Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kids cause confusion!

 We decided to take our kids to Dunsmuir today. It's about an hour from us....totally do-able. They have a gorgeous water fall there and a really pretty area that has a park and trails to walk. Perfect for some family time.

We walked around and went on our own little adventure. The kids got to have their own "moment", when I asked them to find one thing that they found really awesome, that they'd like to tell us about. That was a hit obviously, you give a kid some spotlight and they are thrilled. ;)

The kids loved the waterfall. We were able to get right up next to it, and they thought it was super cool to be able to touch the waterfall. We walked on the trails, and talked about all the beautiful nature, that we were lucky to be around. It's nice to get kids outside, around trees, water and the sounds of nothing more than birds chirping and the breeze blowing. It's relaxing to everyone.

We decided to go to a place a friend of mine recommended to us for lunch. Normally I don't take my kids out to eat. It's not that I don't think they will behave. I just get really anxious about it. I worry that they might choose that time to have a meltdown, and they will disrupt other families. I've been a mom long enough to have completely noticed the eye rolls when couples without kids, sees a big family walk into a restaurant.

I worry that William won't want to sit in his seat and Katie will be needy, Laura will have attitude and Nicholas will talk LOUD! All thing's that I can completely handle at home, but I just have this THING about my kids being....."THOSE kids".

So.....we decided to venture out to the restaurant, and my kids were......angels. Literally. They couldn't have been better. They ate most of their meal, if not all of it. They spoke quietly, used manners, stayed in their seats, colored nicely. SHARED! It was nice. I saw two tables with couples at them, starring several times. I realized they were noticing how behaved my kids were. How wonderful my family was being, and I felt proud. I held my head high, showing that yep....these are MY kids. :)

We got in the car, and I thanked them individually. I wanted to show them that I noticed the way they chose to behave. I am sure they were tired, and yet they still were great. They had proud smiles, and we ventured back home. Hmm.....this is where things got a little.....stressful? Yea.

They were AMAZING at the restaurant, and then.....well, I'm just going to say it....BRATS in the car! Yes, I called them brats. If it quacks like a duck, its a duck! ;)

Nicholas however was I need to make that clear. He of course is a teen and wants to talk your ear off, but he was certainly no brat. :) In our truck, we have all three little kids in the back. Laura is in the middle and William and Katie on either side of her. They all got to buy a stuffed animal bear to bring home, or in Katies case, a journal (my little writer girl). I should have kept everything with me until we got home. I didn't do that. I let them have their stuff, and the fighting began. many times can a mom say "stop fighting, use nice words", "Laura, can you say that to Katie, in a sweet voice?", "Katie, you chose a journal, so give Laura her bear back", "William, please stop screaming", "Laura, again....find nicer words!".........I couldn't keep track of how many times I had to say all of that. William had to pee, so we had to pull over twice. Which if you have more than one kid, you KNOW that means another child will all of a sudden HAVE to go too. I was asked for juice, water, snacks, tissues. I heard "MOOOOOM", more than a billion times!

Toys got taken, attitudes were at an all time high and I was so confused. HOW did they go from being angels to THAT?! I can sit here now that they are all in bed, and see that they were just tired. We walked a lot, played a ton and were at the restaurant for a long time. They were just worn out. No excuse, for all that, but.....well, yea I guess for kids, yes it is a perfect excuse. HA!

I learned today that even though I have my own anxiety issues, I can't keep my kids away from restaurants. They might disrupt another family sometime, but that shouldn't matter. It's life. It will go on. I learned that kids like to keep you on your toes. They heard me thanking them for great behavior and thought "oh really, you think we are great?! We can't let you think TOO highly of us.....let's bring that crap down a notch!". ;) But most importantly, I learned that family time like this, is crucial. It's completely needed for each and every one of us. We thrive from it, and become closer as a family.

