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When you become a mother, you quickly realize that you must start living life at the seat of your pants. Just when you think things are going okay someone accidentally knocks over your steaming cup of coffee onto the newspaper you just sat down to read. There are few constants with motherhood. Life changes day by day and gets more hectic week by week. There is one thing that you can be sure you will always need, a dishtowel.
A dishtowel becomes an important valuable throughout the day. In my house, we can never have enough. The day starts with a quick clean of the kitchen. The dishtowels conveniently wipe down counters, wash stray dishes and dust off tables and chairs. They serve as hot pads when opening the stove because the hot pads never seem to be around. They can act as placemats and napkins in a pinch or tucked into a belt loop in place of an apron. The dishtowel is a handy invention.
There is always at least one episode during the day that a child accidentally knocks the Spaghettios and meatballs off the table and it lays in a giant red heap on the floor. The last paper towel used only seconds prior to the incident. When all else fails, you use a dishtowel.
When the same child that accidentally knocked over their lunch sits looking at you with sauce wrapped around its lip and there is not a napkin in the house, you use a dishtowel.
The dishtowel is a mother’s best friend. Sure, we women would like to think diamonds are our best pals, but, in reality, the only thing we see sparkling are the counters we just wiped up. Thanks to the dishtowel.

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He burst through the front door holding a melting candy bar in the shape of bat wings.
“I won, I won”, he shouted. He was so excited that he was oblivious to the chocolate dripping through the cracks of his fingers. “We won five-thousand bucks and a trip to New York City.” My heart flipped, I too, became excited.

“Slow down, tell me from the beginning,” I instructed.

My son explained that he opened up his Kit Kat bar and found that it was in the shape of bat wings. All we had to do was take his picture holding the candy bar, send it in and then cash in on our prize. I had no reason not to believe him. Even my older daughter and nephew agreed to what he was saying. After all, he was with my husband when he purchased the candy bar. If it wasn’t true then surely my husband would have told him so. He found the golden ticket and was prepared to celebrate. I could remember being young and thinking that I would win the cereal box give away. Even though my father tried to explain that, the odds were against me I could not help but think I would be the lucky one.
Standing in the living room with my chocolate-coated son, I was hopeful and envisioning him receiving the five-thousand dollars. Then reality came through the front door. “I told you that you did not win, “my husband declared.
“His Kit Kat has wings,” I argued.
“They all do, it’s a promotion for the new Batman movie.” He looked at me with a bit of disbelief. The smile from my son’s face flipped and was now a frown. His head hung low, tears filled his eyes and the thrill from his face faded. I tried to comfort him. His innocence was endearing and my heart melted like the chocolate bar he held in his hand. When you are a child, anything is possible. Dreams are supposed to come true, Batman is real and winning is likely despite the odds. Kit Kat’s slogan is Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar, that day a piece of my son’s innocence was broken off and unfortunately it will not be the last piece.

The best thing you can do to make sure you remember a moment, a day, a year, or a lifetime is take pictures. There is nothing like flipping through photographs. As many of you know, I lost my father recently. Every time I find a new picture of him, a surge runs through my body and I feel comforted. When the pictures were taken, I knew one day I would appreciate them. I love that I can still see his smile and feel his essence. I never realized what kind eyes he had until now. His windows to his soul were welcoming and I now understand why so many were drawn to him.

Take time to grab a camera. Capture life as it is happening so the moments you and your loved ones created, can be remembered.

 

Let me pick your brains. I am researching something and need to see what percentage of women like to keepsake. Any ladies out there who enjoy scrapbooking or other means of keepsaking please respond and answer the following questions.

What do you like about scrapbooking?

What is your favorite way to keepsake?

Is Scrapbooking costly?

Do you keep Babybooks?

How do you keep your photo’s organized?

What age are you?
Okay, I hope I get a few responses on this one.

I’d love to hear how you got started.

I love packing my children’s lunches. I take my time and put lots of love in preparing a sandwich. Lunches include a snack, such as the ever-popular fruit gushers and maybe even a pickle or two. Finally, I add a juice box and a letter from Mommy and send my kids on their way.
Recently I thought all was well and my kids were happy with their lunches. Until, the one day my son came home screaming. “My lunch bag and my book bag smells like pickles, don’t ever pack me a lunch again!” I assured him that I would Lysol both of the bags and he would no longer smell the pickles. The pickle-packing incident caused me many headaches.
Shortly after the incident, my son decided he never wanted me to pack him a lunch again. This was not okay with me because, I only allow my children to eat in the cafeteria twice a week (because of the sodium packed foods). The morning temper tantrums grew unbearable.
“I don’t want a sandwich, I hate your sandwiches and my lunch bag still smells like pickles.”
Once again, I reached for the Lysol to spray out the inside and assured him there was no dill smell lurking anywhere. By the time they left for school, I looked like a train wreck dangling over a cliff and I felt like it to. Tantrums play a toll on a mother. The son who once ate every morsel of food I packed was now leaving everything untouched until, we discovered his love of blueberry muffins.
One morning, while packing lunches I had an idea, instead of packing a sandwich that he would not eat, I would pack him one of the mammoth muffins instead. I asked him what he thought of having a muffin for lunch and was pleasantly surprised when he answered, “Yes, I would love that for my lunch.”
Yay, I was back in business, packing a lunch my son enjoyed. There would be no more pickle-smell discussions, no more wasted food and no more temper tantrums before school. I skipped through the day, ran some errands and came home to discover a missed call from my children’s school. I quickly called back, hoping nothing serious happened while I was out.
The secretary answered the phone and said slowly “Your son…” My heart was in my throat, I anticipated bad news.
“Yes,” I replied trying to hurry her along.
“He was packed a muffin for lunch.” I waited for more, but there was nothing.
“Yes, that’s correct, as well as a few other things,” I answered.
“We just wanted to make sure that was all he was getting for lunch.” My nervousness turned into annoyance. “Yes, that was plenty,” I assured.
We hung up the phone and I began to stew. How dare they question what I gave my son to eat, especially on the day I finally got him to eat something. I called back the school and informed them I was offended by the initial phone call and would like to know why I was being questioned. The secretary advised she would relay my message to the teacher who was questioning my choice.
Soon after, a phone call came and it was the teacher assuring me that she just wanted to make sure the muffin was his lunch and not a snack. She proceeded to ask why I did not just allow him to eat a hot dog in the cafeteria because certainly all kids love hot dogs. What happened the next day? My son refused to eat a packed lunch. He threw a temper tantrum and begged to eat the school lunch. So much for my great idea, if the teacher only knew.

