I want to share an article Slate wrote today. I found it rather interesting. This was a unique perspective that I feel is important to take into consideration during all of this movement.  The Seven Main Reasons Democrats Shouldn’t Donate to Jill Stein’s Recount Fund I have been following this closely since last week. I even went to her donation page and stared at it for a long while debating a contribution. At the time she had only raised about 200k, maybe a little under. Ultimately, I did not donate. At that time I felt there were too many unknowns. However, I continued to follow this. I have been googling the progress each day. I am feeling: incredibly cautious optimism. I do not want to be disappointed again. Today I felt a twinge of excitement when I read the petition had been filed in Wisconsin. At the same time I reminded myself not to feel anything much over this.

This evening I again found myself considering making a donation. Then I saw the Slate article. I don’t know that I agree with everything, but I feel some valid points were made. Especially number 7. In a meeting I went to last weekend we discussed that upcoming senate election. Foster Campbell, Dec 10th. (Although, please take a look at his issues on the link to his campaign page.) I have donated to the ACLU and joined. I am also attending a fundraiser for the ACLU on the 9th. Followed up two days later with another group meeting (if you are local and want to join me and my partner in crime gal pals, let me know I will share info with you. Dudes welcome, I just happened to car pool with some of my favorite ladies)

I DO feel that our election system is rather hodgepodge. From primaries with voting and caucuses to the general elections with paper vs electronic and voter id/registration laws. These are all concepts too in depth to delve into in this post. It is a nightmare overall. We DO need to examine the consistency and integrity. However, I feel this strange pit in my stomach that this is just going to end up with a lot of people (anyone who doesn’t have faith in a Trump/Pence White House, myself included in that) disappointed all over again. Maybe it is a weird intuition. Maybe it is just that I am jaded.

I think we need to take a step back along with a deep breath, remembering that this doesn’t mean we are going to have some historic upheaval, regardless of what our dreams have been filled with during our nightly slumber. (Again, me included) The buzz going on around this is palpable. I have read other people’s hope and excitement. As much as I WANT to believe in that, the realist in me is not sold. If I am wrong and this comes to fruition, I will humbly admit I should have jumped on the recount train. I am not disavowing the attempt. Nor the inclination to make a donation. This is written by a woman who has already booked her hotel and flight for the women’s march the day after inauguration. I am not one to shy away from being vocal or taking action. I have experienced that twinge to act twice now for this particular cause. I am just concerned of hopes being utterly smashed once again. Personally, I do not want to go through that all over again so soon. Cautious optimism…..And who knows, I may make that donation yet. While reminding myself not to feel anything in particular about this action.

Winter is coming! It brings with it, dry air, harsh winds, and freezing temps. Those bring with them dry skin!

Lavender is probably my favorite herb, essential oil, scent, and color. I love love love everything about it. I have actually considered it for my next tattoo. Getting a lavender sprig on my right arm. I have been going back and forth on if I want it colored or just black. All of my other tattoos are black and I kind of love that. But I digress. Lavender is the bees knees.

I was inspired by putting lavender and vanilla essential oils into one of my diffusers. I decided I wanted to make a body butter using that lovely fragrance. This recipe was born. It smells rather heavenly. Cocoa butter, almond oil, lavender, and vanilla. It is like a delicious piece of pie all over your body.

Beyond smelling so yummy, it is really very moisturizing. I tested it out on myself. From toes to shoulders. It leaves your skin feeling soft. Your nails even get some hydration. My tattoos even looked refreshed after applying. It is a multi-use butter. You smell and look good.

Cocoa butter is rich in vitamin E, which is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help keep you young! It does have a strong scent that can overpower other scents. I am going to try making a version of this with a fractioned shea butter. Fractioned shea has a more subtle scent to it.

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Lavender Vanilla Body Butter

Cocoa butter comes solidified, if you did not know that. I ended up shaving it basically, into the measuring spoon. You have to heat it a bit and melt it down. You can use the double boiler option. Once that is liquified, add to your container. I use amber glass jars. Add the almond oil and essential oils. I emulsified with a tiny whisk. I was very thankful for my son’s passion for helping me cook. He picked out this very little whisk as one of his cooking tools. I borrowed it.

