Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vacations,Birthdays,Families,Traditions,Organization

VACATIONS,ORGANIZATION

I remember here on our Winter Ski Vacation, that the children, whether 13, 9 or 6,
Whether 12, 11 or 5, are all a bit displaced. I remember that their complaints are because they are uncomfortable and trying to get comfortable, that they are missing something that has been moved and that they are less independant as they CAN be because we are in a New place, a smaller place....

.......My role here in mothering, is to comfort, to listen and not to add to the discomfort anyone is feeling by asking "What is your problem" Not even to myself.
I instead lay out all the ski clothes in packages, i make sure the goggles and gloves are together and set across the table for all six children...I make sure the wool socks are inside the boots and they are being warmed by the fire.

ITS MY BIRTHDAY TODAY:

I remember that the children want to give, its their nature, but they dont have the resources, so I lay out a book of GIFT CERTIFICATES i purchased at Staples and have them fill them out and put them in a bowl with a sign marked "BIRTHDAY GIFT CERTIFICATES FOR MOM"......I love the offers of ""ONE TRIP TO GO OUT AND GET MILK"
and the "ONE BIKE RIDE TO THE BOATHOUSE" or "ONE YOU DONT HAVE TO LEAVE WHEN I ASK YOU TO LEAVE"

FAMILIES, TRADITIONS

We start the EGG GAME TODAY. That is a family tradition. A Game that we play when ever we go skiing.One person holds a UNHARDBOILED egg until it cracks or until they leave it even for a minute and the one to hold the egg the longest wins the prize for that trip. You have to keep the egg with you, ski with it, sleep with it....Its very exciting to negotiate through the rules.

The negotiating through the rules and letting the children create the rules and backing them on the rules they create with eachother enpowers them in a way that feels right.

In this role, I am a mother, but I am not mothering, I am just here and part of your life and playing and listening to you .

I know the legacy I want to leave .....it is not to say:

"I AM STILL YOUR MOTHER, BUT THAT I AM STILL HERE !'
"I am still listening to you"
"Your decisions make me proud"

Enjoy your family holidays !

Monday, November 29, 2010

How many times do you call home ?

When on vacation
Alone with your husband
What is the right amount of times to call home ?

I feel very comfortable answering the phone whenever it rings. An understanding of how important for the younger children to feel safe in their abilities to reach you when they need you....to feel safe enough in their separation from you and its all ok....and in that they grow !

I reach out to the older children and text them. I text them little antidotes or forward them emails I get from Burton (as spam but there is a purpose to them too) and suggest they consider what they need for skiing season....I forward a school email on when the photo retake day is...as a mark that I remembered and cared about the conversations we had about someone not liking theirpersonal photo from picture day.

I communicate with the older kids by making a connection with them outside my role as mother and inside of a role as another human being in this world who considers them as people with cares about their concerns.

I am happy that they are home with my brother....and while I am away from them with their father, my brother comes in to support our children.

Community, family, a great natural lesson I don't want to undermine by constant calls home " Are u ok without me?" Why wouldn't you be ?

Also as I sit here on the beach trying to be peaceful with my husband I send the message to my husband "I am happy here with you and the kids are ok and I need not remain in the role of mother, when I am not mothering, I can now be just wife and share that peace with you now !

Enjoy your time when you are with your children and enjoy your time when you are not !

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What type of tribe are you creating?

I realize this morning as I watch TOM AND JERRY with my five year old
that I must leave and speak with the Thirteen Year old about his behavior
after this weekends football game.

He doesnt want to hear that he played well, when his team lost and I know
that I can not console his 13 year old hormones, or ego with anything that
even smells of mothering but I know that there is a lesson to be taught here
in setting boundaries of acceptable behavior.

I dont immediate respond as I want to finish :Parenting with Boundaries< a book I have been reading by Dr. John Townsend.

When it is ok to be disrectful to your parents? When you loose a football game
and your in a bad mood? Can we teach that all the feelings our children have are ok but it is how they respond to them that makes them who they are, and what is allowed as acceptable in OUR HOME ?

There will be LOTS of defeats, understandable. But what about your actual preformance, did it change much during the entire game just because the other
team scored in the last quarter of the game. Cant we still speak about the great play you made?

Here is the time to set boundaries with an OPEN HEART to his perdictament. For I have noticed where the lines of disrespect are crossed, its hard to return to the original starting point.

Its like once your child has seem a Pg-13 movie, there is no going back !

I realize that playing football, raising all these BOYS in NYC, I have a hunting tribe, WE MUST WIN, we must be great, we must compete against our classmates for that spot in high school, we must complete for the highest test scores, the best football positions, the most playing time,....the most loved in our house.

In hunting tribes they leave the old behind, and where will your advice be then ?

Yet, in gathering tribes, you are an elder, the holder of the wisdom, someone to
be respected and listened to.

Where do you want to be in ten years from now with your children? Set boundaries with love !

Friday, October 22, 2010

"I" Statements Only

Wednesday night I sit on the floor of the nursery 4's classrooms and learn about the activities my youngest is doing in his classroom;

Thursday afternoon I am in Alexandria, Virginia singing hymn 482 at a Chapel with my fourteen year old by my side as we tour a high school for his 9th grade.

And as we sing praises to god, I feel blessed to be in all my positions beside all my children in their life right now.

I have had a very full day, and whether you work in an office or in the community
of service and friends, we all have very full days.

And so do my children, with their teachers, sports classes, pressures of other children, haves and have nots they are dealing with.

Lets rememeber we are the adults here and our love for our childrens' best interests
has to out weigh our need to be simply in the role of parents.


We play a game of texas-hold em (the four older boys)

after dinner
after homework
after listening to their stories of the day
after reading books, pj's and bedtime for the 4 and 5 year old


and i know, the best advice I can give to anyone, to be in this wonderful place,
sharing special nights like this with your children, and sharing the unfolding
wonderful and beautiful life that you are sharing together and they are experiencing
is to work on yourself......not work on them !

"I would feel so much better if you didnt say that to your brother"
"I want you to stay up past your bedtime, I want you to stay up all night!"
(as i walk them to bed)

"I will feel better if you stayed in your bed. I get tired when you keep getting out"



Today, speak only "I" statements and eliminate any YOU statements.

One simply goal a day....can change so much !

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On nannies

This school year I am blessed to have all SIX children at the same NK-8 School. The same drop off and basically the same pickup (though the staggering dismissal times
put me infront of their school for about 60 minutes, and what a great chance to see
EVERYONE)

Can I take care of my children all by myself and hire assistance in everything else;

Everything else.....
*Taking care of the house, laundry, groceries and pets
*Taking care of the paperwork, repairs, appointments,reservations


Well it was working, until the cirriculum nights, pot luck dinners and NK--
First Grade--Fourth Grade--Fifth Grade--Seventh Grade and Eight Grade parent nights started to fill the evening calender. The exmissions visits for High School, I needed another body at home !

So I placed an ad on Craigs List in the Education Section of the Classified and advertised a nice hourly salary for a teacher who wanted to earn extra money working from
4:00-8:30pm.

I got a few fabulous candidates, medical school students, teachers. Then I narrowed
the list down to the people with the easiest commute. For someone who lives 3 blocks from me will fret less when I return home a half an hour later than expected.
I did a few trials.

I remember one trial, my child was in the playroom marching around with a whistle in his mouth and the "nanny" was telling him "No blowing a whistle inside?" then presented me with the whistle as it a trophy she took to show me that she was in control.

Later I explained to her, that my children live in a world where everywhere they go, people are telling them what they can not do. So many adults need to have control over them,** cant we create a safe space for them here at home, in their playroom and release some control to them ?**

Here is this house I want a safe space for things like blowing a whisle. No one was being bothered (it wasnt the dining room table) it was the playroom and why not grab a drum and march on behind him !


In raising one child, two children or six children, EVERYONE NEEDS a different amount of help, but make sure you are hiring people who can be your partners in raising your children and value what you value,

truly be an extention of who you are and what you want to teach......

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Responses

One of the greatest lessons I have been learning this week, away from my
children is how to respond better to their sibling squabbling.


I can not react when I am away
I have no reason to change
All the good feelings I have in my moment, when the phone rings
Into my experience and there is one child complaining about the other child
invading their space somehow !

I see clearly how if I were in that room my emotions would attach themselves to
the feelings of my children and my responses would be more reactions to
that....and not responding to the source of the problem or the source of the
needs of my children

That's why they are behaving that way. There is something that needs to be worked out. It will keep occuring until I really help here.

And I am here as their teacher and mother- guide to help them in this moment

And find out how I can really help them.....because it usually is not by
punishing their sibling....its usually by empowering them to feel more
Confident or powerful to deal with their own situations.

Today it might be that they are ok while I am away, they need to take more control of their own personal space and walk away from conflicts that your siblings want to
create.

That conflict is also how your sibling is feeling.

Now some children are born with strong empathy for others...you must plant these
seeds all the time and you teach compasion.

I know, as a mother with so many children, it is hard to consider this type of thinking when you are driving the car home from a long trip and your children are fighting in the back of the car.

You want it to stop
So do they !

