Posts Tagged With: Sabrina

Holding on to trust

I have always been a firm believer that My Littles should have an adult in their life they can tell anything to and know they will not be judged. Someone that will keep their secrets if that is what they need. Someone to guide them on the right path, someone I too can trust. I never thought my children would choose me for this job…

On a hike the other day I wore Tru while the others marched along, Tea holding Tenny’s hand on the steep downhills. We chatted as usual and the kids began sharing some worries they had. I took a deep breath and thought very hard before I responded, even for me this was a bit much. It was eye-opening to me how much they talk to each other. They shared with me that they had talked about this very thing at the park a couple of days prior. I had wondered what they were doing, not playing just walking in a little gang together around the perimeter. Apparently they were sharing all the little spy work they had done with and discussing their feelings. As a Mother wanting my children to have a super tight bond, I was proud. Now that they were allowing me in on their little secret, I was honored.

Sister Love

Sister Love

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren't very exciting!

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren’t very exciting!












So they told me what they knew, their feelings, their worries, and asked me to keep their secret. It is not something harmful to anyone else, something that could easily be avoided if people in their lives made an effort, but I still felt uneasy as I made the promise. I will not tell on you. I still feel uneasy, but I can not lose their trust. If I tell, they will know, and then I will not get the chance to be a part of their little gang any longer. Their counseling sessions with each other will become a secret from me, and I can not have that. Maybe that’s wrong of me? Maybe I’m suppose to “be a parent” and not a friend? Maybe I’m making the biggest mistake every and I’m going to pay for it later…

But I honestly don’t care…

I have a secret that I’m not telling! My Littles have a pretty awesome club and I am excited to be a part of it!

My Gang

My Gang

The hike went on, we wandered with no real direction or plan, and it was perfect. I’m really digging not coming up with a plan even for my own runs. Choosing left or right, up or down, going with the flow and allowing the day to create itself. I find myself dreading the days we have things to do and longing for the ones we can get lost in. The no agenda days of the summer have been missing far too long…



Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My family

Sometimes you wake and everything is normal again.  You feel like that terrible nightmare wasn’t real life, clearly, it couldn’t be…. And then you rub your eyes, take in your surroundings, and realize it is real. Everything that had haunted your brain during the night has really happened. There is no turning back, no changing anything, there is only moving forward. But forward is scary, daunting. My only choice right now is to embrace the scary. To refuse to let the ” I can’t” brain take over. Everything I do right now is a step out of my comfort zone. Every move I make is an entirely new world.

I apologize for not writing recently. I have this thing about not writing when shit has hit the fan, it makes everything all too real. If I hold it in maybe I can wake up from this terrible dream, but it clearly will never work. So here I sit, trying to let all those who have shared my journey with me in on this new adventure in my life.  I don’t know what to say. How do I share without sounding like I’m complaining (even if I might want to)?  How do I write every pain I have in my heart right now, but share all my small triumphs? As soon as I figure it out I promise I will.

For now, this is my little family. I am Thankful.



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Never invite a Grandma up a mountain, and other awesome training trips.

Part on my new training “idea” is that I need to learn to like hills. My usual response to something as small as a speed bump is “oh shoot a hill, I better hike!” and I start walking, slowly. Obviously if I have any thought of doing well at a race this strategy doesn’t work on speed bumps or tiny mole hills. So alas I have decided to make myself like hills, or at least not feel like I have an excuse to be lazy the moment on comes into sight.

My new training plan has started, I will hike as much incline as I can in a matter of a mile or two, with both of my little, Little people on. That’s right, one on my tummy, one of my back, and Tay running ahead as he pleases. The goal here is that going up with 60lbs on is going to suck, I will really appreciate having that 60lbs off and will be more likely to run up the hill (or at least wreck it hiking). So far I have had a few trips with them both on, and I can say that things are always interesting, but when is my life not?

My Mom.

My Mom. The original GramCracker.

My Mom is quite the team player and helps me out a ton. When I was little she would often take myself and my siblings hiking up Squaw Peak (Piestiewa Peak) by herself. I had a brilliant plan of taking all my 5 this weekend and enlisted her to join us. My mom is a busy lady and ended up showing up to join us in jeans while the rest of us were decked out in running clothes, poor choice I thought. We got to the park with cheers from Tru, who apparently loves climbing mountains I assume from his squeal. He went on my tummy and Tenny on my back, and we were moving.

