Kay Wyma on Embracing Rather Than Enduring the Tough Moments

TodayIWillbeHappierLast week, I flew home from Virginia and a little over 24-hour trip. If I can make a day-trip, I do it. But sometimes I have to spend the night somewhere. And what a beautiful spot to spend the night – Virginia Beach, Virginia. I called Jon from my hotel room that looked over a stunning garden and sea of towering trees adorned in the beauty of Autumn leaves.

“We so need to vacation here.” I told him, hopeful that we might actually take a vacation this summer. “It’s so beautiful. I haven’t seen it, but there’s a beach. And so much to do. And Williamsburg is so close. We could hit D.C.”

“I’ve never been there.”

“Me neither. But we would love it. The kids would love it.”

The kids.

They’re the reason why I will do my best to day trip rather than overnight.

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Kay Wyma on Tales From the Parking Lot


Photo by Maxine Helfman for D Moms.

By Kay Wyma.

“So, what do you think about lunch next week?” my friend asks me over the phone. We had been catching up while I drove north to the West Plano Costco.

I love Costco. Sam’s is great, too. But we had weekend visitors headed. One of which happens to be my father-in-law who has a fetish for the Kirkland brand Cashew Crunch. I might have a fetish myself and an appreciation to be able to blame my father-in-law for stocking the house.

“Oh my word.”  I cut her off. “Someone just took the parking spot I have been waiting for. Seriously, I was waiting with my blinker the entire time that lady was loading her car and putting away the cart. I can’t believe someone would pull in front of me.”

“How rude!” my friend commiserated.

“I know. Can you believe?!” But, I shrugged it off. “Whatever. There’s a guy coming up to his car next to that spot. I’ll just wait for him.”

We kept talking while I waited. And waited. And waited. Slow-Man had no clue, or didn’t care, that someone was waiting to park.

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Parent Coach Galit Birk on a Month of Thanks and Giving

GalitThanksBy Galit Birk, PhD.

Honoring this month of thanks…

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the temps are dropping and fall is finally upon us! With the upcoming holiday around the corner we all start to prepare–be it getting ready for travel, getting the house ready for visitors or prepping for the big feast we all feel the presence of Thanksgiving upon us. How else might we experience the upcoming holiday? How else might we set it apart for ourselves and for our kids from other holidays, from other months? I invite you this November to create new traditions for yourself and/or your family in this month of thanks, as it is an opportunity to both teach and to experience the magic of giving thanks.

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Kay Wyma on What is Behind Refrigerator Doors

PantryBy Kay Wyma.

“I put some brownies in your refrigerator,” my very nice new friend kindly informed me.

We were standing in my entry-way. “You did?” I smiled.

“I can’t stay for lunch,” she continued, “but I wanted to bring something for dessert for those who can. Thanks so much for inviting us.”

I was touched by her gesture. We have a group that meets at my house on Tuesdays for a Bible study. This particular day, I thought the lesson was a bit long, so I emailed everyone to stay for lunch if they wanted. A sandwich lunch. Nothing extravagant.

But as she told me about her kind gesture, I couldn’t stop my mind from racing through our refrigerator shelves.

“Oh my word,” I thought, still smiling as if I didn’t have a care in the world. Did she see the lettuce from last week that is still wrapped in dish towels? I had put the extra-washed leaves back in the refrigerator to have for a salad the next day. But “next day” might have turned into a week.

Ew. I could only imagine what that must look like.

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The Dallas Contemporary is Throwing a Birthday Bash, and It’s For the Kids

dc birthday party
We’re suckers for a good family art event. First Saturdays at the Nasher? Yes, please. Late Night at the DMA? Count us in.  So, there’s an awfully good chance (i.e. 100% positive), we’ll be making a beeline for the Dallas Contemporary this Saturday between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The occasion? The museum is turning 35, and among the many activities they have planned to mark the occasion is a kid-friendly “birthday party” extravaganza.

The free event features children’s story readings, live music, a collage workshop, screen printing + tasty fare from Tutta’s Pizza and Life is Sweet food trucks.

Get full deets and the complete Alive for 35 schedule here.

Kay Wyma Helps Her Kids See Beyond a Closed Door


By Kay Wyma.

One thing I’ve noticed with my kids is how quickly they take “no” for an answer or even assume they can’t ask. I mean, someone could look at them with a quizzical response to a question and, more often than not, they’re running the other way saying something like, “It’s closed” or “Can’t do it,” or “I told you it would be no.”

I find it so interesting.

It must have something to do with aversion to failure. Or maybe it’s just regular kid don’t-want-out-of-the-comfort-zone. Could it the new normal of choosing flight over fight? Thinking that very few things are worth scraping and clawing to get to the other side.

The other day I drove to Plano with one of my kids riding shotgun by my side. We absolutely love the Great Harvest Bread Company. When one near our house closed a few years ago, I went into mourning.

When I heard there was a store off Spring Creek Parkway in Plano (and since whatever pounds I thought might disappear from the massive decrease of bread in our diet never happened) I was there in a heartbeat. I go every few weeks and stock pile. I love to surprise my neighbors and friends with a loaf of Cinnamon Burst or Pumpkin Chocolate Chip along the way. We all miss our store.

