Jul 31 2012

The Making Of A Straightjacket

It's Not As Crazy As It Sounds

by: Sharon DeVellis

Last week we were away on our yearly vacation to Delawana Inn. Every night there's a family show and on one particular night, it was a magic show which included an escape from a straightjacket. Son No. 1 has been interested in magic and performing his own shows for years so it came as no surprise when he asked us where he could buy a straightjacket for himself. What did surprise us was when he did an internet search and found out straightjackets cost between $400 and $1,200 so he googled "how to make a straightjacket."

Then he made a list of the items he needed and asked his dad to take him out to buy the supplies.

Then he spent all day yesterday—about ten hours—sewing a straightjacket using a video tutorial he found.

This morning he came down wearing this.

When I told him I doubted I would be able to sew a straightjacket using only a video tutorial he told me "Mom, this was way better than just ordering one and if you're determined you can do anything."

My kids teach me more than I will every teach them, of that I'm sure.

p.s. I don't think I've ever outright asked for you to share a post but if you could share this one it would be great because he's pretty darn proud of his straightjacket.

Jul 30 2012

How Do You Pick Just One Role Model?

Who Would You Nominate?

by: Sharon DeVellis

I thought it would be easy choosing just one person for the Dove Celebrate Mom Contest, but I am in the lucky position, or in this case, difficult position, to be surrounded by women who are amazing mothers and role models.  

There is Lisa Thornbury who is, without a doubt, one of the best mothers I know, but where she really shines is her ability to tackle any situation head-on, even uncomfortable situations. If she is involved in a miscommunication or disagreement, she won’t idly stand by. She will call you or get in her car and show up at your door to resolve the issue.  

There is Heather Hamilton who lost her dear baby boy and is keeping his spirit alive by making Zack’s Dream Room a reality so that other children who are facing a hospital stay will look upon cheerful walls.

Then there are the real-life women I know, the ones who know nothing about social media, many who don’t even know I write a blog, let alone two. My best friend Paige has the patience of Job. My friend Kerri balances working full-time and taking care of her family with a smile on her face, always. My sister whose son has become an amazing athlete through hard work and perseverance—an example she has set her entire life. Caroline who entered into the realm of single motherhood with a grace and openness that is beyond my comprehension. My friend Rosanna who home-schools four children. My mother-in-law Lina who is an angel without wings, constantly giving and helping.

And of course, my own mother who is my ultimate role model. Who I am as a mother is because of her and my parenting decisions are often based with her memory on my heart.

So you can see how difficult this is. On the one hand, I am blessed to have so many positive, intelligent, loving, women in my life but on the other hand, to have to choose just one? 

In the end, one mom in particular kept popping into my head—Alison Kramer. I met Alison online through Twitter but it was in 2010 that I really got to know her when we shared a tour bus ride in New York City. Afterward she said to me, “Sometimes it takes going away with someone to know she should be your friend at home.”

Since then we have gotten together with our children, her two boys and daughter with my two boys. It’s there that I see Alison shine (even more so than usual—she’s ridiculously beautiful). 

Alison doesn’t let anyone influence how she parents, she makes her choices based on what is best for her family and she sticks with it. She is teaching her children to be strong and have convictions.

She travels frequently and, while she misses her children immensely, she enjoys her time away. She is teaching her children it is okay to be independent and have interests outside of your family. 

She listens when her children talk to her, really listens. She gets down to their level and looks them in the eye concentrating on their every word. She is teaching them that everyone is equally important and deserves to be heard. 

She laughs. A lot. At silly things, ridiculous things, normal everyday things and at things other people wouldn’t necessarily see the humour in. If you meet her, most often you will see her with a smile on her face or laughing. She is teaching her children to find joy in life.

If you are in her life, she is there to help you without a moment’s hesitation. She is teaching her children the importance of friendship and commitment.

And did I mention she does this all while running a successful business she started herself? I know. *rolls eyes* It’s ridiculous. But it’s also why I adore her to pieces.

It never fails to bring a smile to my face when I see Alison with her daughter because I know how lucky that little girl is to have her mom as a role model. All three of her children are lucky. And that she's in my life? That makes me lucky too.

But I think what really made me choose Alison is that every time I hang out with her and her kids I leave wanting to be a better mother.

And isn’t that what a role model is supposed to do?

Who would you nominate for the Dove Celebrate Mom contest?  Well what are you waiting for? 

Know an amazing mom who’s an inspiration to women and girls? Celebrate her!

Visit www.CelebrateMom.ca by September 4th to nominate her for the Dove Celebrate Mom Contest.

She could win $2,500 for herself and $2,500 to be donated to the charity of her choice. But more importantly, you’ll be introducing young girls to real role models who inspire them to reach their full potential! Nominate her now!

Check out more stories about inspiring role model moms.

 

Jul 18 2012

Change Is Coming

You think they don't notice but they do

by: Sharon DeVellis

I'm supposed to be working right now but I can't stop thinking of yesterday.

Paul, the boys and I met up with my sister-in-law and niece and went to Canada's Wonderland for the day. 

I made the purposeful decision to leave my phone at home. There was no email checking, sending quick texts or taking pictures to tweet out to show everyone what a wonderful day I was having. It was our family having fun for us. It was me being focused and paying attention to my kids. 

And they noticed.

I feel big changes afoot.

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Sharon is a Common Sense Parent which is somewhere in between being free-range and helicopter. She believes in being active as a family and eating well 85% of the time. The other 15% is for the days when she's PMSing and then all bets are off. So far her parenting style has worked wonders for her two boys who astound her on a daily basis but that's not to say she doesn't have time to totally screw it up. She can't teach you how to keep your house clean while balancing a job and motherhood but if you're a mom who's struggling to figure it out, you've found your tribe.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter: @SharonDV

You can also visit her at: Speed Skating Mom: On The Slow Track To Becoming Fast

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