Tag Archives: Kids

A Mom’s Revenge

20 Dec

Prior to meeting my husband, I was a single mom working full-time. I loved my job but it was not until just recently that I realized how many things I have missed out on with my older twins. I missed school plays, field trips, helping out in the classroom and all the other things that happen in the middle of the day while I was working.

Monday night, Ashlyn told us that her school was having a “bring your parents to lunch” day. Immediately the wheels in my head started spinning. I looked at my husband and said, “Oh we are going!” I wish I could have taken a picture of Ashlyn when I said this, because instinctively she knew this was not going to end well for her. “Mom, please just go and be the cool mom.” With a very devious grin, I nodded and agreed.

I picked up my cell phone and sent a message to my friend Renee, who I remembered recently ran the Vegas half marathon dressed up as Mrs. Clause and her husband as Rudolph. I asked if we use the outfits for Wednesday’s “lunch” and she delightfully said, YES.

If you have teenagers or know a teenager, you realize rather quickly that this stage of their lives is always hard on parents. It seems as if almost overnight, your once sweet little prince or princess, grows horns, an opinion and makes it their personal mission to humiliate you. Mine are no exception. So, when planning my little scheme, I simply wanted to “re-pay” the favor.

I remembered that my step-dad usually dresses up like Santa every Christmas. I sent him a message asking if he, in fact, had a Santa suite. His simple response made my heart jump for joy, “Yes, I do.” I asked if Erik could borrow it, and he said of course. This was getting better and better. Santa and Mrs. Clause making an appearance at Ashlyn and Breanna’s middle school… Pay back at it’s finest.

 On Wednesday morning, I met Erik in the school parking lot with the Santa suit. It took everything I had not to wet myself as I watched him put it on. I was really enjoying this… So, with lunch in tote, Mr. and Mrs. Clause marched into the lunch area at Woodland Park Middle School.

erik santa

Within minutes, teachers, other parents and kids, were laughing and commenting. It is amazing to me how even 12, 13 & 14 year-olds can get totally giddy when they see someone dressed as Santa. With my giant bell wreath, I began to make a bunch of noise and started to search the area for MY kids. I brought a bag of goodies and within seconds, all the treats I made had vanish. Kids were loving this, as was I, and Mr. Clause, but what about my girls….

From the corner of my eye, I spotted them. I began to make my way toward my kids and Erik started to yell, “Ashlyn and Breanna… Ho, Ho, Ho.” It was pure comedy. I had to at least try to get this on video, so I did my best to capture the reaction of the girls, especially Bre, since Ashlyn already knew some of the plan. Although the video is not the best quality, I was able to get the moment Bre started to cry once she realized the large man dressed as Santa and the woman next to him with the loud bells, were her mom and step-dad. It was PRICELESS. (You can see for yourself here)

bre crying

Once the shock wore off, and they realized we brought them lunch from their favorite place, they actually enjoyed what we had done for them. I really wish that I had been given more time to plan, because I would have orchestrated a full on flash mob, to their favorite 1 Direction song, but I think we did a pretty good job!

santa

When they got home from school, I was pleasantly surprised when the girls came in telling me that we were a total hit. Even the Vice Principal made some comments to them about what we did. Kids were telling them how “chill” and “cool” their parents are.  In the end, what I really wanted was for both the girls to have a special memory about that day. Yes, I wanted to embarrass them for all the things they have done to us, but more than anything, I want them to look back at this day when they are older and smile, knowing that we did this for them because they matter to us. (Even if what we did was publicly humiliate them… that’s what counseling is for.)

I am taking advantage of the little things I can do to deposit special memories into the lives of my girls. I was not always able to show up in full costume at 10:20 for “bring your parents to lunch day,” but I can now and that is not something I will waste. Before I know it, they will be grown up and on their own and I know what we do now, will matter then.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

photo 2

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 8

10 Nov

Day 8- Today  I am thankful for: The important lessons I learn from my kids

I love this child of mine! This was a conversation we had the other night while she was at her dad’s house and as her mom, I can appreciate where her heart was when she wrote it.

School has never come easy to Bre. Ever since she was little, she has had to work harder than most to pass tests, ace quizzes and keep a GPA higher than a 3.0. As a mom, it is never easy to sit back and watch your child struggle. On occasion, I have cried with her as she sat at the kitchen table with her pile of homework so frustrated and ready to give up.

