Attraction

I am working on this one.

I am not trying to attract attention, but maybe I am.

I am trying to attract like mindedness with my kid, who at the moment (this morning), is frustrating me. He has a very strong will and so do I and I’m the mama so I have seniority and tenure, as if that means anything. I find that when I react in a negative way (think yelling and threatening to take away everything he desires), I attract negative behavior back. He mimics me or I mimic him or maybe we mimic each other.

I am practicing staying calm and focused on being kind and firm as I guide him and I together on our shared trajectory. I have so many things to still teach him and to learn myself, at least that is my intention. I am hoping that if I stay calm and don’t overreact, that he’ll mimic me and listen and learn about cause and effect and make good choices too. I am still learning and practicing repetition, breathing and patience. I know it works. It just takes time to practice and it isn’t easy and it’s work. UGH.

All good things take work. I’ll keep practicing and loving on him as we grow up together, one day, one hug at a time. I’ll check back with you in 7 years and let you know how this little experiment turns out.  🙂

nAMaste

 

 

 

The Teens Are Alright

     
   
We had a Friday Night Light High School football game tonight at the Levi Stadium. 

I brought a car full of kids to the game and then they split up and sat with their friends. This made me slightly nervous and since the stadium was not nearly full and brought in a different crowd, I didn’t feel too nervous to let them go. I did feel strange being at the game by “myself” and yet soon found friends to join. 

The irony was that as we moved around and found our own friends, Christian and his friend were seated right in front of me!!  

I enjoyed joking with and talking with the boys and was really happy that Christian’s friend wanted to talk with me.

After the game, we all met up and walked back to the car again. I told all 6 kids that we should take a group selfie together and they didn’t oppose. Since I didn’t ask them if I could share their photo, I’ll have to keep the memory close with me. 

Looking at the snapshot made me smile because my kids and their friends are awesome tweens and teens. 

They were funny and grateful and kind to one another and nice to me too.

 I enjoyed having the opportunity to share an experience together and that they were okay with me being around. I know I am supposed to let go and I am and maybe that’s why they’re okay hanging around because I let them just Be. 

Hmmm…I wonder.

The teens are alright and I think I’m okay with them growing up, if it continues to feel like this. 

Wishing you love and patience and to be alright.

nAMaste

The Lonely Years

When kids are little, we love (over)sharing stories and pictures of our pride and joy. It’s easy to share the cute and good stuff.

Have you noticed when kids start to grow up, we share less and less? Part of that is because of their privacy and they have a say about what they want others to know about them and we respect their wishes. Part of it is because it’s not as easy any more. Some stuff is embarrassing and challenging for us and for them. We don’t want people to know we are struggling and are vulnerable. And our kids don’t want others to know either.

But we do struggle and we are vulnerable and that’s ok and totally normal too. Our kids are still cute and our pride and joy, we just have to be a little quieter for awhile. Know what I mean?

Here’s what we’re focusing on at our house this week:
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The top three words – consistency, discipline and do-the-work are important reminders for all of us, and especially for me and my parenting and weight management skills. Thank you to my tribe of sisters for their reminders and encouragement. You are loved!

The bottom word, togetherness, is my word of the year. So far, so good.

Love this life. Trials and all.

Namaste and goodnight.

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15 Years

I’ve been practicing being a mom for 15 years officially today, not counting pregnancy.

I like the word practice, because isn’t that what we’re doing? I’m still learning and I’m probably doing this job perfectly imperfectly. It’s still my favorite job and I never want to retire.

I am proud. I am humble. I am loved. And I am still learning.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years. It feels like he was just born. I feel like other people have big kids. But I’m the one with big kids now, and I absolutely love it, even though I’m fearful and frustrated some times.

Today we celebrated our big baby in several ways. We got up early to decorate the kitchen, as we always do for birthdays.

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Charlie helped me wrap all the gifts and blow up all the balloons. Both Juliana and Charlie made handmade, creative cards. Jeff went and retrieved the hidden gift from April’s house for the big surprise this morning, and made a homemade card from both of us . I made our favorite cinnamon coffee cake that made the entire house smell good.

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We woke up the birthday boy with bear hugs and enjoyed breakfast and opening presents before the day got busy.

He brought 3 friends with him to celebrate his day. They played video games, went to K1 speed and raced go carts and then went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and milkshakes.

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Sounds like a perfect teenager day to me. I’m so glad that he’s made such great friends since we came back from the Netherlands.

I love watching him grow up and see him becoming his own person. He is kind. He is friendly. He is smart. He is funny. He is compassionate. He is athletic. He is handsome. He is fun!

I love you CJ. Happy Birthday!! And many more!!!

Life is good.

Work and Play

This is one of my mottos. We work hard and we play hard. We do the work and then we play.

I’m trying to instill these values in my kids and I’m trying to help them to be accountable and responsible as we enter the summer season, much to my oldest’s dismay.

