Posted in mommyhood, Uncategorized

Quality time with the kids… A Christmas Eve Tradition

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I love Christmas time! It is my absolute favorite holiday. The house gets decorated and looks so cozy. I often wish I could just leave the decorations up year round. The other night we decorated our Christmas tree and as I was putting the girls to bed, the oldest looks at me and says she has two favorite things about Christmas!

I began to brace myself for the expected answer of receiving gifts and material items, but what she said warmed my heart beyond belief. She said, ” my favorite part of Christmas is decorating the tree and making cookies on Christmas eve.” Just warm my heart why don’t you kiddo!

You see, I mad a pact a long time ago with my children that Christmas Eve was out time. We spend every Christmas day traveling to the in-laws and then to my parents house. It is a day of constant running, much like every other day in our lives. So Christmas eve, is where we carry out our traditions. One of them being, you guessed it… Making Sugar cookies for Santa. I think even when the kids stop believing, we will still make cookies for Santa. We begin this process together from start to finish. We also make reindeer food, stay in our pajamas all day and the hubby reads The Night before Christmas to the kids right before bedtime.

These are our traditions. This is the one day of the  year we say no to everyone else in the world and we stick to it. My parents and I were discussing Christmas plans when they mentioned possible getting together  on Christmas Eve. I stuck to my guns and politely said no thank you, and hearing this from our oldest reconfirmed why this tradition is so important.

My mom even went as far as to say, “But April you will still be with them at our house.” Not the same. It’s not about being in the same room as the kids but about spending quality time with them. You see, we can all be in the same room together and never talk or spend any real-time together.  This year i look forward to spending Christmas Eve in my PJ’s making cookies, crafting and watching movies with my kiddos! What are some of your families traditions?

 

Posted in acceptance, Uncategorized

Feeling Accomplished

I did it! I hit the submit button to my final paper for my BSN program. When I first became a nurse twelve years ago, there was little importance placed on getting your BSN. Most nurses I knew had an associate degree. As healthcare changed, the emphasis has become greater to obtain an advanced degree. Yes, when I started my BSN journey, the emphasis became to obtain the BSN but now a Master’s is becoming the emphasis. Sigh.. School, school and more school!

I suppose the pressure to obtain an even more advanced degree made me unsure of how I would feel when I hit that submit button! In today’s world where a Master’s is becoming necessary, would I even feel proud and accomplished. The answer is YES!!! After pouring blood, sweat and tears into this program while working full-time and raising three kids with their own unique challenges, this has been quite an accomplishment! I felt awesome and free in a way, that I haven’t felt in years.

I know that i will have to go back. I know the stress will be there again. For now, i am sitting here drinking my cup of coffee just as relaxed as can be. So what am i going to do now you ask? Why head to Disney World of course! Stay tuned for posts on the surprise of our kids life! i cannot wait to share with you how we kept this secret for over four months from the kids🙂

Posted in mommy mishaps

A tale of one mom’s attempt at the family dinner

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Lately our schedules have been jam-packed with soccer practices, games , homework and other scheduled events. I thought  it would be nice to take the time to make a nice dinner and sit together as a family. This is something we are not so good at, even when life is not so hectic.

With visions of laughter and  conversation in my head. I chopped those veggies and roasted the chicken. Yes, my mind had a perfect dinner with perfect conversation and togetherness with our family. I know, I know.. stop laughing at me okay. A girl can dream!

The truth is, with all the craziness, I am finding it hard to connect as a family. The hubby and I split up and one takes a kid to Soccer while the other sits at home and does the whole homework routine. It is chaos and leaves little to connect.

Dinner was almost done, when the oldest began to wail! I mean, what the heck is she crying for. Apparently the tail to her pikachu came off and will need to be sewn back on. To me, a simple fix. To her, the end of life as we know it.

At this point, I began to plate the food when the middle kid asks me what’s for dinner. I explain that it is chicken and she immediately asks for ketchup. Sure you can have Ketchup I say when she looks at the plates and realizes it is not chicken nuggets! It’s not dinosaur chicken, she says in disgust! Nope, not dinosaur chicken. It’s real CHICKEN!! JUST EAT IT! I must have looked like a mental patient because she gave me an odd look and says nope, its gross!