If you practice this type of thinking every time you RESPOND or REACT to your children, the times when you are in car and their is fighting in the back......it will come to you easier to insert a conversation between you and them that might actually last the whole rest of the ride home !

Thursday, September 2, 2010

on Being Alone

What? Being Alone with Six Children , A husband, A house that has a doorbell ringing non stop, a 65 pound dog, two fish, ?

Its strange how the only memories in the last 15 years I have of being alone, I mean truly alone,are those in the hospital....the nights I was in the recovery unit, after each of my six C-Sections, where the lights stayed on 24 hours, and I would lay there, in the mid hours of the morning/night....alone....well even then I had my newborn angels by my side.....but I was with myself!

Now, in a taxi, leaving Pheonix Airport, heading to the Ranch in Tuscon, I am completely alone and preparing for my days away. I check my blackberry and make sure that all the kids are arriving safely at their god parents houses, between Conneticut and the Hamptons. They all head out seperately, (the four and the six yer old together), They too, will be on their own, without their parents or siblings.

I am once again grateful for the love that is all around me. The most wonderful friends who support this effort and allow me this chance to re charge my batteries and look quietly inward and prepare for the 2010-2011 school year to begin!
I will be thankful all year to them for being there for me!

Everyone needs to take a moement alone, as a busy mom, and redefine how this year is going to be better than the last year. If something is not growing, what is it doing?

My goals here include:

*Redefine my lifes purpose which is to share love with my children and husband, to be grateful for what I have and to contribute to this world. I want to take these postings and publish a book, not a reality show, offer the compasion I have for super mothers and fathers and friends, like you, and share my insights to help motivate people!

*Take the time to understand if my husbands basic needs are being met in our relationship and see what I can do to make sure he feels like he is the most important priority to me....as hard as that sounds with the six priorities we have together!

*Finish all the Bain De Soil Organge Gel SPF #4 tubes I brought with me, do every exercise Class, take every Shamanoc Joourney I can and read every book left unfinished on my Kindle


....before I return home in a week !

%%%%%% The phone rings, I hear screanms, I hear crying, some one does not want to do what the instructions on the board said they "HAD TO DO."

Everyone is really handling their feelings and fears at their own age
appropriate levels. I can not control things completely any longer, I need
them to feel some control,and as I am away, and they are getting ready to leave too (for their godparents houses),it is a safe chance for then to take
control , be responsible, make decisions they can be successful in !

"You dont have to go, I tell the ten year old, to see the Lizards and Snakes Exibit at the Museum of Natural History today if you dont want to, but I hope you choose to go to Times Square tommorow and see the King Tut Exibit?..

I tell them I love them and I promise to bring home a nerf gun for my 4 year old !

and I hang up and begin my day !

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Travel-on the road

Its 1:30am and we are in Saratoga Springs. The room is finally quiet.I am
thinking at one o'clock tommorow we will be at the races
And this moment will be long gone...and I must, to be real and fair, post all the
sides of raising six children.

We attempt the marathon drive from the border of Canada at Niagra Falls,Ontario across the state of New York..after a morning in the water park at the Great Wolf Lodge.

We have an RV, so while the kids are making raviolis in the microwave, seeking
wifi signals and watching videos, I drive onward...towards our next adventure.

I arrive at the hotel desk alone, and I check into a three queen bedded room
and ask for a crib to be delivered to the room with extra towels and pillows.

I return to the rv and have the children go straight to the elevator,
The twelve year old has a fever.

I transfer the 4 year old naked,half asleep, wrapped in a towel, after I stripped him of his wet clothing from drinking too many bottles of milk while asleep in the RV.

We head to the room. I put the 4 year old in the crib, the twelve year old in
the bathrub with tylenol and a bottle of water and I have the 13 year old
babysit the 6,9 and 10 year old who are all in seperate queen size beds.

I go to the rv and sort out pj and clothes for the races tommorow !
I clean up the rv, wipe the counters and floor, throw out the garage and make it
fresh and ready for the morning !

When I get to the room I can hear the children from the end of the
hallway....and I hear laughter but I sense the sound might not be as appealing
to other guests now that its 1130pm

The twelve year old threw up, the four year old woke up and the ten year old is
standing in the hallway
Because he broke the one rule he agreed to and he knew the consecquenses.

Anyone who touches anyone else while I am away goes in the hallway until my work is done.

I say goodnight and they still chitty chat, I need not demand quiet, I put my
headphones in and listen to calming music.

I thank them for being on this trip with me and I tell them I choose to be here
with them and so grateful I have that choice.

Someone says, "Mom, u have to be here!" And I think silently ....one day....they
will realize otherwise and make the same choices with their children.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

on Travel

I keep counting, the children and it seems while the number remains the same, we are getting smaller. We, the travelling unit of children, are reducing our size.

Today, for example, no one blinked when they showed us to a booth that had room for three on one side and three on the other with a chair at the end. As everyone slid in to the booth, ready to order, all on the same page, it was more important to get the order in than to worry about the seating arrangements.

Only when the bed times caused some of us to read while the others went to sleep did any one question why we only had one room when we usually get two. Granted this child friendly hotel caters to larger sleeping arrangements, but we are down scaling our needs as we travel together and are needs become more refined as a group.

A family! This must be what is meant of a family vacation bringing people together.

Tonight I sleep in a queen size bed with my four year old, the twelve year old in the pull out couch next to me, the "KIDS CABIN" which is an upper bunk bed for the six year old, under her the 9 year old and across from them the ten year old.
Finally the thirteen year old in a single blowup bed across the room.

A family, we are in such close quarters, I have this great chance to be the mother I want to be. Tonight I pray;

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such great witness let us throw off
everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run
with perserverance the race marked out for us
(HEB 12:1)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Ontario

Some tips on crossing the boarder to Canada.

*Did you know you need a letter from your husband
if you are crossing the boarder alone with your
six children?

I think it would be worse if you tried crossing with only two. You see
not even the boarder control guards believed that i was the birth mother
and guardian of all these young children. First they verified this information when I presented their passports, then they proceeded to ask me if I am leaving my husband and fleeing with my children to Canada.....I think even the border control guard chuckled just a bit when he asked this standard question.

We entered Ontario, Canada and drove straight down Victoria Road to the great Wolf Lodge. Now 200 tokens later I am in Bed, watching a Pay-Per-View and I am queen !
Everyone is assigned to everyone.....Everyone wants tokens, I am more than happy to abide.

If I didnt expect to give my children tokens, then I should have not pulled into this place to begin with. My best advise is to create a token plan.

Start Fresh. Everyone gets the same amount of tokens, maybe the older kids a few more for watching the younger ones. Dont hold any old behavior over anybody.

I gave my credit card to the ten year old for him to use the credit card machine to get the 200 tokens and divide them up amongst everyone. What a great chance I have to show how much I trust this child. What a great opportunity for him to feel responsible about his new wallet which he carries everywhere. It now holds mom's credit card. She Trusts me. I am responsible. I feel proud of myself.

What can you do today to make your child feel responsible and proud?

Monday, August 23, 2010

On Travel

How is it travelling with six children?

The questions that you will be asking will probably be logistics. I am really good at logistics (This made me able to accept my lifes purpose, to raise these six children and live in love with my husband)

Travelling with six children is coaching a team of different individuals who all have different skill levels (due to age and size) but all need to learn how to play
-On the Team----- in this Family------in life

I am constantly learning how to offer them what they need, without punishing them or trying to control them....when they are out of bounds or completely off sides.

I am happy that they find it in them to jest about the endless books or tapes i read and hear in order to keep myself educated.


Here, in a Comfort Inn, I look right and see my RV Parked along Niagra Falls Drive, with the Comfort Inn Pass in the Window! (The only way I was able to park and sleep
closest to the Falls on the American Side.

I look left and see the 6 year old,9 year old, 4 year old and 10 year old all lined up on the end of their bed,watching the game one is playing on the tv, with paper cups of fruit loops, showered and dressed in clean, collared shirts and cacky pants. I see the door to the connecting room where
the 12 year old and thirteen year old are still trying to sleep .

We are going over RAINBOW BRIDGE to Canada today and we have all voted on a list of things we are going to do in Ontario. They include:

*Maid of the Mist Boat to under the Falls
*Crystal Cave park
*Cave of the Wind (where you walk out into the falls edge)
*Indoor Gravity Free Skydiving

and Overnight in the Majestic Bear Suite at the Great Wolf Lodge, Amusement Park Level, Victoria Road, Ontario, Canada !

Why do I do this? Because it is all that I want to do, because it is most natural to be here in this role, in these relationships, in this adventure.

Is there an adventure waiting for you?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

on Road Trips

It was Friday morning,
the BLUE VAN (which has 12 seats and enough room for
luggage, picks us up to take us to the airports
EVERY TIME. Its $100.00 to JFK and they are always on
time 1-800-bluevan)

We have one way tickets to ROCHESTER, NY which we got
for about $61.00 per person on US AIR

We have DAVID from the RV RENTAL CENTER in Rochester, New York
meeting us with a 28 foot self drive recreational vehicle.

The load the 9 sports size green matching duffle bags and 3 black body size duffle bags. The body bags are filled with the sleeping bags, tents and camping gear and get stored in the belly of the RV. The personal green duffle bags go
inside the shower stall and are loaded in the RV curbside at Rochester Airport
and we head on our way west !

