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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Make it Count

The school year had begun. So much change has happened in the short eight weeks of summer break.

When school ended in June I had a 9 year old and a 3 year old. School started last week and I now have a 10 year old 5th grader and a 4 year old preschooler. And with both kids so much change had happened. It’s like they are growing up right in front of me. I still see a newborn and 6 year old. I feel like I woke up one day and they grew up. While I want to keep them young and innocent I know it’s not a reality. It’s time to let go just a little.

Owen and I had a conversation yesterday about me letting go. Not in those exact words but he asked why he can’t do everything his friends can. For example why can’t he watch The Simpsons or Family Guy? Why can’t he play certain video games like Grand Theft Auto? Why doesn’t he play hockey, baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse and basketball?

What I got out of these questions was not “poor me I am deprived”, which is what I heard at first. It was “mom, I’m old enough now for you to loosen up and let me do things kids my age do”.

I don’t believe in spoiling my children with “things”. We are not trying to keep up with the Jones’. We are who we are and do thugs the way we want to. However I do understand peer pressure and I won’t force Owen to do things or not do things he isn’t ready for.

He is telling me he wants to play basketball and be on a travel team. He is telling me he is embarrassed that he doesn’t watch the shows his friends watch. I hear him. So now what? What do I do? Bend because everyone else is watching these shows? I do believe in compromise. If Owen can show me responsibility and self control I am more than happy to let him watch things like The Simpsons or Family guy. They are funny shows. Maybe a tad inappropriate but truth be told, he hears much worse in school. I know this. So I fold on the show thing. I will give in as long as he shows me maturity.

For the first time in his life he is asking to do something specific. I am all for the travel basketball team as long as his school work doesn’t fall behind. I am happy to help him build up his confidence by doing things he enjoys.

I will not bend on Grand Theft Auto. That game will not come into my house. EVER! He knows this and has accepted it. That game is awful!

At this time in Owens life it is so important to lay the foundation for the rest of his life. I want to teach him to work for what you want. Things don’t just come to you because it’s what you want. Here is where we make it count. I hear you Owen and will help you if you help yourself.

Parenting is THE most important job I will ever have. I am trying to raise decent human beings. At this time in their life they have so many outside influences and it is so hard to teach them the right thing. It is so important to Brian and I that no matter what they hear from outsiders they still come to us for guidance. I know realistically they won’t rely on us for everything but they need to know we are here and can trust us.

As we enter into 5th grade and pre K, I prepare myself for what is to come. So much change is happening in both of them. Luckily I have a little bit of and idea of what we are in for as my niece and nephew are only two and three years ahead of us. Thanks Angie for the prep. ūüėČ I am forever grateful!

I have my game face on. With all the wonderful moments and situations that come with having a pre teen boy, I will be ready! Screaming on the inside, calm and collected on the outside. We got this!!!

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Note: I started writing this post on Monday. I was interrupted and forgot to come back to it. It is usually how I do most things.

Happy Mothers Day to all my favorite mommies! Especially my mom and my mother-in-law. Two very special ladies that I am so grateful to have in my life. I didnt get to spend the day with them but they were with my all day in my heart.

I am so lucky to have my mom. The relationship I have with her and my sister is so special and I treasure it more than they know. My mom is my best friend. She is THE nicest person I know. I am sure every person that knows her would agree. She always makes people feel welcome and comfortable. I learned how to be the person I am today from her. Not from her telling me how to be, but showing me how to be. She doesnt realize but I remember way back when I was a teen and her telling me how to treat people and at the time it went in one ear and out the other. Words are useless if there are no actions to back them up. She lead by example. Her actions taught me to be kind and compassionate. There has not been a single moment in my entire 32 years that she has not been there for me. I know its what moms are supposed to do but she does it so well. As I get older I need less and less but just knowing she is there is always comforting. I know I can make a phone call and she would be here in a second. Well actually two hours but she would come!

