Tag Archives: parenting

The Greatest Show On Earth . . . My Way

Boys at circus

Yep, I did it my way. I took my princes to see the circus the only way I know how – economically. Let me give you a few tricks of the trade to save money on ticketed events.

– Always google the word “discounts” or “coupons” with whatever event you’re going to. In this case I searched for “circus discounts” and found out about an awesome program at the local library. Read 5 books, get a free child’s ticket with an adult purchase. Bam.
– Sign up online to receive emails from the company. I’ve done this several times and gotten great details re: early sales, ways to save, etc. I signed up for the birthday club from Legoland and got free entry for each boy during his birthday month.
– Facebook. I sign up for the company’s facebook page, and tap into some of my “frugal” networks to see what deals they’ve unearthed. Our local paper also has a column on seeing Atlanta cheap. I stay on top of that.
– Check out all of the savings websites. Groupon, ScoreBig, Living Social and Goldstar are just a few. I scour these sites to compare which deal is the best.

We loved gaining admission, paying less than normal.

Coming soon … how I saved money once we got inside.

Live and On Fire Part II

Mrs Always Right

On Monday I talked about some fun things you can do to really enjoy each other as a married couple, when the kids aren’t around. Well, most of us don’t have built in sitter services anytime we want them (though my incredible sisters-in-law are the next best thing). So what can we do to keep the fires burning when we have our little people in tow?

– Put on their favorite movie, go sit in another room, cuddle and talk.
– Put them to bed, surprise your honey with their favorite snack, and put on a movie
– Hide in the bedroom and have a full conversation (not my best idea, but sometimes you just have to)
– Begin each day greeting each other with a hug or kiss
– Did I mention sleep? Sometimes we have to do this in shifts. Technically, it doesn’t count since we’re not doing it together. But we’ll be better for each other after a good nap.

Love Me Some Him

My youngest son and I are opposites. I’m outgoing, he refuses to communicate. I’m pretty affectionate, he’s … not. When it’s time to be calm and reserved, he thinks it’s time to get buck wild. Though we are alike in one critically important way – we both love chocolate and macaroni and cheese. Lol. But I digress. Let’s just say, with two completely different personalities, there may not seem to be a lot of common ground.

Yet there is in one very important way. Love. I love my sweet four year old baby boy. I love his little fat juicy hands and cheeks. I love the way he talks. I love his smile. I love to see him run, happily playing, without a care in the world (even if he’s wearing me out). I love to hear him sing and laugh. I love to see him lick his lips and rub his belly for his favorite foods. And I love to cuddle with him.

As a parent I’m learning that it’s not about trying to get my kids to fit in a certain mold for me, or about seeing how “like me” they can be. It’s about loving them for who they are, as the precious gifts God meant them to be. And I do love me some him.

Yes, But He’s Mine

I had a harrowing day. Dentist appointment, school, business calls in the middle of grammar assignments, grocery shopping, son that ran buck wild around the store (there truly is not another way to describe it), basketball practice, baths, prayers and bed. To say I am exhausted would be an understatement. As my mind wanders over my day, it becomes fixed on one point … one little 4-year-old point to be exact. My youngest son (the one who ran around the store and screamed, crazy and carefree). It took all of my energy – mental, physical, emotional – to maintain composure. I warned. I was firm. I threatened. I finally pleaded. Nothing worked to calm him down. He wasn’t upset mind you … just having fun. I felt the other shoppers’ eyes. Some were scathing. A few came over and told me how “cute” he was (not quite sure how they meant it). A few times I wanted to pretend I didn’t know him. But as I think back over it all, I come to one conclusion … this kid is pure energy with legs. He’s loud, wild, funny, maddening, silly, frustrating and exhausting. But he’s mine. And I love him just the way he is.

Of course I can say that now … lol. But if you see me out shopping … don’t ask.

Working It Out

I feel like a lot of my posts are about decisions. It seems like life is decision, after decision, after decision! Some are small – what to eat for breakfast, what to wear today, makeup or no makeup. Then there are slightly more weighty decisions … what school curriculum to use, what activities to involve the kids in, do I schedule that meeting this week or next. Important decisions, yes, life or death, no. My problem is, I make some of the important decisions, out to be life or death. Do you ever catch yourself doing that? I hate it because I get stressed out about something that will work out just fine in the end. I’m not diminishing the value of moving in God’s timing or doing things when they need to be done. But sometimes, it just ain’t that serious. Let this encourage those of you who can be a bit like me. Breathe, relax, take a step back. It will all work out.

Who’s the Real Superhero?

superhero

My husband posted something profound on Facebook today. It definitely bears repeating. Well said, honey.

