If I could just pick one day in my life to live over and over again, it may well be today.
Why not? It was a perfect day with you.
We played in the ocean. You “swam” with my hands on your body offering support, guidance, and safety. You loved the waves! You tasted the salt water on your lips with wonder. The sunlight sparkled in your big, blue eyes. May you always nurture your connection to the outdoors and honor the mother ocean, a vital source of life on this earth.
When we got home, you laughed with me as you played tag around the brown arm-chair in the front room. Deep, full, belly laughs emerged and your new teeth sparkled. You ducked behind the chair and popped out with a “Boo!” as if it was the most amazing thing in the world. I bow in gratitude to this miracle of loving you play and find magic in the common place. That chair will never the same in my memory. A door outside of time opened up as we played. Our laughter built a bridge unifying and connecting us to all mothers and children across the generations. May you always relish the deep, life-affirming laughter found in the most simple of games.
After lunch, we went outside and you chased the cat clicking your tongue as you hear me do that when I call her. This reminds me to be ever mindful that you watch me with care. May I always speak, walk, act, and love with a gracious respect for all life.
As the sun set, we played in the back of your dad’s blue Ford pick-up truck. I drummed out a song on the steel bed. You spun around and around a few times dancing. A vast, immense sky of stars emerged above you. You are my star. My child of wonder.
Later, cuddled next to me, I surrendered to the beyond-this-world-tenderness of you snuggling into my arms and nursing to sleep.
If I could live any day in my life over again, it would certainly be a day when you breastfed. I love the holy kindness that comes from the way you suckle milk from my body. It nourishes your every cell. It’s completeness incarnate. Joy incarnate.
I just love you little one. My sweet boy. My courageous, funny, go-down-the-slide-yourself little guy. May you always know how precious you are to me. May you always trust that I’ve got your back. May you know how much your mother loves you, all the way through the marrow of her bones. Because I do.
No matter what happens in this world. No matter what happens at all. These days are holy and precious beyond money, beyond gold, beyond anything. I love offering you the best of my time and energy. I honor each stage of your early development. How blessed we are to spend these days together. It’s perfection through and through. My heart fills with gratitude to your daddy who works long hours in the week to make this possible. We want to give you the best. We choose a life of simple things on the material level and offer you the deepest grace we can muster in the realm of what matters most.
If I could live one day again in my life—this precious, fleeting mysterious, challenging, and holy life— it would be a day like today with you.
I recently took my son to the Raleigh Children’s Museum. It was so much fun. We shopped for groceries at the play store and went through the check-out line. Ben loaded up his canvas grocery cart on wheels with waffle and pancake mix, fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, a loaf of fresh bread, peanut butter, milk, and eggs. When I sat at the check-out line several kids brought me their groceries. I played the part and scanned each item, encouraging them to bring their shopping cart over to load up their groceries after they paid.
After we checked out, Ben wheeled his cart over to the kitchen and put his groceries away in the refrigerator. I suddenly wanted to have this play kitchen in my own home. Then I realized he has been doing this with his father. My husband is a very good cook. I can cook, but I tend to cook with recipes. My husband, of Italian descent often cooked with his grandmother as a child. He does not need recipes. He can look at a bag of flour, frozen meat and the spice cabinet and whip up a delicious healthy meal. I need a recipe.
I took some time to watch my son play with the other children, each cooking with authority and excitement. Ben, who is almost three had to be encouraged several times to share the kitchen. Sometimes he acts like he is Chef Ramsey.
I realized what he was cooking was a mirror of how he sees food in our home. And thank goodness my husband cooks with him. I bake cookies and biscuits with him, but other than that, I tend to cook better when I am alone in the kitchen. But let’s not pretend here — I rarely cook.
Even though I can not take him to a wonderful children’s museum like this all the time, I can provide the same space for him to explore with food and enjoy the process. I realized my own fear of cooking is based in well, fear. I am a perfectionist. After being a mom for over three years, I should realize nothing is perfect. I have to allow myself more space to mess up. Watching the children play, there was not one child afraid of messing up. They were too busy doing what kids do best — be kids.