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

The Babies and I following behind.

The Babies and I following behind.

Tajh took off and picked places to hang out and wait for us, scaring my mom as he slightly hung off cliffs with a giant smile on his face. After a couple of “get off of there, what are you doing” ‘s I was pretty glad she didn’t see the crazy stuff we were up to this summer. Plenty of people hiked by and told me how “crazy” I was or wanted to have a mini conversation with the crazy lady wearing two kids up a mountain, sorry I gotta breathe. So on we trudged and I began remembering how giant the steps are on the way up and started to think possibly this was a terrible idea (which my bestie Lala had reminded me of earlier. I’m a terrible listener….).

Tenny Taking some "selfies" on the way up.

Tenny Taking some “selfies” on the way up.

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!




















So the awesome thing when you think you are some decent runner and you spend you summer climbing crazy mountains and living outside? When you you hear your Mom, Grandma to 7 say “oh guys hold on let’s wait for your Mom”. That’s right, my Mom, in jeans and Puma’s, was kicking my ass up the mountain. At some point wearing 60lbs isn’t an excuse… I am fired. So she kicked my ass up, and then back down (I only wear Tru on the way down, Tenny hikes). And I… I am deflated. This would be a true moment when you are put in your place and realize you are NOT the badass you think you are… sigh…

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

My Gang. Tough bunch.

My Gang. Tough bunch.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Not sure how this training plan is going to work out, but so far I like it. Hills just look all that much smaller without 2 Little People hitching a ride… But I’m pretty sure my Mom isn’t invite to the next one…


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

Phi Beta I’m 4 and I do what I want.

While my 2 year old is a drunk frat boy (read that explanation if you haven’t already)-

My 4-year-old Tennyson is basically a gaggle of drunk sorority girls….

1. She squeals a “WHAAAATT!” when you try to get her to do something she doesn’t feel she should be doing.

“Hey Ten please pick up your dirty clothes”

“WHHAAAATTT!!!! I can’t do that, why do I ALWAYS have to do that”

2. She is constantly in a “Oh my goodness I need to pee now, I’m going to cut in line” state. And freely announces said urge in front of anyone.

3. Her make-up technique usually results in “clown face”.

“Look Mommy I put make-up on, with marker!”

4. Her hair usually looks like she rolled around in the grass as her friends yelled at her to get up so campus police doesn’t catch them. (Which often times this is exactly what she has done to cause crazy hair, except it was just me telling her to get up so she would stop embarrassing me in public)

5. She has borderline violent outburst when she thinks someone has taken something of hers, but in reality it’s usually in her hand.

6. She falls asleep in the middle of parties

7. She likes to take her clothes off,  in public, and sees nothing wrong with it.

8. She loves to dance on tables (clothing optional).

9. She loves singing in public and has no qualms trying even when she has no idea what the words are.

10.  One minute she can be telling me how much I hurt her feelings and how mad she is at me and the next she is hanging all over me, hugging me with some much force I’m afraid for my own safety, telling me how much she loves me.

She may be sassy, but boy is she cute!

She may be sassy, but boy is she cute!


Clearly, a drunk sorority girl. Hopefully she will outgrow this in the next 14 years… Hopefully….

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

Javelina With A Little Lady

Running in the mountains with my Big Two. *Happiness*

Running in the mountains with my Big Two. *Happiness*

Getting ready to start the Javelina Jundred I knew Tea was trained. She had put in the time, running 4-5 mornings a week before school (around 30 minutes) and long runs on the weekend including doing the Pemberton loop (the race course) twice. The girl knew where she was at on every inch of that trail. She knew what it felt like to run a “fast” loop while still hiking every hill. She knew what it felt like to run the loop in 95 degrees, and running to finish before dark the one time we didn’t bring lights. I knew she had it, the only question was, did I?

She trained like a pro.

She trained like a pro.

