These cards only went out this year because I asked for help and my husband and daugther totally stepped up. They completely got these out the door on their own when I was buried in work last week. Huge lesson for me, let go and others really can handle it.
Also, have to share this story...Sydney told me yesterday that we have to be sure that we don't have our fire in the fireplace on when Santa comes on Christmas because he would not be able to come in our house. It would be too hot and dangerous and he might die (not sure when death came into the picture). I love the wonders of a 4 year old!
Merry Christmas to all, especially those moms that make it happen everyday throughout the year.
So after my last post, I would hope that I have gotten some holiday cheer! Well, we made it through last week, which was huge. Less than one more week until the big day and I think we are close to having it all together. We even got a visit to Santa in at a "Breakfast with Santa" event (no fighting it at the malls for us, my husband might really lose it if we had to do that). Here are some of our pics from holiday preps (and me getting big). But, let's not pretend it hasn't been hard and that there weren't days I thought "screw Christmas" (and plenty of tears have been shed). When you have kids and they really believe, it's hard not to go with it, take a deep breath and deal. And let me tell ya we are really working the Elf on the Shelf to try to help with some of the 4-year-old outbursts were having! How are you coping with it all? I'm not sure how working parents really get it all done!
Usually try to be positive here, but gotta' tell ya' I'm about to explode! Not only is it the busiest time of the year, I just can't seem to get a break. My printer is on the blitz and I have to basically feed every sheet of paper into it (not very convenient), my keyboard just started acting up, I ran out of ink, I am trying to order gifts online and this one site that I really want the gifts from is so slow and acting up that I want to throw the computer out the window. Can I bitch anymore? Oh, sure, last night my daughter had another of those nights, where basically I just couldn't stand anymore. It can't be my raging hormones, work stress or the fact that all of a sudden I realize we better get on shopping, nah, none of that. Oh, maybe it's that I have some kind of rash that my OB can't help me with so now have to go to derm (and TMI, I know). Haven't worked out this week, couldn't get to yoga and what I really want to do is go run around the block to get out my frustration, but the thought of my big 'ole 7-month pregnant belly running is pretty ridiculous. So, here is my rant, vent or whatever you want to call it. No guilt today, just total bitchin'! Hope you are having a better one! S
And street signs? And the best yet came last night, where do babies come from? Thank goodness Sydney asked my husband all of these questions. Yesterday, between dropping off and bedtime, he had his hands full coming up with answers. Of course, I love asking him what he said. He skipped a few parts in the "where do babies come from" answer, but did a great job explaining everything in her 4-year-old terms. Of course, this is coming up for her because her sister is in my belly and we have begun kissing her good night and talking about her a lot, so Sydney is somewhat prepared for her arrival in March.
I love these questions. They make you realize just how much kids are learning every day and how their minds work. And I'm telling you, they have great memories! She remembers everything we tell her. Yes, their questions can also be annoying sometimes, but I just think, before we know it, she won't be asking us any questions, she'll be telling us what to do (or trying to)!
What's the best question your child has asked you lately?
Oh, and BTW, anyone have a recommendation for a good book about having a new sister?
Do we all fear this? I know I do and have feared it since becoming a mother myself. Funny though, my Mom is really not that bad. In fact, I turned out okay. But realistically, it's the things we don't like about our mothers that we fear "inheriting" the most, we forget all the good traits we probably don't mind.
For me, what I don't like the most is her tardiness (she's been known to be an hour or more late!); last minute wrapping of gifts, especially at Christmas; her constant movement, never resting or napping; her inability to plan in advance and well, that's good for now.
Yesterday, on my child's 4th birthday I turned into my mother. I ran around all day trying to make the day (and the planning for two additional birthday parties this weekend) perfect. I was wrapping presents at the last minute, late to get to my daughter's school and really crabby by that time because I ran around all day with no time for anything else.
But guess what? It all ended up fine. I didn't wrap two of the presents and Sydney could have cared less, her class at school wasn't ready for the party for 30 minutes once I got there, we didn't sign her card but she only wanted to play with the castle it turned into anyway.
My lesson and something I continue to work on: my idea of perfection and need to create it typically do not matter to those I love or who love me. They just want my time and energy spent on being with them. I was so exhausted last night that I had to go to bed right after Sydney, not being able to spend anytime with my hubby.
You know what, being a mom, wife, employee and so many other things each day is exhausting, we don't need to add more pressure to be perfect. I bet my mom would agree! And by the way, I do have to give my mom credit for coming a long way on working on the things I mentioned above. And from one mom to another, we have to give each other a break sometimes, right? Because we don't often enough give ourselves a break.
Here's to not being perfect, just present every day with those who matter most!
How is it November? I think I start each month this way and say it here on this blog. It must be when it hits me about how fast the days, weeks, months, are flying by.
