caused me to play it safe, be overly cautious in trying new things, and to carry a bit of perfectionistic stress. This just may be one of the reasons I was too terrified to ever go out for basketball and why until late high school I only ran for “safe” positions like secretary or treasurer instead of president.

Fast forward 25 or so years later and I have quite a different view of failure that I’ve learned over many years of just living life, from reading many leadership books, and most recently through the amazing things I’m learning from my network marketing business. I no longer fear failure. I don’t play it safe and I don’t avoid trying new things. I am so much less concerned about what other people think of me and I strive to not let other people’s opinions of me have impact on how I see myself. This is a much more freeing and exciting way to live life. As long as you are striving forward and learning through your fails, then failing in a way is a blessing.

So, this got me thinking about how one small grade school experience impacted my life for so long. My children will in 4K next year and I think about them and their future experiences. I wonder what experiences will have the greatest impact on them both positively and negatively. Will I notice those experiences when they are here? How can I support them through those experiences?

You better believe I’ll be on the lookout for those moments for them! They will have to learn their way through things on their own. I know that’s part of growing up. BUT as their momma, I can help by listening, answering questions, sharing from my experiences, and offering advice when needed.

And I hope that I’m a good example to them on dealing with and not fearing failure.

So…..

Be on the lookout for those defining moments!

&

Fail forward. Learn from it. Without failures, we cannot have the hero moment! No one wants to read a book or watch a movie when someone just fails or when someone just wins all the time. People love the hero moment; the moment when we overcome and emerge victorious!

God bless our children!

Love, Natasha

 

 


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How to Mother from YOUR Strengths

How to Mother from your TalentsMy favorite cookie cutter shape is the circle with the smaller circle in the middle. It looks like a little donut and you can pop out the middle circle to create another tiny circle cookie. Two sugar cookies are better than one right!? I have fond memories of duking it out with my sister for Grandma’s few precious tiny circle Christmas cookies. The silly adults were fighting over the peanut squares, but the tiny circles were the true gold. Okay, the peanut squares are ridiculously good too.

Santa blogWhat’s your favorite cookie cutter shape? Come on, this is a very serious and important question! Don’t even tell me your fave is the weird Santa Claus one that when frosted looks like a strange little blob. (But if you did pick the Santa Claus one that is totally cool, be you….but really, the blob? That’s what you picked? No really, it’s cool.)

Anywho….

Just like the many shapes of cookie cutters, so are each of us unique as moms. Did you like that segue (I know, I had to look up how to spell segway correctly too, don’t worry). We have all been blessed with a unique combination of strengths and experiences that allow us to mother just as we were meant to.

“God’s design is perfect. He created us. Does it make us perfect? In a sense, yes. We’re who He uniquely chose to mother our children. We can’t improve on God’s design. Yet often we try to squeeze ourselves into molds of motherhood that don’t fit.”    -From Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

Imagine how much less stressed we’d be if instead of trying to become the kind of mother that we clearly are not, we would just mother from our strengths.

What does it mean to mother from our strengths?

It means embracing our strengths and using them as a mom. I’d say one of my strengths is creativity and when I’ve mothered from my creativity the boys and I have had days that have shined! One of my favorite memories is taking my boys around our yard and finding different things in nature to make “Jesus crosses” with. We had so much fun exploring that day and they learned how to create, about Jesus, and had fun outdoors. Those kinds of activities are in my wheelhouse!

One of my weaknesses is probably interior decorating. I’d say I have a unique sense of style, I know what I like and I can pin for hours exactly what I’d like my house to look like, but I just can’t seem to translate it onto our walls! The boys are three and still the walls of their “nursery” are bare except for a small cross and their little footprints, which we made at the local clay art store. Previously, I’d see how beautiful some of my friend’s nurseries and kids’ rooms were and I’d get a little down and stressed comparing. I felt like I was lacking as a mom, because my children didn’t have rooms as pretty and well put together.

This is one of those weaknesses that to me isn’t worth stressing over. Instead of comparing, I’ve grown able to admire my friends’ talents in this area, compliment them, and be content that my kids’ rooms probably won’t look as perfect. And that’s okay, because they don’t seem to miss it. Some weaknesses are not worth your stress!

