baby, it’s cold outside

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The winter blues are in full swing here at my house and this family is in need of some sort of “lifting of the winter spirits” exercise. You know, maybe something where we all get together in the morning, stand holding hands in a circle, and chant for the sun gods to shine some light and send some heat and bathing suit weather our way. I don’t know about where you live, but winter can get pretty damn depressing in the northeast. Every day is like groundhog day. Get up, look outside- cloudy. Make breakfast, get the kids dressed, start the car- freeze my ass off. Run back into the house, bundle the kids up in winter jackets-boots-hats-mittens, and scoot them out the door as quickly as possible- would you look at that it’s raining/sleeting/snowing/a blizzard. And pretty much every morning, I have the same conversation with my kids as we leave the house. Here’s my end:

“Hurry up and get in, I need to buckle you my head is getting wet.”

“Yes, you have to wear your hat, it’s cold.”

“Because I said so.”

“No, you can’t open your window.”

“Your boogies will freeze.”

“Sorry, but we can’t play outside today.”

“How are you going to roller skate in slush?”

“Your bike is put away for the winter.”

“I’m pretty sure your training wheels wouldn’t make it through that snow bank.”

“The park is closed.”

“Because they took the swings down.”

“No, we can’t go swimming.”

“Baby, it’s cold outside.”

As a mom of two very active and energetic young kids, the best way to keep them happy and thus maintain my sanity is to open the door and let them go, go, go. In spring, we throw on our rain gear and stomp in muddy puddles. In summer, we ride bikes, run through sprinklers, and picnic under a shady tree. In fall, we take hikes and go on nature walks.

Then comes winter.

It’s great in the beginning because the holiday season is in full throttle and the kids are preoccupied with Santa and sleigh rides. But then comes January, February, March. Can you say boring? After I’ve exhausted every do-it-yourself craft activity, book reading session, puzzle time, watch-mama-cook-dinner-fun, and the kids are still bouncing off the walls, it’s time to bundle them up and brave the cold.

My kids are desperate to get outdoors in the winter even when it’s 6 degrees and I can’t say I blame them. I’m desperate, too. Being cooped up inside (home, work, school) for months on end starts to take its toll. Any sign of sunlight and 30+ degree temperatures and my family is hitting the front yard like it’s an 80 degree beach day.

The benefits of keeping kids active during the winter are key to their optimum development and overall well-being. Outdoor exercise builds strong bones and muscles, reduces stress, strengthens immunity, releases endorphins in the body, increases much-needed Vitamin D levels, and allows for an overall better mood and night’s sleep.

So get outside with your kids even if it’s just for a brisk walk. And the next time you find yourself hauling out the Radio Flyer wagon and trudging through six inches of snow and slush in late January – take a deep breath, smile, and know that I am right there with ya.

Reblogged from February 2012 Archives by Mommy OM

New Year, New Beginnings

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As the new year rolls in I can’t help but feel the need to reflect upon all of the lessons wisdom from all of the screw-ups  experiences that 2012 has so graciously thrown unraveled for me throughout the past twelve months. What better time than now to review, renew and revitalize my passions, goals, and self-criticism self-growth? As I was zoning out meditating tonight, I felt this beautiful new beginning course through my body. I’m serious. I actually felt a slight quiver resonate within me and all I could think of was WOW, new energy! Never mind the fact that my phone just happened to be on vibrate and it’s location was, yep you guessed it, tucked between the couch cushions directly beneath me. But, this is the New Year, people – and I for one say bring it on!

Some of my intentions for 2013 include:

~Letting go. This one is a biggie for me. I am the type of person who has a hard time surrendering. I’m not quite the control freak per say, but I have a tendency to create unwanted anxiety within myself for no apparent reason {or for every apparent reason possible} – you pick. Do you follow me? I’m almost positive a lot of mothers feel this way, and ladies we need to just accept the fact we will inevitably wear ourselves out down the road if we haven’t already. I’m afraid if I don’t start wiping the slate clean every once in a while my body will be permanently planted face down on the living room carpet with gummy treats stuck in my hair and glitter glue coming out of my eyeballs. Now that’s a pin I’d like to see on Pinterest.

