Champagne stemsThe holidays race by every year. Halloween to New Year’s Day is an ever-speeding blur. This time next week, decorations will be coming down, presents in their new permanent locations throughout the house. Jax will be asking when Santa’s coming back.

I’ll be working diligently to keep freshly made resolutions in the front of my mind, like I do every year. By March, they might be forgotten, if history is any indication of what to expect. Note to self: Scroll through last year’s posts to try to figure out what my 2013 resolutions were.

We had a wonderful holiday season, with lots of new memories made. My niece, who at 2 months old celebrated her first Christmas, was one of the highlights for my family. Jax in his tie was another; he was so proud to be dressed up, and he totally rocked it. I’m blogging from my new Chromebook, which is a highlight for me. I know already how this will affect my blogging–I will do more of it! It’s been incredibly inconvenient to blog at home for a myriad reasons. First and foremost of which is that our mac is upstairs, far away from the kitchen and most of the toys, making it difficult for me to be both Mom & Blogger if I’m solo parenting. Momming always wins, and the blog takes a hit.

With “Blog more” making the list of 2014 resolutions (as I suspect is the case for some of you as well), let me introduce the rest of my many goals for the year. From my “Positivity Notebook,” I present to you the whole ambitious list:

  • Try yoga again, with an open mind.
  • Attend 12-week balance class. Practice mindfulness.
  • Blog for Postpartum Progress, without fear.
  • [Secret goal redacted. Will confess later, when I am permitted to do so.]
  • Allow myself to be more transparent and vulnerable (in life and here on the blog).

There you have it. It’s going to be an awesome year, with great potential for personal growth. I’m really looking forward to 2014! Except for New Year’s Day, which I find to be the most depressing day of the entire year. But that’s a story for a whole other post…

 

photo by: dps

This morning, I spent the entire hour between waking up and leaving the house on myself (other than packing lunches) because Jax slept in (amazing!). Just as the clock turned to 7:45–the time I have to leave the house in order to make it to work on time–I realized today is the Thanksgiving feast at pre-K. This meant that I needed to send Jax to school dressed like either a Pilgrim or an Indian, per his teacher’s instructions. Rifling through his dresser, I couldn’t find anything that fit the description (in my head), so I had the bright idea to craft him a Pilgrim’s hat out of construction paper & whatever other supplies I could gather in under 5 minutes.

I struggled for a second between which of my two hats I needed to put on more: on-time professional Editor with a workload that needs all my attention versus crafty mom who doesn’t want her kid to be the only kid at school not dressed like a Pilgrim…

Mom wins. Always.

Here’s what I created when I should have been commuting:

pilgrim hatNot terrible, right? Except for the pieces of tape showing…

But when he woke up, I couldn’t get him to put it on! Can you guess why? Guess what he told me!

His teacher already made each child a Pilgrim hat or Indian headdress! Apparently, SHE had even measured their heads!

So…what do I do with my super cute Pilgrim hat? I’m thinking I make one for each of us and show up to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house wearing them.  :)

Do you think I made the right choice in going into work late so I could craft this hat, despite the outcome?

I did manage to sneak in a photo of Jax trying it on…

pilgrim hat modelAnd by the way, I managed to get to work only 9 minutes late! Not bad!

 

I might be the last to know about The Switch Witch–you tell me. Have you heard of her? Have you introduced her in your home?

In case I’m not the last to know, the way I understand this concept to work is this: Parents who are tired of all that Halloween candy sitting around the house (you know we are the ones eating most of it!) introduce the concept of The Switch Witch to their littles, telling them that they can trade in their candy for a toy to be delivered by her while they sleep.

How we worked it in my house is that I had Jax write a letter to The Switch Witch (I used a pencil to dot the words he dictated to me, and then he traced each letter with whatever color marker he wished to use–this was a fantastic exercise for him to practice letter writing, by the way). We left the letter next to his bowl of Halloween candy when he went to bed the other night. First, though, I let him choose a handful of his favorite candies to retain because I felt bad having him turn it all in.

This is the stash Jax asked to keep.

This is the stash Jax asked to keep.

"Take my candy, leave a toy..."

“Take my candy, leave a toy…”

The next morning, the candy was gone and a toy was waiting for Jax when he woke. The Switch Witch had come in the night, much like The Tooth Fairy.

The Switch Witch delivered!

The Switch Witch delivered!

He was so happy. I was so happy. My co-workers who stop by my cubicle for a candy fix are happy.

I think we will continue this tradition for a few years. If we didn’t, what ultimately would have happened is that I would have continued to eat a little candy here and there each day until I needed a bigger size, Jax would have had a bunch of sugar highs, and then in December I’d have ended up throwing out a ton of leftover candy to make room for Christmas candy. Ugh.

What do you think? Will you be using The Switch Witch? Or are your kids more into candy than toys?

