Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MomCon Take Two

Tomorrow I will get up (not at all bright) and early and fly away to MomCon. Last year I pretty much went kicking and screaming. I did not want to go. You can read about it here. 

 I  almost completely backed out. I knew I should go and that it would be good for me but there was more anxiety than I have ever felt. Ever. Guess what? I survived. The boys survived. I had a good time. 

Tomorrow I do this again. And this time I'm excited.

Here's why:
1. I get to spend time Johnelle, lots of it. Just me and her, no distractions. When I became a mom I received more blessings than just my boys. I made mom friends. Ladies I never would have met if I hadn't been a mom. And she is one of them. She's my partner in this coordinator gig, a fellow boymom and a  wonderful   person. She is a part of my tribe. Sadly the other part of our tribe can't come. She has become a very important person in my life. Although we've only known each other a couple years, I can trust her and confide in her more than people I've known much longer. This weekend we will laugh, share, watch lifetime movies and drink wine. It will be wonderful. 

2. Mops. I love mops! This will be a great time to learn more about it, how to be a better coordinator, how to be more involved, how to share more about this amazing ministry to other moms. I will get to celebrate and rest with 3000 moms who all feel the same way! 

3.  A better mom- I came out of this last year a better mom. Tips and tricks to handle these kids. A better person more focused on God, so I can be the best mom for my kids. I came home feeling loved and worthy by the One who created me and ready to love those blessings that He gave me even more.

4. Lisa Jo Baker. Jen Hatmaker.  JJ Heller. Matthew West. Lisa Jo! (Oh I said that?) 

5. Rest- physical, emotional and spiritual. All kinds of rest. 

Reasons I don't look forward to it. 

4 days without my heart. 4 days. I'm not one to seek lots of me time. I'm not One who likes a long break. So that is hard. I will miss my wild things. And very much look forward to the full body slam hugs I will get when I get home. I did stock them up on milk and hotdogs, they should be fine. 

Flying. I hate flying!! I hate small spaces  I hate lots of people. I hate that my ears don't pop. I hate flying. So here's praying I survive it and don't drive Johnelle crazy with my silly flying quirks! 

Off to Indiana and hope to bring my pup home a souvenir with his name "Indiana". Maybe even some socks (right mom?) 

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Be still

Kids know a secret that adults don't, well actually we just forget it over time. We allow the world and distractions to take over and we forget. 

The secret is to be still. To take your time. There is absolutely no rush than what you are doing. To observe. To explore. To be. 

We've been living outside! I know it's only about ten degrees cooler but it's cooler. And we have missed outside. It's been a long three months couped up inside. Fall is my absolute favorite season and winter. Spring is eh. Summer is torture. You will find us outside from now until May. 

I've been watching as Jman has been changing lately.  His imagination is exploding and I just watch and listen to the stories and worlds he is creating. I join in, when invited. Today I gave them hose and a shovel and watched them come up with whatever. There were rivers made, a party was thrown and we had to get everything ready for our guests, puddle jumping, mud pies made and so on. As all kids do they can move 90 miles an hour or suddenly be completely slow in their actions. 

As RC was throwing mud on me and attack hugging me I saw Jman grab the smallest of lids, use it as a scoop to fill up a cup, to transfer to a large barrell and repeat. I watched him over and over. Take his time, work slowly, not letting anything distract him. We had large shovels out, buckets of all kinds of things that could have made this easier. Yet he chose the smallest of lids, sat, dug, scooped as carefully and as long as it took him. He had no problem going slow, not rushing, just being and focusing on one thing. Concentration. 

As an adult it would be easy to jump in and distract him. Saying here use this, it's bigger, it will be faster, or why don't you do this instead, or even as dreadful as why are you doing this? What's the point? All of these silly questions are adult questions.  We don't need to know why. Maybe there's a reason maybe not. I've learned from my boys, usually it's not about what or why, it's really just to see if I can, to see what would happen, and honestly boys don't think about why first, they think why later.  For J it was about the process not the product. Maybe it was to see if he could fill up the big bucket. Who knows. I was not going to disrupt this and ask. But his reason is valid and important. He didn't need me to rush him, like we like to do with our kids.  Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. They don't need us to push our distractions on them. Or our time table. What we should do is slow down and join them. Because they   know a secret that time is precious. Distractions are silly. They take away the beauty right in front of us. For me in that moment it was watching my beautiful son. For him that beauty was a beautiful pile of mud. Big squishy mud that he had created. 