Packet pickup was the day before the race, and so was Tru’s big day of getting his cast off. We picked Tea and Tajh up early from school to go with their little bro on his exciting day (SPICA cast coming off and an update and how Tru is doing to come soon) and then headed out so Tea could spend some time with her big people friends at pick up. It’s wonderful to see her interacting with all the adults that she loves and respects. To see how happy they are to see her makes me a very proud Momma. She is a an amazing Little Lady in so many ways, and as a Mother there is nothing better than knowing your child brings joy to others.

Sleep is a tricky thing to come when you are nervous about the morning, but eventual I found it. Tea and I woke to watch the 100 miles start and then got ourselves ready in the hour we had to wait before our own start. I recently found out i had superficial blood clots in my lower legs (superficial, don’t be too scared!) and running caused them much more pain. I found Hokas to be a help (not that the pain went away) but along with that came blisters from the Hokas. I got my feet taped hoping that would help and Tea and I stepped up to the start.

A little chilly for a Tiny Little Lady at the start.

A little chilly for a Tiny Little Lady at the start.

For the first couple of miles we were keeping a great pace. Pemberton is all “run-able” but we knew hiking the hills would help to ensure we would finish. Some people passed us in the beginning, but we also had a nice train going on behind us. Many people had great words of encouragement for Tea while there were also a lot of surprised looks. Teagan found it exciting that people had read about her and wanted to meet her. With all this the first loop flew by.  A little over 15 miles in 3:30, and Tea was still feeling great, just the plan we had.

Tea sees a camera and takes off! Still wrecking it near the end of lap 1

Tea sees a camera and takes off! Still wrecking it near the end of lap 1

The second loop was counter-clockwise which is not our favorite direction. We hiked a ton and she continued to talk my ear off! This Little Lady has the best stories. Not only that but she remembers key markers and enjoys doing the math to decide how much longer we have to aid stations. We got to Jackass aid station which was basically half way around the loop and she was dragging a little.  It was starting to get hot and we were now over 20 miles in, it was time to  pour some cold water on her and get moving. We got the info Tonto (the water only station just a little over 3 miles out from Jackass) was out of water so we stayed cautious with our water. Luckily we were well prepared to make that entire 6+ miles from Jackass to Coyote Camp aid stations without needing to fill up again. The end of this loop Tea had Starbucks waiting for her (soy chai) and was ready to down some vegan pizza!

The kind of service you get when you are 8.. Just so you know.. no one brought ME pizza or rubbed my feet!

The kind of service you get when you are 8.. Just so you know.. no one brought ME pizza or rubbed my feet!

We hung out at Jeadquarters for a while so she could eat and drink, and we could learn she doesn’t like her special treat of chai! She sat for a while and Seth took off her shoes and rubbed her feet while I went back to medical and got my feet taped even more. Apparently taping my feet and preventing the usual blisters I was getting angered the blister gods and I was getting blisters in places I had never experienced before, perfect. We had now finished 50k and started out on our way to miles neither Tea nor I had done before. Because it was dark we were allowed pacers, so Seth joined us for this loop. I knew it was going to be a long one, and I was happy to have someone else take the lead for a while.

We were well bundled and planned on walking everything we wanted to, even downhills. Tea spent time holding hands with Seth and just marching along. It’s funny, even though this girl can run crazy miles, she is still the kid that falls asleep at bedtime no matter where we are. From movie parties with friends to the Alabama Shakes concert we went to a couple of days before the race, Tea falls asleep between 8-8:30 no matter what is going on. We were now past her normal passing out time and we were definitely dealing with a sleepy 8-year-old. Luckily an amazing sound came ringing across the desert right in the nick of time. The loud New Yorker voice of one of Tea’s favorite big people friends, Justin, AKA J-Lu. She knew he would be at Jackass (which is funny because she would only refers to it as “jackbutt” no cursing for her!) aid station and she could not wait to see him. She ran down the hill and was lifted into a big hug by him. She sat, ate, drank, and talk to everyone there. It was a huge lift for a sleepy little lady on her way to finishing 75k. We headed out again into the darkness but on our way to a little sleep for her.


This walk was slower and honestly I questioned if we would make it all the way. She was just a tired 8 year old, and I was her mom feeling for her. I got down at one point and looked her in the eyes. I explain that we didn’t have to finish if she was tired, we could get Jamil (RD) to drive out, we could meet him at the road, and we could go back and she could sleep. We could be done. Her only response was a stern “NO” and she turned and began walking again, on a mission. Apparently she was not quitting, so on we trudged.

