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Z is for Zig-Zag: My Journey Through Parenthood

Z is for Zig-Zag.

There is no cookie cutter model for parenting.  This annoys me.  I wish I could read one book, just one, and that one book would have all the answers for everybody.  This just wouldn’t work.  God made everybody so annoyingly unique so that as we all connect to each other and start growing families, each family becomes annoyingly unique.  Okay, annoying may not be the right word because it’s actually pretty amazing to think about.  Yet, annoying just might fit…sometimes?

Easter, 2014

Therefore, for our family, it’s important that we be extremely flexible.  Roll with the punches.  Zig-Zag when we need to.  I have 3 kids and they are all so different.  The oldest has down syndrome and is home-schooled.  The middle (and oldest too) goes to public school in the town next door to ours.  The youngest is just turning into a toddler.  Each one has their own sets of needs and desires.  Each one has a beating heart that is yearning for love and affection from Mr. Sexy and I.

So when Michael has a school recital I have to relax a bit on the homeschool front.  When Denai isn’t feeling well I have to drop everything and run to the doctor.  When Marie is having a bad day I have to allow her and I time and space to move past whatever happened.

This concept is difficult for me.  I like to have an orderly schedule, although you might not guess this if you could see how good not good I am at keeping my room clean.  Even a poop schedule is important to me.  However, this year it seems that every day, every week, every month, shit just happens.  We haven’t had very many “normal” days.  Interestingly, Michael tends to be at his dad’s house when “shit just happens.”  I like to think that God is sparing his tender heart since he is already dealing with two sets of parents and two sets of sisters.

Oh well.  It’s all okay.  I’m really learning to let go and accept the chaos that is my life.  Beer and rum help with that, I’ve got to be honest there!

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

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Y is for Yelling and Screaming: My Journey Through Parenthood

Y is for Yelling and screaming.

“about” 18 months old?
Who really remembers these things? 

I remember the first huge, earthquake of a tantrum Michael threw at the grocery store.  Safeway, to be exact.  He was about 18 months old (but as I think about it a LOT of things happened when he was “about” 18 months old).

Thankfully, I had done my research and I was prepared.  Instead of standing around, red-faced and trying to talk sense into the senseless, I picked him and ran out as fast as I could.  And yup, some minimum wage clerk had to put away my full basket of groceries.

I’m not sure where exactly I learned to do this.  I read that I needed to take him out of the situation to show him who was in control.  Weird thing was that it worked.  Over time the tantrums lessened and I was able to console him right then and there.  No running out for this mom!  It was an amazing feeling.  As soon as his head threw back my “mommy tone” came out and he shaped right up.

As he got older, years older, he realized he could still throw himself on the floor even when I was using my “mommy tone.”  That wasn’t fun.  Thankfully Mr. Sexy had put a ring on my finger and has played a major role in Michael’s life.

It just so happens that a big part of our lives involve yelling and screaming.

Still.

He’s 6.  I hear that for some kids that’s normal and for others it’s not.

Who cares.

All our kids are different from all kinds of different families.  I’m proud of Michael constantly because he has a huge heart that yearns to love people.  He doesn’t always know how to do that, however.  So he resorts to yelling and screaming.

Oh well, perhaps 7 will be different!

A Valentine’s project we did together for school.

What was your worst tantrum experience like? 

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

X is for X-Rays: My Journey Through Parenthood

X is for X-rays.

Michael’s first x-rays resulting in a cast was when he was about this old:

He was 18 months or so?  I can’t really remember.  I just remember going on the “big boy” slide was scary and he didn’t like to do it.  Nanna talked him into it one day and somehow, on the way down, his leg got tweaked.  We ended up taking him to the ER where he got his first x-rays.  It was exciting.  Of course I was there with Mr. Sexy.  Michael’s dad was there, too, along with the rest of the family.  Both his parents and a few aunts and uncles.  It was interesting….that’s all I’ll say.

Michael’s fracture was so minimal the doctor wasn’t even sure there was one.  He recommended a cast basically to be on the safe side of things.  
For years Michael remembered Nanna, the slide and the cast.  
Apparently boys will tend to find themselves wearing a cast quite often.  So far, though, Michael has stayed “safe.” 
Do you have any stories about x-rays resulting in a cast?  
This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

W is for Where’s my Water?: My Journey Through Parenthood

W is for Where’s my water?

