parenting

Parent’s quickly learn that we adapt and become different roles, wear many hats, fill countless shoes and juggle on multiple paths. There is no rule book or guide to show us the exact right way. Parenting is what we make of it and every situation is different so there is no one right answer. We are all things and not enough and each phase is just as confusing as the next.

We become nurturers, wipers of butts, chefs and rule enforcers.

We are the people our children cherish the most and at times they love to appreciate the least.

We are the expectation and exception to the rules.

We are perfect, flawed, accidentally managing it all while being hopelessly lost in a sea of parenting misconceptions.

We find ourselves saying and doing things we swore we wouldn’t. We find ourselves in situations we never expected.

We create different definitions, standards, expectations and judgements but hate being on the receiving end of conflicting point of views.

We pretend there is a mold to being a perfect parent that everyone should magically melt into because having a goal is encouraging. We find ourselves devastated when we don’t mesh as well as we expected and worry that others may notice… and judge.

We try our hardest and hope for the best. Which is our exact expectation for our children… but, it becomes not enough in the Mom-Wars world filled with guilt, stress and gossip.

We hate the games, we play them, we lose them and we win them.

Parenting is a riddle with no answer but we continue to try to.

Why is a Mommy or Daddy like a writing desk? Parenting makes as much sense as a mad tea party, for an unbirthday hosted by insane people who don’t exist… But, everything doesn’t have to make sense. It’s about enjoying the party and accepting that some things have no answers.

Attend the preposterous party of parenting, be the life of the party, don’t try to over think it and just be.

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I’ve shared stories and moments about my youngest and his obsession with his gentiles. When you are an adult there is a line between a healthy understanding of one’s body and being a creeper… when you are a kid there is no line. They are just innocently exploring and getting reactions out of people. They have no idea what they are doing but they only know how we react.

And they love pushing buttons. It’s a phase right? It is all a phase. They will eventually stop button pushing and we can have sanity again. Right?! Not likely.

A couple weeks ago I found myself having a conversation I never expected.

“Mommy, The Flash is a superhero… do you know what his super power is?”

“He runs really fast!”

He grinned at me in that way that only means trouble, “Yes, but do you know why he has to run really fast??”

….. I don’t want to know now because I don’t want to know what this child has come up with. Look away, pretend you didn’t hear him. Nothing good is going to come of this I can sense it….

“Um, why does The Flash need to run really fast, sweetie?”

“Mommy, it’s because he is a FLASHER!” And he ran away laughing “FLASH THE FLASHER! HE FLASHES! I figured that out in my mind.”

He went about his business and left the topic alone… thankfully.

For about two hours I was convinced that I didn’t hear what I thought I heard. I also convinced myself in those blissful two minutes that my son did not learn what flashing was and that couldn’t be the logical conclusion he came to.

When he was getting ready for bed he ran through the house naked, flailed his penis in my direction, farted and ran away laughing. “I am Flash! I will Flash you super fast! I LOVE RUNNING THROUGH MY HOUSE NAKED!”

There are moments in parenting, like instilling philanthropic hearts in children, that I feel – Yes! I am doing this right!

Then my son throws a naked monkey wrench in the whole damn thing and I am left shaking my head, telling him that “naked superhero time is over and get in bed” and wishing I wasn’t out of wine.

Whoever taught my son what flashing is owes me a case of wine. It’s only fair.

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WTF Did You Say?! About Mooners…

by Leila on January 24, 2013

My 5 year old son yelled “MOONERS!” as he was exiting the bathroom.

Thankfully, his pants were actually up but he was shaking his butt at me in a threatening way.

My jaw dropped and I said, “If you moon me… well, you don’t even want me to finish that threat!”

I didn’t actually have some kind of threat. When I haven’t thought of anything I like to stall in a way that makes it seem bad. I like to keep them guessing.

It didn’t help that all the kids were laughing at me.

He dropped his pants slightly and my daughter yelled “EW! I see crack!!”

Did I mention we were trying to have dinner?!

He yelled “FEAST YOUR EYES!”… Dropped his pants and ran from me laughing hysterically.

Running with your pants down while in a panic doesn’t get you far is something he learned tonight. That was payback enough.

BTW – to whoever taught my son “mooners” – I’m going to get even one day.

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As you may (or not) know by now my daughter has life threatening food allergies, chronic illness and special needs. She is sponsored by the Starlight Children’s Foundation that helps chronically ill children in many ways. We are thankful to have been part of many amazing events like a Mommy and Me Makeover thanks to Forever21.