You will have to let it sit for a while before you start to see it solidify. It took mine overnight. Approximately 10-12 hours. I made it around 7pm and this morning around 7am, I noticed it was finally solid again! I applied it generously after my shower.

I included links to the specific items I used for this recipe. However, you can use whichever brand you prefer. I enjoy several brands of butters, oils, and herbs. I hope you get a chance to make this and if you do that you enjoy it as much as I do!

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I posted a status this morning regarding this election’s results. I am going to start this post off with that and go from there.

I weep this morning because I genuinely don’t know how I’m going to look into to my almost 6 year old’s face and tell him hate, racism, misogyny, anger, intolerance, and sexual assault won. I truly don’t know how I will do this without sobbing. I am always honest with my children and today I want nothing more than to tell big fat lies. I’m just so sad on a level I’ve never been before. Jason was hugging me all night as I sobbed, reassuring me he is as terrified as I am. No answers, just supporting me as my heart broke. And we both wondered together what happens next? I’ve never had to consider that my children will now grow in a world that is a little uglier, because despite giving my heart to stopping this from day one he announced, I failed them. We failed them.

As the day has progressed I think I have experienced several stages of grief. I am not happy about last night. By no means, but I am ready to keep fighting for what I believe in.

This morning after a hazy trip to Whole Foods for milk, I stopped at Starbucks for a coffee. I was still in the stage of almost nonstop tears. I decided to pay for the car behind me. I had to do something kind. I had to spread kindness. I had to be the change I want to see in the world. It is a small gesture, but sometimes these small gestures have a chain reaction.

On Monday my husband and I decided we wanted to sponsor a 2nd child. We have been sponsoring a little girl in Lebanon for nearly a year now! I received an update from her on Monday and my heart ached to help another child. This time we are sponsoring a little boy from the US. His favorite subject is reading, so he won me over instantly. Be the good in the country, nay, in the world.

I won’t sit here and write out every donation I have ever made or every activity I have volunteered for. I will say that my heart aches to help others. To try and lift all people up when and if they need it. To give my time to causes that do good. My heart aches today because not only did Trump win, no, an ideology that is misogynistic, racist, homophobic, intolerant, and ugly won. That nearly half of our country (she won the popular vote) chose either to whole heartedly support or were not bothered enough by and voted for those thoughts.

I am a female. I have a special needs cousin. I care about people from all walks of life. I am terrified of what this ideology will lead to. I have a degree in History where I spent a lot of time studying the 1930’s and 40’s. I have read and written many times over on what this kind of ugliness results in. I do not know if that will happen to us or if it does, to what extent. I truly hope that it doesn’t. I truly hope that we move forward and the anger and divisiveness that has plagued this campaign just ends tomorrow. I am wise enough to know that is more than likely wishful and naive thinking. I have been woken up though. I truly feel a fire inside of me. A fire to stay active and participate. I will use my voice and my brain to fight for what I believe in, a country that is truly a melting pot, where we celebrate that everyone is different, as I tell my boys every day. Midterms are next. This woman, wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, and neighbor feels the passion and is ready to stay awake and active.

I ask this of all people who feel as I feel this Wednesday afternoon: participate, speak out, do something kind, help someone, make a donation, vote, protest, campaign, run for office, instill kindness, love, tolerance, and generosity in your tiny humans, or just smile at a stranger. Do not let this defeat you. Do not be indifferent.

Eli Wiesel has been inspiring me since I was a young girl. I cried at his passing this year. I remember reading Night for the first time and my world being rocked. So I leave you with these words:

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My five year old is sick. Again. Such is life during cold and flu season for us. He has asthma, and subsequently he is very susceptible to all sorts of respiratory viruses. I have been begging him to nap all day. Five year olds do NOT like to nap. Especially my five year old. I decided to look for something to make to help him. I was browsing one of my favorite essential oil sites, and was inspired by them. Eden’s Garden. They have a line specifically designed for tiny humans. I may have bought every single oil in their line (so thankful for that this afternoon) They have a recipe for a sleepy time sachet. Using their sleepy time oil. I altered it a little bit, because I had different materials available.

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DIY Kids Sleep Sachet

Amount of rice/lavender will vary based on the size of you sachet. I happen to have a stock of muslin sachets in my herbs cabinet. For instructions on how to sew your own, you can refer to Eden’s Garden.

