Category Archives: life lessons

The Intertwined Bucket List

My family is totally amazing and often times crazy with their “do it or you should just go curl up and die” attitude.

When My Great Grandfather turned 90 we celebrated his life with a huge party. His health was not great and he was in a wheel chair. None of that stopped us from swinging him around the dance floor and I can still see the smile on his face from that day. But, what I remember most about my great grandparents is that they were so full of life. It has been about 10 years now since they have been gone and I still feel them impacting the way I do things.  The presence of their attitude has yet to leave me. Often I find myself smiling when I know I have done something the way one of them would have (it is kind of long running joke to be a little quirky like my great-grandfather).

The loss of such people in my large and extended families lives has really had a dramatic effect.  I hope one day that my children’s children’s children say such a thing about me.  It has members of my family exploring the planet, living out their passions, loving fully and of course marking things off that great and powerful “BUCKET LIST”.


My 84-year-old great-uncle and ____ year old, gorgeous great-aunt (shhh, it is never polite to speak of a woman’s age). Have done more in these last few years than I have in my entire life and they are not stopping. Retirement is usually known for its lazy days, retirement homes with shuffleboard games, and dwindling pensions/social security to fund it all with. Not for my relatives! Instead of sitting back they decide to do a 5K run.Shoe print

It is not just that they have decided to do it that is so very inspiring.   (learn more about the 5K run here)

These two people have managed to put a bee in everyone’s bonnet (love that saying). This seemingly harmless 5k run has turned into a family event. It has motivated those of us that have forgotten to push ourselves into joining in on the excitement. The pride of supporting others, the strength of enduring and overcoming, the sheer adrenaline for encouraging others,  among other things has all started to snowball in this family. Plans are in the works to join in, little did I know placing a “fulfill bucket list” was going to be placed at the top of my own personal Bucket List.

It all just make me realize that we are all so intertwined. One persons life fishes in and out of yours creating a web that makes you stronger. A give and take relationship if you will, that fuses you together and what you are left with is nothing short of amazing. I know I am so lucky to have the people in my life that constantly re-enforce such behaviors of love, care, devotion, compassion, understanding, support, nurturing, growth, learning, and just overall living a good life.

I am so proud of my family for doing what they do. Family is the tendrils that start us growing into who we become. I know not all family is traditional. Mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, whatever kind of people who establish those beginnings. As a parent I think about all of this so often. The kind of mom I am and what my background does for me or my children. People like my Great Aunt and Uncle remind me how I need to focus my energy into doing even those things I only think about.  How about you?

Have you positively helped build someone else’s web today? Have you thought about your Bucket List (I have 2, more on that another day) and what you could accomplish in your lifetime?


Oh boy, Halloween is almost here.

Thinking this post through has taken me some time. In the end, I really felt I wanted to, NO, HAD TO share my experiences with you.

Halloween in coming up and every year I dread this holiday.

My children have never just fell in that scope of normal when it comes to behavior. I would love to say that they are like every other child out there. For this mom this is far from the reality that is their childhood. My children have offered me challenges at every turn. Mostly in the way that they were going to be willing to confront the world. I do have those sweet, quiet children in my life, however, they often get overshadowed by those that demand more (Pratus is one such child). I have often felt like an outsider parent when it came to raising these children. For example: when I would go to play groups with other parents it always was a disaster. I saw how they would look at me with pity and yet with no idea how to help me. I sometimes wondered if they thought that my children’s behavior would be catchy as if it were a sickness. Then there were those that thought I was a passive parent that allowed my children to run amuck. Assuming my child was just undisciplined, was really difficult for me. Often I am overly demanding as a parent. I have been told I just need to relax and allow them to make mistakes. In my role as a parent to just let them make their mistakes had not been an option (now that I have teen I learning to do this more and more. I have found that it is actually a good thing and not something to fear as it was when they were small). I was/am organized. I think things through. I plan my trips to stores when I don’t have to take a child. I cook when I know they are self entertained, etc, etc, etc.  All with the express intent to keep them safe and happy as well as not torture the outside world with my so called little hellions. 

