Holly Daze. 2018.

This holiday season was sure a busy one for me this year.  Since I started my holiday shopping pretty early this year, I had this idea (from Pinterest of course) to decorate my Christmas gifts my own way.  I bought Kraft paper rolls and used my paint pens to address and decorate the gifts.  Although it took a whole lot of time, it was the most satisfying holiday craft project I’ve done!  It was a great way to put my little personal touch to the holidays!

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On to Kole’s class.  If you know me or follow this blog, then you know I can’t let a major holiday/event go with making the class goodie bags.  Last year, I made the kids little snowflake ornaments and this year I knitted mini stockings and stuffed them up with a couple of holiday candies.

His teacher and his classmates thought it was pretty cool and were all smiles so I’d say we had another class Holiday success!

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Everyday I start the mornings off with the news on tv.  That may not always be the best idea because of how absolutely depressing the entire world is right now, but it’s always a good idea to keep updated.  While I make breakfast for the boys, Kole is always paying attention to the news as well.  Last year he was so concerned and felt such sadness for the victims of the Tubbs Fire that he asked me if there was something we can do.  (And yes, that made me cry!)  So that was the beginning of a new family holiday tradition.  As a family, we decided to make a donation cup, which Kole decorated himself, and leave the cup in the middle of the dining table during Christmas and ask the family if they’d like to donate.

We are a small family but I know our donations helped a little and it surely did teach the kids in our family that the holidays are not only about all the gifts they receive for themselves but also how small gestures and just the act of love and care can be a huge gift to someone else.  Last year we donated to SonomaStrong Fire Relief and Recovery by Rotary.  2018 news had a whole lot of coverage on the homeless.  It’s sad how many people live on the streets here in the Bay Area, absolutely heartbreaking.  So just like last year, Kole chose a cause and he wanted to try to help the homeless somehow.  Our donations are going to a great organization started and ran by a family friend of ours called, The City Eats.  Ryan has volunteered with this organization and has even brought Kole along to help prep the meals as well.

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -Dr. Seuss

With the way the world is today, I am doing everything I can to make sure I raise little gentlemen that move through this world with intentions of love and care for others everyday and especially during the holidays.

Hope you all had a magical holiday full of love and lots of Christmas lights!! 

 

Hello, Ten.

Hello, Ten.

On September 20th, 2008,  a couple of 20 somethings walked down the aisle and vowed promises of forever and always to one another.  That was us.

Ryan and I have always been honest about what our marriage is.  We are very clear that marriage is difficult.  We are no strangers to vocal public fights.  Our close friends and families are always pulled in to hear our testimonies but we never asked them to take sides.  But we try to always ask, “What could I do to make this better?”  Our friends and family know us well individually and as a couple and we have been extremely blessed to have people in our lives that believe in our love and union and support the success of it.

When Ryan and I had the conversation of marriage as an unmarried couple, we both happened to be on the same page.  When we spoke of marriage we talked about the hard work we had to put in.  Marriage is not always easy like Sunday morning.  My main focus was not about my wedding dress.  It was not about my guest list.  It was about making sure that we can make this work for as long as we vowed to make it work for.  Forever.  Forever is a long damn time.  As the times and seasons change, people change.  What we can hope for and what we can fight through is to try to not necessarily change but to grow and hopefully in our journey to grow as individuals we can grow together as husband and wife.  Always.

Last anniversary was the first one in a while where we felt good in our marriage.  Like I say about our marriage when asked, we have good years and we have our unbearable ones.  Years 7 & 8 were rough ones.  We went through a lot as a couple and those two rough ass years had divorce on the tongue.  Our kind side vs. our stubborn side were at a constant battle.  As much as we told ourselves to be kind to our partner the opposite would win and Petty Betty was the name of the game.  We just couldn’t find it in ourselves to come up with solutions and for some reason ONLY knew how to point fingers.  Then last year, around our 9th anniversary, Ryan was out of town for training.  We were getting a little bit better with communicating prior to him leaving and got so much better at it while he was away.  Our outlook on situations and on each other somehow became more positive.  Our kind side wanted a rematch and was on its way to the top.  We wanted this marriage to work, not just for our kids, but for us.

We are doing it.  Every day we are grateful we make it together to the next because not many couples do for one reason or another.  Our story is still open for new chapters.  We made it to ten!  We are still loving and supporting each other and constantly encouraging each other to be and do better.  We still can make each other laugh until we are about to pee our pants.  But most importantly after 10 years of marriage, he still knows exactly how I like my coffee and that is pure love.

