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Raising Husbands & Fathers

I don’t know whose photo this is, but I hope they don’t mind me using it.15032168_255671434847402_4705620029773180601_n.jpg

I love this photo. I’m always worrying about who my children are and what types of adults they will be. I want them to be kind, strong, stable and loving towards their own family one day. To support and defend their family. All I can do is my best.

I love my 4 Boys and know that some days I really feel like I am screwing them up. I hope that isn’t the truth. I know I can be hard on myself and them as well some days. I can only hope that I have instilled something amazing in them. Something wonderful that others will see, so that people gravitate towards them and they are surround with love, always.  🙂

xoxo

Photos Are Our History

Good morning!☀️🌞😃 

This is such a true statement. I’ve talked to people that have burned, thrown away or tore up old photos. I don’t believe in that. I think that photos are your history. With good memories, or bad. They are still your history and something that should be cherished.

I wish that I had more photos of myself when I was young. I have one of myself with my father. I have another of myself with my Mother. Another of my Grandmother, myself and my Cousin Keith. A couple of myself while very young alone while enjoying summer vacation. A couple teenage ones. Now, a lot as an adult. 

I take tons of photos of my children. They hold so many memories for me. One day when they look at them, I hope they will hold wonderful memories for them and show them their history.

That brings me to another subject. Don’t forget to save and also print out the photos on your phones. I think thousands, even millions, of photos are getting lost each day, because we dont download them and print them out. What a waste. Take some time and do it. You will be happy you did. 🙂

xoxo 

Exhausted Mother and it’s only 7:47 a.m.

Waking up my chilthe_secretdren is the least of my concerns in the morning. Wanting them to leave with a smile on their face is a whole different concern in itself. Maybe I shouldn’t say concern. Maybe it is more like a need that I have?

We all worry about our children’s happiness. Well, I hope as hell you do! I do. Every single moment that I look at them, I want a sign that they are happy. It’s in me and I can’t help myself.

When I hear negative words out of their mouthes, no matter the subject matter, see a sad face, eyes watering up, I worry. Plain and simple, it affects me.

Last night I downloaded an app that allows me to “pause” my children’s phones. It simply makes it so that they can only make, or receive, a phone call. All of the rest is paused, until I un-pause it.

After putting it on my oldest Sons phone, apparently it moved some of his apps all around and jumbled it a bit. He freaked out.

A little background on my oldest son. He is the sweetest kid you will ever meet. He is loving, sensitive, honest to a fault, highly intelligent, if you are a friend of his he super committed to that friendship. I could go on and on. Not because he is my Son, but because I like to see the beauty in everyone and I just think that he is just an all around amazing person. Period.

He is also happy, sad, outgoing, introverted, smart, skeptical, trusting and untrusting. Just to name a few. When he is in one of those pessimistic moods, all I want to do is hug him. Tell him to smile. Ask him to work on his happiness. Remind him that he is so loved and there is no reason for him to be angry or feel defensive.

He is my one that I tend to worry about the most. The one that I hope that I am not screwing him up in some way. The one that I want to take any pain away that I feel like he has in his heart, and just make it all better for him. I try, but I know deep in my heart that I can not.

He was bullied when he was younger. This already sensitive soul, was bullied verbally, and it has affected him deeply. To a point that now when sometimes you make a suggestion of something, point something out, ask him to change something, he is super defensive. To the point, that if you ask him to not wear his beanie to school today, he feels like I am picking on him. Even though, I point out that he is super gorgeous, because he is, and that I just thought that not wearing his beanie today, because it is going to be 83 degrees, would be a better idea.

I’m coming to find out, that I just need to let him be. Let him be who he is. Let him wear what he wants. To be his own person. Which, I think I have been pretty good about, but I am still his Mother and always want what I think is best. Even though, it isn’t what HE thinks is best. I am truly finding that balance.

