Thursday, March 13, 2014

My heart is in the work.

Some days, parenting is just hard (okay, most days, parenting is hard).  The majority of the tough days come from a combination of whines, cries, defiance, and fitting everything in during a 24 hour period. But then there are the days like I had a few days ago.  The days when difficulty arises from our anxieties about parenthood, about our choices, our values, and our abilities to pass those on to our children.  I am a firm believer of trusting my gut, while at the same time being an intentional parent and not passive in my decision making. This approach requires a lot of work. I do my fair share of research on a topic, internalize and process what I learned, then make an informed decision based on what the "experts" say (the researchers and authors) and the true experts on our kids (me and Ryan).  I try to determine when there is hype and where there is validity. The perfect example is sleep training.  I've read the books. I've read the research.  I've listened to other's sob and success stories.  In the end, we had to go with our gut and choose what is right for us.

Despite all of my research and thought behind parenting, there's a fine line to walk.  You have to be mindful and not get swept up in things that may seem to matter, but really don't.  Your kid is saying his ABCs at 18m?  Great, but I'm okay if my kid isn't.  Your kid is reading at age 4? That's awesome, but it's not going to make me judge my kid if he/she isn't.  In fact, it seems that "kindergarten is the new first grade"; we are getting so caught up in the race to doing things earlier, faster, and better, that we often aren't thinking about the impacts this has on our children.

Ryan and I discuss our thoughts and goals for raising our children and then base our actions on all of this.  As you can imagine, it's work.  A lot of it.  When approaching all of parenting this way, it's near impossible to fit everything in.  Some things slide.  The other day was just a reminder for me that I was slipping and needed to get my feet back on the ground and get back to work.

I don't think Andrew Carnegie had parenting in mind when he said "my heart is in the work", but there isn't a role that fits that quote better than the work of being a parent.  My heart is in it, fully dedicated and committed.

#parentingishard




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sometimes you just get it right.

Living in a world of excess, I often struggle with how my kids will learn gratitude.  I don't give in to every request, but more often than not, my kids just get things because they can.  Maybe it's the $3 Mario minifigure that Hudson requests when we are at Target, or it's the $10 marker set that I pick up for Hadley just because I know she likes to color.  Not because it's their birthdays or Christmas.  But just because...well...why not?  It's easy to justify by thinking "eh, it's the same price as a cup of Starbucks and it will make them so (temporarily) happy".  I'm trying to be more mindful of this and constantly talking about how much the kids have to be grateful for.  While it's easy to give material examples to satisfy their need for concrete reasoning, I often wonder if I'm cutting them short by not discussing the more abstract "things" to be thankful for.  Either way, I'm trying harder and harder to implement a sense of gratitude.  One way I've been doing this is in their nightly prayers.

We have a routine of saying prayers like this:
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
That angels watch me through the night
Until I wake in the morning light.
Dear God, Thank you so much for this wonderful day. Today we....  And now we're getting ready to go night night.  We pray for all of our friends and family like Mom Mom and Pop Pop, Grami and Pappy, Uncle Kevin and Colleen, Uncle Bobby and Baby Riley, and Uncle Joey. We pray for Mommy, and Daddy, and Hudson, and Hadley, and Hayes, and Ruby.  We pray for all of our friends and teachers in Baltimore and all of our friends and teachers in New Jersey.  We pray that we have a great night's sleep and a wonderful day tomorrow. Amen."

At the end of the summary of our day, I've been asking the kids what they were thankful for that day.  On the first night, Hadley thinks for a minute and says "You.  I'm thankful for you." (I'm tearing up just typing that).  Then she continues "Actually I'm thankful for our whole family.  Daddy and Hayes and Hudson too".  "Wow", I tell her.  "Hadley, that is a wonderful thing to be thankful for".  Not to be outdone, Hudson hears the praise I'm giving her and says "I have a good one too.  I'm thankful for Old Pap."  My grandfather, "Old Pap", passed away in November.  (Someone please hand my mom a tissue.).

Wow, I thought, wow.  Maybe I'm doing something right.

