"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." (Aldo Leopold) Apparently, I cannot.


Success Is . . . My Letter to Arianna Huffington in Response to Her Search for a New Definition of Success

redefining success

Dear Ms. Huffington,

I was very excited to see news about the Huffington Post’s first-ever women’s conference, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power.” I was even more excited when I read your blog post yesterday asking for readers to join in on the conversation about redefining success.

As a mother, wife, and working woman, I often struggle with defining exactly this — what does it mean to be successful? And the reason I struggle is not because I don’t have a sense of what fulfills me or satisfies my heart. It is because these things are constantly changing.

Success one day, for example, means my three kids and I have managed to make it through the day with only 2 spilled drinks, 5 arguments over what to watch on tv, and 3 Phineas and Ferb Band-Aids (and maybe, just maybe, I was able to get a shower); success another day means I’ve made all of my work deadlines; success yet another day means my husband and I were able to share a dinner together and have an uninterrupted adult conversation.

All of this is to say that I don’t think you can have just one definition of success. (And by “you” throughout this letter, I’m referring to all of us — the “royal” you, so to speak.) Success is going to be defined differently by different people. And at different stages of their life. For me it’s akin to trying to define what makes a good parent — you can’t really. With so many differences in parenting styles — breast vs. bottle feeding, circumcision vs. no circumcision, co-sleeping vs. separate beds — the only thing that really matters at the end of the day is listening to your heart and doing what works best for you and your family.

If you impose a specific definition on things such as what makes a good parent or what it means to be successful, then, you’re going to have a lot of people trying to achieve something that may not work for them. And after struggling to fit themselves into a definition created by someone else, they will see themselves as failures.

Sadly, I feel like too many people see themselves as failures these days instead of realizing that they are doing the best they can. They are successful. They’re just not using the best metric by which to measure their success — themselves.

So for me, the definition of success is really the knowledge that there is no one definition of success. What it means to be successful changes from person to person. And within each person this definition can change from day to day, from minute to minute. And that’s ok. This realization, this knowledge, this is success.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my thoughts on such an important topic. I hope the conference is amazing, and I look forward to hearing about all of the great things that come from it.

All the best,



Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 5/31/13

Man oh man. You people sure know how to deliver! I put a call out for submissions for today’s post, and BAM. Loving it! So, let’s get to it . . .

Some things that made me happy:

Do you see a theme here?

Do you see a theme here?

Older sisters + babies in swings = fun!

Older sisters + babies in swings = fun!

Being such a helpful big brother

Being such a helpful big brother

Seriously, how can you not smile when looking at this face?!

Seriously, how can you not smile when looking at this face?!

And some (ok, a lot of) things that made you happy:

Lindsey: Moments like this are the reason I always seem happy, even during the hard times. This little boy pulled me through a battle with breast cancer when he was just 2 and I was 27. Now he's almost 5 and I just turned 30. I've still got a long road ahead of me, but we're healthy and happy <3

Lindsey from MI: Moments like this are the reason I always seem happy, even during the hard times. This little boy pulled me through a battle with breast cancer when he was just 2 and I was 27. Now he’s almost 5 and I just turned 30. I’ve still got a long road ahead of me, but we’re healthy and happy ❤

Ricky and Claire Kent from Sydney, Australia: Daddy and Saxon with matching quiffs; Saxon, almost 2 years old, "reading" Green Eggs and Ham. He's a book worm like his mumma!

Ricky and Claire Kent from Sydney, Australia: Daddy and Saxon with matching quiffs; Saxon, almost 2 years old, “reading” Green Eggs and Ham. He’s a book worm like his mumma!

Ange from WA: These are my awesome kids.. Connor 3,  Ashley 15, and Jonny 1. We couldn't play outside with the chalk so we played inside and colored our hair with the chalk :) Aidan aged 12 was at the pool getting rained on. I think we had more fun :)

Ange from WA: These are my awesome kids…Connor 3, Ashley 15, and Jonny 1. It was raining and we couldn’t play outside with the chalk so we played inside and colored our hair with the chalk 🙂 Aidan aged 12 was at the pool getting rained on. I think we had more fun 🙂

Britney from WY: Eating worms!

