Thursday, April 28, 2011

SOS is for Save Our Sanity

My husband was away on business for six days. I was left with two kids for six days.

Six. Days.

Six days without adult conversation. Six days listening to whining, checking homework and breaking up fights by myself. It's surprising I have any sanity left. It doesn't matter if you have a full time job, or work from home, or you are a stay at home mom, it can be draining. And if you are a single parent, this is your regular day.

When my husband returned, I asked sweetly, "Do we have any plans tomorrow?"

"No? Good. I need to get out of here. For a few hours. Sans children."

Sometimes, the days turn into weeks, turn into months and I forget when the last time was that I had a break. Not a vacation. Not a date with my husband. Just a break. For me.

AKA....Alone time. AKA.....Me time.

It's important. It's NECESSARY.

Parents...I implore you. Make some time for yourselves. Don't forget to take care of you. We all need a break from the dependency. A moment to breathe. And think. You can go shopping, take a drive, go to a coffee shop and read your favorite book. You could take a blanket and lay out in a local park with your iPod and some sunshine for company. Spending money is not the key.

Having time to yourself to do something that you enjoy without the pressure of chores, demands or other interruptions is vital to keeping your life balanced. Make the time. Don't feel guilty about dropping the kids off with a friend or a relative. The time you give yourself is time to recharge. Without it, you may be more likely to yell at the kids more or get upset over insignificant issues.

Taking care of yourself is not neglecting your children. Taking care of yourself makes you a better parent. More tolerant, more rational. Too much stress can have a physical effect on you. Don't allow your selflessness to harm you in the long run. You are deserving. Your happiness is just as important as your children's.

A 30-day blog tour is being arranged for May, the month of Mother's Day. Let's celebrate moms!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Glee

How can little plastic eggs make kids so happy?  I don't know, but I sure enjoy their glee at finding them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pyramids, Mummies, and Coffins, OH MY!

We did haircuts on Saturday, and everyone got to choose a prize from my prize bin for their cooperation.  Onyx's was a Lego mummy, and ever since then he has been all over pyramids, mummies (usually flying ones), pharaohs, coffins, and scorpions.  We built a Lego pyramid together, complete with coffin and giant scorpion:

When we go to the park, we are flying mummies setting traps to protect our pyramid from the evil mummies, or something.  I haven't figured out what makes a mummy evil or good.  But any game where you get to have giant pet scorpions that eat guns and bullets is pretty cool.

We also made pyramids for lunch.  "Your lunch is an ancient pyramid, with two red obelisks rising out of the sand.  Giant scarab beetles crawl over the rocks, and snakes slither across the golden sands".  (The pyramid is toast, the sand is scrambled eggs, the beetles are raisins, the rocks are peanuts, the obelisks are strawberries, and the snakes are crunchy green beans).  They thought it was pretty cool, but I still couldn't get Onyx to eat any green beans or strawberries.  :-)

Quartz has been really into riding his bike lately.  We found one at a garage sale with gears and hand brakes and everything, so he rides around the neighborhood almost every day (still on the sidewalk, though...).  I'm glad he enjoys a sport that I like, too, and we can do together.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Birthday Girl

I was thinking about what to write about my Emma Lily for her birthday post. The day came and went and I couldn't decide. Do I whine about the fact I had to be induced to get her here? Like get to the hospital the night before and spend the whole time strapped to machines? Nah. I'm sure plenty of women have been through the same. Maybe I'll share some of her hilarious quips. Like the time she said that her life was ruined because I gave her fresh parsley. But, then again, I've shared plenty of those on Twitter.

So, what then?

My son was an easy baby. He's a pretty easy kid still at 11 years old. Emma, on the other hand, is already her own person at the age of four. She was her own person before she was born. I was sick the whole pregnancy. She had to be forced out. The only good hospital photo taken was one where she was giving the one regret in life is not having that one printed. I should have known it was a sign of what was to come.