Back to last night and the app that I installed on mine and their phones to “pause” them. When I gave him his phone back, and it looked a bit disheveled, he lost it. He cried, explained why he was upset and I felt terrible. He felt betrayed. He felt untrusted. He felt like one of his lifelines (his phone that he reads on every single day) was now not going to be the same. It broke my heart to hear his words and see how upset he was with me. When is Brother told him, “it’s just a phone”, he went into how lonely he is and how his social life is not like his (as in his Brother that he was talking too), that his life is through reading and the stories that he enjoys so much. It made me so sad, but it made total sense. Especially since I know that he is still hurting from losing his best friend a bit over a year ago. She was having her own personal issues and just cut their friendship off all at once and he still hasn’t recovered. He hurt him to his core.

I called him into the privacy of my room for us to chat. Explained what I was doing. That I wasn’t invading his privacy, that I trusted him with all of my being, that this was to simply pause them, when and if we needed too. Frankly, because there are times when I wish their computers and phones were gone. I feel like they are too highly used and an expansion of their lives. Too relied on. I also explained to him that I never meant to hurt his feelings, to make him feel like I would be betraying his privacy, that I trusted him and I never meant for him to lose any of his reading, or music, that I know he feels like are a lifeline and stress reliever for him.

Once we talked and looked over his phone, everything seemed to be there. I hope that he went to bed knowing that everything would be okay and that I loved him. I really did feel awful. Being a Mother is hard sometimes. Really hard other times and amazing the rest of the time.

This morning, after he thought money was missing from his wallet, because he thought I had given him $20 last week and the change wasn’t there this morning. I reminded him, that I had only given him a 5 or a 10 dollar bill and not a 20. That would explain why there was less in his wallet then he was thinking. Well, before I told him that, he had already gone down the wrong path. This is a good example of the hardship that he puts on his brain and his soul. He is now upset, clearly. The whole house can feel it. I put my hands on his shoulders and asked him to do something for me. Not only for me, but for himself. To go on a mission. A mission to only laugh, smile, think good thoughts, admire others, make positive comments, to make a change. To feel good. They say a change takes 3 months, right? That it is scientifically proven. Well, I told him that. I told him to see what happens when he does it, how he can watch his life change before him. He grunted. He’s 16. I’m a Mom that tries too hard. Ha! Well, at least I try. I try only out of love.

On our way to school I told him a little about myself when I was young. I told him that when I was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, I did ‘t like what I was seeing all around me. Arguing, infidelity, drug addicts, lying, fighting, all within my home with my parents and brothers. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to have positive things in my life. I wanted to laugh, smile, hug, have fun and bring happiness to my life. I told him that I work hard at it every single day. It isn’t always easy, but there is no reason that I can’t keep trying and doing it for myself. It is what he need, or else we will down in all the crap. That I strive to be happy every day and I know that he can do it too.

What it all comes down to, is keeping my children safe, hoping that I can help them always be happy and helping them in anyway that I can. I would do anything for them. It doesn’t change the fact that I get sad too. I get sad when I feel like they are sad, or lonely. I feel it all.

My children are the loves of my life. 🙂

xoxo

P.S. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated here at the WordPress site, rather than on Facebook, or Google+.  Thank you!

What is my definition of success?

On to Day 2 of The Self Love Revolution series.

At the end of the video they asked… “What is your NEW definition of success where you can always win? OR, in times of binge eating, what are you really hungry for and what can you do to remedy that?”

Isabel Duke spoke a lot about binge eating.  I don’t have a problem there.  Thank goodness!  I do think that a have a problem with completing tasks for myself and not being a goal finisher with my own personal self.  Being that said, I’ve been trying to work on this.

What this consists of for me is… getting out the door for a walk, finishing tasks on my to-do list, cleaning the house, complaining that something doesn’t get done, but not doing it myself, doing the laundry, making appointments for myself, setting aside time for myself to blog, to paint, learn something new.  Stuff along those lines.

I like to think that I am already tackling this.  25 pounds down the past year. Setting up dates to hike with a friend. Taking ‘ukulele lessons once a week. Keeping my room cleaned up. Keeping my children on task with their chores. Crossing things off my to-do list in a more timely fashion.

What am I going to do to keep going? One foot in front of the other. Just do it, don’t wait. Don’t wait until later. Don’t push “snooze” when my to-do, or reminder, pops up on my phone. Get out the door. Pick-up the phone. Turn on the vacuum. Carry that laundry downstairs and get it going. Good stuff like that.

