Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Firefly Skies

The other night working at the hospital, I drank this crazy coffee from a can and had all these glorious ideas come to me.

It was a night of caffeine and curiosity. And germs. But it's a pediatric emergency department... what's new?!

So, here I am. Embarking on this fun new adventure called Firefly Skies. Furniture restoration, decor and a whole lot of music infused dates with a paintbrush and sander. Yes, please!

Excited to see it all unfold! Look for updates on the website and facebook page. 

Cyber Stress

So, I am going to take a moment and open the idea of a discussion on something that has been playing on my mind for a while now. Feel free to chime in with the comment button below... or even later if you see me in person because I mean it when I say, I think that this is an important conversation and one that I very often default to what may not be the kindest course of action.

I'm talking social media, friends.

There are so many incredible articles out there about cyber bullying, and raising welcoming children with an awareness of other's feelings, etc. A friend posted (ironically) this great article the other day and I absolutely agree with the message wholeheartedly. Social development and relationships are uniquely challenging across all ages and then the added component of social media sometimes feels as if we are "kicking the hornets nest" of problems. Despite our very best of intentions.

Let me be the first to say that I am perhaps the most guilty of not being the kindest in terms of social media. I blog, I Instagram, I Facebook like it is going out of style. All this to mean that I am so very annoying communicative. (Sidenote: I completely understand if I have been hidden on your feeds... heck, I'd probably hide me if I wasn't posting about my people.) This whole invention of chatbooks pulled together by images you've posted on social media and cataloged by volume, date and in an adorable, little hardcover book? I mean, come on... it is genius. What an ideal way to document pictures of my children, as a mother of four, who has no time or desire to scrapbook. (It's just not my bag, baby).

Yet. This is where the problems ensue. The more you post... the more gets documented in those dang, adorable chatbooks... leaving you with great images from memorable moments in your life. How do you go about posting events that are special to you without overstepping the lines into exclusionary, elitist and unkind? While I can recognize that what I see on Facebook is not an accurate depiction of reality, what kind of message am I sending to my child about how it is okay to treat others?

An example.

Say I have an incredibly fun birthday party for my son and it is wonderful and unique and a total blast. I post the pictures (for the chatbooks, of course), friends tag me in their pictures (after all, it was a really fun party) and it is so great to have all these photos logged in one spot for easy documentation/book binding goodness. But... what about my Facebook friend's daughters that weren't invited to this party? What about that buddy from last year that really isn't a close friend of my son's anymore? I mean... we can't invite absolutely everyone we know that would be unmanageable and completely off budget. Yet that child's mother is my friend. Her children are wonderful. She sees the party pictures... perhaps I forgot to have the awkward conversation beforehand and this is how she is realizing that her child (or self) has been "left out"? I am ashamed for the role that I took in exposing that exclusionary facet and yet, isn't this what social media (either intentionally or not) does on a regular basis?

As a confident, educated woman, I had hoped that I would be able to understand that parties happen, friendships change, maybe this "one event" was a unique occasion that just wasn't my best fit for an invitation. Yet, several times this year, my own feelings have been hurt when I have felt left out. Sure, perhaps it was on a more fragile night post shift when my feelings are a bit more raw or on the brink of a good ole visit from "aunt flo" but regardless... I have seen pictures of people I love and thought really loved me having a grand ole' time and feel forgotten. So I wonder... If as a grown up, with a stronger sense of self (most days) and abundance of healthy friendships... if I am capable of falling in to this ostracizing and lonely world of social media... what are children capable of doing to each other?

With Molly entering middle school in one year (gasp!), these topics of cell phones, cyber bullying, texting feuds... it is all quickly becoming our reality so very soon. Good gravy, guys. I am so under-prepared for it. And that... that terrifies me.