Halloween, The one day of the year where we throw the never ending teachings that, we never take candy from strangers, out the window. The one day of the year when bad guys can actually be good guys. The one day where scary is awesome, and we promote it instead of shielding our children from it. That one day of the year where we ignore bedtime organization, diets, germ practices, and so on. Have I said how I dread this holiday? I would very much love to just shut the curtains and pretend it isn’t happening. I just don’t feel that is fair or teaches the right message to my kids.

I stood my ground for years against people and what they think is best for my children. I have ignored the people who have told me that my child just needs a firm spanking, just because that is what worked for them in their time. I have put off people that said to me “well they are just going to have to learn how to act like everyone else”. SORRY NO, THEY AREN”T CATTLE. I have gone outside the box more times than I can count. All in the hopes of a cohesive life. No, not cohesive but, an amazing life. A life where they flourish and become people who can know that there isn’t only one way of doing things. 

Halloween is often a time filled with excessive stimuli. Often for some children it is just too much. Pratus last year couldn’t handle the costume. At 2.5 years old, he hated being dressed in much of anything, much less as a dragon. I thought it was cute until I saw his face and how much this cuteness upset him. He literally had a meltdown over this thing being on him. After a bit of unsuccessful cohersing and trying to convey my pleasure in seeing him as a dragon, I realized he was not going to budge and quickly stripped him of the cuteness. I was really disappointed, but what was worse was how horrible his behavior was after that. He was upset with me. He kept trying to get across how that made him feel, but at 2.5 it all comes out like a demon possession. In both our eyes that Halloween was not one for the happy scrapbooks.

As good as it got.  😦 only picture where you can’t see tears.

When I first encountered behavior from my children that seemed not like the norm, I jumped to the internet, friends, family, doctors.  Really anyone who I thought could tell me what this was and how to handle it. Doctors said medication helps. My friends were clueless as most had “normal” kids. My family was just as frustrated as I was and really wished I would just keep my kids at home. Then there was the internet and its fountain of information. The internet led me from one unknown to a vast wasteland of people who like me were clueless but, looking for answers. A few sites had some good ideas, but, nothing more than hypotheses, or studies that may be on the verge of something just not there yet, or just outright bullarky!  I remember wading through the mass amounts of crud and finding a few tidbits of actual useful information. It seemed that artificial colors, flavors and preservatives were for a lot of children’s catalysts to unwanted behavior. 

Halloween, a time for colorful treats and CANDY, CANDY, CANDY, CANDY.

I hit rock bottom with my kids when they were very little. I figured it was me, I was not a good parent because I couldn’t make them be like other kids.  I started to change their diets as a pitiful attempt to alter their unruly behavior. I had little faith that it would do anything but, I was desperate. I had no support for this back some 14 years ago. At that time it was medication or just understanding that you had a child with disabilities. It really seemed there was that fine line between a child who thought and acted differently and a child in a wheel chair with a debilitating physical/mental handicap. For years and I do mean years the diet I put them on was met with some of the most horrendous and judgmental views. I thank god that now it is trendy to feed your children “Organic” or  “all natural”. Back then it was truly a fight with everyone. How could I not allow my children to have treats like a “normal” child. There was that word again (as Forest Gump would say “normal is as normal does”). I wanted to just scream at people, “fine I accept I don’t have a normal child and yes, it is my fault”or “I’m sorry, by all mean give my child the cupcake as they are so deprived and it is just cruel”. 

Halloween, makes me cringe, but, this year I have seen some hope. With so many more children out there with allergies or people deciding to eat differently, trick or treating can be hard. This year they have this new thing where a house that has non-candy treats puts up a teal pumpkin (read more about it here). I think that is great, a little hard to see in the dark but, great.

