Monday, June 29, 2015

Can I nurse?

(4yo) I wanna nurse from your breast, Mama.

- you're too big to nurse from my breast, Lillian.

(4yo) No I'm not! I don't want milk from a cup. I want milk from your breasts.

-Why do you want milk from my breasts?

(4yo) Because you don't have to pour it into a cup. It's just comes right out.

-How about I pour some milk into a cup for you....with a lid and spout so you can drink that way?

(4to) Okay!

7yo walks in and the 4yo says

"I'm getting Mama Milk in a cup with a lid"

(No they aren't, they are getting regular milk in a cup with a lid but before I could reiterate that)

(7yo) iiiii want Mama Milk in a cup.

(4yo) Mom can just pour some in from her breast

-That's not how it works. I don't have gallons of milk in my breast I can just pour out into a cup for you. Lincoln drinks it because he's still little. When you were his age you drank Mama Milk too.

(4yo) Yes you can! Just use your hand and squeeze it in!

(7yo) Or get the pump and pump it all out.

(Mind you, Lincoln eats solids throughout the day so the milk he drinks when he's nursing is more for fun, comfort, and antibodies than it is for meal supplementation.)

They leave the room and I feel relieved because that was so much pressure. I've let them try it before - since Lincoln's been born - not straight from the tap, but expressed on a spoon. But that was a drop or two. Not ALL the milk. Talk about pressuea. *phew* Dodged a bullet.

Then they each returned with a sippy cup and asked me to fill them up.

(What do they think I am? A milk machine? Oh, wait.....)

In one word, describe what breastfeeding means to you?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mama May I Play - Feature Friday

This week's featured product is brought to you by 22-month-old Lincoln.

Count With Me
Mama May i

Lincoln's very favorite game in the whole world is CRASH.

Basically, stack anything you have, as high as you can, and watch as it crashes to the ground.

Now, MamaMayi Count With Me Play Set was created as a sorting, stacking, counting, and Math manipulative kit. The little disks inside are grooved on the top so the bottom of another disk sits perfectly inside making stacking - a visual way to investigate amount - a little easier (and less frustrating!)

Though Lincoln isn't necessarily "counting" these coins, each time he places a new one on top he is adding by sensing volume and number. He is working the fine muscles in his fingers by grabbing each coin, pinching and placing it on top. He is fine tuning his kinesthetic understanding of his body by placing each coin gently in order to balance the stack. He is building focus and concentration. He is learning intuitively about gravity with that rewarding CRASH. So much learning is happening when little ones set out to explore.

What began as a diversion for me - to get through the witching hour while trying to make dinner - soon became one of Lincoln's favorite games. I love to hear his squeal and giggle when they all come tumbling down!

Zentangle Handprint Keepsake for Father's Day

Looking for an collaborative Father's Day surprise? These turned out so cute!
I love how handprints reflect the size of each of my littles' hands...right (but growing fast!)

Here is a video HOW-TO 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Real Life Math

After talking to the people ahead of her in line, she figured out who was riding alone and who was riding with a partner. Then turned around and said "Mom, there are five we'll all get on this time!"


Monday, June 15, 2015

Taking Up Space - an Encounter and Mindfulness Work in Progress

Today I went to a Aldi with all three littles in tow. As I was coming out of the store to put our groceries into our rental car (we are in FL right now), it starts to rain. I get to the car, put Lincoln in so he's not all over the place while I unload each individual grocery item into bags and into the trunk. Lillian tells me she has to pee and instead of hauling all and everyone back into the store I open both doors and help her pee on the ground. Yup. Put her into the car and continue unloading while someone waits for me to be done unpacking the cart (I'm assuming because he doesn't have a quarter and wants to use our cart) - he's just hovering over me, waiting. (Even though I told him I was going to be awhile yet.) Layla is in the front seat helping herself to some water then heads to the back to buckle herself into her booster. I'm so grateful for her (mostly) independent nature. It's very helpful. As I am finishing, the waiting man takes my cart... I shut the trunk and an older man approaches me and says very rudely "that's a good way to lose a door!" Dumbfounded and unsure what he was even talking about, I walked around the car to see that Layla had left the front door open after getting a drink and helping herself into her booster. In my head I kinda laughed and maybe even cursed. Seriously? First, there was plennnnnty of space, second, who is he to walk over and speak so grumpily to me because he is feeling frustrated?? I politely, but firmly said : "I have three children with me today while grocery shopping. One of them must have left the door opened. I'm sorry it was SUCH an inconvenience for you." Probably more passive aggressive than I would have liked, but I'm glad I even said anything (old me would have apologized profusely and scurried away.) I am enough. I am deserving of being here. Taking up space. ALL the space. ALL THIS parking space. 