Britney from WY: Eating worms!

Sundra from AZ; My nearly 6-month-old Lucas looking like a little man. And my 3-year-old Reese showing off her unique style. This week cowboy boots went with every outfit.

Sundra from AZ; My nearly 6-month-old Lucas looking like a little man. And my 3-year-old Reese showing off her unique style. This week cowboy boots went with every outfit.

Jeannine from Eubanks Eutopia (http://eubankseutopia.wordpress.com): Story time with daddy always melts me; Kids playing in the mud makes me feel like I've succeeded as a mother.

Jeannine from Eubanks Eutopia (http://eubankseutopia.wordpress.com): Story time with daddy always melts me; Kids playing in the mud makes me feel like I’ve succeeded as a mother.


Tiffany from AR: I’ll fall asleep in my hat like daddy does! 🙂

Chelsea from OK: He always makes me smile!

Chelsea from OK: He always makes me smile!

Kathy: Blowing kisses; Batman @ Great America; Princess

Kathy from IL: Blowing kisses; Batman @ Great America; Princess

Carrie from FL: Happy!

Carrie from FL: Happy!

Lynette from Momisms Moments (http://mymomismmoments.wordpress.com): School pictures and a lunch out with the baby!

Lynette from Momisms Moments (http://mymomismmoments.wordpress.com): School pictures and a lunch out with the baby!

Karen from Smart Mouthed Mama (http://smart-mouthed-mama.blogspot.com): My son, Channing makes me smile every day!

Karen from Smart Mouthed Mama (http://smart-mouthed-mama.blogspot.com): My son, Channing makes me smile every day!

Julianne from MD: Field Day 2013...Playing under the parachute; Field Day (cont'd)...My son has no competitive streak, but he moved quickly and made a great team effort for the Vegetable Relay Race (don't ask!); You know it's summer time when the Carnivals start. This is the start of many evenings out and lots (and lots) of $$ spent on kiddie rides.

Julianne from MD: Field Day 2013…Playing under the parachute; Field Day (cont’d)…My son has no competitive streak, but he moved quickly and made a great team effort for the Vegetable Relay Race (don’t ask!); You know it’s summer time when the Carnivals start. This is the start of many evenings out and lots (and lots) of $$ spent on kiddie rides.

As always, thanks to everyone who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


20 Reasons Cats Have Superior Potty Skills Compared to Kids

We have two cats. And I used to hate cleaning their litter boxes. And then we had kids. Now I see just how good I have it with the litter boxes.

cat potty skills

In no particular order:

  1. They don’t need their butts wiped.
  2. They don’t pee all over the toilet seat and leave it for you to sit in.
  3. They don’t run into the bathroom while you’re in there doing your business because they have to go so bad and can’t make it to one of the other unoccupied bathrooms that they actually passed on the way to the one you are currently using.
  4. They don’t consistently clog your toilet with toilet paper. Or Legos.
  5. They don’t wipe their paws on their butt and show it to you.
  6. They don’t ever ask you to come see what has just come out of their butts.
  7. They don’t pee or poop in the bathtub.
  8. They don’t use going to the bathroom as an excuse to keep getting out of bed.
  9. They don’t want to have a 30-minute conversation about their poop’s texture or color or smell while they’re pooping.
  10. They don’t need to be reminded to go to the bathroom all the time.
  11. They don’t need sticker charts or M&Ms to be enticed to do their business on the potty.
  12. They are not obsessed with using public restrooms.
  13. They don’t ever forget to poop the first time and then ask you to take them back to the bathroom 30 seconds later.
  14. They don’t wake you up in the middle of the night because they’ve fallen into the toilet.
  15. They don’t require you to buy 800 rolls of toilet paper every week.
  16. They don’t leave skid marks.
  17. They don’t have to be told all the time not to take food into the bathroom.
  18. They don’t accidentally drop things in the toilet while going to the bathroom.
  19. They don’t need the world around them to pause while they go to the bathroom.
  20. They don’t feel compelled to tell complete strangers about their poop.