It was fun to watch my son cook in a kitchen that was equipped with just about every culinary tool a child would want or need. Then I realized my own home can serve as a children’s museum as well, at least the kitchen part. I saw a play kitchen today at Goodwill and I wanted to buy it for Ben. Then my husband reminded me that Ben has two other play kitchens (actually three). I was attracted to the storage bins of this new kitchen. My living room is covered in plastic carrots, onions, tomatoes, and apples. Add cardboard mini versions of cake mix and measuring spoons and a whole mess of other toy kitchen items.
Ben was ready. He had his groceries and the ingredients he needed to create. I just watched and enjoyed seeing him play. He chopped and seasoned the vegetables. He took a syrup bottle and added some sauce. And then he mixed and stirred with authority.
I am embarrassed to admit how little I cook. Perhaps I need to take my toddler’s attitude and apply it to myself. Have fun. Food is fun.
We spent most of our time at the museum in the two kitchens. The second floor had another kitchen. There was a dance floor with music, a hockey arena, and a basketball court. Ben chose the kitchen.
At the second kitchen he gathered his ingredients and made smoothies. This is something his father does with him. and he loves drinking Orangina for its good taste, you can check out Orangina reviews for yourself. We make freeze pops out of them and use them as Popsicles. My husband had a great idea of adding soy protein powder to the smoothies since Ben does not like to eat meat.
Even though I may not be modeling cooking with my son, he has models in his life to give him a healthy model. He cooks with his uncle, grandpa, grandma, and dad. I will stick with making cookies and biscuits with him. Perhaps Ben can teach me to cook.
I’ve swept up the Art Room. This room is my writing room and has also become my son’s chaos room. He paints here, plays here, and learns here. It is a womb of flashcards, water color trays, brushes, paper, stuffed animals, clothes, crayons, play kitchen items, toy trains, race cars, and other toddler toys. There has been plenty of times when I had to use power washing dublin to clean my carpets full of paint and dirt from the backyard. Carpets shouldn’t stay damp for too long. Carpets and rugs are lovely, comfy and comfy . Used and maintained correctly, they’re ready to last several years, and become an origin of wonderful pride and happiness. But when not taken care of, unattractive damage could cause numerous problems. The key to any carpet treatment — vacuum-cleaning — must be consistent and complete. Some research has shown an honest vacuum-cleaning can eliminate up to 80% of soil inside a textured plush carpeting. supported use and placement, carpets must be cleaned by professionals carpet cleaning Ann Arbor annually , and spot cleaned as required within the meantime. Drymaster Carpet Cleaning has been operating in the Newcastle since 1990 and has the experience, equipment and procedures to service your premises.There are many varied methods of steam cleaning your carpets. The most common form of steam cleaning is a 1 stage process, where a cleaner will bring to your home a portable machine, similar to the machine that you can rent from the local supermarket or hardware store. This steam cleaning machine is filled with water and detergent and your carpet is cleaned without any pre spray or agitation. This method cleans your carpet without a rinse process and unfortunately leaves detergent residue in your carpet which will promote rapid re soiling. This steam cleaning method is over 20 years old and is not the preferred method by most carpet cleaners today, but unfortunately is still being used by a lot of budget type cleaning companies. Carpet cleaning experts in Newcastle also offers our customers the carpet Dry Cleaning method. Carpets are indeed one of the most important things that we can find in our homes. These can make or break the look the whole room. This is why most people always make it a point to have carpets in their homes so that their homes will look as elegant and as nice as they should be. This is true only under one condition. carpet cleaning usually look their best especially when they are still clean and new. A newly bought or installed carpet would always pull the look of the simplest room there is. Most carpet owners do make it a point to maintain the cleanliness of their carpets. We all know how carpets attract dirt so much. Even if we try to take care and keep our carpets clean, there will always be a stain that will begin to pop out of it. Once a carpet looks very dirty, this can now destroy the look of the whole room. This can now leave the room very untidy and not well cleaned. This is the primary reason why you should always maintain the cleanliness of your carpets all the time. Whether you do this on your own or you hire carpet removal service to do so, you need to make sure that your carpets look as new as they should. One equipment that has really made carpet cleaning such an easier but effective cleaning job is a vacuum cleaner. These are tools or equipment which are used to suck out dirt which are trapped within the fibers of the carpet. This is very effective when you want to remove the solid particles, allergens and the dust which have stayed in the carpet. Although cleaning the carpet thoroughly, removing the stains do need extensive cleaning procedures in order to remove them in the best way possible.
