Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Test: Are you a Seasoned Mom or a New Mom?

No one can deny there is a certain “Groundhog Day’esque” quality to a mom's day.  On one hand, we have the peace that comes from having structure and knowing that no matter how badly we screw up today, it will be OK because we will be doing it all over again tomorrow.  On the other hand, there’s the mind-numbing realization that you will, in fact, be doing it all over again tomorrow.
As our children age and we become more experienced moms the monotony ebbs a bit. The kids are able to pitch-in with daily meal making and emptying out those bottomless laundry baskets. I also have a better understanding of what they can and should do, making my expectations more reasonable. I no longer think twice about the things that threatened to sever the thin thread of sanity I clung to as a young mother. Of course, these things are replaced by equally if not more annoying things. However, as a mom with a few years of experience under her low-waist-jeans-cinching belt I feel more capable of handling these challenges.  

For example, I don’t get quite so angry when my youngest son leaves the front door open because I now understand it is less likely he is completely deaf and didn’t hear me tell him 267 times to close the door, and more likely because he is 8. Conversely, I now get angrier when my oldest says something unkind to his brother because at almost 11, he understand the power of his words.  That, my friends, is the product of years of mothering experience.

There are lots of ways to distinguish a Seasoned Mom from a New Mom. In fact, psychologists and sociologists should conduct a study to determine the experience level of a mother based on her answers to a few questions. I am certainly not a trained professional, but I think the test might look something like this…
Are you an Seasoned Mom or a New Mom?
Phase 1: Rorschach Ink Blot Test
Please state the first that comes to mind when you see the following images:
2 children fighting over the same toy neither of them
had any interest in 10 minutes ago.

Child who has not showered in God knows how many days.

2 weeks worth of laundry sitting in the basket waiting to be folded.

Science project on the Migration Patterns of Monarch Butterflies 
which took 13 hours to complete and only 30 seconds to leave on the kitchen table
the day it was due.
Beautiful, happy butterfly

Strawberry Margarita!

Conclusion: Answer #5 indicative of New Mom. All other answers evidence of Seasoned Mom.

Phase 2: Rank the following phrases from 1-10 based on frequency
(1 being most frequent, 10 being least frequent)

1.       Can I watch something?

2.       I’m hungry.

3.    Can I have a snack?

4.       Can I watch something?

5.       I can’t find my (fill in any item on the planet)

6.       He touched me.

7.       Can I watch something?

8.       Can I play my iTouch/iPad/DS/xbox/computer?

9.       What’s for dinner?

10.   I love you and want to hug you all day.

Conclusion: Ranking indicates Seasoned Mom


Phase 3: How would you respond to the following phrase: “Mom, watch!”

1.       Wow, that’s amazing!

2.       I’m so proud of how hard you worked!

3.       Be careful!

4.       I don’t feel comfortable with you doing that.

5.       Don’t kill yourselves, I don’t have time to take you to the emergency room today.

6.     How is this different from the other 27 times you did that?

7.       I have to watch, it’s the law.

8.       If I have tell you NOT to do that one more time you’re going to be sorry!

9.       Do it again so I can post it on Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and then Tweet it!

10. *non-committal sound* Hmmm…

Conclusion: Answers 1-4: Indicative of New Mom; Answers 5-10: Indicative of Seasoned Mom
Note: #9 indicates both New and Seasoned Mom as well as the sub-category : “Mom under the impression everyone will think her child is as amazing as she thinks he/she is.”


Final Results:  
Based on the data collected through the highly technical "Are you a Seasoned Mom or a New Mom" test we conclude that Seasoned Moms have an excellent sense of humor and it is this sense of humor which allowed the New Mom to remain sane so she could one day become a Seasoned Mom.

How did you score?
I'm definitely a Seasoned Mom.
That’s just my normal.
All Ink Blot photos from


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Men vs Women... Logic is in the eye of the beholder

It’s hard to admit this, but I don’t take criticism or correction well.  I tend to get a wee bit defensive when someone brings my faults to light. 

If I were the mature and composed woman I aspire to be, when someone addresses my faults my first thoughts would be something along the lines of, “Hmmm… This is not easy to hear but I trust and value this person so it’s best for my personal development that I listen to what they are saying and spend some time reflecting on their words.”

