jumping in puddles

Is there anything as fun as jumping in puddles? After watching my two little ones I think their answer would be an enthusiastic, “NO!” This morning we bundled up and headed outside to go puddle hunting and found some perfect ones for jumping, splashing, and running through. Everybody had fun and we came back to the house wet, muddy, and cold but with huge smiles; nothing a cup of hot chocolate and warm clothes couldn’t fix.

I sent my Mom the picture of Norah and her umbrella and she wrote back, “So sweet through the eyes of a child, huh?” And that was the perfect way to describe it. They did not have a care in the world and were splashing and running uninhibited¬†through those puddles giggling and laughing the entire time. Remember when life was that simple? Wet feet? Who cares. Mud on my face? Even better. It was a perfect reminder to let them have these moments even if they mean a little more mess and time cleaning up for me. And it was a reminder to get in there and jump in the puddles with them…they loved it and we were all three laughing out loud before it was over.

No boots for this girl – and yes, she put on her own shoes this morning. ūüôā

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make a goal monday

For Christmas the girls each¬†received¬†a set of matching high chair and baby beds from their Nana and Papa; they were a big hit from the beginning and have received¬†lots of play time throughout the day for multiple dolls and stuffed animals.¬†When I walked down the hallway to a¬†suspiciously¬†quiet playroom last night and found the chair in the below condition I was ticked, to say the least. They haven’t broken a lot of toys or played rough enough with things to ruin them so I was very surprised to see the high chair with a broken back rest sitting¬†forlornly¬†in the hallway and two very quiet girls, each in their own room.

Here’s where it doesn’t get pretty: I yelled (as much as I wish I didn’t yell, I did) for both girls to come in the hallway and demanded answers for what happened to the chair. Norah tried telling me a story about a baby being too big or Stella trying to fit in the chair (??) and I (most likely still yelling) began lecturing them about how we don’t treat our toys this way and now it’s ruined and they can’t play with it anymore and blah, blah, blah. I believe I might have even said that she’d have to call Nana and tell her she broke the high chair (really?). To which my ever sweet Norah replied, “Ok, Mommy.” (How can I be mad at that girl?) I sent them both to their room and left the hallway with two scared little girls crying in their rooms. ¬†As I came back out to the kitchen I felt like yelling at myself for my¬†immediate¬†jump to yelling and the anger that came out so quickly. ¬†I don’t want to be the angry Mom, but sometimes find myself still feeling that way; my patience has a¬†tendency¬†to disappear very quickly, especially when I’m tired or hungry (in my defense it had been a long day out and about and bedtime was approaching for everybody).

I finished the dinner dishes and calmed down before calling both girls out.¬†I got down so I was below their eye level and was looking up at them and in a very calm, quiet voice and with lots of eye contact I asked if they knew why I was upset and it led to a¬†conversation¬†about how we treat our toys and if they can’t make it work how they need to get Mom or Dad. I looked at both little girls and told them I was very sorry I yelled at them and that sometimes Mommy gets upset and yells but it never means I don’t love you. And that same little Norah girl says, “I love you so much to the moon and back, Mommy.” Seriously? Talk about major Mommy guilt and feeling like bad Mom. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first Mom to feel like this or have a moment like this (and if I am then I need to shut this blog down today) but it still makes you feel like you are the only one who doesn’t have it figured out and that you are screwing up your kids (or is that only me that feels that way?)

As I was finishing up all the chores I have to finish before I can finally sit down for the night I was thinking about the upcoming week and everything we had going on. Then I started thinking about setting a few mommy goals for myself for the week and then thought how this could be a forum to share goals for the week (mom related or not). I’ve found that when you post goals or share them with someone it makes you more accountable and you’ll have a¬†tendency¬†to follow through on them.

So here are my goals for this week:

  • NO YELLING! There are plenty of ways to get the same point across without yelling — whisper, take a breath and say it normally…
  • If they ask me to play, read, dress-up, comb their hair – I am not going to say, “hold on while I finish this,” I am going to PLAY!

These aren’t life changing and don’t require a lot of time, thought or effort (hopefully not anyway) just a way to work on my relationship with my girls and work on my patience (or lack of) when I find myself getting frustrated and angry.¬†Nobody is perfect and we have to remember that nobody really has this parenting thing figured out – we are all trying the best we can and finding out what works for us and our families. ¬†But if you know there are areas you want to improve on (LIKE MY YELLING FOR EXAMPLE) then setting small weekly goals can help you work on them. Non-parenting goals are great too — they can be health, work, marriage, even money related! I’d love to hear your goals for this week – anything you are going to focus on. This might become a new idea for Monday’s here at Mom’ Secret Weapon!