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

A Really Good Week

While Full Speed has been honing his basketball skills at camp this week, T.Puzzle and I have spent much quality time together.  T.Puzzle didn’t make the age requirement for camp so I tried to plan some special things for him and me to do.  Here’s the breakdown along with T.Puzzle’s assessment of the each day:

Monday- Chik-fil-a lunch and play time at the indoor playground

T.Puzzle said, “Monday is a very good day!”

Tuesday- Storytime at the library concluded with an art project

T.Puzzle said, “It was probably a little bit good.”  Apparently the quiet sitting and the craftiness were not truly his thing.

Wednesday- Pool time along with pizza from the Tiki Shack

T.Puzzle said, “This is probably a very awesome day!”

Thursday- bike ride to the park and playing hide and seek with Mom

T.Puzzle said, “I’m getting boring (referring to his boredom over the bike ride), when are we gonna be there?”  As for the rest he highly enjoyed himself.  Here’s a video of him ‘sharing’ a goldfish (his favorite snack) with his Dad.

Friday- We had to stick around home as the laundry situation had reached emergency status.  While Mom tackled the laundry problem, there was still time to read some books together.

T.Puzzle said, “Friday was a really good day.”

I completely agree, except for the laundry part of course.

children, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Park Politics

Wise for their size.

Having spent spring break doing local things with my boys, we visited our share of parks. There was the park at the library, the park in our subdivision and the play area at the zoo.

My approach to the park experience, especially since the boys have mastered them in a physical sense, is to step back and let the social politics of parkdom unfold without intervening.

This is so much easier said than done.

Since the boys are older, they handle themselves well for the most part. There is less threat of spontaneous smack-downs so I can relax a little.

The part that I have to watch myself is if any of the other kids attempt to be mean to my boys. I find that sometimes even the quiet girls holed up in the cubby at the top of the slide use words that cut like daggers.

Here’s what one such little girl said to T.Puzzle when he tried to use the slide. “You can’t come up here. You can never be here while we are here. You have to go away forever!”

I heard some defensive words start to creep up my throat and as they almost toppled from my mouth, I bit my tongue and took a step back. As much as I was longing to intervene, I wanted T.Puzzle to handle it. j

He did. He sort stepped over the girl and her unfortunate minions, and slid away. T.Puzzle and Full Speed continued to ignore the girls and their ridiculous demands.

I learned a lot watching them.

The best way to handle mean people is to ignore them and live your life.

Spend time with the people who support you and slide away as fast as you can from the ones who don’t.

children, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

King of Love

Just when you think you are out of the woods, reality will come back and smack you in the face.  I like to believe that the physical/hands-on part of raising my boys is getting easier.  And it is.  Yet there are still moments when I look into the eyes of my offspring and all I see is a never-ending pool of need.

I had picked up T.Puzzle midday from school.  He needed his booster shot for the flu vaccine.  We were miraculously in and out of the doctor’s office in ten minutes flat (no lie!).   We had time to kill until we picked up Full Speed from kindergarten.  We headed to the park.

T.Puzzle was doing great, climbing everywhere and tumbling down the slides.  I was enjoying myself reveling in the freedom of being able to step back and watch him.   Suddenly he runs towards me holding his bottom.

Uh oh.  The holding of the bottom is never a good sign.

“I needa use the bathroom!” he exclaims.

Of course he does.  Of course we are at a park with no operational toilet facilities.  Of course. Of course.

I grab him and sprint to the car, he’s miffed at me because he is leaving the fun.  I get him strapped in as quickly as possible and hightail it to a nearby Burger King.  We race to the bathroom and make it in the nick of time.

While in the stall I have a moment where I feel the frustration rise.  The seemingly endless inconvenient potty moments specific to early childhood are getting to me.  The feeling that no matter how far I’ve come in motherhood, I am still a slave to my children and their needs.  I look at T.Puzzle.  He looks at me.

“I really love you, Mommy.  I really love you all the times,” he says.

Oh, so that’s why it’s a good thing your kids can learn to talk.  When they are this small and verbal  sometimes they say the perfect thing when you need to hear it the most.  T.Puzzle helped shift me out of my frustration and focus on what’s important.  And no, I’m not talking about improving the cleanliness of Burger King’s bathrooms because clearly this is an issue, too.  It’s about remembering when you are up to your Mommy-eyeballs in dealing with the needs of everyone but yourself, that you do it out of love.  If you hang in there, make a good effort and keep your intentions clear, you will make it through.

I love you all the times, too, T.Puzzle.


T.Puzzle earns a star for good behavior at Tae Kwon Do.



Mad Dog and Full Speed lend a hand out on the mat.


children, gratitude, mommyhood

The Trade-Off

After the incident I had with little T.Puzzle at Target last week, let’s just say I was less than enthusiastic about spending another whole day alone with the little instigator. I had some stuff to do around the house and then I planned to take him on a bike ride to the park. I had zero plans to take him to a public place, especially since I’m certain we are now on Target’s ‘watch list’. One look at us and the employees of Target would swiftly escort off the premises.

little Frick looks for frogs at our neighborhood nature spot

He actually was pretty good. He made a friend at the park which always helps. They were roughly the same age. It was fascinating to watch little T.Puzzle establish boundaries with this kid. He is so used to be pummeled and harassed by his big brother Full Speed, that he is always on high alert. If his new friend so much as tapped his back, little T.Puzzle looked like he was going to bring on a full assault. He quickly learned that this new kid was harmless and his Mom and I watched in delight as they ran circles around the park and each other. We were hopeful this was setting the stage for great naps for both.

When it was time to leave, which is my least favorite part of doing pretty much anything with little T.Puzzle, he refused to put his helmet on. He was so adamant about this that while he was arguing with me (and I wasn’t arguing back), I quietly placed him in his seat, strapped him down and started home. So, he didn’t have his helmet on for the five blocks home but I did get him back in his seat without him trying to karate chop my head off. Not a bad trade-off I suppose.