Saturday, November 30, 2013

Status Update: I Heart Status Updates

Let me tell you about something I love.

Well, first let me say that I will neither shame nor approve of the following varieties of Facebook posts. In fact, I have been known to use many of these myself, on more than one occasion. I often use them simply to let the world know that I am, actually, a human being, and I do, surprisingly, have a life that everyone should know about.

*NOTE: Any and all hints 
of snarkasm are 
completely unintentional.

So why am I sharing my personal commentary on the wonderful world of Facebook updates? Only so we may all more fully realize the benefits of carefully considering our words before filling in that little box at the top of the page. The tiny portion of the web where our riveting thoughts can provoke enough likes, comments, and shares to keep us inexplicably addicted to Facebook. For in that tempting, tantalizing space with a surprisingly large capacity for typed characters we experience…

The status update.

Status updates common to the general public are as follows:

1. Watching (insert movie title)! Similar posts include – Partying at (insert place)! Dinner at (insert place)! Playing at (insert place)! Spending time with (insert people)!

That’s so great. Like, really great. I’m just here. At home. Alone with my Ramen noodles and local television channels.

2. Little (enter name of child) weighs (enter weight) and is (enter inches) long! Growing up so fast! Also – Look what (child) can do! Getting so big!

You had a kid? I had completely forgotten since yesterday’s status update.

3. Ugh. So sick. Or Ugh, the kids are sick.

Now that I know your health status, I feel much more connected to you.

4. Life is so awful right now I can’t believe this and that and the other. I am miserable.

What would you like me to say right now?

5. In contradiction to the last one – Life is so great! I can’t believe this and that and the other. I’m so happy!

You are so positive. I’m so glad you had the best life ever at the moment you updated your status.

6. Political rant.

Whether I agree or disagree, I didn’t have the energy to read past the “See more” button. Sorry.

7. Rant about something you haven’t spent a lot of time studying.

Wow. I did not know that. Just a second while I check your facts and type a carefully calculated response totally disproving your theory.

Duck face.

8. I worked out today, and this is what I did. Tomorrow, you may hear about the other amazing things my body can do.

You are truly an inspiration. I can’t wait to be inspired again tomorrow.

9. Look at my children. They are obviously very cute and I love them a lot.

Congratulations on your awesome genes!

10. Look at what I made. (Insert photo of food, craft, décor, etc.)

I’m so glad you have talents.

11. Look at the wonderful things I do with my children. (Insert photo of playing at the park, homeschooling, crafting, etc.)

You definitely deserve the “Mom-of-the-Year” award.

12. Happy Whatever (insert holiday)!

Everybody’s doing it. Why shouldn’t you? Maybe I will too. Nothing better to do on a holiday, right?

13. Got to see my best friend so-and-so today! (Often with photo)

Your other best friends totally just saw that.

14. I love this quote: (insert random quote shared by thousands).

Whether or not this quote actually means anything is debatable, but if that many other people like it, it must be good and I should definitely read it.

The Sexy Selfie

15. A shared post: (Insert random company) is giving away 100 (insert random expensive electronic device) they can’t sell! Like, share, and comment to be entered to win!

Let me get this straight…

16. Another shared post: So-and-so is a brave little soldier, fighting such-and-such a disease. Can we get 1 million likes for so-and-so (Often accompanied by a somewhat frightening picture of a hospitalized child)?

Okay, I love hospitalized children as much as the next guy, but what in the world is liking this and sending it rambling about the internet going to do? Link me to a donation site or something, people.

17. So-and-so is in the hospital. Prayers!

What?! What happened?! Oh, and who is so-and-so?

18. So-and-so is still in the hospital… Doctors are so stupid!

I know, right? Doctors never know anything, especially not doctor things.

19. Ate (random food) today! So good!

I’m so happy for your tummy right now.

20. Here we are on our honeymoon!

Thanks for taking time to let me know. How’s it going? What have you been doing? Tell me everything!

21. Kitty (Insert random photo of cat)!

And… hover mouse pointer, hover mouse pointer, uncheck “Show in news feed.” Sorry friend.

22. Commonly seen on “Garage sale” groups: Can’t afford to pay the doctor bills/give my child a good Christmas/buy groceries, selling this (insert random item).

Your welfare is totally my concern now. I may actually decide I need your random item.

Miley Cyrus, anyone?

Ah Facebook, you add such mystery and interest to life. Bless you and your status update box. You continue to be an addiction I just can’t seem to break.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Times That Try Mothers' Souls

If there were any Reese’s Pieces in the house right now… I would be self-medicating. Heavily. (Note also that I consoled myself with a handful of chocolate chips.) These are the times that try mothers’ souls.