The big thing for me is though, to keep it up.  To keep doing these actions and moving forward each and every day.

I also wanted to talk about what I decided to do about Day 1. Day 1 was about me setting up 2 new daily “Rituals” for myself. Have I done that yet? Um, I don’t think so. Not in the way that I understood that I am supposed to. To set one up in the morning and then another in the evening.

The thing is, I think I already have established a pretty good routine of rituals for myself lately. In the morning, after I get the kids to school, I make myself a nice breakfast and I sit and just relax for a while and enjoy my breakfast. Be that on my computer cleaning out my e-mails. Checking on Facebook. Reading a news article on-line. Doing bills. No matter what it may be, it’s me time. After that, I move on to what I have in mind next.

In the evenings I have been plopping my fanny on the couch to get in some relaxation time.  Watching a show that I have on the DVR. If I’m not doing that, I have been getting my family to play a board game with me.  I also read in bed, or watch a show that I have on the DVR in my bedroom.

This is all acceptable to me. I think that I definitely find time for myself.

Some things that I would like to see change are… getting out for more walks and spending time with my Husband, and setting up more family time. Three things that I really miss.  🙂

xoxo

Rituals

Good morning!  This was my comment after watching this video this morning.  You’re going to laugh!

“May 6, 2013… that’s how long I have been saving this video in my email inbox. Today is January 25, 2016! It’s about time right?!?! Yes! So, I watched this 1st wonderful video (while chopping an acorn squash in my kitchen, instead of sitting on my butt. Which is how I started it.) and am thinking… hmmmm… what kind of ritual would I like to have in the morning? Something different than I already have from my amazing life? Ha!! I’ll let you know when I figure that out. Thanks for all you do ladies! Can’t wait for day 2 tomorrow. 🙂 ‪#‎Healthy‬ ‪#‎TheLifeOfAMother‬ ‪#‎JustForMe‬ #TheSelfLoveRevolution”

I’ve been saving them for the right time to focus on “Me”.  Haha, can you believe it!  Focus on me? You would think I would have watched these a very, very long time ago.

The truth is, I try and focus on myself as much as I can.  Yes, I have a super busy life, yes, I like it that way. Husband, Father, 4 Children, Myself… all in one house. Believe it, or not, we have a pretty damn good balance.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t get off kilter from time-to-time, because, believe me I do.  It just means that this wasn’t first on my list.  Does that also mean that, I am not first on my list?  No, I definitely try, I just get sidetracked.

After watching this video, I really feel like I need to stop and figure out a ritual that I would like to have that is different from what I already to. Take today for instance… My Husband kissed me goodbye. I got up, used the restroom, put my contacts on, combed any lasting lice eggs out of my youngest Son’s just-washed-hair, cleaned up, washed my face, flossed my teeth, brushed my teeth, put on my skincare products, brushed my hair, then got dressed. Kissed my 3rd Son goodbye for school, cooked 5 scrambled eggs for the 4th Son, ate a yogurt, powdered the two dogs with flea powder, put them in their kennel, then was off to take my 4th Son to school. There was my morning, thus far.

If I just look at that little part of my morning, I think that it was pretty productive.

I didn’t even mention everything that I did after I got back from that school drop off. Let the dogs out of the kennel, the 3 of us made our way upstairs to my room, chatted with the cable company, chatted with the sales guy, Alec, at the gym my boys want to join, cleaned my room, text with my 4 of my girlfriends and 2 of my Nieces, did Day 1 of a 30 day Squat Challenge, vacuumed my bedroom, watched this 1st video while chopping an acorn squash and putting it away for later, then made myself a yummy #LunchForOne, said good morning to my two oldest that have today off from school, had an intense conversation with my 2nd Son about his behavior towards others and how it makes them feel, then finally sat down to blog.

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Phew! Haha! Yes, a pretty normal day for me.  Now that I read back through all of that, what have I really done for me?  Perfect reason for me to find a new ritual.  Time to get my head together and figure that out ASAP. Maybe on the drive over to pick up my little Cousin from school?  Or, maybe while I’m sitting in the carpool line picking up my youngest Son and 2 others that I drive home on the daily?  Haha!

