From the Mommy Files…

Posts Tagged ‘kids

Hey there! How’s it going?

Yesterday was the last day of school. Like you, I’ve been mired in all the end-of-the-year events, shopping for teacher gifts, etc. Plus, I’ve been working on an exciting new project, which I will share with you soon. I didn’t want you to think I had succumbed to a new malady, so I thought I’d better check in! 😉

Boo and Bebs enjoying the beach on California's Central Coast.

Boo and Bebs enjoying the beach on California’s Central Coast.


Like you, I like to read blogs. (Thanks for reading this one!) Some posts really resonate with me, and I share them on Facebook or Twitter. I thought it would be fun to share them here with you.

Here are my 3 favorite posts from this past week.

1. Saying These 8 Things To Your Kid Every Day Could Change Their Life

I came across this on Facebook, from The Breast Cancer Site. It really hit home. Recently, I have experienced a mindshift in my parenting. I’d been reciting mantras, reading affirmations, trying to motivate, inspire, uplift myself — and boost my confidence. I realized my kids needed this too. These are some great tips to help your kids feel good about themselves, gain confidence, security, and courage.

2. To Build (or Break) a Child’s Spirit

This one comes from Huffington Post Love Matters, by Rachel Macy Stafford. This post reminds us that what we say and how we say it can have a profound impact on our kids. We do get frustrated. Absolutely. No one likes to be yelled at — not even us. We aren’t bad people. Sometimes we make bad choices, and make mistakes, but that doesn’t make us bad people. We have to find ways to turn these incidents into lessons of what not to do, and how to do better. Even something as simple as spilling milk — I know, even when it’s the 100th time — can get our goat. I’ve realized that we need to be positive and use these as teaching moments. We can make they feel awful, or we can teach them that mistakes happen, and remind them they are loved, and they can do better. Sometimes easier said than done, but we all need the reminder sometimes.

Now something just for fun! 😉

3. Bohemian Momsody

This one’s from Scary Mommy. If you don’t subscribe to Scary Mommy, go now and do it! There’s some great stuff there, and some chuckles too. I’m sure we have all felt like this at one time or another. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite posts this week? What are some of the other blogs that you follow?

My blue bike is long gone, but it looked something like this.

My blue bike is long gone, but it looked something like this.

Last week, we took our daughters to Toys R Us for a reward.

We’ve recently moved, so we are just locating all the nearest locations of the stores we frequent.

We chose one particular location of Toys R Us and hit the road.

As we drove, I got very excited.

I began to think this was the very same Toys R Us where we shopped (when we did) as kids.

I remembered the time we went there, and my father bought me a bike – my first brand new bike.

I was in 6th grade.

I’d had bikes before, but being the 3rd of 4 kids, I often didn’t have brand new anything.

This was a big day for me, and I was surprised to see that enthusiasm hadn’t waned with the years.

I remember the day.

Dad said it was time for me to have a new bike, all my own.

We drove to the Toys R Us and there were many bikes displayed outside the store.

I eagerly jumped out of the car, and ran to the display.

To me, it was the best day ever.

I picked out a light blue 3-speed, with red racing stripes and a white seat.

I loved that bike.

It was mine, and no one else’s.

I think I had that bike for 15 years.

I recall that day fondly, and I could feel that same excitement, as I took my girls to the SAME store.

I sprang out of the car, as I did on that day so long ago.

I thought, is this the same building?

The sign was obviously a more updated version.

Who was more excited? Me or the girls? 😉

As we walked in the doors, I knew. It was the very same one!

Searching through the store for the princess aisle, the anticipation shot through me, just like the day I got my new bike.

Was that even possible?

The girls picked out their toys, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say I almost started to skip inside the store, just like a little girl.

It never ceases to amaze me, how some small, insignificant thing can trigger a memory, a feeling.

That old bike is long gone.

But I will never forget that day – getting my very own brand new bike, one I could select, and it would be only mine.

I’ll never forget the freedom I felt as I rode my bike through the neighborhood—wind in my hair, the speed, the independence.

That bike brought me such happiness.

And obviously still does.

Has any activity with your kids brought back very fond memories and feelings?

Please share.

Boo has always been a very sensitive, very spiritual child.

