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?
A very dear friend of mine called me one day and surprised me with some amazing news. She’s pregnant! She was a person who fiddled around the idea of having children but didn’t particularly plan on it. She is excited nontheless and I am excited for her. Like, hella. As I’m enjoying her news, it takes me through the memories of when I was pregnant.
First, let me say, I was not one of those women who enjoyed pregnancy. I complained all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. I was uncomfortable, irritable, and always tired. I annoyingly received comments on my body, on how tired I looked, and (my favorite) the comparisons with other pregnant women. Not to mention the anxiety of thinking of the labor. Which I still felt the second time around adding the anxiety of feeling I wouldn’t know how to be a mother to two kids. I was a mess! You know, the pregnancy usual. These stuck to me and are sometimes the first things I think about when I look back on pregnancy but what sticks out the most is the connection I had with my babies.
Yes, two people started the process but we, as women, are the ones that see it through. Love and security are what home is and I was their first idea of home. We were in this together. We ate the same things. We felt the same feelings. We were one.
Although the kicking has a slight hint of creepiness to it, the feeling of a tiny human being growing inside me letting me know “Sup, I’m here mommy and I love you as much as you love me” with a quick roundhouse is pretty amazing.
Despite my list of pregnancy negatives, the positives still shine bright. I took part in creating two human beings. I never knew my heart could pump more blood and love than it already did before I became a mother. Pregnancy may not have been the most enjoyable experience for me but I’m pretty sure the motherhood part suits me just right.
This month was all about the celebration of life. Many things happened this month that just reminded all of us to live life boldly, passionately, happily and with as much love as possible. Here are a couple of my June favorite moments.
Monroe | This month Monroe turned two. Terrifically terrible and two. Lord help me. Ha!
Let me take you back two years ago on the day before his was born. As you may know, Kole is quite the loving little boy. The day before Monroe was born he happened to randomly say to me “Happy Kisses Day, Mommy” (a holiday he clearly made up on his own and on the spot) and gave me a kiss. He then turned to my belly and said, “Happy Kisses Day, Monroe” then gave my belly a kiss.
Fast forward to this year, the day before Monroe’s birthday. Monroe became a little kissing machine. He was handing out free kisses all day! He’s way too young to understand one of my favorite memories but it absolutely made me shed a tear that he may have remembered that little itty bitty voice that reminded him to celebrate a Kole holiday. But don’t be fooled by all those kisses, Monroe can still “make mischief, of one kind or another” because he is a wild thing. King of all the wild things, as a matter of fact. 😉
Las Vegas | Last week we had to make a last minute trip to Vegas. We gathered together with Ryan’s family to celebrate his grandmother’s life and lay her to rest. Although the intent of the trip started out as a sad one, it quickly became a joyous one. I t was a time where family members who don’t often get to see each other (because life) spend some good quality time. They got to talk of stories that brought on nostalgia of their childhood and time spent with their grandmother. I t was a time to bring the youngest generation together to create memories they will happily reminisce about in the future. And because life leads them in different directions, it was a quick reminder that family is still and always will be Thick. As. Hell.
As the 2016-2017 school year is wrapping up, I try and remind Kole to cherish every moment as the last week is rounding out. He loves school. He loves his teacher. He loves his friends. Kole was lucky enough to have the same teacher for Kindergarten and First Grade so it’ll be just as sad for me to say goodbye to First Grade as it will be for Kole. If you know me, you know I love putting little gift sets together because I love giving gifts. Kole has definitely got that trait from me because we both always talk about what the next thing we can get or make for his classmates and teacher. After spending a couple of hours with his classmates on the class field trip I saw how extremely excited they got over popcorn. Yes, popcorn! I’ve seen excitement for cookies, candy, and ice cream but it seemed their love for popcorn ran deep! So I put a bag of popcorn and a bottle of bubbles in a cellophane bag so they can take a sit out in the sunshine, blow some bubbles, and snack on some good ol’ kettle corn. Happy summer, kids!
“Hope your summer is poppin’. Your friend, Kole.”
We can’t forget a little something for the captain of the class. The person who was able to hold it down for 20 of our little ones from the days of crisp fall air all the way until the summer sun heats up.
His teacher is one of the reasons he loves school and is always excited to learn. I wanted to make sure she knew that we appreciated everything she’s done with and for Kole for the past two years. You’ll always be Kole’s very first favorite teacher.
“Have a sweet & soothing summer. Love, Kole”
Thank you First Grade. You were the best. Second Grade, we’re ready for you.
Have a great summer and remember to watch more sunsets than Netflix.
