He Won’t Be Little Forever

Just a snapshot of my little hot mess. I promise, he didn’t fall off the ottoman during this process. 😀

Dear mom of young kids,

I know, I know. One more blog post addressed to you, the coffee-driven, alone-time-missing, mass. You who are in the middle of post-Christmas cleanup and credit card statements out the wazoo. Yes, hello, you.

I’m with you. I haven’t a dozen of young children but I do have one. A precious, darling one year old. Sometimes I think he counts for at least two since he currently requires specials cares which involve me dragging around his ventilator, priming his feeding pump, and eye-balling the tiny fists which LOVE to pull out his trach because it is oh, so, fun to make mom get her cardio in. 😉

But really, I understand. Moms are tired. We’re worn down. Even on the amazing, good, organized, low-key days we’ve still got a million things weighing on our mommy brains. It’s exhausting, I get it.

I mean, I’m currently speed writing this. I’m still in my nightgown and it’s 2 p.m. I’m in the middle of trying to keep Uriah entertained while I get the house organized and sanitized since Christmas and a 4 day pneumonia-related hospital admission has me playing catch up.

But there is more to this momhood than busyness, and diapers, and weariness.

Just this afternoon I paused my bleaching and washing to prepare Uriah’s lunchtime meal. When I came close he lifted his darling, chubby arms. Hold me, Mommy. I picked him up and gently laid his tummy against my chest and swayed that little boy who loves to practice tummy time in my arms.

And in those 3 minutes I caught a vision of what might be in the next 30 years …

I imagined laying my head on my 31 year old son’s shoulder; we’re dancing at his wedding. It’s a special day. My son, my Uriah, is grown, tall, and beginning his own life. And there I am nearly 60 years old. I’m probably shorter and fatter than ever but my son doesn’t see that. All he sees is his momma. The woman who loved him.

In the 3 minutes it took to pick up my baby, dance with him on my chest, and let my shoulder get soaked through with snot, I saw what could be. 

One day, our children will be grown. One day, we won’t have littles little enough to embrace on our shoulders. They’ll be bigger, independent, and moving away from the homes we desperately keep for them. 

Dear, tired, worn, frazzled momma. Cherish these moments with me. Cherish the little person you’ve been given because, in the blink of an eye, they will be grown and gone. We’ll never be able to hold them to our shoulders like we can now. I know it’s hard to slow down. I know you have a million-and-one things on your to-do list.

But while you strive to do your best keeping up with life, rememeber to appreciate and enjoy the people in it. <3

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

DIY, $10, Chalkboard Pumpkin

 

One pass through our home and you’ll know I love chalkboard art. <3 What’s not to love about erasable, easy to make, adorable, shabby chic, farmhouse chalk art? Because I am DIY-challenged I like projects that require minimum amounts of money and even less amounts of technical skill because … I still don’t own a hammer (but I do have a very well-used rock that works just as well). Thankfully, chalkpaint is super DIY-friendly.

I started craving a fall-themed chalkboard Uriah and I could use weekly as Autumn progressed. This is Uriah’s first fall and I want to create memories and traditions for our family of three. What better way than us finding things we are thankful for, me giving a mini lesson, and him babbling away in agreement?  Babies make everything more fun. 🙂

This easy, DIY chalkboard pumpkin turned out even cuter than I imagined. I started with a $9.99 wooden cutout from Hobby Lobby (and then I used my RetailMeNot app to get a 40% off coupon). I used two coats of chalkboard paint and tadaa!

I love that it’s large and fills the space above my stove. Now, once a week, Uriah and I change the theme of what we are thankful for. It’s an excellent teaching tool that will be more useful the older he gets. Until then, I get to enjoy the daily reminder and the daily does of cuteness it brings.

How do you practice being thankful? Do you have a favorite fall time craft? I know I’m currently loving Leah’s Thanksgiving Tree @ Grace Lee Cottage.  Share you ideas (or favorite Pinterest crafting board) in a comment below — I love hearing from you! 

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

My Favorite, Non-Fancy Coffee

It’s an understatement, I know, but I really enjoy coffee. I love everything about it … the warmth, smell, and the taste. For me, I especially drink coffee because it’s what my family has always done and I love partaking in the same special routine I grew up doing and know my parents and siblings are probably doing at the same moment I am. We start in the morning with a few good cups before the day starts, enjoy an afternoon tea cup of joe, and then end the evening with one more cup while we visit or watch our favorite shows. It has always been this way and I love knowing that it’s something that, no matter the timezone or differing locations, we keep doing.

As much as I love coffee I love that I’m not that big of a coffee snob. Unless I’m at a coffee shop (when I’ll get a vanilla latte) I like my coffee fresh, hot, and black. Pretty simple, right? 😉

My current favorites are 8 O’Clocks original mild flavor and Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolce. YUM. There’s nothing better than starting out the day with my Keurig humming in the background as I quietly open the blinds (so not wake Uriah) or brew a second cup when he and I sit down for a diaper change and reading books. 🙂

What is your favorite coffee or tea? Do you consider yourself a coffee snob or are you pretty easy going in the joe department? Comment below — I love to hear your thoughts! 

With love, blessings, and OF COURSE coffee,

Frannie

Lovely Motherhood Quote

Motherhood really is a privilege. Enjoy this wise, in-depth quote from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Prentiss, and her book Stepping Heavenward. (I feel a special kinship, kindred spirit with the key character Katy).

And enjoy this free 8.5 x 11 inch printable at this Dropbox link. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Free Printables for Private Home Nursing Binders

Having medically complex kiddos is an amazing, unique responsibility that has ordinary parents thinking about and doing un-ordinary things. One of those unique aspects is private, home nursing.

Good, bad, or indifferent, home nursing is tricky business. I created these free Nursing Communication Book labels to help families communicate and interact better with the nurses working in their home. Each file has nine 8.5 x 11 inch pages that you can print, three-hole punch, and place in a binder. Then, get creative by making your binder unique to your family by writing or typing your family’s specific information.

 

Having home nursing can be a huge blessing but it can also be a huge burden. I believe having a Nursing Communication Book is a simple, easy way to keep everyone on the same page. Have a single spot for house rules, emergency plans, and contact information will eliminate confusion and excuses for irresponsible behavior.

Want your relationship with your nursing staff to be excellent? I highly recommend reading Charrisse Montgomery’s book Home Care CEO. I read this quick, easy-to-read book while we were still in the NICU and got so many excellent ideas for managing the medical side of my son’s home care.

For the blue file click on this Dropbox link and download it. For the purple file follow this Dropbox link. 🙂 Please comment below if you have any questions. I’m sorry I cannot currently write the specifics behind each label; it would be impossible to write a welcome page or a list of house rules that each family could use. But hopefully, these simple labels will inspire you and bring you one step closer to a respectful, productive relationship with the nursing staff working in your home.

This is an example of my notebook. 🙂 (Click on the pictures for a larger view).

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie