children, family, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

I Tink I Love You

When I was young, I always dreamed of having a family of my own. For some reason, for years I was convinced that my firstborn would be a daughter who would look just like me. I imagined she was be shy and quiet. She would read books, chase butterflies and have deep, empathic qualities. As you know, instead I was blessed with quite the exact opposite.

As parents, sometimes it’s easier to believe that if our children were like us, that somehow, they would make more ‘sense’ to us. We spend a lot of time analyzing our kids and how we think they should be. Certainly, we’ve lived enough life to know what has worked for us. Since our children share our genes, it seems reasonable that what worked for us will work for them. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case.

Having just returned from a Disney cruise, which was phenomenal, I have to admit, there were times I longed for that little girl who would happily pose with me for every Disney character under the sun. Instead, I had two extremely reluctant boys that had to be threatened into photo compliance. Stinky attitudes aside, these boys somehow amazingly pulled it together and rocked out each and every photo.

Yes, I made them pose with Tinkerbell
Yes, I made them pose with Tinkerbell
The cutest pirates on the planet
The cutest pirates on the planet
Being forced to pose with Mom again
Being forced to pose with Mom again

I couldn’t imagine two more extraordinary, bright, entertaining and loving kids.

What I have learned is that the children you are given are rarely what you expect them to be, but miraculously, are more amazing than you could ever hope for.

children, gratitude, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting


This is an extremely busy time of year.  For our family, it can feel even busier because we have birthdays and a wedding anniversary tucked in between all the major holidays.  Somehow, we make it all work and manage to celebrate each and every milestone in our own way.

This morning as I began my walk to school with my recently turned older boys, T.Puzzle commented since now he is seven and Full Speed is nine, I should let them have a little more freedom.  They both wanted to start walking independently earlier on our school route.  Each had different points that they thought were suitable for me to turn back and let them walk the rest of the way on their own.  I was open to hearing all of their ideas as I do see real maturity and growth in both of them.  T.Puzzle had lagged behind as he often does and when he finally caught up to me to plead his case for more independence, he looked different to me. I didn’t know if it was a recent growth spurt or what exactly, but something certainly had changed.  He seemed lighter.  So light in fact, that I soon realized he didn’t have his backpack and we already had walked halfway to school.

Let’s just say, it’s real hard to convince your Mom for more independence if you can’t even remember your own backpack.

Better luck next birthday.

children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

We Are the Champions

The stage was set.  Parents, grandparents and siblings lined the field.  The air buzzed with anticipation.  Full Speed had made it to the big dance.  His remarkable flag football team was in the championship game.  I was nervous because I was first and foremost awake, and I was nervous because I had a feeling the other team thought they would beat us with ease.  A parent from the opposition casually mentioned they had won last night’s play-off 38-8.  He said it with such cool confidence that it seemed the final score was all the statement needed.  We knew enough about this team to know they had two rainmakers.  What they didn’t know is that we had the lightning quick hands of defense that could make the rain stop.  And, stop them we did.

Since our defense was on fire, it allowed our offense to kick it into high gear.  Full Speed ran the ball again and again setting us up for awesome field position.  The opposition then became so focused on his running that they couldn’t handle the deep bombs that our QB kept launching.  This is where Full Speed’s team was a cut above the rest.  We had an actual receiver that could catch these deep bombs.  This is quite rare in a U10 league and is what marched us into a 26-18 victory.

Go Black Dragons!


children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting


ry=400-11 ry=400-12

I’m noticing a trend.  In many ways, life with Full Speed and T.Puzzle is becoming much more pleasant.  Even though they are off school for a whole week for Thanksgiving, I didn’t even bat an eye.  I took them to the store today and I had zero anxiety about it.  If you know me it all, that is a near miraculous statement.  Of course, I still have rather unusual conversations with them before we enter any place that is of public domain.

“Your decisions in the store will determine whether or not you will be spending a large amount of time in your rooms or not once we return home.  I am only going to give you one warning.  Next time I have to speak to you about your behavior, you will have to go to your rooms as soon as we get home.”

“But, Mom,… is that one warning total or is that a warning a piece for each thing we do?  Like, ‘Calm down!’, ‘Be quiet!’, ‘Don’t kick your brother!'”  Full Speed had quite a list.

At this point I was only half-listening as the list went on and on.  “I don’t know, Full Speed.  I just don’t know.”

“Mom, what if T.Puzzle and I came up with 5,000 different ways to get in trouble?  Is that equal to 5,000 warnings?  What would you say to that, Mom?”

“I would say you are very talented.”

He grinned and chuckled.

Thankfully, we didn’t even crack the top ten.

children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Miracle on Monkey Island

Last week the boys had their six-month eye check-ups.  They were reluctant participants because they knew they had to have dilation drops.  They hate those.  Despite their reluctance and the over three hours we spent at the ophthalmology clinic, we ended up having a great time.  It’s kind of nice getting to spend time with them during school hours and getting out of school early almost makes dilation drops bearable.  Almost.

As we sat in the waiting area hoping pupils were dilating, a strange thing happened.  I noticed nearly every under five-year old was in a state of meltdown or duress.  There were harried mothers running amok trying to corral and soothe these very distressed children.  They were wiping noses, handing sippy cups out to no avail and looking rather frazzled.

Then, it dawned on me.  That used to be me.  Times two.  I sat back in my chair and let this realization wash over me.  I glanced to my left and there sat Full Speed happily immersed in a thick chapter book.  I glanced to my right and there sat T.Puzzle quietly.  He was too tired from fighting the dilation drops earlier and chose just to sit in silence rather than do anything else.  Let me repeat, he sat in SILENCE.

As my eyes swept over the waiting room that was quickly turning into a scene from a monkey island zoo exhibit, I thanked my lucky stars that miraculously my boys seemed to be two of the best behaved there.

I never thought I would live to see the day.

It's been an honor corralling these awesome guys
It’s been an honor corralling these awesome guys