We spend so much time distracted and rushing we are missing so much. It's just like with God, we are rushing that we are missing the beauty, we are missing Him.  "Be still and know that I am God". How often do you forget that when you are rushing or distracted? For me it's constantly. He wants us to slow down, to focus on him. Children know this secret. They don't need to be reminded. They know it and appreciate it and they are one of the ways God reminds us to be still. Stop today. Truly stop and enjoy the blessing of being still. If you need help ask your child how. We think they are missing out if they don't hurry and go here or there but really we are the ones missing out. 

Stop. Listen. Observe. Explore.

   And if you're lucky you get mud thrown in your face. 😊
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Boys and Clothes

I live with boys so I'm curious if this happens to all kids. My children cannot keep their clothes on! If they're not begging to take them off they are sneaking them off when I'm out of the room. Jman goes potty comes back with no pants. RC has learned to take his own off too. He wakes up in the morning and I find him naked. J seriously just did a dance as he pulled his shirt off. We played water last night. I don't put swimsuits on because there's no point for a few minutes of hose time. They're in the pool helping each other strip. The repair man came the other day and there they were, greeting him diaper and undies. He just chuckled and say I have a boy too. But we make him stay dressed. Haha. Good one. Wait til there's more  than one. 

What is going on? Is this a boy thing? A kid thing? I have no desire to do this. I never in walked into my room in college and found my roommates taking clothes off. So I'm guessing it's a little boy thing. Sometimes if I have the energy I make them stay dressed. Today is one of those that I do not. So Jman is not dressed. (The rule is at least underwear on) when RC comes down soon he will be asking to strip too. Sometimes I laugh so hard and would take pictures, but we made a deal as parents we would never post pics like that. Even as kids they deserve their privacy. 

Seriously. What is the deal? 

Things often said in our house:
Where did your clothes go? I went potty. 
Put your pants back on. 
Where is your shirt?
Yes you have to get dressed. 
Your friends are coming over put clothes on!
Your friends don't want to see you naked. Why not? 
I can pee in the yard, but not if Lily is here. 
It's naked time! 
Gramma doesn't want to see me naked? NO ONE wants to see you naked. 
Mommy watch this dance! 
RC where are your clothes? Tada! 
Did you undress him? No he can do it all by himself. 

Please tell me I am not alone in this. 
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Monday, August 10, 2015

The day my world changed.

I love the app time hop. I love seeing old pictures and comparing them to today. Well today reminded how 4 years ago my life, my heart, my future, my destiny shifted. 

No it wasn't the day I became a mom. It was the day I became a working mom. 
This photo popped up with "Looks like someone missed me too". The previous status that day "Lord please let the hardest day ever pass quickly" 

I went back to work that day. After five beautiful months with my buddy, I had to wake him up, dress him, pack his bag, rip heart from chest, place in car seat, send him with my husband (because I sure wasn't going to take him) and That was the plan. Always was. Go back to teaching. So I did. 

This day four years ago went by quickly. I had friends to laugh with. An awesome new principal who brought in the drum cafe that day. I worked as much as I could in my classroom. And as soon as that clock hit 3, I ran out the door and rushed to my parents, to get my heart back. So happy to be back together!
Phew I survived. And then I had to do again the next day. And the next. And the next. 

It's pretty hard to function without a heart. Especially when you're a teacher. And your job is giving your heart, energy, every bit of your being to kids. I was used to this job, the demand. I had been doing it six years. But this year was different. My heart was not there. It wasn't broken. It just wasn't there but was with this little boy at my parents. Try teaching like that. It's pretty impossible. I promise,  you no longer make a difference. Everyday is torture. People said it would get easier. Liars!  I am very careful when new mommas start taking their babies to childcare to not say it gets easier. Because for me it never did! I usually say "it gets different" 

One day I got the courage to tell my supportive, loving husband, I can't do it anymore. And he said ok. 

Four years ago I started the journey to a new destiny, a new dream. One that took me by surprise. One that made me happier than I can express. 

My heart goes out to all you mommas who are struggling. Whether it's leaving your baby when you don't want to or maybe it's not feeling fulfilled in your life as momma and needing more.  Do what's best for you so you can be the best momma for your kids. 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

A day of firsts

First loose tooth, first tooth fairy visit and the first time mom disappoints you. 

Sunday Jman lost his first tooth! What?! 
Jman is 4. He woke up saturday and said my tooth is weird. What we found was a very loose tooth. I don't know if had been loose awhile or if it's seriously went from fine to about to fall out.
 I started to google because he's 4. 4! This can't be right, he must have hit it. The one next to it is loose too. Yep he must of got hurt. He would have told us that though. What is going on? Found a couple sites that say the age teeth fall out is related to how early or late teeth arrive. This guy got his first tooth the day he turned 4 months old. Again somehing I felt in his mouth and found a tooth. No previous warning signs. Just there. 