Cookie cuttersThere are some weaknesses that are worth working on! I hate yelling at my kids. I noticed when they became toddlers, I become a yeller. That is not a behavior that I wanted them to see from their mother and certainly not one that I wanted them to pick up. I remember my boys fighting and screaming at each other and I’d eventually get upset and scream back at them, “STOP SCREAMING NOW!” Hmmmm, now in a child’s brain, I’m sure that really made a lot of sense to them. Mommy is screaming at us and telling us not to scream. This is a behavior that I’ve prayed out of me and worked really hard to change. I hid a lot in the laundry room or in my closet to cool down (eat chocolate) and then emerged again with my super mom cape. Some weaknesses are worth working on!

Here are some ideas to mother from your strengths:

1.) Identify your super powers: Do you know what your strengths are? Where are you thriving in your life? Where you are thriving is probably where you are strong. Share your strengths with your kids! If you don’t know your strengths, ask a friend who you trust or take a personality inventory. Where are my fellow ENFJ’s at (Myers Briggs)?

2.) Choose the right crew: If you have good momma friends, you know how blessed you are! Schedule regular time with them. Good momma friends are the ones you can be yourself with. Always be on the lookout to build your crew! You can never have enough awesome momma friends; you learn something from all of them. Also, recognize if a friend is causing you consistent stress or drama and be content that it may be time to let them go.

3.) Banish comparing: Comparing yourself to other moms causes unnecessary anxiety, stress and increases your insecurities. If you are confident in your strengths and content with your weaknesses, you’ll be better able to compliment and build your friends up for their strengths rather than tear yourself down because of comparing.

4.) Increase your box: Like I mentioned earlier, some weaknesses are just not worth worrying about. Figure out which weaknesses you are just going to be content with, because they really don’t impact your family in important ways. Then figure out which weaknesses might just be underdeveloped strengths. Those are the ones worth working on. We are always told to think outside of the box. Well, I think it’s okay to think inside the box as long as you’re always expanding your box. As moms and in life in general, constant learning keeps our minds young and helps us be our best self.

“Instead of fighting God’s design, let’s start recognizing and honoring our unique, God-given personalities! After all, it’s the message we’ve given to our children their entire lives: You’re special. God made you like no one else in the world. However, many moms believe the complete opposite about themselves. We create in our minds an image of a “good mother” and judge ourselves on whether we live up to it.” -From Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

Enough!

Love,

Natasha

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Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower

Man alive, I had a rough week last week with my recently turned 3 year old twin boys! They went from my sweet boys to what people call “three-nagers” overnight! I was pretty desperate to find some mommy inspiration anywhere I could this week and it turns out that inspiration came while mowing the lawn.

I’ve only mowed the lawn a handful of times in my life. It isn’t that I refuse to do it, it’s just that I’ve been scarred since I was a teenager when I tried to surprise my dad by mowing the lawn and ended up giving it a professional scalp job instead! Since then I’ve mowed the lawn a few times since I’ve been married and my husband (and neighbors) lovingly laugh at me while pointing out the very neat triangle patches of grass I seem to miss every time. Oh well, I tried! It really is funny; last time I even stopped the lawn mower and walked all over the yard inspecting my work. Perfect! Then, later that night, I realized I missed a whole side! Seriously, it probably just grew really fast right?!

Anyway, here’s what I learned about motherhood while mowing the lawn…

Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower1.
Mowing the Lawn:
The perfect straight lines are lovely, but it gets cut even if you zig-zag.
Motherhood: Quit trying to be perfect, they are growing up to be wonderful kids even with your imperfections.

2.
Mowing the Lawn: You kind of want to do it for the tan and the exercise.
Motherhood: You kind of want to do it to make sure you’ve got someone to take care of you when you’re old. (Come on, I kid.)

3.
Mowing the Lawn: You plow over the weeds and they disappear…until they come back bigger and badder. (Please just let “badder” be a word today.)
Motherhood: You can only cover up bad behaviors in yourself and your kids for so long until they turn into real problems.