I hope you all can find time in this crazy world of ours to take a quick drive (even if it might be a stressful drive lol!) and spend quality time, with your loved ones. Our days, weeks and years go by so quickly, so make those memories now.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Learning through parenting.

I've been a mama for 10 years now. I've gone through a lot, learned so much and really feel that I've become sort of a seasoned vet at this whole mom thing.

You don't start out knowing everything.....or much of anything for that matter. As soon as that baby comes home, all you read and researched, goes out the window. Experience is what teaches you. You can tell your friends and family that you wont ever bottle feed, spank, yell, let them watch tv, eat any sugar....blah blah blah. It's just words until you GO THROUGH IT.

When Laura was born, I was so for sure that she would just sleep in her bassinet and be cool about it. No, that did not happen. She probably slept in that damn bassinet 4 times. She preferred sleeping in her bouncer. One night I had no idea what to do. Here I was, a mother to a 6 year old, yet I couldn't figure out how the hell to get my newborn to sleep! I put her in the bouncer for a minute and bam.......she was asleep. I let that sucker bounce her to sleep for weeks and weeks after that. It went against EVERYTHING I read, and was so sure would happen. By the time I had William years later, I wasn't nervous about HOW he would sleep. I knew he would figure it out and we would see what worked for him. I got lucky, and he preferred sleeping alone in his crib. Never a bouncer :)

Nicholas was bullied one year when he was about 9. I had never dealt with anything like that before, so I was kind of lost when he came home crying. The first time, I talked with him about being the bigger person, about trying to be nice to the kids that were being hateful, because they were obviously either jealous, or upset about something with themselves. After the 3rd or 4th time of him coming home crying because of kids picking on him after he got off the bus, I had had enough! He told me these kids CHASED him all the way home. I was furious. My little boy was upset, and needed me to help him. So, he was red faced, sobbing and I hear kids outside of my house LAUGHING. That was it. I got right up and ran out of my house and right after those kids. I was bare foot, running after 10 year olds. I wasn't going to DO anything, obviously I'm not that type of person. But I had already spoken to the school, and to the PARENTS about this. Nothing changed, so mama bear ran! I am sure I seemed like a weirdo. I had recently had a baby (Katie) and was in yoga pants, bare foot stomp/running after KIDS. LOL......yea I laugh about that one still, but it worked. They never picked on my kid again and he even became FRIENDS with them. (No children were hurt during my run. ;) I would have never been able to catch them if I tried!)

I've been a mom long enough to have been around lots of other moms. I've heard lots of advice, seen lots of other parenting styles and read more than you would probably believe about parenting, to know what works for me and my family.

That's all it takes. Experience. One thing that works for one kid, won't necessarily work for another. All 4 of my kids require different approaches. It takes lots of time and work, to find out what works for each child. Realizing that every kids is different, is the first thing to learn.

I've learned that believing in yourself means so much. Putting other people's advice to the side is a must. Judging how other's raise their children is a waste of time. I don't let my kids have tv's in their bedrooms. It works for us. It doesn't work for everyone though, and it doesn't make one parent "right". It took time to learn that.

Through all of these years of parenting, we have gotten into our own groove. It takes lots of patience, love and time, to become the parents you really want to be. You learn so much more from parenting, than reading ABOUT parenting. It just takes time.


Monday, April 8, 2013

It's not all that bad......

Sometimes I wonder what other people think of my life. If when I'm at the store alone, do people have any idea that I have a full house, and I'm stressed beyond belief? I wonder if my friends think I have it easy, because I don't have to clock in at work, or if they think I got the short end of the stick because my usual conversations are with kids and not adults?

We will never really know what others think, and truly does it matter? No, it does not.  I've heard before "It is none of your business, what other people think of you." And its true.

We all get down on ourselves sometimes. We feel like maybe we don't have the best clothes, or the nicest house. Our lives aren't as exciting as the people who post about their lives on facebook. Our kids are on their 5th tantrum and its only 10am, while we see our friends posting pictures of happily playing siblings.

