Tag Archives: mommy

For the first time in about 8 years….

I did a craft!  Notice the excitement in my tone?  That’s right, I, the most unsuccessful, least crafty mom you will ever meet, did a craft!  AND, not just one craft, but 3!

Now, this may not seem like a big deal to most mommies.  In fact, it’s pretty common within the mommy-community.  But like I said before, I have never been your typical SAHM mom.  Even when I was a SAHM with just two kids, the most I ever did was decorate cookies, and they were usually the Pillsbury ones that are already cut out with the frosting that looks like toothpaste (I cringe as I actually admit to that).  And I’m pretty genetically inclined to be crafty.  My mom was the macrame queen (yes, I grew up in the 70’s) and my sister could scrapbook and sew dresses in her sleep.

Being the not-so-crafty-mom, I learned a few lessons today:

1.  It’s OK if you don’t get it right the first time.  Just like anything there is a learning curve.  While some things come very easy to me (I can cook up a gourmet meal like nobody’s business using only ingredients that I have on-hand and never need a recipe), it is just fine if I struggle with a few things here and there.

2.  I am creative.  Maybe I’m not the mom the creates the fun things that go on Pinterest, but I can adapt anything to fit my personality and lifestyle.  And that still makes me feel like I have a teeny-tiny creative bone within me.

3.  I’m not, have never been, or ever will be the mom who can make a memory book, darn a sock, til the garden, and make a pot roast from scratch all before the kids get home from school.  Working outside the home gives me a little more of an excuse, but even when I was a SAHM, I didn’t do those things.  I’ve learned to accept it and focus on my positive mommy/wifey skills.  Besides, I can wear 3″ heels to a field trip and still keep up with twenty 12-year-olds with no problem!

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These are the Valentines that Autumn chose to make for her class party.

What are your strengths?  What can you do better than anyone you know?  Focus on those and be happy with what you do and are!  And maybe in the midst of it, try something new.  You never know what you can accomplish, even if you think you’d never be “that girl.”

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Back to work

Today I officially re-enter the employed workers of America! I’m so excited! After being a stay at home mom for nearly 12 years, I’m definitely ready and willing to work outside of my home. Granted I had jobs here and there, none of which lasted too long. I found it difficult to work outside of my home when my kiddos needs were so strong. But now, I’m ready!

A look inside the new Disney Store.

My new “job” won’t really feel like work to me, though. I’m going back to my Disney roots and working as a Cast Member at the brand new store here in the Seattle area. For those of you that don’t know, I met my husband while working at the Disney Store 15 years ago. We got married in Disneyland. We vacation there about once a year. To me, Disney is fun, not work. I’m just lucky enough to get paid to have fun!

After being at home with 6 kids all summer, I definitely feel the desire to temporarily leave Mommy duties behind. Now, here I go!

The SAHM’s eternal question: Now what?

Maybe I should rephrase this into, my eternal question.  But from what I’ve learned from friends and social media, most moms feel this way.

This was my favorite book as a little girl and what helped me know that I wanted to be a mommy.

When I was a little girl, I vividly remember day dreaming about being a mommy.  Doing laundry and hanging it to dry on the clothes line outside.  Walking to the grocery store with my baby in a buggy, the sun beating down on us.  Quietly knitting in my rocking chair while my little ones played together in the living room.  Even as I got older and held a full-time job, I dreamed about what my kids would look like, what their names would be, how many would I have, and how far apart would they be in age.  If life was really like this, who wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home-mom?

And then I had a baby!  Life was pure bliss!  We did take long walks in the sun.  I became crafty.  I was mommy machine.  Yes, this is what I always dreamed of!  But life wasn’t quite complete.  Duane and I decided to build our family.  Just a little.  19 moths after Audrey, we had baby #2.  My long relaxing visits with the sun and stroller became fewer and far between.  My craft skills got packed away in my craft trunk.  The mommy machine became tired.  What happened to the memories and dreams of my childhood?

Slowly but surely, I came out of my mommy-coma and started taking care of myself again.  It seemed like a long process.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t, but at the time, it felt like a forever.  Our little family of 4 bought a house, added two more kids plus a dog and a cat.  We were big and busy.  I learned how to grow a garden, can my goods and cook like a gourmet.  Yes, life was good again!  But still something felt like it was missing.  Just a little piece of myself.  Even though I had what I had ALWAYS dreamed of,  I felt deprived.  I couldn’t figure out why.

Thank God for God!  I put all of my hopes, dreams, and desires into what HE wanted for me.  I learned to be happy.  Take pride in everything I did.  After all, He created me.  I needed to be the best me I could be.  Even though I couldn’t quite understand why I felt like something was missing.  I had it all.

