Sorry, I Got Nothin’

My challenge for today was to write about my ten favorite foods, but this is not a topic I care to write about, nor one I think people give a damn about. I’m feeling pretty cynical today. My girls brought home their report cards & well…the report wasn’t so good. It’s just got me down and honestly, feeling kinda throat-punchy. So for today, I have nothing to give you. No funnies, no sarcasm, no small chicken nuggets of death wisdom.

But in the (debatably) wise words of Dean Winchester…

Strike out GED, replace with High School Diploma, add something about pie and we’ll call this #ChallengeComplete.

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It’s Okay To Be Emotional…Until It Isn’t

I’m going to be honest: I have no idea if Albert Einstein actually said that. I just thought it was appropriate for my blog today.


Surely you’ve heard people say, “it’s okay to cry” just as often as you’ve heard people – probably the same people – chastise their children for doing just that. So, when is it okay to display negative emotions? Because from where I’m standing, it seems as if it’s only okay to show them when you’re in a therapy session or at a funeral. Otherwise, suck it up, Buttercup! There’s nothing to be upset about.
 Actually…there’s nothing for you to be upset about. That person you’re talking to may feel entirely different, or maybe they’re experiencing some internal battle you know nothing about, which they can’t tell you about for fear of being judged, belittled, or embarrassed. It’s kind of an asshole move to tell someone when it’s okay for them to express how they feel or dictate how they should do so.

Someone asked me today why my youngest child is so emotional, and have I “gotten to the root cause of it?” The question threw me off a little. I actually said, “I’m not sure what you mean…” even though I did know exactly what she meant. It took me by surprise and I guess my brain just needed (more than) a moment to process, which I didn’t get and so I ended up giving a blundering, awkward response.

The more I think about it, the more I wish I had answered differently. I keep replaying my response (& the subsequent tears) over and over again in my head and the more I do, the more frustrated with myself I become. Why did I react that way and why did I give such a stupid reply?

 

It was an innocent question asked from a place of concern, but I felt oddly (& irrationally) attacked by it. I’ve never thought of The Cuteness as being “emotional” so much as she’s just intuitive and so very receptive to the world around her. She has such a pure, sweet, sensitive soul that I think even the smallest delights and cruelties in life affect her in the most profound – and sometimes puzzling – ways. I was told last year she had a high level of anxiety. Given our circumstances last year, I’m not surprised by that in the slightest, but then I thought about it a little more…

 

It wasn’t long before it struck me that my child is only 8 years old (and only 7 years old when I was told she rated very high for anxiety). Let that sink in a minute. She is only eight.
The Cuteness has the most vibrant, innocent, tender soul of anybody I’ve ever met. She expresses joy over the smallest things and it takes very little to make her happy. All she really needs is a lot of hugs, a puppy and some good music, and she’s the happiest girl you’ll ever meet. I call her my sunshine, because she really, really is. She radiates it like magic. 🙂 As generally happy as she is though, she’s the one that cries when she sees someone else crying, or a scene in a movie with someone hunting a deer, and especially when she sees a dead animal on the side of the road. She sheds quiet, melancholy tears every single time she hears the song “Burning House” on the radio…even as she’s singing along to it.

 

She has a mom who is overly-empathic & (I like to think) pretty intuitive myself, an authoritarian dad who is stern & rough (at least on the outside), and she lives in a world that forces children to grow up too quickly, to ‘know better’ too soon. She is a student in an educational system that is broken; too much is demanded of our kids (not to mention our teachers), much of which isn’t even developmentally appropriate. She tries so hard and she still struggles. On top of all that she’s supposed to somehow figure out how to appropriately navigate social situations, make friends, deal with bullies, which is another burden entirely when you consider that she’s being taught to defend herself at home & told not to at school. It would be overwhelming for anyone, but an 8 year old who already has a proclivity for being sensitive?

 

How could she NOT be emotional? How is an 8 year old equipped to handle all the millions of unique thoughts & incomprehensible feelings they have on a minute-to-minute basis? When you think of it this way, it sounds silly to even ask why one is ‘so emotional.’

