One Beautiful Back to School Book

go Mama O:

It’s THAT time of year again: back to school! Here’s one awesome book that I may be reading my kids before my daughter’s first day of 5K. Check it out!

Originally posted on go mama o:

We love reading together as a family! It’s my go-to activity to calm the kids (and myself). We are in the library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, and are approaching 700 books read! Whoohoo! To read 1000 books in 1 year, you need to read 3 kids books a day – easy, right?

With my daughter in 4k, we started receiving those awesome Scholastic flyers with good deals on books. Being a book-lover and frugal gal, I couldn’t resist buying a few books by Mo Willems (for less than the bookstore’s price) and this gem of a book for $1!


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is such a beautiful story about a mom sending her little racoon off to school. She’s a clever mom (like we all try to be) who comes up with a way to help her son feel loved when he’s away at school. It’s so sweet…

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Parenting is like a Family Bike Ride

This morning we had a family bike ride (well, sort of because I walked while the kids rode their bikes).  I have to walk along with the kids because they occasionally need a push to get them up a hill. As I gave my daughter a push to help her get started on her big girl bike with training wheels, I began to think that parenting is so much like this family bike ride.

Moments after giving my daughter a push, I heard my son squeal in protest because he couldn’t peddle fast enough to make it up a gentle slope. I raced up to him to give him a little push to keep him moving.

“That’s enough,” he cried, when he was ready to peddle again on his own.

A Little Push to Keep Them Going

Isn’t that what we do as parents?

We give just a little push to help start that forward motion. My daughter is tentative and cautious – both on her bike and in new situations, and so I give a gentle push to help her start moving. It’s just like a gentle hug and word of encouragement before she runs off to a new class, which very soon will be five year old kindergarten. (WOW!)

A Time to Let Go

Similarly, we have to let go after that initial push sometimes, and our kids will definitely remind us to let go, just as my son cried, “enough,” when he was on his way. The act of letting go is certainly more difficult than pushing. A parent’s natural instincts are to hang on and protect their children. I’m starting to see that I need to let go, to let them peddle extra hard on their own to climb the hill. They are getting older, more self-sufficient, and much more independent even as almost four and soon to be six year olds. There are more and more times when I can let go and allow them to figure things out on their own. And yet, there are still times when I hear “Mom” being yelled out, so I know that I’m still needed.

More Biking / Parenting Parallels

Our bike ride took us to the farmer’s market, where we purchased some awesome veggies, jam, and peaches. I loaded up my backpack with our goodies, and then we started to head home. My son was just taking off, speeding away on his pink & purple big wheel.  I yelled, “Wait!” while looking over my shoulder at his older sister, who happened to be walking her bike at the time.

My realization was two fold:

  1. My kids have rapidly turned the corner of baby – toddlerhood.
  2. My kids will not always travel or grow at the same speed, so I’ll have to meet them where they are, sometimes racing to catch up or encouraging them to keep going!
Kids on a bike ride

Here’s my view – my two kids speeding on ahead!

I found myself speed walking to keep my youngest in sight, and forced him to wait for us before turning the corner. When we were all together again, I explained, “We need to all stay together.”

Stay Together.

After crossing the street together, my kids managed to race on ahead. I felt weighed down by 8 ears of corn, jam, and peaches that I carried on my back, and I couldn’t keep up. I asked them to wait, and they finally did, so I could still keep them in sight.

I can imagine my parenting evolving in the same way – not being able to keep up with my kids, but still being together and watching them as they ask me to “let go” and give them more space. Perhaps the key to staying together is lacing up my running shoes or getting on my own bike, so I can pick up the pace and enjoy the ride together.

Fly on the Wall – Which honey are you talking to?

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 14 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house, or read my other Fly on the Wall Posts HERE.

Fly on the Wall Post

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links at the end of my post for a peek into some other homes:

Holy moly! Where has summer gone?! I had managed to write down some of the silly things I’ve heard over the past few months since my last post in June. In case you forgot us, here’s a picture:

Our family July 2015

Big sister (age 5), Daddy O., Little brother (3 – almost 4), and me hiking near the lake, July 2015.

We’ve been taking some fun long weekend trips that have included camping, water / amusement parks, hiking, swimming, trips to the zoo, picking strawberries & sugar snap peas, and other adventures. As you can imagine, we’ve learned a few lessons along the way.

