It happened

I have heard stories of it happening to other families, but it never had to us. It finally happened.  We were on our way back from a trip to LA and 2/3 of the boys were dressed in Star Wars costumes (one was required for an audition; one was dressed in solidarity with his brother), yet the force was not strong enough for this.  What happened was what nightmares are made of and we thankfully lived to talk about it.  I will tell you the tale, I promise, but prepare yourself and please choose wisely when it comes to eating while reading.

We drive to LA fairly regularly for auditions for the boys, primarily because I am a glutton for punishment.  It’s a pain in the A from a logistics standpoint (Do I bring all 473 of my kids with me?  Do I ask Danny the Nanny to watch the ones who are not auditioning? Although I hear babysitting is good for his mental health…it’s science, read about it here.) And then there are the issues of homework, adhering to reasonable weeknight bedtimes, and do we stay up there for dinner in order to miss rush hour traffic.  Cheesecake Factory, I love you and your Skinnylicious menu, but DAMN.  Enough is enough, sometimes.  The struggle of a Stage Mom can be real, ok?

So back to a week ago.  Our drive up was uneventful and we made pretty good time.  The audition itself went smoothly, the peanut gallery (aka brother mob that had to attend) were well-behaved while we waited, and we even stopped for a quick treat at Starbucks for the ride home. Now would be a good time to cue Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time…

I hit the road for home and it took some time to get to the freeway, but that was not unusual thanks to my GPS re-routing us and looking for the best option. We finally get to a freeway and we cruise along for a bit until we hit a wall of traffic. I knew we still had about an hour to go because my BFF Waze was telling me so, when I hear a sad whimper in the back seat followed by the unmistakable sound of what could only be Starbucks chocolate milk with whipped cream coming back out the way it came in.

Yep, puke. Puke, in a car that was sitting idle in what felt like a parking lot.  Puke in a car filled with ALL my kids, their backpacks and a violin case (that thankfully made it out unscathed) and yet NOT one change of clothes, wet knap, or towel of any kind in sight. I thankfully had an empty Halloween costume bag to hand the puker in case of any additional episodes, rolled down all the windows and told everyone we were going to be brave as we soldier on toward home.  As luck would have it, it was not a terribly cold evening so driving with the windows down was not completely awful, but the smell was horrific and the youngest opted to wear his Storm Trooper mask for the entire remaining 58 minute drive home.

We survived and I have never been more thankful to see my washing machine and dryer, or the local mobile car wash company the following day.  But the reality is that we were all a little scarred and long car rides are inevitable for our family unless we win the lottery and are able to travel by helicopter or chartered plane for any future trips.  Fingers crossed Puke Skywalker / Barf Tater grows out of this.

Advertisements

We are running out of time

I said it to my oldest just last night.  “You need to finish up your homework.  We are running out of time.”  It stopped me because it’s how I have been feeling lately and realized that we cannot escape it.  We ARE running out of time.  Literally, every day is hopefully another fresh start to do better than the previous one, but it’s also one day closer to running out of this precious time.

We are running out of time. When I really stop to digest this, it takes my breath away.  I sat around my dinner table the other night and thought about the wrinkles I am starting to notice around my eyes (which may have been there for some time, but I have tried my best to ignore) and how my boys have not a trace of a line on their faces.  Their skin is still so new, their eyes so bright and innocent.  They have yet to see what this world can do, both the good and the bad, and that fills me up with so many emotions I am not sure I can contain them all.

We are running out of time. I started to really feel this just over a year ago when I went in for an MRI for migraines, which turned into test after test to find out what was going on in this brain of mine.  I kept waiting to hear results like “it’s just so large and holds so much information we don’t know what to make of it”, but that was never the diagnosis we heard! 😊  While waiting I had trouble sleeping and was sure my kids would lose their mom even younger than I lost my own, and I did not know what to do with that.  This brain was causing even more problems than I truly had.

