Monday, March 30, 2015

I Can Do Hard Things

There are so many things about living that are beautiful
and awesome
and fun;
like the signs of Spring after a long winter
or unsolicited hugs from my teenage sons
or when my girlfriends get together and laugh until our sides hurt.

But there are also many things that are hard;
like working full time
or burying your child
and loneliness.

I've recently come to believe hard things can't be avoided - you can't pray or wish them away or out strategize them. Hard things come and it's my opinion that our reactions and attitudes towards hard things can greatly impact how well we survive those seasons.

Listen, I don't know about you, but when something is tough there is no way I want to make it any more difficult than it has to be.

So while I don't believe there is any prescriptive information that we can all follow to survive hard times - I mean we're all different and unique and different personality types ... what I have learned from my own trials and tribulations is what not to do in hard times.

So here's my NOT To-Do list when experiencing hard things:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm (Still) Too Sexy for my (For Sale) Van

We're talking about selling the van. This van. The van that takes soccer mom to a whole n'other level.  I'm done getting 11 mpg. I've used it to move my oldest in and out and into college. The gas gauge is unreliable and the the drivers seat only adjusts if you scoot forward and right simultaneously. Also, I walk to work now and my 2 sons are or have recently acquired their driver's license. There's no way I will EVER GIVE THEM THE KEYS TO THIS PARTY ON WHEELS.

Most people sell and trade and buy cars without much thought. Not me. Not this time. As we prepare the van for resale I see it as the end of a parenting season. No more car seats, car pools and car-avans to games. Seasons are changing for the Tribe. And it smells like new leather seats.

In honor of the van I'm sharing the following post I wrote a few years ago. It's called
'I'm too Sexy for My Van'

Thanks for reading .....

In August 2007 I bought a 15 passenger van.
That's because in August 2004 the twins were born.
The Sikorski's went from 3 kids to 5.
We needed a bigger vehicle and it only took us 3 years scouring every used car lot in a 200 mile radius to find a suitable one.
It wasn't fancy.
It was white.
It didn't have any of the bells & whistles.
Just 4 benches.
It wasn't even a cool color.
Did I mention it was white?
But it was clean. It wasn't ancient. And I could afford it.
I signed all the papers and transfered all our toys, blankets, diaper bags, trash and car seats from the
old mini van to the new passenger van.
I thought the kids would be excited!
Now they could bring a friend along.
Now we had extra seat belts.
Everyone except me was thrilled. I still wasn't sure how I felt about the up-size.
I mean I actually felt demoted on so many levels.
I went from soccer-mom-in-a-mini-van (that CAN be cool, right?)
bus driver.
The van is just so ... white.
And big.
And plain.
It looks so ... so ...
Well lemme try and give you an idea:
We rolled into town in our new purchase.
Fresh wax job. Shiny tires.
And our friends noticed our new ride.
Some asked,
"I didn't know your church got a new van until I saw you driving this!" 
"Gosh, is that thing longer that an ambulance?" 
"I saw your van at the grocery store. Now I can always tell where the Sikorski's are!"
"Halee, either the assisted living van is here or it's your mom out front!". 
Slightly humiliating, I'd say.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why Toddlers are Easier than Teenagers

We've got a battle of the wills happening over here.
Also, I'm out numbered.
Wait, scratch that. I've always been outnumbered seeing as how I have 5 children.
But it's different now that 3 of them are teenagers.
Gone are the days when the worst thing I had to do was change diaper blow-outs while nursing twins.
Now of my 3 teenagers
1 is on the brink of turning 20
and 2 of them are literally bigger than me.

They're all cute till puberty hits.

And all 3 of them - every. single. one. - is bristling against my parenting. Which, unlike when they were toddlers, I can no longer put them down for nap time when they are being naughty.

Apparently, Call of Duty deserves their undivided attention and over flowing trash cans are irrelevant. Homework is optional and bad attitudes are prevalent. Personal hygiene is over rated and while, we all love eating the food that appears in the kitchen every day, 3 times a day, none wants to actually assist in the preparation, or heaven forbid, load a dishwasher post consumption. And the wi-fi? Wi-fi is a very sensitive subject.
It seems there's not enough to go around to our 10 DEVICES.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Instagram Cake

I'm so happy it's March. I'm this happy...
A photo posted by Stephanie Sikorski (@steph_sikorski) on

And while I'm happy to say goodbye to February I still can't shake last month's memory of the Valentine Mother-Blunder. You see, I kinda, sorta, a lil' forgot about Valentines Day this year.

I've also forgotten to pick a kid up from daycare (twice!), forgotten about the Tooth Fairy on multiple occasions, and missed a birthday party (not my own kids though - so there's that!).

I don't remember a lot. In fact, I usually only know what comes next. There's never planning ahead in my life. There's "Whew! That's done. Now, what's next?"

A dear friend once said she was impressed by my ability for such an active capacity.
I'm sure she meant it as a compliment.

People ask me, "What was the score to the game last night?"
I don't know.
Or "Where's the field trip scheduled?"
I don't know.
I know the important stuff, like where my kids are and what's for dinner but other details often, and regularly, go unknown.

And the way I see it, I have 2 choices:
I can pretend like I know what's up and give fake answers.
But, that makes me feel icky and shallow.
I can be real, admit I don't know what's going on and risk looking aloof, or worse, looking like an overworked, in over her head, stressed out mother of five.

So, when it was the morning of Valentine's Eve and I was walking out the door for another day at the office, my 10 year old looked at me and said, "I need Valentines and treats for 25 tomorrow. ok?"

NO! um, no. It's totally NOT okay but can I break her heart? Can I drop the ball? Will I be able to sleep at night knowing she'll go to her class party empty handed?

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