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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Don’t cry over spilled blocks

When my son builds, creates, and interprets his innovations, my heart soars.  His bounding spirit so full of purpose and exploration is a constant reminder to look at things differently and to simple create.

Lately, everything he creates is related to dinosaurs.  Everything.

Together, we’ll build with Lego Duplo blocks to create something that looks sort of horse and giraffe-ish.  But, Calvin confidently dubs it a dinosaur–a specific type of dinosaur with specific dinosaur features.

For example, a tower of 20 colorful stacked bricks is…

a big, big dinosaurus rex with a loooong neck

Noted.

Actually, in this drawing, I can actually see the belly, a tail, and feet.  When I asked about the scribbles on top and what they were, he kinda shrugged and smiled, and then changed the subject. That was AFTER he named this drawing “Dinosaur for Daddy.”

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I want to encourage Calvin to play, create, and imagine.

But…

I kinda hate it when he dumps the legos allthefloor. ALLoverthefloor. allOVERthefloor. just before dinner time. or before we leave the home.

I mean, everything is all picked up for the evening and suddenly, I hear…

CRASH! Plastic bricks colliding with dozens of other plastic bricks into a heap of rubble on the floor of my recently picked up and very smallish living room carpet.

A few pieces tumble and roll under the couch and the dining table and my desk (did I mention we have a rather tight space?).

And then, my shoulders collapse.  I let out an audible groan.

Maybe it’s that I’m tired of our cramped, small space where tripping over a plastic brick or ball is just the daily grind because there is NO other place where my son can play.

Perhaps I just get tired at 6pm. Period.

Or maybe, my husband and I need to lighten up and just let our son’s free-form expression occur regardless of trip hazard and time of day. (Seriously, why must he dump the entire bucket on the floor RIGHT before we’re about to sit down for dinner.  Why then?)

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But, that’s not the only time he chooses to pull the bucket of plastic blocks out of their shelf.

Yesterday, he pulled them out at 7:55 AM–he and I needed to get out the door by 8 AM to greet a patient scheduled 30 minutes later.

I heard the plastic contents empty on the floor as I was scurrying about our apartment and getting ready to load up our gear and lunches into the vehicle.

That sound made me stop in my tracks.  Groan. Sigh. I asked my son, “Really?  Did you have to pour those out now?”

Because, let’s face it, two year-olds completely have the time concept figured out.  At the most inconvenient moment, THAT is when they need to go to the bathroom or create a giant mess, or completely take off every single piece of clothing that they’re wearing (just as you’re getting ready to head out the door).

Then, I just shrugged it off.  I asked him to help pick them up because we needed to leave to get to the office and we didn’t want to leave a mess.

Shockingly, without a protest, he picked up every single block and very quickly returned each one to the bucket.

That’s where I ruined everything.  As I dashed to put the bucket back on the shelf (because I just couldn’t wait for my son to do it himself), the bucket tipped on the shelf, and all the blocks poured out onto the floor.

I did it.  I spilled them.  (Hand raised high) It was ME!

I stopped.  Looked at my son squarely, and I said, “I’m so sorry.  I spilled all those blocks after you picked them up.  Mommy made a big mess.  We don’t have time to pick them up now, we have to leave.”

It’s okay Mommy.  It’s alright.

Blessed by the grace of a two year-old.

*Lego Duplo Brick photo by tlossen via Flickr.

Sad Heart

Nothing makes me more sad than when my little guy is under the weather.  Lately, it seems that he’s been under a string of things.  Part of the fun of a developing immune system in a small child.

Just over a month ago, he and his dad were down with a stomach bug.  A few days later, he had an allergic reaction (possibly to some food) that resulted in a very difficult night with a bad croupy cough.

About the time that went away, spring allergies hit with a fervor.  My son got more than a runny nose and watery eyes, he ended up with a full body rash.  After talking with several people today who grew up in central Virginia, it seems as though he probably does have some form of poison ivy.  It’s all over his face.  Only a few days ago, his eyes were completely blood shot.  He looked like a little bloodhound.

He’s on the mend, but it’s taking a long time.  As B.J. Palmer said, “Healing takes time.”