Give me back all the stinky diapers, sleepless nights and toddler tantrums if I don't have to navigate the social footfalls of middle school at a time where technology is absolutely NO comparison to what it was when I was in a similar stage of life. Sure we passed notes about people and called friends on our land-lines (with phones attached to a wall) and had sleepovers that not everyone was invited to. BUT it wasn't on social media. The pictures weren't staring our younger selves in the faces cataloging every agonizing moment of fun that we missed out on. It is so much harder now.

So. What's the solution? Moms and Dads of older children...I'm talking to you. Help a Mama out. I'm all for building my child up, working on her understanding of what it means to not only be kind but seeking out friends on the sidelines, helping her to feel loved even if she can't always see that through her own eyes. There is just so much more I can't protect or prepare ahead of time. Banning all social media, cell phones, technology... turning our tv in to a cardboard box... it isn't our reality. Our children are growing up in a technological era and quite frankly... the world is their oyster because of of it. There's a lot of greatness that comes with technological advances.

Too bad it totally scares the shit out of me.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A 5th birthday--- Hogwarts style.

So, I don't know if I have mentioned it here on the blog but the May children are 100% obsessed with Harry Potter these days. I like to credit myself for this magical idea. You see... I was going to possibly jump off our 2nd story roof if I had to endure too many more mornings of Star Wars trivia from Gabriel May before I had even opened my eyes for the day. It was a dark time in my parenting and I needed a change like YESTERDAY.

Enter Harry Potter.

I mean what's not to love? Magic? Adventure? Owls that bring you mail? Now there is an obsession I can rally behind.

We started out slow. Book one. Each night... three older Mays sprawled on the floor and Mom or Dad would just read aloud. Two butter-beers, some wizarding chess and a magical stone later and BAM there were hooked.

Surprisingly (and yet, somehow not...) Lucy might be the most obsessed about HP of the group. Well... that is discounting Molly's love of Draco Malfoy... a post for another time. Lucy is like legitimately living in Hogwarts every single day. There's a bunch of magic in that kid so it totally makes sense. She has been sorted in to a house by on online quiz (Slytherin...duh.), taught her entire pre-k class about "dementors sucking out your soul with the kiss of death" (awkward) and sorted all her friends in to houses on the playground (precious.) So when asked about what kind of birthday party she wanted, I was less than shocked to hear the request for a HP theme come rolling out of her mouth.

Oh, Lucy. You know your Mama loves her a theme. Park party... lots of friends... no real structure... it just screams of success really. Even better... is when my crafty ideas come together too. I dare say, Mr. May was even a bit excited how this one turned out.

Each child was sorted in to a house and given a broomstick...

To compliment their wands of course! (Dream birthday gift from the McWilliams clan right here).

After a brief flying lesson and safety with broomstick course led by one Madam Hooch Molly May... they were off to the games. House tournaments for the cup... those adorable Hufflepuffs sure were pretty all over the grid... followed by wizarding red light/green light and a little bit of follow the leader on brooms. 

Not kidding when I say that the flying version of my husband is what makes me love him the most. 

I mean frozen wands...

and Owl cupcakes just scream Harry Potter success.

It sure helps when you get to celebrate with families that have been in our lives before any of these kids were even born (well...technically the blondie on the bottom left was a week or two old.)

Even more magical than HP is this lot. What a great way to ring in a golden girl's big birthday!

Annie's 18 Months! (And 20 months too but shhhh.)

Wow, this ole' blog is about ankle deep in some backlogged posts. Shameful.

So, as I gaze at my sleeping 20-month-old on the monitor, we are just going to tiptoe back a little in time to good ole' Feb 3rd where we celebrated this little Missy's half birthday.

18-months bitty bit! Seems so short but in many ways there were some looooong days in there too. Time is funny that way.

18-Month-Old Stats
Height: 28 inches (<1%)
Weight: 19.0 lbs (8%)

This girl is a full fledged toddler!! She is running, walking, complaining right along with the bigger Mays. Hard to believe that Feb 2nd marked the one year anniversary of Annie in her first Spica cast. I look at her now and can't believe all the things that she is able to do. A child's resiliency is unlike any other superpower I have ever known. These little people make the HULK look like a wimp for sure.