#gratitudeattitude
#familyiswhatitsallabout

**UPDATE**
So, I started this post a few days ago and didn't get to finish.  Last night, we went through the same routine.  Again, when asked what she was thankful, Hadley pointed to me. "Awww, thanks Had.  I'm thankful for you too".  But then she starting shaking her head.  She does this thing where she doesn't want to talk so instead does a series of grunts and noises to try to make a point.  She grabs my necklace and says "ehhh".  "My necklace?  You're thankful for my necklace?"  "UMM HUH!!" Then my rings she grabs "ehhh".  "And you're thankful for my rings?"  Nodding happily, "UH HUH!!"
Okay so maybe we have to work on the material possession thing.  She did say she was thankful for me before she said she was thankful for diamonds....
#diamondsarepretty
#girlsbestfriend

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The consequences of an unattended toddler

Remember in my last blog post how I said that I couldn't take my eyes off of Hayes?  Let me show you why...
On Friday morning, I took him upstairs so that I could get dressed and he got into my perfumes.  He smelled like a mixture of every scent possible. Then he refused to take his morning nap which is when I usually make breakfast and have coffee.  Since he didn't want to sleep, I had to go out on a limb and focus on cooking and not on Hayes.  This is what happens:
Hayes decided to get the party started a little early and dump a full bottle of vodka on his feet and the floor.  The mixture of the perfume and the vodka now made Hayes smell like he was working the late shift at the Hustler club.
Yes, Hayes.  I was looking longingly at the bottle at this point as well.  It was 9:40am.

So, I started to clean up the vodka, leaving Hayes unattended once again.  As I threw away the last paper towel, I started to look for him and couldn't find him.  Because he decided to go INSIDE of my coat closet. 


I did a better job of monitoring him until that dreaded moment came: I had to go to the bathroom.  I'm always stuck in a conundrum here, weighing my options.  Do I bring him in the bathroom with me, knowing that he will take the plunger, wave it around the room, throw a tantrum when I take it away, then get up and climb onto the stool in front of the sink to grab and squeeze toothpaste?  Or do I just leave the door open and hope for the best?  I opted for #2.  It got really quiet.....

He found a pacifier and climbed up the steps onto Hudson's bed.  I could not believe it and told him "no Hayes, it's not safe to go up there!!!".  He smiled and crouched down on the bed, so that I couldn't see him.  "No", now that the meaning is understood, has started to elicit that type of response - let me look really cute and sorta hide so she can't be mad at me.

#hairturninggrey



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Things To Not Forget: TTNF

So the blur of November and December has passed, and wait, it looks like January is gone too.  Having three kids' birthdays within 6 weeks of each other, sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with a Type A birthday-momzilla is not a good combo.  I had a first birthday party to plan in another state.  And those who know me well know that the Prichard family motto is "Go big or go home".  I had been pinning things for Hayes's monster birthday party for months while at the same time going on a creative binge of all things Lego for Hudson's 6th birthday.  Between the hand made minifig chocolates and gummies, the personalized Lego coloring sheets, and every possible monster-themed item known to man for Hayes's party, I was spent.  My poor middle child, who already gets the short end of my attention stick, was given the unfortunate position of having a birthday after the boys and right before Christmas.  She didn't have a theme in mind, so she ended up with a pre-packaged party at a bounce house and was no less happy for it.  I had every intention of an awesome blog post of each of their parties, partly because I wanted to have a record of the day and partly because I was proud of all my hard work, but it seems silly at this point, so I won't look behind and just keep on truckin' forward.

I've been thinking about this blog for days (weeks?) now and have been wanting to write, but I've been struggling with the time.  Hayes hasn't been taking naps in solid chunks (waking after 30-40 mins, yet still tired, so I have to hold him in order for him to get in another 30-40 mins).  When he's awake, my eyes are fixated on him. His newfound mobility has left me on high alert all day long.  In one day a few weeks ago, he managed to fall down the stairs, open a bottle of kids' nail polish and eat the brush, eat hand sanitizer, eat hand cream....do you see the trend here?  I can't take my eyes off of him.  So forget about sitting down at my desk and focusing on coherent words.  Not. Happening.

That leaves post-bedtime.  I would love to hear how other moms' nights go, but this is what mine looks like.
5p - scrambling to finish dinner and get it to the whining, hungry kids
5:30p - give dinner to the kids
5:45p - Ryan gets home, changes, and scarfs down some food
6:15p - Ryan gets Hayes into the bath, I eat cold food while standing and cleaning the kitchen
6:45p - Do the Hayes handoff back to me.  Good night kisses for brother and sister
7p - Nursing Hayes in the dark, checking email and Facebook
7:30p - Hayes is asleep in his crib and I sneak back downstairs to find the kids and Ryan sitting on the couch or getting out of the bath, urging them to brush their teeth
7:45p - still waiting for teeth to be brushed while listening to every excuse possible
8p - Ryan and Hadley are reading books on the bottom bunk and me and Hudson reading on the top
8:20p - I leave Hudson to read alone for a little bit while Ryan lays with Hadley. I either finish cleaning the kitchen or take a shower
9p - Finish shower/ get dressed.  Start to clean up the rest of the house
9:30p - Look at the clock and curse at the fact that there is still stuff everywhere.  How am I not done cleaning yet?!?
9:45p - Time to relax! At least until Hayes wakes up in 45 minutes.

