Posted in parenting, Personal Growth, Relationship

Make sure you they know

Today marks 20 years since my dad’s passing. To say that I was blessed to have him as my father would be an understatement. He was a quiet patient man, but when he spoke he was brilliant. I would sit with him and talk about anything- he’d give me index cards and say can you find out what this is? (Technology was just emerging and it was not within our means to afford it just yet-so I’d look it up in school.)
I know I lost him way too soon- he was only 51 and I was 18.
He did however, instill in me the value of a formal education and the importance of continued personal growth. He never used his diabetes or loss of vision as an excuse to stop learning, instead he’d call me over to be his eyes.
Because of this- I’ve learned to be curious, to continue growing, to continue learning, to not make excuses, most importantly to value my health.
The reality is we never know how much time is granted to us.
Here’s what gives me peace:
I always sat with my dad before coming to Brownsville, we’d talk about the most random of things, and when it was time to go- I’d tell him I love him.
Make sure the people you love, know that you do. It will provide you with the peace in your heart long after they’re gone.

Posted in co-parenting, parenting, teaching, Uncategorized

Not your average teacher

As an educator, I am in a very unique situation during all of this. My own kids learn from 8-2 and I have scheduled Zoom meetings with my 125 students M-W-F. They don’t all show but they’re doing the work and they know that I’m available in real time on those days. As the campus webmaster, I take care of campus website stuff whenever admin requests it, however, I recently provided access to the TST to balance my workload. My Google voice phone goes on at 8AM and to Do Not Disturb at 4.

However, this type of learning is not a leap for me. I implemented digital notebooks in the beginning of the year and have used Edmodo as a means to communicate. My students know what to do.

The district has been paying for Office 365 so why not use it?! This is 21st Century learning.

What this means in my scenario is that my students faced and resolved the connection struggles in the beginning of the year while in class.

My kids have 3 parents who are educators and need to work during the day, so structure was always a given. They’re going to work. It is disrespectful to disregard the work the teachers are creating for them. Parents will disagree. But as a teacher, if they have work they’re going to do it. And here’s the thing-they look forward to it.

My administration has been nothing but supportive, but I work in such a way that what is being asked is a norm and not something extraordinary.

So I get that teachers are overwhelmed. But what we’re looking at is a crash course in what was designed as a technology plan for the State of Texas in 2006.

I pray that everyone is safe.

While I may not be the norm, I felt it important to at least share that some of us are ok. We’re not overwhelmed, overworked, or feeling unappreciated. We’re doing what we love for the students who need us to show up.

Happy Saturday!

Posted in Blended Family, co-parenting, Narcissist, co-parenting, parents, parenting, Uncategorized

Parents Night 2018

A year of after last year’s incident on the field- where the school chose to ignore and violate a court order by escorting Doug off the field… he was finally given the opportunity to walk the field. Granted it was with our other child. This bonus dad proudly wore his glitter Eagles cheer dad shirt and walked his daughter- a 3 year varsity athlete down the line. This was a great moment for our family, however a few cheerleaders behind us an all too familiar moment was unfolding.

What Hanna High School continues to fail to see is that kids can and are being loved and raised by biological and bonus parents. Not all families run a cookie cutter design. In this case, there was a biological dad, biological mom and bonus dad, but only two tickets had been issued per cheerleader.

In our situation, Madison has us- mom and bonus dad- and – dad and bonus mom. They declined to be a part of this event and so it wasn’t an issue for our family.

However, it was unfortunate to see a heartbroken bonus dad walk away because the school only allowed 2 escorts.

At a similar event last year, one of the Harlingen football players was proudly escorted by his 4 parents. What a blessing to have a school recognize that 4 adults can coparent and rightfully deserve a role in these moments.

Bonus parents are as important as biological ones. Doug is a bonus dad to our children. They want him present in their small and big moments. I’m sure the family behind us was/is the same.

Which is why I can’t understand why a school would purposefully create a document that promoted exclusion?

Maybe eventually they’ll understand that family dynamics are evolving and encourage parental involvement. Which is a far step from following the current model which allows parental alienation guised as in loco parentis.

Happy Thursday ya’ll!

Posted in Blended Family, co-parenting, parenting, Personal Growth, small business, teaching, Uncategorized

Are you growing?

I’m a teacher by trade. I love love love what I do. But we have our side hustle and podcasts which I’m also loving. So as the days are going by I’m listening to all the podcasts and watching the lives on Facebook or IG doing the life coaching or reading books. Every moment is used for growth and gratitude. As I believe it should be. Seeing our shirts on parents on the field or people drinking from our cups-that’s what encourages the late nights. Kids commenting on the podcasts- makes the effort worth it.

Reminder who’s watching. So do what you love so that they can ask how do I stay motivated instead of man I never want to be like that.

Happy Wednesday!

Posted in co-parenting, Narcissist, co-parenting, parents, parenting, Relationship, Uncategorized

About today…

Today was a big day for our relationship. We picked up the papers and signed Doug up for Communion and Confirmation classes! We’re beginning this process in hopes of accomplishing a bigger goal. We’re also doing this so that Doug and I can show our children what a healthy marriage looks like when God is its foundation. While we were there we picked up the documents for my process (Doug got his from the priest). So hopefully after the murky stuff we’ll rise and bloom like the lotus does.

In other news,

After a year, we finally had our Level III hearing where we discussed the violations of Doug’s parental rights (you’d have to go back a few posts to recall that incident last September).