Two words:


I love them. Goodness knows I do.

But HOLY FRIGGIN’ COW they know how to get to a lady after a long day.

Let me explain, before I get too carried away and you start imagining a horror film made about my insanity ten years from now.

After a long day, Hubunk scurried off to his job to make some big American baffos, while the children and I spent a luxurious evening eating cotton candy made from rainbow clouds, singing “B-I-N-G-O,” and giggling beneath our cozy living room blanket fort.


This is real life, people. And while we do have our moments of joy in our blanket forts, we also have big arguments about who gets to clean it up when all’s said and done.

So here’s the real story, from the moment Hubunk walked out the door and left me all alone with my children and my inner crazy person (who was already close to free of her metaphorical cage):

Napping child had an accident while sleeping in my bed. It soaked through all four layers of blankets and sheets, which I had just washed.

Due to said accident, formerly napping child woke up in a sour mood and screamed, “I’m not your mommy anymore!” when told she could have a bath, but not until dinner was done (obviously, she’s a bit confused on who is whose mother here).

All of the children screeched and argued and injured one another while I made a wondrous meal that none of them wanted to eat.

The children fought over who got to hold the bowl of dip while they ate the only parts of the meal they liked.

The children screamed for a bath while I attempted to live vicariously through Elena Gilbert as Stefan and Damon fawned over her on The Vampire Diaries.

Five minutes into Bath #1, the children leapt from the bath and yelled, “POOOOOOP!”

There was more screeching and arguing while the {naked} children awaited the draining and cleaning of the tub.

While I was trying to clean the tub and watch TVD at the same time, youngest child (the pooper), still in the nude, came running up to me with an unpleasant smell attached to him. More poo was found on the floor, but the rest of us are still unsure if all of it was found.

Bath #2 was run. Bath #2 was removed from the tub and dumped onto the bathroom floor by the pooper.

And to top it all off, in all the commotion I left my pumpkin seeds in the oven too long and fried them crispy. So much for a treat tonight.

Right now, I want to lie on the floor in fetal position and take deep breaths while cranking Katy Perry’s “ROAR.” And for a minute, I might.

But then, I’m going to get up, referee whatever argument is going on in the kids’ bedroom, wipe a bum, and put everyone to bed – which is, unfortunately, quite a process.

And then I will collapse in my own bed (after getting all of my now pee-free bedding from the dryer and re-making it), possibly without washing my face because-who-has-energy-for-one-more-thing-tonight-seriously, sleep for a time, be awakened by someone needing to pee or having already peed, sleep a little more, and hopefully wake up in the morning, ready to do it all over again.

Moms do that. And it’s hard. And it’s not all kicks and giggles like I thought when I was 13 and wanted a family akin to that in Cheaper by the Dozen.

I’m still learning. Every day is an adventure. But through good times and bad there are a few things I know for sure:

I choose to enjoy the here and now and accept every minute for what it is and what it’s worth.

I choose to hug and kiss my kids many, many times during the day, no matter how hard it’s been, because they are important.

I choose to embrace the decisions I’ve made and everything that goes along with them.

I choose to love this life.

It is all a choice.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Own Your Awkward

As the younger generations have trotted off to school over the past few weeks, I have been feeling a little school-ish myself. I graduated college two and a half years ago (am I really that old??? :S) and although I do a fair amount of “self-learning,” I honestly miss school. The glossy textbooks, freshly sharpened Number 2’s, and even the gag-arific stench of perfume-drenched adolescents.

So in honor of school children everywhere, I’m going to tap into my practically useless knowledge of scientific theory and pose a hypothesis:

Everyone is awkward.

In order to test my hypothesis, I’ll need some support from my [rather limited] readership (you). While I know my small sample size will never get this theory into the mainstream scientific community, I do hope to bring some awareness to the idea by asking you all to “Like” or “Share” on Facebook, “Pin” on Pinterest, or comment “Heck yes!” on this blog. If you really want to share your enthusiasm, I suggest clicking the “Like” button and holding it down for a really, really long time—that’s what I do.

My theory has developed over a lifetime of first-hand experiences. Consider, for a moment, these examples of my awkwardness:

*NOTE: The names of other persons involved in my awkwardness will be omitted for their protection.*

I started young. By the third grade, I was a little on the chubby side, insisted on wearing my long, stringy hair down all the time (how else would people admire its obvious beauty?), and wore horse t-shirts akin to those of Napoleon Dynamite to school. Tucked in. That same year, I obtained a large, round pair of glasses. I was awkward-looking even among awkward-looking third graders.

My favorite awkward shirt.

