We don’t need Pinterest, We need Memories

I use Pinterest, but I don’t love it. I think it’s a great place for recipes, and ideas, but honestly, I bet I don’t ever make any of those homemade presents I pin. And if I did, they would be so horrible, I couldn’t actually give them away without saying that Ana made them. Half the time, I avoid it because face it, you all pin flour laden, sugar filled desserts, which I can’t eat ever again. Anyway, enough about my opinion about Pinterest, I know so many people love it, and I am not bashing something I use. Secretly I am jealous of those of you who live in the Pinterest reality. 

The other day, Ana made a tissue ghost out of a sucker at a fall festival. Saturday, Ana sighed, “Maybe someday I can make another ghost.”

Suddenly, I was transported to Halloween decoration-making memories from my youth. I remember sitting at our kitchen table, stuffing tissues to make ghost heads, lovingly making scary faces on each decoration. My mom showed me how to make them, and she says, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Before Pinterest, despite her non-creative mind, my mom taught me how to make ghosts.

“Ana, we don’t need suckers to make ghosts, all we need are tissues and string. We have those. Do you want to make some?”

“Uh huh.” We spent time making the ghosts together, just the two of us. It was so fun, we decided to make more crafts another day. I was tempted to go on Pinterest for ideas, but instead I went back to my memories. I remembered making witches in school, jack o’lanterns, and bats. I am sure there are a million better, more elaborate ideas on Pinterest, but why do those when the fun is I the creating, not the copying?

Today, we continued our craft time, my daughter had NO interest in my craft ideas. She spent the past few days coming up with her own ideas. I am so glad that I didn’t waste time pinning, and buying supplies for a craft my daughter didn’t actually want to do. She wanted art time with me, and I don’t need Pinterest to give her that. Our ideas might not “pinnable” special, but they are ours, and that is what makes them special to me.

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Kids Give me Hope

I am so tired of campaigns, negativity on TV, news, and in social media.  It’s enough to make one crazy enough woman scream.  So, lately, the tv is off, Facebook is ignored, and life continues on.  I could sit back and think about the issues.  I could go on and on about how people’s view of education is wrong.  I could stand on a soapbox about many topics, but I won’t, at least not today. 🙂

Instead, I choose to focus on the little notes I have found lying around the house.  Ok, I finally picked them up off the middle of the floor after they had been there for too many days.  (Oh, the working mom’s house is back, and probably not going anywhere.)  I don’t know when they made them, but they did it all on their own.  These notes, give me hope, and make me smile.

Our country and world will be fine.  Education will be fine.  Our futures are bright.  Those are the lessons that working with children teach me everyday.

“I wish that there will always be freedom.” – McCartney

I can’t find the note that says, “I hope McCartney will always be my brother.” -Ana

“We all live in a yellow submarine.” -Ana 😉

“For Mrs. Beck, I like the Beatles. Paul, George and Ringo” -Ana

 

 

 

 

 

Moment of Triumph

The other day, after work and a photo session, the kids and I had to wait for Scott at the park.  It has been extremely busy lately, and I am afraid that I have missed fall.  As we waited, I pushed aside my long to do list that was burning in the back of brain, and was present with my kids.   I am going to miss the next few years of their lives, if I am not careful.

The day was perfect.  The air was thin, but not too cool.  The leaves were bright, with some trickling off the trees, one by one.  I could have stayed at that park, with my kids for hours.  Being lazy, I sat down on a swing and started to move.  The next thing I knew, my son joined me, and he soared through the air.  Swinging has been one of his favorite activities since he birth.

Ana also hopped into the fun.  She has never had the desire to actually learn how to pump and keep herself going.  I have tried “tough love.”  You know, I say, “I will give you one push, and then you have to keep going.”  Well, being the charmer she is, she manages to compensate for my meanness, and always finds another kid, including her brother, to push her.  If she can’t con someone into helping her, she usually jumps off the swing and skips to another activity.  On this day, for some reason, I really wanted to swing.  I mean, I really wanted to put my desire to swing over her desire to join us.  However, I did give her the one push that my mean momma self gives her at the park.

At one point, I looked over at Ana and noticed that she was attempting to pump.  Her body swayed back and forth, her legs went forward and back, forward and back, forward and back…

“Mommy, I am moving by myself!  I am swinging all by myself!  I can do it!!!”  she exclaimed in her high-pitched-over-the-top excited voice.  She was moving ever so slightly, but moving all the same.  She didn’t give up and kept gaining speed, little by little.  Baby steps, but successful.

