Category Archives: Twins

Parenting Class for Communication

Recently, I took a parenting class in the evening in an effort to improve communication skills within our complicated family. It was strongly suggested and I’m glad I took it. It was tough to enroll because it was only offered  in the evening, deep in NE Portland and only on my parenting night. But, I did it! I hired a sitter and schlep my 3 little kids to her house in jammies at 5pm before I drove the 45 min in heavy traffic. There were about 15 people in my class and we were from all walks of life. Some were remarried and brought their new partner to the class. Most of us were single and trying to navigate a complicated family life. All of us were involved with high conflict divorce with shared little kids. It was strangely comforting to hear personal experiences that mirrored my situation. It didn’t explain or justify behavior but did feel good to know I’m not alone.IMG_7185This picture says it all-LOVE! (Even Kai smiled) haha! Summer 2017 at Jameson Square Park

These 3 cuties are why I continue to do my best and make the most of every situation.

Back to the class-it took no less than 25 email exchanges to get enrolled in the class. I’ll spare the details. But it was a feat just to register for the class for all sorts of reasons.

Beyond Conflict Parenting Class was upstairs in an old Portland house in a small room with uncomfortable church folding chairs. The instructor isn’t married and doesn’t have children. She’s been teaching this class for maybe 20 years? I can’t remember the actual number but long enough to see a lot of different situations and people.

Funny thing is that I always felt better leaving that class than I did when I arrived. That is a good sign. I was surprised to feel this way because my expectations were low. Kinda like online dating. You do it, you put your best effort out there but you’re okay if nothing pans out. Yes, it spoke to the general public and wasn’t specific in handling high conflict divorce. However, the messages were good reminders to “do the right thing” no matter what. Some parents shared horror stories (not me of course for privacy reasons) and Judith never deviated from advising the “higher road” no matter what! I mean the stories were so bad that I can’t even repeat them here. But, Judith reiterated again and again focus on the kids and respond by respecting the kids.

And, the best thing I learned in this class is that I’m only 1 parent. In essence, I’m potentially 50% of the solution and 50% of the problem. For example, if I do my very best and communicate clearly with kindness, it can only be 50% effective for communication.  Depending on how the other parent chooses to respond is out of my hands.  Wow, this was eye opening for me. I already know this as I love self help books and seminars but it’s a different beast when someone f*cks with your little kids. Anyway, simple advice to stay the course but a good reminder for me. Healthy, positive co-parenting takes 2 willing people. It is what it is.

Facts I learned from this class is that less than 10% of families get divorced through family court. That means most families 90% or more are able to mediate and/or reach an agreement outside the courtroom. Hey, even Brad and Jolina chose to settle out of court. There were lots of books and handouts shared to help navigate this tricky family situation.

And the most important take away from Judith Sweeney’s class is-When in doubt, focus on the kids! When uncertain on how to handle an unusual situation, focus on the kids!

 

 

 

 

BurnCycle, I Love You

So, I came back to spin classes after a tumultuous 10 months off. The turmoil is still going but I’m tired of waiting for a “good time” to get back on the bike. So, I hopped on that spin bike 3 weeks ago and had an awesome workout with an amazing instructor.

Then I did it again. My second spin class in 10 months was 2 weeks ago. She was also an amazing instructor. Not sure if I get more physically or mentally from these classes. The jury is still out. As the NOISE rises, so does my self care. I will always take care of myself and my people-it’s in my blood.

If you are like me and in the thick of it and don’t have time, energy or desire to workout-get yourself to a group fitness class. It will change everything. Because, life is happening and waves are coming whether we like it or not. Better to have the sparkle in our heart from a great workout when the waves come crashing in.

May fitness and health be a priority this year and always, my friends.

Aloha Friday

Seeking more adventures, life balance and lots of laughs next year! Only 16 days left in 2017 and I couldn’t be more excited. 2017 rocked my world in so many ways. I’m ready to say farewell, goodbye and hello to the new year. IMG_4528Doing a 360 degree spin jump this summer

As I reflect on the past year, I shake my head. It’s like the saying goes, 2 steps forward and one step back. Or 2 steps forward and 4 steps back in my world. One big change for me is that I’m focusing on what I want, instead of what I don’t want. I used to reiterate what I don’t want because I thought that list was easier to swallow. When the noise rises, so does my self care. A friend was surprised that I did anything other than yoga. Wait, what, you go to the gym too?! Haha! Yeah, you could say that. Running, spinning and gym time is way easier for me than the yoga. However, the yoga is my best effort toward self love and self care. It’s what I need but not usually what I want. #justsayin

I’m ramping up the self care and gettin’ after the good stuff. Focusing on the fun, the travel and the mom life (the best life) this next trip around the sun.

