Life with the Wild Things

Just another mom of 2 boys in a house full of energy!

I completed the Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge from January 4, 2015

I did it!  I mastered all 10 points on the list.  Not perfect at all times, but I tried and I did it.  This was the least crazy holiday I have ever had.  Which is surprising because I have so many changes happening in my life.

So… Here it is step by step….


1. Roll with it and don’t expect a perfect holiday.  Well… the week before Thanksgiving my husband received a promotion that requires us to relocate.  It has completely turned our house upside down.  Needless to say it has lead to a less than perfect holiday season.  It is a blessing, but it meant changing a lot.  We didn’t spend Thanksgiving together.  We only saw each other on the weekends during December… all of which were spent on the road!  But, we rolled with it and it turned out that it was perfect for us.

2. Plan, so you won’t have to rush around like a crazy lady.  I start shopping in September for Christmas gifts.  I love to buy things for family and friends.  So it is fun to plan ahead what to get them.  I also have to start early because I ship everything to our family in Mississippi in November that way the car isn’t packed to the roof when we go visit everyone in December.

3. Remember your kids are kids, not angels.  Both my boys have ADHD.  It is always chaotic in our house.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, basketball season started.  We just finished football before Thanksgiving.  The boys also take tae kwon do 3 nights a week.  So life is always hectic in our home.  I have had to repeat this one over and over to myself.  I want them to always be perfect little angels.  But I have to remember that they are kids.  I am way to uptight with them most of the time.  I feel like I am always on their case about something.  Number 3 is something I am going to work on for 2015.  Always remember the boys are boys.  That is one of my New Year’s resolutions.

4.  Cut your husband some slack, he’s not an angel either.  I have to work on this one too.  Sometimes I expect him to be able to read my mind and know what I need.  I have got to remember that he can’t do that.  I grew up in a house of girls and he grew up in a house full of boys.  Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t think like me… you know perfect.  just kidding.  But I think we did ok for the holiday.  We spent most of December on the road which is rough on everyone.  But we managed to enjoy each other and have fun.

5.  Spend less money on stuff and more time with people.  We nailed this one this year.  This year we stuck to a Christmas budget that worked.  We definitely enjoyed spending more time with our family and friends than we normally are able to and it was well worth it.  In the end it’s the relationships we have that matter, not the material possessions.  We enjoyed all our time with family this year.  There was a lot of love in the air!

6.  Be thankful for what you have instead of thinking you need more.  We nailed this one too!  This year we didn’t ask for a lot.  We surprised each other with some great gifts, but we were very thankful for what we have  We have 2 amazing boys and a solid relationship.  We have a great family and friends who are like family.  What more can a girl ask for.

7.  Enjoy that Christmas cookie and don’t beat yourself up for eating it.  Well, I ate my share of holiday food that is for sure.  I did have some guilty feelings about eating too much.  But I did enjoy eating with good friends and family and not worrying most of the time about what the scale would say.

8.  Get rest, so you won’t turn into the Christmas Grinch.  Oh I rested.  I took off from the afternoon of Christmas Eve until Jan. 4!  I took naps almost every day.  It was well worth each moment of relaxation.  For the first time in a year, I am ready to go back to work and tackle the world again!

9.  Love, and show it with patience and kindness.  I have to work on this a lot more during 2015.  I love a lot and I am normally kind, but patience is a virtue that I lack.  I am going to work harder on this.  I did try to show love through patience and kindness.  I think people who don’t know me well would say that I nailed it.  But family that spent the entire holiday with me… they would say patience was lacking and kindness could have been a little better.

10.  Think more about what the season really means.  The Thanks in Thanksgiving and the Christ in Christmas.  I definitely nailed this one this year!  For thanksgiving, we gave a lot of thanks.  The boys and I discussed what we were thankful for at length in our 4 hour car ride home from grandma’s house after Thanksgiving.  And to add Christ back into Christmas, we started praying together as a family again.  We prayed the Advent prayers around our table with the Advent wreath.  We started praying every night kneeling together in our living room as we say our night time prayers.  I started doing 10 minute devotionals each day that have expanded to 15 minutes or more each day.

Well, looking back, I think I did ok with this Challenge.  I can’t wait to look for another one to work on next.


Travel February 12, 2012

Filed under: Family,Marriage,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 9:11 PM
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Why is it that no matter how much a need a break from the wild things, I still miss them so very much when I have to go on the road?  Wild Thing, Sr (senior) misses me already… he texted me to say come home come home.

4 hours on the road tonight and I still can’t fall asleep because I missed the good night stories and tucking in the wild things.  I wonder if the wild things miss mommy as much.