We can safely assume I am not a mature and composed woman. Consequently, this is what actually goes through my mind when someone offers up some constructive criticism, “YOU want to criticize ME? Well, you are a terrible listener, your car is always a mess and your new haircut is not cute at all!"

It's safe to  say “accepting criticism” is a “growth area” for me. Luckily, I have lots of people in my life willing to help.  And just last week a complete stranger lent a hand!

I was lucky enough to have my most popular post included on the fabulous site Mamalode last week. (How do I know it’s popular? Well, some editor in Romania copied and pasted it on her online magazine a few months ago.  You know you’ve written something really good when someone steals it and gives you 24 hours of fame in the 9th largest country in the European Union.)

Back to my helpful stranger-friend… I think we’ll call him “Dick.” Dick didn’t really like something I had to say in my Mamalode post. In fact, he was quite put-off by my picky potty positioning…
"I need the seat up you need it down do i ask you to put it up when you are done no so learn to work the seat it's not that hard. Just so you know i always close the lid to flush because it's gross not to. but stop whining."
Poor punctuation aside (Seriously, Dick. Have you heard of a period or a question mark, some capitals perhaps?) Dick has some valid points.  I decided it would be wise for me to fight the urge to poo-poo his opinion and spend some time pondering his words. 
Was I whining? Should I be more considerate of the men in my house and their potty positioning needs? Have I carelessly gone about my day, forming opinions and making observations from a non-gender-neutral viewpoint?
Well, Dick, you'll be happy to know your grammatical error-laden words were not typed in vain! This week I paid particular attention to the things around me and made a concerted effort to see them with your constructive criticism in mind.  Here's what I discovered...

Mom brain = A lemon on my bathroom counter? WTF?
                    8 year old Boy brain = I have this lemon in my hand. I don't want it anymore. I'll just put it here.

Mom brain = Why is my exfoliating brush in Nate's room?
           8 year old Boy brain = Cool brush! I want to carry it everywhere. I'll just put it here. 

Mom brain = Befuddled 
 10 year old Boy brain = I don't see the problem?

This was such a hot mess I couldn't find a place to add text to the picture.
I think even my 10 year old would agree he missed the mark
when told to "put the laundry away."

I think Nate has watched the movie "Signs" a few too many times.
Mom brain = Confused
8 year old Boy brain = I might get REALLY thirsty.
Alien brain = Oh no, not water!
(See the movie & you'll get that^^^ joke.)

Mom brain = Why is my exfoliating brush on the stairs?
8 year old Boy brain = Cool brush. Let's take it downstairs. I'll just put it here.

Mom brain = He can't remember to put his shoes away or clear his plate...?
8 year old Boy brain = I love post-its!

So Dick, after a week of careful observations, I've come to the following conclusion:  While you might like to leave the seat up, it's my ass that's falling in the bowl at 2 a.m. So I'm going to continue whining until the seat is down, my exfoliating brush is left where it belongs, the milk lid is actually on the milk, I can find a water glass in the cupboard and there are no freaking lemons on my bathroom counter! You'll be happy to know I've given up on the toilet paper, though.  Enjoy your victory.

Logic is in the eye of the beholder.
That's just my normal.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This Is Almost 40

In 2 months and 24 days, I will be 40.  Like many of life's milestones, it's a good time to take pause and reflect. 

I can happily say, I think I have much to be proud of. I've accomplished most of the goals I set and many of the ones I didn't meet weren't necessarily "unmet," so much as they simply changed as I changed.  What was once a dream to teach at the high school level morphed into a love for middle school students instead. My burning desire to become a triathlete, cooled to more reasonable goals.  And my plan to marry a wonderful man, and forgo having children because we'd be busy traveling the world and having a fabulous life.... Well, I got half of that one right.

That being said, I wish I'd done a few things differently...

Although I grew up in sunny San Diego, the number of times I've actually gone in the ocean are few and far between- too worried about how I look to get out of my chair. I didn't boogie board with my kids often enough or regularly go for walks on the beach to collect seashells. I should have worn more skirts or even a pair of shorts now and again. I wish I'd enjoyed simply moving on a long walk rather than berating myself for not running fast enough or long enough. I never scheduled that second surf lesson or threw caution to the wind and bought the paddleboard I dreamed of using each morning after I dropped the kids at school. We didn't eat outdoors nearly enough. Nor did we use our fire pit to make s'mores as often as we could have and should have. I wish I'd jumped on the trampoline more- in spite of the pee. I should have encouraged more lemonade stands and ridden more water slides or worried less about getting them into bed on time. 

