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Do you see what I see?

Four children.

Four extremely different children.

Four children whose mirrors constantly show a reflection of who their mother is from four different viewpoints.
 

I am a better person because of those reflections that shoot back at me through their bright eyes, tear stained cheeks, air fist pumps, or the shrugging of shoulders.

In other words, I can tell within seconds whether I have been nominated for Mother of the Moment or whether my children are interested in becoming wards of the state.
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3 phrases I wish to banish from my home

The health care environment is filled with curse words. Whether it is a happy or a frustrating day, I often hear hundreds of curse words in one 12 hour shift. It’s not just my current unit or hospital either. I have worked in intensive care units, emergency rooms, or trauma departments for 17 years and have become somewhat desensitized after all this time. It often is a way to decompress in a very intense environment where tragedy and heart break can come rolling through the glass doors at any moment.

Due to the way I was raised and a recent heavy conviction and rededication, I am working on eliminating them from my vocabulary. As like any habit, I am having withdrawals as I’m embarking on this new adventure.

With having four children home for the summer I have challenged them to stop cursing too. No, they aren’t cursing by our societal standards, but they have started using three phrases that are now considered Meyerson curse words. And since I am withdrawing from my habit, I declared that the kids are joining me in rehab. That’s right, our home is currently in rehabilitation.
 

 
Below are the three phrases currently banned from our home and excerpts from a letter I wrote to my kids this week:
 
I am fine.
 
Why are you fine? You are alive, healthy, blessed, spoiled, beautiful children with parents who love you. You never go to bed hungry, you have your own beds, you get an education, and you have the freedom to go to church without persecution. And if you have a lousy day, then say that! But still realize that you are great despite that feeling. So please answer with, “I’m great thank you, but I’m having a rather lousy day.” But don’t ever say you are fine, as that displays an attitude of ungratefulness.
 
I am bored.
 
At your fingertips are books, art supplies, TV, video games, legos, puzzles, friends, water park passes, zoo and science museum passes, and the great outdoors. Dad and I work hard to pay for your swimming and baseball activities and tournaments/meets. And most importantly, you have each other and your imaginations. Never will there be another time in your life where you can dare to explore the world with such little responsibility other than some simple household chores. Dream, explore, and live life fully my dear children. And never confuse silence and stillness with boredom. A great deal can be learned from sitting in those rare, uncomfortable moments of silence. Trust me when I say to learn how to savor those moments now as deep treasures and rich life lessons can be found in those moments.
 
I am busy.
 
Now that you are done being bored, you are now too busy? Busy is possibly the most over used phrase in our society today. Flee from it and remove it from your vocabulary. Our family should never be so busy that we are unable to serve one another or others that need us. If you are in the middle of an important activity or task, then explain that you are finishing up and then will be with your brother or sister within the next 10 minutes. Activities, routines, and even a great book are never more important than relationships. Please learn to give those you love your full attention as those are the people that will stand by you through the good, the bad, and the really ugly times in life. Dad and I promise to never be too busy for you four sweet souls either. Please forgive us for anytime that you have felt slighted because of your perception that we were too busy for you.

And a warning Rebecca, Ben, Emily, and Sam: Please know that if you four choose to use these phrases, then excessive painful tickling will be involved. It won’t be pretty. Love you all to the moon and back – Mom

Are there any phrases or words that make your skin crawl? Have you told your loved ones why those phrases bother you?

Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

Remembering + making new stories

We’ve been a little under the weather this week so the blog has been priority #12 or so on the list this week. That’s ok, it’s life. But we continue to laugh around here with our messy hair and pajamas.

Emily often asks, “Mom, tell me about when I was little.” She has been asking this since she was 3 years old. I would tell her about how she was a happy baby who loved blueberries and strawberry milk.
 

Lately Emily has been asking, “Mom, tell me about when you were little. Please,” in her best pleading voice possible.

As I told her a story yesterday, I found myself laughing to the point of tears, as I was driving her to swim practice. Rebecca and Ben were astounded at the story and Sam was just belly giggling because everyone else was laughing.

