How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry

Happy Monday, #GP5Fam! It’s been a crazy start to our week here in the Grr-arrow household! I mean when is it not ever crazy in my household, psh! Who am I kidding! I live with crazies! Haha! (facepalm)

Anyways, with hockey & figure skating in full swing. I barely can keep up with the household chores and sleep– speaking of sleep, I miss doing that. And, it’s usually when everyone is asleep, is when I can bust out the phone (or laptop) and get my thoughts on paper.

So, as a warning. We are gonna get sappy in today’s post. So grab your favorite blanket, get cozy on the couch, and grab some tissues & let’s get heartfelt! On today’s post, ”How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry.”

Today guys, I was a parenting failure! You’re probably thinking I’m being over the top dramatic. And, I wish I was. My TDL was beyond overwhelming. I had emails to tend too, tasks to complete, calls to make and let’s not even get to my list of household chores that desperately needed to get done. I got up early to do some laundry, only to realize the clothes that were previously in the dryer were still wet. So the kids helped me get the wet clothes separated from the dry clothes and placed back in the drier to get dry.

After that, I started getting the sheets off my bed and started piling clothes for the next load of laundry. Mind you I still have a load in the wash, a load in the dryer. 3 piles outside my bedroom door that STILL needs to be done. Sigh. It just seems neverending. I was also on a time crunch as I still had to get Skyler’s homeschool assignments together. And, log on to work!

Time was not on my side today, even though I woke-up decently early. As loads of laundry were going, I scrambled to make sure everyone was fed- from the dogs, turtle and of course the kids!

Once that was ”somewhat” situated I launched my laptop and started on my emails. Simultaneously, I was working on some schooling issues for the upcoming school year which resulted needing to be done via a phone call. Of course, in perfect timing. Katelynn decided to have her full-blown tantrum, complete with ”exorcist” back arches and laying on the floor. All because I told her she couldn’t have fruit snacks for breakfast. Oh, and I stood my ground while I tended to my important phone call. Honestly, I should’ve just given her the damn fruit snack so I could get through my phone conference.

But, alas, In her best, high shrill, Katelynn sang the song of her people — loud enough for the poor lady I was talking to on the phone to hear. And, she politely said, ”Shes got some lungs on her”. Oh, If she only knew how I tried to muffle the sound on the phone so she couldn’t hear and failed epically to balance the phone off my shoulder & pick up a flailing 4-year-old off the floor. All while struggling to also hold a pen & notebook.

After picking Kate up, she was still whining and whimpering, as she still begged for the fruit snack. I continued to stand my ground and put Kate on the couch and walked away into another room so I can somewhat pay attention to what this lady was saying to me. I think I repeated every other sentence back to the lady, to confirm we were on the same page & in all honesty, just cause nothing was clicking.

I walked back out into the living room and put the phone on mute while the lady kept talking. I quickly tried to multitask and tend to Kate. Which resulted in a bigger meltdown cause she wanted to be held — which I, unfortunately, couldn’t do as I needed both hands as I was taking notes during the phone call.

After I no longer could take the whining, I turned on the TV and Thank heavens for Nick Jr, cause whatever show was on calmed Kate. And, after realizing fruit snacks were out of the question Kate drank her milk & ate cereal. (THANK GOD!)

Mind you through this whole Katelynn ordeal, Skyler was (as always) playing hockey in the living room. So I felt like I was playing dodgeball in the house trying to weave through and not get hit. Telling him to stop seemed impossible, also I don’t think he understood my ”miming” since I was on the phone.

Thankfully, I was able to go through my phone call, multitask on the laptop & go through emails. Still, laundry wasn’t done & homeschool didn’t start. My conference and emails took up a chunk of my time.

Once I was finally off the phone the kids reminded me that we needed to get cupcakes and cookies (something I had promised them last week). I packed all my electronics and earpiece and decided that my work would have to be mobile today.