As you can see, there's not much time carved out to blog.  I could start at 10p (like tonight), but my brain is usually fried and I just want to drink wine and watch TV with Ryan (this is usually my first chance to talk with him without constant interruptions) or jump in bed and read a little.

Anyways, that was a VERY longwinded way to say I'm still trying to figure out how to fit blogging into my life.  There are so many things that I want to remember about being a mom.  I see this as a place to store that.  Sorta like a never ending baby book.  A place to share all of those things that the kids do or say that don't have a pre-designated space in a dusty book that I barely open anyways.  I spent my shower trying to think of a good acronym for those quotes/moments and the best I could come up with is TTNF - "Things To Not Forget".  I hope to make quick updates tagged TTNF so that I can go back and read these things and smile at the memory.

Today, Hudson gave me a perfect example of a TTNF post.  Hadley had ballet today, so it was just me and Hudson (and Hayes) walking home from school.  This was our conversation:
Me: How was your day?
Hudson: Good.  There's a girl, Aliza, in my class and she wants to marry me.  [This was said right as we passed another mom.  She put her hand over her mouth to hide her giggle as I smile].
Me: Oh, wow! Why does she want to marry you?
Hudson: Because I'm nice to her. Mom, can you come to pick me up a little later tomorrow [School ends at 3:15p and I got there around 3:05p today]
Me: Sure.  Why do you want me to come later?
Hudson: So that I can spend time with her (referring to Aliza).

I was loving this conversation and tried to extend it, but Hudson didn't have much more to say.  Later, we got into the house and he said "Mom, can you remind me to talk with Aliza tomorrow?  I need to talk to her about this."

I am still smiling thinking about this.  What struck me so much and made me so happy was the innocence with which he spoke. It was so nonchalant.  "Yeah, there's a girl who wants to marry me."  It was said the same way he would talk about how his friends gave each other ninja names.  It was such a stark contrast to hear him talk about something so mature like that.  It made me realize that he's growing up.  That kids are starting to talk about adult things.  And that one day, in the near future, he will be giddy and shy and bashful talking about girls with me.  So I just relished in the moment and am happy relive it.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Six

Hudson turned 6 years old today.  There's something different about this birthday. Maybe it's the lanky body that barely fits on my lap.  Maybe it's Hudson's blossoming literacy.  Maybe it's the fact that I now have to shop in the Boys' Department in clothing stores.  For some reason, today feels strangely sad.  Six no longer means baby or toddler, even though Hudson will always be my first "baby".

There have been many days, and many, MANY nights, when I have wished for him to grow up.  Times when I prayed he would start to do things by himself.  When will he put on his own clothes?  When will he go to sleep by himself? When will he stay in his bed all night? As all of these life skills are mastered, I'm seeing less of my little boy who needs me and more of the independent boy I dreamed he would be.

Throughout these six years, Hudson and I have walked hand in hand throughout parenting.  Without a manual, I learned to trust my gut and listen to his cues.  He has guided me. There have been many times when I doubted my decisions and the paths that we chose.  Today, he gave me a sign that we were doing just fine. We had his traditional Montessori birthday celebration at school.  We talked about each year of Hudson's life.  When we got to year six, his teacher looked at him and asked "Hudson, what is it that you like to do now that you're six?".  I waited for the expected answer, that he likes to play with Legos or likes to watch football.  Instead, Hudson replied "I like to play with my Dad.  And my baby. And my sister".  In that moment, as I beamed and blinked back tears, I knew we have done something right.

Hudson James, as you say goodbye to your toddler years and continue your journey through life, please know that I want nothing more than for you to share your kindness with the world. I see it everyday, from the way you tenderly watch after your brother and sister to the way you care for the other children in your classroom to the unprompted hugs and "I love you"s that you shower me with each day.  Every day, stories of evil and corruption flood my newsfeeds, leaving me questioning humanity. Instead of feeling discouraged, I think of you and how the kindness you bring to the world makes it a better place. I pray that your kind spirit is what leads you through life.  If there is one message I could give to you, it's that there is no amount of success, achievement, or accolades in this world that could replace your kindness.  Please don't ever lose it.