To make things even more awkward, I carried stuffed animals everywhere, was obsessed with horses, and was convinced life would be better if I avoided all things female. My friends and I crawled around on our hands and knees at recess, pretending to be horses, until we were in middle school. One of our classmates even christened us “The Horsey People.” And he still called us that in high school.

As the awkwardness of my peers turned into the orneriness of pre-teendom, I remained awkward.

My poor brother, smothered in my awkwardness.
Soak it up, people. Every last drop. And I still took my favorite stuffed animal to school with me half the time.

And then I got chubbier, and still wore glasses, and got braces, and “went out” with a couple of equally awkward boys. Two awkward teenagers holding hands on the bus does not make them any less awkward as individuals.
Me, trying not to look awkward with my friends while styling pigtails and too much eyeliner. 

And then I was in high school, and my life hadn’t gone the way I planned, and I wasn’t as cool as I had once imagined I would be. But I started to realize something. People still liked me. I had friends. And they seemed to enjoy a good portion of my awkwardness. So I started to own it. And everything changed.

Yay, awkward!

So what I guess I’m really getting at with this whole hypothesis thing is, yes, everyone is awkward – but it’s okay. And the sooner you can own it, the sooner your experiences, oddly enough, stop being so awkward. I still have my moments – I say things I shouldn’t, sometimes I laugh when I should be quiet, and I’m pretty sure I still embarrass the heck out of my parents. But I am owning it. I apologize when I feel it’s needed, and don’t apologize when I don’t.

I am content.

And guess what, I even got married -- to someone who was also awkward at times:

And we're awkward together. And I hope we're teaching our kids to be their own special kind of awkward. But is that even really a question?

Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Disgusting Parenting Parallels

After pushing a third human out of my body last February, I vowed I'd wait a considerable amount of time before I started up on #4. So, instead of developing my own miniature this year, I've enjoyed watching my friends and family develop their own. Many of you are having your first, and it's exciting! There's so much to look forward to. You've spent so much time preparing and reading and pinning on Pinterest in the name of your child that the 9-month wait seems far too long. 

And I hate to put a damper on things. 

But I wanted to spread the word on some horrifying, rarely told truths... I want to warn you, before your perfect parenting imaginings crush your soul at 2 o'clock in the AM on a Monday while your husband sleeps peacefully and you stand freezing in your underwear trying to comfort, feed, rock, and change the baby at the same time.

I've thought a lot about what parenting is really like since becoming one. You see, before, I was convinced there would be lots of board games, reading books, snuggling, kisses, and running through sprinklers with popsicle mustaches on every smiling face. Admittedly, we do these things. And we enjoy those five seconds. But I find myself spending a lot more time feeling a little... grossed out. So, in honor of all my wonderful friends and family members who have had, or will be having, new little ones this year -- prepare yourselves for the real deal by reading these disturbing, disgusting, despicable parallels to the job you have just signed up for.

5 Disgusting Parenting Parallels

Standing at the edge of manure pile and being told to go digging if you want the million dollars Bill Gates left in there for you. You don’t know if it’s true, but you’re desperate. You have to believe that there is a reward to all of the work you’re doing. You have to be sure it is in there somewhere. But when you’re knee deep in crap, your eyes are burning from the stench, and you haven’t found much more than a quarter, it can seem hopeless. Keep digging.

Watching someone eat their boogers. You don’t think they should and you’re positive it doesn’t taste good, but they’re going to do it anyway. Maybe you’ve tried it yourself and learned the hard way. You want to scream “NO! DON’T!” But if they don’t do it when you’re looking, they’re going to do it when you’re not. It’s painful, and you might gag a little. Keep watching.

Finding someone else’s hair in your burger after you’ve eaten half of it. You were enjoying every bite. You were savoring every flavor. The melty cheese and the crisp lettuce complimenting that perfectly grilled slab of meat. And then, there it is – a piece of someone else’s (likely unkempt) body. You stop, mortified, disappointed, upset. And you have a choice to make. This isn’t just some dollar burger at McDonald’s, though. This is the absolute, one and only, prime cut of a non-GMO, organically raised, free-ranging, super beef cow, rocked to sleep at night to the sounds of Andrea Bocelli and Joan Sutherland. We’re talking the primest of the prime. Thousand dollar price tag. Toss that hair aside and keep eating.

Giving a bum a sponge bath. No matter what you do, this poor fella doesn’t seem to be getting any cleaner. So you try scrubbing harder. In circles. Left to right. Right to left. Up and down. Down and up. More water. Less water. Stronger soap. Finally, a miniscule spot on his left ankle seems a little less grimy. Keep scrubbing.

