Tag Archives: children

When our “inner child” escapes….

Inside every one of us is an “inner child”. It’s that little part of you that still squeals when you shoot down a roller coaster or when you try on one of the kid’s halloween props to get a laugh. It’s that part of us that we often let die as we enter adulthood.

I have to ask myself why?

Why do we feel that “adulthood” clearly demands us to “grow up”?

That is somehow calls us to abandon the childlike fun that we truly enjoy.

But…what would happen if we “tapped” into that part more often.

Could we truly relieve some of the stress that prevaides our adult lives? Could we have deeper, wordless conversations with our children? with our spouses?

I was about to find out the other day..

We were invited to a bonfire with the school of some of my nieces and nephews.  As I passed this huge swing set with my husband, I grabbed one swing and sat down. “How about a few pushes?” I said to my husband. I thought it would be really romantic. Little did I know that his “inner child” ( a natural troublemaker) was about to spoil this moment.  My children looked on as I sailed through the sky, laughing at how high I was. After popping out of my seat three times, I was screaming to “get off!” However, the hubs was enjoying this too much. Every time I begged to get off, he pushed harder and faster.  I tried to kick him, as my words were proving worthless,  and he eventually slowed down.  Pure fear and dizziness had overtaken me, but he was filled with pure delight.

His smile, although devilish, was so attractive. I was experiencing so many emotions: fear, anxiety, excitement….it was also somewhat thrilling. It made me realize that I don’t have enough of these moments of childlike fun.

I believe that this is the beauty  of having children. They can spark these beautiful memories of childhood within us. We can relive our own joys and sorrows while we watch them engage in similar memories.

Today I realized too late that my son had flag football practice. I had no time to grab anything to occupy the two little girls so they would have to just run around.

Well, the school, where they were practicing, had these big, beautiful “perfect for climbing” trees. I looked over as I saw the two older girls dangling from two branches….their hair hanging and blowing in the wind. It took me back to visiting my grandmother and climbing this huge tree in her house. I would dangle, similarly, from that tree and look to see how low my long hair hung.

While the big girls climbed the tree, Mini me and Miss Missy were running around with branches from the trees….they had become “witches” and those branches had quickly become “brooms”. I watched for the next 30 minutes as they were filled with pure joy. The gentle breeze blowing their hair….their giggling and laughter being enjoyed by all the parents present.

I watched as Mini me found one tree that had a collection of leaves at its base. She ran quickly and threw herself onto that pile, throwing up leaves and laughing as they fell onto her hair and clothes. She was in pure delight.  As soon as the other girls saw her, they took off running for that pile. Working together, they helped create a bigger pile to jump into.

And watching this, brought me back to these pictures……

DDD, Sweet Pea, and the Fashionista as little ones playing in the leaves…

They LOVED the fall and spent hours in the leaves….

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Holding all these thoughts in my heart, along with my own love for piling up the leaves and “jumping in”, I went running over to the girls.
I told Miss Missy that I was going to lay down in the leaves, and she could bury me. She was so excited. As she started to pile the leaves on my body, I heard the Fashionista say, “Whose idea was this?”. “Mom’s!”, I heard Miss Missy squeal. Then eight hands started piling on more and more leaves…giggles and laughter ensued. I laid there…..just enjoying all those sounds. One by one, each child was buried and then enjoyed the excitement of jumping up and shaking off the leaves.

“Mom…did you do this as a kid?” Sweet Pea said.

“I sure did! And the bigger the pile, the better!!” I answered.

The sky turned dark and the sweaty boys were dismissed to their parents….and as we climbed back into the van, I reached over to grab a leaf out of the Fashionista’s hair.  “Seems like you wanted to take this home…..Were you playing in leaves today?”

Her smile said it all.

I realized today how important it is to share these memories with my children. I need to not be just the face behind the camera….but the one under the leaf pile. 

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Bows, tights, toothpaste……surviving the Sunday morning craziness…..

Ok moms….grab that big cup of joe, or that large glass of wine and let’s “chat”:

get your kids ready for church

Sunday Morning Craziness

Sunday Morning Craziness is defined as the crazy time in the morning that preludes attending Sunday morning service/Mass.

