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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Math Schmath

I love Sassy Girl.

I love teaching her many things.

I do not love teaching her math.

She is a brilliant child. Her vocabulary and reading skills are top notch. Naturally.

But, just like me, her math skills don't quite come as easily. I may or may not STILL count on my fingers from time to time. And I was once involved in payroll. Be afraid, be very afraid. 

Our math sessions go something like this:

Me: Okay. So 7 children are waiting for the bus. 4 of them are girls. What fraction of the children are girls?

Her: I only have 4 kids that wait for the bus at my bus stop.

Me: That's not the point. We are talking about THIS problem. 7 children. 4 are girls. What fraction of the kids are girls?

Her: I don't know. It doesn't make sense because I don't have 7 kids at my bus stop. Plus. We are all girls.

Me: *Sigh.* I understand that, but we are talking PRETEND here. PRETEND you have 7 children at your bus stop and only 4 of them are girls.


Me: I see you're frustrated, can I show you how I would figure this out?

Her: NO! I don't like math, and I don't like you!

Me: *Thinks: How is this MY fault?? Breathe. Reminder: I am the parent.* Ok. Let's take a break, and maybe we can come up with a fun game to figure this out.

Her: Psh. All of your games aren't really games. You just want me to learn stuff. See? Smart kid. She's on to me...

Me: *Thinks: God forbid...*

Seriously. I need help. How can I make math fun?? Suggestions welcome! I really don't care to remain the "MATH ENEMY" in this house any longer.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The List I Wasn't Prepared For

With the recent births of beautiful new babies and the pregnancy announcements among so many of my lovely family and friends, I have been thinking back to the moments my little ones came into my life.

Yes. I get all sappy-dappy-lovey-dovey when I think about this.

The cuddling of my newborn children.

The overwhelming amount of love you never even imagined you could feel.

Sigh. It really is a beautiful thing.

But, there's the other stuff too. The not so Hallmark card stuff.

Guys, I'm giving you a fair warning. You may want to skip this post.

I give you my:


1. You may not know if you are peeing your pants or your water has broke.

I had always pictured the classic woosh of fluid, and then off to the hospital we would go. Like in a sitcom. Because TV is always the best source of reliable information. 

Not so much. It took me a full hour to realize my water had indeed broke, I was in labor, and I was not experiencing severe incontinence. 

That's the other thing. I never really thought about CONSTANT LEAKING during the labor process. It was one of the most uncomfortable and surprising things that came along with the labor of my first child. For some ignorant reason I was still picturing WOOSH. Done. Which makes absolutely no sense now that I think about it...but meh, you live you learn. 

2. Breastfeeding doesn't always happen in an instant magical natural way. 

Never had I been so devastated, than when I tried to feed my newborn girl for the very first time, and she wouldn't latch. I was so let down, and spent a lot of time beating myself up about not being able to cut it as a mom. When you're naked from the waist up, crying, holding a crying newborn like a football, and a nurse is trying stick your nipple in your baby's mouth...the magic just isn't quite what you pictured. 

A side note with this topic - Thrush. My second child I did get my "instant latch magic." But eventually we both got Thrush. You know knives? Pins? Swords? Needles? All of them combined? Every feeding. I cringe thinking about it again. 

3. Maxi Pad ice packs and Witch Hazel. 

That's all I'm saying about that. Just...I wasn't prepared for any of that.

4. You may feel like a farm animal. 

Because my first wouldn't latch, I wanted to pump milk for her. When you pump milk in a hospital (or at least THIS hospital) they wheel in an industrial grade machine and hook you up. For someone who has never pumped before this is a little intimidating. And maybe, just maybe you might hysterically cry while your husband looks pitifully at you strapped to this machine as you wail, "I feel like a cow!!" 

5. You might cry in Target.

My pregnancy hormones were a breeze compared to the shocking mood swings I experienced postpartum. I threw a temper tantrum in Target (my first outing since I gave birth) when I had mentioned I wanted to maybe get some hair dye. The only thing my poor husband said was, "Do you think you really need it?" I lost any shred of dignity or common sense I may have had. I started crying that "ugly cry" because how could he say such a thing? He must not love me. Oh no. Now my breasts are leaking through my shirt. Cry harder.  

My mom bought me the damn hair dye. She knew...

6. You will soon become an expert in poop.

Never did I realize the importance of poop. Smell, texture, consistency. It all played a role. And your beautiful, sweet, cuddly little baby would at some point cover itself and you in it. Over and over again. I have left many a public place with at least a little poop somewhere on my clothing. 

