Monthly Archives: May 2013

Divorce Day

Talking to my children about the divorce was scary to me. Despite knowing Seth and I are making the right choice, there is still the ingrained social values that, when I am not on top of my game, make me feel like a failure. Children deserve two parents together and married, right? We told Tajh many months ago, knowing at 10 years, and being who he is, it would be easiest. At the time his only questions was “where will we all live?” and the answer was we were all continuing to live together. Now that things are moving forward and our actual divorce day is tomorrow, we felt it was finally time to let the others know. Seth and I sat Tea and Tay down and had our chat. The important points here are: 1. Divorce looks terrible coming from others parents and 2. Children just need to know you care about them. Tea brought us into a long conversation about her friend we will call “Tara” and how her parents can’t even attend the same school functions together and how sad that makes “Tara”. How terrible is that? Two adults who can’t put their own feelings aside so their child can feel loved. How are such selfish human beings allowed to procreate?

Our Plan:

When we get back from our grand summer adventure we will be getting a “kids house”. A place where they stay, no 2 homes, 2 bikes, 2 of everything. At this house Seth and I will each have our own space as well, but we will be the ones moving back and forth. We will both have separate places we will stay when it is not our time at the “kids house” We will plan on having dinner all together at the “kid house” multiple times a week, but also giving each other time to parent without the other one there.

Talking with Tea about this seemed to calm her fears. No we do not hate each other, we actually are friends and love spending time together. No we will not have to take turns coming to all your special things, we will even sit next to each other! Tay is of course quiet during all this, being a 6-year-old boy means being slightly oblivious, by nature. Eventually he did chime in with: “Grama and Grampa Jim are divorced”. This shocked me because I had never had that conversation with him, but that was all his imput, and he was ready to go play again.

My point:

Screw the societal norms, I do what I want. This “kid house” will work for us for a while, and then we will reevaluate. Seth or I having more children with someone else will require a revaluation, but at least our children will get some time in their space, no moving, no stress, just to continue being kids. Seth and I deciding that we aren’t made to be married has nothing to do with them, that’s our adult problem. It is our job to continue to be friends (which is pretty easy for us) and do everything we can to give them the happiest childhood possible. Maybe sharing a “kid house” is not for everyone, but any little step you can make to unburden children with your adult problems will help them. As adults it is our job to make sure no one takes away their childhood, why should their parents be the first to? I love my Littles, and I love Seth, just as long as I don’t have to be married to him!

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Categories: Divorced Life, Parenting | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

How to make your child into an ultra runner

My mountain lovers

My mountain lovers

This is a difficult task but with two successes under my belt, I feel I am the perfect person to give advise. Obviously, you must start with a child, preferably your own. Next step is to make sure to get them running. Always push hard. When they cry, remind them how much of a girl they look like (even if they are a girl) and how terrible it is to cry. Withhold toys, food, family fun time, whatever it takes. Once they are ready (or before, no big deal) make them race. Make sure you see them along the course. Yell splits, (is that important in ultras?) tell them they are being beat, maybe even consume some terrible treats you wont let them have as you and your lazy ass don’t participate. Now when they finish, if they didn’t have a podium finish, be sure to berate them in front of everyone. Don’t let that little shit get away with sucking! What parents would? Be sure to always make them believe your love for them is dependent on how well they perform, but also make sure to never let them feel good enough.

Don't they look unhappy?

Don’t they look unhappy?

The reality is, for all you negative Nancy’s out there, you can not force anyone to run an ultra. Short of threatening their life, there is a passion involved in ultra running, a burning desire in one’s self to push beyond your limits. A desire to hit that wall that most people would use as a stopping point but instead to disregard pain and continue on. All commom sense tells you to stop, but an ultra runner learns to not listen and instead takes it as a challenge from their own body. Its not something that can be forced, even in children.