 

I know there are tons of kids who come in and out of school, church, and everywhere else who have some much bigger issues they’re facing which cause a lot of baffling emotional and behavioral responses; what if they’re being neglected or abused? I get the need to ask questions, to find the root cause & I understand this is the sad reality of the world.

 

However, sometimes a kid – an adult, even – is just emotional because they’re designed that way & the world is often a brutal, unforgiving place…I don’t think it’s terribly strange to see a child react to that in a mournful sort of way. It’s tough to know “the right way” to respond in any given situation. Especially when you’re a ridiculously perceptive eight year old and you have a limited number of tools in your belt to deal with those perceptions. People have so many absurd expectations! Why does there have to be a cut & dry reason/answer for everything? Sometimes, it just is what it is.

 

Sorry, today was a ranty day I guess. If you read this, many thanks to you. 🙂 If you would like to chip in your two cents, I would be happy to hear it in the comments below. ❤

Wordy 30

It’s almost that time: my 30th birthday is just two days away.

I could say a lot about turning 30:

I could whine and complain and refuse to ever be older than 29, continuing to celebrate each subsequent birthday as “The [1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.] Anniversary of My 29th Birthday” but cute as it is, that’s not really my style. I’m SO EXCITED about turning 30! Maybe that makes me a weirdo, but I just think that the future is exciting. The fact that I’ve made it 30 years in this beautiful, amazing, horrible, awful, extraordinary life is exciting! I have fought for the privilege to be another year older & I feel blessed that God has allowed me this much time on Earth. I pray he gives me many, many more years, but I’ll be thankful for each one I get no matter how many (or few) they may be.

I also think that resentment of growing older is a bit incongruous. Nobody wants to die, but nobody wants to get older either; how’s that working out for you? I feel like grey hairs, crows feet, laugh lines, scars, and all most of the other things that come with growing older are a beautiful privilege, and they tell a unique, physical story about how we’ve lived. I do hope that when I’m 50 my story will say I’m 30 *wink wink* but still…even if it doesn’t I’ll be thankful for whatever story my body tells.

I could go on about how my health and fitness have been more important to me in the last 3 years than they have ever been, but that’s not really what I wanted to share today either. I’m sure that’s the story you’re dying to hear, but suck it up, buttercup. 😉 I want to share with you 30 things I’ve learned in my 30 short years.

30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years (In No Particular Order):