Do you know what this game is?  I learned about it last year from Michael.  He discovered it on a friend’s parent’s phone I guess and immediately began pestering me about downloading it.  He was 5.  Cell phones weren’t mainstream when I was 5 so this was just … weird.

Eventually I did download it because, why not?  It’s free.  And there may be some times when I want him occupied and have nothing else to offer.  However, the fact that I had this amazing game ready to play in an instant was a lot for Michael to handle.  He asked about it daily.  Every time we went in the car, Can I play on your phone?  The answer was usually a big fat N. O.  While I let him play every once in a while, I eventually deleted the game due to his incessant begging.  I still have some reading apps that him and Marie can play with together IF (and that’s a big IF) I let them “play” on my phone.

I have gone back and forth on whether or not technology is a bad thing or a good thing.  What I have found (and this is very generic) is that the older a person is, the worse today’s technology is.  In contrast, the younger ones can’t imagine life otherwise.  I have finally come to a my own conclusion and I’m very happy about it.

Technology is awesome when controlled.  God created it.  He created the ideas and the minds who thought of them.  He knew about technology before any of us did.  He also knows how much farther it can and will go.  I can really rest in this.  If he designed technology then wouldn’t that mean it’s a positive thing?  Enter humanity.  We can take anything awesome and make it not so great.  Evan bad.  So yes, technology has it’s downfalls.

The husband who seems to spend the entire day playing computer games. 

Little kids who know the ins and outs of Spongebob or Hannah Montanna but don’t know what a real frog looks like. 

Moms who spend more time texting and instagramming than playing hide and seek with the small ones. 

The teenager who, if left without a computer or a phone, would go into massive depression. 

I have even heard some stories of people who die while playing interactive computer games because they forgot to eat.  So weird.

All the techy gizmos we have nowadays can be highly addicting.  I have a hard time being far from my iphone for too long.  My kids constantly want to watch movies or play games on the wii.  However Mr. Sexy and I rarely say yes.  Eventually we may come up with a rule such as 30 minutes of gaming or tv watching per day.  For now, “no,” works on my kids.  We have so much to do all the time.

Puzzles, games, painting, coloring, reading, toys galore, each other, the great outdoors and everything THAT entails.

Interestingly, over time Michael has asked less and less to play the wii and to watch movies.

Is technology to be feared or celebrated?  Or both? 

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

V is for Victory!: My Journey Through Parenthood

V is for Victory!

I have been looking forward to this post all month.  Celebrating our victories, no matter how small and insignificant they seem, are worth a woopwoop! and a high five.  At the very least.  Frankly, acknowledging my small victories is what gives me a little more fight to continue on the journey of parenthood.

Learning to be Marie’s parent has been a long, dark and twisty road.  It’s still long but not as dark and twisty these days.  Thank you victories!  On the big bad days when my tongue was on fire and my hands didn’t behave like the Mrs. Sexy God created, I felt wrought with guilt.  One of the things that kept me moving forward was the personal victory of a smile, an I’m sorry or the mere fact that I managed to make dinner that night.

 Celebrating the victories!, large and small, help every day.

Since homeschooling, I have one huge victory! that I want to share with you.  I’m incredibly proud of myself and Marie for our hard work and dedication.

When I became part of her life and started attending IEP meetings for the first time I was completely overwhelmed.  I said yes to every suggestion the teachers had because they knew better than I.  Time passed and I began to have an opinion.  One of my opinions was that Marie’s handwriting sucked and needed improvement.  Her teachers agreed.  Then I started hearing, “I can’t figure out how to make her write nicely.” I heard this many times in a variety of ways.  Towards the end of Marie’s 5th grade year her teacher pushed to focus more on typing skills and less on handwriting.  I wasn’t happy about this but wasn’t sure Marie was capable of decent handwriting.  I had never worked with her on it.  I just checked homework.  Aren’t the teachers the ones to teach things like proper handwriting?

Enter me as the overbearing homeschooling mom who has high expectations no matter who you are.

Enter Marie who has not been held to high standards for a number of years.

Put us together and you have a girl who can write legibly, correctly and neatly.  This is a feat I had been told was impossible.

