Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

ridiculously ready… September 28, 2011

Filed under: sisters — dayna @ 11:55 pm

…for a walk around the neighborhood.

“Do you think it’s too much?”



Domitila and javelinas (a giveaway!) September 24, 2011

Filed under: reads — dayna @ 10:00 am

I know I’ve mentioned my book giving therapy before.  Here comes a good one:

We’re always up for a Cinderella story around this house. And if it has a regional flavor… even better!

We found Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition at our library a while ago and some of the variances on the fairy tale pleased this mama to no end.  The tale adapted by Jewel Reinhart Coburn, although featuring a beautiful heroine, emphasizes a legacy of humility, service, and kindness.

The sweet story is based on folklore originating in Hidalgo, Mexico. Domitila is a young woman who, because of family hardship, is driven to seek employment in the home of the governor. Before being called home for her mother’s death, Domitila captivates the tastebuds of the governor’s family, particularly the self-absorbed son, with her delicious nopales (a traditional dish made with prickly pear pads). With only a piece of hand-tooled sandal to track her down, the deeply flawed Timeteo goes in search of the girl who does “every task with care, and always adds a generous dash of love.”

The vivid oil paintings by Connie McLeman tell the story with pictures of colorful desert living and patterned borders. Although they were slightly lost on the three year old, I was delighted by the proverbs about life and love featured on each page in both English and Spanish. The sayings are profoundly beautiful, even if something is a bit lost in the translation.

This summer we also checked out what seems to be a local favorite. Susan Lowell’s The Three Little Javelinas is a well-written rendition of the traditional tale. The pigs are replaced by our dear bristly javelinas, while scheming coyote takes the place of the wolf. Even the building materials assume a Sonoran desert flavor in tumbleweeds, saguaro ribs, and adobe.

The little girls really enjoyed this book. They both spent a lot of time examining Jim Harris’ detailed illustrations with expressive critters and elaborate desert scapes.

Do you have any recommendations for unusual takes on “traditional” tales? What is your favorite Cinderella story?

Take your pick! Leave me a topic- related comment before midnight Tuesday, October 5th. One randomly selected commentor will recieve the copy of their choice.

Want a bonus entry? Try your hand at translating a favorite proverb or two from Domitila.

El amor es como el ojo de la aguja, sin el no hay ni costura ni remiendo.

El amor esta’ presente en el trabajo diario.

* Update: Congratulations to Claudia! One of her two entry numbers was selected by the true random number generator I used @

P.S. You girls are good! The translations given in the book word for word are:

Love is like a needle’s eye, without it, there is no sewing or mending.

It is in one’s daily work that love can be discovered.


boogie shoes September 22, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Motherhood — dayna @ 2:30 pm

Our great room sees more than its fair share of mom-and-girls disco parties. We love to dance and jump around to a cheesy roller disco CD that includes KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes”. C’mon, you know the one…

“I wanna put on my my my…”

(Embarrassing reveal: don’t tell the big sister, but she used to belt out straight-faced that she wanted to put on her her her “booger shoes!” No, thank you.)

The other night, we were preparing for our summer schedule post-sunset stroll around the cul-de-sac. I had my hands full diapering the little one, and the big girl was desperate to help.

“Why don’t you get her a pair of shoes?” I suggested. She delights in playing stylist to a still tolerant baby sis.

She pulled out these puppies:

How fabulous are they?

She has been trying to get her sister into these for weeks. That is, ever since we found them on serious sidewalk-outside-the store kind of clearance at the Osh Kosh outlet…

…for less than two dollars.

What a whole lot of shiny for under two bucks!

But for some reason, Mommy has been resisting putting them on the babe. They just seemed too sparkly, too tacky, too “very special occasion”-ish.

But really, what special occasion does my not yet two-year old have going on? She isn’t going to prom, a grand opening, or even a wedding anytime soon.

So I relented.

And they fit perfectly. The little one grinned and announced “good!” as she hopped down.

They actually seemed super-comfy; just little ballet flats with bling.

She pranced the whole loop. (Even more than usual). And they lit up the night.

Oh, the things one can learn from an almost four-year old and an almost two-year old.

How many things do I have that never get used, worn, said, or experienced because I am waiting for just the right occasion.

Seriously, what am I waiting for?

Today is special.

Right now is so special…

…and utterly, completely deserving of boogie shoes and two dollar bling.

What are you saving for later? I hope now you’ll understand when I’m the one over here pushing swings in my wedding gown. 😉


zoo September 21, 2011

Filed under: sisters — dayna @ 11:55 pm

We shared a lovely day with friends at our local zoo last week.

The little ladies saw all sorts of exotic animals. They fed giraffes. They petted a snake.

Their favorite thing?

The ducks:)

Sometimes it’s the simple things…

What’s your favorite zoo animal? I’m partial to the otters.


rodeo day September 14, 2011

Filed under: Better life — dayna @ 11:55 pm

A few weeks ago, our little family enjoyed the Sonoita rodeo.

