Monday, March 25, 2013

No More Perfect Moms

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the Hearts at Home Conference with some women from my  MOPS group.  This was my second year going and both years I have come away with so much.

This year's theme was "No more perfect moms."  While not all of my workshops addressed this topic specifically I was hit all weekend with the reminder that I don't have to be perfect.  Jill Savage talked about what she calls "the perfection infection."  We read facebook statuses or twitter tweets and compare our everyday with someone else's highlights.  We look on pinterest and beat ourselves up for not cutting our kids' sandwiches up into their favorite character or not having a perfectly clean, beautiful house, or not having a gourmet meal every night for dinner.  We strive for perfection, but perfection is simply not obtainable.  We will fail every time.

I am so guilty of this.  It's not that I'm a perfectionist, necessarily (I settle for "good enough" in a lot of areas!).  It's more that I want to be the best mommy and wife.  I so easily get caught up in what I can be doing better that I forget about what I'm doing right right now.  I truly see this as the most important job I will ever have and I am afraid of failure.  I don't want my boys to grow up and feel like I neglected them because we didn't do projects together or I didn't make cool things to play.  I don't want them to go to school and be the only kid that doesn't know his letters and numbers.  I don't want them to feel like we never go anywhere fun.

But the thing is, they won't.  It's not what we do that my boys will remember.  It's who they do it with.  And right now my boys are easily impressed.  A morning playing trains with Mommy is Micah's favorite day ever.  A lunch of chicken nuggets, french fries, and a juice box is the best.  Sitting on the couch, watching Thomas is how Micah would prefer to spend his afternoon.  And sitting in Mommy's lap, reading a couple of books, and getting his back rubbed is the best way to get ready for bed. 

So why do I put so much pressure on myself?  Why do I feel like I have to strive to be perfect?  It only stresses me (and my family) out.  I was challenged last weekend to stop striving for perfection and just focus on being okay.  Okay is a good place to be.  It's not putting unrealistic expectations on myself or those around me.  It's being okay with failure because I am human and I am going to fail.  It's making time for what really matters (my family) and not getting caught up in the frilly things that don't.  So, I'm going to work on being "the world's okayest mom."  That doesn't mean we're not going to do art projects or fun activities in our house anymore.  It just means if we don't do those things I will be okay with it.  If all we do all day is play trains that's okay.  Because that's all my little boy really wants.  And at the end of the day what matters most to me is making him happy.

What about you?  Will you stop striving for perfection with me and settle for the world's okayest mom?

Monday, March 18, 2013


A couple weeks ago we finally got a good snow.  Both Brad and I were bummed, however, because he was at work all day and couldn't enjoy it with Micah.  But as soon as Brad got home that day he ran upstairs to change his clothes so that he could take Micah sledding.  At the last minute, we decided that Judah and I would join them as well.  So, we bundled both of the boys up and headed down the street to the Manhattan sledding hill.

 This was Micah's first time sledding.  He was scared at first (no surprise there!) so we took Judah down first.  Judah, of course, loved it.  Eventually, we had to just grab Micah and go.  After that, he realized that he loved it and wanted to go again and again.  He even climbed up the hill every time all by himself.  He tried carrying the sled, too, but it was too hard for him to keep his traction and hold the sled.

Everyone had a fun time sledding.  I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to go at least once this winter, even if it was the end of winter.  We're already looking forward to NEXT winter when we get to go again--maybe Micah will even go down by himself!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

10 Months

This was a rough month.  It seems like someone was sick every day this month.  That made for a lot of time inside.  Poor Judah had both influenza and the stomach flu.  He's also dealing with some nasty eczema that is pretty much all over his body.  He's been handling the sickness pretty well, though.  He likes to cuddle when he doesn't feel good, which I love!  He gets a bit whiny, too, which can be hard to deal with, but you take the good with the bad.  With all of the time spent at home this month Judah has really started turning into a big boy.  He pulls himself up on everything and is even beginning to stand on his own (not quite there yet, but he's trying!).  He's into everything and loves playing with his toys.  Wherever big brother is, he wants to be, but he also enjoys his time alone.  Not much highlights from this month, but here they are:

  *Judah got his second tooth.  He bites down on everything now--mostly our fingers--and it hurts!

  *He weighed 20lbs 11oz at his doctor's appointment.  Not sure what his height was, though, we forgot to have the nurse write it down and I never heard what she said.

  *He celebrated his first Valentine's Day.  Mommy and Micah had BSF that morning and Daddy had to work that night so after his morning nap, Judah and Daddy met us at Giordanno's for some heart-shaped pizza (a tradition of ours).  

  *He had his first sleepover at Mimi's house.  We spent Saturday at the Museum of Science and Industry, then he went home with Mimi and Micah.  She said he did great.  We were happy for a night away, but were even happier to return home to our boys!

  *He started saying "mamamama"  He says it all the time now.  He's a little chatterbox, always has something to say.

  *He went on his first train ride to Oak Lawn Children's Museum.  He had such a fun time looking around at everything.  His favorite was hearing his voice echo in the train station.

Fingerpainting on a "sick day."

Happy Valentine's Day from Judah!

Eating dinner.

Hanging on to his train ticket.

Doesn't he look like he doesn't feel good?  Poor baby!

Watching the Irish Fest Parade from our front window--he loved it!

Playing at the Children's Museum.

Waiting for the train with Mommy.

Being silly with Daddy while waiting for the train.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Little Conductor

I've mentioned a few times that Micah's new obsession is with trains.  He is seriously all about trains right now.  Every morning the first thing he does is go to his box of trains and ask us to put together his track.  He usually sleeps with two or three of his trains.  When he was sick playing with his trains is the only thing he did that didn't involve laying on the couch and watching TV.  Whenever we come up to a railroad crossing he gets super excited about "going over the tracks" and seeing "the ding-dings."  He has a sixth sense when it comes to hearing a train whistle and he names every train he sees.  "That's Thomas."  "Here comes Percy."  "It's Gordon!"  The only time he gets possessive and mad at other kids is when they're messing with "his" trains (whether they are actually his or not).  What can I say?  The boy loves his trains.

Brad and I have been wanting to take him for a ride on a train for a while.  We actually planned to a couple times, but someone kept getting sick, preventing us from going.  We had some reservations, too.  Even though Micah loves trains he's scared of them.  He won't go near the real life ones at the Museum of Science and Industry.  Whenever we drive by the boxcar in town Micah reminds us that the train "doesn't move" because we always have to assure him that it won't move.  We weren't sure how he would actually do getting on a train.

But we decided to try it out anyway.

Today we took the train to the Children's Museum.  It was a short ride--just five stops, but just enough time that if he was really freaking out we wouldn't have to suffer too long.  And there would be something fun to do when we got off the train.  Micah did great.  He was super excited the whole way there.  When he heard the train coming he started to get really scared and told us he didn't want to get on the train yet.  But we got on anyway.  And within 30 seconds he was good.  He was in awe!  He loved being on the tracks and looking out the window.  He kept telling us we were "puffing."  He anticipated every tunnel and bridge.  He said hi to the conductor (and showed him his conductor's hat that he was so proud to wear) and just kept looking around at everything. 

It was a perfect trip.  It was so much fun to see how much he enjoyed being on the train.  I loved watching his excitement build as we were driving to the station.  He kept telling us he was wearing his conductor's hat and asking if we were going to ride the train.  Today was one of those days you look forward to even before you have kids.  It was a good day.