Perfectionists need not Apply

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." -Jill Churchhill
1. No Double Standards

Parenting on good days is full of hope, laughter, & working together. On the bad days, well, they feel like you're standing at the crash site looking for semblance. I said to myself as I entered the bathroom while the girls remained at the table, "Okay Kamille, we will not shout or yell!"

In our home I have a phrase, "Are your words sweet like honey or yucky like dog poop? (very visual & tactile)" When the girls have whining or a disrespectful tone, out comes the phrase. The same goes for yelling, screaming & shouting. Well, what do you do when it's the keeper of the phrase who is choosing "yucky dog poop?"

Apologize, ask for forgiveness & reconcile.

2. Putting in Coins of Affirmation

Last night during dinner, I brought up to Veronica how I noticed how she had been using manners, a sweet voice & choosing to do what is right & good. From the time we dropped her off at Sunday School, she had a sweet disposition till dinner.

I remember reading that for every negative we need 10 positives.

With little ones who cannot really function without you, it seems like I'm more of a maid trying to get food on the table, diaper changed, sweep up the laminate floor, fix a booboo, etc. Meanwhile, there are those nuggets of affirmation slipping by unnoticed. And sometimes a bit too late once it is.

3. And then comes the Meltdown

Once I made note of Veronica's wonderful choices at dinner, it seemed she let her guard down saying, "Finally someone noticed and it's taken a lot of hard work...onto some meltdowns."

Don't we all feel like that at times. I work SO hard to remain patient in the midst of the storm, to use sweet words, to love relentlessly, but to much avail...I'm exhausted from trying so hard. Isn't that why we work out, so we can enjoy a dessert afterward?

~We run with an expectation that we will obtain perfection on the first shot, or even the second and third. Our aim can be simply unreasonable (especially when we factor in little people meandering about). I'm convinced that motherhood is not about being perfect; in fact, it means our failures/shortcomings, haven't taken a shower in two days, eating leftovers for the third day, kids still in pajamas when daddy gets home sort of days WILL happen. However, it's more about getting back on the "proverbial" horse and riding again into the unknown (and perhaps, more failures).

So let's get back into the saddle (whether you're a parent or not) and ride into the mystery of tomorrow together, because I'm certain John Wayne types are pretty miserable without a riding companion. And leave a comment--it will make you feel better, for sure.



We actually haven't been very busy this summer.  However, it seems like the month of September was filled to the brim with events, appointments and whatnot.  We made a trip to Artist Point Labor Day weekend, only to find so much fog that the point was nearly invisible.  On top of that, add that mama & daddy wore shorts forgetting that we are in the "cascades" at a 45 degree day.  Not to mention that the night before we went with friends here, so bedtime was later and girls still wake up a bit early, which made for a semi-miserable experience at the mountain.

I'm sure you can picture it.  The culmination of lethargic bodies, whining, wild blueberries not coming out of the coat pocket like a 3 year old would like, while the 21 month old is on broken record mode, "Mama, mama, mama..."  It's moments like these in a year from now (and more so in 20 years) that we will laugh about it, forgetting how painful it was and try again.  I guess that's the beauty of parenting.  We can fully see the hard, the bad & the ugly, but we keep with it, because the beauty always outshines.

Picture encapsulates our journey to Artist Point

Taking a lunch break

Do we look excited?

Veronica fell down and I'm comforting her

Tays painting on paper, and the wall too.

That rascal face

This was "paint in your pajamas" day

Both girls dedicated to their art

Long day of traveling requires a ride in the stroller, along with Puppy

The pool was all the rage

Cadence dancing with Grandpa on the Strip

Beautiful girl with her strewn blown hair (and messy face)

The love of a puppy--life couldn't be better

Auntie Mimi & Uncle Apple Bob got married!!


Apple Bobbing

You know your child is listening to key elements of a story when they just happen to knock over the box of apples on the deck, only to announce, "Oh no! The box of apples fell. I lost my balance! (Veronica)" I forgot that we had just read about Ginger the cat knocking over the apples in a wheelbarrow, then falling into the water while trying to bob for them, because he "lost his balance." Shortly after, I notice there are quite a few apples in the play grocery cart (a.k.a. wheelbarrow), which I quickly said, "Umm, I know Ginger knocked over the apples from the wheelbarrow Veronica, but I need you to keep them in there."

After she realized her dream of being Ginger the cat knocking over the wheelbarrow was extinct, she had a new idea. Applebobbing! She has seen this Autumn festivity recently in three different books, so she continued asking for the remainder of the late afternoon to go "applebobbing" (sidenote: she has called her Uncle Bob at one point 'Apple Bob.' So I thought she was talking about Bob at first). I told her when daddy got home we could go applebobbing. I think the girls interpretation of this semi-lost art just might cause a comeback.


Disobedience & a Sweet Response

Tonight I mentioned something that a three year old shouldn't have to hear, especially when that three year old is Veronica and it was mama joking about eating ice cream. The other part is Veronica didn't pick up on the joke part and only heard those two words as reality. She was sad to find out I was joking, and I definitely needed to apologize. I helped smooth it over by telling her she could have the raspberries in the fridge. She quickly was all better, found the raspberries, grabbed a bowl (and so did Cadence) and helped distribute the berries among the two bowls.

Needless to say, one person's bowl had a few more raspberries than the other. We fixed that minor indiscretion and all was right in the world. Well, until Cadence fell over in her chair, Veronica knocked over Cadence's bowl of berries and then proceeded to "help" fix the situation. The conversation as follows:

Me: Veronica, can you put Cadence's raspberries back in the bowl? And don't eat them, they're Cadence's.

Meanwhile, Veronica ones by picking up all the berries, except that last part about not eating them evades her mind; hence, an empty bowl placed on the table. When I call her actions into question (mind you she is typically very obedient and hates the idea of disappointing us), she quickly runs to the stairs jabbering, "I need to go to bed, etc!"
When she does come back and we talk about it I ask, "Veronica, did I ask you to pick up the berries or eat the berries?". She pauses and says, "Eat...the berries?"
Me: "Veronica!"
Veronica: "Pick up the berries."
me: "Yes, and what you did was disobedient. When mama asks you to do something you need to obey the first time. What do you do now (she was clueless)? You need to say you're sorry to me for disobeying. "

At this point, she begins to ramble on and on about the raspberries, not eating them, obeying mama, etc. At which point, I'm trying to keep a straight face. But it's when she said, "Mama, I'm sorry for putting those juicy raspberries in my mouth," that I about lost it and insisted she hurry to say sorry to Cadence so I could snicker with freedom. And that my friends is the perfect apology, as far as I'm concerned.


A Horse is a Horse...of course of course

I think these two kids are about the cutest things ever. Here's Cadence with her buddy Corban (who is even more cute & fun in person). Our friend Biz (Corban's mama) invited us way back when to experience her horse Satin, first hand. I knew it would help Veronica, but she didn't really want much to do with the horse up close & personal. However, Cadence is a child of different breed, yet sharing the same gene pool, who was eager to sit on Satin, pet Satin & I'm sure if we let her--ride Satin. I think it says a lot about our daughters personalities. Veronica on the one hand will talk big, while not wanting to partake. She kind of sikes herself out. In fact, she was talking the whole ride there to the barn about how she would ride Satin or pet Satin, but once we got there, the noise of horse's neighing was about as much as she could bear. Meanwhile, fearless & feisty Cadence sets stage and she jumped on the opportunity to sit on Satin (oh and have a photo shoot--what a ham!).