While the outcome is uncertain, we trust in God. And our main goal has always been to ensure that a father’s rights are not violated by false narratives created by a toxic ex-spouse, like Doug’s have been. We were not surprised to find that a document had been submitted to keep me from the proceedings (I wasn’t). And again we saw the attempt of bringing children into adult matters. Evidence that a narcissist has no limits. We found this article incredibly informative and accurate:

https://family.findlaw.com/paternity/what-is-malicious-mother-syndrome.html

But our God is very big and we are faithful. We believe in blended families and coparenting as the most effective way to nurture children in these situations. And hope that we were able to at least educate and inform on the dangers of parental alienation. For no child should be taught to hate a parent.

As for the attempt- thank you for the stone… it’s just one more to build my castle.

More to come soon.

Happy Wednesday!

Posted in Blended Family, co-parenting, parenting, Relationship

#tolmanadventures

It’s been a while so it’s kind of a long post…but here’s what summer was like…

It’s been an absolutely blessed summer. I mean I had a lot of professional development. Our family had wonderful moments. We were able to coordinate with the kids dad so that his 30 days would be while I was at trainings so as to not lose time with them. The kids also hung out with him while I was at work. This is what coparenting should be about- the kids.

This particular post however is about our #tolmanadventures and learning to make magical moments happen.

So here are our #tolmanadventures

Doug and I drive everywhere because it allows us to continue building our relationship (and it helps us listen to books). And this summer we had one of the greatest trips to California. We stopped in Roswell because that was on my bucket list. Followed by a stop at White Sands National Monument where Doug surprised me with sledding on sand dunes. Stopping at Doug’s alma mater- UC San Diego. Taking a moment to admire the ocean views at Torrey Pines gliderport. Sitting with one of his college friend’s getting to hear stories of his college days.

This amazing man humored my touristy side by hiking up the Hollywood sign (well the 6 mile mark because well I was in no condition for the 13).

We attended our conference, where we got to learn how to continue building our business.

We got to enjoy a day at Disneyland and California Adventure. Where we played and rode rides and ate Mickey bars. We caught a break with tickets to the Astros vs. Angels game. He humored me again by sitting through Mamma Mia on opening night. Every day was an adventure with my bestfriend. And pie. There was this pie shop down the street that was such a lovely place to sit and do business strategies.

On our way back we stopped at Roberto’s Taco Shop before leaving California… fun facts about this place

1. Burritos were huge

2. They were delicious

If you’re in the area find one- you’ll have no regrets. We stayed in Deming so that we could wake up to a mini mountain view and continued on our way.

So why am I sharing all of this? None of this was planned. We knew where we were going and just went. We forget or lose sight of what’s important by trying to create planned experiences. The most unexpected ideas result in the most memorable moments. Savor the unexpected moments. Spend time with your significant other and continue to grow together.

Happy Saturday!!

FYI Books we listened to:

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark

Girl Logic

Kitchen Confidential

Astrophysics for People In a Hurry

Pandora’s Lab Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong

A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World

Posted in Blended Family, co-parenting, parenting

Father’s Day

I love and miss my dad terribly. But i was blessed to have him in my life for as long as I did, and I will carry his lessons and love with me always.

As a mother, I want my children to experience the same unconditional love.

This picture sums up what co-parenting should be like and what unconditional love is.

This is my son at bat with his biological dad pitching and his bonus dad (my husband) coaching him from first base. He doesn’t know anything other than the love of his family supporting him. The biggest blessing is that both these men love and are teaching the kids that their (the kids) happiness is the most important thing to us all.

Happy father’s day to all the dads and bonus dads, may your children also know and experience unconditional love.

The challenge ends

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Day 26- We took a picture 📸

Day 27- I thanked him for always being present for our kids and in our relationship.

Day 28- Reflected on this past month:

The challenge was an opportunity for us to ensure that we had moments for ourselves. More importantly, the challenge showed our kids what stable loving marriages should look like. The gestures were nothing extraordinary, but genuine gestures that we would normally do for each other. In fact, many of them were naturally being done, so integrating them into the calendar was easy.

Even my students say that Doug and I are relationship goals (Or in their words #relationshipgoals 😂). They see his small gestures (homemade cards and love notes) and then big ones like the delivery of roses, the PINK plates on the Jeep.

Anyhow, the challenge was fun and with our recent book purchase, Husband and Wife 100 Day Love Challenge, our marriage can continue growing with God’s blessing.

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Posted in Blended Family, parenting, Relationship, Uncategorized

The challenge continues…

We are on the last three days of the challenge so I’ll quickly recap this last week-

Day 19- We discussed our goals and dreams- personal and for our family.

Day 20- Making dinner together was fun and it was more like taking turns since the kids still had homework they needed help with. Nonetheless, all were fed.

Day 21- We did not get a chance for this last week, but we’ll definitely do it this weekend. Although, with us Tolmans, winning is everything so this will have to stay friendly.

Day 22- Done- no complaining from either of us.

Day 23- I had ordered him the greatest shirt, which was perfect for Charro Day weekend. (It’s the air accordion one on the Instagram feed). He bought me an essential piece to complete my cuptisserie.

Day 24- Patience runs deep with Doug, but not so much for me- Saturday as I trekked nine blocks in the blazing sun with 3 children to get to him. I made sure to smile and make the best of it. And it was worth it. The kids had the most amazing time riding in the Jeep during the parade.

Day 25- I am unsure if the walk down the Walmart aisles will count, but that’s the only chance for a walk as we bought home essentials.

This weekend was great though. The early release and day off from school allowed us to spend quality time with our kids. They went to the movies, participated in a fun run, came out in a parade, cleaned their rooms and visited the laundromat for the first time. (Our dryer parts are finally coming in so yay!) We went to church as a family and made sure to be thankful for our countless blessings… and they are many. And those are the moments that matter.

I can’t wait to tell you what the best part of this challenge has been for us…but that will be posted later this week 😉

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