Holding hands with Daddy. I'm pretty sure it's the only way to walk through the night.

Holding hands with Daddy. I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to walk through the night.

Coming into Jeadquarters meant she got to eat then head to bed. I ate also but sleep alluded me. The plan was to be up by 5 and head out again, and I think a part of me was worried about making that happen. I ate and spent time with friends before heading to my tent and getting a couple of hours rest. Before I knew it we were up and heading out again. My Little Lady and I had 15 miles between us and our buckles, we were on it!  We hiked the entire first half to Jackass aid station where we saw Seth (who was picking up runners who had dropped to drive back) and a couple other big people friends. They (said big people friends) thought it would be funny to tell Tea to drop her Mommy right at the end and sprint in to the finish, pointing out I had blisters (which were terrible at this time) and she wouldn’t have any trouble. Tea being my amazing Little Lady gave them a “yeah right, why would I do that” look and we headed on our way.

Always with a smile.

Always with a smile.

Tea wanted Seth to run in with us so he headed out to meet us about 3 miles out. We ran a little and Tea was feeling alright, just excited to finish. In another half mile she went to brush a bee off her back and ended up getting stung in the hand. This cause uncontrollable crying from her. Look, she is 8, she is tired, she is 60 miles into her 100k, and now she got stung by a bee, crying was more than allowed.

Damn Bee!

Damn Bee!

So we gave her a couple minutes and allowed her to have her moment before we started moving again. Crying continued on and off until we got to the road crossing (meaning we were almost to the finish) and saw Jamil waiting on the other side to take pictures. Tea stopped, composed herself, and we were off and running again. Jamil continued to run ahead a little then stop and take pictures until Tea saw the finish, at which point she took off! I found myself, blisters and all, sprinting to try to keep up. At the end of her 100k Teagan was sprinting it in! It was amazing to watch, and difficult to keep up with, then we were finished. My 8-year-old had just finished 100k and was handed her buckle.

Tea was FLYING!

Tea was FLYING!

JJ Tea and Catra

One of Tea’s Favorite big people the amazing Miss Catra, and Tea’s favorite little running dog Truman!

Tea promptly took off her shoes, put her buckle on her new belt and wore it around. She played with her friends, walked Catra’s dog Truman, talk with people, and took pictures like a pro.

JJ Tea and colby

The cutest runners out there!

She was happy to see Colby (12) finish his 100 mile (we had seen him out on the course a lot as well which she was excited about) and happy to eat some otter pops.

I was happy to take my shoes off and stare at my blisters for a while. I can not express how thankful I am for the amazing ultra running community. All the kind words and support out there on the course really helped keep Tea moving. I am also forever thankful for having so much special time with my daughter out on the trail. Between Seth and my Mom caring for the others I was able to know they were in good hands and able to focus on Tea and her needs the entire time.

What she ate– A LOT! She ate many gels, stinger chews (pink lemonade being her favorite), avocado roll ups, veggie burger, vegan pizza, and all the normal vegan ultra food.

Animals– Tea loved seeing rabbits, shooed a tarantula off the trail for safety, watched some lizards run around, and even saved a hurt lizard from getting stepped on the trail.

Gear– Tea loves New Balance. She ran the entire race in her brand new New Balance 890 v3’s, and had no blisters, her feet felt great! She carried her super cute Pink Ultimate Direction Bottle, and of course had two Buff’s with her at all time. They really came in handy at aid stations to dunk in the water to keep her cool.

"stretching" along the way.

“stretching” along the way.

The important things to note from this race are, I was with her every step, she was determined to finish, she got 6+ hours of sleep during the night, and she had fun majority of the way. I understand running 100k isn’t for every 8 year old, but it is for this one. So the question was, was I ready? The answer is yes! Training with her and following her “take things as you go” approach made this, my first 100k, go as smoothly as it could. I am so proud of my Little Lady for the determination and hard work she put in, and I am extremely proud we are now buckle buddies!

Buckle Buddies!

Buckle Buddies!

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Apparently My Birthday Is Soon???