Thankfully a couple months ago I had ordered this super cute tooth pillow because it's Batman. Thinking I wouldn't need it for several months. 

We had talked about it before so he was aware teeth fall out. It's a sign of growing up. I had a student once who had a major meltdown when her first tooth fell out. She had no idea this would happen. She was understandably freaked out! She thought she was falling apart. So glad we had talked to Jman so this reaction wouldn't happen. 

He kept playing with it all day, I told him to leave it alone so it didn't fall out in the baseball sand during his game.

Sunday while driving around he shouts "My tooth fell out!" We pull over so we could see and he says "I dropped it". Awesome. Just imagine how hard it is to find a teeny baby tooth in a car floor board that is full of cracker, popcorn and who knows what else crumbs. So there I was kneeling on the hot pavement searching for that teeny tiny itsy bitsy tooth. Yes I found it! I immediately put it in my wallet and zip it up. The day goes. 

The tooth fairy, yes we did the tooth fairy. Since Santa and the Easter bunny do not enter our house, it was asked if the tooth fairy would come. We talked about that. I did it as a kid but always knew it was my mom. It was more of getting a surprise for your tooth, not the fairy itself. Just like we do easter baskets but they are from us, Christmas presents are from us. We don't deny our children the treats and surprises, but they come from us, not fictional characters. 

So Jman was about to go to bed so I went to get his tooth so we could put it in his pillow. And IT. IS. GONE! DISAPPERED! I immediately start to panic. How do I tell my precious child, I his mom, can't find his tooth? 

I dump my purse and it's not there. I dump the back pack. It's not there. I searched my wallet 4 times. It's not there. Jman asks daddy to come help. Daddy searches. It's not there. I searched the car. Its not there. Feeling defeated I tell Jman it's time for bed. He's asks what about my tooth? I can't get a surprise if there's no tooth? I told him it would be ok and the tooth fairy would understand. He goes to bed on the brink of tears. I'm in tears.  Mainly because it hit me I lost his first tooth. That first tooth that grew in my first baby's little mouth. I wasn't so upset that I couldn't keep his tooth or about the tooth fairy. But I lost his first little tooth. A piece of that baby that is so grown up now. Jman went to sleep and the search continued. I went through the bags, the car again. Next was the trash. I had just swept so just maybe it got swept up. I dug through trash for my little boy. It was not there. 

Defeated. I accepted that it was gone. I had let down my little boy. I had disappointed him. 

Of course there was a surprise and note the next day. He says he understands. People  ask about the tooth fairy and he's very, eh it's no big deal. Which is fine with me. I don't want him to be really into it. I'm determined to save that next tooth. 

I still feel awful I let him down. It was the first time. It will not be the last. I'm sorry buddy that's a part of life. 

This smile is super cute though. And he thought he looked so funny the first time he saw himself in the mirror. 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wild Thing

Before RC was born I bought a sign for his nursery that said "Let the Wild Rumpus Start". I love Where The Wild Things Are and thought it would be a cute addition. I had no idea that A wild thing was growing in my tummy. Perhaps we should have named him Max. 

Life with RC is certainly more adventurous, exciting, keep you on your toes, about to have a heart attack kind of life. Today has certainly been one of those days. Well actually it's everyday. 

Disclaimer: Now for the record I call my boy stinker pot. It's a term of endearment. My dad called me that growing up and even wrote me a song. So when I say it I don't mean it for others to call him that. Also I say he's crazy, well a lot. This is another thing only I can say. I don't in anyway want him to grow up hearing he's crazy and think that he is. It's more of you're so silly and adventurous you're crazy. So I actually get offended when others call him these words. 

Here is a day in the life of RC (today to be exact) 
Look at this face. It's so sweet 
and cute. It's the eyes. They get me everytime. 
Today we went to CFA for free breakfast. I actually hate taking the boys there because RCS likes to run out of the play place and take off. He doesn't  do it anywhere else. He slips out the door. Looks at me like this 
And then I know he's off. He's a slick one this guy. 

We proceeded to target. I don't buckle my child in because he can slip out of a buckle faster than he runs out of the play place. He proceeded to sit on top of the back of the seat where his back should be the whole time. This is where I get the crazy looks and gasps from people who are nosy. I promise I am not a bad mom. I am fully aware of what he's doing and he's going to be just fine. 

