Make Your Own Rainbow

One positive aspect of social media is the ability to feel connected to a loved one after they’re gone.

I can sign in to Facebook and look at my mom’s beautiful face. In a video I can hear her infectious laugh. I can see her dear friends post about her lovely spirit. And I can read posts she wrote herself, imagining her voice as I read.

Today, I looked at her Facebook photos and something stopped me at this rainbow.

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“Lovely little storm just flitted by, dropped a few raindrops on my patio, and left me with a rainbow. I really appreciate the rainbow.” – Debby Susan Mosher 8/10/2016

What a simple and powerful statement.

But life doesn’t always give us rainbows. Sometimes we have to make our own.

So I told my family I was feeling funky today. I needed to be outside and to somehow connect to the energy and space around me.

We went to the dog park.

We drank afternoon coffee.

We rode our bikes.

We had a paint gun battle.

And in all of this, my funk is still slightly there but I can feel a shift in my presence. I can feel a lighter energy on the horizon – maybe after a family snuggle sesh and good night’s sleep.

Perspective is everything. Seeing the storm as lovely and appreciating the moment no matter the presence of rain or rainbow.

And sometimes we just have to make our own rainbows.

Engage in the Moment

I think about my blog throughout the week, looking for moments of meaning, humor, grief, love, and connection. I had found my moment to write about and sat down at 5:30 on a Friday. It was calm and quiet. I was ready to unpack my thoughts and dig deep.

“MA-AAAWWW-MMM!”

[enter James]

“I’m bored! Will you play basketball with me? Puh-leeeez?”

[pull heartstrings with big 8-year-old sweet puppy dog eyes]

“Hey mom”

[enter Miles]

“Can we make dinner together?”

[pull more heartstrings with the fact that my teenager wants to hang out with me]

“You bet guys. Give me some time to work on this and I’ll come get you.”

“Ok.”

[Miles goes back downstairs]

“But I’m bored!!”

“Why don’t you get started and I’ll be down in just a sec.”

[James goes back downstairs]

I stare at the screen I was going to fill with moments and connection.

What the hell am I doing?! Isn’t the whole point to appreciate what you have in the moment? I closed the screen and went downstairs to make moments with my boys.

[commence losing basketball and eating delicious food]

Hours later, I sat down to write. The moment I was originally going to write about will still be there for a future post, but this one took the spotlight. This moment with my boys is what life is all about.

There will be a day when my body will say goodbye to this world… And when that day comes, the most important things my boys remember about me won’t be my writing or my thought process.

They will remember me playing with them.

They will remember me cooking with them.

They will remember me loving them and connecting with them, over and over again.

So, take a moment to look around the room…

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Breathe in the moment. See the moment you are in. Appreciate what you have exactly as it is. Find one person to connect with – with whom you can give and receive love.

Now go engage in the moment.

Morning MASH

Do you remember the game MASH? You write out four people you want to marry, four jobs, four numbers (amount of kids), and any other life detail you would like to wish for, and you end the list with MASH – mansion, apartment, shack, house. Then you pick a random number and eliminate all but […]

Dance Party

One of my favorite activities is to start a dance party with little kids. Now, I’m no great dancer – I’ve got a good sway and can keep a beat – so combine that with my husband’s dance skills, and James was bound to have some slick moves! Here is a video of our dance […]

Miles

I’m skipping a blog about James or dieting today to talk about Miles.

First of all, Miles was born cooler than I will ever be.

He has so many friends and is invited to so many things that this weekend, we jokingly said, “Can we limit his friends?” He includes the kid that isn’t always included, he helps the kid he accidentally tripped during basketball, he plays with his brother, and he still enjoys us. We must remind ourselves that the day will come that he won’t think we’re very cool or funny anymore…

Miles will be 10 this month and he continues to amaze me when I least expect it. I told him that all I wanted for Christmas was something made by him. On Friday he came home from school and said, “Mom, you’ll get your Christmas wish and I’m going to make some for the rest of our family too!” Once we got home, he went in his room, turned on music, and spent the next few hours working on Christmas presents for the family – me, Casey, James, Matt, Ayana, Grandma, Grandpa, Great-Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, etc etc etc. And what makes it so great and so genuine is that he did it of his own accord.

Later that night we played Uno Attack before bed. James was enjoying watching the Uno cards fly towards his face as we were attempting to keep the game going. Miles then says, “Who wants to just enjoy James?” We laugh at James and just enjoy each other as we discover a new way to use the Uno Attack game.

Miles proceeds to say that he wishes we didn’t see a commercial for one of James’ favorite toys because he was going to save up his marble jars and money to buy it for him for Christmas.

I am proud of Miles, of how easy-going, insightful, kind, funny, smart, and charming he can be. One minute he is playing Call of Duty with a friend and the next he is singing ABCs with James and helping him build a tower. I am so very lucky for the wonderful children I have, a wonderful co-parenting relationship and a remarkable husband to enjoy Miles’ accomplishments and awesomeness with.

