The predictable New Year’s Eve post!

I hate being predictable.

But inevitably, the last day of the year makes people want to share things.  They want to tell the world what they will carry into this new and untainted 2016.  They want to give uplifting advice on how to start the new year right.

It also makes people want to party.

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Dreams of ringing in the new year while having the time of your life! But it usually falls short. As Jennifer Lawrence so eloquently put it, every New Year’s Eve I just end up “drunk and disappointed.”

I had party plans, but then my party people bailed.

I’m fine with it.

This year, I won’t be fooled by the New Year’s Eve promises.

Now my plan is to ring in the new year with my husband and kids! Game night, pizza, and a ceremonious bonfire made up of our broken dreams and disappointments.What happened in 2015, stays in 2015.

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Pizza and fire!  There’s no way this won’t be amazing!

This will become a new tradition! Ain’t no party like a family party!

This night will bond us together. A perfect example for my children that starting the new year as a harmonious family is always the better choice! We will ring in the new year with love and laughter and a renewed sense of life’s endless possibilities!

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Or I end up drunk and disappointed.

I’ll keep you posted. 😉

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Smells like Tween spirit

I am the parent of a tween girl. I had heard the term tween before, but I didn’t truly understand the term until now. I thought it was just referring to the age. Nope.

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It’s mental.

It’s emotional.

It’s crazy.

One minute she is asking for lip gloss and rolling her eyes, the next she wants to snuggle with me and watch cartoons. (Don’t tell her I told you that.)

She holes up in her room most of the day, “doing Instagram.” but when her brothers get all geared up to play Clash of the Clans, she’s the Queen fighting for her kingdom! (Don’t tell her I told you that!)  She wants a purse AND more stuffed animals!

4th of the July at the lake, it was all about the sun bathing and the hair, but in the blink of an eye, she was jumping off the boat doing flips and having water fights. I want to do flips off the dock! But I don’t want to get my hair wet. Do you know how long it takes me to dry this mane straight? And it’s dangerous! What if I crack my head open? People can get paralyzed you know. Stupid adult rationale.  I want to tell her to be young. Maturity isn’t all its cracked up to be.

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It sure is a confusing time….for me. Yes me. That’s my baby and she wants to be a grown up. But then she doesn’t.  I know the feeling, honey. I don’t think anyone ever wants to be a true grown up.  That’s why I sometimes wear a Turkey Suit!

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My hair stays dry, and although somewhat dangerous,

 no one’s head is getting cracked.

So just like with every stage in my kids’ lives, I am trying to figure out how to help her.  How to guide her through the tween spirit. It’s a balancing act. Encouraging childlike qualities but expecting adult like behavior.

Actually the more I think about it, we are all tweens. Right? I am still trying to hang on to that childlike carefree attitude. I like hugs. I like lipgloss. Life is hard as an adult. You can get too serious. You forget how to play. You walk on the sidewalk instead of tightrope walking the curb.

I know how I’m going to handle it. This tween spirit.

I’m going to embrace it.

Whatever side my daughter is on. Lip gloss – check!  Crying for no reason- I’m there, girl. More stuffed animals- ummm. I may try to guide her in a different direction.

It’s actually not a balancing act. It’s about having both feet completely in that one moment.   Yep. That’s what I will do.

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Forget the stress of planning a trip…..F-Stress and go for F-Scape!

Ever had this conversation before?

You: Let’s take a trip somewhere!

Husband: Sure.

You: Great! I want it to be fun and different and really showcase the city we choose.

Husband: Ok.

That’s it.

Were you expecting more? Me too. But that’s where it ends. It’s where it always ends. The idea of a trip sounds great, but the planning of the trip can be overwhelming!   That’s why when Luxury Travel Mom asked me to review the new F-Scapes packages from Fairmont and Cadillac, I was up for the challenge. They plan it all! All you have to do is pick the place….and pack your bag! And maybe pack your husband’s bag. I don’t know what your arrangement is. Anyway, go check out my review on  Luxury Travel Mom and stay awhile. She’s got lots of great travel ideas for families. xo

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They see me rollin’……

 

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Ain’t nobody got time for these crazy ass Birthday parties!

So I have 3 kids. And their birthdays are fairly close to each other and to Christmas. To say I’m tired of planning parties by January is an understatement. Sadly my 3rd kid is the January birthday. So not only does he have to deal with the 3rd kid syndrome, he also has to deal with the 3rd birthday syndrome. Sucks for him.

