The weekend.

We packed up our little house monkeys and traveled to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to participate in the annual Walk for Williams Syndrome Awareness in Shoreview, Minnesota. It was particularly chilly for May, even in Minnesota standards, but at least there wasn’t snow.

IMG_0030The boys got a little restless so we found a place for them to run and climb.

IMG_0035They ran up and down this hill and I swear that just gave them more energy.

IMG_0028Mackie isn’t so sure about this one. Slight face of concern.

IMG_0059Mom’s fatal attempt at a group photo with a nice hilly background. Mackie’s angry cheese, refusing to smile… For those of you photo enthusiasts. I hill is an awesome green background, assuming your kiddos will cooperate.

IMG_6941However, I will smile if you give me a cheeseburger. Cheese-burger… – Mac                      No, it’s not a Big Mac.

IMG_6490-2We made it to the walk in time. This is the logo symbol for the Williams Syndrome Association (WSA).

IMG_0080Carter was a happy guy. Each year on this day, he feels very special and celebrated, as he should. He’s an incredible little person.

IMG_0103Once the walk was over, the boys played at the park. They were happy about this adventure.

IMG_0117He was real proud he climbed the chain ladder.

IMG_0120Hey ladies, look what I can do.

IMG_0133We decided to play ‘Hide and Seek’ and Mac told me where to hide. Somehow, he was still THIS shocked to find me.

IMG_0151Happy to run and play.

IMG_0156They got so dirty running up the hill at the first park by the time we got to the walk we probably should have changed them, but we just rolled with it. Dirty pants, kids don’t care.

IMG_0208Face painting! Make me a puppy! He was so inpatient waiting for Mac to get his face painted that I never thought he would settle down for his to be done. But once he was in the seat, he was happy as a clam. He knows what he wants and he fights for it. That’s not such a bad thing. Maybe he’ll be President someday.

IMG_0214Marshall and Chase from Paw Patrol made an appearance.

IMG_7057Paw Patrol is on a patrol!

IMG_6979Tongue and everything. You’re welcome.IMG_7063Before they put the hat part on he looks like a little brown bear.

IMG_0387We made it to our hotel, which I would not stay at again, so it remains nameless, but the pool was fun (when it was open).

IMG_0265It opened at 9 a.m. the next day, what hotel does that?

IMG_0347The house monkeys (err hotel monkeys) were going wild by 6 a.m. Finally – they are let out of their hotel room cage.

IMG_0397Even this one was chomping at the bit to get out of the room. I think we’re growing out of the one room hotel rooms.

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IMG_0460Mackie is definitely braver than the rest. That’s probably why he’s already had a broken bone before the age of 3. He didn’t want dad to catch him. He says that he’s a big boy.

IMG_0524On Sunday, after some much needed food and energy release, we made our way to Elaina’s house. Together, with the rest of the WSA Regional Committee Members, we discussed upcoming events and activities for individuals living with WS and family members who live with someone who has WS. Someone had spent a great deal of time chalking their driveway. It was quite impressive.

IMG_9374We enjoyed some pizza and Carter found Elaina’s stash of bouncy balls. He never fails to find the bouncy balls. He has over 700 himself.

IMG_3494Elaina’s mom, Andrea, had this neat antique Schwinn bike in front of their home. It looks like it is missing some flowers, which she will no doubt have time for now that the 2018 WS Walk is behind her.

IMG_2290Now, full of pizza and all played out. The house monkey’s found some rest. After I took this photo, I too, may have drifted off for a few minutes. Luckily, Paul stayed awake for the drive home. Yes, that green thing in the photo is a portable potty chair. The boys are not above a van poo if necessary!

IMG_7350Did she really just say van poo? You bet I did. Mom’s deal with a whole lot of poo, literally and figuratively. Real poo, fake poo, stories about poo, questions about poo, shapes of poo, poo that should never be seen by the human eye ever and the most dreaded, poo that got on a finger somehow. I’ve seen it all, at least I think I have. (Insert a nervous face here)

It’s just one of those things. We try not to sweat it. Just like the candy necklaces we bought for the boys on the way home. I helped Mac put his on, no problem. Coopers’s necklace wouldn’t stretch over his sweet watermelon head. We bought him another one, Oh yes we did, don’t judge us until you’ve met Cooper’s strong will personality! Remember, President!