  1. Potty-training is the devil.
  2. You’re never “too old.” Wear what you want, style your hair how you want (purple and blue hair anyone??), and get excited over unicorns, rainbows, and glitter. Two words: Lisa. Frank. I am not ashamed.MTI0ODc2MDQ2MDg3NjA0MjM0
  3. Life is too short to waste time worrying about what other people think of you. To the extent of getting and keeping a good job and doing the things you need to do to take care of your responsibilities – yes, present yourself in a manner that people in positions of authority find pleasing (good hygiene, prioritizing, always being respectful, that sort of thing), but don’t change who you are at your core to please someone else. You want people in your life who love you for who you really are, not who they think you ought to be. Nerd out. Go on & share your love of T-Swift & YA novels with the world. You didn’t actually hate it when your three year old used to watch The Backyardigans? Go ahead and sing the theme song out loud. 99faefe255167765afeed34e19d0488f
  4. Comparison is the thief of joy. Yes, it’s a famous quote and you may have seen it so many times it makes you throw up in your mouth a little, but it’s beautiful and very, very true.
  5. You will never see me wearing matching socks.life-is-too-short
  6. It’s okay to go at your own pace. Sure, I got married at 18, had a baby, and didn’t get my license until I was 21 or start college until I was 22. I did things, as they say, “backwards.” Who died and made you The Keeper of Chronological Life Events? I turned out okay. If you did it the other way around, or if you’re unmarried at 30, don’t have kids, have a bunch of kids, don’t want kids, or still haven’t figured out what you want to be when you grow up – it’s okay! It’s not a competition.
  7. There is no one-size-fits-all “right time” to do anything. The right time is whenever you decide to do it.
  8. Getting carded is awesome.
  9. My high school playlist is on a loop…on the oldies station.
  10. It’s cool when people think you’re wise when really you’re just making it up as you go along just like everybody else.
  11. Jagermeister is disgusting.
  12. Jameson is even worse.
  13. Mixing them is not advised. 012624b3251ab1c8e7f934bc0c0b2484
  14. Don’t waste time trying to be trendy. Instead, strive to be a trendsetter. Mean-Girls-Meme-Fetch-05
  15. For the majority, no serious consequences will occur when your kid eats something that has touched the floor. It’s okay…relax.
  16. The best stories occur while your kids are on the toilet. I’m pretty sure my Facebook feed has been flooded with funny stories of things my children have done or said while on the toilet, in the bathroom, or having some relation to poop. 4013d2c3d7f8068ce2f291357b76447a
  17. There are more fun and creative ways to curse that your children can actually repeat and they have the added benefit of entertaining other people. POOP IN A BASKET! I don’t give a flying flock of frolicking catfish! “Fudgin’ touch me again and I’ll fudgin’ kill ya!” – Dean Winchester. However, sometimes it’s just nice to say the real thing. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make sense. Maybe I’ve just been married to my F-bomb dropping husband too long, but either way, sometimes it just feels good not to censor yourself.
  18. When you become a mom, you talk about poop a lot.
  19. “What is that smell?” is not an altogether uncommon thought.
  20. “Put that in your juice box and suck it” is probably the best line I’ve ever taught my children.  I am not ashamed. (Yes, there is a story behind this.)
  21. I will likely never master the art of keeping things “short and sweet.” I’m sorry. Actually, no…no I’m not. Suck it up.
  22. What is heard cannot be unheard. What is seen, cannot be unseen. 6f220603_what-has-been-seen
  23. Money isn’t everything. We need it to survive, & it’s nice to have a little extra, but there’s always more to be made. You can’t make more time & do-overs don’t exist. Prioritize what’s important to you and spend your time & money on those things as much as possible.
  24. Everybody compromises. Sometimes your ideologies take a backseat to your immediate needs. It’s okay to barely get by as long as you do get by. It’s okay to just be ‘okay.’
  25. Sometimes you’re the pigeon and sometimes you’re the statue. It’s just how life works.
  26. It’s okay if you don’t fart rainbows and sunshine 100% of the time. You don’t always have to be positive. Good days and bad days are part of being human. Embrace them for what they are and just keep moving forward.
  27. You should never stop having weird conversations.
  28. Laundry is never-ending so there’s really no rush to fold it. As long as it gets washed and dried, I don’t really care where it goes after that.
  29. I will never be adult enough to know how to properly fold a fitted sheet. A ball in the closet is good enough. 1021cef94d717a7ade3dcc5ab1c7b713
  30. “You can never have too much butter” is still the best life lesson I’ve received. Thanks Grandma.

Bonus lesson: Coke > Pepsi. Thanks Granddaddy.

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Happy Birthday to me! I have no idea what I’ll be doing, but I really hope it includes Jensen Ackles James Dean (my husband, not the dead actor. Ew.)

Go (Un)Funk Yourself

I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend occuring in my life this year: I’ve been experiencing more bad days than good ones. I decided I’d like to do something about it. Here are just a few ideas. Every time I’m feeling off or in a funk (angry, morose, restless, melancholy, etc.) for no apparent reason…

