Photos from the Best Mother’s Day trip ever.

May 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm (Uncategorized)

The look on Sunshine’s face when she looked up at this gorgeous waterfall was priceless.  She was so excited by it that we decided to climb all the way to the top.  

Ladybug managed to climb the 175 steps to the bottom of the waterfall, and then the additional 425 steps to the top.  She carried her snack bag the entire way.
Ladybug also decided that she HAD TO USE THE POTTY.  RIGHT THEN.  Yeah.  That was fun.  Little did she know that she was giving us great material to use in oh, say, 14 or 15 years.  

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Artichokes and Moms

May 10, 2009 at 8:20 pm (Uncategorized)

There’s a little something special that we try to do as often as we can.  A tradition, if you will.  We like to lounge around the dinner table after dinner and share something.  A piece of fruit usually.  Or, if we’re really lucky, an artichoke.  Todd’s grandfather taught him how to eat a raw artichoke when he was just a child.  He shared it with me.  It was an acquired taste, but I’ve come to love it. 

We sit around the table.  Todd carefully peels off the leaves and hands them out, one by one.  We talk.  We laugh.  We dip them in olive oil.  We watch Ladybug learning how to bite the ends off of the leaves.  We listen to Sunshine haggle for the biggest pieces.  Todd chops up the heart, and hands it out, bite by bite.  I always get the last piece.  Not to seem sacrilegious, but it’s almost like a communion.  Bite by bite, our kids are learning patience.  Eating an artichoke is not fast.  They know that, even though they look like a lot of work, there’s something in there worth fighting for.   It’s my favorite part of the day.
Today is Mother’s Day.  I have to say that my husband and kids totally rock.  They planned the best Mother’s Day I could possibly imagine.  They took me for a hike and picnic in the North Georgia mountains. The weather was perfect.  Ladybug climbed 604 steps to make it to the top of Amicalola Falls.  Sunshine counted the first 175 steps that we climbed.  We dodged poison ivy, and waved hello to every dog we saw.  It was a perfect day.  
I want to say THANK YOU to all the Moms in my life who have shown me the joy that is being a mother.  I am learning so much.   A few quick ones…  To my Aunt Kris, thank you so much for sending me that photo.  It was the perfect gift.  To my mother-in-law, Denise, thank you for raising Todd.  He is an incredible man, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I met and married him.  
To my own lovely mother, what can I say?  You’re amazing.  I wish I could be there to give you the biggest hug.  I’ve been thinking about it all day.  Thank you for always being there for me.  For always supporting me, even if you thought I was making a mistake.  For being the girly influence that my daughters so desperately need.  For always being the best Mom and Mimi we could ever ask for.  I love you!

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Respect the Child

May 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm (Uncategorized)

One of the major tenets of Montessori philosophy is Respect the Child.  And I think it’s also the one I have the hardest time swallowing.  I was raised to understand that respect was earned, and generally not given to children.  I have to tell myself to knock on her bedroom door.  I’ve essentially given up control over her wardrobe and hair.  Special functions excluded, of course.  I try to respect what she feels beautiful in. 

Now this totally doesn’t mean that she runs around crazy all the time, with me respecting her decision to run around like a crazy person.  She is responsible for her decisions, and the ramifications of those decisions.  If she wants to bring a big book into the store, she is responsible for carrying that book around the whole time.  There’s no leaving it in Mommy’s purse.  If she decides not to use the bathroom before leaving the house, I respect that.  But I also don’t stop the car five minutes after we leave the house so that she can use a gas station restroom.  
Anyways, I’m following tangents today.  Respect the child.  Sunshine came downstairs this morning.  She told me she didn’t feel well, and she didn’t want to go to school.  Everything in me screamed to send her to school.  She didn’t have a fever.  She didn’t look sick.  But she loves school, and I had to respect that she would know if her body didn’t feel well.  Sunshine stayed home.  I debated that choice all morning.  She seemed fine, happy even.  But when we went upstairs to take a shower, she wanted to lay in bed instead.  And at around 2:30, she walked her little tush upstairs, and went to bed.  Without even telling me.  I don’t think that’s ever happened before.  
So I’m going to say that I feel like a better mom for listening to her, respecting her.  I’m trying to raise her to make good judgements.  How can I do that without letting her flex her little judgement muscles.  That’s the way they get stronger, right?  
There are people who would say that I give her a little too much freedom.  She walked out of the house the other day wearing a pair of bermuda shorts, socks pulled up to her knees, and patent leather shoes.  Oh, and her socks were 2 different colors.  (Mom, I can practically hear you groaning, from hundreds of miles away.)  But really, peer pressure will be upon us in the not too distant future.  And then she will spend entire mornings stressing about what to wear.  She feels beautiful now.  And trust me, every other kid in her class comes to school dressed just as strangely.  It’s wonderful to have a class with such like-minded parents.  
The bottom line is that I hope this will eventually translate into a healthy respect between the two of us.  And in the short term, there are far fewer tears in the morning.  Sweet. 