1 muslin sachet/bag

Handful of rice. I used brown rice, because that is what we have

Scoop of dried lavender

10-15 drops of Eden’s Garden Sleepy Time essential oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a zip baggie. Shake and mix well. Shake shake shake!

Pour the contents into the muslin bag. You can use a funnel if desired. I did not, I just kind of created a funnel with the zip bag.

Tied the muslin bag several times. I did 3 ties. Also, if you have smaller children who like to be adventurous coughcoughalexcoughcough you could sew this bag at the top as well.

This took  me a whopping 5 minutes to whip up. Most of my time was spent taking the photos. If you’re not photographing for your blog post, then the time should be even less! I did not heat this in the microwave, the scent was strong enough for me after I got it tied up. But Eden’s Garden does note you can warm it as well as warming it if the scent seems to be fading. It is reusable in the sense that you can also add more oil to it as the scent fades. Reusable and lovely smelling? Count me in!

He is not asleep in that photo. He was just looking down, but anything to help him relax. I am hopeful at some point he will doze off, even for a little while. If not, this will at least promote relaxation in general and his body can calm down. I will transfer this to his bed tonight for actual sleepy time.

Over the last almost 6 years (quietly sobs), I have often been asked the question “how do you keep your workout routine with kids?” This post does not have a one size fits all answer. Because life is not one size fits all. Hell, even my little world isn’t always the same size. Some days work better than others.

A normal day consists of me waking up at 5am on the dot, coffee, then a workout. My workouts vary between Pilates, running, swimming, strength/weight training. On Saturdays I do karate, outside of the house. It gives me an hour guaranteed to myself. By waking up at 5 on weekdays, I ensure that I am up way before my boys (I have late sleepers, I know I am lucky with that) and I am able to usually get an uninterrupted workout in. This wasn’t always the case when they were shiny newborn humans, but as they age, their sleep normalizes.

There are mornings where littles wake up earlier than usual and I have a workout buddy. At this point, Jackson, the 5 year old, can pretty much fend for himself. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes he wanders around the house entertaining himself. Alex, well he is 2 so I keep him with me if he is up. In general, that is how I balance it. They have learned that mommy works out. It is just a simple fact of life here. They have to respect that time for me. I am happy to include them, but I am going to workout. There is no parent guilt in that either. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. You are important too. I am a firm believer in that!

I have been sick for over 2 weeks now. A cold that turned into a nasty sinus infection. I am on the mend. Due to some amazing herbal tea and a black walnut nasal rinse. When I woke up at 5 today I decided I wanted to run. I haven’t ran in over 2 weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to hop on the treadmill. I have a love/(mostly) hate relationship with the treadmill. I decided I would get Jackson off to school and then go running in the forest preserve with Alex. I had EVERYTHING situated to operate smoothly. I spent the time I would usually be working out getting everything together. I even filled the tires on my BoB while Jackson ate his breakfast. I was ready to do this.

Then we were in the drop off line at school. I asked Jackson where his backpack was. It was still at home by the backdoor. He forgot to grab it. School on a good day is 10-15 minutes away. The main road we take is currently under construction. It can now take 20-30. This morning was on the longer end. Meaning now my run was going to be pushed back significantly, maybe canceled all together. I had to drop him off. Then drive home, grab bag, drive back, then hike it back to the forest preserve. That is how today’s workout started. See, not even my days are always one size fits all.

I did all of that. In a little less time than I had predicted. There was less traffic on my second drive to school because it was a bit later in the morning. Some of the work rush was gone. When I realized this I thought “Ok, you can do this. This is working out fine.”

The run started off ok. Not great, but manageable. He complained for the first 5 minutes that he wanted to walk, but eventually I was able to persuade him to stay seated. He had his ipad, snacks, milk, and box (it is a small house he carries everywhere that is filled with his favorite toys. He even sleeps with it). Around the 1.8 mile mark again he asked to walk. We were nearing the park, so I lamented that he stay seated for just a little while longer, we would be at the park soon!

I am a momma of my word, so freedom he had! He enjoyed himself for a bit. Then said he wanted to walk. Refusing to get back into the stroller. No matter how many times I said the word iPad. Which, I suppose is a good thing. But I digress.

