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.
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?
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.
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.
• • •
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. I got some little spiderweb printed baggies to hold those two things in and there you go. A simple and not too sugary goody bag!
• • •
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.
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.
“I want to hold your hand at 80 and say, ‘We made it!!'”
Ryan and I made it! Today we celebrate nine years of marriage. To some that may not be a lot but to us it means the world. We are surrounded by people and stories of breakups and divorces and every year we make it, we feel accomplished. But really though, every day we make it we feel accomplished.
We’ve been through many things during our marriage as everyone does. Being in a lifelong partnership takes a lot of effort, forgiveness, communication, and love to keep it going. I’ll be honest, there have been times where separation was part of the conversation for one reason or another. We thought letting go and giving up would be the better path to walk. But that happens when moments of weakness creep up on us. When we forget that marriage takes a lot of work to work. And we must remind ourselves to grow with each other and not out of each other. And we’re doing it. We’re communicating better and loving better because we know that WE are worth it.
This year, we won’t be able to celebrate until Ryan gets home since he’s out of town training for a new job. He told me he felt bad he wasn’t with me on our anniversary but I didn’t want him to feel that way at all. He is out there doing what he needs to do for our family. I 100% feel we are celebrating our wedding anniversary just as we should be, loving and supporting each other.
There may be days we question our like for each other but the love we have for one another never goes away. No matter what we go through we still choose love. And we promise to choose love Every. Damn. Day.
Summertime is coming to a close and the school year is about to begin. When school let out back in June I was so excited. I get to spend all my summer days with my oldest as well as my youngest! Then a week into summer vacation I realized peace was all lost. Quiet and calm was a distant memory. I was ready for vacation to be over. But as much as I yearned for peace and quiet and as much as I was so over and done with each day, the night ended with me and Ryan talking about how much we loved seeing Kole and Monroe together, the way they interacted, and the way they played. We watched them sleep and wished they were awake because we realized we missed the noise. Oh, but of course never spoke of it too out loud in case the universe actually listened. We didn’t miss the noise THAT much! Monroe seemed to be playing his own game of shadow and followed every single thing Kole did. Every word and movement was mimicked. Even right down to when Kole sneezed Monroe tried to sneeze. You know, what every younger sibling does with their older siblings. The last couple of months Monroe has learned so many things and for the most part it was Kole teaching him. I’m going to miss their all day interaction with each other. I’m especially going to miss watching their imagination on high speed and hearing it at the highest volume possible.And I know, most of all, Monroe is going to miss seeing his brother all day. His best bud. His ace. But it’s time to have Kole go and learn second grade things and I’m excited to listen to all his second grade stories. Next week we say goodbye to summer and hello to second grade. Bye, Summer 2017. Thanks for the memories.
Faith | There have been some things that happened this month that tested our faith. Ryan had his heart set on a career change. He was banking on this new position because it was something he felt will give him a better quality of life. A chance to spend more time with me and the boys and an opportunity to grow within the company and help us better financially in the future. Sadly, under circumstances not in his control, it fell through. With the disappointment with that and the loss of the matriarch in his family, he was under a mini dark cloud.
Feeling negative about things is human nature. That moment of weakness when you feel like you can’t catch a break because when it rains it POURS, you can’t help but feel like you’re drowning. One of the things that I think is very important in a relationship/partnership is that two people can’t be swimming in that pool of negativity. I felt everything he was feeling. I understood why he felt as such but I couldn’t let him believe there wasn’t a good reason. Although we are Catholic, we are not constant church goers or avidly practice Catholicism but our faith in God is big and strong. But we are human, and when our faith touches rocky ground we tend to get lost.
First thing’s first. Dealing with the passing of his grandmother was tough. But through all the heartache and tears came out more opportunities to see family he hasn’t seen in years. Times spent with his siblings were longer and much more frequent. After every weekend we see family, Ryan seems more uplifted and more thankful. Grandma Julie loves that. I promise you.
Second on the list: getting past not getting the opportunity that he so much had his heart set on. We had lots of conversations on keeping faith, letting us let go and accept that God has a bigger and better plan, and we’ve gotten through worse so we can get through this. After those many faith centered conversations and after Ryan finally accepted his fate, he gets a phone call. The recruiters called Ryan and extended an offer to continue on with their company. They even went ahead and told him they pulled it together because they didn’t want to lose such a good candidate.
Faith was tested but in the end, our higher power was on our side reminding us that even though we go through struggle down here, He’s up there working his heavenly magic.