7. Every pregnancy, delivery, baby is different.

Now, I should have been prepared for that, because this is something everyone tells you. But I was way over-confident going into my second pregnancy because I really did have a fairly easy pregnancy, birth, and an easy going newborn the first time around. Little Dude knocked me down a few notches, because nothing was the same about any of it. I was uncomfortable when I was pregnant with him, I had a much more painful labor/delivery with him, and he was more fussy than Sassy Girl was. Also I had a toddler when he came into the world, which really shakes things up at home a bit more. The guilt I felt bringing another child into the home was unexpected, and was tough to adjust to at first. In the end, I feel silly for all the worry. My kids are so close now and I am thankful that they have each other. 

8. In a blink of an eye they grow up. 

You've heard this before, too. But I'm serious. A blink of an eye. We spend so much time waiting for that next milestone, or daydreaming about the people our little ones are going to become. And then, before you know it, you are sobbing as you walk to your car on the first day of preschool. Or you get in your car and follow the bus all the way to the elementary school. And they just keep growing and growing. We don't deal with too many sleepless nights anymore around here. But we continue to glide right through milestones and defining moments. Little Dude will be starting Kindergarten next year, and he has already lost his first tooth. Sassy Girl amazes me every day as she starts to mature into a young lady, so fast. I was marveling the other day at the realization of how I can have a conversation with her and she just seems so grown up. With independent thoughts, suggestions, solutions to problems. It's no longer "No. No. Don't touch." She's growing up and it's happening fast. 

9. You would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

There's a lot of nitty gritty that goes along with this whole parenting business. But I think we can all agree that it's all worth it. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the simply amazing. 

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments below! I would love to hear some of the other things parents just weren't prepared for!! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"It's a Beautiful Day"

I don't have much to post about today, except that I had a great Sunday.

We have a new pastor at church, and the words of his sermon left me with a really great feeling when I left.

I feel inspired.

Isn't it amazing what words or actions can do?


I strive to be a better me every day. I want to inspire with my words, with my actions, with simple gestures.

Whether it be at home with my family, or a stranger on the street, to inspire is to make a difference.

I'm reminded of an older man I met at the grocery store in the checkout line. He struck up a conversation with me and my son.

In our conversation I learned he was widowed and had several adult children he hadn't seen for awhile.

He gave me some parenting advice, seeing Little Dude in the cart getting bored.

But the biggest impact he made on me is when we parted ways:

I said to him, "Have a great rest of the day!"

He told me, "Every day that I am breathing is a good day. Thank you, though for taking the time to care."

This man inspired me. A completely random interaction that I will keep with me for life.

Happy Sunday.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and do your best to be an inspiration to yourself and others around you, because it's amazing the life we live.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brunch Tacos and Big Beautiful Burgers

Spending a Saturday watching 'Man vs Food' and other mouthwatering teaser food shows.

Why Alex, I believe that is "What is the stupidest thing you could do while trying to eat healthy."

I'll take 'Self Loathing' for 500. 

It all started off innocently enough. I was enjoying my coffee and eating yogurt, while my husband chowed down his "Brunch Tacos."

 Yeah. I don't know.

This wasn't some fancy egg concoction in a tortilla. It was just plain old tacos with leftover Taco Bell hot sauce packets. He made them at 10 am and declared he made brunch. Tacos don't belong in the brunch category. An early lunch I can accept...but brunch? Never. 

We turned on the Travel Channel and got sucked into some 'Greatest Water Slides' show. Because we live a very interesting and spontaneous life, duh...

In the time it took me to clean up the "Brunch Taco" mess and get back to my important TV watching duties, the episode had changed to 'Man vs Food.' I'm sure you are familiar with this show. If you are not, well it's for the best, because it encompasses a great deal of what is wrong with our fat country. But I digress...

I laid eyes on the biggest, juiciest, most mouth-watering burger I had ever seen. 

Frankly, it was beautiful. Yes. I know it was a hamburger. But it was beautiful. 

I get it "Foodie People." I get it. 

I had to have one. 

But no. I can't. I won't. Must. Continue. Eating. Yogurt. 

Delicious. Healthy. Plain. Squishy. Sawdust-no-meat-or-onions-or-bbq-sauce-tastin' yogurt. 

Damn it. 

I was derailed and decided we would have our best version of the "Big Beautiful Burger" I viewed for dinner. 

The "Brunch Taco" creator was thrilled. So thrilled, that he offered to redeem his poor example of a brunch menu, and recreate my "Big Beautiful Burger."

I love this man. 

He pulled out some secret fried onion recipe, splurged on some good beef, and toasted some fancy onion buns with olive oil. 


Yes. That is a child's plate I'm using. Get over it. 

Look at this masterpiece. 

Totally worth the wait. And guilt. And heartburn. 

I think I have a problem. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Liar Liar, Pants on Fire

My kid is a big fat liar.

