Challenges · Family

A Moment (or 2) in Time

Photography 101: Moment

“Capture a fleeting moment and experiment with blur and movement.”


Upon hearing about today’s assignment, this photo came immediately to mind. I took this picture 3-1/2 years ago. It was graduation day for Kris (when he was still going by Kerri). At the time, I was kind of ticked off. Why did he turn his head so suddenly ruining what would have been such a cute graduation day picture? Even with little hair, it would have still been cute.

This picture evokes so many emotions. To me, it stands for so many things. It’s one of the last pictures I have of Kerri. I didn’t know at that time that my days with my daughter would be numbered. Or that the time I did have would be so freaking stressful! I spent those last weeks thinking I was preparing to send my daughter off to college. This would be my daughter who had gone through what had to be the most confusing, emotional four years of high school EVER. On that graduation day, I was just thankful that Kerri was actually graduating. After willfully failing a class and defying school administrations with what appeared to be some bizarre antics, I just wanted this kid out of that school. I hoped that college would be a more pleasant and positive experience. HA! This picture represents the beginning of a very unreal summer. We made lists, shopped and packed. And then it all changed the day we found out that Kerri was transgender and actually identified as male.

So, looking at this picture, I’m brought back to the end of our lives as we knew it.

IMG_3773And then how can I pass up this one? There’s nothing more fun for a kid than a box to wear on his head. How many things can he bump into? What can he see when he looks down? Should he close his eyes to intensify the experience? All I can tell you is that if you want to get a kid moving around and burning off some excess energy, give him a box!


10 Ways I Messed Up as a Parent

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Who said that? It seems to me it’s one of those sayings that has been around forever. I’ve always felt like this applies to parenting. No matter what the newest trend is or what the latest data shows, it’s always a stark contrast to the one it replaces. As my son and daughter-in-law prepare for their newest arrival, I’m reminded of how much things have changed since my children were young. It got me thinking about all the things I did with them that are considered WRONG!

1. My babies slept on their stomach. They slept way better than everyone else’s babies. (They did!) AND yes, that’s a stuffed animal propped up against the side AND he has blankets covering him. It’s a wonder he lived past the first night!


2. I did not breastfeed my children. In 1990, at least in the world I was living in, it was a toss up which you did. Breastfeeding was on the up rise but at that time I was determined to do everything the way my mother had done in the 60’s and that meant formula.


3. I had thumb suckers- all three. I was so against pacifiers. At the time, it seemed like too much work to keep track of them. I figured they would never lose their thumb and they always had a spare on hand. (Haha, I just crack myself up sometimes.) And if they woke up at night (which they didn’t because they were stuffed with formula and snuggled in on their tummies under blankets), their thumb was right there all handy. I will admit that breaking them of that habit was HELL!


4. They all took naps every day after lunch until they were about 4. I didn’t care what they did in their naps as long as it took place in their room on their bed. Michael always managed to pack his bed and get the most out of naptime.


5. No kids in Mom and Dad’s bed. We stood firm with this. There was only one exception and that was when both Michael and Kris had scarlet fever. Then they slept in our bed and I don’t remember where we slept… or why they slept in our bed and we did not.


6. Something I felt strongly about was forcing them to hug and kiss adults. While their cousins did the rounds being forced to hug and kiss every aunt, uncle and stranger who happened to be there, I didn’t want my children to feel that they should be obligated to hug someone they did not feel comfortable hugging. just because it was an adult and they said so. I still feel this way.


7. My children were raised to call all adults outside of grandparents, aunts and uncles with the titles- Mr., Mrs., Ms, Miss. The only exception was our friend, Rob. Because of this, I wonder what Michael calls my friend, John, whose daughter attends the same school as CJ.

8. I didn’t pick up their rooms for them or force them to do it. If they were happy living in chaos, it didn’t bother me. And it saved me hours and hours of nagging.

book pile

9. When they signed up for something, they finished it. No quitting allowed. I think this helped them think carefully about the activities they joined.


10. I didn’t bail them out unless there were extenuating circumstances. Forgot your lunch- get hot lunch. Forgot your homework- turn it in late. We are talking 3 kids and 14 years of band instruments. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I had to drive a forgotten instrument to school- not too bad.

 So, there you have it. The horrible things I did to my children.  It’s nothing short of a miracle that they are all still alive and speaking to me! (And I’m still called a helicopter parent. I like to think that any hovering I did was well deserved.)

I would love to hear about any things you might have done that raised the eyebrows of fellow moms or dads. (Or am I the only one?)

Challenges · Words to Live By

Writer’s Quote Wednesday- 11/19/14 F. Scott Fitzgerald


This quote makes me smile because writers seem to have a lot to say, don’t they? Sometimes it’s just complaining about writer’s block and the inability to write but they still have something to say.

writers-quote-wednesdayThank you to Colleen at Silver Threading for hosting Writer’s Quote Wednesday. You’ll want to head over to her blog to check out the quotes from last week and all the other cool things she writes about there.