Wild Thing Sr gave me an early Valentines Day gift.  He took the wild things for hair cuts when I left town.  WOOHOO.  It’s those little things that make a dad sexy.  Check out for more on how doing the little chores makes a dad sexy.

Only 1 day out of town.  I should relax.  Paint my nails, condition my hair, go to bed early…but, I keep thinking right now the wild tings are laying in bed and they didn’t hear mommy read their stories, or kiss them good night.  I know they are ok because daddy is there, but it’s not the same.

Hugs and Kisses wild things!



Mommies need a support group January 19, 2012

Filed under: Family,Motherhood — jdkihlken @ 8:09 PM
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I started this blog because I really believe that mommies need a support group.  Weekly meetings (virtual or real) where we can let it all out.  All the stuff about being a mommy.

Lately it has felt like the mommy things have been pulling me further and further from center.  Between work, the kid’s school, the kids, the kids’ activities, and the list keeps going, it has felt like I can’t quite balance life the way I did in the past.  So… I started looking for books to read to help.  Organization books, inspirational books, anything.

I am currently reading two books.  Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide and Handbook for Catholic Moms.  Yes…I guess you can tell I must be Catholic.

Both of these books have been very helpful.   I am remembering what is important and what isn’t.  I’ve noticed that 2012 is shaping up to be a much less stressful year.  Not because work and the kids changed, but because I am changing.

I am not spending 2012 yelling all the time…that was 2011.  Out with the old in with the new.

One theme I noticed in these books and other ones I have picked up recently is that having girl friends is really important.  Sometimes I think we forget that we need to spend time with our friends.  It’s very therapeutic.  So my original idea that a support group helps moms may not be that strange.

We need to take more times for lunch together.  We need to set aside time to talk to each other.  Our best allies are other moms who have gone through what we are going through or who are currently going through the same things or just other moms who understand.

 This week I had lunch with a dear friend…my son’s best friend’s mom.  She has turned into one of my very best friends.  This weekend I am going to go to a Pampered Chef party with my son’s 2 best friends’ moms.  That is 2 times in 1 week that I had some girl time!!  I am so proud of myself…this from the woman who spends all her time working or with the wild things.  I very rarely take time away from the wild things…my babysitter is laughing so hard right now I can hear her from across town.  So it isn’t from lack of an amazing babysitter and 2 wonderful back up sitters or a great husband who offers to watch the wild things that I don’t take time away from the wild things.  It is just me.  Something about me…my need to be that perfect mom.  That mom that is always there taking care of everything.

Instead of being the mom on the right.  I am going to strive to be the mom on the left!  A good mom.





Sick Mommy! January 12, 2012

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,The boys — jdkihlken @ 8:03 PM
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Mommies aren’t supposed to get sick.  But this week I managed to catch strep throat.  How did I do that?!

What fun.  I spent the past two days in bed.  I am still tired.  How is that possible.  Of course with dad on the road, mommy still had to tend to the wild things.  Again, what fun.

This week both wild things had a good bit of homework.  Which meant after sleeping all day trying to get better, I had to pick up the wild things from school, pick up dinner that didn’t require me to touch anything, and all of the regular night-time routines.

The wild things were very quick to explain to me that mommies don’t get sick.  It’s ok for daddys to get sick, but not mommies.  What fun.

 Even when you are sick you still have to kiss the bobos, feed the fish, feed the dog, stop the fights, call out the spelling words, think up a creative book report, help a 5 year write a paragraph, go over sight words, and on and on.  What fun!

But then at night when you finally get to wind down, and climb back in bed, the wild things decide to be your doctor.  They do have a great bedside manner.  Mommy your throat feels like you swallowed a big spoon of salad.  Mommy your tummy feels like it should go to the potty.  Mommy your eyes look sleepy.  Then a quick kiss on the forehead to check for a fever and a nice tuck in.  What fun!


The Wild Things…Wilder January 8, 2012

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,The boys — jdkihlken @ 7:33 PM
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Tonight, for the first time in ages, I had a friend over.  WOOHOO!!!

I made snacks, I picked up the house, I tried to have adult conversation between my mommy moments.  Oh but the Wild Things…Oh how they can make an impression!

How my dear friend didn’t leave with bruises is beyond me.

We had a very quiet snack time.  Wild Thing 1 was playing a game in his room.  Thanks to my neighbor, Wild Thing 2 had a play date next door.  Oh it was a blissful 30 minutes.

Then, we settled in and watched a movie…my mistake probably.  We watched The Replacement. 


