3 Ritz

Tonight Ruben and I had some real parenting choices to make. I’ll start at the beginning.

Tommy came home from his friends house (at 7) after being at the park all afternoon.

Me: Tommy, Your dinner is on the counter your brothers already ate, let me heat it up for you.
Tommy: Oh, I already ate with Kyle.
Me: Really, oh, ok. What did you have?
Tommy: Chicken Quesadillas and Beans.
Me: Ok then, I’ll put your dinner away. You can go in and watch a movie with your brothers.

8:00 rolls around and It’s bedtime. 15 min after I tucked them in, Tommy came downstairs.

Tommy: Mom, to tell you the truth I didn’t eat with Kyle.
Me: So you lied to me?
Tommy: Yes and I am starving.
Me: I am sorry Tommy tonight you’ll be going to bed without dinner. Next time remember this before you decide to lie to me.

Tommy runs upstairs balling and dramatically holding his stomach.

Flash back to Monday of last week, Tommy had just gotten a spanking for lying to his Dad about stealing gum out of his car even though Ruben gave him 3 or 4 chances to fess up.

So while my punishment tonight may have seemed a little harsh, we have to nip this in the bud. Ruben was working upstairs in his office so I IM’ed him (yes we IM in the same house, doesn’t everyone?)

Me: I need your help, I have a problem with Tommy. He lied to me about something and I have sent him to bed without dinner. I am feeling very badly, should we offer him a spanking in lieu of going to bed hungry?
Ruben: (runs downstairs) What happened?
Me: Explained the entire story to him.
Ruben: He’s got to learn that lying to us is not OK this is the 3rd or 4th time he’s lied in the past month.
Me: I feel soooo bad, it’s killing me. Should we give him an option, or should the punishment fit the crime?
Ruben: I think we need to stick to our guns, if that is the punishment you issued I support it, but maybe we can give him a couple of crackers.
Me: OK, poor kid but he’s got to learn, give him 3 Ritz crackers

Ruben took him the 3 Ritz crackers and now Tommy is sleeping. As hard as it was, I am proud of us for being a team and sticking together on this one.

3 Ritz, that is all he had for dinner. Poor Kid.

Rebecca - August 6, 2009 - 5:38 pm

You two are the most wonderful parents in the world!! (BTW I use to call my kids on the phone, I was so tired of going upstairs every two seconds)I love this story, it's going to be remembered forever and told over and over with big smiles and laughs as Tommy gets to be a young adult. Just remember this, parenting doesn't come with a manuel so if what you do comes out of love and respect only you two know what is best!! Don't feel bad Anji you're an amazing mom!!
Love you guys, miss you!!



Hoping that you’ll see what your love means to me Open Arms. . .

As much as I love the band, this post is not about them. On Friday night our neighbor had a surprise birthday party for their daughter’s 10th birthday. Their daughters name is Journey.

The first time I had heard her name I wondered if the parents were some sort of die hard Journey followers but since then, as I have come to know them, I began to wonder if Journey’s name meant something different. Her mother is a very calm, tender woman who if I had to guess is in her mid to late 40’s. Her father is a witty and funny man who is probably in his 50’s.

In the nearly 1.5 years we have lived in our new house, Tommy has been over to Journeys’ at least 2 times a week, every week. I have never gone further than the threshold and now I would finally have my chance to go inside. Upon entering it was apparent that they had traveled at some point in their lives together. Their home felt very warm and was filled with personal effects which all seemed to be deliberately chosen. Maybe the pieces were from travels or simply things that had meaning to them. Strong wood pieces balanced by feminine flowers and paintings all anchored by a big sofa in the middle of the room which begged to be sat in. His den felt just like it should, with a bust of a elk over the fireplace bearing a green wreath around it’s neck, bookshelves with many books which you could tell had been well loved and of course the bar filled with various types of wine.

