Tag: #family

Saying Hello

It is funny how something so simple can trigger something so powerful.

Recently I started back in yoga, try to go at least once a week, twice when I can make it work.  It has definitely helped with me flexibility, back and neck pain.  In addition, the bonus of focusing on breathe and becoming more mindful.

During on class we did a meditation at the end of a class that I was having an unusually difficult time with balance posses.  it felt like someone was pushing me over.  So as I quieted my mind an image of a dog popped into my mind, more a puppy.

The puppy was jumping around and running toward and away.  It’s silky jet black curls bouncing as it played.  The pink tongue hanging out in pure joy of the fun.  She was my Circe.  She stopped by to say Hi and let me know she was happy.

My little muppet

Almost 2 years ago my baby girl, Circe, crossed the rainbow bridge.  I knew then and know now it was the right decision.  As a puppy and well into her adulthood she loved being active and lots of attention.  We would take 3-5 mile walks every day and still play fetch afterwards.  She was not only a very active pup, but loved to socialize.  Our walks were often interrupted with people wanting to pet her and she happily obliged. After she was brutally attacked by another dog her activity declined, but she was still a happy girl.  Once she hit “geriatric” age for dogs it was apparent walking was painful.  We tried various medicines but none of them set well in her tummy.  It was when she fell down the stair trying to follow me around the house we knew it was time.

Taking her to the Vet for the last time was difficult.  Laying on the floor with her as she took her last breath was even harder.  I am grateful she let me know that we made the correct decision.

Bite your Tounge

This may make some people I know unfriend me, at the very least not invite me over anymore and I am OK with that.  This is really outside of my normal sunshine and roses, life is great I am up for any challenge type post.  At the same time, it needs to be said.

A few times recently, especially with the holidays, we have been invited to friends homes.  As our kids are normally dubbed the “good kids” who use manners, respect other peoples homes and their kids toys we are often encouraged to bring our children with us, in hopes our kids behaviors will rub off on their kids.  It’s something that amazes us yet we are sort of proud of as means we are at least doing something right.

Here is the crux of the matter.  We don’t curse in front of our kids.  We don’t let them watch shows that have “bad words” in them.  When they do hear a bad word we talk about why it’s not a good word to use and what could have been said instead.  So when we go to other peoples homes who do not monitor their language in front of children it makes it really uncomfortable for us and the kids.

It’s not our place to tell you how to act in your own home, but it is my place as my child’s Momma to teach them right from wrong and how to stand up for what they believe in yet listen with an open mind.  In the end it comes down to one major learned trait, respect.

We respect your home, your way of doing things; you want us to come over, respect ours.  My kids will always put a Mrs. or Mr. in front of your name weather you want it to be your first or last doesn’t matter.  It’s a sign of respect.  My kids will always help clean up the mess they made, and sometimes ones they didn’t.  My kids will always ask first and say please and thank you.  Is it so hard for you to not say Sh*t or F*ck in front of them?

How can we as parents, as role models for our kids expect them to do better, be better, when we ourselves are not modeling that behavior?

My kids hear me say please and thank you to strangers, even people doing their jobs like cashiers, door attendants, janitors,  ride attendants, gas station employees it doesn’t matter what walk of life some one is on, manners are used.  They are being shown/modeled manner so they use them.

At home, even out and about,  if something happens that makes us speak out we have other words we say.  My kids know if I say Nova Scotia, I am on the brink! (Nothing against Nova Scotia, have never been there but heard its great.  It’s something that just came out once a long time ago and it stuck.)  We found when we use unsinn (nonsense) words it helps us recognize our reaction and monitor it.  It also allows us to get out anger or frustration out without using the “bad” words.  Some of the stuff we say even gets everyone laughing which eases the tension.

In the end, it all comes down to respect.  Which do you you choose; respect or disrespect?