There is no running when you are walking with a wandering two year old. I had about 2 miles of actual running under my belt. And about 2 miles to get back to the car. The real adventure began. He had me wander up this cool tree house pavilion area we had never walked up before. I followed his lead.

He is my wild child. My wanderer. My very free spirit. My mischievous little dude. Jackson is a free spirit in many ways. He also has his moments as a 5 year old seeking independence yet still utterly reliant on our constant attention. He has that internal battle going on right now. Such is life at 5, nearly 6. When Jackson was 2, he was not quite so independent. We went on runs all of the time. I cannot recall any specific times he ended up walking. I remember once when he was an infant and I ended up carrying a crying baby home. For the most part, he always stayed put, very content. Alex is a whole different person. He seeks adventure and his curiosity is overwhelming. He has no fear. (unless it is Halloween decorations or the movie Ghostbusters) He didn’t want to stay with me. I tried the trick, “ok mommy is leaving, bye bye!” And I started to stroll away. HE LAUGHED AND THEN STARTED TO WALK INTO THE WOODS! He cares not for my silly bluffs. He knows I am not leaving him alone in a forest. Sigh, he won.

My 4 mile run today turned into a 2 mile run. With a lot of toddler walking. And a nice maybe half mile sprint at the end when I finally got him back in the stroller. Then we headed home. It was after 11am. I had wanted to be home around 10ish. But all of my plans fell apart one by one. I adapted. I didn’t forget to stretch, despite the late time. We headed up to my Pilates Room. I am getting too old to not get a post run stretch in. That shit is for 20 year olds, not women who have had two kids and turned 31 almost 6 months ago. We better stretch our muscles and cool down, lest we want to regret it later.

Which really made my entire chaotic morning worth it. That photo on the right. I can’t! My timing just worked out perfectly. The milk swan. I will be incorporating it into all of my future mat classes! Ha!

The takeaway here? The insightful lesson I wish to impart on all parents looking for a way to stay fit and have tiny humans running around your feet (literally)?

FLEXIBILITY! I don’t mean in the backbend sense. I mean in the life sense. You have to be flexible with yourself and your schedule. You have to be flexible with your children. You have to adapt to your surroundings. If that means that you only run 2 miles, but get a nice 2 mile walk/cool down in, then shit, at least you were moving! You moved 4 miles on your own two legs. Your kid was moving on his legs too! I even threw in a few walking lunges while pushing the empty stroller. Alex stopped in his tracks and laughed, but hey, you are the reason I am doing these buddy.😉 Get back in the stroller and I won’t look so silly!

But seriously, sometimes you have to workout with your kids around. Squats in the living room. Pull-ups on the play ground. Pilates at 5:45 am and saying “hey sweetheart, sure join me,” when a tiny human waltzes in at 6:15. Sometimes your run gets pushed back by a good 30-45 minutes because of a forgotten backpack. I was annoyed, but hey, I survived and I ran! Shower was later, lunch was later, but I got that milk swan photo, so life works out sometimes.

For more Pilates and Fitmommaboom inspiration, follow me on Instagram Colev25 You can find frequent Pilates videos, my often self deprecating humor, adventures with two male tiny humans, and any other random things that inspire me to hit share.

You may not know, but I am back in school. Grad school to be exact. I am pursuing my Masters in Herbal Medicine. This may or may not have been a wise decision on my part at this moment in my life. It is already so hectic and I am 3 weeks in. Today I was feeling sluggish. I couldn’t sleep last night. I am not sure why, and my usual tricks didn’t really work. These nights happen I suppose. I have a very sick 5 year old. We made a trip to the doctor for the FOURTH time in two weeks. Long story short, it is one of those days, you know?

I felt inspired to do something just for me. I wanted to take a break from reading, cleaning, and caring for tiny humans. I was inspired by my third cup of coffee and my herbal med reading. There are not many things you will find me willingly use sugar for. This is the exception!

I whipped up a rather delicious smelling hand/body coffee sugar scrub. The measurements do not have to be precise. You can play with it a little. I ended up adding an additional scoop of sugar.

