children, gratitude, happiness, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Diet Coke

A neighbor and I were recently chatting about raising our boys.  Hers are grown, as you all know, mine are not.  We both said that in our experience motherhood gets better with each passing year.  It’s a combination of learning to accept things exactly as they are and the natural maturation of children.  Basically it’s easier to let things slide if your kids are more self sufficient, follow directions better and have more fully developed personalities to entertain you.

I was keenly aware of this conversation as I took T.Puzzle to lunch at Chik-fil-a.  It was a breeze.  He sat quietly and promptly ate his food.  He went and played independently.  Instead of endangering other kids with aggressive behavior, he actually helped a little girl who was stuck halfway between platforms.  Yes, that’s right, he HELPED her.  He didn’t bite her, kick her or punch her.  He was so proud of himself he ran out to tell me all about it.  He also lobbied that this may be a great item to include in his behavior report for tae kwon do this evening.

Naturally, there will be times today when he tests my patience.  The nice thing is that now there is more balance.  He gives a little and therefore so do I.

And for the record as I sat alone drinking my soda and watching him play, it may have been the best Diet Coke I ever tasted.

children, happiness, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Coast to Coast

This soccer season has not reached the level of success that Mad Dog’s and Full Speed’s first season did.  I’m being kind here.

I know, I know, it’s not suppose to be about the winning.  It’s suppose to be about the learning and the teamwork, right? 

Who are we kidding?  It’s about the winning.

Sometimes it physically pains me to watch my boys go down in the flames of defeat.  It pains me even more when Mad Dog is in a less than cheerful mood for several hours following another heart wrenching loss.

There are some positives.  I will never tire of watching Full Speed never tire of running the field during games.  His new nickname is ‘Coast to Coast’ because the kid never backs down and will be wherever the ball is at any given moment.  It is a sight to behold. 

Full Speed gets set to head Coast to Coast.

Watching T.Puzzle evolve from the first game has been humorous and heartwarming.  The first several games he sort of ran near the ball but he didn’t like to actually come into contact with it.   Now, he’s mastered some legitimate blocks as goalie and on more than one occasion got a foot on the ball while in play.  These were proud moments for me.

Mad Dog helps T.Puzzle toss in bounds.

Looks like I’m officially a soccer Mom.

Maybe I’m evolving too.

children, gratitude, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery, Taekwondo

The Sparring Truth

Now that T.Puzzle is a camoflauge belt, he technically is allowed to spar.  This means I am technically allowed to be completely neurotic about it.

the good ol' days when T.Puzzle was still a non-sparring yellow belt.

Oh, my denial runs deep.  I keep wishing and hoping that his sparring days are far, far in the future.

In class as I grabbed a seat another Mom asked me, “Has T.Puzzle sparred, yet?”

I went into this long explanation about how he has not, how I’m not ready for it, he’s too young, too timid and maybe Mad Dog can take him to a sparring class because I don’t want to see it.

I think a simple ‘no, he has not’ would have sufficed.

Needless to say, as soon as I’m done with my crazy little speech, the instructor approaches me and asks if  T.Puzzle has his sparring gear.

Today is the day.

Yikes!!

The more I thought about it the more I realized my concerns about T.Puzzle sparring had nothing to do with him.

I am associating this with him being grown-up.

Newsflash— he is growing up.

Sometimes knowledge like this is worse than a flying high kick to the head.

After it was over, it was all relatively harmless, and T.Puzzle shouted, ‘that was the most awesomest!’, I paused and tried to be grateful for how well he handled it. 

Me? 

I still have a ways to go yet.

gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, marriage, mommy cliques, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self care (or lack thereof), self-discovery

Happy 2011, Everyone!

Resolutions for 2011 are as follows–

T.Puzzle: To be Superman when I grow up!

That’s super, man.

Full Speed:  I promise to be the bestest boy in all the land.

Considering his initial behavior at our New Year’s lunch out by the ocean, this goal may be slightly on the lofty side.

Mad Dog:  To get fit and have more patience with my boys.

First of all, I think he looks fantastic as is and secondly, I’m thinking he wanted to add ‘and more patience with my wife’.  Since he was speaking this goal directly to me, he was wise to leave that part out.

Me:  To have more gratitude for what I already have.

Case in point...

That’s the great thing about motherhood, it gives you many reasons to be grateful.  I’m serious, mostly…, and no, I haven’t fallen and hit my head (at least not badly).

These are some of the lessons I learned throughout 2010.

1.  No matter how much you dream it or wish it, you are not in control of your life or your children.  It seems the more I try to micromanage Full Speed’s and T.Puzzle’s behavior, the more likely I am to fail and be miserable in the process.   Sometimes you have to let go and let them be who they are, even if that means they act wild sometimes, forget their manners and generally drive you and your spouse nuts.

2. On good days, motherhood is about the balance between caring for the needs of your kids and caring for your own needs.  On bad days, motherhood is about survival.  All you can do is survive until your children’s bedtime, chalk it up to a bad day and start the adventure anew the next day.

3.  When the bad stuff happens, it’s your best opportunity to learn.

4.  I am extremely lucky to have someone like Mad Dog as my children’s father.  Kids love to emulate what they see, and fortunately for me, this means they see love, respect and generosity as a way of life.

Full Speed puts his hands in his pockets just like Mad Dog on our day at the zoo.

5.  Frustration doesn’t get you very far.  Acceptance, an action plan and forgiveness go a whole lot further in this world.

6.  Having kids allows you to remember your own sense of fun.  It’s also a great excuse to wear silly hats when you ring in the new year.

Happy New Year, Everyone!
children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

What We Did For Thanksgiving Vacation

Whew!  Full Speed had a whole week off and T.Puzzle stayed home most of the week, too.

You know some mayhem ensued.

Oh how it did.

We were a busy bunch.

The week started with a ‘date’ for Mom and Full Speed.

The boys saw Santa with their cousin.

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Mad Dog’s birthday.  And yes, as a nation, I do believe in our entirety, we felt extreme gratitude that Mad Dog’s birthday coincided on this special day.   Or something like that.

 

Then, Mad Dog and I celebrated his birthday again as Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Pink graciously hosted our boys.  Upon our return, it is unlikely they will be invited back anytime soon.  Apparently, someone really needs to talk to their parents about their rowdy behavior.  Our apologies.

 

love you, Mad Dog!

Then, if all that wasn’t enough, we decorated our Christmas tree.  I tried oh-so-hard to let the boys do their thing without anxiously hovering about.  They seemed to have fun and I did too, just as long as all our breakable ornaments were hung at the top of the tree (by me!).

By the end of the week, we had two very tired boys on our hands.

 

So glad they have an 'off' switch.

 

When all was said and done, the thing that I am most grateful for is that I was actually sad to send them back to school because we had so much fun together.

Mothering these two strong spirited boys has not been without challenge.  To be able to say that I am honestly going to miss them as they trounce back to school is a turning point.

I am learning that even though there were days during vacation that they drove me to tears with their outlandish and stubborn behavior, I am now beginning to see the emergence of who they really are underneath.

Thankfully, they are two very cool little dudes.

Hope you all had a great holiday!