laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Why My Daughter Doesn’t Have a Mirror In Her Room


Have you ever been in a house so filled with mirrors that after you leave, you’re thinking, Man, I’ve seen enough of myself for a really long time… Maybe I’m the only one. I’m guessing not. I just do not like mirrors. I mean, I like that they can shine light throughout places where there is no natural light. And that I can see if I’ve got my head screwed on straight or not. Obviously, they have their place.

Maybe it’s in part the fact that I am not someone who checks the reflection before running out of the house. If I happened to consider whether or not I’ve done my hair today, I just grab a hat. (I’m not knocking women who take the time before they leave the house, it’s just not the way I am wired.) Messy shirt? Grab a sweatshirt! Are you starting to get the picture?

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Now, there is my daughter. She is beautiful. Curly auburn hair with eyes that match. Spunky and oh, so cute. And I have this super cute mirror that I have been dying to paint and put in her room. One that I had in my room growing up. One that came from a beloved Grandma. BUT… I just don’t wanna put a mirror in her room. Not because I’m afraid she’ll be vain. If she wants to put on every single princess dress and prance in front of a mirror- I’m good. Know what I’m not good with? The way she stands on the couch and smiles her big toothy, yet toothless grin and painstakingly takes stock on how many more teeth is she going to loose, how long will there be an empty spot, and what if they don’t come in perfectly straight?! Now I’m not sure where my 7 year old got that notion from, that her smile looks funny. But it’s there, in her pretty little head. And I just think that there is so much more to her then whether every tooth is exactly straight. And I want her to know that there are things that are SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Like most things.

After a brief chat about her standing there, staring at her teeth, I wrote her this note:

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It is easy to get wrapped up in being pretty. Today, let’s focus on being pretty KIND, pretty FUNNY, pretty SMART, and pretty STRONG. That would be pretty AMAZING.

I’m hoping she takes note. Because she is kind (if she thinks I’m stressed she’ll leave her play and help me, no questions asked), and funny (and sarcastic), and smart (as a whip), and strong (she can probably do more chin ups than you can), and amazing, and beautiful. But I don’t think that just pretty should be the word that describes her. And the words that do, well, you might not find them in the mirror.

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Love The Ones I’m With


This last week, I have been a terrible mother. Ok, so maybe not like worst mother in the universe, terrible, but the kind of terrible where if you knew me, and you witnessed my mothering this last week, you’d think I lost my marbles. Maybe I have.

This week is the 3rd due date anniversary to our sweet baby we have yet to meet. I have been preparing myself for about a month, and this week I have been so busy busy-ing myself and being so wrapped up in my own inner stuff. Grieving a life not known, but not unloved. I became so focused on what I had lost, that I’d all but forgotten to pay attention to the ones things I still have. I don’t mean that to say they take the place, or make up for, the baby we lost. Because as any parent knows, one child can never replace another. No matter how much you love any of them.

This week, I have taken my loves for granted. I have cried, and moped, and yelled, and been all around cantankerous. I did not explain it to my husband, until yesterday, because I was in my dark place, and in that dark, cavernous room, I expect him to remember and to know, even though his body doesn’t remind him the way that mine does. I have wanted all my closests to just know what I was going through, and to not have to explain it. So instead, I spent my days in the dark place and cried to myself.

And then there’s the people kids things that are too young to understand, even had I explained why mommy was behaving like a crazy person… when my irrationality, my irritability, my lack of patience… none of that was their fault, although I’m sure, at least at times, it must’ve felt that way to them. :/ Although they do understand so much more than we give them credit for. Littlest has been in a mood that can only be compared to my own, and yet I still wonder why he seems so out of control. (Hello, pot, I’m kettle.) Miss, well she keeps looking at me, with a look that can only be described as one that says, I will be tiptoeing around this crazy lady. And she has asked me repeatedly, You’re just sad, aren’t you? And Biggest… well, he’s always been the most intuitive. Last year, around this time, he came up to me crying, big, crocodile tears. When asked why he was crying he said, I just really miss my sister. When I was very confused and said, but she’s just in her room. To which he replied, “No, not Miss, the sister that was the baby in your belly that went to go be with God.” Yeah, that happened. A little Heaven is For Real, right? {sidenote: we do not know the gender of the baby we lost, but I have always felt that it was a girl, but Biggest did not know that.}

Ok, so back to me… I’m out of control. I finally told hubbyman yesterday. He came home with a big thing of bright, cheery flowers for my table. I love them. And him. And strangely, as soon as I told him…I felt so much more at peace. Maybe the whole problem was that I’d convinced myself I was in it alone, and I’m not.