We finally found out that I have a rare blood vessel disorder with a fancy name that sounds like something you would order with an umbrella; “He’ll have a Mai Tai and I’ll have a Moyamoya.”  We met with the Chief of Neurosurgery at USC who is an absolute stud and whose only flaw is that he is not Dr. Derek Shepherd from Grey’s Anatomy (side note, Dr. Shepherd DID operate on a little girl with Moyamoya and I DID text my family furiously throughout the episode.  She lived, phew.)  I am in great hands and there is really nothing for me to do besides take daily medication, get my scans, eat well, exercise and LIVE MY LIFE!

But, it brings me back to this notion that we are running out of time.  This whole issue has reminded me that we have a limited time here and I am going to make the most of it.  I am going to say NO much more than I used to, and say YES when I really mean it.  My time will be spent more intentionally than frivolously, especially with my boys. And with my amazing family and friends who always made me feel protected in love and support.

We are all running out of time. I plan to make the best of mine.

In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

Tate’s Nap

November 28, 2010 – July 29, 2015

It is with great sadness we mourn the loss of Tate’s nap time. It was a cherished part of each and every day in the Barry household for over 4 years and will be a tremendous loss to all. And by all I mean with the exception of Tate who is relishing his new found freedom.

This nap provided Tate’s mom with some much needed time in the afternoons to regroup and typically to haphazardly plan what the eff she was going to feed the maniacs for dinner. Or sometimes to catch up on a Gossip Girl episode here and there without having to pause when an inquiring young mind would enter the room. It was also an imperative factor in keeping “the grouch” (aka, a nap-less Tate) at bay, even though most who know him find it hard to believe that he is ever anything less than sweet and kind.

Although this nap will be missed and could never be replaced, we do still have Casey’s afternoon nap to lessen the pain. At least for the moment since Casey’s nap is hit or miss and this child seems to live off adrenaline, chaos and giving mom gray hair.

In lieu of flowers, please send any activity ideas for the remaining days of summer break or possibly tequila.

Crazy Summer

Time Sure Is Flying By

Wow, I had every intention of writing more for this blog once I finished school, but looks like my intentions and my actions have yet had the time to chat with one another. I also intended to write more all around, in addition to keeping my house much tidier, and none of my plans have come to fruition. My evenings are now consumed with yawns and procrastination – can the dinner dishes wait until morning? How badly does the floor need to be swiffered? Plus, I like the time to chat with Mark when there are no interruptions (seriously, my kids have got to win the interrupting awards…what is that??) and maybe catch up on Scandal and The Following. Netflix, I think I may love you.

Just the other day I was hit with the realization of how fast time is actually going around here. People with older kids tend to tell the parents of young children to “enjoy this time because it flies by”. If I got paid for how often I have had a well-meaning, seasoned parent utter those words to me (or the dreaded “just wait” – I HATE that one, just an FYI), I would be able to hire a full-time staff around here. However, I got tripped up a few days ago when the calendar reflected that my last baby was 11 months old. How in the world did that happen and the time actually did feel as though it flew by. The newborn stage is NOT easy or fun for me. While it is filled with immense love and tenderness for this tiny being, it is also filled with exhaustion, emotional swings, a recovery time period, pain and discomfort, doubts in your abilities, and fears. We had done this twice before so much of my previous experience came rushing back when we brought Casey home, but I still felt like a novice at times. However, I feel like I blinked and now I am making his one-year doctor appointment. It really did fly by.

And apparently it flew by so quickly that my two older boys have turned into old men. Mark and I have started writing down the funny and “senior citizen-esque” phrases the boys are using because they are hilarious. It is unclear the exact moment when my 3 and 6-year olds turned into 85 and 88-year olds! Here are a few of our favorite gems:

Finn: “Sure is a nice day for the beach!” – as we talked about our plans for the day.
Tate: “You betcha!” – this was in agreement with Finn’s beach day observation.
Finn: “Mornin’ Cole, Mornin’ Evan” – this was how he greeted his kindergarten buddies each morning.  Er, mornin’.
Tate: “Well, of course I do!” – in response to whether or not he wanted to go to Trader Joe’s with me.
Finn: “We’ve got a big day ahead of us!” – I honestly have no idea what this was regarding, but it sounds exciting.
Tate: “Don’t mind if I do!” – this one was actually not used properly, but come on…Tate is THREE years old!
Finn: “For crying out loud!” – this was in response to Casey knocking down his block tower.
Finn: “Well, would you look at that!” – was when he located his swim trunks that were hanging right in front of him.