4.
Mowing the Lawn: You have to stop for an occasional water break.
Motherhood: You have to stop for occasionally often coffee breaks.

5.
Mowing the Lawn: On hot days, you sweat a gallon of sweat.
Motherhood: On most days, you sweat worrying about them, even though you’re trying your best not to be a mommy-hovercraft.

6.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes despite your best efforts, you miss a patch of grass.
Motherhood: You try to do everything, be everything, teach them everything, give them every opportunity; you can’t do it all, but you’re doing your best.

7.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you get blisters on your hands and your upper body goes numb from the lawn mower vibrations.
Motherhood: Sometimes you feel beat up and numb from exhaustion, but you’ve got to fight back against the negativity your ego is trying to feed you, because you’re a great parent!

8.
Mowing the Lawn: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you just want to finish the entire lawn.
Motherhood: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you have little miracles that need you!

9.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you run out of gas or need to change the oil. When that happens, I call my hubby to help.
Motherhood: Sometimes you run out of gas and need to immediately schedule a massage and a date with a good girlfriend.

10.
Mowing the Lawn: There are always obstacles in your way, but it’s kind of fun to run circles around the trees.
Motherhood: There are always obstacles that pop up, but rather than stressing that things didn’t go according to your plans, choose a positive attitude and make it fun!

11.
Mowing the Lawn: You get in a groove, like you’re on auto-pilot.
Motherhood: When you get in a groove, you are quickly shaken back to reality, because the “norm” doesn’t stay the norm for long. Seriously, how can they love Goldfish one week and hate them the next?! And how can 12:30pm be the naptime sweet spot for 3 weeks, but then they don’t want to sleep until 2pm the next week?!?

12.
Mowing the Lawn: When you’re finished, you have an awesome sense of accomplishment.
Motherhood: You’re never finished, but they’re always yours and you’re so proud of them!

Have a great week! Let’s keep in touch! Please connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Natasha

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5 Tips to Survive the Adoption Wait

Right when I think I’m ready to write about how the adoption waiting period is much easier the second time around, I have a few weeks in a row that prove that theory false. I can remember the wait for our first baby, it was fairly agonizing at times and there were moments when I was definitely not waiting with much grace. I was trusting in God’s plan and timing, but still, it was hard and emotional, because I JUST WANTED TO BE A MOM! I can remember long conversations with God, questioning him, begging him, borderline making deals with him, if he would just hurry up and give me my baby already.

And then a month before my sister was due with her twin boys, I received a call from our adoption agency that our twin boys were born five days prior and were ready for us to pick them up. That was an a-ha moment and reminder of God’s perfect plan and timing. He had our sons picked out for us; I just needed to be patient.

High on emotions and fresh off infertility fun, I didn’t do the wait as well as I could have the first time. So, I vowed to wait with more grace the second time around.

I’m doing much better this time, because I do trust that God will bring us the child that he wants to be ours. And with each situation that comes up and then ends in heartbreak, I try to stand firm in the fact that I was meant to be in that situation for a time for some reason, even if to just send extra prayers up for baby and birthmom. I’m also an extremely busy mom of twin toddlers, so that helps keep the mind busy!

I still have moments of doubt and crazy during this wait too.

Has anyone else waiting had any thoughts like these?

adoption waitIs anything going on? Is our profile book or letter even being shown? If it is being shown, why aren’t we being picked? Do they not like our book or even worse, us? Should I change something in our book or update the photos? If our profile book or letter isn’t being shown, why not? Did I choose the right agency? I thought they were so busy? Why aren’t they working with more birthmothers?

Whether you are waiting to be matched with your first child or your second or your third, or more, the waiting can feel nearly impossible at times. All you can really do is set yourself up for success by completing your home study, choosing reputable agencies, and creating an awesome profile book and/or birthparent letter. After that you have to just LET GO and TRUST, trust your agency and most importantly, trust in God’s plan and timing. He has chosen your child for you; sometimes it just takes a while to be brought together!

You might not know it now, but this waiting period is actually a blessing or at least you can turn it into a blessing. Once you have your child and you join the ranks of other exhausted, sleep-deprived parents, then you will wish you had turned your waiting period into a blessing! I know I did!

