Monday, January 30, 2017

When a playdate goes south...

Life with three kids can be crazy and hectic... then you add in a playmate... or two... or ten and it gets crazier and even more hectic. You have to keep "the brothers" away from Bella and any girl friends she has over. You have to keep Bella and Luca away from any friends Grayson has over. Then there's Luca... he doesn't really have any friends of his own yet, they are either everyone's friends or one of his siblings friends from school. The joys of school! You break away from your siblings and get a chance to be your own person and develop your own relationships. 

We've had several play dates, some with my friends from work, some with both Ryan and I's friends, lots of cousin playdates, some with Bella's friends and some with Grayson's friends. Of course, there have been situations of not sharing, which is to be expected. There have been "she's bothering us" or "he won't stay out of my area!"... I usually try to have the kids trouble shoot or problem solve themselves. Sometimes that can't happen and I have to intervene. 

Things have mostly gone well. No one ended up bleeding, with broken bones or drastically hurt feelings. There's been a couple situations worth sharing. One when Bella went to a friends house and came home to tell me what a grand time she had. She played and was super excited to hang out at someone's house besides ours. She came home and the mom sent me a message saying Bella had hurt the child's feelings. No reason to share the details... however I talked to Bella and explained what the mom had said. Turns out, Bella didn't even mean to hurt the child's feelings but she came up with a plan on her own. Monday at school she would talk to the child and apologize because even if she didn't intend to cause hurt feelings, she did and SHE didn't want that child to feel sad or have any hurt feelings. She came home Monday and told me the situation. Seems like it had all worked out except she hasn't been invited to play with that child again... which has caused some hurt feelings on her end... So we've talked about it and just explained that sometimes things don't work out as you plan and that's okay. They can still be school friends and when the child and his parents are ready, maybe they'll invite her over... and if they aren't, no big deal. We move on and still be school friends. Besides we can't hang out with EVERYONE outside of school! 

Another time, Grayson had a friend over. Turns out, the kid had ZERO manners. Like nada. "I want something to drink NOW" the child said. My response "I'm happy to get you something to drink when you use some manners"... "I don't have to use manners"... "Um at our house you do, so let me know when you'd like something to drink". The playdate continued, still the same thing throughout the evening... including some pushing of Luca. He was hugging the child and promptly got knocked to the floor. I talked to Luca about keeping his hands to himself and to the child about keeping their hands to his/her self as well. Little brothers aren't to be pushed at our house... "well I push my sibling ALL the time and no one cares"... "well at our house, we get time outs for not treating people with respect". Oh boy! Do you discipline a child that's not your own? Do you call the parents? Do you talk to the parents after? Yikes, tough. I haven't talked to the parents, I didn't call the parents, I didn't discipline the child... however I would want to know as the parent. 

Feel free to share your "good" playdate tips, your problem solving ideas or what you do when a playdate isn't quite working out! I'd love insight!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Seriously the best!

Let me preface this video with :THIS WAS ALL HER! She took my phone while I was giving one of the boys a bath. She went into her room and recorded this video.... ON HER OWN. I played it later and she said "What it's my sales pitch!"... and that my friends was how the video was born. 
Now, how many boxes of cookies with YOU order from her. She's at 88 boxes as of yesterday :) Message me your orders!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Run... don't walk...

Grab a pen and a piece of paper and be ready to take notes. This blog post is amazing. I rarely read things shared on social media but this is something I clicked on and took the time to read. I'm so glad I did.

Some days, being a mom is more "adulting" than I can handle. Some days I'm high as a kite on this parenting cloud, rocking the shit of it... but most days, there are struggles. It's real life right?

The last weekend was all about family and us... This weekend my kids asked me to get in the balls with them at a play place. The nurse in me grossed out, the mom in me said what the heck. I jumped in. I tossed them in. We buried each other. We jumped up and scared each other. We pushed each other in. There was laughing and giggling. Not a care in the world but my babies.

I'm building relationships with me kids. Relationships that will last a lifetime. I'm not perfect, I'm far far from it. I'm learning as I go, aren't we all? Some days I struggle and some days I don't. Most days I'm working to find the balance in life... between making lunches, dinners, cleaning, working, working out, laundry... there's a balance. This weekend, I found that balance. I got to taste it. I jumped into the balls with my kids, I had fun, I laughed. Find the balance when you can. Take notes from the article I posted, I know I am!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Taking care of ME!

When I throw up the peace sign to the hubs and run like hell out the door... where do I go? What do I?

Target... wondering the aisles of a the good ole Tar-jay is one of the best ways to let my mind wonder.

A craft store.... hobby lobby, Michael's JoAnn's... My mind runs to pinterest and all of the amazing projects I could be making but don't have time for.

Other ways I take care of me:

  1. Regular workouts. Yes, I go to the gym. Of course I want to look like a super model but in the mean time, I'll just be me. I love lifting weights and feeling stronger when I leave. My mind is able to wonder without some one asking for a snack or a drink or to wipe their butt. The child care at our gym is awesome and I never have to worry about the kids when I'm there.
  2. Call a friend. Sometimes it's as simple as touching base with another mama who knows exactly how I feel. Or reconnecting with someone for just a few minutes without the kids interrupting. It's like therapy for my soul and it's free.
  3. Drink water. This seems silly to type but it's true. When I drink enough water, I feel better.
  4. Have a craft date. This is like some serious soul therapy. I love crafting and creating. Having a date with a friend holds me accountable. It allows me to reconnect AND do something I love, so it's a double win.
  5. Have a lunch date. This a rare occurrence so it's always super valued to me. I have so little time to connect that this is a way that I can take a break with someone and catch up.
  6. Schedule a play date. The kids can play and I get some adult interaction! Win win!
  7. Get my hair done. So it's only like twice a year that I get my hair done, but those couple of times, it's worth every single penny. I walk out and feel good, my hair is fresh and my outlook is fresh too!
  8. Weed out the negative. While social media can be a great way of connecting, it can also be a giant mind suck. All of the negative stuff people posts can really upset me. Why read it all? Why allow myself to be upset because someone else is upset? So, I've weeded a bit of that. If someone is constantly posting negative things, I hid them from my timeline. Out of sight, out of mind, less negativity for me.
  9. Read. I love reading, like really love it. However I rarely have time to read something I truly love. When I do, I cherish it. On our recent vacation, I read a 500 page book in just 3-4 days. It was amaze-balls!
  10. Blast some music. I have a commute all to myself. I love to blast some good music, it always makes the day better.

What are some ways that YOU take care of YOU?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Neglecting me

 I remember giving birth to Bella and knowing that my whole world had just changed. I remember a short 12 weeks later, heading to Bikram Yoga for the first time in in 12 weeks (yes I practiced during my pregnancy under the supervision of my OB). I remember racing out the door after nursing her and leaving her in the arms of her dad. I remember on my drive the intense guilt I felt for leaving that sweet little five pound babe. How could I leave her? What if she needed to nurse? What if she wouldn't take a bottle? What if she screamed the whole time? I remember walking into yoga nearly in tears because the guilt was so intense. Why did I feel that way? My husband was a rockstar dad and assured me that he had it all under control. He also assured me that practicing yoga was good for my mind AND my soul. I remember placing my tired body on the yoga mat and recalling that I didn't even brush my teeth before I left! I had neglected me so much that my teeth felt covered in fuzz and I wasn't even sure of the last time I showered. The life of a first time mom.

Fast forward to three and a half years and two more kids. There were now three children in my house. Showers were a thing of yesterday and tooth fuzz was a regular thing. You know the saying "messy hair don't care"... yeah I was on the verge of messy hair and dreadlocks I'm sure of it! My kids were fed and bathed and looked put together, too bad their mom was a complete train wreck.