Cleaning public toilets with your tongue. It’s gonna make you sick. It’s gonna make you crazy. It’s gonna make you furious when you just put the finishing touches on one toilet and someone comes along and defiles it. Just when you think the job is done, you have to start all over again. Keep cleaning.

Parenting. It will be everything and nothing like what you thought it would be. It is up and down, a rollercoaster ride you’ll stay on because you’re afraid of what will happen if you get off. You will discover the true definitions of insane, crazy, and clinically off-the-wall, but in the same dictionary you will find love, patience, and selflessness. You will scream and cry and wonder what in the H.E. double-hockey-sticks you’re doing. You will kiss and hug and laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed before. You will be amazed at the smallest, most insignificant things. You will suddenly realize why all your annoying Facebook friends post about their kids all day long. This little person is a piece of you. You did that! And you cannot imagine the crazy amount of love there will be in that.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stuff Moms Know

 In honor of moms everywhere on this Mother's Day, I thought I’d post this little reminder of why you really need to hug that special lady in your life today – or call, or get her some chocolates, or buy her a really nice car (if you’re into that sort of thing). 

When you’re little, innocent, and dirty all the time, your mom knows:

When you’ve been eating sugar straight from the container.
When you’ve peed your pants and tried to hide them where she wouldn’t find them.
When you need a nap.
How to get the grass stains out of every article of clothing you own.
How to make macaroni and cheese for lunch.
How to clean up all your messes.
How to make holidays awesome.
What to do when you’re sick or hurt.
How to make really awesome cushion forts.
When you’ve hit your brother, even though you won't fess up.
That you’re just learning, and it’s okay to make mistakes.

When you’re a sneaky, ornery teenager, your mom knows:

When you’ve lied about why you missed curfew.
Where you’ve been when you lied about why you missed curfew.
What you were doing when you lied about why you missed curfew.
When you’ve climbed through a window to get into the house after you missed curfew.
If you have a crush on someone.
When you need a nap.
How to bake the best birthday cake, even though you don’t say “thank you.”
You can do well in school if you’d just stop worrying about everyone else’s opinions of you and just consider hers.
How to keep from jumping off a cliff when you are “acting out.”
That you know better.
When your friends are not a good influence.
Why boys act like jerks in front of their friends.

When you’re a know-it-all adult, your mom knows:

What you’re going through.
How hard and unfair life can be.
When to give you advice, even though you’re too stubborn to ask.
What to do when your own kids are testing your limits.
How to cook dinner for your whole family so you don’t have to for a night.
When you need a nap.
When to stand back and let you learn through your own experiences.
Why you still don’t quite realize how much more she still knows than you.

Personally, I haven’t made it past the “know-it-all adult” phase yet, but when I do, I’m sure I’ll have learned more about how much my mom knows. And the longer I’m a mom myself, the more I understand her, and love her, and appreciate what she did, does, and will continue to do for me. I definitely know why she does it now – and I guess I knew all along, but didn’t understand the depth of it. She loves me, even when I don’t deserve it. She watches me make my mistakes, and go through the same things she did, and learn everything the hard way… and she still loves me.

Photo courtesy Hymas Image 2005

And I finally know how she always knows where everything is – and she can give scary-specific directions, like: “In the far cupboard, in the middle, on the right-hand side, behind the box of baking soda.”

Thanks, Mom.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

20 Ways to Start a Fight with Your Man

I’ve said it before: the hubunk and I are just plain different. And in the time since acknowledging that fact, I’ve noticed something:

There are a lot of ways to start a fight with a man.

And so I put together this comprehensive list for those of you who may not have learned these things yet. Please, ladies, use these words to your advantage.