She fully recognizes the role of God and saints and angels in her life, and she embraces them.

We’re starting to see this in Bebs as well, as evidenced the other day when she asked me for a meeting to discuss Jesus’ love for us.

This morning, Boo asked me if I knew what she did before she was my baby.

I didn’t.

Intrigued, I asked her to explain.

This was our conversation.

Boo: Mommy, do you know that before I was your baby I was a little angel? I lived in Heaven and had these teeny, tiny little wings.Image

Mommy: Really? What did you do in Heaven?

Boo: Mostly I flew around, but I got ready to be your baby.

Mommy: How?

Boo: Well, I got my wings and then I flew around, then I met my saint, St. Eleni.

Mommy: Did she talk to you?

Boo: Oh yes! She told me what my name was going to be, and that she was my saint and she’d watch over me too. She told me that Jesus was getting me ready to send to a mommy and daddy.

Mommy: What else did she say?

Boo: She told me that Jesus had been building me and getting me ready, because he chose the best mommy for me.

Mommy: Then what?

Boo: Then St. Eleni sent me off, and I flew over your wedding, and watched it.

Mommy: You did?

Boo: Yes. That was the first time I saw you. You looked so beautiful! St. Eleni told me you were going to be my mommy, and soon I would go down to Earth to grow in your belly.

(I got pregnant with her at the end of our month-long honeymoon)

Mommy: Then what happened?

Boo: Then I came into your belly. My little wings disappeared because I didn’t need them anymore.

Mommy: Did you see your sister in Heaven?

Boo: No, because Jesus was still building her. He was getting her ready so you could be her mommy too.

Mommy: Wow. Did you ever see her before you were born?

Boo: I did. But I just got a peek.

Mommy: Hey, Bebs, did you fly around in Heaven before you were my baby?

Bebs: Yes. But I will save that story for another day! (giggles)

Boo: Mommy, you see, Bebs loved to fly so much. She flew for long periods at a time. This is why it took so long for her to get in your belly.

(Hmmm. I never told the girls that it took me 8 months to get pregnant with Bebs.)

Mommy: I see.

Boo: Then when she got in your belly, her wings disappeared, because she didn’t need them anymore.

Mommy: OK. Anything else you want to tell me?

Boo: Well, we saw Baby Dimo flying around with his little wings. He came down to your belly, but his wings didn’t go away, because Jesus called him back up to Heaven. That’s why he isn’t here with us.

(I named our lost little one Dimosthenis, after my father-in-law, which would be his name even if he were here with us. It was a way to verify his existence, however short.)

Mommy: Do you see Baby Dimo anymore?

Boo: Sure. He checks up on us sometimes. I wish he was here with us. Then we’d have a little brother. But Jesus knows what he’s doing.

Mommy: He does.

Boo: Mommy, I think we should save some for another time. This is not stuff that mommies usually learn about.

Mommy: I’m so glad you told me. It’s a nice story.

Boo: Jesus made me just for you. He told me He chose a very special mommy for me and He did. I love you.

Mommy: I love you, too.

Bebs: I love you too! And my sister and little brother angel!

Mommy: I love you, too, Honey.

Interesting and revealing conversation.

It touched my heart in so many ways.

I do believe that things are predetermined by God.

Boo’s revelations are stunning.

Could that really have happened?

Lord only knows.

Many mysteries are revealed through the eyes of a child.

These stories are precious.

I’ve heard people say that children are innately spiritual, and somehow it gets “beaten” out of them as they grow older.

Some say that children regularly commune with angels and saints.

Their innocence, pure love and faith allow it.

I hope she will continue on her spiritual path.

It brings her such joy and it seems to ground her.

What amazing little girls I have and what a blessing to learn these things that most mommies “never do.”

It was shaping up to be the worst Christmas ever.

Three days prior, we were just about to sign on a new house,

When we received notice that the deal to buy our house had fallen apart.

My mom wasn’t feeling well, and all holiday plans were up in the air.

A dear friend who is undergoing radiation right now, helped provide some needed perspective:

“At least we aren’t going through chemo right now!”

She was so right.

Christmas 2010, I was still undergoing chemo for complications from my complete molar pregnancy.

I’d caught a nasty cold/cough that no doctor would treat.