Happy, Ten.

My Favorite Moments – June ’18

My last Favorite Moments post was all the way back in September 2017.  The holidays crept up on us, as usual, and I was getting a little more involved in Kole’s school and class that the blogging took a little backseat.  It’s now summer time for the kids so I’ll try to take advantage of any free time to get back to typing away.

Kole | Kole finished off second grade this month and I am extremely proud of his school year.  His teachers and his classmates had nothing but good things to say about him.  He learned so much academically this year.  I loved his explanation of common core and friendly tens he learned in math, I loved the little bits of knowledge he’d tell me about ants and spiders (ew!!), and I loved all the little projects he brought home that took planning, testing, and follow through.  He’s always been into books and getting lost in the stories he’d read but this year he really fell in love with writing.  He took every advantage of the times he had in school to write and illustrate stories/books with his classmates during Writers Workshop and he also took time at home to create little books.  His imagination and creativity is boundless.

School was so great for him this year that he has shed some tears because school is over.  Not only because he’d miss his friends and recess but also because he genuinely enjoyed every part of the school day as well.  He even went as far as to say “Two months of summer is soooo looonnnggg!”  What kid says that? LOL.  Even though I have never felt that way in my whole life, I am really happy that he feels this way.  This feeling may not last forever but I will do my best to keep him just as interested in school as I can.  And I also am hella grateful for the educators that keep that school spirit alive!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Monroe | My little baby boy turned three this month!!  He. Is. A. Terror.  But the most lovable kind.  He most definitely is a sour patch kid.  Sweet one minute and sour the next.  But lately, his sweet has leveled up!  He is giving me more hugs and kisses and I get a lot more random “Mimi, I love you”s.  And if you know us well, you know his sacrifice of the green M&Ms for me is quite the gesture coming from that little M&M monster.  Conversations with him are getting easier and we are understanding each other more.  As much as I love all the growing, it is making me a little sad.  It’s already hard enough for me to accept that Kole isn’t teeny tiny anymore and now my littlest baby is growing up at the same super speed as his brother.   Time goes impossibly fast when you measure it by your growing minis.

Young, Wild, and THREE!img_8482-e1530204561486.jpg

What started off your sweet summertime?

 


Snoopy Sweater: Uniqlo | 3rd Birthday Shirt:  Willow Bee Apparel 

HMD. 2018.

This year I’m going to give a shout out to my boys. After all, without them I wouldn’t be part of this motherhood club.

They have changed my life in so many ways. Never in my life have I felt so anxious. Anxiety and panic attacks come full force. I’m deathly afraid of anything just in the case they get hurt in any way or in the case I get hurt in any way. Because who the hell would take care for my kids the way I do if something happened to me? No one. Because even if their dad can take care of them just fine, he still can’t do it like mommy does. (Ask him. He’ll co-sign. I promise.) Before I had kids it was that YOLO life. Now, as a mother, it’s YOLO but LET’S BE CAUTIOUS YALL!!!!

But that’s ok with me. I always thought of myself as a selfish person in my young adult life (which I’m sure we all were). Thinking of throwing myself in front of danger for someone else made me think twice and lay out pros and cons before I actually would decide whether or not I would do that for someone no matter how much I loved and cared for them. Then I had kids.

And once I entered motherhood I had already made up my mind. I would run into a burning building for my children and I would lift any heavy machinery in my way to get to my kids. No doubt about it.

To my Kole and Monroe, I want to thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for reminding me about hope and love on dark days. Thank you for the random hugs and kisses you give. Thank you for saying “please” and “thank you”. Thank you for loving me unconditionally despite the irritation, the yelling, and especially despite the limited tech time I offer because of all the irritation you both offer me. 😒

I thank them because they made me a mom. And because no matter how much I think I am the worse mother in the world, little things like opening the door for me and giving me the green M&Ms because green is my favorite color, remind me that I’m not such a bad a great mom.

Cheers to our children for making us mothers.

And cheers to us moms. We hold the home down, we channel our inner superhero for our little ones, and we catch throw up with our bare hands. MVP.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Daily Conversations With My Kid.

