dream tales

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Overhearing these two adorables wake up and tell each other what they dreamt about was the sweetest way to begin this final day of the year!

Until recently, my son couldn’t recall the details of his dreams beyond knowing if they had evoked scary feelings. So, being the archiving-curating-storyholding mama that I am, I was geeked when he launched into the wild Minecraft-esque adventure he dreamt back in October. He indulged my request to draw a story of it, which he called “The Disappearance of MJ.”

This morning, I could hear the kids rolling awake in their beds — sleepy voices brightening as they recalled dreamscapes filled with flowers big enough to sleep in, LEGO-built dinos and robots, and various characters and people from daylight activities superimposed onto a Jurassic World dimension.

More than being tickled by and capturing a cute moment, I hope to preserve and nurture the connection between these cousins — that they will continue to share their dreams whether seeded in heart, built by hand, or envisioned in slumber.

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#michigantomaine: a roadtrip adventure

a reflection on the 5th year of motherhood

“Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed.
You have not hidden it.
That is your greatest gift to me.”

~Alice Walker
Possessing the Secret of Joy

a real live boy: last four at four

Eek! I cannot believe this is my baby’s last day as a four year old! We’re counting down the hours and replaying the memories of growing up alongside this great little guy.

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on the serious business of bed-making

 

my darling boy has reached a stage where, unprompted and of his own accord, he has gotten serious about making his bed!

my mate and i don’t fret about unmade beds. but, over the years, stripping off the linens and putting on fresh sheets has become a family sport. the kiddo loves to climb into the center of a quilt to be “swung and flung” until our arms burn.

our bed is his playground where comforters get piled high and molded into mountains with winding roads and caves for crooks to hide out in. we are constantly rolling onto Legos or getting a stray car wedged at the base of tangled sheets. recently, K has taken to assiduously smoothing out our queen-sized bedding–circling from head to foot as he pulls each corner tightly down around the edges–so that his constructions have a solid foundation. and he’ll huff and reprimand us if we make a wrinkle!

that’s all for play. but, to take such time and care with his own bed, is a whole new thing! so i asked why he started making his bed in the morning, and K explained that he didn’t like it to be “all crumply” because it was too small. plain and simple.

to me: a sweet reminder that my on-the-brink-of-five-year-old is growing into an awareness of the order and suchness of his domain.

 

Zen(x)Mas: Our Very First Family Holiday Card

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No tree. No lights.
No wrapping paper or gifts (from mom or dad, at least).
No Santa.
And, this year, no snow…

Which is, as my 4 year-old son declared to his dad this morning, the sole factor dictating whether this “quintessential” winter holiday can happen (especially for us Michigan natives): “It’s not Christmas because it’s not snowing!”

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The Zen(x)Mas Way

“Buddha Blessings + Merry Christmas!” My sister, in all her silliness, affected a sacchrine, almost-pious, and breathy tone when I answered her call this morning. (I could tell she’d been cackling to herself while rehearsing this greeting in her twisted head.) We immediately burst into laughter!

Our families know that we are staunchily against the holiday madness that often prevails in the seemingly endless weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. We’ll watch the holiday-themed movies and generate some cheer over food and drinks in the company of loved ones but make no extra effort to aggrandize the occasion. We enjoy participating in the low-key Christmas Eve dinner with my mates’ family and then spending time with mine on Christmas Day. But in the years since our son’s birth (not to forget, the multiple back-to-back births of his cousins on both sides), the holiday festivities have thankfully and decidedly been downsized. Cause ain’t nobody got time or energy for all that!

Our inter-spiritual household of three lives by and cultivates the ethic of simplicity. While my dharma practice is a cornerstone in our foundation for being, the plain truth of it is, in heart and soul, we are just not traditional when it comes to many things.

So (since we live knee-deep in Legos and other construction sets year-round) this greeting card was a perfectly awesome way of letting our more “observant” loved ones know we were thinking of them as they celebrate!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and Lego-tastic holiday and a new year full of unimaginable adventures!

[Disclaimer: Ironhide is K’s newly-adopted imaginary pet. We DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT have a dog, as several have wondered. We’re keeping life super simple that way!]

#madness + #motherhood + #movement: transporting precious cargo

I cringe every time I see a parent or caregiver taking shortcuts when it comes to car seat safety: improperly installing and securing a car seat; putting a child into type/size of seat they are too big or too little to safely ride in; leaving straps twisted and/or unbuckled; allowing underaged kids to sit in the front seat without even knowing/understanding the impact of airbags on their little bodies.

Newsflash: These are milestones that are not to be rush.

7 out of 10 kids in child safety seats
are not properly buckled in – SeatCheck.org

Let’s get educated. Let’s stay aware and informed…and hold everyone who transports our children to the same standard of care.

Parents Central – Car Seat Recommendations

age size chart

Find a certified car seat inspector in your area: Seat Check

#magic + #motherhood: i know everything, mommy!

My nEWLY-TURNED 4-yEAR OLD correctly finished my thought TODAY. wHEN I asked HIM how he knew, he said MATTER-OF-FACTLY: “I know everything! Kids have useful brains!” 

milestone madness: mommy + daddy are not my best friends

my on-the-brink-of-four-year-old child just told me (threatened, was it?) that i would not be his best friend if i didn’t let him have ice cream for breakfast!

he wasn’t mean about it. but he was as sincere as a little one who’s coming to understand the “suchness” of friendship could be. he really wanted that statement to mean something to me.

i held back the laughter. (the ridiculousness of it all: K is cute and funny when he pouts and rationalizes; he’s persistent in his requests for sweet snacks at inappropriate times; we have this debate several times a day!)

i then probed deeper, talking with K about feeling sad or mad or disappointed at not getting what he likes when he wants it. i asked him what it meant that i’m not his best friend. but he’d already changed his mind, climbing into my arms for a hug.

here begins another teaching moment for the family in patience, fairness, friendship, teamwork and kindness. always exhaling…to invite mindfulness to the madness.

Yipes! My Kid Just Said the B-word

We were standing in the grocery aisle when K said it.  I turned to look at my not-quite-four-year-old son and, with disbelief, asked, “What did you say?”

“I’m bored, Mommy,” he repeated. “I’m not having any fun right now.”

My jaw dropped as if K had actually uttered that other 5-lettered curse word. Seriously, how did he even learn about the concept of boredom when it’s not in my vocabulary?! (The answer popped up between my silent bouts of huffing and teeth-sucking: TV or D-A-D, of course!)

After I recovered from the shock, I assured him that I understood shopping wasn’t his top choice of activities (despite his previous excitement over getting to cruise around in the plastic car attached to the shopping cart). Then I immediately told K he was not allowed to be bored! Seriously. He’s too young and imaginative: this child of mine who nearly goes into a trance over the simple joy of pushing his fleet of cars around the bed for hours on end—molding the sheets and blankets into mountains, ramps, and parking lots.

I mean, have mercy on your dear mom—a/k/a your human jungle gym, running buddy, puzzle partner, play date coordinator, and master problem solver who does her best to engage you in stimulating activities to help you burn energy and learn new/interesting things. This is no small feat on a regular day. Now add the relentless surge of winter storms from the Polar Vortex, which has limited the time we can play in the snow, and the battle against cabin fever can become excruciating. Oh, and, mustn’t forget to multiply it by occasional bouts of must-have-Mommy-by-my-side-at-all-times. EXHALE.

Since then K has tossed out the b-word a few more times. Thankfully, it’s only taken a little bit of quizzing about his ideas and feelings to divert the restlessness toward a satisfying creative outlet. But, man! I had really hoped we would have a few more years before our kid started complaining about boredom.