Just the tip!

Let’s play a game. ūüėČ Why are you looking at me like that? Have you heard of it? Well, let me tell you how it works.

I will give you a tip and then you give me a tip. It will be fun! But it’s not a game you can play alone. So are you in? Come on…it’s just a tip. I will only love you more.

I’ll start and give you a few I’ve heard lately.

tips

1. Keep flossers in your car. Then when you are driving kids around town, you can pass them out and make them floss! (It also comes in handy when you had spinach for lunch!)

flosser

2. Kid always rolling out of bed? Line up a pool noodle with the edge of the bed and under the fitted sheet!

pool noodle

3. Want apples for your kid’s lunch, but hate the browning? Cut the apple and then put it back together with a rubberband!

apple

4. Crazy coughing at night? Put Vick’s Vapor Rub on their feet, cover with socks….¬†a little more on the chest and they are off to Dreamland… uninterrupted!

feet

5. Easily peel your banana! Find the end of the banana opposite from the stem. Pinch and twist. Then you can peel your banana and uh take a bite!

banana-peeling3

Ok! It’s your turn! Leave a tip! Don’t be scared.

It’s just a tip.

Oh shit. Another Valentine’s Day post.

V Day EDIT

There are so many posts about Valentine’s Day today. Most are very black and white. HOW TO HAVE THE MOST AH~MAZING VALENTINE’S DAY WITH THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE…or

F@#k you, Valentine’s Day.

Some of them talk about how you need to love yourself on Valentine’s Day….not in a sexual way,¬†wait, actually I’m not sure.¬†Maybe it is.

As a mom of 3¬†in elementary school,¬†romance is not my first thought. Instead, I think- crap. I have to buy chocolates and more stuffed animals or support ipad habits with¬†gift cards or new games. ¬†I have to get cards for the class, and they need to be unique and funny.¬† Some of my friends actually make class Valentine’s cards with¬†witty little phrases on them…or homemade¬†treats if you can believe it!¬†I know.¬†Bitches.

marshmellow lollipop edit

This year I did order some cards online. They were¬†Valentine Madlibs. I was pretty proud of myself. But no candy.¬†There wasn’t a spot for it and it’s a big enough battle to get my kids’ to write their own damn names on the cards, much less tape some candy to it! This has gotten me many disapproving looks from friends. Ironically my kids didn’t say one thing about not having any candy for their friends. ¬†I saw kids walking into school this morning with flowers, ribbons, fancy teacher gifts. Shit. I forgot about the teachers.

I did not forget about my husband. I got him a card and a box of chocolates. forrest-gump1

But the morning was hectic and we didn’t have any kind of a “moment.” I would love an ah~mazing Valentine’s Day…with romance and sexy bed hair.¬†But¬†honestly…I’m tired.

What about you?

Pretty Little Liars

I was awoken¬†one recent¬†Saturday morning by a 7 year old boy in tiny underwear.¬† “Mom, ¬†I have an upset tummy. I saved it for you if you want to see.” ¬†Not on the weekend buddy. Never on a weekend.

You may be asking “What the hell? Gross.” Let me explain. My kids lie. They lie to get out of going to school. They lie to get out of trouble. They lie for fun. ¬†It’s a problem. So much so that I must have a “visual” if anyone is claiming to be sick.

Ferris Bueller's fake out

It’s been a problem since the kids were very young. When my daughter was 3, she bit herself and then blamed her 1 year old brother. ¬†When my son was 5, he carved his name in my husband’s leather chair and said¬†he didn’t.¬†Hey, I said they were good liars, not geniuses.

hayden chair

The lies can be creative, detailed and unneccesary: “I brought a pet Lizard back from Mexico. I hid him in my backpack on the plane. His name is Fred and he likes to roam the house free.”

Or conniving: “Mom, I just found some extra Christmas money! (It’s July) So I’m going to buy some apps. It’s my money, so it’s my choice.”

Is this a phase? Am I kidding myself thinking they will grow out of this? Does a phase last 3,4,6 years?   Will my kids become con artists?  A dirty rotten scoundrel?  Either boy could play a great Ruprecht.

dirty rotten scoundrel

Time will tell. I guess for now, I will¬† insist on “visuals” when sick, require 2 forms of proof when hearing any story and¬†ask very specific questions regarding showers: Did you wash your hair? Your armpits?¬†Did actual soap touch your skin?

Maybe they will channel all that creativity into something profitable…and honest. In the words of Justin Bieber…(yes I see the irony)¬†NEVER SAY NEVER.

never say never

Who else has pretty little liars?

Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Word to your mother

There are certain words I don’t like to hear people say¬†…..like pantyhose and moist. (even worse when they are in the same sentence) And then there are words that I don’t like¬†to hear¬†from my children. Like shut up,¬†butt, fart, and suck. I say two of those words myself (maybe 3), but an adult mouth is different than a kid mouth. Right?

My kids are good kids. They are polite and respectful (not to me of course…..¬†but others tell me it’s true.) So who cares if a few iffy words are said?¬†I do! ¬†IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!¬†I have tried to ban them, but like Mike, my “bad boy” boyfriend¬†from 8th grade¬†—- banning only¬†makes it¬†more appealing.

  joe dirt 4 edit   colin ferrell kiss

When I was growing up, we were not allowed to say butt or crap. I can’t really remember what happened to us if we said it but I remember that it was bad. Good kids had clean mouths. lol Or maybe I should say bad kids had clean mouths because they were constantly washed out with soap.¬† Ironic Disclaimer: My mom now takes great joy in saying words considered far worse than butt.

profanity

That’s it, isn’t it?¬† Taboo things are fun.¬† Maybe my kids get the same euphoria and power from butt and suck that I do with my own 4 letter friends. I don’t know.

Crap.  How will this tie into underage drinking and sex? Parenting through the teenage years is going to suck. Suck ass. (Shut up.)

Deck the halls with shit from Rite Aid…fa la la la la la la la la

Every year I tell myself that I am not going to go overboard with the kids’ Christmas presents. And every Christmas Eve I panic because¬†I think I didn’t¬†allow Santa to bring¬†enough. So¬†then I run to Rite Aid (because it’s close and still open) and buy a bunch of crap that was “As Seen On TV.”¬† Why? Because I want the kids to have that initial reaction of, “oh my goodness look at all the stuff!” All that¬†stuff is just for show. No one asked for it and no one plays with it after Christmas…mostly because the shit breaks after one use, but also because they could care less. This year I have started the same ritual.¬†Santa and I had a talk and¬†he is granting¬†my 3¬†their wish¬†for Electric Scooters.¬†¬†But that one scooter does not fill up their Christmas chair. (Each kid has a spot in the living room where they have their stocking and Santa gifts.)¬† I can already see the writing on the wall. A Chillow is in everyone’s future.

christmas chair edit

(This is not the real Christmas chair.)

¬†But no one wants the Chillow! It’s just me! Me—> feeling guilty for not having more stuff in the Christmas chair. Me—-> encouraging the belief that presents are the reason for the season not baby Jesus in a diaper, not the spirit of giving, not spending quality time with family while singing Christmas carols and roasting chestnuts.

Dog in a manger edit

Now as I type this I am already anticipating the comments. Not real comments because I don’t get many of those. ūüėČ But thoughts. Thoughts like:

“Wow, she is one selfish bitch. I can’t believe she is posting about what her privileged children will be getting from Rite Aid on Christmas.”

“I don’t know what she is complaining about,¬†a Rite Aid Christmas sounds great.”¬†¬†

“The only thing on my Christmas list is a¬†Chillow.”

I understand that but for now, I’m not talking about that. We participate in the toy drives and adopt needy families. I’m talking about on Christmas day when the kids come down the stairs in anticipation of their own Christmas magic.¬† At that moment, they are just little kids who have been (semi) good all year in the hopes that Santa would reward them for their kind and generous nature. I don’t want them to be disappointed. I want them to be elated and amazed at their own good fortune. Hopefully an electric scooter, the Christmas story, and some hot chocolate will do the trick. But I’ll probably get the¬†Chillow to be safe.

images

I Can’t Rage Against the Machine

As I sit here on day 5 of a 7 day school break, I start to ask myself certain questions. Like- Is it wrong to drink before noon if you’ve been cooped up with kids for 5 days? Am I a bad mom if I stop fighting the electronic obsession that all 3 of my kids have? How many days can the kids go without bathing before it is considered neglect? So many questions. But let’s get back to the electronics one. Seriously. Obsession does not even come close to the right word. Addiction.

drugs of choice

My kid starts jonesing as soon as his eyes open. I can find him under his sheets pretty much every morning mesmerized by the creative world he has built in Minecraft.

haydenbed

All three of my kids are Animal Jam junkies, but it’s National Geographic so it’s ok, right? Remember when the kids were babies and you would put them in front of Baby Einstein videos and think- this is good because it’s educational. Then you’d read all the backlash of how it causes ADD or some shit like that? I just wanted to take a shower and now I’ve given my kid ADD. Cue the mom guilt.

syd watching einstein edit

But seriously- was it that bad? Are there redeeming qualities to playing these games? My kids are interacting with each other (“Meet me at Mount Shiver…Hey check out my den.”) It’s more than parallel play. They are creating things. Minecraft is a game about survival. You have to make shelter, find food, kill zombies (of course.) They talk about it constantly. Strategizing and sharing.