I was this person today. Bummed about....everything. I won't bore you all with the list I felt I needed to whine about today, but just know I reached my limit of stress, and emotion. I sighed more than I thought possible, but it was best....for everyone :)

I put my kids to bed, kissed their amazingly soft foreheads and told them how lucky I am to be their mama. I told Katie the story of when she was born and how wonderful she has made our lives. She has been needing some extra attention lately, so it was nice to see her eyes light up, and hear her recite the story that she has so proudly listened to for 4 years.

After all 4 of my kids were in bed, beautifully sleeping, I plopped down on the couch and let out a deep sigh. Did today really happen? It wasn't even that bad, yet I felt really low. I remember saying "is this a joke?" several times. Time after time, random SMALL things would happen, and I just felt like each thing piled up on my shoulders and I was being weighed down.

So what did I do? I got my laptop out and buried myself in reading other peoples blogs. I wholeheartedly enjoy reading other moms blogs. It makes me feel normal! I laugh and cry while reading the exact words I could have posted about my day. I nod my head, and curl up with my coffee, smiling knowing I am not alone.

Tonight I read a specific blog that I had never come across before and it shook me. I read about a lady that has 3 kids and she was writing all of their birth stories. It took me back to those days for me. Those days that I met all of my babies and fell deeply in love with them. I felt empowered after giving birth and so protective. I still feel that way.....more now than ever before.

I needed to be reminded tonight. That it is all for a purpose. I chose to be a stay at home mom.....but some days I feel unappreciated and overwhelmed. I'm human. It brought me back down to earth and gave me a big virtual hug when I desperately needed it. I'm not alone in the crazy world of sticky fingerprints on my walls, 2 year old temper tantrums and the same old routine.

Tonight I am going to bed relieved, in a way. I'm remembering that my little loves will wake up tomorrow ready for another happy day. Ready for mommy to smile back at them and to fill their ears with more loving stories. I'm remembering how lucky I am to have this beautiful life. And more importantly, the amazing people in it.

Tonight I'm going to bed reminding's not all that bad :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Putting life into perspective.

Life seems to turn into this big blur of doing all of our daily tasks. Stress, school, cleaning, bills, AHH! It goes on and on. Until something happens to make you stop. It makes you think, and realize that life is so so so much more than all of those LITTLE things. It's about family.

Nick's grandma Long passed away recently. We knew it was coming a couple weeks before when she found out she had cancer. When we heard that news, we were saddened. She is such an amazing person. Why anyone....but mostly....why HER? Why?

It was hard for all of us to watch her fight it. It was so hard to see her laying there, without any way to communicate to us. She had so much family around her. So many people that LOVE her, that wanted to make sure she knew that we all love her. We wanted to make sure she knew that WE knew, how much she loved all of us.

We visited her daily. Twice a day. Once in the morning, with Katie and William, and then around dinner time with all of the kids. Everyone brought food, but more importantly everyone brought love. Love for one another, love for Grandma, and a new love for life.

Seeing all those people, all those tears on the day she passed away, made my heart cry, but it made me see all of the love that was there.

She showed us all that life is so fragile. When you lose someone you love, it hurts, but it reminds you to slow down. Enjoy everything. Enjoy the people in your life. Care less about things, and more about love and people. Those are the things that really matter. Those are the only things that are worth anything at all.

Grandma will be deeply missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing her. She touched many people's lives. She was amazing with our children, gave the sweetest advice, and had an unforgettable sense of humor.

I learned a lot from her, as did my husband and our 4 children. The memories we made with her will always be with us. She will always be with us, in our hearts.

Rest in peace Grandma Long. You will be missed and loved forever. Thank you for all the laughs and smiles you shared with us. Thank you for loving us no matter what we did, or what choices we made. Thank you for carring about us, and our children. We will cherish every memory we have with you. We all love you.