The Birth of ‘Truth or Darth’

Today I decided to share an excerpt from a post originally made on April 2nd, 2013. It made me giggle.

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The Birth of Truth or Darth:

I had no idea my kids even knew how to play truth or dare, but they kept it innocent so I went with it. “Truth or Dare!” “Dare.” “I dare you to eat those apple slices in five minutes!” <—-Mom is entirely okay with this.

At one point I even got an “I dare you to play Candy Crush on your phone!” I tried to be responsible and say that we were at the dinner table and I would not be playing games on my phone, but Princess Sassypants was adamant saying, “no, mommy, I double-dog-dare you!” I had to after that.

The Cuteness got in on the fun, too, when she looked at me and said, “truth or dare, mommy.”

Me: Truth.

The Cuteness: Try again.

(I had to giggle at that one.)

The Cuteness: Truth or dare?

Me: Truth. *for the second time.*

The Cuteness: *very seriously and with pronounced head-rolling* Try. Again. *Then she cracked a little smile because she’s incapable of holding a serious face for more than three seconds…*

Me: Truth.

The Cuteness: *getting exasperated now, but determined to get me to say what she wants me to say* Okay, Mommy – try again. *Small growl* (Yes, she growled at me a little.) Truth or Darth?

I have to admit, I was really impressed by the fact that she combined Truth and Dare into one word in an effort to try and trick me, so I had to humor her this time and pick darth. It didn’t work very well though because she didn’t know whether to ask me a truth question or dare me to drink my sweet tea so she just put her head in her little hands and mumbled about how “mommy doesn’t know how to play this game.”

Update: it’s January 2017 and I still don’t know how to play this game.

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My Proudest Moment

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 5. If anyone is curious or wants to do it as well, this is the one I’m doing:

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I know it breaks some sort of rule not to have shared it on Day 1, but I wasn’t kidding about that “Bad Blogger” thing. #Rebel

As you can see, Day 5 is to share my proudest moment. I did not expect these challenges to be as…well…challenging. At first glance, you look at this list and you think “I could write about those things in my sleep.” Well so far, I’ve discovered that my blog didn’t have an appropriate name or tag line (until now), more people related to my silly facts about myself than I thought, I don’t have a favorite quote, I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life aside from what I’m already doing, & I struggled with picking my proudest moment, but after some deliberation I think I’ve got it.

It has to do with my family. Recently I was telling my husband about the kind, thoughtful choices our children made. The kids had some Christmas money they were itching to spend so I took them to spend half of it, with the stipulation that the other half was to be put away for savings. During the course of this shopping excursion, my son bought several things which he fully intended on sharing with his sisters. There was no arguing, no selfishness, no sense of ego behind it…it literally is simply the type of boy he is. He’s caring and thoughtful. He’s always been that way so – rather unfairly at times – I expect to see this sort of character from him. What is shocking is when he has his moments where he is not this way.

Not the case for my middle child, my oldest girl. If you know her, you know she’s super sweet, but also sassy as can be. She’s not quite as overtly & outwardly caring as my son is, (i.e. he wears his heart on his sleeve and she does not) but she has that potential & that’s not to say she isn’t compassionate; she absolutely is…she just mostly reserves that compassion for animals & really small babies. On this particular day she only had $10 to spend and she refused to spend any of it on herself until she got her aunt, her uncle, & both of her siblings something. This is really unusual behavior for her. She loves her siblings – don’t get me wrong – but she’s the one out of the three of them that would be most likely to say, “you have your own money; get your own stuff butthole” but then beat up anyone else who tried to speak to them that way. (I admit to feeling a mild sense of pride at that last part.)

She ended up spending $1 and some change on herself with the rest being allocated to what she picked for everyone else. It was a small act of kindness and yet it was so huge for her. She never has more than a couple dollars of her own money at any given time (though we give them plenty of chances to earn it) and yet, when she does get some, she spends the majority of it on others?! I enjoyed getting to witness that. However, that in itself isn’t the proud moment I chose.

The proud moment came when I was telling my husband about the events of the day and he said something to the effect of, “that’s all you babe. That’s you coming out of them. I didn’t do that. That’s happening because you’re doing a great job raising our kids.” I didn’t quite know how to process a compliment like that (from him specifically) so I don’t know that I responded appropriately. I remember saying “thanks” rather lamely. :/ I should work on my acceptance of compliments, clearly. But, it did mean a lot to me to hear him say that.