The four-year old looks at me and says ” I love chicken and veggies”! Yes, a kid who might actually eat what I cook! I ask the hubby to come help, but he is walking around whining.. something about being constipated and then disappears. Are you freaking kidding me! The 4yo is already at the table when i call the girls over for dinner. begrudgingly the oldest comes to the table. The 7yo isn’t interested and begins running around. I don’t like that chicken, something to that effect. Meanwhile oldest takes a bit and refuses to eat more! Says it doesn’t taste good, begins crying about her Pikachu.. Good lord, this experiment has failed! Somebody wants milk, I’m just trying to take one bite while it’s hot and where the hell is my husband! Oh.. he’s just trying to poop one of the kids says.. Uggh!

By the time the husband comes out, we have finished dinner and he is still complaining about his stomach! Sighh.. It’s time for bath and bed. This mommy is tired!

 

Posted in mommyhood

What are drugs?

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This week at school is red ribbon week. A week that if you are in the public school system are most likely familiar with. It’s the week the schools focus on teaching kids to say no to drugs and find creative ways to spread the word. Yes, this starts in elementary school.

On Monday, 7yo won a backpack raffle at school and the backpack had small gifts that all said things like “just say no” etc. As I opened the van door to let her out of the car, she asks ” mommy, what are drugs?” uhhh..well…hmm.. “let’s just go inside and we will talk about drugs.

The whole thirty seconds it took to arrive at the front door felt like an eternity as I racked my brain on how to answer this important question for my 7YO!!! we get in the house and I just go for it! I start explaining the reaction to drugs and how they are bad for you. I explain that they cause addiction and people to behave in ways they normally would not. next thing I know she is holding her hand up and says ” just stop.”  I still do not know what a drug is!!!! Well.. damn.. let’s see.. a pill, a powder.. liquid.. herbs.. bath salts pick your poison.

I was overwhlemed and caught off guard. I honestly didn’t know how to anser this question for her in ways that she could understand or relate to. I think like a nurse, so i tend to rely on those experiences from my career to explain the horrible outcomes of drug addiction and overdosing. Someone should write a manual on how to answer this stuff!

The truth is, drugs is not one concrete thing. It is many things that can alter one’s perception and mentation. it can cause death and suffering like nothing i have ever seen. Worse than cancer and other physical illnesses out there. Drugs can break up homes and relationships and cost many their lives way too soon. How do i make a child understand this topic? How do you explain drugs to your children? I need simple terms that my daughter can understand. Any thoughts?

 

Posted in mommyhood

A party fit for a Superhero

img_4924Four years ago, we were blessed with out little prince. Little did we know, that little prince would turn into a crime fighter mega superhero. This little guy loves all things Spider-Man, and power rangers. He likes all superheros really, but those two are among his favorites. The 4yo can be found shooting spider webs at you on most days and loves to show off his power ranger moves! It only  made sense to throw this little guy a kick ass super hero party.

We started off, by having all the kids ( plus some adults aka big kids) pick their favorite super hero cape and mask. How fun to all be dressed up in our crime fighting gear. Next, we had potato sack races, which only appealed to the really little kids. The birthday boy decided he was not participating in that activity. Something about being stuck in a bag and bouncing just did not appeal to him.

img_4971Once the race was over, we got out a ton of streamers and played catch the villain. This game was pretty fun and left a nice size mess in the back yard to show for all the fun we had. The hubby and 7yo played the villains’ however the birthday boy did not like his daddy being tied up! He cried, like alot ya’ll. Thankfully the villain broke loose and the tears dried up just in time to break the pinata and enjoy the cake.

I typically make the kid’s birthday cakes, but adding soccer to our schedules has completely taken our lives from hectic to pure chaos. We had to buy a cake from the local grocery store, and while it was delicious, I wish i had the time to make the birthday cakes. oh well, He didn’t seem to mind his store-bought cake one bit and isn’t that what really matters anyway?

