whole parenting

Five Going on Fifteen

February 6, 2016

Somehow this last six months has felt like a shift in our family. SuperBoy isn’t a little kid anymore. He’s in a whole different place, so I’m in a whole different place as a mom. Yes, he still has epic clashes with me and trouble listening at times, but his maturity is sometimes (sometimes) amazing. His wings are growing. Banging. Bashing around, looking for higher heights to leap from, and leading the way for the little kids to want and be and do more and more. Case in point. The other day, for the first time in months, SuperBoy was the gentle big brother I know is in there somewhere. He changed into his play clothes in the morning without a fight. He let his sister play with his legos without apoplectic screeches. He spoke in the cutest LOUD SLOW BABY TALK to the toddler who understood him perfectly and let us know with lots of “BABA” and “JEE-JEE” responses. {that’s my dad’s name and Jesus, FYI}. His idea for Lent? Offering up all treats and adding in doing all his morning chores before breakfast. WHO IS THIS KID? I thought about these posts I had written throughout the years: big boy battles,   taming your toddler’s tantrums, feeling powerless with your preschooler, power parenting: why force & fear don’t work,  helping emotional boy find his voice & ears. He’s growing up. That’s my dad’s dresser from his childhood we’ve repainted around those 50’s decals a few times for our babes. …

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scattered local mom tries to clean house before holidays

December 13, 2015

First, clean your house. Like really, go through all your cupboards that have decades-old spilled spices. Rip all your clothing out of your closet, determined to go all Jaanese on it. Then spray a homemade cleaner all over your tub, only to find it does nothing to the scum build up. Then start sorting your child’s hoarded bag collections of ripped up tissue, pearler beads, buttons, coins, and hair binders. Realize you need a photo taken for your write-up in your Waiting in the Word newsletter. Ask your husband to take a “casually happy” shot of you because you washed your hair today. Realize you look like you have a kink in your neck and your head is weighted down by your heavy hair (factually accurate). Meanwhile your feral children have taken to jousting with cardboard tubes and knocked each other down and bonked each other’s heads and OH MY GOSH we have to get a Christmas tree and decorate the front of the house and make something for dinner. While you’re texting your sister about what her kids need while in town for their visit (and talking on speaker to your other sister about what her meal plan ideas are), remember that you didn’t take the potatoes off the stove top yet and they’re probably boiled over. Step over the contents of your closet strewn on your floor. Step on top of the piles of children’s toys you’ve carefully sorta-sorted. Hold your nose as you pass the bathroom your two…

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Why I (over)share on the internet about our life

December 8, 2015

emily rumsey photography I’ve had a number of friends and family say to me . . .That’s so nice that you blog, but do you ever feel weird sharing so much about your life? About your marriage? Pictures of your kids’ faces? Why do you share all that? I have given it quite a bit of thought, and arrived at these thoughts. Lots of thinking for a person who doesn’t think a lot. Firstly, I share because motherhood in its first few years can be exceptionally isolating. I live with my mom (part-time) and my sister (soon to be no-time as she’s bought a sweet little house down the road), I’m on the phone with my other sister in New York constantly, I have regular coffee dates with my oldest sister who lives across the river, and I chat it up almost weekly with my sweet sister-in-law. You’d think I have the complete village like days of yore when women were supported by their families and their tribe and yadayada. Yes, I am exceptionally blessed with women close to me, emotionally and physically. But even so, the trials and tribulations of young motherhood are particular to us as a generation. We face different pains than my mom’s generation, insta-gram-envy, for example, or maybe the pressures to bottle feed if your workplace isn’t supportive of breastfeeding or the backlash of bottle feeding if nursing didn’t work out for you. I was more than a year ahead of having kids than my oldest sister, and…

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An Adventure Gone Wrong

November 28, 2015

It was supposed to be a quick stop at our favorite local bookstore before a doctor’s appointment down the street. We were supposed to thoughtfully pick out a book for my niece’s birthday, dig around for this for SweetPea, and maybe even find a good book about astronauts for SuperBoy (new interest). Instead we almost ruined Chelsea Clinton’s day. I’ll back up for you. Back this train up. We live mere blocks from our doctor’s clinic which happens to be a mere one block from our favorite bookstore. I grew up going there, my kids and I frequent it, and I love supporting a small business instead of using my handy click click on amazon. On this fateful afternoon, I asked my mom if she would pick SuperBoy up from his nature class so I could bring the tot and SweetPea to the doctor for BabyLove’s 18 month appointment with . . . a new doctor whom I think we’re going to love (although in sadness our old doctor left the practice to pursue her own thing). My mom, in her eternal kindness, agreed. No problem!, I thought! I will just have the two littles! And after checking the clock once everyone had awakened from naps, it appeared we had extra time between the now and the appointment. I hadn’t purchased a birthday gift for our niece Janie, a voracious book eater and reader. To the bookstore, and then the doctor. Out the door we strode, high on the excitement…

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How We Wannabe Homeschool & Organize Our Books

November 17, 2015

When SuperBoy was 3, and we had 3 kids under four, I remember saying to my husband, “Oh, why would I ever send him away to school? I will homeschool him forever.” I also wanted to buy every book about Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Classical education, and Waldorf. Just to cover all my bases. Fast-forward to having read a ton, and experienced the real live experience of having a kindergarten aged boy who loves to learn and loves to sass and loves to explore. I’ve adjusted my expectations to survive and read and math and a little of this & that and we’re good. He also gets to play at a local nature center a few afternoons a week–so the outdoorsy thing (not my cuppa tea) is covered. We spend about one hour a day doing a reading lesson, a chapter or two of math, and some handwriting. The other subjects flow during the week and when the little kids are sleeping. Our “curriculum” or what we’ve been doing the last year. 1) For reading we’ve done How to Read in 100 Lessons (which is fine but doesn’t teach phonics so we’ll do this one as we’re almost done with it). 2) For math Life of Fred & Bedtime Math  (and lots of math games!). 3) For science, every natural science book I can muster up and lots of outdoor exploring and zoo trips. Love this Fun with Nature book series and this The Animal Book. 4) For art, trips to the Minneapolis Institute of Art…

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Bible + Nell + Advent + You

November 15, 2015

I have never completed anything I’ve started for Advent. Books I’ve bought. Journals I’ve bought. Projects I’ve meant to do with the kids. Why? What’s the common thread? I certainly have enough time. I know I do. Everyone has time for things they are determined to do. (I know I could be scrubbing my bathroom floors instead of sewing, but I’m not. #guiltyguilty) It boils down to seeing the benefit. Maybe I’ve been late to mature spiritually, more of a “pragmatist” than a “spiritualist.” Meaning, I’d rather do something I can see tangible results from that doesn’t involve me sitting and pondering. I have a lot of growing to do spiritually. I know the benefits and I want the graces that come with spending time in prayer!! We’ve all seen the studies about the mental health benefits of prayer or meditation. It’s neurologically proven to a-right the brain and improve your systemic health and balance. Because maybe some of you are like me, and need to be encouraged and dragged and prodded. Laura & Nancy & I wrote this Waiting in the Word Advent Scripture study for mamas of little kids. We wrote essays on themes, we picked Bible verses that are short & sweet to contemplate each day, and we even designed (we meaning Nancy!!) a bookmark for your Bible so you could easily grapple with that big ole book. There’s a journal you can print off if you’re a journaler, and if you’re a community leader, there’s a…

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