Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Friday, Happy Fall

I feel pretty awesome right now, considering I just pulled off two iconic fall activities for Maeve in one day, without Daddy here. We actually had a good day, even though I was mentally battening down the hatches for the worst, just in case.

First, we decorated Halloween cookies with a friend. This kiddo is generally regulated to organic, non GMO food, but what can I say? Maeve and I are a bad influence. I keep bringing frosting into her life.

After that little bit of excitement, the girls managed to play nicely together for two more hours, which just blew my mind. It was awesome.

We went home, had some lunch, and watched Nightmare before Christmas. Again. Then we were off to the pumpkin patch!

Seriously, I was nailing the Fall Mommy Activities thing yesterday. We scored two pumpkins, plus a small one for her best friend and apparently-betrothed. (she went proclaiming her love for him all over the pumpkin patch, it was like Linus and Sally)

So, joyous fall activities were had by all. Then we are banana splits and went to bed. And Daddy gets home tonight! Happy Friday, friends, and happy Fall.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Maeve's Nuggets of Wisdom

No big topics today, but I wanted to share with you some of Maeve's little precious nuggets of insight. She is both amazingly bright and hilariously confused...

Maeve: Mom, it's not Fall unless the leaves are actually falling.

Maeve: I call Saturday "Kaiday" because we get to see Kai!!!!

Maeve: (whispered gently to me at bedtime during a lullaby) I love you AND Kai. Every day and all night, too.

Maeve: Let's have a food race... not where we eat fast... just where we slowly chew our bites and then we win!

Maeve: Daddy knows everything about Batman, what do you know everything about?

Maeve: Can I eat bacon all day and all night?

Maeve: (blows me a kiss) (blows a second kiss) Mom, that one is to help you be more organized.

Well, she tries to help. Have a good Thursday, friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

There Is Hope to Improve

“We make our discoveries through our mistakes: we watch one another's success: and where there is freedom to experiment there is hope to improve.” ― Arthur Quiller-Couch

Here's the truth: when you decide you want to get better at something, life gives you lots of opportunities to practice and improve.

I decided I wanted to be more patient with Maeve, and somehow the Universe arranged for me to take an introductory class in patience. So Daddy is going out of town this week on Thursday and Friday, and all week, Maeve has been offering me chances to be a better mom, i.e., she is super annoyed with me all the time and wishes I would leave her alone. Except when she wants to be on my lap, which accounts for one third of her day.

Anyway. Day one after I wrote my big thinky blog about how I can still learn better mom skills was the worst. If you want reality to jump on you with both feet, write a blog about how capable you feel, ha ha. Maeve pushed every button I had and a few I didn't know about, and I was an amazing, breezy, patient mother until 4 pm when I lost it and yelled again.

But really, I made it almost all day, and although on Monday, I cried because I felt like a failure, I realize in retrospect that I did amazingly well with only one mistake, which is not so bad after all. And when I lost my temper, it was in reaction to her hurting me physically, which is the hardest kind of reaction to control.

Now I am a little less stressed about whether I fail or succeed, I'm just making every day another effort in doing better. I'm bound to make mistakes along the way, but I still think I can do this.

Just like Maeve is learning to pump her legs on the swing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Playing in the Leaves

Okay, so yesterday's blog was a big thinky thought, and I'm all out of those. What I have is pictures of Maeve playing in the leaves. That's what I have.

This wasn't her playing in the leaves, but pretty cool shot with the sunlight, I thought.

It's Tuesday, and my mom leaves for England tonight, so expect radio silence for awhile. And have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, October 13, 2014

There's Still Time to Change

Church is a great place for an epiphany, probably because our service has lots of room for reflection and quiet. In the quiet yesterday, I had a fantastic epiphany: I can still become a better mom.

My problem was that I was caught believing that I am just not the kind of mother I wanted to be, and because I'm not naturally patient under difficult circumstances, I never will be. Every time I lost my temper with Maeve, it seemed to be to be proof that I just wasn't ever going to be as good and patient as I wanted to be. And I had plenty of opportunities to prove that to myself.

But yesterday in church, I realized this: I'm not dead yet! Silly, I know, but what that meant to me is I still have time to change, it's not too late for me. My time of being a mother is not over, there's still time to become the mom I want to be.

It was the same epiphany I had when I made a sudden decision to learn the ukulele this year. I was sitting around, wishing I knew how to play, lamenting that it was too late for me to learn. But then I sat straight up as a bolt of realization hit me: I'm not dead! I totally have time to learn the Uke! That's what it felt like yesterday.

So what I did was, I thought through the things Maeve does that make me the most angry, where I really lose my temper, and then wrote down a script for myself, and a new way of thinking about each event.

For example, when Maeve hurts me on purpose, it often makes me really angry and I tend to yell. But I decided I want to change my reaction from angry to hurt. Because part of why she hurts me is that she's not where I'd like her to be in terms of empathy, but you can't have empathy for someone who's bellowing at you. You could, though, feel bad for someone who's crying or sad. So I'm going to try and react to her with sadness, maybe tears if they come naturally, instead of yelling, when she hurts me.

You guys, it's great news. We're not dead! We can learn new stuff, try new things, become the people we want to be!

One of my favorite Discworld characters is Granny Weatherwax, a witch who can leave her body at times and enter the minds of other animals; when she does that, she leaves her body holding a sign that says "I aten't dead" (she's not much of a speller). Somehow my epiphany seems to be summed up nicely by her sign, so I'm leaving this cross stitch right here for all to ponder.