Happy birthday Hudson James.

#tearfulmommy


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Birth story and bittersweet birthdays

This post is brought to you by the letter B :)


One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog back up again was because I wanted to write down Hayes' birth story.  I like to remember every minor detail and had high hopes for recording them all here.  Then life happened.  I had a newborn. And two toddlers. And was moving.  The urgency to document the details got lost in the shuffle as did many of the details of that day. But here we are, one year later, and damn it, I will write this birth story!!!

The story actually starts on Sunday, November 4th.  Ryan's mom, Jan, was staying with us in Baltimore because Hurricane Sandy left her house without power and water.  She came down for heat, a shower, and a visit.  We spent the day in the house, watching football.  The Steelers were playing (they beat the Giants), but I was distracted.  I was in serious nesting mode: all day was spent cleaning, washing laundry, baking, and cooking.  Jan even made a comment that I should really take a break as I was on my (swollen) feet all day.

During this time, Ryan was traveling to NYC on the train multiple times each week.  He would leave at 6a and get home that evening at 8p.  That evening I asked when he thought he would stop traveling as my due date of November 15th was approaching.  He told me that he would stay in Baltimore starting on November 12th.

The next morning, Monday November 5th, Ryan did his usual 4:45a wake up to get to the 6:12a train.  I stayed in bed until it was time for me to get up for work which was just before 7am.  I walked into the bathroom and happened to take my cell phone with me so I could check the weather for the day.  As I was walking, I just felt a bit crampy and nauseous. I sat to go to the bathroom and and noticed that I had passed something (presumably the mucous plus).  At 6:54a, I texted Ryan that I thought he should head back to Baltimore.

I walked into Hudson's room where Jan was still sleeping.  I nudged her awake and said that I needed to go to the hospital.  At this point, I started to experience what I assumed were contractions (with Hudson and Hadley, I was induced so I only knew what pitocin contractions felt like).  I remember sitting on the stairs to our rooftop deck, in tons of pain.  Ryan's mom got me some orange juice.  I couldn't tell if I was going to throw up or pass out.  We began to call around the neighborhood to see who could watch Hudson and Hadley until our nanny arrived at 8a.  We finally got a hold of my dear friend, Jen.  She said that her or her husband would be right over.  I was somewhat hoping for her husband since he is a doctor and I wasn't sure I was going to make it.

Once Jen arrives and takes over, we get into my car. I know that I need to call my mom ASAP and tell her what's happening.  She was in Pittsburgh and wouldn't get to Baltimore for the birth, but I had to keep her posted on the details.  As we were driving, I would get a contraction and have to put the phone down while I clutched the door handle with white knuckles.  This was all a bit much for Jan, who was trying to figure out if she should ask for a police escort as we passed the police station.  The red lights in downtown Baltimore were not on our side that morning as it seemed like we stopped at each one.

We arrive at the hospital at 8am.  A police officer/guard/someone in uniform at the emergency entrance got me a wheel chair and pushed me in as Jan went to park the car.  It was a bit lonely to have to enter the hospital by myself, but the pain quickly made me forget any of that.

I was taken right into a triage room.  They did an exam and confirmed that I was indeed in labor (no kidding Sherlock).  I have no idea how far along I was because I couldn't hear anything over my moans.  Jan had parked and was with me now.  She said that Ryan was on his way.

I was taken into a delivery room.  Jan was there.  I was really moaning now.  Just like the pregnant ladies in the movies.  I was lying on my right side, clutching onto the bedrail so tightly.  The nurse I had was not overly friendly and didn't seem too concerned about my state.  They called the anesthesiologist in to start the epidural.  I have no idea who was in my room.  I didn't care who heard me scream.  Ryan arrived at 8:45a, but I didn't see him as I couldn't even open my eyes.  Him and his mom were rushed out as they were about to begin the epidural.  They told me that they needed me to sit still and I couldn't promise that given the pain of the contractions.  This part is a bit blurry to me now, but I think that my blood pressure dropped or something happened that they couldn't do the epidural and were going to come back in a few minutes.  As they left, I was yelling that I needed to start pushing (it's true - you get an intense urge to just push).  I was still on my right side, paralyzed with pain.  The unfriendly nurse told me that I needed to open my legs if I was going to push but I told her that I couldn't and just hoped she lift my left leg for me.  They wanted me to roll to my back, but I couldn't. I continued to scream.  A doctor was pulled in.  I can't remember the details, but I don't think he was an OB.  I think he was an intern, or ER doc, or something.  But he was there at the time when a baby was coming and a doctor was needed! Some yelled "Go get her family!".  Ryan and Jan walked in just as Hayes was coming out.  I think I pushed twice and ta-da! It was 9:02am.