Every ONE child has one bag with all their clothes
There is ONE extra bag with all swimming gear,goggles,towels,floaties
One bag is for me
and one more bag for sneakers and toiletries

There we are, on the road with no reservations. We know we are going to visit NIAGRA FALLS and we know we are going camping, and thats all we know !

There is a sign DARIEN LAKES AMUSEMENT PARK.....

We check into a hotel room with three queen beds that is attached to an AMUSEMENT PARK similar to Six Flags and Action park Water Park combined .


What could be better.....................

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Communication

"If we want to be influential, than we have to first bring ourselves under control.
Only then can we choose our response. Only then can we choose how we want to behave regardless of how our children behave"

"We are much less responsible for our children then we have ever been told, however we have a far greater responsibility to our children than we have ever realized"

"Our biggest struggle as parents is not with the television,not with the computer and not even with drugs and alcohol. Our biggest struggle as parents is our own reactivity. Thats is why the greatest thing we can do for our kids is to learn to focus on us, not them. Instead of trying to CONTROL our kids, lets consentrate on
what we can control--calming our emotional knee-jerk reactions"

These are some quotes from a great book I just finished by Hal Edward Runkel
called "Scream Free Parenting, the revelotionary approach to raising your kids by keeping your cool !"

Enjoy the rest of your summer and enjoy reading !

Monday, August 16, 2010

on Being House Guests

You might wonder how many times we are invited to be house guests of someone else with six kids......but

We are invited a lot more than you would expect!

We are a clan, we are a group charged with an enormous amount of energy,we are a family !

I was so proud of my children this weekend, as they test out their own identities in an envirment that is safe, all summer long,

Here when they are out of their envirnment, guests in someone elses house,
they are who they are! Children I am proud of !

I make sure to ask my hosts

"What are the rules in your house, on your property for us"
I teach my children that its important to find out what someone elses
rules are and what would make them comfortable while we stay here !

We learn that one rule is to close all the gates to the street and to the pool.
I watch as my children roam freely around the perfectly manicured hedges, reaching so high, they dwarf even the ten year old. I watch them enter and exit the pool...and look behind that the gate is latched!

I never tell them how I expect them to behave, but I ask some important questions


" What is your rule on us going into your refrigerator"
" What is your rule on shoes in and out of the house"



We walk around the house and we come to a garden. New York City Children do not often see tomatoes growing , ready to pick.

I pull one off the vine and I sing

"Mortals join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began
Love divine is reigning over us
leading us with mercys hand

Ever singing, march we onward
Victors in the midst of strife
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life"

and we eat !

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Summer Memories

I have just completed the 50 pages of summer book for each child. I purchase small books, notebook style. On the left side of the page I print a picture every night of each child.

I travel with a $100 picture mate camera printer which comes with a travel case! Every night or morning I print out a picture and use double stick tape to tape it to the left side of this small note book.

On the right side, I write down a small memory of the day.


This causes me to CREATE MEMORIES. How can I go a whole day and not connect with a child, I can not. Creating memory books helps me to bring my intention of connecting with my children every day tied to an action .

Print out some pictures today, write about them. There are a few weeks before school starts. What better present to give to your child, them an end of the summer journal from you to them !

Good Luck with creating your summer memories

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

on Dicipline

As important it is to grow and expand and learn new and improved ways to handle situations in your life, when these changes involve smaller people, less powerful people, they might not understand the changes taking place and how you are handling the situation differently, they might think it unfair as the rules have changed.

And they might be right.

So you have to be as good at explaining how the 'unjustices' are what is causing the new behavior.

I think you have to explain that when one action doesn't create the result you want, you have to try another.
I am VERY CLEAR that my intentions are not to bring poison or angry words into their lives, for I lov them, they are my children, and I want to see when happy.

I have explained how I see it unfair when the older children beat up on a younger one, or when a value is not respected and therefore it might seem just as unfair for me to remove the internet wire and make the children win it back by having to beat me in TENNIS (my strongest sport).

or

they can stop the ungodly behavior and return to the UNITY OF BROTHERS in our house.

I am clear that they do not have to LIKE eachother, that their feelings, whether love or hate, are ok, they are their feelings and I have no desire to control what they feel.

But mutual respect and accountability are the VALUES we share in this house as a family! And here I stand strong!

I have to say that being consistant has brought the children towards me and not drawn away from me as they know what to expect.

They know that their actions are not going to create a reaction in me but a calmer more serious effect.

Be strong with your lessons and make sure they are teaching something !

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Summer Ending

Living in New York City there is a very different energy than living in a
Country Club Southern Georgia Beach front resort.

Some people live here year round. There is a private school called Federica
Academy which caters to the children of this community.

And what would life be like then, would it really be the continuation of summer ?
We might be playing tennis, but would it feel the same
When it would be sandwiched inbetween denist appointments for braces
adjustments, school pickups and dinner-homework time.

As I lounge here, typing my post on the phone, I sit besides my two older sons,
who are squenched up besides eachother
Sharing something
Communicating with eachother
In a language they will always
Speak to eachother

Feeling their lov , seeing their wide white eyes, their smiles.....

I'm leaving here soon, and it makes me yearn to stay.

Maybe I am yearning to stay in this feeling of connection and love with my
children around me !

I will take the time I have left in this place, in this summer, to be
The best I can be, to myself, to my husband and to my family.

I am thankful for the time I have spent in this fabulous place and grateful for
all the people around us this summer who have made it even more special !

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On competition

Just before my Tennis Lesson, I disconnected the blue cable that runs from the black blinking INTERNET box and the LYNSKYS box that was located behind the dresser here in our summer cottage.

I tied it around my waist and I said :

"LET THE GAMES BEGIN"

Now I know it is not right to just jump into a situation where my children are all off in their own personal hyponoptic states:

My four year old on my blackberry playing Brickbreaker
My six year old watching the nine year old over the shoulder playing angry birds
My ten year old playing planets verses zombies
(the twelve year old is still at camp until Friday)
The thirteen year old, watching episodes on the internet of
a crude aminated cartoon tv series which is not allowed on the
TV due to its content and the ages of the children in our house)

I stated anyone who wants to beat me best of three games to twenty one
in Tennis. The instructor can keep score and serve the ball in will get the cord back....and I will say nothing until we leave here!

If they loose, they come with me for 30 minutes every day to play tennis until we leave! No cord !

Sure I was confident! My children are GREAT ATHLETES but I have been playing Tennis EVERYDAY ! I have always played tennis, but not very well. I have been learning to play tennis, REAL TENNIS here, maybe for the first time, and my kids know I have played every day.

So if I beat them, I teach them that if you practice something every day you can get good, and if I loose, then they can enjoy the victory and I will have no guilt...(about their computer playing time, not loosing.)

And I get the added bonus of playing tennis with them everyday !

I won and the computer cable was laid to rest !

Today at 1:00pm the competition continues. The computer wire will be waiting ontop of white towels at the end of an Olympic Size Pool. Our swimming instructor will be the judge of the race between anyone who wants to beat me in swimming one lap for the wire!

If they loose they play Tennis with me everyday for the full hour.

Im gonna buy a speedo now !

Have a great Day !

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Whats Your Favorite Song ?

I woke up one of my children today at 7:42 am and as I watched the chilcboymanish
face of my 10 year old come alive-----i asked him "Whats Your Favorite Song?"

He rubbed his eyes in wonder of what possibly could be going on.

I am going to declare TODAY IS THE DAY WE FIND OUT YOUR FAVORITE SONG!
What fun we are going to have playing the ipod and discussing music
all day long. What good feelings are we all going to create by making
someone feel we care this much and want to know !

Our family , brothers and sister can all join together and play songs
that THEY like to their brother, and help him find a favorite song !

Lets stop for a moment at that thought.

Its a chance for me to teach a lesson to him as well
A good one! One I want
to teach my children about the Joy of Life, The Feeling of Excitement
about doing something FOR SOMEONE ELSE!

Do something today to bring joy and happiness to you and others

Saturday, July 31, 2010

On Tennis

I want all my kids to come to the Tennis Court. I want them to all play tennis. Why do I want them to play tennis, because I enjoy it so much, because it makes me feel good to share these feelings of joy with them while we are playing on courts side by side.

It is important to realize that there is something lost in the race to get to the tennis court with every one ready......

I suggest trying the statergy of letting the children make their own choice in wanting to be part of the great ENERGY and LOVE that I feel when I play tennis
that they can share in around me.

I went the other day alone to the tennis court, the ipod was playing in house (so the kids also knew I was not playing tennis with my IPOD and therefore more open to see them!)

I started on my court, and the two courts next to me were empty, instructors wondering if they would be giving a lesson or not.....and then they all came
thru the gates. All happy, all in the best of spirits.

Here,I can truly share Tennis with my children. At the end of this hour we leave
and continue to share the sport together.....I want to play with each of them
as an activity we do together. That is my ultimate goal. To show them there are other relationships that they can have with their mother....that are not caretaker and are not friend, tennis partners.

Ill take that one !

What can you show your child will be a relationship you can share with them
that you can work on together...now ?

