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Posts Tagged ‘family’

My Son Has Hallmark Beat

March 31, 2011 11 comments

Yesterday was my birthday.  When my husband woke up at 6:30 am to make me breakfast (I am a lucky girl), he found my six-year old son already awake, working hard on this:

It read:

Dear mom, the hole family loves you, but the best part about you is eavin you loves yourself.  You ceap M and I rilly safe in this house and we all love you, nomter what.”

“Happy Birthday MOM!”

“MOM you are a star.”

I love everything about this card, especially:

  • The spontaneity, he did this on his own, without suggestion.  He couldn’t sleep because he was excited to write it
  • The fact that he values loving yourself.  If I helped instilled that in him, I am thrilled.
  • At an age where we discuss strangers, bad guys and monsters under the bed, he feels safe in his home.
  • The statement, ‘I love you no matter what’ has stuck with him.  I tell him this after I have to discipline him.  It warms my heart that he heard me.

My son loves to write.  He writes stories and illustrates them on his own.  I love that he has a passion for writing. 

I am humbled and touched that he so beautifully captured what I am trying to teach him.  Knowing that my parenting efforts are reaching him is the best birthday present I could receive.

What’s the best birthday present you have received?

Family Dinner, Hold the Blood

March 18, 2011 4 comments

It has been a tough week in my house.  The time change zapped my energy,  I worked long hours, my husband was on a business trip and my daughter slammed me against the mommy wall.  And in case, I haven’t said it enough, I am coping without alcohol or sweets!  (This makes for a very dangerous combination!)

All week I have struggled with getting my diva to eat dinner.  (You’ll note that I usually interchange diva and princess, but I have not seen the princess this week, just the diva!)  She has been averaging 90 minutes to consume a meal and I used up my last bit of patience on Monday.

I was sharing my struggle with my friend Sonya and she recommended that I set a timer and tell my kids that they have until the timer goes off to finish dinner.  Once the timer goes off, dinner is over and if they haven’t finished, there are no snacks and no treats. 

Tonight, as we (meaning my husband) put dinner on the table, I set the timer for 20 minutes.  My husband also set dessert in front of them – something we never do.  We told the kids that we would throw the dessert away if they weren’t finished by the timer went off.

We were hopeful desperate that this would work.  I feared that another 90 minutes dinner would result in blood shed.  No, not my daughters!  What kind of mother do you think I am?  Don’t answer that.  Please.  The blood shed would be from me repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, chewing my fingers, pulling out my own hair and sticking a fork in my eye! 

Hallelujah!  It worked!

The kids ate their dinner and the timer went off as my princess (note the name change) was taking her last bite!  I will be trying it again tomorrow night without the dessert.  But tonight, I am still recovering from my collision with the wall and my leprechaun all-nighter so I sweetened the deal.

Thank you Sonya for saving my sanity and what’s left of my princess’ toy collection!

And for those of you who are curious about the outcome of my near leprechaun fail…

My kids made their traps, no thanks to me.  I was swamped all day with work, so the nanny, who is far craftier, helped.  When we left for t-ball practice as a family, our nanny RANSACKED our house and put little green footprints everywhere!  My kids were OFF THE WALL EXCITED!  They raced around the house for 20 minutes admiring the mess. 

Then my son cried hysterically bawled for an hour that he did not catch the leprechaun and we did not get it on video…

Can’t win ’em all!

Un-Crafty Family Meets Green Potato

March 15, 2011 8 comments

My son had a school assignment to take a regular russet potato and dress it up as a character for a story he would write in class.  There was also going to be a prize for the best potato.  There’s a few things you should know up front:

  1. I am not crafty.
  2. My husband is not crafty.
  3. We’re both competitive.
  4. We started Sunday and it was due Monday.

We had the flier for the assignment in plain view all week, but just had not gotten around to it.  Sunday morning the pressure was on to deliver a potato character by Monday.  We agreed that my husband would take the kids to Target to buy supplies while I went to the gym. 

After my workout, I texted my husband to let him know I was on my way home and he called right back asking if I had my wallet.  I always have my wallet and my husband always forgets his…  True to form, he had forgotten his wallet and had no way to pay for the $36 in potato character supplies the Target cashier had just rung up.  Target is next to the gym, so I swung by and rescued the supplies. 

My son had decided that he wanted to make a leprechaun.  My son LOVES St. Patrick’s Day.  He is in the design phase of this year’s leprechaun trap…

Once bringing home the hostages supplies, my son announced we would paint the potatoes green.  Remember – my husband and I are neat freaks… So we proceed to cover the whole kids table with paper bags and newspapers.  We rolled up the kids sleeves and carefully doled out the green paint and brushes.

