Parents around the world do it every single day. Drop their precious cargo off at school and wait to pick them up in the afternoon. And when parents drop kids off, we do so thinking nothing will happen from the time being dropped off till pick up. Sure. All parents HOPE to never get a call from the school while their kids are there. And if the unfortunate event comes up when you do? You pay attention. So when my stereotypical Monday started at work, it certainly did not disappoint and ended up anything but typical. When I got that dreaded call from the school, I just happened to be in a meeting, so when I got back to my desk, I could immediately tell that something was amok. My husband, Artyom, had called my cell phone a number of times, a text was also visible. My work phone was blinking, letting me know I also had a message. Taking a very quick inventory check, I went for the quickest response first and checked my cell for the text which read-
This week we were able to attend a wedding of one of my cousins. It was a wonderful time, filled with family, fun and of course lots of family pictures. The photographer was taking the lead and ordering the different groups of family members to congregate. At one point, she asked for all the nieces and nephews of the groom to come into the photo. Immediately, my 8 year old, Sofia went up to the front to be a part of the group. And why wouldn’t she? This was her “Cuncle” (her Cousin-Uncle and a name my cousins have always had). Sofia could not quite understand why she was not part of this niece and nephew group. At this particular moment, I was obliged to hold her back and could tell by the look in her eyes, this was a conversation that was going to be a tough one for this Mama to explain…
For as long as I can remember, our girls have known about my Mom, their Grandma who they may not be able to hug or talk to, but know who she is and how much she loves them. You see, my beautiful Mom passed away 14 years ago from complications with Multiple Sclerosis. Long before I was married, long before Sofia and Ella joined our family.
And… as long as I can remember, we have had what we call in our family “our people.” People in our life that our girls see as Grandma figures whose faces have names like Nana, Grandma Linda, and many friend Grandma’s including Friend Grandma Debbie, Friend Grandma Linda, the list goes on and on. Wonderful women in our lives who know they could never replace my own mother in my life or my daughters’, but they can certainly love my family, including my girls as if they were their own.
The wedding we attended was the son of one of “our people”. My cousin. My Aunt’s son. The Son of my girl’s Nana. So when I held Sofia back from being in the next picture, we were able to have a little talk about “our people” and her Grandma, my Mom. I let her know what a unique little girl she was. Explaining the many Grandma’s in our life is a gift that Grandma gave to our family to make sure she and her sister would always be loved and looked after. I let her know just how lucky she is that SO many people love her. If Grandma, my mother, could not be here with them to love and hug them, then she made absolutely sure that others would be in our lives to do it for her. They may not be our relatives through blood but they are “our people” through LOVE. And they always will be.
After a few tears were shed by the both of us, Sofia was back to her happy self. We met each others eyes throughout the day and the smiles we exchanged reiterated to me that yes. Sofia knows how much she is loved and that is what is most important.
This year- the best thing I can do to remember my Mother, doing more than just tell her legacy, but to SHOW her granddaughters’ just how much I love her, to celebrate “Mom” is by celebrating all of “our people”. So this year? I know I’ll be lingering in the card aisle much longer than usual looking for Mother’s Day cards. We have a lot of people to celebrate…regardless of what name we have given them.
Mommy Melt Downs: they are real. Like really real.
Yesterday I had a meltdown. A serious mommy melt down. My amazingly beautiful, sweet, miracle of a daughter has decided within the last couple of days that she would prefer not to sleep longer than two hours at a time. And while she is awake she thinks it’s super fun to scream if I’m not holding her. Or not looking at her. Or not feeding her. Or sometimes just because it sounds fun. And it’s not your typical baby scream. It’s this high pitched “you will listen and pay attention to me now” type of scream. Okay, maybe that’s a regular baby scream. But in my sleep deprived state it feels a bit like it’s in the supernaturally high realm of screaming.
So what did I do to try to deal with the screaming? I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Didn’t work. So I closed my eyes again and started to count to ten very S.L.O.W.L.Y. But before I got to 3 my eardrums felt as if they were bleeding. At which point my 7 year old (that’s right, SEVEN) decided to let me know he had done a number two in his underwear. And then took the underwear off, dropped a surprise from said underwear on the bathroom floor, and left both objects there to find later.
I took another deep breath. Still nothin’. So I grabbed my cherub of a daughter and deposited her in her crib and shut the door. I turned the shower on for my 7 year old, then I sat down on the couch and started bawling. I messaged my amazing friend, Hillary (who thankfully had my 5 year old at her house) and told her about the loveliness that was happening over at my house. Thank heavens for good friends!! She repeatedly asked what she could do, sent some Italian Ice over to soothe my bleeding ears, er…my wounded heart, and helped me to calm down just a bit. I also messaged my sister (who is my best friend in the entire world). She promptly called me and told me to take a deep breath (ha!) and to look at the bigger picture. Then she made some reference to me being a horrible mom that was totally ridiculous and made me laugh out loud. I can always count on my sister, Becky to make me laugh.
After a few minutes of crying, chatting, crying some more, and eating (because. duh. eating makes everything better) I scooped up my daughter from her crib, checked on my showering son, and wiped my tears. My daughter had those sad sobs in her throat and her arms clinging to my neck. And all was back to being right in the world. Because nothing can melt my heart faster than my children showing me they need me.
Ultimately, there was no magic trick to help me through my meltdown. Good friends were by far the best helper for me. But I did get through it. And remembered just how much I love my children. And, really, how amazing they are. Because they are. And I don’t just say that because I’m their mom. Plus, they are stinkin’ adorable when they are asleep.
