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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

I Quit

November 10, 2014 3 comments

No, I am not announcing my intention to quit blogging.  After a 2+ year unannounced sabbatical, that would just be silly. And anti-climatic. And a short-post.

But there are several things I am thinking about quitting (or not quitting) and I promised a friend that I would stop blogging in my head, so this post is for her!

Things I Am Quitting

  • Wearing workout clothes – I rarely workout these days, pajamas make more sense, but I will change them in the morning… sometimes.
  • Dieting – Life is stressful, food helps.  If I diet I will be more cranky and crazy than I am now.  That’s not good for anyone.
  • Exercising – If I am in my pajamas and busy eating, how could I possibly workout?
  • Playdates – Because my definition of playdate is sending the kids out the door in hopes that they find a neighbor. Because I suck at scheduling them and then feel guilty.  The only exception is when someone asks for my help (which I am truly happy to do) or my kids plan one while I am standing there (very effective and requires less back and forth texting).  I may wear a short to school that says “I am happy to have your kids over.  Put them in my car instead of waiting for me to offer” (good thing I am stopping the diet and exercise, that’s a lot for one shirt).
  • Saying tomorrow is a new day – tomorrow will be a list of things I should have done today in addition to tomorrow’s to-dos.  Tomorrow will taunt me and make me miss today.  Tomorrow is a jerk.
  • Pretending I know how to juggle.  If I do one thing in my life well, the others suffer.  I don’t know how to balance it and be sane, which leads me to…
  • Sanity – it is over-rated and so damn hard to achieve.

Things I Am Not Quitting

  • Self-deprecating humor – If I say it before someone else it doesn’t hurt so bad. Especially useful at work, where I do a ‘Daily F*&% Ups Recap’.  With so much on my plate, things are starting to fray like a bad pair of 80’s denim cut-offs
  • Drinking – Wine and Vodka (no not mixed together… usually…) keeps the men with the nice white coat from putting me in the nice padded room.
  • Wishing I could write more – Because it’s healthier than wine and vodka.
  • Remembering that many people are chasing that elusive balance.  Balance is like an Elvis sighting, they happen from time to time, but aren’t believable.
  • My job – Because it fulfills me it pays the bills.  As soon as I find the money tree in my backyard, I will have a whole new blog.  For now, I just have a lot of holes in my backyard – watch your step.
  • Swearing – It’s cathartic.
  • Friends – I have a 60+hour per week job and 2 kids in school and sports.  I only have help four hours per week.  I don’t see any of my amazing friends as much as I’d like, but knowing they exist is much better than imaginary friends.
  • My husband and kids – the three most amazing blessings God could give me.  They make everything worth it (although often contribute to my insanity)
  • Recognizing the humor in life’s challenges.  I can’t commit to laughing, but I will observe said humor with a smug look on my face.

I Quit

What are you quitting or not quitting?

A Mother’s Day Drinking Song

May 11, 2012 6 comments
In honor of Mother’s Day-
(Sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
 
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you take phone calls in your closet, clap your hands drink some wine .
If you’re exhausted and you’re cranky and your kids beg please don’t spank me,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine. 
 
If you’re kitchen floors are sticky, clap your hands drink some wine.
If the kids you feed are picky, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you’re overwhelmed with laundry and all you hear is ”Mommy!”,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine.
 
If you’re kids are always fighting, clap your hands drink some wine.
If your wrinkles need less lighting, clap your hands drink some wine.
If your kids are being naughty and there are Legos in your potty,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine.
 
If homework is harder on you, clap your hands drink some wine.
If their library books are overdue, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you’re shelling out the dough for soccer, ballet and Tai Kwon Do,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your handsdrink some wine.
 
If you can’t keep up with messes, clap your hands drink some wine.
If CPS knows what your address is, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you bribe to keep them quiet and lie to avoid a riot,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine.
 
If you heart is filled with pride, clap your hands drink some wine.
If homemade gifts have made you cry, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you wouldn’t trade it all for a maid and the Taj Mahal,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine.
 
