Thursday, March 31, 2011

Momumentary - Dana Griffin aka D$

I'm really excited about something I'll be doing on my little blog! I'm going to start featuring moms that I love/respect/admire/want to know more about. I'll either send them a questionnaire to fill out or have them write a blog about their lives. Pretty much whatever I feel like doing! HA!

If you want to be featured, just let me know. More than likely you are on my list, but it would be nice to know that you want to do it instead of me bugging the hell out of ya!

Welcome to the "Momumentary" series!

My inaugural post goes to someone that I am constantly amazed by and inspired by. She is not only a momma to her own cute little kiddos, but she is a momma to so many more. I was honored to meet Dana Griffin in 2009 when Marc and I decided to use in-home daycare instead of a center for our first born. We liked her immediately! I still remember the day very well. Dana is not only amazing with kids, she can pretty much sew/create anything you can come up with and she cooks/bakes. I've never met anyone like her! I have yet to find something she can't do. Except maybe say a curse word. Poop is the strongest word I think I've heard her say. Ok, actually, I think shoot is the strongest word.

Dana is the owner/operator/creator/super woman of Griffindor Daycare as well as The Giggling E ( which specializes in products for moms and kids, but really, she can do ANYTHING for ANYONE! And to top it all off her family is super amazing as well. I used to arrive early to drop CJ off so I could stay and chat with Dana and watch the kids play. I'm talking like 30 minutes early! Dana helped me during my first year and a half of mommyhood and I am eternally grateful. And I gotta tell you, she says "kindergarten" in the cutest way ever. I only wish I could record her saying it so you could hear it too! She comes from Michigan, has a huge family (I'm talking HUGE), and owns a gene that makes her LOVE almost all kids. Not too many people have it, I don't think.

I am pleased to introduce to you, Mrs. Dana Griffin, Mom Extraordinaire!

1. Please give a quick bio about yourself (your name, husband’s name, kids’ names and your job, ages welcome but not necessary!).

My name is Dana Griffin, full time mom, childcare provider, and part time craftaholic or craft whore (which ever you prefer!). Happily married to Sidney, with two adorable monkeys Ellison 4 and Madison 2.5yrs.

2. What is your favorite part about being a momma?

There would be quite a few to pick from but my absolute favorite would be the sheer delight of being their momma. There's nothing better than leaving for a quick trip and the squeals upon your return. What other job are you so completely rewarded for just being you?

3. What is your least favorite?

My least favorite thing would be not having all the answers.

4. What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Being the crafting fabric addict that I am, purchasing pretty fabric even if there is no need.

5. Best advice ever given to you?

Ask yourself in 5-10 years from now, will this really matter?

6. What advice do you give to new moms?

It's OK to not have all the answers. Mistakes will happen, but not trying is where failure begins.

7. Favorite memories of your kids?

This is a tough one, there are so many to chose from! I'd have to say at the moment my favorite would be the moment my oldest met his baby sister for the first time. It was love at first sight!

8. Favorite memories of you and your husband?

A long weekend trip spent in Vegas!

9. What hopes/dreams do you have for your kids?

I hope that they keep the same passion and excitement about life as they grow older. And that no one ever destroys that for them. Most of all, I hope that they are happy!

10. If you had a day all to yourself, what would you do?

I'd take a long hot uninterrupted soak in a bubble bath. Then I'd spend the day shopping for fabric and a revamping my wardrobe!

11. How did you pick your kids’ names?

We made lists, lots and lots of lists. Then we narrowed it down to 4 or 5 and decided once they were born what fit the best. It was pretty easy, one of the names was just "them"!

12. What activities do you love to do with your family?

Our snuggle book reading parties would top our list. We all crawl into our bed and have a read-athon before bed time!

13. If you could go back and tell your pre-mom self something, what would it be?

Sometimes the floors won't be clean or the toilets, your plans will not always go as planned, you might live in lounge wear, your kids will get dirty, they're not going to follow the rules and listen all the time. There will be tears, laughter and frustration. There will be days you won't have a clue what you're doing. That's all OK and worth every single moment!

