Friday, January 30, 2009

Kate Truns 4!!!!!

Yesterday was a milestone for my daughter...she turned 4 months old. Living in the present for me meant taking in all of her accomplishments thus far (e.g. rolling over, chuckling, sitting up on her belly, observing her own hands and what they are capable of, grabbing toys, and holding her own bottle). She is such a joy. We hold her whenever we need to lower our blood pressure because the boys did something naughty. Kurt and I will pass her around and then 2 mins later we feel better.

Take the time to observe your kids and see how beautiful they are and all of their leaps and bounds. Hug them, kiss them, tell them how proud you are of them. Be grateful to have been blessed with their presence for as long as you have. Appreciate what they have been able to teach you along the way, about yourself and life in general.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Maternal Instinct

Hello Ladies,

Everyday, I have been blogging about what I did for the day to make a difference. In this entry I want to talk about what a few moms did for me to change my life.

I went to the mall today with Lance and Kate to let him run around. We played for a good hour and then it was time to leave. As we exited the playground, I turned for a split second to attach Kate's car seat to the stroller, and Lance was gone. A mother's worst nightmare. In situations like these I try to pace myself first, before I go into full panic mode.

I calmly called out his name while scavenging the premises. I peered to my left, no sign of him. I peered to my right, still no Lance. That's when I could feel my blood rushing through my veins at 1000 mph and my vision starting to fade fast. Now, I was no longer logical, but a lioness out to find her cub. I began to growl so loud that all the women in the mall took notice. Without asking, I had two mothers who became instant detectives out of sheer instinct. When God blesses us with the role of motherhood, He also instills in us a sense of responsibility for every child on this planet. The two women, pushing strollers themselves, asked me for a description as they entered store by store looking for Lance. No luck. I pulled enough strength out of my being to thank them.

I continued to look around the playground, and then a little voice involuntarily pushed my body towards the elevators near the mall exit. Before my eyes, I see a vulnerable little boy with tears raging down like the Niagara Falls. He stood weak in front of another mom who was determined to keep him from leaving the territory. She was bent over struggling to understand him while preventing him from leaving. At that very moment she became my guardian angel and I thanked her profusely. She smiled sweetly and looked relieved for both of us.

The three moms became my best friends in a matter of seconds, even though we never met and will probably never meet again. What they accomplished for me and my family this afternoon, I will never forget. My worst fear played out before me in what seemed like an eternity. The outcome thankfully was a happy one. Lance and I both cried as we hugged like this might be our last time. Our lives can really change in the blink of an eye. We need to treasure every single moment.

To all the moms and women out there, thank you for being my angels!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

One Man's Junk, Is Another Man's Treasure

Today, I went through my recycle bin and sorted out all the soda cans into a plastic bag.

Our neighbors are struggling financially. One way they add some extra income to their household is by cashing in their soda cans. I thought why not donate my cans instead of just recycling them. They were very grateful!!

Last month alone, they were able to take a trip to the East Coast for the holidays to visit their kids just from all of the cans they managed to collect. Maybe my bag can at least put some bread on their table.

Observe those around you and their needs. You might be amazed how the most insignificant items in your life can be the most significant in theirs.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nourish Your Friendships

Dear Friends,

I got a call this morning from my dear friend Christine who sounded exhausted. She was up all night with her son who spiked a 103 degree fever. Christine has four kids and her husband is out of town training for his new job.

I wanted to know if she needed anything and I got the response that I was expecting, "No I will be fine. I don't want your kids to get sick too." "Are you sure?", I asked. "Yeah, I'll be fine, I just needed to call someone to vent to." I hung up the phone and felt horrible about not being able to relieve some of my friends agony.

I paced around my house analysing our conversation. The conclusion I came up with is that as women we are hard wired to handle our own burdens without imposing on another individual. How many times have we heard the phrase, "If you need anything let me know." Well, it's ok for that person to not "let us know" and take the initiative to extend ourselves willingly.

I took out a plastic container and filled it up with chicken rice soup that I cooked last night. I figured chicken soup can cure any cold, as well as, a mother's anguish over what she should cook for her four kids when one of them is wailing in agony. I knew that she was visiting with the pediatrician, so I placed the container in a gift bag with a note that said, "A little chicken rice soup to make the little guy feel better." I drove by her house and left the bag in an inconspicuous place for her to find when she returned.

Moral of the story is, that if you have a friend in need and there is something that you can do for them, don't wait to be asked, just do what feels sincere in your heart.

Donate A Book

TGIF Everyone!!

I was driving by my local library when I noticed a huge banner with the words USED Book Sale, This Weekend. I came home and looked through the numerous boxes I have in my garage of books, that I haven't used in ages. The library has offered me and my family free entertainment and priceless knowledge for years and now it gave me the opportunity to "Pay It Forward." I pulled out a box and filled it with about 15 books that I wanted to donate.

I walked over to the counter and handed the librarian my box that weighed at least 2 tons. She took a glimpse inside and shouted with excitement, "Cookbooks? Woohoo!" I really wasn't expecting that much enthusiasm from her, but it sure made my day.

I walked out with a smile on my face, a tax credit form, and a spring in my step for doing something good for my neighborhood.

With love,


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mom Gets Rejuvenated

Dear Readers,

After giving my kids such a wonderful day yesterday, I decided it was mommy's turn. I woke up excited to go to my hair appointment with Kurt, as well as, my pedicure appointment. Ethan went to school, Lance went to daycare, which left me and my baby doll Kate. On the way to the shop, I stopped and bought my pedicurist a bottle of mayo and some purple tulips from Whole Foods. Odd combo right? She loves mayo on everything and is a size 0. If I were her I would write a book on the Mayo Diet and make a killing. But of course I am not because, everything sticks to my hips and not hers.

