Always Blow Out the Candles

God sends children to enlarge our hearts and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affections ~M. Howitt

This quote comes from a quote-a-day calendar that belonged to my Dad. When us kids were all grown-up it got passed on to my husband as we started having children and needed some sage advice.

This statement has been staring at me for a couple of weeks. Neither Ice nor I have changed the date over. I guess we like the reminder.

Recently we celebrated Little Bee’s second birthday. She loved the blowing out of the candles. It was the first time she was old enough to understand and make an effort.  She called it her “special cake”. She thought it was just going to happen every day.

So the day after her birthday, night time rolled around and she asked for “special cake” and wanted to blow out the candles again.

In a buzzkill moment, for whatever reason, I declined the candle request. And Ice wisely said, “Why not? Let her do it.”

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Nothing fancy.  Not the “Birthday Plate”, just a paper plate. Just a leftover, already-been-burned-candle.

It made her so happy.

It struck me then how many ordinary moments and ordinary days can become extraordinary with a little effort, a little sprinkles on top, a little sparkle.

And being reminded again from my husband and my two-year-old’s smile was just perfect.

What can you do to make a moment a little more special in your day today?

Hope you find a way. I would love you to share a picture or drop me a comment in the comments section.

Here’s to the sprinkles on top.

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The 13th Boy at the Party – Our First Foster Placement

Friday May 30th 

Twelve very rambunctious and excitable 12-year old boys run around my backyard with Nerf guns, footballs and frisbees. Water fights are breaking out at both hoses on either side of the house in celebration of Techno’s upcoming birthday. My A-1 babysitter, Twinkle Toes, left for a sleepover at one of her besties’ house. And my little wrecking ball on the verge of age two is wreaking havoc wherever she goes.

The phone rings around six o’clock. And by 8:15 we have our 13th party guest. An eight-month old little dreamboat who needs a place to stay for the weekend is being handed to us in the driveway with my son’s friends looking on in amazement and wonder.

Just the day before I had lamented to friends.

Why haven’t they called us yet?

We were licensed to be foster parents the second week in May. And I knew the demand was high.

Ask and you shall receive.

We knew it was probably temporary. We probably couldn’t keep him for long.

After the festivities were over and the last child was picked up from the party, I found myself on the way to the store to buy formula, diapers and baby food at 10 o’clock at night.

We had him for one week. He crawled in our hearts and under our skin right away. The smell of my entire house changed instantly. His baby smell was in almost every room. In that one week I was amazed at how much we learned about him – his quirks and delights. His learning and our growing.

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Friday June 6th 

The case worker came to take him to his more long-term foster home. He was so kind to do everything slowly. He knew it was hard.

We sent him with clothes he wore of my son’s that I had saved.  I especially loved how he looked in the Cookie Monster overalls.

I wanted to buckle him into his car seat myself and make sure I was able to see his beautiful dark brown eyes and say goodbye. Strange as it may sound, I didn’t want any remnants of his clothes or food or baby supplies here. Just thinking about it made me know it would be even harder for me later.

But the bear my son wanted to give him was left behind. I had made sure to place it among his things that morning. I knew Techno really wanted him to have it. But they played with it that morning and it never made it back into the pile.  So I called the case worker to ask how I could get it to him. He assured me he could get it that day and make sure it traveled with him to his new home.

I found something else before he came to retrieve the bear. But I never gave it back. That little guy outgrew it long before he got here. It smelled like him. And Techno has a nose like a wolf. I knew he would love it.

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Just last week he came and asked me to smell it.

Heaven. Truly.

 

The 8 Things My One-Year-Old Has Taught Me

A year ago today I was in the hospital and had just had my third child. Time has surpassed breakneck speed and we are now set on warp. Being the kind of woman who loves to wax philosophical, I could not help but take several moments today to reflect on what a huge fork in the road my life has taken since that beautiful day and what this amazing little creature has taught me.

1. Make friends with the unexpected. The curves in the road up ahead are there. Just be sure you hug the road and don’t drive off the cliff!

2. A shower before 3pm is so overrated.  Little Bee and I cram a lot of snuggling, messes, errands and important discoveries into our day.  Some days a shower just doesn’t fit into the plan -no excuses, no shame.

3. The theory that the older one gets, the less sleep they need is true.  I CAN exist on less sleep than I needed when Techno and Twinkle were babies.

4. Learning how to thrive amongst the chaos is imperative. Despite best efforts there will be many unaccomplished things when my head hits the pillow.  THEN I didn’t accept that and I ran myself into the ground. NOW I just do (most days). And it is okay.

5. Wake up with a smile. Always.  That little person in the crib will have the brightest one ready for me and I can’t let her down.

6. Put on my oxygen mask first. Taking time each day to just breathe and take care of myself always results in a better situation for all involved.

7. When I think I have nothing left in the tank, just keep giving. It comes back.

8. Given a choice, pick the yoga pants.

Happy Birthday and Happy Dreams, Baby Girl…