While I realize, technically, it's not summer yet, spending a day at the beach playing in the sand, collecting sea shells, eating sandwiches from the cooler, and screaming with glee in the crashing, cool waves is one of the best ways I know to spend a hot summer day. I do hope we get to the beach often this season, it gets better and better as the kids get older.
After a restless night, we have had a surprisingly easy going morning. I don't usually pick up the camera before breakfast, but I was inspired by my children's creative drive. Unlike most mornings, when they walk straight to the kitchen and, in chorus, yell things like "Pancakes! Waffles! Oatmeal! Cereal!", today we went straight for the paper and markers.
Eventually we did eat breakfast, oatmeal won out over cereal today, and Salla eagerly volunteered to help me clean up. I was amused when she very politely asked "I do it, please?" and followed with a chipper "Thanks Mom!" after I handed her the broom. If only she was that sweet all the time!
It is amazing the effect blooming spring shrubs can have on my outlook. My spirit lifts when I realize that it was my hands that planted these beautiful and fragrant flowers that I am so lucky to experience every time I step out my front door. I love that my children get to watch as each season, with care and water, the plants grow taller and more blossoms appear.
Today I picked some Gardenia blossoms and placed them in a bowl on my night stand. The aroma is so strong! Ethan said they looked beautiful. I can't help but smile...
I always knew I enjoyed having creative outlets, but it has taken me a long time to allow myself to really dive into any projects. Last fall I sewed Ethan's Super Why costume for Halloween (which I was pretty proud of despite the fact that he didn't like to wear anything but the pants). But I think having a deadline and the perfectionism in me really made that experience too stressful to be therapeutic.
In the past few weeks though, I've gotten some inspiration! I think it started with the visit from my dear friend Kelly who lent me some yarn and taught me how to knit. I began knitting a scarf for Salla (which, no, I haven't finished yet, but that's besides the point!) Soon after, I dusted off the old sewing machine and headed to Wal-mart, where I knew I could find some inexpensive fabric and patterns. Within a few days I had produced a cute little dress that Salla demands to wear whenever it crosses her line of sight (though that has more to do with the Mickey Mouse pattern than my super sewing skills).
Feeling a little more confident, and inspired by another blogger Amanda Soule (one to check out girls!), I dove right into another little project. It's a simple elastic band skirt with a ribbon detail along the hem. It was pretty easy, and there was no pattern! The instructions were free online from a pattern designer Oliver + S. So this morning Salla and I made a field trip to Jo-Ann's and got the fabric and the ribbon and tada! Tonight we have a new skirt! It is so sweet, and I hope she lets me try it on her tomorrow...
Ok, so here I am. Attempting to gain some inspiration to start blogging again. Between, visitors, traveling, and weeks and weeks, and weeks, of sickness, I haven't felt much like writing. So, tonight I will start with the story of our Easter, since it should be pretty easy to tell!
First, I was excited for Ethan this year, since he seemed to really understand that it was something to celebrate. I'm not sure how much he equated to the resurrection of Jesus versus the visit from the Easter Bunny, but we'll get there. As I mentioned above, we have all just been sick forever this spring and it took me until Saturday night to go get stuff for the baskets. I felt a little guilty that I didn't put more time or thought into the process, I do like Tracy's idea of the "resurrection baskets" and I will, perhaps, be more inspired next year. What I really enjoyed, even though it only took a couple minutes, was hiding the eggs out in the back yard. It put a smile on my face picturing Ethan and Salla finding them.
Sunday morning we had breakfast as the kids looked through their gifts and then get ourselves ready for a crazy crowded 9:30 mass. (Ideally, we would have like to have gone to the much calmer 7:30 mass, but we probably would have showed up in our PJ's.) But really, it was insanely crowded and I spent my energy trying to keep Ethan and Salla contained and happy instead of really listening to the readings and homily. I regretted it as we were leaving church, it was probably a day I could have used it!
After church we came home and had a snack (fruit and chocolate, of course) when Ethan finally realized there were eggs hidden outside on the back porch. We went out for our egg hunt and I just loved how into it Salla was! Even last year, Ethan just didn't seem too excited by the concept. Salla surprised me and I was really glad I set it up.
I don't really remember what we did the rest of the day, but I imagine we changed into more comfy clothes and played a lot. Dinner was yummy and as the day came to a close, I was relaxed and grateful for the special day with just the four of us.
I had a few dark days last week, feeling so much frustration, guilt, and even depression, that I wasn't sure how I was going to pull myself back up. As it turns out, I couldn't do it. At least, not on my own. It was thanks the kind words and support of my friends, close by and far away, that I was able to release the anger and guilt I was feeling. I am amazed at how quickly my mood lifted. The fog cleared and I felt more relaxed and more prepared to handle what was on my plate. The situation has not changed very much, but my reaction has.
So, thank you thank you thank you for caring so muc, offering wonderful advice and for your willingness to share your own stories so I know I'm not alone. You all are amazing women, mothers, and friends and I love you!
Ok, I don't want to panic. I know that kids and situations change quickly, especially the young ones. But I'm beginning to feel like I'm unravelling. I no longer feel in control, of my home or my self. The past couple days I've watched anger well up and flow out of me in ways I've never experienced before. Yelling, nagging, crying, watching my son trying to do things to cheer me up asking, "Does this make you happy Mom? Does this make you feel proud?" I feel so ashamed that my 3 year feels responsible for cheering me up. That should never rest on his shoulders.
I just don't know what's come over me. I've always been able to maintain my composure in front of my children. To remain consistent, firm, yet still loving. Yet, I'm sitting here, falling apart because I can't force my daughter to nap or my son to listen to me when I'm speaking to him. I feel like no one is hearing me and now I'm just getting mad.
I need someone or something to help me snap out of it! I can't seem to get a grip on my own. Sorry to be so dramatic, but I needed to let some of it go...thanks for listening!
I thought it was funny that Amber's post was about kids story telling because Ethan has been telling the wildest stories the past few days. Today it was something about Jesus and spiders trying to drink his blood (what are they teaching him at that school?!). Thankfully in the end, the spiders decided to give him his blood back (they must have known who they were messing with...). I told Ethan I appreciated the happy ending.
Anyway, on to my topic. I had to get this one down before I forgot.
Ethan and Grandma and Pap Pap were sitting at the dinner table when Pap Pap asked Ethan about the creation story and how we were created by God.
Pap Pap: "So God created Ethan in His own image..."
Grandma: "So, is God just like Ethan or is Ethan just like God?"
Ethan: "No, I'm not just like God, I'm wearing my soccer shirt"