Starlight Children’s Foundation has given my daughter (and I) so much support and cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Every event is filled with love, fun and laughter. For those moments my daughter is treated like a rock star (because she is one) and is able to forget her health challenges.

Sometimes we know we want to help an organization like this but don’t know how. We may not have the time. We may not have the extra money to donate. Sometimes it just slips our minds.

I’ve been really sick the past few weeks but had to make it over to Michael’s to pick up supplies for school projects for the kids. While we were there I spotted the 3rd Annual Starlight Children’s Foundation ornaments. These made my day and my daughter was feeling proud to be a Starlight kid.

These ornaments are adorable and $1 for each sold will be donated to Starlight. My daughter, who has life threatening food allergies, picked out the little baker one. She always talks about opening up an allergy friendly bakery one day. She says she wants those who have food allergies can have a safe and delicious place to get their baked goods.

I just love her.

Some Friends and family will be getting these from us for Xmas (oops… spoiled the surprise).

My Daughter Asks For Your Support and Help

My daughter and I are asking that you pick up an ornament from Michaels to support children with chronic pain and illness. We would LOVE to see pictures of them on your tree or with you holding them in support.

We want to help Starlight in any way we can because they have been such an important part of my daughter’s life and helping her cope with the obstacles she deals with.

If you blog about this and link back to me I will give you free advertising on my site through December as a token of our gratitude. Link up below and share the love!

My daughter is also making thank you cards for those of you who want to help show support with pictures and blog posts. Not sure how we will work that out but we will!

Even if you can’t purchase an ornament the fact you are reading this and any shares, comments and RT’s you can spare are greatly appreciated.

Thank you and keep on ninjakicking just as my brave little girl does despite her obstacles!



 

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My son is very determined to know everything before kindergarten is over. That reminds me of myself as I am always kidding around about how my mission in life is to know everything.

I’m almost there as far as my kids know.

Each day my son comes home from school really excited to tell me what he has learned. He was all about numbers yesterday. His enthusiasm was adorable and he was so proud of himself for getting rewarded for knowing how to write one of the numbers.

He also told me that he can write all the numbers. All of them.

He had his index cards and he was demonstrating his skills.

I would say a number and he would write it. He would do a dance in between his accomplishments.

I then asked him to write “One to ten” since he says he can write them all.

This is what he came up with:

Yup. He is an adorable smart ass and I feel for his kindergarten teacher.

 

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My son woke up with a bounce this morning… which is typical. He is that obnoxious happy person in the morning. I was getting out of the shower when he practically kicked the bathroom door open and announced…

“I am starting SCHOOL TODAAAAAY!!!” and he did a little happy dance.

For a moment I wondered if I messed up?! No, we had another two weeks.

“My love, school doesn’t start for another two weeks.”

He crossed his arms, turned his back on me and said, “Aw… shiiiiiiii…….”

He saw my eyes practically pop out of my head in the bathroom mirror….

“….ttttttt…….aaake. Mushrooms? Shiitake mushrooms? Uh. Do we still have some Mommy? You know… for… sukiyaki?”

Yeah. That is what he meant to say.

I’m going to have to apologize ahead of time to his kinder teacher.

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I left early on Wednesday before the sun came up for the BlogHer conference in NYC.

Since I left I don’t think I really slept.

I got in yesterday. We had In N Out – Because, that is what you do when you live in Los Angeles! I unpacked the only swag I took home: toys for the kids. They were happy. I showered. We put on a movie and I crashed so hard.

The best sleep I ever get is post conference sleep!

Anyway, I was a zombie and on east coast time when I woke up this morning. I was looking over my emails, catching up on twitter/texts/messages and just not wanting to get out of bed.

I heard my ten year old daughter get up… then I smelled coffee brewing.

I went into the kitchen and she beamed at me with her big gorgeous smile and said, “Mommy, I got this. Please go rest.”

She has been making me coffee for many years. She is amazing like that… and admits it has a lot to do with self preservation.

Then I heard a blender.

Her and I always joke about who has the craziest morning hair! She won today!

The kid’s Grandma was staying here when I was gone and NaNa always brings the best gadgets. It’s a smoothie maker that makes individual servings of deliciousness. It’s really easy for my daughter to use. It has helped her a lot with increasing fruit intake to help her digestive issues. She also feels very empowered when she can do things on her own.

