80 Rules For My Sons

My boys are growing so fast and it’s no secret that one day, they will be men. I’ll be sending them off into this big & scary world and that is pretty terrifying.

I have so much to teach my sons and so much that I want them to learn. If I had to give them some rules, these would be it.

I know that I left out a lot, but here are a couple that I had no trouble writing down.

 

 

 

1. Live everyday with a full heart and open mind.

2. Remember that every choice comes with a consequence…and a reputation.

3. Always hold the door open for other people but especially a lady.

4. Open your girlfriend’s car door. Chivalry is not dead.

5. If she says that nothing is wrong…don’t believe her. Ask her. Listen.

6. You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.

7. Whatever you post on the internet is there forever..even if you erase it. Don’t be foolish.

8. Sit with the new kid at lunch.

9. If it’s something that doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Always trust your gut.

10. Nothing good ever happens after 1AM.

11. Video games are not your life. Get outside.

12. Hard work is the foundation to a successful life.

13. Put the toilet seat down every-time. I don’t want to fall in the toilet at 4AM.

14. Don’t drink or drive or get in the car with anyone that was drinking. If you need a ride, call me. No questions asked. I just want you safe.

15. Always shake hands with a stranger when you meet them. And look them in the eye.

16. The women you choose to marry will be my daughter-in-law and holds the foundation for our relationship. Please, choose her wisely.

17. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. Work on that first.

18. Your teenage years will probably be the most awkward and dreaded of your life, but I promise you, they go by fast & there’s better stuff ahead. Hang in there.

19. Play at least one sport or extra-circular activity.

20. College isn’t for everyone and I don’t want you to feel pressured to go…trade-schools are amazing and there’s nothing wrong with working with your hands.

21. Save your money. You’ll be glad you did. You don’t need that new cell-phone or TV.

22. I won’t always be around to make your meals & clean your clothes. So learn how to do those things. It will also make your future wife happy.

23. A simple smile & hello go a long way. Be kind for no reason.

24. There’s nothing that a cup of coffee or a run can’t fix.

25. If you ever have babies, just change the damn diapers. You saw what she had to go through.

26. Treat your girlfriend/wife like the Queen she is.

27. If you’re bored, find me. I’ll give you something to do.

28. Your never too old to follow your dreams. Never say never.

29. Watch football with your dad, even if you hate it. You’ll be glad that you did one day.

30. Take as many pictures as you can. One day, it will be all that’s left of someone.

31. If you love someone, tell them. Never leave them guessing.

32. If you have more than one girlfriend at a time and bring them home, you better believe that I’ll call them the wrong name on purpose. Don’t be a jerk.

33. You may fight with your brother and disagree but in the end remember, you two are all you have.

34. I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it. Your never too old for a whoopin’.

35. Please remember the important dates: anniversaries, birthdays, Mother’s Day,  Father’s Day. And a simple phone call goes a long way.

36. Don’t be cheap. Splurge a little. You can’t take it with you when you go.

37. Consent is a two-way street. Don’t be a jerk.

38. Put your phone down and take a look at the world around you.

39. Go on Sunday drives just because.

40. Little notes and compliments go a lot farther than chocolate and roses.

41. Nobody likes a cocky person. Get off your high-horse.

42. Nobody wants to be friends with the guy that talks about himself. Listen to other people, too.

43. Don’t get too high on the bottle.

44. A true friend is rare and extremely hard to find. Keep them close.

45. Brush your teeth every-day. Mouthwash and gum doesn’t count.

46. I want to hear from you, so call me. I might be missing you.

47. Never raise a hand to a women. I don’t care the circumstance.

48. Water is extremely important so drink it.

49. School doesn’t define you, but it will set the way for your future. Please try.

50. Life won’t hand you what you want. You need to work for it.

51. Money isn’t everything. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life because as you get older, that’s what you want.

