Friday, March 29, 2013

Explanation Please....

Whoever decided that Good Friday included the kids being home from school, is an idiot. I really need to know who is responsible for that decision, because they're gettin' a whoopin'.

For. Reals.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For A Giggle Or Two...Or Twelve

 Me and my training bra self had a mammogram today. My mom offered comforting words, "I don't mean to be rude, but how exactly do they do that?"

Here's the answer-- Lots of selective squishing. Like, lots.


Unless the TV is on, Child #2 rarely graces us with her presence. Nor does she sit and chat with the family. Ever.

Something unusual happened last night. She sat and talked. Willingly. I'm thinking she must be getting sick. In her I'm-Pretending-To-Like-My-Family moment, she entertained us with stories from one of her teachers.

Here's what we learned (you might want to write this down): There are cannibals in Brazil. And apparently, they only like to eat the smart people. So that's why you need to act dumb. Oh, and it's also considered an honor to be eaten.

Pigs can swim. But only for a few minutes. When her teacher was a girl, they put all the pigs from their farm in the garage because of flooding. They didn't want them in the house, because they stink. (Uh, right?). But even the garage started filling up with water. To save the pigs, the family tied empty water bottles around each one so they could float.

For. The. Love.

After our laughter died down, silence descended. Then, out of the blue, #2 declares, "Oh, and she also ate her grandma".

Hold. Back. The. Tears.

Who knew that if you buried your deceased grandma under an apple tree, it would grow and bear fruit that you could eat and it would taste just like her.


And thank you Texas, for making me smile. Especially when I'm parking my car to walk in to the OB for my annual girly-parts check:

I hope you find a reason to laugh today.
Even if it's at our expense.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Where Did It All Turn South?

One of my offspring emailed me this list last night. Her email was titled, "Easter". At what point did Easter turn into a pastel Christmas? It definitely happened when I wasn't around. I'm going to need to gently let this child know that the Big Bunny only travels with eggs, not gifts. Man, I think someone is going to be sorely disappointed come Sunday morning. I really hope it isn't me.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Make Something Fun, Take Time To Breathe and Embrace Imperfection As Your Norm

In between all your plans this weekend, why don't you find time to squeeze in a few things you normally wouldn't do. Today, in Houston, it's 80 degrees. It's lovely. But, if you're living somewhere cold right now, don't be jealous too long. In a couple months, this place will feel like living in a microwave. While it's on.

I'm determined to make this over the weekend for no other reason than I think it's super cute. Download and print one for yourself:


Read this blog post. Please.
She is my favorite writer. Ever.
Take a deep breath, be still and take stock of your end of the pool.


And here, I'm giving you a link to my favorite decorator.
Why? Because a weekend isn't a weekend without wasting time looking a beautiful things on the internet.
This woman is a mom and she is Real. She also shares my obsession of making things out of book pages.
Oh, and guess what? She's the sister to my favorite writer mentioned above.
Crazy, right?

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The 1%

I realized the other day, that motherhood can be dissected on a pie chart. I honestly thought about drawing one out. Just to put it all out there. To give physical proof to what I do. What we all do.

But guess what? There ain't that much to dissect. Sure, you could get technical by whittling down the hours of carpooling, cleaning, cooking, homeworking. But that all just boils down to hard core mothering. With an emphasis on HARD. I'd say that takes up 90% of the pie. It's just about everything. All the time. All the day long.

There is a 9% chunk that can be assigned to those times that are awesome. Like, watching your children's joy in Disneyland. Or seeing them achieve something they've worked incredibly hard for. Those things are amazing. But then again, it's only 9% of the pie.

But then there is the smallest sliver of 1%. That's reserved for the moments when time takes a breather and slows to a crawl. When my soul stills and for a few eternal seconds, mothering becomes magical.

I've had my pie chart in my mind's eye for awhile now. I tend to center myself in the heat of the 90%. The hard stuff. The day-to-dayness of it all. It wears down my corners sometimes and makes me wonder about my purpose.

Then, on an ordinary evening, in the middle of an ordinary week, the 10 year old sends me a text while she is sitting upstairs and I'm sitting downstairs:

"You should not think you are a bad mom because I think you are the best mom. If I could choice witch mom I wanted it would be you. I am not saying you are the best mom ever just because you are my mom. If you were not my mom I would still think you are THE BEST MOM EVER and I mean it I am series. BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST."

I read through it twice. Just so I could soak it down into my soul. And just like that, on an ordinary evening, in the middle of an ordinary week, I forgot about the 90%. It didn't seem to matter. Because there, in that moment, the 1% was all I needed.

