So today I put my son down to sleep for a nap after a full morning of playing at the park with my mom's group.  As I was sitting on the floor next to the crib singing him to sleep, I started thinking about how many mom's might not quite agree with the fact that I was still helping our almost two year old fall asleep.  It also made me think about how those same mom's probably wouldn't agree with the fact that we don't put our son down to bed till around 9:30pm or even 10:00pm and that his crib is in our room and after the first two hours of him sleeping in his crib he comes into bed with us and sleeps the rest of the night till morning.  Yeah... there are a lot of things I don't think other mom's would agree with.  And every time I begin to doubt the way we are doing things and begin to wonder if maybe we should be doing things a little more like everyone else... I look at my precious sleeping boy and realize... Nope... there's no way I'd change a thing. 

These are our special moments... these are the moments we are going to all remember.  When I'm old and looking at my grown son... I'll be able to see the precious baby boy that he once was and remember the way he used to drift off to sleep, slowly closing and opening his eyes, the peaceful way he would breath and how his tiny little hand would grab onto a section of my hair with all the strength he had even though he was fast asleep.  I'll remember all the mornings I would wake up to a little hand brushing the hair away from my face and seeing my baby boy smiling as I open my eyes and laughing instantly as I hear him say "Hiya Ma!".  Nope... there's no way I'd change a thing.

I guess you could call what we do "Attachment Parenting"... and I've heard a lot of parents express concern over the fact that parenting this way will create children who are too dependent and too attached to their mom/parents.  I can tell you already that this is not true... My son is the most independent 20 month old I've ever met.  This morning at the park as I was cautiously following 2 feet behind him as I'm sure many first time moms tend to do... He turned towards me and waves me off and smiles.  I stood in place and allowed him to go keeping my eye on him.  My son is already turning into a strong, independent young man who I am very proud of... and knowing that someday soon, after only a blink of an eye he will go off and live his life calling me as often as he can because he knows I will worry about him... Nope... there's no way I'd change a thing.
Hi all! First I have to apologize for my absence... I actually had no intention of not posting but we've had a fun family filled weekend and beginning of the week!  Our son was extremely happy to see his Auntie, Grandma and cousin... and very sad to see Auntie and cousin go.  But luckily Grandma will be hanging out with us for a while longer. 

I realized this weekend how much I really miss having family around.  My nephew showed great interest in my newly acquired homesteading skills and asked me to show him a few made from scratch recipes, the bagels are his favorite by the way, and is now wanting his own herb garden to add to his favorite pasta dishes.  This made me so proud.  His birthday is soon approaching and although we celebrated a bit early since they were here, I think I might have to send a small basket of goodies that will help him get his own herb garden started and maybe throw in a few cooking utensils since he showed much enthusiasm during his participation. 

I soaked up all the knowledge I could from my dear older sister whose advice I treasure... but I also found myself standing by certain parenting skills that I knew may not fit my sister but are perfect for my little family.  I loved being able to have that balance.  It also reminded me to be open and flexible to new ideas but that it is also okay to stand strong for those you believe and have faith in. 

The thing I am most proud in is that although different ideas and opinions were exchange... no arguing ever commenced.  Remember... in any situation... be it personal or business... take advice given (wanted or not) with a grain of salt and try to understand where the person who is giving the advice is coming from.  Nod your head and smile.  I'm not saying you shouldn't stand up for what you believe in but it is okay to do this in silence.  No one but YOU needs to know most truths.  Be humble... Be kind... and oh yeah...
Other Magickal Happenings
Magick from the Farm
Hello!  Well we are back from our mini trip and our vacation continues since my husband has this week off and my family is in town!  This weekend we took some great photos and I wanted to remind everyone to capture the moment every possible chance you have.  Whether it's with a smart phone camera, your basic digital camera or a fancy camera that has all the bells and whistles... take every photo of your growing family as much as you can.  There are often times when I think we pass up great opportunities for taking pictures. 

