Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer 2011: Looking Back

School’s starting, leaves are on the ground, and I detect a chill in the air. Yup, fall’s here. And we have a GREAT summer to look back on (I’m eating the last of this summer's blackberries, picked yesterday by Steve and B, as I type). Here are our stats for Summer 2011:

Miles flown: 5304

Tubes of sunscreen used: 6

Serious sunburns: 1 (Steve’s, obtained while boogie-boarding in Hawaii. For our next trip, we’re packing long-sleeve rash guards.)

Boo-boos kissed: 38

Boo-boos requiring stitches: 0, thank goodness

Soggy beach towels at the bottom of the stairs most nights: 4

Pounds of berries consumed: 21 (That is no joke. My girls are bonkers for berries.)

Swimsuits worn out: 2 (1 for each girl)

Parks explored: 12

Home projects completed: 5 (including painting the front door, staining the deck, and pressure-washing everything in sight)

Businesses launched: 1 (My talented hubby's basketball skills-training business Steve Jacobson Hoops)

E-books released: 1 (Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep So You Can Sleep Too, by yours truly)

Pet injuries sustained: 1 (Little Sylvie's broken leg. She's now healed and back to her pesky, adorable self!)

Prize-winning veggies grown: 0

Tasty veggies grown: plenty

Hours spent in the backyard: Too many to count

We spent as much time outdoors as possible, and I sacrificed quite a bit of work time to spend more hours with my sweeties. I know I made the right choice. Work will always be waiting, while summer (like our berry season) is gone in a flash.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

But mo-ooom!

Mom, I got dressed all by myself. The least you could do is let me have a Popsicle. I don't care if it's 9 a.m. I'm camping out RIGHT HERE until I get one. Or until this turtleneck cuts off the blood flow to my legs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Top Ten Reasons I Can't Wait For Fall

Summer, we need to talk. It's been fun and all, but I'm ready for something different. I've got another season on my mind. Namely, fall. Here are the top 10 reasons I can't wait to say "see ya!" to summer and welcome my favorite season, fall.

1. Preschool! When school starts September 1, Bianca can finally see the friends she’s missed all summer long. Plus, I won’t have to hear “Mommy, I’m bored! Take me to the swimming pool zoo library store mall park climbing place grandma’s house right NOW!" on repeat, all day long.

2. Apple pies. Our apple tree is dripping with almost-ripe apples that should be ready to pick next month. I am an impatient gardener…I want to pick those babies, now!

3. Football. Oddly, I’m looking forward to football season this year. Mainly because my husband enjoys it so much, and I love watching him put on his lucky Seahawks jersey and get as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning on game day.

4. And end to Summer Pressure. Summer in Washington state is amazingly brief. It lasts a nanosecond (otherwise known as the month of August). This means that the instant the temperature tops 70, the summer pressure starts: we absolutely MUST get outside to take advantage of every last second, because it will all be over soon! I love summer (i.e. August) but I don’t love the constant pressure to squeeze every last drop out of every fleeting second.

5. New school haircuts and clothes. What mom doesn’t love seeing their kiddo look spiffy? I can’t wait to dig out the new school clothes I’ve bought and squirreled away.

6. New fall TV. I have lots of drawer-organizing and paperwork-sorting to do, and I’m saving it for fall so that I can do it while watching new episodes of Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother.

7. The return of my Uggs. They may be ugly, and I don’t even know if they’re fashionable anymore, but oh, how I love them.

8. Storytime. The return of community activities like the weekly storytime at our local library means that we’ll have some ready-made playdates and an excuse to get out of the house.

9. Holidays. I’m a fall-holiday kind of gal. Halloween? Love it. Thanksgiving? Bring it on. Sure, both holidays involve sweet treats, but I’m more excited about seeing my kids dressed up and having fun with family and friends.

10. Soups and Casseroles. I’m ready for a break from the summertime routine of nonstop hot dogs, burgers, and salads. And fall means soup weather! Every fall I set aside a couple of weekend days to fill the freezer with soups and casseroles. Easy, healthy meals that don’t involve a barbeque. Hooray!