A mother wears many hats but she also carries many loads.Loads of emotions fill a single day when you become a mother.

Exhaustion- Baby waking up.

Excitement, the baby recognizes your face and smiles.

 Anxiety, the baby is crying and will not stop.

Tranquility, the baby is cooing as you rock her to sleep.

Sadness, the baby is cutting a tooth and does not understand why she suffers in pain.

Happiness, the baby rolled over for the first time.

To be a mother means you agree to be vulnerable. A lifetime of emotions happens every day. The salary deserved is incalculable. 

I found this piece I wrote for a similac contest years ago. I thought I would post it because it still holds true. Any mother could relate. 

This week I had to watch my father say goodbye to his big brother. A brother he shared many memories with and looked up to. When we are young, we think we will never grow old, but we do. I am witnessing my own children getting older and it makes me sad. I still feel like I am the same person I was at thirteen but my appearance proves I have grown. This week I chose Landslide by Fleetwood Mac for Friday’s song. If children knew what we know now, they would never wish to grow up fast.

Happy Friday!

What are you listening to this week?

Landslide Lyrics 

took my love, i took it down
climbed a mountain and i turned around
and i saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
’til the landslide brought it down
oh, mirror in the sky
-what is love?
-can the child within my heart rise above?
-can i sail thru the changin’ ocean tides?
-can i handle the seasons of my life?
i don’t know…..
well, i’ve been afraid of changin’
’cause i’ve built my life around you
but time makes you bolder
even children get older
and i’m getting older too
oh, take my love, take it down
climb a mountain and turn around
-and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
well the landslide will bring it down
-and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
well the landslide will bring it down
the landslide will bring it down 

On Friday, I will be surprising my son’s kindergarten class, I am the guest reader scheduled. I have decided to read the students the story Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It is his favorite book and I thought it would be a fun read for the children.

Two years ago, I surprised my daughter’s kindergarten class and read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I am not a crafty person but I was proud of the tree I made out of a coffee can. The teacher loved it so much she asked if she could keep it. I filled the can with lollipops and handed the kids notepads as a special treat, explaining paper was made out of trees.

For my son, I want the day to be just as special, I am heading to the craft store to buy some stuff to make a monster. I have an idea of what I want to do; I will be using a coffee can once again. However, I’m a bit stumped on what the treat should be, should I do cupcakes and make little monster faces out of them? Does anyone out there have a creative suggestion for a monster treat? If it were Halloween, the possibilities would be endless. Besides a bunny that looks like a monster, I’m not finding what I am looking for.I am going to bring in lunch bags and have the children make monsters out of the bag, fun right?

Moments as these are what make me love being a mommy, I love knowing that my son’s face will light up when I walk into the classroom. Before I know it, he will be asking me to drop him off at school a block away.  Then I will become like the monsters in the book, pleading with him not to go, because I love him so.   

A name says it all. Did you ever meet someone you didn’t care for and decided you didn’t like their name either. Or, the opposite could have happened, you met a beautiful person and their name became beautiful as well. I love thinking up names, whether it be for my children or a character for one of my stories. I am a firm believer that a beautiful name could end up sounding ugly and an ugly name could sound beautiful. It all depends, on the spirit of the person who holds the name.

I am pregnant with my fourth child and we are starting to think of names. I am pretty sure I have a girls name chosen. However, we keep going back and forth on a name for a boy. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to throw it out there into cyberspace and ask what names you think are beautiful. We have two C’s and a J, we are done with C-names but would be open to picking a name starting with the letter J.

Before you send your name, I think I should tell you a bit more about my personal taste. I like a name that is different but not out there, one that you may hear from time to time but not all of the time. An example would be Luke; it is classic and well known but not overly used.Okay, readers give me some names to ponder. You never know you may end up helping me name my fourth child.   

My daughter knows I am always entering writing contests. I want my children to believe that whatever they put their mind to they can achieve. Rejections for me are notches under my belt, proof that I have been putting myself out there. Sometimes even the most optimistic person can become discouraged. Last night, my daughter asked me if I won the contest. She was referring to a small contest I entered about embarrassing moments in motherhood.

“No, I don’t think I won,” I responded. I always try to portray myself as having a large amount of confidence, because I think children become self-reliant when they have parents that exude confidence. Last night, I slipped and gave her a glimpse of me lacking belief in myself.

“Mommy will probably never really get anywhere with her writing,” I said. The answer she gave me opened my eyes and snapped me out of the self-pity party I was throwing.

“How do you know? Your life has not ended yet!” Her words made me rethink, regroup, and refocus.  Life is not predictable, sometimes when we think nothing will happen something happens. Thanks to the wise words of my seven-year-old, her confidence renewed my thoughts and slapped me back into reality. Nothing in life worth obtaining should be that easy. Giving up will only make it certain that whatever you wanted to happen, won’t.