Also... don't wait.  If it's professional pictures you seek of your family or your children but it's something you may not be able to afford (like us)... do some research and make those pictures happen!  There are free tips and editing programs online that will make your photos look as though you just stepped out of a studio!  Remember to have fun!  Don't be a perfectionist and realize the people in the photo are what makes the photo beautiful... not the editing or the background. 

~ Be Magickal!
This is the coolest thing I've ever seen!  I went to a mom's group meeting last night, which I was dreading but ended up being very glad I went... and there was a mom there who I really hit it off with and we seemed to have a lot of things in common.  We found out we live very close to each other and are both homemakers... so what does she do?  She whips out her Mommy Card with all her info on it!!!  I was so impressed that as soon as I got home I designed mine online at Kodak Gallery!  I'm waiting to see if I can find a coupon code so I get a discount but I'm so excited!  I think these are a great idea!  Especially when you are new to town or either new to motherhood or homemaking... it's so hard to meet other women who share the same type of lifestyle you do and frankly it's a bit awkward asking for people's info!  So here's the solution!  You hit it off with another mommy and bam.... "Here's my card... we should get the kids together".  This may sound strange to some but for those of you who have been stuck in the house for too many sunny days wishing there was another mama out there who shared the same day to day challenges that you could just talk to... These are heaven sent!
There was this girl I knew in Jr. High... we were good friends but didn't really hang out much outside of school.  There was only one time when I went to her house and I remember it specifically.  Her mother was either single or recently married to someone new and had another daughter quite a bit younger than my friend.  When we got to her house the little girl came running up to my friend and they embraced as though they hadn't seen each other in weeks.  My friend was so excited and had a huge smile on her face and continued to interact with her little sister the whole time I was there... This was very unlike most teenager's usual reaction to little siblings while friends were over, and extremely different from how my older sister treated me.  At first I thought maybe they didn't live together and the little sister was just there for her "weekend" or however divorced parent's systems works... but that wasn't the case.  I was amazed at how motherly my friend was being toward her little sister and at how she never showed any annoyance toward her.

I lost contact with this friend over the years but she's never left my mind.  There are mother's that I meet who seem to always laugh instead of get annoyed and who discipline with a smile instead of yelling.  I imagine this is the type of mother my friend is today if she has children.  I, unfortunately, am not that type of mother.  I get angry, I get annoyed, and sometimes those things get the best of me and I yell.  My mother was this way and my sister is this way so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am this way too.  I know I can't be this perfectly happy mommy and wife 100% of the time and I'm pretty sure those mothers I meet are not like that 100% of the time either.  Although it wouldn't surprise me if my friend was.  I admire that kind of patience and calmness in people.  I'm not really one of those women who have a list of things they would change about themselves... I believe there is a reason and purpose for which you were born the way you were.  But I do wish I could be a bit more in control of my emotions while presented with something that makes me angry or irritated.

So I am far from perfect... but the simple fact that I recognize my imperfections I think is a therapy within itself.  It makes me aware of the next time something might happen that could arouse those feelings in me and I am able to anticipate and be better prepared for those moments.  So take a moment and confess to yourself what your imperfections are.  Fessing up to these truths may not only help you better understand yourself... but may help you better understand others as well.      

~ Be Magical!
I was quite disappointed today when I found out that the libraries in my area suspend story time for infants and toddlers during the summer months to make room for more "appropriate" school age activities for those children who are on summer break.  I called all the local libraries in my county getting the same answer from each one.  I threw my hands up in exasperation.  I was upset and I was done.  For the next hour or so I just kept thinking over and over again how crazy it was to not have a story time to take my 18 month son too.  Sure there were story times available at places like Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn Kids but those included children of all ages and weren't geared towards little one's involving music and things like finger plays.  "The whole summer?" I kept thinking to myself... In a feeling of desperation I ALMOST called the library and offered my services towards an infant and toddler story time for free.  I stopped myself though... I imagined my son clinging onto my leg crying "MA!" "MA!", the way he does when he wants my attention, knowing the purpose in which I would do such a thing would be eliminated if my son and I couldn't enjoy story time together.  The wheels kept turning and I just wasn't satisfied.  I jumped back on the computer and opened the search engine compiling as many different combinations of key words that I could think of. 