Enjoying the journey

Typically toward the end of the year I take a reflect on my years goals and see what I was able to achieve and what was not even on the radar.  2017 gave me a lot of curve balls yet put me on an amazing path while still achieving many goals.

This year we unexpectedly moved.  Though it was not something we intended to happen yet, It was the right path for us,  My family is happier and we were able to add to kitties to our world this Holiday Season, which would not have happened in our old home.

One of my goals was to write more.  This year I actively participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time!  For years I have said someday to this, this year I said lets do it!  Did I finish or reach my word count, no. But I did it and will do it again in 2018!  The Reluctant Cheerleader is almost 10,000 words long and will continue it to completion.

My wellness was more of a focus in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018.  Though i continued to  try to put a routine that worked for me together, life decided my income was more important.  2018 will find a balance in both, especially since I am now an independent consultant for Arbonne!  (Shameless plug here: http://www.arbonne.com/pws/karenrichards23569937/tabs/home.aspx )  My man has also completed and passed his ACE course for personal training and applying to gyms to start that journey as well.

Another goal for 2017 was to take a vacation.  This technically did not happen BUT I did get to go on a Weekend retreat with Tealightful in Rochester NY!  Buying the house did but a damper on a proper vacation,  yet we went to a wedding and stayed in a hotel for 2 nights, we went to the beach, we went to Sesame Place and many other adventures.  Memories were made and isn’t that what vacations with kids is all about?

All in all, I cannot complain about 2017 despite being a year that seemed to draw focus to all the negative. The journey had lots of mountains to climb and rewards were amazingI 2017  brought me closer to more achievements then the last 10 years (outside of my kids!) and I  am excited to see what 2018 brings!

What’s a Mom to do?

October is the month of germ adjustment in our home. With my son in preschool three half days a week and my daughter going to the gym’s daycare regularly now we are exposed to a slew of new germs every September.  My son’s nose is perpetually running and my sleeves are always covered in dry snot as I cannot keep enough tissues around my home and person.

A few weeks ago my son and daughter had low grade fevers and a lot of congestion for a a few days. It hit my son first then my daughter.  Last week it hit my man.  Out of the three of them, I was dreading my Man’s the most.  He is a miserable sick person,  No one understands the pain or trauma of his “pain and anguish” because he “hides” it by bemoaning the fact he cannot find a comfortable way to sleep or needs absolute quiet while he heals.  When he takes Medicine he complains that it only lasts for two hours in between the doses.  It is very tough to be him.

In order to give my guy a chance to heal, I took the kids to the zoo on my day off last week.  It was a beautiful fall day and the kids needed to be outside! As it was just the three of us picture opportunities where few but I did get some nice ones!

First stop the Primate house!

2015-10-21 11.34.41  Love this, it is a little hard to see but if you look in the abov2015-10-21 11.34.56e picture toward the center tree trunk there are two primates with their tails intertwined.  Below the tails are on the right.
2015-10-21 11.35.37
 2015-10-21 11.36.12 2015-10-21 11.36.35

The Primate house was a bit crowded and my son got bored, what he really wanted was alligators!

2015-10-21 11.54.35 2015-10-21 11.55.41 He was running from exhibit to exhibit so quickly there was not much time for picture taking!2015-10-21 11.54.59

The Snakes are my ode to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!

After this we spent more time outside.  We rode the Carousel, the draft horses, and my son rode on the train.  Unfortunately no pictures of these activities, but yes my 10 month old had her first horse ride!!!!

Unknowingly to us we did get to see the polar bears before Klondike passed, though I am not sure if this is Klondike.