It really makes my blood boil when I think about it.

Teaching Marie how to write appropriately in the lines was (and is) laborious work.  At first we spent an entire hour attempting to write one letter correctly.  One letter.  But that’s what it took for her to be where she is now in her writing.

Another thing I do that her teachers didn’t do is I make her write correctly all the time.  Not just when we are practicing.  When she is doing math and her 4 (4s are hard) is below the line I make her erase it and write the 4 again.  When she is doing science and her words are all jumbled together I make her erase it and practice correct spacing and good penmanship.

The result: She is getting better daily and I even hear her whispering to herself, “Oh that’s a bad 4.  I need to write that again.”

What a victory!  I have so much pride in her handwriting.  

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

U is for Untruths: My Journey Through Parenthood

U is for Untruths.

Mr. Sexy and I like to always be honest with our kids when they have questions.  Michael has many questions all the time.  It’s exhausting.  While I was pregnant we had a lot of conversations about where babies come from.  I didn’t make up any stories about magic or storks.  I gave him truths that he could handle and knew he would press the subject more when he was ready.  Later.  Much later.  Years later.

From some of Michael’s stories it seems that his other parents take a different approach to his many questions and concerns:

One night Michael was very concerned about the monster that was eating away his stomach.  He said his daddy told him that he has bumps on his tummy from a monster….

yeah…creepy.  

It took a while to figure this one out.  Michael was peeing his bed regularly at this point and had developed a slight rash.  He asked his dad and after that conversation (I don’t want to assume here) Michael was believing there was a monster eating his tummy.  

Mr. Sexy is amazing with this kind of stuff.  It took a while but Mr. Sexy explained the facts to Michael using logic and facts and TRUTHS.  Michael isn’t afraid of the imaginary monster anymore.  He doesn’t pee his bed every night either. 



Another evening Mr. Sexy and I left the kids in the car while we ran in to grab take out.  It was raining and everyone was tired.  Makes sense right?  While in the restaurant Michael ran in, out of breath.  

“You didn’t leave the windows cracked!  We will suffocate and die!” 

Deep breath.  Poor Michael.  Again, Mr. Sexy very logically explained how they are safe in the car with the windows shut especially for such a short amount of time. 

“Do you really think mom and I would leave you guys in the car to die?”

That question sounds insane but it had to be asked for Michael’s sake.  He was being overrun with fear and thus, not able to trust his parents.  Either set, most likely. 

I have many more stories like these I just told.

I definitely believe in giving real and honest answers to my kids’ questions and concerns based on their maturity. I won’t get into the gruesome details about child birth or how I got pregnant.  But Michael did ask a lot of questions and he got to a point where he didn’t need to know anymore.  That was okay with everybody.  (His stopping point was learning that babies sometimes get cut out of tummies or come out between mommy’s legs.  It wasn’t a graphic conversation.  It was very short and concise.)

Are you comfortable with off the wall questions from your kids?  Or does it make you break into a nervous sweat?

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

T is for Timothy: My Journey Through Parenthood

T is for Timothy.

Timothy James.

Timothy James Sexy.  ::wink wink::

Timothy James is the name of our next kid.  And he’s going to be a boy.  Because I say so.

No, I’m not pregnant.  We are barely thinking about the idea.  But wouldn’t this have been a great reveal?  Now I’m sad that I’m not pregnant.

NOT

I’m okay waiting a little longer and see where things are at.  God has been hard at work on our family.  Some days I think we are crazy for considering the idea of a future with more children.  Then there are days where it gets to a point that one or two more is just a party!

Our family plan: 
-Get pregnant sometime in the future.
-Foster
-Adopt
-Kids grow up
-Kids move out
-Parents party in Hawaii

I had a family plan when I was 8:
-Meet and marry Prince Charming (who looked a lot like Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid)
-Have 2 kids
-Get a dog
-Live in a big, beautiful house
-Have lots of money so I could buy whatever I wanted whenever I wanted
**I will not be poor

That last thing was very important to my little girl mind.  Guess what.  I’m poor! lol

Plans change and that’s okay.  As I grew older I realized there was a very real possibility of being poor which scared me.  It was immaturity on my part as there is so much more to life than having the big house, nice clothes, new shoes and expensive wine.

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.