Upon my arrival I found out that my pedicurist ditched me for the second time in a row. I don't think that she can sympathize with a mom of three kids, that is only able to get away once every three months to treat herself. Her reason for not showing......she slept in. I was extremely disappointed, but I tried to turn the situation around in order to have something positive to say on my blog.

I still cut and colored my hair. It's a real treat for me, even though my husband is the hairdresser. Don't envy me ladies, because I only get tended to once a year. To kill time, since I was no longer getting my nails done, we looked at Tenacious D videos on his I-Pod Touch and ate lunch together. Pretty fantastic!!

I came home and decided since this was "my day" I would bribe all the kids into a nap, so that I could take one too. Miraculously, it worked. I layed down with Kate for an hour while my homemade chicken stock was simmering. The nap gave me a new boost.

We ate dinner, did Ethan's homework, and I wanted to treat myself to one more thing before going to bed. A bath!! Something that is unheard of for me since I started having kids.....a quick 10-15 minute shower is much more reasonable, but today was different. Today, I was pampering myself and relishing the moment. I drew a warm bath with candles, my favorite Origins products, and a cup of warm milk with honey to sooth me. It was wonderful for the first ten minutes until my boys stormed in. They found the idea of mom taking a bath hilarious. First off they commented that mom was "too big" to fit in their oversized tub. Lance was puzzled as to why I had a candle burning, so he blew it out. At that moment, I realized that it was time to get out.

Afterwards, I gave myself a mini-facial and trimmed my own nails. All in all it was a relaxing and rejuvenating day for me despite all the pit falls. You need to ride the tide sometimes.

Now I am ready to start a new day tomorrow all rested and glowing.

With love,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Listening with our eyes, our ears, and our heart

Good morning,

Today, I woke up and vowed to myself that I would listen to every single word out of my child's mouth. I know that sounds so basic, but how often do we fully interact with the person that is speaking to us?

How many times have you been on a one sided conversation because your friend or family member is not paying attention to a word you're saying? How many times have we "yessed" our kids just to get them to be quiet so that we can go about with our daily chores?

It probably happens in our lives more than we should because it becomes the norm. Listening to others validates their existence. It makes someone feel good that another person is taking the time to pay attention to them and offer a real response. It also makes us present in the moment.

We yell at our kids for not listening to us, but how often do we give them the same respect? We all lead by example to one another.

I made sure that every time Lance or Ethan uttered a word, I made eye contact with them, gave them my undivided attention and then reacted or responded accordingly. What a wonderful and whining free day I had.

Lance wanted to play park with the couch and I let him because it made him happy and able to use his imagination. He then wanted pancakes for breakfast and we made that too. We ate our pancakes with our eyes closed so that we could savor all the ingredients....vanilla extract, butter, maple syrup. Yum, the best pancakes I have eaten to date. Europeans understand about savoring your food. Thomas Keller, a renowned world chef, claims that after the second or third bite we no longer taste the dish, but are just eating it for the purpose of eating.

We left the house at noon and went to feed the geese at Washington Park. Lance wanted to bring his guitar and sing to the geese so they could dance. Children are so marvelous in their thinking when you make the time to actually listen to what they are expressing. We fed the birds at the park while Ethan and Kate were sound asleep.

Later that night we went to the Children's Museum for Super Hero Night. We got there just in time for Story ironic...we got to practice our listening skills once again.

My children were happy that mom gave them the unconditional attention that they deserve. In turn, maybe I didn't get all my chores done today, but my soul was content.

Take the time to listen unconditionally to your friends, your husband/wife, your kids, or anyone else that you interact with. Open up your heart to what they are trying to communicate and see what a huge difference that our sense of hearing can offer.

With love,

Today Is A Gift

Dear Readers,

My blog was inspired of all things by my boys' favorite movie "Kung Fu Panda." Master Oogway gives the following advice to Po (the Giant Panda), "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called a present." What wonderful wisdom from an animated character.

Beyonce last night commented at the Inauguration that having Barack Obama as our new President made her want to be smarter and help make a difference. I believe most of us feel like we have the opportunity at a new beginning as a country and as individuals.

Master Oogway and Beyonce made me consider how I can possibly apply this to my daily life as a stay-at-home mom with three kids, just trying to get through the day. Where could I possibly find the time or inspiration to make a difference on a daily basis?

There are so many versions of making a difference and living with purpose. It usually starts with the smaller things in life, since we are not all capable of donating a surmountable sum of money or time to a charity. It starts with our immediate circle, our children, our spouses,our neighbors, and our friends and family.

A kind word can make a person's day. A smile can brighten up someones world. Speaking with patience and love in our voice can empower our children and give them the confidence they need to succeed in life. A simple phone call to a family member who lives at a distance can bring you closer. The sky is the limit, you just need to make the time and conscious effort to live in the present.

Every waking moment is no doubt a gift that belongs to us. Wouldn't it be a shame to waste it? How many friends or family members have we lost in the blink of an eye and wonder how did they spend their last moments? Did they know it would be their last day? Did they have the opportunity to tell their loved ones how they felt? Were they truly happy and living with no regrets at the moment of their passing? Did I have the opportunity to make them feel loved? Sometimes we think we know the answers but we can never quite understand what lies in someones heart, but our own.

I can only control my own destiny and legacy. I believe that the only way to start living in the present is to create my own blog where I am accountable to myself and others by having to enter my daily accomplishments, small and big. I can no longer live an unconscious life only to have it taken away from me in a matter of a seconds.

I hope that this will inspire you to do the same and share in this journey with me.

With love,
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