trying to create something beautiful out of the broken pieces

Everything in Three’s?? August 16, 2010

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 3:32 pm

We are hitting milestones in three’s this week!  I have to admit it:  I’m (not so) secretly excited!  I’ve always gotten excited when my kids have hit a milestone.  It’s my internal battle with not wanting them to grow up too fast, yet liking when they learn something new/accomplish something/ BECOME MORE MATURE… 😉

This week Tessa started potty training.  If you know me, you know I’ve always said it’s my least favorite part of raising kids to date.  But… as much as I’ve been dreading the process, I’ve been anticipating the outcome- of being all done w/ diapers, potty training, etc.  FOREVER.  So, not only has she been potty training- and doing WELL at it- she has been waking up dry in the mornings and from naps for the past three days that she’s been training.  God knew I needed this!

Avery has started riding her bike- without her training wheels!!  She will have it completely before the end of the week.  She is so excited for Daddy to get home from work today to show him how much more she can do today than she could do yesterday!

Trey… is turning 11.  Eleven.  ELEVEN!  Isn’t that officially pre-teen??  He at least keeps telling me he’s a preteen, so maybe I’ll start believing him.

I think that if it is preteen… that if I am old enough to have an eleven year old/preteen…  that certainly I should be able/old enough/please, dear God, ready… to have all of my children potty trained.

Don’t you think??


Yelling November 7, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 10:53 am

Over the last few years (or maybe over the last few kids) I’ve become a yelling mom.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  In fact, most of my friends would probably say that they’ve never seen me yell at my kids.  I think my neighbors would disagree.  But sometimes I totally lose it and yell.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this isn’t a good thing.  In fact, I think it’s extremely detrimental to my kids.  I don’t approve of my behavior, because frankly, it says 1. I’m out of control and 2. I’m selfish enough to know it, and yet do it anyway.  So, I’ve been trying really hard to stop yelling.  And when I do, I have been having to apologize to my kids… which usually results in them thinking that whatever behavior they were doing in the first place to get yelled at suddenly became okay to do because mom was the one apologizing, not them.  So then I’ve had to go back and fix that too.  It’s really a lot more work on my part in the long run to yell.

Well, I came upon this blog this morning from a reformed yelling mom.  It’s such basic information, but it’s a good reminder for me.  Plus it’s just nice to know that I’m not the only mom who has or does struggle with this.

Welcome to my Brain

And here’s her “How to Stop Yelling” post


watching July 15, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 12:58 pm

I have decided that the hardest thing about parenting may not be potty-training after all… although that still holds a close second.  The hardest part is watching your child’s heart get broken.

You can do your best to keep them from getting skinned knees, getting a splinter, getting run over by a car… but you can’t really keep them from getting their heart broken.

This year I have watched one of my sweet kids navigate through friendships, growing, and maturing.  I have watched my child lose their best friend this year because the friend chose an older kid over my child.   I have watched cliques form around my child.  I have watched my child get confused because they’ve never thought they can only have 1 or 2 friends, and now they are left wondering what is wrong with them that no one will play with them.  I have watched my child get bullied because my child is trying to treat the other child the right way rather than retaliate.  I have watched my child retaliate only to be the kid who got into trouble.

This year I have watched my child make friends with whoever they came into contact with- including the child sitting next to them on the bench waiting for their swim heat’s turn.  I have watched my child be a friend to someone who isn’t like them.  I have watched my child help a friend overcome something they were scared of.  I have watched my child be a kind, helpful, loving sibling.  I have watched my child make the choice to tell the truth- even though it got them into trouble (see retaliation).  I have watched my child succeed at something they didn’t think they could do.

I never imagined before I became a parent how much more my heart would break when my child’s heart was broken.  But I also never imagined how incredibly proud I would be of my child when they overcame, when they succeeded, when they fought their way through, when they made the right choice.


First Put On Your Oxygen Mask May 7, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 3:11 pm

I was at the gym working out today when a neighbor (and mother of 2) came up to me and asked, “How do you stay so calm all the time with all those kids?”  After I stopped laughing long enough to answer, I said simply, “Why do you think I’m here??”  (Uhh… besides the free childcare… it’s honestly a lot easier to be calm when my kids aren’t in my direct line of vision/hearing.)

After telling this neighbor that I am definitely not  calm all the time I told her about my husband asking me kindly last night, “You haven’t been to the gym this week, have you?”  Now, before you get offended and think it has anything to do with my physical appearance, allow me to get offended and explain that it has to do with my emotional wellbeing.  It was his way of saying, “You’re being a real *bleep*- you need to go workout.”