52. Sitting home on a Friday night with your parents isn’t uncool.

53. Don’t do something to fit in. It’s pretty cool to stand out & say no.

54. Be nice to your teachers. They deal with you & about fifty other little turds.

55. Never let the gas tank go passed half.

56. Ketchup can go on eggs. Don’t listen to your father.

57. Whenever you get annoyed by me, remember that you used to always follow me in the bathroom.

58. Just wake up with the baby and let her sleep. She will be forever grateful.

59. Manners are still a thing- never forget them.

60. Listen to the stories of people older than you. They have a lot of wisdom & you can learn something from them.

61. That job that your killing yourself for- that company can replace you in a week. Don’t make it your life.

62. Clean out your fridge once a month. You never know what’s growing in there.

63. Reading for fun is possible. Make yourself get lost in a book. And women like smart men.

64. Bubble baths are not just for women. Learn how to relax. You’ll feel better.

65. Just let her shop and don’t roll your eyes. And carry the bags.

66. There’s nothing better than the love of a pet. Adopt, don’t shop. There’s plenty of animals that need a forever home.

67. There’s nothing better then a sense of  humor.

68. Learn to laugh at your imperfections. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

69. Stand up for what you believe in, even if no one else believes it.

70. Bring her coffee and breakfast in bed.

71. Communication is the key to a strong relationship. Talk.

72. If you see it happening, that’s just as bad as doing it. Stop it or walk away.

73. Your never too old to go on the swings at the park.

74. Have goals in life.

75. A man is as only as strong as his word.

76. Your heart will get broken and it will feel horrible. I’ll be here to pick up the pieces & to let you know: you’ll be okay.

77. Own at least one nice dress shirt, a pair of khakis & dress shoes. You never know when you’ll need them.

78. Clean up after your messes. Nobody likes a slob.

79. Your never too old to kiss your mother.

80. Spread your wings & fly…there’s a big world out there and you will do great things. But home will always be there for you. Always.

 

 

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Being A Boy Mom Is Everything I Didn’t Know I Needed

I never knew how much I needed my sons. I never knew how much I needed to be a boy mom.

When I became pregnant, I loved that tiny speck of a seed on that ultrasound…I loved it so much that I felt my heart would burst. What I didn’t know or come to understand yet was how much MORE I would fall in love with a tiny little baby boy I had just met.

My son.

I have 2 sons. I’m a boy mom and it’s the most special thing in my life. I never knew how amazing being a boy mom could be. I get sticky kisses, funny smiles, crazy moments of utter chaos followed by the sweetest cuddles. My boys are everything from rough and fearless to sweet and sensitive. They are everything I could have ever wanted, and much, much more.

The bond I have with my boys is special…it’s irreplaceable. They are momma’s boys and I wouldn’t change that for all the uninterrupted bathroom trips in the world. The way they smile at me or hold my hand melts my heart. I could be a puddle on the floor with just one look from them.

A lot of people tell me that we have to try for a girl, but they’re wrong because I find that being a boy mom is everything that I didn’t know I needed. They fill my heart. They may drive me over the brink of insanity, but I can always guarantee the sweetest of kisses and giggles by the end of the day. They make the hardest day just worth it.

I may never have frilly dresses or long hair to braid but I will have Tonka trucks and muddy football cleats to clean. I have found everything I didn’t know I needed in being a boy mom. My boys give me the most unconditional love but they also give me strength….strength to be a better person..a kinder person. They have held my hand when I felt weak and showed me compassion when I felt sad.

Their tiny, little hands will soon grow, and faster than I know, they will no longer want to hold my hand or follow me in the bathroom. One day, they won’t want to be glued by my side or let me cuddle them. I want to freeze them at this age of craziness and complete innocence but I know that’s not possible. I want to hold their tiny hands and guide them through this world. I never want them to feel alone or scare. And while they are constantly growing and changing, one thing will always remain the same; that in my eyes, they will always be my baby.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom and while I some-days feel like I am failing them, they still love me. I know this by their constant laughter and happy, chubby-cheeked smiles.  I hope I can raise good boys but what matters most is raising kind boys…kind boys that hold the door open for their girlfriend and stand-up for the kid being picked on at recess.

They are my world, my everything. I gave my boys life but the real truth is: that they gave me life.

<3

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS! {and the boys mini-shoot}

It’s that time of year again!