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What Big Sisters Are For

May 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm (Uncategorized)

I’d like to think I was this good a big sister to my little sisters, but I don’t think that I was.  Sunshine will read tirelessly to Ladybug when she’s sitting on the potty.  And she’s on the potty A LOT.

I remember when Sunshine was potty training.  She had to have Curious George Visits the Zoo read to her each and every time.  I don’t know what it was about that book, but it became her potty book.  Luckily Ladybug isn’t quite so specific about which book is read, as long as a book is read.  Although I think that if she did want the same book, Sunshine wouldn’t mind reading it over, and over, and over, and over.  Definitely one of the perks of having a big sister.  I’m jealous. 

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May 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m sure most of you have noticed that I’m having a lot of difficulty managing this new lifestyle.  One the one hand this is the most exhilarating time of our lives.  It’s terribly exciting, this business of creating a business.  On the other, it’s terrifying.  I’ve spent too much time worrying lately.  Have I filled out this form?  What else can I do?  Will this work?  It’s consumming.  But enough about that…

I saw something on the way home today that has bothered me all day long.  I pass a small church, and on their marquee it read, “The Best Academy is A Mother’s Knee.”  I know discipline is such a personal topic in families.  And I would never dream of telling someone else how to parent their children.  It just makes me sad that they’re telling everyone who passes by that it’s OK to hit a child.  Disciplining a child is so very important, but the method is even more so.  I mean, come on, teaching a child not to hit by hitting them?  That’s just so very confusing.  We try really hard to make the punishment fit the crime.  It takes a ton of creativity, but so, so, so much more effective than spanking.
Our little girls have suddenly become night owls.  Used to be I could put them to bed at 7:30 and not hear from them again until 7 am.  The other night we found Sunshine sitting at the top of the stairs at 10:30.  How she managed to keep herself quiet while we ate popcorn is beyond me.  Now I know we are not immune from the after bed requests for water, food, one more story, cuddles, and world peace.  Makes me think the makers of Ambien should invest a little R&D in a child version.  
The girls and I had a picnic the other day with one of her classmates.  Sunshine and her little friend got into a huge tiff not too long after we finished eating.  The problem?  Sunshine wanted to play horse, and her little friend wanted to play pony.  They compromised by playing mice.  Seriously?  I couldn’t make this stuff up.
We finished up our garden planting last week.  Yippee.  I’m so excited about having fresh tomatoes again.  We’re branching out this year:  eggplant, squash, cucumbers.  Thanks to the copious amounts of rain we’ve gotten lately, you can almost see the plants growing.  Drought?  Who says we’re in a drought?  The bad news about the last few years of drought and the tons of rain we’ve gotten lately is that the trees are falling.  In very large numbers.  Along my route, or any route for that matter, to Sunshine’s school.  And because we’re not too bright here in Georgia, none of the power lines are buried.  So they’re coming down too.  I actually saw someone standing on their RV holding up a power line so that others could drive under it.  Like I said, lots of candidates for the Darwin Awards down here.  
Thanks for bearing with me lately.  I promise I’ll eventually get back into the swing of things.  I might even post pictures tomorrow!

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