ANOTHER REASON TO LOOK FORWARD TO FALL: A possible end to never-ending diaper chores. Mia picked yesterday to start potty training. She's only one, so this may be a fluke, and I suspect that her love of wasting toilet-paper has something to do with her potty enthusiasm. That reminds me--I need to go and buy more!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our nearly-perfect scoop of summer

I can hardly believe it’s August already. Back-to-school season is in full swing. I feel like summer just started, but already most of it is in the rear-view mirror. And I really can’t say that I’m sorry. I’ll be honest; summer with small kids is every bit as exhausting as it is fun. If I’m being really honest, it’s more of the former, less of the latter. There have been many long, cranky days.

We’ve had meltdowns and melted ice-cream cones. We’ve had (diaper) blowouts, and (temper) blowups. We’ve had carseat kicking fights and “Don’t MAKE me pull over” threats. We’ve had far too many rounds of “Mommy, where are we GOING today?”

But not this day.

Today was a day plucked out of a children’s wear catalog. (Minus the impossibly perfect, impractical children’s wear, of course.) There was frolicking at a sun-dappled park under hazy blue skies. There was a picnic. There was a drama-free trip to the library. There was a playdate.

The girls bestowed dimpled grins on smitten strangers like tiny beauty queens. They were kind to each other. They ate their peas. OK, Bianca ate one. It counts.

They were so adorable, they took my breath away. Did I really grow these two gorgeous, funny little people in my own body? They told jokes, followed by giggles as sweet and bubbly as champagne. Their little voices were as smooth as two scoops of butter-pecan.

We had one—one—picturesque, almost-perfect summer day. I’m still savoring it.

I need to bottle up today and seal it tight. I need to preserve it and tuck it away someplace safe. Because I’m absolutely, positively convinced that it not be repeated anytime soon.

Who knows why this day drifted my way. Maybe we’re finally turning the corner on the “Fearsome Fours.” Maybe I’ve logged enough hard days that the Almighty figured I was due for a good one.

I do think that we get days like this, once in the bluest of moons, to help us get through all of the other crappy ones.

I’m sending some of today’s magic your way. I hope you get your perfect summer day, too. Every mom deserves a few.

Wordless Wednesday

Mia and Milo: The cutest cat-kid combo ever.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's ready! My e-book "Ready, Set, Sleep" launches today!

It’s here! My first e-book “Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep, So You Can Sleep Too” is launching today! I’m so excited!

In this e-book, I share what I’ve learned over nearly five years of answering sleep questions from tired parents—as a moderator for a global sleep website, as the resident sleep expert at www.ParentingSquad.com, and as a widely-published sleep journalist for national and regional publications across the US and Canada.

Some quick facts about Ready, Set, Sleep:

  • This is a thinking parent’s guide to sleep; it was written for parents who want to support their child’s sleep needs compassionately, respectfully, and effectively.
  • It is geared toward parents of young children, with simple, thoroughly-explained advice that will help babies and young children sleep better tonight and for years to come.
  • Ready, Set, Sleep is not an age-specific guide. The tips will help parents of young children from birth through the preschool years and beyond.
  • Ready, Set, Sleep does not endorse “cry-it-out.” Of the 50 information-packed tips in this e-book, none involve leaving your child to cry.
  • Ready, Set, Sleep is not laden with value judgments. I do not shove a parenting philosophy down your throat. I simply offer practical, specific strategies that work.
  • Ready, Set, Sleep is not one-sized-fits all. Using the advice in this e-book, parents can build an approach to sleep that works for their unique child and family.

Here’s what moms are saying about it:

"Malia Jacobson understands the struggles of sleep-deprived modern parents."

"Made a big difference to this sleep-deprived household!"

"Insightful advice for all busy families with sleep problems."

"Wise, useful resource."

"Worked wonders for our family."

I believe you know your child better than anyone else. You are the expert on your own family. I’m here to help equip you with the information to help your child sleep better—so that you might be able to catch some zzzz’s, too.

Interested? I hope you will check it out. And let me know how you like it!

Happy reading—and happy sleeping!