So what I really want to know is, how do YOU muscle through when you have reached your limit? Do you have a meltdown or do you have a trick to stop it in it’s tracks?
About the Doc McStuffins All Better Game:
Make the boo-boos go away like Doc McStuffins with the Disney Doc McStuffins All Better Role Play Game! Each slap bracelet bandage is a different mystery ouchie. Take turns trying to figure out which doctor tool will make things all better! It’s a fun game of pretending and playful problem solving that kids love!
- Designed for 2 or more players
- Encourages creative thinking and imagination
- Enhances matching and memory skills
- Develops physical dexterity and problem solving skills
- Includes 1 storage bag, 6 slap bracelet bandages, 6 foam tools, 8 scoring tiles, 1 spinner and 1 rules manual
My girls, ages 4 & 6, adore this game! It’s a bit of twist on the classic memory game. Instead of just flipping tiles, players spin the spinner and take turns placing bandages (slap bracelets! My girls loved this detail!) on each other. Each bandage has a tool pictured on the bottom. When you spin a tool on the spinner you get to pick a tool and try to remember who has the matching bracelet so you can “fix” their boo-boo and collect a tile if they match. Whoever has the most tiles at the end wins.
I found the game timing to be almost perfect. I played with them the first time to help them understand the game. And then they played alone a couple more times immediately afterwards. The game is not so long that it seems to take forever or they get bored. But it’s also long enough to keep them busy and engaged (so I could make dinner!). The pieces all fit nicely in the doctor’s bag that’s included making storage easy.
My girls loved it! This would be a very fun gift to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
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If you’re in the Salt Lake City area and looking for a fun Halloween activity suitable for kids (and at a price that can’t be beat!) then you should definitely check out the Munchkin Radio Haunted House for Kids. My three kids (ages 4,6, and 9) had the opportunity to check this Haunted House out recently and we had such a good time that we went through twice!
Here are the details:
Munchkin Radio presents their 2nd annual Munchkin Radio Haunted House for Kids.
Haunted House Hours:
Thursday, Oct. 17th (7pm-9pm)
Friday, Oct 18th (7pm-9pm)
Saturday, Oct 19th (7pm-9pm)
Friday, Oct. 25th (7pm-9pm)
Saturday Oct. 26th (7pm-9pm)
14734 Cedar Knoll Circle (type in “Kanoll” for street if using Google Maps)
Herriman, UT 84096
Cost: $3.00 per child, Parents are free with their children.
We know that Utahan’s LOVE Halloween! We also know that most Haunted Houses in the Salt Lake area are NOT appropriate for kids. They’re just too darn scary. So Munchkin Radio offers a Kid Friendly Haunted House for the second year. Owner of Munchkin Radio, Mike Peer, says, “You won’t have to worry about anyone chasing you with a pitchfork or chainsaw in the Munchkin Radio Haunted House. We make it so that it’s a little bit cutesy and a little bit scary… after all it is a Haunted House, so it has to be a bit scary.” After last year’s launch, most families walked out saying that it was the PERFECT first Haunted House for my kids.
ALL HALLOWEEN MUSIC in Oct.
Munchkin Radio also offers ALL Halloween Music During the Month of Oct. for listeners. “Let’s face it, Halloween is a Holiday for KIDS. So we just give them what they want: fun Halloween Music”, says owner Mike Peer. “Most radio stations are able to play a handful of Halloween Music as the Holiday gets closer. But there’s really only 3-4 that adults even want to hear for Halloween: “Thriller“, “Ghostbusters“, “Monster Mash“, and maybe an Oingo Boingo song or two. For the kids, we have hundreds of songs to play for Halloween, basically due to the fact that every cartoon character on the planet has a Halloween special with plenty of music for us to choose from.” Halloween Music starts on Oct. 1st.
www.munchkinradio.com is Utah’s only radio station for kids 10 years old and under. We stream 24/7 and have plenty of fun kids music, cool contests, and fun events just for the kids. Munchkin Radio has been around for 4 years now and continues to grow each year and terrestrial radio numbers continues to decline.
Today (September 11) only get a Lil’ Rider Wiggle Car for only $29.99 from Kids Woot.
You can choose from Red Rescue Fire Fighter, State Police Captain Blue, or Ambulance Green Responder. These are selling for $60 on Amazon right now.
- The Lil’ Rider Rescue Wiggle Ride-On Car works on the principle of science
- All it needs is a rider and a smooth, flat surface
- The wiggle car makes use of kid-power by harnessing the natural forces of inertia, centrifugal force, gravity and friction
- It provides kids with plenty of exercise
- Helps develop motor skills
- Features a steering wheel and extra decals
- Rugged and durable
For a limited time you can get a FREE Goodnight Moon interactive story app in the App Store (it doesn’t look like it’s currently free for Android). Not sure how long this will be free for. This book has always been a favorite at our house! Between me and my three kids it’s probably been read thousands of times.
I also saw an Avengers interactive story app from the same developer that’s FREE. I’m not sure if it’s always free or if it’s also just for a limited time so I suggest downloading it now if you want it.
Amazon currently has some children’s DVDs for under $5:
- Ferngully – The Last Rainforest
- Happy Feet
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- An American Tail Family Double Feature
- Horton Hears a Who
- The Reef
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
- Monsters vs. Aliens
- The Tale of Despereaux
- Flushed Away
- Open Season
- Open Season 2
- Open Season 3
- The Brave Little Toaster
- The Land Before Time (Anniversary Edition)
- All Dogs Go to Heaven 1 / All Dogs Go to Heaven 2
- Bee Movie