There were the obligatory curly fries.

Goofy girls in too-big hats.

Growing up girls in just-right hats. Be still my wannabe cowgirl heart.

And a whole lot of rumps. Blue jean clad and otherwise.

I count eighteen. How about you?

The (hind) End.



1.75 September 8, 2011

Filed under: Milestones,sisters — dayna @ 11:55 pm

You are my charming climber. A tiny bundle full of seeming contradictions.

You’re a classic beauty with a decidedly pixie twist.

You have your daddy’s baby blues and your mama’s elfin ears.

You cock your head and work a sweet dimpled smile when caught in so much mischief.

You are friendly, (mostly) polite, but flirtatiously coy.

You try on big words, your sister’s games, and your mommy’s facial expressions.

You have the sweetest breathy voice and say “Ok, Mommy,” and “Hi, Daddy” with pure sunshine warmth.

You are determined and flash your steely will with “No!” “Mine!” and “I DO it!”

You love books, “organizing,” and climbing shelves, stools, bathroom vanities (see left).

Your world stands still when you see a dog, a baby, or (gulp) a certain purple dinosaur.

You have a highly developed sense of humor and can get your big sister laughing like no one else. She happily returns the favor.

The most recent sweetest thing: your big sister gets very upset if you don’t tuck her in at night with a hug and kiss.

You adore her… but stand your ground.

You are shockingly athletic and raise many eyebrows with your physical prowess at playgrounds and jumping castles state-wide.

You are tiny, but mighty.

You are so much person in so dainty a frame.


unsuspecting rabbit September 7, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 11:55 pm

Consider yourself warned: If you insist on toddling around the house in fuzzy bunny ears, your “striving-to-maintain-a-sense-of-humor” mother may not be able to resist stealthily scotch-taping a cotton ball to your adorable oblivious behind.


Lost: please help… September 6, 2011

Filed under: Better life — dayna @ 11:55 pm

Lately, I seem to be losing my sense of humor. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but my full-on belly laugh has certainly been endangered at best.

There have been warning signs. The clenched jaw, the grinding teeth. The glimpses of myself in photos with an, uh, shall we say “less-than thrilled” expression. Now that’s attractive…

My default face form seems to include a furrowed brow and pursed lips. Nice.

I’m not terrified by wrinkles or anything, but really, wouldn’t we all much rather work on our laugh lines than those cranky-pants creases?

I think I had a bit of a revelation a few weeks ago while I interacted with a patient’s mom. There she was, very pregnant with surprise Baby #5,  helping her seven year old middle daughter recover from open heart surgery. She and her husband (who was recently home from deployment), smiled and laughed at the antics of their three other very active children. They were all gathered at their child’s ICU bedside. And they were purely delightful.

Seriously, if they can giggle like school children in the midst of all those circumstances, what is my problem?

Not that there is any shortage of ridiculousness in my life… There are plenty of occasions to laugh. And hard.

Just ask the motley peanut gallery discovered in a random cupboard…

Crazy, the stuff you find.

The big sis even recently started telling jokes. One of her favorites:

“What did one pancake say to the other?


What’s the batter with you?!”

She also loves her own abstract version of knock-knock jokes. She looks around the room for object nouns to insert into the appropriate scripted slots. On cue, the baby sister obligingly throws her head back and laughs a weirdly grown- up fake laugh.

Totally ridiculous, I tell you! And still there I am with all the clenching and the cranky.

Well, it is high time I do some lightening up, right? So, if you need me I will be over here working hard to not take myself quite so seriously.

Here… I’ll even start with my current favorite knock knock joke.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

A little old lady.

A little old lady who?

I didn’t know you could yodel!

Okay. Now it’s your turn.When was the last time you laughed until you cried? What’s the funniest thing you have seen, heard, or read lately? Links and jokes are highly welcome. You never know- there may be a reward involved for finding my long lost funny bone! 😉

*A merry heart doth good medicine…


renovation September 1, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Faith — dayna @ 11:55 pm

Isn’t there just something about a new month? About a fresh page on the calendar with all those little boxes open for plans. For life.

For change.

And it is September! The drier early mornings and faintly breezy nights are starting to whisper that fall in the desert might, just might, be coming.

A change of seasons.

I could use some change.

I’ve been tense and toxic. Feeling my temper all too often. Running scared and it shows. I am a mom in need of some serious renovation.

So beware. It could get messy. Be on the look out, because I’m in for all-out transformation.

A change in my heart, my mind, my home. Even some change around this little ol’ site.

*Now switching gears, (but not really)…

Do you ever hear a song that you want to run out and give to everyone you know? I feel that way pretty often. This time it started with a song (this one: Rise by Shawn McDonald), but I downloaded the entire album the very next day and it was that good. Below are a few of the lyrics or JUST LISTEN– a live acoustic performance.

Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true


Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don’t know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise


A gentle anthem happily stuck in my head.