20 Ways to Start a Fight with Your Man

  1. Expect him to know and follow all of your “house rules,” whether you’ve told him the rules or not. Like not hacking mucus into the sink without washing it down. Like hanging the towel back on the rack the way I had it so it will actually get dry. Like picking up your own dang clothes off the floor. THE RULES. I mean, who doesn’t just know The Rules? Men, apparently.
  2. Hang around and “supervise” whenever he gets a hankering for doing some chores. Make sure he does it the “right (your)” way.
  3. Nag/whine/complain about how you do all the housework, and then criticize the way he works when he finally does some.
  4. Unintentionally (or intentionally) insult his favorite people, whether they are family, friends, acquaintances, or celebrities.
  5. Assume he is ogling the skinny chick in the Daisy Dukes and hassle him until he admits it. Of course he is. You are. Everyone is looking at her. That’s her point. And give him the silent treatment for an hour. That’ll teach him.
  6. Assume he remembers what you told him a week ago.
  7. Neglect to lay out your children’s clothing and show him where you put it, but still expect him to meet you in public with all of them dressed appropriately with hair combed and faces washed.
  8. Make jokes about gifts he gives you, even if it’s a new gun that he really thought you needed.
  9. Be a martyr. This is my signature move Me: “Can you go turn off the bathroom light?” Him (joking, as usual): “No.” Me: “Fine, I’ll do it.”And proceed to do it in an irritated manner, even though­ you know he would have gotten around to it eventually.
  1. Act as though your own family is better than his in any way.
  2. Expect him to listen to the words coming out of your mouth while he is watching epic fail montages on YouTube, when he is absorbed in his hobbies, or when a Victoria’s Secret commercial comes on TV. Or that T-Mobile ad with the (formerly) cutesy gal in skin-tight black leather, riding a bullet bike.
  3. Explore a multitude of innovative organizing, parenting, dieting, crafting, homemaking ideas and expect him to be just as excited about “starting totally fresh” as you are.
  4. Be a little too much like your mother.
  5. Don’t be enough like his mother.
  6. Summarize, interpret, or otherwise bend his words and repeat them to another person while he is within earshot.
  7. Try to convince him to do what your father thinks you should do
  8. Complain to others about how many problems your vehicles may have. This is particularly painful for him if he already knows how to fix it but just hasn’t had time yet. Plus, how much do you really know about cars?
  9. Allow your children to play in his workspace while he is away and feign ignorance when his belongings disappear.
  10. Twist everything he says into a personal insult. Him: “You look nice today.” Me: “What, I don’t look nice all the other days?”
  11. Put semi-complicated furniture together and put little faith in his man-skills. This was one of my first mistakes as a newlywed. Me: “Did you read the instructions? Where are the instructions? Are you sure you don’t need the instructions? I just think you need to look at the instructions.” BIG ARGUMENT FOLLOWED. A week later, his dad came over and pointed out the fact that we put the table legs on backwards. Guess who told him to do that? Yeah. So much for instructions.

So what are your favorite ways to start a fight? Please share, that the rest of us may glean knowledge from your mistakes.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sometimes, You Just Don't Win

Today, we experienced a little tragedy. One of our new pets, a sweet baby chick, passed away, for whatever reason baby animals sometimes do. I, of course, was quite distressed. Believing that my children would also be distressed, I took the proper measures to ensure that Chicken Little received a viewing and memorial service.

(Cue emotionally moving piano ditty)

I wrapped the tiny bird in a tissue and laid her in a box, put her name on it, and prepared myself to explain to my children what had happened, and how we’d never ever see the chickie alive again, and death is a part of life, and of course little birdies go to heaven, and sometimes those we love die, and we miss them, and we hope to see them again some day, and we will all feel better in time.

They could have cared less.

Oh, initially they were concerned, and my daughter even said “I so sad, Mommy,” but it was nothing compared to the tears she shed a short while later when I wouldn’t give her a jelly bean.

But despite my dismay at their lack of emotion (and the unfortunate amount of emotion I dealt with), it got me thinking.

Sometimes, you just don’t win.

In the third grade, I was in a spelling bee. I’m not going to lie – I was G-O-O-D good. I could spell words like arrogance and vanity without so much as the bat of an eyelash. Over the course of the bee, I beat out every other girl, and most of the boys. It was down to the final three. I was up first. The word was: “rhyme.”

I had studied. I knew this one. But for the life of me, I could not remember if the word really had an “h” in it. I mean seriously. What kind of a word is that? A silent “h”?

“Rhyme… r…” I stared into the audience at my mom, half-hoping she’d give me a sign. Come on Ma – H, or no H?

“…y… m-e. Ryme.”

Sometimes, you just don’t win.

I’m not the only one who doesn’t win. We’ve all had our moments. Even our beloved celebrities have had theirs. Like when Britney Spears went loony and shaved herself bald. Like when Tiger Woods wrecked his SUV and simultaneously revealed that he was a lying, cheating scumbag and forever stained his title as “Only Professional Golfer 50% of Females Can Name.” Like when Taylor Swift dated Taylor Lautner and no one could make up a celebrity couples’ name for them.

Sometimes, you just don’t win.

Like when my younger brother was playing with my daughter, tossing her back and forth, over and over… and she threw up all over him. Or when I slaved over a homemade cake for my mom’s birthday, didn’t let the layers cool long enough, and the buttercream filling melted and spilled out all over my car on the way to her party. Or when I was clipping my baby’s fingernails in church and totally snipped the tip of his finger, causing him to bleed and scream murderously until my husband took him out and left me to sit in shame for the rest of meeting.

Sometimes, you just don’t win.

