I wrote this on 6/21/12, after I had been offered a new job, which I accepted and started in October. On this day, it became very real that I would have to send Sofie away to school/daycare at some point very soon and overwhelmed by this, I sat and cried and prayed and wrote this. I didn’t publish it because it seemed crazy to write a letter like this for a hypothetical situation. Some might accuse me of being…dramatic!
Today, I publish this piece because our Sofie starts a new toddler program on Monday!!! And, so here goes…
I am preparing, in my mind, for when I send my daughter (my first born, my mothers name sake, my heart and soul, my little mirror, my perfect angel baby) to school or daycare for the first time. All the things I want to tell her come flooding through me and manifest as tears and a tight throat.
Baby girl, mommy loves you. I am always here for you. I will fight your fights with you, by your side. No matter how big or small. Did another kid take your toy? Did the teacher ask you to be quiet again (this is inevitable, you are my child, this is your legacy to be chatty and “social”…these are your gifts, not deficits or problems to be solved. We will talk more about that later.)? Did you forget your lunch or get teased for what you have for lunch? Whatever it is, I am by your side figuring it out WITH you. I am on your team.
Be brave in all you do. Have fun. Play with ALL the toys and ALL the kids. Be kind. Say thank you and please and excuse me. Take turns and share. You know how you love to give me a bite of everything you are eating. I love that about you! And your teachers might not want you to do that. Its ok. You are still the most generous child I have ever known.
These things I know you will excel at and be your true awesome self. You were born to be awesome. And I know you are going to love school and I know your classmates and teachers will love you and appreciate you too.
Stand up for yourself. This is the hardest lesson for me to prepare you for. Mommy wants to be there to protect you always from skinned knees and hurt feelings and everything else…and yet that wouldn’t be fair to you. You are capable of standing up for yourself and of protecting yourself. You are capable of so many things.
If someone hurts you or scares you or isn’t fair or makes you feel less than in any way, stand up for yourself. Use your words. Be kind and compassionate. Listen. Be direct and forth write. Speak the truth. It will set you free.
The truth will always set you free, baby.
And if you are still not being heard and respected, you tell them what my mommy told me when I was a little girl and felt powerless, you tell them, “*Don’t f*ck with me.” To anyone, at any time. And I will have your back. No questions asked. I have your back. No matter what. I trust you and if your boundaries are crossed and you say these words, I trust that you needed it and I will stand by you and fight your battle WITH you. Mommy is on your team.
(*True story, I will never forget that day or that lesson that my mom told me that I could say those words, even to the priests at my parochial school. I was shocked and forever armed.)
But mostly, I want you to know that you are allowed to feel these words, to know that you deserve to be respected, heard, that you are armed with these words and what they represent. And that you have me, by your side and at your back, equally armed with these words, because my mommy armed me with these words too. We are brave and tough and strong.
Now, make sure you eat breakfast, brush your teeth and hair, have your lunch, listen to directions, play, learn, make friends, and have fun, baby! That is what life is all about.
We bought a little red couch this weekend at an Estate Sale! It was kind of sad actually. I think an elderly woman had passed away. Everything was being sold. Cars, house, and every single item in her house. I felt like a pillager walking through without permission or in a riot. There were a lot of people there.
We walked through each room. Closets open, drawers open. Stickers with numbers sharpie’d onto them on every single thing in that house. It felt hallow and abandoned.
We walked us stairs and then I saw her. Buried under a pile of linens and pillows. The little red couch. You didn’t think I meant…no, come on.
*I have a strange habit of personifying things, mostly clothes, by referring to them as ‘her’. Picked it up from a friend when we were teenagers and it seemed super cool then. It stuck.*
She was beautiful. Little, red and has a pull out single bed. She was a little worn looking. But I knew right away I could shine her up like a new penny.
Thanks to Pinterest for your endless relevant information and this little ditty. Who knew you can use hydrogen peroxide on unidentified stains and spots and it will lift them out. I knew it would take blood stains out and whiten your teeth and kill unwanted germs and bacteria and whiten laundry, but a couch stain. I bow down to you, Hydrogen Peroxide.
Anyway, I love, love, love the idea of a pre-owned couch anytime, but at this stage of our lives, especially. I love to recycle, reuse and repurpose. I love not spending full price. (I have been swooning over a similar couch for years that retails for over $1000. ) I love knowing that when my dog tries to sleep on my new little red couch whilst muddy or my toddler decides to wipe her blueberrie’d face on it, that I wont freek out. Its used and I have the power of Hydrogen Peroxide on my side.
So, thank you to little red couch and welcome to our family. You were as longed for as our child and just as much as a pleasant surprise when you graced our lives.
Hi. My name is Mia. And I am a Pinterest-aholic. (I mean no disrespect to the 12 step communities here. Just my attempt at a laugh or smile or community around a shared vice. Anyway…)
I find myself talking about Pinterest more and more these days. It’s seeping into my spare time, my party planning, visioning, projects, reference items, wish lists and casual conversation.
Several months back, I declared on Facebook, in one of the only status updates I’ve offered since having a baby, “Dear Facebook, I am cheating on you with Pinterest“. It was met with “lols” and “likes” for those in the know (read: fellow addicts) and lots of questions and even hurt from Pinterest virgins (read: not in the know). And it was true. I nearly never logged in to Facebook anymore, which used to be a constant fixture on my quick links or one of my Perma Tabs (back in my Firefox days) and instead now spend almost all my social media time on Pinterest.
