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Adorable Things My Kids Are Up To Lately

My sons, Edgar and Jonas, are 4 and 2 years old right now, and those are pretty great ages when it comes to doing adorable things. Here are some of my favorites lately:

  • Edgar announcing something we forgot to do. Every night at dinner, we say things we’re thankful for, write them on a post-it note, and put the post-its in a Mason jar. Edgar always remembers this ritual, which is great for me, since I love rituals but often forget to do them. He often announces, “We forgot to say what we’re thankful for!” However, often he’ll announce that immediately after our blessing – sooooo, we didn’t actually forget yet, we just haven’t started it yet. He does this with other routines, too, but this occurrence is my favorite.
  • Jonas making sure we’re okay. Every time Tamara or I stumble or bump into something (happens to me more than it should), Jonas stops whatever he’s doing and asks, “Are you okay, Mom?” in his amazing two-year-old voice. SO. FREAKING. SWEET.
  • Edgar’s letter to Santa. This is a bit of a throwback, but during Christmas 2020, Edgar “wrote” a four page scribble letter to Santa. He would not tell anyone what it said; just left it out by the milk and cookies. He also wrote two scribble letters to Santa before Christmas, and again wouldn’t share what they said. It was adorable. I was slightly worried he’d sent a secret message to Santa that would result in disappointment on Christmas, but everything on the holiday was just perfect.
  • On my birthday, the kids sang happy birthday to me at every meal we ate that day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks, and cake. Amazing.
  • Edgar has always been great at independent play. He’ll get lost in his own thoughts, playing with a small toy or two, and we’ll hear him quietly talking to himself. I love it. I can hear him telling himself stories or acting out a book we’ve read or a movie he’s watched. He likes to tell us that he’s making a show or telling a story.
  • Jonas doing EVERY SINGLE THING THAT Edgar does. EVERYTHING! If Edgar gets a tissue, Jonas gets one. If Edgar drops something, Jonas drops it. If Edgar starts whining that he’s tired, Jonas – all smiles, because he is NOT tired – will start whining as well. Love this when it works to our advantage – do NOT love it when it involves a real 4yo meltdown followed by a fake 2yo meltdown.
  • Edgar asking, “Cam I do this every day?” Edgar’s been learning to do lots of new things, big and small. Opening the latch on his blue boat toy, riding his pedal bike. Whenever he learns to do something new, he asks, “Can I do this every day?” When I tell him that yes, he can, he gets the sweetest, tiniest smile on his face.
  • Edgar’s great ideas. likes to tell us, “I have a great idea!” The other day, he was holding a small red dragon, and e, “I have a great idea! We can build a new dragon toy.” saying, I habve a great idea. said, i want to bnuiold a new dragon – so that he would not have to share the pone in his hand with his little brother.
  • Once we started having warmer days, I told the boys they could take off their shoes while we played in the backyard. Edgar’s eyes LIT UP. He kicked off his shoes. He then repeatedly told me “I love being barefoot!” the whole time we were outside playing.
  • The two of them like to make up games. One of the games, called “Pop!”, involves them running across the yard or the basement screaming “POP!!!” at the top of their lungs. “Egg!” is a variation.
  • Hide-and-seek. Playing hide-and-seek at these ages is the best. They’re not very good at it yet, but they LOVE it. Our fave way to play is me hiding in the living room, and the two of them count to ten in Edgar’s room. Then they come find me and shriek with fear and joy when they find me. Then I run into Edgar’s room and hide there. We go back and forth like that for a while. Sometimes they take a while to find me, because they’re having so much fun being silly and pretending to be scared, which means I can bring my book to my hiding place and read two or three pages without being interrupted. Amazing.
  • They are both really into writing and drawing lately. They each have a “writing book” and they like to bring them with them wherever they go. Love this SO MUCH.

I plan to do posts like this occasionally; at these ages, there are so many sweet and amazing things every day, and I want to remember as much as I can.

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GTDI2021: Unimportant #Mind Goals

This spring, as I’ve been trying to organize my goals in my head, I was reminded of the original theme for this blog.

When I started the blog, I wanted to write about balance. I referenced the children’s book The Seven Habits Of Happy Kids, specifically a story about a character who loved to read, but often neglected the other areas of her life that she needed for balance. When she read, she took care of her mind – but she needed to do things to take care of her heart, body, and soul, too.

So when my blog first started, I’d write a post about a get-together with family, and I’d label the post with a hashtag – #heart. Or, I’d write a post about a new podcast that was teaching me a lot, and I’d label it #mind – and so on.

