abcabcabc More Snippets on Life, Love, and Laughter — Mommy Manders

More Snippets on Life, Love, and Laughter

Afternoon snuggle

Life is good, life is full, life is less painful and more joyful than it was before the little blue and white pills. I am trying to live each day modeling the fruits of the spirit for my children and the people around me, trying to channel my late Gigidad whose basket was overflowing with love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and the ever-elusive self-control. Anyway, here are a few “Snippets” from my very exciting mommy-teacher-writer life of late…

  • Super Tuesday in America. The results and live coverage are streaming in to living rooms across the country. The news media and political pundits are enjoying every last second of suspense…and we are all wondering….will Lowry finish off the Do-si-dos in the orange girl scout cookie box or eat the rest of her leftover chocolate birthday cake? Which candidate will get her vote? It is just too close to call. Why can’t she get two votes just this time – it is so hard to decide! Too bad. They are both such great choices! (And maybe that’s where the analogy falls short.)
  • I relished the days that Dustin was off and around last week. I rose early each morning, before the sun and the children (perhaps even the Haitian roosters), and escaped to White Rock Coffee to work and write.  I enjoyed delicious home-cooked, love-cooked meals by Daddy Dustin, and we ate the best broccoli I’ve ever eaten! I took naps, took breaks, took walks, even took my feet for a much-needed “spring” pedicure, all while Dustin took care of the kids.
  • I discover how fun it can be to do the dishes in the evening. With Daddy around to get the kids ready for bed, Mommy cranks up some “Glee: Season 1” music (instead of the usual NPR), and has fun jammin’ in the kitchen. The clean, naked kids discover me when they come out of the tub, and we end up dancing together. I decide it’s good for them to see a joyful Mommy, having fun all by herself!
  • Given more time and space for my own thoughts, my brain was full of ideas and inspiration! (This is what happens when I’m rested and life is good. I want to create, produce, change the world! Next project: my first of several books.)
  • I have gotten many heartfelt, kind, grateful and open responses to ““My Dragon” post” about my depression – from mommy friends, from Kindermusik parents, from readers around the world. They have humbled me, encouraged me, and all made me feel like I made the right (though difficult) choice to open up about this dark part of my life. So many have also struggled with depression and anxiety. My hope is that my openness on the subject will help moms to talk about it, will encourage moms struggling with any kind of “dragon” to seek help.
  • I also discover that my new “normal” does not mean total immunity from losing it with my kids, but it is less often, less intense, and I have more grace for myself when it does happen.
  • As her mommy was putting on lip gloss in the car, one of my little students told her, “Miss Lowry is teaching a make-up class!” True, but a different kind of make-up. (It’s pretty funny if you know how NOT into make-up I am, and that I’m actually the one who needs to take a real “make-up” class.)
  • I found Michael James in his bed during rest time rubbing used drier sheets on his face, and saying, “Smell my face.” Sometimes I just have to mumble to myself, “Where did this weird kid come from?
  • When we had some friends over for dinner, MJ played host by helping to set the table. He sweetly wrote “I love you” on each paper napkin. Sometimes I say to myself, “Where did this wonderful kid come from?
  • Mommy has discovered the peace that comes with an evening walk to the compost pile – cool, fresh, night air under the stars and moon  – I take it as a chance to breathe deeply and enjoy a few moments of quiet solitude.
  • I recorded “The Oscars”, and replayed the TOTALLY COOL Cirque du Soleil performance with all the acrobatics and amazing physical feats for the children one night after bath. They loved it, and we ended up doing our own version for family play. (Picture kids jumping off of couches and coffee tables and climbing on Daddy, all while Mommy “buh-buh-bums” nail-biting background music! Miraculously, no one was injured.)
  • MJ was “snack leader” for his class the week of the letter “Q”. We came up with some clever “Q” snacks, thought it was a challenge: “Quaker oat squares (from the cereal box), “Q-tees”, a bagel and cream cheese with a straight pretzel placed just so to make a “Q”, and finally, “Quinoa” salad with crackers. (The teacher said the children responded to this new taste as you might expect, but I stand by the idea that it’s important to introduce a variety of healthy foods to kids, and my kids loved it.)
  • When the children saw that our neighbor was having a garage sale, MJ suggested that we have a lemonade stand in our driveway to capitalize on the increased traffic. They made a sign, moved out a little table and chairs, Ellie handed out little snacks, and they enthusiastically accosted each passing person and car, “Lemonade! Lemonade for sale!” At one point, when MJ was giving change to a customer, it fell into their cup of lemonade, he stuck his hand in to pull it out, and then gave both to them. mmm…delicious! We were all frustrated that not every one shares my same life philosophy (passed onto me by my Dad), ALWAYS stop at a kid’s lemonade stand!
  • One day at breakfast, Ellie asks us to light the candle for “baby” because she has a hurt toe. (Awww, so sweet. Don’t let her fool you – this is the same baby that she sometimes throws to the ground in utter frustration with the world! “Silver baby”, as she calls her.)
  • Because Ellie loves to take care of her baby so much, I suggest maybe we have a “baby” birthday party for her (not until May). You know, let everyone bring their own “babies” and we do little activities for them – maybe a doctor station, a bath station, a dressing center, have a picnic and games in the backyard with them, etc….She says she wants a “truck party”, instead. Hmm…not sure where that came from. I think this is one of those things I will pretend to forget.
  • One day before school, Ellie asks to dance in the playroom. So I turn on some fun music, and the 3 of us do a “ribbon” dance  – this is a fun way to start the day (and why I love a later school start time). I suggest a “dance” birthday party for Ellie, and now she says she wants a “goose” party. Oh, I’ve figured it out! She wants to play “Duck, Duck, Goose” at her party – glad I figured it out before I ordered a “truck” cake.
  • One day when I pick up Ellie at school, I find her outside playing with some friends in the sandbox. One of the little boys asks Ellie, “Is that your Mommy?“. She responds, “Not quite.”
  • We celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with some green eggs and ham in the morning, and by going as a family to see “The Lorax” Friday afternoon. (It was fun and fine for kids, though I wish it had included more of the poetry from the book.) You’ll definitely leave humming the final song, “Let it Grow”, and wanting to go out and plant a tree!