Disclaimer: After getting some pretty funny and accurate rebuttals to this one, I figured I should mention that the kids in question here are preschoolers and toddlers, and the cats in question are not psychos. (Although I understand there is an argument to be made that all cats are psycho, lol.) Maybe the title of this post really should have been “20 Reasons MY Cats Have Superior Potty Skills Compared to MY Kids”?


Belle’s Birth Story: An Unexpected Beginning

I have wanted to be a mommy for as long as I can remember. It’s packed away somewhere (or else I would have taken a picture to include here), but I have a fill-in-the-blank worksheet from when I was in second grade to attest to this. On the top of the worksheet was written, “When I grow up, I want to be…” and in the blank space, I wrote “a mommy.” And I think I said I wanted to have like 12 kids or something. (Ba ha ha ha ha ha. Did you just spit out your coffee?)

My husband and I have known each other since middle school (hmmm, maybe I should write a post about that, too?), so he was well aware of my interest in having kids. And luckily for me, he wanted to be a daddy as much as I wanted to be a mommy. So 4 years after we got married, we decided to start trying.

I come from a very fertile family, plus if you’ve ever seen me in real life, you know I have the hips to birth some babies. So I was surprised  when I still wasn’t pregnant after 3 months of trying. After 6 months I got worried. And after 9 months I was downright scared. My dreams of becoming a mommy seemed to be circling the drain before my very eyes.

I’ll save our fertility story for another time (yes, another post idea!) but in a nutshell, after nearly 3 more months of testing, and testing, and more testing–with nothing seemingly abnormal with either myself or my husband–and then finally a teeny bit of medical intervention, I got pregnant.

I will never forget the morning I found out. It was about a week before I was due to get my period, and figured I’d start the every-other-day testing until my period showed up. Because I had been doing these tests every month for about the past year, and because every single time they came back negative, I was expecting more of the same. So I took the test and set it aside while I hopped in the shower to get ready for work.

I had actually nearly forgotten about it until I was heading out the door. So when I grabbed it and saw the plus sign on it, I nearly keeled over right on the spot. I couldn’t stop staring at the test. It was probably a good 10 or 15 minutes before I regained a semblance of composure and was able to call my husband. Before he could even finish saying “hey” after answering the phone, I whispered, “I think I’m pregnant,” hands shaking as I tried to keep the phone from dropping to the floor.

“What do you mean you think you’re pregnant,” he asked? “Did you get a positive test?” I could tell he was nervous, too. “Yes, but I’m not sure I trust it.” And I didn’t. “Well, call your doctor and call me back.” So I did. I went right in and had a blood test. And then on the way to work I bought three more tests. All different kinds. And I took them all. And they all came back positive. But I still wasn’t convinced until my doctor called to say it was confirmed. “Hallelujah!” To say my husband and I were excited would be an understatement.

Aside from a few small things, my pregnancy was rather uneventful. I never had morning sickness, and I seemed to be following along the 8,001 pregnancy books I was reading to a T.

And then around 28 weeks, I had some weird stuff going on down below. I went to my OB to get checked out, and she assured me everything seemed fine. I wasn’t dilated or effaced. The only thing she said was that I was carrying very low.

Fast forward to a week later. My parents were in town for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. We decided to do a little shopping and then go out to dinner. But when we got to the mall, I wasn’t feeling that great. My back was suddenly killing me and I didn’t feel like walking around. So I sat on a bench and sent everyone on their merry way. Once shopping was done, we went out to dinner. Even though I couldn’t fit too much in my stomach those days, I ate a ton. And then I felt even worse because my back was still hurting and I was over-full.

When we got home, I still wasn’t feeling great but figured all I needed to do was go to bed to rest my back and get some sleep. And let the baby feast on the meal I had just inhaled. But of course, I couldn’t sleep. I kept having this nagging stomach tightening. It finally got to the point where it was 2 am and I still couldn’t fall asleep. Finally, I called into the answering service for my doctor’s office and they said I should head into the hospital to get checked out. Thinking it’d be a quick trip in and then back home, I let my husband sleep and instead woke up mom to have her take me.