On one road trip, I commented to Daddy O., “If someone were to overhear our conversations with our kids on road trips, they might think we have tourettes syndrome, as one of us yells: Corn. Weeping willow. Birch tree. Corvette. Excavator. Cows…except no swears.”  Does any other parent feel this way too?!

Conversations with my 3 (Almost 4!) Year Old Son

Little brother is growing up for sure! Sometimes he sounds so grown up, as in this exchange:

Me: Can you please water these flowers?

Little Brother: No, I’m going to focus on these other ones.

Well okay then!! I’ll try to direct your focus to these later.

While we were driving somewhere, he asked in his sweet little voice, “Do leaping willows jump?” I had to explain that they are called weeping willows, and no, they did not jump.

For Father’s Day we found Daddy O. a cool Star Wars bluetooth speaker. As he opened it, and realized what it was, little brother chimed in, “I want to hear it speak.” I love how he takes the English language so literally!  We then showed him how it worked, and have since played many Star Wars songs on it, a family favorite and one of the 5 Lessons from Summer Vacation.

An interesting interpretation of a rule by little bro:

Not eating your boogers is the golden rule.

I often call my kids by nicknames around the house. Sometimes I call them the same things because little brother recently asked me:

Which honey are you talking to?

Oops – I guess I should qualify that… maybe honey #1 can be big sister and honey #2 can be little brother?

More random quotes from little brother:

I have 7 spaces in my tummy.

We’re muster monsters (while eating cheese & summer sausage).

New Definitions

We’ve been playing a lot of sports in our backyard this summer – softball, soccer, and even a bit of badminton.

softball in the backyard

Softball in our backyard. We sure love all the trees back here!

While playing soccer, big sister kicked it to little brother and the ball hit him on the head, so I said,

Woah, it’s a header! Nice job.

Little brother cried, “No, it’s a noggin-er.”

The kids are crazy into animals! We have a grumpy cat named Sumo, who my daughter talked about in this way:

Sumo sniffed my finger. She’s kind of cute in a ferocious way like a honey badger.

Me: What’s a honey badger?

Big sister continued, “It has the same stripes as a skunk, but it has really really long claws, and it has teeth that are big and sharp. And they live on the African savannah and they hibernate like a little cheetah…Wait, they don’t hibernate but they sleep like a cheetah cub.”

Wow.  Similarly, when asking me to cut off the crusts on her sandwich, I explained that the crust is good for you. She said,

Yeah, it has vitamin seed.

Something like that!

Me & Daddy O.

On the calendar on our phones, I saw one appointment called “Lol!” I asked Daddy O. what this was, and he said, “Oh, that’s where that text went.”  Stupid “smartphones!” Argh.

Getting ready one morning for a day with the kids, Daddy O. asked me, “Are you going to be married today (meaning, are you going to wear your wedding ring)? I replied quickly, “No,” to which he suggested, “Maybe you’ll be picking more than strawberries today.”  Ha ha!

We recently went to our friend’s last gig with his band. The demands of full time work and a growing family have led him to call his lead singer role quits for a while. I enjoy dancing to my favorite songs, so when this was the first song we heard as we were walking into the bar, I immediately hit the dance floor.

Good tune, right? They play a lot of southern rock, blues, some Elvis, Rolling Stones, Counting Crows, Tom Petty, BoDeans, etc, so I got out on the dance floor a few times, but only managed to drag Daddy O. out there for ONE measly song.

Later at home, I explained, “The song ‘Shut up and Dance with Me’ should be called, ‘Drag you out of the Dance Floor, and Maybe you’ll Dance with Me’ for Daddy O.”  They kids just laughed.

I danced around to “Shut up and Dance with Me” and they kids had some feedback for me:

Big sister said, “Not impressive.”

Little brother observed, “That’s weird.”

Oh well, this mama will keep on dancing whenever I feel like it!

Now go check out what these awesome bloggers are up to:                          Baking In A Tornado                          Spatulas on Parade                          Follow me home                          Menopausal Mother                                   Never Ever Give Up Hope                                  Just A Little Nutty                                        The Momisodes                            Someone Else’s Genius                                  Sanity Waiting to Happen                      Southern Belle Charm                       Searching for Sanity                              Juicebox Confession                                      Dinosaur Superhero Mommy