Do you see a resemblance???

Krispy Kreme boys                      Muppets

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your…

Hands, foot and mouth disease. Yuck. This fabulousness has infiltrated the Barry house and all three boys have it. Well, Tate has it the worst thus far, Finn has a mild case so it seems, and the baby has a rash and mouth sores. The doctor diagnosed Casey with, wait for it, Herpangina. He said it and I am not sure if the look on my face gave my thoughts away, but am pretty sure it did. If the doc and I were closer friends I would have shared with him that the diagnosis seemed more appropriate for what a female in the porn industry might catch, but alas I kept that for my closest friends.

Now, pre-HFM or HGina (that’s what I call it), I thought this only affected dirty a$$ kids. Kidding, but I did not think it was something we would deal with since Finn never had it and the other two are home with me. The doctor assured me it is very contagious in the incubation period and we could have caught it at a plethora of places, including a public pool, public playground, school, social circles…basically anytime we left the house we could have been exposed. I try to keep up with the hand washing around here, but since it is super contagious even the most diligent (aka crazy germ-a-phobe) of parents can have it slip into their households.

So basically yesterday was filled with fevers, Tylenol, crying, rashes, hydrating, and waiting. I called the doctor’s office when I noticed a strange rash on Casey and after confirming his temperature was 101.7. After waiting on hold for 10 minutes to make a same day appointment, I hung up and called back. Again, I pressed #1 to make a same day appointment and waited…and waited…and waited. At one point, a receptionist did pick up and I told her I would like to make an appointment for my son and was told she had to put me on a brief hold. Um, great I was beginning to get used to them. And was hoping to hear One.More.Time how their office now pierces ears and that they were so sad to report that Dr. Lee was resigning for an opportunity down in San Diego. I had only heard that approximately 19 times already.

Casey had now passed out on me so I was basically holding a 16lb heat lamp while attempting to eat my zucchini lasagna that was now cold (perhaps I should have put Casey on that??) and waiting for anyone to pick up the phone in the office. A total of 27 minutes went by and I hung up and dialed the number again, but this time I pressed 0 to ideally speak to a real person. Oh I got a real person…a real grouchy person.

Receptionist: “Pediatrics, how may I help you?”
Me: “Hi, I would like to make a same day appointment for my son please.”
Receptionist: “I have to put you on hold.”
Me: “Actually, I have been on hold for more than 25 minutes so I am not super excited to be put back on hold.”
Receptionist:….SNORTS and sort of chuckles “25 minutes huh? Well we have only been back in the office for 5 minutes so I don’t know how that could POSSIBLY have happened? How did you even get through to be put on hold for 25 minutes?!?!?! I have two people in front of you so I am going to have to put you on hold.”

Long story short, I was put on another 5 minute hold and then was helped by a different receptionist who could not have been nicer. I scheduled my appointment for a little while later that afternoon and then asked if she could please tell me the name of the previous receptionist. She sort of stammered and then made some excuse that she was not sure who it was because there were many of them answering phones. I let it go, how Frozen of me, right? That and I had to get everyone dressed, including myself, and ready to head out to the appointment. It really annoyed me though because this lady had no idea what I had been dealing with all day and she works in a freaking PEDIATRIC DOCTOR’S OFFICE. It’s not as though I was calling to get a pedicure/manicure/blow-out appointment, I was trying to take care of not one, but two kids who were feeling pretty crappy.