If kisses make your day, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you love to watch them play, clap your hands drink some wine.
If you know how lucky you are, to raise your little stars,
If you’re a mommy and you know it, clap your hands drink some wine.
 
Happy Mother’s Day and please don’t hate me for getting that song stuck in your head!

A Busy Mom’s Guide to School Drop-Off

October 27, 2011 18 comments

Necessary Tools:

  • Armored Car
  • Sling Shot
  • Bull-Horn
  • Ear Muffs
  • Defensive Offensive Driving Handbook
  • “I Brake for Crossing Guards” bumper sticker

When preparing for battle, one must have the necessary tools and a solid strategy.  Elementary school drop-off is no less than war.  The meek do not survive (or their kids are late).  Here’s what you need to know:

  • Know Your Allies – Some inexperienced soldiers think that the crossing guard is the enemy, since she can bring a group of over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, stressed out parents to a grinding halt with her long-range stop sign.  Wrong people!  She keeps our kids safe at frequent risk to herself!  Make friends with her, smile and wave every morning, give her extra space and give her an eye contact check before proceeding.  The next thing you know, she will let you slide by, before she allows the 5 minute parade of scooters, bikes and strollers. 
  • Know Your Enemies – They are any parent who thinks their kid is more important than yours or that where they are headed next trumps your next destination.  They park to close to the right hand turn into school, blocking traffic and requiring you to make crazy swerving maneuvers to get around them.  Another enemy is anyone who disregards the crossing guard – shoot them dirty looks.  If possible, use a bull horn to shame them publicly.  In dire circumstances (or with the repeat offenders) do not be afraid to sling shot your cold Starbucks at their car***.  Hey, your coffee wouldn’t be cold, if they followed the program.
  • Practice Offensive Driving – I use my large SUV (or armored car as I call it from 7:40 – 7:55 am) as a child safety device.  I purposely drive 25 mph (the speed limit in a school zone!!) to slow down the other speed demons who are a danger to the kids.  If they tail gate me, I slow down to 23 mph.  It’s “offensive” driving because I find their disregard for children’s safety offensive.
  • Set The Example – My elementary school actually has quite a well-thought out drop-off plan that works when people respect it.  Set the example, work with the program, not against us.  Drop your kid and keep moving, don’t stop to chat while taking space for another little pumpkin trying to get out of the car safely.  Take notice that the darling children who open your car door to let your kids out say ‘have a nice day’ every. single. time.  Thank them!  And tell those sweets kids to have a nice day too!
  • Have a Back-Up Plan – There are days… oh there are days… when the enemy pushes you too far.  What you normally refer to as ‘silly drivers’ in front of your children starts to sound more like an Ice-T album.  Just use the ear muffs!  Don’t let your child hear you lose it!  If you forget the ear muffs, crank your radio and try to swear under your breath.
  • Believe in Karma – I believe in karma and know that karma hangs out with the sheriff and CHP.  One of those three musketeers will catch up with the insane drivers.

In a  delightful twist of demon driving fate, I just opened the following email from our principal:

Please remember to be courteous to students, parents, and staff when picking up your children. It is inevitable that you will have to sit in traffic during drop off or pick up. We ask for your kindness and patience during these times.”

I love our principal, she is a charming lady who carries herself with class and tact.  Her message is perfect and reminds me why I am not the principal, because I would have sent the following:

“It is freaking alarming that some parents show such a blatant disregard for the safety of others.  To those parents that think their time is more valuable than others, think again.  If you have a legitimate time constraint, arrive at school earlier!  Remember, the person you cut off today may turn out to be the one hosting your child for a playdate tomorrow or teaching your child to read in class while you’re causing mayhem on the road!

***Because the world is a ridiculously litigious place, I must inform you that this post is for entertainment purposes only.  I do not encourage or condone any acts of violence or vandalism towards another motorist, even the stupid and selfish ones.  Follow the law!  Especially the one that tells you to drive 25 mph in a school zone and obey all traffic rules!