Kettle Corn | Bubbles | Cellophane Bags | Photo Box |Anti Bacterial Soap |Tree Hut Travel Set | Face Mask | Bath Salts
The month of May was a bit of a rocky one for me, emotionally and mentally, but that didn’t stop me from cherishing those special moments with my tribe. Here are my May favorite moments.
Kole’s First Grade Field Trip | This month Kole’s class had a field trip to the Oakland Zoo. Ryan and I were able to chaperone which was pretty cool Kole was able to have both his parents there. Thank God he’s still at that age where he’s still hella down with that idea! Ryan and I were assigned 4 kids in total which was perfect because the other 3 kids happened to be Kole’s most favorite friends. We were so grateful to be able to see the interactions of these four friends. Not a care in the world except to have the best day ever at the zoo with their best buds. With all the craziness happening in the world today it was refreshing to witness these kids anxiously wanting to share their snacks with each other, excitedly wanting to sit next to each other, and caring for each other enough to make sure no one was feeling left out. I hope as they grow older and the vibrancy of the world starts to fade they’ll look back at a sweet memory at that one time in First Grade at the Oakland Zoo where they had a hell of a time with their classmates, where the kids that were their bestest buddies at the time were dope AF because they shared their Oreos, and where they got to hang with the coolest chaperones in town. 😉
Monroe | It’s amazing what a difference a month makes. He is picking things up so quickly! It also helps he has a big brother to look up to, aka completely mimic. When it’s prayer time before bed, he’s all about the sign of the cross and his “amen hands”. He is also becoming much sweeter. As I’ve said before, he is completely the opposite of Kole. He is a major handful and it just seemed he was born in the “terrible twos”. *I see you future CEO, I see you.* The other day I was a bit down and he obviously picked up on it. He was throwing me kisses left and right and the hugs just kept coming. I knew there was more sweet in this sour patch kid than he let on!
Nikko | Nikko is one of my closest and very best girlfriends. We like to think we are more like sisters than friends. She sent me a card in the mail this month and it absolutely made my day. First, sending personal snail mail is a lost art and that in itself lifted my spirits. Her words of appreciation for our friendship meant the freaking world to me. She also commended me on how I am as a mother. When you struggle with yourself trying to figure out if you’re doing the right things for and by your children you can get stuck under a dark cloud that you’ve created for yourself and feel like you’re drowning. Her words gave me some sunshine and a breath of fresh air. We don’t see each other very often but we always know when we need each other and how to be there for each other. Mia sorella per sempre.
What and who saved you from yourself last month? Keep them close and cherish them always. I’m almost positive you’ll need them again.
When Kole started school I became a straight hoarder with every single thing he brought home. I saved all his school work, homework, and art work. It was almost surprising I didn’t bronze his first pencil! Ha! He was my firstborn and I was proud and excited about all the new things he was learning. So yes, I kept 20 practice pages that had the upper case “A” and 20 practice pages with the lower case “a” and so forth. Total that up and we were basically buried under a preschool. Then he started First Grade this year and it was just getting out of hand. I tried putting them together in regular file boxes and it was ok but I wasn’t in love with the storage technique. It just wasn’t as organized, durable, or as clean as I wanted it to be. Remember in the show Friends when Monica’s dad stopped the water from getting to his Porsche using Monica’s boxes and it ruined everything in it? I’d hate myself if the hard work of those little fingers were forever wrecked. So I had to have a sit down with my little one and get his permission to let some things go. Although, he can be somewhat of a hoarder about that stuff too, he was on board! Hallelujah!
I kept the first tries, the most improved and the artwork that wasn’t falling apart. The pieces that were spewing glitter all over the place had to go too. Those were my worse nightmare. Thank goodness he was on the same OCD level about glitter as me! Also, I kept any special certificates and report cards of course. Now that I significantly downsized the lot, I had to figure out how I wanted to store it. While I was at Office Depot buying file folders for this project I took a look around and realized plastic storage bins were actually what I needed and were the best way to store Kole’s things for every grade. This would better protect his academic paper memories for years to come.
Let’s get organized.
After you’ve sorted through all your little one’s paper work, grab your keep pile and file them however you like in the filing folders.
Since we always end up with extra of beginning of the school year and mid school year pictures I used them to put in front of the file folder as part of labelling. Instead of taping or gluing the pictures on, I used photo corners to hold the photos in place for added flare. I love to hand write everything for a personal touch, as I did for the grade and year, but I know many fancy the label makers or printable tags for a more clean, uniform look. Do you, boo. Do you.
After those folders are everything you’ve dreamed of, place those puppies in your plastic storage bin and bid them adieu until next summer. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll keep them close by and accessible so you can just purge and fill it up throughout the school year!
Have a great summer!