MamaBlogger365 – Snippets on Life, Love, and Laughter by Lowry Manders

A few highlights from my week as a proud “Good-Enough” Mommy!

* The children discover raspberry finger-puppets!

* Ellie, standing in her diaper on the step stool waiting for her morning toast, says to Mommy while looking and inspecting her chest, “I thought my other nipple was gone to church, but I found it. There it is!”

* One morning, trying to get the kids “out the door and into the car”, all of the children (yes, when they are misbehaving their numbers double in size) are un-cooperating at the same time, and Mommy is losing it! MJ says, “Mommy, you are getting too angry!” Touche. Yes, yes, I am.

* In an attempt to get a handle on my anger, I pick up a favorite book by my parenting/teaching guru Becky Bailey, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline. Once again, I come away inspired and convicted, and armed with practical strategies for handling the difficult moments. I will try to use this phrase more, “I am too upset to help you now. I am going to my room to calm myself down.” (Don’t worry: I’ll do a whole series on her tips soon!)

* As we discuss our upcoming Fall Family Fair Day at breakfast, Ellie asks in her faux-serious way, furrowing her brow: “So, is Big Tex a traveler, Mommy, or just a Daddy?”

* When Daddy and I come home from a date, the kids are asleep and our fabulous babysitter Miss Emily has folded the laundry. Dustin says to her, “I know this is a little awkward to ask in front of Lowry, but will you marry me?”

* As I am teaching a baby Kindermusik class, we rest to a lovely a cappella recording of “Home Sweet Home” which includes the lyrics, “There’s no place like home.” I can’t help but get a lump in my throat and shed a tear, thinking about how grateful I am to get to stay in Dallas, my home sweet home, for the next 4 years. It’s not the city itself that makes it home for me – it’s all the people that I love! (We got just got the news that Dustin “matched” to a fellowship here.)

* Some great friends take me and Dustin out for a fancy dinner to celebrate our match! I try to focus on the delicious food and fun company, ignoring the text I received from the babysitter that MJ had kind of a rough night, and we can discuss it later… uh-oh, hope she’ll come back someday.

* On Sunday evening, I treat myself to dinner and wine on the patio at Cafe Express with a new book, Little Children by Tom Perrotta. I’m gonna like (and maybe even relate to) this one… It opens with the character reminding herself to think like an anthropologist: “I’m a researcher studying the behavior of boring suburban women. I am not a boring suburban woman myself.”)

* On Monday, while the kids are in school and Daddy is off, we go for a 22-mile bike-ride! (I am inspired and shamed by the news I heard that a centenarian just completed his 8th marathon – plus, we are riding to Cafe Brazil for lunch, so that helps.

* I discover how much I love “Blue’s Clues”! So developmentally appropriate and educational, and MJ loves it, too. (We add it to our small, selective TV repertoire which includes Mr. Rogers and Dinosaur Revolution.) Hear why it’s better for your 4-year-old than Sponge Bob (A new study out by AAP that says the fast pace of this show and others is damaging to children’s brains.). Listen to the 5-min story on how to choose TV for kids from NPR’s All Things Considered. This is what I call being “intentional” about TV with your kids.

Ellie helps Daddy take the crib down. (Was Mommy's old crib, and Uncle Jake's and brother's, too!)

* Ellie is learning to stay in her “big girl bed” now that we took the crib down. (Really, it’s just the crib mattress on the floor – no bed, yet.) Seems like just yesterday MJ was helping put it together for her, and the day before that we were putting it together for him! Time is flying by. I must SLOW down, and enjoy all of this before they fly the coop!

Bio: Says Lowry Manders, “I am a parent and music teacher, a teacher of parents, a child development nerd and lifelong learner, a singer and wanna-be-writer, and now, I’m trying to be a blogger! I feel I have valuable ideas to share, funny stories from my own parenting adventures, and hopefully, thoughtful reflections that will speak to YOU as a struggling mommy, because we’re all in this together! As a teacher, my mission is helping families to MAKE CONNECTIONS: connections in little growing brains and emotional connections that will last a lifetime, giving young children the foundations they need to achieve their full potential, even while creating more meaningful moments for parents with their kids. I created “Parent with Purpose” classes to share practical and inspirational ideas with fellow sojourners on this important path. Click on my website to get some great parenting tips, and download some of my helpful hand-outs. Since I am also a Kindermusik teacher, I believe that music is the most powerful tool for making these connections (and research proves it), so, of course, my own parenting style is pretty much Maria Von Trapp meets Mr. Rogers.”

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