Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Liam Turns 9 Months!

Holy cow, baby boy! Another month gone!!

Liam is crawling. Standing. Shifting weight on his legs.

Things have changed a lot this month!

Bath night has gotten complicated again. Liam is so squirmy in his bath sling so I've been working on a safer solution for him. We have a textured bathtub so unfortunately a bath mat doesn't stick to it, so I had to brainstorm a bit to keep Liam stable while sister sloshes in the tub next to him! When I get them out of the tub, they scatter! It's a race to get them dried off and diapered before they start peeing everywhere!

Ok, it's not as dramatic as it sounds but I always feel so rushed to get their tushies covered!

Ava has been experimenting with Liam a bit. I have caught her pushing him over when he's sitting. And it's not because she's upset with him, I think she is literally just exploring cause and effect. And then as soon as he falls over and cries, of course I come over to comfort him and pick him up, and then Ava asks to be held too. So she's definitely exploring that "what happens if..." scenario! It's a litte frustrating for me because now I feel like I can't leave them alone out of my sight for even just a minute because she might push him. I remind Ava to be gentle and she will eventually learn that she doens't get any attention when she pushes Liam. I am usually overly dramatic when I comfort Liam and I walk out of the room with him so she is literally getting NO attention and Liam gets it all.

She also will either bring him lots of toys, or she will take them all away. She'll say "NOOOO!" and yank it out of his hand and toss it across the room! Again, she is experimenting, and thankfully Liam doesn't care too much, but it's still frustrating! I spend half my time fetching Liam's toys again and telling Ava that he is still playing with that toy. I think she does get a little confused because there are some of her toys that Liam gets ahold of that aren't safe for him, so she sees me taking them away from him, so I think some of it is imitation (although I don't yell NO at him!). I mean she's not even 2.5 yet so she doesn't know! The struggle of having 2 kids close together!!

Liam goes to bed about 30 minutes before Ava, and it's working out really well. Liam is down to 2 naps per day now, so he is usually ready for bed by 630. Then I get quiet playtime with Ava! I just started putting her in underwear for those last 15 minutes before bed, just so she can get used to wearing them and talking about them. She's peed a few times while wearing them, and the first time I didn't realize it until I looked up at her and she was wiping her leg with a shirt on the floor, hahahah!!! I don't mind her little "accidents" because she is learning about bladder control and what happens! I don't know when we will both be ready to move forward with full-blown potty training, but I figured we could start bringing more awareness so she can tell ME when she's ready to wear "unnah weh uh" full time! We are reading lots of potty books too! She does so good at telling me right after she's pooped or if I smell it first, she willingly goes with me to be changed. Lots of good signs! But I am dreading starting it, so I'm waiting a bit more!

Liam finally found a sippy cup he likes! He's not great at tipping it up far enough to get water out, but if I hold it for him, he will chug it! He is still hit or miss with crunchy textures but is a BIG fan of baby puffs!

I feel like I was sick for most of this last month. The kids were sick too! I feel like it was a big setback because I did nothing but survive for most of the time. No meal planning, no cleaning, minimal laundry, no fun outings...so I have lots of catching up to do and I need to get back into my routines! But I am SO thankful to be feeling better. 24 hours worth of antibotics in my system and I feel like a whole new person!

I'm thankful that Chris and I have the opportunity to communicate daily. But the time difference (now 9 hours apart since the time change - Kuwait does not partake in Daylight Savings Time) makes it hard. I am going to bed as he is waking up and vice versa. The bulk of one person's awake time is the other person's sleeping time. And as you can imagine, when I'm out and about with the kids, I don't have 2 hands for texting whole conversations very much. So our communicating goes in spurts. Most of it is through snapchat or our shared photo album of the kids. I want to keep him up to speed with the kids as much as possible!

Ava and Liam are always playing together. Ava thinks he is the greatest! They've started crawling around together and laughing and sharing toys. Or Ava just decides what he will play with next!

Liam is SO into food now. He recognizes the puffs container and grunts for it when he sees it! He cried last week when Ava was next to him with her goldfish - he spotted them and then she left, and that was when he cried - he didn't get any! He literally burst into tears. SLOW YOUR ROLL, KID - you're barely 9 months old!! He has THIRDS sometimes at dinner. Ava was a crazy eater as an infant too - sometimes he eats more than she does now! The amount of poopy diapers I change during the day is kind of crazy...usually about 5 or 6 between the two kids!

