Tag Archives: Parenting

Fingerprints

10 Jan

It is hard to believe that we are already 10 days into the New Year! I hope and pray that all of you had a wonderful holiday season and an amazing New Year celebration. This year is already off to a busy start for me and I have so many new and exciting things to be thankful for.

A few years ago, I was introduced to a friend who God has used to ignite a love for the art of makeup within me. She is an amazing makeup artist  here in the San Diego area and I have learned so much from her. After many long talks with my mother-in-law, about what I want to do in life and how I was going to move forward as the babies get older, I decided to start looking into make-up artistry schools. After doing research, making phone calls and even talking with others, I found Bellus Academy. I made an appointment to meet with the school director and within minutes, I knew this was the school I wanted to attend.

I went home and talked it over with both my mother in law and my husband. They both could see that I really wanted this and told me that I needed to pursue this. I decided to really pray about it and weigh out all my options. Although the school is only 6 weeks long, for a mom with babies at home and teenagers in middle school, I began to worry about the timing of this all and if I could manage it all while trying to study and learn all I can. After much thought, it came down to this… If not now… WHEN?  So, with that, I called the school and made another appointment; this time with admissions.

At the same time I was making the decision regarding school and my future career path, I was asked by the leader of my Bible study at church, to co-lead a group with her starting the middle of January. Of course, school starts on the 21, just days after the study resumes from Christmas break. I once again found myself in a place of prayer and wanting to make the right decision not only for myself, but my family as well. This was also something I have been wanting to do and was honored to even be considered for such an important role. Although I was very excited about all these things, my heart kept going back to one VERY important role in my life…  The role of…MOM.

For me, school and co-leading a Bible study at a church I love, are both a dream come true, but so is being a Mom to these 4 wonderful girls God has so graciously loaned me. I remember thinking, when I was told I was having another set of twins, that God had to be kidding me. What was he thinking? I knew that he had a sense of humor, but this really took the cake. I was far to old to be starting all over with not one, but two babies… and I was out of practice FOR SURE. At that time, I was unable to see the “bigger” picture and although I saw God’s “fingerprints,” it was not until recently that I saw his “hand print.”

Wether I am going back to school, leading women grow in their personal faith or simply sitting on the floor playing with my girls, God’s fingerprints are all over my life right now. I am able to pursue my personal goals, but still pursue my daughters and be home with them, which is a far bigger pursuit than any of the others.  I am realizing more and more, to seek the “fingerprints” of God rather than the entire hand print. In His time, the hand print will be revealed, but you wont be able to notice the hand print without  seeing the fingerprints first.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

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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

What you NEVER say or ask a mom of multiples (or ANY mom for that matter)

18 Sep

This is a real conversation that took place at Costco today:

Lady: Ahhh, are they twins?

Me: Yes.

Lady: Both girls? (Hints the reason they are wearing dresses and giant bows in their hair)

Me: Yes.

Lady: Wow, they don’t look-alike! (Now, she wants to become observant”

Me: No, they don’t.

Lady: Do they have the same father? (Insert crickets here)

Me: Okay, have a nice day.

And with that, her Q&A session was over.

I know that I always joke around about some of the questions, comments and advise I have been given over the last 13 years, but what I am about to write here is by no means a joke. In fact, if you are one of the people who feels that it is your God-given duty to stop every pregnant woman or mom pushing a stroller and ask her questions, let me make this VERY clear… IT IS NOT. In fact, just as soon as you are out of her sight… She is cursing the fact that she ever met you and your barrage of questions. Trust me, I do it almost every time I take the twins out in public!

So, I am here to help you. Yes, that is right. I am here to ENSURE that you are never cursed but rather praised by moms everywhere. To do this, I have created a little “guide” of things you are to NEVER ask another mom, expecting mom, woman or even a turtle. But if you are like my mother, and you always feel compelled to talk, I have added what you SHOULD SAY. (Please note, all the questions and comments I am writing about, have been asked or has been told to me over the last 13 years. And because I have two sets of twins, most of these are geared toward multiples.)

DISCLAIMER: I personally feel that you should simply smile and keep on walking anytime you see a random stranger!!! Remember “Stranger Danger?” (just saying’)

Ok, here we go.