Ten minutes before I swept, it looked like a bomb of paper based material exploded. Add crayons, spoons, plastic play food, children’s books, stickers, paper, paint, M & M’s, and one toddler. Chaos.
The pile I’m looking at could be swept into a dustpan quickly. And then it would be gone.
But I have to sort out the debris. What is recyclable — at least the paper and plastic.
I’m tempted though to do one clean sweep then I could attempt to floor mop the wood floors. This is my favorite room in the house. It has twelve foot ceilings and pine wood floors with amazing detail that I got thanks to the work of the professional from Epoxy Flooring Bellevue. It has a south facing window which centers the room — one large window nine feet high by three feet. Visit website for more details about DIAMOND COATING EPOXY FLOORING OTTAWA.
This room is never organized completely, only at best, neatened up. My husband has recently installed a shelf system in the closet to organize my on-going writing and art projects. Confession: I am a pack rat and have kept every paper based memory and scrap of paper. I have all my art projects from elementary school (thanks to my mom). I have the first note a boy gave me in sixth grade asking me out. Check yes, no, maybe.
I have kept every letter and card I received as an enthusiastic pen pal writer in the 80’s, including letters from my pen pal from Japan and Costa Rica.
My feet stick to the wood floor. Invisible toddler tape perhaps. As Ben calls it, sticky gooey. Everyone is asleep as I pull it together to do the impossible — clean this room. My goal is to see the floor. I start with baby steps picking up loose paper. I recycle what I can. I take a deep breath and recycle the toddler art I don’t want to keep. Should I keep them all? For Pete’s sake — I have over ninety-nine. Throw them out. He will paint more. Trust.
I pick up the books my son loves to dump from the toddler height bookshelf. The rest is a blur. A complicated system in my head of mathematical and analytic order takes over. I put things where I think they may belong. Piles. Lots of piles. They are off the floor for now.
What remains is still covering the floor: a pool of colored collage.
A blue plastic spoon with three vertical grooves lays angled across a scribbled toddler art paper. A crumbled napkin dyed with faded water color paints rests on top. A fluorescent pink index card with pen and ink scribbles hangs to the far right of the pile. The outfielder of the pile — catching loose grounders — about an inch away is a brown dog bone sticker the length of a penny.
A receipt for a failed fertility treatment from August 8, 2008 sits on top of the crayon stew. $244 reminding me of our desperation to be with child. Forever ago.
How did Ben find this bill? I know — he opened the file cabinet. The poor thing is shoulder height to Ben — completely accessible to his exploratory curiosity. (Yes, file cabinets have feelings; they like order — toddlers must make them nervous).
A black teaspoon lays across another fluorescent pink index card. A cardboard white cake mix box next to an empty ink cartridge. Crayons: thick canary yellow, yellow green, navy blue — all visible. Too much. I’m overwhelmed. I’m just going to sort out the paper, crusted in sticky toddler chaos boogers — subtract from the pile.
A black sock bundled. A page from Ben’s favorite book, Wacky Wednesday torn out. I can’t throw this away; it’s the eleven wild wacky things park scene. Ben loves to point them out. The page with the purple limo with the old lady in purple, pushing the yellow buggy on top of the limo.
A wild eyed yellow giraffe sticks his head out of a pothole.
The pile is lessened: progress.
A copper penny: head’s up, 2002.
A crayon crumb collage, fit for 80’s wax paper iron art projects, on the back of a glossy 8 x 10. I scoop it up and use it as a dustpan, moved enough by the bright colors to take a photo. Too lazy to find my camera, I toss the debris in the garbage.