The list of should have's and could have's and wishes and worries is long. 

Yet I can still say with confidence that this  has been a life well-lived thus far. 5 years ago I don't know if I would have been able to have this perspective.  And that, my friends, is what Almost 40 looks like.  I can look  over this first half (God willing) of my life and see that so many of the choices I made were the product of 2 things: my age and my self-confidence.  Neither of which I had enough of. Until now.

Age is a powerful thing.  As we know, with age comes experience.  In my almost 40 years I have experienced a lot and learned some valuable lessons.  I've come to realize I'm capable of much more than I ever give myself credit for. I've finally accepted that although life can feel overwhelming a lot of the time, it's not always about "getting it right." Life is full of U-turns and do overs so if I don't get it right the first time, I have endless opportunities to. And most importantly, most things aren't as dire as I think they are- we will get through them and we will survive.

Our pastor once said he finds it funny that we talk so much about low self esteem when there are few things we give more time, more money or more thought to than ourselves.  What kind of crazy person would invest so much into something they don't at least like? Obviously we like ourselves plenty.

Being almost 40 has brought me to a place where I don't know if I'm more confident, so much as I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. I know who I am- for better or for worse. I'm a good friend and a loving wife. I second guess most of my parenting decisions which, although annoying, keeps me honest and makes me think before I act... most of the time. I care way too much about the way I look.  I scrutinize my thighs much more than my choice of words. I try hard not to be envious, but fail.  A lot. But when you put all those pieces together, you get me. And at almost 40 I can finally say, I'm OK with that. I rather like the skin I'm in.

As Almost 40 turns into Actually 40 I'm going to try hard to remember these things and live accordingly.  I will get out of my beach chair and walk the beach looking for sea shells and sand crabs because you can't suck it in for 8 hours, so just go for it. I will spend more time in the ocean and on water slides. I will throw my best tricks on the trampoline- pee and all. I'll eat outdoors in spite of the bugs and worry a little less about what time my kids go to bed. I'll try to envy a little less and love a little more- even my thighs. I will spend the next half of my life tied down by my own silly insecurities, skewed perceptions or my bikini strings!

Besides, rumor has it, 40 is the new 25 and if I'm this together at 25... just imagine how fabulous I'll be at 50.

This is what almost 40 looks like and I think I like it.
That's just my normal.

*By the way- You might have noticed the new ad on the top, right side of the page. Well you can click on it and pre-order the new anthology I'm in. You'll even save $1.00! So go ahead and do it! Click away and order it right now! (Almost 40 has improved my skills as a saleswoman.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I am the worst salesperson... ever.

It goes without saying that in order to promote your blog, you have to be able to, well, promote your blog.  You have to subtly place it conversations... "You have a naughty dog? I have a naughty dog too.  I once wrote the story ON MY BLOG about the time he locked himself in the pantry. Oh and you'd will laugh if you read MY BLOG POST about the time he set fire to our fence with the BBQ."

That was subtle, right?

You can also promote your blog on Social Media platforms such as Facebook.  A little status here, a link there.  "New post up on the blog! Check it out!"

And there's always the Direct Marketing approach.  One could "accidentally" drop her blog business card in the bathroom in Costco or nonchalantly hang one up on the Community Events bulletin board in Starbucks.  Win a free lunch by dropping your business card in the fishbowl at Chipotle? I just happen to have 25 cards with me now! How convenient!

The problem for me, however, is that I am not in sales.  More importantly, I am not in sales for a very specific reason. I am the worst salesperson ever in the history of salespeople.

Don't believe me? Check this out: Last December I had the honor of being one of 50 contributors in an anthology called The HerStories Project.  When I heard the news I called my mom and dad immediately and pretty much screamed my head off. 

Everyone else I know got this award winning sales pitch, "So, I'm in this book that's coming out. I'm only one person though and there's like 50 others so it's not like it's a big deal or anything.  You can buy it if you want.  You don't have to. But you can. If you want. But don't have to. So what's new with you?"

There is absolutely no CLIO award in my future. 

