Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What's your parenting style?

The other day, a friend asked me a very intriguing question:

What is your parenting style?

As simple as the question was, I found myself at a loss for words...I had never really taken the time to define my parenting style.  I fumbled my way through a description, constantly seeking her approval and understanding.  Then, in an attempt to distract the attention away from my rambling, redirected the same question to her.

Without skipping a beat, she eloquently laid out the expectations, methods and intentions behind her parenting style.  It was simple, succinct and straightforward.  She did not present it as if she were superior to me, or even as if her style was "right".  She just confidently described the way in which she brought up her children. 
I smiled and nodded and our conversation moved on to a different topic, but in the days that followed I found myself thinking about her question, and even more so, her response. 
What is my parenting style? 
I could easily define what it was NOT,
but couldn't seem to articulate what it was.

There's the helicopter mom, the doormat mom, the drill sergeant mom, the lazy mom, the active mom, the attached mom, the detached mom...
I fell somewhere between all these extremes, but wasn't sure where.
I had read a number of posts on mommy blogs that inspired me to be a better mom,
to yell less,
to clean more,
to be more fun and spontaneous, 
to create a routine/to break free from the same old routine
and on and on they go...
I aspired to be more like them. 
I tried out their methods, crafts, chore charts etc.
In a way, I'd been trying to define my parenting style by stealing bits and pieces from each one.
Then it hit me, the proverbial "aha moment".
I'm a "big picture" person, so I usually figure out what I want the end result to be and then work backward from there. For instance, if I am working on a project, I usually figure out what it will look like in the end and then lay out the steps that it will take to get there. 

What if instead of focusing on "how I parent my children?",
I shifted my focus to "what kind of adults do I want them to become?". 

I've always said I don't care if my kids are
the most academic,
or the most athletic,
or the most gifted musicians...
if they could just be genuinely kind-hearted, empathetic, and respectful,
and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,
that would be enough for me. 

So if that is the desired end result, what are the steps that it will take to achieve that?

Once the steps are laid out, how much easier is it to execute each one when you have the end result in mind?

How much more confident are you in your parenting when you know WHY you are doing things the way you are?

I'm only about 2 weeks late, but I'm ready to answer my friend's question now!
I'm a cultivating parent. 
cultivate (v): to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc., my child)
by labor and attention
What's your parenting style?


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baby C's Nursery!

I just sewed the last stitch of Caroline's nursery decor and am so excited with the finished product!  It's taken me long enough (she's already 6 1/2 months old!) but it was well worth the wait!

These are really poorly-shot before pics.  Actually mid-reno... notice the carpet pad... we switched out the carpet for laminate when we moved in, added baseboard, and then left everything until baby came.

And here is the after!
**Everything is photographing a bit darker and more vibrant than it really is, but I'm a little too lazy to color correct everything before posting so just use your imagination!**

Before baby was born, I had decided on a color palette of Navy, Yellow and Seaflower (Valspar's name for a light sea-blue color) with plans to throw in a little salmon-y pink if I had a girl.  I had intended to paint my crib yellow, which surprise, surprise, I never got around to doing.  However I did redo the change table I had from baby #1.  I forgot to take a before picture but this is what it looked like:


Removed door and painted interior of tower yellow along with knobs.
Painted the rest white and swapped out the top of tower with weathered wood.

The shelves above the changing table are Fabian shelves from IKEA and only cost $6.99 each!  Have I mentioned how much I love that store!  They come in an unfinished pine so I brushed on some watered down gray paint I had on hand and sanded them down just a bit to try and match up to the weathered wood top of the changing table.
I topped them off with cute little lamp from Target with a mini gallery wrap from my maternity session with BLP Photography tucked inside next to a few color coordinating craft books with a cute name block baby shower gift and some vases.  The shelf on the left is still a work in progress... the CD player is a must and I love the picture frame on the wall behind it. I also love the wooden circle but just threw the baby books up there to fill the space.  I guess I'm not quite done with the nursery after all!

This pillow was a gift from my pastor's wife.  It was so adorable it actually made me switch from my original color scheme plans!

She gave me a heads up on where to get the fabric and I sent it to my friend, the talented Shannon Nelson who whipped me up this coordinating quilt!  Shameless plug to check out her other stuff here!

I picked out my favorite print in the bedding and added fabrics in coordinating colors to make this ruffled crib skirt!!  I am not a sewer, per se, but I do have a sewing machine and access to Pinterest, and that's all you really need right?!  I also have a very patient mother who talked me through the tricky parts!  The crib skirt is actually 3 separate panels that are simple attached to the crib with stick on velcro.  When the crib mattress gets lowered, the panels pull up so the ruffles remain in the same spot. Bonus for me, I have a good amount of leftover fabric and an almost 5 year old who is dying to have a matching sundress with her 6 month old sister!!

I made a name sign for over her crib before I received the embroidered name pillow and name block gift...  But it's a pretty cute name so it works right?!  I also wanted something hanging above her crib, but hit my budget on the nursery a tish before.  So I re-purposed a hanging chandelier I had initially intended for my room with some card stock circles, and voila!

I bought curtain panels from Walmart for $10, but they were a little blasé and shorter than I wanted.  So I sewed a little of the pink ruffle fabric I had purchased for the crib skirt on the panels and they looked 100% better!

There is a little toy corner for when she is old enough to enjoy it. Two Expedit units and wicker storage bins from IKEA hold all the knick-knacks she could want and the layout of the units allowed for a vase behind to hold some corner-filling sticks.

I hung some simple paper lanterns above and a little cross wall decor from her grandma that has the best wording on it:

"Jesus Loves Me
You are a GIFT from above.
More PERFECT than I could have hoped for,
More BEAUTIFUL than I could have dreamed,
More PRECIOUS than I could have imagined."

The last thing is actually the first thing I made for her nursery.  I painted it to match the original color scheme so I had to repaint it, but I love seeing the pictures of our journey with her from maternity to birth and from photo shoots to snapshots!

And a final note...finishing the nursery was #7 on my New Year's Resolution list and I am checking it off!!  I also have checked off #1, 2, 4, 5 and 6!  Not to toot my own horn, but toot toot!!  Now to get going on #3!