Friday, July 30, 2010

on sibling fighting

With six children there are so many dymanics within the group, and they shift and change. Now we have the oldest boy 13 and the fourth boy 9, engaged.

For me, it hurts so deeply, when I see my children hurt eachother. And that makes it more of a challenge to control my impulses, to teach them to control theirs.

Its so easy to spit out poison through punishments...come roaring into the rooom
reacting to the anger that is between them.

I bring the 9 year old into my bed at night and tell him that I am sorry. I tell him this is not ok for him to be hurt by his brother and I will protect him and make this stop.

I wait for the morning when I hear the oldest child dressed and ready to ride his bike to golf approach him then.

I tell him I understand that he ;hates; his brother, and that that is his feeling and I can not take that away from him.

I tell him that its ok to have feelings like that, but its the ability to control your impulses, and how you manage your feelings that is going to allow you to mature.

I tell him that there are rules in this house and rules in life.....u get no power over controlling others younger than you, u get power and strength when you know you can control yourself.

So what are your outlets, what do you need from me to help you with this.....because
you have not seen your computer since June, so I am not going to try to threaten
anything anymore.....

I tell him when he comes home from Golf I need to hear from him.

I tell that I dont want him to leave our vacation, but if he can not control his
anger I will make arrangements for him to return to New York with his father and work in the auto body shop (on our block in the city) cleaning cars...no wage...
8:30am-3:30pm.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Energy

Where do u get your energy ?
Pots of coffee, and lots of sleep, good sleep, early to bed with my kids.

Sometimes its just easier to go to bed when your kids are going to bed..it completely cuts down on
The amount of times they get out of bed and into your room for one reason or another.

Another way I get my energy is to make sure I get the most out of my down time. This is the time when the kids can be own their own, in the house, safe and playing with eachother, by themselves or with their summer house guests.
(In school )

I get energy to continually go back into the mix with the joy that comes from being ready and really wanting to be there !

I get the energy when I create moments, memories, and have chances to exchange good feelings with eachother.

I get energy when I can spend my days in the relationships I want to be in !

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Teenagers

What makes a 13 year old boy, walk 8 miles home from the golf course?

The new guy who drives the shuttle had wrongly advised him when he went to board
After playing 7 hours of golf in the georgia sun that
Cottage guests can not ride the shuttle, only hotel room guests.

13, Five feet, nine inches, one hundred and 20 pounds, enrolled in jr member golf academy at a five star golf resort....who has been playing golf there for 5 years... accepts this statement as the final word....and walks home!

Now even when we, the parents,follow up, gently inform the transportation department of their error, and even when we make sure that all drivers are being properly tipped ( since the kids haven't carried money)
The 13 year old continues to ride his bike the 8 miles each way to the golf course....his brother takes the shuttle.

Is this the only way he can find independance? So I nether support or deny him this need. He rides is bike to his golf camp and back and that's what he does.

"Whatever u decide is fine with me"

Its hard as a parent not to continue to tell my son how ridiculous it is to have someone else effect his life ... That these are the obstacles he will face ......but I too must grow and understand that guidance must be paired with sensitivity and understanding of my sons struggle towards independence.

Next time I won't call the transportation department
Or over tip the drivers
I will make the suggestion for him to do those things

And help him to see a mistake
Doesn't have to mean a confrontation, just a correction

People communicate in many
Different ways as adults.

Even if u haven't seen by experience yet, you can create your own experiences
And draw strength !

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On Camp

I was about to press the button on my computer to purchase the delta airlines
UNACCOMPANIED MINOR ticket for my twelve year old to travel from Savannah, Georgia to Spartanburg, North Carolina for his two week summer camp experience.

He would have been met at the gate by the camp and brought safely to opening day !

When your twelve year old says to you "Mom, I really would like you to take me to camp", whether you have one child or six children, you go !

How are my children suppose to respect and understand what is important to me if I dont respect and respond to what is important to them.

So at 4:00pm we left and arrived at the Comfort Inn, closest to camp, at 10:30pm
after renting a convertible that had sirrus radio and listening to POP/RAP most of the way ! A stop for McDonalds and two for gas (which he pumped as I was glued
literally to the leather seats !)

and there I was, in a car lineup for Opening Day! I was a proud parent about to tuck my child away in the safety of these Carolina Woods !

As we walked towards the main lake, a noticed a sign above the cantena. I snuck over to deposit some money for the 12 year old and bought the LOGO SHORTS of the camp. I grabbed a sharpie (as any mom would do) and wrote his name on the label. I hurried up to catch up with him as he was walking towards the woods. I showed him the shorts, he didnt want them, gave him a big hug and watched him walk to the cabins on his own ! he looked back and so did I!

....What he didnt see was me hang the mess logo camp shorts with his name on them up the IROQUIS flagpole !

I hope he laughs when someone takes down the shorts and he finds out they are his!

By the way....he flies home unaccompanied minor!

Monday, July 26, 2010

on Summer

Hello again from Mommy Wommy ! At first I was unable to write as we were trapped in the luxuries of summer in a tent aside the Blackfoot River in Montana.

PAWS UP Resort in Rivercamp tent accommodations is an amazing experience where the campsite is the downtime activity, while you are escorted away during the mornings to engage in

*Painting the white horses
*A Cattle Drive
*ATV along the sage frosted mountains
*Mountain biking to a ghost town (downhill the whole way)
and a whole lot more

The tents were permanent structures and with our large crowd
they even had seperate bedrooms to fit us! The mornings were graced by the beauty
of gods creations in this big sky country....and by "HAL" who was waiting outside my tent with a hot cup of coffee in the mornings ....letting us know breakfast was
ready!!!

Now here settled in Sea Island, Georgia where we spend a prim and proper southern ^ six weeks, in a seaside cottage, I return to my computer, to my blog, with new ammunition, renewed life force after downloading and skimming through about 100 books on my kindle and after being in the closest of quarters with my six children at various stages of their lifes.

We update the ages moving forward to read like this

13 12 10 9 6 4

Are you being the best mom you can be, read on for great summer tips as we return to the dailing postings!

Friday, June 11, 2010

On Parenting Books

In packing for our summer travels I noticed the heaviest bag was my personal bag.
Included in this bag were the following items:

Wallet
Ipod
Headphones
Phone
Travel Paperwork
Pencil holder with pencils, markers,Tape
and BOOKS

Lots of lots of books. A novel my friend recommended, parenting books,
Children books,magazines to catch up reading on, guide books for the
destinations we are travelling to... HEAVY.

I went first to Best buy and purchased the SONY READER. The sony reader has two versions, the standard version which you have to download books to your computer and then hook up this devise and transfer them to it. --NOT

The second version you can download books straight to the devise but every book I put in to search was not in the SONY READER Library.

I returned it immmediately. I went on line and purchased a KINDLE. Delivered straight to my door the following morning I have been able to load in everything from the THREE LITTLE PIGS to "Have a New Kid by Friday", to the USA TODAY as well as high lights on MISSOLA, Montana !

The best part of this devise is that when your eyes are tired of reading , you can close them and have the READ TO ME audio function kick in and the book will read to you.

The second best part of this devise is you can highlight and move quotes and inspirational words into a folder for viewing later!

I recommend the KINDLE for travellers this summer !

Enjoy !

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On creating memories

I have been taking pictures non stop. I think I have been taking so many pictures that when my children see my camera come out they raise their hand.

I joke with them about a u-tube story I heard . There was someone who took a video of himself doing a certain dance everywhere.

I joke with the children that this hand raising is the same type of ritual.

It gets a laugh......and it gets a picture, a happy picture, a happy time!

Its really amazing how when the photo albums arrive in the mail, everyone jumps to see the album that was made, what pictures made it in. Sometimes I sneak in a picture
of a person, we pass at a stop light standing on the curbside....it brings up a memory where they want to take the book around the house and show everyone the picture that is in the book.

and a memory is made !

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On Activities by the water

For New Yorkers Only


Our form of transportation Raising Six Children in New York City is bike or boat. That's all we own!

There are many ways to visit CHELSEA PIERS, NORTH COVE MARINA and LIBERTY ISLAND
and i recommend them all.

Yacht Sales/Rental located at Liberty Island can deliver you a rental boat for the day to the 79th street boat basin. You can buy a share and use the boat X number of times during the summer season. Its reasonable if you get a reasonable size boat and a reasonable number of times. You need to plan ahead a bit, but its worth it.

Otherwise the ferry systems of New York can take you to both Liberty Science Center and adjacent to North cove Marina ! Another great way to spend the day on the water !

Today I took my four older boys 13,12,10,8 on this tour and I have to say it was amazing! When you offer the children an opportunity to interact in a learning environment together they have a chance to feel good about eachother and take part together in newness!

Remaining in the house becomes more of a territorial battle for the same !

Enjoy the Summer in the City and Enjoy all that the water sites of Mahatten !

Sunday, June 6, 2010

On Organizing and being a mom

I am preparing the packing for the exodus from New York. We are all doing it in one way or another. I am heading out to Montana for a 12 day trip.

Even those of us who are staying in the city, must prepare the shift of closets and clothes from the school year season to the summer season. The baseball caps and the sunscreen, the bathing suits and towels, the flip flops and the water shirts must be ready and accessible for the vacation or the city park day !