But you know what? That's ok because in spite of my pitiful sales pitching and less than stellar marketing skills (which is ironic considering I work in social media marketing) I won an award anyway! That's right, my little blog won the Blog Tour "Award!" 

I met Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense in the Baltimore Airport. I kid you not.  I met her in the airport when another blogger I met in the Baltimore Airport approximately 2 hours prior and I were walking toward the exit to find a cab. I can say without a doubt that within 6 minutes of meeting Kristen, I was pretty sure we were sisters from another mister.  We clearly speak the same language: sarcasm and authenticity.

Kristen was kind enough to award me the "Blog Tour Award" earlier this week. She too was a recipient and loved the opportunity to flaunt her narcissistic side.  As proven by my pathetic attempt to gently suggest that people buy the book I'm in- but only if they want to- I am not quite so narcissistic and so I appreciate the fact that all I am required to do is answer a few questions. 

So here it goes...

1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON? Because what I write is typically what I experience, I am pretty much always working on a lot of things.  My kids do stupid stuff all the time so there is rarely a lack of material 'round these parts.  Specifically, however, I have been working on a piece that is a bit more serious and addresses some of the issues going on in raising strong girls and respectful boys.  I'm sure it's going to piss a few people off so I'm still working on it and trying to grow a thick layer of skin before I turn it loose.  I'm also working on a funny silly piece that will go nicely with the pathetically thin skin I currently wear.

2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?  Truthfully, it doesn't.  I think that's what makes blogging so great.  The ups, downs and in-betweens of motherhood are universal.  The things that cause full belly laughs in my house, as well as the things that make we want to shake my fists at my husband and scream, "This whole kid thing was YOUR idea!" are the same things that insight the same feelings for moms everywhere.  My work isn't different because the experiences of motherhood are NORMAL.

3. HOW DO I WRITE/CREATE WHAT I DO? In the Notes on my iPhone, on post-it notes, receipts and more often than I should admit publicly...the sermon notes from church.  Not kidding.  Every piece of sermon notes is littered with blog ideas, quotes and one-liners.  Obviously everything I write is blessed- that's why it's so incredible.

4. HOW DOES MY WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK? It might sound silly, but I won't write a thing until I have a title.  My posts are all about my title.  Example:
 "What I'm Doing to Ensure I Don't Eat My Young This Summer." And who could forget this one: "Spike's an as#@!*e". Once I've got a title, I pray it's Sunday so I have sermon notes nearby and I begin jotting down one-liners and random sentences I want to use. Oddly enough, the rest is written in my head.  It tumbles around in there for a few days or weeks, more Target receipts and post-it notes are scribbled upon and then it all comes together when... I take a shower.  Yes, the final piece is written in my head, in the shower.  (I really need to ask for a waterproof iPad cover for Christmas.) Finally, I sit down and type.  And delete. And type again.  And I should probably delete again at that point because Lord knows I'm in desperate need of some editing help.  But eventually I just get tired, attempt to schedule the post which never works because blogger hates me, and go to bed.  Then I wake up at some ridiculous hour that it's early enough for my East Coast readers but not too early for my West Coast readers and actually click "post" because I did not figure out the scheduler the previous night because as mentioned, Blogger hates me.

So that's pretty much it.  I hope I did an ok job selling myself.  Wait, selling my blogging self, that is.  I hope you enjoyed it.  You can follow all those little links I added.  Or not.  It's cool.  No pressure.  Never mind.  Don't worry about it.

I will, however, sell some other ladies and a gentlemen to you!

~Stephanie over at When Crazy Meets Exhaustion absolutely kills me! Talk about authenticity.  You couldn't make up half the stuff she writes about no matter how good of a writer you are.

~The hysterical Lipstick, Margaritas and Hairspray is run by the fabulous Sasha. She shares the "observations of a redneck, barefoot, rum and tequila drinking southern belle" and no one could do it better.

~I've only recently gotten to know Mike over at Papa Does Preach but in the short time I've known him I have learned 4 things: 1. Mike is funny.  Really really funny.  2. Mike has guts.  He was the only man to attend BlogU with over 200 women.  3. Mike is brilliant.  He was the only man to attend BlogU with over 200 women.  4. Mike's wife is awesome to give him the thumbs up to attend BlogU with over 200 women.