I coughed so hard that Christmas Eve, I thought I was going to cough up a lung.

I ended up fracturing 2 ribs, which are still not healed…

But I digress…

So yes, thank God we weren’t going through that.

We made the rounds on Christmas Eve and ended the evening at my parents’ home.

My mom was listless. She was weak, slumped over. She looked so old.

Just a shadow of herself, she barely spoke, wouldn’t eat.

We asked if she’d taken her meds; she said she didn’t know.

Normally, she kept her pill box beside her at a nearby table.

It was nowhere to be found.

I searched for the missing pills and discovered them hidden away.

She hadn’t taken her meds in more than a week.

No wonder she felt—and looked—so awful.

We gave her the evening meds, put a cold washcloth on her head.

She said she wanted to go to bed, but couldn’t get up.

Mom lay back on the couch for awhile, then finally got up and went to bed.

When we arrived at home, the call came.

Mom began vomiting and wheezing.

Paramedics gave her a breathing treatment, and took her to the ER.

Now it was 1-1/2 hour drive for me, so my sister, brother and aunt rushed to the hospital.

I participated by phone, providing medical history and other info.

They couldn’t find any issue.

Other than refusing to eat or take meds.

She spent the night and went home the next day.

Many revelations came out on Christmas Eve night, startling changes in Mom.

I wondered, would it be her last Christmas?

I was sad, remembering that we’d lost another of her brothers, just one year ago on Christmas Eve.

Was it her time?

Now, I didn’t tell you that on Christmas Eve morning, I woke up to find that my computer had crashed.

When it rains it pours, eh?

Amazing how much we rely on these things…I was seemingly incapacitated, cut off.

A writer without a computer is like a singer with laryngitis, no?

My smartphone wasn’t being so smart either.

So I woke up on Christmas morning feeling pretty glum.

I didn’t know what the day would bring, what more bad news we’d receive.

The girls were very excited.

They went downstairs to discover that Santa had eaten the cookies and milk they left.

He’d left a note for each girl.

Our lovely Miss Boo on Christmas morning

Our lovely Miss Boo on Christmas morning

There were many presents under the tree.

The girls sprang back upstairs, shouting with glee.

“Santa was here! Get up! Santa was here!”

We went downstairs, and barely got the coffee made when they began to rip open their gifts.

We sat near the tree, listening to Christmas carols, as the girls opened their presents.

Boo looked outside, and announced with pure, unadulterated happiness,

“It’s snowing!”

It was our first real snow of the season.

It was really snowing!

The snowflakes glistened as they fell through the air, accumulating on the ground.

We probably got 2-3 inches, just enough to cover the ground and make things very festive.

It was a white Christmas!

We all went to the window to watch the wondrous display.

It was absolutely magical.

Leave it to Boo, to bring some needed perspective, to point out the simple joys.

She declared, “Happy Birthday, Jesus! It’s a perfect day for you! Thank you for the snow and for everything! I love you!”

Yes, the simple joys. A little snow on Christmas morning; smiling, giggling children; reminders of the reason for the season; and all the blessings we truly have.

All those troubles were left behind for the day.

Bebs sends a hearty Ho! Ho! Ho!

Bebs sends a hearty Ho! Ho! Ho!

We’d rediscovered the real reason for the season. 

Despite everything going on, we found Christmas Joy.

Thanks to two absolutely lovable and adorable little girls.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight! 

You’ve heard of Mr. Mom.

Dr. Mom.

Then there’s Sgt. Mom.

You know about Sgt. Mom.Image

You’ve been there. 

It’s when you have to go into full drill sergeant mode to get anything accomplished in your home.

I can see you shaking your head right now.

One day I realized that I totally felt like a drill sergeant, especially in the mornings, trying to get out the door for school.

I have this thing about being late—I’m Greek, but don’t subscribe to Greek time.

If you don’t know about Greek time, it’s that the appointed time is merely a suggestion and you show up whenever. 

I say, be on time—even a bit early. People have things to do and you need to respect their time as well.


So just to get out of the house in the morning can entail some military-style maneuvers.

There’s the Getting out of Bed in the Morning Problem.

Some days it’s not an issue. Other days, you want to pull your hair out.

We aren’t talking to ourselves!