Overall it was a great party. We hopped, we laughed, and  we caught a few bad guys. The good guys  and lived to tell the tale. Happy Birthday Buddy! I hope you had a great day🙂

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Posted in mommyhood

I get to do this!

I am sitting her drinking my coffee and thinking about the events for the day ahead. The kids are still asleep so it is just me and all the quiet I will not see again until after bedtime tonight. First we have the 8yo and 3yo’s  soccer games. Then we have lunch and with any luck nap time for the youngest while I clean the house a little. After that, its fall festivals and Halloween trunk or treats. We have missed several activities due to our new found love of soccer, so there will be trunk or treating! Busy schedules and party planning be damned!

When people first hear that I work full time, am a student anywhere from full time to part time, and manage a blog, they often look at me and claim I am super woman. The next question almost always follows suit. “How do you do it”?  I typically laugh this off to keep the conversation light and provide my standard response of “I just don’t stop and think about it.”

The truth is, I think about it. I am exhausted and most days seem to daunting. I am not the supermom that everyone seems to think that I am. I cry out of sheer exhaustion. Today, I set my alarm at 4am  on a Saturday to complete homework, because I can barely keep my eyes open at 9pm at night. Today, I am up at 4am to begin house cleaning for my son’s birthday party tomorrow, because tonight I will spend time with my kids.

I read a paragraph two days ago that spoke to me on a level I didn’t realize I needed. The passage talked about feeling overwhelmed by daunting tasks. This one line has changed my way of thinking ( at least for now) for the better. When you feel life is overwhelming you, train your thinking from I have to do this, to I get to do this!

When I think of all the things I get to do, I am overwhelmed with pride and happiness instead of exhaustion and hopelessness. I get to be my children’s mom and I get to go to school. I have spoken to many woman who would like to go to school, but can’t because their spouse isn’t supportive of the decision or there are financial impacts that they just can’t manage right now.

I get to be a working mom who loves her job and her children. I get to work at a job that allows me to put my children first and remains supportive and flexible when I need to attend a seminar at the kids school, or take them to their appointments. I get to take my kids to soccer practice and see the enjoyment on their faces when they kick the ball down the field. I get to do this!

While it has only been a couple of days, these few little words have been life changing! I encourage you to try it when you feel life is daunting. Share your stories and comments below. What do you get to do?

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Posted in mommyhood

Fun on the Farm

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Oh how I love the fall! The cool crisp air, and the colors of orange, red and green everywhere. The pumpkin spice latte’s and apple crisps. This time of year just makes you want to head outdoors and have some fun.

One of my favorite things to do is going to the pumpkin patch at one of our local farms and just enjoy being outdoors as a family. The kids get ridiculously dirty and we all leave exhausted.

This year we had my best friend and her kids join us. What happens when you have six kids ages 9 and under at the pumpkin patch together? A whole lot of chaos that is what. We couldn’t take our eyes off those little suckers for a second. Someone was always disappearing and the sibling fights, lord the sibling fights. I was just grateful that it wasn’t my kids this time. While going through the corn maze her two boys decided that it would be best to beat the living crap out of each other while trying to find their way out. It was pretty smart actually, there was no where for little brother to run to. we were stuck in nothing but corn!

My kids actually behaved this time, and I was equally boasting at their good behavior and suspicious. What did they want? no really, they were behaving pretty decently which allowed me to help my friend. Her hubby had to work, so it was her and the kids. I have totally been there. I am glad she came though, sometimes you just want another mom around to commiserate with you.

img_4573The farm had a great playground for the kids, and even had some go carts for the kids. Really they were pedal cars that looked like go carts. In true farm fashion, there was a huge dirt hill for all the kids to slide down. Did I mention the kids got  filthy? Thank goodness we learned our lesson last year, and put the kids in old clothes that we didn’t care if they got dirty. Last year, each kid had a brand new outfit and ruined them. lessons learned…lessons learned. IMG_4630.JPG

 

At the end of the day we let the kids each pick out one pumpkin. There is just something about picking out a pumpkin from a real life pumpkin patch that just makes the season more official. That and pumpkin spice latte’s.. those are good too! What is your favorite thing about fall? Please share your stories with me🙂

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