Once he is in the car he can climb in his seat and out and to the front seat so he can "drive" before I can grab his shirt 
This was yesterday but it happens all the time. We get home and he decides flipping over the back of the chair is some good fun. Ok this was actually Jmans doing but he followed him and flipped like  he was an expert. 
He's not as graceful as Jman. About this time of day he declares he wants milk, which is code for I want to nap NOW. Obviously he is exhausted (so is momma)

After nap RC was trying to go upstairs with Jman but the gate was locked. All of a sudden I hear thump thump thump all the way down the stairs. And he had fallen all the way down. Without a scratch or bruise. He was only screaming because he still wasn't upstairs. Once he was upstairs he was fine. 
Later he went in the pantry, probably for applesauce, and found my stash of confetti eggs and cracked 4 of them. Then says "uh oh uh oh"

Then the boys wanted to paint. I covered the entire table with paper and in two seconds RC does this. 
He is his own canvas. It's not about the product but the process. Paper is an obstacle. Skin and the actual table make much better mediums that silly boring paper. 
The boys went to wash their hands after painting. I was making dinner. I knew this was a bad decision. You never let RC in the bathroom without an adult. As I was thinking this I hear " mommy RC is doing something bad" I heard the toilet being flushed over and over. I didn't want to stop making my dinner, knowing the mess I was going to see would require immediate attention and I would have to postpone dinner. So I hurried and finished, threw it in the oven and then looked.  Did you know that in less than two minutes a toilet can flood the bathroom and half the kitchen? Well that's what happens when a wild thing shoves a full roll of toilet  paper in the toilet. So after cleaning up that mess and Trying to calm myself he comes running "Momma" with that big cheeky grin and hugs me. And momma forgets it all. The grin that looks like this. 

The rest of the day was calm. I think he used his wild up for today. Tomorrow we go again. So when you see I am always exhausted this is why! 

Here are 5 things I know to be true about RC: 

1. This guy is passionate! He never misses an opportunity. He loves hard, plays hard, and crashes hard. He is not bad or trying to get in trouble. He is curious and likes to cause mischief and that's it. Maybe we should have named homes Curious George. He's just like him always trying to figure things out not meaning to cause trouble.  My stinkerpot.
2. God gave him an extra shot of cute. That way when he is causing all this mischief of one kind or another and Momma's blood starts to boil- he looks at me with those eyes and I forget. Seriously it melts away. 

3. I wanted boys. I prayed for boys. My heart wanted boys. I'm not sure I would make a good girl mom. I think I do a good job as a boy mom. So when I prayed for boys. God said OK you asked for it. He gave me two very much ALL boys including this wild thing. He makes life wonderful and exciting and frightening some times. And I am so thankful every minute for him. Even when I'm mopping up toilet water. 

4. I love this little guy fiercely! I would not change anything about his wild spirit. He is so incredibly smart and amazes me daily. He loves to love and cuddle! One minute he is running circles around you and the next he is snuggled in your lap. 

5.  Jman and RC are very different boys. They both are very all boy and love all things boy. But they are different in their own special ways. Jman has never flooded a toilet! Haha

Look at this snuggle bug! 
I love everything about this guy! I can't believe he will be two so soon. 

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Kitchen Reveal

For a long time I have had a dream to make a diner kitchen and wanted coca cola everywhere, with lots of red and turquoise. Red I love red! Obviously if you know me at all. So I started collecting things and asked for red kitchen appliances since college. Then I met this guy and we were dating and he says you probably will think I'm crazy but I want a diner table someday for my kitchen. And that friends is the moment I knew Kevin was the one. Ok maybe not exactly but it certainly added to it. 😊

We got married and his parents bought us this for our kitchen. 
It came with 4 chairs and my wonderful Aunt Jan found me two more chairs identical that are actually vintage chairs! Our first home had a very nice kitchen that had been redone so my dream didn't really come true there. We moved to our current home and it needed fresh paint everywhere so a great chance to do It. We are slowly updating things in our home. So this year the kitchen was up. Here's the before picture 

We had the wonderful and talented Mary come redo our cabinets. If you have any work to be refinished and painted she is your girl! She spent about a week painting them from this blah brown and brought them to life with this gorgeous color. 

We updated our appliances. Which Mary and her awesome husband helped with! Added some awesome knobs. And by awesome I mean totally fabulous knobs which really tie it all together. 
We painted the walls turquoise and added some more red decorations, some more coca cola.  And we have our diner kitchen!  It's just as cool as I have ever dreamed. Now all my red really pops and it looks awesome. I just need some black and white tile now. May not be everyone's taste but it's what we love. It's my favorite room in the house right now! Here's some pictures, that don't really do it justice.

I made the "eat" sign and added the arrow. 
This sign hung in my Granny's kitchen for so long. It's my favorite coca cola memorabilia I have.  

So come to the diner and have a milkshake. You will have to bring it from Sonic though. 😉
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