With all the scary situations that have gone on in the world since Kole was born, it has brought my stress level to its highest. I have never been brought back to the calm side of the spectrum ever since I became a mother. I have considered homeschooling him and keeping him away from all people. I have considered watching his every step to make sure he never comes in close contact with a bully. But life doesn’t work that way. I can only trust in the way I raise him and have faith on how he follows through.

Ever since he started school, three years ago, I have said the same things to him during drop off and pick up. When I drop him off I always say “Be good, be kind, and learn a lot.” Every day.

I remind him to be good. Teachers work hard everyday with 20-30 of our rowdy children. As parents, reasons we often complain about our children is how they don’t listen and don’t follow through, just to name a few. And we only have to deal with 1-5 kids on average. We know the struggle and to put all these kids with all different personalities together can be stressful and tough for an underpaid teacher with whom we have entrusted with our most precious treasures for 6-8 hours a day.

I remind him to be kind. Children are sensitive and remember everything. We all know mistreatment from their peers can stick with them for a lifetime and cause uneccessary violent action. As adults in this world today we are surprised by kindness. Videos about kindness go viral like it’s a foreign action. That says a lot about the world today and it’s not a good thing. I want him to grow up knowing kindness should be normal, given and received. To everyone. From everyone.

And lastly, I remind him to learn a lot. I want him to be open to learning everything and anything. I want him to be engaged so he is always interested on learning both sides of a coin. Ask questions. Be open to the answers even if he doesn’t like them. Not only listen but to understand.

And on to our conversations when I pick him up.

I always ask..

“How was your day?”

“What did you learn today?”

“What did you do and who did you play with during recess?”

“What was your favorite thing about the day?”

“What was your least favorite?”

I know that seems like a lot but it gives me all the information I need and I get him used to knowing that, as a parent, asking him a bunch of questions are not for interrogation. It’s for conversation. To always remind him I want to know about and keep up with his life, not because I don’t trust him but because I’m truly interested. Wanting to know how his day went and what he learned are a given. But it’s important for me to know what happens during recess when the kids are left to socialize with each other on a more independent level. I want to know if the list of people he plays with change, if the list has downsized, or if it has increased. What kind of games they play and if who is in charge of these games are the same person/people or if that role changes from time to time. Hearing about his least favorite parts of the day help me figure out what makes him sad, uncomfortable, or upset so I am able to catch anything he may not express to me directly. Knowing his favorite parts help me remember the things that bring him joy.

If I can’t protect him from all the bad in the world I can only hope I am helping raise good to at least be able to spread a little bit of light in all this darkness. Let’s face it, our world is shit. I want his tomorrows to be brighter than our todays. We just have to make sure we show the love and keep the conversation up and running.

The Big Three, She, and He.

If you have not fallen victim to, what I call, Ugly Cry Tuesday’s, you have clearly not been watching This Is Us. Before this show came out I binged watched Parenthood and then Gilmore Girls. So I was left with wanting more of stories about family and wanting more of Milo Ventimiglia *swoon*So when I saw the first episode of This Is Us, Milo’s behind got me to watch *drool*, Jack got me hooked, and William and the Pearson’s got me to fall in love. I am completely invested in this family. My heart aches and my eyes are puffy every single week without fail. This is a damn good show.

As amazing as this show is, it emotional drains the hell out of me. So much so, that my husband has to ask me every week “Are you ready to watch?” “Are you sure?” I’m so ridiculous. Ha! (But at least I’m not the only one! I know you’ve got all the feels too!)

But it is quite hard to watch. We are watching everything we fear as a parent. Everything we fear as a child. Everything we fear as a partner. And we must watch it all happen to a family we have fallen so in love with and have deeply connected to. We are in an era of entertainment that is full of sci-fi and superheroes. This Is Us is us and feels so real because it can be and to some people out there, it is. It reminds us that family is number one. It reminds us to love always and to love passionately. It reminds us to forgive as much as we can. And it sure as hell reminds us that life is hella short (and always have batteries for your smoke detectors and putting a rag next to an ancient appliance that you need to “fidget with” is dangerous as hell!!)

The last episode hit me as hard as the “Memphis” episode hit me, with my heart aching for days. And when our Super Bowl Sunday arrives, we’ll know exactly how the Pearson’s Super Bowl Sundays will never be the same. I’m sure we’ll cry the the most we ever have for this fictional family and our hearts will feel heavy AF that day. I am relieved though, that after we have to watch our current favorite TV dad run through heat and flame to protect his family at all costs, we will still be able to watch Jack Pearson alive and well in episodes to come. There is still so much story for him, Rebecca, and the big three that is so beautifully put together every week.