I suck at selling stuff.  Even myself.
That's just my normal.

One last pathetic attempt to sell myself: I recently found out I was accepted as a contributor in the second HerStories Project book entitled My Other Ex: Women's True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. It will be out in September.  You can buy it.  Or not.  No pressure.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

7 Things to Remember When Your Kid Loses His S*%T at Summer Camp Drop-Off

7 Things to Remember When Your Kid Loses His S*%T at Drop-Off

When I was a young mom, one of the best things I did was join a moms group.  Every Tuesday morning in a musty meeting room at the back of a church I sat with other moms and enjoyed fellowship, tips for parenting and wife'ing, a free breakfast and the blissful freedom that comes from knowing someone else is watching your two year old for a while.

We shared stories of tantruming toddlers and picky eaters while we snacked on Monkey Bread and hard boiled eggs. Even more nourishing than the food, however, was the wisdom shared by the Seasoned Moms. This special breed of wise, older moms had lived to tell the tale of  motherhood. Looking back of course, I realize these ladies were probably in their 40's. Not at all what you'd consider "old." I'm just shy of 40 and I'm certainly not old! These women were survivors who made it to the other side of parenting. Their kids could make their own meals, dress themselves and even left the house for hours upon hours as they ventured to the magical far-off place toddler moms could only dream of... school.  Their kids had whole conversations without one mention of traveling little girls with backpacks and maps or purple dinosaurs. They didn't repeat the same questions over and over even though they heard the answer 5.8 seconds earlier. And most importantly, these kids wore underwear- real underwear that was free of sticky tabs and wrestling matches to put them on.

The Seasoned Moms circulated throughout the room looking for a Young Mom in distress.  We were easy to find as we sported the signature dark circles and repeatedly searched the doorway for nursery workers coming to get us because our child was falling apart. Many of us could be found huddling around the coffee while shoving food in our faces.  We'd become accustomed to eating like this at home as our toddlers attempted to climb the cabinets or sneak out the back door, so we often forgot how to behave in public.

Seasoned Moms spotted us Newbies right away and like fairy godmothers, they fluttered around us, wrapped a comforting arm around our shoulders and asked the question every new mom feared... "How are you doing?" Such a simple question with a complex maze of answers. "I'm tired, frustrated and lonely. I'm never going to lose this baby weight.  I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm pretty sure I'm ruining my kid." And as I wept into my Betty Crocker Farmers Breakfast Casserole, these women offered  me comfort and encouragement and, most importantly, peace.  They shared stories of  tantrums thrown both at home and *gasp* in public, failed meals, bad decisions and constant doubt and second-guessing.  They made me feel normal.

As I left each week and I retrieved my 2 year old who inevitably pushed some other kid because he was in "that phase," I was a little less mortified by his behavior because the Seasoned Moms promised me someone else's kid would be doing the pushing next week. 

It's easy to forget those early years as they are replaced by thousands of days filled with new experiences.  Then suddenly you see one of those Young Moms and you're reminded of what it was like to be in her shoes.  Suddenly you are the Seasoned Mom.

Two days ago, as I dropped my guys off at camp, I witnessed every mother's worst nightmare: a kid completely losing his shnizzle at drop-off.  I'm talking about the full-on crying, screeching, hanging on to mom's leg meltdown. We've all been there.  I don't care how well adjusted your kid is, every kid goes through this at some point. And as many of the other moms gave her a wide berth to work it out, all I wanted to do was run up to her and tell her 6 simple things:

1. You're not a bad mom.

2. You're kid isn't freaking out because you don't spend enough time with her.

3. You're kid isn't freaking out because you spend too much time with him.

4. The kid next to you, who is happily waving to mommy as she skips away, is not a better kid and does not have a better mom.  We've all got issues.

5. You may never know why your kid is crying because just like the rest of us humans, he sometimes has feelings that are completely irrational and illogical. So stand strong Tell him that you love him.  Remind him that you'll be here as soon as camp is done.  Give him a really big squeeze and send him on his way.

6. It's pretty much a guarantee she will not be the only one freaking out today- Take solace in that.

7. It's OK to climb into your car and cry because nothing hurts more than seeing your kid in distress. And when the tears slow and the snot stops dripping, go back to #1: You're not a bad mom.