With my husband out of the country for 4 days, I approached the idea of Mother’s Day alone with Jax with mostly excitement about having a lot of time together but also with a little bit of worry about my day potentially going awry due to some toddler tantrum or another. So I kind of split up my Mother’s Day into chunks of time all weekend, beginning on Friday. To kick off Mother’s Day weekend, I left work 2 hours early to give myself a bit of downtime and self-care.

My version of self-care includes wine, journaling, and delicious food (guacamole and black bean chips this time).

My version of self-care includes wine, journaling, and delicious food (guacamole and black bean chips this time).

Saturday, it rained in the morning, so we hung around the house a lot. Eventually, we made it to Target for crafting supplies and snacks, and then we came home and drew, glittered, and stickered handmade Mother’s Day cards for both grandmoms. We ate Oreos.

Glitter + Oreos? Sounds pretty fantastic, right?

Jax selected Disney princess stickers for his grandmoms because "they look like princesses."

Jax selected Disney princess stickers for his grandmoms because “they look like princesses.”

The rest of Saturday, we alternated laying around the house with some outside play. Around 3:30, he finally napped (boy did he need it!) on my lap. I enjoyed the snuggles while I watched something other than Disney Jr on the tv.

It was adorable. I wish he'd nap more often! I got to watch 2 episodes of Arrested Development!

It was adorable. I wish he’d nap more often! I got to watch 2 episodes of Arrested Development!

Jax fell asleep pretty easily Saturday night, and we both slept very well. I believe that’s why Sunday was so fanastic.

Fantastic may not even accurately cover how perfect my day was. I woke up an hour before Jax and sipped my coffee slowly while it was still hot. I caught up on social media and watched a bit of Mad Men (I am SO behind). When he woke up, we went to breakfast with my parents, who treated.

After that, we hung around the house for a few hours. We ended up in sweats, both of us, and cleaning the living room (what kind of a Mother’s Day is this?!). It was actually pretty fun, because in my twisted head, few things make me happier than a clean house. I had planned to take him on a long walk at a park with a long track, and then let him loose on the playground after I got a few miles in, but after we cleaned, he’d started to play by himself, quietly and contentedly, so I opted to not rock the boat. I stayed in my sweats, parked my butt on the floor, and read a magazine and listened to music instead.

My cleaning buddy

My cleaning buddy

Eventually, we got our walk in. First, I hit the Dunkin Donuts drive through for my new favorite drink: the mint chocolate chip iced coffee (milk, no sugar–in case you want to surprise me sometime!). That baby came on our walk with us. We walked for about 30 minutes and then played on the playground for another 30 before returning home. A friend came over, bringing 3 bottles of wine over as a gift for me (so nice!!), and had a glass of wine with me while Jax played on the floor nearby.

These bouncy things are so much fun! But they're very ugly.

These bouncy things are so much fun! But they’re very ugly.

Ok, so maybe I rode one of the bouncy things, too.

Ok, so maybe I rode one of the bouncy things, too.

Jax bestowed me freely with plenty of kisses and hugs all day. He was affectionate, calm, well-rested, and tantrum free all the way until bedtime. At one point, he even curled up on the couch while we listened to music and he rested without a word. This lasted so long I had to check to make sure he hadn’t gotten into the medicine cabinet! I’ve never seen him so calm, quiet, and still (while staying awake) for so long! When I’d look over to see if he’d fallen asleep, he’d flash me a huge grin.

I can count on one finger the number of times he's done this! Ha!

I can count on one finger the number of times he’s done this! Ha!

Around dinnertime, we made a frozen pizza (his favorite thing to do is pick off and eat some of the frozen cheese) because I didn’t feel like cooking. Then a different friend came over, and we had a glass of wine and played in the yard for 2 hours.

Bath at 8, bedtime at 8:30. After some snuggling with me and his newly discovered stuffed elephant (which I bought when I first found out I was pregnant with him), he was asleep by 9.

Mother’s Day was the kind of day my soul craved and exactly what I needed after two challenging days full of toddler tantrums. I am so grateful for having had such a peaceful, relaxing day with Jax. It was my best Mother’s Day yet.

 

Joy comes to us in moments—ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” ~Brene Brown

I have missed many ordinary moments lately because I’ve been too distracted to notice them. The past few weeks have been busy, complete with travel, car shopping, a holiday, and more!

As a result of this current burst of busyness, there has been a paucity of ordinary moments such as these: Overhearing Jackson’s imaginative stories as he plays by himself. His singing in the bathtub, making up silly lyrics. Telling someone something personal and hearing them say, “Me too.” Bubble baths with a book and a glass of wine. A fuzzy pair of slippers and jammies thrown on immediately after dinner. Singing along to the radio on the drive home.

I’m craving a night at home to simply do laundry (wait, did I just say that I want to do laundry?!) and play cars on the floor with Jax while sipping a glass of wine in my pajamas. Tonight, I hope, will be that night.

What are some of your favorite ordinary moments?