But in the midst of all the emotion, I was so focused on what I didn’t have, what I couldn’t have, that I lost sight of the blessings that I do have.

Biggest's teeth are falling out! It's so cute!

Biggest’s teeth are falling out! It’s so cute!

oh, my Miss.

oh, my Miss.

Littlest. He's not staying so little. But he's still napping. Hallelujah!

Littlest. He’s not staying so little. But he’s still napping. Hallelujah!

My E's

My E’s

Today, I’m going to just love them, hug them, encourage them, support them, laugh at with them, chase them, run  them ragged with them, hide with them, seek with them, and enjoy them. And then put them to bed before they can drive me too crazy early.

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The Dog Is Wet


This will kind of go along with my last post, but you know those days where you wake up gently, you stretch, yawn, and smile… embracing your day happily? I think I can remember waking up like that. But I was probably 11. How did I wake up this morning, you ask…

Moooom, I peed!

What?

I think I peed on the dog!

What?

I was cuddled up with him and I peed.

I’m going back to bed.

What?

Go get in the bath while I get my coffee.

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The Lowest Of Blows


I know, I know… I’ve been MIA, continuously. And I’m still clinging to the fact that I will be back to blogging on a more regular basis! Last weekend (yes, just shy of two weeks from when hubbyman fixed my laptop) hubbyman accidentally knelt on top of my laptop’s screen. Don’t ask how it happened, I’m still not sure. I saw it coming, and even though it seemed to happen in slow motion, I was not able to react in time. Sadness. But at least he had practice in fixing it. I teased joked half-joked seriously told him to buy two screens, just so we were prepared. As a good hubbyman, he immediately ordered a new screen the next morning. And yesterday, it arrived! He tried to tell me he wasn’t sure if he had the tools to fix it at home, but I caught him trying to fix it a short time later. And he did! Yay! So now he’s not allowed to use it. I may have to hide it from him.

That fun stuff said… I couldn’t help but include you lovely in something I witnessed in our crazy household this morning; I heard some yelling and went to investigate and this is what I witnessed:

MissE is standing at the top of the stairs and delivers what those who know her best is the lowest of all blows, yells down to her brother:

FINE! You are NOT handsome anymore!

When there’s no response, she continues yelling it again.

Finally, her smart brother responded by yelling back up to her,

FINE! You ARE the prettiest girl!

Oh, I am so thankful for those funny, fleeting moments that get me through the day! And the kids who spurt them! And I’m also thankful that I get to go and babysit my nephew tonight! A few days ago- he smiled at me! I need to keep up with that trend and since I won’t see him for a month! (He’s only just a month old, so the idea of not seeing him for a whole month is a little devastating!) Anyhow, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to get a few more smiles, solidify my role as Queen of all Aunties, and maybe give his parents a bit of a break. I’m also thankful for the Kings of the Uncles who will have my kiddos on Saturday while we go have a day/afternoon/evening of fun and outdoor games with friends (and cocktails)! And I’m thankful for a hubbyman who is able to fix most of the things that he breaks.

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Cherish It All


I should get a tattoo of this. Ok, maybe not seriously, but seriously…  I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I love me some coffee.

So as I was sipping coffee I was thinking about/listening to my children talking amongst themselves, and just so I don’t forget one precious minute, I’m going to share some of our latest things.

Big kids, older siblings, teach their younger ones lots of new things. Occasionally, it works backwards. Littlest says thank you as soon as you give him anything or do anything for him (dress him? thank you. change his diaper? thank you? feed him? thank you. kiss an owwie? thank you.). It’s very sweet, and an obvious homage to my parenting prowess. Or he’s just a big copycat. One of those. But lately, it gets better. Every thank you is followed by a Wuv Uuuu! (= love you… obviously!). Heart melting. And his siblings have taken note. They all now follow all their thank yous with Love Yous. And this mama is totally lovin’ it!