Here are 5 tips to Survive the Adoption Wait.

  1. Get Right with Yourself: This baby or child will NOT complete you! You have to be complete before you welcome baby home. The wait is your chance to get right with yourself. Suggestions: Exercise, eat healthy, pamper yourself with bubble baths and massages, be spontaneous and carefree, spend time with your friends, do the thing you say you’ve always wanted to do, take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to try, and connect with other families blessed by adoption.
  2. Get Right with Your Marriage: This baby or child will NOT finally make your marriage perfect. If things are already great in your marriage, work to keep them great! The wait is your chance to get or stay right with your marriage. Suggestions: Take a vacation (even a mini-vacation if it’s all you can swing), savor date nights and sleeping in late, spend time with your friends, work on the areas of your marriage that need work, talk about how you’ll parent and discipline, prepare for how you will deal with and answer crazy things people will say/ask you in regards to adoption.
  3. Get Prepared for Your New Addition: It may take some time, but probably on the day that you least expect it, you will finally get the glorious call. The call when you find out you are parents! The wait is your chance to get ready for your baby or child. Suggestions: Find a pediatrician, start child-proofing your house, work on the nursery, purchase books on adoption for you and baby, complete a baby registry at your favorite store, put together a “go” bag for when you receive the call, start researching travel arrangements if you have to travel.
  4. Get Your Family Prepared: If you are blessed to have family support during the adoption process, take time to get your family prepared for what to expect during the wait and for when you finally get the call. The wait is your chance to get your family on board and as excited as you are about your adoption journey and the little one on the way. Suggestions: Help them understand open adoption, prepare them for what to expect during the process and about potential heart breaks, discuss what kind of child you have decided you are open to, be honest with them about what you need and how they can show their support both now and when you bring your child home, explain to them why you may not want to play pass the baby with the entire extended family when you return.
  5. Get Your Prayer On: Like I said earlier, you can only control so much of the adoption process and the rest you just have to trust the journey and give it to God. Give him your fears and anxieties. It won’t help you to be filled with anything but expectant joy as you wait for your little one. That is easier said than done for sure, but praying versus fretting will help. Suggestions: Pray for contentment in your decisions, pray for your child’s safety and health, pray for your child’s birthparents, pray for patience, grace, and joy during the wait, pray for your significant other, pray for the workers at your agency, and pray for help staying calm!

If you can manage to turn the waiting period into a blessing, you will be happy you did and better prepared for your miracle when he or she arrives.

What would you add to the list? How are you surviving the wait?

Blessings on your adoption journey!

Love,

Natasha

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Whips, Chains, and Water Features

I had a really interesting encounter today. I swear, I am a magnet for these things.

The boys and I decided to walk around downtown and enjoy the sunshine-y morning after the gym. We made a quick stop at a coffee shop where mommy fueled up with some java and we shared a lemon-blueberry “cookie” scone (really just a scone, but I called it a cookie hoping they’d be satisfied with it instead of the real cookie they were begging for…50% of them were). Anyway, we continued on our walk to the center of the downtown, which houses a large grassy area where we could run around a bit.

Once we arrived, the first things that got the boys’ attention were the large water fountains spraying water into the air. I never really got these specific water features. Sure, they are “cute” and add something to the downtown, but are they for ascetics only or are kids supposed to play in them or are you just supposed sit down on one of the benches fixed directly around them and take in their understated glory? It’s no Bellagio show! Seriously, where are the “rules”?

Whips, Chains, Water FeaturesAnyway, the first thing that caught my attention was the twenty-something couple that entered the park and proceeded to lay down together in the center on the cement. The woman had what appeared to be a short chain-linked dog leash around her neck and the man was leading her around on it.

Enter my internal conversation: Huh, I must have just seen that wrong. right? I bet that was just a long necklace. Huh, nope, nope, he really is walking her around like a dog. That’s normal, right? Nope, nope, not normal.

The conversation in my head continued with my plan to keep the boys’ backs to the couple, because I really wasn’t in the mood to A.) explain to my toddlers why we shouldn’t walk another human being around like a dog or B.) see my toddlers inevitably walking each other around like dogs later that day.