As my 30th Birthday approaches (it’s way too close for comfort) I have found myself googling things to know/ things I should have done by the time I hit 30. Clearly this is a terrible idea, but alas, I continue to do it anyways. Basically I have achieved nothing close to what I should have at this point (blah blah blah wonderful kids, I get it!). Point is, I became a Mom at 18 when I found out I was pregnant.  All choices I made in my own planning for the future involved being with their father and continuing to be a girlfriend/wife and mom. So now I’ve hit a point where taking a look at my life and the life of others my age is very interesting. So for your reading pleasure I give you-

My top 10 favorite the things I should have done by now or should have by now but don’t … damn I’m really turning 30…

1. A purse/luggage I’m not embarrassed to bring in public– I live out of a backpack, literally. At the kid house I share a room with the girls (and Tru sleeps in my bed with me) so the space is limited. My backpack carries everything I need to live homelessly for those couple of days a week I’m not at the kid house. And I don’t own a purse.  Fired.

2. Something perfect to wear if a “special someone” wants me ready in an hour– Again, I live out of a backpack. The most hope I have to have something fancy to wear in an hour is to be able to make it over to my bestie Lala’s house and raid her closet in that time. Fired.

3. Skin-care regime- Look, we call it a win if I shower once a week. Even more shocking is if I wash my hair. Maybe this is why I’m not married? Fired.

4. Money set aside for retirement- To be fair, maybe if I had “extra” money to set aside I would. With no job, “money set aside” is an interesting concept. Fired.

5. A strong start on satisfying my career goals– I feel like this one is just cruel! I have NO idea what I want to be when I grow up. I am happily a mother of 5 crazy little people, but I guess at some point I should probably find a “career” and then I will have this money they speak of to “set aside” for old age. Ugh! Fired.

6. A hobbie I’ve picked up on my own- Yeah no. I’m that girl that only shows up to the yoga class with a friend. Honestly I even despise going to the grocery store alone. Fired.

7. Understand and keep up with current events– Does this include reading TMZ? I hate watching the news and seeing terrible stuff, I avoid this at all costs. SOMETIMES I get into Seth’s car and his radio playing NPR super loudly (seriously he bumps the nerdy talk) and I hear a little something, does that count? Fired.

8. Read regularly- There was a time where I was devouring books on a daily basis, but then I no longer only had children home with me that nap. I do enjoy reading, but have a very hard time making it happen even when I’m not with the kids. I can usually find a hundred things I would rather do (or need to do) then sit still with a book. Fired.

9.  Know my life goals and have a plan for attaining them– Funny thing about that…I don’t wanna! I love being a Mom, but I’m constantly told that isn’t a “good enough” life goal. Like I should find something else nearly as rewarding as spending every second I can with my kids… sigh.. So no, I have no clue what else I would ever want to do with my life. Fired.

10. Accept you ARE an adult- F that! Being an adult still doesn’t sound like fun to me! Maybe I don’t totally understand what being an adult is yet? But from what I see, I’m not really into it. Fired.

As you can see, I’m far from being ready to be 30. Does this mean I get to push it back until I’m ready? I say yes! I think 30 is just jealous that I got called Teagan’s sister the other day and someone assumed I went to the kids school when I had my backpack on the other day.

So 30, suck it! I may have to say I’m “30”, but I refuse to grow up!

You can't make me grow up!

You can’t make me grow up!

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Broken Baby

Drunk Frat Boy strikes again-

Poor little guy just has to keep this Momma on her toes! Ugh…

Seth had the kids for the day and I had dinner with my Dad and Sis and was on the phone with my Mom making movie plans when I got a call from Seth. He had already call once right as we were leaving dinner and I hadn’t been able to answer so I decided I had to take this one.

“So, we might have an issue with Tru..”

Ugh… Every Mother’s worst nightmare… He goes on to explain the bigger boys were wrestling and Tajh possibly pushed Tay who then fell into Tru. Tru wouldn’t stand and didn’t want to be touched but was fine laying on the bed, flat, not moving, alone.

“Call my Mom to come watch the others and meet me at Phoenix Children’s”

I had my Sis drop me off at the hospital and my +1 finished up his run for the evening and met me there.