When we got to the hospital, they hooked me up to all the monitors and then did an exam. “Do your contractions hurt?” asked the resident. Contractions? What contractions? “Well, Mrs. Lawrence, you are 2-3 centimeters dilated, so we are going to admit you to try and stop your labor.” My labor? I started panicking. “How can I be in labor? I have 11 more weeks to go!” I said.

My mom called my husband, and he and my dad were at the hospital in record time. I was moved to another room and told I’d be confined to the bed for at least the next 36 hours while they put me on magnesium to try and stop my labor. Oh god, oh god, oh god.

Those next 36 hours were hellacious. The magnesium made me sick, I was catheterized (ok, that was kinda cool not having to get up to go to the bathroom), and I was so uncomfortable. I was already pretty huge with baby belly, even being 11 weeks away from my due date, and being confined to a bed with only one or two positions to move to brought me to tears. Not to mention all of the various testing I underwent–blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds, an amniocentesis–to try to figure out why I was in labor so early and how mature the baby’s lungs were.

Plus, I was scared. Scared for the little baby that I was growing. Although apparently not doing such a great job at that since the baby was trying to make a great escape. But my fears were put at ease some when we met with the neonatologists. Yes, our baby was going to  have some struggles, but if he or she decided to join us at 29 weeks, we were far enough along that the doctors were very reassuring about our outcomes. Nevertheless, they prepped us on things to expect: incubators, feeding tubes, heart monitors, breathing monitors…it was all very overwhelming. Thankfully, my husband and parents and mother-in-law were constantly at my side helping me through it all.

At the end of my 36 hours on magnesium, the doctors determined I could come off. My contractions had stopped and I hadn’t dilated any further. Things were looking on the up and up. They were even talking about letting me go home, which was great, because it was my birthday. And then my water broke.

At this point, after taking everything into account, the doctors determined we should move ahead with delivery instead of trying to hold it off any more. With all of my exams, and now with my water broken, the chance of an infection was great, so we wanted to get the baby out as soon as possible. So, I was started on pitocin, and the waiting game began. It was about 8 o’clock at night, so the doctors guesstimated we’d be ready to go the next morning.

Belle had other plans. 15 minutes into my pitocin, my contractions were so bad that they had to cut it down some. 15 minutes after that, I asked for my epidural. And then 15 minutes after that, I felt really funny. I had my mom get the nurse, and when I described what I was feeling, she looked skeptical but checked me out. Sure enough, I was completely dilated. Within 45 minutes I went from 3 cm to 10 cm. They couldn’t believe it.

And then it was like someone switched on the fast forward button. The nurses were so worried I was going to deliver right then and there that they started wheeling me out of the room before I was disconnected from my IV and monitors. I was told I’d have to deliver in the ER in case there were any complications. So my husband was rushed into his scrubs, and after I was successfully disconnected from everything we headed for the ER. And we were met by a swarm of nurses and doctors–OBs, neonatologists, pediatricians.

Things got real very fast. Not an hour ago I was sitting in my bed wondering when this baby would come out, and now I was being told to push. It’s sort of a blur to me, actually. I remember pushing, and I remember one of the pediatricians coming up to me to tell me that I wouldn’t get to see my baby right away–they needed to take him or her immediately to do an exam and determine what needed to happen. My husband wouldn’t get to cut the umbilical cord, and I wouldn’t get that moment every mom dreams of of having their newborn placed on their chest. We were sad, but we understood.

Then after 15 minutes of pushing, the baby was out. “It’s a girl!” my doctor said as she passed her over to the pediatrician. I didn’t even see her face before she was rushed into the next room. But I did hear her crying–she had a strong cry, a fierce cry–and from that moment, I just knew in my heart things were going to be alright. I sent my husband to the next room to be with our baby. Our daughter. And then I just cried. Tears of joy. And tears of relief.