And really, isn’t it true, that we are all fighting, every day, in a battle we will never win? Just like our sweet baby chicken, we live as best we can, battling against age, against illness, against death – until the moment comes when we are expected to give it all up, to willingly secede from one life and move on to an unfamiliar place.

But, you remember, my children weren’t overly concerned with this loss. Maybe it’s because they haven’t had enough experience in real loss – in death – just yet. Maybe they’re ignorant. But maybe, in their innocence, they are simply more accepting, more resilient, and more prepared to give up what was never theirs to begin with.

Sometimes, you just don’t win. And that’s ok.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10 Things You Don't Want to Hear Your Small Children Say

I’ve been a mom for a little over four and a half years now. I’ve had my share of joys, sorrows, and poopy diapers (some days it feels like more than my share in the latter). I’ve been through illnesses, sleepless nights, and more shouts of “You’re making Mom psychotic! You’re making Mom psychotic!” than I’d like to admit. I’m not saying it makes me an expert. I’m just saying you should listen to every word I say in case I slip in some golden nugget of magical mom advice you will never survive without.

So almost five years into the job, there are days I feel like I’ve got it down. I am, after all, a casual parenting master. I’ve figured out the Zen of Motherhood – 10 dirty diapers balanced by 5 minutes of giggling and tickling, 5 hours of sleep balanced by 10 minutes of staring at the ceiling during naptime – Zen. It’s great. But then there are those days… Those days when my kid pees in the Walmart checkout line, those days when even having sister wives wouldn’t be enough, those days when words come out of my child’s mouth, and I have to deal with the consequences.

10 Things You Don’t Want to Hear Your Small Children Say

1. Mommy, I need to go potty. It’s always in a store with no public restroom, one where you can’t find the restroom, or one where you have to ask for a stupid key to open the restroom. By the time you can get to the potty, you’re risking hearing the next line:

2. Mommy, I peed. I bet you wish you’d packed that extra pair of pants now, don’t you?

3. Mom, (insert child’s name) is bleeding really a lot! But kids exaggerate, right? Doesn’t matter. Whether there is actually a lot of blood or not, someone is bound to be screaming, there will be no Band-Aids in the house, and you will threaten to take them to get stitches just to make them stop crying.

4. Mommy, it was an accident! It wasn’t.                    

5. Mommy, I don’t feel good. Once this has been said, it is almost always too late. You might as well jump out of the way, because it’s likely to be only a matter of seconds before your child pukes. And it’s likely to be projectile, and you’re likely to be somewhere with carpet.

6. Don’t be mad… Has anything good ever followed this line? NO.

7. Mommy, (insert child’s name) broke your (insert valuable object).

8. HOLY S***! Oh yeah. Right in front of Grandma.

9. Mommy! (Insert child’s name) is playing in the toilet! There’s definitely pee in it. Probably more. And you may or may not have to fish valuables out.

10. Daddy said I could! Since when is the sperm donor the boss? I grew your little body inside of mine and pushed it out when you were fully developed and not a moment sooner.

I am the boss.

If you hear these things from your kids a lot, keep your chin up. It could be worse. In fact, from what I’m told, I’ll be re-writing this list when my kids are teenagers, but the consequences will be way worse. So I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this while it lasts! And if you want my expert advice  humble opinion, you should too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Things I Like to Lie About

I’m feeling a bit exposed as I write this in the deafening roar of my kids’ morning playtime. It's a bit revealing. Some might say a little too revealing. 

But I’m all about honesty here – even honesty about my dishonesty.

 This wasn’t my first choice in subject matter, mind you. I’ve been thinking all week about what I would write. But for whatever reason, I kept noticing all of the little fibs I have been telling lately, whether to save face, save others, or because I just plain did not want to share.

I’m not saying I’m proud of myself. But I’m not saying I’m 100% ashamed either. So, for the record, I'm coming clean to all of you who have been subject to my lies. 

To the cashier at the grocery store:
My lies to you are more… indirect lies. You talk to me. I don’t really want to talk to you… but I do. And I act really thrilled about it. But I’m not. Your need for social interaction is affecting my ability to tackle my 4-year-old to the ground before he scales the toilet paper display.

To my church leaders:
I love you guys. But, as I’m sure you know, church callings can be – well, as the grandmothers in church say –  a learning experience. I tell you I’ve “enjoyed my calling the past five years,” and “I’ve learned a lot about myself,” but what I’m really saying is “HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME HERE SO LONG???” and “I AM REALLY TIRED OF GETTING TO KNOW MYSELF.”

To my dentist:
I’m not sure why I lie, because I know you can tell. But I just can’t bring myself to tell you that my flossing habits are less than acceptable. As in, twice a week. If I'm lucky. Gross, I know. And I wonder why I keep having to pay you.