“Look at you go, Ana! I love how you are working so hard on moving your legs and your body!  Yay!”  I let out a huge sigh of relief, my little big girl was going to learn to swing by herself sooner than later.  YAY!

Magic happens in these little moments and I cherish them all.

Be Gone, Double Chin!

Yesterday, Ana hijacked Scott’s iPad and took countless photos of herself in Photobooth.  Upon discovering this, I did what any good mom would do, I jumped in and played around with her.  It was so fun and silly!  We laughed, and I think Ana’s side almost split open a few times.  I almost wet my pants. 🙂  It felt amazing to laugh and laugh with my little girl.

However, that amazing moment isn’t what this blog is about.  As we were fooling around, I noticed something, my double chin is gone.  I mean, that I had to drop my chin way to my neck to even get a semblance of one.  Even in college, when I was at my lightest (which is 20 pounds less than I am now), I had a double chin.  It has been around since I hit puberty, and I completely thought no matter what I looked like, I would always have one.

“You have a round face.  Some of us just have that full look.” Are phrases that I heard years ago when I complained about my double chin.  I stopped whining about it, well because, what’s the point.  My double chin was on my “When I win the lottery I am getting plastic surgery” list.  Well, I am not saying I will never get plastic surgery, but it definitely won’t be to remove my double chin.

I hope you don’t think that I am bragging or anything, well I guess I am kind of bragging….  It’s just that for years and years I gained weight steadily, despite hours and hours of efforts.  I have shed countless tears and hated my reflection period.  I felt like the real me, was lost.  A few short months ago, I feared that I would be overweight, or possibly obese for the rest of my life.  At 33 that is a terrible feeling.  I desperately wanted to be found; to look like the face I wanted to see in the mirror.  I have worked hard for this weight loss. And lately have been taking insane measures to get to my goal size and I can’t wait to get my free t-shirt!  I have given up my vices, and my favorite foods forever.  (Now, I might even have to give up cheese and dairy because my body is not responding well to cow’s milk products any more.) I don’t care, well I do care, but I accept it.

I have given up so much, including my double chin.  Everything is, and continues to be worth it.

(No need to comment, this post is written 100% for me.)

Magic of Childhood

My children, who talk about dead presidents and God with the frankness of adults, fully believe, with their heart and soul in magic. They believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairies, ghosts, witches and wizards.  They believe in the magic of life, the possibilities that anything can be true.

They have faith in God and the goodness of people.  They believe they should serve others, and follow Jesus.  They don’t cry out of worry, because they know that God takes care of them.  Their faith is strong, unbendable, unbreakable.  Have faith, is their simple belief.  Why do we grow out of that?

Yesterday, laying on my bed reading, Ana said, “I hear God’s voice at rest time at school.  I miss talking about Jesus at school.”

“What does God say to you?”  I wanted to know.

“I don’t know, but I hear Him and voices that say ‘Ana’ at night. Maybe it’s angels,” she said.

I love it that my daughter is thinking angels and not monsters. (Of course, she thinks of those too.)

To me, children are the real magic. Anything can happen, there are no limits, if you believe hard enough. They believe hard enough for us, with their whole entire heart.

People have told me, “I don’t know how you find the patience to work with kids.”

My reply, “When you take the time, to see the world of possibilities the way children do, how can you NOT work with kids?”  Working with kids is the chance to feel magic each day.

When you believe in magic, anything can happen, even a simple note from the Tooth Fairy appears.

Childhood is magical and perfect. Us adults have a lot to learn from those little wonders that surround us.

Mommy’s Make-Up

Yesterday morning, in the chaos of getting ready for school, Scott found Ana in the bathroom trying to put on my eye liner.

“No, no, Honey.  Don’t put that on,” Scott said in his gentle, yet firm voice.

Ana burst into tears. “I’m sorry!  I just wanted to be like Mommy!”

“You don’t need make-up, you are so beautiful just the way you are,” I heard Scott say.

I stepped in and quickly washed Ana up.  As a little girl, I remember wanting to play with my mom’s make-up and I know this is a natural stage. “It’s OK, Ana.  Sometime, this weekend, when we aren’t going anywhere.  I will put some make-up on you.  It is fun to play dress up.  Five year olds don’t leave the house with make up on, but it’s OK to play.”

While cleaning up her face, before school, I was transported back in time, to when I would stare at my mom’s tiara from her pageant days.  I remember looking at her in her wedding photos, and pageant folders, thinking that no woman on this Earth could be as beautiful as my mom.  I remember wondering if I would ever be as beautiful as her too.

