Posted in Baby Daddy

Date night and people watching

We did it! We finally made it out to an actual date night. For those of you who are close to us, then you know that there were several attempts at a date night in which we never made it. The most recent fiasco was when the 9yo had an ear infection.

WE never went out to dinner for our anniversary last month, so the husband  arranged for childcare for us to enjoy a kid free dinner. There has been several discussion at work about this new restaurant downtown, so we thought let’s give it a try. Why not?

It’s a trendy southern style restaurant with a twist. They serve the most unbelievable combinations that work! The food was good, and it was nice for us to have some alone time to talk. WE haven’t done much of that lately. It’s just between our busy schedules and spending half the night trying to get the kids to sleep leave little time to talk to your spouse.

What struck me at this restaurant, , was the amount of people watching I could do. This place is a dream for anyone who likes to people watch. What struck me as even more odd, was how old I felt. When you sit there and count how many men are wearing man buns ( both restaurant employees and customers alike), then you can consider yourself old. Old, married and with kids that is. This restaurant catered to either the young and hip, or the older and incredibly wealthy. Oh, how you could see all these rich people in this restaurant. it was quite interesting actually.

Sitting right next to us, was the ” I am rich and I want you to notice me crowd.” This was actually a family, two older parents and their son who looked to be mid twenties. They spent the night actually talking about money and real estate. Yeah, they were quite boring. Then across from us, was the obviously wealthy but very down to earth couple. I have an aunt and uncle like that. They clearly have tons of money, but are some of the most kindest and down to earth people I have ever met. At the bar, was a young girl with a slightly older man. He had a man bun, and she kept grabbing his ass. I am pretty sure her mom was at the bar with them. it was an odd situation. One minute they were all make outey and the next she was talking to her mom ( could be sister) and he was chugging a glass of wine faster than life itself.

As I said before, the food was decent, nice atmosphere, but us old married couples with three kids, well… we would be fine with chick fil a.  We actually had a great time, and the people watching was fun. Do you do that? Just sit back and watch how others interact with each other? In case you were wondering, we seen at least six man buns 😉

 

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Chocolate bannana cake with bananna gelato. Yes please!!!

 

Posted in acceptance

I am Second

I was driving home from work today thinking about the past few weeks events. If you have read this post, then you know it has been a stressful and challenging week.  While sitting at a red light, I read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. Three simple yet powerful  words that caught my eye. I am second.

It’s incredible how something so random and simple can sucker punch in the gut as if to rock you to your core. I am second. I have spent the past few weeks complaining about how hard my life is, how tired I am, and how alone I feel at times.  Now I realize how many times I say “I” in a week, day or hour even.

The truth is, I am not first. I am second. Without knowing where these words were coming from, I somehow knew. We are second to God.  I am second to God. So I should stop complaining about life right now and just spend more time talking to him.  So, now instead of listing my complaints about life, I am going to list my blessings from the week.

  1. Spending the day at the beach and seeing Mini – Me smile with that contagious sun shiny smile of hers
  2. Watching 9yo play soccer
  3. 4yo’s cute little bed head when he wakes up in the morning
  4. A job that allows me to be home normal work week hours
  5. our new church home
  6. The wonderful teachers God has put in our path
  7. Quiet time for reflection
  8. Coworkers who make me laugh despite the horrid week we have had
  9. Potential job opportunities ( I am praying hard to make the right decision on that one)
  10. Teaching our children to pray
  11. Fairy Garden’s ( we haven’t killed the flowers yet)

What are your blessings this week?

 

Posted in mommyhood

Community

I have been thinking about community a lot lately. Last weekend we attended a community event to raise  money for the children of a mother who was died violently in our area.  The event was kid friendly with carnival games, face painting and prizes for the little ones. There was even barrel racing and silent auctions. I was amazed at the sheer amount of people who not only volunteered their time, but donated the items for auction, food and prizes. You could feel God’s presence during this event as if he was wrapping his arms around these two children who will grow up without their mother.