2015-10-21 12.18.49 My son looking for the polar bears. Cannot believe how tall he is getting! My daughter, she is much harder to impress.  2015-10-21 12.20.03 My son was super excited when we finally found them, but could not understand why they were not going in the water.2015-10-21 12.19.52 2015-10-21 12.19.47 2015-10-21 12.19.32 2015-10-21 12.19.31 2015-10-21 13.35.33 2015-10-21 13.35.36

Shortly after this we took a little lunch break! And gave my daughter the chance to stretch her legs! My son loved the freedom to run in the little grotto that we found. After a little lunch break we went back to exploring.  By this time I was ready to start heading home as we have about an hour drive and I did not want the kids to be in the car to late in the day and run the risk of falling asleep.  By now my son was clammering for the lions and tigers.  My game plan, to see the big cats then head home.  I should have remembered, ” Man plans, God laughs”.

We made it to the cat house after no small drama that involved finding new pants for my son.  2015-10-21 14.37.21 2015-10-21 14.38.36 2015-10-21 14.38.28 While checking out the lions my son made a friend.  An almost two year old boy who also loves dinosaurs and to run.  These two where fast friends and screamed if separated.  This is where my plan to head home fell apart.  It took another two hours of exploring before we were able to leave.

2015-10-21 14.37.36 2015-10-21 14.37.30 2015-10-21 14.37.25

Both kids fell asleep on the way home, both kids fought going to bed at bed time.  My man was still grouchy when we got home, In the end, it was worth it. We made memories and potentially a friend.  Nothing out weighs that!

Now it is another week.  And it is my turn to fight the “October Bug”.  I am not worried, at the end is a sunny day!


What motivates and inspires you?

This is a question I am asking my self a lot lately. There is a quote I fell in love with when I was in High School.  Every so often I bring it up and each time it has a new perspective depending on the stage I am at in life. Each time is profound.

“One must learn to live, not just how to make a living. But how to find a path of beauty in this life. We begin by knowing who we are.”

~ Chief Powhatan Wahunsunacock

At this point, I know who I am : A Mom, a writer, a friend, a warrior.

My beauty: helping others, listening to my children play, loosing myself in a story.

The one thing that is not set, making a living.  They say do what you love and the rest will follow.  Do what you are good at and the money will come. I was a great teacher, but never financially stable.  I am an amazing Mom (or so my family tells me), yet we still struggle.  I enjoy writing and sharing my stories, still not bringing in the income.

Ironically, what is working: cleaning!  Before my family expanded, first with my love, then with the loves of my life.  I cleaned every weekend like I was built for it.  People would come to my home, I would apologize for the mess and they would look around bewildered at what I was talking about.  This has not changed about me, only my ability and opportunity has changed.

My family all nap from 11 – 1:30 PM every day.  This means I must be quiet as I am unable to nap at that time it was my prime cleaning time for so long.  Now it is my study time as still try and finish school (always good to have a back up!)  Soon it will by my writing time on the days I am not cleaning other peoples homes.  For many this does not seem like a great way to spend there days for me it’s perfect. Why?  It allows me to LIVE!  I can spend time with my two greatest beauties that push me to do more, be more.  That is something I never had while working at a traditional job.

Would you not do what ever it takes for these two?


I will and am!  And it gives me the freedom to make memories with them, that is motivation enough for me!  What motivates you?

Our Vacation – Part 2

As promised, the next installment of our unexpected vacation has arrived!  It’s amazing to think our time here is almost over.  When we talked about 8 days I was wondering how we are going to fill the time, I should not have!

Wednesday was another relax day.  In the morning we spent time around the house.  My husband took our son for a nature walk and to the pool while my daughter and I took a walk up to the store for some supplies.  It’s amazing how much my son eats and doesn’t eat at the same time!

During nap time my oldest sister, Cheryl, who also lives in Florida, arrived.  We went to the beach.  Just as we arrived it started to rain!  It was not a hard rain and the cove we went to was not crowded so we stayed.  I am so glad we did!  Despite the rain, ants, no-see-ums it was an amazing experience.  There was not one but two manatees!  I was holding baby girl so no pictures nor did I get super close.  Some of the people who were there did have the experience of the manatees rubbing up against them!  Some of the people said this was a first, wild manatees!

