Monday, April 30, 2012

Keeping It Even-Steven

A few short years ago, my entire world consisted of my little girl. Hubby and I devoted all our time and attention to this one, perfect, sweet little being. Then, when we decided to expand our family, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy.

 Immediately, the family dynamic changed and I started feeling guilt over not spending the same amount of time with my son than I had with my daughter. She went to Mommy and Me swimming lessons at 6 months of age; he didn't go until he was almost two! If she got a new toy, why didn't he get one, too? That was only fair and right, wasn't it? The guilt and even-Steven-ness of it all could've made me crazy...and it still almost does sometimes.

For the most part, I try and take a step back and realize that it's not about making everything "even", but about tending to my children's individual, unique needs as they arise. To make sure they know they're loved, cherished, taken care of and wanted more than anything in this world, is the best gift I can possibly give them. Sure, there will be times when one of my kids feels slighted ("She got an extra cookie!") or neglected ("You took him to the playground twice this week, and I never got to go!"), but I'll cross those bridges when I get to them.

For now, I'll focus on kissing, hugging, cuddling and playing with my kids. Then, hopefully, they'll be too distracted to notice.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to camp we go!

Is your child going to camp this year? Mine are still too young for "away" camp, but I've always thought that summer camp is an amazing experience that I want them to enjoy someday.

I remember going to camp - the freedom and independence, the sheer joy of making my own decisions. It was like heaven on earth for me. While I definitely missed my family, the experience was life-changing. For me, it was the first stepping stone to achieving self-confidence at such a young age.

While the thought of our kids being away from home is scary for parents, the benefits of summer camp are many. Friendships are forged that last a lifetime; self-esteem and confidence flourish. In today's "helicopter parenting" environment, camp can be the defining time when children spread their wings to venture beyond their comfort zones... and sometimes we, as parents, need to venture beyond ours.

Happy trails!

Don't forget to label!

Our Camp Package is available all year long, and contains everything your child will need to keep his or her stuff out of the lost-and-found, so don't forget to order some for your little campers! New designs are added all the time, so check back often and see what's new!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Right Where I'm Meant To Be

My kids are forever amazing me. From their ability to make me laugh one minute, yet cry and throw up my hands in defeat the next, to the ways in which they are seemingly independent yet, in the same breath, want me - and only me - on a daily basis. There's surely never a dull moment in my house!

Some days it's like an emotional roller-coaster. One morning there's cooperation, hugs and high-fives, then the afternoon rolls around and it's like World War III has started - all because we ran out of chicken noodle soup for lunch! Yes, the toddler and preschool years can be trying, but also so precious.

Yesterday, my toddler grabbed my face and, for a second, I thought he was going to bestow upon me his newest trick - the head butt. (Lovely, isn't it?) Instead, he almost brought me to tears when he gave me the sweetest nose kisses ever... followed by a heartbreaker smile, dimples and all. What a nice surprise!

It's in these unexpected moments that I find the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment as a Mom. I can plan fun activities and outings, but the most meaningful moments happen spontaneously, usually when I'm least expecting them.  And, while I may sometimes doubt my decision to work from home so I can be with my children every day (late nights = tired Mama), these moments are like bright stars in a dark night sky.

They make me look up in wonder and realize that I'm right where I'm meant to be.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - More Easter Room-eez fun!!

More fun Easter Room-eez Wall Decals! Many thanks to our fabulous Agent, Carol, who sent in this adorable picture of her daughter with their new decorations. :)

If you'd like some, too, hop on over to our site and get your own Easter Room-eez for only $5 (a $10 value) with any order, only until April 8th!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Indulgences... and a few for Passover, too!

One of my favorite traditions at holiday time (any holiday!) is baking together. My five-year-old is already a pro at cracking eggs, measuring out ingredients, and mixing everything up. We started baking together from a pretty young age…it’s one of our special things we do together. Our signature dessert is a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but we’re branching out more as time goes on.

As Easter approaches, I’ve already begun thinking of new recipes we can make together. Anything with apples is always a big hit in our house – why, I’m not sure, as my kids won’t eat an actual apple. Yes, you heard it right. My kids will eat applesauce, apple pie - pretty much anything with apple in it - and, of course, drink apple juice, but will not eat an apple. (I’m assuming it’s just one of those childish quirks that will pass with time…. here’s hoping!) So, I’ve included a link to our favorite apple cake, chocolate cake and cheesecake, as well as a few new recipes that I’ve read rave reviews about but have yet to try. Easter is the perfect time to break out the measuring cups, mixer and wooden spoon and try what could be our new favorites! If you celebrate Passover, I’ve made sure to include a few recipes that are suitable for your holiday meals as well (*denotes desserts appropriate for Passover).

Have a wonderful Easter and Passover, everyone! And, enjoy dessert… J