My oldest, Tajh, did his first triathlon at six years old. Despite my love for swimming, I could never sit through another triathlon after that. Running became our thing, and it has taken off from there. After some 5k’s here and there, we decided it was time for something real for Tajh. At eight, he decided to do his first 24-hour event at Across the Years. Never having done one myself, I knew I did not want to send him out alone. Although it is a one-mile loop, the idea of my son feeling the ups and downs of running great distances alone felt evil. If he felt pain, I sure as hell was going to too. It was a great learning experience for us all. As adults, most of us can handle the ebbs and flows with some grace. We can understand the pain is going to go away and keep trucking. For kids it is harder. Push through the pain? But why would I do that when I can go into my comfy tent and sleep? Although he did sleep, Tajh ended up completing 33 miles, and hasn’t stopped running since. Today his training is only when he wants, although he does swim and if there is a race coming up we do push a little more. This kids loves mountains and says yes to any run where he gets to get up high and explore. He has the passion for exploring of every great ulra runner.

Classic ultra runner "throw your shirt to your crew" move mastered!

Classic ultra runner “throw your shirt to your crew” move mastered!

Tea is her mother’s daughter. She jumped into the Silverton 12 hour race last year and spent the day begging people to do laps with her (although it was a looped course, at seven, we felt she needed an adult at all times). After 11 hours she had run 20 miles. I was floored, and she decided to call it a day. I had never thought of her as my possible ultra runner, but she showed me. She is now on her brother’s heels at all times. This girl puts her head down and takes care of business. Complaining is rare for her except when daddy is there (he’s a sucker). She hears about others children’s records and makes goals for herself, that’s just her. This girl has the heart of an ultra runner, no question, and some pretty amazing natural talent.

Did I mention she also has sick style?

Did I mention she also has sick style?

Little Tay has pushed his limits to a half marathon in 24 hours. He is a super fast kid, but hasn’t yet found the drive to push beyond, put all other life aside whether it be playing with friends or just hanging out, and just run. Will he get there one day? Who knows really, and honestly it doesn’t matter at this point. My children will always be encouraged to follow their passion. Risk and reward will be a constant conversation between their father and I, and, as parents, we will decide what is best for them. Never allowing children to follow what they love deprives them the joy, bliss, and learning experience it provides. Blah blah blah they have plenty of time when they grow up to follow their passion, I get it, but why make them wait? Is tomorrow promised? Is the possibility of missing valuable life lessons that could help them grow into an even more amazing adult worth it? Whatever their passion is, weigh the risk, think about the reward in the experience, and support them.

Suit jacket when running? No problem! Clearly these children at unhappy with being "forced" to run.

Looking awesome while running? No problem! Clearly these children are unhappy with being “forced” to run.

Categories: Parenting, Running | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Camping Food Vegan Style

Feeding 5 children is a lot of work. Feeding 5 children healthy food takes even more time. Feeding five vegan kids healthy camping food is near impossible. Making Littles wait for a meal can result in full-on mutiny. Tables will be turned, rivers of tears will flow, and, in effect, the world will come to an end.

Or they just look at you very sadly…

"Please Daddy, can you cook faster?"

“Please Daddy, can you cook faster?”

Being vegan in our house means actually eating healthy food. Not to say we don”t fry things or indulge at times, but for the most part it’s a lot of fruit (I mean way too much!) and everything green!

Homemade guacamole w/a spoon=Happy baby!

Homemade guacamole w/a spoon=Happy baby!

We always try and keep in minimal so when we camp I usually cook all meals on a small 2 burned camping stove. Being homeless for 2 1/2 months I just felt this was something I couldn’t handle and we needed to splurge. Luckily, Seth loves my cooking and happily agreed. Behold my new love:

YUM!

YUM!

So I’ll give you some of my camping food secrets. For me, it’s all about green veggies, olive oil, salt, and TONS of garlic! Pictured above it some asparagus I first cooked (which means charred) with some salt and oil, added a shockingly large amount of garlic on top, and cooked a little longer. Another favorite is camping kale:

Jealous?