So, I dragged my tired, puffy self to burncycle this morning. I haven’t been for over 10months and it left a mark. I will be walking funny for days… But, I’m looking for a new outcome 2018 so gotta put my money where my mouth is. There is no butt kicking quite like a cycle class. And, I LOVED it!IMG_2206Here’s to an awesome last couple of weeks of 2017 and a bigger and better 2018!

Let the good times roll, my friends.

Kid Pedicures Rock

IMG_9897This is Five!IMG_9872.jpgBirthday Pedi’s!

IMG_9924Pepper LOVED every part of birthday mani and pedis- especially the massage. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Haha!

 

Hot Lips Pizza Is Our Favorite

Dying to share my Christmas Tree story and give credit to the 5 grown men who grunted it out with me. But, life happened today-hard and fast. Kinda like a Monday and always  with my 3 little ducks in tow. Christmas tree story soon. I suppose it isn’t that unusual because I’ve been hustling a real Christmas tree by myself for as long as I can remember.

The difference is that when the kids were little, I could strap them into the carseats and onto me with the ergo. This year, they were running around like wild animals at my annual holiday work party. Still can’t believe how good our tree worked out with a few extra helpers. It’s an 8 foot tree that “we” strapped to the top of my tiny car during a huge rain storm.IMG_0722_2.jpgJulian sporting Kai’s blue gloves and Kai loving his new white gloves.

After 10 days and nights in a row with my little people, we’re still gettin the fun daily! We hit the streets for a romp in the park and to hear the singing tree in Jameson Square again. So awesome! Then we were craving hot lips pizza and Kai had some gloves he wanted to give the pizza guy. His name is Julian and he’s a super cool guy and listened to Kai’s stories with great enthusiasm. They traded stories (mostly Kai talked and Julian listened) and gloves. Kai gave him a pair of his coveted blue gloves while Julian slipped Kai a pair of Hot Lips white gloves. I love this town so much!

IMG_0717Julian, do you want to be my Man-Nanny? Haha!IMG_0733.jpgGood times. Classic Starbucks bathroom poop party. 

Of course, it would be weird for my little ducks to make the 10 minute walk home without an urgent poop alert. They love to poop in public. Pepper claimed she had to poop so bad about 2 minutes after leaving hot lips pizza where there are lots of bathrooms. Oh well, we shamelssly charged into Starbucks, asked for the bathroom code and handled it. At least we didn’t have the double stroller in there. All that space for Kai to sit on the bathroom floor and enjoy his new gloves. 🙂

 

Santa Flys In On An Airplane

Yep. Santa flys in on an airplane complete with Mrs. Claus and a scad of elves in tow. This is my favorite part about our holiday kids party. Yes, there are bouncy houses, kids games, with arts and crafts. This year there were even hot cocoa stations with the usual cotton candy station but nothing is as cool as Santa cruisin’ in on that airplane if you ask me. IMG_0425Santa coming to high five the kids before he mounts his throne for photosIMG_0423.jpgMy little ducks watching Santa arrive! IMG_0372.jpgPepper gettin’ it on the bouncy houses! IMG_0428Kai fished like crazy this year!IMG_0449.jpgChristmas 2017. Kai is always so BUSY during pictures. Haha

I never even hesitate to sit on Santa’s lap with my kids. I don’t know why but I realized not many other parents pop onto Santa’s lap with their kids?! Sure, I heard Santa laugh and grunt a little when all of us snuggled him for the picture. All I could think of was how hot he must be. With the beard, the suit, the boots and the hat UNDERNEATH all those people for hours. Haha! Poor Santa!

Stop by tomorrow for the story behind our Christmas tree. It took 5 grown men to help us but we did it! We have a real Christmas tree in our apartment and I’m so happy.

Getting Started Is The Hardest Part

I’ve never considered myself an underdog. Ever. Although some may have seen it or thought it, I never did. These days, I consider myself highly outnumbered as a single mama to 3 little humans. I remember waterskiing as a kid and my parents telling me that the newest, nicest ski boat or equipment doesn’t always make the best skier. Growing up, we always had everything we needed and skied our butts off early into Springtime and deep into Fall. Not to mention our annual January 1st polar bear waterski event in Oregon every year. Burr. Yes, my parents still chase the fun and adventures like crazy!  If anything it made me stronger. Sometimes stronger than I feel like being. Just sayin. #truth
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1997, lake days were the best!
On those days where I’m yearning to thrive  and I’m not in the mood, I get going. Because half the battle is getting to the gym. Or getting to the yoga class or starting that run. As I recommit to being the best version I can for myself, my kids, my family, my friends and my community, I focus on the going. Push that start button…
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Pepper, Blaize and me cruising the waterfront this summer
I definitely have my days where it feels like I’m a salmon swimming upstream with Black Bears everywhere. Crap! This mom life stuff is a lot of work. Yep, it definitely is. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes, it doesn’t look pretty with red lipstick. Often, it looks like mom is wearing her jammie’s all day.  That’s what Blaize and Pepper said to me this morning on the walk to school. “Mom, why are you still wearing your jammie’s?!” Haha! Well, school mornings come hard and fast for your mom. Awake by 6:40am, 7:30am bus pickup with an 8am speech therapy lesson in tow. I don’t always have time to get dressed. But, I always have time to give you princess braids. #momlife
Setting aside the jokes, I’m lucky to grow up with solid parents who taught us even stronger values. Learning at a young age that it’s not for free and the show must go on-one of my mom’s favorite of many quotes! And how right she was. After a good chat with my mom friend in my half jammie outfit this morning, I focused on the “get going” part.” And here I am at the gym, sweating (thriving) like a dog and living the dream.
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Yep. That’s my parents, always chasing the fun! Mimi and Grandpa Mike wheelbarrow racing with Pepper and Blaize. 🙂
May you remember the “get going” part my friends even when you’re busy and it’s hard to get out of those jammie’s.