A few minutes later, my husband was back at my side along with one of the pediatricians. She looked me right in the eyes and said, “Mrs. Lawrence. Your baby is doing beautifully. She’s been breathing on her own this whole time and looks amazingly healthy.” Then she put the tiniest baby I had ever seen in my arms. “We need to get her to the NICU, but I wanted you to see her and hold her before we go.”

I couldn’t believe this tiny little baby was mine. All 3 1/2 pounds, 17 inches of her. Mine. And the fact that she was doing better than anyone could have ever imagined. My husband and I were just in awe. Here she was. Our Belle. We couldn’t have been happier.

We got to hold her for a few minutes before they finally had to take her to the NICU. I didn’t want to let her go, but I knew I had to. After Belle was gone, my husband bent down and whispered, “Happy birthday, hun. I am so very proud of you.” Oh my gosh. It was still my birthday. Our birthday! I got to share a birthday with our daughter. And there were more tears.

I wanted so desperately to go to the NICU as soon as I was moved out of the recovery room, but it was past midnight at that point, and the weight of the past 3 days finally hit me. I hadn’t eaten anything or slept much, and I literally passed out. Three times. So we all agreed that I should stay in bed through the night to get some much needed rest and build up my energy. My husband stayed in the NICU while I slept.

The minute I woke up I begged to go see my daughter. The nurses put me in a wheelchair and my husband wheeled me down to the NICU. I wasn’t prepared for it. Our daughter, who only the night before was wrapped up in just a blanket and resting sweetly in my arms, was now in an incubator with tubes coming out from everywhere. She had an IV in her belly button, a feeding tube in her mouth, and monitors attached all over. Seeing her like that was so overwhelming. My heart ached for her.

The good news, they said, was that she was still breathing on her own and never had to go on oxygen. She seemed to be doing amazing given how early she was, and the doctors and nurses were nothing but reassuring about her prognosis.

Belle spent 5 weeks in the NICU. During that time, my husband and I became experts as NICU parents. We knew what the terms apnea and bradycardia meant, our hands were so dry from all of the washing and sanitizer we had to use, and we became pros at changing Belle’s diaper and getting her dressed while making sure all of her tubes and monitor leads stayed in place. We graduated from only being able to touch her through the holes in her incubator to knowing how to disconnect her from everything, pick her up, and hold and feed her all on our own.

And during those 5 weeks, Belle was learning a lot, too. She quickly moved from her incubator to a regular bed, she was taken off her feeding tube, and she gained about 2 pounds. Everyone kept saying just how amazed that were at her progress. We did have a few setbacks, like her small brain bleed and some apnea issues, but all in all, Belle just continued to thrive.

birth pics

The day finally came when the doctors told us they thought she was ready to come home. We were ecstatic, but surprised and nervous. She was still so tiny (only about 5 1/2 pounds). And she was still 6 weeks away from her due date! (This is fairly unusual, as preemies typically stay in the hospital until at least their due date.) We rushed around like crazy to get the house clean and ready for her arrival (after all, her room was still a guest bedroom when she was born).

And then the day arrived when we were able to take Belle home . . . we were now responsible for this little life. Saying goodbye to everyone at the hospital was tough, but we were ready. Ready to be in our own home. A new family now.


The transition from the hospital to home wasn’t seemless, but we took it one day at a time. Belle took everything in stride, and I swear, she never looked back. She continued to thrive and grow–catching up in size by 6 months, and catching up developmentally by 15 months.

Looking at her now, 5 years later, you’d never know about her completely unexpected beginning. And even though we tell her all the time about her birth and early arrival, I don’t think she’ll ever know just how truly miraculous she is and just how blessed we are to call her ours.


Too Tired to Try Tuesday: Erupting Kool-Aid Paints

I think we can all agree that the worst part of doing crafts with kids is, doo doo doo doo . . . the cleanup! Amiright?

Well, I have just found my newest favorite crafting website: Bath Activities for Kids. That’s right, this site shares all sorts of fun activities that your kids can do right in the bathtub. Mess contained, then rinsed away. Bingo bango. I know, right?