I DO have something BIG to look forward to though - Chris is planning his leave to come home for a bit! Hopefully we will see him soon-ish!!! It feels like a dream come true. And then I'm sure it will feel like a nightmare because I will have to send him back again. But it will be enough of a break for both of us to feel at least a little recharged! All I am imagining is us, together, as a family of 4. Playing in the living room. It seems like an eternity since he has been gone!

Liam is now entering my favorite age, at least it was my favorite with Ava: the "9-12 month" range! I think most people don't like this phase because that is typically when a child becomes mobile and is more of a challenge to keep safe and keep up with. But I just loved it so much with Ava. She was more expressive and interactive, and her personality really started to emerge. I'm already seeing that with Liam - the things he prefers and the things that make him cry or chuckle.

The holiday season is upon us!! While we are REALLY missing daddy, it will certainly help time move faster and, before we know it, he will be home for a visit!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Deployment "Blues"

My feelings on this topic were taking over Liam's 9 month post for tomorrow, and I wasn't liking the direction the post was going.

So I decided to give those thoughts their own space.

I had hopes of being uber organized and busy and distracted to keep my mind off of Chris being gone.

And those are still aspirations of mine, but it is SO MUCH HARDER than I thought it would be. I'm realizing the biggest struggle is NOT going to the grocery store alone all the time. It is NOT cleaning the house by myself. It is NOT figuring out who is going to help me with car maintenance or lawncare or baby gate installation or a broken closet door or toilet repair or smoke detector battery replacement on 9-foot ceilings.

The biggest struggle is my emotions. More specifically, my emotionl "tank", if you will. I feel so emotionally drained a lot of the time. Trying to keep my poker face with the kids when I'm feeling sad/overwhelemed/frustrated. Making sure the kids get what they need from me each day is more exhausting than I imagined.

Take today for instance - long story short, Ava was diagnosed with a bad case of strep throat today. So Liam was kind of forgotten about. Ok, maybe that's not the best word - his needs weren't made a priority today. Ava was very miserable today - I've never seen her like that. So I felt like she needed me more, and I felt resentful toward Liam when he woke from his nap and my ability to snuggle Ava was over. And then I felt bad for feeling that way. Thankfully Ava was happier after her nap and she had some medication flowing through her. Fast forward through the rest of the day (and the entire contents of Liam's dinner in his lap and one yogurt cup that went flying off the table onto the wall) and it was finally bedtime. I put Liam down first, like always. Then I started Ava's bedtime, and just as she and I were snuggling in the rocking chair, Liam starts screaming. Ava looked at me, and assumed I was going to put her down and go to him, because that's what I always have to do to her. UGH THE MOM GUILT. But I told her that he could wait and that this was my time with her. We rocked for a little while, with Liam screaming in the background. I finished up with Ava and then went in to Liam. The poor dude just wanted mama. I picked him up and he got another turn to be rocked. And within a minute, he was asleep on my chest. That's rare for little buddy to do that. It made me a little sad, like maybe he hadn't gotten enough snuggling in today. Another reminder of how much my kids need me. And I'm also filling in for daddy so I feel like they deserve more than I can give.

And THEN guess who started crying?!

The dang cats - right in Liam's doorway.

They know it's dinnertime after the babies go to bed.

I held on to Liam for a few minutes longer before I got up to feed the cats.

It is constant needs from everyone, ALL. DAY. LONG. Week after week. Month after month.

Tonight made me really stop and think about how spread thin I am, not just when my kids are sick, but every other day, too. Day after day after day.

It's no wonder I can't accomplish anything after the kids are in bed. I'm just spent. But it's not so much physically as it is mentally and emotionally. I don't care to clean up the messes. I'm pulled in so many directions during the day that I just want to zone out.

And on top of the needs that happen within these walls, there's also the rest of the world. My friends. My family. Finding the emotional energy for outside commitments when I'd almost rather sulk in my misery. Keeping up with the shopping lists and laundry. I'm so behind on organizing anything that I almost feel like I'm moving backwards a little bit. I cannot keep up with it all. I seriously need to start checking some things off my list. Heading into the holidays isn't helping either. I'm feeling a little swamped!

I need a magic wand to *tap* all of the millions of tasks around the house that need fixing or cleaning. My to-do list is relentless.

