DesignForMiniKind

Gumption

bee

There are roughly five million lessons I need to learn from her – how to lay down in the grass and watch the leaves blow, how to ask for help when I need it most, how to twirl with my eyes closed. How to pay attention. When to pay attention. To whom to pay attention to.

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The Choice

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This past weekend, I made a choice. Of all of the worthy jobs I’ve juggled – from writer to assistant, from art director to stylist, from author to teacher – mothering is the one I want to matter most. Mothering is the one I want to hold to closest, to devote time to first, to offer the bulk of my energy. But for me, that is a choice. For many, it’s not.

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Two, Now

bee-2

Two is a sudden burst of verbal growth, stringing together sentences like, “Mom! Put down that poop and give me a huuuuuug.” It’s a continuation of hoarding, blocks and snacks and stuffed animals, everything, all at once and right this moment, please and thank you. It’s a newfound love for broccoli and an insistence that she loves tomatoes, even when she spits them out every.single.time.

It’s sunshine and thunderstorms – highs and lows, laughter and tears – with the rainbow showing up each night at bedtime when she asks to play Pat-a-Cake and look for owl holes in the rustic headboard, slowly, quietly – wheels turning, soul filling. It’s markers on the windows, crayon scribbles on the table, granola between the couch cushions. It’s, “Mama? Play iPad cuppa more minutes please? Just a cuppa minutes. Promise.” It’s manufactured phone conversations with neighbors, organizing her own play dates for the week ahead.

Two is skinned knees and smelly sneakers (just my kid?) and finding 800 different ways to explain obedience, or more accurately, lack thereof. It’s pounding down the hallway, the slapslapslap of dirty, bare feet. It’s sweaty, curly tendrils above the ears. It’s flushed cheeks, high-pitched squeals. Crocodile tears.

It’s “faster, faster!” and “louder, louder!” and “higher, higher!” It’s growing pains and hide-and-seek and “I want it” and “I don’t want it” and “I’m sorry” and “Kiss it, Mama” and “Now!” and “Later” and “Yes, yes, always yes” and “I love you, too.”

Two is mischievously, feverishly, exhaustively divine.

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Dear Bee // 52

baby in woods

Dear Bee,

Hey lady. I haven’t written you in awhile, mostly because you just cannot stop communicating at home and by the end of the day, there aren’t any more words. We’ve covered everything, from where duck dads come from to your preference for the blue lion shirt, and although I know I’ll forget many of these highlights, I also know I won’t forget the ones I need to carry with me.

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My Favorite Pregnancy Gifts

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One of my good friends just gave birth last week, and OMG I nearly had a panic attack on her behalf. It seems most mothers I know stand planted in two single-file lines: those who love the fresh scent of newborn babies and find them endlessly intoxicating, and the mothers who have panic attacks on behalf of other mothers the moment that baby emerges from the birth canal. I’m the latter (obv) – the mother who holds memories of nursing issues and chronic tears and clouded judgment in those early days of child-rearing; the one who has a hard time seeing past the hard to acknowledge the good. Pregnancy was hard(ish). Birth was harder. The newborn phase, for me? HARDEST.

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The Rise

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“When it comes to our children, we do not have the luxury of despair. If we rise, they will rise with us every time, no matter how many times we’ve fallen before. I hope you will remember that the next time you fail… Remembering that is the most important work as parents we can possibly do.” -Cheryl Strayed

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Dads, Lately

ken and bee

Hey Dads. I haven’t been an astute observer of generation-after-generation for very long, but I’ve listened to my fair share of mothers and their mothers and their mothers, and can we talk about how gosh darn hard you have to work these days? Many of you get up when it’s still dark, and you roll out of bed and shower and try to tiptoe out of the house so the littles don’t wake up, and sometimes you grab a granola bar or something before you leave, because last time you made a hot breakfast of eggs and sausage the dishes were too loud when they hit the sink and your wife sent you a “Shush, don’t wake the baby!” text from the bedroom. And then you drive 20 minutes to the office, or the hospital, or the fire station, or the classroom and you brew some mediocre coffee and check your email, overflowing with names of people who need you for something. All urgent, of course.

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4 Toddler Printables

printable memory game for kids 2

I’m endlessly amazed at how many incredible resources we have at our fingertips – for free! – thanks to content producers, bloggers and magazines that find value in sharing what they know. Case in point? Printables. With a quick download and a bit of printer ink, we can so easily teach our kids new skills, activities and crafts to keep them happy, engaged and inspired. It just doesn’t get better! Here are a few favorites we’ve been loving lately:

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Dolled Up

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One of Bee’s favorite toys to play with at Grandma’s house is a custom Victorian dollhouse my mother designed and built in her hey day (I know!). Bee loves helping the tiny baby take a bath in the miniature tub, or wash dishes and fold laundry in the kitchen (Dollhouse World clearly produces some very domestically productive babies). And although I have plans to build our own dollhouse together someday, Bee’s a bit young for the task now. Enter, The Dollhouse Book.

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Swirls & Snowflakes

summer festivals

So, old news. I’m a social introvert, one that loves people and is fascinated by their stories and perspectives and nuances, but one that needs to take a nap directly after speaking with said people. It takes ALL of my energy to widen my eyes in the right moments and to figure out how to hold onto that thought I had – the one that won’t be relevant in three seconds because the conversation has turned a corner into, like, Connecticut and my thought was basically somewhere in the vicinity of a Boise backyard. I live in my head, where my thoughts churn like slow ice cream, folding over and over into one another until something deliciously insightful forms, a tasty dessert for my soul to dine on.

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