This year, we get to celebrate as a family of 6 {of course we count our fur-daughters}. Last year, baby Bernie was in my belly and I was daydreaming of what life was going to be like with two small kiddos.

Beaux enjoyed his Christmas last year but he still didn’t “get” the whole Santa-thing {or unwrapping the presents…he was very gentle with the wrapping paper} so we are looking forward to what he will be like this year! The tree is up. Baby-gate included. Beaux helped by handing me the ornaments and saying “ooohh.” He really likes when the lights are lit and he helped Daddy put the Angel on top of the tree.

 

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Beaux helping Daddy…

It will be neat to see how he handles the presents this year and what he will think of Santa! Also, he might be into celebrating traditions a little more… I think he will be way more interested in making ornaments and his night before Christmas box. What type of traditions do you celebrate? Every year will only get better and better….having kids around this time of the year is THE BEEEEST!!

 

{look who wants to get in on the fun}

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Someone is trying to explore this weird new thing in our living room….

 

It will be Bernie’s first Christmas!

These firsts our so special to me! Even though he will have no clue to what’s going on, it’s still a fun time.

And do you see those ‘Mistletoes’ hung up by the tree? The first canvas is of Beaux’s little feet done when he was just three months old {soooo tiny!} and now Bernie has one of his own, done at seven months.

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I wanted the boys to get Christmas pictures done this year {and totally knowing that I had no energy, time, or patience to do it myself…..} I found a nice lady here to do a mini-shoot with the boys. She’s a military wife and runs her little photography business out of her home and charged a reasonable fee for the shoot, so why not. Originally, the shoot was going to be done outside, but German weather had other plans for us {that day it was rainy & muddy} so she moved the props to her kitchen. It still looked really cute!

So we got to this nice lady’s house and the boys were all dressed up in their best for these pictures. We managed to get out of the car and into her house with no mud or wetness on us, and Bernie managed to keep the spit-up at bay {at least until after the shoot was over}. Every-thing was fine. Beaux was shy like normal and Bernie was bouncing along for the ride. And then it was time to actually do the shoot and things went south.

Beaux didn’t want to leave my side, so I suggested that we start with Bernie first. Well, my usual very social and pleasant infant had a weird case of stranger danger that day {or maybe he was just tired} and wanted NO part in being there on the floor, surrounded by Christmas decor and having a stranger point a camera in his face. So my plan of having Bernie test the waters to show Beaux that everything was fine back-fired. Oh well. I gave Bernie a bottle and in the meantime, Beaux was slowly warming up to the nice lady. She was verryyyyy patient for not having children of her own and she thought of a brilliant idea: she introduced her magic sled to Beaux. She told him that he could sit on it, and it worked. His mood instantly changed and the smiles came out! She got some GREAT shots!! {see below for my favorite}

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He looks way too grown!!  

After this, it got easier! Beaux was okay now with the nice lady taking his picture, and he was even more okay with this cool sled. He even wanted Bubba to get in on the fun.

 

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My favorite <3

I’m so happy she captured this one. I’m not sure how many she was able to get of them both on the sled, but I assume it was only a few since Bubba was still a little wobbly sitting up at this time and was only on the sled for a few seconds. But she got it. And it’s my favorite one of them all. And it’s even better that they are both looking AND have smiles.

We chose this one of the boys to go on our Christmas cards this year {designed by Shutterfly}

{hey, I hear they’re holiday cards are 50% off right now. you better check that out}

We got so many compliments about out holiday card. I love choosing Shutterfly for our cards. It’s December 4th and my cards are sent out. Done and done.

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 {one more time on that cool sled!}

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Then it was time to get Bernie’s solo-shots. He was warmed up now so we went for it!

And, he was way more cooperative!

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those big eyes!!!

 

and….

 

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too darn precious!{we even managed to get a little smile here} you wouldn’t know that fifteen-minutes ago he was on that same spot crying.

 

So overall, the mini-shoot was a SUCCESS! I’m so in love with the pictures. I want every one blown up on canvas, haha! I was so worried that the boys wouldn’t cooperate but they were fine.