It’s true.  Working out has a lot to do with how I feel and act and react.  I’m sure a more knowledgeable person could explain the specifics of what gets released in your body to make this happen, but I just know that for me it works.  And while I could get all guilty feeling for being selfish and taking the time for myself and letting someone in the gym’s childwatch take care of my children, etc. (trust me, I learned well from my mom… I can feel REALLY guilty about not being a good mom, and its one of many excuses that’s kept me out of the gym some days) I’m choosing to put on my oxygen mask first.  You know the drill before every single plane ride when the flight attendant tells you that if the oxygen mask falls from the ceiling, FIRST put on YOUR mask, then assist others in need… or something like that.  It’s because if you can’t breathe and pass out, you can’t very well help anyone around you, right?

Isn’t that the opposite of what we do as moms?  We worry about those around us.  We put them first all the time and take care of them before (if ever) we take of ourselves.   Sometimes to the point of passing out… or at the least, being a less than healthy person.

Well, maybe this Mother’s Day we can all take a step together.  (Or if you happen to be the Dad reading this, help your wife do this…)  First put on your oxygen mask.  Do something that helps you relax/ heal/ rejuvenate/ enjoy the day and your family more.  Don’t let the guilt creep in, just enjoy.   I’m guessing that like my family, in turn they will enjoy you more too!


Everybody needs an Expert May 5, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 1:55 pm

Like every stay-at-home mom, some days I could be happy running off to work outside the home.  But then I would miss conversations like this:

Sitting outside with Avery, 4, enjoying the spring day

Avery: “Mom, can I have some of your apple?”

Me: “Sure”

A: “I’m going to let the ants eat it.”

M: “You are?”

A: “Yeah, cuz I’m an expert.  Mackenzie (best friend, also 4) and I are experts.  I’m an expert on ants.  Ants like to eat apples… and cake… and… all food!  They eat all the food all up.  Yep.  That’s what they do.  See?  I told you I was an expert on ants.”


Not So Innocent May 1, 2009

Filed under: Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 3:32 pm

I got to be “that” mom today.  What joy.

A little while ago, when Brittney Spear’s new album came out, parents all over were furious.  It seems that their little kiddos were singing the lyrics to one of her songs and they weren’t happy about it.  Now, I have to admit… the thought I had at the time was, “Well, you are letting your kids listen to Britney Spears…”  I don’t know about you, but the woman (hard to believe, but yes… she’s a woman now) is an adult, a mom herself.  She can sing whatever she wants.  I believe that it’s my job as a mom to not let my kids listen to inappropriate stuff.  And I don’t think it takes a ton of common sense to not consider Ms. Spears a suitable role model.  So, I can’t really say it upset me that she had this particular song out. 

Well, today as my children’s entire elementary school and most of their parents were outside at field day, a particular song came over the loud speakers.  I froze.  I seriously couldn’t believe that they were playing this song.  I started asking my friends around me if they knew the song and no one knew.  Well… I explained it to them.  And then I realized with the look of shock on their faces that I had to go be “that” mom.  I had to go tell the dude running the sound system that I didn’t think it was appropriate for elementary age. 

So what’s so bad?  The song is “If You Seek Amy.”  Seems innocent enough, right?  Well, here’s the chorus… might take you a minute if you haven’t heard it, but *hint* say the title fast at the end… you’ll get it.

“love me, hate me, say what you want about me, but all the boys and all the girls are begging to If You Seek Amy.”

Needless to say, “sound system dude” was a bit embarrassed after I had to explain it to him.  Appears Ms. Spears is still not so innocent.  Not that I ever expected her to be.  But now I have a new “fun” reputation at my kids’ school.


To My Mama Friends April 21, 2009

Filed under: blogs,Family,food!,Friends,helping,Humor,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 7:59 am

Here is a really fun/helpful/creative/entertaining/make you feel better or worse as a mama blog!  I have read it several times before from my other friends’ blogs, but just added it to my blogroll finally in hopes of remembering to read it more.  Guess I should just add it to my Google Reader.  Anyway, I wanted to share it with those of you who don’t know about it yet!

Mama Manifesto is written my several women in various stages of being a mom.  They discuss just about everything from giving tips on parenting, sharing recipes, giving ideas for living in healthy and creative ways, evalutating different products and sharing the goings on in their own homes and how they are dealing with them… or in some cases asking for advice on how to deal with them.  I enjoy the humorous, honest way they look at their lives and they way they take the serious things seriously, while laughing off the things that we sometimes forget to laugh off.

I hope you like it too!