She was pretty easy in the way that waking up in the middle of the night was quickly resolved, but her precociousness was creeping up on me in the meantime. Once she began crawling, it was obvious she would be a troublemaker. She'd head for whatever direction we did not want her to go in. Today, she still is. She tries to fool us. She says things that we can't even begin to comprehend how she would know. I can only imagine what her teenage years will do to me.

Although, underneath all the trouble, the mouthing off, the hijinx, she's an incredible energy. She bounces like light off a mirror. Her grin is always mischievous. Her hair is always a mess. She makes demands and she throws fits when they aren't fulfilled. Then she does something helpful like getting a new box of tissues for the bathroom. I have a four year old that knows how to put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. She has tender moments where she brushes your hair back and asks for a hug.

When I look at Emma, I see possibilities. I see a million things she could be. She's emits the drama of an actress, the creativity of an artist and the cunning of a con artist. She's beautiful and difficult and challenging. She's so full of life and my one hope for her is that she always remains that way.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My People

I'm working on my anti-aging beauty extravaganza post, but this weekend we've had some much needed family time after Coach and I have both put in two 80+ hour work weeks and the kids have tagged along.

Anyway, back to the family time.  We've had some.  And the time has not disappointed.  My people, they are a funny bunch, and the things they say make me laugh til my water breaks.

1.  Friday on the way home from school G said that the football coach had asked him to play football.  (Background- he played in 5th and 6th grade.  He was 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide- he played line.  HATED it.  Now he's 6 feet tall and tips the scales at 140- he's svelte, and he's fast.)  So I said to him, "You know if you played you wouldn't play line- you'd probably be a receiver."

To which he replied, "Yeah, well that's great and all except I can't catch and I don't like to get hit."

I think that decision is made.

2.  AC came in this morning and said, "I had the worst dream last night- not scary bad, just really really bad."

"Really, what about?"  I said.

And so goes the dream:  "My hair was reallllllly long.  Mom, it was so long, like you can't even believe how long.  So I went to get it cut, and the lady put it in a ponytail and cut off the ponytail, except she didn't give it back to me.  Then we went home and someone had done a room makeover and I had two beds and rainbow colored shelves in my closet.  Then I realized I left my hair, so we went back to get it.  When we got there the lady who cut it was eating a boiled egg.  I asked her for my hair, and she told me that she boiled it into an egg and she was eating right then.  What do you think that means?"

I have to be honest- I've thought about it for the better part of the day, and I have NO IDEA what it means, but I do think the NyQuil she took last night is a bit suspect.

3.  And finally- tonight Coach and I had a baby-date while G was at a dance.  We were talking about important stuff like Darius Rucker and crab-artichoke dip when he somehow managed to compare L'il Wayne (offensive rapper) to Ernest Hemingway (American Fiction Master).

And that's really all I can say about that.  Except we definitely have our own brand of crazy over here.

See y'all!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Have We Met?

Hey There!  It's been a while, and I've missed the old blog.  All I can say is here at the Momsense home we've been busy.  Too busy.  Much too busy.  I don't handle busy well; neither do my kiddos.  So, Saturday night after we had spent 12 hours at a track meet and I had finished an 85-hour work week- I came undone.

Then the kids came undone.  Then Coach went all Rain Man with the Dustbuster.  NOT PRETTY.

Coach isn't really a fan of estrogen-related bouts of spontaneous weeping, and because the better part of his Saturday night was spent asking me "Why are you crying now?" he decided to call a time out.

Because that's what coaches do.  But enough about that.  I thought I'd give you a pictorial account of some of the things we've been up to lately.

1.  We've had the longest, most dreary winter in the history of my life and there are only so many Wii Just Dance dance offs you can have before you have to get more creative.  So one desperate Saturday we took the kids to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here's the welcome sign.  It's like they knew we were coming...

The music industry provides MUCH Nashville-esque entertainment.  FABULOUS skunk hair.  EPIC really.

2.  Then the sun came out and it was a balmy 55 degrees, so we went to shoot guns.  We do that here.  Turns out I'm pretty good at it.  Weird huh?  I think if I kept at it long enough I could even get in a fist fight.