Anyway, I did lots of traveling in October…good traveling. The kind associated with lots and lots of mommy guilt. My husband and I went to the beach with friends (no kids) in the middle of the month and kind of celebrated our nine year anniversary and then selfish me headed to Kauai, HI to meet up with my friend, Anna. Now, I think I have not mentioned here that we are expecting Baby Spoeth #2 in early March. Yes, life is about to change again. But, the cool part is Anna is pregnant, too, just a few weeks behind me, and so it really was a true pregnant girls trip. Once in a lifetime, in my mind.
And guess what…Jason and Sydney survived. In fact, they did great without me. Even though I worried some and called every day, they did so great. I am still beaming with pride at how great they did. My mother in law and her husband came to help out the second part of the week, which was so great, and everyone survived.
What this says to me…deep breath, all the little things aren’t that important, Sydney and Jason are capable and happy and life does go on when I’m gone. Now, I’m not saying I’m going anywhere soon because I sure did miss them, but it was a great trip.
And now, on to November and December, which includes Sydney’s 4th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. Exciting times to come, but what a great fall so far!
Last thought and my lesson, be sure to take care of yourself and build in some “alone” or “girl” fun every now and then, it is so good for everyone!
Including some fun pics from the trips and a link to the sappy anniversary e-card I did for Jason (wow, how we have changed in nine years). Total eye candy. Anniversary e-card
Yeah, so for the second time this week my child is up early and ready to go and we are not. In fact, on Tuesday when her daddy was traveling (of course) she thought it would be great to get up at 4, 5 and 6 a.m. After the second time, she ended up in bed with me (which is totally against everything we've ever done, but I was just too tired to care). That morning, I think she ended up watching a few hours of TV, PBS Kids, of course, but still the guilt after I was finally awake was terrible. Especially since someone recently told me that even PBS Kids isn't good for them. Really?
Sydney seems to be learning words from Sesame Street (last week she used the word of the day in a sentence--exquisite), I was impressed. She also loves Curious George, Super Why and Dinosaur Train and I want to believe she has learned a lot. We learned all about how dinosaur babies come out of eggs. And, I have to say that the new Cat in the Hat is pretty great, too. Today, we learned all about different tails.
I admit when she was little we totally kept her away from the TV, but now I feel like she gets it and really does learn. Am I kidding myself? Not sure, but let me tell you how much extra sleep I have gotten and really needed. But, is all the guilt worth it? What are your experiences and thoughts, I would love to know. Maybe it will alleviate some of my guilt, thanks, moms!
As some of you know, I'm on the board of Men Stopping Violence, an organization that works with men to end violence against women and girls. For three years, I have learned things about violence that have been heart-breaking, eye-opening and ultimately, life-changing.
The most exciting part is that this year, we will be honoring Tim McGraw at our annual fundraiser and awards dinner! On Saturday, October 2, at the Ritz Carlton, Atlanta, MSV will be honoring Tim with the True Ally Award for his work in raising money for and being involved in stopping violence. He has even stopped his concerts to have men escorted out who were mistreating the women they were with. Now that's my kind of guy. And, Faith is confirmed to be there, too (yeah!).
Please consider joining us that evening for a rare and important opportunity to stop violence. I know that tickets are expensive ($225 per ticket purchase tickets here), so if you only want to or can give a small donation to the organization you can go to my fundraising page at http://www.firstgiving.com/shellyspoeth. I'm hoping to raise $2,000 by the dinner. Every dollar counts and is so much appreciated!
We hear about it everyday (again with Mel on the Today show), but now we need to do something. I do this because I have a daughter who I hope will never experience violence against her or anyone she knows. I plan to teach her what respect is, for herself and others. But above all, I hope she may live in a world without violence against women one day. That is my hope.
My budding artist's latest picture for mommy. Another joy in life..kid art.
Whew, sigh! I can't believe it is the last day of August and I have not posted all month long. Do you know how many nights I thought of these great posts as I fell asleep...if only I could somehow capture them and write them from my thoughts. Oh, well. I had to jump back in with this one though. It made my day.
Yesterday, sitting at the dining room table for breakfast with tossled hair, baggie eyes and way too tired to care about much yet, my daugther looks over at me and stares at me intently and says, "Mommy, you look pretty." All I could do was giggle (really laugh out loud) and tell her "thank you." At one of my worst moments, looking ragged and lame, my daugther tells me I am pretty. It really, truly made my day. Do you know why? Because it reminded me that not only is beauty in the eye of the beholder, but more importantly beauty is less about the outside and so much more about what's inside. Leave it to my 3-year-old to remind me of that.
What reminds you of the important things in life each day?