To my child’s pediatrician:
I lie about the milestones my kids have reached. Call me ambitious, but no, he/she may NOT be saying 10 words. Or even 5. I round up.

To my parents:
I [still] lie about what I’m doing. 90% of the time, I’m NOT cleaning the house when you call. Or doing anything productive, really.

To my husband:
I’m sorry honey. Although I’m sometimes a little too honest with you, I continue to lie about how I really feel when I, the lone soldier, wake up in the middle of the night with the kids AGAIN… while you snore peacefully in the 3 a.m. darkness. Most nights, I want to beat you up. And if I wake you up to help (like you tell me to) but you’re pretty much uselessly incoherent, I often still want to kick you on accident when you climb back into bed.

To my children:
I’m not scared to teach you about sex. I’m not going to lie to you about death or why bad things happen to good people. It’s true that there are no such things as zombies, monsters under beds, and vampires -- particularly the vegetarian variety (*sigh*).

But do NOT ask me anything about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy.

I. Will. Always. Lie.

Probably until you’re 30.

Anyone else need serious forehead Botox at my age???

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Almost Became a Minimalist

I've mentioned before that I'm not much for trends, trendiness, and/or being trendy. I'm the type of gal who can never justify buying ten different colors of skinny jeans because I'm afraid the trend will be over in a year and I'll have nothing to wear again. I mean, really... retro can only be retro for so long, right?

 Anyway, there's a parenting/life trend going around these days, and I must admit I've been interested. It’s all about de-cluttering your life, simplifying your lifestyle, living greener and swapping all your children’s stuffed animals for lessons in needs vs. wants.

Maybe you’ve noticed some of these great people. They call themselves "minimalists." I’m pretty sure most of them live in big cities, because I certainly don’t know any personally. In my experience, we country folk tend to be a bit less… enthusiastic when it comes to free-thinking, world peace, make love not war kinds of ideas. Most of us are like… well, “Heck yes I will spank my child! And in public, just to avoid stares and judgment, I pinch their thighs instead!” I’m not sure that’s a minimalist method.

Anyway, these minimalists. 

Bless their hearts. 

They set out on a journey to simplify their lives in every way, and many of them blog about the whole process. I got started reading a few of these blogs. I enjoy reading tips from a minimalist blog called “Zen Habits.” 

But it’s written by a man. And a man don’t know nothin’ ’bout being a woman in this here crazy world. 

So I thought I’d check out some minimalist women too.

I must say, when I began to read, the idea really appealed. Wouldn't it be great to throw out all my worldly distractions and focus on what really matters?!!! 

Wonderous idea.

I am not a clutter-lover. I mean, I like a few things lying around. Toys, usually. I feel like my house is just more “homey” with a few things out. But I’ll tell you what I hate. Wall to wall junk that I can’t get the energy up to sort through (aka: our basement). So reading through all these wonderful minimalist proposals was motivational, to say the least.

But as I continued reading, I began to realize something. 

I just don’t think I can commit. 

These people have every reason to be admired. They are frugal, enjoy their families, and try to live without going AWOL and breaking the bank to pay a shrink like the rest of us. I’d still like to be like them. But there a few things about the minimalist lifestyle that I found to be 


Minimalist Living Dealbreakers: A List

  1. Some of these brave people actually combine households with other people. I’m talking move in with their in-laws. As much as I love my in-laws (don’t smirk, that’s a true statement), it ain’t gonna happen.
  2. Minimalists tend to become vegetarian or vegan in the long run. Girl, please. My husband spends hours in the woods killing wild animals with a bow and arrow. We will be eating meat.
  3. These guys give away everything. My husband worked hard and I shopped even harder and we paid for our crap. We paid money. I have approximately 23 plastic garbage bags full of clothing for children ages 0-6 in my basement at this very moment. We need that stuff. Preparedness and all. Not to mention the boxes of maternity clothes, baby blankets, winter coats, and camping equipment. All needs. You don’t give away what you need, right? Validate me here, please.
  4. Minimalists practice a lot of discipline. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not too bad at self-discipline, but when it comes to cookie dough, well… self-discipline what? And I’m really, um… chill, you might say, when it comes to my kids, too. If they want to ride bikes in Walmart, I really don’t put up much of a fight – unless they crash into something. Then the fun’s over and it’s time to run in the opposite direction. Seriously. Run.
  5. Minimalists hoard nothing. I’m not a messy hoarder. I don’t {think} I belong on TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive. But I am an organized hoarder. A file box with pages and pages torn from magazines on every topic imaginable (perfectly categorized, thank you). A (surprisingly heavy) box of National Geographic Magazine. Books of all kinds. Craft supplies. Fabric for sewing projects I want to do. Boards upon boards of "stuff" on Pinterest. Things that will surely be useful… someday.
  6. Minimalists don’t spend a lot of time in front of a screen. I live in the middle of nowhere. It is winter. It is cold. I have three young children. I have no car. I have no friends. We are going to watch TV. Possibly all day. The noise calms me.
And perhaps the biggest dealbreaker of all:

  1. Minimalists learn to disconnect emotionally from their crap… and I just cannot do it. I’ve always had a problem. I was one of those little girls who would pile all of her stuffed animals on her bed at night because I didn't want one of them to feel left out. In fact, I still have some of those same stuffed animals. They have feelings too. And that scribble (one of millions) on a scrap of paper that my daughter drew for me? Heaven forbid I should ever carelessly discard a sweet memory of my sweet child.
Ah, the simplicity.

Bless you, those of you who live as minimalists. I envy you. But I’m just not ready to give up my crap. 

Ah, the crap.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Ah, a fresh new year! It feels great, right? Have you all got your shiny new resolutions of losing weight, living in the moment, quitting smoking, and getting out of debt polished and sitting on your mantel so you can sheepishly hide them away in two weeks when you’ve given up?

I almost put mine out. Almost.

There are a million resolutions I could have chosen to start this here year of 2013. I am just as full of imperfections and problems as I’ve ever been. Usually, I make resolutions. Usually, I put mine up with bright lights, flags, and trumpets in the darkest corner of my basement for all (aka: me) to see. Usually, I am so busy thinking and writing resolutions down that I never actually get around to doing them (hence the reason I hide them in the basement in the first place). Usually, my resolutions list starts like this:

  1. Be a better person
  2. Be healthier
  3. Be a better wife
  4. Be a better mom
  5. Be a better homemaker
  6. Be a better daughter/sister/granddaughter/cousin/relative/whatever
  7. Do more in my church callings
  8. Learn new things (any number above 25 new things will do)

And then, after defining and specifying each category,
combing the net for inspiring blogs, Pinterest boards, and web articles,
breaking each category into multiple subcategories, 
defining and specifying each subcategory, 
listing [tentative] dates of completion, 
writing stepping stone goals for each,
and then lacing it all with good intentions, 

I end with this:

  1. Simplify my life

I know. And then I subcategorize that one too.

I’ve tried not making resolutions. It doesn’t work. I write so many self-improvement lists, so often, that I eventually find myself titling some random page “New Year’s Resolutions,” and then my resolve to not make resolutions crumbles and, yet again, I am staring at a list of things I wish I already was.

So, as I am quite tired of my ring-around-the-rosie, never-accomplish-much resolutions, I have decided to make something called an “Un”-resolution.

What is an “Un”-resolution, you ask?

Well, I figure that in the past, I’ve always made resolutions to change myself, to do something new, to break a bad habit. And it doesn’t work very well for me.

So, what if I did the opposite of that? What if, instead of doing something to make myself a shining, wonderful example of all things beautiful, selfless, and healthy, I did something that could make me seem… worse?

That’s right. I’m gonna stick it to The Man (who is he anyway???) and drop the façade I have so carefully constructed over the years to make people love me. I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do this year. I’m going to do things that will make people wonder what the heck kind of crazy I really am. I’m going to do things that will make other people (particularly my mom) embarrassed for me. I’m gonna do things like… like… like lick the spoon from the cake batter in someone else’s kitchen and then put it back in and do it again.

If making an un-resolution sounds like something you’d like to try, I’ve got a few more ideas for you, just to get you started. Pick one. Or make up your own. But don’t subcategorize, don’t research, don’t make a list, and don’t think about it. Just do it.

Some ideas for “Un”-resolutions in 2013:

  • Eat a cookie every day. Or a donut. Or chocolate. Or all three.
  • Scream at the top of my lungs once a week for no good reason.
  • Say “no” to whomever I please, whenever I really don’t want to do something.
  • Spend money on whatever I want once a month (the catch - there has to be money to spend).
  • Let my kids get whatever it is they beg for in the store once in a while.
  • Let people do things for me, even if I know I can do it myself.
  • Stay in my pajamas all day and don’t put on any makeup (gasp!) whenever I feel like it.
  • Don’t clean the house for a day or two once in a while.
  • Take the biggest slice of pie/pizza/cake/whatever once in a while – before all the men come into the kitchen.
  • Roll down my car windows every time a Taylor Swift song is on the radio and force everyone else on the street to listen as I sing along.

I hope you’re inspired. I can’t wait to get started.