My other mother. Mom Deb! She is pretty incredible as well. I came into this family 14 years ago and have felt like I fit ever since. I consider myself very lucky to have the relationship with her that I do. I can pretty much say anything to her and there is never a judgement, always compassion, and she forever tells me and my sisters-in-law how great of a job we are doing. We are so lucky to have her. Their is not a holiday or event that goes by that I don’t receive a card in the mail. My mother-in-law is very thoughtful. I’m lucky to have her in my life.

As a mom I look back at my relationships with my parents and realize just how hard it must have been. My sister and I turned out just fine. My husband and his brothers turned out just fine. I am sure my boys will turn out just fine. We are all just fine. It makes me think I can worry less because my kids will be great. However that is not a reality.

When my kids say something that I have never heard before I cringe because I know there is this whole other world out there that teaches them things I wish they would never know. I can’t keep them with me forever. I can’t keep them locked in a bubble. Well I don’t think I can legally. If I could I would.

I am on this incredible journey of raising two little gentlemen. These curve balls keep coming at me 90 miles an hour. Im catching them one at a time. I will get through this game one inning at a time.

Wow, baseball metaphors. I need to get more estrogen in my life.

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I copied this pic from a Huff Post article

I figure since I live with three boys I can talk about toilets freely.

I just finished cleaning my upstairs bathroom. Sometimes it gets overlooked as we are rarely upstairs and when we are its doing bedtime things. I go in at night and realize I meant to clean it but its 9pm and well, I am not going to scrub the bathroom at 9pm. The problem with this bathroom is no matter what I do it smells like a boys bathroom in an elementary school. ALL. THE. TIME.

While cleaning it today I found pee on the wall across from the toilet (Shane), pee on the wall behind the toilet and on the floor (Owen) and pee on the seat (Owen and Brian). Yes, I know who pee’d where. Sad but true. I keep lysol wipes in there so I can do a quick clean every day or two. But an actual deep clean? I get scared.

No amount of bleach (which I hate using) gets rid of that smell. An air freshener helps until we get used to the smell. I tried the vinegar and baking soda around the bottom of the toilet. I guess I just have to accept the bathroom is stinky and will be until the boys are grown and out of the house and I train Brian to wipe the seat when he is done. 

I know I am not the only person with this problem. 

ok, rant done. 

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Its hard to hear that you are going to be a single mother for the next few months and accept it. I am not a single mother but for a while I will be. My husband is so busy with work that he will be gone a lot of the time. So to hear that you will be a single mother but really are not is a hard thing.

Will I man up and deal, yes.

Will I try my damnedest to lean on those I trust, yes.

Right now I am being a “Debby Downer” and sulking because it knocked me out of left field.

I guess I have to get used to doing what I want at nap time or bedtime. Having very little time for my needs. Its what being a mom is all about.

Normally I would rely on my spouse for those five minutes to regain my sanity. Now I will just take many deep breaths, accept this is where we are right now and be the best mother I can be. Maybe drink a little more wine at night. 

I must give a huge shout out to all the single mothers out there and the military moms. Its not easy and I raise my hat to you. In all honesty I have been doing it for so long over the past eight years I kind of dont even blink when I hear I will be alone for the week. I have a strong marriage and an incredibly strong bond with my children. We will work together to make this happen flawlessly.

Now if it would just stop snowing long enough to send the kids back to school. We are going on day six of being home and next week is feb vacation. That will be two weeks straight of bored kids home with not much to do. Snowed in because of the blizzard and then the following clean up. 

I can do this!!!!

Deep Breaths!!!!

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I would like to wish my wonderful husband a happy 35th birthday.

I am just sorry it was not as happy as I had hoped. Birthdays are very special to me. Its your one day a year to have everyone focus on you.

Well unfortunately for Brian that didn’t happen.

Waking up I did a little morning mantra in my head. “Today will be a good day, I will be happy, the kids will be happy”. I give myself the pep talk each morning. It really does help me start each day new and fresh and let go of the previous days frustrations.

So enough of the pep talk talk. Ha

Literally at 7 am Owen was having a melt down because he could not down load a new app on his tablet. I spent a good 30 min trying to defuse the situation because its Brian’s birthday and it wont be ruined by a fit.

I was semi successful. So the morning wasn’t perfect. I figured I had the rest of the day to turn it around.