My wild child daughter had green paint on her, her clothes, the chair and the “covered” table in less than a minute.  I braced for my husband’s frustration with the mess, but he uncharacteristically laughed.  He had the foresight to buy washable paint! (I mean pick out, since he did not have the foresight to bring his wallet.)  This mess quickly spread to my granite counters and me.  But again washable, so we decided to live on the edge.

Next the potato needed limbs.  My husband suggested straws and I thought about toothpicks as anchors.  I whipped out my hot glue gun.

I must pause here – I only own a hot glue gun because I have pipe cleaner dreams of being crafty.  I think my neighbor has used it more than me, but HA, I now had a project for my glue gun.

Um, plastic straws melt when they meet hot glue. 

My son thought melting Mr. Potatoes arms was hilarious, but my husband rescued the idea by suggesting I apply the glue to the toothpick and waiting a second before placing the straws on the toothpicks.  I said I had a glue gun, I didn’t say I knew how to use it.

Next came wardrobe – my department.  We had bought a hat and fake mustache that truly must have been marketed with potatoes in mind… weird??  My son and I then fashioned a coat (more like poncho) out of a half of bandana and glue-gunned it in place – I was feeling very crafty at that point.

During this time, my daughter has helped herself to a bottle of purple paint and a container of googly-eyes – with my husband and I one foot away.  Apparently this craftiness took all of our energy.  So my husband helped the diva, while my son drew and cut our construction paper boots and hands, that I glue-gunned on. (Yes, I am going to continue to yap about the glue gun).

The piece-de-resistance was the pot of gold.  We took mini caldrons from our Halloween decorations and filled them with glass beads that you would use in floral arrangements (another thing I have a few materials, but no skill for).  We borrowed gold spray paint from a neighbor and voila:  The potato leprechaun had his pot o’ gold.

I am pleased to introduce you to Lucky:

 

A close up on the gold:

  

And what about my daughter’s potato?  Well… she’s three and had many “design-changes” mid-project.  I tried my best not to take over and make her a cute potato lass.  True to her artistic direction, we ended up with “Potato Ghost Goldilocks Leprechaun”:

 

This turned out to be a fun-filled, kitchen-wrecking, heart-warming, glue-gun wielding, family bonding experience.  This was more fun than carving pumpkins and everybody contributed to the finished product.  As long as there is washable paint, our family may continue to do Sunday craft projects until I accidentally glue the kids together!

The 12 Pounds of Christmas

December 16, 2010 24 comments

I am Paige and I have a problem.  My vices have become so debilitating that I cannot make it two hours, TWO HOURS, without chocolate or some Christmas treat!  And every night presents a new reason to drink.  (Okay, I can find a reason every night to have a glass of wine, but I’m talking about really good reasons like Christmas parties, holiday traditions and my feet were cold.)

So here it is – my 12 pounds of Christmas:

  1. The kids made peppermint bark. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t eat it and tell them how yummy it was.
  2. Every year we have our favorite toffee shipped from Colorado.  WE ONLY GET IT ONCE PER YEAR – of course I ate it – I had to before my husband did.
  3. I attended my work holiday luncheon and drank white wine – hey it paired nicely with the heavy cream bisque. 
  4. After the lunch we had a morale event that was bartending lessons (and tasting) – it was a morale event, I had to participate. 
  5. Following bartending, we had an after party at another bar.  I am on the leadership team, I had to drink to make others feel like it was ok.  But because I am a manager, I didn’t want people getting too drunk, so I ordered everyone a bunch of pizzas.  I had to eat them too- you can’t have management passing out drunk.
  6. We watched Polar Express as a family – the kids drank cocoa, I drank cocoa and Bailey’s.  It’s a requirement.
  7. The kids made sugar cookies – again with the good mother thing.
  8. We made gingerbread houses – I had to “clean up” the left over frosting.
  9. One of the neighbors brought over chocolate covered pretzels – nobody can say I am a bad neighbor, I ate the pretzels.
  10. The kids made those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kisses.  AND they used dark chocolate – my favorite.  Being such a fantastic mom to my lil’ bakers is becoming a problem.
  11. We had dinner at a friend’s house, they poured cocktails, I didn’t want to be a rude, so I drank three.
  12. We stood out in the cold to watch Santa come through the neighborhood on a fire truck, it was cold, I needed to stay warm, I prefer liquid heat.