I'm losing control and I don't like it. I'm not used to this feeling!! I'm usually SO good at keeping up with life. And things. I feel like I can't do anything but get through the day. And that sounds really sad, but y'all...this is how deployments are!!

This is what a family goes through during a deployment. This is a tiny part of what our military families sacrifice.

I was messaging a friend a few weeks back, and she had mentioned to me that she reads my blog and enjoyed reading about what I've been up to. She thanked me for being so honest with everything, and that it made her so much more grateful for Chris's service, seeing what it's truly like for a military family and the struggles of a deployment. I'm not at all trying to be "woe is me...look at me...give me attention" because there are A LOT of families who struggle with separations in the civilian life. Not everyone works 9-5 in-town jobs! But I also know that, before I met Chris, I didn't personally know a single person in the military. It was only something I read about. And I think it is very true that you don't know a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes. So I'm just hoping to fill you in on a little corner of the military life, from a spouse's point of view. There are people out there (and maybe you are one of them) who don't understand why military families "get so much paid for" - the healthcare benefits, housing benefits, discounts at stores, and the like. It is for the sacrifice. Not only for deployments, but for signing a contract saying that they will do whatever is asked of them, including uprooting your family to move across the country (or the world) every few years. The sacrifice Chris makes to defend and protect this nation we live in. I remember when I worked at Maurices and we would have ladies who didn't want to accept our military discount, even though they had a valid spouse ID, because they didn't feel like they deserved it. But the discount is a THANK YOU to military families - the whole family unit makes a sacrifice when their soldier is serving. I'm getting a little off subject here, but it amazes me that people still don't understand this. I had an old coworker approach me about this subject - on the clock, when Chris had literally just come home from his last deployment - and she didn't get why people say "thank you" to soldiers. Wow. That one was rough.

I dunno guys...I'd love to be able to write that this deployment junk is getting easier, but it's really not. I have my good days, or good moments, and then it swings the other way. At times I feel like life is falling apart and all I want to do is go hide in bed. I try my best to make the most of things and keep a good attitude, but that can't be maintained at all times. It just can't. Ususally it is the whole "the straw that broke the camel's back" type thing. Everything is fine until I just can't. Ava has seen me cry so much lately and I think we are kind of helping each other through it, as much as her little 2 year-old self can. I tell her, "mommy is just really sad right now" or "mommy just really misses daddy"...and even "mommy is sorry for yelling at you" or "mommy just needs a break right now; you'll have to wait". I'm not proud of some of my parenting moments lately. This deployment really stresses every aspect of life and challenges your inner strength in so many ways. If I had to try and describe it, it feels kind of like a touch of depression in an otherwise happy life. The sadness kind of comes and goes unexpectedly and there are triggers as well. Sometimes I cope very well, and other times I know I just need to let myself be a grump or be sad in order to be able to move forward. And thats hard when I have 2 little sets of eyes watching me.

I'm trying hard to keep my chin up and not be disappointed when things don't go right or when I can't get to as many things as I was hoping. And I know that for this year Chris is gone that I'm going to have to settle for a lot of "well, that's good enough for now".

But every day is another day closer to when we will have our soldier home.






Sunday, October 23, 2016

Baby Boy is 8 Months!

How can this be??? 8 months seems so "old"! My tiny baby boy is growing fast!

I would like to start this post by saying


The distraction of learning to juggle life without Chris here has kind of worn off now that it's the new normal, and it has completely worn me down. Kind of like the feeling you get after the adrenaline has worn off - I'm pooped. My to-do list just gets longer and longer since it takes me so long to get things accomplished. Now I just feel lonely. It doesn't matter how many things I pack into my day, how many places we go, or how many people we see. It doesn't change the fact that he is gone. The house is really quiet at night. It's no fun to watch tv night after night after night after night without him. Eating all of my meals alone (or with messy children alone). We are approaching the holiday season and I'm already sad he's not going to be here for any of it. It makes me the most sad that he's not here to watch our babies grow, and that he's missing life events and milestones and firsts with our kids.

That is hands down the hardest part for me so far.

It's been 2 months. That's it. And I feel like it's already been an eternity. And I really don't know how in the heck I'm supposed to do this for another 10 months.

I can't even imagine what this is going to be like when the kids are older and can ask questions and share with me their feelings about daddy being gone for so long.