And our day was average. Shane and I ran errands, Brian worked from home, typical day.

Then the afternoon came. I started to make Brian’s cake. I should know better than to commit to anything that will take more than 20 min. I had to stop a million times to tend to Shane and stop him from getting into everything under the sun.

I finally got the cakes into the oven. Realizing I had just enough time bake it and then get Owen.

Then I thought, wait a minute! Brian is home!!! I don’t have to rush. He can just grab Owen. I am not used that.

Even better my friend needed help with her little one who had an upset tummy so while she picked up her kids I stayed home with Shane, finished my cake and hung out with my friends kids. (Lisa, I was so happy to take them! So do not worry for a second.)

So while I am stopping Shaney from having a melt down because he wanted something that Jules had I am vaguely hearing what sounds like running water. Nope, not running water. Its Amelia. Poor babe got sick. She was so amazing to get off the couch and rug and just stand on the wood floor.

I froze. Little Jules, one year old, Shaney, two years old, both a few steps away from getting into it. I had socks on. What do I do first, get shoes, keep kids away, cover it up??? Then there was poor Amelia standing there covered in puke, shivering.

Well I grabbed a towel close by and covered it. Tried to explain to the one and two year old why they need to stay away. The one year old got it, the two year old, not so much.

So this whole thing really is no big deal. Sick children don’t bother me. Not in the least. Its is just the start of my comical evening. Comical now, not earlier.

Owen was on his way home and all Shane wanted to do was cuddle. I am thinking man, I just need to clean this up so I can get Owen settled to do homework, set Shaney up to give me 10 minutes to clean everything. I still have dinner and cake frosting on my mind and there is a bottle of wine calling my name but its only 3:30 so that is inappropriate.
Owen gets home and realizes he has to do homework and melts down again. I am very confused because he comes home everyday and does homework. Today was no different. He insisted there was no school tomorrow due to an impending Blizzard. And he is right but at that time he had no idea and got homework. So being the mean mom I am, I made him get it done. It took way longer than the 20 min its supposed to take.

Here I am still trying to clean up, tending to Shaney and trying to avoid a massive battle with Owen. Then later didn’t happen. It was a battle. I actually had to leave the house because I was going to have a meltdown myself. When I came back he was still at it. Shane still wanted to cuddle and couldn’t understand what was going on around him. I sent Owen to his room and tended to Shane for a few minutes. Got him resettled and went to clean the tub. That is where I rinsed everything from earlier. As I am spraying the tub Shane falls off the couch. I stop again to tend to him. Get him resettled again. Owen is still flipping out in his room because he can’t go outside and that wine is still calling my name!!!

I went back to the bathroom to finish the tub and hear screaming again. Shane spilled a bag of Cheez it and got salt in his eye. Yup that’s right. Salt in his freaking eye. Brian grabbed him and washed it out because i just wanted to get the tub done.

Yes. The story gets better.

I finally got to the point where the tub was clean, I was ready to frost the cake and start dinner. Shane was still into everything. To the point where he was on his tippy toes trying to touch a very heavy mirror on the wall. I had a spatula full of frosting and dropped it to run over to stop him. Got it everywhere. All over my newly mopped floor. Yup, wine still calling my name.

I finally got Owen to finish homework and calm down. He is usually an emotional time bomb for a little while after the melt downs. So I tried to avoid confrontation but not walk on egg shells. I just want this night to turn around.

At this point I would have been so smart to order dinner and sit down with my family. Nope, not me. I HAD to make this birthday night a success.

Finally the cake is frosted, wine is poured, kids are calm, Brian is fine to so I start dinner. It went rather smoothly. We actually had a great dinner. No fights to eat, no major messes and I actually sat down so I would say its a success.

Cake time!!! We attempted to sing. As we did Shaney just sang poop to the tune of Happy Birthday. We tried again. Shane hummed and Owen sang about a zoo and monkey. FAIL!