  1. I may just drop where I stand and do random yoga poses. Upset with the kids or the hubs? Down Dog in the cereal isle. (Or the parking lot, living room, doctor’s office…wherever. Nevermind…scratch the doctor’s office. I’m not due for a colonoscopy just yet.) Anyway, the point is it’ll make them stop & wonder what the heck I’m up to & provide myself with endless entertainment in the form of private laughter and strange expressions. I just hope my butt crack isn’t showing & that there are no proctologists nearby.
That's me...doin' the yoga.
That’s me…doin’ the yoga.
  1. Make random monkey noises. Because why the hell not?
  2. Swear. It’s not productive. It helps nothing. But sometimes it just makes me feel like a ducking rockstar. 9f7
  3. Do my hair, put my face on…general girl stuff. 10568916_277400622445527_7297311134669757539_n
  4. Watch this. It never fails to put a smile on my face. 
  5. Or this: this always helps, too. 
  6. Sing!
  7. Bake pie. cherry-pie
  8. And then attempt to lure Dean Winchester with it. My trap will be an infallible, inescapable device consisting of a stick holding up a box which houses the delicious goodness that is pie, plus all the Busty Asians magazines Dean can wish for.
  9. And when that doesn’t work, I’ll just give the pie to my husband because he will actually appreciate it.
  10. Give myself a Jamicure.
  11. Ride a unicorn.
  12. Remember there are no unicorns & then make one out of a stick, a birthday party hat, & some glitter.
  13. Take my stick unicorn with me everywhere I go. It’ll be a conversation piece.
  14. Watch Disney movies. All of them! Except The Fox & The Hound. *evil eyes*
  15. Listen to happy music! And then listen to more happy music.
  16. Answer the phone a different way all day. First I’ll be Hermione. Then I’ll answer it and say, “it’s done, but there’s blood everywhere! What now?!” I can be Scottish, Polish, and a New Yorker all in one day. Maybe I’ll even answer it in the voice of Shrek.
  17. Respond to all my text messages in emoji’s only. article-2729871-20AA7A2200000578-266_306x447
  18. Respond to my texts in song titles only. Or just respond to them all with this video: 
  19. Dance in front of people because it will either make all of us laugh or cry and if you’re having a bad day, usually doing one of those will make it a little better.
  20. Day drink. Because that’s a healthy coping strategy. (Kidding Mom.)11713891_10153364570679845_1835697619543952316_o

What do you do when you’re in a funk? Talk to me!

Why You Should Be Scared Of Your Wife (Or At Least Pretend To Be Occasionally)

Ladies, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there some sort of undocumented rule somewhere stating that husbands (boyfriends/significant others) are wise to retain some level of fear deference to their spouses? The same applies to the ladies in regard to the men of course, but we’re just going to focus on the one right now for simplicity’s sake.

I get the whole thing about mutual love and respect. I feel that my husband and I have that in most cases. What I’m talking about is, admittedly, a bit more petty than that..at least on the surface. Let me give you a real-life example:

image My husband is not always playful and lighthearted, but when he is, he  is dramatically so. I love when he’s playful and lighthearted. I don’t care so much for the “dramatically so” part. He doesn’t always know when to cease fire. For instance, he may get in a playful mood and put ice down my shirt or something silly like that. I laugh, I jokingly tell him he’s in for it and I repay him with two cubes of ice down his shirt. I feel like at this point, he’s gotten me, I’ve gotten him…it should be over, right? But no. He cannot accept this. He then feels that he must retaliate by putting three cubes of ice down my pants. It’s still rather humorous so I go with it and respond in kind. We both laugh. Then I notice that he might be laughing, but the look in his eye is starting to get a little more impish than it was before. You see where this is headed, right? It’s not just going to be “you got me, I got you, that was funny, now it’s over.” Now it’s a war. He needs to get me again and for everything I do to him he has to get me back twice as bad. Suddenly, it’s not fun anymore. Suddenly it’s not playful and lighthearted; it’s about who wins. Suddenly, he has a few small, nearly-dry wet spots on his clothing from where ice has melted on him and I’m standing in the kitchen, mad as a wet cat, drenched from head to toe while our dinner burns & he’s feeling triumphant as he’s holding the sprayer from the sink. And trust me, he ALWAYS wins because I’m not willing to deal with The Wrath of James Dean if he doesn’t.

I don’t want to see how uncomfortable his retaliation can get and I don’t want to see him hurt or angry so I generally give up before I help get him to this point. He does not give up before he gets me to that point. I get so angry that

A.) There’s nothing I can do to him that won’t get me something worse in return and/or

B.) There’s nothing I can do to him that actually has any effect short of junk punching him and I feel that’s a little extreme as revenge for a harmless prank.

Not to mention the (very trivial) fact that I’m a little a lot annoyed that I never get to win.

