Today I give you some Owen snippets. They are gems and he keeps me entertained.
Don’t forget to vote for me in the Circle Of Moms Contest. Thanks!
Today I give you some Owen snippets. They are gems and he keeps me entertained.
Don’t forget to vote for me in the Circle Of Moms Contest. Thanks!
Have a family game night- it’s fun! They said.
No it’s not.
Family game night is a cross between a trip to the gynecologist and refereeing a cock fight in Guadalupe. It’s miserable and feels like it will never end. (Not that I’ve ever refereed any cock fighting or visited any Mexican town called Guadalupe.)
1.) No one can decide on what game to play. “I want Apples to Apples!” Other kid- “We played Apples to Apples last time, let’s do Guesstures!” Mom and dad don’t really want to do either, but drinking games are kind of inappropriate with a 9 and 12 year old.
2.) Dad won’t get off his laptop. Kid- “DAAAAD, you can’t be on Facebook while we’re playing!” Dad- “I’m not, I’m just keeping tabs on the news. I’m totally paying attention to you guys.” (NOT)
3.) Children won’t put down media devices either. Me- “Daughter (12) it’s time to put away your phone, stop SnapChatting your friends and play. We are doing this for YOU!” (Guilt trips are totally required on family game night by the way.)
4.) Someone always cries. Usually the youngest because they are losing. Then I start crying because I’m so fed up with everyone.
5.) Someone always leaves the game pouting and stomping off loudly up the stairs. Again- usually the youngest. Or me.
6.) They decide to play Monopoly. (Just kill me now) Nothing good ever comes of this game and it goes on for a fortnight.
7.) Dad tries to be funny making irrelevant jokes and it turns out to just annoy everyone. Really, it was kind of funny the first time- but the following five, not so much. Give. It. Up.
8.) One sibling accuses the other of cheating. At this point, you don’t really give a shit and you’re hoping it’s almost bed time.
9.) You’re fed up, you announce the game is over and send everyone to bed. Tears and crying commence and you are told you are the meanest mom EVER! Then you feel like the White Witch in Narnia and everyone blames you for spoiling their fun.
10.) No one remembers whose turn it is and when they do they take F O R E V E R to make their move. (Courtesy of Hollow Tree Ventures)
11.) Little hands can’t hold cards for shit. (Thank you Motherhood WTF)
12.) It’s very hard to find a game that spans ALL ages, let alone one where the older kids don’t whine and cry that ‘THIS IS BOOORING” (this confessed to me via You Know It Happens At Your House Too)
13.) The cat lays on top of the game pieces and game board, wiping out all progress and your wine glass is empty. At this point, everything is futile and it’s time to just send everyone to bed. See #9.
14.) Someone decides to play a game of Smell My Finger (written by The Bearded Iris).
15.) Beer pong is just not the same with apple juice.
Please do my a favor and vote for me for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms contest! CLICK HERE. Please and thank you!
Awhile back I posted Kyle’s Story. About a little boy that was a friend of ours who passed away from a very merciless childhood cancer. Please read his story when you get the chance.
Today would’ve been Kyle’s 12th birthday. On Kyle’s last birthday on earth, 4 years ago, he asked his mom if he could have ice cream all day. And he did. Kyle passed away a few short weeks afterwards from a Diffuse Pontine Intrinsic Glioma. A very rare, very deadly brain cancer.
We keep our friend Kyle alive in spirit with doing the things he loved. Remembering to find the joys in those we have with us.
So pick your flavor and dig in!
The following is the story Kyle’s mom posted to her blog after he passed away. Neither of us wrote it, so you know. But it captures loss and grief so clearly.
Waterbugs and Dragonflies
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…
“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea”. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise”, they said solemnly.
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings…The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.
The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…
“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…….
If I get my kid a hair cut or not, it’s none of your gads dang beeswax.
Owen hasn’t had a buzz cut since he was 5 years old. He’s 9 now. He likes his hair a long short. It’s short, but it lays a good 5 inches from his scalp. He just likes it kind of moppy.
Every since the haystack hair of preschool days started bothering him, he wears it longer vs. shorter.
Who cares? Right?
Except every dang blessed person needs to point this out to him. Stop already.
First there’s the grandparents. “Well hey son, your hair is getting kinda long there, when are you going to get a hair cut? I can barely see your eyes.
Then Owen will make a tear filled plea, “I wish kids at school would stop talking about my hair”, he’ll cry.
“Why do they talk about your hair?”, I ask.
“They say I look like a girl!”, he’ll cry.
Huh? Ya look like a boy to me kid. What, with your sports jersey, high tops and all that fart talk! So I tell him to never mind and it will all be okay, like any mom does, right?
