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Family First

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The D Word

No I’m not talking about the “5 D’s of Dodgeball: Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.”

Dodgeball Wikipedia 

When you are married the D word means Divorce. And just like many curse words we whisper when we say it, like it will have less of an affect. We never used the D word before having kids. It is not an option. The past four years have been some of the best, yet hardest and stressful of our lives.

Counting back the years we have shared 12 amazing years together and we will celebrate 9 years of marriage in 2 weeks! Whoop whoop! (This is one of our engagement pics from August 2006. )

I remember him sending me hot pink roses on my college graduation day because he had to work at the car lot on Saturdays. We were so in love, the blind, no fear, no looking back, this is it, kind of love.

Even the happiest of marriages have peaks and valleys. It’s called the rollercoaster of love for a reason right?!?! We never lack passion, that’s for sure! But after going through many negative relationship cycles over the past few years we decided we needed a professional tune up. So we went to marriage counseling.

Here’s the deal, we know we love each other and we do NOT want to argue anymore. So in order to get back to the love that once came so easily, we are learning emotionally focused couples therapy. EFCT

I didn’t hesitate to share this with y’all because I made a promise to always keep it real. It worked! It’s been a few months now and honestly it’s the best decision we have made since having our boys and saying I do.

We fake it till we make it a lot in motherhood. But that shit don’t fly in marriage. Sometimes you need to step outside and ask for help. I don’t think it is a sign of weakness but of strength. My husband also agrees and he reads all of my blogs before I post them.
I think it’s refreshing to know when people admit to having issues. I think it makes us feel human. Don’t get me wrong I admire people who have a happy, healthy marriage. But what we were doing and dealing with wasn’t going down the yellow brick road. Also 12 years together is a really long time!

Thankfully we weren’t doing that bad but We needed to unscramble our priorities. God, spouse, kids, work, family, friends, money and the rest. We had it all mixed up. With everything we have endured over the last few years and explaining our situation, sitting on the shrinks couch, it was clear we needed this time together and to make an investment in us.

There are only so many hours you can cry to your mom and your best friends until they are like “I love you but y’all need a third party unbiased helper.”

I grew up old school and like most of my family and friends we keep marriage and family issues secret. Its like  “nun ya nun ya biznass.”

Well I’ve got a news flash! We live in a new century and we are downloading the latest version of marriage. The world is faster and more stressful than ever before.

Even going to the beach, on vacation, to slow down was amazing, but our problems were still waiting for us when we got home and dumped the white sand out of our shoes.
After taking the first steps, calling, making an appointment and going together we were already better connected.

The last couple of months have been amazing. We got lost and now we are getting back on the path. The love we have for each other and our children is worth fighting for.  We will never feel ashamed or apologize for working on ourselves or our marriage.

I hope that by sharing our journey, we can inspire other couples, who might be experiencing a road block, to get a marriage tune up and seek some counseling. Even tho smiles on social media can paint the perfect picture, things are never perfect. With faith, hope and love we can stand strong. I think this wedding anniversary will be the best one yet! I love you babe. Thank you for always loving me for better or worse. And thank you for taking care of me and the boys.

Xoxo

Just happy mommy

Back 2 School Blues 

We all get down on ourselves. We are tired. We look at the to do list and get overwhelmed. With a new school year starting I have been so emotional. Seeing my baby grow-up and walk into his first day of PreK really hit me hard. He was so happy and excited and I lost it as I was leaving the drop off line. Teaching him has been my job until today. Granted he has been going to school since he was 10 months old but now it’s different. It is real school with a drop off and pick up, packed lunch, a cafeteria, recess and all new faces.

He beams a smile and waves good bye, excited for his new adventure. Meanwhile, baby brother and I lose our shit in the car on the way home. (Yes I’m driving. I know I should not use a phone while moving a motor vehicle.) also I’m an ugly crier and turn the volume down ????????????

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I felt so happy, sad, proud and afraid all at the same time as I drove away. Will he be ok? Will he make a friend? Will he eat his food? Will someone bully him? Will he even think about me? Did I do a good job?

So do my emotional episodes mean I have a mental issue? Yes! It is called being a parent! We are all losing our shit at some point. It’s called having a heart beating in your chest. Life is made of peaks and valleys, happy times and sad times. It is not just in parenting. There are ups and downs in marriages, work, friendships and hell even the economy. Point is that we all experience things differently. The only person who can judge us is The Lord.

Yes I know my life is not over because my baby started PreK. I know, trust me I’m getting over it as I find myself writing this post, because I haven’t had a moments peace in 3 weeks since summer camp ended. But, I just care about my child and I want him to be happy, healthy, thrive and glow. I have been praying for him to have a good day and get in the car with a smile on his face full of stories.
When you question yourself as a parent it is a natural thing. It means you care. I struggle with my confidence as a mom and then other days I am like “Hell Ya I am a kick ass mom.” “Pound it dog! Booya! and Holler!”