A salute to the writers who keep us engaged and a salute to the actors who make us feel all the feels.

Mind Your Own.

My kids are not perfect. There are times they don’t listen. There are times they fight. There are times they throw tantrums.

It. Is. Normal.

The other day, my kids and I were at a store and Monroe, who is 2 years old, had a tantrum. The woman behind me felt the need to make all sorts of comments and show all sorts of disgust on the fact that Monroe was upset, irritated, and crying. I don’t much care about what others think but it still isn’t easy to hear other people make you feel you are a complete failure as a parent and absolutely more upsetting to see your oldest child hear someone say something unkind about his little brother.

But make no mistake, if you feel free to make your side comments behind my back, do not be surprised to hear my harsh comments to your face. I am a mother protecting her cubs. I bite.

If you have a toddler, you know it’s that time in their lives they just don’t understand why they can’t have everything they want in the world. That’s where us parents step in. We try our best to teach them right and wrong, good and bad, and patience. We all know trying to teach a child that takes time and a whole lot of patience on our part as well. It’s frustrating as hell but that’s our job, to make sure we do our very best to raise them to be good people.

When we say no to our kids, do you think we enjoy watching them cry and get upset? Absolutely not! I choose to say no to them for certain things they don’t need. I choose to have my heart break everytime they cry or get upset because I took something away from them they didn’t deserve. So they will understand they will get it back when they have earned it from hardwork, kindness, etc. and not because they yelled for it. I choose this way so they don’t become grown men who throw tantrums and so they understand the word NO when they hear it.

Look, I’m doing my best here. So if you aren’t here to help, then keep on walking. I don’t need anybody making me feel less than. Parents do that to themselves enough.

Moral of the story, if you see a toddler out there throwing a tantrum, you can either help the poor parents or just STFU.

Happy New Days.

I have never been very much into a New Years celebration. Going to Times Square or any NYE Party was never on my bucket list and never will be. I prefer a much laid back count down. One with just close friends and/or family. And a bathroom I can easily get to and a blanket I can easily bundle up in.

The countdown starts and the hugs, kisses, and well wishes for the new year begin. After all that is done and the sounds of fireworks that give me a damn near heart attack have calmed down, I always say to myself and then to my husband “Wow. I can’t believe it’s (enter year here)” without fail. It is at that point when I reflect on yesteryear and feel the necessary emotions that go along with that year’s memories. We all have our good years and our bad years and 2017 wasn’t one of the greatest for me. I went in and out of my depression moods. Watching the news everyday definitely didn’t bring me one ounce of peace but just another notch on my anxiety belt. It was a rough year for me and Ryan as husband and wife. I didn’t get to do/experience anything I wanted. Whether it be reading a book I said I wanted to read or going on holiday to a city I have never been to before. Don’t get me wrong, there were a handful of moments last year that were wonderful. Ones I will never forget. But it’s not just about everything that has happened around me but a lot more of what I did or (mostly) didn’t do for myself. There is nothing and no one to blame but me. I didn’t work hard or even enough for my own happiness.

My world, love, and attention is set around my family and friends but I have to remind myself I deserve all that for me too.

How can I can make my 2018 a year I’ll look fondly back on? What can I do to FEEL better so I can BE better?

Love myself. Set some time me time away from kids and pamper myself. Read the books I want to or just sit back and mask!

Vision board. Make a vision board to get to the places I want to visit and if I can’t get to those places don’t get discouraged. Keep the dream alive! I’ll get there one day but know I’ve got to get up and do something about it. And tack on experiences I want to have. Like a promise to myself to explore my own city. I have to remember adventure doesn’t always have to be expensive or far. It can just be a hike away.

•Plan. As much as I love to plan and be organized I somehow stopped writing things down and making lists and appointments last year. Envision it, write it down, and (hopefully definitely) check it off!

•Be calm. Meditate. Going from 0-100 isn’t always the best way to go. I must remind myself counting 1-10 should be my first go to before I fly off the handle and that a nice calm chat can work wonders. Who needs to yell at the top of their lungs over constantly stepping on toys you’ve told your kids to put away 100 times before they actually listen?

Not me.

Anymore.