Volunteer or Controlling Mom?

October 18, 2011 4 comments

I volunteer in my son’s second grade classroom every other Monday morning.  I think it is important to be present in my son’s education.  I appreciate the opportunity to witness what he is learning, and how is learning, in order to be consistent at home.  Our teachers have the critical task of educating our future leaders and I want to support them in their efforts.

All of the above is true…

But let’s get real…

I want to observe my son’s classmates to determine who are appropriate play dates!  As I help the teachers, I envision each of the kids coming over… 

If I see this in class…

I envision this…

or this…

 

If I experience this,

I imagine, I will have a playdate that goes like this…

Parenting is tough, I want to keep my son from having friends like…

At least not until he’s old enough for me to enjoy the trouble with him!

What ways do you weed out the Eddie Haskells and Dennis the Menaces?

Twas The First Day of School

August 10, 2011 6 comments
T’was the first day of school and all through the home
The kids were ready; teeth brushed and hair combed
 
When the alarm clocks when off, I was prepared for the worst
I pictured cranky, slow-moving kids who might possibly burst
 
But they wore the clothes they laid out and ate breakfast with haste
The consumed what I served, no meals went to waste
 
I planned to arrive early, but secretly just hoped not to be late
So when I yelled put your shoes on, to my surprise, they were great!
 
They stood by the door, shoes on, ready to go.
It was me who was lagging, I had to look good, you know.
 
Dear son’s now a second-grader, so he played it cool
Little diva has one more year til she attends brother’s “big school”
 
We stepped on to campus with 25 minutes to spare
There was time for “how was your summer? and “did you cut your hair”?
 
We said hi to his former teachers and all our of our friends
On mornings like this you’re glad summer does end.
 
Dear son loves his new teachers and had a great day
He set up his desk, did some math and lots of play
 
With school in we have routine and need not invent so much fun,
But that also means now, I am again, on the run.
 
With school comes homework – both his and mine
Then there is soccer practice, dinner and early bedtime
 
So while I’d love to tell you more about the great day that we had
I must pull dinner out of the oven, and be on time to practice, being late is normal looks bad.
 

I’m a Bad Mommy

May 31, 2011 2 comments

Or, at a minimum, I am hanging out with 4 Bad Mommies today, as a guest blogger.  Although, I’ll tell you a secret: they’re not bad mommies.  They’re honest, funny and definitely worth a visit.

Come over and check out Why I Am Glad School is Almost Out!

Disney DEFCON

The National Enquirer reported that I was the first person ever to actually fall off the face of the Earth.  While it may have felt like that, it wasn’t entirely true (just like most articles in the National Enquirer).

It is true that I have not logged into my blog dashboard in several weeks – the last few blogs I posted we’re on an automatic timer, similar to all the lights in my mental and real house.

I have spent the last three weeks on business trips and vacation.  I am not even sure my bed at home feels like my “real” bed yet. 

But I am back – did you get a chill? It’s okay to lie to me ya know.

There are so many stories I want to share with you.  I wrote so many posts in my head, but never took notes on them, so they are as forgotten as my exercise routine.  Here’s one that really seems to want to be written, because it has been rattling around in my mind (that was the tin pinging sound you heard) for days:

DEFCON is the Defense Readiness Condition used by the Armed Forces.  After spending a week in Disneyland with my kids, I felt it was my civic duty to share the following:

Disney DEFCON

5 – Lowest state of readiness.  You haven’t told the kids you’re going to Disneyland.  Life is peaceful.

