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 

Ms. B., You Were A+. Second Grade Was Super.

This school year just flew right on by. When we first met Ms. B. we fell instantly at ease and in love. Having had the same teacher for two years straight, Kole was a bit nervous starting second grade. But since the first day of this school year he had deemed Ms. B. as one of his favorite teachers. I had the pleasure to sit in and volunteer in the class a bit more this year so I got close to her and the students pretty quickly. She is a great teacher with a whole lot of patience and a very kind heart. Kole came out everyday being able to do mental math so quickly. Thank goodness for common core and friendly tens!

Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company…and that means a little “send off to Summer” gift sets. This year I rounded up some sidewalk chalk and bubbles to remind them to put the iPad down and get outside. Also adding washable paint to remind them to stay creative. Keep your body moving, live life, and enjoy your sunny days, kiddos!

“Have a whole lot of summer fun! Love, Kole”

To the person who handled 17 of our precious, energetic, hard to handle at times, minis…thank you for all the new knowledge, skill, and memories you gave our kids. You get the sweetest of send offs.

Kole loved being in her class. We especially appreciate her opening her classroom doors to me and Monroe. We hope she enjoys every single minute of her summer break. She deserves it!

“Thanks for making Kole, one smart cookie!”

Thank you Second Grade. You were super. Off to Third we go!

Happy summer and enjoy every ray of that sunshine! ‘Til next school year.

Sidewalk chalk (Target) | Kids’ Washable Paint | Treat Cups (Michael’s clearance) | Cellophane Bags | Bubbles | Photo Box | “One Smart Cookie” Pot Holder | Cookie Cutter | Candle (Bath & Body Works)

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.

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.

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?

Bye Bye, Summertime.

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.