Thursday was the BIG day, we went to Disney!  Once we go there, guess what happened . . . .IT RAINED!  Not all day thankfully.

It was sunny skies on our drive to the park, as we got closer the clouds got darker. Just over the park it was raining and started just as we parked the car.  We did not let it deter us!  The day had it’s challenges, in the end my Mom and son had fun, that is what it was all about!

2015-07-16 11.18.00
Magic Kingdom
2015-07-16 12.32.04
So exited G needed Jazz hands to show it!
2015-07-16 12.36.59
Two thumbs up for the parade!
2015-07-16 12.38.06
Who’s Goofy? We are!
2015-07-16 13.46.49
Which castle is this? We were going to eat here but could not remember the name to make reservations.

Since dinner at the castle did not work and after another downpour while we were on Ariel’s Under the Sea adventure we made our way to downtown Disney and dinner at the T-Rex Restaurant.  Late of course!  Our Reservation was at 3 PM, we finally made it there by 4 PM.   We called ahead and said we were running late, thankfully they still honored our reservation as both my boys (son and husband) had a blast!

2015-07-16 16.13.35
Waiting fr our table. T-Rex standing guard.
2015-07-16 16.37.43
My boys figuring out if they want to explore or eat!
2015-07-16 16.38.25
Nana and Pop Pop
2015-07-16 16.38.55
My daughter more impressed with my bracelets
2015-07-16 16.47.17
2015-07-16 16.47.30
Giant squid. Tentacles and eyes moved!
2015-07-16 16.47.37
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!
2015-07-16 16.47.44
Over the table next to us!
2015-07-16 16.47.59
The cave changed colors. Not sure what the Triceratops felt about it.
2015-07-16 16.49.48
Or the “bump heads” as my son calls them.
2015-07-16 17.57.27
Thanking Pop Pop for a great day!
2015-07-16 18.11.30
There is a what behind me?
2015-07-16 18.11.41
Is that a . . . .
2015-07-16 18.11.52
Awww baby triceratops!

A day out

This week shaped up into a good week for me and goals set.  I was afraid that it might be the opposite with son finishing school last week for the summer.  I LOVE this kid and I can admit he is needy. He currently likes playing with Momma and Daddy. Sometimes to the point where we cannot get anything else done. We are working on getting him into some more independent play. Not to much though as we know he will not want us around forever, I, for one, am dreading that day!

Everyday this week I have gotten in some good study time. This is something that has not happened consistently in about a month. My original goal after loosing my day job was to be finished school by now. Failed that goal miserably! New goal is to finish by end of July. I also do not want to miss this opportunity to be with my kids.

Yesterday afternoon we took a break from the standard and made use of our Season passes to Sesame Place. The kid’s Dad stayed home to work on our son’s big boy room (this will be a different post when finished!). This made me a bit nervous to take both kids without someone to either watch our 6 month old or take out 3 year old on rides.

In order to keep both kids happy and safe we stayed mostly in the Tiddly Winks section. My son loved it! He played alligator in the wave and splash pools. Ran around Ernie’s Water Works. Made and smashed sand castles in the sand box.

My daughter took it all in and frequently laughed at her brother’s antics. She fell asleep on the way home and still slept through the night! We also get to see some furry friends while we were visiting.

G was a little shy, but Oscar the Grouch eventually won out.
G was a little shy, but Oscar the Grouch eventually won out.

After meeting Oscar, my son was on a mission. To find Cookie Monster and Big Bird. We did not see them, but we did run into another furry friend!

It's Murray!
It’s Murray!

As you can see he was more open to meeting Murray!

Family Time at Sesame Place!
Family Time at Sesame Place!

On the way home my son and I chatted as his sister slept. I promised him we would go back soon and see Cookie Monster and Big Bird. As we pulled into our development and got closer to home he said “Today good day.”

Yeah it was, so glad to have the opportunity to have these days too!