Why would I discourage that??

So, for breakfast I got coffee, a smoothie and some baked bacon.

Why?

Because my daughter freaking rocks.

And no… you can’t have her :)

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Sometimes, no matter what you do for your child with life threatening food allergies, there will be mistakes at School.

Thankfully, nothing physically happened to put her in danger but it was going that direction. This was an emotional attack and broke my daughter’s fragile heart and put me in a lose lose situation.

I totally get that unless you live the life of a person with severe food allergies you don’t get how dangerous it can be physically or emotionally.

I try to advocate, educate, tell funny stories and make it all as positive as possible. Everything is in place at school with her IEP and 504 Plan that gives her legal protection. I keep open communication with the faculty and teachers.

For the most part I am really friendly, laid back and positive about everything. Follow the guidelines and nothing goes wrong and I don’t have to get all crazy.

Though, sometimes things slip through the cracks. Sometimes we have to deal with parents who push their own agendas or teachers not reading the freaking manual.

I personally can’t stand end of year parties and holiday times because it is a source of stress and frustration no matter what alternatives are provided. There is a reason many schools BAN classroom parties. Not just because of the food allergy issue but because it takes away from valuable classroom time and lots of parents don’t want other parents sending their children on a sugar high.

Even if I didn’t have the perspective that I have I wouldn’t want my kid having cupcakes, pizza, candy or junk food all the time. We don’t do that at home for health reasons so why should it be a constant staple at school?

Anyway, a pizza party was decided for my daughter’s classroom. My daughter is contact sensitive to milk. This fact sucks and has been a challenge to control. If she ingests milk or has too much exposure she can go suffer anaphylactic shock which can kill her. This fact, obviously, sucks even more. I thought everything was clear about pizza and ice cream being around her. I thought it was understood what was in her health plan. I can easily provide alternatives and we can do other foods or popsicles. But, no. It was decided and announced that pizza was it.

If you don’t have experience with health plans and IEPs then this may seem confusing. Basically, if a child has any special needs then accommodations need to be legally met so that child can be in a safe learning environment and not fall victim to discrimination.

Everything about this party legally went against what is laid out to prevent her from physical and emotional harm. Still, it was pushed forward. By the time it was told to the parents it was a little too late… the kids knew and were looking forward to it. This worried my daughter because the last thing she wants is for all the kids to be mad at her because of her health conditions. It was a lose lose situation and I watched her cry herself to sleep more than once because of something that could have been prevented.

I just didn’t get why we were dealing with this when we had no issues this year and everything laid out was so simple. Why choose the main food that can put her in harms way?

It started turning into a battle. Some asshair parents started gossiping which got back to my daughter. People can be so selfish, though, they think we are the selfish one.

Yes, blame the child who can’t help the cards she was dealt with. It was suggested I just kept her home. Really? We have dealt with so much negativity and people even wishing harm on her.

You start to reach the boiling point where you think you can’t win and hope in people not being asshairs is lost.

It is pizza. PIZZA! All the kids ultimately care about is they get to party. I wanted peace. I wanted my daughter to finish the school year in a positive note since we have had to face the fact she will be homeschooling soon.

The alternative? Our wonderful Principal, who really understands my daughter’s health issues because of personal connections with it, wanted to just make her happy. We were all worried about pulling the party at this point and kids being upset with her. There was also concern that catty parents would turn it into something bigger… because some people have nothing better to do. We didn’t want her missing school or being put in danger.

The alternative?

My daughter is having a special day with the Principal. They have games, popsicles, allergy friendly cookies, bubbles and all sorts of things planned. She is throwing my daughter a party with the office staff and making her feel special. This is insane to me because everyone is so busy with end of year craziness. The principal insisted that my daughter was more important in these moments and everything else can wait.

We weren’t sure how awesome this would be to a fourth grader but my daughter was elated going to school with her party supplies. She was so happy to be greeted by everyone in the office who were showing genuine excitement to have their own lunch party with her.

When my daughter hugged me goodbye she told me thank you for always helping her find a way. That moments like those make her feel like the luckiest girl to have a Mommy like me and to have days and events where she can feel special and forget about the things that make her different. We try to make the most of each day, no matter what.

I walked away with happy tears and can take comfort in the fact that we are ending this year on a good note.

Though, I do kind of feel bad for the Thor hammer like emails I had to send out advocating for her. However, time and time again I realize that we do have to live, laugh and ninja kick those obstacles and find those happy solutions.