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH sorry, Liam, for hijacking your post with sadness and complaining!!

On a more positive note, Liam is loving life!! Except when he's tired or mommy moves more than 2 feet away from him! He is going through separation anxiety BIG TIME right now! He cries whenever I leave the room, or if a stranger looks at him often times that will set him off too.

Liam's favorite foods are everything squishy, mainly. He's had all sorts of things, from bananas, green beans, and sweet potatoes to beef stew, baked potato soup, and peanut butter toast! While he is incredibly messy, he's getting better at putting food directly in his mouth! Sometimes there is so much food in his lap when he's done, but sometimes he surprises me and it all ended up IN his tummy! He still just chews on a sippy cup, so no real progess there.

Liam likes to sit and reach for lots of toys, and often times Ava will lay her head in his lap and they play. And by "play", I mean Liam grabs Ava's face and pulls her hair and she laughs and kisses his belly and feet and legs! She just loves her baby! She's very concerned with him at mealtimes and when his tray is empty, she is sure to notice! "More green bean, Bia?" Seriously, it's so cute!! When I put him in his chair for a meal, Ava climbs his chair (we have a counter-height table) and hangs out with him until food is ready. Most of the time she brings him toys and puts them on his chair, too! I'll ask her to come and get the cups out of the fridge and she will take Liam's cup to him. She also likes to help wash him in the tub! She is becoming a really good mommy's helper! I cherish that personality trait she has - she is pretty caring for a 2 year old! She takes a lot of interest in what mommy does all day and it's coming out in her pretend play. She loves to change her baby doll's diapers, wash her babies in her play sink, clean the floors, do laundry, and her newest imitation is putting on makeup, lotion, and taking pictures of her baby dolls using a toy phone! I could sit and watch her play all day; it's so adorable!

Liam has just started figuring out how to get to the floor from a sitting position! He just casually reaches out for a toy, and then just keeps leaning...and leaning...until he leans to the side a bit and wiggles his legs out from underneath him! He thinks he's pretty smooth!

He can pull to stand by himself now, too! He is on the move - crawling is just around the corner, I'm sure!

He leans forward in the car seat to anticipate getting picked up. He's beginning to raise his arms to me when he sees me coming! We are working on some sign language - "more" and "all done" at mealtimes! I sign "more" to him, and he smiles really big and kicks his legs! I help him do the sign and he gets more food. I think he's catching on!

The kids have giggle fits in the car sometimes! Ava will call out to Liam and I see him looking at her and a huge smile spreads across his face, and then Ava laughs, and then Liam laughs!! It's so fun to see them make each other so happy! It certainly brightens my day. I've even seen them passing a toy back and forth to eachother! There's a gap between them, but I saw yesterday that Ava had a pillow, then Liam had it, and then Ava had it again a bit later! I'm getting to experience them entertaining each other, which provides a few moments of being able to mentally check out from mommy duty. But not for long - I have to continually watch to make sure Ava doesn't bring Liam something he shouldn't have or that she isn't being too rough with him.

Ava has been different this month. Last month she was really difficult, and this month she's been really sweet and kind of...fragile. Ava is not really a cuddly child. She didn't like to be cuddled as a baby, like at all. As she became a toddler, she eventually came around to the idea of giving and receiving hugs, and then eventually she'd ask to sit with you just to hang out - but not for more than a handful of seconds. But lately she has been asking for me to hold her all the time. It could be after she trips and falls, when she's tired, or just because. I'm not sure if it's due to her seeing how needy Liam has been lately, or if she's just going through a phase, or if she's missing daddy and this is how it's surfacing. So it kind of makes me sad because I really wonder if it's the latter of the three. We talk about daddy a lot and I tell her I love daddy and that I miss him, and I ask her if she loves daddy and if she misses him too. I tell her it's okay to miss him and I make sure she has her daddy doll to hug. She never really responds when we talk about missing daddy, but I know she's listening and internalizes it in her little mind. She knows the sound of the FaceTime ring and the alert for a text message from him. She always gasps and says "daddy!" and if I'm not in the room to hear it, she brings my phone to me if she can reach it! What a little sweetheart. She's started paying more attention to our family photos on the walls. "Daddy, mommy, baby, girl". She calls herself "girl" - but I've finally gotten her to say her name!!!!! She calls herself "Ah-bah". I love it. We are working on saying "My name is Ava". Her vocabulary continues to explode and I'm hearing more 3- and 4-word sentences! She likes to look for "big trucks" when we are out and about in the car, she stops in her tracks when she hears an airplane or a train, and motorcycles always catch her eye.