So here it is the first day of school and as I stare at my to do list, laundry, calendar etc. All I want to do is take a shower and a nap before I go get in the HORENDOUS pick up line 30 minutes before I’m charged a $14 fee.

I know things change. I knew this was happening but actually living it is hard for me. All the new rules, my baby being so independent and being on time is really hard for me LOL. BUT it is good! We thrive in a routine so I am happy that I am being challenged to change. I know its not the end of the world but I do know I’m going to miss this.

I’m gonna want these hard ass F^&* days back. When no one eats what I make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When no one listens to me to stop splashing and flooding the bathroom. When I need to kiss the boo boos. When my baby crawls up in my lap and says “Mama hold you.” When the boys no longer let me dress them alike. And when we have rainy days cuddling and doing absolutely nothing and they let me kiss their heads and smell their hair.

Trust me I am taking note to cherish this time. We don’t get a lot of time on this Earth so we have to make each day count. But damn it is hard to be a parent in todays world.
For now I tell myself.. The monograms can wait. The perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner cannot be made everyday. The organizing, the cleaning and everything I keep talking about will have to wait.

As “THEY” say “The days are long, but the years are quick.” As I see the calendar fill up I have to stop and think these are the days I will miss. But for today I will sit and write my babies a letter telling them how much I love them. I will take a shower. I will lie down and day dream in my quiet bedroom. The greatest gift we can give ourselves and our loved ones is time. Unapologetically I will proudly give myself sometime “Because If Mommy Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.”

Since pickup this afternoon he had a great day, made a new friend and learned a song. We had a special afternoon snack, played trains and he helped me cook dinner. After slaving away on dinner, it hits, here comes the meltdown. “I don’t want to eat it! Yuck!” As he’s screaming crying and running around the house losing his exhausted mind. Meanwhile baby brudder is enjoying his special allergy free (gluten, oat, egg, dairy, nut free) lasagna and breaks out in hives.

Daddy walks thru the door as I’m finishing baby boys bath and dosage of Benadryl. Big boy still whining and saying “eating dinner is so hard and I’m not tired.” I look around at the dishes piled high, laundry covering both couches, toys, cups, trains, Chex and blueberries all over the rug…

There’s my exit. I poured myself a glass of wine and I’m hiding out in the bathtub right now adding this to the post.

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, shit is still gonna happen. Just depends if you are gonna pick it up, move on or just sit and cry about said shit. I’m gonna leave this one to daddy.

XOXO
Just Happy Mommy

My editor was not able to correct all my grammar, run on sentences and cussing. Once again if you don’t like my blog don’t read it ????????????????????

Growing Up Ain’t for Sissies

God brings people into your life for a reason. I wholeheartedly believe that. Whether we realize it instantly or later on, people come in and out when you need them to.

It’s been over a week since I was able to go to the gym after little nugget got a terrible case of hand, foot, and mouth. Even tho he didn’t have a fever and acted happy, I couldn’t be “that mom” that took her child covered in blisters to kids club.

Usually I do high intensity classes with my bestie, but today I couldn’t get us out the door in time. So I decided to sit down and ride a stationary bike, listen to my jams, and read.

Instead I talked with an 80 year old man named John. He was a lovely gentleman and so kind. We chatted for about 30 minutes as we rode our bikes. He was full of stories. He kept saying. “I hope I’m not boring you or keeping you.” I honestly was not bothered, but rather enjoyed his conversation and company.

He told me stories from his childhood, where he grew up in Fort Smith Arkansas, how much he loved Italian food, and stories of his wife and losing loved ones.

As I write this, I am even more touched by him and his life stories. We just had a real conversation. Nothing of fluff, but real genuine talk.

He and I had several things in common. We both recently had a birthday, both went to Catholic school “all the way”, and he attended the University of Tulsa (like most of my family members). But most of all, he lived life to the fullest.

He was raised by his grandparents and was never blessed with children of his own. He survived pneumonia and both a cotton-head snake bite and a rabid dog bite. All of which made me think. Damn That’s hard.

I of course told him about my two little boys, my sweet husband and my family & spunky 93 year old grandma. I expressed how fast it goes and I’m so nervous when my boys go off to school in a couple weeks.

He told me about a bully in school that teased him for having red hair everyday at noon. “I’d rather be dead than be red on the head” he would say. After weeks of this, he responded with “Well you know what? I’d rather be red than dead in the head.” This angered the bully who took a swing at him and missed. John swung back and knocked him out. He felt proud. He then spotted a nun out of the corner of his eye, and she grabbed his hand and said “God bless your hand child.” Hahaha yes!

