things that are temporary

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As I get, ahem, older, I guess I’m realizing there are certain things that really are fleeting. You may recall I just got my hairs cut not that long ago. Well, not that long ago is ten weeks now and actually, in really big news, I made an appointment the last time I was in and will be getting more hairs cut … tomorrow.

I think logically, I knew that my hair would start to grow again but taking that step to really make a change was so hard. I might have also shared that my hair is a security blanket of sorts so it’s tough to part with something so cozy; although this 90-degree weather is making me completely appreciate shorter hair. Yuk.

Anyway, this isn’t all about hair. I mean it is, but it isn’t. The point is, I’ve learned to let go of some of those fears and anxieties over things that are not going to matter a hill of beans ten years from now. Short hair now? It can be down to the ground by then. Kid want a mohawk? Eh, it’ll grow back. Besides, I’ve never seen him so thoroughly explain exactly how he wanted his hair to look and smile so widely afterward. So for that reason (and that one alone!), I’m glad Connor looks like Mr. T. (old A-Team reference thanks to his dad).

[194.365] poser

still freaking adorable

a special sunday

Yesterday included, as per usual, 24 hours. I just broke it down and that’s 1,440 minutes. Whoa. Side note: When someone says, ‘just take each minute … one at a time,’ I’m going to politely ask them to shut up because there are far too many in a day to think anything crazy like that. The nice thing about yesterday though, is that I wasn’t rushed for any but about 45 of those minutes (as I was racing around trying to get to church on time for band practice). That leaves 1,395 (yay, math!) minutes to enjoy on a given Sunday. But, just like any other day, it’s not about the minutes. It’s about the moments. See what I did there? Continue reading

wrong turns

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They say there is a ‘road of life.’ (Hey, who are they anyway? I’ve always wondered that).

Anyway, if life is a road, I guess we all get to that point where we have the opportunity to drive. Obviously, you can’t start out driving, but it doesn’t take long and then BAM, there you are … on that road. Continue reading

he’s got a feeling

When Connor was just a couple of weeks old, a nurse told me he had an ‘old soul.’ I had, of course, had some inclination before she shared that with me. I could see it in his eyes.

I’ve never stopped believing that nurse was right and it becomes more evident as he gets older. Connor is, indeed, wise for his age. Sometimes his wisdom is misguided and sometimes I know it’s because he’s already been through so much at his young age, but he’s wise nonetheless.  Continue reading

use your words

Guess what?! Spring finally arrived this weekend. It felt like as soon as the sun was up Saturday morning, we were out enjoying it. We played soccer and then, after a few errands, some ball practice and a visit to a playground not far down the road.

Connor found one slide that he reeeeaaaly liked. He would grasp the top and repeatedly ask me, “Mom, can you see my shoe?” Sometimes I couldn’t, sometimes I didn’t really want to bend down to look and other times it was in plain sight. “Yes, Connor, I can see your shoe. What is this game again?”

After getting nice and dizzy on the tire swing, he was back in the tube. When I half-expected to crane my neck again to see his shoe, I heard him ask, “Mom, what does a-s-s spell? Does that spell ass?” Yes, yes it does, Connor. And please, don’t use that word.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this age where Connor is reading and sounding out everything. I’m not even mad at him for asking me what it was he was trying to piece together.

Nope. I’m mad that someone felt it necessary to etch on the inside of a slide a word that my seven-year-old shouldn’t see at.the.playground. It’s sort of like the time that he went into the restroom at a restaurant and came out asking me what f … (you know what I’m getting at, right?) spelled.

Even then, I wasn’t mad at him for asking. I was upset that someone chose to put that language on a counter in a bathroom. And it wasn’t like they etched it into the surface at a level where an adult might see it. Nope, it was at perfect eye height for an almost six-year-old.