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Karley from Timeless Image Photograph  was AMAZING. She was so patient and warm. Plus, her reasonable prices cannot be beat. I’m even thinking about going back in the spring when she offers her other mini-shoot. So, if you are in the Ramstien area you HAVE to check out Karley’s work. Other than mini-shoots, Karley offers newborn, maternity, family portraits and engagement photos.

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Here’s the last of my boys! They are so adorable {if I do say so myself} and they are growing too darn fast!! 

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Now that the decorations are up and the cards are sent out, it’s time to finish shopping and to wrap those presents. It’s also time to watch a ton of Christmas movies and listen to way too much Christmas music! I love this time of year!

I hope the rest of your December is filled with happiness, memories and endless amounts of hot cocoa!

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Drop me a line below… what are your Christmas traditions? I’m always looking to do more with the boys around this time of year.

 

 

My First Born: I’m Sorry That It’s Hard

There are things in life that you can never really be prepared for. In this blog post, I talk about exactly that…..

We now have a full-blown toddler in the house.

I wasn’t prepared for this shit.

 My oldest has always been sweet, shy, and very sensitive. I feel like he has an old soul. He is kind and caring. So when our very sweet little boy woke up one morning and decided to turn the game plan around on us, well, it was hard.

I say it was hard because it takes the patience of 20 people to deal with that of a toddler. You constantly have to keep them entertained so they don’t get too bored and burn the house down. And you have to deal with the random outbursts and constant tantrums because they don’t want mac and cheese for lunch {but now they DO want mac and cheese for lunch}, and deal with the behavioral problems like biting and kicking. It’s also extremely frustrating because these tiny people can’t quite express their emotions…. it’s all new to them! They also can’t verbally communicate that well yet, so telling you what they need/want becomes a challenge. And then there’s the sudden want of independence….toddlers just want to do EVERYTHING on their own.. and THEIR way. I won’t say that it’s necessarily a bad thing…but you try being in a hurry to get out the door and your toddler INSISTS on putting on his own jacket, socks and shoes. 🙂 …

It’s damn near exhausting. I’m exhausted.

So Beaux, I am writing this right now to tell you: I’m sorry it’s so hard.

I’m sorry that this is hard on you, but here is a secret: it is hard on me, too.

You are my first child so obviously I am experiencing all of this first-hand with you. I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing because believe it or not, they didn’t give me a how-to manual the day we brought you home.  Everything leading up to now has been fairly easy. You were a wonderful sleeper, eater, not too fussy, decent traveler, easy to entertain….yeah, it was okay! But my love, I’m afraid that the game-plan has been turned around and now all those things I listed are the opposite, and this has made me pretty darn tired.

I’m so tired that some mornings when you wake up at 5:30 AM and your brother is still sleeping, I give you the iPad so you can be entertained and so that I could catch a maybe 30-minute nap. And on the days where I’m out of all the ideas on how to keep you amused, I turn on Daniel Tiger or Minions so I could get some quick 20-minute cleaning done or an uninterrupted shower. And when I stop in the mall to treat myself to my favorite coffee and decide to give you those mini-donuts because you basically NEED them, well darn it, I cave and give you them. Because sometimes, it’s just easier to go with the flow then to try to be “the mom I swore to myself I would never be.”  I love you to pieces but some-days are HARD. Just HARD. And I know that it’s hard on you, too.

I know that you were thrown into the chaos of having a baby brother. I know that you weren’t quite ready to share mommy or daddy’s time. You weren’t too sure what was happening, but I believe that you have adapted to your Bubba in the best possible way. When he was still in my belly, you would rub and blow raspberries on my tummy and giggle. We would talk about “baby” everyday and you caught on that “shhh” means “baby is sleeping.”  The day you visited us in the hospital to meet your brother, it was like you knew all along that he was arriving and what all of this meant. You help out with him all of the time; whether it be holding his bottle, giving him his binkie, or simply rubbing his head to calm him down, YOU ARE THE BEST big brother! But then there are those not-so-great days when you don’t want to share your toys and you don’t understand why mommy has to hold Bubba a little bit longer or why he now gets to sit in your big-boy highchair and play with your toys {which are now his toys as well}. This is all hard for you, but sweetie, it’s hard on me, too. I wish I could explain to you just how much I love both you and your brother; how I would do anything in the world for the both of you. I try my best for you to understand that my heart is big enough to love the both of you…and a million times over. 