Another thing that has passed from one kid to another. When saying our I love you’s, I frequently followed it with a series of questions: the most? forever? always? 16? (It was Biggest’s favorite number and when he was under 2, 16 was the biggest number he could think of, when asked… and it just kinda stuck. He occasionally tells me that it’s now one hundred and 81 hundreds. His love for his mama is growing. Or he’s more aware of higher numbers, one of the two. I’m picking his love is growing.) Anyways, Littlest now does this too and it is just sooo cute. Even daddy can’t help but stop whatever project he’s working on to listen to littlest say these things. I tried to catch it on video to share with you all, but his siblings kept chasing him by trying to get themselves in the picture. Aaaand, all his kisses still end with the MWAH! sound. I love that boy.

And Miss, well she eats like a 14 year old boy. And I am not kidding you. My MIL says that she’d put my Miss up against any teenage boy in an eating contest, and that my girl would win. She eats a million times a day. It’s to the point that by the time I need to be making dinner I am so burnt out from getting meals together allllllllllll day that it’s not as fun as I usually find it. And she’s freakin’ tiny. Seriously. Found an outfit she wore as a baby (it’s 3 months I believe) and she could get it on her little body. Granted it’s capris instead of pants and the shirt is more of a belly shirt, but it fits. Metabolism of a horse, I tell ya!  We can frequently be overheard muttering the words So much attitude in someone so  tiny! Seriously!  The way this girl can express herself and articulate her thoughts is amazing. Especially when you remember that she’s still only 3! And she’s so literal, in a way that you would never expect/believe from a 3 year old. I’m telling you- It’s mind blowing!

And Biggest, well, he’s going through a stage that he finds exciting and scary. He’s growing and learning. Becoming more independent, even. Stages where more independence is learned is usually accompanied by some clingy-ness/whining while they adjust. Lately, he’s been declaring that I love Littlest more than him. I respond with, I love all my babies, and you were the very first baby I ever loved. He hasn’t been saying I love Littlest more lately, but I still get an occasional, Was I really the first baby you loved? And he’s becoming embarrassed about things. He doesn’t like me to share things he’s said and especially to be laughed at. And he’s starting to notice that girls are cute. He and I  had a date last night and I caught him staring at a little girl. When I turned to look at her, he turned red, grabbed my hand, and said Mooom, don’t look at her! I looked at him, smiled, and just said, What, it’s ok! To which he sighed and said, ok you can look at her, but it’s just one of my big kid friends. (We’ve never seen this girl before.) When recounting this story to his daddy, he walked into the room midstory, and was pretty horrified that I would tell daddy about it. Hubbyman had a good laugh and was like, Ah! He’s starting to think girls are cute! He then told Biggest that he thinks girls are cute. Which made Biggest eye his daddy curiously. Hubbyman responded with, Yeah, I think Mommy’s cute. Biggest rolled his eyes and said, Dad! Mom is not cute, she’s just a mom! (Thank you, very much, for that ego boost, son I labored with for over 24 hours.) *Sigh*

My babies are growing and changing. And really, none of them are babies anymore. How did that happen?! When did that happen?! Moments, all these little, tiny, lovely moments… they go fleeting by. I hope I cherish all that I possibly can.

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Not Gone. Just Living.


I’m hoping to get back into blogging…I know I’ve been far and few between lately. I’d made the decision to keep the computer off, or at least in use minimally (and I mean minimally) during the day and evenings… and if time was going to be spent on the computer, it would be after the kids had gone to bed. By the time that happens… I’m usually about spent. So I haven’t gotten there yet. We’re in the constant process of streamlining. Our lives our activities, and especially our things. I’m working on getting things more organized (well, I’m pretty  much always working on that, but it’s been a more active process lately.), and paring down all the things that we have. A house full of things will not make anyone happy. A house full of love could make anyone happy.