    MJ with his date to "The Lorax"

    Opening Day!

    "I do, I like them Sam I Am!"

  • On Saturday, March 3rd, I turned 34. The kids snuggled in bed with me, gave me birthday kisses, and we read the new book I’d bought for myself and a few other birthday kids, “Happy Birthday to You!” by Dr. Seuss. (We love it! I think reading it first thing in bed  will now be a birthday tradition in our family…”I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be! If I say so myself, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!“) MJ made Mommy “special coffee” for my birthday – this is his own recipe where he adds cinnamon and nutmeg – pretty good. I also treated myself to a 30-minute massage, and a rare girls’ night in with some Mommy friends

    Go for it, Ellie!

  • The children both got to take out some aggression on poor helpless pinatas at an authentic Mexican birthday party. (So great to be invited to our housekeeper’s home for her daughter’s party: we learned new songs in Spanish, ate delicious home-cooked mole, got to practice speaking a few phrases –  just a wonderful experience for all of us. Thank you, Madai.)
  • This afternoon during  our “Story, Snack, and Snuggle” routine  on the couch after school, I excused myself to the kitchen to get us some Thinmints. I was rushing since my expectation from the 2 overly-tired children who were now left without a Mommy to act as a buffer between them was that some sort of conflict would ensue while I was gone. But to my pleasant surprise, when I returned, I overheard MJ saying to Ellie, “Ellie, you’re my friend.” And then I saw Ellie snuggle over to him and give him a kiss. Aaaaaw! (Maybe I should raise my expectations. Nah, this incident was just a fluke.)
  • I am preparing mentally for our Spring break road trip to Chicago, and hoping we don’t regret the decision to make it somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Missouri with two screaming children in the backseat. (We’re going to visit Uncle Jake and a pregnant Aunt Sarah. Hmm, Is it too late to order one of those privacy screens to block the sound from the backseat to the front seat?)
Whatever “snippets” are happening in your life, I wish you may you many moments filled with love and laughter! And if you get any kind of “spring” break with your family next week, make time to “Play, Laugh, Sing, Read, Listen, Hug“!




  1. Irina says:

    I love reading this. You must be my Twin Mommy. Every mother of a small child should read this, it’s very reassuring/comforting.