I have to say, I'm really missing one-on-one time with my girl. And sometimes I feel bad because Liam doesn't get one-on-one time with me, either. I feel like they both deserve undivided attention from me. That is my latest mommy guilt issue. Liam's napping isn't very regular yet - he's still teetering between 2 and 3 naps each day. But I think I'm going to work towards staggering their bedtimes a little so Ava can have some quiet time at the end of the day with just mommy. The last several nights have ended up that way, and Ava really enjoyed some playtime in her room with me. Plus she has started picking out longer books to read at bedtime, and Liam just can't appreciate stories before bed. When that boy is tired, he lets the world know! And if Liam is going to be a crank, Ava shouldn't have to let that ruin her bedtime story and be rushed through hugs and kisses just so I can go nurse Liam and put him to bed. I liked the idea of simultaneous bedtime for the kids, but I think their needs have changed. Maybe we can go back to simultaneous bedtimes once Liam is weaned and/or Chris is home again!

There needs to be more hours in the day - I can't keep up with everything! I'm hoping this next month I can get better organized, or my kids can work through their intense neediness! There have been many times they have both been crying messes because they need to be held. I can't count how many times I have hauled 50 pounds of crying children up and down the stairs!

Overall I'm keeping a pretty good attitude about everything, which is pretty important for surviving this separation. I definitely hit my limits and I get cabin fever (and so do the kids!) if we spend too many days in a row in the house. For this reason, we all enjoy our weekly trip to the grocery store! We all get out and get to do something different, and we all love food! Ava is starting to reject sitting in the cart, so that battle has begun. But the only way she will learn is if we continue to practice the expectations for her! So sometimes I end up being that lady in the store with 2 screaming children. Sorry not sorry! Find something else to gawk at!

I've learned to pick my battles a bit. Sometimes I look the other way when Ava jumps on the couch. It has really helped that Ava has picked up on the new routines since daddy is gone. We upgraded Liam to a convertible seat awhile ago so it's been a bit challenging without the infant carrier - I have nowhere to set him down! She knows we put brother in the car first and she puts her hand on the tire (and idea from my sister!) and waits until it's her turn, and then we go to her door. My biggest fear is that in the 15 seconds my head is in the car buckling Liam in, that Ava would leave my side in the parking lot. But she does so well! She knows that as soon as we get in the house to sit down and we all take off our shoes. And she'll carry a bag in and she knows I put them all right by the pantry. She does really well about 98% of the time at going upstairs for naptime or bedtime or stinky diaper changes, and then sometimes I have to chase her and carry her upstairs! She's always thrived on a routine, so it's helpful to us all if we stick to it. And then if we deviate, she knows it's something special! Like a little roadtrip to grandma and grandpa's house! Occasionally we stay up late, sometimes just her and I, and maybe I'll put on a show for her in mommy and daddy's bed, or we have a late night snack, or just some quiet playtime in her room.

I'm finding new ways of parenting, and I'm realizing what's truly important. The whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is so cliche, but it is so, so true! I'm ready for next summer to be here already!!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Let's Play!" Series: What is Play, and Why it's SO Important

Welcome to my Let's Play! series!!

My first "official" post is going to be kind of a summary on my feelings on why telling your child "Let's Play!" is so important!

So what is "play" and why is it so important, anyway?

Playtime for kids is a HOT topic lately. There are some big stories floating around about it - have you seen the one about schools that are doubling/tripling recess times and seeing improvements in students' work because of it?

Playtime for our kids is complete freedom. Open-ended activites where they can make their own choices and interact with their peers under their own choosing. Playtime is where children's minds can rehearse favorite activites, explore new possibilites, and foster friendships and find commonalities with peers. It's a lot of self-discovery and learning about their environment!

It's where they explore "what happens if..." and learn the positive and negative consequences of their actions.

This is so, so important for our kids to learn these things in the world that they are growing up in. These are the simple lessons that will lead them into learning how to self-manage and deal with adult topics as they grow. These are skills that cannot be taught by pencil and paper, they cannot be taught by a school teacher (although they can be improved upon in school)...it starts at home. We have a responsibility as parents to create little humans that know how to interact with their peers, how to have compassion, how to be responsible for their thoughts and actions, and how to ultimately contibute to society.