It’s not just the distraction of electronics though. I’ve been guiltified (That’s right, it’s a new word. Accept it and move on.) about housework too. How many afternoons have we skipped the walk or trip to the playground because the whole house wasn’t clean? A lot. How many days have I wished we wouldn’t have gone to the playground and stayed home to clean? Absolutely none.  So in the last two weeks we have spent afternoons on the deck, sitting in the pool. Making and playing playdough on days when it’s been gray and raining. We have been living and loving.  And I have still gotten a few loads of laundry done in between. I’m calling success. There’s food in their bellies, clothes on their backs (or at the least covering their bottoms- hey, they’re little!), and definitely smiles on their faces. They’ve been happier with me, and I’ve been happier with them.

I have another confession. I thought I would feel really resentful of not getting the day time to process out blog posts, but I’ve actually found it to be freeing once I let it go. I don’t want to lose the blog (or my lovely, wonderful followers), but I do feel like I’ve found my life. You see, I was   trying to have it “all.” (But really, aren’t we all?) I wanted to have a perfectly clean, perfectly organized home; a well-loved family who I spend intentional time with; a successful blog; an abundant garden; and the start of a new career. Most of these things could take up most of your day if not all of your day, individually. And I was trying for it all, simultaneously. I felt like everything was only being half-done and half-heartedly at best. So I’ve already mentioned how freeing it feels, but I’m going to say it again. Totally freeing. I can throw in laundry in between games, activities, and outside fun with the kids (and gardening too). And TV has been limited too! So there is no doing things around TV times, we watch TV as it fits around our life! Which is obviously, how it should be! Totally freeing. And I feel so much happier and content the more and more we move towards our intentional living ideals. It’s awesome. I’m less stressed, I’m less frantic, and I think I actually do get more things done because I have less distractions and aren’t trying to do 100 things all at the same time. As the kids get older, some things will be easier and time may be more easily managed (and maybe some day I’ll have help with the laundry), but for now this is where I’m at. And I’m loving it.

For my fellow bloggers- I’m still following! I do most of my reading on my phone which makes it impossible to leave comments, but I am still reading and enjoying all the lovely and funny things you have to say! One of these days you will each have a million notices from all the liking and commenting catching up I’ll do! I am also intending to get some posting done this week (and hubby has agreed to help make some time available for me on the weekends too so I can do some posting and scheduling.) so I’m not gone, just living.

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Most Important Of All


A friend of mine recently shared this post, and wants it framed for her son’s room. She said it’s her favorite post of mine. And actually, the post I wrote yesterday already had me thinking about the things I want to teach and show and model for my children, which led me to think of those posts (there was one for my daughter too). So I’ve decided to repost them, and I hope you’ll forgive me. But sometimes, in life, you just need reminders. And today I’m wanting a refresher on all the things I want to teach my children, and really, things I want to (re)teach myself as well.

My Sons, I Want For You…

  • Be respectful. To everyone. Everywhere. People have hurts that sometimes aren’t visible, treat them accordingly.
  • Talk to others in a way that wouldn’t leave you embarrassed if you found out your mama was listening.
  • Learn to listen (for most men this is an acquired skill, I’m pretty sure). Really listen, not just hear someone making sounds, but the words that they’re saying.
  • Treat all women in the manner you should treat your mother: polite, respectful, helpful.
  • Be courteous- even if you think it’s not appreciated or deserved. Maybe especially then.
  • Be honest.
  • Violence (against anyone) is never really the answer.
  • Never look down on someone for the way they dress, how they look, or what they believe.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Never treat people as disposable. They’re not. Even if you date her for a week and find out she’s suuuuper annoying (even if I agree)… you will still treat her as an individual with feelings. Just not an individual you’ll marry.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you won’t be embarrassed to recount to your wife. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Never make fun of tears. No matter if they’re from a girl or a boy. Pain is pain. (Compassion, my sons!)
  • A strong man is someone who knows and accepts his weaknesses (or tries to strengthen himself in those areas).
  • Feelings are not a weakness in a man. Embrace them.
  • Don’t be run by emotions (or hormones), think things through.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Don’t let anyone push you around. Be your own man.
  • Learn to take charge and to be responsible for things. It’s ok to know what you want- and to go for it.
  • Don’t just follow ANYONE just for the sake of a) trying to look cool or fit in, or b) not having to make an actual decision yourself. Neither reason will suit you in the long run.
  • Know that you were made to be EXACTLY who you are.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you.
  • Reach out a helping hand, whenever you possibly can.
  • A man of faith is a lot stronger than a man with no beliefs.
  • You’ll stand a lot taller, the more time you spend on your knees.
  • Family is a blessing. (Whether you like it or not!)
  • Dream dreams, wish wishes, and love your loves. No matter what others may say or think. (Except for your mother, of course.)
  • Be secure in who you are, because you will always have people that will support you.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who your friends are, what your job is, how much money you make, or where you live… remember that your mama loves you. And please always live nearby.
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Yes, some of these are similar to things I want to tell her brothers, because let’s face it, the basis of how we live and treat people (or the ways we should), don’t change depending on which gender you are.