When we got to the bakery we picked out our cupcakes, cookies and headed back to the car. As I loaded the kids into the car I dropped the box which resulted in all the frosting and cupcakes to turn upside down. Fabulous. I scrambled to save what decency the cupcakes had left and headed home.

I tried my best to hold myself together and figured, “What else could go wrong today?”  when we got home, my Husband was there to greet us. I was ready to cry and go in full-Mom-meltdown. And, then Skyler said something completely surprising.

He began to tell Ric about our day, and, I was just waiting for all the epic Mom fails, I had. But, he literally didn’t mention how stressed or frustrated I was. All he took out of the day was– regardless of how busy I was I took time to make Kate food, and turn on the TV for them, and that I drove them to get cupcakes and cookies. Skyle, looked at all the positives I did today, all my multitasking and was happy they got cupcakes and cookies regardless if it was half smashed.

I teared-up and Ric just looked at me like I was insane. I later went on to explain the day from my point of view. How crazy, chaotic it felt.

My kiddo for sure just served me a slice of reality and a good one at that. Perspective.





How My Boys Learned To Protect Themselves From An Active Shooter

He stood on top of the toilet & said, “this is what we were told to do when an intruder comes”…

Hello! (Crickets chirping) I know you’re probably wondering where I’ve been & what happened to post M-W-F as I advertise. Trust me, I know. But, Life happened.

So, much has happened this past two weeks – more than what I was ready to shoulder. An unexpected death, my return to school, my job, epic time management fails, motherhood, sports schedules, the Las Vegas shooting, new schools.. trust me the list can go on & on!

And, please don’t think I’m complaining. I’m not. It’s just life is happening and there is no way to stop it or slow it down. I can’t change what I can’t control. Even though I wish I could. Anyways, we have been rolling with the punches as they come. Staying positive & relying on faith and prayers that things will smooth out. I know they will.

As I lay in bed typing this blog, I’m just embracing this moment of silence. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a moment to myself. Silence is a great time to collect my thoughts. First off, my heart aches for the tragedy in Vegas, my heart aches for the world in general. Every day I find myself having to shed light or bring back some positivity in my kids’ lives. Both boys are fully aware of what’s going on in the world around them. They understand why People cry when someone passes, they understand why as Parents we are so concerned for their safety at such highly public places due to so much hate and unexpected chaos. They understand why Mommy & Daddy are protective of their overall well-being. They get all of that. But, what they can’t grasp is why other people would do harmful or bad things, just because. And, unfortunately, I can’t even try to explain why people do such bad things to others for no reason.

True story, the other day the boys came home from school and I heard them talking in the bathroom. I walked over to the bathroom and saw Skyler standing on the toilet. I asked why he was standing on the toilet & to get down. He said, “I was just showing Spencer. We learned it in our drill. If there is an intruder and we are in the bathroom that this is what we should do.”

As a parent, I was in shock. This is what the world has come too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the drills and protective matters the school teachers to ensure our children’s safety. But, I’m saddened by the fact someone could even walk into a school building and harm innocent children. Back when I was in elementary the only drills we practiced was the bus drill, Fire, and tornado drills. I’m just in awe!

See as parents we can only “shield” our kids from learning or understanding so many “bad” things. They’ll eventually learn about it in school, see it on tv, or Joe next door told Sally who told Billy who then told your kids on the bus. It’s inevitable.  I mean We can only hope that our kiddos know the difference between right and wrong & don’t fall into peer pressure and steer away from the bad, wrong things in life.

I learned the hard way from the boys entering elementary school. I now tell them if they question if something is good or bad to come ask an adult prior to whatever it is they’re attempting to do or say. I now get asked often if a specific word is a bad word cause one of their classmates says it, or if a certain tv show or character is appropriate to watch cause they saw it on YouTube. I’m glad my boys are open to communicating (right now) & I hope it stays that way.