John continued to tell me stories of his best friend Jimmy from Italy. They became close during high school and he enjoyed dinners at his home. He loves Italian food and played football. He reminisced about one year his coach, a priest, gave them all a St. Christopher medal that he blest to protect them. He gave me a big smile and said look. The chain I had noticed him wearing held that same St Christopher charm. I said “maybe that’s how you got this far?” he said,  “I think so too.”

He doesn’t have any family left other than his wife, yet he said “Life is pretty good if you know how to live it.” After a long weekend of celebrating my birthday with those I hold dear, it makes me more thankful that I have my family and friends with me.

When he and his wife went to pick out their resting plots in Fort Smith, Jimmy asked John to be his brother, and share a spot in their family plot. So even though John didn’t have any living relatives, he still had Jimmy as his bro.

I could have smiled, nodded and put my headphones back in, but I didn’t. I so desperately wanted my alone time at the gym today. Instead I made a new friend. One that I’m sure I learned a great deal from.

Sometimes we need to stop and listen.

He told me a final story about his grandfather, who worked nights at a smelter plant in town. They did everything together during the day as he was growing up. Fishing, hunting, trapping etc.

He said when his grandfather passed away from brain cancer, his grandma told him to stay at a friends house the night he passed.

The next morning, he went home and saw his grandparents’ bed empty and he knew he was gone. His grandma said she held her husbands hand as he told her “don’t worry about me, Babe, I’m going to see my mama, daddy, and brothers.” And he died right after he spoke those words.

I got teary eyed as he told me. But then he stopped me and said “I felt that way too for a long time, but now, I hope I am that happy and brave when it’s my time to go.”

I live in a constant state of fear. For my boys, my sissy, my parents, my grandma and myself. I don’t want to die young. I think taking some time to come to the gym and talk with my new friend John is what I needed today. Perspective on this life and how sweet it can be. Not competing or comparing. Not to pity or worry. But to share our stories and be real.

I am so thankful that God spoke to me through John today. I needed his guidance and kindhearted smile. We ended our talk with a smile and a handshake. He told me to be safe and remember “Growing old ain’t for sissies.”

Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Heaven in a box 

We all know that kids love big cardboard boxes more than what comes inside of them. My mama keeps a HUGE pottery barn box at her house, and the boys love to play in it. And like most people, especially moms, we get weekly Amazon deliveries. 

This morning we were getting ready and my son said “mommy will you put me in this box so I can go to heaven for a little bit?”

Clearly I was taken aback. As I stood looking at this small Amazon box, I couldn’t help but think, “What if I really had to put him in a box and send him to heaven?” A mother’s worst nightmare. To bury a baby. So I composed myself and said “ok, why do you want to go to heaven?” 

“It’s Pretend. I don’t really want to go there right now.”

Whew. Sheesh. 

Of course every time I have walked by that box today it made me think of heaven. 

A few weeks ago we watched the movie “Miracles from Heaven.” When my husband started playing it one Sunday morning, I told him to turn it off two or three times because I couldn’t handle it. And inducing a panic attack is never fun, but we finished it. 


It touched me in every way. Made me bawl out of control. I felt fear, sadness, and compassion. But most of all, it touched my heart and soul. If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about a very sick little girl and her journey with her mother, who will stop at nothing to help her get well. This movie hit so close to home because it not only parallels my sisters incurable medical conditions, but also the journey my own mama is making with her extremely ill daughter. The comparisons of their stories is really eerie. 

Since then, our 4.5 year old has asked to watch it again saying “I want to see the part where she goes to heaven.” And 
“Mommy are you sad because she is like Aunt Sissy?” “Yes baby it makes me sad.”

We have been teaching the boys to say their prayers before meals and after we read at bedtime since they were very small. Sometimes we forget. But when we do, I can see my boys smile when they say Amen. It makes my heart happy. I wish I had the innocence and blind faith of a little one. But even he is questioning me “Why won’t God heal Aunt Sissy? Is she going to die?” I respond with “I don’t know baby but we have to pray and trust that she will get better.” He says “It’s ok, I will make her better. I’m her doctor.” 

This video was taken a year ago and I still love to hear his little voice and his prayer 

“Jesus heal Aunt sissy and make her better. Guard me Jesus through the night wake me with the morning light. Amen”

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I know I need to “leave it to God, He’s got this.” I try so hard to keep my faith and believe in his plan. But my faith is wavering. After 8 years of severe health issues and suffering, when will she get better? Even though she is still present, she has no quality of life and each day, week, and month, she’s getting worse! All of our minds are reeling out of control with a million scenarios and questions. Her strength, fearlessness and grace impress me daily.

Why won’t He heal my sissy? Why is she getting worse? What can I do? Where do we go? Who do we see? How to we give her comfort? 