On the way home I reflected on this interaction in my head. And went over it. Still, it's taking up brain bandwidth but in such a different form of energy than in confrontations passed. I would have been beating myself up about it inside. I would have thought things like "that's so silly of me." "I should have known better." "How stupid." And felt bad for ruining someone else's day. Today I actively thought about how his grumpiness could have ruined MY day. It could have easily affected my children because you know how grumpiness has a way of catching on? Someone's grumpy to internalize it and before long you're acting grumpy to someone else (anyone else - typically those in lesser power or authority around you... In my case, my children.) the dog chases the cat chases the rat chases the mouse... Perpetuating the grumpiness.

And then I was reminded of how grumpiness is perpetuated. I was thought "what on earth could be going on in that man's life to a. Be so frustrated with a parking lot situation and b. Turn to a mother of three, trying to grocery shop and verbally transfer grumpiness to her." ?

It certainly doesn't make it right. But I am not going to allow it to create more grumpiness and anger in my life. I'm stopping it. And instead of letting his words haunt me, I saw his words in my mind on my drive home and simply said: "So?"

Which completed deflated the power the words had over me. And I decided to verbalize some of this brain energy to my 7-year-old who has been having a hard time dealing with anger and a hard time understanding how other people could say mean things. It was so cathartic to me to not just go over it in my own mind but to verbalize it aloud for her to overhear. Mostly because I don't have all the answers. I am human. As much as I used to think they always needed to see me composed and perfect... sometimes watching the messy process unfold can be even more beneficial - for us all. A template of how to get from here to there...a road that is twisty and windy and not always black and white and certainly not perfect. 

She told me "if we were there again, I would open my door and say to him 'it's not okay to talk like that. To be so rude to MY Mom. It's JUST a parking space."

And her voice was big and angry and I said "I hear some anger in your voice, how are you feeling?" And she said "It's not right that he can be so rude to you or anyone. It's my job to keep you safe and protect you" (words I recently spoke to her.)

And there you have it. Why this work is so important. Why showing our children the beautiful mess inside is just as, if not more, important than the beautifully packaged Christmas Morning we put together. 

I am grateful for that man today. Even though I was a little irked, annoyed, frustrated, and even a little bit angry. Because he fit right in to our discussions this week. Because he gave me a chance to communicate with my daughter. Because he reminded me to be messy-authentic with myself and my children. Because he reminded me that we never know the whole story. Because he opened my heart to accepting protection, safety, and love from my 7-year-old and her fierce heart.

Because I needed to see my messy mindfulness working - and I needed to witness the growth I've made within.

I am enough. I deserved to be there. To be here. Taking up space. Taking up parking space. 

And so are you. 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Days Like This

I woke up this morning after an exxxxxtremely long week/weekend to one older daughter sleeping next to me, a 4 year old naked, a 21-month old naked and wet, and a wet stuffed dog. And as I'm coming out of my sleepiness I'm pieces together all these sensations (some before I even saw them, just felt the pieces of this story unfolding). And I asked "why are you naked? .... Why is the stuffed dog wet??"

And Lillian said... "There was a pool and it just needed to have water in it. So I gave it water. And I didn't want Lincoln to get his pajamas wet so I took them off."

There you have it. 

A year or two ago I would have jumped up out of bed, out of sleep, yelling (even though I wasn't much of a yeller), controlling, blaming, shaming....YOU made this mess !! Gahhh!!! 


I started to raise my voice, then softened it {everyone was okay, after all and the mess that was made was already made}. We talked about the safety reasons of why that wasn't the best idea..... And I took deep breaths to remain calm. When we had enough cuddles and I was ready to face what I was about to see we got up...together. I took care of the water situation (not much really), put the pool away, and as a team, we cleaned up the learning room. Oh, and we sang our LovingKindess <3

Ever have days like this?

Green Pasta Primavera

I found this recipe in the Vegetarian Times and thought I would give it a try. I have been trying to eat more vegetarian meals to get in my leafy greens and expand my flavor-portfolio. Here was my first version and it was delicious. Gone in 2 days. Even my 7-year-old loved the combination of flavors.

I made a second batch because I enjoyed it so much and discovered it was just as good served cold as it is served hot (making healthy-mama-meals a snap!) I do not buy pine nuts in bulk, however so had to use a nut I had in-house. We opted for cashews and it turned out just as delicious. I also used the veggie pasta. So so yummy.

Here is a link to the recipe :