When Seth pulled in I went to get Tru out of his seat and I knew something was terribly wrong. I was able to get his left arm out of his seat, but his right had a death grip on the fabric. Seth at this point informed me that Tru bit him when he was putting him in his seat, my poor baby had something really wrong with him…

I held him while we waited and he was fine, but any attempt for me to sit was met with terrible screams. We placed him on the baby scale and he death gripped both sides, that boy didn’t want to be moved at all. The nurses looked at each other trying to decide if they should bump him up to the front of the line, I kindly piped in that that would probably be best and we were moved into a room right away.

A world wind happened of doctors and nurses coming and going. Once they had an IV they gave him morphine which shockingly did not do much. He still seemed to be in pain and didn’t just fall asleep as we had thought even though it was well past his bedtime. Eventually we got an X-ray and made it back to the room to be informed he was being admitted and had a broken femur…. Yup, of course he does.

My poor sad drugged baby...

My poor sad drugged baby…

So after a night in the hospital my little buddy got himself a fancy going away present, a SPICA cast for the next 8 weeks. It’s hot, smelly, hard to change his diaper in, and makes it hard for him to play. I feel terrible for him but luckily he seems to be taking it in stride. He doesn’t seem to be upset about it (probably just happy his poor leg doesn’t hurt anymore) and just wants to be held which I am totally ok with!  Slowly we are learning was he can play, sit up, and be a little more “normal”. Yup, keeping things interesting one hospital visit at a time…

Food and a stuffed friend make the world better!

Food and a stuffed friend make the world better!


A little video time with Tea.

A little video time with Tea.

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To the kind young man at the park…

I met Seth at the big kids school today, said bye to the big ones, and started on a big adventure with my little 3. I put Tru in a Mei Tai on my stomach, had my large backpack that I am currently living out of on my back, and a whole foods bag with the kids stuff over my shoulder. I was weighed down and had 2 little peoples hands, we were ready!

We walked a little to the bus stop and hopped on. Apparently I really don’t know what I’m doing and that one only took us about a mile before we needed to get off. We hopped on another and were on our way again! Tru loved watching the world go by and Tay was happy trying to figure out how everything works. Ten loved sitting alone and trying to hold on so she wouldn’t fall! We got off the bus at the perfect spot to walk through the park on our way to Lala’s house. Easy, right?

Tenny apparently felt a tantrum when we were walking next to the lake was really the best approach. Ugh.. thanks Ten. Wearing a toddler in a ridiculous cast isn’t very fun either. (Have I not explained my little Tru is now in a SPICA cast which covers almost his entire lower body? Oh I will soon enough!) My hip bones were being crushed and his cast was rubbing on my leg raw, not to mention the sweat I was accumulating between us.  With Tru’s weight, my backpack, and their bag of stuff my shoulders were also on fire… but Tay and I were happily talking about everything he saw, the pain was worth it.

Eventually we passed a youngish man, maybe his late teens early 20’s. He had earbuds in and looked like he was just out for a walk, maybe a walk/run. As soon as he passed I turned to look at Tenny who was sitting on the ground in a “no I’m not going to listen to you mommy” way. The guy was also in that direction so I saw him walking away from me for a minute before he turned and started walking straight toward me. Im usually very uncomfortable with strangers and his eyes were locked on me. I tried to move out of his was but he kept coming toward me which made me start holding my breath. We he got to me he held out a stack of money with a “here, for you”. I immediately got even more uncomfortable and repeated “Oh no no thank you but no I don’t need that” and whatever else I rattled off as I tried to take some steps back.  He clearly wasn’t hearing it and slipped the money in my bag with a ” I appreciate what you are doing” and walked off. I was stunned. Honestly when you have a lot of kids people offer you money a lot, but never a young man like that.

We made it to Lala’s safely and now I sit here wondering what to do with the money. How do I “pay it forward” like this kind young man did? I don’t know if it looked like i needed it, if he was on a mission to give something, or what his reason was. To the kind young man that made some crazy lady with too man kids day, thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for reminding me there are good people in the world. Thank you for for appreciating what this Mom does for her kids even when you didn’t have to.

To the kind young man at the park, Thank you.

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Disney Nerd Alert!