Visiting her twice a week at the hematology lab is the saddest place I have ever been. Seeing people so sad, sick, and tired getting pumped full of drugs, blood, or even poison is hard to see. I could not imagine. But you know what Sissy does? She goes in with a cute outfit, makeup, and a smile and she befriends everyone. She brings other people treats and writes hand written thank you notes. She journals and keeps a calendar, and of course keeps track of all her medications and issues. Being sick is a full time job that no one, she or anyone else, wants. I could not imagine what she is going thru. Her health and wellness is our number one priority. The good news is she doesn’t have to go at it alone. 

This was last week when we got to sneak little buddy to see my sissy at hematology. We played I spy while she got her potassium infusion. 


One of my best friends sent me my first devotional when I was in the throes of my postpartum depression and it has been such a special gift. Jesus calling. 

I decided to pay it forward and gift it to my mama and another bestie. The daily message is to trust in the Lord with all your heart and listen when Jesus is calling you. This book has helped my mama, who has the strongest faith of anyone I know. I admire her. The love, strength, and courage she has is amazing. She inspires me to enjoy all of the hugs, kisses, and “Mommy I love you’s”, and restores my faith in God. 

We are praying for a miracle to save Sissy. No one deserves to live in such pain and misery. So we will adjust. We will keep praying. Enjoying laughing together. Make plans and celebrate what we can. Holding on to all of the “some days” and never stop dreaming of a better tomorrow. 

Waiting for our Miracles from Heaven. 


Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Christmas in July 

Today is Christmas in July. I can’t believe in 6 months it will be Christmas! My most favorite time of the year. Reflecting back on the holiday makes me happy.

I decided to do something I haven’t done all summer. Treat myself to a morning of doing absolutely nothing. After I dropped the boys off at summer camp I decided I deserved 2 hours to myself.
The last 5 days of summer fun have been busy swimming, cooking, sweating, cleaning, hustling and bustling. I thought “hey I need some ME time.” And not apologize for it. If it’s Christmas in July after all, I might as well give myself the best gift of all and that is time.
Time to pray. Time to meditate. Time to write. Time to breathe. Sit in bed and do nothing until pickup.
My best friend told me about an app called HeadSpace so I thought “hey why not try it.” I’m so glad I downloaded it because now I can’t wait for tomorrow’s meditation session. It’s amazing how stopping and taking 10 minutes can change your whole head space.
Looking out my bedroom windows and seeing the sunlight dance on the leaves in the breeze and hearing birds chirping and the humm of the refrigerator in the kitchen is calming. It’s 100 degrees again today and in 6 months it will be freezing. I have to remind myself to stop and be thankful for all the days and all the moments. Before you know it it could be too late and you don’t know how to stop being busy.
Lately thinking of all the things going on in my life makes me sad. Why am I living an unhappy life? Recent family conflict and my sissy’s unanswered health questions are top of mind.
Fear is control.

Control is an illusion.
Suffering from fear, depression and anxiety sucks. Even tho I know I have so much to be thankful for, deep down, I’m sad. Seeking help, taking medication and surrounding yourself with supportive and loving people is the key. But what happens when those people and connections break down? Or you cannot spend quality time with the ones you love and miss the most. Are we too busy to give the greatest gift of all to those we love the most?! Our time.
Stop and give yourself some time. I am seeking some inner peace and praying in desperation for my fears to stop taking control. I don’t have to get everything done. I don’t have to be perfect. The pressure I put on myself is exhausting.
As always I’m Looking forward to Christmas this year. I want to do what my boys and family want to do and not succumb to what is expected of me. The holiday gets lost in the hustle and bustle and the commitments of time and money. Really stopping to think “is this going to make me happy?”
So here’s to beating this heat and dreaming of a white Christmas. Im looking forward and not behind.
Xoxo
Just Happy Mommy

The Music of my life 

The music of my life is the sound of my boys laughing, running and playing.


Last week I really put myself out there by sharing a controversial, important, and timely topic. Racism.

How do we teach our children about racism today? 

Like I explained in my first blog post; I promise to offend someone. Well this post unfortunately sparked some anger, sadness, and confusion.

At first I had a panic attack. Then I realized that I would stand by my words as my constitutional right to freedom of speech. Also, as previously mentioned, if you don’t like my blog, don’t read it.

My First Blog Post Ever

So instead of backing down and being a coward, I choose to continue writing. And to those who have supported me along the way, thank you. I know haters are gonna hate.

I have been listening to this song a lot lately, and it just spoke to me.

“The delusions in our heads are gonna bring us to our knees.
So come on let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you and I’ll be me
Everything that’s broke leave it to the breeze.” – James Bay

Remembering the Beatles mentality:
“All you need is love,
Love is all you need” – The Beatles

Sometimes we just need to chill out, and let the small things go. We don’t have to conform, but agree to disagree.

My parents grew up peace loving hippie kids, and my dad taught me pretty much everything about music. He would drive around and listen to the Beatles, CSN, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and countless others. I grew up during the invention of the CD! He would take me to sound warehouse and let me choose an album. My first CD single was Loser by Beck.