So, to the point at hand, I thought I would share a few quick things to explain this tool I have fallen head over heals in love with and often can’t pull myself away from. Here goes…
What is Pinterest?
The language of Pinterest…
What is “Pinning” exactly?
Think of it in the physical world. Imagine reading a magazine and seeing the perfect dining room table for your new house. You want to save this picture so that you can start finding paint colors, chairs, chandelier, a centerpeice and all the other needed items to decorate your dining room. So, you tear or cut that picture out of the magazine. You decide to start collecting ideas into a folder where you put this picture and any other ideas to help you design and decorate this room. This folder or holding place in Pinterest is called a “board” and you can name it whatever you want. In this case, “Dining Room” might be a good name for your board.
Here is one of my current projects, “Sofie’s Room”, that I have created a board for and am gathering ideas. I am planning out Sofie’s room redesign, now that she is moving into toddlerhood. Feel free to repin something that might help your own project, “like” or comment on any of the items I have pinned.
How do I pin?
Where do I get these images to “pin”?
And lastly, here are a bunch of great articles that my brilliant and way more in the know husband has sent me about Pinterest. He has not created an account for himself yet, but in the language of Strengths, a few of his top strengths are Learner, Input and Context…AND he is a GTD guru, so when it comes to all things social media, education, business, or just plain brilliant, he is my supplier (read this with a Chicagoan, Italian mob gangster accent replacing the -ier with an- a. It makes it way more fun!) When he saw how excited I was at my new social media obsession, he started researching. So, I will share some of them with you here:
Check out my Pinterest page and see all my boards!
This is my first tutorial, how did I do? If you are new to Pinterest, did this help? If you are familiar with Pinterest, was this informative and hit the basics?
Thanks for reading and happy pinning!
Disclaimer: If you are under the age of 12 years old: Spoiler Alert! Stop reading this post. But then again, I am not sure anyone in that age group would be reading this. Anyway…
Easter is in two weeks and just recently my husband and I looked at each other and for the first time realized, “oh crap, WE are the Easter bunny!” Thankfuly, this epiphany hit us whilst at Target. Hello $1 aisle. How are you? Please rescue me for yet another holiday.
[Now, I am fully aware that this aisle is full of plastic crap made exclusively in China and the moral damage and implications of thoughtlessly, American-ly filling my basket with unnecessary, shiny things for the immediate gratification and temporary satisfaction of simply grabbing as much as I can, as fast as I can. Yes, I am that kind of fussy human that
preaches talks about sustainability and fair trade and organic and materialism/capitalism and minimalism. But what I have also learned in the 12 months and 4 weeks of being a mom is that convenience often trumps all other previously held notions or preoccupations. C'est la vie. But back to the point of this post...]
A picture from Sofie’s first Easter, which was a non-event really because my husband got very sick and it was slowly going around to each of us, so it was more of an infirmary than a day of easater egg hunts and brunch. *Please note the Target $1 aisle bunny ears.
So, (back to Target)
I started frantically grabbing as much shiny pastel easter bunny themed and toddler friendly stuff as I could hold we lovingly filled our basket with a few $1 items, which spawned a great conversation about our favorite traditions for this lovely spring holiday and celebration of our faith.
In my family, my mom would hide our elaborate Easter baskets outside in our yard and garden, so that on Easter morning we would gather each other as a family (we had strict rules about the kids waking each other up before anyone saw any of the surprises or walked into the kitchen area to see the breakfast feasts for Easter or Christmas! We fought a lot as siblings, but we were religious about this courtesy and camaraderie with one another on our favorite holidays.)
My family would:
One of my husbands favorite traditions is the Easter bunny’s footprints leading up to their Easter baskets in the living room. His mom would make bunny foot prints using powdered sugar. Totally cute! That would have totally blown my mind as a kid. And as a parent, I pretty much live to see Sofie’s mind blown with delight.
We plan on recreating many of these favorites for our little family. What are your favorite Easter traditions?
Check out my Pinterest board for Easter inspiration!
I have tossed and turned the last several nights. My back hurts. The kind of hurt where if you move the wrong way, you gasp and freeze and pain shoots into your guts. Okay, that might not be accurate. I tend to be dramatic sometimes. But you get it, back pain. We have all had it. Anyway, I read this little ditty of a tip a few weeks ago on a blog I am in love with, Mama and Baby Love, and let me tell you, IT WORKS.
So, first, raid your dogs toy basket, go on a walk by a tennis court or run to your closest Target and get yourself a tennis ball. I raided our Golden Retriever, Zoe’s basket of balls.
Next, lay on the floor, put the ball between you and the floor and rub those knots right out of your life. Its not exactly comfortable while doing this activity mind you, but you will thank yourself later.
The only thing I did differently is not use a sock. Not sure what the sock actually does, but I was eager to try the tennis ball trick and before I invested my time in finding a sock that worked, I plopped down on my dog hair covered floor and started working out my back knots. Ahhh. Still worked like a charm.
Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!
In related news, as I am writing this post, my sweet husband send me a great article on Cheap Ways to Relieve Your Aching Back from another of our favorite blogs, Get Rich Slowly. Perhaps I have underestimated just how much
complaining to my husband tossing and turning I have done the past few nights. Sorry, honey.
In not-so-related news, Sofie just slept 2.5 hours, which helped facilitate the writing of this blog post. Thank you, honey. I hope you still sleep tonight.