I call this photo "Make Yer Daddy Proud"-

3.  Then?  Just as the schedule started to get hairy, I contracted the flu.  Oh sure. 

It bugged me.  I fought it.  It got mad.  Really, really mad.  So it morphed into a sinus infection and bronchitis.  I fought it again.  It got even angrier and decided to pull out the big guns.  Pneumonia.

The upside?  I lost 10 pounds.  The downside?  I sound like Barry White.  Still.  4 weeks later.

4.  Then IT happened...

Coach had me on suicide watch.  It hurt.  I'll talk about it when I'm ready.  You can say 40 is the new 30 all you want.  You can tell me that your 40's were the best years of your life.  You can throw every platitude you can think of at me, but the fact of the matter is- 40 is the back end of middle age- IF I'M LUCKY.  There is a very real possibility that 40 years from now I could be sitting in a chair drooling on myself and begging people to rub my bunions.

I have to be honest- I haven't even reconciled the gray eyebrow hairs yet, so I'm pretty sure that 40 years is not enough time to reconcile authentic old-age.

But, in keeping with my firm belief that a birthday should be well-celebrated I did not disappoint.

I took a cake decorating class...

I cut my hair, and I went here...

For a big girl make-over.  I'll write more about that later this week.  LIFE-CHANGING products.  I'll give you the secrets.

Then we partied.  First we partied with the kids.  It was in the 70s and sunny so we went to a new burger place in our little town...

The menu is interesting.  Coach ate a lamb burger.

Then  Coach and the kids made a geocache which led me to my birthday card...and a snake.  Awesome.

Then Coach called a few friends and invited them to one of my favorite restaurants.  I didn't cry.  That was exactly the mood Coach was going for.  We watched basketball, ate cheese, and laughed for several hours.  And I didn't cry.  Did I say that?

Coach & Me.  I'm not crying...

My baby brother.  He has four kids.  He wasn't crying either.  The kids were running amok on a farm in Alabama.

My cousin Jennifer.  She's the only daughter of my mom's only sister. She's not 40; not even close.   You read about her and our mothers here...

5.  Then Coach and I went with friends to their cabin in the woods.  We needed to get away.  Coach was tired of living with her/me...

So we had to take her/me here...

Before Coach shot her/me and left her/me for dead.

The End.

I'll be back this week.  I promise.  We must discuss Ethiopia.  I still need your help.

And we'll discuss Sephora, chocolate, and birthdays.  But we won't discuss 40.

And we won't cry.

See y'all

My Birthday Boy

Twelve years ago, I was a carefree 21 year old. I worked at a daycare during the day and as a waitress at a local bar at night. In my free time, I bounded from pool halls to concerts to late night diners. There were hours of time spent surrounded by friends having in-depth discussions about solving world hunger or who really killed Tupac and Biggie. Our beer bottles could be heard clinking until all hours of the morning.

And then one day, I was pregnant. The collage of emotions felt overlapped and overwhelmed me. It wasn't time. I wasn't ready. How would I do this? Everything is going to change.

With each passing month, I grew closer to him. I remember the kicks. I relished the tumbles. It was an easy pregnancy; I had no difficulties or illnesses the entire term. I sometimes wrapped my arms around my growing belly, not just to support the weight, but in an attempt to embrace the child I couldn't wait to hold.

My due date came and went. I was ready. I was exhausted. The weekend came and I spent the day walking as much as I could. And at 10pm, when I felt the first twinge of a contraction, I knew he was on his way. After a few hours of waiting, I tried to get some sleep. And after a few hours sleep, I awoke, knowing it was time to get ready to leave for the hospital.

At 4:20pm, he was finally here. I cried. I swooned. I laughed at the scrunched up faces he made. Mostly, I realized that this wiggly bundle was now my life. And with every day that has passed, he has never ceased to amaze me.

In eleven years, he's crawled, walked and spoke. He's created, destroyed and discovered. He makes me angry and he makes me happier than I've ever known. I'm proud of him in more ways than I can count. And while I fear the unknown teenage years ahead, I know that he'll be amazing. Just as he always has.