He thinks he should be free to do whatever he wants and that there should be no expectations whatsoever.  He says I used to be the cool mom but now I’m a bit crazy. Bless his heart. He doesn’t understand my motivations and I’m trying to teach, ever so gently, yet we have lots of conflict and it’s only Day 1.  God give me patience and grace and help me to be a good teacher.

I’ve asked them to come up with their own daily schedules to help them feel like they have structure to their days without asking me what they should do or telling me that they are bored. I told them that they have limited screen time and that they have to include time to eat, do chores, read, exercise, rest, play, outdoor time, learn and have time to be giving. It is up to them to come up with a rough sketch of how they think the day should play out and that they should think of some of the fun activities and places they would like to visit. 

I want them to feel empowered and I want them to be productive, while still enjoying the laziness of summer. without being too lazy.

Each night they are to come up with a plan and write it out, share it with me and then we’ll decide if we need to make any changes. Once we have a plan, it’s perfectly fine for it to change, but doing nothing everyday is not ok.

For Juliana and Charlie, this was easy. It worked. No gripes. They worked hard, played hard and enjoyed their first day. For Christian, not so much. He didn’t like this idea at all and has resisted. He is of course a teenager and has his own definitions and knows it all, so I’m ok with that. We’re working through the chaos and conflict and loving each other despite the disagreements. I think we’ll meet in the middle hopefully by the middle of this week.  

Here are copies of their charts from tonight. I especially loved Juliana’s creativity, Charlie’s family ideas, and Christian’s list of possible ideas to explore. They are thinking. They are creating. They are working. They are playing. I am happy.

Happy Summer Everyone!! If you like this idea, steal it, copy it, and let me know if you have success!! xo

 

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Teens

What’s it like parenting teens?

I’ve got two of them right now, and so far, so good. I’m hoping we stay liking each other over the next 5-7 years, as I hear these years can be rough.

They say the golden years are from 4-12, when they are old enough to listen and understand consequences and still think you know it all and are the best.

At our house, we are practicing every day. That’s how I describe my parenting/ coaching and their learning/figuring-life-out-for-themselves processes. We are practicing. We are not perfect. We play and work hard and disagree and we make mistakes. And we start over again and again. And we forgive each other over and over and let go of anger as quickly as we can, never staying mad over night. We are learning. We are practicing. And so far, so good. I’ll check back in 5 years and see if we won!!

For now, I’ll keep practicing, learning, loving and enjoying these remarkable teens that live in my house.

Love this life. Love my teens. And the little one too. And the big one, of course!

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Mother’s Work

One of my working mom friend’s went on strike this week. She’s sharing her story on Facebook and posting pictures of the dishes piled in the sink, the trash piling up and miscellaneous clutter surrounding her house. She is brave. She’s not cooking or cleaning or driving or nagging, and she’s taking care of only herself. I’m loving her story. She loves her family and she’s choosing the tough love approach to learning as her generosity has been going unnoticed. I get her. I feel her pain. And I appreciate that she’s choosing this challenging approach to teaching her kids responsibility.  It’s actually harder to do than cleaning up after them all the time. I can’t stand when my house goes crazy!  It would drive me nuts to go on strike, yet I appreciate her stance and am enjoying her journey.

I am also struggling and learning how to teach responsibility and discipline. I want help and I don’t want to ask and nag all the time. I want them to want to help out and pitch in, yet I think their natural tendency is avoidance. I think they have lots of reasons why they shouldn’t help out and fighting against this, is like fighting an uphill battle.  I like hills. I can feel the burn and I know that this is a long journey and it will take awhile, but we will be stronger and more fit from doing the hard work. I’m in it for the long haul. And I’m going to keep teaching and keep expecting responsibility, discipline, kindness, team work and love. I will never give up. 

I’m choosing to fight. I’m choosing to teach. I’m choosing to stand up and hold them accountable. I’m managing their work and I’m teaching them how to respond kindly and politely. I will be patient and I will wait for compliance, despite the conflict and uprising. This is what love looks and feels like. I am stronger than the Resistance Movement.

We’ll all be a better team because of it!  Go team.

And mamas – you are not alone!  This parenting thing is hard work and so worth it!!  Keep up the good fight.  

Life is good (and challenging sometimes!)

Have a great week! xo

What Did You Love the Most Today?

They say what we think, we become.

So let’s think about what we loved today. What went right?  What made you smile?

Today I loved the connection I had with Juliana the most. Sometimes parenting a teen and being a teenager are both challenging roles, and when we can dance together and not step on each others’ toes or walk off the dance floor, the day is good.

I loved playing tennis with my teenager today and really, truly enjoyed having her on the court with me, sharing my passion and time alone together.  There are so many reasons why I loved this the most today, but basically I loved us just playing together and taking the time out of our busy day to stop and play.

 

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Life is good.