We have made a huge move all the way across the world, and this is something you have struggled with. We ripped you away from the environment that you have grown comfortable with, and you no longer see family members that you have come to love. We just left one day on an airplane and since then, bounced around from a hotel to our now, home. Your bed isn’t here yet, neither are your toys, so I can’t imagine what is going on in your little head. You are afraid now when mommy or daddy leave the room. You cry out for me in the middle of the night, and I have to comfort you back to sleep. I know this is because we are in this new place and so many changes have happened for you so quickly. You have clung to your brother and love on him more than ever. You are still just so sweet despite your sour exterior and stubbornness and I only love you more for it.

If you were to read this one day, I know that you won’t remember these moments that have been challenging for all of us. We are all going through this together and learning from each-other. We love you & we try the best we can to be the parents that you deserve to have. It’s hard, but you are worth it. <3

If I am learning anything during these difficult moments of parenting, it’s that these phases are just that…. phases. It won’t last forever. They won’t be small for very much longer. I won’t get yesterday back. It’s sad for me to think about. I won’t get all of these frustrating and hair-pulling moments back. Everyday, my babies are one day older and I feel like they are slipping away from me…even though they are still so little. I feel so guilty sometimes; for wishing away bad days and praying for a moment of quiet so I could collect my thoughts {and sanity}. I try hard to be a good Mom, but I know that I fail on occasion. It’s tough. It will only get tougher. But, my boys are worth it. So. Worth. It.

 

Tonight I Held You

Tonight was one of those nights in parenting where I wanted to shame myself for making my son independent. (Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?)

For months now, my son has gotten used to putting himself to sleep. He barely even fusses anymore; it’s bedtime story, kisses and I love yous, then I place him in his crib and he soon falls asleep. It’s easy. He has gotten accustomed to feeling safe in his crib and even better for me: he doesn’t need to be held or rocked to go to sleep. Everybody wins.

I was so happy and proud when he reached this amazing milestone. I mean, I listened to people tell me that our son should be doing this, and while I believed it as well, it didn’t really affect me until tonight.

I’m not even sure where this came from but I’ve been becoming emotional lately knowing that Beaux is turning 1 in two months. Honestly, I blinked and we are here. So that is what possibly set off my crazy mama hormones. With that being said, tonight was like every other normal night.

I placed Beaux in his crib, turned on the night time bumblebee, said I Love You one more time, and walked out of his room. He fussed for all of possibly ten seconds, and then nothing. Meanwhile, I walk into the living room and I hear children talking outside. Of course I look out the window, and I see two toddlers running down the sidewalk ahead of their parents. They were laughing and just then my heart shattered. It shattered because those two little boys, whom seem much older than my son but in reality, they may be older by two or three years. Two or three years. Even though Beaux can’t walk yet or much less run, that will be him soon. I felt my stomach churn and I headed for his room. I thought about it before I walked in, yet I did it anyway. Beaux wasn’t sleeping yet. Instead, he was in a different position where I left him; on his back and playing with his blanket. He just looked at me…I could tell he was a little confused, like, why are you back in here, ma?  And then he smiled at me. My heart melted and I scooped him right up. I held him and laid down with him. He placed his head on my chest, the place he never falls asleep anymore, but a short time ago, it was the only place where he could fall asleep. I just held him and cried. I cried because I miss him being itty-bitty and needy. I cried because tonight, I really wanted those few mintues to myself, but then I felt guilty because my son knowing that I love him, is way more important.

So, tonight I held you.

When other parents say that parenthood is bittersweet, I surely discovered that feeling tonight. I want Beaux to grow. I want him to learn, explore, be independent. I love seeing how he’s changing and getting smarter every day, but it stings. I know he will still need me for quite some time, but my heart breaks thinking about the day when he’s all grown and old enough to take care of himself. I always knew my son would need me, but I never knew how much I would need my son.