Explore: Life in Pictures, Vol. 2

In volume one of this series sharing pictures of stuff I’m doing in pursuit of my one word for this year, I gave you an update on the things we’d been doing and places I’ve explored just for the joy of it. This one is different. This is the Connor edition.

When I introduced my word I mentioned that it wasn’t just about going places, though certainly that’s part of why I chose the word “explore.” It was also about exploring other things, and one of those things is my relationship with Connor.

I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with him a bit, and I think it’s because in some ways we’re so alike while in others we’re so different. He pushes my buttons. Sometimes it’s because of who he is – he’s high energy, and he’s four. Frustration comes easily to me when I’m tired, which I am most of the time these days. And I tip into sensory overload really fast, and he seems to like to exploit that.

But a lot of the time it’s because he doesn’t get what he needs from me. So I’m trying to fix that.

I went to his preschool last week when he was special helper, and got to see him doing all the special-helper jobs and doing show-and-share with his class. He was so cute sitting in the special helper chair showing his LEGO dinosaur and answering his classmates’ questions, and in that space and time I was a mom with a preschooler talking about something he loves. It was a good reminder.

special helper at preschool

Connor still loves his baby brother. He loves to play with him and hold him and talk to him. His generous nature prevents him from lashing out because the baby gets more of my attention than he does these days. I’ve been encouraging him to help with Ethan and getting down on the floor with them and trying to remember that Connor was my baby at one time too.

brother with baby on the floor

I’ve been trying hard to join him when he plays LEGO, though it’s not my strong suit. But what I am really good at is appreciating the stuff he builds (because, seriously, he does amazing stuff) and taking pictures of him with his creations (even when he has a dopey smile and needs his hair cut).

boy with LEGO creation

And we’ve been doing things. Going to the library and then reading the books.

reading with preschooler

Today I was starting to do a Jillian Michaels’ yoga meltdown workout while he was supposed to be in quiet time. He quietly opened the door and came in with his LEGO, his drink and his snack, and said he was lonely in quiet time. Normally I would have shooed him out, but instead I thought, “Why not?” I asked him if he wanted to do yoga with me and he gamely joined in, standing in a small spot next to me. So I opened up my space and my heart and moved over to give him his own yoga mat right next to me. As I moved I saw him watching me and then copying my moves.

Like mother, like son.

It’s been good.

Essence of Now

I’ve got a new post at Huffington Post that shares a little bit more about our move last year. Would love it if you would come and read!



  1. I love that you’re doing this. Every child is different hence our relationship with each one has to be different. I’ve been trying to do more of the same – just being with the big one. I know things have changed since the baby arrived, and it’s not been easy on him, and I can tell, even at 3, that he appreciates my efforts.

    Onwards and upwards :)

  2. I love that you’re doing this with him. Life can get so busy and distracting one there is another baby thrown into the mix and we need to remember that they were once our babies too. There is nothing like that smile on their face when we put in that effort though.

  3. It’s good to see you two spending time together. I know my oldest doesn’t get all the attention she deserves because little sister is so needy.

    • That’s part of the reason I feel bad right now – the littlest dude is really easygoing. I really need to balance it out more.

  4. I know how hard it is to give your oldest the attention he needs. SO hard. I love that you’ve been letting him join you and doing things together. Also, love the belly shot in the library. 😀

  5. Robin, I notice that my oldest is the same way. She acts up to get the attention she needs from me. I try very hard to give her that undivided attention when I can. I am trying hard to give her mommy time preferably before she’s in bed. She wants to postpone bedtime to hang out with me.

    • It’s a tough cycle, isn’t it? He acts up, so I get cranky and am less inclined to give him the attention even though I know that’s what he needs. And if I just give it to him in the first place we’re both happier for it.

  6. I’m this way with my oldest. We still push each other’s buttons at times! I guess we probably always will in some way… 😉 But this one-on-one time is SO very important. Good for both of you!!

  7. Like you, I struggle with sensory over load and needing my own space and quiet time. But I have to remind myself that my daughter just wants me to siend time with her and teach her.
    I’m practicing patience.
    This post is great.

    • That’s exactly it – practicing patience. Right now I’m not going to get the quiet space I need all the time, so I’m trying to just work with that.

  8. What a happy post. I know you’re exhausted. Good on you for pushing yourself through it to be there for Master C. We moms have so little time to ourselves as it is. It’s hard to give up the little bit that we have, but the most rewarding moments for me too are when I know that my guy feels connected to me – when he feels seen and heard.

    • You’re right – I love seeing him in those moments and I need to keep working at it to get to those moments instead of the ones where I just get cranky.

  9. Ah it’s such a struggle to balance “me time” and juggling the overload our kids innocently indulge on us! ESPECIALLY when your kids are at the age they are… good for you for taking those moments and embracing them as best you can and embracing your cute Connor!! :)

  10. I really get your need for your own space and private time. I’m a lot like that, I just truly enjoy being alone, which is really hard when you have young kids. I love all the things you’ve been doing together.

  11. aw, he was lonely in quiet time :) sounds like something one of mine would say. I think it’s wonderful that you are in tune with his needs and you’re doing such a good thing by giving him what’s most important — your time:)

  12. I’m so glad you are grabbing these moments. They are just awesome. And now you’ll remember them forever!

  13. Great post! It is such a balance between being mom and being ourselves. I am the mom of an only child, my 16 year old daughter. These teen years have been rough, just so hard to connect with her sometimes. Cherish all the time you have with your kids when they are little because in a blink of an eye…they are almost grown and graduating high school,,,sorry I am having a sentimental moment LOL Just remember you are enough!