Halloween

TorT

I have little kids.

I have little kids who talk about what they want to be for Halloween almost daily. In January… And April… And even November!

I am over Halloween.

I am over paying $25+ for a Halloween costume they will wear for an hour or two to tramp around the neighborhood begging for candy from the neighbors.

Before I had children I thought I would have so much fun creating Pinterest worthy costumes for my kids each year. It would be the thrifty and creative thing to do, right? Nope. That is even MORE expensive. FORGET IT! I just go to Target and buy one of the costumes that 15 other kids in the neighborhood will be wearing. No creativity, and not thrifty. But easy!

Then I go buy mountains of candy to pass out to the neighborhood kids. But then my kids return with just about as much candy, which we proceed to eat for the next year. (Yes, I have candy from last year. Don’t be surprised if I give it to your kid THIS year 🙂

Then I have to sit outside all night disappointing kids with mini candy, when they really want more of the full size candy bars that the neighbors are giving out. I sit outside so that I don’t have to have the doorbell ring 100,000 times, and it makes the risk of a one year old, dressed up as a princess, falling down my brick front steps less of a possibility.

Let’s just move past Halloween and get on with Thanksgiving and Christmas! At least those holidays have some uplifting feelings that go along with them.

 

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No reason really…


At first I thought about it constantly. Then it became hourly, daily, monthly, and so on. Now, it has actually been a couple of months since I thought about the baby I miscarried four years ago. 

I don’t know why today it has hit me harder than it has in a long time. I always think about the baby on it’s due date in May, and on the day that I found out I miscarried in Oct. In fact, I rarely even feel sorrow now. I feel more nostalgia of what could have been rather than actual sadness.

But it is July. Why July 16th? No idea. But today I am missing the little one that should be in our family pictures, but isn’t. 

Always ask, don’t assume

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This week I learned a valuable parenting lesson, that I am SURE many parents before me have learned.

Always ask, don’t assume.

While sitting around chatting with my girls this weekend, my 5 year old said, “Mommy. Am I allowed to tell sister the bad word that (the 5 year old boy down the street) said?”

“What word is that?” I asked.

“The ‘F’ word!”, she responded.

“Oh… He said the ‘F’ word, huh? Well, that is naughty… What word?” I asked for some unfathomable reason. Because who doesn’t know what the ‘F’ word is?

“JERK!”

 

When she first told me that this boy said  the “F” word, my initial feeling was irritation that she was already exposed to that kind of word. However, I also felt that it was inevitable. Kids hear words that they are told are “bad” words, so they tell other kids. It’s how most of us learned the “F” word, the “S” word, and “D” word. (You filled in the end of those words in your head, didn’t you?)  Who knows where the boy learned it from.

I don’t want my kids to think too much about those words, or give them too much power. They will often say “stupid” is a bad word. So, I tell them that it is just a word. It is how you use it that makes it wrong. Using certain words make people think a certain way about you. Words also make a person feel a certain way when you use them. A word is just a word, until you use it in a rude or crude way. My job as a parent is helping my children decide what words will be a good reflection on themselves. I want them to use words that encourage others instead of cause anger or sadness.

In this case, I am glad I delved a little further and didn’t assume the ‘F’ word that was used, was the ‘F’ word I assumed. While the actual word was still not a kind one, at least we have some time before I have to explain the actual ‘F’ word.

 

3rd Child

We have 3 children.

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It was recently my 3rd child’s birthday, and I noticed a difference. He turned 2. It is a birthday that I didn’t plan. I didn’t invite anyone. I didn’t make a cake. In fact, we went the day of his birthday to Costco and bought one. It didn’t have a baseball, or a truck, or his favorite Disney character on it. It was just one of the cakes that was already in the case.

I didn’t decorate. There were no balloons or even the birthday banner that we put up for every birthday. We DID have his favorite dinner of spaghetti. However, we had forgotten to check about birthday candles, so we stuck two emergency candles into the cake and he enthusiastically blew them out. (We read a birthday book to him for the week before his birthday so that he would know to blow out the candles.)

This is so much different than the birthdays of my first two children. Maybe it is because we understand that he will never remember it. He will have the pictures and videos that we took. But the level of pageantry will never be recalled. So, I’ll save my energy for later when he wants a big deal done about his birthday. No need to stress myself out over a birthday that he won’t remember. I just need to make him feel loved, no matter how simple it is.

 

This is why I work

I read this article today, and it touched many similar thoughts and feelings that I have had about being a working mother.

Our circumstances are not the same. I work because that is what my husband and I decided would work best for our family. We definitely wanted someone to be at home with our kids. When we started our family, I was making more than my husband. He was commuting MUCH to far already and his paycheck would cover little more than daycare would cost. For the sake of our sanity and bank account, we decided that I would continue to work.

I work, not because I am passionate about the work I am doing. But because I feel fulfilled by doing work, and doing a good job.