^ All that up there, while true, was my attempt at being amusing and flippant, because really, it’s supposed to be all in fun. Underneath the surface, however, there is a lot more to be revealed. Allow me to get a tiny bit serious for a second.

I honestly feel like when my husband starts something with me and I repay him for it, at least sometimes he should respond with “well, I deserved that” and let it be done. I’ll tell you why. Nobody can really claim to be the winner in that scenario, but when you push too much and upset someone, everybody loses. I don’t need to win so badly that I belittle or upset my spouse to do it. It makes me feel weak and inferior when I can’t seem to get any edge over him or have any effect on him at all. He just laughs at me or does something worse to me than I could even think about doing to him. If I blithely punch my husband as retaliation for tickling me or something equally harmless, (even if it doesn’t hurt) I don’t feel like his response 100% of the time should be laughter. Sometimes? Yeah, laugh at me…it’s funny that I’m a kitten pretending to be a tiger, I get it. But choose your moments.

Sometimes, guys, you should just let your girl win and make her think that punch to the back really hurt you at least a little bit because otherwise, you’re just slowly (unknowingly & – I know – unintentionally) beating down her self-esteem. And don’t make it obvious by abruptly falling to the ground if she pokes you in the chest with her index finger…that’s just insulting. You have to make her believe it. You have to let her know that she has an effect on you, she’s important to you and that your love and respect for her far outweighs your desire to always reign victorious. 

We get it. You’re the big, strong, masculine guy. You’re stronger than us. You’re probably faster than us. And a lot more adept at pranks, sports, shooting, manual labor, video games, gambling, grilling, navigating & beer pong. WE GET IT. We know you CAN win everything; that doesn’t mean you always have to. You don’t have to be a prick about it. In a world where girls & women are constantly told & shown how inferior they are (both to men and when compared to one another) we don’t need another reason to feel like we don’t measure up.

While I’m at it, it wouldn’t hurt you to point out things that she’s better at than you every now and then as well. Don’t just say, “you are strong and important” after she tells you that she doesn’t feel so. That just seems contrived and insincere. Back it up with an example. Give her a reason to believe you mean what you say. “I think you’re strong because ___________.” Fill in the blank. Don’t just tell her she’s a great wife or a good mother. Back it up with some sort of proof. “You’re an awesome mom because _______________.” Maybe she’s more patient than you are. Maybe she’s a large part of the reason your children are so respectful and compassionate. Maybe it’s because of her that they love to read or pray or retain some other positive trait that the world seems to be lacking these days. Tell her that. It’s a lot like being in a courtroom; the judge and jury aren’t going to believe your client is innocent just because you told them they are. They need evidence.

Your wife needs to feel that you’re sincere when you give her compliments like that. Believe me, I realize that in a man’s mind, “you’re so beautiful” is a great compliment and that they are being sincere most of the time. It IS a nice compliment and we appreciate it. You should keep doing that. But every now and then mix it up by backing up your claim with some sort of proof. Just because you feel genuine in saying it doesn’t mean your wife hears that in your voice or feels it for herself. In my personal opinion, since she’s the one you want to make believe it, you should put some effort into making her feel your sincerity as well. Try pinpointing specific things about her that you find beautiful next time and see how she responds to that; compare it to how she responds to the generalization of being beautiful & I bet you’ll see a difference.

And obviously, ladies, the same goes for you. I’m not just beating up the men because that isn’t my thing. You can take this advice and apply it where necessary in your relationship, too. I apologize in advance if I sound completely self-righteous. I just got fired up this morning & had to find a way to vent my frustration. I hope maybe it helps someone. At the very least, I got it off my chest.  :p

Now it’s your turn. Agree or disagree? Why?

Boogering

A couple weeks ago I shared a rather disturbing photo of a Harry Potter Booger Vulture. Then I had the following conversation on Facebook that brought about this post…and this one.

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I decided I should probably give boogers the attention they deserve since I already posted about them once and still have to share the results of the poll that I took.

