the end.

Rather unexpectedly, I took a break from writing here and I found it to be quite liberating. I realized how involved maintaining a blog is and how much I enjoyed stepping away from it to do other activities.

It is as simple as that.

Except, there are those of you who have helped me to feel not quite so lonely in this journey of motherhood, and I will miss my interactions with you here. I am grateful for every comment and every “been there too,” that we shared. So, thank you for all of it.

And I promise to pop by your space from time to time to check in on you and your family.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

In the clouds.

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Sitting in their playroom, I was stuffing wool into eight little legs of a toy elephant that I am sewing while the boys played. Curious about what I was doing, Aidan asked to have some of the wool to touch, so I gave him a piece of it. He put his face into the wool piece, smelled it, and said how soft it was to touch. Sam took a piece and held it in his hands.

“Can you put it out for us to lay on Mama?”

I inhaled slowly. I took a moment to think. Oh, I did not have the energy to clean up the little bits that were sure to be left behind after they played with this big thing of wool. Often though, I find myself saying “no” to their seemingly simple requests, so this time, I exhaled with a “yes” instead.

I rolled out the wool from the box in which I keep it. The wool is so very soft and cream-colored. It really is quite a dreamy material to roll around in, akin to playing in the clouds I would imagine. And my sweet boys, they really loved its feel. They snuggled in it; they gathered it up in their arms and tossed it about; they wore it; they tore it into little pieces to throw at each other and me. They giggled a lot.

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When it was time for lunch, we rolled up the wool and picked up all of the bits that were tossed around the room. After we picked up what we could by hand, there was a lot of fuzz left on the playroom rug, so we vacuumed it up. Since the boys helped, the clean-up wasn’t much trouble at all.

In the end, I am so very glad that this time, I said “yes” to their simple request to play among the clouds.

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42/52: Cookie Making.

“A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013.”

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Sometimes, I underestimate Aidan’s capabilities, which leaves me in awe of his accomplishments. For example, when we were making these cookies, he helped make the dough. He was able to roll the dough into a big ball, sprinkle the flour onto both the table and the rolling pin, and roll out the dough without any help from me. Furthermore, he used the cookie cutters with ease and placed the cut-out shapes onto the cookie sheet. All the while, he was fully capable and proud of his efforts, and I was left in awe of him.

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Sam’s little fingers worked the cookie cutters as well, but first he wore them as rings.

Under the light of a string of ghosts.

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At night, when the children are asleep upstairs, and the house is quiet except for the steady hum of the refrigerator, I sit at the kitchen table and I read by the light of a string of ghosts.

A few nights ago, this:
“But being a stay-at-home mom was the loneliest kind of lonely, in which she was always and never by herself.” (Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver, 59.)

My kind of truth.

Halloween crafting on a Monday morning.

This weekend, I caught a cold which has zapped my energy and patience. Generally, I have a hard time sitting still because I feel like there is always something that needs to be tended to around the house – like feeding the kids, making beds, doing laundry, making meals – you know, the stuff of parenthood. And then, there is the extra stuff that is fun and essential to the kids’ well-being – like fresh air and exercise, which we try to get to each day as well.

I have a bad habit, however, of getting so caught up in what I think that I should be doing for their general well-being that I forget about my own. For example, most mornings I work hard to make them a delicious and nutritious breakfast, but I typically do not eat until much later in the morning after my head starts to hurt and I am grouchy from being so hungry. Sound familiar?

So, this morning, after waking up tired and feeling yucky, I ate some oatmeal and thought about what I wanted to do. Usually, we go outside to ride bikes and talk a walk together, but today, I just wanted to lay down and read my new novel. Since I knew sitting and reading peacefully wasn’t really an option, I decided to sit at the kitchen table, drink coffee, and craft for a while.

I brought out some black pom-poms, purple pipe cleaners, googly eyes, felt and glue. I told the kids that I was going to sit cut out pumpkins. I added that they were welcomed to join me or they could go play.

They joined me, of course, and for about forty-five minutes we crafted happily. I sat with my feet up on the chair across from me while I cut out shapes for them to use. I sipped coffee. We were calm, relaxed, and quiet. It felt good.

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Their homemade pumpkin patch is drying on an old sheet that I plan on making into kitchen curtains one of these days.

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After completing his spider and pumpkin, Sam wandered off to play with the garbage trucks while Aidan decided to make a garbage truck out of paper. He chose green paper, and I drew the outline of a front-loading garbage truck on it for him to cut out.

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After the wheels were glued on it, Aidan cut out some trash while I made three trash cans for him. When everything was made, Aidan leapt off of his chair with his truck and cans and headed to the living room. He set out the cans and drove his truck to collect the garbage from them.

While I cleaned-up the kitchen, I realized that I felt good about my decision to keep the morning low-key for me. Moreover, the kids were happy to spend the time crafting with me.
Win/win. Now, please excuse me – I am off to feed them dinner, put them to bed, and then, I will get some time curled up on the couch with my novel (Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, in case you’re wondering!).