With so many fun activities, it was hard to pick just one to share, so you’ll likely see more of these in the future. But for now, I give to you Erupting Kool-Aid Paints.

Kool-Aid paints

These paints promise to look pretty–just imagine the vibrant colors–and smell good, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Shaving cream (preferably unscented)
  • Kool-Aid packets in various flavors
  • A spray bottle filled with vinegar
  • Containers to hold your paints

After mixing up the baking soda, shaving cream, and Kool-Aid, your kids will be ready to start getting all Picasso-like in the tub.

Then, once they get bored with that, give them the spray bottle and have them spray their masterpieces. This is where the fun will really begin, as their paintings will erupt right before their eyes.

Sounds pretty fun, eh? To see the complete post with step-by-step instructions and absolutely adorable photos, click here. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for some other fun suggestions for playing with Kool-Aid. And while you’re there, check out all of the other bath activities too.

As always, if you try it, let us know how it turns out. And send some pics!

I’m no cooking or crafting guru, so I started these Too Tired to Try Tuesday posts to share craft and recipe ideas that I’ve come across and would really like to try but am just too damned tired (that sounds better than lazy, right?) to get around to. In addition to ideas that I find, I am open to submissions from you–either something tried and true or something you want to try but haven’t had the time to. Just send me an email at raisingwildthingsblog@gmail.com with your ideas, and I may share them here. (And by “may” I mean “will definitely”! I just confessed how lazy tired I am, so if you take the time to send me something to share, I’m going to share it!)


Choosing Our Words: What You Won’t Hear Us Saying in Our House

You learn a lot about yourself as a person when you have kids. How much you can truly love someone. How much patience you truly have. How truly painful it is to see those little people you love so much get hurt. And just how far you will go as a parent to avoid this hurt in the first place. (If you can help it, that is.)

One of the biggest things I have learned since having kids is how to choose my words when speaking to (or in front of) my children.

choosing words

Here are some words and phrases that we try our very best to avoid in our house:

  1. Curse words: Ok, this one isn’t completely true. Every once in a while one slips (hey, we’re only human), but my husband and I really try to never use curse words in front of the children–or even if they’re anywhere in earshot. Although curse words can provide a certain colorful flair to adult conversation, we just don’t find it appropriate for our children. To hear or utter. (And hopefully most people reading this will be thinking, “Duh, you don’t curse in front of kids,” but I have known families where this happens on a regular basis. I’m actually surprised at how many times I’ve witnessed this.)
  2. Derogatory words: As painful as it is to admit, I used words such as “gay” or “retarded” when I was much younger. Everyone did it, so I did too. I just didn’t think at the time how completely unnecessary and hurtful these words can be. But then, through education from some wiser friends, I did. And I have never used these words since. In my opinion, there’s just no need to use words like this ever. With anyone.
  3. Hate: We don’t allow this word. Ever. Not for referring to things or people. I don’t think any explanation is required here. We just don’t want it as part of our kids’ vocabulary.
  4. Stupid/Dumb: These are tough because you hear them everywhere. Out in public, on tv (even on the kid shows). And these terms are so seemingly benign (e.g., “Uggggh, this stupid remote isn’t working”). Until someone uses them to refer to your intelligence. And because it’s hard to explain to preschoolers why it’s acceptable to say an inanimate object is stupid or dumb, but not another person–and because my heart clenches when I imagine the hurt my children would feel if anyone ever called them stupid or dumb–we avoid these words altogether. (Same goes for other hurtful words such as “fat” or “ugly.”)
  5. Bad: This needs some clarification. We do use “bad” in certain contexts. “The milk has gone bad.” “Too much junk food is bad for your health.” But we never use the word “bad” to refer to how our children are behaving–we never call them a “bad girl” or a “bad boy,” for example. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back the train up,” you must be thinking. “Surely your kids aren’t perfect angels.” It’s true. They’re not. (And I have many witnesses that can attest to this.) But we prefer to label their actions or words as “unkind” or “not nice” instead of labeling them as a bad person. Again, at this age, it’s hard to explain to them that even though they might sometimes not behave so nicely, that doesn’t mean that they are a bad person.
  6. I need/I want: This is a pet-peeve of mine more than anything. When I was in college, I worked one summer at a bagel shop. And the number of adults who came up to tell me that they “needed” or “wanted” this or that without so much as a “please” or “thank you”  just blew my mind. (“I need a dozen bagels and a container of cream cheese.” “Really, you need it?”) We understand that early on kids say “I need” or “I want” because that’s all they know. But once they can understand the concept of manners, we try to nip this kind of talk in the bud, instead focusing on them asking “please” and saying “thank you.”