So as you can see, in the spirit of giving, because I am a giver, and in the spirit of the holidays, I have done my duty as a mother, friend, neighbor, boss and employee.  I have eaten and drank nightly and CHRISTMAS IS STILL OVER A WEEK AWAY!  Does this mean I’ll stop now before Christmas?  Uh, no!  I want to be on Santa’s good list, and judging from his belly he rewards those who selflessly indulge, like me, over those who turn their back on holiday traditions.  At the rate I am going, I am pretty sure Santa is bringing me diamonds and a new car.

Eat, drink and be merry!

 

Maui, Poop and Hookers

November 23, 2010 6 comments

We have just returned home from ten glorious days in Maui.  Okay, we got home Saturday, but it took some time to adjust to reality.  I had planned on writing and blogging from Maui, but I was too busy living and enjoying.  I am so far behind on the novel challenge that I may have to abandon it and I am ok with that.  Ten days of truly enjoying my family provided me joy and memories that I can’t catch up on later.  I can catch up on writing when the time is right.

You may already be saying to yourself, this is not the Paige we know.  She didn’t push to get everything done, she didn’t stress over what she wasn’t accomplishing.  With fruity drinks, gorgeous sunsets and no work, I think even the craziest of moms can find a little balance.  It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation where I had the opportunity to play with my kids and enjoy time with my husband.  There is no greater gift or sense of accomplishment.

Telling you all about my vacation would be just bragging and possibly painful if you would rather be in Maui than reading this.  When you are on vacation or have returned from vacation the Golden Rule is reversed: ‘If you can’t say something mean, don’t say anything at all’.  This prevents taunting others with your fabulous life.  This rules keeps my friendship with some of my friends going.  When Sarah called me in Hawaii to see how it was going, I could hear her kids screaming in the background as she tried to do laundry and make dinner.  I was smart and kind enough not to tell her I was sitting in a lounge chair with a cocktail and my kids were frolicking in the pool while I watched the waves crash.  Who wants to hear that when they are stuck in normal household hell.  I simply replied, “It’s nice, and a bit overcast”.  She giggled and thanked me for my discretion.  In the spirit of the reverse  golden rule, I will stick to the unusual “highlights”.

Our first dinner: We had planned to have a lovely dinner on our first night in Hawaii to celebrate our arrival.  But after starting our travel day at 3:30 in the morning, then taking the kids swimming, our craving for dinner became a craving for sleep.  Our dinner of Ritz Bits and POG (pineapple orange guava) juice never tasted so good before our seven o’clock bedtime!

Avoiding the Pool Closure:  My three-year old is potty-trained.  We have a pool at home and never have had an issue with accidents in the pool.  Within 20 minutes of our arrival at our timeshare, she limped down the stairs of the kids pool, holding her bottom.  I thought she was hurt, but when I asked if she was ok, she said “Mom, I have to poop NOW!”  I realized she was holding in what had already happened and raced her to our room (thank goodness for a first floor room).  I narrowly avoided being the mom whose kid caused a six-hour pool closure. 

Closing The Door on the Kids: The first three nights my husband, my two kids and I shared one hotel room.  We tried to make the kids share one of the double beds, but listening to them fight over who kicked who did not work out so well.  The lesser of two evils was to have one of them sleep with each of us.  My son snores and grinds his teeth and my daughter kicks like a lunatic.  So my husband and I traded off, one night I had physical pain, the next would be audio torture.  But once we moved to our time share, we were able to put them both on the pull out sofa and close the door.  They still kicked, whined and snored, but we didn’t hear it.  Ah bliss!

Escaping the Stinky Runner:  Several mornings I ran from our timeshare to Whaler’s Village and back. It’s three miles roundtrip.  About a mile in to my run, a very fit female runner got on the path just in front of me.   As I was running behind her, I noticed the most awful smell.  It didn’t go away.  I came to the conclusion that she was crop-dusting me.  If you don’t know what that is, let me give you a lesson full of class – crop-dusting is when you are trying to get rid of some gas without getting caught by those around you so you keep moving.  I figured it couldn’t last too long, but after another two tenths of a mile, I decided this was not what paradise should smell like and I turned around and went the other way.

A New Friend:  My husband and I did three dinners without the kids.  On one of our date nights we went to a very kid UN-friendly restaurant in Kapalua.  We were sitting on a deck watching the sunset over cocktails.  A stunning brunette asked us to take her picture, explaining it was her birthday.  She was by herself (kind of weird on her birthday, don’t you think?).  She twice struck up odd conversation with us that we politely closed.  At one point the waiter walked by and gave her a funny look.  She quickly excused herself.  As she walked away, my husband and I looked at each other and said “Hooker”.  About forty-five minutes later she found herself a “client”.  I thought I was the only one who worked on my birthday.