After about an hour more of searching I FINALLY came across ONE library that offered exactly what I was looking for.  I was elated and I called just to double check and make sure they weren't canceling their activities for the summer either.... A big "NOPE!" came through the other line with a smile, as if she knew they had the only magical key that unlocked the little arched wooden doorway painted on the wall under a whimsical tree in the children's section.  I hung up the phone and called my husband with the news.  He shared my excitement and offered to help me plan out the route I would take (since we're new to the area) when he got home. 

I was determined to find a story time for my son... it was something he had thoroughly been enjoying and it was a great thing for him to attend and be a part of.  If I didn't find anything I had every intention of somehow coming up with something... My next thought was creating a Meetup group where the mom's would switch off hosting story time.  My point is... I gave it all I got.  No matter what the situation or what the task is... if you want it so, make it so.  Too many times in the past I've sat by idly hoping certain opportunities would come my way... well now it's different, especially when it comes to the happiness of my son.  When it's magic he wants... I make magic happen.  Do the same!  For you, for your family, for anyone who needs it.  You have the power.... use it.

~ Be Magical!
As some of you might already know... when you become a Stay at Home Mom, it can be easy to forget who you once were and the things you once loved.  I think that's why I prefer the term "Homemaker".  The title "Stay at Home Mom" clearly states to the Nth degree exactly what it is we do and those who can relate know how hard we work and I believe this can sometimes minimize our identity to only that... being a mom.  Now don't get me wrong... being a mom is a very honorable and proud thing to be and it entails a million different things.  For me though... "Homemaker" says more about me than it does my job.  It's a word I can make my own, specifically geared towards the things I have a passion for.  It not only includes motherhood but also the cooking and baking I do and the way I clean and decorate my home.  It can even define talents... those I already have and those I hope are forthcoming such as crocheting and sewing. 

No matter what title you choose... find yourself a passion.  Heck, find TEN passions!  Keep 'em coming too... When the blues of lost identity start knocking, hang that "no solicitors" sign on your door and behold the marvelous possibilities that lay in front of you.  It doesn't have to take a lot of money and it doesn't have to be all or nothing... Just one step at a time... a little bit here and there.  Find your passion... discover or remember something you've always been interested in or wanted to do... research it online, check out books from the library and Do It!  Spring is still in the air and it's a time for all things new.   You are the enchantress of your dwelling... go conjure up something remarkable!

~ Be Magical!
Remember being in Elementary school and they made a huge deal about going to the library... they taught you had to search and find the book you were looking for and how to bookmark the spot on the shelves where you removed the book from so that you could put the book back into it's proper place.  They showed you how to check a book out and put the little stamped card in the front pocket in the book so you remember what date to return it.  I LOVED going to the library but over time after I got older and it stopped being something we did as a group in school, I began to forget about the magic you could find in a library.  I think I stepped into the library at my high school maybe twice... Once to go to the bathroom and another time for a study group.

So yesterday I took my soon to story time at our local library.  We just moved to the town we are living in so it was the first time we had gone to story time... afterward as I was walking out I paused and I decided to turn around and get a library card... I mean why not right?  They're free!  Once I had my card I asked the card giving lady where I could find the cookbooks.  I strolled over to a corner of the library where she had directed me, with my son on my hip shushing him and telling him we're in a library and that we have to be quiet because those are the rules.  I had only one cookbook on my mind... I was doing a random look over of the shelves somewhat forgetting exactly how they were set up... By author?  By title?  And then... there it was!  It beamed.... and was sticking a little bit further out than the other books as though it had shimmied it's way forward a bit so I would not miss it.

As I was walking to the check out counter with my boy one arm and my new borrowed book in the other, I kept thinking.... This is FREE!  I was going to buy this book but I hadn't yet because I was a bit hesitant as to whether I was really going to like it, so this was the perfect solution!  We now have somewhere to go for both my son and myself and it gives you this satisfying shopping experience without the guilt!  So find out where your local library is and pay them a visit! 

~ Be Magical!