Art can bring us together, well, and it can tear some apart, I guess. But, Friday, I was able to see how art can make children laugh, grin in sheer pride, express themselves (even if they can't talk), share, respect each other and just plain teach us all that every now and then (even when it's really hot) you need to stop and smell the roses. I hope you'll smell some roses today and enjoy something beautiful!
Wow, July has been a whirlwind and probably won't stop until August gets here. While having lots of fun with family at the beach, fireworks, weddings and many other amazing locations in three short weeks, it makes me realize just how time flies by. But, when I look at pictures, especially from last year this time, I realize just how fast my child is growing up (and how much older I'm getting:)). I swear I'm still 25 in my head and she's still a baby!
Savoring every moment is sometimes hard for me, something I have had to learn. But, I am doing better. Are you savoring your summer? Enjoy every moment. A few pictures to share from our latest travels...
I am compelled (and I mean compelled) to tell you to please read this blog by Seattle Mama Doc about this terrible thing that continues to happen more and more...parents leaving their kids in the car in the summer heat and they die! This article she talks about from The Washington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize, is heart-wrenching and you HAVE to read it. This can happen to anyone, especially those of us that are running in so many directions, working, being moms, being wives, husbands, employees, friends, etc. Please, please tell every parent you know about this and don't let it happen to you!
So as we head into July 4, I remember that two years ago, I had a much different experience in Hilton Head with my family (we go every year for July 4 with my parents and brother and his fam). One in which I learned many lessons.
As I started writing this, I stumbled upon notes I wrote around that time. It must have been “one of those days” when I just needed a reminder of how lucky I am.
Most of you know, I fell and broke my leg while on vacation in Florida two years and one month ago (I'm not counting or anything). After immediate surgery that placed 12 screws, one plate and a pin in my right ankle, I was figuratively back on my feet. It took a LONG time to truly get literally back on my feet and during that time, I learned a lot about myself – physically and mentally. Sydney was only 18 months old then and it was horrible. She was scared of my crutches, the wheelchair and me. It made me so sad, but also so thankful! Why, because I realized how lucky I am and how much I have to lose.
The biggest lesson…take my time. Why? Because when I fell I was rushing, not holding on to anything, going too fast. And honestly, most times I hurt myself that is exactly what is going on. So, when I feel that overwhelmed feeling come over me and I start rushing to get out the door or finish something right away, I think, “take your time, remember the hard lesson and slow down.”
While summer is fun and crazy, I hope you will take your time, too. Because I have found that taking my time has also allowed me to participate more in my life, to spend time with Sydney, to have more fun! What about you?
Today, it feels really good to reflect on what I learned: • You can (and need to) ask for help • Remember the pain, so when you are well, you are thankful • Be thankful for the ability to: walk up stairs, not use crutches to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night, carry my child, cook, go for a walk, ride a bike, go to the playground, drive a car by yourself • Appreciate those who love you unconditionally, like my husband, mother, MIL, friends who take you places because you can’t, sisters and brothers • Some things just aren't that important -- know which ones are
What has helped you learn a hard lesson? I would love to hear it! Happy 4th!
Fathers make a huge difference in our lives. And while they may not always be perfect, they are important and teach us so many wonderful things. That's why I am so lucky to still have my dad around...to give Sydney the chance to have him in her life. I also think Jason and Sydney have a special bond like no other.
We couldn't have had a better day yesterday...family breakfast, park, pool, nap, US Open watching for Jason and Fox Bro. BBQ with our favorite waitress, Charlie, to top it off.
If you didn't yesterday, we sure today you tell your dad "thank you." And if he isn't with you anymore, be sure to thank another dad in his honor, he would have liked that.
As you know from my last week’s post, I was in San Francisco for a conference and while there lucky enough to see my other “soul mate,” Anna. We say that because we often think very philosophically together.
While walking along the beach, which was the first place we went after food (because that is always the most important), we saw what I thought was the funniest thing…a dog digging this huge hole in the sand. Its owner stood by patiently, barely even paying attention, but every time another dog came up, that dog stopped, glared and basically said, “my hole, back off.”
It was so funny and for some reason SO liberating. The fact that this was all the dog wanted to do -- dig a hole -- made me feel the daily weight of the world melt away and I couldn’t do anything but laugh in amazement. Of course, Anna’s dog, Maggie, tried to get in on the action, but to no avail. So, later I captured her just staring at the ocean. Again, how often do we get to just stare at the ocean?
It was a fabulous mommy-day-off to catch my breath, take a deep, salty breath of the ocean and remember sometimes it’s just as simple as digging your own hole...or in people terms, just doing what you love!
P.S. At my conference, I also met Seattle Mama Doc, a very cool pediatrician who is a mom and blogs for Seattle Children's Hospital. I have added her blog to my list or you can click above, but check her out. Good stuff!