~Inviting More Positive Influence into My Life. I have been contemplating lately how I can attract more positive energy and flow into my life. What I keep coming back to is looking within myself. By accepting the reality of who I am, focusing on the parts I want to change, and consciously working towards being the person I attain to be – I hope to become a magnetic force for all that is good and loving and kind.

~Stop Taking Things Too Personally. I am a very non-confrontational person. In fact, I want nothing more than to hold hands with everyone and sing Kumbaya. Problem is, not everyone wants to hold hands with me and sing Kumbaya. Really.

~ Enjoy Living in the Moment. This one speaks for itself. When we live in a more, more, more culture, it’s easy to get caught up in the I need this, this, this and this. And when I get this, this, this, and this, I will happier or bigger or better or richer or smaller or smarter or prettier or blah blah blah. Dear Lisa, Stop feeding this vicious cycle. Live for today with what you already have: An open heart. A beautiful family. A willingness to learn. A zest for life. A love for the present. A new year. A new beginning. 

What are your intentions for the New Year?

The Spirit of the Holidays – Conversations with My Six-Year-Old

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The holiday season is in full swing and the spirit of the year can be found all around us. Everywhere I turn I see beautiful wreaths hung with red ribbon, trees twinkling in the night, and smiles on the faces of strangers. I absolutely adore the generosity and purity that flows within us this time of year. I sincerely hope my children will learn and understand the importance of giving to others. I pray that I  teach them to hold dear their loved ones and to cherish their friendships, their health, and their opportunities in life.

After a few recent conversations with my six-year-old Ella, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the magic and innocence of childhood. That, and the fact that she made me laugh, a lot.

The Spirit of Remembrance:

Ella: Mom, I need the binoculars.

Me: For what?

Ella: So I can go outside and look for Great Grandma Nonny in the sky.

Me: Okay, but it’s kind of cloudy out so you might not see her.

Ella: Oh. Oh well then maybe I can see a bird poop while it’s flying.

The Spirit of Knowing Who’s Boss:

Me: Ella, you forgot to make your bed this morning.

Ella: I know mom. It’s just that I have coat room clean-up at school this week.

Me: Well that’s no excuse for not helping out at home.

Ella: Mrs. M said that coat room was my only chore for the week.

Me: At school, not at home.

Ella: Oh yeah. And she is bigger and older than you. And she wears red lipstick.

Me: So.

Ella: Exactly.

The Spirit of Conversation:

Me: Ella, what do you want Santa to bring you this year?

Ella: A canopy.

Ethen (my four-year-old): A can of what?

Ella: A canopy.

Ethen: A can of PEE? <giggle>

Me: No potty talk. <Snort>

The Spirit of Supporting Our Troops:

Ella: I want to join the army.

Me: When did you decide that?

Ella: When I saw how much stuff they had there.

Me: What are you talking about?

Ella: At that place where they have tons of stuff. I really want to join there.

Me: Are you talking about the Salvation Army?

Ella: Yep. That’s it. Can I join?

The Spirit of Friendship:

Ella: Who is ‘Tot’ and where does she live?

Me: What? Who?

Ella: You know, that girl named Tot. I heard she gets tons of toys.

Me: You mean Toys for Tots?

Ella: Yes. Can you call her mom for a play date?

The Spirit of Health:

Ella: Mom, can we do yoga together?

Me: Sure.

Ella: Okay, just bend over and I’ll climb up on your back.

Me: Ummmm. What yoga pose is that?

Ella: The one where you carry me around the house until your legs fall off.

Me: Uhh.

Ella: Come on, it will be good for you.

Peace

My mantra from today:

May I find joy in the chaos and love in the storm. May I find the strength to pursue my passions in this life. May peace overflow from my heart and may the beauty within guide me to do good for myself and others, always.

Do you have a daily mantra or prayer you say often?

Giving Thanks

May you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

May the joy of the holiday season be with your family.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the inspiration, the support, and the unity in motherhood we so desperately need.

Much love mamas!

Shine on! ☀