I am very sensitive to this issue and I have always made it a point that Bre knows that I am not AS concerned with the grade itself, as I am the effort put forth into getting the grade. See, I grew up in a house with a father who could not read or write and a sister who had severe dyslexia. I watched both of their struggles and although school and learning came very easy to me, I know that it does not for many. My parents made it very clear that if my sister and I were trying our very best, studying, paying attention in class, doing all that we could, within our ability, that was what mattered. It was a valuable lesson that I have carried into my own parenting.

So last night, we all gathered around the fireplace in our home and with dimmed lights and “Disco Inferno” playing in the background, Bre took each test and or quiz that she felt made her a “failure,” and watched it go up in flames. As we sat there I made it very clear to both my girls that grades do not define success or failure; their attitude and character does. By burning those pieces of paper, she was letting go of what she felt made her dumb and stupid and was going to start over with a new attitude and outlook. She was going to meet with her teachers and come up with ways to help her feel better about taking tests and she was going to give it ALL she’s got.

I love that this lesson is not just for an 8th grader, but for her 35-year-old mom too. So many times, I’ve put my value and worth in what I have on my resume, only to realize later, that is NOT what defines me. My heart, morals and character do.There are so many “things” I fail at, but I cannot let those failures get in the way of what I want to accomplish on this earth. I have to press forward, doing the very best that I can, knowing that mistakes are simply lessons in disguise.

“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.”

Today’s “Unexpected” Twin Question

7 Sep

This morning I decided to be brave, and take the babies with me to Macy’s. About 20 minutes into our shopping venture, I began to wonder if I was brave or flat-out crazy. I think you know what the answer is. CRAZY! I was hoping that since it was around nap time, they would fall asleep in the stroller and I could get a bridal shower gift for my sister in-law’s upcoming wedding. Hoping was not enough. They were wide awake and very vocal the entire time. Oh well, lesson learned.

As a mom of twins, you learn very quickly that you are going to attract attention. You realize that complete strangers are going to ask you questions NO ONE should ever ask another STRANGER and you will be given ridiculous advise that you simply have to nod and grin at. It comes with the territory and I got over that about 13 years ago with the first set. But this morning, while pushing the big double stroller through the lingerie department, a sweet little lady stopped to look at the babies and asked me a question I don’t recall being asked before. “What is the best and worst part of having twins?” Huh? I just looked at her… This is one question I don’t have a rehearsed or generic answer for. I don’t recall exactly what I said, but her question got me thinking and here is what I have come up with.

The Best Part: My answer may not be what many of you are expecting, but hear me out. The best part of having two at once, is that I have learned I am capable of doing so much more than I ever gave myself credit for. I can carry two babies up a flight of stairs, while stashing one bottle in my bra and the other in my pants. I can feed two babies at the same time AND fold laundry. I can function on little to no sleep and somehow keep going. I can cry and laugh at the same time.  I have mastered the art of tuning out all crying and or screaming. I can see them, but hear NOTHING… It is great. I can deal with two very different personalities wanting my attention at the same exact moment. I can carry two car seats with the babies in them, and also do bicep curls at the same time. Oh yes, there is not many things I cannot multitask.  And although I am trying to bring some humor to this, I have realized that I limit the things I think I am able to do. But put me in the situation and somehow, someway, God gives me the strength and I am able to accomplish what I thought was impossible. Which leads to the very best part and that is receiving all the love and joy my daughters bring into my life on a daily basis.

Onto the second part of her question and I have decided to re-phase it from, “What is the worst part,” to “What is the hardest part?” (I don’t really like how, “Whats the worst part” sounds.) So for me, with 13 years experience under my belt, the hardest part about raising twins is learning to delegate time so that each child feels the same amount of love, respect, and attention. I am sure this is hard for any parent who has more than one child, but I think where it differs with twins is that they are never alone. From day one, they have to share. They share the womb ;)a bedroom room, toys, clothes, birthday’s, and of course, the time they get from mom and dad. Even though they don’t know any different, I find myself struggling with feelings of guilt and wanting to make sure they are never in competition of my love or time. Whether they be 13 years old or 9 months old, as a mom, that part of my heart never changes. There is only one of me, and now, four of them so all I can do is my very best to make sure that each one of them feels valued and loved for who they are.

