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.

Riding the break!

 

That’s not a typo. I’m not talking about car brakes.¬†I’m talking about a break from parenthood. A break from responsibility. A break from that 24/7 unpaid job we all¬†agreed to do.¬†A break that every mom deserves. Yes, you do. Don’t argue with me, I said you do!

Hey, if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

No laundry. No carpool. No lunches to make.¬† Just me myself and I…and a few friends. Sleeping in. Movies. Room Service. Dinners out. A photo shoot. Champagne blow outs. lol Did I throw you with that? Hey if you are going to make the time to take a break…you need to make it count!

Here are a few tips when taking a break.

1.Take enough time.

mommy-timeout

SO many times, I try to plan a weekend getaway but I want to make sure that the kids are fed, and the laundry is done and the meals are pre-planned, and loveys are folded neatly on the beds…FORGET IT! By the time you get everything ready to go, you’ve given up half a day or more!¬†To make sure we had enough time on our trip to NYC, we took a red eye flight. Granted we did not sleep well but we also had the great idea of going straight to the spa when we arrived. Pampering began immediately and that red eye was a distant memory. ¬†If you only have a weekend or even a night, stay some what local or within a 2-3 hour radius and¬†GET AWAY¬†EARLY AND SPEND THE NIGHT! A glorious night of uninterrupted sleep is worth more than any pampering session!

2. Send in reinforcements.

Incoming-reinforcements-graphic

I always try to¬†have my inlaws come in to stay if I am going away for more than a few days without my husband. My mother in law loves to take care of her baby (my husband)¬†as well as the grandkids.¬†If you don’t have that option, use other family members or¬†friends to farm out your kids or run carpool for you. If you have the cash, hire a babysitter to help out your spouse. You want it to be an enjoyable experience for him too so he is open to another girls’ getaway. ūüėČ

3. Be flexible.

flexible

I’m gonna kick my heels up regardless!

We had all kinds of plans when we hit New York, but the weather and a bout of food poisoning had us scrapping lots of ideas and regrouping. Aside from our friend who was ill most of the day, it wasn’t bad hanging out in the room watching movies and talking. It’s good to have a plan but be ready to just go with the flow.

4. Pamper yourself!

nail art

We planned this trip far in advance so I made sure there was money in the budget to do some really fun things. But pampering can be something as inexpensive as a $20 foot massage or $30 blow dry with free champagne!

5. Do something different!

For this trip, we booked an awesome new company called Flytographer.¬† You get your very own photographer¬†in¬†the city you are visiting. You can have professional¬†photographs taken of you and your friends¬†having fun¬†in the city! They have photographers all over the world!They can be candid or more posed. It’s lots of fun and you have great¬†mementos of the trip!

http://www.flytographer.com

   PicMonkey Collage nyc

So let’s recap:

A break. You need it. Take it. Fun and flexible….like Olivia Newton John.

I don’t wear an Apron…but when I do, it’s Blue.

IMG_8189

Anyone that knows me, knows that dinner and I have been arch enemies since the kids stopped drinking formula. (you heard me.) You will never hear me say- I just threw this together. Even with the recipe, my food tends to come out boring.¬† I spend a lot of time worrying about what’s for dinner.

Ok, let me rephrase.

I spend the hour before dinner worrying about what’s for dinner. I hate cooking. I also hate feeding my kids processed food. You can see my dilemma here. I have tried to find healthy recipes online but my kids don’t seem to go for it. They turn out bland.

chicken on a plate

whiner, whiner, chicken dinner…

Dinner was kicking my ass and I was tired of it.

That’s when Blue Apron swooped in to save the day.

Blue Apron is my hero. They deliver healthy delicious recipes every week to me with all the ingredients. No more substituting oregano for parsley…no more winging it when I don’t have an onion.

(However, you can still accidently add 2 TBL of oil insead of 2 tsp. Not that I have or anything. I’m just saying.)

 Every Tuesday my ingredients for my three meals are delivered to me in nice neat little packages.

Blue-Apron-Gift2

All I have to do is chop it up, mix it, bake it, and serve it. Now that is actually very time consuming. I have minced garlic and smashed into a paste too many times to count over the past month, but it’s worth it.

IMG_8467

“paste making” the non professional way

I am used to¬†dialing for dinner¬†or microwaving.¬†A red onion was considered an exotic food in my household.¬†But now, I’m cooking with dried hops flowers, mint, lemongrass, kumquats!