But then it hit me, I need to write this down as well as other memories from my childhood before details become fuzzy. You see, these stories helped make me the person who I am.

I also was reminded that every day, my children are being molded by the stories they are living. It served as a reminder to me as to what kind of environment I make for them, the meals I fix, and the words they hear from my mouth. Sort of exciting and convicting at the same time.

So while I sit here in my pajamas with unwashed hair here’s my story that I shared with them yesterday… (more…)

Motherhood: What no one prepared me for

As I’m sitting here in Target, my thirteen year old, Rebecca is trying on her first bikini and all I can think is “Wow. No one prepared me for this.”
 
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Tonight Rebecca graduates from middle school. I know what you are thinking, “Big deal, it’s just 8th grade.” Insert exaggerated eye roll. And I would be lying if I probably thought the same thing last year, when it wasn’t my child.

But now. Now I’m sitting here with a flood of emotions that no one prepared me for.

You see I felt somewhat prepared for breastfeeding, crib types, diapers, and CPR. I felt prepared for childcare options, Gymboree classes, and the importance of reading to Rebecca before she was born. I read What to Expect When You are Expecting 3 times and devoured every child magazine article in the grocery store aisle and library.

But no one prepared me for the sheer joy and heartache that comes with parenting or approaching milestones that mark that the end of your child being in your home is quickly approaching.
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I Am Mom Enough and So Are You

By now, many of you have seen this cover of the May Edition of Time Magazine. This article is about a popular parenting philosophy known as attachment parenting and it’s founder, 72 year old Dr. William Sears.

Instead of featuring Dr. Sears on the cover, Time Magazine instead chose to feature 26 year old mommy blogger and attachment parenting supporter, Jamie Lynn Grumet. Time Magazine has a job to attract readers to their magazines and how better to do that than to anger moms with a polarizing topic. My twitter feed almost blew up yesterday with rants about how long is too long to breast feed, whether attachment parenting oppresses women, and even everyone’s two cents as to what makes a good mother. Oy.

 

 

The picture didn’t appall me like it did to others. The title of the article however made me sick to my stomach. The media has caught on to the fact that they can get attention by getting women to argue with one another. It has been dubbed The Mommy Wars.

As moms we are trying our best to navigate this journey towards raising healthy, well adjusted children. And there are MANY paths that can lead to the same destination.

Are you Mom Enough? Yes you are. And so am I.

I am Mom Enough at night when my toddler has a bad dream and needs to snuggle in close to me.

I am Mom Enough even though I’ve worked outside the home as a nurse while raising four children.
 

 
I am Mom Enough to know that I need a date with my husband every week.

I am Mom Enough to know that my children are not perfect but more than enough.

I am Mom Enough to know that my children need to learn how to work through failures in the safety of our home.

I am Mom Enough to know when “No” is necessary.

I am Mom Enough to put my cell phone down when my children desire my company.

I am Mom Enough to know that I can’t do it all.

I am Mom Enough to my 2 year old even though I don’t have breasts anymore.
 

 
I am Mom Enough to know that I am not perfect but that I give it my best.

I am Mom Enough to know that I am immeasurably blessed.

Let’s build one another up and stop this alarming trend of shaming one another. Maybe then TIME magazine won’t use us to sell their magazines.

Instead, in the spirit of Mother’s Day weekend…consider picking up the phone and telling your friend who is struggling that she is enough.

Consider writing a letter and leaving a care package to your friend who is a single mom trying her best to raise children on her own.

Consider humbling yourself to someone you have judged for her parenting choices and apologize.

Consider looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “I am more than Mom Enough.”

Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

If you are new to my site, welcome! Like what you see? I would love for you to follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog through the subscription box at the top of the page and joining me on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

Letting Go of Cool

One of the best perks of running my own law firm is the ability to wear what I want when I don’t have any client or networking meetings. Last week, I had one of those “wear what I want” days and I grabbed some jeans out of my closet. I still considered myself pretty cool that morning as I put on those Lucky Brand jeans.