And there are those of us who are heading out east for the summer!

I feel so distracted with the end of the school year and the packing for the
summer activities, sleep away camps,camping adventures, that I naturally loose
sight of everything going on in the house and with the children.

I appreciate in this moment how MORE of my life and time are spent in touch with the lives of my children in the house that now I can know WHEN I am distracted from this.

My 13 and 12 year old are sleeping, my brother, super uncle, also sleeping! My 10 year old has a friend sleeping over, the eight year old already jumped in my bed where the six and 4 year old were.

Even though Big Johns Movers delivered six tv boxes into my living room, I will hold off and make sure to connect with everyone in the house, make sure to let my brother know he is welcome and my sons friend is welcome and turn the music on Before I start packing !



Have a Great Sunday !

Saturday, June 5, 2010

On Don Miguel Ruiz

I just finished a book, The Fifth Agreement and I want to share first about the third agreement;

DONT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS


He writes "Lies exist only if we create them, and they only survive if we believe in them"

I write "Assumptions are the evil of good parenting!"

I walk up the stairs towards the guest room, where my thirteen year old, who shares his bedroom with three other brothers, is taken haven.

He has been there, the door is open (a previous successful agreement to allow him to have the laptop with him).

I have to ask myself, how am I about to approach? What is it that I want to achieve?
I'll tell you. I have no agenda, I want to simply have a nice exchange.

So I ask "Is now a good time?" and I get a "NO"
I continue, "when would be better?" and I get a "What do you want, mom"
I gently offer "I'd love to begin the packing process this week, as you are leaving for camp next Saturday and we can have some time to get anything you are missing"


I planted a seed, I had an exchange with him that showed him I care about helping him and for now, thats enough.

I make no assumptions that what I want and what he wants are the same so I am not upset.

Drop your assumptions for today and be a supermom !

Friday, June 4, 2010

On New Schools and goodbyes

Last night was the celebration of our families 11 Years at the same nursery school. For eleven years every morning of my life I have walked, drove, biked, raced, plowed through the rain, snow, with child in tow to the same building to the same classrooms, to the same teachers of this very special place.

And now we say goodbye. My children say goodbye. Its the end of an era! People ask, "Are you sad?"

My four year old is excited to attend the school with his sister and brothers next year! He is not sad!

As we all say our goodbyes this week to the school year of 2009-2010 we need look ahead only to the SUMMER and leave September for when September comes !

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Summer Parenting Plans

If you want things to become better between you and your children;if you want to be closer, if you want to make stronger the bonds that you share together it is not just going to happen by itself.

Now is the time to write down next to each childs name your goal. What do you want your summmer to bring. If your child is leaving for sleep away camp, what do you want to happen before they leave, what do you want to happen while they are away.
Can you talk about your communication, letter writing, expectations from your child of you?

I thought maybe I could have a special time morning with every child while the other children are in morning camp, or golf. I know that leaves only one day a week to myself or my husband but its only a morning. And to the child it is something they will remember their whole life!


What will you plan this summer.....start thinking now !

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

on Creating Memories/Summer Travel

Here is a super, easy, efficient way to look ahead, create memories, and feel good about your summer activities.

**The first step is purchasing a new sd card for your camera. 2G for under $20.00 is all your need to begin. You will mark this SD card in a sharpie with a big STAR.


(The reason you are purchasing a new sd card is we all know that on your existing card are an assortment of pictures from this play, that dinner, this birthday, that school event that you can not erase and not ready to sort out.)

**Next find the charger for the camera battery and put it into the electrical outlet next to where you keep your phone charger. Also write on the side with a sharpie CAMERA BATTERY AND THE SAME STAR

(Why the star, represent something good)

**When school ends on graduation day, and you take your pictures,of the last day of school, (take a few from the classroom too, the following week of things you do together, the day in the park with the fountains open and stop!


Heres the trick, STOP RIGHT THERE
!

**Connect your camera to the computer and a window will pop up. It will pop up because it will recognize a devise is being plugged into the computer. It will ask what you want to do. You can press the option DOWNLOAD PICTURES. When you press this option it will automatically download the pictures and ask you to name the file.
You can name it:

2010 Childs Graduation/Last day of school/First Days of Summer

Heres the second trick, ALSO SELECT ERASE PICTURES DURING DOWNLOAD


How that your pictures are on your computer you can go to Kodak.com or shutterfly.com or American Greetings.com and follow the instructions towards the SIMPLE PATH to transfer the pictures from your computer to their site and they will AUTO FILL them into a pre created album which you can call:

2010 Childs Gratuation/Last day of school/First Days of Summer

And begin your hardcover book memories today!


You can also print pictures, posters, mouse pads, fathers day gifts, camp tee shirts from all these sites !

Notice you have to erase the pictures from your sd camera card. Because dealing with each event, each book, one at a time will make the task managable and fun !

Have fun creating memories today!

Monday, May 31, 2010

On Communication

What a great Memorial Day Weekend. Its 3:35pm and I am home and unpacked and sitting at my air conditioned desk. my loving husband went to return the rental car across town and the children have disbursed to their various corners of the house to begin their 'returning home' rituals. What this means for;

13 year old Head to Guest Room and check out his friends'IM's
12 year old Head to the Indian Room (den) and play XBOX
10 year old and 4 year old Are putting together all the IRON MAN
toys they got at WALMART on our stop driving home
8 year old Head to the back playroom
6 year old Organizing her markers in the library

Its completely peaceful here and now.

and its my chance to start the process on better communication with all my children.

Listening to Anthony Robbins "Live with Passion" audio discs in the car on the way home, I was fortunate enough to have the COMMUNICATION disc be the one I choose.

The entire car ride listened to Tony Robbins teach us that the goal to being a better communicator is to NEVER, NEVER questions someones intentions.

You can question their behavior but you can never questions their intentions.
You have to assume their intentions are good. They are your children. They are good.

There have been times when I have broken this rule....and now I have a chance to prove to my children by using better words that I might have broken this rule, but I dont want to break it ever again !

Another lesson we learned is that every situation has two sides. There is no benefit in making sure that you prove that the other person is wrong. From that position, what can they feel, how can they learn.

You can offer up your side of the situation......and eventually your influence will improve as your side continues to prevail.

Good luck in your communications !

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Schedules and Travel

Raising six children causes me to naturally make schedules for the children to
be able to participate in activities simultaneously that are age appropriate.

Without schedules I would be making one person happy at a time
....Which usually means the other people are being dragged around....or on idle
mode on their computer in the room.

And do I not bring their computers???? Being a good parent means recognizing
what makes me happy in my world isn't the same as what what's them happy in
their world and should I not allow their computers on their vacations
If it makes them happy ??

Being a good mom means pointing out how well they control their own computer
time ...

But what about when they choose to miss breakfast after the whole family left
for breakfast without them

What about making decisions that are not right on a family vacation

So I realize it comes down to the rules of the family vacation.

I learn I need to make clear the rules of the family vacation.


Kids, i will say, one rule of this family vacation
is we all go to the prepid breakfast together or between the hours
of 830-930am and In order to manage your own computer time, and in order to keep the schedules that are planned this is a rule you need to follow.

I am happy in life to be raising six children with my husband and have him today
help me grow and come to realize this new thought.

I will be clear on my rules and hope to be just as able to ask my children what
are their rules that I can help them with to make them have a better time !

Be a supermom today !

Friday, May 28, 2010

On Car Trips

As I get ready for a road trip I sit and consider how important this trip is to our first day (out of two) of our vacation.

I have many friends who are getting ready to drive to the Hamptons, to the Shore and to their Conneticut Houses...

LETS REVIEW THE CAR PACKING CHECKLIST for my road Trip:

*Garbage Bag, tied up to the seatbelt holder serves as garbage bag and sick emergency bag

*Dc converter adapter to plug into cigarette lighter and converts cigarette lighter to two plugs. (from radio shak about $20.00)

*an extention cord to send to the back of the car for the kids to use.

*Phone charger (which I plug into second plug from coverter box)

*Headset or speaker phone system for talking safely while driving

*DVD players and headphones

*Sports Ice Pack bag filled with cold waters and juices

*Non Crummy Snacks like Fruit -- Fruit Rollups.

*EasyPass(Even if you rent cars you can still have your own easypass. I keep
Mone on my desk and make sure to travel with it for all road trips)

*Hand Sanitizer amd toilet tissue or napkins or wet wipes

*Directions

I also make sure to pack Milk and Cookies incase we are forced to arrive somewhere late and there is no food to be gotten. It seems like Milk and Cookies are a memorable night time snack to serve in the room before we brush our teeth and retire for the night

Happy travels !

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On Travel

Memorial Day weekend

All week has been just beautiful and I want to get out of the city and enjoy more of it.

Today I picked up the phone and contacted AAMCAR car rental located on West 96th street. They can deliver any car to your front door at reasonable rates with great flexibility. For me I am having them deliver us a 15 passenger van for Friday at 3:00pm.

I scrolled through Historic Hotels of New York and came across two OHEKA CASTLE in Hungtington, Long Island and SKYTOP LODGE near the Deleware Water Gap in PA.