In honor of this quite frustrating time…I have parodied a song you might enjoy….

Move over Julie Andrews…haha…...

These are a few annoying things (to the tune of “favorite things”)….

tights that have holes, and teeth that need brushing,

can’t find a hairbrush, and God knows we’re rushing,

kids slow as molasses, and daddy’s unseen

these are a few annoying things.

When the zipper breaks, when the baby cries,

when I’m feeling sad…

I simply remember I’m meeting our Lord

….and then I don’t feel….. sooooooooo bad.

hahaha…..

Seriously……

Now…I don’t plan to run off and become the next big song writer…but that did get you thinking, huh?

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So, how do you feel when you look at a picture like this?

Does the thought of getting all these kids ready overwhelm you?

Do you dread the “Sunday morning shuffle”??!!

Because if it does, that’s ok…….

I used to feel the same way.

I have often heard that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.

And…that’s why I blog…hahahaha. 

That’s why I wanted to give you a few pieces of advice that have allowed me a smoothier Sunday morning.

*****Disclaimer: Maybe, you are awesome at this and want to leave some advice for the rest of us…please feel free to write some suggestions in the comment section.*******

When I had three children and was trying to get them ready for Church,  No one could have convinced me that I would one day have five children, be able to get them ready for church, and still enjoy a nice sit down breakfast with my family before. I was practically losing my mind…and my faith in my mothering abilities every Sunday.  I was rushing around trashing my bathrooms, leaving a trail of clothes behind and a huge post-Mass mess.

I would soon learn the key to end this craziness: planning ahead. 

When I was a young child, I dreaded the “sunday morning craziness”….trying to make it to church on time. Six people trying to get into one bathroom and get ready for Mass on Sunday. My mom would get us dressed for church, and then we would sit on the couch in front of the TV with my dad. Then she would run around with little time to get herself dressed. We were always a few minutes late.

As I grew older, I would practically lose my mind waiting in the car with my dad. I had inherited his love for timeliness and order, and saw being late as a complete sign of disrespect. We would go out to the car together, with plenty of time to spare, until the rest of our family would make their way outside….often holding socks, shoes, or jackets in their arms. My mom, on the other hand, moved for “no one” and somehow thought that time would “stand still” while she got ready. If you asked her, we only lived “5 minutes” from the church….however, that was only true if we made all the lights and never fully “stopped” at a stop sign…haha.

I took this same “frustrated” mentality into my early marriage. My husband didn’t share my love for “timeliness” and would often wait until the last minute to jump up, take a “5 minute” shower (those don’t exist) and throw something on for church. I would be in the car already in a terrible, anxious mood for church.

I couldn’t understand why is was so tough. Wake up, get ready….it was the same thing every week. However, when you add gettting “little people” into the mix, your life just got a lot tougher. In addition, if you have kiddos that insist on picking out their own outfits, it can get downright insane…haha.

So after several unsuccessful Mass attempts and several years of messes, I have developed these “sanity savers” ……

Pick out your kids clothes the night before…..

We check the weather and lay everything out the night before. I mean…everything.  The girls typically hang their dresses on their closet doors complete with tights hanging, bows clipped, shoes on the ground, and underwear tucked around the hanger. This avoids any last minute…”I don’t have any socks. or “I’m out of underwear” issues. It also prevents a certain boy from thinking he can pick out shorts in fall weather. However, Mini me did try to attend Mass this morning with brown sandals over black tights…good gosh. 

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Bathe the little ones the night before. Have older kids shower before, if possible. 

My “mini me” has gorgeous curly hair…that needs to be brushed out and “set”. I like to give her a shower on Sunday mornings or else she will definitely be rocking a ponytail.  However, my son and oldest daughter have straight hair and I will often have them shower the night before. The Fashionista likes to shower in the morning verses the night so she showers the same day too. The hubs and I are definitely Sunday morning showerers. Having three of my children shower the night before saves me time and hot water the next morning. It also allows them to go straight to getting ready.

Get up early and shower yourself.