Then there’s the discussion about his weight-
Did I mention Owen is skinny? He is. His dad is really skinny. Always has been. I mean, like lanky lean Russell Brand skinny. But without the cocaine addiction and long hair.
Owen will grow up to be just like his dad I’m sure. A blond version of his dad. Healthy, tall, lean, a good runner, great at soccer, super coordination, good balance. Yeah, but what do people talk about- how skinny he is.
Thanks people. You know what that does to him? It makes him feel like he’s not good enough being just who he is. It makes him feel like he needs to change to conform to some other ‘normal’ that people seem to picture him in.
How many times I have to give him the pep talk because he’s standing on the scale wondering when he’ll gain 5 pounds. Sure, lots of kids at school are chubby. Do we talk about the chubby kids? No. That would be mean. But telling my kid he needs to eat a cheeseburger because he’s like a bean pole, is okay? No. It’s not.
Yes- this is my son we are talking about. Not my daughter. My daughter who is 12 and you would think would be obsessing over her body, isn’t like this. She’s petite as well but I think she’s learning to appreciate her size, thank God!
Owen is only 9. He’s still getting there.
I tell him, when he stands on the bathroom scale and asks me if he can have a steak so he’ll gain some weight, “Owen, do you know how great it is that you are so lean and light? You know when you do a breakaway in soccer and you run with that ball like the wind? Remember that. That is what you are made for. Not how you look, not how big your muscles are, or a number on the scale. You just keep being you.”
And then he sighs and says, “okay, can I have ice cream?” Yes, son, after your dinner.
Remember what you say to a child. Even a child that is not your own. The words you say to them stay in their little minds and create a truth, a reality that might not be necessary for them to even know or hear. I remember everything said to me growing up about how I looked. And it’s still etched in my brain looking at my 40 year old self. The good and the bad.
This isn’t a, Woe is Me My son Is So Sensitive, post. It’s a, Think of the Words You Choose Towards Children post.
Here’s to 2013. It feels surprisingly just like 2012 did. Kind of like when I turned 40 and it felt a lot like 39. Except when I tried the pogo stick on Christmas day. Then I felt like I was 60. Old and unbalanced.
I have some promises I’ve made myself this year. It’s pretty much like last year. Get more fit. End world hunger. Bring peace to the land.
Buy my first unicorn.
Okay, those are very much like everyone’s resolutions, right? Except maybe the unicorn one.
But I also am including these resolutions I’ve listed below. And goshdangit. They’re pretty good.
So won’t you join me too? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did these? I think so.
I was going to put on there, “Make sweet love to McSweetie more often”, but that just didn’t seem very ‘pinterest’ing.
Tell me what you’re going to do this year for YOU and the ones you love that will make you happy. And are do-able. Not that losing weight isn’t do-able, but we’ll just go with baby steps, shall we?
Okay, we did more than survive it. We sucked the life out of it and showed it who’s boss. Well, really, I just ate too much, drank a little too much and have become a vegetative shell of a human.
This is why bears hibernate during the winter. I don’t think mammals are programmed for much activity once the Winter Solstice kicks in. I’ve been sleeping in and so have the children, except Christmas morning- when Owen came in my room, “It’s 6:04 mom. You said we could get up at 6:00.” Sure kid, Merry Christmas to you too.
I’ve been eating every carb in sight. This might not be new for you either. Cinnamon bread, scones, and coffee. You’d think I’d have more energy with the amount of coffee and sugar I am consuming. Far from it. I seem to just plan my day around which warm, caffeinated beverage I will have next. What creamer or syrup will it be this time? Gingerbread, pumpkin? Hazelnut? Coconut?
My waistline is starting to resemble Augustus Gloop’s mother’s. It’s starting to form into a tire shape with it’s own treads.
But enough complaining. We had a blast. The kids enjoyed their stuff. They were even (gasp) nice to each other and to us. I shall share with you a Christmas photo montage of our fabulous holiday.
But wait, there’s more. My best gift, aside from the Lululemon jacket McSweetie got me, or even the spending $$ my MIL got me, Emma wrote me a ‘vignette’. I writing assignment in Language Arts class that pretty much can have any content, no plot line and not even complete sentences. Sounds like my blog doesn’t it? Anyway- it went something like this-
“Mama is proud of me when I am performing, tears trickle down Mama’s face. Salty hot tears of joy swell up in her eyes. Those eyes that are forests. Forests in autumn when the leaves start to change, crisp, yellow. Mama’s eyes are a burst of all those trees changing, changing, changing. Mama is beautiful.”
Okay that’s all I can type until I start with my own hot salty tears again down my face.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
Here’s to the New Year!
