Posts Tagged: kids

On Motherhood {Part II}

PhotobucketPhotobucketI can still smell the sweaty air of the gym room where the competition was being held.  He had been preparing for months to enter the sparring ring, and while he prepared I tried to put it out of my mind that I could not be in that ring with him to defend him from round house kicks or punches.  With each minute that passed my heart would jump up into my throat.  Sitting on the edge of my seat I surely worried that he would be hurt.  Ultimately, I knew that he would be all right.  I knew that no matter what this was the beginning of letting go.   And, his success was dependent upon my ability to let go, watch from the side lines, and be there when it was all said and done.

He looked so small amidst all the players.  He was my oldest, but he was still a baby to me.  Do they ever become anything other than your baby?   I don’t think so, but, regardless, you still have to let go.

A few weeks ago I felt the same way when I dropped him off at the day-long air-soft playing field.  I looked around at all the other “boys”, and they seemed so much bigger that my new teenage boy.   What was I doing dropping him off to run around while little plastic bb’s were shot at him?

“You reeeeeeeally like this, Mikey?”

“Yes, Mama, I reeeeeeeeally like it.  Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”

“But, but, but, they look so big.  And, they have knee pads.  Do you need knee pads?”

“Mama, I’m fine without knee pads.  I’m fine.  I’ll be fine.”

Well, I guess I should go now.  Be careful.”

“Yes, Mama, you should go now.  I’ll be careful.”

“Can I hug you?”

“Not right now.”

“Ok. I love you.”

“Yeah, me too, Mama.”

Recently I was asked, “What has been the most surprising thing about motherhood?”

That answer’s simple….the most surprising thing is how easy (albeit bittersweet) it has been to let go the older the kids get.

I could tell so many stories about letting go, and the fear that’s associated with it.   Though it’s been really astounding to me how easy it’s been, there is always this stomach churning fear, right before the actual act of letting go.  But, being the mother to four children (who aren’t staying babies, even though I have begged and pleaded with them not to grow up so fast) means that I have to let them go.  I have to let them make mistakes.  I have to let them get hurt.  I have to let them find their own way in the world.

With every frustrating, hair-pulling, gut-wrenching day that passes, they learn something, and I have complete faith, that no matter what, they will step one foot in front of the other and make the right choices in their lives.  Whether it’s in a sparring ring, an air-soft field, “walking like a big-boy” in Wal-mart, at a sleepover at a friend’s house, or walking to the library my Mama instinct tells me that they will do the right thing.   That? Makes it easy (read: easier) to let go.  Plus, they know that I’m always there for them, no matter where life takes them.

What’s been the most surprising thing–about motherhood--to you?

On Motherhood {Part I}

This post is part of a four part sponsored Tiny Prints Mother’s Day campaign.  Tiny Prints has Mother’s Day cards that are fully customizable, and can be sent straight to the recipient.  For someone, such as myself, who always forgets to send out cards on time, this new service that Tiny Prints is offering is just awesome.  You can schedule your cards or gifts to go out, letting all the mothers in your life know how special they are, and how much you treasure them!  Stay tuned for more of my reflections on motherhood.


Weekly Winners {The New Blog Look Edition}

New Vesty Thing

I’m so excited about my new look.  Hats off to Michael for all his mad skills.  I guess you can say that this was my anniversary present, right?   I hope you love it as much as I do!  Be sure to check out the home page daily, as each day there will be a new featured photo.

My Funny Kids

Day 75 | I Love Oo Mikey

At dinner tonight the boys told us how they made up some funny stuff while they lie in bed last night.

Benny said, “Let’s think of opposites for some shows and movies.”

Mikey responded, “OK. Go!”

Jimmy Neutron::John Electron

2012::1220 (as in the middle ages, hardy har har)

Ghost Whisperer::Mortal Shouter

America’s Most Wanted::Russia’s Least Despised

Dora The Explorer::Laura The Couch Potato

Top Gun::Bottom Sword


The Patriot::The Terrorist

Spongebob Square Pants::Dishrag Circle Shirt

Fairly Odd Parents::Unfairly Even Children

G.I. Joe::I.G. Bob

King of the Hill::Peasant of the Mountain

Young Guns::Old Knives

Big Momma’s House::Little Daddy’s Apartment



Star Wars::Planet Peace

I think they got their funny from me. {Mishi nudge nudge poke winks at her Mike}

Tradition Hangs in the Balance

And how do we keep our balance?  That I can tell you in one word.  Tradition!
–Tevye, the Papa, Fiddler on the Roof

The date has been blocked on the calendar since the month change. Countdowns were issued weekly. Thoughts were exchanged verbally amongst siblings about how the night would be, what they would wear, when we’d actually leave the house, and where we’d go. Daydreams ensued about pumpkin heads filled with all kinds of delightful treats.  All in the name of a fall time tradition that [we] love to celebrate: Halloween!

Franken-bot? Off With His Head

The day started out rather slowly.  Coffee.  Mama needs coffee.  And once the quota was filled–the quota being my two favorite mugfuls–I was ready to face the day; the busy day that would more than likely not bring any rest.  First stop was acting class where Olivia did her little one minute skit and wowed the socks off of her teacher.   During the time that the kids were there, Davey and I went to hell.  Ok, so, fine, we really just went to Wal-Mart, but honestly it was pretty close to hell.  Saturday, on Halloween, at Wal-Mart–what was I thinking?   We survived, though, and got back just in time to pick up the little actors.

Then it was time to work.  There was lunch to be served, cupcakes to be made, and pumpkins to carve.

Cupcakes, good.

Time flew by, and before we knew it night was upon us.  I started to get the kids in their costumes.

