A Real Housewife of Wilsonville

With Mother's Day coming up, this probably isn't the best time to be writing this post but, this is a part of motherhood too... its not all lollipops and fruit snacks.  I spent the better part of my evening last night in tears struggling to find some solutions to create more peace and balance for my family.  Tears=passion not, weakness.
I wish I could be more of a Claire Huxtable but, I fit more into the Lucille Ball category (red hair and all).

I want to know how to fold laundry with my toes because my hands are occupied with homework help and dishes while coordinating my social calendar because my children are involved in multiple sports and after-school activities without forgetting to grocery shop, meal plan, and cook three meals a day (all healthy meals of course, pffftt).  And let's not forget to brush up on my refereeing skills because the many fights my loving children will have with each other will out number the gold fish cracker crumbs stuffed into the seats of my swagger wagon. Meanwhile, keeping up-to-date on the newest fashion trends and must-have Mom gadgets all with a smile on my face and keeping the dog from eating my shoe (#dexterno).  Oh yes, and let's not forget to exercise so that I can find the energy to keep my house as tidy as possible so when Better Homes and Gardens calls to confirm my photo shoot, I will be ready.
[insert eye rolling here]

Being a Mom is hard and I'm wondering why nobody ever talks about that at baby showers or the whole 9 months you are growing a child?  No one tells you that your sweet, adorable, angel of a baby might   someday scream at you with rage in their eyes and say "you are the worst parent in the world, I hate you!" and you are supposed to ignore the emotional punch to the gut because you are the adult afterall.

No amount of advice, child-rearing books, or girlfriend chats could have prepared me for the incredibly demanding job of being a Mom; this situation is a "throw her in the pool and hope she can swim" kind of scenario.  White picket fences?  No way.  More like "sharpie art" on the new couch.

Being a Mom is absolutely, without a doubt, not for the faint of heart.
BUT.  (you knew that was coming, right?)
Here are a few things I am learning through all of this chaos...

One.  I adore my children. Like seriously looooove them. The word love and all its meanings does not adequately envelop what I feel for my kids.  Yes, they drive me crazy at times and hurt my feelings on occasion but, I would do it over and over and over again a million times.  I am God's Nanny for these three blessings and I am so thankful for the job.
Two.  I owe my Mom a million apologies and I am so thankful she didn't ship me off to Neverland because I totally deserved it.  Thank you, Mum.
Three. I don't believe in that phrase "God only gives us what we can handle" and here's why... if God only gave us what we could handle, we wouldn't need Him and I. Need. Jesus.  I need him like I need air.

This weekend, I will reflect on my role as a Mom and ask myself what Leslie Knope asked the members of Pawnee recently,
"Am I better than I was a year ago?"
That is all I can do, improve on who I am and what I've been given.  I have to cut the crap of trying to be Carol Brady or June Cleaver and embrace my Lucy-ness.

I also get to honor my incredible Mom who has been an amazing example of grace, humor, love, generosity, and sweetness all rolled into one.  And, my Mother-in-law who has adopted me as her own, loves me endlessly, and continues to teach me so many things.

I also want to say the following:
To my husband.  Thank you for doing this parenting thing with me.  You are the mac to my cheese (yay!  cheese!)  And thanks for the late night froyo to clear up the tears last night.
To my Mama girlfriends.  You keep me sane with our Starbucks chats, our mani/pedi dates, our clearance rack shopping, watching my kids, scheduling playdates, bus stop walks and more.  You are my village (you know who you are) and I adore you.  May your Mother's Day be full of blessings.
To the Mommies By Heart.  For some of you, this holiday hurts.  Its a reminder of the months of negative pregnancy tests and heartache you feel longing for a child.  To you, I say thank you.  Thank you for smiling and listening genuinely to the stories of my kids, for asking about their well-being, and loving on my Babies.  You play a huge role in my life by reminding me that Motherhood is to be treasured and that I too once longed to be a Mama.  I can only pray, cry and hope alongside you until you celebrate your first Mother's Day.

Happy Mothers Day.
(who came up with this holiday anyway? I'd like to send them a Hallmark card.)

ps, Writing is such good therapy.

Pep talk.

When I saw this video, I knew I had to feature it on my Fabulous Friday post.
Watch this video for a little pep talk from Mr. Kid President and go have an awesome weekend.

Zero Tolerance Day

Today, I had to enforce a "zero tolerance" day for the kiddos.  We had a rough weekend and there is only one week of summer left!  What does a zero tolerance day look like for our family?  Here are the rules:
  • NO ELECTRONICS (Wii, TV, computers, DS, etc)
 I will have NO tolerance for any of the above hence, "Zero Tolerance Day".  I knew that I would need some kind of structure for the day in order to maintain my sanity.  I created a plan.  I usually like to tell the kids what the plan is for the day but, instead I went with a "you'll know what we're doing when we are doing it" attitude.  I planned a Bible study about attitude, a couple activities (I share one below), a trip to the library, work on chores, and have a "complain break".

One of the biggest challenges we have in the summer is the complaining... I'm boooored.  Why can't we go somewhere FUN today?  We always eat at home... blah blah blah.  It's like nails on a chalkboard!  I read an article today that gave me a fabulous idea.  Hold a "Complaint Break".  Set a time limit of 10 minutes and everyone gets to complain about anything they want for the allotted time and they can't complain for the rest of the day.  I am trying this today and it is working.  When one of the kids begin to complain, I tell them to hold it for the complain break.  One of my kiddos says, "If I hold it in until then it won't make sense then?  And, it won't matter later!"  Exactly, Baby.  Read more about the "Family Complaint Break" HERE.

One of the activities I did with the kids was called, "I Like..."  I gave them each a paper and a pen.  I told them they had 10 minutes to write down things they like about themselves.  My kiddos misunderstood the assignment a little but, I improvised and it was great.  They wrote down things they liked in general... pizza, nature, sports, etc.  After the 10 minutes was up, I collected their papers and looked for one thing that was common on all three papers (the first thing I found was "friends").  Then, I handed the papers back and told them to see how many common things they could find together on their lists.  It was great to see them working together!

Today has not only been a lesson for my kids, it has been training for Me.  I am trying to be more intentional with my parenting and I realize with my zero tolerance day that I am not very intentional on a day-to-day basis.  I like to treat my kids to lunch out or buy them a little something at the Dollar Store but, I realize that I treat them so often that they expect it every time we go out.  I have been feeding that "entitlement" attitude without even knowing it.  Zoinks.  Isn't it great when we can learn from our mistakes and move on?

School is literally around the corner and so is our routine but, I still want to be more intentional with my kiddos each day after school.  I would love to hear some ideas on how you are more intentional with your kids.  After school is so full of snack, homework, sports, etc.,  how do you fit quality time into your crazy school schedules?