Anyway, the two littles were diagnosed and then I asked about Finn who had a fever on Tuesday, but otherwise seemed fine. The doctor took one look in his mouth and said he has it too, but a mild form and should be on the mend soon. Awesome. All three boys have this and I just envisioned a quarantine scenario where I was locked in our house to keep our hands, feet and mouths to ourselves. Except now Casey keeps trying to stick his hands in my mouth so he did not get the memo to keep them to himself. The doctor also shared with me that Mark and I can catch it too, and it is passed through saliva and poop. I am doing my best at refraining from both open-mouth kissing all of my boys and eating any poop sandwiches, so hopefully we will be ok. 😉

So if anyone is looking for us, we are home….bored. We are watching too much TV, getting on each other’s nerves and drinking….wait, not that kind of drinking. At least not yet.

And I will leave you with a photo collage from happier times – our trip to SB! We had a blast visiting places that were near and dear to our hearts for so many years and making memories with some of our favorite friends that live entirely too far away. We will be back soon.

photo

Vacation Mom

To celebrate Finn’s 6th birthday we decided to nix the big birthday party and instead take a mini vacation. He is a Lego fan through and through so the most obvious choice was to make the short trek to Legoland. Our previous trip to the park gave us a glimpse of the Legoland hotel which was in the first stage of construction, so once Finn heard we could go to Legoland AND stay at the hotel (in a pirate room, no less) he could not have been more excited. We did a countdown of how many more sleeps we had starting a week before we left and I did my best to keep everyone healthy. Yes, this may mean that I kept Tate home from My Gym that week because while I love that place, I am fairly confident it is a cesspool of germs. Am I overly cautious at times? You have no idea.

My diligence in keeping everyone healthy paid off though and we arrived Saturday morning to the boys’ dream vacation. Technically, it was Finn’s dream vacation because he is the Lego fan, but Tate is happy just to be alive and appreciates any adventure we take as a family. Check-in was smooth and before I knew it we had checked our bags at the front (arrrrrgh pirate room was not ready at check-in – OMG, did I really just type that?) and headed to the park. Vacation Mom was in full effect….have you met her? She is the one who does not get super annoyed by every little noise that her kids make and can be seen soaking up her kids’ pure joy. Waiting in lines, the heat, and crowds are not nearly as bothersome as they are at home. What did the boys want for lunch? Pizza!! Vacation Mom, who is trying her hardest to eat healthy and set a good example for her children, devoured slices of the goodness and did not even bat an eye. While Casey napped in his stroller and the two older boys walked through an adventure themed maze, Vacation Mom purchased chocolate milks for the boys so they could have a sweet surprise when they exited the attraction. The boys wanted to take a break from eating dinner to have a dance party by our table or boogie down in quite possibly the most fun elevators ever? Vacation Mom was down to dance right alongside, regardless of who might be watching.

IMG_1814            IMG_1821            IMG_1816

  IMG_1826

 Although the boys wanted to go to the water park the first day, we opted to head back to the hotel to take advantage of the pool. Casey and Vacation Mom stayed back in the room to have an afternoon snack and then met the other boys a little later. The beach entrance pool with floating Legos was a hit for Finn and Tate; the cocktail server and covered chaise lounges rated high on Vacation Mom and Dad’s enjoyment scale, not to mention the two lifeguards helping to ensure the boys remained safe while they played. Throw in a visit from our fun Auntie and this was an all-around, grade A+ vacation without breaking the bank completely (although it is not cheap, by any means.)

 

IMG_1832           IMG_1834         IMG_1843

    IMG_1839

It was a little sad when the valet returned our car to the front of the hotel and we loaded up our luggage and souvenirs from the trip. There is always a little sadness when a vacation comes to an end, especially one that was packed with so much enjoyment, laughs and fun. Vacation Mom has slowly started to disappear as we are back to the real world – having to remind the boys more times than necessary to clean up their toys, packing snacks and backpacks for the last week of school, grocery shopping, laundry. However, now that I have been lucky enough to see that Vacation Mom truly does exist, I am looking forward to getting to spend more time with her in the future and I am sure my family would agree! 🙂

                                  IMG_1845                        IMG_1825

We got this!