My dad always had a story that went along with an album, and how the beautiful, powerful, and often controversial words moved his generation. I need to take a car ride with my daddy down memory music lane. It is a beautiful connection, and one that I think of often.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. A song can transcend you to a point in time, and bring you to your knees, bring tears of joy, give you chills, and touch that place in your heart where the deepest love lives.

Why do you think everyone dreams of being a rockstar?! Because you can touch someone with your gift, and help change someone for the better. Exercise your creativity, and get paid to do it? Um ya let’s do that.

I see that love of music in my brother. His passion is as electric as his guitar. Like me, he too was once shy about his gifts. Once he embraced his fear, he opened like a rose. The sound he gave off was so sweet. I am so proud of him for following his dreams. I know that even tho he’s in a corporate job right now, he will be fulfilled with his music and continue to create lyrics and music for his generation. Check out his video below! His smile at the end is my faves.

Philip PJ Eller Jr. Compass of love acoustic YouTube video
Love fuels love
There are over 2 million blog posts everyday! How does one get attention over the others? When it ignites or stirs the fire inside of us.

I hope that my boys are proud of my writing. I do this for them, after all. Life is not about the perfect moments. It’s about learning from the messy ones and creating our own character. Someday I pray that my children will embrace their differences and enjoy the music of life around them.

Xoxo

Just happy mommy

How do we teach our children about racism today? 

This past weekend, most Americans gathered to celebrate our Independence Day, or 4th of July. Families gather for BBQ, fireworks, and we get decked out in our Red, White and Blue. This year the American Flag and patriotism was more fashionable than ever. But when is the USA not fashionable tho, right? We are all proud to be Americans. America’s birthday is one of the most important holidays we celebrate because we are the land of the free and the brave. We enjoy more freedoms than anywhere on the planet. Remembering our history and the men and women who fought for our country and those soldiers, who still continue to protect us, is imperative to the celebration.


Like many of my fellow Americans, we had an annual BBQ with family and friends. We swim, have copious amounts of delicious food and drinks, then head out to watch fireworks after the sun goes down. I have enjoyed this tradition since I was a little kid. My cousins and I would stand in front of my Papa’s American Flag that my parents hang on our fence and sing 4th of July songs whilst swinging sparklers. The adults were using some highly illegal gun powder cannon to shoot bean cans across the yard. Oh wait. Is that just my crazy family?!? (think early 90’s) Well I am thankful that my parents continue this tradition, and my boys get to experience it.


This year was a little different. My little nugget wasn’t feeling like himself after swimming and I feared he started to get a fever. Big brother was all about the fireworks. I don’t know if it is a guy thing, genetic, or what, but he has been a pyro and into fireworks since day one. Little brother was shaking in my arms from hearing the tiny poppers. Needless to say, I decided it was best if we left early and tended to my weak little one. Daddy stayed back with big 4 year old and looked forward to the nighttime fireworks.


I woke up to several texts from my hubs explaining he was in the midst of dealing with a parenting nightmare. My initial thought was there was a fireworks accident and someone lost an appendage. Thankfully, no. But the words that I read caused my heart to sink into my stomach and then fall out my butt. The emotions I felt ran high; embarrassment, sadness, anger, and fear along with the 3 letter abbreviations OMG, WTF, FML.


Sooo what happened you ask? Our four year old well mannered, smart, kind, peacemaker, sweet, little, OCD, boy made a racial comment to a loved and respected person in our family. My brother’s girlfriend is African American.


He said,


“I dont like that you are black.”


WOW.


OK.


How do you react?


Since I was not there at the time of this interaction, there was swift discipline, a forced, quick apology, and then the “I think its time to go.”


Of course I immediately think, “WTF!?! Why is my baby acting racist?” He has NEVER made a comment before, and we are NOT racist people. We have another African American family member, and also I am proud that my cousin recently married his husband. Agree or not, this is the world we live in. 


The point is that kids notice differences. They are learning the world around us. Instead of ignoring them and acting like it doesn’t need to be addressed, it is our job to explain these ways of the world. They do NOT know unless they are taught. And if we do NOT teach them, someone else will. I do not know if this is something he picked up at school, watching TV, the news, or family or friends making off the cuff remarks. Regardless, this happened. Instead of brushing it under the rug and not addressing the elephant in the room, we decided to take this issue head on. But how do we teach our children about racism today?

It’s so taboo. I am not without sin nor will I throw stones at glass houses. I will cop to using bad words, a slur or entertaining an inappropriate adult joke but NEVER have I ever encouraged hatred of another human being. 

Hell I grew up going to a private catholic school and knew every word to TuPac, Biggie and WuTang just to name a few. So imagine a bunch of skinny white girls in school uniforms bumping to gangsta rap trying to be cool. So if that’s not a clear enough image think Britney Spears mixed with Ghetto Cowboy. Anyway I digress.