Jealous?

Again, cook with salt and oil until crispy and delicious!

Its basically a kale lollipop!

Its basically a kale lollipop!

Tenny informing me she will be needing more.

Tenny informing me she will be needing more.

Cooking delicious camping food is awesome, except when everyone eats it before you get some…

No more for Mommy... :(

No more for Mommy… 😦

Our new toy came with a dutch oven as well. I’m pretty sure I have a lot more playing to do before we leave and a lot more delicious food to taste test! I believe the extra space this stove will take up in our giant white van will be well worth the amazing food we will be able to create! New cooking adventures to come!

Categories: Preparing for our journey | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m a Super Mom

 

When I first began thinking of starting a blog the name that always seemed “right” to me was:

I’m a Super Mom and you’re not so go F yourself

Image

 

For some reason this always seemed fitting. I’m constantly feeling judgment from others for the choices I make as a parent and it always seems to come from a place of them feeling what I do is telling them they are not good enough. So I’ll take the time to tell you all the reason I am a Super Mom, and you are not:

 

-I feed my kids a healthy vegan diet

-I take my kids outside, all the time

-I encourage my children to explore

-I don’t allow money to determine our adventures

-I show my children the world

-I expect my kids to be kind

-I am kind to others

-I expect my children to do well in school

-I sent my kids to private school

-I don’t throw a party for them when they do what they should

-I let them dress themselves

-I don’t wear makeup which teaches my girls they are pretty just the way they are

-I expect my boys to open doors for me

-I wear my babies, no strollers!

-I don’t stress about the little things

-I push my children past their limits

-I find joy in life

-I laugh

-I sing in public

-I dance like no one is watching

 

With this small sampling of examples you can see, I’m clearly a Super Mom. The awesome thing is though, anyone can be. Find the things you value in human beings and teach them to your children. Let them value nature since it’s important for their future. Expect kindness, and give it. And most importantly, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. The happiness of my children is most important, and if that requires me to sing and dance in public to get us all back on track, you better believe I wont hesitate. Sometimes just smiling even though you are angry can make all the difference. I’m a Super Mom and you’re not, so go F yourself…. Or just be a Super Mom for your children.

Image*Proof* All good Super Moms fall asleep and ruin movies… Just saying….

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Why I can’t be a park Mom

The Littles from back in the day when I was a good park Mom.

The Littles from back in the day when I was a good park Mom.

When my big three littles were younger I was the ideal park Mom. I always had a playdate, happily left my house a mess to run off to last minute outings, and always had snacks and park toys in the car ready to go “just in case”. As the years have gone on and the number of children in my home has found itself rising as high as eight and now settling back down to five, my park mom skills are sub par. I decided to get my act together and take the little three to the park and see if I could hang. I parked them up, grabbed some snacks, and hit up the starbucks drive though (you know, so I didn’t stick out like a mommy without her coffee, although mine was tea…) What I have ended up with is a list of the top 10 reason I can no longer be a park Mom.

10. I left my heels at home-

Can someone please explain why I look like the odd ball when I kick off my flip-flops and dig my toes into the sand? Maybe it is just the parks I frequent? Though watching moms try and navigate the sand in heels does always lead to some chuckles for me.

9. I forgot my designer bag to never put down-

Anyone who knows me knows that I travel light. I never bring a diaper bag (never did with eight, even with four, three years and younger). I roll with it. If I need something, my ass can walk back to the car and get it. But despite that, put your stuff down! Why must you lug it around the park so you now have made yourself that awkward person trying to juggle 15 lbs of crap and a toddler? Afraid it will get stolen? Leave it in the car!

8. I don’t use a stroller-

Except for the random occasion when I’m willing to push it while I run. If you can’t let your two year old walk from the car to the park, you have a problem. If you have an infant trapped in the car seat that clicks into the stroller so you never have to touch them, you have a bigger problem. Get an awesome baby carrier (mei tai, sling, wrap, ANYTHING) and let that baby get some closeness! I’ve done it with eight, three of which couldn’t walk, so I was wearing them or carrying in my arms. Suck it up!