We are watching the movie and the Wild Things start running through the living room.  First, it’s Nerf guns and Nerf swords.  Yelling from mommy to finish writing the required paragraph for school, stop running, play in your room.  Second, the Wild Things find a Football.Well, you can imagine where that went.  Football in the hall, football in the living room, football everywhere.

The Wild Things were bouncing off the walls.  Of course, there were the moments when the movie would pick up to their speed and they would be memorized by it.  But those are few moments.

I worry sometimes that because of the Wild Things, having friends over is difficult.  You know that feeling like people are looking at you thinking how fast can I get out of this nut house?

Luckily, my dear friend has nephews so she understands.  But still, the Wild Things do leave an impression.  This evening probably explained a lot…like why I look tired all the time (the never-ending movement), why I look disheveled (pick up at 45 pound 5-year-old and drag him around and see how straight you can keep your clothes), why I zone out sometimes (you know that spaced out look you get when you are trying to think of what you were saying because the wild things distracted you).

Thank goodness for friends.  Thank goodness for true friends who still like you after they spend 3 hours with the Wild Things!


Mom of boys January 6, 2012

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,The boys — jdkihlken @ 9:34 AM
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If you are the mom of boys…you have to check this site out!!!

It’s 25 rules for moms of sons. It is wonderful. I really need this today. Enjoy


Stages of Motherhood – Part 4 November 2, 2011

And then you transition from Preschool Mommy to Kindergarten Mommy.

The average person would think Preschool Mommy and Kindergarten Mommy are the same, but the rest of us know this isn’t so.

Kindergarten Mommy now has homework and class projects.  It’s the transition from singing the ABCs to knowing the ABCs.  It’s that foundation for reading.  With reading comes knowledge.  With knowledge they can take over the world!

It’s a very scary thought!

There are still tantrums, but Thing 1 is learning to tell you more about what he is feeling and what he needs and what he wants.  He can’t tell the difference between needs and wants, but his vocabulary is growing so much.

Of course, remember this is all about him.  No one is going to ask you what you are feeling, what you need, or what you want.  Remember that ended the day you peed on the stick and the + sign came up.

You are now trying to balance the homework and after school activities.  Oh yes…the activities…because kids that have a sport, music, or other passion don’t do the bad things in high school.  (Personal note here: That better be the case or I have wasted a lot of precious time waiting for practices, games, and swim meets to end!!!)

So the activities…what will Thing 1 do?  My Thing 1 played football at this age but then realized that was outside where it is cold or hot…heaven forbid.  So we found tae kwon do.  I must say depending on the sport it can help at home.  Tae Kwon Do has taught us both discipline.  I learned that even with a self diagnosed case of Adult ADHD (my doctor friends just leave that alone I am vicariously living my doc dreams through you) I can actual sit for an hour.  Thing 1 learned that Mommy can actual sit still for an hour.  Oh no, that isn’t it.  He learned discipline and ways to control his own ADHD.  Thing 2 learned that he would rather participate with Thing 1 than wait for him to get out of class.  I am sure there is another lesson in there somewhere.

Of course after an attempt at football by Thing 1, Thing 2 could not be out done.  Thing 2 took up soccer and tae kwon do.  Because hey if mom can balance one activity for the first kid, what is two activities at 5 years old for the second one??!!

So, you have the homework and the afternoon activities and your work.  Now that Thing 1 is in Kindergarten and learning to read and getting home later because of activities, Thing 1 starts to point out McDonald’s and Chic-Fil-A, etc on the way home.  Why can’t we stop there?  Comes the whine from the backseat.  How do you respond with Because Mommy’s hips can’t take another night of fried fast food!  We live 30 minutes out-of-town.  On the quick way home we pass approximately 15 drive thrus 4 nights a week.  By the time I get home I can’t remember if that is whine or WINE.

You finally get home, finish the school work, and then its time for flash cards, sight words, reading a bed time story and practice writing your name, oh no, Thing 1’s name.

By 8 something you finally pull up the covers to do the nightly tuck in.  Then the dance for 15 minutes of no more water, no more potty, no more getting out of bed.  At this point you are missing the crib and those other sleepless nights.

Sometime after 10 PM with the school uniforms washed and the remnants of the day washed off of you, you fall into an unmade bed.  Peace…

Then it starts over.

But the best part of the Kindergarten Mommy is when Thing 1 is learning to write and says How do I spell I love Mom?  And then you remember this Stage, too, is well worth Motherhood.  Because no matter how tired, how drained, how wiped out you are, seeing I LOVE YOU MOM in 5-year-old hand writing melts you.


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