IMG_8215

Prepackaged = post fabulous!

And the most miraculous thing is happening. My kids are eating it!

I AM NOW THE GREATEST MOM THAT EVER LIVED!

burnt cookies

If only Blue Apron did dessert.

 

I didn’t need a red cape to feel like a superhero…I just needed the Blue Apron.¬†( Of course,¬†the black boots are still a no brainer.)

http://www.blueparon.com

 

 

 

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.)

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

Protect the children from balls…and similar safety messages.

So a middle school in New York has banned all balls from the playground and say tag and cartwheels must be supervised by a coach.¬†It’s just too dangerous.¬†All I can say is it’s about damn time!!¬† Finally someone has identified the dangers of¬† ball play. I mean, did we learn nothing from Marsha Brady?

marsha

And that was in the comfort of her own backyard! Who knows what could happen if groups of children in large grassy areas are left alone with balls!  I pray that other schools follow suite.

As for cartwheels, of course¬†helmets are a good idea. Don’t be stupid.

how2doacartwheelart4681

All children under the age of 18 should be required to wear a helmet everywhere. There are too many things that could cause damage. Wrap those kids up in bubble wrap every time they leave the house. It is the safe thing to do! Be responsible parents!

KidWrappedInBubbleWrapframed

Seriously, we need to keep an eye on our children at all times, arm them with protective gear (literally not figuratively, of course)¬†in every situation. For God’s sake, do not let them do things for themselves.¬†At least until they are 18 and go away to college.¬†And by “go away” I mean, move to the basement and take classes at the local community college.¬†I’m sure they¬†can take classes in things like :

Street Smarts ~ Indigestion or Instinct? ¬†~¬†¬†How to handle yourself without your helmet~¬†¬†I’m ok, you’re ok (even if we¬†don’t get a trophy)¬†

Our parents were idiots. We had too much freedom. Too much independence. Too many real life experiences that led to making choices and trusting our instincts.   I mean, I rode my bike to school! I played in the neighborhood with friends and no parent supervision! Cartwheels WITHOUT HELMETS!!! I am lucky to be alive. And so are you. And you. And you. And you.

It’s time parents understood that it is our job to¬†overparent…I mean, protect our children from everything we possibly can.

helicopter_parentsframed

Self esteem, instincts, independence……they can get that later, when we’re dead.

I mean, what’s the alternative? Let children learn things through living? Teach them how to be aware and make good choices? Not on my watch, no sir!

You’re gonna catch me Ridin’ Dirty….

image

Literally. 

¬†My house is messy, but my car looks like a crazy person lives in it.¬†¬†Why does this surprise me? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you are transporting kids, dogs, neighbors, neighbors’ kids,¬†sports equipment etc,¬†then things are¬†gonna get dirrrr~tay.

imagelego pieces, books, bits of food…is that a pair of underwear?

The bigger question is why the hell does it bother me so much? I tried to change my dirty ways.

I made declarations!

 carwash

I put my foot down!

food

But nothing changed. That’s when I realized I’m going about this all wrong!

Cue positive spin:

Food keeps mouths and hands busy and off of others. Legos and other toys keep their brains engaged so I don’t have to hear, “How much longer, Mommy?”¬†¬†Time is limited and I already wash 3 kids and 2 dogs.¬† You can see where I’m going with this can’t you?

Ridin’ Dirty is the key to happiness!

Maybe you are thinking, give me a break. How hard¬†is it to get to the car wash? Or bring a hand vacuum out¬†to the car? It’s hard, damnit! You might be one of those people who also gets their nails done every week. Oh, I want to be like you! I wish I could be perfectly manicured, hair coiffed (do people still get coiffed?), car washed every¬†Saturday. ¬†But I’m not. I’m the other guy. The one that looks like this:

nicknoltewith text

So I am going to stop stressing about it. I will embrace my mess and call it enlightenment!

enlightenment

Life is messy! Time is short and I want to¬†have coffee with friends¬†instead of¬†coffee at the car wash!¬†¬†When I look down and see that lego figure lying on top¬†of a few crumbled goldfish, I’m going to have a new perspective…..I’m totally down with ridin’ dirty.¬†Now I just need to work on a spin for not doing¬†laundry! ūüėČ

legos

“They see me rollin’, They hatin’,
Patrolling~ they tryin to catch me ridin’ dirty,
Tryin to catch me ridin’ dirty,
Tryin to catch me ridin’ dirty!”

Can you embrace the mess?