So yes, being a mom with twins is not always easy but I would not trade it for the world. However, ask me that same question when I am having to pay for two college tutions… AT THE SAME TIME and I am pretty sure that my answer to the “Whats the worst part” will be different then today’s!

Blessings ~ Summer

Toddlers and Tailgating

1 Sep

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Tomorrow kicks off the 2012-2013 season of USC football. Usually, I would be excited and looking forward to a fun day at the Coliseum, screaming and cheering on the team, but I am thinking this season might be a bit different. Here is why:

BABIES

Last Saturday we did a “trial run” with the girls by taking them to the annual football picnic. Let’s just say that we learned football, yelling, heat, sweating, long lines, big strollers,diapers, bottles and crying don’t mix! There is nothing like trying to change a baby in a bathroom without a diaper changing station. Talk about getting creative. Which reminds me, I believe there needs to be a law which states every public bathroom must have a diaper changing station! Enough said. Anyway, back to football. After a very long day, my wonderful mother-in-law and I decided that we need to rent a “mini wini” and start a babysitting service in the parking lot of the stadium.

I think it would be a huge success. Here’s how it would work; ;you drop off your kid(s) at our tailgating area. You sign a consent form that basically says we are not liable for any damage done to your kid while in our care and you take off. From there we will entertain. Actually, the large flat screen TV will be the entertainment. We will have tents set up in a row for “nap” time. We will have a healthy snack that will be given at half-time. We will ask the marching band to stop by and maybe a mascot or two. We will charge a reasonable fee, and in our lounge chairs, while sipping on chardonnay, we will “tailgate with toddlers” (mine included.) Brilliant idea, right?

Okay, so back to reality; I will not be going to many games this season. I guess I am okay with it. Watching the game from the comfort of my home, will be much better than trying to calm down screaming babies who don’t want to sit still, while in the company of 90K fans. Once again, the responsibilities of motherhood just aren’t fair (*inset BIG long sigh here*) So until the day comes when I can go to a game childless, I will dream 🙂

Blessings ~ Summer

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The Value in Today

21 Aug

 

He kissed his wife and 3 month old son goodbye and headed out the door for a fishing trip with one of his friends. He has been going to the same lake in Oregon since he was a boy. He knew the in’s and out’s of that place like it was nothing.It was in an instant that everything changed and somehow on the way in, the boat he was capsized into the really cold waters leaving him and his friend to fight for their lives. Sadly, his body was consumed with hypothermia and as hard as he fought, he didn’t win. He died doing something he had done over and over again.

 

I heard this young man’s story as I was on one of my evening runs. My eyes were filled with tears because sitting at home were my babies and big girls and it got me thinking… I run this particular route almost everyday. It is a 4 mile loop around where I live and I could probably run it in my sleep. When I lace up my shoes, put on my earphones and head out to the street, I never think… “I may not come back from this run.” No, I think, “Ahhhh, 30 to 35 minutes of ME time.” I am sure that young man did not kiss his wife that day thinking it would be the last time he ever saw her face. He assumed, like we all do, I will be back soon, life will go on and I will live to see tomorrow.

Every single one of us has an invisible clock over our head. It is counting down the days that we have left here on this earth and not one of us knows then that clock will stop ticking. So, what are we doing with each moment we have here? More importantly, are we making valuable deposits into the lives of our spouse, children, family members and friends?

I am learning that it’s never to late to start. As I continued to listen to the message they spoke of his memorial service and one after one, people got up and told stories of how this ONE man had made an impact on their life. This is my hearts desire. If something was to happen to me tomorrow… I want my husband to know that he was my dream come true and since meeting him, I have become a better person. I want my 4 daughter to know that they are my treasure. I cherish them for the life they have given to this once lifeless soul. I want my mom and sister to know that there are NO words to explain my love and appreciation for putting up with me and for all the amazing memories we have. I want all my family and Erik’s family to know that they mean everything to me.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow, although most of us will wake up and have a “tomorrow” but we need to value and cherish today. We need to love the ones who love us and pray for those who don’t. Go, kiss your husband or wife and thank them for all they do for you. Tell them just how much you love them. Grab your kids, young or old, and hug them, letting them know how proud they have made you. Call your mom or dad and let them know how lucky you are to have had them as parents. If you cannot do that because they are no longer here, than simply thank God for allowing them to be in your life.

There is so much value in TODAY! Go out and find it.

Blessings ~ Summer

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