I’ll figure it out. I love to journal. I love to paint. I am a woman who goes through spurts and doesn’t really stick to the thinks I love, unless it is washing my face and tending to myself that way.  At least I can say that I take care of myself with using amazing skincare products, having clean and nice clothes, a beautiful closet that I love to dress out of, books that I love to read and living in a town that I can never get enough of.  🙂

xoxo

Dear Penny…

Dear Penny,

I was so looking forward to seeing you at the girls-trip that we discussed. Seeing that smile you always had on your face, with that little twinkle in your eye of humor that I always noticed. Hanging out with you and a drink in our hands.

Andrew always said that we were too much alike, irreverent in our own special and silly way. You would probably be pissed if this was you having to write to me, because things were cut so short and unexpected. That maybe we would have found out that we were so much alike. Sisters at heart, in laughter and spirit.

I’m just so thankful to that damn Facebook, for bringing those that we love close to us, but live so far. So thankful that I was able to chat with you, share photos, sorrows, and happy times.

I do have to admit though, I am pissed off, so very pissed that you are gone. Not here for us to enjoy you every day any more. Enjoy your posts of your super fun crossdressing friends, the bands that you love, expressions of your beloved mother, and how much you love my brother-in-law, Tad. I am going to miss that more than you know. Oh and don’t forget your kitties too! I love them as well and how crazy you are for them.

Even though I never got to hug you in person, I feel like I have a dozen times over. Your personality and spirit just poured into my life each and every day. Again, I am thankful for the internet and your bursting spirit.

I always felt like we were friends that have shared a bottle of wine, then a couple of cosmos. Together sitting and chatting all night long about all of the crazy things that we have done in our lives. Comparing, laughing and making plans for more. Wanting to introduce each other to the others’ wonderful and crazy friends. Always expecting more crazy and amazing times.

Penny, I already miss you, in my heart and in my soul. I doesn’t matter that I’ve not laughed with you face-to-face, or hugged you in person, I love you. I love you as my family. I will miss you and mourn you with my heart and soul.

One day I will get to have that cocktail with you. We may be different souls with different bodies, hell, it may be in a dream, but we will be there, together. I will hug you tight and see that beautiful light in your eyes. Yes, I will.

All of my love, your Sister-In-Law,

Kathleen. xo

11/22/15

16 Years Ago Today…

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Thanksgiving 2015

16 years ago today I was had been in the hospital since two days before, trying desperately have my first Son. Later in the evening, after 52 hours of labor, two hours of pushing and an awful experience with a c-section, Alex was born.

They handed him directly to us, Andrew and I. His little head of hair was glowing golden and I started to cry, then everything went blank.

I remember waking up to my Niece, Charmaine’s, voice. “Kathleen wake up. Kathleen.”

I remember hearing voices in the hall, which I think were my Sister and my Husband.

I remember him trying to latch-on for the first time.  It took a few tries, but he was a big eater.  Just wanted to lay there all the time.  Eat and sleep. When he wasn’t in my arms he was with Andrew.

The new love in our lives.

I can’t believe that was 16 years ago. It is so sweet the love that I had for him and how much more it is today.

He is an amazing child. Strong, gorgeous, serious, happy, athletic, grumpy, analytical, witty, independent and so much more.

I want to write about all the things I remember, but that would take a world of time. Instead, I am going to just keep it short and say that I love him with all of my heart.

I know him better than he knows himself. I know his quirks, sighs, deer-in-the-headlight-look, smile, walk, body movement and all.

When I think about how much he has grown and what a wonderful young man he has become, it brings tears to my eyes.

This may not be a very flowing and great post, but I am emotional today. It’s all so bittersweet and goes by too quickly. I truly always wish that time would just slow down.

I miss all the little smiles, naked carefree littles, that my children were. They aren’t like that any more.  I was hoping that would never change, but it does. I will attempt to say, that it did, even through I tried to keep their silliness in tact. I try to remind them all the time of who they were then, how they were then, how they smiled, loved and were carefree. I want them to remember that that doesn’t have to go away. I do my best, but they will become who they will. I just know that they will be amazing. As they always were.

I love you, Alex! Happy 16th Birthday. 🙂

xoxo