Although, I did not know this woman personally, her story has sat with me for a while. This could happen to any of us, and the thought of leaving my children is just too much to bear .  It’s amazing what a group of people or community can do in the face of tragedy. WE can lift each other up, help one another, bring a sense of peace that was not there before. Which leads me to wonder, why can’t we do this every day?

My 7yo wrote the following paragraph on president’s day.

wp-1490191512111.jpgWouldn’t you vote for her? What a smart girl huh? My mommy pride was in beaming affect after reading this passage . Kids are much more intuitive than we ever give them credit for. You see, we drive by the same homeless man every day. I am pretty sure I have never mentioned him to the kids and just drive past as if he wasn’t standing there in need. I have wanted to stop, but have always been too busy, too everything i guess.  WE help in the mist of tragedy yet, aren’t those who do not have homes considered a tragedy?

This sweet daughter of mine, has me thinking of this man daily now and how we can help. Maybe its a simple meal for lunch, maybe its a kind conversation, maybe its just the acknowledgement that yes, he is sitting there on the same corner of the street every day for the past several years.  Today, I will pledge to help this man in some way. i want my children to know that they can make a difference in the community,no matter how small. Even the smallest gestures can lead to the biggest impacts in others lives. The community event that we attended started out as an idea for barrel racing to raise money and turned into quite the event. While this event will make an impact on those children financially, there can be no price placed on the impact it has had on me!

How can you make a differene today?

Posted in mommyhood

Time for Preschool

It that time again. Time to sign up for Preschool. The beginning of sending my child to school and this time it will be the last first day of preschool! Oh boy, I need to let that one sink in a little. Pretty soon, I will have three school aged children and then what? I’m just getting old that’s what, Ha!

Now, you would think that I would be a pro at this by now, but seriously! Why didn’t someone tell me this was going to be so hard! I mean, since when did getting into a preschool become as competitive as getting into college?

The truth is, with the older two we did not attend the typical voluntary preschool program. With the oldest we chose a facility that provided the curriculum and had an excellent teacher! I mean the child had homework every night. But then, when it was time for the middle child to attend, we noticed a decline in the quality of the program. The same teacher that was amazing had left and we were left with some teachers who were not as structured as the previous one and well, it really became just daycare. So now, here we are scrambling to find a place for 4yo so he can get a good quality education and be ready for Kindergarten!

There is a place near my work that has a good reputation, but when I called the day before open registration they had already filled their spots! How does that even happen? A lot of places around here only do the VPK from 8-12 and do not offer extended care. This is obviously not an ideal situation for a working mom!

Thankfully, my sister-in-law is willing to help be my extended care if he attends the same preschool as her daughter. This is also a really good preschool and open registration is Monday. Now, I have anxiety that when I show up on Monday they will be a line out the door and I will be still not  have a preschool lined up! UGGH!!! It was easier for me to get in college than it is to get my little man in preschool! So for now, all I can do is hope and pray that this situation works out..or I will just cry..

Posted in mommyhood

When you receive that letter

I’m sitting at the dining room table, opening backpacks and taking out important messages from binders, when I see the envelope which reads “to the parents of…” written on top. Unfortunately, we have seen this letter before and I know exactly what it is. It is a letter to discuss 7yo’s progress in school and the possibility of retention. We have been here before.

In Kindergarten, she wasn’t learning to read at the rate the school expects. When I say school, I mean the entire state system. I know the school has their hands tied to an extent with these stupid standardized tests and ridiculous high standards placed on these kids today. Anyway, I digress. While, we made through kindergarten, I am honesty unsure of how this year will go.

It’s a struggle. Every night, it’s a struggle to complete homework which honestly can take hours to get her to complete. I spent nearly thirty minutes trying to get her to write the word SEA the other night. By the time we finished the one assignment i was too tired to make her practice spelling words.

She can’t focus. During those thirty minutes of trying to get her to write the word SEA, she was pulling at her eraser, becoming distracted by paper on the floor, saying i have to show you something. It’s not that she is particularly hyperactive, but she can’t focus.

