Author Archives: sevenwildandfree

About sevenwildandfree

1 Single Momma, 5 crazy kids, and a whole new world (and not the The Aladdin kind). Sometimes your life gets a little sticky but it's all about pushing through. Follow my adventures as I begin figuring out who I am. Divorced, ultra running, vegan, hippie, homeless, jobless, Momma to 5 Littles (a couple of Ultra running Kids too), what could go wrong?

To the Lady pathetically forcing her kid to clean up blocks at the library:

Just stop. Seriously.

Your half hearted “we are going to go potty then clean up the blocks” to your not even 3 year old was pointless.

What value is there TO HIM in cleaning up the blocks?

So now he went potty and YOU are cleaning the blocks.

Every so often you chase him down, tell him sternly “we are cleaning the blocks” – to which he laughs- then you go back to cleaning the blocks yourself… in silence… and he goes back to running around in pure joy.

My 14-month-old is watching, taking it all in, that’s what bothers me the most. He doesn’t understand this angry Mom, silent to her little one that just wants to play.

I really try to not judge–

Maybe you are exhausted- I’ve been there.

Maybe he has some extra challenges none of mine have.

Please just calm down. He is suppose to resist, suppose to run around instead of cleaning, he’s so little.

If he doesn’t clean this one time I promise he won’t go his entire life unwilling/unable to clean up after himself.

If there is a mess when you walk out the door, more kids will come and play and the mess will get bigger.

The world will not come crashing down.

BUT- if you need the mess cleaned you have to work harder. You have to talk with him the entire time, YOU have to calm down, YOU have to engage with him.

So pick one.

Stick with it.

And have a better day.

 

 

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When you make a promise…

My children are trying to marry me off…

Tea (11) “you promised me you were going to get married

Tajh (13) “We have a list”

And they proceeded to give me the list.

On it is a loud, foul mouthed “older” gentleman. My friend, a partner in crime, one of their favorite people. Not someone looking for a wife and 6 kids, someone looking to be free, and drunk. Another friend of a friend made the list. Not someone who is “stable” or to “normal”, but someone who is kind and the kids love. The rest of the list is either people who I don’t really know (including some of their teachers) and people already married…

“Umm.. he’s married”

Kids “That’s ok, we can break them up”

Oh goodness…

Wow…

So apparently I have to get married. I did promise after all…

Applications are being accepted via sevenwildandfree@gmail.com

The kids will look them over.

Oh my kids… these kids…

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To All The Haters…

I got a lot of crap before Tag was born for my “crazy ways” and “silly ideas”. Let’s remember, I have 5 other kids (and way more that came in and out during my fostering days) yet some people just knew I was making huge mistakes. No swings? No crib? No bouncer? Clearly I am insane! You cloth diaper? Well I’m bringing you disposable anyway, “just in case”.

Hi.

Hello.

I’ve done this before.

It’s rude. It’s not “being helpful” or thoughtful. If I say no and you don’t choose to hear my words, it’s disrespectful.

So to all those that did not believe I knew what I was doing, Tag has survived to nearly 7 months old…

Without a bouncer, swing, walker, jumper, bassinet, stroller, or even a disposable diaper!

I have held him, worn him, or set him down on a nice soft spot when needed. I’ve washed his diapers, by hand even, and never needed to use any throw away ones.  He has survived!

He is a happy healthy little man, even a little advanced if I do say so myself. (and I do, because I’m his mother)

You raise your baby your way, I’ll raise mine my way.

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Parenting Wins

Lately there have been many jokes about sending Tayer to boarding school. Conversations about “if” he does not get into the school my older kids go to where he will end up. There are talks of his potential career in politics, or him becoming the next RuPaul. He is confident, persuasive, flamboyant, fashionable, and intense. Whatever he does he will do it well. (All I can hope is that it’s legal)

I was sitting out front watching the children all play on their various wheeled devises. Tayer, per usual (well about 49% of the time), was being a jerk to everyone else. “Idol hands” as his Dad likes to say or basically just Tay gets bored, or uncomfortable, or hungry, or sad, or his feelings hurt, or ANYTHING and he becomes an asshole to everyone around. So, he was being an asshole and I sent him inside. I’m pretty sure I said “you’re being an asshole, go inside until you can be kind” because, good parenting.

So I sat smuggly proud of that awesome parenting moment. I won. He went inside, see what happens when you mess with this Momma!

And, as I reminded myself of how totally bad ass a parent I am I looked up at the giant picture window that leads into my living room…

Which perfectly framed the 9-year-old boy walking across it…

The 9-year-old boy walking across with such a calm fluid confident stride…

That confident stride with the perfectly well practiced “fuck you” face of a anger teenager…

The “fuck you” face that lead down to…

The double middle finger.