Hawaii was amazing and filled with just enough humor, odd smells and interesting people.  What is your idea of paradise?  What are the unusual highlights of vacations you have taken?

Happy, balanced family!

The “Real” Parenting Definitions

October 8, 2010 6 comments

We have all heard them, but what do these parenting buzzwords really mean…

Perspective: Trying to get eye contact with a screaming, tantrum throwing child in order to discipline them.  Usually involves getting on the ground and tilting one’s head upside down.

Time-Outs: Me. Bottle of Wine.  Closet or Patio. 

Make Good Choices: Pick the action that will be least likely to cause me to go psycho-mommy on your tiny heinie.

Consequences: A politically correct term for mommy (or daddy) revenge.  You break my i-pod, spill my cocktail or wake me up, there will be consequences.

Positive Reinforcement: Using duck tape to encourage them to stay in timeout.

Incentives: Bribes out of desperation. 

Stranger Danger: The danger of giving my children to a perfect stranger if they make me too crazy.

Crying It Out: What I do on the days when I realize that I have no control and that my life is run by two little people.

What would you add to the list?

"Positive Reinforcement"

Categories: Humor, Parenting Tags: , , ,

You Could Be A Smile Maker

October 6, 2010 13 comments

I know so many people having a tough week and it is only Wednesday.  I have friends who are sick, ending relationships, struggling financially, praying for a miracle, hoping for a baby, grieving over the death of a friend or just plain burned out.  As I said, it’s been a tough week.  Like the people in my thoughts, we all need a little extra TLC sometimes.

My week will feel better if I can brighten someone else’s day. So here’s a few of the people I think are amazing:

  • If you’re one of those mentioned above you’re in my thoughts and prayers more than you know.  I am humbled by your grace and perseverance.
  • My children’s teachers and caregiver – you are like miracle grow mixed with pixie dust!
  • My kids – you know when to not push me any further (dinner last night) and you back pedal with giggles, hugs and kisses. 
  • My husband – words cannot describe.
  • My fellow bloggers and writers – I have never met most of you but you motivate me and inspire me.
  • My friends – you keep me balanced, you’re there when I cry, you make me laugh and you don’t blackmail me.
  • Those who spend their time helping others.
  • Anyone who shows kindness to a stranger – this truly makes the world better.

So here’s your challenge – tell someone they’re amazing. Write it, say it, sing it, do an interpretive dance.  Just make the week better by making someone else smile, I bet you’ll smile too.

I Brushed My Teeth With What?!

October 4, 2010 10 comments

Parenting has highs and lows and sometimes unexpected, and unwanted, surprises… 

We spent an amazing weekend with friends from college and their children.  We all got together at a private camp.  We had a campfire, a hay ride, fishing, swimming, and more.  It was family and friend bonding bliss.     

On Saturday night, my husband graciously put the kids to bed in our cabin, while I sat up at the lodge having cocktails and visiting with our friends.  I strolled into our cabin about 1:30 am and of course had to get ready for bed in the dark.  The cabins were simple and we all slept in one room, which was the same room the sink was in.  So I couldn’t turn on the light to brush my teeth or take out my contacts.    

I was doing pretty good in the dark.  I got my contacts out, found my glasses and prepared to brush my teeth.  I grabbed the tube, slathered it on and shoved the toothbrush in my mouth…  What the %$&#?  This substance was neither foamy nor minty.  It was not meant for my mouth, but rather my daughter’s butt… It was Desitin!    

C’mon, make me feel better, tell me your gross parenting story!    

My toothbrush the next morning...

I Choose

October 1, 2010 1 comment
  • I choose balance
  • I choose to be kind to myself
  • I choose to hold my tongue and not try to “set somebody else straight”
  • I choose to look for the good in a day and the good in a person
  • I choose to smile at strangers and sometimes even help them
  • I choose to give an empathetic smile to a mom with a screaming child
  • I choose to work and be a mom
  • I choose to put my family first, usually
  • I choose to parent like Child Protective Services is watching
  • I choose to love

I don’t make these great choices everyday, but when I don’t, I choose to try again tomorrow.

What do you choose?