After I learned to actually trust God the way that I knew I should, He began to fill me up with what I needed to feel complete.  He revealed to me what was missing.  It felt so good to trust God and to know that I was doing what he wanted me to do.

I still feel a little envious of the “do-it-all-mommy’s.”  You know the kind that get up at the crack of dawn to make eggs and pancakes for breakfast, iron everyone’s clothes before school, have a spot-less house, car, and yard, plus crafts for the kids after school activities, 4 course dinner, and games before bed. That was the mom I thought I was supposed to be.

But I’m glad that’s not me.  Because just the thought of all of that sounds exhausting.  Yes, I still love to garden and can and craft and cook.  But my life doesn’t revolve around my kids.  It revolves with them. And everyone seems to like things this way!

Now, pass me my gym membership and glass of wine and I’m a happy mommy!

Honor your father and mother. And your brother and sister.

I’m sure our family is like most families.  Our kids get along great at times and not so great at other times.  Sometimes it feels like the not so great out-weighs the great.  Especially during the summer when we’re all together all the time.  So what does a parent do to maintain peace in the house?

Autumn, Audrey, and Austen all snuggled up in 2008 right after August was born.

Last year my children’s pastor husband came up with a great idea.  We call it the honor chart.  They each earn points during the day for either being honorable or dishonorable.  The goal is not for them to treat each other with “normalcy,” but with honor.  There are a number of ways that they can earn honor marks.  Offering to do someone’s chore.  Offering to help one of the younger kids with something.  Doing something cheerfully and right away when they are asked by an adult.  If they get 5 honor marks in a day then they earn something the next day.  My favorite was when my 10-year-old, Austen, wanted to use his honor marks by snuggling with my for 30 minutes before bed.  But it usually has something to do with extra X-box time or an extra TV show (they only get a 1/2 hour of each).

On the flip side, they can also earn dishonor marks.  This happens, obviously, if they are dishonorable to each other.  Arguing, yelling, short tempers.  If they earn 5 dishonor marks in a day, then they lose something the next day.

The goal is for them to earn 5 honor marks each day for a week for an ultimate prize.  So far only one of them has earned this all summer.  Austen chose to use his honor week by going to Shnoo yogurt with his dad.  Of course, Duane didn’t mind either.

Here’s what we’ve found by using an honor chart:  they will go above and beyond being nice and decent to each other.  They are happy to show honor to one another and to us.  We originally started doing this for the older 3 kids (5 1/2, 10 1/2, and 12), but August (2 1/2) has joined the honor bandwagon, too!  If he is helpful with his brother and sisters he gets an honor mark.  But the best thing about that is watching him react when he finds out he earned one.  Jumping, clapping, and cheering are among his rituals for behaving more than kindly to his siblings.

I guess the big idea is that we want our children to be more than nice to each other, to their friends, and to us.  Treat each other with honor and your rewards are more than Shnoo.  More than game time.  The rewards are peace and harmony in the house all based on biblical teachings.  Good habits are starting to be realized which brings joy to this mommy’s heart.  And that is the best reward for me!

So many shoes, so little time

I love my kids more than anything! All 4 of them have such unique qualities, that at times, I prefer to be around one more than another. However, the other day, I had a huge proud mommy moment! Having 4 kids, I have a lot of proud mommy moments. But for some reason, this one threw me for a loop and made my heart swell at the same time. What was this mama proud? It wasn’t the fact that my 2 year old is already totally potty-trained. It wasn’t the fact that my 5 year old has started, not only calling me mommy, but the “greatest mommy in the world.” It wasn’t the fact that my 10 year old completed a HUGE reading goal that he set for himself for the last week of school. ALL of these things make me super duper proud to be these kids’ mommy. But this week, the thing that made me so happy and wanting to explode with joy was when my 12 year old daughter asked, “Mommy, can we go to DSW? I’d like to buy a pair of heels for my 6th grade graduation!”

Did you feel my excitement while I typed that out? YES!!! Of course we can go to my favorite store of all time and buy you, my jeans and t-shirt daughter, a pair of heels! I had a blast! She had a blast! The smile glued to her face the whole time let me know that she was dying from excitement inside.

Then came the dilemma. She found 2 pairs that she wanted. Both were the perfect color. Both had the same size heel. Both were on sale. Yes, I’m happy to say, that I have passed down my trait of being able to scope out a deal to my daughter. Which shoes to choose? There were too many. After about 10 minutes of watching her walk through the store with one on the left, the other on the right, she chose.

As she walked up to the counter and handed over her box and gift card, smile still plastered to her face, I knew that this would be a moment I would always remember. Not only because of the shoes. But because we were able to connect on a level that I never imagined would happen. My baby girl, my first born, has started her transition to becoming a young lady. And THAT is what made this mommy so proud!