A little linky love for your Friday afternoon.
Are you doing anything for the long weekend?
I'm so proud of my cousin, who started a health and fitness company, DC Health Coaches, at the beginning of 2013. They offer personal, group, and corporate fitness, and yoga services throughout the DC area. Business is going well. Check them out: http://www.dchealthcoaches.com/
I just found out that one of my pictures is in the finals at the Natural Parents Network for "what natural parenting really looks like!" I'm very excited. Feel free to check it out and vote for my picture (#26) and your 4 other favorites. There are a lot of amazing ones! #7 is a fellow Connected Mom writer! http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/flickr-contest-finalists/
A little linky love for your Friday afternoon.
Shouted by Meegs at 2:57 PM
My most recent piece from Connected Mom. Keepin it real, and in perspective.
I have a preschooler now. It really blows my mind to say that, but its true. Gwen is 3-years old, and is definitely full of "big kid" spunk, fieriness, and emotion; however, she is still learning how to control those rollercoaster emotions of hers, and learning the frustrations of not having complete control over her life and world. I find myself having to give myself more and more "time outs" to breathe and regroup so as to not lose my cool. I also find myself needing some new tools in my arsenal.
I think some days, like yesterday, have the odds stacked against us. She's been using her inhaler for a week now because of a bad cough/cold (we start stepping it down today, thank goodness); it was rainy and miserable outside, so we were stuck inside; we had a random interruption in the middle of the day and never refound our groove. By dinner we were all prickly. Cue the meltdown.
Once upon a time I could talk Gwen down from most disruptive behavior, but the days of her being comforted merely by the sound of my voice are over. She feels things so big, this child of mind, and while I try to talk quietly and gently to her, she can't even hear my desire to help her over the loud sound of her own emotions. There are some ways that people are all the same, and one of these ways is in our desire to be heard and understood. I find my quiet voice rising, far beyond where I wish it would rise to, as I struggle to just have her hear me; her voice rises because she just doesn't understand why we just can't make it all right, and if only she could express her wants/needs to us enough, then we would of course fix it all.
In these moments, I wish I could scoop her up in my arms and help her to understand both the depth of my love for her, and my motivation for not giving into an ungrantable request. At the same time, the last thing she desires is for me to hold her, and I have to fight to keep my words as simple as possible, because her brain is consumed with anger, sadness, confusion, and a new found need for control leaving no room to process long explanations.
As an adult I've long since mastered the impulse to scream my frustrations, and let the tears flow at any grievance, regardless of location or company; but that doesn't mean that I don't have and understand such impulses. My longing to help her learn more productive ways of expressing emotion are balanced with my desire to never make her feel that her emotions are wrong, or should not be expressed.
So what is a frustrated Mama to do?
Well, last night at bedtime Trav and I weathered the storm of anger (without backing down), and when allowed doled out the hugs needed to sooth her sadness. After Trav said his good nights, Gwen and I lay next to each other on the couch in her room, and told each other how much we love each other no matter what. Then I gave hugs and kisses, rubbed her back, and said our sweet dreams like we do every night. I went down stairs and relaxed, before heading to my own bedtime, where I took a deep breath, climbed into bed, and told myself, "I try again tomorrow."
My lilac bush, the one I received for a Mother's Day gift last year, just bloomed. Like, over night. It didn't bloom last year, which was not unexpected considering it had just been transplanted and needed to recover. This year I was ready for it though, and feeling so impatient with it, wondering when those beautiful fragrant blossoms were going to show up already.
As is the case with all things... patience it a beautiful thing, and it will be rewarded.
A lesson that is a timely and very fitting reminder for my relationship with my 3-year old right now.
This weekend was one of highs and lows. Highs: We had a really nice time at my parent's on Saturday celebrating a belated Mother's Day with my mom, birthday with my dad, and early birthday with Trav. I cooked us all a nice dinner, the timing of which worked out well, and which everyone enjoyed. We ended the weekend last night on a really nice note with lots of Gwen snuggles before bed, and then she slept through the night (something her inhaler has been messing with for the past week)!