Teal pumpkin project

Now I am in a whole new world, yet back to the same old adage “your child is not NORMAL”. Pratus thinks differently and acts accordingly. To most a child that skins his knee and then cries is acting normally in a normal situation. When my son skins his knee and has a fit over it people see it as acting abnormally to a normal situation. However, for Pratus he is acting normally to an abnormal situation. He becomes angry and aggressive. At 3 he is mad at the ground for hurting him and mad at himself for being hurt. He struggle to come to me to be comforted. For him a bandaid is just another thing that just doesn’t work. The feel of it is not comforting. So here I am, a mom that just wants to make her child’s boo boo go away. The problem is that I just don’t know how to do it. 

Halloween, Oh how I would love to enjoy your simple fun in a grown up way. I would love to stand side by side with another mom watching our children run up to houses, thier little faces flush with excitement, their little costumes cute and picture worthy. I would love to see candy filling our house with sweetness. I would love to take my teens to a haunted house or even attend a party. That will not be the case for this mom. I will be sending off my teens with the child that can handle it, meaning I stay behind for the child that can’t.

So many people lose out when households have to adjust to situations. I know I am not the only person that has had to make adjustments or allotments for someone. There are just are times where it never becomes easier to accept. 

Halloween, you are one holiday that will have to wait to be celebrated the way you deserve to be. Until then, oh how you cause me so much frustration. I just can’t focus the blame on the child so, you will have to take the brunt of it. Maybe next year we will have learned how to co-mingle until then….BOO! on font

Alanso, during his phase for the love for all things pirate.
spooky kid
Sabrina being spooky
kids costumes
Sabrina, Trenton and Dawson the younger years.
My little sweet chicken Alanso. This is his final year in his favorite costume, I can’t wait to see it go 🙂

When life gives you lemons, turn them into apples and…

Make yummy sweet alchoholic drinks!!!!

Seriously, life has a way of twisting and turning in the most unexpected ways.  This last week I have been up and down, running from one end of town to another and signing my name on documents more times that I can count. So much of my energy has been take up with things that need to get done that there are times when I had to stop and remind myself to just breath. This week I decided also to get myself organized. Not to have any more pity parties (remember I have just recently become a single mother) and to just get stuff done.

I always felt that this kind of thinking was the very stuff that made me feel accomplished and over all just good. I got myself a binder some plastic protective sleeves, some notecards, some deviders, paper and some halfway decent pens. I was supper excited to put my family together an organizer so that we can keep a colective tally on our lives. I so hate kaos but, with 5 kids it seems unavoidable. I was attempting to make things a little less kaotic. Did you know that there are like a million pins on pentrest that are all about keeping organation binders for your family? I did not, for about 5 seconds I thought I was being original, HA HA HA. There are print offs on budgeting, meal planning, kids activities for rainy days, vacination schedules, date nights, calendars, and on and on and on. I was floored. What a very marvolous thing, of course this isn’t a new idea, duh. There have been moms out there trying to keep things to a dull roar in their homes for centuries. Maybe not in a binder per say but,  looking back in history you see some amazingly organized women that accomplish so much and a lot of them with very little.  The whole thing has me extremely proud of my gender! Yes, I know men too can be organized.  I have just not really ran in the same circles as any of them.

One of the things I want to do with my organizer is to print off recipes for things that I have made and loved! Things that I may not make except around holidays and such. For example: I ran accross a recipe for an Apple Pie Sangria: posted by “The Cookie Rookie” that I have just got to try. Just from the ingredients I know this it going to be a favorite. I very much have enjoyed this blog post not only for the yummy ADULT beverage that she posted but, the dog in the photos is hilarious. Let me know if you got the sence that the dog was the true main star of some of the photos.

I am NOT going to show you photos of my binder. It is totally sad in comparison to what people have been able to create, some much so It might as well be called an art form. I will however show you a picture of of an Apple Pie Sangria. 🙂

pie Does that not look delish to you?