This is the story of how my three-year-old turned out to be my voice of reason. Yesterday I took Tate and Casey to Disneyland to meet our friends, Angela and Mason. The weather turned out to be awesome for a quick trip to the happiest place on earth and although I was running later than I would have liked, the morning was relatively smooth. We parked the car and got in line to ride the monorail in because this was going to be supposed to be the easier entrance option.

I felt excited for our adventure and knew Tate was too because he had a little skip in his step. Literally, he learned to skip recently and it is pretty darn cute to witness. We waited in a short line to get through security and I sort of smiled to myself thinking how capable I am handling my kids solo on a trip to Disneyland. Now, if you have read any of my previous posts you are thinking “damn it, Courtney, why do you have to get so confident about your mothering skills when you KNOW that almost always means some sh*t is about to go down”, but sometimes I seem to forget. Anyway, back to my story. I pulled out my super expensive third baby diaper bag (also known as a plastic Ralph’s grocery bag) from the bottom of the stroller and there was evidence of a teensy tear in it. Disney security cleared me of being any sort of terror risk and I took my ghetto bag back, and that was when all hell broke loose. Ok, by “all hell” I mean the contents of said bag, but it felt like my own personal hell in that moment.

Now, I am a planner by nature and had packed my bag thoughtfully with every item that my kids could possibly need for a quick trip to visit the home of a giant mouse and a duck who sees no shame in cruising around sans pants. And because I was trying to make it easy on myself, I condensed all these items into only one bag so I could easily carry that onto the monorail once I collapsed the stroller, while also lugging a car seat with a 15+ lb baby and holding the hand of Skipper. So, you can imagine my anxiety when posed with the dilemma of having to carry the above items in addition to this list: One (full) package of baby wipes, a plethora of diapers, two changes of clothes for baby (he has been known to poop completely through an outfit so one must always be prepared), sunscreen for the boys and for myself, two water bottles, two granola bars, my nursing cover, and the baby Bjorn.

I surveyed all of our items and quickly broke out into a sweat as my brain put our options into two categories: (1) You are going to have to go home because this is outside the scope of “the plan”; and (2) Get your sh*t together, literally, and figure this out. Taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly with my lips closed and pushing my cheeks outward I felt my anxiety rise. The monorail was exiting the station, which meant another one was on its way to pick us up and I was the only adult in my party of three who would have to figure this out. I bent down to get closer to the items and said out loud something along the lines of “ok, what are we going to do?” I felt a little hand on my shoulder and turned to look directly into Tate’s sweet face. He smiled at me and said “we got this, Mommy!” and I had to laugh at his pep talk which encouraged me to choose option 2.

Quickly, I grabbed the baby Bjorn and secured it to my chest, then shoved everything I could possibly fit in there. Casey was stuck having to share his car seat with diapers, my nursing cover and his change of clothes and Tate was tasked with carrying his water bottle and the snacks. We made it onto the monorail, found our friends, and had a super fun trip to the park no thanks to my quick thinking, but rather the encouragement of a pretty special three-year-old with an old soul and his dad’s demeanor!

Image                                            Image

 

Image

Spring “Give Me A” Break

We survived Spring Break over here and when I use the term “survive”, I mean it. It was awesome to be without a set schedule every day and not have the mad dash in the morning. If you can imagine a tornado of backpacks, lunch boxes, reminders, socks (why are there so many freaking socks in this house…and all over the place???), dilly-dallying and distractions, that is what our weekday mornings look like as we prepare just to get out of the house for school. So with the crazy morning train mitigated for the week, things were pretty mellow around here.   However, it gave me a preview of what summer is going to look like for us and I may be cringing a little when I think of keeping these boys occupied All.Summer.Loooooooooooooooooong.