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Coffee sugar scrub

 

Vanilla Sugar Coffee Scrub

  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1 cup sugar + 1 extra scoop
  • 1/4 c fractioned coconut oil. If you do not have fractioned, you will have to warm your coconut oil to help liquify it
  • 1tsp, approx, vanilla extract
  • 2 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil (be mindful that cinnamon essential oil is a very powerful aromatic, so less is more)

Combine all in a bowl and mix well. If you feel it is too liquidy then you can add more sugar or coffee grounds. Play with the texture until you get what you will find enjoyable. Store in an airtight jar or container. I chose my mason jar because 1. I LOVE mason jars and 2. I have a bunch laying around.

Every year my husband and I usually end up watching the anniversary coverage of 9/11 in some capacity. The news, specials, documentaries, etc. I think that the events of that day impacted us equally as teenagers. We didn’t know one another then, but we both lived through that devastating moment in our nation’s history. I can close my eyes and still picture that day with such clarity. I can come close to remembering every moment, like a slideshow in my mind. I can channel the intense and fluid emotions I had that day. I have shed many tears over the years for the pain and suffering everyone involved and impacted has and will continue to go through.

This year I am taking great pains to keep the television off. A few weeks ago I was on a run/walk with my boys. The oldest is five and a half, so he is not in the jogger, which is why we take a lot of walking breaks. There was a plane flying low over the forest preserve. It was making that distinct landing sound that planes are wont to make. He said “I think that plane is crashing.” I assured him it was not crashing, it was just getting ready to land.

He followed that up with a statement that shook me to my core. “You know that there were planes that flew into buildings? Like an office building. There were people on them. It’s burned into my memory.” Let me repeat his age, he is 5 & 1/2! I stopped in my tacks and gathered my thoughts as quickly as I could. I decided to be a bit transparent and admitted that was true. That did happen. However, it was a very long time ago and it is not something he needs to worry about now. I lied a bit with that last part. The world is arguably less safe now. We have been in kind of a downward spiral of chaos lately. I wasn’t ready to crush his innocence just yet. I wasn’t ready for him to worry about the kinds of things I take into consideration. He is 5. There is plenty of time for him to have a broken heart over another mass shooting or intentional plane crash, but that time is not this year.

Since that day I have pretty much stopped watching the news around him. Which is odd for me, because I am a news/politics nerd. It wasn’t as difficult as I would have imagined though. That momma bear instinct kicked in and I simply didn’t want to expose him to more frightening events if I could avoid it.

So today, the tv will stay off. Unless they happen to get to watch a cartoon. I will also probably try to shield him seeing any social media I am on. He can’t read 100% yet, but he is starting to read. He has some sight words. And then there are the images, those are not something you can hope that your early reader doesn’t grasp. Because our walk in the forest preserve taught me that my five year old understands some pretty scary and heartbreaking things that have gone on in this world. Today, I will try to keep him oblivious a little bit longer. Today I will try to keep him little for one more year. Today I will try to keep the light in the world aglow for him.

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Kindergarten started last Thursday. I feel like we have been at it for a century already! I have already been missing our lazy summer mornings. Taking my time getting us ready. The boys leisurely eating breakfast for an hour. Deciding that very morning what adventure we would tackle that day. Last minute trips downtown. Our preschool mornings were pretty lazy too. We only had two of those a week. I could arrive there whenever I wanted. I aimed for 9 am, but at times we got there later. Sometimes we rushed to get out the door, but nothing quite like now. I haven’t been in a “where are my keys I cant find your shoes lets go lets go NOOOW” rush yet. The process is still shiny and new and I remain rather organized. Smoothie foods prepped in containers, clothes laid out the night before, backpack organized, up at 5am on the dot, tea preset to brew at 4:50am, and a down to the minute timeline. We do have to get out the door by a certain minute and so I am always watching the clock. We have made it with time to spare every drop off. (knock on wood) I am sure those hectic moments will come as I get more and more comfortable in this new life. I hope not, but I am being realistic here.

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He has had a bit of a rough time adjusting. We have been pretty inseparable his whole life. He has never gone away every day. There are only a few times I have been away from him overnight. This is a whole new world for him. He doesn’t want to leave me in the mornings. Yesterday was his best day and a teacher still had to peel him off of me when I walked him to the cafeteria. I am supposed to drop him off by the front doors. But his eyes fill with tears and he clutches my hand so hard and begs me to not leave him up there alone. I have a hard time saying no to that. He is only 5 after all. I am not complaining. I love being so loved, I just wish that this were easier for him. I hate seeing him cry. I want him to have fun or at least enjoy himself.