Life is getting shorter. My kids are getting older. I try to do the best I can to make sure they get to live their happiest life. They deserve to see me live mine the same exact way and I deserve to actually live it.

Happy New Dreams.

Happy New Days.

Happy New Desires.

Happy New Ways.

Happy New Year.

Hey, BOO!

One of Kole’s favorite “holidays” is fast approaching. Halloween!! The parts he loves most are pumpkin patching, painting the pumpkins, and of course, the costumes! This year, because Ryan was off training and because of the dreadful beginning of fall colds, we didn’t get a chance to paint pumpkins just yet but we nailed the other two so far!

For the past few years we’ve gone to the same pumpkin patch because Kole is a creature of habit. It isn’t the biggest or the most active but we get to do exactly what we want, a quick hunt for a few pumpkins and the most difficult family selfie photo shoot. We never stay too long but we always leave making memories and feeling that family time high.

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Every year I love putting together little goody bags for Kole’s classmates (as per usual, for every and any occasion I can 🙄). I know that’s not news but, you know, segway. Kole is not much into candy and we hate hoarding them, usually because Ryan and I fall victim to candy coma, so I try to stay away from giving too much. I tend to pack the goody bags with bubbles, stickers, or spider rings, etc.

This Halloween goody bag giveaway, I decided to go crafty. I crocheted skull ornaments and Kole picked the little lollipop treat to go with it. ecdefffb-9a33-495c-9db8-7b5c4509682dI got some little spiderweb printed baggies to hold those two things in and there you go. A simple and not too sugary goody bag!

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The costume.

Kole has been so into Ninjago even before it was a movie. He definitely binged on the Ninjago show and all things Ninjago on YouTube. His 6th Birthday was even Ninjago themed, which I’ll blog about in the future. But since the movie came out, his love for the squad sprouted up again in full force. His favorite character always changes but for Halloween he chose to dress up as Lloyd, The Chosen One and Master of Energy!


“Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore. Scary witches at your door. Jack-o-lanterns shining bright. Wishing you a haunting night.”

Have a sweet and safe Halloween from us and the Green Ninja.

My Favorite Moments – September

September was a crazy, crazy month. Between Ryan being gone, parenting alone, and being sick, I survived.  Huge shouts to my parents for helping me every single moment I needed and need them.  Through all the chaotic moments that happened this month I still had my favorites.

Ryan & Kat | If you read my last blog you know that Ryan and I reached our nine year wedding anniversary.  We celebrated with a simple greeting over FaceTime and it was just fine with us.  He was (and still is) off training for a new job and we wouldn’t want our nine year anniversary to be any different.  We realized so much about ourselves individually during this time apart.  We reintroduced ourselves to ourselves and have discovered we are stronger than we thought, more persistent to survive, and just more capable.  We’ve been so used to being Ryan and Kat we forgot how it was to be Ryan and to be Kat.  It was pretty nice to get to know me a little bit again.

Ryan is on the last leg of his training.  He has a couple of more weeks  left (hopefully) but at least he’s back in the same time zone.  I am extremely proud of him for working so hard.  He graduated last week after vigorous studying and testing.  He has never studied so much in his life!  There were days he loved his score and other days he wished he did better but he never let that consume him.  Although we didn’t talk for long periods of time we were still able to talk here and there, nothing more than 8-10 minutes but when we did talk, it was all words of encouragement from me and all words of faith from him.  We had to remind each other to take it day by day and test by test.  We knew if we kept God in mind, everything will be all right.  I mean, who are we?  Better people I hope that stick around.

Kole & Monroe | As I watch how things are unfolding in the world today, I watch closely on how Kole and Monroe are socially.  Yes, at home these kids can drive me up the wall, refuse to listen, and test my patience to the max but when I see them interact with other people I have a glimmer of hope for a better future.  I have always taught Kole how to be a little gentleman.  For example: Reminders of opening doors for people, why you open doors and how they make other people feel.  As Kole is getting older he started opening doors for me and letting me and his little brother go first.  And now it is grown to opening doors for strangers, especially women.  And because Monroe looks up to his brother more than anyone else in the entire world, I witnessed Monroe try to open the door for someone for the first time at the post office.  It brought a huge smile to this women to see a seven year old and a two year old try and open the door for her.  Moments like that remind me that even though I have mommy breakdowns (quite often) I’m not doing too bad as a parent.  Not at all.

What brought out your happy last month?