 With all the racially charged violence going on in our world today there is a need for us to educate our kids and also for me to make a conscious effort to set the correct example. After seeing these 2 horrific, tragic acts of violence where white police officers have killed 2 innocent black men in 2 days makes me want to vomit. Prejudice exists. Racism exists. (This was written July 5 before Dallas and before the last 10+ racially charged acts of violence) 

We explained our disappointment and just because we have differences, that does not mean we do not like people based on the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, language, or sexual orientation. Today he said, “The mommy is a girl and the daddy is a boy.” I said, “Well sometimes there are 2 mommies and sometimes there are 2 daddies. As long as babies and families are safe and happy we cannot be angry at differences.” My journalism ways, of course, decided to delve into this a little more deeply. I found that parents fear talking to their kids about race as much if not more than talking to them about sex.


Psychology Today Article

I took him to my parents the next morning after we had a talk in the car on the way over. I said, “I am not going to tell you what to do, rather, I am going to explain why saying you didn’t like her because she was black is wrong.” He had to figure out how to ask for forgiveness and for her to accept his apology. My mom also talked to him and they prayed about it. She and my brother accepted his apology. That night I went to have some brother-sister time and some one-on-one with her. Again, rather than act like it didn’t happen, I wanted to make sure she knew how mortified I was and that I am so sorry for hurting her feelings.


Much to my dismay it did hurt her very deeply. She said she had felt judged about the color of her skin since she was a child. Most people do NOT acknowledge it, and just want to act like it didn’t happen. The whole 

“kids say the darnedest things” thing.   In my opinion, it is almost worse not addressing it. It almost accepts and encourages the behavior. It is also lazy parenting because talking about this shit is hard. It is real and hard. NO ONE wants to admit that your kid called someone out for being different for NO reason at all. Race, sexual orientation, language, religion we are all the same inside. 

We have a toy giraffe that teaches colors, shapes and numbers. It sings a song “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink.” I explained all colors are beautiful and there is no right or wrong color. We also watched an episode of Sesame Street that addressed the differences in skin color.


Sesame Street Color Of Me song

Rainbow colors song 

I have been writing and editing this post for 4 days now, and I decided to share it because I feel like it is something that many don’t want to talk about. But it is something very important and, honestly, vital to our foundation as good parents. Don’t be like me, waiting until it’s too late. Even tho we are moving past it, and it was a very tough lesson to teach and learn. I implore you to explain that differences are beautiful and acceptance is crucial for peace. 

Civil Rights Info on talking to children about racism

XOXO


Just Happy Mommy

This is dedicated to my friend who was brave enough to let me share this story. 

Don't mess with Mama bear, her babies or America! ????????❤️????????

I’m a mama bear! Don’t mess with me, my Cubs or my country ! I need to know where my babies are, who they are with, what they are eating and how they are feeling. Helicopter mom? Yes. Have I started to become the mom in the “Luvs” commercial? The one with the mom with her first kid armed with gallons of hand sanitizer and then she hands the second kid over to the man at the oil change place. Yeah I’m not quite there yet. As I sit here, getting an oil change, listening to the sad news reports on TV, I realize I’m far from that “Live, Learn then get Luvs” mom. (Click the blue words below to see links ????????????)

Luvs Commercial
This place smells like cigarettes, piss, pine sol and I wouldn’t hand my baby over to lovely Mr. John with the neck tattoo. I’m more like the “Eat, sleep, then pray” mom.

Anyway I started this post 215 days ago and I still feel the same way I did when I started writing this. We have to protect our kids and loved ones more than ever. 

The mass shooting in Orlando and the media coverage the last couple of days has reminded me why I am afraid of this world. Remembering all the horror and terror of years past makes me sad. Visiting the 911 Memorial Museum last summer and hearing the voices, screams and seeing it up close and personal is something that will haunt me forever. Plus when you work in television, you see and hear gory, gruesome details on murders and other heinous crimes. It makes you paranoid.  So ya I’m scared for my kids because of the evil world we live in.

As The POTUS said yesterday. The President of the United States,

“This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American regardless of race, ethinicity, religion, or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us and the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.
Today, marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun, and a powerful assault rife. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub and we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”

This was the 14th time President Obama addressed the nation about the worst mass shooting in US history.

USA Today Article

We are not promised tomorrow. 

Just like Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda said last night “Love is love is love is love!”

Tony Award Winner Speech

His sonnet moved me to tears.

This world is crumbling. I fear for the future. I fear for our kids. We are not safe at school, church, movie theaters, nightclubs, work or sporting events. Do we stop living our lives? No. Do we step up and take more precautions? Yes.

So what can we do as parents to keep our kids safe? Watch them! I swear almost all of our accidents have happened when we have been inches or feet away.

