Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Sometimes your weekend looks nothing like you hoped.

Sometimes your week ended up being way more than you could handle.

Maybe by Friday afternoon, you were ready to crawl to a corner and assume the fetal position.

Maybe you are a big, fat feelings sponge. Maybe when you are in an emotionally charged environment, you soak it all in and leave 10 pounds heavier. Even if the emotions have nothing to do with you, really.

Sometimes you find out that you are having overnight company the day they are coming. Sometimes they are two people who are strangers to you and you literally cry because you know you are going to have to drum up some sort of conversation. Oh, the awkward. Sometimes you wish you were an extrovert. But, you're not. So, you awkward it up and try to make up for it with queso and brownies.

Sometimes, by the end of the week you are so tired you don't think you can go another day. But, then you do, because, well, you have to. And you think to yourself, "Next weekend I'll really have time to rest." Deep in your bones you know you are telling yourself a really good joke.

Sometimes you spend money you don't have on dinner out with friends because adult conversation is a good thing every once in a while.

Sometimes you go in the bathroom right after work and stay a long time even when you don't need to. Because, privacy. (I learned this trick from my Dad!)

Maybe Friday night you don't sleep at all because your child with the sensitive stomach is up all night puking. And she wants you right there tickling her back while she pukes. You think to yourself, "How is it possible that this particular child has not yet met her lifetime puking quota. She's basically been puking all her life."


Sometimes you get a free ticket to see Chicago on stage. Sometimes you don't even really care what the show is because you just love live performance so much. (You also, sometimes, secretly dream of being a dancer. You might be good at telling yourself jokes...)

Sometimes you're tight on time so you show up to the football field and freak people out because you're wearing a dress and you've fixed your hair. Because you have set a low bar people pay you lots of major compliments.

Sometimes at that same football game your son has the game of his short life. You've watched him work so hard (because white boys are slow) and finally he is seeing some fruit. You cry when he throws his first touchdown pass, not because you care that he's scored a touchdown but because you know how much he cares.

Maybe when the game is over you high-tail it out of there, barely telling the kids good-bye because you've got dinner and a show. You probably roll your windows down (not too much-the hair) and sing at the top of your lungs. You're mostly excited you're not listening to the Frozen soundtrack.

Sometimes things do not go according to plan.

Sometimes it's better that way.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mom M.D.


There is no hell like pediatrician waiting room hell. I have a friend who might argue 6th grade homework hell is worse, but I don't have that to compare other hells to quite yet.

Yesterday I took my kids for their check-ups. These check-ups were embarrassingly overdue. We had quite a run of wellness and I feel like every time we step foot in the door of the doctor's office we get sicker. (Or, my kids are magically healed of whatever I took them in for) So, I didn't take them in for a while.

Our streak came to an end last month when Drew started getting these weird bumps on his skin. The short version of that story is that I thought he had scabies. If you don't know what scabies is, I recommend you NOT google it. Suffice to say I was planning to just go ahead and burn the house down. The good news is, I'm not prone to extremes.

Turns out it was good old run of the mill poison ivy. I have never been so happy about poison ivy in all my life!! That was on Friday.

On Saturday night, just before Drew went to bed, his cheek looked a little swollen. He had been complaining about his cheek hurting. I assumed it had something to do with a cavity and planned to take him in to the dentist. The next morning he woke me up early. He was in a lot of pain and his cheek was huge. I'm still thinking it's a tooth. And I thought a tooth causing that much pain and swelling needed attention. Naturally, it was Sunday, so we headed to the ER. Because I thought we were going to get a tooth pulled I let Emily come along and left Big Dan to enjoy sleeping in. This was a gross miscalculation.

After multiple examinations, it was determined that Drew did not have a tooth problem. Instead, he had a soft tissue infection of some sort. Because it was unclear where this came from, he then got to have his very first IV and a CT scan. Did I mention I'm the only adult in the room? Did I mention I thought it was a tooth problem? I was mildly freaking out. No matter the situation, I think it is probably always unsettling to watch your child get a CT scan. And also leave your other child down the hall with the nurse.

The good news is that it was just in the soft tissue of his cheek. The bad news is no one knows how or why it got there. Our saving grace is that he wasn't running a fever so we did not have the honor of staying for IV antibiotics. Drew was glad. He had one thing on his mind. Making it to his flag football game. Only a super subpar mother would let their son play football with a vaguely diagnosed soft tissue infection.

I did. He was fine. #world'sOKestmom

So, we were right back in the doctor's office the next week. We had not been (besides check-ups) for TWO YEARS. Now we were there twice in one week. If you're going to break the streak you might as well do it up right.

Which brings us to yesterday. Yesterday we were in the waiting room for FIFTY MINUTES. 50. Do you know how long that is to wait with kids who have nothing to do?? I have never waited that long at our pediatrician before. I honestly thought they forgot about us. I still think they maybe did but just didn't admit it. This does not include the time we spent in the tiny room waiting. Where there is even less to do and more things to break. Like computers.