I know that my Husband and I can only do so much in raising our tribe. SSK might be an incomplete understanding of our morals, values in our home but, as soon as they step foot out that door. It’s a different world. We constantly remind them of who they are. And, tell them to stay grounded and be humble. Cause apparently these days, even in elementary school it’s a TOUGH pond. Kids will tear you apart, they will eat you alive! There’s bullying, there are cliques, there’s so much negativity. It’s mind-blowing!

We always tell SSK to “be the change we want to see in the world.” To be the better, kinder person. We teach them to be everyone’s friend, to reach out and help others. We always tell them if you see someone sitting alone, be their buddy and sit next to them. We teach them to treat others with respect. We show them to be kind & use their manners. And, so on and so forth. I mean c’mon all I’m trying to do is raise my kids to be well-rounded, well-mannered individuals. Isn’t that all of our goals? And, I know for being 8,6 & 3 that they’re capable of being the change in the world because it’s the example I’m setting & the things I’m teaching, and the people I’m surrounding my kids with.

Now, I’m no Saint. I have my flaws & my children aren’t perfect angels. Trust me. But, I’m always trying to put my best foot forward. But, I have hope that my kids will make a positive impact in the world someday. And, as of now, the world needs more positivity & kinder hearts. The world needs to see change.

So, as I end this blog post for the night. I want to encourage you, in your moment of silence, think of all those whom we have recently lost. Think of all those tragedies the world has been seeing. And, really use the silence to steer you and guide you into what can we do to make the world better? What could we do to shine more positivity? It doesn’t have to be gigantic goals, baby steps are always great! For me, it’s teaching the next generation to be the change. To shed positivity & be kind. It might not do a lot, but, it will help!

Sending you love, positive vibes & blessings!


How I deal with ANXIETY

This was such a touchy subject for me to post about. I think I’ve written this more than once, deleted it, made it private and so on. I just never wanted to post it.  But, today (like many other days) I had a bad anxiety attack. I figured, although I maybe one of many who decide to speak-out on how they personally deal with anxiety. I figured maybe, just maybe, I too can help someone.

Like many people out there, I too suffer from anxiety. Unfortunately, I had anxiety for a few years (unknowingly). I had my first anxiety attack on May 4th back in 2008. My Dad was in hospice and I had received  a call while I was at a Pageant event that I was getting picked-up early because my Dad wanted me there. Little did I know, his health was deteriorating faster and that was going to be the night he passed. I remember feeling like, I couldn’t breathe, it felt like my heart was going faster than what it should’ve. And, I couldn’t control anything around me. I felt shaky, and lightheaded. It was the worst feeling ever! I remember being picked-up by the ambulance at the hospice facility & taken to the nearby hospital. I was temporarily given a medication to take to take the edge off. I was diagnosed officially about 5 years after when I gave birth to Katelynn. (Learn about Kate’s birth story — HERE!) I figured the things I was feeling was just out of pure exhaustion, mixed with having a new baby. But, the words came out crystal clear, smooth like butter, “You are suffering from,  ‘postpartum depression’ and ‘general anxiety disorder'”.  It made me feel unfit to be a Mom of three.  I remember just holding back tears, and trying to keep my cool. I honestly, thought that was the end of my life as I knew it!

My anxiety only got worst. I feared Kate wasn’t eating enough, or that I wasn’t giving the boys enough attention. I felt like my load was heavier than normal. I just didn’t feel enough or that I didn’t have enough time. I felt like all I did was wake-up, feed the baby, feed the boys. Clean, do chores, feed the baby, feed boys. Pump. Do HW, Clean, Cook, repeat. It just never felt like it ended. At night, I couldn’t sleep. I constantly woke-up to make sure all three kids were breathing, I would put my hand on their chest to feel it rise and go-down. Make sure I could feel their heart beating. I would stay up late and I’d pump extra at night, cause I was afraid I wouldn’t produce enough milk for Kate. I’d cook enough baby food for two months cause I was worried Kate wouldn’t eat enough. Going-out was difficult, I felt like I couldn’t travel with all three in the car with me. I didn’t feel safe. Even if Ric drove-us all, I felt like I constantly had to turn around to make sure the kids were all ok.