I'd like to say I ran up to her and say those things.  But I was too afraid I'd freak her out or overstep my boundaries (and I didn't have any Monkey Bread to share.)  So as I passed her as she stealthily hid behind the steering wheel of car, I made eye contact, paused for a moment and gave her a subtle nod and the Mom Smile. The one that says, "I know what you're going through.  We've all been there. It's going to be OK. You're normal- and so's your kid."

I guess I'm the Seasoned Mom now.
That's just my normal.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My BlogU Experience... in Numbers

Some of you may not be aware of this, but I spent last weekend on the beautiful campus of Notre Dame of Maryland University.  No, not that  Notre Dame.  This Notre Dame.

I know, I know. You think I threw off the chains of responsibility and went back to college to relive the glory days, right? I did stay in a dorm and enjoyed dorm cuisine and I may have consumed an adult beverage or two. However, I'm here to report that dorm food is marginally better but dorm mattresses have not improved in proportion to my aging.  Were they always saggy and lumpy? Wait, maybe I'm just saggy and lumpy...?

What was I doing cruising the hallowed halls of a university and giggling late into the night in a darkened dorm room? I was attending my first blogging conference.  What's a blogging conference, you ask? Well, you know those conferences you attend to learn about new products you'll be selling if you work in pharmaceuticals? Or the yearly conference you travel to where you learn about the hottest thing in plumbing materials or fasteners or software?  It's pretty much like that but way cooler because there are no nerdy products, just blogging. Lots and lots of learning about blogging.

But I didn't "just go to a blogging conference" and learn about blogging. I went to a blogging conference to learn about blogging from the BIGGIES of the blogging world. Simply put, the Faculty at BlogU were the Nate Berkus, Isaac Mizrahi and Mossimo of Target.  In my world that is a really big freaking deal.

I could go on and on about what I learned but frankly, I paid the $250 for the conference and you didn't so I'm not willing to share the goods. Just kidding.  More importantly, though, you should be able to see what I learned as I improve my writing (Here's hoping, right?) and make super cool pictures and graphics like the one at the top there.  Yeah, I made that. The BlogU Faculty taught me how! No more unknowingly stealing images from Google! Whoot!

Like any other experience in life, my time at BlogU wasn't just about my time at BlogU. The before, during and after were equally educational as the conference itself.

Look! I made that ^^^
Thanks BlogU Faculty!

~Conference cost: $250
~Airfare: $500
~Witty texts and Facebook posts while traveling: Can anyone really put a number on my hilarity?


~Travel time TO conference: 15 hours
~Consecutive hours without sleep: 42
~Days yoga pants-free: 4!! 4 I tell you!!
~Bloggy friends I finally got to HUG after spending a few years facebooking, texting and talking on the phone: 20something
~Brilliant Conference Sessions taught my the BIGGIES in the bloggy world: 4
~Retro Proms YOU attended Saturday night: 0
~Number of Retro Proms I went to Saturday night: 1 and is was RAD!

~Hours of sleep over 4 days: 13

~Original departure time from Baltimore: Sunday 1:55 p.m.
~Actual departure time from Baltimore: Sunday 2:45 pm
~Original departure time from Dallas Fort Worth: 5:00 Sunday
~Actual departure time from Dallas Fort Worth: 10am Monday

~Shaming announcements made by airport officials: 2

~Number of 10 year old soccer players stranded with me in the airport: eleventy billion
~Amount of water consumed during this adventure: none for fear of boarding any minute!
~Denied standbys: 2
~Number of "we will be boarding shortly" announcements: 7
~Hysterical texts from my 7 year old: Enough to make me giggle-snort several times

I mean really? I'm in Texas.
Dad's in the next room!



Note: It was morning and he was
awake when he sent this.

~Gate changes: 8

~Flights boarded: 2

~Flights that actually took off: 1
~Pilots "on their way": 3
~Pilots really on their way: unknown
~Pilots who actually arrived: 1


~Hours spent in the Marriott courtesy of American Airlines: 4
~New bloggy friends I can virtually hang with when I'm supposed to be working while taking a break from work: lots and lots and lots
~Hate acquired toward AA and the DFW airport: can not be measured by modern technology
~Angry emails sent to American Airlines: 1

~Amount of Blog, Text and Facebook Fodder: Limitless
I got schooled at BlogU- before, during and after.
That's just my normal.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What I'm Doing to Ensure I Don't Eat My Young This Summer

It's no secret that school vacations can drive me to day drink and spontaneously cry at any given moment be a little tough for me.  Remember the day I cried at the beach?  Good times.  Or how about this one where I shared the signs that I barely made it through Christmas Break? And let's not forget the 7 reasons I was happy Summer Break was over last year.  Didn't I just write that one? How is Summer Break here again already?