Now we are not naive. We know our kids hear this stuff out in the world and even on tv (as much as we try to avoid it). And they drop one or two of these words from time to time. When that happens, we remind them that it’s not kind to do so and that they should speak to (or about) others how they’d want to be spoken to (or about).

Even though they don’t use these words now, that doesn’t mean they won’t pop up in the future. After all, just with everything else in life, there is a learning curve as you grow. As parents, we will simply continue to model the kind of language we’d like to hear.

Speaking of language we like to hear, there is one thing we do say around here all the time. “I love you.” My husband and I to each other. Us to the kids. We want our kids to know that no matter what, we love them. Unconditionally. Even if they do say “sh&t” by accident. 😉

As with all aspects of parenting, this is what we are comfortable with and what works best for us, in our home. 

Are there words you try to avoid in your house? What makes your list?


Lazy Sunday: Week in Review 5/26/13

In case you missed anything this week . . .

My Blog Posts

It was another slow-ish week for me this week, as I’ve been super busy with work, plus suffering from a major case of writer’s block.

I began the week with an update on how I’m doing with my Orange Rhino Challenge. I’ve made some progress in some areas but taken a step back in another. If you’ve been doing the challenge, how are things going?

This week’s Too Tired to Try Tuesday post was doubly awesome in that it was for a recipe and a craft: peanut butter play dough. Mmmmm.

I also was over at Real Mom of NJ’s place on Tuesday re-sharing my philosophy on the best way to parent. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one way!

And our Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday post included some dinosaurs playing in Barbie’s house, some cuddling and baby cuteness, and some goofiness sprinkled in, among other things.

My Favorite Kid

This week my favorites said:

  • Sunday: Today my favorite called me “Bob” after I tried for 10 mins to get him to call me “mamma” . . . I guess we’re making progress from “dadda,” which is what he usually calls me. (And there’s a video up on my Facebook page documenting this!)
  • Monday: “Mommy, can’t we just go to the bank and get more money?” asked my favorite today. (Oh pumpkin head, how I wish it were that easy!)
  • Tuesday: “Mommy, I wish we could move all of our beds together so that we could just cuddle all night,” said my favorite today. (I’d like that in theory, too, Love.) 🙂
  • Wednesday: “Mommy, I have wots of work to do today. I need to wead all deez books!” said my favorite today!
  • Thursday: “Let’s all look fancy today!” said my favorite today. (Which of course means that I wore jeans instead of my usual yoga-type pants. All day, I might add.)
  • Friday: “Hi-iiiiiii,” said my favorite today as he waved his chubby little hand at me! (It’s his first word! Well, real word, if you don’t count “bob.” Plus he says it in the cutest little southern accent. FYI, we live in CT.)
  • Saturday: “Mommy, dis is unaccep-able,” said my favorite today. (He was not pleased that his hood was bunching up behind him in his carseat. I was pleased, however, to discover he does listen to some things I say!)

My Top 5 Facebook Posts (and an Exciting Milestone!)

top 5 fb

Oh, and I hit an exciting milestone on my Facebook page this week! Really, thank you all so very much. So happy to have you all here!!!

You all are the best! (Now please, don't anyone move!) :)

You all are the best! (Now please, don’t anyone move!) 🙂

My Favorites from the Interwebs

Here are a few other blogs that I really enjoyed this week:

There you have it. Just another week with the wild things.