Not in the sense that he lies in important situations. He's the kid that will rat anyone out including himself with the promise of a lessened consequence if the truth comes out.

He lies more creatively in situations that don't really harm anyone.

At first I thought it was cute, and I may have even enabled this behavior.

"Oh? How big was the boat you took to the island for your class field trip?" 

But now, I worry slightly as I watch his wheels turning hard to weave incredibly imaginative tales that defy even a slim chance of plausibility.

"You know, I've driven a Monster Truck before. You were sleeping. I snuck out of my bed and went to Dad's work. He was still there. He showed me a big green Monster Truck and he told me that I could drive it home."

"This glass turtle is real, Mom. When you are not looking it gets up and walks all over the place. You keeping missing it, but it really happens. He's really for real."

"I went to Disney World with my class, once. We took the bus. It was really fun and Mickey Mouse rode on the bus with us."

"I know someone named Big Foot. He's my friend."

I'm not exactly sure how to respond to these tales anymore. He told me the Monster Truck one today. It took him awhile to get the whole story out and he was so excited and animated about it.

When he finished his story I said, "Wow. I love how big your imagination is! That's a great story!"

To which he replied with large sparkling eyes that were begging me to believe him, "No. It's not just my 'maginations, I did it for real."

Honestly, I think his creativity and ability to tell stories is amazing and I don't want him to lose an ounce of that.

 I just want to make sure my responses to this behavior don't encourage him to grow up to be a thirty year old pathological liar.

"So, it says here on your resume that you know 7 different languages, traveled to the moon, and you've listed Big Foot as a business reference? Interesting. Can you tell me a little more about your previous job duties as a Monster Truck driver?" 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sex Sells!

Sassy Girl tried to get me to allow her to go to school this week in her brother's shirt.

Why? Because the too small garment was turned into a "belly shirt" and apparently in second grade that's an acceptable and trendy thing to want to do.

Whether we realize it or not, sex appeal is being drilled into our heads starting at a very young age.
Look at one of the Barbies my daughter has.

I don't know about you, but any veterinarian I've ever met sure doesn't dress like "Cinnamon, Queen of the Stripper Pole" at work. They wear scrubs and step in animal feces. Not whatever the crap this doll is wearing.

Or the Disney shows that feature twenty something year old actors playing high schoolers wearing skinny jeans and never answering to any sort of parental figure.

THIS is not what an awkward teen looks like. Before I entered high school I had braces, wore knock off outdated Girbaud jeans my mom would find on her garage sale runs, and sported over-sized ESPRIT sweatshirts.

 I'll save myself the embarrassment of posting a picture...

Ads have become over the top SEX and we all just overlook it because it's become the norm. Do you ever see an ad and say, "What did that have to do with anything they are trying to sell??"

They are trying to sell shoes. SHOES!? I don't know about you, but my shoes currently have some gum jammed in the sole...is that sexy?

Oh. And of course there is music. Try hiding "Call Me Maybe" from an almost 8 yr old. Doesn't work. She knows the lyrics, and I CRINGE when she sings, "Hey! I just met you. This is crazy. Here's my number. Call me maybe." Now, she's too young to know what these lyrics imply, but still... My apologies to everyone that just got that song stuck in their head. 

In the adult world it's not much better. Some adults push the envelope beyond any sort of acceptable interaction.

On a dance floor it's not uncommon to get a comment or get groped by some intoxicated loser. Hey! This isn't a perfume ad and you smell like smoke, beer, and the opposite of sex. But to be honest, all it takes to make women go crazy on the dance floor is some sexy song. Now, I can  sway my hips with the best of them, but if I try to "Drop It Like It's Hot" then I'm afraid I may look more constipated than sexy...

It's no different for men either. A musician I know told me about some girl that thought it was okay to BITE HIS LEG in an attempt to be some sort of vampire seductress while he was on stage. WHAT?!? Too much Twilight perhaps?

Where are the boundaries? I have a pretty large bubble. I like it that way.

I guess my point is that life is not and should not be blurred by values a fake sexy shoe or insert any other product commercial portrays. Sorry boys. Those AXE commercials are complete bullshit.

The request to wear the tiny shirt was settled by me simply telling her that showing bellies was only appropriate for the beach in a swimsuit. We picked out a pretty lacy TURTLE NECK (What? Maybe overcompensating?) and life was all good.

At almost 8 that explanation flies. I hope I can instill in her the right values, so that she knows, not so many years from now, that she doesn't need to show her body to be validated. She is beautiful and I hope she knows it and can respect herself despite the media's pressures to exploit herself.

Anyway...does anyone feel the urge to buy some new shoes, or is it just me?