Monday started with some relaxing coloring and painting, and then I moved all three boys outside for some fresh air. In our garden, we planted the sunflower that Finn brought home from school and it felt so good to have sunshine on our backs and some dirt under our fingernails. Yes, I got my hands dirty. We played in the little grassy area of our backyard and worked on our basketball skills. I made us lunch and then decided to keep the outside party going by having a picnic! They devoured their lunches and then came the three dreaded words any parent who is home the majority of the day with kids can hear… “We are bored!” I bit my lower lip and glanced at the clock to find it was 1:37pm. It was only 1:37pm.  At least we made it to the afternoon before they declared their bored-ness, but come on.

   Image                                 Image

Day two: I decided we were going to build a fort and have snack time inside our new dwelling. The boys were thrilled with this idea and I even think I glanced a glimmer of “maybe she IS fun at times” in their eyes. Stuffed animals, puzzles and books were brought into our fort and I made the mistake of thinking I had everything under control and maybe even threw in a, “take that” boredom. I managed to deliver snacks to the older two while I entertained Casey on the activity center, when I heard a crash followed by a yelp. Looking over I saw that one of the chairs had been knocked over by our pet cow cat (he’s enormous) and the fort had imploded onto the boys. Nobody was hurt in Fort-watch 2014, but tears were shed and a few crackers were lost in the ruins.

Image                                             Image

By Wednesday: We were all crazy. Need I say more?

Image

Image

Thursday and Friday were a blur and all I really recall from either of those two days was wildly typing on the computer to find summer activities / camps / lessons / insane asylums for the boys. That and a baby who seems to hate falling asleep for nap time or napping for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

There was a lot of this….                                                                        Very little of this…

Image                                       Image

Thankfully we all lived to tell, or type, about Spring Breakdown – (thank you Jennel L. for the term which accurately describes our week!) and I was left feeling even more thankful for all the wonderful teachers in the world! 🙂

Give Me Rest…or Earplugs

I’m tired.  This is probably not going to come as a surprise to anyone considering what a whiner I am about this recently, but it is the truth.  I recall hearing stories about sleep deprivation from seasoned parents when I was pre-baby Courtney and am ashamed to admit I am pretty sure I shrugged it off.  I went to college, UCSB no less, so there was no shortage of late nights and lack of sleep.  Tired?  I’d been tired before.  What was all this complaining about??  Now, I take full responsibility for my ignorance and lack of true understanding! When you couple the lack of a good night sleep for what is going on months now with caring for three boys under the age of 6, not to mention all the other responsibilities and roles I have, it is not surprising that I feel as though I am traipsing through my day like this…

 Image

Well, maybe not exactly like that.  She is way better dressed, has jewels on and it looks as though she has washed and blow-dried her hair recently.  Lucky B word that rhymes with hitch.

And it is not just the sleep deprivation that is exhausting.  My boys, whom I love dearly, argue with one another like they are practicing for future career endeavors in litigation.  And if they are not arguing, they are talking….constantly. To one another, to me, to themselves (which sometimes involves arguing with themselves), to their stuffed animals, to their real animals, or just to anyone who comes into their line of vision. If you have never had the pleasure of hearing someone talk constantly, please feel free to come over for a visit.  It will most likely be a short visit and I bet you a tall mocha you will leave exhausted.   Blended with whip, please.

We are lucky enough to live a super short distance from Finn’s school so the car ride over is a “blink and you’ll miss it” type commute.  Now, don’t start thinking “maybe she should walk the boys to school instead of drive because then she would be getting some exercise and wouldn’t be so tired!” I would agree with you and think that sounds like a splendid idea; however, our mornings are whirlwinds of pleading, cajoling, persuading, threatening, procuring, sighing, sticky finger wiping, reminding, time-outing, snack preparing, teeth brushing, whining, and possibly sobbing, with some arguing and constant talking thrown in.  We are lucky that we get out of the house alive, no less on time, and that means doing all of this 20 minutes earlier to be able to walk to school is a no go. 