Seems like a daunting task, huh? A lot of responsiblity on our shoulders as parents!

But I'm telling you...it all starts with play. Good ole fashoined playtime.

We build all of our skills as adults on the basics: simple addition turns into calculus and a career in engineering.

It's no difference for our kiddos!

Did you know that LARGE MOTOR skills are a prerequisite for handwriting?! Think about it: if your child cannot control and coordinate their large body movements, then how will they be able to sit at a table, hold a writing instrument, apply appropriate pressure, and form legible letters?

That is what playgrounds are for. Climbing stairs. Catching a ball with two hands. Hopping down the sidewalk.


On the surface, playtime looks pointless. But throwing that sippy cup down the stairs is teaching about gravity (what happens when I throw this?), trial and error (does it fall down the stairs every time I throw it?), science (it makes a noise when it goes down the stairs and hits the floor!), social interactions (mommy takes my cup away when I throw it)...and learning the positive/negative consequences (I'm thirsty when my cup is taken away...and when I hold it nicely I get to keep my cup).

I assure you, playtime is not pointless!

Does screentime/tablet time/iPad time count as playtime?

YES. And no. Here's why: it's all about how it's offered.

Ava has learned soooo many things from her iPad games. I have chosen only educational apps...except for one - YouTube for Kids. She's learned colors and her alphabet and numbers and fingerplays and all sorts of things. She was becoming an iPad addict. And I knew something needed to change. So I deleted the YouTube app - it was full of mostly pointless videos (Baby Big Mouth, anyone?!) and Ava even found a video series about a toddler who would run around her house, destroying it - putting toys in the toilet and saying "being naughty is fun!"

OMG NO. Just NO.

Sometimes Ava would find Mother Goose Club or Daniel Tiger, shows I am ok with.

The funny thing is, is that as soon as I deleted that app, Ava basically lost interest in the iPad altogether. So I put it away! Cold turkey. And she only asked for it once. Ava has been tablet-free for about 3 weeks now, and guess what...her pretend play has exploded!

I am still pleased with what the educational apps have to offer. Technology is an imporant part of play, as well. Our kids will need to be able to navigate and interact with a lot of forms of technology as they get older and choose a career.

People say, "my child doesn't play with toys". Maybe step back, take and unbaised look at yourself and your household, and consider why that is. Is there too much screen time? Do you sit and show your child how to play? Do you teach them the appropriate ways to play? I'm guilty of these things sometimes. I use the screen as a distraction when I have things to do or just need some space. I think we all do that, no matter our good intentions! But don't forget to balance that out by making those screens unavailable and getting back to playtime.

But shouldn't I focus on my child's education? And getting them involved in extra-curriculars?

Let's get back to basics, people. Education is important, of course. But it's not the only thing our children need. Sports and activites are great - a child learns how to be a team player, how to be coachable, and how to manage their time. But only if parents let that happen! I kinda feel like the "good intentions" of the modern parent are actually shooting ourselves in the foot. Let's remember, it's not about always keeping our child happy, it's about the lessons our children are learning. Sometimes we lose a game. Sometimes we DON'T get a prize. Sometimes life isn't fair. As adults, we know these things all too well. Our kids will be in for the shock of their lives if we can't help them begin to understand the realities of this world while they are still little. We need to help our kids learn how to manange their feelings, and that it's okay to be sad/mad/frustrated. It's about how we react to the hard times and move forward.

And we can teach them these skills through playtime. Taking turns. Cooperative play and sharing ideas. Working together to build a lego tower. Or role-playing while they play dress-up. It all comes back to play.

I think as adults we've all thought, I just wish I could be a kid again. To not have all of these responsibilites. To be carefree. To not have a worry in the world. TO PLAY.

So let's take the pressure off of our kids. Let's take the pressure off of ourselves to provide the "biggest" and the "best" and the "most" for our kids.

Let them be little.

Let them PLAY.

And please don't feel judged for your own parenting style - I promise you, you are a FABULOUS parent. We are all doing the best we can! Just a little perspective for you on this rainy Sunday!

I hope this has piqued your interest and you'll join me on my upcoming posts in my "Let's Play!" series! Thanks for reading!