In the chaos of the delivery, no one yelled out what I had.  A few seconds later, Ryan told me we had a boy.

Hayes (at the time "Baby Prichard") was perfect.  Ryan and I bonded with him right away.  After an hour or so, Ryan and Jan went to get me some things at home, lunch, and birthday gifts for Hayes.  I was left alone with Hayes in our recovery room.  I vividly remember staring at him and thinking, "wow, you were just inside me.  You are the one who I have felt for months".  That feeling after delivery is just surreal.  Hayes and I just sat there, for hours.  No TV.  No visitors.  Just the two of us.

Ryan and his mom returned with food, Starbucks, clean clothes, and gifts.  Jan stayed with us for a few hours, but had to go home to spend the night with Hudson and Hadley after our nanny left at 5p.  Ryan and I spent the night watching MNF, election coverage (the presidential election was the next day), and trying to come up with a name.  Naming a child has to be one of life's most stressful decisions.  It's a lifelong decision for another person - talk about weight on your shoulders!  Ryan did what he does best: busted out dry erase markers and starting diagraming first and middle names on the dry erase board in my room.  Finally, by the next morning, Hayes Miller Prichard had his name.

Thinking back to that day makes it feel as if it were a lifetime ago.  And in some ways it was.  We were living in Baltimore.  We only had two children at home.  It was a different life from the one we're currently living.

First birthdays are always bittersweet.  It feels as though it's the first point when you truly say good bye to having a baby.  Teeth start to pop through. Wobbly standing gives way to wobbly walking.  It's possible to stop breastfeeding as we have reached our goal.  All signs of growing up.  And there are days when I want nothing more for him to grow up.  Days when I wish he could entertain himself long enough for me to cook dinner.  Days when I wish he would walk because he's too heavy to carry.  Days when I wish he would just use the potty because I can't change one.more.diaper.  And then you think of the loss of your baby.  The one who needs you for food.  The one who used to fit into those itty bitty sleepers. The one who cries when you walk away.  The one who can be calmed instantly by the warmth of your skin and the sound of your heart.

This first birthday is especially bittersweet for me as it's most likely my last.  It is marking not only the loss of "babyhood" for Hayes, but for me as a mother.  Reflecting back is leaving me with a mix of emotions.  It's hard to put into words or how to even wrap my head around it.  From the surprise of my pregnancy (and all of the emotions surrounding that), through Hayes' arrival, to the life changes that came with moving and staying home, I'm sitting here in a cloud of happiness, sadness, pride, and amazement.  I never saw my life taking all of these turns, but it seems that my road to happiness is a winding one.

Happy birthday Hayeser Laser.

#passthetissues
#ayearinpictures


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lemonade from lemons

This blog post has been writing itself all day.  In fact, it started in the wee hours of the night.  Hayes has been rather fussy and battling a fever.  He and I had a series of 45 minute naps all night until 4:30a when we crashed for two hours (finally).  Ryan woke me at 6:30a to say goodbye as he was headed to a conference in San Francisco (I had already been uneasy about this - a direct Tuesday morning flight from Newark to SFO was all too reminiscent of another flight that set out on that route 12 years ago).  I heard him close our front door and within 5 seconds heard Hadley calling for Daddy from her bed.  By the time I opened my eyes, I saw Hudson walking up the stairs into my room.  Rise and shine.

We managed to get through breakfast and the rest of the morning routine pretty smoothly.  I walked the kids to school and made it on time.  The day is already a success.
 
I had plans to get coffee with a new friend in Jersey City.  Her son is good friends with Hudson and we have gone out a few times for coffee (yay for new friends!).  I really enjoy chatting with her and having adult conversations, even if we're somewhat distracted by wrangling our little ones.  I called the pediatrician to schedule a visit for Hayes given his state overnight.  The only available time was right smack in the middle of our coffee date.  Looks like that would need to get rescheduled.