I was thinking the traffic is worse heading EAST towards the hamptons so I choose SKYTOP LODGE
http://www.skytop.com/

I have been to this destination before and have been able to secure a reasonable rate room as it includes breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room. Kevin, who runs the dining room secured a table for 9 for our family to eat our meals in (kinda like a cruise ship dining room this old fashion hotel. You sit at the same table with the same servers all weekend and tip at the end of the trip)

My boys will be thrilled to hear I have booked for them:

*Golf
*Paint Ball a three hour session Saturday and Monday
*Laser Tag in an indoor arena
*Tennis tournment and Golf
*Family Hike to the Levitt Water falls and picnic
*Skeet Shooting
*Evening Childrens Banquet Dinner and Ice Cream Social after
*Evening Wii Tournment
*Bubble blowing Bonanza and afternoon tea for the six year old


We Will pack the Car Friday night and take off Early Saturday Morning
for a two night stay !

Just another idea of a trip with tons to do for all ages just a little over two hours from New York !

Enjoy your memorial day weekend !

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Music

I race out of the shower. Full of joy and life for this new day.

I wonder how fast I can write this post before I have to rush off to help the kids for school, I am late and i am excited.


"Theres a land that I see where the children are free, take my hand come with me to this land.......to a land, where the children run free, to a land with a shining sea, to a land where you and me are free to be, you and me." Marlo Thomas

Now I was a pretty hip child as you might imagine.....and i remember dancing around or holding dear to my heart the FREE TO BE album. When i remember this music today
I remember the song "Its alright to Cry" being played when I was sad and needed to cry.To be free a yearning for in adolencense.

I borrow my sons (12) ipod every morning for my ride back from their school on my bike and I hear songs that speak of "shoes with no laces....(some in jail) Women who are b'tches, drink and smoke some more.....

I scroll around the ipod and I Notice that there is a SLEEP playlist and this list consists of classical music, bethoven, taylor swift, a gospel song.....and I am touched at the personality in this music and in my son!

I want to be touch enough to help make this the greater sounds in his life !

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On Being Kind

Its a funny thing, being kind. Because being kind is such a simple thing to do, SILENTLY.

I notice the nasty face a pedestrian made this morning when my six year old, in crossing the street between blocks on her tricycle, got a little to close to her.

This nasty face....and snearing sound which came from her mouth spread a small evil germ to everyone around. To the other people also walking by, to me, feeling bad, a person in this world really can be brought so easily to a low place, by a bike riding child!

I wonder how these people are living ! Are they living completely without passion
that they can not see the joy in a child learning to ride a bike in New York City?
Is being kind being happy with your life, to offer love and kindness to another.


Then I thought of last night. Someone who helps out with laundry in our house, who always takes the summers off, asked is she can work this summer and make extra money.
I immediately thought I would love to help out this girl, as the world would be a better place if we all just helped out those around us.

She knows that there would be no laundry around as our family will be exploring America for the most part, but she wanted to straighten up the house and keep it
tidy and dust free while we are away.

My first reaction was, she has never dusted the rooms around the laundry room, while the laundry is running. But I am kind and I know it must be hard for this person to ask so I will invite them to come once a week during the summer to be kind !

I am kind to my children by being a good listener even when the eight year old wants to explain all 100 yu gi oh cards, I show interest and in share kindness, I hope to teach my children by my actions !

Teach your children kindness today !

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Releasing Control

On Releasing Control

The hardest thing to do as a mother is release control. Its not only the control you have on the freedoms you give your children, it’s the control you have on what you want to do…..with them.

Relationships offer so much to you, but we all know that relationships involve giving as well as receiving and the ultimate gift you can give to your children is releasing control!
I am trying this simple exercise this morning! I want to go to the Lex coffee shop for breakfast with one child. Its sweet, fast and easy for a nice morning breakfast.
This same child wants to go to a diner which takes forever to receive your food. I really don’t want to go there……but I'm getting up now and I'm going to take him there.

Be a supermom today

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Organizing

On organizing

In the world of blackberry’s and computers the idea of a countertop recipe box might seem a bit out of place, a kitchen counter top index card filing cabinet of
*Friends Numbers and Addresses
*Addresses, dates and location of Sports Classes
*Pharmacy Number and address

*You are on the phone with your doctor to call in a prescription and he asked the name and number of your pharmacy. At the same time you want to tell someone to go there in 20 minutes to pick something up. Can you do all these things at the same time on your phone?

*You forget exactly on what street that soccer class is on and you have to tell someone 75th? Or 76th? Street.

*Your children want playdates, they can read, but we can’t expect them to have their friends numbers call them up and schedule in their calendars these playdates?
Prepare for September:
Peel and Stick Labels of your class lists can be printed. Then Peel and stick your children’s friends onto an index card and use the back to write phone numbers. Your children can pull out the index cards and hand you the people he needs you to contact.

Pre pare for Summer Classes:
When you confirm a class for your child in New York write the dates the program starts and ENDS and the location of where the class is taking place. Write a phone number for booking any makeup’s and the address. Write the “shirt color is any” for the uniform as a reminder.

Prepare for Deliveries, Services,Docters:
Prepare index cards for necessarily for yourself (though you don’t always have your blackberry in the kitchen, do you?)

Organize Today
Save Time Later
Become more Efficient
Feel better about yourself

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On Children Fighting

“My nine year old just punched my eight year old in the back. Eight year old comes in cryingtelling me what has been done.(WE HAVE ALL BEEN HERE)I ask first
Is there anything I can do to help you, how bad are you hurting” Second I ask to see the nine year old. I asked the nine year old " Why he needed to hurt his brother this morning, he said “Where did he say I punched him” I said "So I hear you punched him" and he said “It didn’t even hurt him”

Now here is where I say “ I am sorry you feel it matters where you punch him, and I am sorry you feel that he wasn’t hurt, but those are your feelings. His feelings are he was punched and it did hurt.

Then I add "and you know, and I know and he knows thats wrong."

Then I say, "You need to ask him how you can make him feel better, you need to apologize for touching him"...........

i dont want to
create a suitable punishment, Because I want you to take care of it and take resonsibility of what you did.

I dont want to to forced to create a suitable punishment, but I will to keep order in this house !


If i become mean mommy I am just another pawn in the game of hurting!

Be a SuperMom today !

Friday, May 21, 2010

On Impulse Control

On Impulse Control



I sent all my old videotapes to Home Depot Video (see On Creating Memories) and got back 20 discs. It’s amazing seeing the children so young, and it’s amazing what a terrible video photographer I was! When the thirteen year old came in to see himself performing a music video at the age of six, he was devastated. “Will anyone else be seeing this? Wait…it’s enough that my brothers are seeing this!” He demanded that I hand over the disc. I calmly explained how I understand seeing this today might be embarrassing for him, but these memories will serve their purpose not only for today but for the future, too. Maybe I should not have went on to explain how I would make sure to play this at his wedding video as this didn’t help the situation - but we all need to have some humor in parenting!



My son grabbed the box of tapes and ran to the guest room with them. I did not chase him. He came back and demanded the tape that was playing in exchange for the entire box. I told him that while I was ready to listen to the rules he wanted me to apply to the tapes, they were not his property to negotiate with. He scratched two of the discs and returned the rest and ran off extremely upset that he had no control over the situation.



I took a deep breath and realized I could continue several ways. I knew how easy it would be to replace the discs, and I thought about how hard it is to recover from these confrontations and to use them as lessons to learn from. I decided to take the highroad, and tell him that this was a major step he had taken on the road of maturity. I told him I knew that he could have ruined all the tapes but he controlled his impulses and returned the box undamaged. I told him that it took a lot of strength to reach inside himself and realize that what he was doing was wrong after having scratched two, which made him stop. He had put into action his own understanding of right and wrong, and I was proud of him.



Of course, he will replace the two discs that he scratched. He will go to the post office and mail them off and the money to pay for them will come off his point chart (see On Money). He also agreed to videotape a picnic we are having tonight to create a new memory, as that’s what I normally do - and he doesn’t even have to be in it !



Good luck teaching impulse control by controlling your own impulses!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On Biking in NYC and FREE BIKE HELMETS

Free Bicycle Helmuts for NYC Bike Riders Adults and Children


We have been biking to school since the return from Spring Break and it has been amazing. As long as we continue to stay away from:

-Second Avenue Subway Construction
-Older ladies walking slowly on the sidewalks

We are having a great time.


We want to give you a chance to dust off those bikes in storage and lock them up outside so they are accessible, and get yourself a new bike helmet.

Did you know you can go to the local hardware store and buy chain by the yard to lock up your bikes for about $2.00 per yard? Did you know you can buy one multiple locks that all have the same code so all keys open all locks from the same local hardware store?


New York City Department of Transportation invites you to
a Helmet Giveaway

DATE: Saturday, May 22
TIME: 10:00am-2:00pm
PLACE: Carl Schurz Park
East End and 86th Street Main entrance

WHO CAN COME: parents must be with children under 18, helmets
available for all ages and sizes while supplies last

QUESTIONS: Council Lappins Office at 212 980-1808

NEED A BIKE, There are many local bike shops offering many selections
at a premium. ($200-$400)

NEED A BIKE CHEAP: You can order a childrens bike on line from KMART or
TARGET or WALMART or OVERSTOCK.Com (for about $49.99-$139.99)

Of course when you get the bike in the mail from UPS it will be in a lightweight box which you can taxi over to PETER at the bike shop on third avenue and 111th street and he will put it together for $25.00. Peters number 212-410-1144 HEAVY METAL BIKE SHOP. Of course you can call him and he can also pick up and deliver the bike box and return the bike assembled and you will still have at least $100.00 on the Bike project

and get a Free helmet!