14. Which celebrity family do you want to be friends with?

I'd probably have to go with Gwen Stefani! Who wouldn't love her style? Plus her kids are adorable!

15. What do you admire about your husband's parenting skills?

I admire his patience and ability to swoop in with other tactics that work better than mine. And most of all I admire that he always has my back no matter what!

16. Which mom(s) has had a big influence on you?

My mom has probably had the largest influence on me. She did a great job raising us and in some way still does!

**Love love love that she calls herself a “craft whore” and left it at “long weekend in Vegas!”**

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Contest Winner!!!

Be on the lookout for your video or picture. Truthfully I have no idea when you'll get your prize, all depends on the kiddos!!

Gives you something to look forward to though, right?!?!?!

Peace and love,
Team Patrouch

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food, Water, and Compliments

For years now I've said that women need three things to survive: food, water, and compliments. I honestly believe this too. We are a breed that likes to be told we're pretty, smart, interesting, funny, quirky, etc. etc., whatever it is you want to be recognized for.

(PS and this is random, did anyone else watch Jennifer Hudson on American Idol? That "Where You At" song was awful. Blah. But stuck in my head.)

Anyhoo, I've decided one of the hardest parts about being a mom (and it could be true for dads, but I'm not a dad so can't say for sure) is that rarely do you hear feedback on your performance as a parent. It's not typical for someone to sit you down at the end of the day and say, "You know, you handled that problem really well today. I liked your problem solving skills and your quick response to the situation." You don't get rewards and recognitions, pats on the back, 'dat a boys, or anything of the sort. You just have revel in the way your kids behave in public, give yourself a high five when they say "please" and "thank you" and talk yourself up when something goes wrong. There aren't too many people there to bail you out if you need help, no team projects, no one to share the work load with. I mean, yes, you have a spouse or partner, and mine is amazing, but he's at work during the day earning the bacon, or making the dough, or whatever the phrase is.

I was actually discussing this with a co-worker before I left, I had been warned about this part of being a SAHM. He said, brilliantly I might add, that maybe now you don't get that feedback, but when your kids are in school and the teacher tells you what a wonderful student/child you have, that will be the recognition you are looking for. I know it's years away for me, but I'm looking forward to it!

And I will admit, my husband really is great at telling me I'm a good mom and that I stay calm in situations with the kids that he knows he wouldn't, and that I'm not a horrible mom when I don't stay calm. This helps. It helps a lot. I guess anyone feels good anytime they are told they're awesome. Right?! Maybe I am more needy than others, who knows? I do know that if I am in public and children are behaving well I always try to tell the parents so they know they've done something right! We gotta stick together people.

Anyhoo, I had a rough afternoon yesterday and my venting landed in the lap of my sister-in-law, and well, she responded with exactly what I needed. I knew she would understand because much like us she's crazy and had kids 13 months apart! So she gets it. Sue, thank you, very very much!

And the hubs, OF COURSE, was amazing and came home to take the monsters away from me for a little bit. He even stayed up with sweet Gabriel when he was screaming and crying late in to the night. (Secretly I think he likes when he's able to tame one of the beasts! Sort of like a lion tamer!) I'm not sure how he does it, work all day at a super busy job, and then come home to us. I actually told Carter yesterday, "You know, if you kids keep acting up dad will stop coming home. If we all are crying each night, he'll get tired of it!"

So from here on out I challenge you to tell a parent they are doing a good job. They may just need it! Plus, it never hurts to give a compliment. Shoot, maybe the next person you see that does something nice you should let them know you appreciate it. Pass on the love!

I feel the need to use a Peter Gabriel song lyric since my Gabriel was my biggest monster yesterday!

"Help the needy and show them the way. Human kindness is overflowing and I think it's going to rain today."

(And yes, it's not an original P.G. song, but I heart the way he sings it. Plus it's my blog, so I can do what I wanna!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign."