I was getting ready to get my little man(4) ready for the day. He did not want to because he had on his superhero underwear and he knew it meant putting a clean one on. I started thinking you are not a super hero because of what you wear…which lead me to thinking about us n our relationship with god. we are not defined by what we do, have or wear. We are ‘super’ because we serve and belong to a ‘super-natural’ God. As such, it’s time we go out and be ‘super’. Rescue some one today, encourage someone today, amaze someone today, avert a crisis today, after all you are a ‘super-hero’ serving a ‘super-natural’ God! ‪#‎Da‬-Real-Super-Heroes

Not On The Court, Mom

Not on the Court 2

It finally happened. I embarrassed my son. He was incredible on the basketball court – as incredible as an 8-year old can be. He’d actually made two shots to help his team win the game! I was so proud. I shouted – a lot – during the game. During one of my “let’s go” moments, I let a nickname slip. It’s not a “cutey” name or doesn’t contain the words “sweetie, honey or precious”, so I thought I was in good shape. After his face morphed into a deer caught in headlights, he frantically waved his hands “nooooo!” from the court. I thought I was just too loud, lol. Turns out, after the game, he explained that I could only call him “Andrew” on the court. My face fell. I was crushed. Really? Yes, really.

And the list has grown. I also am not supposed to randomly kiss him in public, and I can’t be too silly, lest any of his friends are around. Plus, I can’t mention certain TV shows he watches or fun things he does at home, in case it’s too silly. I mean, really, how am I supposed to remember all this?!

I can’t believe the regulations from my 8 year old. Sniff sniff. Not on the court, indeed ….

Say Cheese ….

Missing two front teeth

My son sang “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth,” from October through Christmas. As anxious as he was to lose his teeth, he was equally anxious that new ones weren’t coming back in. It was taking too long, he lamented. Had he pulled them out too hard for anything to come back, he wondered. Was something wrong with the adult teeth, he asked. And on and on he persisted. He’d finally gotten what he wanted, and instead of being happy and satisfied, he immediately starting worrying about what should happen next.

My son’s only 8 years old, but already he’s exhibiting this unattractive adult trait. Aren’t we often like that? We pray for and work towards something, and then it finally happens. Instead of being happy, or grateful, or just resting in our victory, we start worrying. What’s next? What else do I have to do? How will the following steps take place? And so on and so forth.

Well, just as I saw this behavior in my son, I learned an important lesson from him. We discussed the situation, and he decided to just be thankful for what he was expecting – a new tooth to come in. He decided not to worry and wonder, and instead enjoy the present moment. And guess what … that new tooth started peeking through.

He’s now glad he took those moments to relish his two front teeth missing. And he’s excited to show off his burgeoning smile.

Say cheese ….

I Can’t Believe Fear Made Me Do That

It was subtle, I’ll admit. I called it other things … anger, frustration, staying informed, being aware, and just plain out wanting to know what’s going on. That’s what I could see. But what I didn’t realize was happening, taking root like a weed inside me, was a pervasive feeling of fear.

Like many of you, I’ve watched the painful coverage of the shootings then lack of indictments in the cases of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, as well as watched George Zimmerman walk after shooting Trayvon Martin. I prayed. I hurt. I cried. And I hugged my babies tighter. Inwardly, I resolved to do all I could to fight the feeling of powerlessness attempting to plague me. Though my boys are young, I slipped in nuggets of wisdom regarding dealing with police and presenting yourself in public. Things no parent of color wants to say. Yet things that must be communicated to our children.

I realized how deeply I’d been affected when I discovered a couple of pricing tags my son had from the store. To him, they were nothing more than something to play with – pricing tags that had fallen to the ground, not attached to any merchandise. They were like the coupons he gets from the machines for me. To me, it screamed unfair and unsavory accusations of theft, accusations and potential punishments. And in essence, I lost it. Instead of giving him a good, thorough understanding of why these items have to remain in the store (he’s only 7), I started talking about stealing, and how people won’t see it as an innocent mistake, and how you can be punished and taken away from us. I came close to crying. He did cry. I wasn’t trying to scare him. I was scared.

Scared of losing him. Scared of him being misunderstood. Scared that such an innocent mistake would be viewed that way were the child white; but for my son, surely someone would try to label him. Or worse. My son is an exemplary child. He’s smart, kind, loving, giving, and knows right from wrong. He was picking up a pricing tag off the floor, he reasoned, not merchandise you have to pay for. And while it still merited discussion, it didn’t deserve my tirade of sorts. I couldn’t believe fear of how I thought others would react to what my son had done, purely because of his beautiful brown skin, made me act.

My husband talked me through it. I went back to my son. I apologized, hugged him, and told him I loved him. I explained things the right way. And while I can’t pretend these feelings will immediately disappear, I’ll continue to pray – and focus on faith – instead of fear.