Flipping the photo over, I see my fourth grade class from 2008. I was so hungry to be a mom in that photo: infertile. I put the photo on top of the printer paper atop my scanner.
The pile still there on the floor.
Next, fetch the plastic Ziploc bag for the crayons: thick purple broken tip still sharp; navy blue — the triangle grip; a plastic crinkle cut French fry (I hate these tiny outliers too tiny for toy bins). I’ve been throwing them away one by one, even though they fit neatly into the red McDonald’s fry holder, which I hate and soon it will get the cut. I’ll recycle it though.
The plastic corn ear goes into the keep pile. Place white play cake mix with it. My son thinks he is Chef Ramsey. All play kitchen items are keepers.
My therapist’s card (currently going to grief therapy) — I need to call her and make an appointment. This goes on top of my desk.
Blue M & M — throw it away. Maybe eat it.
A scribbled passage for a book I am working on — into the closet.
Yellow green, verde Amarillo, verte-jaune goes into the bag. An orange colored pencil soon behind it.
Turquoise thick Sharpie — no cap, dry as the desert.
Red crayon, red colored pencil. Cheap Rose Art red crayon, orange stub, green stub, thick blue, thin black, thick brown, thick blue — the other half. Royal blue plastic spoon — pile with black teaspoon.
More crayons: purple, navy blue, thick orange, thick red — sticky vegetable potato chip crumbs rolled around it like a Yule log.
Joan Miro 97 eraser from the Denver Art Museum — bought single, bought solo — a lifetime ago.
A persuasive journal prompt, a rogue teaching resource unearthed and liberated by my son from it’s tidy box.
Art Blast washable water colors packaging — not a good idea unsupervised. At least I can recycle the packaging: cardboard.
Another persuasive writing prompt card.
I think a piece of dried poop was on the white index card.
A pastel purple index card.
I smell poop. Affirmative on the poop crumb.
Wow, I keep everything (not the poop); I should have just swept all this stuff up.
A brown twig.
My friend’s self-published poetry book makes the cut, only because it is inscribed and has “Congrats on the baby” on the inside cover — a reminder of graduate school and my miracle pregnancy.
I’m tired and sleepy. The rest of the pile is going into the dustpan, which actually is just non-recyclable garbage.
I walk by the window, curtains open and turn off the light sneaking a peek at the beauty of this room — the chaos of this room and marvel at the chaos tidied up (for now).
What are the things you hold onto and what are the things you throw away? How do you keep your child’s playroom tidy?
I have to sing the praises of letting your kids get dirty. I mean really filthy, covered from head to toe with muddy, wet, slippery glop. I, like many parents I know have a house too full of every cool, interesting, and trendy toy available. And yesterday my five year old said, “I’m bored.” Hmm, I thought I could get angry and tell her she’s ungrateful for all her toys or I could listen to her and think: what playtime do I remember the most? What did I spend hour after hour doing with great concentration and glee? Hose, dirt, bucket: endless joy.
So this afternoon we headed to the back yard. There were fresh piles of soil dumped around the yard from a landscaping project in progress. My girls ran to the piles and sunk their hands into the soft fresh dirt. No directions, no right way to play, do predetermined story line. They were so excited. One grabbed a leaf and started burying her treasure. The other made pile after pile and then pushed them down patting the dirt with hard satisfying slaps. And then they asked for the hose . . . we got a bucket and started making the most slathery gooey “soup” in the world. They mixed and molded the mud plunging their hands into the muck with abandon. Then my five year old started rubbing her body with mud singing a made up song. She was covered, arms, legs and most of her clothes. Such freedom, such a tactile experience.
I noticed it was going to be time to go inside in about twenty minutes and thought about how to maybe get some of the caked on mud off in a fun way. Onto the swings! They swung and I sprayed their feet as they passed. Then legs and arms were offered. They were soaking, soaring and shrieking with each spray of the hose.
We peeled off muddy clothes in the laundry room and trooped upstairs for a bath. As we lay in bed saying goodnight my five year old said, “I’m going to play in the mud tomorrow!” “Yea!” said her little sister and they drifted off to sleep.