This sums up why I don't take my children to the doctor.

By the time their check-ups were done, I answered a million questions, they both sniffed live flu virus up their noses, and Emily got 4 shots? Done. I was sweating buckets and on the verge of a low blood sugar flip out. My kids were long gone over the edge of sanity. I kept saying to them, "Just get to the car. We'll talk about all the things if you will just walk quickly and quietly to.the.car."

I feel that any and all of our medical needs have been sufficiently met. Except for maybe the stroke level blood pressure I incurred as a result of yesterday's visit.

Too bad about it. Deep breathing will have to do.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Boxes of Shame

Before I get to the real topic at hand, which are actual boxes in my closet and not a metaphor, I'd like to let you in on what's happening in the world of my kid's elementary school right now.

For the last 6 school days they have been on Fall Break. I guess a full week of no school was not quite enough so they had to tack on one extra day, just to really sucker punch those parents who work. So. 10 days out of school. 10 days of not seeing friends. And THEN. Tomorrow is the first day back to school and it is the start of spirit week. And just in case all of us are not yet driven to our knees? The the first day of spirit week? "Matchy Matchy Twin Day".  That title is in quotes because it is the actual title that came out in the email. On top of having to come up with something different for my child to wear I also have to COORDINATE with another parent to make sure my kid has a spirit week twin?? Oh. I have so many words to say about this. But, I figure by the end of the week, there will be at least a whole post's worth of stuff about spirit week to say. Stay tuned.

So. My boxes.

Last year, we got Christmas taken care of just in the nick of time (get it? Nick? St. Nick?) By the time all the things were purchased, hidden, assembled and opened it was time for my Day After Christmas Nap. And we all know that nap lasts all day. In my rush to get things done, I crammed a bunch of boxes behind a chair in my room. These boxes contained things that "Santa" brought the children. So the boxes needed to be hidden. I thought I would sneak them out with the rest of the Christmas trash the next day. But then the aforementioned DAC nap occurred and I promptly forgot about the boxes. As I do. A few times over the last TEN months, I've noticed them and thought about taking them out. But then I didn't.

Skip to about a month ago. Drew had been in my room having some alone time. Later that night I went in the room and noticed the towel that had been covering the boxes was no longer covering the boxes. GASP! I haven't had the heart to ask him about it!! (Worst mom ever...) Then, Big Dan and I did some major cleaning out in our room. I came in one evening and Big Dan had moved the chair around and the boxes were just there in the corner for God and everyone to see! I hyperventilated and threw the boxes in my closet. They have been there for the better part of five days, mocking me.

Tonight though? I end my battle with the boxes of shame. There may be a tornado warning, but dangit those boxes are going in to the trash. The trash that runs tomorrow.

My bad Santa habits will be hauled off with the garbage.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Parenting, Like Whoa

Just now I was sitting on the couch. I am currently in the midst of a church sabbatical. Which is a dressed up way of saying I'm not going. There are many issues here. We'll wait and explore those another day. Get excited.

Anyway, Emily was playing outside and came in with her stroller. She said, "I was just pretending that my little girl had a bad attitude at the park." Interesting... So, I said, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Did you give her a consequence?" She cut her eyes at me and said, "NO!" To which I replied, "Well, how is she going to learn her lesson?" To which she answered, "I decided to show her grace." Then she burst out laughing.

This is where parenting finds me most days.

Every stage of parenting is so different. In some ways, when you enter a new phase, it's like traveling to a foreign country. And you are stuck trying to figure out the language and the customs all over again. For someone like me, who is pro status-quo, I never handle these transitions well. In fact, we are usually halfway through a phase before I even realize what's happening.

We are in a new stage around here. And, let me say right up front, that I really, really like it! Y'all know the baby/toddler days were super hard for me. I feel like I'm in my wheelhouse right here. Soon, my oldest will be an adolescent and I will be left flailing again. But, for now? Big Dan and I are both REALLY enjoying hanging out with our kids.

The challenges though, are many. And mostly, it's because I feel like the real work of pointing my kids towards Christ begins now. As I work through my own issues with performance and works (see note about church drop-out above) I am aware of all the times I emphasize "good behavior" to my kids. And this is the rub. Because, make no mistake. I absolutely expect my kids to behave at school. To follow the rules, to be respectful, and to be kind to their friends. I struggle with people who think rules for kids are too confining. The thing is, we are not alone here on planet earth. Our actions and choices ALWAYS effect those around us. When my behavior negatively effects those around me FOR ANY REASON, it should give me pause.