So, forgive me if I’ve been a little behind with regular columns…I’ve been sticking to my first priority and taking care of my little one–even in the wee hours of the morning when the itchy skin is at its worst.

Please lift up Calvin in prayer.  I’ll get back to posting about some more fun aspects of parenthood in the near future.

Stuffy

I’ve been burning the midnight oil, the candle at both ends, and I’m plumb tired.  So tired, that I think overworking myself has caused me to get a little run down.  Nothing like the full-force of allergies to say, Hey!  Slow down!

It all started on Monday when my son and I enjoyed a lovely day by eating our lunch outside in a courtyard surrounded by beautiful blooms and singing birds.

Shortly after we walked back to the office, I started to sneeze and get a runny nose.  Within a few hours, I had full on sinus congestion and zero capability to breathe through my nose.

I could not wait to get home and relax.

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That night, I was miserable and groaning with little sleep and a lot of drippy nose and stuffy head.  They were the worst sinus allergies I’d experienced since I was a teenager living in the Ragweed pollen capital of the world in central Texas.

Calvin was pretty miserable, too.  He crawled into bed with us and was restless.  When he woke up the next morning, his eyes were red and puffy. Poor little guy!

All I wanted to do was stay home and sleep and do nothing but snuggle with my son.  However, I had a full patient load for the day.  So, I dropped off Calvin with a friend for the morning, and then I headed to the office to hang out for eight hours.  An eight hour day isn’t a terribly long work day.  But, when you’ve got the worst allergies, eight hours feels like twenty plus.

I may or may not have had a tissue crammed up and hanging out of my nostril to absorb the run-off snot.  And no, there is no photo.

Thankfully, another chiropractor was able to fit me in during the late morning to adjust my inflamed spine and to work on my horribly stuffed nasal passages.  I felt well enough afterward to continue with my day (even though I still wanted to go home and crawl in bed and rest).

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So, to sum up my afternoon:  Calvin woke up early from his nap because he was too hot.  Sweating profusely from too many blankets.

He said, Hair wet.  Take a shower.  Wash hair.

Not only did I have two hours of patient care remaining, but I had a miserable little guy who wanted my full attention.  When one patient was finishing up, Calvin kept saying, All done. Bye bye!

That’s code for: Please, leave now.  I want my Mommy all to myself.

He said this for the next patient who came in.  I tried to add in some training.

Calvin, we don’t say those things.  That’s not being a good little host.

Futile.

Especially when a two year-old isn’t feeling well.  Forget manners.  It’s all about being direct and expressing your needs.

My heart was torn.  I wanted nothing more than to cuddle my little guy and get him home.  Yet, I need to focus on patients when I’m at work, whether or not I’m feeling well, and whether or not my son agrees.

I looked at the clock all afternoon hoping my husband would get off work early to pick up our son.  No such luck.

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Being a working mom is hard with little ones who want constant attention…especially when you have a job where you care for people who need constant attention.  Also, it’s tough when your babysitter is on spring break for days that are super full.

God bless friends like Elisa who can help out in a pinch.  God bless chiropractic care and homeopathic remedies that actually work to relieve allergies.

Note: I still have residual symptoms from my allergies, but they are seventy-five percent better.  Because I’ve been run down and working so much that I regretted not having fun outings with my son, I more than made up for it today. (More on that later…)

By the way, while all of that stuff was going on, Angie Bremont of CVille Entremom announced the winner of the First Annual CVille Entremom of the Year.

*photo from Little Miss Pip via Flickr.

Resurrection Day in Charlottesville

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve had more on my “wish I could do list” than was truly realistic.  Well, the list was realistic, but other events in real life kinda came up.

I had to keep shoving things off until tomorrow.  And then, tomorrow came, and well . . here we are–it’s Resurrection Day!

My husband is in the kitchen happily preparing our lamb roast.  He makes a scrumptious lamb roast!  The aroma of the roasted rosemary and garlic is so mouth-watering delicious.

My son has already biked through the lawn . . .Picked pretty flowers . . .

(that I arranged into a centerpiece with two small glasses) . . .