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Speaking of the poll I took, here are the results. It is not just a Harry Potter Booger Vulture…it’s now a love child from some freaky animal/wizard orgy. Must have been the result of a Winter Solstice celebration. O.o

The problem with that is that boogers already get far more attention than they actually deserve. We’re blowing them, wiping them, picking them, sucking them in, and in the case of babies, sucking them out with those big scary booger suckers.

Child's nasal aspirator isolated on a white background

Our kids have also been known to play with them and even eat them a time or two. After all that, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m so over boogers. With that said, I genuinely hope this is the last booger related post I ever do.

Since I’m a mom…my future in that department isn’t looking too bright.

 

Suck It Up, Buttercup; 1st Edition

I called this post the 1st Edition, but in actuality it’s the second. The first Suck It Up, Buttercup post can be found here. I didn’t realize these were going to be a series, but now I do so…there you are. In the second 1st edition of Suck It Up, I would like to talk about selfishness.

A certain degree of selfishness is required of most – if not all – of us in order to adequately and genuinely care for the needs & wellbeing of those around us. We have to take time for ourselves so that we feel well & balanced before we can give of ourselves to others without resentment. Sometimes, we just need to take care of ourselves, not so that anyone else can benefit from it, but just because WE NEED IT. The added bonus to that scenario is that others usually benefit from it anyway regardless of whether they were your motivation for caring for yourself or not. Win-win.

Selfishness becomes a problem when you are thinking ONLY of yourself and neglecting the needs of others; when you get so caught up in your own problems, needs, and wants that you forget about the hardships and desires of those you love. It’s an even bigger problem if you are totally aware that you’re neglecting these people and their needs and you don’t give a rat’s ass. That’s a nasty brand of narcissism if you ask me.

Your problems aren’t going to disappear just because you spend every waking moment thinking about how dysfunctional/terrible/depressing/strenuous etcetera, etcetera your life is. In fact, that kind of thinking will only make it worse. Suck it up, Buttercup. Ain’t nobody got time to be sittin’ around feeling sorry for themselves when there are babies to feed, bills to pay & all sorts of social, political and economic upsets in the world. You can only face one thing at a time so do what you can do today & then maybe you can do more tomorrow. All you have to do is try.

It’s really hard when you’re going through major life changes or you’re feeling like your world is falling apart around you and there’s nothing you can do about it, but the truth is that you’re in complete control of your present and your future. Even from up here on my soapbox, I need that reminder, too. I don’t post these things because I think I’m perfect and I’m not guilty of any of the things I talk about. I post it because I’m human & just as guilty of most of them as anyone is, but I’d rather check myself (& help someone else in the process) than to have someone else do it. Plus, I’m totally hoping my blog is still a thing when I die & that wordpress will create a feature that allows me to deliver posts to emails or cell phones in the future so that my children will think I’m haunting them with motherly advice and wisdom… 🙂

Want to hear another truth? (No? Suck it up or leave.)

Helping others might actually help you. It’ll damn sure be better than sitting around moping for your own circumstances. Being there for others gives us a sense of satisfaction and purpose that pining, moping & selfishness, quite frankly, will NEVER BRING YOU. EVER. Take time for yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling or do whatever you need to do, but not too much time. Don’t wallow in self-pity for too long. Don’t like your circumstances? Change them. There is always a way. It’ll be difficult and it won’t happen over night, but you can do it & when you do, it will be worth it.

In the meantime, spread some good karma and be there for someone important to you. If we all took time out to consider the fact that the universe doesn’t revolve around us & that there is always someone in worse shape and more desperate need than ourselves, maybe we would feel more fortunate and grateful for the things we have. Even if what you have isn’t much, focus on those things & share them with someone; chances are they won’t think so little of it.

I’m sick of the constant stream of redundant ‘poor, pitiful me’ posts on social networks. I get it, sometimes we all have to let it out, but most of the people constantly complaining about their circumstances are all complaint & no positive action. Additionally, several of these people have loved ones in their lives far worse off than they are with far more right to complain; they could be more supportive of those people & the hardships they’re facing. Take care of your relationships. Spend time with people you love because one day, they won’t be here for you to spend time with. Get over yourself and

suck-it-up-buttercup