1. Leashes:

The first time I flew alone I put a panda backpack leash on our older son. He is a wild one and I needed that peace of mind, regardless of the looks and judgment of other airport patrons. This mama don’t care. I ordered it on Amazon Animal 2 in 1 Harness Backpack


And I got my mom one too! We haven’t flown with our little son yet due to his airborne food allergies but you bet your ass I will be using it again!

Let me say that I openly hated on parents who used leashes on their kids before I had kids.  Disgust written all over my face as kids were attached to their parents at the a State Fair, like dogs on leashes.

And in the words of The Notorious B.I.G., “if don’t know, now you know!” – Juicy. RIP Big Poppa

Juicy The Notorious B.I.G.

2. Baby Monitors: 

Ok I plan on keeping these up and on until puberty. We live in a small house yet I am attached to these more than my cell phone when the sun goes down. I’m on my third monitor and use the dual cameras. My husband is looking into outdoor home safety cameras. He had me download this ap yesterday which we are super excited about.  Family Life 360 in the AppStore. I’m reluctant with technology and my hubby is a techy guy. Let’s just say I would go back to blackberry if I could even tho life revolves around Apple and Android.

I have a sign like most mama bears, hanging over the door bell either kindly or threateningly requesting not to ring the bell, knock or solicit for fear of waking the baby. Truth be told I think everyone should have one of these because seriously who likes it when the doorbell rings or there is a knock at the door? Not me! I don’t need what you’re selling, preaching or to open my door for a home invader. If you haven’t seen this stand up comedian talk about answering the door click here it’s hilarious!!!

Sebastian What’s wrong with people?!?!

It’s so true when we were kids it was a joyous sound to hear the doorbell. Now it’s like STFU, hit the deck and “did you park in the garage?!” We live in fear. If I’m home alone, forget about it.

3. Microchips:

Which brings me to microchips. We microchipped our dog so if he was lost or stolen we could find him. So when will we start microchipping our kids? Agree or disagree but we already put  leashes on our kids. I know, I know it’s inhumane and goes against free will, but so are these staggering statistics on missing and exploited children in the United States!!!

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
According to the FBI, in 2015 there were 460,699 NCIC entries for missing children. Similarly, in 2014, the total number of missing children entries into NCIC was 466,949.

So forgive me when I say I want to do anything in my power to keep my babies safe and secure. I have mentioned before that I may be too real with my boys. I teach them stranger danger. I never bring race or looks into it. Just simple facts.

“If someone tries to get you what do you do?!”

“Run, scream your head off and look for help.”

“If you can’t find mommy who do you look for?”

“Police or someone that looks like mommy, daddy or meme.”

“No one touches your penis but you!”

This might sound agressive but so is the abuse and violence that is blind to its innocent victims.

It starts at home. We must band together to raise our kids in the world of today no matter how ugly it may be. I wish I could wear rose colored glasses and continue in the mommy brain ignorance is bliss mode, but no longer. Our children’s safety and lives are worth the time. Is it scary? Yes. Is it necessary? Yeah.

It starts with me, you and all of us to protect this land that we love.

Love knows no bounds.

God bless America.

xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Parenting is really F$&@?ing hard!

If you think parenting is easy, you are prolly F$&@?ing up.
For the most part, we all hear that parenting is the hardest job in the world, but the most rewarding! In my case, like most parents, I think parenting is really f$&@?ing hard. 

But it’s the best thing we have ever done. 

Sounds like an oxymoron, but doesn’t anything that brings you the greatest joy in life and sunshine in your heart require hard work? The answer should be a resounding yes!

I like to say that pregnancy is the easy part. Even tho it’s very difficult, emotional, nauseating, and exhausting, it’s a cake walk compared to the unwritten, fairytale, nightmare, best seller you are about to write with your family. The ups and downs, twists and turns, loves and loss, triumph and heartache that we both enjoy and hate in our lives. 

Parenting is the most important job in the world. We are continuing the human race. It’s our job to teach them manners, the difference between right and wrong, the golden rule etc., and praying that they have a conscience. Some of these things are inherited, but they don’t know unless you tell them. I think I’m a little too honest and open with my boys. I scare the hell out of them about stranger danger. What to do if they get lost or if someone is creepy. Teaching them early on about body awareness and boundaries. 

We don’t live in the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s anymore. Hell I’m a child of the 80’s, and we were safer then than we ever will be again. 

Researching other generations is important to learn from the past. 
Do you know where your children are?

My hubby looked up the article above last night. He said “Do you remember hearing ‘It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?'” I had heard of this, but what we found seemed more interesting to me than the PSA itself.

My generation, GenY or Millenials, is always hearing and reading things should be simple like they were in the good ole days. Let kids be kids. Well, maybe not so much…

The PSA was largely targeting the parents of Generation X, described by a 2004 marketing study on HighBeam Research as “one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history.”[3][4][5][6]

It goes on to discuss the creation of a latchkey kid Latchkey Kid and the pros and cons to that lifestyle.