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I made him do this several times the other night because it cracked me up. 

Yesterday was better when I picked him up. He was happy and chatty and “had so much fun!” This was a new page from the other pickups. I was relieved. A whole weight fell off my shoulders on our walk back to the car. I try to play it cool, but on the inside I was doing a backflip while holding a toddler! This is the hardest part of parenting I have come across. Not being able to just fix whatever the issue is. Not being able to BE there physically to hug him and help him. I am a very hands on mom. (see: me insisting on holding Alex while he was put under anesthesia) So taking a step back for me is a new challenge. It is hard for me to not chat with his teacher at every drop off and pick up. It is hard for me to not physically walk him into his classroom. I am doing it, but on the inside I am also crying and screaming. All while smiling, reassuring him, and encouraging him to let his wings spread and fly.

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After school yesterday we stopped to meet Sofia and Jake!

When Alex saw Jackson at pick up yesterday he ran up to his big brother, wrapped his chubby little arms around Jackson’s waist, hugged him hard, and said “bruh bruh!” I was goo on the floor. This has been an adjustment for all of us. But seeing how much Alex loves his brother, asking for him all morning, and then the first thing he does is hug him tight, makes this a pinch easier. Small moments like that help you through more challenging times. The innocence of a nearly 2 year old being excited to see his best friend after being apart for a few short hours is truly one of loveliest moments in life. Children have a way of making simple things magical.

I have been writing and drawing notes for Jackson’s snack. They don’t get lunch because it is still half day. (When Alex’s shuffles off to Kindergarten it will be full day, I am preparing myself now). The other day he told me “I actually kind of love the notes mom.” Every day I have wondered if they brought a smile to his face. If they help make his day a little brighter. I hope so. Yesterday he saved his picture and put it in his pocket to carry with him. It tore in two pieces when taking it off the napkin. He saved both pieces. I just hope that these little reminders that he is loved make any rough moments at school a little less rough. That he knows he has loving and snuggly arms to come home to.

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Fly guy was from yesterday. Apple Blossom is today’s note.

Today is a new day and as always I am greeting him with a smile and words on how amazing today will be. I will praise him. I will encourage him to make new friends. A boy told him he didn’t want to sit by him anymore. Which is one of the reasons he was so upset. I told him I will always want to sit by him and he can always sit by me, no matter what! As cheesy as that may sound, it is true. The deeper lesson I am hoping to convey is that this is his safe place, we are his safe people. No matter what, he has love and support with me and his daddy. We will always sit next to him if he needs us. This week he needs us.

 

Parenthood comes with the expectation that you will experience new things. It is filled with constant and changing experiences. You could write a year’s worth of blogs on every kind of new thing parenthood brings. There is only one on my mind today though.

My oldest started Kindergarten yesterday. We survived. That is for another post. It has given me some more one on one time with my youngest. For a couple hours 5 days a week I have an only child of sorts. This morning we spent a little time outside. While watching him I got lost in thought.

At the beginning of August Alex had tubes in his ears to clear up chronic fluid behind his ear drums. This fluid had caused temporary hearing loss in him. We don’t know exactly how long it had been causing it, but it was long enough to impact his speech development. Which is how we discovered the hearing loss, at speech therapy.

Since then I have gotten to experience what it is like to watch someone whose hearing loss had been remedied rediscover the world. That is an experience I have never had. It is an experience that I would not have assumed came with parenthood. However, let me tell you, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of. The difference in him has been amazing. He is no longer frustrated. He is sunny and happy and oh so chatty.

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He notices all of the sounds around him now. Small noises grab his attention. He is amazed when he hears a cacophony of nature outside. This morning I took time to explore this with him. We could hear so many different tunes. Birds tweeting, crickets chirping, acorns falling from trees, a small plane that flew over our home. We heard it first and then hunted the skies for it until it became visible.

We play this game where he says momma and I respond with a quiet whistle. He laughs and laughs and says momma again and again. I can whisper things to him now and he responds. He has more words and is saying phrases and sentences. He articulates what he needs, wants, and doesn’t want.

