Thursday, January 22, 2015

Birthdays Are For Baking

One of my other resolutions (yes, I'm over-using the theme!) is to blog more.  The problem is that I have to wait for interesting, thought-provoking things to happen.  Sometimes, when I argue with Kaleb (which, thankfully, doesn't really happen all that often), I'll have the inappropriate thought in the back of my head, "Well, at least, I have something to write about."  Then, I feel guilty for thinking that.  And, then I blog about it. anyway. haha. 

Nothing wrong with that, really.  Not until I start picking fights just to have a topic. Don't worry, I'm kidding. ;)  But, it is incredibly therapeutic to write about it, get it out of my head a little and to read other people's thoughts on it.  I also think it's amazing, beyond words, that sometimes my posts help others.  

But, since these heavy situations don't happen every day (yay!), I thought it would be fun to post about more fun stuff.  Like, did you know that William and Antwan are training to be Jedis?  (Yes, it's a thing.)  Or that Lizzie is obsessed with popcorn and her favorite Christmas gift was a hot air popcorn maker? (She's been talking about it all morning.)  Or that Kaleb is fairly popular and gets invited to way more parties than I ever did? (I'm only a little jealous.)  Or that Brian does a pretty impressive Christopher Walken impression?  (Don't ever tell him that I said that, though, or he might do it even more often!) Or that I didn't pick William up from school on Wednesday because I forgot about early release?  And, still didn't remember when he called.  (I'm sure that you find the last one all too believable.)  

So, in honor of this exciting new plan, I bring you...birthday baking with Antwan!

In lieu of bringing cupcakes in on your child's birthday, Antwan's teacher has a monthly birthday baking activity.  Anyone who has a birthday that month gets to help make a special snack for the class and then the class sings to them.

This month, since Antwan turned 8 on Wednesday (the 21st), it was his turn.  Luckily, cookies do ease the pain of my little boy getting older just a little bit.

Oh, and they get to wear these cute hats!

So, they do all of the pouring and mixing.


While the moms stand by and help, as needed.  And take selfies.

The birthday baking volunteers popped the cookies in and out of the oven.  And, it was cookie eating time.  (That was the best part.)

Some side trivia for you!  Antwan LOVES orange.  Can you tell?  He also is wearing two different colored shoelaces because, evidently, his friends said it looks cool that way.  And, those shoelaces are never, ever tied.
Love my big boy.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year, New Life?

I've been wanting to write a blog post.  But, I didn't want to write yet another post about how frustrating it is to have a teenager.  We all get it, it's harder than I thought it would be.  This is not to say that I'm done venting to whoever will listen.  Because, well, I'm just not that strong. :)   But, instead of the dramatic post that I was going to write, I'm going for an inspirational "new year/new life" post.

I have spent a good portion of last year dwelling on the fact that things were not like I wanted them to be or expected them to be.  I was stuck in an endless cycle of getting angry, feeling hopeless, getting hopeful again, resolving to do better, and then getting angry again.  (And, of course, blogging about it!)  I'm pretty sure that this is a typical Emily-type cycle and that I can never completely escape it.  But, I want it to be more manageable. 

So, this new year brought new realizations and resolutions.  I don't want life to be this way.  I know that I've said that before.  It was true before and it's true now.    It's time for me to accept him as he is and let go of how I wanted him to be.  It's not fair. 

That doesn't mean it's ok for him to leave the room for half an hour after opening his birthday presents because he didn't like them.  And, it doesn't mean that it's ok that he said to his brother, "I hope you get better presents than I did."  And, it's definitely not ok to ever withhold an apology to one of his siblings because "I wasn't raised to say I'm sorry when I'm not sorry."  (First of all, you were barely "raised" and, second of all, you should be sorry or love him enough to try to be sorry that you unintentionally did something,)

Yeah, that's what my end of the year post would've been about. I would've talked about that and I would've talked about how I couldn't stop being mad at him,  And, how much I wished that wasn't true. 

Ok, I couldn't resist venting a little. Done now.

Back to changes and resolutions!  This year, I want to remember to enjoy my kids, all of them.  I will  give the good moments a chance to happen.  I will drag Kaleb to more activities (not all of them, but more).  I'll do this, even though, I know that it might be easier without him (mostly, because of his potential irritation at being there or his questions about when we are leaving).  I'll do it because it's important for us to be together and it's important that he has the memories. 

I will accept all of my children as they are, not as I want them to be.  Kaleb will never quite see the world in the same way that the younger three do and, honestly, it might be weird if he did.  William will always struggle with thinking before he speaks.  Antwan will, sadly, probably always throw his pillow on the floor and then absentmindedly stand on it.  And, Lizzie...well, she will always be really, really cute.  ;)  

I will make them feel loved, all of the time.  I think I do pretty well with the littles.  But, I could do better with William and Kaleb.

I will try to give the kids more direct attention, each day.  I feel like the whole day (especially during the week) is a drive-by; "get dressed, go to school, do your homework, eat your dinner, brush your teeth, go to bed..."  Finding a few minutes to focus on one child can be hard.  But, I'll try!

Anyway, the point is.  I want to be a better mom.  So, I'll bypass the "eat better, exercise more" standby because who are we kidding?  I write this with a Cherry Coke next to me and a peanut butter cup in my mouth.  I just want to be a better mom.  I want them to feel loved and secure.  And, most of all, I want to enjoy them.  There were too many times, last year, when I looked around the room and thought "Ok, good, they seem happy.  So, it's ok that I'm not. It's not about me, anymore, anyway"   But, I don't think it was ok.

So, because I can't think of a quote to wrap this up, (I really love doing that), I'll just say,,,happy new year.   Let's all go out and be happy.  :)

(Oh, no!  I just glanced at the clock and it's time to pick up William!  Good thing that one of my resolutions was to be more punctual?!)