Never EVER under ANY circumstances ask following:

* When are you do? I mean really why do you care? Unless you are planing on buying her a gift or bringing her dinner after she delivers her bundle of joy… it is not your concern. And what if she is not pregnant? Ouch. Keep walking.

* Did you have them vaginally? This one is always a favorite, because every unnecessary question requires an unnecessary and uncomfortable answer. No, I gave birth through my BUTT.

* How long were you in labor? Because this is usually followed by a story about your labor experience… don’t go there. Most moms (especially with multiples) dread going out… have VERY limited time… and have no idea who you are, so your labor story is pointless on every level.

*Are you nursing? Only if you are willing to help out and lend an extra boob should you ask this one. If not, then IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!

* Did you conceive naturally or have “help?” Unless she is “Mary” something tells me she had help one way or another, so save yourself from getting the “She deserves the STUPID card”… and never ask this one please!

*Were you trying to get pregnant or was this a surprise? Again, why would anyone care? How is knowing this going to make you a better person after you get the answer? EXACTLY.

* (When there are two) Are they twins? Okay, if they look like they might be the same age… are dressed alike… or have shirts on that say, “Thing 1” and Thing 2” common sense is going to tell you, YES they are probably twins. (Most fraternal twins do not look-alike. So again, use your brain and just observe the above noted hints, this might help you conclude, yea, they shared a womb, but look different.)

* Do you have a boy and a girl? Or if there is just one… is it a boy or a girl? USE YOUR EYES! Here are some helpful ways to determine the sex of the child… If they have earrings… probably a girl. If they have a bow in their hair, or in my kid’s case, glued to their head… probably a girl. If they are wearing a shirt that says, “Daddy’s little man” or “Mommy’s big boy”… probably a boy. If they are dressed in yellow, green, or grey and do not have earrings, a bow, or a lot of hair… don’t ask at all… that one is a hit or miss and I say when in doubt… just keep walking.

* Are they identical? If you were dumb enough to ask the question noted above, and the patient parent was kind enough to answer, and tells you one is a girl and one is a boy… use the process of elimination… they are not identical. If they are both the same sex, but look nothing alike, again… process of elimination. Just save yourself the shame.

* Do they have the same father? Ok, really? I don’t think I need to explain this one… but hey, if you are dumb enough to ask that; ask if they have the same mother too.

* Are you planning on having anymore children or are you finished? Again, unless this information is going to be life changing for you personally… why do you care? You are wasting time that poor mother can never get back.

BONUS TIPS: Here are just a few comments that most moms of twins really don’t care about or need to know!

* I am a twin. Good for you. You deserve a gold star.

* My mom’s grandma’s neighbors daughters friend… has twins. Well gosh darn, wish I could welcome her to the club.

* Oh you have “Double Trouble.” Thanks for pouring salt on an open wound!

* Your poor husband. Screw You!

*I bet you never sleep. You’re right I don’t. I am a vampire with insomnia.

* Wow, you look really good for just having a baby (or babies) I know many think this is complimentary, but it is not! In fact, it just a reminder that we have a “you just had a baby/babies” body.

* You are so blessed. Yes, any parent is, but when you are beyond sleep deprived, wearing the same outfit for three days in a row, smell like poop while draped in spit-up, and can’t really hear what you are mumbling because the echos of screaming are ringing in both ears… blessed is not the word we feel and really just want to punch you in the face 🙂

Now, what TO say:

NOTHING

How about you just open the door for her when you see her struggling to maneuver the big ol stroller with a screaming baby or babies inside and then kindly nod and KEEP WALKING. This my friend, (AND MY MOM,) will speak volumes. It will say that you actually DO know someone with twins or a baby, and they have given you the “guide-book” and you have followed it. It will say you respect her privacy and that you have your own life and don’t need to be a “Nosey Nancy.” So, unless a mom starts a conversation with you… be her hero, and just let her get in and out of wherever she is.

One day I will write a book and possibly take my act on the road. Until then, I will keep educating people (MY MOM) with comedy and charm. And for the over sensitive reading this… I am only kidding. I LOVE all your questions and comments, and your advise… is priceless. HA HA HA

Many Blessings~Summer

This is a picture taken today… and I think Reese’s expression sums up her’s and my frustration to the
Father comment. Love it!

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

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