Everywhere around the home I noticed signs,hangings and sayings all in the theme of “Life is a Journey” . . . and there it was. Journey must have been named after this whole concept. Maybe as a reminder to actually enjoy the ride, or possibly the Journey they had been on, on their way to becoming parents.

Their backyard had a beautiful heirloom tomato garden like nothing I had ever seen before. It stood over 10 feet tall and bore fragrant (and tasty!) heirloom tomatoes along with at least 3-4 other variety’s. Along with the tomato garden, they had carrots, brussel sprouts and other veggies.

I felt so comfortable, at ease and welcome in this home. It felt how a home should feel and it was a direct reflection of who these people are. It was lived in, laughed in and loved. I am not sure if I have ever learned more about a family from being a guest in someones home than I did on Friday.

I suppose I was so greatly impacted by this experience because what I felt in this home is what I long for in my own, but what I struggle with so very much. The Journey.

Somewhere along the way I have lost sight of just that. Trying to control my end destination, and in turn life has become a chore. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

I fear I am missing all of the moments, the laughs and the love by hurrying up through my life and wishing away the here and now. I have only recently gotten a bit better at this, I let the dishes sit to play with my kids, I let the laundry go for a few days to hold my baby all day long, to sit and be still in the calm, and to be silly and laugh in the chaos.

Friday night was no coincidence. Thank you Neighbors, you’ve got it right!

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

The long, hot days of summer

When you are a kid, there is nothing like the long hot summer days and warm summer nights.

I remember those days the best from my own childhood and adolescence.

Around 5pm Friday night, our neighbors had a movie night. . . an outdoor, big screen, great sound system, warm summer movie night. It was for the kids on the block, there are 12 kids on our culde-sac. This time Tommy (7) AND Lucas (4) were invited.

This was Lucas’ first movie night. He was so stoked.

Every 10 min it went like this

Lucas: Mom, is it 8:30 yet?
Me: No, Lucas. I’ll let you know, don’t worry I promise you wont let you miss movie night.

At about 8:15 there are about 5 kids knocking on my door.

Neighborhood kids: Vote For Hook, Lucas! Vote for Hook Tommy!
Me: Hi guys, is it time for the movie?
Neighborhood kids: Yeah, yeah yeah!!

Tommy and Lucas excitedly rush out the front door holding hands. All of the neighborhood kids are running into the backyard of the movie house. The sun was barely setting and the sky was orange. It was a warm summer night the air smelled sweet and was still, a moment in time that I will never forget and I hope my boys will always remember.

Hurry up and sing me Happy Birthday so I can eat cake.

Yesterday Lucas turned 4.

You know, I am getting much more relaxed with each kid. God must have a great sense of humor because, he gave someone who is an only child with intense OCD 3 Boys and a girl.

As a friend of mine said, there is nothing that will make you “get over yourself” like kids.

It is true. Every word of it.

One of my family traditions is to decorate the dining room for birthdays with balloons and streamers, with the idea that it will make the birthday person feel special.

Yesterday, as I realized (at 10PM) I still needed to decorate for Lucas’ birthday I rifled through my decoration drawer and found some balloons left over from cinco de mayo, streamers left over from the 4th of July and some random Happy Birthday banner. I decorated with all of my found items, and even felt proud that I had decorated and in time for his birthday.

I am SO over myself. As I looked around the dining room the next morning while having coffee with Ruben, I said;

Me: Boy have I changed.
Ruben: How?
Me: Just look around, I have red white and blue streamers, green white and red balloons and some random happy birthday banner as decorations for Lucas birthday. 3 years ago this would have sent me into a frenzy! Nothing is coordinating, There is no cute birthday theme! Oh well, He is lucky he has any decorations at all!

Ruben: Well, we could make a theme out of this. . .
Me: Don’t try to make me feel better!

Later that night, we had friends and family over to celebrate and have cake.

Me: OK guys, let’s sing happy birthday to Lucas
Lucas: Come on, sing happy birthday to me so we can eat cake!

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