Bath time. I have been putting Shane on the potty every night before he takes a bath because the toilet freaks him out. I just want him to get used to it. He said he had to poop. Nothing happened on the toilet. Well not then anyway. Let me bring you back to earlier when I tried a bunch of times to clean the tub and couldn’t get to it because someone needed something. Well it finally got done. Definitely didn’t stay clean long as with anything in this house. That’s right, you guessed it, he pooped in the clean tub. I mean at this point all I could do was laugh. How can this really be happening. I had to take him out and drain it so I can clean it. That didn’t go over well with him. He was not happy. How can I explain this to him so he gets it. I just let him cry and got the job done. I did not have the words. I just wanted the night to be done. Its not fun anymore!

Finally the end is in sight. Kids are settled, Brian is relaxing and I am actually putting my feet up. Not for too long because I have two loads of laundry to fold next to me on the couch. I am not capable of sitting right next to a load of unfolded laundry and leaving it. I mean if it was in a basket unfolded behind me where i can’t see it that would be OK.

So yeah, that was my night.

I told the kids we need to give dad a birthday redo.

Brian and I are both feeling like crap. Our sinuses are a mess. Maybe next week we will redo it.

At least my storm obsessed husband is getting a redo of the day he was born. Maybe that is why he is so obsessed with storms. He was born in the blizzard of 78. 35 years ago he came into this world and has been storm obsessed ever since. He can use his new birthday boots to go out in the snow.

This night was madness but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There were many points in this night I was not calm at all but looking back it wasn’t all that bad. Then again both kids are asleep, I have my steaming hot cup of tea and my feet up.

My bed is calling NY name like the wine was earlier.

Tomorrow is Blizzard day. Bring it on Memo.

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Pure Love

Being a parent is going to be the hardest thing I will ever do. Hands down. 

Its a constant challenge. Things are always changing as the kids grow. I will be anxious and worried for the rest of their life. 

When you think you take two steps forward and are in the clear or on top of things you get pushed back a bit to remind you that you are not on top of it and maybe need to re-asses your situation. Its hard.

My mission in life is to be the best mother I can possibly be. To always be there for my kids, support them, encourage them, and try my damnedest to teach them all I know. 

There was a time in my life I thought I needed more. I thought I wanted that big career in the corporate world. It wasn’t enough for me to just be a stay at home mom and wife.¬†

Times change because I can say whole heartedly that I am right where I want to be. There is nothing in the world I want more than to be Owen and Shanes mom. I couldn’t even imagine working at this point. These boys are my life.¬†

I will always try to move heaven and earth to make sure my boys have what they need.

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How could you not love those precious faces. 

On that note…to bed I go because I have a very busy day tomorrow.¬†

I just have to say a quick happy birthday to my sister and her husband! They both have a bday this week!!!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

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An Hour

Ah, the joys of homework.

I make it a point to be available to Owen when he is doing homework. We both sit down, me on the computer, reading a book, playing with Shaney, etc., him doing homework. He asks questions, I answer. Thats how it goes. He is a smart boy and somedays he flies through his homework. 20 minutes and its done. He reads every word perfectly, answers every math problem with ease.

Then there are days like today. Poor guy started homework at 3:15pm. He had two word sheets (synonyms) to do and a math sheet. He kind of powered through the word sheets. He knows the work but just didn’t have it in him today to get through it effortlessly.

Here it is, 5:02pm and we have been working on the same math sheet for an hour. There are seven rows of seven, 49 math problems. Its thousands addition. He knows this stuff. An hour and we have two rows done, tons of tears, a headache (both he and I), sore hands, broken pencils, broken erasers and plenty of acting out. You name it, any excuse to not do the work. He knows he has to do it but simply can’t!

I want to tell him he doesn’t have to finish, he can do it later but its the same everyday, homework after school until its done. We don’t stop until its done. Its the same thing everyday. Today he has spent the entire time trying to get me to change my mind.

Children with ADHD need consistency. They need to trust you and know that when you say something you mean it. Its hard to be consistent all the time. When I say something I nine times out of ten I wish I could change my mind.

My heart is breaking tonight watching him struggle. I want to do it for him. I want to tell him he doesn’t need to finish. In the end, he needs to do it. When he finishes he will be so happy with himself. It will be a big relief for he and I.

Then we have to corrections to deal with. I dread checking it to make sure its right.

Wish me luck!

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