I digress.  The car ride over this morning consisted of this conversation:

Tate: “Finn, what did you just say?”
Finn: “I didn’t say anything, Tate.” Exasperated already by his little brother.
Tate: “You said something when we were on our way to school.”
Finn: “We ARE on our way to school, Tate.” Super exasperated at this point.
Tate: “I KNOW!” Starting to get exasperated.
Finn: “Yes we ARE! Why did you say NO!?!?!?!??!?!?!” Smoke may possibly have been coming from his ears.
Tate: “I DIDN’T, I SAID I KNOW!”
Finn: “No you didn’t!”
Me: “He actually said I know, not no.”
Finn: I’m ALWAYS wrong!” Tears….
Me: DEEP BREATHS

Literally, this was a 2 minute car ride and we had constant talking, arguing, raised voices, and tears. Multiply this by all the waking hours of the day and I finally seem to get why I am tired all the time. Please note that Casey did not have time to nap this morning before we had to take our peaceful and calming trek to school, so he screamed the majority of the time we were all getting ready. For the record, trying to brush one’s teeth/wash one’s face/or use the lavatory one-handed with a screaming baby in one’s ear should be an Olympic sport and I would have medaled with a bronze. Go Team Tired!

Being Present

I have never been a fan of making resolutions for the New Year.  For whatever reason, it seems as though “resolutions” are more difficult to keep than goals.  And I do not think it is just me that has difficulties; just ask anyone who purchased a gym membership this past January 1st to see if they are still making it to their exercise class on the regular! 😉

A goal that I set for myself this year was to be present in the moment for those that are important in my life.  As many moms can attest, I feel that I need to be willing and able to multitask most of my waking hours. Part of this is my own fault for putting this type of pressure on myself and I made a commitment to worry less about getting everything done and concern myself more with appreciating the moment.  I have fallen prey to snapping a million photos of my kids while we are out enjoying ourselves.  Some of these I post on my social media pages, others I keep for myself to look back and remember the fun times we had while they were certain ages and still young enough to want to hang out with me.  However, I do not want to only have photos of good times, but want to actually enjoy myself by being present for my kids while making those memories. 

This past Saturday I took the older boys to lunch and to see the new Lego movie.  As ridiculous as it may sound, I needed to remind myself that I was not to take my phone out while we were enjoying our day, unless it was to either check the time or if there was a photo opportunity that I really did not want to miss.  Otherwise, it was to stay put in my purse and I would focus on this precious time spent with just two of my boys. 

During lunch we talked about school, friends, gangster movies (don’t judge, we were eating lunch at a place called “Mobtown Pizza”…I said, don’t judge!), where we wanted to go on our next vacation, and our favorite ice cream.  Instead of doing a quick check of my email or peeking at Facebook which most likely would not have added any value to the moment I was actually in, I was able to really focus on my boys.  During lunch I learned that Finn does not want to get married when he is older and that Tate has already picked out his forever mate!

Finn: “Mommy, do I have to get married when I am older?”
Me: “No, you do not have to get married, but you may want to one day.”
Finn: “No way, I don’t want to get married.  Ever.”
Me: “Why do you feel that way?”
Finn: “Because it’s gross.”
Me: “That is a bit dramatic.  Tate, do you think you want to get married when you are older?”
Tate: “Yep! I’m going to marry you!”

After lunch we had some time to kill before the movie started and I found a shady bench to sit on while the two of them ran off some of that endless energy that only kids have and do not seem to appreciate.  The weather was warm enough to be a summer day and I could see their cheeks getting rosier by the second.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching my boys run up and down a hill screeching with joy while trying to tag one another and graciously accepted little yellow flowers they had picked just for me without once thinking I was missing out on something new in my circle of cyber acquaintances. I did snap this one photo really quickly so I could capture that sweet moment on our date and in looking at it now I can almost hear their giggles that I am so thankful I made myself stop and truly appreciate.

Image

Life is busy and I am sure I will lose my momentum with this goal at some point, but I am committed to being present for those people who are important in my life. I’m not giving up multitasking and as a mom to three little ones that is basically survival at this point. Not to mention that I still have to find the time to plan my wedding to Tate! 🙂