Yes! Do this! You have to! I used to get up early and start breakfast for everyone. However, I realized that if I got up a little earlier and got myself ready….it was easier to make breakfast in my robe with all my undergarments on. I would put on my jewelry and lay out my clothes so I needed minutes to get ready. I don’t want my clothes smelling like bacon so I will often put on lounge pants and a shirt but my hair and makeup is often done..and my clothes are laid out on my bed.

Serve a nice hot breakfast so no one needs to eat after they are dressed for church. Our family loves to attend the 11:30 Mass at our parish. Since we live about 30 minutes away, my kiddos can still sleep in til around 8/8:30…we can have a nice breakfast between 9-10:00 and head out the door by 10:50/11:00. Cereal or frozen waffles will send my little ones begging for a snack right about during the homily so breakfast is always eggs and some other kind of protein to keep them full.

breakfast

Tell your spouse to “give you 15 minutes of time” before the time you need to leave. I have found that this fact was CRUCIAL when I had a baby or toddler. My husband would get ready and then find me for that last 15 minutes. Sometimes it was to find a missing shoe. Sometimes it would be to double check that I had a few outfits, diapers, and wipes for the diaper bag…..but often it was to help me put on a necklace or fasten my dress. If we were ready, he would pile the kiddos in their car seats so I could give the house a quick “tidy” before leaving.

Store a neutral bow and several ponytails in your purse.  This tip is especially necessary if you have a child that likes to pull out their bows. Several of my girls, I wouldn’t even style their hair until we were in the parking lot of the church. If you keep a neutral bow like a white or a black, you are always good. Ponytails can help the worst of hair days….just trust me on that one. 

A couple of stored “mints” will prevent you embarrassment in one of your older kids “forgets” to brush their teeth. I would LOVE to say that this seldom happens but I have a preteen who is obsessed with eye rolling and anything remotely hygienic …yep…we have turned to those mints to save embarrassment.

Take a deep breath as you get in the car. There is nothing more you can do. Anything that wasn’t done…can’t be done. Prepare yourself to meet the Lord and be present.

Most of all, try to put yourself at ease. Your kids are adorable even if they drive you insane getting out the door. And Lord knows, the other moms are too worried about their own child’s hair to notice that this is the fifth Sunday in a row that you are rocking a ponytail.

Please see these tips for what they are…..”sanity savers”. I’m not insinuating that my family is “perfect”…sometimes we oversleep or have a late night on Saturday night and all my “planning” goes out the door.  However, we have several “sanity savers” to help us the next week.

May your Sunday become calmer and more peaceful.

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Being a mom…..

What is being a mom?

I have been thinking a lot about this tonight in light of Mother’s Day and what it means. For every mom, it will be different. I am blessed to be surrounded in my life by some beautiful, selfless moms. They have helped shape the woman that I am today and they continue to “push” me to new heights of loving my children.

Do I feel that I am a wonderful mom?

Yes….but not because I have taken countless surveys or read countless blogs about the “top 10 ways to be a good mom”. Good Lord, you will drive yourself nuts trying to be “everything” that the newest bloggers recommend. I believe that I am a wonderful mom because I strive DAILY to be a good mom. Because I believe that my children will grow up strong, and ready for whatever life hands them when they feel loved and supported from their mom.

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Do I feel that I “have it all together”???

Absolutely not!!! But….i try!

I wake up everyday trying to be a better mom than the day before…and I go to bed every night evaluating myself as “mom”.

IMG_4280Being a mom is looking at yourself every day…through the eyes of a child. Am I patient? Loving? helpful? As crazy as it might be, how is my child feeling right now? Do I need to spend some time with my child today that I didn’t originally plan to? Have I strived to give them “all of me” in every way?

IMG_4225Being a mom is about being “cool” to an 8 yr old boy who just wants to wrestle…doesn’t want to kiss on you…but admires you and wants his own “time” with you…you just have to figure out what that “means”. You may resort to wacky faces,  practical jokes, and fighting…all to win over the heart of that child.

IMG_3674Being a mom is about providing opportunities for your kids to enjoy their time with you. It’s about looking at an overrun calendar and finding some space for a date night. It’s about finding time to laugh, and giggle, and just enjoy life. It’s about rediscovering who your children are as they evolve.