I guess you could say the take away from all of those experiences is that I like routine.  I like a little bit of order around my house.  And I like having my kids gone for 1/3 of the day and sleeping for another 1/3.  That still leaves me with 8 hours of hands on hardcore parenting, love and fun so don't judge me, people!

This year, however, I have decided to be proactive, take the bull by the horns. I am going to have a plan.  Yes, I had a plan last year but truthfully, it was a stupid plan.  THIS plan, however, is going to be epic!

Last Year's Plan was a failure because it was all about how to schedule the kids' time.  How long they could watch t.v., when they could have a snack, how much time was allotted for reading, outside play, etc.  My intention was to take myself out of the equation and giving them control of the 4 hours I had to work each morning. In hindsight I see I actually gave them no control.  The schedule had all the control.  This might be one reason why Last Year's Plan was a complete and total failure.

Another reason Last Year's Plan crashed and burned is because when you are a Work From Home Mom and you create a schedule for your kids (that may or may not be color-coded and hanging on the fridge) you're setting yourself up for two major problems.  1. Although your children can read a clock, they will continually ask how much longer until the next activity, therefore constantly interrupting your work flow and productivity, and 2. No matter how detailed the schedule (which, again, may or may not be color-coded and hanging on the fridge) your children will inevitably find a loophole that needs clarification and discussion.... interrupting your work flow and productivity.

But the aforementioned possibly color-coded, hung-on-the-fridge Last Year's Plan is no more! This year, instead of making plans to make my kids' lives easier, I am making a plan to make MY LIFE easier.  When August rolls around you will not hear my husband's now famous quote, "Wow, you cried more this summer than you have in the 17 years we've been together."

So I give you....
What I am Doing to Ensure I Don't Eat My Young This Summer

1. Hire a nanny.
2. Sleep away camp.

Juusssst kidding.  Here's the real list...

1. I am going to accept that my children will watch more hours of television than is recommended by the American Pediatrics Association.  (Do any of those people actually have children?)

2. I am going to take my children to the beach as often as possible regardless of the weather or the amount of sand accumulating in my car, my house or the tiny crevices I don't feel comfortable talking to you about.

3. I am going to sign my kids up for as many camps as we can afford someone else can entertain them for a few hours.

4. I am going to sell my plasma and anything else I can find to replace our ghetto trampoline so my kids have something fun to do when I lock them in the yard for a few hours each day they happily play in the yard together.

5. I am not going to have any expectations regarding my kids' hygiene, cleanliness or physical appearance whatsoever.  Surfing in The Pacific counts as bathing, right?

6.  I will do away with our grocery budget and plan to go to the grocery store every 12-15 hours because my children have mowed down every edible thing in our house.  

7. I will consider it a pleasure to meet all my neighbors when I search the neighborhood looking for Spike each time he escapes because the kids didn't remember to close the front door even though I yelled, "Shut the front door!" 1,367 times.

8. We will live out of our laundry baskets.  I will wash and dry all dirty clothes but they will remain in the basket until they are worn again then tossed on the floor, waiting for me to wash and dry them once more.

9. I will leave all dirty dishes in the sink for Spike to steal and lick clean when we are not home.  The benefit of this is two-fold: 1. For 3 months I will only have to wash silverware and 2. I won't have to remind the kids to feed the dog every single day because he'll be full of caked-on leftovers.  Win-win!

10.  I will create and market my own food pyramid which consists of any animal-shaped chicken product as a suitable source of protein and carrots, apples and guacamole as the only fruits and vegetable necessary for a healthy diet.  

And last but not least...
11. I will not feel guilty for any of these things.  

And that, faithful readers, is how I will make it through the summer without eating my young.  And when August 20th rolls around, I may have a few bad habits to break, but I'll only have to work on it for 1/3 of the day.  I think I can handle that.  

The best offensive is a good defense.
That's just  my normal.