One of these days I’m going to get a bugle and start playing Reveille

It’s not like I wake them at the crack of dawn.

I wake them between 7:15-7:30 am.

Well, if they’d go to sleep when I put them to bed,  they’d be able to wake up without issue!

I know, I know, we all pushed the envelope as kids.

Then there’s the 10 minute waffling on What to Eat for Breakfast.

Decisions, decisions!

There have been times when it was like pulling teeth to accomplish either of these things, and due to time constraints, I’ve sent them to get dressed and gave them a breakfast bar, a banana or a bowl of dry cereal to eat in the car.

They have to learn!

Then it’s on to getting dressed.

My girls are very particular about their clothing.

So to make things easier, I ask them what they want to wear.

Boo, now 5, is easier going on this topic.

Only problem is, without Sgt. Mom, she will goof around and take 30 minutes to get dressed.

Just to make me crazy, she’ll run around naked and tell me that she is getting dressed.

So we go a few rounds on that.

Meanwhile, Bebs, now 3, is still mulling her decision on the day’s ensemble.

This preschool fashionista is quite particular.

She won’t wear pants, because “princesses don’t wear pants.”

For a while I got her to wear leggings—easier than tights for the newly-potty trained—but now she will only wear tights because “she’s a big 3 year-old.”

Some days she will call out a selection.

Other days, she will choose one, but then when she’s dressed, she will have the mother-of-all-meltdowns because she doesn’t like the way it looks or she’s changed her mind.

Sorry. We don’t have time. You selected your outfit, you’re going to wear it!

So she has her tirade, screaming and carrying on about how she wants to wear something else.

To give in would add an additional 30 minutes, as she would continually change because nothing was right.

I shudder to think how this will go when she’s a teenager!

Eventually she gets over it and she doesn’t mention her outfit again.

Now, to get these girls to brush their teeth and comb their hair is a whole other story.

There must be about 5 reminders.

Now, after all of this, Mom is usually left with about 10 minutes to get ready.

While I race to get ready, the girls get to playing.

Now they are so into their playing, it’s an ordeal to get them to stop and go downstairs.

Sometimes they get distracted along the way.

Then it’s down to the mudroom for coats.

Bebs will take up to 10 minutes to walk down the back stairs.

Not sure why.

I guess she has to make a grand exit 😉

Coats on, then we go outside.

Occasionally, they get distracted by something in the garden or by the weather.

I have to corral them to the car.

Then sometimes we have the debate about “I can buckle myself” and then after 5 minutes and cries of frustration, they announce that they can’t do it.


I’m thoroughly exhausted at this point.

Off to school, where we squeak in about 5 minutes early, but I’ll take it!

I’ve tried to be nice.

I’ve tried to get them up very early.

Being Sgt. Mom is ONLY way I can get them out of the house in a timely manner.

It’s actually the least stressful of all methods.

I think I’ve earned a merit badge in morning maneuvers. LOL

There are other battles throughout the day, but you get the idea.

And of course, you pick which ones are really worth it.

The things we moms have to go through.

But we love them dearly, so we keep plugging along,

Hoping tomorrow morning is better.

Moms everywhere, I salute you!


We’re talking about Bebs, so surely you aren’t surprised.

We were planning to transition Bebs to Boo’s school after the holidays, so the principal suggested placing her in the three year-old class a couple of times during that last week before Christmas.

The kids were practicing for the Christmas show, so Bebs went with them on stage to rehearse.

I stayed at school that day, “just in case,” so I peeked in from time to time to see how it was going.

The class began by holding hands and circling the Christmas tree.

She followed every direction, often better than kids in the class.

Then, each child went to the microphone to recite a poem.

Bebs asked the teacher, “Hey, when’s it my turn?”

So they gave her something to say.

She went to the mic, they brought it down to her and she said her line, “Irthe o Ai Vasilis!” “Santa came!” (in Greek)

I happened to witness it and I couldn’t believe it.

Later, I snuck back to an area outside the gym so she couldn’t see me.

I heard the teacher say, “Ok, last song, guys.”

Bebs knew all the songs, as Boo had brought home a CD so she could practice the song.

I thought she’d sing along.

The song started and the teacher brought the mic to her, and held it in front of her.