Had a pretend tea party, read several books, and he peeled all the paper off of his crayons. He stopped for a few moments to taste homemade hummus and carrots and a pitted date (an ingredient in the raw peach cobbler).

Even though I need to catch up on some serious sleep from the past two weeks, I was able to finish cleaning my floors, and the surprise of the evening was that I did indeed finish making my son’s first bow tie.

It was the first thing he wanted when he awoke this morning. Mommy!  Bow tie!

I started to make one from a lime green dragonfly print with a contrasting brown bias tape, but the extra work involved on that project just meant I needed a few more days weeks to complete.  So, I decided to create a brand new one (sans bias tape).

The finished one is a great complement to his sweater vest, don’t you think?

Thankfully, I practiced the bow tie-tie method on Calvin’s stuffed Snoopy at least 10 times, so I could quickly do it for a restless toddler this morning.

Apparently, I wasn’t fast enough.

Calvin kept tucking his chin to his chest saying “All Done!  Off!” But, I persisted, and he was more than pleased with the final outcome.  He called himself dapper.  Indeed he was.

After church, he didn’t want to change into more comfortable clothes (a.k.a. I didn’t want to deal with grass stains on his white shirt).  But, he did sneak in a few kicks in the backyard before I made him change.

It was also a great opportunity for a family photo shoot (long overdue since last fall!)

Happy Resurrection Day from my family to yours.  We’re so thankful for the Lamb who bore our sins and rose again to conquer death, disease, and destruction.  Enjoy this special day with your loved ones!

Warnge Juice, Please

Two weeks ago, my son was saying “warnge” juice.  Now, he articulates “orange” juice perfectly.  I did a double take when he asked for it yesterday.

Not only has my almost two-and-a-half-year-old improved his pronunciation of several words, but he’s developed a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.  I kid you not.

For example, tonight’s conversation…

“Calvin, how old are you?”

With a wide grin, “Two!”

“How old is Mommy?”

“Old!”

“What?  Where did you learn that?”

Belly laughs precede “Old! old!”

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Okay, back to orange juice…

That’s the only juice we buy.  We don’t like juices that add extra sugar (definitely not something the body needs).  But, I like something other than water to add to smoothies (something I make almost daily for our family).

So…orange juice it is.

Here’s my latest favorite smoothie recipe:

Stress Relief Supreme Smoothie – rich in antioxidants and full of mouth-bursting flavor

Combine ingredients and purée in a high speed blender until smooth. Serve and enjoy your antioxidant refreshment!

Check out Tropicana’s Juicy Rewards where you can gain points from purchasing orange juice, grapefruit juice, and others to use toward fun family events, discounts on purchases, or you can donate your points to work with Cool Earth to save the rain forests.

I just used 9 points to get a 30% off coupon toward a purchase at Coleman’s for a sleeping bag for Calvin for our upcoming spring camping adventures.  Then, I donated 3 more points toward the Rain Forest.

YOUR TURN: How will you use your Tropicana Juicy Rewards points?

Note: I wrote this review while participating in the Tropicana Juicy Insiders Ambassador program by Mom Central on behalf of Tropicana. I received 12 free Juicy Rewards points and a $50 Visa gift card to use in redemption of the points and to facilitate my review.  Read my full disclosure policy.

Wordless Wednesday: Images of Spring

Hippo the Potamus

My son is so into animals or “am-i-nam-als,” as he often pronounces them.  When we sing “The Wheels on the Bus” song, we often add our own verses.

My almost two and one-half-year-old comes up with verses about dinosaurs roaring, bears opening doors, and sharks eating turtles…all on the bus, of course.

Then, he gets even more creative about naming every animal he can remember–he would’ve been a great adjutant for Noah, because this kid’s a walking encyclopedia of animal names, even if the pronunciation is just a little unusual, yet totally perceptible, and extremely cute.

My favorite: hippo the potamus!

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The other night, he was in the bath tub and lying on his belly.  While splashing as much water on the floor as was once in the tub, I asked if he was a shark.

Calvin said, “I’m a panda bear.”

Of course.

*Photo by Bob P&S via Flickr photostream.