Big Girl Milestone – Tie Shoes!

I’ve written about and shared some milestones on my kids before, but as my kids grow older, the milestones are different. They can happen more quickly and are not as frequently or carefully documented as in their very exciting first year of babyhood. There’s pictures of smiling, rolling over, sitting up, walking and more in my kids’ scrapbooks.

One milestone we celebrated over the weekend was getting my six year old her first pair of tie shoes! This is a big deal – an upgrade over Velcro shoes and a great shoe to wear for gym class.  Shoe shopping alone was a lot of fun with her. Some shoes were crazy – we found shoes that have a spin-disc, so you can twirl like a ballerina. Nice gimmick, but not practical for running! After trying on multiple pairs, she ended up with ones that look kind of like mine! Aren’t we cute?!


Daughter – mother running shoes.

When I wanted to look at women’s shoes, she was very helpful, pointing out the be-jeweled 4 inch heels (perfect for everyday), and some beaded sandals. It was a fun outing for us, one that I hope will continue to go as smoothly as this past weekend. And when we got home, we found that these beauties came in mail for her.  So cute!


Sparkles, jewels, and glitter oh my!

Immediately my daughter wanted to learn how to tie her new shoes. Knowing that there were “new” ways since I had learned many years ago, I turned to this You Tube video:

Sounds awesome, right? I could NOT figure our this so called “Magic Finger” method. It looks really cool and there are a lot of related videos, but it just wasn’t working.

I resorted to my “old” way, and she started to get the hang of it. She was getting frustrated, so I encouraged her to keep trying and left the room for a bit. In just a few minutes, I heard her yell, “Mommy, I did it!!” It was awesome! She kept on practicing throughout the day, so determined to do it right. Dad and I pointed out a few tricks for her to try, and some have helped.  We’re really proud of her for learning how to tie her shoes so quickly, and we hope all goes well at school with the multiple snow boot – shoe changes each day!


Tie, tie, and tie again!

A few lessons

When my daughter has a goal in mind, watch out! She is one determined and sometimes stubborn little girl, who can get frustrated if she doesn’t succeed after a few attempts. It really helped when I walked away and didn’t hover the entire time. It seems to help to give guidance and then give her space to learn things on her own. This applies not only to shoe-tying, but so many other areas of her life!

Cheers to my big 6 year old girl!

Related Post

I talk about similar parenting lessons in Parenting is like a Family Bike-Ride


To My Oldest Child: Stay Little, Stay Sweet

I can hardly believe that my firstborn, my daughter will soon be six years old.

Six years ago I remember celebrating my own birthday, thankful that I’d still have my own birthday to myself. Yet as my due date passed, I remember crying, thinking that my baby would never come! (Dramatic, I know, but hey, I was very hormonal).  Two days later, we met our firstborn, surprised and excited to meet our baby girl. Today I can’t imagine my life without her.

My baby girl

Sweet first pictures of my firstborn. As parents, we had a lot to learn together!

Lately I’ve been looking at her, thinking what a beautiful, sweet little girl she is becoming. I cannot even call her little anymore, as she responds, “Mom, I’m medium!” She has been spontaneously giving me hugs and saying, “I love you Mom.” So precious. And she’s thriving in kindergarten, just blossoming in her new setting with new classmates and learning new things. I’m so incredibly proud that my heart feels as if it will burst. It’s so wonderful to sit back and reflect with Daddy O., thinking, “Wow, we have done something right as parents, and to think that six years ago, we didn’t have a clue.” We’ve grown as parents right along with our daughter and younger son.

This fall - My medium girl is full of hugs - even if her brother doesn't want them.

This fall – My medium girl is full of hugs – even if her brother doesn’t want them.

There were some long days way back in the birth – two year old stage, when I thought we’d never get past blow-out diapers, then potty training, crazy tantrums of our strong willed girl, or whatever the drama of the day. But lo and behold, we did, learning a lot together as a family and enjoying many milestones (including these) and many million dollar moments. You probably wouldn’t believe that she once growled at people as a three year old!!

Today it is so much fun to spend time with her and watch her grow up. In the rough times, I wanted to hit fast forward, but in the good times, I find myself searching for pause.

As she continues to grow, and as we celebrate our birthdays in the next few days, my wish for her is to stay little, to stay sweet. Keep up the spontaneous hugs and “I love you’s.” Keep wanting to spend time with your parents and brother. Keep willingly posing for pictures. Keep talking to us and sharing the highs and lows of your days at school. Stay close to us as you continue to grow up because I know there isn’t a way to pause this precious gift of time. Love you, my medium girl!!

I see a pattern in writing “growing up” posts like this one on my blog, so here are some additional posts for your reading enjoyment:

What’s in a Title?