Get Tips from Raising Six Children In New York City.com

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Creating Memories

What do we do with the ARTWORK ?

The endless artwork that comes home every day from school, in their cubbies, in their backpacks?

Today I saw myself holding up a piece of paper with a crayon mark on it, that was it, one mark in the center of the page.and I was caught by my son, embarrased that I was sharing his work with others?

Heres some tips:

Creating Memories websites allow you to scan in all standard paper sizes and create artwork books which are a copy of their original artworks. What I have done for years is copy the best of Kindergarten or the Best of Nursery School and take their class picture of that year as the cover page.

Another Tip is

http://www.homemoviedepot.com

This is an amazing site where you can take pictures or videos and send them via video tapes or discs of pictures and they can create a video on the pictures with classic music in the backround.

Can you send them the pictures? Weekly? I dont think so, I have a closet lined with artwork. Just the other day I found amongst the artworks a q-tip painting my seventh grader did in first grade (we dont clear out the art work that often...its a big closet) and framed it and put it in their treasure boxes.

The treasure boxes is another great TIP on how to save a childs treasures. They pick of few of their special artwork pictures and put it in their treasure boxes.
Its a great box to pull out when relatives visit for the child to create conversations !

Enjoy creating your memories !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On Choices

I made the choice to allow my son to tell me I can not see his play ! He needs control! Its his play and though I support all that he does, you have to choose your battles and give some power away !

He had a very physical altercation with one of his brothers and as I punished him I told him I would do the same if anyone ever punched him !

So I was upset when I left the school, he saw that I was but I am stronger and wiser and we are closer in our ability to respect each others positions....even if not in agreement.

I WROTE:

NO WAY, NO PLAY


You took the control back
and thats ok
Even if I didnt want it that way

So what, there were tears
I have real feelings
I have real fears

No one has the right to punch you
Even if playful
Even in Jest
I will also protect you as I protect the rest

But your Strong and you are Wise
and you are put to the test

I already know your a STAR
without hearing a line
I forsake my own needs
To know that your fine !

Monday, May 17, 2010

For New Yorkers Only

For New Yorkers Only

Life in New York is funny! I just realized that, for the most part, you can have everything done in the home for you, without ever stepping out the front door. As my hair is blown dry for a celebration of a friend’s daughter’s 13th birthday, I sit at my desk and appreciatively contemplate everything that was done this weekend, and all within the walls of my home.

A car was rented and delivered to my house so we could drive to the Taylor Swift Concert, and the same car was later conveniently picked up; a Yoga Teacher visited to help four of my friends and me to properly stretch on our own mats; a guitar teacher and a piano teacher both came and left within the last 48 hours to work with my children; dinner was cooked in our kitchen for my brother’s family’s arrival dinner party; and an on-call doctor was even summoned to my home to test for strep in our house, as two friends had called to say they have it.

What makes me able to point out all of these items is that they cost no different then if I were to go out and secure the same things: Lets Review:

-Car rental drop off fee was the same cost as a Taxi to the west side location
-Yoga teacher for the hour was $40.00 divided by four people means we pay $10
-Guitar teacher and Piano teachers rates the same as in a studio
-Dinner was cooked for $20.00 an hour , two hour time frame for 13 people
better then a restaurants rate with groceries
-The on Call Docter was the same as a weekend docter visit at a clinic that doesnt take insurance (an insures other kids dont get sick on Monday in School if I can avoid it )

As I write this post, I think about the fact that, when I was younger, I would write, ‘when you live in New York you do not need a large space, as Manhattan, the city, is your home, and your apartment is just a space for sleeping, changing and personal time, within your larger home - New York City. Things certainly have changed in my life! In raising six children, you need a large home, but you still need to enjoy the city and all that it has to offer. You need to either venture out of your home on a regular basis or just move to the suburbs!

It’s all about finding the perfect balance that is right for us all!

Enjoy New York City, and be a supermom today!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

On Taylor Swift

On Taylor Swift

I have my twelve year old and my six year old on line backstage at the Taylor Swift Concert in Nassau Coliseum. It’s Friday night. Not actually night yet, you see we drove here early for a meet and greet special arrangements. The Traffic leaving Manhattan aged me about a year,
As I wiggled through the traffic, over the Tribourough bridge and down the Grand Central Parkway. One point we didn’t think we would have made the 5:30am strict arrival time for the pass pickup at Will Call.

But we made it, with time to spare as we waited for the special moment to be called into the secret underground worlds of the Superstars!

And there we were, staring at Taylor Swift in a tented room in the basement of the coliseum. There was a Sheet, purple with the Words Fearless Tour, like you see draped along the backgrounds of Red Carpets,
All ready for the photographs to be taken accessed by email.
Our turn came and they motioned for my twelve year old to stand on one side of Taylor Swift and my six year old to stand on the other. The
Moment of truth...or untruth.. when they told us each family was only allowed one picture.

It was my sons dream to be here at the Taylor Swift Concert; already many altercations had taken place about the six year old attending. I understood it already cramped his style, in fear of too many bathroom visits or having to leave early!

Well, some choices are tough ones. The Taylor Swift Staff did not understand the dilemma of my son having a picture with him and his idolized star on his nightstand and he didn’t want his six year old in it!

I let him take the picture on his own, and as I walked away consoling the six year old, a caring soul tapped us and gave her another chance.

Taylor Swift concert was amazing, and being a mom means not always accommodating everyone….but most times it works out!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On Bedtime

Raising Six Children gives me more chances then most people to get some things right !
I am still trying on Bedtime !!!

7:30pm 4 and 6 year old in bed lights out
8:30pm 8 and 9 old in bed reading, (9pm lights out)
9:30pm 12 and 14th year old in bed unless watching a show which ends at 10pm

Heres some tips!

I have found that as long as I get the very youngest to bed on time, the rest of the kids fall into place better. Its when the very youngest are not settled in bed properly, when they keep getting up, when they make you say

"Get back in BED." over and over again, it when it falls apart for everyone.

But when the youngest are in bed, and read to, and spoken with, and listened to, and they have their drink besides their bed and are getting their hugs and kisses and allow you to leave the room......and they are settled.

Then, is the best time to reach out to the older children. Not just to remind them of the night time routines, but to connect with them.

It seems there is energy that travels through everyones house and when the energy of the youngest children is asleep, there is more room for the older ones !

Listen, Love and kiss them goodnight always !

Friday, May 14, 2010

THE STAYCATION

On Travel-THE STAYCATION

One must plan ahead, especially if you are on a budget. If you book weekends to the Bahamas and get the Jet Blue $99.00 each way fare it becomes reasonable but if you book last minute and only the $249.00 each way fare is available? Travelling with six children I must plan, and I must book ahead!

But what about the STAYCATION……Memorial Day weekend is coming up and I have already contacted several hotels in the popular weekend destinations where one can fly direct from New York in under 4 hours. The Hotel rates are increased by about 50% due to the holiday weekend. The airfares are all over $500.00 round trip per person.
We did some driving trips, but the traffic was horrific…

Two years ago we drove Memorial Day Weekend to PINEGROVE Dude Ranch. More than one person told me they went there with their parents when they were young….and it hasn’t changed a bit in 30 years. We only rode horses for one hour during the three day weekend and we all slept in one room with two king’s size beds and two bunk beds, and some roll always!
Another year it was HERSHEY PARK in Pennsylvania….at the Hotel Hersey…but check that everything is open, visited friends in the Hamptons…and fought lines all weekend

THE STAYCATION, a chance to just stay home, not a weekend, but a HOLIDAY!
Create an itinerary of FAMILY ACTIVITIES that you might have never done together. Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty while the Torch is still open. Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry; see an off Broadway show while you are downtown, go to the seaport, picnic together in the park.

Start a STAYCATION business within your communities where you create itineraries using services of people within your community to support each other. Have flowers made for your home during your staycation, have food delivered, invite friends over, wear matching clothes, take your Christmas Picture on the East River !

The activities are endless! STAYCATION…..just the word brings a feeling of relief!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On Listening


Three things we can all do today
to pause a moment just to pray
to be a friend both tried and true
and find some good that we can do

.......William A.Ward

When I read this the first thing that pops into my mind of
"SOME GOOD THAT WE CAN DO" comes listening.

Because to listen is easy. To listen to your friends, to your husband, to your children. To give time for listening, to stay in one place and let people know you are there and ready to listen !

Do not pick up the phone !

Listen to everything everyone has to say today,

tommorow is for something else,

Reacting !!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

on Courage

On Courage
Courage isn’t a brilliant dash
A daring deed in a moment flash
It isn’t an instantaneous thing
Born of despair-with a sudden spring

But it’s something deep in the soul of a man
That is working always to serve some plan.
….Edgar A. Guest

Everyone was laughing last night at the dinner table. I said something that
In “kid” language meant a private part or another slang phase unbeknown yet to me.