There was so much confidence there. So much swagger. I could not be mad. I giggled (he had passed and had no idea I saw). The other kids asked me what I was laughing about and I had no answer… I texted his Dad “you wont believe what Tay just did…”. This kid gives us a wild ride and I am sure his confidence will serve him well later in life so long as we are able to steer it in the right direction. For now he will keep us on our toes and challenge us at every turn…

Oh Orangie children….

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A reminder of how cute he was.. before he learned his middle finger skills….

 

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What Happened To My Sleeper?

Tag has not been napping lately, or at least that’s how I have been feeling… Yesterday I decided to write things down (because trying to remember anything is hopeless) and find out exactly how much my reformed crazy sleeper was ACTUALLY sleeping…

Tag went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 8 am- Win.

Nap:  9:30-10

Nap:11:10-11:45

Nap: 1:20-2

Nap: 3:50-4:40

Nap: 6:30-7

Bed: 9pm-6am

Ummm.. Excuse me? A total of 3 hours of napping over the entire day? Here’s the deal, that 3 hours is not even productive time for me. By the time I got him to sleep and escaped with my boob I had only a small about of time to get anything done before he woke up again. Yeah, totally not working for this Momma.

When Tag awoke this morning (at 6am, not ok) I decided to do a little experiment. Despite being totally exhausted and wanting to just go back to sleep, I got us both ready and headed to the mountain. We started hiking at 7:15 (he was awake until we got there) and within 2 minutes he was asleep. And Tag decided to nap for the entire 2 hours of our hike! .

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Must be nice to be so lazy…

So what did I learn? Apparently running/hiking my entire pregnancy does not create a baby who sleeps while laying still… My little coach is going to do whatever it takes to get me on the mountain no matter how many excuses I make… If you’re feeling unmotivated I will happily send him to your house the next time he wakes up at 6 am!

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Did I mention it was 99 degrees when we finished?! That’s sweat… gross

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Pretty sure the evil dictator is planning how he will torture me tomorrow…

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Havasupai with a Baby

Decided to take Mr. Tag down to Havasupai Falls because, why not?

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Packing for all day adventures is soooo simple with a baby… Note to self, babies’ need way too much stuff…

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One of us was awake…

He did well for most of the hike in, nursing and sleeping like a baby does.

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Boob

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Another baby on the trail!

Per usual he was very uninterested in the awesome views…

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No? Ok then….

At some points he was awake and even got to enjoy a little of the falls. Though is was a little cold for such a little guy.

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Aaaand, back to sleep….

What I learned on the way out is 11 1/2 hours of my shannaingans is all he is willing to tolerate.

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Awake baby on the trail!

While singing dancing and overall being crazy would keep him happy for a moment, he was unwilling to calm down totally until he was out of the carrier. -Sigh- Nothing like carrying a baby in your arms at the end of a 12 hour day on the CLIMB out….

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But we made it. It was fun, and I learned I am terrible at taking care of my calories. With nursing him all day and hiking I need to figure out just how many calories I need so I don’t feel awful the next day. FOOOOOD! A work in progress!

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You know the amazing feeling of cleaning yourself up and getting changed at the trail head after a long day on the trail? Yeah I don’t, but Tag sure does…

 

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This One Time-

All my shit was stolen. No joke, all my shit was stolen. I came home a couple of months ago and my house was broken into and anything I had of value was take… The only thing really important was my computer. Yeah, that fucking sucks. My kids were pretty OK with it… well except Teagan. Tea tends to get more emotionally involved in things then the rest of the kids. We all talked a lot about the value of objects and concluded that though it is crappy, the world does not come to an end. Great reminder for the kids, shitty that I no longer have a computer.

Then I was kicked out of my house. Yeah, true story. So they tried to kick me out while I was pregnant,  9 months pregnant! Who thinks that’s a good idea?!?! Obviously I stayed longer and gave birth to Mr. Taggart in my home, but then we moved. It was hard leaving the place Tag was born, but the kids and I looked at it as a new adventure. Well, except Tea. Again she gets more emotionally invested then the other kids. She understood everything that was happening and was hurt, but she worked through it seeing that I was OK. All she needs is to know that Mommy is ok and she finds her own strength.

Now the car is gone. NO JOKE! Now you see, this here is life. It is messy. It isn’t easy. BUT if you take the time to see the beauty in it life does moves forward and good things do come. I could be upset, but I could also just choose to move on, move forward, be awesome.

This is not a “woe is me” story, this is a reminder to always be resilient. Life is a constant adventure, good and bad. I refuse to let other people’s anger and unhappiness dictate how my world will go. I have 6 wonderful children with beautiful hearts who remind me every day that love and compassion are the priority. Anger is an emotion used to cover up pain… All these moments in my life have been a great example of that and an opportunity to “practice what I preach” to my children. I choose kindness. I choose happiness. I choose to move forward.

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The Alone Life

So I’m a single mom of 6 kids, who’s interested??