ZOMBIEGIRLFirst up was Zombie Girl.   This girl has been something ghoulish for the past three Halloweens.  Gone are the days of Princesses and Pop Icons.  She wanted scary, spooky freakishness, and scary, spooky freakishness she achieved.

Bionicle (by: Papa)Next was Benny the Bionicle.  When I found the box of old costumes in the garage, and he saw that Mikey’s old costume would fit him he immediately knew what he’d be.  After all, this is the kid who lives, eats, and breathes, Bionicles.

Ninja (by: Papa) Then it was the Ninja’s turn to get ready.  He wore a costume that was once his eldest brother’s, too.  Mikey was three when my parents took him and Olivia trick-or-treating in our old neighborhood in Cheektowaga, NY.   I can still see toddler Mikey walking down the cracked sidewalks, his plastic pumpkin in hand, excited about getting chocolates.

We kept asking David what he was going to be for Halloween and he reply was either “inja” or “I not gonna be a inja.”   Cutest damn Ninja that I’ve seen, oh, in eight years!


Finally, there was Billy Mays.  I don’t know if I can add anything other than I love that Mikey chose to be him for Halloween.  Earlier in the week I had asked Twitter what they thought he should dress up as, knowing that he liked to wear creative, home-made costumes as opposed to the store bought.   Someone said, “How about Billy Mays,” and as soon as I told Mikey that, the deal was done.   Respectfully, Mikey became the OxiClean spokesman for a night.  He threw that thumb up and flashed his big, pearly whites.

After it was all said and done, Olivia and I were talking.  She said, “Mama, I’m happy about Halloween, but I also have this sad feeling now.”

“Oh, baby,” I said, “sounds to me like you have Halloween let-down.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Ya know on Christmas morning, when you’ve done opened all your presents, and the candy’s been eaten, and there’s nothing but crumpled paper under the tree?” I answered her with a question.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Well,” I said, “that’s Christmas let-down, and what you are feeling now is Halloween let-down.  After all, you’ve been thinking about this night for a whole month.  And now that it’s over, you feel kinda sad.  The good part, though, is that we get to mark a new holiday on the calendar tomorrow!”

She was satisfied.

Our Jack-o-Lanterns

Me?  I’m still not entirely satisfied.  November has started and–as quickly as time flies–it’ll be over before we know it.   That’s why I’m just going to take it one day at a time.  I’m allowing myself time to fix any mistakes I’ve made.  I’m resigning myself to be patient with myself; my mind, body and soul.

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.

–John Clare, November

This is {NaBloPoMo}

Christmas Unwrapped

Christmas Morning 2008

Visit my Flickr to see in them all, in full.

On Christmas Eve, Michael and I wrapped all the presents.  It took us almost 3 hours and Michael did a lot of the wrapping. I did some, but he really cranked it out.  Despite what he thinks he’s really good at it, too.  We placed everything under the tree and went to bed shortly thereafter.

The Bigs all woke up around 7:30am, but Davey was still asleep, so I sent them to hang out in Olivia’s room.  About 20 minutes later Davey called out.   It was time to head downstairs to see what awaited.    Papa went down first to put on all the Christmas lights.

Everyone went at it, as soon as they could.  Davey was a little stunned and was trying to play with the toys in his basket.  Even when we showed him how to open, he wasn’t very amused.   I thought he’d be super-jazzed, but I guess he’s still too young to really “get it.”

Here’s what everyone got for presents:

Mikey:  a camera (Nikon Coolpix), a case, a memory card, a video rocker, a Pirateology book, an Air Hog remote control helicopter, a pocket knife, a reading lamp, the board game Clue, and stocking stuffers (ranging from  movies to pens/pencils to  bubble gum cigarettes)

Olivia:  an art desk and really nice art supplies, a Flytech Dragonfly, The Daring Book for Girls, an iPod shuffle, Scrabble, a reading lamp, a glass paper weight, and stocking stuffers (ranging from a Webkinz to dragon tattoos to Life Savers)

Benjamin:  a bike (a nice bike w/o training wheels and just his size), a Star Wars Wii game, a Half-Life Head Crab plush toy (don’t ask!),  three classic books, a Nerf basketball door thingy,  a reading lamp, an Air Hog rc helicopter,  and stocking stuffers (ranging from a Bionicle to Pocky to a Webkinz to Hubba Bubba)

Davey:  a Radio Flyer Tricycle, a set of blocks, 2 puzzles, Little People farmer/tractor, books, Crayola Wonder finger paints, and stocking stuffers (ranging from a little Sesame Street lunch box with cookies inside to Crayola Wonder coloring book and markers to a Krispy Kringle chocolate to Matchbox cars)

I also gave the kids the Harry Potter box set that I won, a while back, from Discovering Dad.

Michael got a super awesome ornament from Olivia, new hiking boots, aftershave, and a magazine.

I got two beautiful *Chinese ornaments (one has a Buddha on it and the other had a jade heart w/ a horse), and a very cool, very nice, very thoughtful tri-pod!

* * * * * *

We chilled out the whole day.  I played with pictures while the kids and Papa played with their remote control flying contraptions.  We watched movies (the last of which was It’s a Wonderful Life), nibbled on cheese dip and Frito scoops and deviled eggs, and then I made dinner (baked ham, candied yams, green bean casserole, and warm dinner rolls).   After we put the kids in bed, Michael and I played on the Wii a bit before turning in.  We were both pooped and went out like lights.

Christmas was very low-key, and I kind of felt a little blah-in-the-head.   Sometimes the holidays can do that, ya know.   For what it’s worth, though, it was a very nice day with plenty of laughter, love, and play.

*The Buddha ornament is hanging on the tree.  We figure that Jesus and Buddha must be friends.


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