At 18-months, aside from Mommy (her beloved!!) comes a continued deep love of all things "Ro. Ro". Good ole' Rosie George. She lets Annie just torture her from sun up to sun down. I don't feel too bad for her though because loving on Annie means that she will feed you the very best scraps from her plate when she is done eating. I like to think that they have mutual understanding. Tolerance of Abuse = delicious people food. Yeesh. I might need to rethink things. Rosie might be a battered woman.

Are these the eyes of a dog pleading for freedom? Say it ain't so!

Annie continues to be deathly afraid of the Rudy's car wash, the vacuum cleaner and the scale at her pediatrician's office. Her crying on the scale sure is a lot cuter than when I cry on the scale at my doctor's office.

We went for her 18-month well check and helping a friend out, I thought it would be easy breezy taking her two daughters along for the appointment. I mean, we are talking the easiest 4th child on the planet here.


Two seconds after this picture, once inside the doctor's office ... one ANNABEL MAY lost her S&!*

Like woah.

Her little friends and myself were speechless. Seems 18-months is when you decide you HATE your doctor. Fully noted and we will no longer submit little buddies to that sort of raw version of Annie.

When not freaking out at a doctor office, Annie has been having a bunch of fun with friends these last couple months.

If only she weren't such an aggressive lover. (Think form tackling friends just to kiss them.) It really is the worst unique.

At least she found one man that doesn't mind a nice strong woman.

 It's only a matter of time before they figure out just how adorable they are for each other... right???

18-months. You are full of all kinds of new. Like eat with a fork better than my 8-yr-old brother, Mama's signed me up for preschool next year sorts of new.

That's right world. This girl's going places. 

Consider yourself warned.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Golden Birthday.

Height: 40.2 inches (11%)
Weight: 36.4 lbs (25%)

Well. You did it, kid. The very first of all your siblings to hit your golden birthday. Not surprising though in the slightest. You are made of only the best kind of golden magic after all.

Oh, Lucy May. A whole hand old. Goodness, those five vivacious fingers have been ready to birthday high five for the past 364 days. Today. We have finally arrived.

I like to think that God took a little glance at our family before you arrived, had a bit of a giggle and whispered "Now for some fun..."

Quite honestly, I don't know that I have ever met a more fun child in my entire life.  It will probably be okay if I never meet another. You are my one-of-a-kind, love all, live all, afraid of nothing, streak the neighborhood while thinking of ways to change the world kind of gal. For such a small person you sure pack in a whole load of personality. It is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. Aside from your fantastic voice.

Last week, Molly and you were playing school together. Each were teachers and each had their own bedroom classroom to teach in. I walked in to Molly's "classroom" to find all her stuffed animals sitting quietly in a row while she read aloud from a chapter book. So serene. So calm. I then opened the door to the guest room to find animals that looked as if they had just survived gail force winds and you, the teacher, jumping on the bed chanting "No homework, More freedom". Way to stay true to you, dear. Don't ever change that.

Our resident megaphone, there isn't a soul in the neighborhood that doesn't know when you have some mighty opinions about something. I have absolutely no idea what you will become when you are older (you are pulling heavily for rockstar these days) but whatever it is... it will be spicy and alive and holy cow...it will be LOUD. Dad and I will be right there, front and center cheering you on to greatness.

Big changes to come this year. Kindergarten has absolutely no idea what is about to walk through their doors. I can't wait for them to learn all about wonderful, lovable, you.

You live every color of the rainbow, toots. Gaining a Lucy in my life has been like finding the most wonderful pot of gold. You make my Mama heart smile as big as the sky.

Happy GOLDEN birthday, buddy. We sure do love you so.

***(Turn up your speakers for birthday video music!)***

Lucy's 5th Birthday! from Julie May on Vimeo.