I am all for freedom of speech, expression .. all of that. But, really? Really? I don’t know … maybe it’s healthy and good for Connor to be exposed to things like that so he can ask the question, and thankfully I was there to answer. But, then I also have to think that it might not be all that helpful because 1.) he’s seeing how common and apparently cool it is to destroy someone else’s property and 2.) words are just words that apparently should be read by everyone, especially CHILDREN. On a SLIDE.

I think we all know how I feel about words. They aren’t just that. At all. Sadly, I saw a few other words drawn into the wood and other features of the playground that I’m really happy Connor did not see to ask me about. I wouldn’t have known how to explain some to him.

Point is … I won’t be there all the time to explain it to him and as much as I’d love to keep whining about someone else’s choice to infiltrate his brain with nonsense, I might as well just do my best to make sure he knows that activity, in and of itself, is not okay with this mama and if he ever feels the need to send a message to someone else, I hope it’s a positive one.

showing the slide a little love.

showing the slide a little love.

 

perseverance

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(n) 1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc.,
especially in spite of difficulties,obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Connor

This kid, he amazes me. Connor and I were blessed with a long weekend (yes, a planned day off from school is far preferred to an unexpected snow day) and I had some fun activities planned for Saturday and Sunday but was leaving Friday open for errands.

When Connor got up Friday, he declared that today was the.day. that he would start (and finish) building his Malevolence LEGO ship he got for his birthday. We’d been waiting for a good, long stretch to work on it because it includes just under 1,100 pieces. I told him that he could definitely get started on it and then we were going to run up to Grandville to take care of some mom things. He got to work and calculated just how many pages he would have to get through. That would be 134.

He got through page 20 and I told him it was time to get our move on. I remembered (quickly) how little kids like errands. He was asking in the car how many places we had to stop. <warning>Parents everywhere: This.is.a.trap Be vague. Don’t give a direct answer.</warning> I told him that I wasn’t sure, but it would include Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s and the meat locker. What? These aren’t your normal errand-type stops?

We got through our errands in about three hours (mind you, the drive was a little over an hour and a half of it) and he immediately got back to the ship. At one point he said, “Um, a little help here?” I was quick to jump in because I could tell throughout that he did not want my help. He really wanted to tackle it himself. He did stop to ask me a couple times if I thought there was any way he could finish it and I told him that if he put his head down and focused on it that very likely, yes, he could.

studying

studying

So, at about 8:20, he asked for help one last time to get the ship’s top in place and voila!, the Malevolence was flight-ready.

Can I take one moment to ask the LEGO company to STOP including ‘extra’ pieces? I have mini panic attacks (and I’m not the only one; a girlfriend at work and I chatted about this today) when I see those 4 extra pieces per bag just laying there taunting us as if to say, ‘Oops, you missed a step.’ Not a fan.

Of course, CJ was uber-impressed with his LEGO-prowess and declared himself smarter than any nine-year-old that ever lived because surely not one of them could’ve built the same ship in 6.5 hours like he did. Oh yes, I missed noting that the set was designed for 9-14 year old LEGO maniacs.

Then, Saturday, after his last basketball practice, I took him to an indoor rock climbing place just south of Grand Rapids. I’d found a deal for a couple day passes and I thought it sounded like something he would really like. We had climbed last summer an an outside wall at Ropes Course, Inc., but this was his first time inside.

We were equipped with our harnesses and I was taught how to belay. Tip for future visits: Belayers (I have no idea if that’s what they’re actually called) should wear gloves. The burn on my thumb is a reminder. Connor made his way up the first climb. The staffer was pretty impressed and just commented, “He has no fear.” He certainly does not.

[61.365] going up

going up

That was the first of three routes he would finish (multiple times). He even found on a subsequent trip up that particular wall had an easy button. He said, “Mom, there’s a button up here. Should I push it?” Immediately, my response was, “No, it could be a fire alarm!” Wait, why would the fire alarm be up that high? He said, “Well, it says something. E-a- .. easy.” I chuckled. “Yes, you may push it.” He then pressed it multiple times to hear, “That was easy.”