The holiday season brings out the sap in me. And tonight I feel sappy. I think I will sneak in Miles’ room and give him a big mom kiss before I go to bed. I am so thankful for him and couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

Racing to Open Vehicles

James and I have become regulars at toddler open gym.

There are bikes, cars, bowling pins, balls, basketball hoops, blocks, a toy house and slides. What else could a child ask for?

An open vehicle.

The only thing with open gym is finding a vehicle that is not already taken. James’ problem is that when he sees an open car across the gym, his short little legs have a long way to run if he wants to beat another kid there.

But when he does and he gets to that long awaited car, its all cheesy smiles from there on out!

So, Happy Wednesday! I hope you can find something to bring a cheesy smile to your face today!

Dirt Hill

As a parent, I am constantly reminded of all the little things that make children happy.

Ice cream. Chocolate milk. Marshmallows. Merry go rounds. Swinging. Grass under toes. Wood chips. Music – no particular type, just music to move with. Reading the same book over and over and over again. Being outside. Being the leader. Walking. Running. Rocks. Bath time. Noises, lots of noises. Sirens. Firetrucks. Animals, absolutely any kind of animal. Climbing stairs. Friends – meeting another person their same size. Watching you make silly faces. Looking at themselves in the mirror.  High fives. Peek-a-boo. Tickles. Kisses. The list goes on and on.

Last night, James found a small incline of dirt that seemed in his mind to be a mountain that he was running down. He spent several minutes walking up and down this hill, smiling with accomplishment at the bottom. Some of my friends commented on how nice it is to be so intrigued with something that it brought you complete joy. That’s one of the many wonderful things about having children. It gives you a chance to see the world through a new perspective, through eyes that see everything as something extraordinary.

Like the rain today. James stands at the door licking the cold glass and watching the rain fall. His dirt hill is mud today, but that’s okay. He’d probably think that was amazing.

Best Friday Ever

Yesterday may have been one of the best Fridays ever. I woke up at 6am to run, took my nephew to a garage sale, went to the park, made pizza and cookies and Kool-Aid, painted, and went to the Natural History Museum. Needless to say I went to bed at 9pm, but it was so worth it!

 

Here is James painting. We made ice cube paint!

Directions: All you do is fill an ice cube tray with water and put a few drops of food coloring in each compartment. Then put in popsicle sticks to make handles. Freeze em. On a hot day, take em outside and as they melt you can paint! (If they don’t melt fast enough, try dipping them in some water to speed it up.) This is great for toddlers, and I even got the big kids into it!

 

Here’s the final masterpieces

After we all set our paintings out to dry, the kids found their way back to Call of Duty and bickering over whose turn it was. James and I wandered around outside trying to figure out a way to entice the older children into something mentally stimulating, or at least something not in front of the TV… Natural History Museum here we come!

They were all surprisingly very excited to go. James led the troops through the museum calling everything either a bird or a dog and telling everything and everyone, “Goodbye, See you later” when he left a room. And as you can guess, we spent the majority of the time in the gift shop, leaving with some small animals and imprinted pennies.

My favorite part of the museum was watching each kid enjoy it in their own way. Miles and Parker seemed to race each other around the room trying to find the coolest animal to show the other. Abbi meandered slowly, enjoying the interactive displays that she could read and learn from.

 

James however, found some small non-museum related things to enjoy. Lights. Take him to a display and he would ooh and ahh at the lights on the ceiling. His favorite “exhibit,” however, was two circles on an iron railing that squeaked when he turned them. He stood there turning them over and over listening to their squeals echo through the museum. He would then turn to me and say, “woah!”

 

 

We all have our own way of enjoying life and it changes moment by moment. Today I was chaperone/mother/auntie/teacher, and I enjoyed my time being with the youth around me.

It made me grateful that I can provide these kinds of memorable summer days for my kids.

It was a good day. A good summer Friday.

Kicking Balls

I took my 9-year-old and his baseball friend to the batting cages. This was our first time and we walked around like lost tourists for a while. Eventually we found helmets and an extra bat. We cruised the cages to figure out how it worked and which one to enter. Major league, minor league, slow pitch softball, fast pitch softball… Then far at the end was rookie baseball. The boys heartily protested for fast pitch but I told them they had to take turns on rookie.

Helmets on and ready to swing, the boys took turns hitting. They each struck out most of the time except for a couple of fly balls. I attempted to give them tips on their stance and swing, but they were determined to swing their own way. I walked away and just watched the spectacle. The boys complained about the machine messing up, the balls being too fast, and the bats being too light. Either way, the misses were not their fault.

Before we left I asked the boys to kick all the balls down to the machine. They looked at each other and laughed. The thought of me asking them to “kick balls” made them forget their crappy swings and their missed hits and run off to have fun “kicking balls”. I found myself being thankful for 9-year-old humor.

We then compromised on going to a park to play baseball together – which we probably should have done in the first place – but the batting cages gave us some good lessons…

You don’t always know what’s coming. You might not be as good in real life as you think you are. And you make the best of what you’ve got. If all else fails, humor usually does the trick. So this weekend, go out an kick balls.