Was it courage that my Twelve year old displayed after everyone left the table to share with me what it was that I said and what it meant.
Was it courage that caused the great argument that my eight year old son had. He wanting to walk to school alone at 7:00am to get there early and me not being ready to let him go to Third Grade, walking alone this early?
We teach our children that courage is standing up for yourself or someone else in unpopular situations. Choosing to be right to oneself, to the standards you have been brought up with, and not just be a part of the popular moment!
How can you teach courage today?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the aftermath of Mothers Day

So many people have asked me, so what was mothers day like for you. I am sure
the visions that they have in their heads while asking me the question is very different from what actually took place.

ACCEPTANCE and learning the languages of Love of your children and the balance of expectations, the teaching of the importance of rituals, and connection to the family,
obligations.

Thats what Mothers Day means to be.

For my oldest child, the thirteen year old, IN Puberty, and the development of their own budding personalities, makes any demands outside themselves .....lets say a sensitive issue......My son knows how important grooming is to me.
My gift from my oldest son was the ability to cut his nails, toes and fingers. You can bet it took quite a long time and a nice chat was exchanged.

For the twelve year old, I told him the night before he would be completely in charge of making sure his brothers know tommorow is mothers day. It might sounds like too much of a responsibility, but I know he HEARS me give him that responsibility as a gift back! He printed Happy Mothers Day signs, set his alarm, woke early and hung signs everywhere for me !

From the ten year and eight year old, I received gift certificates for extra special time and a "do whatever you ask" card

For six and four year old drew me pictures which I already framed and put in their treasure boxes already !

Now Dad had everyone march into the bedroom with a different color bouquet of Roses. We spent a a great deal of time laying all the Roses out on the floor and arranging assorted flower arrangements with love and care for all the rooms in the house.

Then we went to Ironman, and took up the entire row at the Loews !

It was a great day !

Monday, May 10, 2010

On volunteering

On volunteering

Its truly amazing how volunteering does such good things to the heart and soul. Of course you are giving your time, sharing the benefits of your work towards a common goal with others…..your community of schools.

This also gives you a chance to honor other people. To see peoples unique qualities, their organization skills, their abilities to create ideas , how they spark ideas in you. Volunteering gives you a chance to make connections that you might otherwise not make.

Over the course of this month, I have had a chance to share with my children situations I have been in with the parents of their classmates as we are working on a fair, picnic and graduation plans!

I am glad I have so many opportunities to volunteer and I plan to give more of my time and enjoy all the wonderful people I don’t even know yet !

What can you volunteer for today?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day!!


A Newborn ' s Conversation with God

A baby asked God,

"They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don ' t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel ' s love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don ' t know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked,

"God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel ' s name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On parenting, On childrens Clothing

Parenting is the art of bringing children up without putting them down!




I always wonder when I watch TV shows and a child character comes into the room wearing something inappropriate. The TV mother or father character seems completely shocked that this outfit of clothing is in their house. I can think of an instance when the child character was about ten years old. Now, ten years old is about the age of a fourth-grader. Surely a mother and father in their day-to-day supervision of their child have knowledge of the type of clothing in their fourth-grader’s closet? After all, who is buying the clothes? Why are these TV characters so surprised?

Well I am glad that's not real life because in real life I have a lot of time to influence my children and prepare them enough so that they make choices based upon my good influences. And if they don’t, well you can be assured that my ten year old does not have any clothes that I bought for them that I would not want them wearing or for that matter that are in the house !

What is your child thinking when they get dressed? How can you influence them today so they will make good decisions when its their time to make them completely? Do you include them when your buying clothes?


What can you do today to lift your child up, to tell them how wonderful they are just by being them, how great they are by having the courage to bringing something new into their lives, by trying something new? How can you tell them how great it is to make a new friend, or to work in a group at school with different people, or hear new and different ideas?


Your six or eight or ten year old dresses themselves every morning for school, well, you are proud, such a mundane thing they are doing, but yet a milestone in some way. For you too !



Tell them !


(I dont know if I would praise my 12 or 13 year old, might sound a bit overboard to them!)

Bring your child up today!

On forgiveness

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”
- George Gerbert

As I read this quote, I think about the fact that every day in my life I need to forgive something said or done to either me, the things I care about, or one of my children. I think of other people in my life who must forgive - perhaps a child must forgive another child - and over and over again I realize what a huge part forgiveness plays in the trials and tribulations of raising six children.

“He spilt his drink all over my place!” Of course it was an accident, but recovery from cleaning the dripping puddle that is inching towards another child’s lap, and returning back to a civilized dinner is not easy for a large family when all is said and done! But true forgiveness is undoubtedly a work in progress. My son won’t let me watch his football games, but I’m still his mom and I don’t stop asking, “what can I do for you to help you today.”

I teach forgiveness as an expression of unconditional love. ‘You, my son, don’t have to let me watch your football games. You’re my son I forgive you for this behaviour because you don’t know that it hurts my feelings not be to part of your football games. I understand your need to have power over some things, and I am still here to help you and love you. And when football gets tough, I hope you come to me so I can help you and love you and give you confidence to get back out there.’

‘You need printer ink. Of course it will be waiting for you so you can do your homework. Because I want to help you even if you don’t want me to watch you play football! I want you to be successful in doing your homework. You are still very young and don’t have the means to take care of everything yourself.’

What can you forgive today?

on Travel in an RV

"No family should attempt an auto trip if the kids outnumber the car windows"
- Theresa Bloomingdale

What an amazing quote - it says so much. To me it says, ‘get more windows!’ When I travel with the family we get around in an RV. Sure, we joke about the "green turd” (for anyone who has seen the movie RV), but it’s still real and special for us.

Every August I rent an RV, and we choose a state in America. I try to have the kids choose. I try to ask them something indigenous to a state in America as a precursor to deciding to travel there. In Michigan, for example, locales range from Detroit, the rural inner city carnivals on the asphalt, to the Grand Hotel in Mackinac island. We golfed, fished, boated, kayaked, bumper car'd, and tented at the Jellystone Park, surrounded by the tents of other vacationing families. At these family tenting park sites, my kids run around looking to fill their water containers and bump into other kids doing the same, taking on those odd jobs to keep their campsite going. What a lovely shared camaraderie amongst the young! These little things are what make the summers special for my city children!

‘Cruise America’ is an RV company where you can rent an RV, drive where you wish and drop off at another stop! These are basic self-driven vans with refrigerators, bathroom, and cabinets for your luggage. Don’t attempt to sleep in one! For the trip, it’s your car - would you sleep in your car?

When we travel within one state we normally find a better quality rental through the local state companies, which are easy to find through a simple Google search. We were lucky enough to rent one that had a flat screen TV and a video gaming system (which I promptly hid so my kids never knew about it)! We line the bed with duffle bags full of supplies. We grab anything we need from these bags to refill of our small carry bags that we take into the hotels, leaving the rooms much less cluttered. The refrigerator is filled with fresh fruit to balance the fast-food diet we subject ourselves to at hotel pools, beaches and resorts, and at the roadside drive-throughs! It’s not expensive; it’s actually pretty darn cheap. A two-bedroom suite (which is the most expensive room), at a beautiful hotel on Traverse Lake in Michigan, deluxe by any standards, in nowhere near equivalent to the cost of any night at a Hamptons house!

Over the years we have travelled with an RV within the following States;

Kentucky
Lousiana
Mississippi
Michigan
Alabama
Texas
North Carolina
Maine (last year)

The RV is a tradition, a culture, if you will, within our family. It’s who we are and what we do.

Create your own summer traditions today!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Dads

Samuel S. Liebowitz Quotes:

"If mothers would understand that much of their importance lies in building up the father image for the child, the children would turn out well."

.......I want to change the end to the children (boys) would turn out to be great fathers!

Isn’t the ultimate compliment in motherhood to be succeeded by your daughter who herself becomes a happy and successful mother but as a mother you need to make sure to turn out successful fathers of your sons, and you need to make the role of father is
seen as a successful position. One that receives Great Respect, one that speaks of great fun.

The more praise you give your husband in front of your children about what great fathers they are, the more attractive the position stands in their eyes......one day they will be great Dads too.

I am not home this morning; I left the entire job of getting six children to school to my husband, and the morning breakfast helper! A task I do every day of my life, and have gotten right after many years; Do I actually expect everything to run as smoothly as when I am there?

I remain unsurprised when I hear everyone home in the background at 8:30am. I hear of the rain and try to get off the phone as fast as possible. I wonder if the fact that I wasn't there last night either, and everyone’s voices were in the background at 10:00pm had anything to do with it.

But its one night, and I had to go away. I want my children to think only that
they had a special stay up late night with Dad, and Dad hired a car service to get us to school in the rain so we would not have to walk to the corner to find a cab and the service was late !

There is No benefit in thinking anything else!

Dad is great and Gives me lots of special Treats! That's a good feeling to let my kids enjoy, don’t I give my children lots of Special TIME in different ways? What if my husband didn’t allowed me to have special time during the hours he was working.....to support us......

I love my husband, and I want him to be a successful Dad as much as I want my children to be happy!

And so do you!