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.

On A Wednesday In February. 2018.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to get crafty for Kole’s class. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know candy is not my go to. Last year I knitted puffed hearts for the entire class and teacher and this year I wanted to make something for the boys and something for the girls.

For the boys:

Minecraft is a huge thing in our home so I decided to knit up Minecraft creeper baggies and got some bouncy balls to fill.

For the girls:

I knitted up some cute strawberry pouches and got heart bracelets to fill.

For the teacher:

Since Kole has a different teacher than he had last year, I decided to knit up a mini version of the Puffed Hearts and place them in a repurposed candle jar in hopes she will cherish the crafts and find use for the jar in her home.

These were thought up and made with a huge amount of love and care. I wanted Kole’s classmates to know their friendship is appreciated and his teacher to know that her kindness and patience means the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018! Let this day be a reminder to give and show love, not just for that one day in February, but for everyday of the year.

“Do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

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.

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.

• • •

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!

• • •

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?

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.