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Anyhoo, do you remember how birthday parties used to be? You’d invite kids from the neighborhood to your party at your house. The kids walked there, in a nice party dress, ate cake and ice cream, you opened your presents, and the party ended.  You were lucky to get pin the tail on the donkey or a clown. Oh have things have changed.

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The Venue: Forget having it at your house. First of all- it’s not big enough. Unless you are one of the reality show housewives. My kids’ school tries to enforce an all inclusive birthday party. Which I totally understand on some level. No one should have their feelings hurt. But at some point, we need to prepare these kids for real life. Not everyone is invited to everything. I’m not saying rub their noses in it or exclude one child and invite all the others, but a party for 10 is a whole hell of a lot cheaper than a party for 20-30.  Even if you only have 10, you need a venue. If you even think about having it at your house, you better make damn sure the entertainment makes it worth it. Hire a petting zoo or go carts or both!

The Food: You still serve cake but you also must have at least 4 other food options. Make sure they are free of preservatives, gluten, and taste great! These kids may have just eaten but they expect food. Cake is not enough. Even though they just had lunch. Even though the party only lasts 2 hours. We bring snacks to games that only last an hour. What do you expect?

Remember when cakes used to be baked by your mom at home? Just a cake with candles. No writing, no $10 plastic character on top. Just the cake. With icing. And candles. And because it was homemade it usually looked somewhat inappropriate. Or maybe that’s just me.

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The Presents:Opening gifts in front of guests is a huge no no now. It would be insensitive to open presents because no one else is getting presents. WTH? It’s my kid’s BIRTH day! That person should get presents! Every kid should experience the joy of opening presents in front of a group of people who aren’t getting any. And every kid should also experience the anxiety of having the gift you brought judged by all the other kids. 😉 Besides, it eats up at least 30 minutes if not more of the party. Then you don’t need a magician! Score!

The Goody Bags: Food and entertainment isn’t enough. They need to leave with a goody bag!   Because if the birthday boy is getting a gift, by God, every other kid should get one too! “Goody bag” is somewhat of a misnomer, isn’t it? By the time I start thinking about goody bags, I’m done. A quick trip to the 99 cent store or the $1 bins at Target and viola! Throw in some left over Halloween candy if you are feeling extra generous.  Let’s face it, everything in the goody bag gets thrown away as soon as the kid gets home…or lost. Why are we doing it????

I guess this has become kind of a “back in my day” post, but seriously! Back in my day, we didn’t need fancy theme parties! We were happy to have all our friends together for some cake and presents!  Let’s take back the birthday party! Stand up to the peer pressure of making it “the event of the season!”

Whose with me?

“Your breath smells like diarrhea!” and other helpful information.

“Your breath smells like diarrhea, Mom.”

I was taken aback because I had actually just brushed my teeth.

“Does it smell like diarrhea or like coffee?”

“Like diarrhea flavored coffee.”coffee-wink

I don’t think I’ve ever written the word diarrhea this many times.  I still don’t spell it correctly on the first try. Ok then.

“Thanks for telling me, buddy. I will try to correct the situation.”

(I also used it as a teachable moment because I’m a great parent!)

“You know, sometimes, if you only brush your teeth and not your tongue, your breath can still smell.

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*Blank stare.

Sometimes, my words of wisdom take awhile to sink in. I’m sure he will thank me for this later.

Kids.

They say the darndest things. Like:

“Mom, you aren’t 25 anymore.”

and

“Mom, are you sure you aren’t pregnant?

Because that dress says you are.”

But I have to say, this is also one reason why I was excited to have some. How many times have I tried to smell my own breath, or desperately wanted to check my nose or teeth for indiscretions, but was unable to get to a mirror? (One time is too many.)

I could ask my spouse, but then that last bit of mystery is gone. I’ve been married 20 years this summer, and I can proudly say he has never seen me sitting on the toilet. I hate even writing that word. We say potty. Anyway, that’s another post.

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I may or may not be sitting on the potty in this photo. 😉

Kids are another story! I can ask my kids (or more often, be told by them without even asking!) and there is no judgement. They tell it like it is and still think I’m pretty. 😉  Except when I wear that one “pregnant dress”…which is now in the trash!

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So if you have children, and they aren’t as forthcoming as mine….now you know they can come in handy in certain situations! Start utilizing them! (And always brush your tongue.)

What’s in a name?

~It’s 2015 and even though I don’t like to make resolutions, I do like to put some intention into the new year. Energy flows where attention goes, so the least I can do is point the year in the right direction, right?