And no one is going to take away my daughter’s choice or right to be safe.

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I still can’t believe that my son has turned five years old. We all say this but really…

Where has the time gone?

This year has been weird with injuries. I hurt my back earlier in the year and then we got slammed with a multitude of illnesses. Despite everything I still make the most of it and juggle the life of a single Mom. I also realize how amazing my friends are that help me even if I protest.

Then I did something really stupid and I fractured my foot last month which happened right before my son’s birthday.

This is devastating at the time. All those expectations of having the perfect party that someone else set up that we all, for some reason, feel we have to live up to. I felt like his birthday would be ruined. I felt like I failed him. I’m all about ninja kicking through life’s obstacles but what if you can’t even ninja kick?

I had to shift my perspective… this was about what my son wanted. It wasn’t about my expectations or what I thought he needed.

The kids understood my limitations and we were adjusting to Mommy not walking around much. Actually, it made me realize how crazy our life gets and how nice it is to just chill and be the three of us. The kids were enjoying the downtime just as much as I was even though I’ve been going nuts not being able to do anything.

My son had few requests: Cupcakes, Movie Marathon and Baby Newborn Spike from My Little Ponies.

Wait, what?

Yes, newborn Spike from My Little Ponies. He wanted to have a baby dragon to feed and take care of.

My son has his own tastes. He loves baby dolls and is a super baby doll daddy! He is also a daredevil and fearless with his bike and scooter. He will get his Power Ranger on and then make play food for his super hero action figures. Basically, he is awesome.

This put me in a bit of a panic because I couldn’t get to any toy stores and finding one online was near impossible. I didn’t realize this was a new toy and finding a substitute was a fail. After a few people checked stores for me with no success I ended up buying it online, expedited shipping and it arrived a day late. It was worth it. Spike ranks up there with his favorite stuffed animal and his “Baby Joshy” that he takes everywhere. He also got a My Little Pony set that includes Spike and he is thrilled about it in addition to a SWAT costume, Jedi Robe, Army Gear and a multitude of other gifts from family and friends.


We didn’t have a big party. We didn’t have a grand celebration. We were just us and made the most of it and my kids didn’t suffer from the lack of anything. Actually, my son said it was his favorite birthday ever because he got exactly what he wanted.

Next year I’m going to make sure to ask him what he wants a month before so I don’t have to stress if I happen to break something else again. It can happen.

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Taking Time For Yourself As a Mom

by Leila on May 31, 2012

I’m going away for the weekend with friends. We are renting a cabin in the mountains…

And I won’t have my kids.

Again…

I won’t have my kids!!!! Kid free all weekend!!!

I constantly say that parents need to make time for themselves. You can’t solely focus on your kids. You have to have to make you worth it as well. Well, I’m a fucking hypocrite because this is the first weekend away from my kids that I can remember that is just for me. I still have guilt when I go out. I don’t take my friends up on their offers to watch them. It takes a lot for me to call in the babysitter.

But, I am getting away for the weekend. It’s not work or blog related. Just me getting away… just because.

It’s not a birthday.

There isn’t a big event.

I’m not doing a review or having any social media related activities going on.

… though I still plan on writing and getting work done up there. I’m still me. I can’t help it!

No big ass celebration.

Friends. Food. Booze. Fun. That’s all I care about for the weekend…

And I do not feel a bit guilty about it. Okay, I do… but I am still going. I haven’t packed yet but I will.

I spent an insane amount of money on food so they wouldn’t starve in the 2 nights I am gone while they are with perfectly capable adults.

I washed every item of clothing they have… because in two days the world may end if their favorite underoos or shirts are dirty.

I refilled every medicine they take regularly even though they had enough for a month already.

I also realized I haven’t been posting as much since I injured my foot so I decided to make a post about my weekend trip, fears and procrastinations when I should be packing.

I know parents shouldn’t feel guilty for having a life outside of their children. I know that I deserve time away with my friends. I damn well know I earned this shit since I am the only parent 100% of the time and I have little help. My kids are amazing, well behaved and absolute joys… and if they were horrible maybe I would be sitting on my porch waiting to leave already. I know I don’t need to go and that I just want to… and that is okay.

So, I’m going to enjoy the shit out of this, as I do all things, and make some memories. My kids will be fine and so will I… and I will probably think the whole time that I have to do this more often…

While I am constantly checking in on my kids and telling them how much I miss them.

 

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