Well, my plan worked. It worked until the couple came right over by us and the water features. One of my little boys was in the process of working up the courage to touch the top of one of the smaller water features. The other of my little boys was 10 feet away screaming at the lunacy of getting wet in the water feature.

Dog leash lady came over to us, shaved head and neck full of chrome, and asked my son, “Do you want to see something fun?”

My response while taking a few steps back was, “Like fun-fun or fun-terrifying?”

Her response: To rip off her coat (don’t worry she had a tank top on) and run back and forth through the fountains until she was completely drenched. I’m talking water-logged drenched.

One child looked on with utter delight and one watched in confused terror.

When she stopped running through the fountains, she came back over to us and while I pretended to act like this was all cool and normal, I said something to my appalled child like, “See honey, she had no fear!”

What I was saying inside was: “What the beep is going on and how do I get the beep outta here. And how does this weird stuff always happen to me?!”

Me looking at her completely drenched clothes: “Wow, I hope you don’t have to be anywhere anytime soon; your clothes are soaked!”

Her: “I just wanted to do something to cheer him up!” she said while pointing at my little guy who had been screaming. “I like to do anything to make children happy!”

Her Boyfriend: “Well, we do have that meeting with my boss in 45 minutes.”

We talked for a few more minutes and I learned that they were currently staying at the Salvation Army and that they have a four month old son in foster care that they are trying to get back. And that he works for a friend, who was “pretty cool” and probably wouldn’t mind if his girlfriend shows up to the meeting completely soaked.

I couldn’t help but ask about that dog leash though….

Me: “So, what’s with the dog leash?”

Her: “It’s an inside joke between friends, because I get lost easily. So, he has to lead me around.”

Me: “Oh, well, can I tell you what my honest first impression of it was?”

Her: “Sure!”

Me: “Well, honestly all I could think of was how it was so objectifying to women; I mean you are letting him lead you around on a leash!”

Her: With sincere surprise in her eyes like she had really never thought of that, “No, no.”

Him: “I didn’t like the idea of it at first either.”

Me: “Anyway, just thought I’d tell you my honest opinion. So…good luck with your little one and at the meeting with your boss. Thanks for trying to make my kids smile. My parking meter is almost up, so…..bye!”

And at that very moment my water loving child ran face first into the water feature and came running back to me shivering and smiling with delight.

I’m not going to lie, I judged the pants off these people and I tried to avoid them. Given everything scary that continues to happen in our world, in normal public places, in large cities and in small communities, I suppose my initial response wasn’t really that crazy.

It wasn’t until she told me that they were living at the Salvation Army that I felt something soften slightly in me and I felt my demeanor towards them change. It was that instance that I realized I was talking to Jesus’ people.

Maybe the woman who allows someone to walk her around on a leash and the man that “leads” her around are the tax collectors and prostitutes of today. Those were Jesus’ people then and these are Jesus’ people now.

I was pretty emotional actually on my drive home thinking about my interaction with these people. I felt like I not only interacted with Jesus’ people, but also with Jesus himself.

Was I kind to Jesus?

Did I care enough about Jesus?

Did I judge Jesus unfairly?

Did I cloth Him or feed Him?

Did I listen to Him?

Did I love Him?

You just never know when you’ll meet Him. Well, actually, you know exactly when you’ll meet Him…the next time you meet or interact with ANYONE. It’s just so hard to remember that sometimes.

Keep running through waterfalls,

Natasha

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Book Worm Wednesday: 52 Simple Ways to Talk with Your Kids about Faith by Jim Campbell

52 Simple Ways to talk with your kids about faithThis is a great little book that is organized in a way that invites you to read it from cover to cover or to skip around by chapter based on your interest or where you want to strike up a conversation with your child. Each chapter is about three quick pages and is broken into helpful sections such as, “Natural Teachable Moments,” “Starting the Conversation,” and “To Help You Connect/Pray/Listen.” The author provides useful tips on how to talk with your child about different faith topics and backs them up with suggested Bible readings and prayers. Campbell does a great job of reminding parents to really listen to our children without judging or correcting them.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book. I’ll be keeping these close as my little ones grow up. Not only will these reflections help us drum up meaningful conversation, but they will also help me, as momma, reflect on the kind of parent and example I want to be to my little ones.