Much to everyone’s surprise, she sang the entire song (O Come All Ye Faithful in Greek) and with feeling!

The tears began rolling down my cheeks.

I couldn’t believe how well she sang it.

Later, I asked the teacher how she did that day.

She reported that Bebs knew all the songs, took direction very well, and we should dress her in her Christmas best and bring her to the program.


She was in the program.

Two days later, she came back for another trial day, mostly consisting of rehearsal.

Be sure to bring her tomorrow,” the teacher said.

I asked Boo if it was OK if Bebs was in the program.

She thought it was pretty cool.

So we were on.

I asked Bebs to practice her line.

The stinker.

She made the sign of the cross, and said in Greek, “Holy God, Holy Mightly, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us!”

I told her I didn’t ask for the prayer, I asked for her line.

She laughed and she said it again.

That’s Bebs.

The next day, I called Bebs’ school.

Hello. Bebs isn’t coming to school today.”

The director asked if she was sick.

Um, Angeliki’s been hijacked to perform in Boo’s Christmas program,” I said

The director laughed and replied, “I’ll bet Bebs took over the program.”

Ahhh, they know her too well.

Watch that kid,” she told me. “She will go far!”

So Bebs was in the show.

She said her line softly, and not into the mic.

I heard her, but not sure anyone else did.

The teacher asked her to say it again in the microphone.

The response was so Bebs: “I already did.”

Sometimes she sang and sometimes she didn’t.

She was so little compared to the other kids – heck we’re all little.

She looked so cute, and really, if I must say, she stole the show.

Yup, Bebs, the show stealer.

There were lots of oohs and ahhs, and “look at the little one!” coming from the audience.

Of course everyone knows who she is.

She has a way of making her presence known.

Bebs officially starts at the school next week.

Surely, she will keep it interesting.

I turned by back for just a moment, to check the dinner cooking in the oven. I guess that’s all it takes. 😉

The girls were happily playing and coloring together. There were giggles, no screams. I guess I should have been suspicious. I peeked over and they looked fine.

A few minutes later, Bebs came to ask me something, and she was covered with marker.

Yep, tattooed from head to toe.

I didn’t know if I wanted to yell or laugh.

What the heck?

I hadn’t seen anything like it for about 19 years, when I went to a friend’s party and saw his brother passed out on the couch. Some of the partygoers had taken the liberty of drawing on him with magic marker. I’d wondered how long it took marker guy to remove his “tatts”. 😉

I can assure you there was no alcohol involved, and Bebs was wide awake and a willing participant.

I asked what happened.

Boo: I drew on the Bebs.

Mommy: Why? We don’t draw on each other.

Boo: She wrote on me first.

Mommy: What?

Boo: Well, she wanted me to do it.

Mommy: Is that right? We don’t draw on anyone, even if they want you to.

Boo: Oh, I’m sorry. I thought it would be OK.

Mommy: Why would it be OK?

Boo: Cause it’s fun, and she liked it.

Mommy: Never, never, never, draw on your sister! Or anyone else!

So Boo went to time out and I began to feverishly scrub the Bebs.

I prayed they were using the washable markers.

Well, I got half my prayer answered.

The purple came off easily. The green on the other hand…nope.

It was a little green marker, which I’d stashed at the back of the drawer, that came with a craft project we recently did.


Why didn’t I get rid of that?

Bebs laughed as I tried to wash the marker off.

I told Boo that Daddy was going to freak out.

Boo: Mommy, don’t be mad. Don’t cry. We were having fun.

Mommy: There are other ways to have fun.

Boo: I guess so. But keep that in the back of your mind.


Boo came over and I noticed she had quite a bit of marker on herself as well.

Time for baths!

Thankfully, the marker is pretty much gone, except for some faint green on the Bebs’ hands.

Everything came off her face, neck, arms, legs and feet. Now to tackle her clothes.

It is funny, but I couldn’t let them know that I thought it was funny.

I kinda wish I would have taken a photo of my tattooed toddler, so I could show them when they were all grown up, and we could have a good laugh.

But I didn’t want them to think it was funny so they’d do it again.

Although, something tells me there will be more tattooing in the future.

OK, now to get rid of all the markers that aren’t washable.

A tattooed toddler.


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