Category Archives: Sociology Mama

Love List

This morning, I asked Dylan what he loves.  His answer was: “everyone.”  Riley’s response to the same question was: “waffles and diapers.”  (This, I believe, is a warning sign that potty training this weekend might be a colossally bad idea.)

In the world of astrology – if you like that stuff – my boys are like water (Dylan) and fire (Riley).  Just look in their eyes and you can see it.

In honor of this Valentine’s Day, here are some things I love (besides my husband, kids, dog and all that other obvious stuff):

1. Dancing in my kitchen with Dylan and Riley to Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down.”  Riley calls it the Curious George song.  (FYI: There’s more evidence of water and fire on the dance floor: Where Dylan is a breaker, Riley is a krumper.)

2. Pinterest. I was invited to join last night (thanks Carrie!), and it was love at first sight.    I have little to no idea how it works, but I can already tell it’s going to occupy a lot of my time.  (Sociology Mama moment: Social media has completely revolutionized motherhood, especially stay-at-home motherhood!  Another post for another time…)

3. My new alarm clock/iPhone dock.

The iPhone sits on top, but I needed it to take the picture. 🙂
This was Mike’s Valentine’s Day gift to me this morning.  Before you judge the (lack of) romance factor, you should know that I’m the kind of girl who thinks practical gifts can be extremely romantic (remember the electric toothbrush?).  That, and I asked him to buy it for me.
4. Owls.  Yup, still lovin’ the owl.  Here’s my newest, most favorite owl item:
Part owl homage, part vision board.  I’m going to frame this card and hang it above my desk.  Imagine a world where I had such cool office furniture and could keep so many plants alive!

5. Kale. Random, but I love it.  Sautéed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Yum.

6. Today’s weather.  I’m a New England girl in my soul (Jenny from the Peabody block!), but after almost eight years in South Florida, I have grown to appreciate Florida winters.  I’ll sing a different tune in a few months when it’s 92° with 100% humidity every day until Thanksgiving, but today’s weather – sunny, dry, and 75° – is a gift.

What’s on your love list?

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Filed under owls, Sociology Mama, Valentine's Day

Daily Dose of Gratitude

I’ve been thinking a lot about the article I posted on my Runaway Mama Facebook Page called “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier.” 

On Saturday afternoon, I asked Dylan to bring his lunch plate, which was sitting on the arm of the couch (his preferred dining location), to the kitchen.  He said, “No, I don’t want to do my chores.”  I said, “Dylan, I’m not asking you to vacuum the floors or clean the toilets (although I should).  I’m just asking you to bring one plate to the kitchen.  Don’t you want to earn rewards?”  He said, “I don’t want to earn anything.”  I said, “So, you don’t want new toys?”  He said, “I want new toys and I want them without earning them.  For my birthday, Hanukkah and Christmas you will just give me toys.”


In my house, I talk a lot about being healthy and strong.  We eat (or aspire to eat) fruit and vegetables because healthy food makes us healthy and strong.  We go for walks and bike rides because exercise makes us healthy and strong.  We take baths, brush our teeth, and go to the doctor to stay healthy and strong. You get the idea.  Well, I’ve realized there’s something missing from my healthy and strong platform.  Gratitude.

The abovementioned article talks about how gratitude makes people healthier and happier.  One study showed that people who focused on things they were grateful for felt better about their lives as a whole than people who focused on things that were a hassle or displeased them.  Another study found that keeping a daily gratitude journal lead to a greater increase in goodwill toward others.  Yet another study found that depression was correlated to gratitude.  The more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are.

Wow.  It sounds like a daily dose of gratitude is as important as brushing teeth or taking a calcium supplement (which I always forget to do!).  I used to keep a daily gratitude journal.  Interestingly, I fell out of the habit when I became a mother, which is when gratitude became more important than ever before.  I’ve written before about wanting to instill gratitude in my kids, especially when it comes to material consumption. Based on the recent conversation I had with my mini-shopaholic about his master plan to get without giving, I think now is a good time to get back on the horse.   

I’m going to start a new daily gratitude journal.  This time, though, I’m going to make it a family journal and have the boys write about something they’re grateful for each day, too. It will be my own little research study (I was a sociology major in college) to see if I can make giving more important than, or at least equal to, receiving for them.  Dylan will no doubt ask why we’re doing it, and I’ll say, “because gratitude makes us healthy and strong.”

I’ll share the results of my groundbreaking family gratitude research right here, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, my first hypothesis as Sociology Mama is that guilt is a lot easier to achieve than gratitude.  With that in mind, I’ve decided that today is Grateful (instead of Guilty) Mama Monday.   Today, I’m grateful for the happy and proud looks on my boys’ faces when Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Tom visited them at school for Grandparents Day.

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Filed under Grateful Mama, gratitude, Guilty Mama, Sociology Mama