Every great blog starts with Ace of Base, right?!

Anyhoo, there have been inquiries over the years on how someone can get a sign from the kiddos (you know, the "Happy (Birthday, Anniversary)" signs). The signs started when Carter was wee little and I forgot to send a card to my SIL and BIL for their anniversary. I'm big in to sending cards so this bothered me. That's when the light bulb went off, I'll just make a sign and put it on Carter, take a pic, send that, and BAM! everyone is happy.

Then it really took off. I started doing them for every occasion and for every reason. Then the little man arrived and he started eating the signs. Another light bulb! I thought, "Hey, why not take a video, that might be easier." So that's how the videos started.

Well, today my friends is your lucky day. If you've ever hoped for a sign or video you may be in luck. (Yes, I know I know, I am thinking very highly of our work here at Team Patrouch and think people are lining up for a sign like they do the iPads. But really, people have asked!).

If you want a sign or video leave a comment on this here blog. The funniest comment, determined by Marc and me, will get a video. The second funniest will get a sign. I'm assuming video is higher on the wish list than the sign, but if isn't let me know and you can reverse that. Even if you have been a lucky recipient of a sign or video, you can still play along.

But remember, you have to make us laugh! (Don't worry, we're pretty easy to please!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

2nd Trip Around the Sun with the GrooGrux King

So Carter has successfully made it around the sun twice now. Which means the rest of us have also made it. Go us!

Her second birthday was interesting for me. It was emotional for entirely different reasons than the first. I felt raw and exposed for her first. Now I feel a bit more grounded, settled, and a little bit more sure of what I'm doing. So now birthdays mean "they'll be leaving me soon"!!! Sick I know. She's only 2 for goodness sakes, but I know it's coming. My first born, my guinea pig, and lab rat will one day leave me and that breaks my heart. Of course you want your kids to grow and thrive, but you don't ever want them too far.

And I'm saying this WAY early on, the gal could drive me crazy and I could be begging for her to leave. HA!

Anyhoo, I thought I would be a lot more teary about the whole thing, but I wasn't. There were a few misty eyed moments, but no big tears. Until...until the song. The song that gets me any time I am listening to it, no matter where I'm listening to it, "Baby Blue" from the Dave Matthews Bands' album "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King". This album came out shortly after she was born and I used to dance around the room with her to all the songs. I would sing in her ear during the slow ones, and skat around the room during the fast ones. This album will FOREVER take me right back to those early days. The days when you are praying you won't drop them, praying you won't damage them some way some how, and praying that you can and actually want to be a parent. During her first birthday these feelings came rushing back. Now, not so much. Now I know it's pretty hard to just drop them out of the blue, hard to damage them just yet, and I can and WANT to be doing this.

Our system works, we enjoy our days and nights, enjoy our outings, enjoy our time at home, and have a pretty good routine. Carter Jean is a gem, the best little kid ever. So she really makes all of this pretty easy. I'll tell ya though, she has some sass about her and can cut you a look that would scare the Devil. She talks back, yells, throws stuff sometimes, and already ALWAYS has an excuse ready for her bad behavior. But she's so sweet too. CJ does this thing where she holds my face with both of her hands, and she examines my face, really hard, and then says, "Ok? Ok?" and gently rubs my face. And she gets a very serious look on her face, as if she is looking in to my soul and is truly concerned. I have no clue where she learned this or why she does it, but the fact that at 24 months she has empathy is SHOCKING to me. It proves to me that no matter what she is a sensitive soul that I'll have to protect. She make act tough, but she isn't. Not all the time anyway.

The past two years have been nothing short of amazing. I mean the love that I have for my kids is outrageous. I had NO idea I could love so much. Carter makes me smile all day long. Even when she is being a crank I can't help but chuckle. She's the best, THE BEST. And I love her, in a gushy kind of way that makes my knees a bit weak.

Carter Jean Patrouch, putting smiles on people's faces since 2009.

"Tear drops of joy runs off my face."