Connor climbed for two straight hours. The last couple of times he went up I could tell he was wearing down. A couple times he would hang back from the wall to take a break. I reminded him that meant I was holding him up. “Oh, sorry Mom.” I asked him if he wanted to come down and he just responded each time with, “No, I’m not gonna quit.”

best snow day ever

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I started getting that sick feeling Thursday night. You know the one, right? It’s that anxiety-inducing feeling that results from deteriorating weather conditions and the assumption school will most likely close the next day. I know, you can just call it Mama Llama Drama.

But still, balancing a hefty workload and an almost seven-year-old (who had just been ‘crowned’ Citizen of the Month) is no easy feat. I was thankful to get a couple extra minutes of sleep the next morning. I’d gotten the call and turned the alarm off. When I did wake, I left all the lights off and sat quietly with my laptop on the couch so CJ could continue to rest. I think that lasted ten minutes before I heard his little feet shuffling on the carpet.

Next thing I know, he was sitting next to me. Well, on me. He was sitting on me. Surely, the day was going to go really, really well.

We talked about playing some Uno and making some breakfast as first steps. I will admit that I was totally okay with the fact that I didn’t have to rush anywhere first thing. Oh, and that I didn’t even have to shower if I didn’t want to. Booyah.

After breakfast, I told CJ he could watch a movie so I could focus on a few things and then we would go pick up the girls. He stole the DVD player away and I found him in his room a few minutes later.

precious moments

precious moments

We picked up the girls and took some of the back roads home. The snow was just beautiful and I couldn’t help but get out and snap a few pics along the way.

[32.365] all eyes

whatchu lookin at?

Funny story. When I saw these moo cows, they were all saddled up to the fence. I got out of my car and I’m not sure if I shut the door too quickly or if I was too loud when I exclaimed, “hey, what’s going on, guys?!” but they all freaked out and started running (air quotes, question mark) at the sight of me. Thankfully, they didn’t get too far because I fell in love with the snow-covered beasts.

Later in the afternoon, I told the kiddos that I had a couple calls I had to be on so I could hide out in my room but I would need them to play the silent game keep it down a bit. Just before my second call, though, we turned on the kids music channel and they started dancing around. It literally melted my heart. Their smiles; their clasped hands; the cousin love. I couldn’t help but watch them.

it was hair-raising

it was hair-raising

yay, we did it!

yay, we did it!

The girls stayed until just before dinner time. When we got to Grandma’s for dinner, both of them mentioned it was the best snow day ever. I’m sure it was just because they got to be somewhere other than home while their mom and dad had to work, but I don’t think they realized that they made it a great snow day for me, too. When I looked  back at the moments I was able to witness and be a part of that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, I was so thankful. Snow days rule.

HELLO, my name is

We’re all given a name at birth, right? I (fortunately or otherwise) was given the name Staci. No, it is not short for Anastasia. And yes, it is spelled with an “i”. I did learn in a very brief InterWeb search that my name is Greek in origin and means “Resurrection” (which is awesome and makes all kinds of sense) and that its most popular year was 1973 … many, many years before my birth.

But, aside from that very strange pique in self-confidence we all get when we hear our name and that very awkward feeling we get when we have to write it on those silly stickers at an event, how much can we really identify with our name? In my opinion, it ultimately takes a back seat to all of the other labels we might be given throughout our lives. Continue reading

addition and subtraction

Connor and I finished up our addition flash cards the other night and I couldn’t help but beam with pride at my boy who’s quite adept at math. I’ve mentioned it before but he just has a way with numbers … adding, subtracting, even some simple multiplication.

It got me thinking. There are things in life that need to be added and those that need to be subtracted. For some, that list is pretty small. They are in balance. For me, the list gets longer. I’m still much, much too hard on myself and I get frustrated when I feel like I know what I need to have more of and alternatively, less of, but I just.can’t.do.it.  Continue reading