4 – Increased intelligence and strengthened security measures.  The kids know they are going to Disneyland.  Care must be taken to ensure that they do not injure themselves when bouncing off the walls.  You also now have the opportunity to throw the entirely empty threat of cancelling the trip if they do not behave on the long car ride.  Good luck with that…

3 – Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness. You need a strategy for crowds, lines, food and the endless toy displays.  Here’s mine:

  • Crowds – The best defense is a good offense.  I started the week trying to avoid small children and other strollers.  After losing every toenail I own, I treated navigating Disneyland, during Spring Break, like a full contact, extreme sport.  Show no mercy.
  • Lines – Don’t be the sweet mom that stops to let the kids climb on sculptures, take pictures and play on slides.  Stick to the mission – rides!  Get them in early, then go back and take pictures with characters, play on the fake cars, ride the carousel and watch the shows while everyone else is standing in hour-long lines in the beating sun.
  • Food – Decide up front – are you a militant mom or a mom looking for a little peace?  I just wanted a little peace so I bought popcorn, churros and ice cream.  I also bought some food for my kids.
  • Toys – I decided before I left that each kid would get one toy/souvenir, period.  I even brought their tiaras and light sabers from home so I wouldn’t get hit up for those.  Before you second guess me, I did stick to the one souvenir rule, sort of.  They each got one thing – but each thing was bigger than I had planned.  I admit I am a sucker for a $65 Cinderella costume and since they didn’t have one in my size, I bought it for my daughter.  With my son, I had a rare opportunity to trump my husband and spontaneously buy a Lego for my son while my husband was getting the car.  I am usually the mean mom and it felt amazing to play the role of Disney Dad! 

2 – Further increase in force readiness, but less than maximum readiness.  DEFCON 2 hit on day 2 days 1, 2 and 3 for us. Be prepared for a scene, but take solace in the fact that your child’s screams will be drowned out by Disney music (I swear they have speakers as close as trash cans), the sound of the rides and 5,000 other screaming children.

1 – War is imminent. Proceed directly to California Adventure where they serve alcohol.

We hit DEFCON 1 on our final day in the park.  We still had planned to spend a few more hours there.  We went to California Adventure, drank two beers and left the park.  A full nuclear response was narrowly avoided.

Tell me a funny story from one of your family vacations.  And by funny, I mean one where I don’t look like the only crazy mom!

Thank You to My Parenting Village

April 8, 2011 13 comments

When it comes to parenting, they (whoever ‘they’ are) say “it takes a village”.  I whole-heartedly believe this is true.  As a working-mom, I rely on my village to make it all happen.  Carpools, playdates, meal swaps – my village works together to make sure our kids are dropped off, picked up, fed, have presents for parties and uniforms for games.

But not just working parents need the village.  Stay-at-home moms and dads need the village too.  They need a break from their precious darlings or they need back-up when they have four kids playing two sports each with games in different parts of the state.  Bottom line, all parents need a village.

What’s amazing about my village is how efficient it is, how seamlessly our villagers work to ensure the best for every child.  The other day, my son was standing in front of the school waiting to be picked up.  In the mere minutes that he waited, two of my friends checked to see if he had a ride.  They talked to the mother picking him up to make sure he was taken care of.  My son was not crying, he did not look distressed, but my friends in my village know the routine and they saw him in front a minute past when he normally is out there.  They made sure he was accounted for.

Having a village full of aware, considerate friends is more valuable than a job, a pay check or any other material thing.  My village watches out for my kids, shares tips and advice and picks me up on the low days we all have as parents.  We celebrate as a village too.  Lost teeth, passing the big test, learning to ride a bike; we rejoice as a village, thus making every celebration more monumental for our children.  The village, and the people of my village are amazing, unique and keep me balanced.

Thank you to my wonderful village, you make my heart full and my worries less.

What do you want to thank your village for?

Family Dinner, Hold the Blood

March 18, 2011 4 comments

It has been a tough week in my house.  The time change zapped my energy,  I worked long hours, my husband was on a business trip and my daughter slammed me against the mommy wall.  And in case, I haven’t said it enough, I am coping without alcohol or sweets!  (This makes for a very dangerous combination!)

All week I have struggled with getting my diva to eat dinner.  (You’ll note that I usually interchange diva and princess, but I have not seen the princess this week, just the diva!)  She has been averaging 90 minutes to consume a meal and I used up my last bit of patience on Monday.