TOP TEN TIDBITS:

1.) As parents, you are “Serving as Your Child’s Image of God” (from Chapter 1)

2.) “Blessing Your Child” (from Chapter 2) We can bless our child wherever and whenever we feel it is needed; we don’t have to wait for Sunday for a blessing!

3.) “How can you nurture your child as the sacred person he is in God’s eyes?” (from Chapter 4)

4.) “If your child made a list today of what your family’s priorities are, where would God rank?” (from Chapter 6)

5.) Let you child know, “that prayer happens whenever she becomes aware of God’s presence and shares her own presence with God. God is everywhere, so she can pray everywhere. Prayer can involve words, but it does not have to. Prayer can also be silent listening, meditative reflection that uses the imagination, or simply the feeling of being embraced by God’s presence.” (from Chapter 17)

6.) Chapter 24 is an important reminder to take back Sundays (keep them about God and family). It is entitled “Beginning the Week With a ‘Family Sunday’.”

7.) Chapter 26 is about “Praying for Someone’s Needs.” Great reminder when teaching children about prayer, “Explain that in our prayers we don’t just pray for those in need, we pray about them. When praying for people, it’s possible to form an aloof separateness between those persons and yourself, but in order to pray about people, you must acknowledge your inherent connection with them and their meaning to you personally. We remember that, like us, those in need are children of God and deserve dignity, love, and respect.”

8.) I love this reminder from Chapter 42 about what it means to be holy, “A holy person is not always perfect; a holy person responds to God’s call to love him and serve others. Holiness means saying yes to God’s constant invitation to a deeper relationship with God in prayer, in church and the sacraments, and in our daily lives and relationships with others.”

9.) Practicing the Beatitudes as parents: “We are poor in spirit when we recognize that we are dependent on God for help. We mourn when we are saddened at the way people suffer in the world. We act with meekness when we are slow to anger and gentle with our children in difficult times. We practice mercy when we truly forgive them. We are pure of heart when we share with our children our commitment to promote justice in the world. We have many opportunities to be peacemakers in the way we love and restore harmony in our families and in our protection of the dignity of each person.” (from Chapter 43)

10.) Powerful reminders from chapter 50 for us to remember as we speak to our children: “Does criticism of our children come more easily than praise? Do we find ourselves quicker to critique a child’s accomplishments than to build his self-esteem?”

Blessings on your parenting journey!

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Natasha


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50 Things I Never Want to Forget About My TWO Year Olds

People are always sharing this quote, especially when they find out you have young children: “The days move slowly, but the years fly by.” I couldn’t agree more. There are so many days that I look at the clock in shock that it is only 10am. How is that possible? We’ve eaten breakfast, read books, played outside, had a snack, watched Veggie Tales, had a bath…how is it only 10am! And how am I going to make it 3 more hours until naptime?

The “years fly by” part has never been more real to me than now as my boys are nearing the two and a half years mark. There are just so many signs now that they are growing up. Communication and language are huge parts of this as they say new words and longer sentences every day. It seems like yesterday they were pointing at their dresser drawer and today they are picking out a shirt saying, “Yellow shirt on Mommy.” It seems like yesterday they were dancing as I sang the ABC song and now they try to sing along and can identify A, B, C, G, O, and S. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was reading them books and now today they can identify every kind of truck in their truck book (I’m talking complicated trucks like big rig, airport fire truck, giant excavator, combine harvester, concrete mixer!)?

Of course we are so proud of our kids as they learn and grow and we know it is necessary, but there is a teensy bitter sweetness that leaves us grasping for their childhood like sand through our fingertips. These days I find myself stealing as many hugs and full on (usually snotty) mouth kisses as I can. I let my lips linger a few extra seconds on their delicate foreheads as I say a quick prayer for their protection. I force myself to slow down and enjoy the gentle grasp of their tiny hands as I help them down the stairs. I know these tender moments won’t last forever, but I just don’t want to forget them!