I will be honest, i am trying to give this one to GOD but it is hard. Dang, hard to trust that this is going to be okay. Yet, it just has to. We have an initial screening appointment with the pediatrician next week for ADD testing. Part of me is so ready to get this process over with as mother’s intuition tells me and has been telling me that this is what we are dealing with. Part of me doesn’t want her to have that label. I know there are plenty of kids who have this condition and do very well with medication and therapy but the thought overwhelms me a little. Part of me is worried something else is going on.

So as i sit here, signing this paper saying that i will most definitely appear at the meeting to discuss my childs progress, i am relieved, exhausted, angry and anxious all at the same time. i wanted this meeting months ago, before there was a possibility of retention. Before, her grades were so bad that NOW we have to do something to help her. I HAVE been doing stuff to help. We have tried getting creative with writing spelling words. I paid $400 dollars over the summer for a reading program to keep her afloat and will most like pay the same amount this Summer if it continues to be helpful. We are very hands on parents, so now i want to know what the school is going to do to help her.

I’m sitting here angry because I can see the anxiety in her with possible signs of depression because she is dang smart and knows that she is falling behind. She knows without anyone saying a word to her that she is struggling. She is internalizing these feelings and refuses to talk about it. She’s only seven and i can see she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. We encourage her for getting the answers right and never punish for making poor grades, but she knows. Like i said, she is smart. She just needs some help right now.

She has a new teacher as the teacher she started with this year retired over the Christmas break. She seems to be very patient, but i am afraid she is going to become frustrated with her quickly. Heck, i become frustrated with her. It takes her a long time to complete tasks. She received two marks last week for not using time wisely and staying on task. Can they take marks off , if the child truly can’t help it? 7yo actually got a B on her spelling test, which i was super proud of but made a D on her other test  for that week. The teacher wrote a not explaining that she gave her the test back three times, and she didn’t change her answers. She was trying to giver her a chance. The exclamation point at the end of her note tells me that she was a little frustrated with her.

As i sit here typing all of this tears are filling my eyes. Isn’t that what we do as mothers? Worry into oblivion? I am planning on looking up bible verses on worry to make a relaxation book for the oldest, Perhaps i should look them up for me too. Like i said, i am struggling to give this one to God. Right now, I’m just trying to breathe. Please, lord help me to let go of the things i cannot change.

Please help me to give this one to you, as I am struggling with feelings of anxiousness, worry and doubt.

 

 

Posted in mommyhood

Even when they hate us, they need us

 

I hate my life! she yelled as we were trying to get through our bedtime routine. There was a loud thunderstorm happening outside and she wanted me to sit in her bed and read to her.  The 7yo was being clingy so I sat with her attached to my hip while reading  our nightly bedtime story of Eloise. It became clear that this was not good enough for the 9yo who was completely melting down before my eyes ; her words slapping me in the face as she ranted like a bratty teenager.  I wish I could tell you I was patient and said all the right things to her. Instead, I yelled. told her to stop screaming and calm down. I am pretty sure that is the worst thing you can say to a child with anxiety.  I wish I had tried to get her to look at the horse picture her counselor gave to us to use as a focal point for relaxation. Instead, I became increasingly frustrated.  Instead she yelled “I hate my life, you are making this day horrible!” It hurts when your child says such things to you, so after yelling and making it worse I sat there and ignored her. Let her rant, because what else could I do with a frightened seven year old, who is also battling a form of anxiety.

Once the 7yo was finally asleep and the storm was calm I did the only thing I knew to do.  I got in bed and lied down net to nine year old who was still wide awake in all of her anxious glory. She must have decided that her life wasn’t all that bad because  we spent the next hour talking. We talked about school, friendship troubles and Soccer. Part of me thinks she was having a little anxiety about starting back school in addition to the thunderstorm. WE laughed, and we talked and just like that, the frustration seemed foolish. I wish I had the patience to handle the situation better in the beginning.

At nine years old and such a wise sole, I forget that she is still just a child. In some ways so mature for her age and some ways so childlike. Add a little OCD tendencies and anxiety to the mix and sometimes I just don’t know what to do. I feel ill prepared to parent a child with anxiety. My inpatient nature gets the best of me. The truth is, she just needed me every bit as much as 7yo needed me.