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Watching him hear the world clearly for maybe the first time in his life has been one of my favorite parenting experiences. I was so worried about the surgery. I felt awful for not catching this sooner. I was hoping with all hope that it worked and we didn’t put him through that for nothing. Every one of those concerns were squashed. When his face lights up at the sound of a bird singing a song, I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. He has allowed me to watch someone exploring their world for the first time in a new way. You can see the appreciation he has for his newfound hearing ability. I can see it in his face when he hears some random noise that grabs his attention. WOW OOOO OHHH Mamma!! I can see it in his face when he starts a conversation with me. I can see it in his face when he now says hi and bye to everyone that walks by him. I can hear it when he answers questions with real formed words instead of babbling or yelling. I can hear it when he plays his mamma game. I heard it that very post op night when he went from say “wah” for walk to “WALK.” Right now he is sitting at the end of the couch we are on together. He is hugging our cat and saying “kikey.” Which is a word he couldn’t even come close to forming before.

There are tons of thoughts on seeing the world through a child’s eyes. But for me, I am hearing the world through a child’s ears. And it is phenomenal.

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I have seven days. Seven days until I have a Kindergartener. Seven days until I drive him to his new school, hug him goodbye while I try not to cry, and send him on his way to begin his official school career. I say official, because he did go to a twos program and then preschool and then pre k. It was different there though. It was only two days a week. I got constant daily updates. I could keep him home whenever I wanted. Vacations, illness, he needed a break. There were no rules. We kind of lived life as we pleased.

Now begins his official journey of education. We will have to plan things around school. Five days a week I will have to send him off for a few hours. If we want to take a random last minute vacation (which tends to be our MO), we will have to take school into consideration.

Five days a week I will scramble in the morning to get us out the door by a very certain time. Another leisure I had before. I always aimed for a certain time, but at his school, there wasn’t a mandatory start time. I am sure some mornings will be smooth sailing and some mornings will be insanity. I have no false hopes that it will be consistent. Life with children is nothing if not rather inconsistent and unpredictable at times.

Five days a week I will come home to a slightly quieter home. His baby brother is a lot different when he is on his own. When he gets the rare chance to feel like an only for a few hours. He isn’t better or worse, he is just different. It is as if he understands he has some mom time to himself. We have two classes we are signed up for to pass some of the morning time. To get to play together and have fun. The ways I used to take big brother to different toddler classes. Five days a week I will have an only child for a little while.

Five days a week I will wonder what he is learning. I will wonder if he is adjusting well. I will wonder if he is being well behaved and kind. I will wonder if other children are being kind to him.

Five days a week I will let other people care for and teach my son. The tiny human that grew in my body. The tiny human who thrived on the milk my body produced for over a year. The tiny human who grew into a chubby toddler. The tiny human whose toddler chub melted away into a tall and long preschooler. The tiny human who has begun to define his ability to be opinionated and in charge. (This is said in such nice terms. In the midst of an opinionated moment, I don’t always feel so sunshiny).

Five days a week I will pick up this young growing boy from his class. Sun, rain, snow, or any weather in between (it can be all of the above in the same day in Chicago). Baby brother in tow, chattering away as he is wont to do these days. Hopefully I get to listen to this Kindergartener’s chattering stories on the drive home. Asking questions I hope he has answers to. Sometimes he says he doesn’t remember what he did five minutes before. I will be clinging to every bit of information he decides to pass along. I will try to get him to tell me his five favorite things of the day. A tradition I started in preschool. It elicited more information than just asking him “what did you do today?”

I have seven days until I begin to live in a world of five days. Today he has had moments of driving me crazy. I love him dearly. He wants to do what he wants to do though and sometimes that isn’t what needs to be done. Then we sat down for a snack. I had a few moments of peace prior to that while he picked up his toys. It allowed me to reset. I just watched him practice his Taekwondo forms for no reason other than he loves it. He showed me a booby trap he made out of a snap bracelet. I have seven days until I have five days of missing out on these moments of happiness. I have seven days until I have five days of him sharing these silly little pieces of himself with other people in the world. While I am across town, doing whatever I am doing in those hours, a gymnastics class or a mom/tot dance class, or a trip to Target, or just picking up around the kitchen while the toddler plays, he will be sharing the unique and amazing things about himself with other people. And I have no choice but to accept and be ok with that.

I have seven days until I have to let go for five days a week for the rest of his childhood education. I have seven days until I have to choke back tears until I get into my SUV and sit there for a moment. I better start practicing.