I work because I never want to worry about having to go back to work. I always want to be a viable money-maker. I don’t want to have to think about how to keep my skills up so when my children are grown I can go back to work.

I work, because I don’t want my girls to think that the only option for them is to be a mom. If they want to be a stay-at-home mom when they get older. GREAT! I just don’t want them to think that it is what they are destined for and only have that as their goal. I want them to develop themselves and the things they are passionate about, and not hold back. Also, while most people do get married and start a family, it isn’t always how things happen. I want my daughters to be self-sufficient and be able to take care of themselves, whether they get married or not.

I work, because I want my son to have respect for women. I want him to have an example of a woman who works outside of the home, and so that it will not be unusual to him to encounter working mothers. He will have plenty of examples of men doing this throughout his life.

The attached article states, “I work because even at your young age you’ve absorbed the subtle message that women’s work is less important and valuable — and that the moms who really love their kids don’t do it.” Yup. Ditto.

My kids sometimes complain that I work too much. But I work for more reasons, than for food, shelter, and healthcare. I work because it’s good for all of us.

 

Losing myself

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MORE Nutella Ritz sandwiches? Liv & Maddie AGAIN? ANOTHER post lunch bath?

When I shop, either online or in the store, I am either looking for items for the kids, or for the household. When I cook, everyone else eats first and I’m just getting started when everyone else is asking for dessert. Somehow, even though I get in the shower first, I am ready last. All because I have changed diapers, changed their outfits, brushed their hair, and put on their shoes before I have even blown my hair dry (or even put on a shirt).

Yesterday, I sat down to watch a one and a half hour long documentary. After getting up 3 times to get people drinks, been jumped on 25 times, asked to be logged in to the computer 5 times, and have one child stand in front of me and jump out of a play tunnel for 2 minutes straight (yes! I must act surprised every time she jumps out), I gave up. It was 25 minutes in, and I had seen about 5 minutes of content.

I don’t read books anymore. I listen to books when I drive to work, or pick the kids up from school, or when I am doing the dishes. But actually picking up a real life book, and turning the pages. Yeah… I haven’t done that in months. I only attempt to read a REAL book if I know it is something that I can put down for weeks at a time and pick right up where I left off.

When was the last time I went out on a date with my husband? Who knows? I can’t remember. I can’t remember what we did, or where we went. I’m fairly positive that it was dinner and a movie. Or maybe just a movie, because we probably ate at home with the kids before we snuck out of the house.

Yeah… I know… I know… Enjoy it while it lasts… Right?

Favorite Child

People are always so cautious to admit that they have a favorite child.

Not me. I TOTALLY have a favorite child.

It’s the child that I am having one-on-one time with right NOW.

Most of the time my kids are running around the house, making a bunch of noise, annoying each other. Annoying me. However, when I get to be with one of my kids, and have some time all by ourselves, I remember all of their great attributes. They aren’t trying to outdo each other for their parent’s attention. They don’t have someone bugging them. We just get to be US.

I have been taking my girls with me when I go to the grocery store instead of going once they are in bed. I don’t know WHY I started doing this, because all they do is run up an down the aisles, look for samples, and ask to go to the bathroom. (There MUST be a bathroom stop in the grocery store ever since they found out there is a public bathroom there. I don’t really believe they actually have to go to the bathroom. It’s just part of their routine now.)

As a beginner couponer, I am not as adept at it as those Super Couponers that have their own television show. I would love to get there, but I just don’t have the time and energy for that. Couponing makes my time at the store double. I have to make sure the sizes and types of product are within the requirements of the coupon, thus making it imperative that I READ the coupon carefully, as well as read the container of the products to make sure they match up. I do this while saying, “No. You can’t get that treat.” “COME BACK HERE! You can’t race each other down the aisle!” “Do not climb behind the toilet paper!” Yeah… I’m that Mom in the store.

A couple of days ago, I almost snuck out of the house to go grocery shopping without any of my kids. One was upstairs napping, the other two were watching a kid show on the TV while Dad napped on the couch. I just about made it out the door, but my “deaf until she wants something” daughter heard me open the front door and was there asking me where I was going before I even reached for the storm door handle. She wanted to come. So I relented.

And she was great! She stayed in “the tank” (the grocery cart with the kid car attached to the front). She asked for samples nicely when we went to the deli counter. She only asked for Oreos once. And even forgoed the bathroom break. She sang happily to herself while I found the 20 oz ketchup (not the 18.5 oz), and all the other groceries. Then on our way home she talked to me about how excited she was to be starting school, that she is changing her favorite color, and that she loves spending time with me. (Aw… I need to do this more often.)

Once we got home, the little guy was awake (as was the big guy). The excitement of getting to the pool made the house messy, loud, and chaotic. Our hour of togetherness ended.

I’ll change my favorite child next time I get some one-on-one time with one of them.