They need us. Even when they are yelling how much they hate their life, they need us. Even when their words hurt and pierce us to our soul, they need us.  They need us to be strong and to somehow hold it together. To protect them from all of life’s overwhelmingly terrifying events. When we fall, they will forgive us. Their love is so pure and unconditional and all they really need us to give them is us. There will be times when we fail and times when we hit the nail on the head. One thing is for sure, they will always love us.

What challenges have  you had in parenting this week?wpid-2015-07-17_23.01.55.jpg

 

Posted in acceptance

50 things I am thankful for in 2016

If  you have been on social media lately then you have been sure to see posts that say good-bye 2016, and oh I cannot wait to see this year-end! These posts by people who are clearly having a challenging time and probably more recently than at the beginning of the year. Catherine over at Thousand hour mama created a list of what she is grateful for in 2016 and I decided to follow suit. WE have all had our challenges this year, but isn’t it more productive  reflect on what was good about the year? So without further ado I give  you my 50 things of thankful for 2016!

April’s 50 things of thankful for 2016

  1. Books-any books really, I just love the feel of them and diving into someone else’s story.
  2. My Children – I want to strangle the little suckers sometimes but they give me absolute joy
  3. completing my degree
  4. COFFEE– there are no other words necessary here
  5. My coworkers – It’s amazing how working with people who make you laugh constantly just brightens your day
  6. My canon camera – since I can’t get my children to take a decent picture I might as well take them myself and not have to pay someone else.
  7. Not so perfect photos –  see above.. I have some absolute great candid shots of the kiddos ( I am sure I will blackmail them one day with said shots )
  8. Disney world – what a wonderful and magical time
  9. Soccer – I was so sad when the girls dropped ballet, but to my surprise I love watching the kids play soccer
  10. Good friends
  11. My kid’s teachers – we have been blessed with some pretty special ones
  12. Therapist – the oldest has come along way and I know its due to her sessions
  13. vitamins
  14. Art– my fridge is covered with some pretty priceless art
  15. The show This is Us
  16. Cuddles
  17. Reading to my kids – as long as they will let me, I will read to them
  18. Red wine
  19. Date nights – we do not get many of those, but they are always appreciated
  20. Movies
  21. Paying it forward
  22. Spiderman – my son’s absolute hero and alter ego on most days
  23. Pandora music on my phone
  24. Netlfix– Fuller house, Gilmore girls ..Love!!!
  25. Erin Condren Life planner – Its expensive for a planner but brings my joy 🙂
  26. Travel agents – loved that my friend and travel agent planned out our entire vacation, all i had to do was show up!
  27. Daily devotions and bible study – I have recently began a bible study that just gives me a sense of peace every time i read it.
  28. Birthdays – because it’s always a blessing to have one more birthday
  29. Hairdressers – this is a little shallow I know, but for years I went to fantastic sams with so-so results, so now that I have an awesome hairdresser at a nice salon, my hair is awesome and healthier.
  30. Progress– even when small , I am always thankful for progress
  31. Playing board games
  32. Quiet mornings
  33. Saturdays
  34. Genuine laughter
  35. The palm trees in my front yard
  36. chiropractor and massage therapist
  37. My best friend– we don’t always get to hang out, but its like we pick up where we left off every time
  38. My sister-in-law – We are beyond blessed to have her car for our kids when school is on break
  39. Conquering my fear of public speaking – yes, I did a presentation for a national conference and rocked it!
  40. Visiting Washington – oh the history there, I am glad at 35 years old, I was finally able to see it!
  41. Bedtime conversations – it’s the one time of the night we slow down and the kids tell me about their day ( what did you think I was talking about?)
  42. Pretty sunsets
  43. Online shopping – Hello Amazon!
  44. 4yo’s tonsillectomy – so far no more signs of sleep apnea 🙂
  45. Farms– there is just something special about visiting the farm
  46. Grace– because we all need to give ourselves a little grace
  47. My husband – I don’t tell him how much I appreciate him nearly enough
  48. Facebook memories – I just love that it shows you where you were years prior
  49. Cooking – it’s a sense of therapy
  50. Blogging – it’s no secret I have been absent this past year, but am glad to get back in the game

What are you thankful for in 2016?