kidselectronics

“The War Room”

I can remember being obsessed with Super Mario Bros on Nintendo. The old school shit, yo. I’d skip my last class (study hall~ that explains a few things) to run home and play Zelda too.

supermariobrosedit

In 4th-7th grade I’d spend my weekends at the skating rink and work for the high score on Frogger AND Donkey Kong AND Ms. Pacman. (Am I dating myself here? Damn.) PS- I lived in a small town in Mississippi- the skating rink and neighboring video/hamburger joint was the social scene. Don’t judge me.

hiscore-pacnpaledit

My kids get plenty of exercise. They have outside interests. They are social. I’m sure there is a ton¬†of research on all of this, but let’s be honest; I’m not going to go look for it. Ain’t nobody got time for research unless it is posted on Facebook. I did find this though.

littlegamer

“research”

I¬†try to limit my kids’ electronics. Lord knows it is my go to disciplinary action. And on long Thanksgiving breaks when little people are under foot 24/7…it is a nice way to get some peace and quiet. Until of course they are screaming at each other “You stole my food! You killed me on purpose. Nobody is coming to my den!” Then it’s time to shut it down and kick them outside- even if it’s raining.

Until then though, I’ll believe that all this addiction to technology and electronics can have some positive impact. I’ll¬†enjoy this time and text some people, update my Facebook, and send out some tweets. ūüėČ

mom guilt

I yelled at my kids right before dropping them at school. I forgot to send them with jackets.¬†I bought lunchables instead of making nutritious all organic lunches. I said “because I said so” instead of taking the time to explain my reasoning for saying no to yet another sleep over. I didn’t stay long enough at the skate park. I didn’t take them to the skate park. I said the skate park was closed.

lunchablesedit

Mom guilt.

It starts early.¬† You let your baby cry in her bed while you finally take a shower after a 10 day hiatus. You called him a fat ass when he wouldn’t stop crying in the middle of the night. (Only to your husband who didn’t even hear it because he slept through the crying, but you still feel awful.)¬† You fed her store bought baby food instead of mashing up organic avocados and bananas. Mom guilt!

It sucks.

tired-mom-ecards-766

Every mom I know suffers from some sort of mom guilt. We have been conditioned to think that every single thing we do or don’t do can impact our child’s very soul. ¬†I stressed because I didn’t carve pumpkins this year, and I definitely didn’t roast¬†any damn¬†pumpkin seeds. I don’t bake or cook really. I don’t enjoy the park. I hate reading with my kids.

Shit. My kids are screwed. (and while I’m confessing…I didn’t breastfeed. Oh shit. Double D screwed!!)

Except that I do other things. Maybe it’s not the traditional way of bonding, but¬†dance parties, and super awesome indoor tents are¬†something, right?¬† You have to¬†know¬†who you are and be that person. I don’t use the oven much but¬†I’m not stingy when it comes to hugs and kisses and praise.¬† I can create an impromptu musical with my kids about homework. “Every day this week, we try to geeeeet our work done. Geeeet our work done….” Chorus line…Anyone?Anyone?

I heard a great Ted talk the other day from Brene Brown and she said:

” Our job as parents is to make our children feel worthy of love and belonging.”

Did you read that? It did not say our job as parents is to sit on the floor playing hours of barbies/legos/petshop.¬† It did not say it is our job as parents to¬†take them to all three Chipmunk movies¬†the day they open.¬†Good parenting doesn’t mean baking from scratch! And Lunchables were never mentioned!

I actually googled¬†Brene Brown¬†after watching this. Apparently she is a big wig in the self help community. I’m surprised I didn’t know her sooner since that’s where you will find me in any bookstore. She has a great book: The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting.¬†I haven’t read it but I did read the synopsis. Hey, that counts. Plus, did you read the title? Hello!brene brown bookBasically she says we have to embrace our imperfections. It shows our kids that it’s ok. We need to be who we really are. For me that means, I’m not a baker, a butcher or a candlestick maker.¬†¬†It’s exhausting to keep up the charade anyway. I am pretty sure I’m not fooling anyone. It’s ok that I don’t bake cookies from scratch! It’s ok if I give a little processed meat.¬† It’s ok if¬†I don’t want to hear¬†my daughter¬†sing “Rolling in the Deep” for the one millionth time.

We all have our own ways of making our children feel worthy of love and belonging.¬†It doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. And it will never be perfect. Stop feeling guilty. In the words of Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb: You’ve got nothing to be guilty of….”

barbara and barryedit