So, I decided to write down a few things that I never want to forget about my sweet two year olds. You don’t have to read them all, but I thought it might be a nice reminder for you to write down some of your favorites!

What do you absolutely not want to forget about whatever stage your little ones are at currently?

PicsArt_141574237063950 Things I Never Want to Forget About My TWO Year Olds

1.) Riding your bikes around the driveway, your little legs pumping so fast.

2.) Roo asking mommy for help, “A-Bu-Gee Mommy” (Help me please mommy).

3.) Tigger climbing into my chair when I’m not looking and then smiling that sneaky smile when I come back to sit down.

4.) Reading books together, both of you in my lap.

5.) When you put your arms around my neck for a “hard hug” .

6.) Kisses on the mouth.

7.) Tigger’s love of all things blue, Blue Thing (stuffed animal), blue socks, blue hat, etc.

8.) Your Shrek and Frozen movie obsessions.

9.) Roo’s fixation with Legos, a green block you call your phone, and a certain pink piece of plastic.

10.) Driving tractors with trailers up and down the hallway and all around the house with Daddy.

11.) You shoving your faces into deep into the corner during timeouts.

12.) The first time you said each other’s names.

13.) Tigger’s love of all things fire truck/fire fighter related.

14.) Roo and Baxter our dog = best bugs, Roo giving Baxter hugs.

15.) Feeding Baxter, one scoop each. And the time you nearly decapitated the dog by shutting the sliding door on him prematurely.

16.) You “helping” Daddy do dishes.

17.) You “helping” Daddy stir the pancake batter every Saturday.

18.) You both finding “Jesus crosses” everywhere.

19.) When you ask for Grammie and Grandpa, especially when mommy says no to something, “Grandpa!!!”

20.) Over and over, asking for your cousins, “Abby and Hannah, Abby and Hannah,” again, usually when you are mad at mommy.

21.) Running all over the house 15 minutes before bedtime, every night.

22.) Your preference for “blue jeans”

23.) Tigger, when you wake up to a potty accident and say, “Diaper all wet”

24.) Giving you one fruit snack after one lap around the driveway, for a whole pack of fruit snacks.

25.) Enjoying our grocery shopping trips together thanks to the huge free cookies from the bakery.

26.) Your first time trick or treating as a Chicken and a Duck.

27.) Roo’s obsession with all thing garage door, “garage door up,” “garage door down,” “garage door Mommy!”

30.) When missing daddy, “More Daddy go home,” “Daddy home”

31.) Hill running at Grammie and Grandpa’s house.

32.) “Helping” fold clean laundry. Mommy gave you one sock at a time to run to daddy in another room, daddy made the pairs, you ran the pairs back to mommy.

33.) The new winter Olympic sport you created: Olympic Snow Tricycle Riding

34.) Tigger being able to name all of the trucks in the big truck book.

35.) Helping us set the table.

36.) Sprinting to the bathroom in excitement when it’s time to brush teeth.

37.) Roo helping Daddy put your tricycle together.

38.) “Daddy up” & “Mommy up”

39.) Magically appearing in a room out of thin air, “Ello Mommy” (terrifying at times!)

40.) The magic of redirection.

41.) Packing your “valuable” toys in Mommy’s gym bag, so I can protect them.

42.) You using your mattresses as trampolines every morning. Happiest way to wake up ever!

43.) Squirting each other with water from plastic toys in the bathtub.

44.) Putting your “supplies” in the back of your tricycle baskets before you ride around.

45.) Tigger trying to carry two jeeps, two fire trucks, and two Legos around everywhere and insisting on bringing them all along when we leave the house.

46.) Roo’s love of oranges, “More ooonge please”

47.) Little butts in the air sleeping style.

48.) Tigger’s need to have TWO blankets for bed.

49.) When we tried to sneak out of church early and Tigger yelled, “Bye Jesus” (Mommy did the same when I was little!).

50.) When you try to put your winter hats on yourselves and they are all crazy with your little ears sticking out every which way.

It’s the small stuff right!?

Here’s to remembering what’s important.

What do you want to remember???

Love,

Natasha