Friday, March 15, 2013

15 with style and grace

Well I knew the day would come that one of my minions would be turning 15, the problem was I was not prepared. You see when you hold those perfect little miracles in your arms you never imagine them leaving your arms.

I for one was not to thrilled with her growing up. Don't get me wrong, I am beyond proud of the amazing young woman that she has become but, well it wasn't supposed to be this fast! The day of her birthday I was excited, and apprehensive. Her aunt cried, her grandma cried, her daddy kept looking at picture's of the little girl he first met, and me well I was searching for the email or text from her asking permission to turn 15!

Apparently the older your children get the faster time goes. I still remember her only wanting her mommy, and her proclamation that she would always hold my hand and skip with me in public (which I must say she still does:) But now it has moved to Cheer leading, Track, BPA, School Dances, Face book, and Friends.

To say that I am proud of her would be an understatement. She is truly the self confidant, intelligent, morally sound girl that I wished I could have been at the age of 15! Rather than sneaking out, partying, and avoiding going home, she has taken her teenage years in stride and handles them with style and grace. She still tells me everything, she hides nothing from me or my husband and I think it is amazing that she has the trust in us to do this!

Rather than worrying about where she is we always know. She has a pretty lenient curfew because of the fact that she truly just isn't up to no good. Often her friends will come to our place and hang out and I must say I just love those kids! Plus nothing feels better than being the house that the kids feel safe at!

So I guess even though she is getting older, she still needs me. And that I hope never changes! I have recently ordered her a book and I think that you would all love to read it too! It's called "How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World"

I think we can all benefit from aiming our girls towards style and grace regardless of what other's in society think.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Parenting Alone: You Can Do It!

Many of you know that I went from a well to say the least Bad Marriage to being catapulted into being a mommy of 4 little ones all on my own. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, and quite frankly I would never recommend this path if you were able to in any way avoid it. But often like most challenges in our lives some things happen for a reason.

I have had the awesome experience of budgeting on a shoe string budget even though I worked 3 jobs, I have had my phone turned off, my electricity shut off, oh and the awesome experience of having bill collectors serve me with papers! These believe it or not were minor compared to the fear that encased my daily thoughts on whether or not my children were going to be ok. The fact is when you leave someone as only one person it is a pretty simple straight forward procedure. You leave, you make that decision, and other than having the awkward moments with his or your friends you pretty much get to go with little to no tie's bringing you back.

When you leave with a little one this is a entirely new ball game. You are often required to deal with the other person by law. Rather than getting that clean break you are forced to see each other on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. I have seen couples do this arrangement with ease, respect, and a mutual understanding that it is hard for both. I have experience on the other end of the spectrum, where the other party is not so kind and the exchange was painful, abusive, and fearful for the children.

I have often been asked why or how  and what helped me make the decision to leave. This would seem like a pretty thought out plan to most, and it would be something that other's would even say had been discussed. I can only say that it was more of a "Fight or Flight" scenario. I left with the 4 babies, one German shepherd, and my little sister all shoved in her car. I had not packed clothes, or money, and well it was what had to happen.

Did I think of leaving? Often, to be quite honest, but the same things would hold me back, I didn't believe I was strong enough to leave. Fear was a paralyzing factor, and I allowed it to hold me in a bad situation for a long time. I was so afraid of the unknown that the idea of venturing out was not even realistic. So for those who say "You are so strong" , well I thank you, but the reality is strength was a learned thing for me it did not come to me naturally and to be quite honest I still struggle with it.

There are those moments as a single mom that I wondered if I was spending enough time with the children, felt guilty when I had to work long hours, felt guilty when I had to give them quarter's and dime's for lunch money, felt guilty when I had to hand wash their clothes in our bathroom because the laundry mat was too expensive. But through all of that we became so so close!

Our struggles brought us closer together! My children went from a fully furnished home to a bed in a room of a two bedroom apartment, and a rocking chair. They went from dance, and hockey lessons, to instead going to the park. They went from TV's in every room, to one TV and no cable but a dvd player with only a couple of movies. The fact is they went from a copious amount of things to the basic needs.

What has the loss brought us? Well we still don't have cable, we watch movies together, eat together, talk and hang out together, and we get to know that we can make it through ANYTHING TOGETHER!

So if you are a mommy and find yourself in a bad situation know that you Can Leave! You can Leave! I won't say it will be easy, I promise it will be a struggle, but you will be better off for your choice!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

He was as smart as Forest Gump... or atleast that is what they thought!

You know those earth shattering, time stopping moments that you have as a parent? Often these can be brought on and caused by numerous issues often the worst is when you get the sinking feeling in your stomach and it is because one of your little one's is struggling in school!

Any parent will tell you we can take an onslaught of attacks from all directions and yet when it comes to the development of our little monkeys we tend to react like King Kong in Hong Kong! The ape jumping, grunting adult temper tantrum which causes our children to look on with disapproval. Well you see it has been a touch and go time with my youngest in school.

He is probably one of the sweetest, caring, boys in the world. But the poor little guy was not "Testing" well in Kindergarten. You see it was one of those awesome conferences that the teacher tries to tell you how happy and sweet your kiddo is all the while just trying to prepare you for the fact that the test results show that your little one may not be able to mutter the "Would you like to Biggie Size your order?" Key phrase for the position's that will be available to him with the way he is testing. This is discouraging to say the least, but the worst part is when you know the teacher's and the tests are right.

This is what we had to succumb to last year and decided it was to the best interest of our son to have another year in Kindergarten. The worst that could happen was he would be sad about not moving forward with his buddies but the fact remained he really was not all to concerned with that.

So this year we repeated Kindergarten. And let me tell you what a difference!!!! You see instead of coming in for the conference and hearing how he may or may not be Forest Gump's predecessor, we instead heard what a little prodigy he has become!

Yes folks he went from being on the bottom of the testing scale to literally trail blazing off of the charts!!! And if that was not enough, it turns out he is possibly as talented as Rain Man when it comes to math!!! And just so you know that is pretty flippin sweet!

We have learned that sometimes when you allow your child time to grow, and develop they will often succeed, and even exceed your goals for them. I am not saying he is perfect all around (tho rumor has it that he is) but I will say that the large challenges of last year have been nixed. Now the only concern is keeping him stocked in Lego's, books, and domino's!

So remember when your child and you face a vast challenge, have faith in your child. Do not doubt them, do not give up on them, and never ever let them know that they are anything but PERFECT! Often your faith in them will fuel their success.
He made this Lego Helicopter by himself!!!