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I LIKE TO NAME THE YEAR.  It helps me stay focused.  Plus I can shout it out randomly when I need to be inspired. It’s fun and empowering to declare things.

I declare this year, the year 2015……

THE YEAR OF ASKING!

You see, I don’t ask for things.  I wait around and hope that someone will think of it on their own. Sure, I’ll give hints. Try to “lay the groundwork.” But ask for it? Out right? No no no.

It’s not polite.

It’s selfish.

It’s downright unladylike!

or so I thought. I am more comfortable with being uncomfortable than with you being uncomfortable. (Did you get that?) So I push my needs to the back. That hasn’t worked out too well for me. How can I get what I need if noone knows what I need? Duh, Whitney. So now,  I’ve got a plan.

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Here’s my plan, people: 

~I will accept my needs as valuable.

~I will be clear and direct on what my ask is.

~I will not take a no personally.

~I will not let fear of rejection or judgement keep me from asking for what I want.

I’m not gonna lie. Those are exactly the things I am afraid of. And what if I get what I ask for and blow it? Well then……

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Wish me luck!

What’s the name of your 2015?

Christmas break…winter break….psychotic break.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s happening right now. The kids are home for the holidaze. 2 weeks of freedom. I’m not a big planner. I don’t plan my grocery store trips much less what to do with kids when they are out of school in the winter time. Actually I take that back.

I had ideas.

I thought about the indoor rock climbing place and going to the pop up ice skating rink. It crossed my mind to take the kids to visit a museum or two. Make some Christmas cookies and drink hot chocolate. But then I didn’t feel like it. You see, I want a break too. I’m so happy to not have to think about both breakfast and lunch before 7am every week day. And skipping the rush to get everyone dressed, fed, organized etc before school. And the homework. Argh that stupid homework. So yeah, I thought about entertaining the kids, but then I realized I just want to sit in sweat pants and watch movies in the middle of the day. And not kid movies. I want some adult entertainment. Well , not ADULT entertainment…just non animated things, maybe even a documentary or two. OK no that’s not true. I don’t like documentaries unless it’s those VH1 Behind the Music ones. Those were great. I wonder if they still make those. Maybe I’ll check it out later.

Anyway, my point is that I want a break. At my house. In my house. From my house routines.

So this time, I decided to go with that. ~No, I’m not taking you to the mall the day before Christmas so you can spend the money your grandad just sent you. (So they are saving it.) ~No, I’m not going to use this time to do a big clean out. (My husband is forcing the kids to do it.) ~No I’m not going to fight with you about your dinner. Have cereal if you want. (They did.) Because I’m on a break. A break from all those mommy things I do most of the time. Don’t bathe if you don’t want to. I’m not. Yes this is a glass of wine. It’s cold out and I’m watching Love Actually. What do you think I should be drinking? 10441202_10152947038079521_2470934416130239660_n

me and my sweat pants

It’s going fairly well.  I have managed to stay in pajamas or sweat pants for most of the break and have watched all the episodes of the Starz show The Missing. Definitely not a kid show. No one has starved or been injured more than usual. I’ve taken naps! I’ve never been a napper but this year I made it a goal. I reached it. Usually the day after Christmas I have the tree down and all the decorations are boxed up. But not this year. The tree is still up and I’m not sure when it’s coming down. That’s just a huge mess of pine needles I have to deal with after pushing it out the door. image

Who says we can’t enjoy this all through January?

I haven’t planned much for my kids except for playdates. But those have been instigated by others. Not me. So yeah, it’s going pretty well.

Except for the guilt.

Don’t worry, I don’t act on the guilt. I just sit with it. Just me and my guilt watching tv. Me and my guilt enjoying a glass of wine. Me and my guilt napping. It’s so stupid really. Why shouldn’t I take a break? Is anyone going to die because I still have my tree up? Are my children going to be scarred because they didn’t go ice skating? Is it really a problem that we have no milk or toilet paper? OK yes, that last one may be a problem, but my husband was kind enough to handle the grocery store for me. Score! So I have a few days left where I can choose to not do anything. My kids are old enough to figure out what they can eat for breakfast and lunch.  And my husband is kind enough not to make comments about my “relaxed” appearance. image

A multitude of choices for breakfast and lunch 😉

Maybe someday I will figure out how to do this guilt free, but I guess that comes with practice. 😉 I’ll keep practicing for the next few days. In my sweat pants. I hope all of you out there are practicing taking a break as well.  After all we have a lot we will have to do in 2015 so we need to rest up. Cheers! Golden 2015 Happy New Year Greeting Card With Sparking Spot Ligh