My Daughter, I Want You To Know…

  • The most beautiful people in the world are not movie or rock stars, but the people that are true to who they are and the things they believe.
  • While you are a beautiful girl, you should not look for validation through your looks. You will never find it, and it will leave you unfulfilled.
  • It is more important that you attain inner beauty than outer.
  • The way you treat people is much more important than the way you look. (Yes, I know these first ones are all similar, but in today’s society everyone comments on how cute or pretty or well dressed little girls are, instead of focusing on how polite or well-mannered they are.)
  • All that said, I hope you always know how beautiful you are, inside and out.
  • You cannot find validation through others. That is between you and God.
  • Never talk to anyone like you are better than they are (no matter what their circumstances are)- because you are not.
  • Talk to people in a way that shows that you are listening and that their thoughts are worth hearing.
  • When you have a difference of opinion with someone, consider their side.
  • Treat men the way you would treat a child. Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! Treat men the way you would your father- with honesty, respect, and a little bit of fear. (ha!)
  • Don’t let anyone (man or woman) tell you that you are not good enough. You are. Always.
  • Don’t let someone treat you as though you are disposable. If they do, dispose of them. And quickly.
  • Embrace your feelings and emotions- but don’t let them run/control you.
  • Be a take charge person! Don’t follow anyone else who’s path does not lead to yourdesired destination.
  • Be responsible! And take responsibility for your words and your actions.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you wouldn’t be embarrassed/ashamed to recount to your future husband. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Think twice before you speak. Think three times before you act. And then go ahead and run it by your mother first.
  • Know that you are EXACTLY who you were made to be- and be proud of that.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you, don’t expect others to act like it is.
  • A woman of faith is a lot stronger than a woman with no beliefs.
  • Family is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it! Where else will you find people who will love and support you, no matter how crazy your ideas are?! (you are your father’s child)
  • You will never regret reaching out a helping hand, whenever you can.
  • Be secure in who you are and be the best YOU you can be because I will always support you. Maybe not without voicing my opinions, but I will still support you in your journey.
  • Don’t be afraid to dream your dreams (and follow them), wish your wishes (and turn them into reality), and love your loves (with your whole heart). No matter what anyone else says or thinks. Except for maybe your mother.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who you know, how much money you make or have, or even where you live… remember that your mommy loves you. And I’d really prefer if you lived close by.

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My Daughter Is The Color Pink


My daughter just came upstairs in a pair of my shoes (heels). She wanted to tell me that she thinks my shoes are very beautiful. She heads back downstairs, but pauses at the base of the stairs to yell up to me, Mommy, all your shoes are very beautiful. But don’t tell daddy I said that. And don’t tell him I was wearing your shoes. He freaks out when I talk about beautiful shoes.

(photo courtesy of:parent24.com)

Now I like shoes and hangbags as much as the next girl. But if you ask me to choose between shopping and a day spent on the four wheeler in the mud… I’m gonna be covered in mud. Growing up, I attended classic car shows and had car posters on my wall. I ditched my barbies long before I ditched my Ferrari barbie car. And while I appreciate the art of makeup, I only practice it in theory. You know, in theory I would like to be perfectly made up and coiffed. But in reality my daughter ooohs and awwws when I wear my hair down because all she knows is mommy in a pony tail. And I never know where my makeup is when I want to use it, because I use it maybe bi-monthly. And I usually forget it in the car, since it’s normally done while hubbyman drives us to wherever we’re going. I’ve just never been the girl who gets up an hour earlier than necessary to curl (or straighten) my hair and get my makeup on. And at this point, I think it’s safe to say that I’m probably not going to evolve into that either. I’m ok with that.