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Being a mom is about digging deep and having the “hard talks” with your older children to help “form” them. It’s about listening to where they are, foreseeing where they are heading, and being their support all the while. It’s about remembering how hard it is to grow up and try to find your way.

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Being a mom is about spending your “down time” snuggling with little ones, and allowing “sips” out of your tea. It’s about sharing everything that you have because you are “mom” and all “your stuff” is completely and utterly awesome! It’s about feeling little arms around your neck and cold toes against your skin at night by a little nightly visitor. It’s being exhausted about 3 pm because you have crammed so much into your day.

photo(6)Being mom is about being an example of love. It means loving their Dad in such a way that they learn how to compromise and how to give freely. That your children learn security and self confidence from their home life and the love that they see exhibited by their parents. Being mom means showing your children that they are a priority….second only to their dad!

Being a mom is also about surrounding  yourself with other moms that love you and want to see you be the best mom. It’s about having other women that listen to your gripes; share in your frustrations; and yet tell you to “get over it”…haha.

IMG_0706Happy Mother’s Day!

As you look at your children today, may you feel the loving hand of Christ reassuring you….”well done, my good and faithful servant!”

May we spend today honoring those who have mothered us into being the people who we are today!

God Bless,

Tammi

Daddy’s gifts…..priceless loveletters…

My husband recently returned from a work trip to Florida with two little yellow ducks for Mini Me and Miss Missy. Work trips are always hard on the kids but sometimes Daddy will surprise them with a little “I was thinking of you” present. As I came in Miss Missy’s bedroom to give her a little kiss goodnight, I saw her sweet little face asleep with her arms wrapped tight around that duck……with her arms wrapped tight around the neck of her dad, cause…let’s be honest….that’s really what this duck is all about. This  little duck reminds her that she is loved….deeply….by her daddy. Who wouldn’t want a crazy, yellow duck!!!!

Two girlies and a duck

Two girlies and a duck

Vintage Teddy Bear Figurine Collection

It looked something like this……=)

This duck reminds me of my own “duck” growing up. It was a teddy bear figurine that my dad had purchased in a little country store in North Carolina. But to understand…..let’s go back for a minute….

When I was a young girl, my dad wasn’t very involved in my everyday activities. My mom would buy me birthday presents and say that they were from my dad and he would smile, looking to see what he got me. I was a kid…but I wasn’t stupid. I knew my dad would have no clue what to get me or what I even liked. But, I was a daddy’s girl and I hung on his every word. I longed for anytime I could get alone with him, which wasn’t very often. My dad was traditional…he worked long, hard hours as a fire chief, and expected his wife to take care of everything “inside the house”. However, I think he neglected to see his true “calling” as a young father. His upbringing lacked the tenderness that my children get from their dad, and I believe that made it difficult for him to assume that he would really know how to be tender…he just struggled not to be rough. I think he neglected to see how vital he was to my upbringing. What he didn’t realize was that…I thought he hung the moon…=)

My birthday weekend, my dad was out of town. His dad was physically struggling and my dad had returned to his childhood home to help out. I will never forget that night when he returned home. He said, “hey…Tammi. I have a birthday present for you”, and handed me a brown paper bag. My mom, who was busy in the kitchen, came through to see what it was. I’m sure she was just as stunned as I was. From that bag, I pulled out the coolest bear figurine. My dad proceeded to tell me that he stopped off at our “family favorite ” antique store and picked it up for me. At the time, I was obsessed with teddy bear figurines and had started a collection on top of my dresser. I had NO IDEA that my dad even knew that. After thanking him, I ran to my room to find a place on my dresser for that bear, a huge smile across my face. My dad…remembered. =) My dad…thought of me….=) My dad doesn’t remember that bear or that memory….but I do. That bear found his way to my college dorm and later in my first born’s baby nursery.

My dad was the first “knight”, this princess ever met. He taught me to respect myself and desire the best. What about your princes and princesses? Do they have a knightly daddy? or A queenly mommy? As parents, we must constantly be aware of the genuine needs our children have for love and affection. Our children just want to be loved. To be cherished. To go to bed at night with happy memories of a childhood filled with yellow ducks and teddy bear figurines.

God bless,

Tammi