Behavioral Patrol

[...] you know what is NOT never ending? Helping to shape these three incredible humans’ hearts, their identity, their sense of self worth.
— K

I read a great reminder this morning to focus on our children's' whole self instead being a "Behavior Patrol." This really hit home because, in the thralls of summer, I have found myself slipping into survival mode. This usually consists of a sole focus to ensure that my kids aren't killing each other.

At the beginning of summer, I started a photography challenge to document our days- the exciting, the mundane, the emotional, the sometimes brain numbing usage of all day electronics (don't act like you've never done it)- not because of any delusional belief that the world is dying to see my life or admires my photo journalism skills (or lack thereof) enough to take moments of their day to look at my blog. I created this project to help me stay in the moment of my three wild ones, to maintain a presence in their little worlds that I can sometimes over look and, if I'm being honest, squash. 

Here I am two weeks in, a couple days behind in editing, realizing that I've lost track of my mission. I've heard myself say through my lens "Wait! Do that again, I missed it! One more time, just in case!" "Smile more in the next one!" "Lilly, stop looking so angry. I'm trying to document happy memories!" <-- Total mission failure there. Also, capturing a smiling preteen is next to impossible.

Behavior Patrol- within my own mission of mindfulness! And that's just a peek into of how bad it can be. I've gone an entire day with only communicating with my kids to correct their behavior. Days when the chore list is never ending, when I'm a one track mind of check lists- laundry, dishes, toilets, find the source of that awful smell in the car/fridge/August's bedroom/T.V. room, edit photos, meal plan, check in with friends, check in with family, laundry, make beds, organize art room AGAIN, laundry, grocery shop, laundry. It can seem never ending.

But then I come across something as simple as this meme and I realize, you know what is NOT never ending? Helping to shape these three incredible humans' hearts, their identity, their sense of self worth. These summer days of cuddling in our pajamas until lunch time, these days of Lilly coming to me for advice on boys, friends, eyeliner- her willingness to choose me to confide in- those days are numbered. These days of Grace testing out her jokes on me with no inhibitions and the highest level of confidence (she does the BEST Donald Trump impersonation, I'll try to get it on video for you) are numbered. These days of August not being able to start his day until he gets to cuddle me on the couch/bed/at the kitchen table, telling me how much he loves his mama and will never leave her- are numbered. <-- I will try not to remind him of that when he starts bringing girls home.

positiveparenting

The days of looking across the kitchen table, making eye contact with my husband as we try not to laugh over the craziness that is our life- those days are numbered. There will be a day that comes when we don't have these dinners with absurd conversations full of potty talk, hysterical laughter coming from every chair. Dinners whose sharing of "Highs and Lows" will be void of our favorite three human's stories of triumph and heartache.

So for now, I am challenging myself to the "whole person" focus. I will remind myself to soak these days up- these kids up, like warm sunshine on my skin. I will work harder to savor their curious, independent, and sometimes precocious spirits instead of stifling them.

If you are like me and need a daily reminder, check out Positive Parenting on Facebook. Rebecca Eanes is a wonderful breath of fresh parenting air. In a time when Scary Mommy fills our feeds with sarcastic parenting drama (which is always hilarious and I could not live without), having a reminder of just how precious this time is, is a balancing necessity.

 

Until the next caffeine high,

Kristy

Found a grammar/spelling/sentence structure error? I’ve been a stay at home mom for 12 years, you’re lucking I can speak in complete sentences. Also, LAY OFF ME, I’M PARENTING!
— Me

Project Summer: New places, old friends

Dirt Farm Brewing- gorgeous fews, delicious food. 

Project Summer

 

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Old Friends

Impromptu visits are the best visits!

Project Summer: Jail Break

Our little dog escaped on Tuesday morning so the kids have spent the week worried sick about him (hence the lack of photo posts yesterday- we've been distracted). Well, we got the call this afternoon that our local animal shelter had Buddy! It was the perfect end to our sad day.

While at Target this morning, I passed the pet aisle and ended up with 2 sobbing children. Grace and August were besides themselves with grief and worry for their favorite smelly dog. I found myself spewing lies like "It's okay, worst case scenario someone thought he needed a new home..." "He's somewhere safe and probably having the time of his life" I would have said anything to patch the spreading cracks in their heart.

So when we got the phone call my house exploded into laughs, cheers, and a few happy tears. Here is a peek into the jail break:

Project Summer

 

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Project Summer: Little Hands

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My house is totally kid proof!
— Delusional Mother of Older Kids

At least I thought it was until our pint sized guest arrived! It's amazing how quickly you go from baby proofing everything to leaving scissors out in every room of the house in just 5 short years.

In other news, we are enjoying having this little guy around for the next week! August and Grace in particular are soaking up every minute of the action and are behaving like mini parents. 😉

Project Summer: Self Care

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Today I sat on a sun soaked couch with my favorite magazine and those 5 minutes or so to myself were exactly what I needed. I decided to ignore the worry of "how long have they been on their electronics?" the worry of "is the bathroom clean enough for our arriving house guests?" and just sit.

Sometimes it takes such little effort to take an emotional inventory, to recharge and recenter.

Project Summer, Lazy Day

Today was spent catching up on chores, blasting music, arguing, laughing, building legos, creating music.ly videos, and haphazardly thrown together meals.

A perfect summer day.

Project Summer

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Project Summer 2017

Welcome to my summer photo project. I will be posting a photo or series of photos every evening that gives a glimpse into our day.

I've started this project to document our summer because it always seems to go by so fast. At the end of every summer vacation I find myself counting down the days until school starts. This leads to days wasted on watching the clock or mid afternoon texts to my husband "ETA?!" 

As Lilly prepares herself for middle school I've decided to stop living for the next day or the day after. As I become all too aware of how numbered these days are, I don't want to waste anymore of them. I want to soak them up, sip them like a hot tea, savor them like a delicacy. I want to look back with not only wonderful memories but with photos- both flawed and beautiful- with a warm heart and zero regrets.

So here's to days full of sunscreen, sibling bickering, beach days, boredom, and friends. I hope you stick around for the next 93 days- leave comments to let me know you're here!

 

Project Summer

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Hamilton soundtrack, baking, preteen beach party, beach day, movie night- soaking up this Summer Solstice.

Million Women March, Washington D.C.

It is for you that we are out here, cold and uncomfortable. For your future, for your generation, for your daughters, for your sons. Because life can be uncomfortable, people can be cold, but you are worth the fight.

May this be the beginning of a life time of fighting for what you believe in with a fierce passion for justice. -Mom

To my loves: Lilly, Grace, and August

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