"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which all loveliness arises." -Pedro Calderon de la Barca.

Monday, January 12, 2015

On Being an "Older" Mom

A question I'm getting a lot these days is "What's it like?"
Meaning: what is it really like to be a new baby mom when you're over 40?

I am so grateful to my friends who came forward when I was pregnant with Aimee and told me "I was your age when I had my youngest."  or "I was older than you when I had mine."  They are all people I already admired as being super "cool" moms and didn't even know that they were older than I am!  Gives me hope that maybe one day I'll be a "cool" mom! :)

The truth as I see it:

The Bad:
    1. I'm probably never going to be a size 2 again 
    2. Being really tired (eat right and/or take vitamins!)
    3. Not getting anything everything done
    4. Knowing I'll be ____ years old when she's ____.
    5. I have to write stuff down or I forget (EVERYTHING)
    6. Medical professionals will treat you like you are crazy and/or an old lady (AMA on your file) and your kids' teachers will be old enough to be your kids too
The Good:
    1. I don't care if I'm a size 2 anymore.
    2. I can take a nap and not feel guilty
    3. Dishes in the sink, laundry not done? It gets easier to accept, there will be time later
    4. Staying young at heart! 
    5. Saying "no" to the extras is so much easier
    6. I know how to tell people what I expect and need 

Picture of me and my baby girl

I cherish every single minute. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

On Saying Goodbye (or How to Talk to Your Kids about Death)

Disclosure: This is a post in a series of sponsored posts as a Brand Ambassador for the ARKANSAS BETTER BEGINNINGS program.  I truly believe in their mission and everything expressed will be my own opinion! #ARBB

Last month my beautiful grandmother passed away.
At the age of 92, she had a long and beautiful life, not exempt from hardships and heartache, but mostly full of beauty and joy.  At her funeral her grandchildren all had their children present, (ten from ages 9 months to 17 years.) The funeral was a beautiful way to celebrate her life, and help us mourn her loss.  Her illness and passing brought up many of those hard questions that kids ask about death.

Talking to kids about death is never easy, but not as hard as we (as adults) make it out to be. Children are always smarter and stronger than we give them credit for.  And let's face it- part of being alive is knowing that we must all die one day.

When we heard how ill she was, my youngest son asked me "Mommy, do you think she will die?"  I had to be honest and tell him " I really don't know, baby, she is very sick and fragile." My twelve year old son, who was not in on the conversation, only knew that she was ill, and so when we heard that she had passed away he took the news much harder than his younger brother.

My own father passed away a week before I turned seven.  I remember vividly him explaining his illness to me and telling me he wouldn't be here much longer.  I was sad but also relieved that he had told me the truth.  I still remember feeling grateful for that.  Also, I remember thinking that the adults that tip-toed around him and the topic were all crazy.   I remember thinking, "Why don't they just talk to him (and me) like they normally do?  He's dying but not dead yet."   The honesty my parents showed me as a child helped me in his passing.  I mourned but was not surprised or devastated at the funeral like my cousins who had only been told that he was sick.  

 So how do you talk to kids about death?

  1. Be honest.  (Use age appropriate measures but don't make up things to pad the situation.  Saying "Grandma is asleep" is not going to help.)
  2. Answer the questions as they come.  (Don't give out so much info your kids are overwhelmed.  Answer their specific questions as they ask them.) 
  3. Show them how you deal with pain and let them express theirs. (Cry, write down your feelings, pray, talk, cry)
  4. Make teachable moments.  (Give honest answers for illnesses or aging etc. Use your personal beliefs on what happens after we die, the soul, God, etc. as they come along.) Read some books about death and dying together to help in understanding.  
  5. Love and cherish them.  
I was so glad we took our four children to their great-grandma's funeral.  I believe it helped them to see her life celebrated and to let them mourn her collectively.  Knowing that they weren't alone in their sorrow helps them begin to ease the pain.  

Some great books to read together:
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein 
  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia
  • Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs by Tomie de Paola
  • I Miss You by Pat Thomas
  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie
  • What's Heaven? by Maria Shriver
For more great information on parenting and child care please visit:

More on talking to kids about death: 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On Generous Fun (or Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make!)

Disclosure: This is a post in a series of sponsored posts as a Brand Ambassador for the ARKANSAS BETTER BEGINNINGS program.  I believe in their mission and everything expressed will be my own honest opinion! #ARBB

How many times have you heard "I'm bored!" during a school vacation or even just a weekend?

Keeping kids entertained doesn't have to be exhausting, and can be beneficial to everyone!

Here are some fun things for the kids that will help them cooperate to make holiday gifts and even learn while doing it!  (Don't tell them!)

I let the kids choose a few homemade recipes for gifts that they wanted to make for teachers and friends.  (They had to cooperate with each other to make these, read and measure, and had fun! A great way to teach generosity as well.)

My children wanted to make Snow-Ball Bath Bombs and Play Dough.  

These activities are a great way to get the kids using their science, math, and reading skills as well as cooperation and sensory fun!     

To make the bath bombs...
(This activity is safe as long as children are supervised.  I recommend it for preschool ages and up.)

*The citric acid is the hardest to find in this recipe.  I found  mine online, but you can get it at hobby stores or you can substitute a lemon, lime, or orange powder OR can use the canning preservative that says it's main ingredient is Citric Acid.  

This play dough recipe is the best one I've ever found.  It takes time to make and I only let my children measure and put ingredients into the pan as it is very tedious and takes some strength.  It's a great gift or just fun to have on hand and lasts a long time!  Wonderful for sensory play, learning letters by shaping, and much more!  Also, it's non-toxic and safe for toddlers and up to play with. 

*Put some dough in an airtight container with a couple of cookie cutters for a great holiday gift! 

Having children help make gifts is a great way to play together as a family! 

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