Four-year-old big 

 
McKinley turns 4 today.  “1. 2. 3. 4,” she excitedly pronounces to the world. My bustling -happy- hyper- curious- passionate -confident- and quite often stubborn -mini me. 

You can tell she’s older.  “Come on Cora, you can do it—No Cora that’s our neighbor’s yard.”  Just by the way she tries to redirect her little sister.  Or, by letting her little sister actually play with her brand spankin’ new baby stroller.  That’s big.  That’s four-year-old big.  

And she’s now in the throws of preschool drama, she said bullshit.  “Mom, today, she said I’m not her friend, she said I can’t play with her, she hit me with a stick, she wouldn’t listen to me…”  The list is endless.  And the she changes.   Trying to navigate a four year through emotional social awareness is D-raining. But, that’s four-year-old big.  

However, I can still get her to snuggle on my chest and watch a show.  And she still needs me when she gets a boo-boo. So, she still my little girl.  Thankfully.  Trying to hold onto as many as these moments, because I know they are temporary.

All my love, to my KinBug today, and every day. Happy Birthday my big four-year-old! Xoxo  

~g 

.:Meditation:.

More often than not we all get caught up in our worries about the future–whether it’s about our children, finances, or upcoming projects due in the office.  And I think too, we get lost in our regrets of the past– things we didn’t do, forgot to do, or simply things we did wrong. 

That’s why meditation is such a critical component to life.  The reflective parts of our life– is very similar to prayer. It really facilitates awareness in the “here and now” moments.  Enabling us to feel free and relaxed.  And actually (just a side note) meditation is probably more important in this day and age, because of our exposure to technology.  We are multi-tasking now more than ever before and it’s hindering our brains from fully processing and focusing.  Basically our attention spans are down right shitty.  Don’t you think? Mine sure is. 

 

There are numerous values I want McKinley and Cora to learn, but the truth is– I need to practice and refresh my own meditative state on many of these values in order to teach them properly.  So, I’m going to dedicate each day for the next 6 weeks to a particular value or moral idea and meditate about them. I will be writing about my process and reflective states– if you would like to join along please do!  And make sure to comment below on your own journey.

And, If you haven’t already, please check out my mediation cards (made to order) in my etsy shop for your own personal deck of meditation cards by clicking here ThingsByG 

   

~g 

My baby–isn’t so much a baby anymore.

It’s pretty custom to write a fresh blog post for the New Year.  But, this time it’s not about resolutions or solutions.  And, it’s not a trip down memory lane either.  I get tired of reading posts like that.  You know–posts that are full of optimism and hope for the New Year to bring new things.  Posts that ramble on about new goals and ideas.  Posts that reminisce on all the woes and triumphs of the past year.   Seriously though, how many goals do you attempt to achieve in one year and actually achieve them?  Okay, I’m guilty. I’ve written these types of posts.  We all have. But, this year I’m just not feelin’ it.   Don’t get me wrong–I did make a goal list and I’m very excited for 2016.  I’m just choosing not to share it this year, because I’m assuming you’ve read enough of these posts.

  
Maybe it’s because Cora (my youngest) turns 1 today,  and that’s what I want to write about.  The fact that my baby– isn’t so much a baby anymore.  And, it’s totally heartbreaking.   Insert 1,000 tear emoji’s. Sure she will always be my baby, because she is the youngest.   But now, she is a walking toddler.  A freakin’ one-year-old!

  
Each age comes with new responsibilities, stages, and developments.  And, with Cora turning one I’ve slowly entered into this world where my children are starting to fight.  Sibling rivalry has officially begun folks.  Uhh surprise! –Yeah, no.   It’s not fun.

And if you have kids you know how it goes:

Cora is holding a toy.

McKinley grabs the toy.

Cora starts flailing and screaming.  Technically a tantrum. (And not a cute one).  It’s the kind where you actually scrunch up the side of you lip, raise your eyebrows, and say, “Are you serious?”   Then you attempt to correct the situation.

“McKinley, you took that from your sister and she was playing with it.  Please give it back to her and when she is done you can have a turn.”

Boom. Fireworks.

McKinley starts stomping her foot with hand on hip.

My eye starts twitching.

Cora grabs toy from McKinley.

“Hey, that’s mine!” as she grabs back from Cora.

Eyes bulge. Teeth clench.

“If you guys cannot share, then the toy goes.”

Thankfully at this point I can still distract Cora—but with effort.

It’s obviously not all like that.  Now, when McKinley stubs her toe, or is crying about her newest and latest “boo-boo,” Cora toddles over to McKinley and repetitively pats her with both chubby little hands.   And smiles.  McKinley giggles. They hug.  Ah!  I live for these moments.  Every parent does.  Because, It’s better than gold.  It’s a calm and peace that rushes through your mind and body.   Where the world makes sense.  And you understand purpose.  And love simply permeates the room in a profound way.

  
“Cora say, “MA-MA,” come on you can do it!”   McKinley has become an amazing sister.  I think it’s a big milestone–developing that role and understanding what it means to be a sibling.  But, in a year, McKinley has owned it.  Cora cries and in a matter of minutes McKinley returns to the rescue with a teddy bear.

Another aweing thing about having a big One-year-old is that their personality emerges.   Cora is a sweetheart.  And that’s the best word to describe her.  She stumbles over to give my legs a hug while I cook dinner.  And is laid back enough to let me hold her in an Ergo carrier for hours.  She has gentle eyes. You look into them and see a softness. I recognize them, because my father had the same blue eyes.

  
Cheers to parenthood and Happy Birthday to our sweet Cora. We love you!

 ~g 

 

Little Philosophers. 

Three year olds ask the best questions. Those tough-sometimes-you-just-can’t-fully-answer type of questions, don’t they? 

My father called this phase, “The Little Philosophers phase,” because they are curious thoughtful thinkers. And always asking, “why?!”  

  
This morning, after we all finally got buckled into our cozy CRV, McKinley started out, “Why do we need to save the earth? No no no no..Mama. HOW do we save the earth? That’s what I mean.”

“What a great question McKinley.  There are many reasons to save the earth and many ways we can save the earth.  Like, using less water.  Turning off our lights when we’re not using them.  Recycling. The list goes on.” 

I told her to ask all of her friends and teachers, because there was something to  learn from everyone.  So, I said, I would do the same. What are your thoughts on why we should save the earth and/or how we can save the earth?! 

-G

My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox.  I needed a digital detox.  A virtual cleanse from the Web World.  And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’   I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did.  I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation.  I became more sedentary.  And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started feeling lost.  And NOT connected.  Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become.  I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again.  So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone.  This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband.  We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night.  The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’  Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows.  Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,  I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram.  However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise.  Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time.  What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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