Putting on my “marketing hat,” I recently was part of a meeting with our school district and other professionals as we reviewed a plan to create specific curriculum related to marketing, media and communication arts. As with many large group meetings, we started with introductions. I waited for my turn, thinking of how I should introduce myself as a now unemployed marketing professional. I settled on something like this:

Hi, I’m Cathy, marketing manager and also a  Stay at Home Mom.

I may have said “marketing generalist” because I am a sort of jack of all trades marketer, especially in my last role at a small business, but I questioned on whether or not to say SAHM. I thought I saw some women in the room give me a knowing smile, as in they understood where I was as a mom and professional, and perhaps they were once in my same position.

While I know that staying at home does not diminish my credentials, I can’t help but feel less confident in professional settings. Self doubt creeps in, leading me to question, “Am I good enough for a seat at the table?” Yes, I have opted-out of full-time work right now, and in doing so have I set myself up for the mommy-track? When or will I ever work again?

All of this worrying spins out of control and puts me in a dark place. It’s really not productive or healthy for me to go down this path.

Who cares about titles? What do they even mean?!

I’ve held MANY titles in my career: Marketing Coordinator, Zone Manager, Marketing Specialist, Channel Marketing Manager, and Director of Marketing. And I’ve never been hung up on titles. I’ve been a focused, productive employee, happy to contribute to my team and company, and simply put: get things done! So why should I fixate on titles now?

More importantly, I do truly LOVE my title of Mom! My kids and family are my life’s greatest accomplishment that no work-related achievement could ever eclipse. Hearing little voices calling for me daily (sometimes hourly or more often, depending on the need), makes me feel so needed, important and loved (and yes, sometimes annoyed). Yes, I do have demanding, and adorable “direct reports,” and I definitely need to be hands-on with my four and almost six year old kids. Yet, I recognize how far we’ve come together as a family.

Me and my cute "direct reports."

Me and my cute “direct reports.”

Reflecting on Motherhood

When I left work full-time three years ago, I wrote about why I miss work. Today when I reflect on that post, I see that many of my frustrations have been minimized in just a few years time. I have time to myself when my youngest is in pre-school, and I’ve enjoyed more adult interaction without having to contend with nap-time anymore. Plus, I’ve seen many of my kids’ milestones and accomplishments firsthand (most recently swimming and reading), so I know I am making a difference in their lives. Being a mom IS rewarding, especially with a longer term view!

Pure sweetness: sharing a story in their PJ's. What a way to start off the day!

Pure sweetness: sharing a story in their PJ’s. What a way to start off the day!

I tend to have a hard time NOT having a plan or seeing a clear direction in my life. I wrote about this earlier in Mom GPS Re-calcuating. This time at home is truly a gift, and I want to be comfortable without a grand career plan…to simply “be” in the moment and embrace my life, SAHM title and all. I am doing my best to trust that God has placed me exactly where I should be right now and am trying to learn and grow through it all. To name a few lessons, I’ve learned to be more patient and spontaneous since having kids. I’ve learned to let go a bit more, control less, and relax. My mantra to myself has been “relax and enjoy” motherhood, or taking a cue from an awesome song I hear in my yoga class weekly:

New Titles? New Outlook

I was thinking of how I describe what I’m currently doing, and I often say, “I’m just staying at home right now,” but I need to take “just” out of that sentence. Motherhood encompasses so many roles that I need multiple titles to describe what I do all day:

  • Chief Executive Officer of our home and family of four
  • VP of Marketing & Public Relations – family spokesperson, social media manager, branding, crisis management, historian / archival specialist (through blogging and scrap booking)
  • Head of Procurement – all purchases go through me or require my approval
  • Co-Director of Finance – shared with my husband
  • Accounting Clerk – shared with my husband with our split checking accounts
  • Event Planner – certified in birthday parties, mealtime prep, play dates, date nights
  • HR Professional – personal development, training, team building
  • Health and Wellness Program coordinator – swim teacher, fitness instructor, meal planning and prep
  • Facilities and Maintenance – laundry, housework, grounds crew
  • Community Relations – volunteer, giving manager

This might be a bit long to go through in an introduction, but it IS another way of thinking of my job. I’m shaping the minds and hearts of children, people!  This is a HUGE and an awesome responsibility!

A Better Outlook

Instead of thinking of how I’m viewed as a SAHM in a professional setting, I should focus more on the positives of my here and now. I feel more connected to my community than ever before, simply because I’m here more (vs. commuting and working in another city). I’m able to be part of my daughter’s school through volunteering. I have more time to help out at church. As a family, we have time to enjoy both breakfast and dinner together almost daily.  I have time to workout and get enough sleep at night. It is a healthy, more relaxed pace of life. Given all of this, I am so very blessed to be in this position, trusting that I’ll read this post in a few years after God’s plan for me has unfolded more perfectly that I could have ever imagined.