It’s true, we are Disney nerds. At first look it not what you would expect. Disney somewhat embodies everything we don’t like: loud, crowds, commercialism, screen time for kids, …… But yet, we love it. Being at Disney just makes you happy. We have had up to7 kids at Disney, how do we do it you ask? Well here are my tips!

Phone number– Write it on their arm in Sharpie (preferably under a sleeve). Even those old enough to remember can forget when lost and scared. This will make them getting back to you a lot faster of a process, other adults or a cast member can call you. We always tell our children before hand if they do get lost to find a cast member or a mother with children and ask for help. (what mom wants to take another kid on, they will be happy to get them back to you!)

Clothing– Dress them in the same color. I am all about being an individual so don’t force them to wear exactly the same thing, just make sure when your eyes go looking for your little people you have the same color you are scanning for. Saves time as well when someone is lost and you are describing what they are wearing to a cast member to help find them.

Food– Kids will eat what you offer if they are hungry, fill them up the best you can on things brought from home and save money! If they are already full from food you brought, sharing food and buying less can help your money go a long way. Feel free to spluge on yourself if buying less for the kids! FYI Disney has some great vegan food, and Starbucks!

SnacksJustin’s Nut Butter, Larabar, Nuts, Go Go Squeez, Peanut butter bread (with jelly if you do that)

Water– We always have an adult caring a pack, but the big kids each have one too! They are all able to carry some snacks so you can lighten your load! Our little please all use a Camelbak.

Planning– Fast passes can be your best friend, use them wisely! Have you heard of rider switches? If you have little ones that can’t go on a ride, one of you can wait with them while the other goes on.  Make sure to let a cast member know then you can get a rider switch and your other adult can go on. It’s good for two people so you can get creative with who goes on rides when! Sometimes we have a bigger kid who lucks out and gets to go on a ride twice!

Long lines– Plan snack time while waiting and always do a potty break before or at the beginning of long lines. If one parent gets in line and the other takes everyone on a potty break, you can usually excuse your way up to the other adult without anyone getting too upset.

And always remember to have fun! Even if it’s stressful, busy, you don’t see everything you would like, it’s still Disney!

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

Ex’s Suck

Sometimes its hard to remember to breathe. To remember that you can’t make everything perfect and the pretty picture you would like. To remember that everyone has to make their own choices in the world and that you can do nothing about it. Deciding to be friends with an Ex takes that to the extreme. Attempting to look at your kids happiness, you ex’s wants, and your own happiness is a lot to keep in balance. Every day is a new learning experience and a new chance for growth.

Seth decided to run Cascade Crest 100 before our big summer adventure was planned. The kids would be in school the week before so flying there for the weekend was always the plan. Slowly the plans changed and instead of myself going with him it would be his +1 and instead of just a weekend trip it turned into a week long trip. Already this was slightly disheartening, but when we got back to Phoenix and realized finding a home would be harder then we had thought, remembering to breathe became harder.

I wanted to assume Seth would alter his plans. I mean, your kids are still not in their own space, they don’t have a place to call home, and you are pushing back the home search an entire week? To me it seemed to make sense to just shorten the trip a little. Come back early and continue in this house search. I thought doing this would be best for the kids, I thought it was an obvious plan. With all those I’s clearly I was forgetting to breathe.

Its takes a lot to step back from that situation and realize Seth is an adult and can make choices for himself, I can not change them. In the end I figured out where to stay, how to keep the little ones happy in this crazy situation, and that’s my job. The choices your Ex makes have nothing to do with your relationship with you kids, it only affects them. In the long run you can not make anyone change their behavior, even if you think it would be in the best interested of your kids. As a Mother my job is to keep the kids healthy and happy in whatever situation I am thrown. If down the line choices your Ex makes affect your kids, that is on your Ex, and their relationship with the children will be affected.

So, make the best of what you are given. We spent days at the park, time doing homework at Starbucks, did a crazy turn around trip to beautiful Colorado, and overall had an awesome adventure. Although remembering to breathe can be difficult, in the end silly arguments aren’t going to get you anywhere and will just negatively affect everyone involved. Let things go when they don’t really matter, make the best of everything,  take the chance to have a new adventure.

See it's so hard for me to remember I had to get it tattooed on my wrist!

See it’s so hard for me to remember I had to get it tattooed on my wrist!

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

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