I have all brothers- three of them. And since mom was a nurse and dad a teacher, most time at home (at least in the summers) were spent with dad, and said brothers. Suffice it say, we didn’t spend time doing a lot of girly things. Scratch that. We didn’t spend any time doing girly things. I’m not complaining. I didn’t really think about it. I enjoyed cars. It served me well while working at a Dodge dealership. I even enjoy helping hubbyman do work on the truck. Seriously. I don’t mind. I love football. (Like loooove.) And not just my team, football in general. I like sports. You won’t find me complaining over a date night spent at any sporting arena. I have spent many a sunny afternoon splashing in the mud, either in boots, or on the 4wheeler. I love to go fishing. My grandpa has a cabin in Canada that’s so remote that the last little bit has to be traveled by plane, the kind that lands on water. And I’ve caught the biggest fish of the trip before. Time well spent. Memories forever remembered. That’s the kind of girl I am.

I didn’t grow up wishing for sisters. I loved my brothers. (I still do.) They are still my best friends. (I do love my sisters-in-law!) So when it came to babies, I really didn’t have any feelings of longing for a daughter. My only longings were for a baby in general. I understood boys, I figured they would come easy as far as parenting. And the birth of Biggest E just reaffirmed that. I mean, I can puddle-stomp with the best of them. So when we found out we had a Miss on the way, I was a little uneasy. As month by month went by after she was born, I found myself enjoying my little girl more and more. And I have to tell you, I am so thankful I have a daughter.

That said, I am also incredibly confused. She is one of the girliest girls you will ever come across. Pink and purple are her favorite colors. She is a strawberry blonde-haired child and she loves that she has “pink” hair. She’s not really fond of anything that’s not pink or purple. And rarely willing to use anything that’s not one of those colors. She loves dolls, having her hair done, and her nails painted. Can you guess what colors?

Upon looking through all her photos, there’s lots of dirt-clad, mud-covered pretty pink dresses and sparkly shoes. I guess she might be like me after all, just a pinker version.

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Messy MissE


Whooo…whooo….Is that what owls say, Mom?

Ribbit…ribbit…Is that what frogs say, Mom?

Hump…hump (with back arched like it has a hump)…Is that what camels say, Mom?  The word hump was coupled with her doing a little jump each time. You may to have witnessed this to understand it’s funniness.

She not only likes to announce to me, and however’s within earshot, whenever she has to go potty… and exactly what she’ll be doing in the bathroom. We’ve had many conversations lately about how it’s ok for her to tell me, quietly, once we’re already in the bathroom, but when we’re in public, she should just say, I need to go potty, and leave it at that. Well, while out for lunch with Grandma S, she informed me she had to go potty. I took her by the hand and led her down the aisle filled with other Grandma’s all oohing and ahhing over her curls and sweet smile and Miss E waved at each of their smiling faces. She then (very loudly) turned to me and said, “Don’t worry Mom, I won’t tell those grandma’s that I  have to go poop. I’ll just whisper it to you when we get in the bathroom.” (*insert a handful of grandmas chuckling*)

Today the big two were bickering back and forth, and several “No more bathroom talk!” conversations were necessary as Big E has entered that “boy stage” where everything is bathroom talk. Unfortunately, his sister wants to do and say everything he does, and I was reaching my limit! I told them they’d start having time out in the bathroom if they kept calling each other names using potty talk. A moment later Miss E asked if I would open the bathroom door for her. She paused and looked out at her brother who then yelled something especially special (about something very lovely being squished into her eye). I told him to sit down. (Meaning to deal with him when done with Miss E) I then turned to her and asked if she needed any other help. She said no thanks, and gently pushed me out the door.  She then hung her body out the door and began to divulge her retort back to her brother. Exasperated I continued my tyrade about my feelings towards all the “bathroom talk” going on. Miss E continues to push my buttons as she’s just sitting there giving me a look that says, Clearly, mom has lost her marbles… when she comes back with, But Mooooom, I am in the bathroom.  I look at her, and ask (with eyebrows raised) What?! And she gives the answer I was afraid of: That’s why I went into the bathroom! 