There’s a lot of folks out there that are sad. Sometimes I’m one of them. But my sadness comes and goes. I’ll watch news coverage of a young child’s funeral in Connecticut and burst into tears. I’ll look at my children and think how lucky I am that they are in front of me, and burst into tears. I’m lucky enough to be distracted away from my sadness. Unlike some people’s sadness that’s like a smudge that is stained on their skin. It will need to be washed again and again to start to fade.
I can be gripped with anxiety that makes me think irrational thoughts about my children’s safety. I can start to panic and feel my skin get that cold prickly feeling.
But I can also try to remember that if I don’t get my happy back, I can fall down a rabbit hole of never ending sadness.
When something awful happens to someone else, it brings up our feelings of grief and despair. I know people who have lost a loved one tragically, by their own hand even. I know people missing loved ones from cancer. Little loved ones. I worry about them at times like this. The holidays are bad enough. But to have constant images of grief and tragedy. Motorcades and balloon memorials.
Maybe they feel there is no point for them to go on living. That they too could just leave this earth, and things would go on, and the pain would be over. But that would just cause more pain for others.
Pain and sadness can be contagious. They can be a viscous cycle that doesn’t yield. The dark can keep creeping until the light has been snuffed out permanently.
Don’t let that happen.
We all need to find our happy. We feel guilty laughing. We feel guilty enjoying Christmas movies and cookies and presents. We feel guilty getting to have loved ones to spend these times with.
We need to stop feeling guilty. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to share the happy. Spreading kindness randomly. Sharing joy with others gives them more reason to share it to someone else.
And then it’s okay to be sad again too sometimes. Feelings are good. To feel pain, means that you will feel relief eventually. To feel grief, you will feel joy soon. See the pain as a window, a perspective. Tell yourself, I will look out this window, but only a short time. And then I will close it to open the door of happy once more.
Thankfully, children seem to have the best recipe for finding their happy. If we let them, they seem to flourish in their own lost thoughts. Thank heavens in times like this, their little brains can have the attention span of a flea.
Owen only gets sad if I remind him of sad things. His heart is naturally happy. He has given me plenty to laugh at this week in the area of farts, penis love and boogers. Yes, the Owen trifecta.
At a shop in the mall with all kinds of weird, crazy things like squirrel underpants, and bacon flavored gum, he sees a magnet that reads, I <3 my Penis. He whispers to me so no one else can hear, “I do love my penis actually. It’s there for me when I’m bored.” Dear heavens son, only in the privacy of your bedroom please. He assures me, only in privacy.
Also this week, in a parking lot, Emma somehow was compelled by the power of song, and decided to belt out at the top of her lungs, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I admit, I laughed and tinkled. I had to be careful not to literally pee my pants. She was skipping and singing, and on key too, as a matter of fact. Who says (almost) teenagers are self conscious?
I laughed heartily at the recent Saturday Night Live episode with Martin Short. I’m sure it was a little bit funny, but I seem to laugh harder when I desperately need it.
I’ll leave you the link to my favorite skit and you can check it out for your amusement. You’re a Rat Bastard Charlie Brown.
I heard the song on the radio “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and thought it was Will Ferrell singing. But it was actually Robert Goulet. Which is funny because Will Ferrell impersonates Robert Goulet singing that song and apparently he does a good job. Or I’m just hard of hearing.
Just remember that there will always be light. We have to focus on that. On the giggles and the belly laughs. The sunshine and the snowflakes. That there is a tomorrow.
Peace to all of you my friends. Be safe. And shine your light.
Yep. I’m going to say it. I know, it’s a complete change of heart. Especially after all the complaining I do and when I threaten to go on strike. You guys know that’s just hyperbole right? (what a big juicy word, ‘hyperbole’)
Every day a child is taken too soon from this world. It’s the sad fact of life. Childhood cancer, bike accidents, car accidents happen every day. Children by the hundreds die in the Sudan because of starvation and disease. Why did the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy make such a difference for me? I don’t know. Maybe because it’s relatable to me based on the victims’ ages and location and its absolute randomness. It could happen anywhere.
So I’m still my snarky self. Trust me. But I decided first to remember before I gripe at my kids ONE MORE TIME about the clothes that needed picking up and the wrappers left randomly around the house, to take a breath, to speak calmly, and not let the little things bother me.
Will I still parent and make them hate me from time to time because I put my foot down on setting boundaries? You betcha. Will I do it with respect for them and their dignity? Absolutely.
This weekend I told McSweetie I’m not going to nag. He probably thought it was a Christmas miracle that came early. I will kindly ask him to remove his toenail clippings from the bathroom floor and whiskers from the sink. And then I’ll flash him my boobs when the kids aren’t around. It’s a win-win situation for both of us. He might start doing more chores, more often.