When my kids are annoying each other in the backseat of the car it goes something like this: Kid 1 is singing or making weird noises. Kid 2 comes unglued over the noises. Kid 2 asks Kid 1 to stop. Kid 1 does not. Kid 2 tattles. (If I were reading this on someone else's blog and I knew their kids, I'd be dying to figure out who was who. Please note: it goes either way all.the.time.) When I reprimand Kid 1 there is usually an answer of "But I'm only singing/humming/popping my cheek/reciting stats/etc. ad nauseum. And really, they are right. It's probably not a big deal. But, the thing I keep coming back to is, if it is bothering the other person, think of them. Think of how you feel when you are the one being annoyed. Then, maybe, consider putting their needs ahead of your own. (As if noise making is a need...)

So, yes to the thinking of others and following the rules.


I have two performing, rule-following kids. And I know that I have taught them by my actions that they are more acceptable to me when they are "good". And this makes me so sad. In case you were hoping that I give you the magic formula for walking this line, I'm not gonna. Because I have no idea. I want my kids to know that messing up and making mistakes (sometimes big ones) is a part of life. I want them to know that "being good" is not the goal. But man, this is hard to teach when, at my core, I am still struggling to believe it.

I keep asking God to show me when I blow it. And mostly, what He has led me to do in these moments is apologize. Name what I think has happened between us. This happened just the other day. I shut down a sad moment for one of my children because I didn't want them to make a scene. By that evening, I knew I had really messed up. So, I called both kids to me and told them that I thought there were probably times when I made them feel like it wasn't ok to be sad. I told them I was sorry about making them feel that way. Then, we talked specifics. With the child who was sad, I explained that just expressing all the sadness didn't always work in the moment. What could we do instead?

After that conversation the "flow" between both kids and I was so much better. It was like something that had clogged the lines between us had been cleared. Don't we all just want to know that someone gets it?

There are going to be days when my interactions with my kids look nothing like this. This was a pure act of God. In my flesh, I am a task master.

I think Emily might have been sending me a message today!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why I Haven't Been Writing

Well, well.

Look who's back. (Back again)

Can I just start by saying I have some of the greatest people in my life? Those of you who have mentioned you've missed the blog have made me feel so good. You have filled my bucket as we say in preschool circles.

I have taken a long, on-purpose hiatus from writing here. I'll try to explain as best as I can, fully knowing that any of you who read here know my level of crazy is SKY HIGH. You'll be comforted in knowing that has not changed. Not.one.bit.

Reason # 1:

The internet is on my last nerve. I mean, LAST. I sort of feel like all the things that could ever possibly be said, have been said. Three times. I've whittled my blog reading down to about two blogs and I only keep reading those because they make me cackle.

I'm kind of over big, serious, hard issues being tackled from behind computer screens, you know? People, I think, sometimes take on the air of an expert, when really they are just a regular old person.  I know this is kind of mean to say. And, I'm no expert. I'm just saying I'm a bit worn down by it all.

Don't even get me started on my love/hate with social media.

Reason #2

My emotional bandwidth has been completely full. Some writer type people say things like, "If I don't write I have no emotional peace. I must write. It's like breathing to me." I've thought a lot about this and decided I am not one of these people. In order for me to write anything, I have to have a big ol' bunch of free brain space. This is sort of a snapshot of my life. I just need more space, more breathing room, than most to function like a normal human. I don't love this about myself, yet, but I'm on the path to accepting it.

My current life does not leave any room for contemplating anything! And even if I'm just jumping on to tell a funny story, somehow I need margin to make that happen.

Reason #3

I can't decide what I think this space should be. Is this like my Doogie Howser-esque journal situation with a blue screen and a blinking white cursor? Is this a big thought puking ground where I come to rant about all the things that are currently on my nerves? (See Reason #1) Is this just a place where I rat out my kids and tell about how naughty they are (albeit funny)?

I just don't know for sure. When I started this blog I was a stay-at-home mom with a toddler. I am in a vastly different stage of life. I feel like we're at the point that I need to ask my kids' permission before I post funny stories about them. (Don't worry. They will likely say yes. When I ask Drew to post a picture on social media he says things like, "Sure. Just tell me how many 'likes' I get." Jesus take the wheel...)

In all these months of being away from here, I've thought a lot about the things I like, and therefore what I might like to write about. Here is my current list:

Funny stuff
Friends (both my real ones and the show. Duh)
God stuff

I also super value good community with people that I love. So, if you feel so inclined, comment on my posts. Not because I'm keeping count or trying to be a "blogger". We all know three blog posts a year is not going to get you anywhere. But, just because I really like a conversation better than I like my own blabbing. (I know. This doesn't seem like it can be true.)

I don't know how much of my "real life" will show up here. But, I promise not to paint a picture like my life is all books and episodes of Friends (oh, but were it true!) If times are hard, I'll tell you. But I'll tell you in that way that leaves out things that probably shouldn't hang out on the internet. Like, say for instance, I had a son who has reached a really challenging phase. I may say, "This week, parenting is going to be the death of someone. It's still up in the air who it's going to be." But I probably won't tell you the exact details of what this hypothetical child is doing. Because that's not fair to him. I mean, you know, if he were real.

So. Here's to ye olde blog. Kicking off the start to many random, unrelated, seemingly pointless posts!