No matter what

help kids follow their heart

I caved the other day and drove through McDonald's. McKenna had been begging for the new Barbie's now in the Happy Meal and I had no time to stop at home and make an all organic meal that wouldn't sit in our digestive systems for a month. As I pulled up to place our order I almost told the cashier "one girl toy and two boy toys" but then I decided against it. I looked in the rearview mirror and asked my kids if they would rather have a car or a Barbie. I heard one request for a car, barely audible under McKenna's chanting of "Bar-bie, Bar-bie" and then I saw my other son. He was thinking too hard about his options. I knew which one he wanted and I felt awful he had already reached an age Continue Reading

Okay fine I like it

loving the day

Our internet has been down since we got back from vacation and our laptop died last week. One of our cars has been acting up and we left my parents in a puff of smoke on our way to drop it off at the dealership from which it may never return. I'm sitting in the corner of our library on the computer labeled "guest" and every fifteen minutes I have to walk over to the headphoned teenager at the desk and ask if he could extend my computer time for one more session. I've missed writing and my fingers hitting the keyboard and since I'm here without kids I'll add in that I've missed hearing my fingers hit the keyboard. The past week has not been full of my finest moments. There is no laptop Continue Reading

When your family grows

sisters

Half of my Instagram feed is expectant mamas, counting down the days until their families grow. I fell asleep last night remembering my days of sitting with an expanding stomach, listening to Ashlyn tell me about her day. If she mentioned a class, my mind could recall the color of the folder needed, an event at lunch and I knew the time it began and how much extra it cost for juice. Life was calm enough that I could take in every detail and I was young enough that I could remember things. With every rumble of the belly quickly covering my lap, I wondered if I would ever be all of this for her again. Adding to the family would surely take away from her. I imagined my heart Continue Reading

Could this be why my daughter doesn’t like to read?

hidden learning disability

I thought McKenna would be easy to homeschool. She is very smart. She retains words quickly and she's very inquisitive. Preschool was great and kindergarten started off great until we progressed into harder levels of reading. Guess what her favorite thing to say about homeschool is? I love school with Mommy but I don't like to read! This girl has me so confused. She knows SO many words but she doesn't want to put them together. She doesn't even want to try. If we open a book and she doesn't know that she will be able to read it perfectly she refuses to attempt it at all. I try not to compare my children but Parker and McKenna are the same age and it's hard to watch him progress through Continue Reading

This is our autism

this is our autism

Since the beginning of my life as an autism mom I have been surrounded by versions of what people think autism is. Well-meaning onlookers have mentioned that my daughter doesn't count 5,000 items in 30 seconds like Rain Man or memorize the name of every US president like that one other person with autism they know. In the early days of her diagnosis, some questioned it so much that I questioned it myself, even though we were given the label by a nationally known autism expert who just happened to be a short car ride away. But here is the thing, our autism is not their autism and it's not your autism either. There is a saying out there autism parents like to use because it is so very Continue Reading

Huge Frozen toy giveaway!

Do your kids eat, sleep and breathe Frozen? My kids are obsessed and I may have the Disney store on speed dial so I can check if they've gotten a shipment of Elsa dolls in every Monday. These toys are next to impossible to find. Luckily, Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases just so happened to be at Target at the exact same time that they were restocking the shelves and she scored an entire lot of toys from Disney's Frozen. Yes, she even found an Elsa doll! Now a group of us are working together to give them away. That's $120 worth of toys, and we're giving them all to one lucky winner. What better way to cool off in July than with some Frozen treats? One Grand Prize winner will Continue Reading

Holding on

kids on July 4th

When my kids were younger and their cuteness was compacted into three feet or less I often had the urge to scoop them up and carry them when they didn't need carrying. Whoever's cuteness I was trying to wrangle would resist, of course, because generally toddlers only want held when they are sticky and you are already holding all the things including a diaper bag dangling from your teeth. As soon as I would lift them they would push and wiggle and their cuteness would turn to stubborn toddler-ness and I would return them to their feet and a pursuit of something far more interesting. Everyone is big-ish now. only asking to be held when they are tired or we're at the furthest point of the Continue Reading

Crafter’s Crate giveaway

star necklace

Sometimes, as I scroll through Pinterest, inspiration and energy strike me at the same time. I jump up (sort of) from my laptop and ask the kids if they want to do a project. They excitedly answer "yes" "YAY" "is it going to be pink?" as I head to our loosely-named craft cupboard. I scan the cupboards, realize that I have ten times the amount of paper bags we need but zero drops of something else the craft calls for. I contemplate piling everyone into the car to head to the craft store and then I announce that we are making the famous paper bag puppets and switch a few crayons out for markers before anyone can say we did this last week. Last week McKenna received the best package in Continue Reading

Their story

holding preemies

I'm not sure which one of them told me their version of the story first but I know they were wrong. They had gotten ahead of me, as they always did and figured out a story that I hadn't yet told. Bedtime books and too much Elmo were to blame. My children thought they followed the typical formula for being born. Essentially they did, but mostly they didn't. There was no "we had a baby and then the next day, Daddy brought Mommy and the baby home" in our story. Our story was much more complicated and full of rushing doctors and beeping machines and long, long days of waiting. I began to explain it to them. I chose words with soft edges and watercolor details and watched their faces to Continue Reading

Riding a roller coaster as a mom, this is not a metaphor

amusement park with kids

Over the weekend we took the kids to their first amusement park. I have not been to a place like this since before I had children. That might have been almost two decades ago but one second into our first (mini)roller coaster I was shocked right back into memory of who I used to be and what parenting has done to my mind. Riding on a roller coaster pre and post kids: Pre-kids- Wheeeee Post-kids- Here we go, did we remember all children? Should we have started off with a more mild ride? Oh look there's the carousel, maybe we should have eased them into things with something like that, then the bumper cars then the… are we really already going this fast? Pre-kids- I hope I don't Continue Reading