I will remember not to roll my eyes (it’s hard for me). I roll my eyes and see my brain sometimes. I will try not to get exasperated when Owen asks for the bajillionth time questions like this- “how tall is Marshawn Lynch from the Seahawks?” “How much money did Steve Jobs make before he died?” “Is the White House the biggest house in America?” “What kind of car am I going to drive when I get my license?” “Does Dad make more money than so and so’s dad?”
You get my point.
He is one inquisitive kid. But hey, what a blessing, right?
Then there’s Emma’s fits of absolute dissolve over something minor. But never tell a pre-teen girl ‘it’s not a big deal’. Because guess what? It’s a pretty big fucking deal I didn’t wash the socks she was planning to wear today.
I will remind her, without screaming at her, that I am not a mind reader. That I’m happy to wash her socks with the rest of the laundry after she gathers it up off her floor and into her hamper. But then I will smile, and hug her (but only when she’s ready, because hugging a pre-hormonal adolescent girl before she’s ready is as dangerous as wrangling an alligator.) I will smooth her hair and wipe her tears and offer her a snack.
Most often kids are cranky when they are hungry, so I will make sure she doesn’t need anything to eat.
So I think this will be a good plan. When Owen hands me a booger, the size of his thumb and announces, “I was digging for gold!” I will smile and tell him that his gold needs to be put in a kleenex treasure chest.
Those little stinkers!!
I love them and their boogers, and their tears, and their farts. And McSweetie’s toenails. I kinda love them. Sort of.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Reason to Live Friday- so for today, I’m dedicating it to making the world better, one woman at a time.
Some of you may flinch at the memory of the 80s hit song- ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’. Personally, I love it. I do. It was created by Bob Geldof. Not Gandalf. Gandalf is the wizard in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books who has a long gray beard and carries a staff. Bob Geldof is a song writer and humanitarian. Sometimes it’s easy to confuse the two.
Okay, back to the song. There’s a few reasons I love listening to it. The bells and chords in it are pretty cool. Then there’s the game you play to identify which 80s British singer you are listening to when they sing their part. I’ll be in my car going, “oh, that’s Boy George.” Or “is that Simon LeBon?” George Michael and Bono are so easy to identify.
But the words about ‘there’s no snow in Africa’ and ‘thank God it’s them, instead of you’, rips my heart out. The last thing Africa needs is snow. But maybe some rain would be nice. And honestly, aren’t you all glad it’s them and not you?
There’s poor everywhere in the world. But Africa is poor and war torn. The Sally Struthers commercials with the kids covered in flies and their distended bellies always is etched in my mind. She would say, ‘for just the cost of a cup of coffee, you can clothe and feed a child.’ Amazing how far a dollar goes.
Sorry to bum you out. That’s not my point. My point is just to plant a seed of thought in your head.
Have you heard of Women for Women International? It’s this amazing company that teaches women in war torn 3rd world countries how to run their own business to support their families. Every 6 months I receive a new ‘sister’s’ profile and all about her situation. I’ve had women in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Rwanda.
My current sister, Yvonne, is in Rwanda, she is in her 20s and is married but has no children. Rwanda? Can you believe it! Can you imagine living there? No.
I’ve received Easter cards, Christmas cards and photos from my sponsored sisters. Some come with photos. I usually burst into tears because they write that I’m such a blessing and I’ve done this amazing thing for them and their family and they pray for me and my family…. Oh my gosh!!
Yeah. Of course the Christmas card comes at Easter, and the Easter card comes at Christmas because I think they still operate by Pony Express in 3rd world countries. Okay, sorry, bad joke.
Well, I know there’s poor everywhere. There’s poor here in my own neighborhood and hungry children at my kids’ schools. And yes, I do what I can to help them too. But the idea of a woman, who has to fight to survive whether it’s war, rape, famine, drought; who doesn’t know how to read or write; who is treated like property instead of a person; I need to be a part of that change.
I got a message from them to hope I could spread the word this holiday time with the hopes that some of you could do some gift giving through their program. You know buy some chicks or a goat for a family that needs it. Forget iPads and Prada handbags, these women want a goat for Christmas.
If you’d like, we can all pitch in. Message me if you want to contribute a few dollars and we’ll get some goats and chicks for these remarkable women!
If you are interested in sponsoring a sister, it’s a monthly commitment of $25 here’s the link – Women for Women Int’l Sponsorship
The good news is that this organization rates very highly on Charity Navigator. See here.
So in answer to the 80s song, I think they do know it’s Christmas time. Hopefully some of them do anyway.