Fly on the Wall October: Do Bananas Talk?

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.

Little Brother Highlights

We recently said happy 4th Birthday to my baby boy! On his actual birthday, when I told him I loved him, he said, “I love you more!” So sweet!

Birthday boy taking good care of Spotty, his pet leopard.

Birthday boy taking good care of Spotty, his pet leopard (and bday gift).

While we were driving in the car, my son explains,

Owly (his stuffed owl) doesn’t like things that are boring.

Big sister chimes in, “Grown-ups are boring!”

My reply, “Hey kids, I heard that.” Sigh!

Since I’m home with him most of the week now (save for two mornings a week when he’s in preschool), he is around while I do most of our housework. He took an interest in folding one day, and showed me how it’s done. In the upper left image, he instructed, “And now you give it a hug!”  There is his “finished product” in our linen closet. A few lessons: find the joy in the mundane, and take whatever help you can get, even if it’s the work of a four year old!


Big Sister’s Highlights

I’ll lead with my favorite thing I heard since last month from my kindergartner:

I miss you, mom, and dad when I’m off at school!

She was explaining this to her brother, saying what a long day it is, and YES, I have to agree! We miss you too big girl!

Other things she’s asked,

Is this syrup from the log cabin? (Reading the brand on the label)

Do bananas talk?

My reply, “What do you think? I think they can talk in your imagination.”

Little brother says quickly, “They don’t.”

Big sister, “Yes, they do.”

Little brother, clarifying, “They whisper.”

Almost every night or every morning, she has been commenting that people in China are waking up or going to bed (basically the opposite of what we’re doing). I asked her how she knew this, and she said, “I was just born knowing that.”

One Last Camping Trip

We enjoyed one last camping trip in late September, taking our two kids and nephews camping at a nearby site. Everyone had a great time, especially our oldest nephew. As we woke up in our tent early Saturday morning, he asked us earnestly, “Are we going to cook the old fashioned way?” I think he meant over a campfire, but it just sounded so cute! We broke out our propane camp stove and cooked breakfast that way.

Later that morning we did some hiking.  I had my hands full with my purse and several bags for the “treasures” that the kids found as part of the nature scavenger hunt, so I turned to Daddy O. and, much to my own embarrassment said, “I kind of wish I had a fanny pack!” Do cool, water-bottle holding type fanny packs exist??

Off and running on the trail!

Off and running on the trail!

This was our view from the trails – kids running on ahead of us! We all enjoyed the beautiful views and fantastic weather.

As you will only hear up north

Earlier this month, I went up north for a girls’ weekend to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We went to a small dive bar and took over the jukebox to play some dance music. During the night, I heard a guy say,

I got so hot that I took off my long underwear.

And to one guy wearing a blaze orange hat, a girl in our group said,

Did you think you were going to get shot while golfing?

Only in a bar up north will you encounter long underwear, camo, and blaze orange! Good times!

A Morning Observation

Daddy O. is typically the last one to wake up in our house. He likes to sleep in when he can, but this doesn’t happen often. Over the weekend, he commented

Our son in extra loud this morning.

My reply, “Little boys only have one volume!”

A Little Distracted

As many parents will agree, I’ve found it’s difficult to carve out my own time when my kids are vying for my attention. I came across these pictures, when my kids climbed on my lap and shoved their heads in between my face and my smartphone. THAT got my attention.

funny faces

Because taking silly selfies is more fun than just giving mom some time on her phone.

Similarly, my son climbs on my lap when I’m on the computer, saying, “Mom, get off the computer!”  Jeez – it’s tough to blog these days!

Thanks for reading my Fly post!! Now click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                          Baking In A Tornado                          Spatulas on Parade                          Follow me home                          Menopausal Mother                                   Never Ever Give Up Hope                                        The Momisodes                            Someone Else’s Genius                 Eileen’s Perpetually Busy                             Cluttered Genius                        Southern Belle Charm                                         Go Mama O                    Searching for Sanity                                  Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                       Nichole Mom of 8

#ThrowbackThursday: Playing in Leaves

I had a flashback to these beautiful moments playing in the leaves through the years with my kids yesterday.  Here’s a series of pictures of big sister from two years ago!

Even back then, big sister was a ham! Love it!

Even back then, big sister was a ham! Love it!

And going back one more year, here were the kids in 2012.

As a one year old, I don't think my son was "feeling it" as much!

As a one year old, I don’t think my son was “feeling it” as much!

This year at age four and almost six, they are BOTH loving the leaves and even throwing them at me! This season really IS the best, and our backyard has a seemingly endless of supply of leaves for the next month, so we will enjoy it for sure!