I started thinking about the whole heart/soul/mind/body balance thing because I was contemplating a goal related to the New York Times crossword puzzle. We subscribe to the paper and the puzzle, digitally, and I love doing the puzzle – though I often forget to do it, especially if I’m in the middle of a good book. Then one day, my older sister sent me a screenshot of her NY Times puzzle app – she was on a streak of over 40 days! It got me super motivated to start doing the puzzle more regularly. I love crosswords because they’re fun, it’s great brain food, they’re educational (I often learn facts I didn’t know previously), and it’s a good stress relief.

This goal – doing the crossword puzzle more often, and attempting to achieve a substantial streak – would definitely have been fallen into the category of nourishing my #mind. And it’s a great goal. And yet – it’s not that important, and it’s not a priority. I want to challenge myself not to give up on the puzzle so easily. (Usually, if I feel stuck, I click “Reveal Word” and the app will show me the answer to a clue I don’t know.) But if I don’t get on a good streak, or maintain consistent completion of the puzzle? It’s really 100% okay.

When I thought about it more, I realized that I have another 2021 goal that falls into the category of Not That Important – my GoodReads reading challenge. At the beginning of the year, I set an ambitious goal of reading 75 books this year. (Typically, I read around 50 – so this would be a big jump!) When setting this goal, I hoped that it would help me to waste less time scrolling through unimportant things on my phone. Sometimes, I am about to check social media, and I remember that if I want to read 75 books, I need to read at every chance I get – and then I DON’T scroll social media, which is so much better for me personally. But again – does it really matter if I only read 50 books? Not even a little bit. This goal is fun, and beneficial, but unimportant in the big picture.

Here is my list of not-that-important mind goals:

  1. Do the NY Times crossword puzzle daily – aim for a streak of seven days solving the puzzle with zero hints! (Never going to happen, but cannot hurt to try. Last week, I hit 4 days in a row, and I never would have done that if I hadn’t set this goal.)
  2. Read 75 books in 2021. (Currently, I’ve read 26, so I am on track to achieve this goal!)

Cheers to getting things done – the high-priority and the unimportant!

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Currently: May 2021

Currently reading:

Currently I’m reading Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear and liking it so far. I finished The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in April and loved it. Additionally, after hearing it recommended many times, I broke down and purchased a copy of The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and I can’t wait to dive into that one! I’m also reading Do Right By Me by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D’Angelo, which is a fantastic read about transracial adoption and caring for Black children in white spaces.

Currently listening to:

I’ve actually been so into watching How I Met Your Mother that I haven’t been listening to as many podcasts or audiobooks lately – other than my two fave podcasts, The Mom Hour and The Girl Next Door. Hoping to change that ASAP.

Currently watching:

Yeah, still How I Met Your Mother. Oh, my gosh, so funny! But I really need to stop, because it’s cutting into my reading and writing time.

Currently the boys are:

They are really into sword fighting, shields, and dragons!

Currently grateful for:

Being able to make (COVID-safe) PLANS again! Not many – but some. And, feeling motivated enough to set some goals this spring.

Currently looking forward to:

Loving spring – but SO PUMPED for summertime!

Happy May!

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writing

GTDI2021: My 2021 Writing Goals

For 2021, I haven’t really set any writing goals yet. It’s been challenging to maintain a consistent writing routine, and everything has felt too unpredictable to set a clear goal.

But, I’m ready now. Here are my concrete writing goals for 2021:

  1. Maintain a consistent writing routine – every morning and every evening.
  2. Finish a draft of a novel.
  3. That’s it.

I’m planning to use a month or two – either May, June, July, August, and/or October – as a NaNoWriMo. (NaNoWriMo = month with a daily word goal of 1,667 words, meaning you finish the month with a 50,000 word novel.) But I WILL get it done.

Happy spring, everyone!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (April 2021)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. A wonderful spring break – ten days full of family, the outdoors, and spring/Easter celebration. Just delightful.
  2. Edgar’s giggles – he has been in a wonderfully giggly mood lately. We’ll tell a silly story together, and then he’ll have trouble catching his breath, saying, “I can’t stop laughing!” So freaking cute.
  3. Jonas pretending he’s invisible. Jonas, who is 2 years old, seems to think that if he walks through a room with his head tucked down against his chest and his hands being his back, then no one can see him. He tries this out often, frequently when he’s supposed to be in his room having quiet time. HILARIOUS.
  4. THE SUNSHINE. This winter was hard, y’all. I’m going to be grateful for sunny days for the next six months, for sure.
  5. The return of motivation. It has been so fun writing all my GTDI2021 posts and feeling inspired again!

Happy April, happy spring, happy happy everything!

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