If we don’t parent our kids, who will? Having rules, regulations, and laws are essential to our safety as a society. But are we raising a generation of self righteous, entitled assholes?!


Simple everyday things like taking them on play dates, birthday parties, the park, grocery shopping and even to get gas has become a headache, a treat and torture all in one. That’s life today nothing is easy and we are all busy.

When I hear older generations say, “My kids were easy” and “Just let them play”, My husband and I look at each other puzzled and think “Um, maybe you f$&@?ed up.” If parenting is easy, I’m pretty sure you aren’t doing it right. 

“Nothing worth doing right is easy.” – Mike Matheny

“Nothing in the world is worth having, or worth doing, unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

We are setting our children up for failure if we are not good parents, role models, and teachers. 

Saying “No!” is harder than saying “Yes”. 

“There are winners and losers in games.” 

“Life isn’t fair.” 

“Bad things happen.” 

“Being polite is important.” 

“Be the friend you want to have.” 

“Communication is key.” 

“Open your mind, but guard your heart.”

 “Listening is an art.” 

“Patience will get you far in life.” 

This and all that other stuff you thought was bullshit, it’s what your parents should have told you. 

It’s all true. I’m still learning these on the daily! 
We have to learn to parent our children’s generation. Unfortunately, we don’t have the freedoms, trust, or maybe ignorance, of the past generations. But we can help create a new crop of adults that can continue the basic fundamentals of what it means to be a good person. The journey of our lives as kids into adults, and then into parents, requires all the virtues and promotes personal greatness in our kids.  
We have summer chore charts and we started asking the boys at bedtime, “what made you smile today? What made you sad today? What did you learn today?” 
It’s not going that well but I think Reflecting is important for everyone no matter what the age. Doing the right thing is hard and I am learning more from my 2 little, angel, nugget monsters than I ever thought possible.

Embracing the present, learning from the past, and looking to the future are how we learn to navigate this life, and love it everyday we are given. 
Xoxo
Just happy mommy  

When does it get better?! 

“When does it get better?”
My husband asked me from our bed as I walked in to wash my face, put on my face cream and brush my teeth.

I said “I don’t know?! Ugh maybe it doesn’t get better.” Then I walked out.

I went into check on our son since he woke up with a nightmare. I can barely keep my eyes open and my teeth are growing fur and I really need to wash my momiform aka “the robe”

This is reality.  I’m the mom. Even tho sometimes I feel like a dirty diaper and smell like a prepubescent boy. I’m happy I get to stay home and take care of my boys. I don’t know how it’s all going to workout but Lord knows it will. 

Right now I’m in my older sons twin bed writing this and watching him sleep. Creepy?! Um no! Pretty soon he won’t let me in his room, let alone lay in his bed to talk and scratch his back. 

Just before he fell asleep he looks at me and says,

“You can be happy mommy. I love you to the moon and back ten times.”

10 is the magic number. Everything is 10, ten more minutes, ten years old, 10! 

He was playing with my hair and then he kissed his fingers and touched my lips.

Tears start streaming down my cheeks and falling onto the pillow.

  He fell asleep with my hair in his hand. 

How do children have such intuition and know just what to say? I feel like God was speaking to me through my child. 

Lately it’s been so tiresome and exhausting to teach, love and nurture 2 little ones and all that goes along with it. But there are these little moments when you get a glimpse of a little breakthrough. 

When they are on their best behavior and use manners. 

When they show remorse and have a conscience. 

When they genuinely show love, care and concern for another person, you stop and think I’m doing a damn good job!

When they are misbehaving and you threaten and you have to follow through. That’s being hardcore and good parents. We have been following through and finally the thing I never understood and hated hearing my mom say was “it’s always harder to say No, than it is to say yes!” 

Huh?!? It all makes sense now. In order to not raise an asshole in today’s society we have to say no. 

Reward good behavior but also give penalties. Negotiating with little terrorists. Telling them NO more screen time when it’s easier to ignore and silence them with God knows what garbage. Hello guilty! Erryday. We iPad, YouTube, watch movies. 

People want to criticize everything. Mostly people without kids. Sorry DINKS. I always think “this is the diary of Britney Spears, you think you know but you have no idea.” It’s true we don’t know someone’s path until we walk in their shoes. 

But refreshingly I have heard that if our parents had these devices and tools they too would use them to their advantage to get things done. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Ferris Bueller’s day off Ferris: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

When does it get better? It doesn’t because these are the best days of our lives. The hardest yet most rewarding, because we are blessed and responsible for molding 2 precious boys into men. It’s a serious and great reaponsibility. We must stop and be present. Be present with our children. Be present with ourselves and with eachother. 

Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy