Whether you had an “oopsy” or methodically, thought out, well-planned pregnancy, your bundle of joy, snuggled in your womb is just waiting to be born. Your anticipation of the excitement, joys, scary ‘what if’ moments, and the over flowing emotions of love are ready and eager to pour out all over this child. Well… that is until just a few years later as their personality really is developing – it comes out… just like that water balloon that was filled just a wee bit too much. Next thing you know… POP! As clear as day, the voice of your mother fills your ears… just you wait till you have your own! They’ll turn out just like you. And she was right.
It’s 4 a.m. and still dark outside when my mother sneaks into my room and tells me to quickly get dressed…it is the infamous day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday! As the oldest of 5 and only girl, I get the privilege of leaving the house before everyone awakes with my mom to meet my grandmother and aunt at Toys ‘R Us where we will shop for my brothers and cousins. After Toys ‘R Us, we will eat an early breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to the mall for the rest of the day. With Christmas right around the corner and my mom not being one to plan ahead for such things, this month will be busy and exciting as we spend weekends and late nights preparing for the holidays. I await this time in anxious anticipation as I love to shop!
As my husband carried our sleeping 5-year-old son up the stairs and into his bedroom from the car late last night, I breathed a motherly sigh of relief. He had just returned home from his first fishing and camping trip with his daddy and his uncles. While I trusted those three men full-heartedly with the safety and well-being of our little boy, I have to admit, I was a nervous wreck all weekend thinking about all of the things that could go wrong in that state park, 4 hours away from home in a remote area with little to no cell phone coverage. But they brought my baby home, safe and sound, freshly bathed and in his footed fleece dinosaur pajamas, surely dreaming of the campfire stories that were told, the marshmallows they roasted and the rainbow trout he caught and reeled in all by himself. I could rest easy that night. My child was back in the safety of his home, his memory bank as full as my jittery heart.
He bounced right out of bed early this morning, eager to tell me stories about his weekend adventures as he got ready for the start of a new week at school. I groggily sat down next to him on the couch, coffee in hand, and turned the TV on to catch bits and pieces of the news through his animated stories.
“Over 50 Dead and 200 Injured In Largest Mass Shooting In US History”
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Last September I didn’t even know that this was a “thing.” I didn’t know that there was a whole month dedicated to children who were dealing with the unimaginable pain of treatments for their cancers. I didn’t know there was a time each year where the families affected by pediatric cancers make a push for more awareness, research, and cures for their babies. And how should I know? Last year at this time I had two healthy children- a three year old little boy who loved his baby sister- then only 2 months old- so fiercely that it made my heart skip a beat. Never in a million years did I think that I would be sharing this story; that I would be one of those parents whose child was diagnosed with cancer.
“Hmm, I wonder what it’d be like to marry a white guy?” – said me never. Seriously, have you ever thought about what it “would be like” to marry someone of a different race? Perhaps, there may be an underlying curiosity vibe that’s wondering how different another race is. However, when considering the mechanics of a male and female, coming together in love, it’s pretty much the status quo across the board. But there are a few, five to be exact, key things we just didn’t realize as an interracial couple!
I love being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I really do. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have my struggles with it and it presents its own unique stresses and issues. But, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it really does float my boat. However, this post isn’t about the joys of being a SAHM. It’s about the tongue-in-cheek woes of being a SAHM with a work-from-home-husband (WFHH).
Getting “back” into our homeschool routine is pretty much the same as saying, “After school, we’ll go to the pool!” It’s pretty much the same year ’round. However, there are certain times of the year that when it comes down to it, they still need that extra ‘umpf’ to get back into school at home.
I don’t remember ever feeling as alive as I did the moment you were placed into my arms. Everything before you – experiencing every first, momentous occasion during my childhood, my first awkward kiss in high school, falling in love (not once, but twice) in college, standing at the church alter in a breathtaking couture gown and marrying your Daddy in front of all of our loved ones, spotlights shining down on me as I stood on countless stages throughout my life in front of hundreds of people – none of it compared to the day you were born, my baby boy. You made me a mother, the greatest role I’ll ever play on life’s stage. And since that day, motherhood has ignited a flame in my soul and has let me truly feel emotions I never knew existed.
This article was originally featured on San Diego City Moms Blog
Our daughter came unexpectedly at 35 weeks. My pregnancy wasn’t the easiest of the 4- my blood pressure was an issue after 25 weeks causing me to have to do ante-natal appointments once a week after 30 weeks with week 35 being the most eventful after being told my blood pressure was dangerously high and they needed to risk a premature baby to ensure I was safe. But our little Brooklynn was born perfectly healthy, happy and strong – a strength we didn’t know she would need more than anything else.
Family vacations are really important, but when your kids are young, let’s call them what they are: Business trips. Same work, different location. Despite that, getting away for a few days with kids provides the distraction from routine and time together that every family needs to reconnect.
My family took a beach vacation last week, and here are a few of the lessons I learned.
I feel like it was just yesterday that my son was still latched onto me breastfeeding and I researching on my phone looking into all the different schooling options he would have when he finally reached that age. In hindsight, this is comical because it seems like I blinked and then there we were last year sending him off on his very first day of preschool. And now, I have blinked again and here we are about to start his second year of school in a Junior Kindergarten program at a local private school.
I have spent much of the last year working on simplifying, minimizing, and organizing our lives and our home. About a year or so ago, I decided that I had had enough with all the extra stuff or “fluff” as I like to call it. I felt that we were consuming too much, purchasing too much, and holding onto things for no real reason. In an effort to find a bit more peace of mind for my family and to show my son what is truly important and worth valuing in this life, I have worked very hard to clear through the clutter and focus on the things we really need. Figuring out what we really need and what constitutes fluff for our family is an everyday learning process, and with back to school upon us it has given me a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate what is REALLY essential for going into the new school year.
No matter how much I keep hoping these boys will stop growing so fast, each year seems to come and go, flying by faster than the last. As a full-time working mom of three active and energetic boys, the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a new school year has already begun. Between soccer sign-ups, school supply shopping, and a baby on the way, this year is going to be exciting and busier than ever as my oldest enters 2nd grade, my middle child heads to kindergarten, and the youngest begins his adventures into the realm of extracurricular activities… oh yes, not to mention the new addition arriving in February.
Trying to keep track of everyone’s schedule – school and extracurricular activities – while working full-time, making three healthy, organic, and edible meals for five people a day, and getting anywhere on time requires patience, planning, and a lot of preparation. That said, it is always fun and exciting to jump into a new school year watching my boys thrive socially and academically while discovering the joy that comes from learning.
Raising children is a full time job. Raising children on top of holding down a part-time job (or jobs!) from home means life is often chaotic, stressful, extremely fast-paced, but all around rewarding. For some, holding down a side job while being a stay at home mom means bringing in extra income needed for day to day life. For others, it’s a form of holding onto one’s self – the part of yourself that holds onto childhood dreams, career aspirations, and passions outside the realm of child-rearing. It’s a part of how we stay whole, and albeit sometimes arguably, sane.
My little family was established, for the most part, in a suburbia outskirt of Denver, Colorado. About a year and a half ago, our family packed up and moved back to my hometown in rural Michigan to embrace and embark on a new lifestyle. I jokingly call our Michigan home a “farm,” however, that’d be kind of a stretch as of now. Our dream is to one day have a fairly self sufficient home, with little bits of modern technology thrown into the mix (like WiFi is an absolute must-have, as well as Netflix and a climate controlled atmosphere that is constantly 70 degrees indoors… well, I think you get my gist. I’m kind of a princess in those ways.)
Sending my first baby off to kindergarten is a huge milestone for our family, finally concluding the end of toddlerhood, the first test of how well did I prepare her for the real world. Perhaps sending her to kindergarten is more than just a milestone: it’s her first flight in the big world. The biggest lesson she needs to learn doesn’t have to do with numbers, letters, or sight words – it is understanding this world is bigger than ourselves. A world that isn’t protected by Mommies and Daddies, where big sisters don’t chase all the monsters away, and little brothers aren’t always there to play – a world with confrontation, beautiful songs, and great sadness – a world that is hers for the taking.