 

 
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Lesson Learned Parenting Edition: Encourage your child’s unique design

Jeff and I are blessed to have 4 healthy, energetic children. We realize more than ever though how different and unique our children are from one another.

We are imperfect parents but we have been complimented for having fun, well adjusted kids. We are more than willing to offer some tips of things that we have learned along the way. I hope you can take something productive from this lesson.

Encourage your child’s unique design.

Rebecca (13) is a loyal, strong leader. And she is hilarious.
 

 
Rebecca consistently bugs us at 9:30 at night when the other kids are asleep. She tries to get us to laugh. At first, Jeff and I would dismiss her and tell her to go to bed. We were exhausted at that time. Later we were convicted that this was her really reaching out to us when she didn’t have anyone else to compete with.

Jeff and I have made a concerted effort to laugh and joke with her and now often we find her climbing in our bed, laughing, and then telling us what is going on in her 13 year old life. What a blessing this time is now for us as parents. We realize how much we would be missing out if we had stuck to our original plan to ensure all the kids were in bed at the same time.

Sometimes parenting books are merely guidelines, and you need to do what fits your family and child best.
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Around Here – May Edition

Around here Emily still feels like she is 8 and loves her red converse. She has read the entire Percy Jackson Lightning Thief Series in a week.
 

 

 
Around here summer is in full swing. Our kids love jumping our back wall to play baseball in the school field behind our home while Hank sunbathes.
 

 
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I blinked and then she was 9

9 years ago today God blessed me with a mighty and miniature version of myself, Miss Emily Ann. I get a little misty thinking that half of her life at home is over. I had to go and blink again. I need to desperately stop blinking.

 

 

Emily is a voracious reader.
Emily’s hair looks like Albert Einstein’s every morning.
Emily stands out from the crowd.
Emily has a special bond with Sam.
Emily loves mashed potatoes, nutella, and ice cream.
Emily dresses like a California beach surfer crossed with Punky Brewster.
Emily giggles when she is nervous.
Emily turns her her head to the right and has an inquisitive look when she watches TV.
Emily has a mighty spirit inside of a tiny 52 pound body.

 

 

Miss Emily,

I love you.
I love you for your heart and who you are.
I love to watch you swim and you are so competitive, but if you quit today, I wouldn’t love you any less.
I want you to make a mistake and laugh at yourself daily. It’s perfectly ok.
I desire for you to love your brother and sisters with all of your heart. The stage has already been set for an amazing future with them.
I pray for your future spouse to love the Lord and to be able to keep up with you.

And now I must wrap this up because you want me to bake cupcakes for your classmates and swimming teammates (75+). We couldn’t possibly leave anyone out.

Wow Emily, you are so much like me. But better.

Love you to the moon and back silly goose – Mom

Thank you for your comments and emails to my blog post yesterday. I’m humbled and have appreciated the heartfelt advice. Good things are in store for this community. I just feel it.

Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

If you are new to my site, welcome! Like what you see? I would love for you follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog and joining me on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

100 Family Conversation Starters & a QR generator review

One of my favorite things about my family of 6 is that we talk to one another. The lines of communication are wide open partly because Jeff and I ask our kids a lot of questions during carpooling to swim practice, family dinners, and on family outings. Our kids are destined to have 2 things thrown at them: questions and a camera. As my oldest daughter told our neighbor, “That’s the price of being a Meyerson kid.”

The main purpose of these questions is to foster healthy relationships with my kids and challenge them to think about why they have their opinions and why they make the choices that they do. These questions are not meant to add to your to do list. You can simply ask these questions (not record the answers) and still get tremendous benefits from asking them.

Here is a list of 100 questions that we have asked or will ask the kids. We have 4 children ages 2, 8, 10, and 13. Obviously, I have to adjust a couple of the questions for our 2 year old but she is always part of the conversations.

Click here for a printable pdf or just click on the image below to enlarge and read the questions more easily. I would be thrilled for you to share this on pinterest, facebook, or twitter.


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