• Kids

    What to do, what to do…

    My son. Where do I begin. He is a charming, loving, intelligent, ball of fire… who happens to be manipulative, disobedient and slick. Oh, what a combination! Now I love my son to death, but I’m not one of those parents who thinks they have a perfect child. No, I’m the kind of parent who looks at the other parents who are forming judgements to themselves and agrees with them (audibly)… “yeah, he’s bad.” And I don’t say this because I’ve given up or I think it’s acceptable, I say this because I feel good in my skin when I am authentic. And I truly believe that my kid can…

  • Me

    The things I didn’t know about myself… until I became a parent

    Becoming a parent is an enlightening experience. You see life through a whole new lens – you gain an instant appreciation (and admiration) for your own parents; the screaming children on a plane or in a restaurant create empathy (for the parents) instead of anger; in the presence of your kids you develop critical eyes (and ears) for television and song lyrics and others’ conversations, constantly filtering for appropriateness. But the biggest change for me has been within… or a new vantage point to myself as I discover things about me that were unknown before kids. I can handle a lot more than I ever thought.  Not that I ever…

  • Kids

    Wiped Out

    I got to play stay-at-home mom today and boy, am I wiped out.  I’m not sure what was different about today than some weekends when I have the boys solo, but it was exhausting!  I think some days the kids decide they want to be amicable and sweet.  And then there are some days that they strategize about how to push every one of your buttons. Today would be the latter. Sometimes kids can just wear you down and knock you off your game.  Today would be that day too.  Apparently I was a little loose with my language, because when Blake got home Brogan told him, “Look Daddy, I…

  • Kids

    When something goes wrong, I call you.

    The other night, as I was trying to get Brogan to bed, he kept calling me for various requests.  As I tromped back up the stairs and into his room, aggravation all over my face, he said to me, “Mommy, when something goes wrong, I call you.” He gave me a hug and all of my frustration went away. I feel like I wrestle with the balance of wanting my boys to be independent, but also liking the fact that they need me.  As moms, we feed hungry bellies, bandage skinned knees, wipe runny noses, grab what’s out of their reach and try to fulfill every other random request.  We…

  • Kids,  Marriage,  Me

    How to Be a Happy Parent

    Parenting is hard and it’s easy to find yourself stuck in a rut with all the damn dailies.  But I believe that happiness is relative to your expectations.  We all have this romanticized idea of what parenting will be like before we have kids… and then we have them and realize some if it’s not so glamorous.  Managing your expectations and keeping perspective is key to finding all the joy that parenting has to offer. Juggling your children, your marriage, a job (perhaps), and the stresses from the outside world (strangers, other parents, the media, the “experts”) can be downright stressful.  Hey, no pressure, you’re only doing the most important…

  • Kids

    From the Mouth of My 3-year-old

    It is true, kids say the darndest things.  My 3-year-old continuously amazes me with his remarks. Especially when he says something which lets me know that he knows more than we give him credit for… or when he demonstrates a brazen act of talking back, but said with such innocence, that he has you questioning whether he was really just talking back.  The answer to that question is almost always  yes – he’s smart and he’s a charmer, so he’s already mastered the art of manipulation.  So here are a couple of his one-liners from the last couple of days.  I really need to keep a pen and paper more…

  • Kids

    Love These Guys

    Do you ever have a night where your kids just exhaust you? Like, completely wipe you out?  They push every button, get on your last nerve… get you plotting a 30 minute earlier bedtime?  Yeah, that was tonight.  Blake has been working late every night this week, so I’ve been doing this thing solo.  While it has surprisingly been a really good week, I think my nerves were just shot tonight.  But funny thing about being a parent, as crazy as they can make you, they still bring you so much joy it’s unbelievable.  When I tell Beckett it’s time to go night-night, he instantly lays his head on my…

  • Kids

    We Speak Opposites in My House

    This may be a shocker, but our three-year-old doesn’t like to do what we say.  It’s not just that he doesn’t like what we have to say, or that he doesn’t want to do what we ask of him, the simple fact that it came out of our mouths makes it utterly unappealing.  We’ve been observing this behavior pattern for a while.  When it first started and was still “cute” we would mess with him and tell him not to do things that we really wanted to do.  After a couple rounds of “don’t you play Joe Diffy!” to get him to sing and play his guitar in front of…

  • Kids

    The Secrets of Parenthood

    I’m going to let my non-parent friends in on a couple of the secrets that we parents don’t want you to know until you join the club.  I’m probably breaking some code of silence, but here goes.  It’s ugly, it’s shameful, but it’s the truth about being a parent. 1.)  We try to look like we’ve got it under control (even when we don’t) – Every parent has been there.  Out in public with your little one when they totally freak out on you.  There you are, in a sea full of criticizing eyes, knowing that your kid is winning this one.  What does a parent do? Fake it.  Act…

  • Kids

    Discipline Sucks

    Discipline is the worst.  Why can’t kids just come out of the womb obeying all the rules?  The old adage “it hurts me more than it hurts you” is so true (as a kid I thought this was total BS).  It’s such a contradiction – you want to punish kids so they stop their bad behavior, but then you don’t actually want to punish them. Ugghh! Brogan is and has been quite the little button-pusher.  The threat of discipline rarely deters him – we actually have to follow through.  Admittedly, my husband is better at this than I am (so while he may be a participant, he is definitely the…