Clearly I am awesome.

Clearly I am awesome.

7. I don’t tell my kids where to play-

They have a mind of their own. I don’t need to direct their play. What they want to play with is good enough. Even if it is a twig in the far corner of the park, I leave them be.

He may just sit here all day...

He may just sit here all day…

6. I don’t let my children talk back-

Since when is it ok that a child says no? Or a little boy hits his mother out of anger?? I get that I don’t see the whole picture from a glimpse at the park, but when the child is not held accountable for terrible behavior, and instead allowed to continue to play, my stomach turns.

5. I do not feed my kids terrible food-

Really? Candy as a park snack? Juice boxes instead of water in the heat? Seriously people!? Is the fact that you have brought your child to the park not enough “treat” for them for the day?

4. I expect my Littles to get dirty-

Shocking?!? At the park with sand and water I DO NOT put my children in their fancy clothes! I do not act like the park is my personal fashion show and I need to dress my kids better than any other child so everyone will know I am the most amazing mother at the park. I go insane when I hear the words “Now don’t get dirty” WHAT?!?! Bring a change of clothes if you are that stressed and have somewhere to be after, but let your kid be a kid! While we are at it, I love little girls in dresses, love it. When little girls are in dresses please put shorts or leggings under, little girl underwear should not be for the world to see.

I *hear* dirty kids! Tajh and Tea circa a log ass time ago.

I *heart* dirty kids! Tajh and Tea circa a log ass time ago.

3. I don’t like other people’s kids-

Yes it’s true. I do not care to have a 20 minute conversation with your little. When I politely answer and walk away only to find your little following me, I’m going to be annoyed. Are you really ok with your kid talking to strangers? My rule to keep my kids safe (and to keep them from bothering other adults), you may not talk to ANY big person you do not know, unless I am with you. Problem solved. My kids aren’t the over friendly kids who puts themselves in harms way, and no big people have to dub my kid “the annoying kid”.

2. I do not help other people’s kids-

No, I will not put you on the swing. If you fall, I will not pick you up. If you can’t reach the monkey bars, I will not help you. Those are my rules, that’s how it is. It drives me insane when one of my children falls down and someone decides they should pick them up! Let me set it up for you… I see my little fall, there is that 10 seconds where they make absolutily no noise, are they going to cry? Are they not? Who knows?! Some seemingly good samaritan makes the move to pick my child up, I begin yelling “THEY ARE FINE! THEY ARE FINE!” Person ignores all pleas by me, pick up my little, my little looks up sees it isn’t someone they know and begins crying. LISTEN TO THE PARENT! My Littles always get back up and come to me even if they are crying. I will never run to them, watch it sometime that’s when kids start to cry. If there is blood or clearly a broken bone, yes I will go help. If there isn’t, walk to me and we can cuddle.

See? Don't Touch!

See? Don’t Touch!

1. I do not say, “be careful”-

Kids are innately careful. It is the moment big people feel the need to yell out these seemingly unimportant words to children that they stop what they are doing and turn and look at said adult. Are they being “careful” now? My children climb trees, hang off all the playground equipment, and basically do anything and everything “unsafe” you can think of. I do not say be careful, and shockingly they usually are careful all on their own! Do not be the person at the park that wants to engage me about how my child “should not be doing that” because you will lose, always.

There is no "be careful" with this Lady.

There is no “be careful” with this Lady.

So now you know I am a terrible park Mom. Honestly, I’m good with it. I would much rather spend the day in the mountains with my Littles than sitting at a park. Now if you see me at the park, feel free to call me a hypocrite, mock my terrible park Mom skills, and question my every parenting move. After all, isn’t that what gaggles of Moms go to the park to do?

Much better than a park.

Much better than a park.

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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