I was sharing my struggle with my friend Sonya and she recommended that I set a timer and tell my kids that they have until the timer goes off to finish dinner.  Once the timer goes off, dinner is over and if they haven’t finished, there are no snacks and no treats. 

Tonight, as we (meaning my husband) put dinner on the table, I set the timer for 20 minutes.  My husband also set dessert in front of them – something we never do.  We told the kids that we would throw the dessert away if they weren’t finished by the timer went off.

We were hopeful desperate that this would work.  I feared that another 90 minutes dinner would result in blood shed.  No, not my daughters!  What kind of mother do you think I am?  Don’t answer that.  Please.  The blood shed would be from me repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, chewing my fingers, pulling out my own hair and sticking a fork in my eye! 

Hallelujah!  It worked!

The kids ate their dinner and the timer went off as my princess (note the name change) was taking her last bite!  I will be trying it again tomorrow night without the dessert.  But tonight, I am still recovering from my collision with the wall and my leprechaun all-nighter so I sweetened the deal.

Thank you Sonya for saving my sanity and what’s left of my princess’ toy collection!

And for those of you who are curious about the outcome of my near leprechaun fail…

My kids made their traps, no thanks to me.  I was swamped all day with work, so the nanny, who is far craftier, helped.  When we left for t-ball practice as a family, our nanny RANSACKED our house and put little green footprints everywhere!  My kids were OFF THE WALL EXCITED!  They raced around the house for 20 minutes admiring the mess. 

Then my son cried hysterically bawled for an hour that he did not catch the leprechaun and we did not get it on video…

Can’t win ’em all!

Losing Sleep to a Leprechaun

March 17, 2011 7 comments

St. Patrick’s Day “eve” was crazy.  I worked all day and then went to book club last night.  As we are chatting about everything except the book, we start talking about Leprechaun traps and pranks…

Oh shit!  We didn’t build my son’s Leprechaun Trap!  He has been talking about it for weeks.  My husband is out-of-town, the kids are with a babysitter – I am hosed!

You know that feeling that you would rather chew glass than disappoint your kids?  The guilt of forgetting one of those special moments that only happens in childhood…

My son is 6, he could stop believing at anytime, especially if his mommy screws it up! 

As I sat in book club I asked friends for advice.  I even texted the babysitter to see if my son was still awake so I could give him a plan, an alternative, an excuse, something to keep him from being disappointed. 

Unfortunately, he was asleep.

But the luck of the Irish was with me.  And by luck, I mean my son has growing pains.  (Yes, it’s a loose definition of luck – go with it)  My son woke up with growing pains and my brilliant babysitter explained that leprechauns don’t always come first thing in the morning.  My son was delighted, he asked her to tell me that he would like to go to the store tomorrow to buy materials for a trap.

When I got home at 10:45, I did not go to bed, tired from a long week of having no husband, a stressful work day and a rebellious three-year old daughter.  Instead, I was up searching websites for ideas, concocting a story on why the leprechaun came late and formulating a plan for executing his trickery.  And hell yes, I am taking him to the store for supplies!

Because that’s what we do as moms (and dads):  We perform small miracles and amazing feats of sleep deprivation to make special moments happen.  We stay up late on Christmas Eve to ensure the details of Santa’s visit and then wake up too early to unwrap presents we finished wrapping a few hours before.   We risk certain heart attack and broken hands when trying to exchange lost teeth for money.  We scour the internet to find discontinued Lego toys.   We face our crafting demons to create potato leprechauns.  As parents, we push to ensure that our children can believe in Leprechauns, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, fairies and all of the wonderful parts of being young. 

Because in the blink of an eye, the magic stops; our kids grow up, the joy of fantasies fade.  I, for one, am fighting to preserve  my children’s magical fantasies, their joy and my joy as a witness. 

So last night, I gladly accepted losing sleep to a leprechaun, because the joy it brings to my kids is pure gold.