Needless to say, it’s a tiny bit of a trek for us since we live close to Downtown Dallas. But, it’s worth every mile added to my odometer. Plus, I get time in the car with my teen who lives for a road-trip.

Last week we started out a bit late and got caught in minor traffic. By the time we arrived, the store had closed.
“Ohhh…,” my ever-faithful companion moaned. “It’s closed.”

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Into The Weekend…


Friday, celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center with performances by Alegre Ballet Folklorico and Cuicani in Xochitl, and fill up on Day of the Day bread with hot chocolate. Be sure to check out the original altars on display in the gallery—each one is made by a local artist.

On Saturday, make plans for the whole family, either at the North Oak Cliff Music Festival or Carrollton’s free Festival at the Switchyard. The local music festival, organized by the Kessler Theater, was a huge success last year. Originally planned for the Winnetka Heights venue, the event grew so large that a move outdoors was the only option. It’ll be held in Lake Cliff Park, and in addition to a line up that includes The Relatives and Bob Schneider, you’ll find kids activities, food trucks, and more. Kids ten and under get in free.

If you drop by downtown Carrollton, you’ll find ’90s hitmakers Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray headlining a full day of fun, where Vallejo, Breckenridge, and Bon Jovi cover band Blaze of Glory will also perform. Entertainment for kids includes bungee trampolines, bounce houses, and ziplines, and there will be concessions and crafts available for purchase.

On Sunday, pop star Selena Gomez takes over the American Airlines Center. You can still get tickets that won’t totally break the bank.

Parent Coach Galit Birk on Anger Issues and Management

AngerBy Galit Birk, PhD.

Why is my child so ANGRY??!?! 

Stop being so mad! Don’t get so frustrated! We don’t hit when we’re angry! I am willing to bet that most of you have heard yourself say such things to your child at one time or another or maybe even all too often in their toddler and preschool years. As our kids start to grow up and to experience feelings they don’t quite know what to do with, we may start to see more anger and more tantrums than we’d like (did you think that was just a terrible two’s thing? Surprise!), and not quite know what to do with it ourselves. Some things to remember:

Your child is normal: The first thing to remember is that our children’s behavior, be it tantrums, hitting, or rebelling is usually developmentally appropriate. Phew! I absolutely do not condone hitting, not with my child or yours, but I do understand and accept that it comes from not yet knowing how to control strong emotions and/or not yet having the tools or the resources that come both from parents and with age. As parents we need to offer resources, modeling and patience as we teach our kids just how to be angry. Dealing with anger is a journey. This is one of those things that you won’t teach over a weekend or a summer. Anger can feel overwhelming, even to us as adults, and we too tantrum sometimes even though we know more appropriate techniques and are better able to regulate and control our emotions. So sigh, breathe and surrender! Your child is normal! It will be ok!

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Kay Wyma on Winning Ms. Carpool America


By Kay Wyma.

As has been established, I’m not going to cut it as Mom Grand Supreme, but I am in the running for Carpool Queen. Maybe not Carpool Queen… but Miss … okay, Ms. (it has been a long time since “Miss” has been uttered before my name. “Hey Lady”, yes … “Miss”, not so much), Ms Carpool America. That, I’m in the running for.

I’ve been in training for the coveted crown for the last several years. I had a shaky start. See Also: our first child’s 2-week well check at the pediatrician where when through post-partum tears I fought the car seat and lost. No matter how hard I tried, with my mother by my insecure side, I could not get that baby carrier out of its base. So into the office we went carrying the entire contraption.

Today, I think I could whip a kid in and out of a car seat in two seconds flat. And, Car Seat Extraction is one of the Ms. Carpool America Talent sections in which contestants are required to participate.

Ms. Carpool America is a combination pageant/talent show/rodeo/X Game genre. Granted no major media outlet has picked it up this extravaganza for world-wide view and celebration. But contestants around the globe hone their skills every day. And it’s impressive.

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Into The Weekend…

Such a great film. And book.

Such a great film. And book.

I’m about to pack up and head out to see my favorite kiddos—my baby cousins who live in San Antonio. Okay, so they are not so much babies anymore. But they are the best. If I had them here this weekend, this would be our itinerary.

Friday, don’t miss SMU alum William Joyce’s triumphant return to his alma mater. The Oscar-winning filmmaker and author will host a special screening of his animated short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, complete with milk and cookies. Joyce will also sign copies his latest books, “The Mischievians” and “The Sandman and the War on Dreams.” The event is free and family-friendly, so all ages are invited to attend and play pretend.

As you might know, the Dallas Opera opens the powerful, not so kid-friendly opera Carmen this weekend. But young ones are not left out. Saturday afternoon offers cultural enrichment with the classic children’s tale Jack and the Beanstalk, combining the production power of the Dallas Opera and the Dallas Children’s Theater. The simple storyline combined with the over-the-top theatrics of drama of the opera should delight any child.

Finally, make sure you visit Klyde Warren Park at least once this weekend to help celebrate the park’s first birthday. Nearly a million people have stomped through Klyde Warren Park in its inaugural year, and now that burger stand Savor has opened its doors, the whole thing is officially dunzo. Celebrate with activities that include al fresco yoga, an instrument petting zoo, the Dallas Opera simulcast of Carmen, and concerts galore.

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