Thrive, It’s My New Normal

Talking to one of my besties on the phone this morning about life and she said to me at the end of the call “you’ll be fine.” She’s very empathetic, very pregnant and never dismissive of my feelings. Rarely do I hear those three words from her. But, I heard them today and I’m running with it. I will be fine. I know this. But I want to be fine and much more than that. I want to thrive physically, mentally and with my three little ducks in tow.IMG_7935.JPGMy mini me’s and me striking a pose.

I’ve always wanted more than fine or average. I’ve always sucked the passion out of everything I was interested in. Whether it was spinning. I love spin classes!-I’ll teach them for 17 years. DONE. Whether it was running. I love running and will run 6 marathons including Boston. DONE. Buy a house before I turn 30 regardless if I have a partner. DONE. Have kids and breastfeed those little monsters until they want to quit. DONE. DONE and DONE. Now, as my three little munchkins are 4, 4 and 7 years old, I’m seeking the next level as a mom and a person. I want to thrive. And I want to thrive with my kids in our family and our life.

First, I’m seeking more balance. More self care. More individual and ground quality time with my kids. I’m seeking more fulfilling workouts instead of just putting in the daily 45 minutes. Now, I want some quality and I started a new fitness routine that focuses on “strength and length.” Cardio is still what I crave but like I teach my kids moderation is key.IMG_8488.jpgChilling at pdx playdate in the pearl while my kids get their romp on. 

As I enter the weekend, I’m focusing on thriving. If you’ve been thinking about switching it up for one reason or another, I hope you’ll join me. Let’s do something different this season and see how far we can go. Aloha Friday my friends:)

 

 

 

Hot Yoga For Moms is Always a Good Idea

So, I’m still not flexible. Never have been. But that’s not what yoga is. It has nothing to do with flexibility and everything to do with “real life.” Before I had kids, I loved taking first dates to a hot yoga class or my spin class. My reason was that I spend most of my days and time in workout gear so that’s the “real me.” The showered, makeup, cute shoes version of me is like a limited edition. Funny how things change. I still do my hot yoga and spin classes but don’t usually take dates there. I’m hustling to the gym with my three little people in tow. I’m a single mom of three little kids and have very little time to frolic around with someone else’s schedule. I don’t do hot yoga because I want to or feel like it. I NEVER FEEL LIKE DOING HOT YOGA. I do hot yoga because it makes me a better mom and  person. Hot yoga is like church to me. It makes me a better woman, person, sister, daughter, neighbor, friend and flight attendant. Plus it makes my body purr. Here are a couple of my favorite yoga teachers.IMG_7881Striking a pose with the amazing Roger Yoga Teacher. IMG_7873My girl Isabel killing it with her Genuine “Pony” songs and HUMBLE. Yep, One of the many reasons I love her. 

If you’ve been “thinking” about trying yoga (hot or not) DO IT! Do it for yourself and your family. Everyone benefits when mom gets her hot yoga in!

It Takes A Village

I remember hearing the saying “It takes a village” growing up but had no idea. No idea what it meant or how true it was. I feel like the bigger your tribe the more you need your village. I’m really lucky because I have a big, little tribe and an awesome village. I can honestly appreciate the familial concept of Big Love, and Sister Wives now that I have three, little humans. I loved the shows because the concept seemed so bizarre to me but somehow it seemed to work and very well?! The idea of all that maternal help and support right next door sounds AMAZING now. Sure a new bed, and new wife every night is still very creepy to me. I have no idea how Kody really sleeps with 4 wives and has all those kids. So many kids…

I could never do the sister wives thing but think the daily, maternal support (right next door) sounds awesome. Haha! For now, I’ll keep on keepin’ on with my happy, little tribe and awesome village. IMG_6704The village makes dinner out so much fun!IMG_3989The village makes pool days awesome!IMG_2982My little tribe biking in all their glory