The Lows: Sunday was fine overall, but Gwen has been having a rough time lately (I think the inhaler she's on right now for a cough is a big contributor), and she had a huge screaming meltdown on Sunday which sucked. She also had a rough moment earlier in the day and told me she didn't want me and generally made me feel crappy, and even though I know I can't take it personally (she's 3!), I ended up crying in the shower. (Read more about this over at Connected Mom.)
What a weekend.
The important thing though is reminding myself that it is all fleeting, that if I hold my patience, the blooms will come. The I love yous before bed, the snuggles and kisses, and the cooperative sweet kid who greeted me this morning, well, they were some pretty sweet blooms.
Sometimes life seems to get so full that it becomes a tad overwhelming, even if its all good things. We have a lot going on right now, and I'm feel a bit ... oh, I don't know, stretched? pulled? like 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week is not nearly enough?
I'm sitting down this morning with a calendar and a list of things that need to happen and when they need to happen by, and I'm getting this plotted out so I can feel more in control again.
I'm so grateful for my work from home days, which give me a bit of extra time for finding balance. Regaining my commute time (which isn't huge, but is ample time for getting other small tasks done) helps me just sit and breathe and check off the little things that otherwise get pushed aside. Little things like sitting down with my calendar, which is obviously a big thing for my mental health right now! These days are also great for rainy spring weather. Looking out my window at this moment, I'm certainly glad to be in here, while it pours out there.
All this to say, sorry if posts are short, sporadic, or mostly pictures for a little while. Things should settle down soon.
Shouted by Meegs at 9:27 AM
Playing catch up today after a surprise day at home yesterday due to a sick Gwen. She's better today, thankfully, but leaves little time for blogging. Lets give it a shot though.
This weekend was full and wonderful. Saturday I attended a sweet, surprise wedding shower. Then Trav, Gwen, and I headed over to Ro and Pat's for a little cake cutting for Ro's birthday.
Sunday I got to sleep in, then received some sweet presents in bed.
|New upcycled glass bottle garden decor.|
We headed out to breakfast afterwards.
Trav had tennis that afternoon, so Gwen and I used that alone time to do some crafts. Something for Trav's upcoming birthday, and a little something for the grandmothers for Mother's Day, and my dad for his birthday.
The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent grilling with the neighbors.
Monday morning poor girl wasn't feeling well. Her cough had kept her up much of the night and she had a low-grade fever. We slept in until almost 8:30, then spent most of the rest of the day lounging around alternating between watching cartoons and reading books.
We did make two excursions out. One to meet Trav for lunch since we needed to bring him his wallet. The other for a walk around the block with Gwen up in the sling. I'm a big believer in the power of fresh air!
|Napping, still holding her lunch balloon.|
So, back to work for Mama... and time to play catch up!!
Shouted by Meegs at 4:03 PM
Its funny, the things you wish for. I spent all of April wondering where all of the rain was. Wishing we could get a few good days of it, so my poor flowers could wake up already after the long winter.
May has finally delivered on that promise (my garden thanks it!). Finally my flowers can bloom. Better late, then never.
Work has slowed down a bit this month (event-wise), in anticipation of the upcoming summer, which is our slowest time of year. That doesn't mean its not busy, but now at least I'm busy catching up on all the things that have pushed aside over and over to have time for event details instead. I can finally see my desk again, and I'm happy for that change. I think it happens every year that the pressure builds and builds as we have so much going on in the new year through beginning of spring, until we slow down a little in May/June and can all finally breathe. This year that breath is especially appreciated since there is much going on outside of work in the next few months, all of which I'm looking forward to, but which would seem that much more overwhelming if work was taking everything out of me.
The day is about over, so I'm going to finish up with the hope that you are also enjoying a big spring exhale.