Since I’m a planner, I bought a backup. Two more broken candy necklaces later, I have come to the conclusion that Coopers head is too big for candy necklaces. Either that, or they don’t make them as big as they used to.

Regardless, there was no shortage of candy. They enjoyed some Curious George the whole way home, the house monkey they truly aspire to become. Another great weekend in the books.

If you’re interested in learning more about Williams Syndrome, please visit: http://www.williams-syndrome.org

If you have any questions for me, please contact Kerri Kava at 1MinnesotaMom@gmail.com or on social media at:

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It’s Snot So Bad.

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The beauty of motherhood often rests on our shoulders in the form of snot. This is true. If you ever doubt it, just check out a mom on her way into work. Seriously, that mess on her shoulder is full of great intentions and compromise. We make an effort, a solid effort,  to appear presentable and even fashionable, if you will. But snot is rarely, if ever, a desirable fashion statement, yet it flows from my littles noses like the nile. There are rarely enough tissue in the world to stop the snot train, but not to worry my snuggle hug goodbye will do.

Joking aside, the snot train is real. The hugs create the oxytocin I need. The daycare is expensive, but worth every penny. And last, but not least, I’m ever so grateful that spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. This winter was long. Longer than most. With three little boys a.k.a. ‘the house monkeys’ tearing my house apart from corner to corner on long winter weekends, I’m ready for worm digging, long walks to anywhere but preferably Dairy Queen and quiet time to myself.

Torn daily between loving my mom life and wanting time to myself, I know that someday I’ll miss this. My wiser and more mature mom friends remind me often. And while I believe them whole-heartedly, I still miss my me time. I selfishly need to find more of it. I usually find it at about 9 p.m. when I want to stay up and watch romcoms and create beautiful things. The artist in me is screaming all day, but I know it can come out at night. And I know my future is full of big kids and that I need to push these littles on the swings right now, wipe some tushies (as nasty as that sounds) cut their pizza and even find snot on my shirt when I get to work, because after all… isn’t that the proud mark of a hard-working, tired, proud and full of love momma? A life many women dream of experiencing. I’m blessed. Truly blessed. I get that. It’s not a blessing (or three) that I take lightly. Every stinky butt, and mommy scream is worth it.

The witching hours (dinner and bath) inspire me to have that alone time at 9 p.m. (the golden hour). Sometimes there’s wine. Sometimes it’s just water. But whatever the night brings, it’s always appreciated.

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This is me.

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If you haven’t seen The Greatest Showman yet, what are you waiting for? This movie is practically the perfect family movie. Perfect for my family anyway. From the inspirational motives to the moment-after-moment of great musical performances, it’s a must-see.

Each and every song is catchy and you’ll likely attempt to sing it in the car later because the songs will inescapably be in your head. Not to deter you from watching, as this is most definitely the lesser evil.

My favorite moment of the movie is when the ‘freaks’ as the ‘greatest showman’ refers to them are not invited to a party celebrating the success of Mr. Barnum. But instead of hiding behind the door, they reveal themselves as they are and they own their personal characteristics. Shouting, ‘This is me. I’m glorious.’

Considering the millions of people in the world that think of themselves as an outcast… a freak… an embarrassment… this song gives those unique and differently-abled individuals some feet to stand on. It’s a boost of confidence. A push in the right direction. The direction of hope. The direction of love for themselves. Of knowing they aren’t alone in this world.

Too much hair? Not the right color hair? Too tall? Too small? Sound funny?

Define funny… Define what’s ‘right’? Define too tall and too small.

We should all strive for acceptance, while accepting others for who they are. And if you know someone that doesn’t accept you, own it anyway. Own who you are. You are beautiful, brilliant and just like the song says – exactly who you were meant to be.

“Be you. Be strong. Be who you were meant to be!” – The Greatest Showman

If you have any questions for me, please contact Kerri Kava at 1MinnesotaMom@gmail.com or on social media at:

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