Fast forward now to three years after that, so we're at 7 1/2 years since that little five pound string bean came into this world five weeks early freaking out her parents and the doctors. The kids snack on organic dog food (I'm only half kidding) and I get a shower on a regular basis, the tooth fuzz is officially gone. My how times have changed. I've remembered that to keep myself sane, I need to take some  ME time. I still feel slightly guilty about it at times but I'm not on the verge of a mental breakdown each time I walk out the door on my own. Shit, sometimes I even do backflips out the door (or slip on a lego as I'm going out, but it's all the same right?). Sometimes when MY kids (as Ryan calls them when they act up) are being extra crazy, I leave and throw up a peace sign to him as I go.

"Deuces buddy, good luck!"

Somehow, he holds down the chaos in the midst of me escaping. It's a balance... a balance of partnership, love and knowing when to let the other take a break. So what do I do during that break? Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Blog changes

As things change in our family, so does this blog. I've been watching Facebook and social media and found that there are some things that we as parents struggle with. Yes, we have a variety of different struggles related to Bella's limb difference but not everything is related to that. I'm hoping you'll stay tuned and see where this blog grows.

I'm hoping to add a variety of topics to the blog. Limb differences and Bella will always be a top on the list. Raising funds for us to attend Camp No Limits will always be a top as well. I'm hoping to add self care. As parents, we often forget about caring for us and focus so much on our family, our children, our jobs.

With that, we also neglect our relationships. It's 2017 people, divorce rates are shocking... at least to me. I'm hoping to add some topics on relationships and relationship building.
I'm sad to see the US has the second highest divorce rates. I'm glad I don't live in Sweden! I'm hoping you'll embrace these changes and find them helpful. If there's a topic that you are hoping I'll add, send me a message or an email or a facebook message. I'm open! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Don't stare and whisper

I took all three kids swimming yesterday, alone. It's no easy task that's for sure. No one drowned, or choked so we'll call it a success. They actually all had a really good time. There was splashing and laughing and giggling. We stayed in the pool for an hour, which is a record! Usually after about 20 minutes people are ready to go.

As we were leaving, there was a couple in the pool. They appeared to be a little longer than me. They kept looking at me and whispering. I'm good at paying attention and figuring things out. I was able to figure out that they were talking about the dark circles under my eyes. I tried not to let it bother me but it did. For some reason I couldn't shake it. I wanted to say something but didn't. They were talking loud enough that I could hear every word they were saying.

We left and I thought about it for our short drive home. Why did it bother me so much? Why couldn't I shake it? Was it really that big of a deal? It's not like it's something I could control. But it did, it did bother me.

Should I have said something? Probably... why didn't I? Because what would saying something have done. What would I have said? Would it have made me feel better... or worse?

Let's be real. Staring and whispering (or thinking you are whispering) doesn't make people feel good. It doesn't make you look good and it achieves nothing. Be mindful of your interactions with those that are close to you. Be mindful about how they might make others feel.

Today, my dark circles are me. My dad had them too. They are a part of him that's passed on to me (thanks so much for that!). He happens to have passed away five years ago. Each time I look into the mirror and curse those dark circles... I'm also reminded of him. Don't get me wrong, I still curse those circles but for me, it's also a visual reminder of some other things in my life. It's a reminder of my allergies that he also shared. It's a reminder that I'm a mom and an employee and missing sleep does not make them better. It's a reminder of the times I shared with him and the sweet memory of his never ending love. Even still to this day, I know exactly how much he loved me. Today, I'll embrace those dark circles (though covered with a bunch of concealer) and remember though they may stand out in a negative way to others, they are a part of me. They are a part of the generation before me. They are a part of my life and my story.

CAMP NO LIMITS all booked!

This picture was taken just last weekend while we were camping. Bella and I were walking around the camp ground just the girls. Dirty from...