Since then, I've redrawn my pie chart. It's all the 1%. All of it. Because that's the part that is true. It covers it all. It makes the work, the dailyness, the endless days, fade to the background. There really isn't any dissecting to do. It's all whole, and it resides within me. It takes my ever failing mothering and turns it into enough. One perfect and complete pie. Just as it should be.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Break Day 5

Life lesson learned: When you bite your toenails, there is a high possibility it will get a nasty looking, puss oozing infection. And you'll get to go to the doctor and cry while he squeezes it all out.

Quite the last day of Spring Break.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Break Day 4

An African Safari smack dab in Texas is kindof funny. But so is Child #2 reaching out to pet a long horn.

Farmer Todd can hardly fathom why anyone would pay good money to drive around and feed animals. And I'm pretty sure it convinced my kids they like the city life.

I can't even believe there are still days left in this Break. I'm exhausted. I begged The Farmer to take the day off tomorrow, be he insisted he's needed at the office. What a fibber. I might need to introduce him to the buffalo.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Break Day 3

I let the little people do crafts.
That was all I could muster.
I had a fried food hangover from yesterday. I'm serious.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Break Day 2

The Rodeo.
The one day of the year I feel like a Texan. Even if I don't own cowboy boots.

I only spent $4,000 on tickets for rides and games. Good thing we loaded home enough stuffed animals to fill up a smart car.

I didn't even count the dollars I spent on fried desserts. Because that's pure heaven. It's priceless. And in case you're wondering, fried peanut butter cups will make an atheist believe in God.

My sister somehow fanagled me into riding all the rides with her kids. I guess I'm not the genius after all. Apparently that expired yesterday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Break Day 1

Make your sister do all the work by taking the kids to ride the train. Downtown.
I'm kindof a genius.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The "To Do" List

I'm a list keeper. It's about the only time I find any control over my life. Writing it down means making it happen. Or so the theory goes.

1. Send a text (or have the high school announce it over the intercom) to Child #1 that reads: "If you ever eat an M&M McFlurry again, while driving my car, I will cut off your hair while you sleep." Them is fightin' words. Fo-Reals.

2. The next time The Husband goes out of town, never, ever, ever, ever ask him what he did for they day. It never goes well. Because while he was eating with adults only in a posh steak restaurant, you were at home watching the middle child strut through the kitchen like a pigeon while screeching like a pterodactyl.

3. Next time you hear Child #2 talking about 'cup stacking', that doesn't mean you need to try and be a supermom and buy a ginormous bag of cups to surprise her. Because it turns out she was talking about a song. Not the real thing.

4. Allergies are of the devil. And so is glitter. That's just a reminder.

5. Find a way to hide my money. The teenagers are sucking it out of my pores. The insanity has got to stop. Do you really think hiding it under the mattress would work? Oh, I know. I'll hide it under the vacuum. That thing is like kryptonite. They'll never find it.

6. Roll my eyes more and start saying, "It's not fair!" 400 times a day. If you can't fight 'em, join 'em.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Answer

Do you ever feel like you're doing it wrong? This parenting gig? That maybe you're simply screwing it all up? Truthfully, I always assume that I am. I've got real low expectations when it comes to my parenting skills. But there are times, like this week, where I get serious with my big, bad self. Serious matters take serious attention.

I usually over-analyze myself one kid at a time. I like to take my guilt in smaller portions. But this week my brain has decided to tackle 2 at once. The timing of things has just made it so, I guess. That's a real kicker to your parenting self-esteem. When your heart tells you that you're trying to do the right thing, but you mind convinces you that you're just messing it all up. Quite a conundrum.

I'm trying to make my head self-talk. To take my own advice. Because here's what I tell my teenagers, lean in and listen close-- I expect you to be living a life where you can HEAR the truth your heart speaks to you. One where you are living as you know you should. Because I can't always be there to make sure you choose the right. Most of the time, you're on your own. And if you're living right, and being true to who you are, you'll hear MY voice and more importantly, HIS voice inside your head letting you know which way to go. And at all costs, You. Must. Listen.

I guess the same is true when you're an adult. Why wouldn't it be? Simple truth tends to be universal. So, I'm trying to Listen. To remember who I am as my grown-up self. The one that is a parent who hopes she's not screwing it all up. Because parenting is a fickle thing. Just when you think you've found your rhythm, it changes shape. And so must you.

But here's what I always forget: Love. I skip it every time. I'm not really sure why. It's just something I do. Maybe we all do it. And maybe that needs to change. Maybe Love is the only right way to Hear. And to Listen. It coats every decision I make. And maybe that's the whole reason everything will turn out right. Even when it feels like I'm doing it all wrong.

Love just might be the answer to it all. Not the solution, because that's never easy, nor is the work in between. But, it can be the answer. The one that quiets the guilt and leads the way. The one that gets us to the end. May we ever follow.