Later that day, Scott told me that he is worried about her self-image, if she already wants to put on make-up.  “No,” I insisted, “this is a natural thing.  For Ana, make-up is an imitation of Mommy, not a wanting to change anything about her.  It’s ok.  I will play with her soon, so she won’t get into it again.  I did this too.”  While I comforted Scott about the situation, it was a wake up call for me.  More and more I am understanding my importance in her life.

As I watch my little girl, and I am in awe of everything she does.  I love her spirit, her life, her caring about others, and there is nothing about her I would change. I even love her spaciness, although it can be frustrating.  I also find her absolutely beautiful on the outside too.  I love her eyes, and smile, and the glow about her.  She is a person that many love, just for being her.

Of course, looking at how much she imitates me and tries to do the things I do, I know it’s time to keep my promise to God.  Six years ago, before I was pregnant, I watched an episode of Oprah.  The episode was about young girls and their self-esteem, or actually their lack of it.  Of course, the ones who had a terrible self-image, learned it from their moms.  I promised God, in that moment, that I would learn to love myself.  I promised Him that if he blessed me with the baby girl I always wanted, I teach her to love herself, and she would learn it from not just my words, but my actions.

Well, I don’t make promises that I don’t keep, and I admit, I have been working on it, but not really holding up my end of the bargain.

I also remember as a young girl hearing from so many people (and I still do), “You look just like your mom.”  Some people would also say something like, “You both are so beautiful.”  I also remember my mom telling me how special and beautiful I was and then looking at herself in the mirror and frowning, hating what she saw.  When I was a teenager, I remember saying, “Why do you tell me I am beautiful?  I look just like you, everyone says so, yet, you hate how you look. How can you say I am beautiful?”

“You do look like me, Honey, but I do look different than you too.  You are beautiful,” was her reply.  I can tell you now, that while I wanted to believe my mom, I didn’t.   I admit, my love of my body, face, and features has been nonexistent for years.  I don’t blame my mom for my self-esteem, I feel what I feel, and I take full responsibility for it.

However, I understand what the message a mom’s self-hatred can do for a young girl and I don’t want the cycle to continue.  I am really making a commitment to learn to love what I see in the mirror, although it is not perfect.  Most importantly, I am working really hard at accepting compliments, and being comfortable in my skin.  I love Ana so much, that I desperately want to give her the gift of self-love, even if it is hard for me.

I made a promise to God.  He gave me a daughter, and I intend to keep my part of the bargain.  Ana is worth it.

Thanks for reading,

Linking up today

Putting the Plastic Plates Away

A week or so ago, I noticed that my kids still used plastic plates at dinnertime.  “Hmmm, why do we still use those?  They are both in school.”  As I was reaching up to the top shelf, I suddenly froze, tears entered my lids, and I realized, “I HAVE TWO SCHOOL AGED KIDS!”  My thoughts were racing, my mind was screaming, and I couldn’t believe it.

Yes, the past two years have passed about as fast as a group of snails on their way to bed, but the past 7 years have collectively FLOWN by.  I remembered holding my son for the first time, and thinking, “Our baby is so beautiful, it is our job to populate the Earth.”  On the other hand, where was Ana when I held McCartney?  I can’t even fathom our family without her.  She fits, and belongs, was there a time when she wasn’t with the three of us????

Our lives have moved from diapers, formula, and tantrums, to backpacks, homework, and discussions.  Our milk is disappearing by the gallons, and funny, I don’t have to pour it for them any more.  They get their glass, pour the milk, and put their dish by the sink, without me even knowing they had any.

Every six months, we buy new shoes two sizes larger than the time before.  Their socks are starting to look slightly smaller than mine, instead of tiny.

Ana’s dresses keep getting shorter and shorter, although we keep buying bigger and bigger sizes.  My son measures up to my chest, and he reminds me at least 4 times a week, my time as the second tallest member of our family will soon pass.

Homework, PG movies, sports, community service projects, and PTA meetings are our new reality.

No longer will a band-aid fix the boo-boos and my son questions my facts as truth.  “Show me the book that says that,” he says, instead of, “I believe you.”

The past 7 years are going by like lightning, and if I wait another 7 years to have a moment like this, I will have a teen and a tween.  Oh, my goodness, that thought feels unbearable today.

People told us, that time would pass quickly, and many times, while they cried or we struggled, that felt like a lie. But in that moment, as I reached up high, to place our plastic plates on the shelf, I believed it with my heart and soul.  Each day is a gift, a blessing, a stage to be enjoyed, because they grow too fast, and before you know it, you don’t need the plastic plates any more.