Yup, that’s the opening line to my stand up routine… hence why I don’t actually have a stand up routine…

But really, who sees a mom to 6 kids and thinks “hey, I want in on that mess”?

Six kids… That is a lot.

Five kids sounded like a lot….

I’ve had it together for these past couple of months since Tag’s birth. I think where most mer mortals would have folded, collapsed at the exhaustion and stress, I excelled. I’ve always taken a challenge well and doing this “single mom to an infant plus five other kids half the time” thing was my biggest challenge to date. I’ve felt in control of my emotions and very “put together”, but not these last couple of weeks. Somehow I have turned into an emotional wreck every time a love song comes on. I cry, in public sometimes- Sabrina does not cry!

So what is it?  I have zero desire to date and zero time.

I am happy being single- While my friends are telling me “you just had a baby, you’ll be interested in dating later”, in my head I’m daydreaming about all the running adventures I will go on in this “later” they speak of.

I have no one to answer to, it’s pretty sweet. My kids roll with all my crazy antics: breakfast for dinner, last minute adventures, impromptu dance parties, and we have no one to judge us. No one to question why we spent money on unnecessary things. No one to check in with. No one to judge my kid messy car. No one to kibosh any stupid (yet fun!) ideas we have. We like it.

If I did have any free time a man is not what I would want to spend it on. I would rather spend more time with my kids, read more, run, go on adventures, write, maybe make that “money” thing everyone speaks of. So much to do, dating is not even close to the table…

So why the sadness as of late? I think I’ll chalk it up to my hormones being a mess post birth. Maybe exhaustion has finally built up enough and I can no longer ignore it. Or maybe it’s just normal? Maybe it’s normal to be sad you don’t have something everyone else (ok not everyone) has but not really want it in the end? Nah, it’s just hormones, I’ll take an extra placenta pill and call it a day.

There was an old woman who lived in a running shoe… I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes.

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All the man I need! (well… Tag and the 3 others I suppose)

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stop Praising Dads for Parenting.

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Take a hike! With your kids.

The biggest question I get asked if how I get my kids to hike as far as I do.

Well, bribery.

Yes my kids love nature, yes my kids like hiking, but even they hit a point where bribery is the only option. Even my kids need that carrot to keep them moving at times….

Well not a carrot. A carrot would not even work for my crazy vegan kids. It’s chocolate, gummy snacks, or treats of any sort.

Sometimes it is a playground at the end of the hike! By far my favorite hike to take “newby” hiking kids on, that is also close to Phoenix, is in Cave Creek Regional Park.

“Let’s go hike kids!”

“waaahhh I don’t wanna”

“We can play on the playground after”

“OK!”

Everyone wins!

Starting at the Go John trail head you have the one big climb of the hike, we call it the ant hill. Once you reach the saddle you have the best stop for a snack and take some pictures spot. Do not spend too long hanging out here, when kids get to thinking how tired they are its hard to get them moving again! When you come to a junction take a left on Overton. You will meander around the mountain for some more awesome views and some fun little downhill sections.

Eventually you will spot the nature center which is a great little stop to see some critters. You will also spot the playground which is a great end of hike motivator for the Little ones!  It’s funny how moments ago they were “so tired” after 3 (ish) miles but when they hit that playground they have all the energy in the world!

For a hike this length my Little People don’t have that many snacks, but if yours is new to this sort of distance plan on a little something at the saddle and maybe a couple more along the way. I tend to try and give them something “healthy” in the beginning, fruit of veggies, and use the sugary snack as a motivator to keep moving as the miles drag on. I usually plan on something they love (for us its chips) at the park as an added “yay you made it” bonus!

The best part about Cave Creek Regional Park is once your kids have mastered the short hike there are many options to add on miles and still have the playground as motivation! And for us parents, the views are all beautiful!

Do-

Teach your kids trail etiquette before you go. My rule for my Little People is the almost always move off the trail and let adults go by. It’s just easier that way.

Have snacks. Delicious ones. Probably chocolate.

Let your kids carry their own stuff. Camelback has the best kids packs on the market currently. Buy your kid one, go outside and use it!

Take time to hunt for lizards, watch a bug cross the trail or stare at the hawk flying by.

Buy good shoes. It’s important. Velcro is BAD for kids hiking (ask Tru, he lost 2 toenails last summer)

Use motivators when needed. Talk, play games, run, smile, give snacks. Have fun yourself so your kids can have fun too!

Don’t-

Give snacks every time they ask. Always give a “snack point”. “When we get to the saddle we will have -blank-“. If they start getting what they want by whining I promise you will regret it later in the hike!

Carry their pack. Yes they will get tired. Yes their pack is heavy. Do not let them get away with being lazy! Let them feel strong and capable.

Commiserate. Instead of complaining when they do, talk about how happy you are that your legs hurt because of how strong they are becoming. If you complain they complain and that is no fun at all!

So get out with your Little People and have fun!

 

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