Unfortunately, my marriage, suffered too. Ric would come home from work, willingly trying to help and aid in anyway that he could. He would help by doing a few loads of laundry, bringing dinner home, and even holding Kate so I could shower. But, I cringed knowing someone else was holding her. Or that he was doing things I was “supposed” to be doing. This shouldn’t have bothered me considering this someone wasn’t random, or someone I didn’t know. This person was her Father, my Husband.  I should’ve been more than okay to have help. That was the last straw, I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t be safe outside of my own four walls. I finally sought additional help.

The Doctor visits were difficult at first, I felt beyond vulnerable. But, after opening-up to my Doctor and speaking how I felt and getting feedback. It helped a lot! I prayed often, now this was a personal gesture. During the moments I felt I couldn’t bear or handle, I stopped and prayed. I also began writing again (thus, this blog). It gave me the ability to channel the anxiety in different avenues. At times it was hard to write too, I hated the “online negativity,” and especially the “online bullies.” But, that’s simply how life is. I realized I couldn’t sit and hide when things got scary, or made me nervous. I had to try, and go against the odds. Push forward & block out the things I couldn’t control, and try to stay positive. And, when necessary take time-off. Hence, the days I didn’t write or would disappear. I started dancing again too, I prioritized my time better and tried to stay organized (hence, my over use of a calendar and planner). I took personal days to myself– even if it was just 30 minutes to go to the store. That “Me” time was important. I got extra hands to help me with the kids too, that was a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m grateful for my Nanny cause I didn’t feel like I was spreading myself too thin. I also took more date nights, and did more Family days out. All this, helped me hone and find my peace.

Today, was just one of many days where I let anxiety get the best of me. Unfortunately, although it may seem like I have a handle on my anxiety. Little things can still trigger it. Today, it was an overcrowded parking lot and a flood of people. I was meeting Ric and the kids for dinner. And, I noticed how full the parking-lot was, and how packed the restaurant was too. I saw that Ric found prime parking up front by the restaurant and he successfully unloaded the kids. I made a few circles to find a spot. I called Ric 2-3 times while looking for parking and telling him we should just order from drive through and go home. I was telling him to just go home, and then change my mind and tell him to stay and eat there. When I finally found parking, I quickly ran to the doors to find them in line. I looked around anxiously and couldn’t find a table. I think Ric sensed my anxiety. He gave me Kate, and told me to head home that he was going to order to-go. I ran to the car with Kate, buckled her in and nervously headed home. I drove carefully, even though I felt my heart pounding against my chest, I nervously fiddled with the AC to de-fog my windows, and constantly asking Kate if she was cold. Again, I stressed on how I couldn’t keep her warm without fogging the windows up. When I got home, I felt a huge sigh of relief. I felt my breathing  steady, and I felt calm again. I felt 100% better once the boys ran through the door.

Everyday changes, sometimes I feel like wonder woman, and nothing bothers me. And, other times, I feel like I need to stay in a hole. It’s a constant battle, that I am still learning. But, I see major improvements within myself and those around me can too. My advice, I urge you to talk or write, I want you to find something and put your passion towards it. Whether it’s singing, dancing, painting, or reading, it may not seem like  a lot. Honestly, it does help! Prioritize, make time. Schedule YOU time .You are important, you are enough! Your health is important. If you aren’t healthy, how are you supposed to care for your Family? You can’t. As hard as it is, put yourself first. Even if its for 30 minutes. And, lastly, don’t spread yourself thin & ask for help when you need it. I am guilty of that, I say, “Yes!” to every invite, and volunteer for every function. It’s okay to say, “no.” It won’t be the end of the world. And, ask for help when you need extra hands. Take deep breaths, and take breaks. Remember, you are NOT alone.

I hope my little venture helps you,