Sore Muscles and a Happy Heart

September 25, 2010 8 comments

Last night I physically pushed my daughter up to achieve her goals…

We were at the birthday party of my seven-year old Godson.  The party was held at one of those bounce places and had some bounce apparatus I had never seen before.  Among other cool structures they had a “spiderweb” that was a two-story series of elastic straps that form webs.  There were five or six level of webs that the kids had to climb up to get to the top in order to zoom down an inflatable slide.  And PS – this particular room was pitch dak except for black lights, a few laser lights and disco balls.

My three-year old wandered over to the spiderweb saw that this was the favorite of the big kids and jumped in line without hesitation.  (There was a long line because only four kids could be on it at once since kids, struggling to get to the top would often fall a level or two!)  I saw my son as he approached the halfway mark, he was struggling, but he did it, he’s always been able to defy gravity.  As I watched the other kids, I repeatedly tried to talk my daughter out of attempting this (I know, bad mommy).  My son finished and came over, stunned to see his sister in line.  He, being my conservative child, said “Mommy, you’re going to let Sissy do this?  I don’t think it’s a good idea.  It’s really hard!”  This certainly did not help my apprehension. 

As we approached the front of the line I asked the employee if there was an age limit, hoping she would rescue me from my fears.  Was I afraid my daughter would get hurt – no.  I was worried she would attempt it, not be able to do it and be frustrated, possible even cranky.  The wise 14 year-old employee said, “There is no age limit, but it will probably be pretty tough for her, you can go in and help her”.  Grrreeeaattt…  I watched as one of my girlfriends (who is stronger than me) tried to get her four-year old up and after a while, they came back down.  ‘What am I doing in this line?’ I thought!

Getting her up the first level was easy, I just lifted her up… and she sat on my head.  Then it got tricky, I was trying to climb up and push her up at the same time.  Fortunately, my son (who could likely beat my in arm wrestling) yelled, “Mom, climb up the side, it’s easier”.  We slowly started our climb.  Was I smart enough to figure out how to support my weight on the series of webs to help my daughter? No.  I took the old fashion, sheer tenacity route.  I would hold on to the netting wall with one hand while I hoisted my 38 pound “baby” girl with the other.  I’d then have her hold on to the side while I got my dead weight to the next level.  We were doing ok until she started to fall…

HER arms were getting tired, um, hi, what about your pack mule’s arms???  She slipped and fell through a level of webs.  I grabbed her and told her to hold still. (I needed time to run this physics problem in my non-math brain).  I realized that while heavy, she is narrow and could slip through the webs and potentially go straight down – at least 10 feet to the trampoline bottom.  Oh and she’s upside down so she was going head first!  Hello neck injury!  She was starting to panic, “Mommy, help me, I am falling”.  This may be what saved us, mommy adrenaline to the rescue.  My common sense told me we would be fine, these things were built for safety, right??  But my emotions were sounding the alarm – my daughter was upside down, in the dark, scared and every muscle in my body hurt (I may need to go see that Gym guy everyone talks about).  I was also afraid if she slipped, I might too and fall on top of her.  I said to her, “Sweetie, don’t worry, mommy is going to get us back down”.  HA! “No, Mommy, I want to go to the top, push me up!”  I wanted to cry, I wanted my husband, hell, I wanted my son, he probably could have saved us both!

But my daughter had a goal, and while she was scared, she was determined.  She inspired me, I dug deep, told myself our lives depended on it.  I got her flipped upright, I steadied her on the level above me and threw myself up like Shamu coming out of the water onto the ramp at a marine water show.  The higher I got the more I realized I didn’t want us to fall, so I clenched my teeth and up we went.

The top was like a dream.  The angels were singing, “Eye of the Tiger” was playing in my head again and when I looked down at the bottom of the slide, I could just make out the shocked and impressed faces of my husband and our friends.  As I pushed my daughter onto the platform, I romanticized us sliding down together in victory.  I yelled”wait for mommy” as I hoisted my tired body up onto the platform and looked just in time to see her bound down the slide… without me.

As I came down, I saw her high-fiving everyone.  I couldn’t wait to hear the “Thank you Mommy, we did it!” But by the time I got to the bottom, she was off to her next adventure without me.  When I asked her about it this morning, she was very blaze.  I said “wasn’t that hard?”.  Her response was, “No, can we do it again sometime?”  Ugh!

But isn’t that the essence of being a parent?  We push ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically to do the best for our kids.  We help them achieve their goals so they can grow to be independent and not need us anymore?

I would love to hear all of your stories on pushing yourselves to help your kids achieve their goals!

I know how this mama feels!

Categories: Parenting Tags: , , ,