This girl is too smart for my own good!

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Things You Should Say (To Girls)


This is part two of the “things you should say” series. I don’t know why I’m calling it a series, it’s really just two lists (that I intended to write closer together) of things I want my boys to learn, and things I want my girl to learn, or know. Or maybe I’ll do a “things you should say” (to husbands) too.. hmm… maybe it will end up as a series. Anyhow, I’m going to stop thinking aloud start typing thoughts that are relative to the subject at hand. This weekend we had a mini birthday party at the in-laws for my MissE. She is turning 3 and is quite the girl! There are so many attributes to her that took us by surprise, and so many reasons to love this attitude-filled, tiny-bodied, little peach of a girl. When her grandma told her she could open presents, she said, “Yay! I really hope it’s a beautiful, pink puppy!” As she skipped down the hall after her grandma. Thankfully, she was not disappointed that she got a princess crown, wand, and 2 outfits. (which she promptly changed into) I don’t know if all 3 year old girls are as impressed with clothing and shoes as Miss E, but she sure is.

Growing up with all brothers, while I never thought I didn’t want a daughter, I didn’t really have feelings of “I will be so disappointed if I don’t have a daughter.” Or things along those lines. While I obviously love every inch of my girl, I’ve found that I actually enjoy having a daughter, much more than I would have imagined, and I enjoy it more and more as she grows. That child is a talker. And I love it, at least most of the time. She loves to sit in the bathroom while I take a shower and just talk. Or go shopping with me, and just talk…the. whole. time. And for a 3 year old (well, in 6 days she’ll be 3) she is very articulate. So as we’re having more and more conversations, I’m thinking more and more about all the things I’ll want to say to her as she grows too. Yes, some may be similar to things I want to tell her brothers, because let’s face it, the basis of how we live and treat people (or the ways we should), don’t change depending on which gender you are.

  • The most beautiful people in the world are not movie or rock stars, but the people that are true to who they are and the things they believe.
  • While you are a beautiful girl, you should not look for validation through your looks. You will never find it, and it will leave you unfulfilled.
  • It is more important that you attain inner beauty than outer.
  • The way you treat people is much more important than the way you look. (Yes, I know these first ones are all similar, but in today’s society everyone comments on how cute or pretty or well dressed little girls are, instead of focusing on how polite or well-mannered they are.)
  • All that said, I hope you always know how beautiful you are, inside and out.
  • You cannot find validation through others. That is between you and God.
  • Never talk to anyone like you are better than they are (no matter what their circumstances are)- because you are not.
  • Talk to people in a way that shows that you are listening and that their thoughts are worth hearing.
  • When you have a difference of opinion with someone, consider their side.
  • Treat men the way you would treat a child. Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! Treat men the way you would your father- with honesty, respect, and a little bit of fear. (ha!)
  • Don’t let anyone (man or woman) tell you that you are not good enough. You are. Always.
  • Don’t let someone treat you as though you are disposable. If they do, dispose of them. And quickly.
  • Embrace your feelings and emotions- but don’t let them run/control you.
  • Be a take charge person! Don’t follow anyone else who’s path does not lead to your desired destination.
  • Be responsible! And take responsibility for your words and your actions.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you wouldn’t be embarrassed/ashamed to recount to your future husband. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Think twice before you speak. Think three times before you act. And then go ahead and run it by your mother first.
  • Know that you are EXACTLY who you were made to be- and be proud of that.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you, don’t expect others to act like it is.
  • A woman of faith is a lot stronger than a woman with no beliefs.
  • Family is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it! Where else will you find people who will love and support you, no matter how crazy your ideas are?! (you are your father’s child)
  • You will never regret reaching out a helping hand, whenever you can.
  • Be secure in who you are and be the best YOU you can be because I will always support you. Maybe not without voicing my opinions, but I will still support you in your journey.
  • Don’t be afraid to dream your dreams (and follow them), wish your wishes (and turn them into reality), and love your loves (with your whole heart). No matter what anyone else says or thinks. Except for maybe your mother.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who you know, how much money you make or have, or even where you live… remember that your mommy loves you. And I’d really prefer if you lived close by.
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