I get Hayes in the car to get to the doctor and realize that the last time I gave him Motrin was 3a. At 11:30a, it had worn off and I could tell his fever was spiking again.  We get to the doctor and find out that his fever is 103.  The doc checks his ears and, at first glance, says they looked clear.  She decided to look in the left one again and realized that it was red, thus diagnosing him with an ear infection.  For some reason, his first ear infection, especially before he was a year old, made me feel like somewhat of a failure.  It's easy to get lax by the third child, much less vigilant of keeping their hands and toys free of germs.  So, I feel responsible for not doing a better job of protecting him.  I also learned that pediatricians aren't automatically prescribing antibiotics for ear infections so her advice was to monitor for 48 hours.  That will take me right through my days of single parenting.  Fantastic.

We get home and Hayes sleeps on my chest all day.  Lethargic and unable to sleep comfortably in his crib, I accept that I will spend my day snuggling him.  My stomach and bladder were unhappy with that setup as it meant no lunch and no bathroom trips. 

I go to pick Hadley up at school for her dentist appointment.  Hayes seemed much better after his Motrin, nap, and some lunch.  I had a great car ride conversation with Hadley.  She told me that she was learning about Beethoven in school and he was a great musician, but he had crazy grey hair and didn't sing the words to his songs.  Love this girl :)

We get to the dentist and Hadley is a perfect angel.  The dentist, who was gorgeous and looked to be a good 10 years younger than me, was cleaning her teeth and found a small cavity.  Oh no! Once again, I failed one of my children.  I felt just awful.  During her surge of independence, Hadley has often been asking to brush herself without our help.  We get so caught up in all of the other routines that accompany teeth brushing in both the morning and night that we relish in the fact that she has taken a responsibility away from us.   Only to learn we probably shouldn't have handed this over to her so quickly.  The dentist said it was so small and that she could fill it right then. The dentist and the hygienist were wonderful with Hadley, but it was my sunshine who was the star of the show.  She sat there and did every thing they asked of her without even batting an eye.  They kept mumbling to one another how well she was doing.  At the end, the dentist looked at me and said "She is probably the best 3 year old patient I had.  Not just today, not in my past, but probably in my future too." I thanked her for the kind words and said that Hadley was a really good girl.  Do you know what the dentist said to me? She said "it's a sign of what a good mother you are".  Wow.  I needed to hear that.  Especially today. Thank you.

We left the dentist to pick up Hudson from school.  In place of our coffee date, my friend and I decided to get the kids together after school.  It was poor planning on my part.  Hayes was getting hungry and fussy, it was getting close to dinner, it was brisk outside, Hudson wasn't listening (just being silly with his friend). I ended the play date short to get the kids home and get dinner.

A few hours later, I go to pack the kids lunches and can't find Hudson's lunchbox.  I immediately know where it is...still at the park we played at after school.  I couldn't fathom taking all three kids back out in the dark.  I thought about asking a neighbor to watch the kids, but there's no one that I'm that comfortable with (Baltimore, I miss you).  I thought about asking the friend we playing with if she would mind running out to look for the lunchbox since I knew she had help at home.  In the end, I couldn't ask for help (this is a problem of mine), so I strapped Hayes in the Ergo, put the other two in the stroller with a blanket and set out with a flashlight in hand. The lunchbox wasn't where we left it, but after a few rounds of walking through the park, we found the box and its contents (in different places). 

Feeling a strange mix of defeat (for all the challenges presented today) and pride (for how I responded), I walked the kids home and talked to them about how I needed them to listen when we got home and get ready for bed.  Maybe it was my exasperated expression I wore on my face or maybe it was our little pep talk, but amazingly, the kids listened.  They got ready for bed without a hitch.  The four of us were sitting on Hadley's bed and Hudson says "we should have a family snuggle". And we did.

I sat back thinking about today and realized how easy it is to get caught up in how disappointed I could have been.  First ear infection, first cavity, no parenting help, failed play date, lost lunch box, cold dinner at 9p, etc.  But as I thought back, so many of the positives outshone the negatives. The dentist's comments to me, Hadley's amazing behavior, Hayes having only a minor health issue, Hudson's affection, Hadley's conversations, Ryan's safe arrival in SF.  After readjusting my focus I was able to look back on today and think "Wow, I'm pretty amazing and life is good."

#lemonade
#adaywithoutadultconversationleadstonovelsforblogposts