Side note: He compliments me all the time, but they’re mostly superficial compliments that, while nice, aren’t exactly in the habit of giving me the warm and fuzzies. When was the last time “nice ass” made you feel special? In James Dean Land, that’s a great compliment so I take it for what he means it to be, but for me personally, well…let’s just say it’s not my idea of a quality compliment. He tells me I’m beautiful. Again, really nice, but I’m usually looking for something a little deeper. This moment was that for me.

He went on about how he was gone through a lot of their early life & even after he got out of the military, how their manners & their character is all from what I’ve taught them. It kinda blew me away to be acknowledged and appreciated that way. Obviously, no parent expects to be praised for raising their kids, but when it happens it is so, so wonderful. It’s like being rewarded twice really, because seeing your kids act out things you’ve tried to teach them & watching them flourish into the amazing human beings you hoped they’d be is such a great affirming sight for any parent, but verbal affirmation is just as sweet. Especially when it came from my human. 🙂

Have you had a similar experience? What is your proudest moment? And just for fun, what is the sweetest thing your spouse thinks they’ve said to you vs. the sweetest thing they’ve actually said to you? How do you respond to compliments? Better than I do, I hope. :p

This Is My Unicorn & I’ll Ride It If I Want To

Day 4 of the challenge: I’m supposed to tell you guys about my dream job, which is really fun for me because I see absolutely no limitations here. It is called “dream” job for a reason, & as previously stated in another post, I do kinda struggle with what my calling is so while this is meant to just be silly, maybe it will also be informative. One can hope.

My dream job:

  • Has no official title meaning that I get to make up my own, which I will attempt to do when I finish making this impossible list of requirements
  • Allows me to hop around from field to field, project to project, doing exactly whatever I wake up in the mood to do that day: if I wake up in the mood to do yoga, my dream job would pay me for it! How awesome would it be to get paid to do something you’re planning on doing anyway? As an added bonus, it would give me a little extra push to master crow pose or spend all day doing spinal twists if I immediately got a return for my effort.
  • Likewise, if I wake up in the mood to paint…$$
  • or take pictures $$$
  • or have (another) HP marathon (or Supernatural, or read or…I’m sure you get where this is going)
  • My dream job would provide me with the company unicorn as my primary means of transportation & a wand with which to perform Patronus Charms as my primary means of communicating with HQ
  • My dream job would offer to compensate me via more tangible means than hugs and kisses for taking care of my kids and my house. Not that I need to be paid more than hugs and kisses for those things because they really are their own reward, but since I’m doing the whole maid/cook/nurse/taxi cab/dry cleaner/nutritionist/personal shopper/accountant/teacher/life-coach/counselor/DIYer thing…I wouldn’t be mad at a little extra compensation being tossed my way
  • Oh, and my dream job would also give me hazard pay for cleaning up vomit
  • My dream job would include massage therapy training. I’ve been interested in learning for a few years as it is an incredible tool for health and overall wellbeing. I am fascinated by the holistic approach to healing & it would definitely be something I would use in conjunction with yoga. Also, don’t you get tons of free massages while you’re in training? BONUS!
  • My dream job would allow me to set my own schedule & maybe even keep the unicorn on Saturdays.
  • I’d be able to have rainbow hair & not have to cover up my tattoos. I’m all for being courteous, but if I have to present myself as a Disney princess to work there, that kinda takes away some of the appeal

I have discovered through my silly process of trying to figure out what in the world my dream job would be that all I essentially want is freedom. Freedom to change my mind, freedom from monotony, freedom to dress & express myself as I see fit, freedom to set my own schedule and something I can do for a career that would also benefit the health and wellbeing of my family – the most important thing in the world to me – rather than just being something that gets the bills paid & sucks the life out of me. The sum of money I get paid for my dream job isn’t really important to me. It seems to me that just being able to do something fulfilling, helpful, active & different each day are my main requirements in a dream job. And – duh – having a company unicorn, of course.

I said I would try to name the job at the end of this post but it is (not shockingly) difficult to create a title for Mom, Wife (and all the other potential job titles encompassed in just those two small words), Painter, Photographer, Professional Harry Potter Marathoner, plus the holistic health stuff. I did my best though. My official Dream Job Title would be:

Head of The Holistic Department of Whimsical, Creative, & Domestic Services

Hours of Operation: If the unicorn is in, I’m on duty & available. If the unicorn is out I’m already working or I’m not studying you today.

If anybody has any ideas about what this job actually is in real life (minus the unicorn), let me know in the comments. I’m interested to know what you think I’d be suited for…like my own personal career assessment test. :p What’s your dream job? Hopefully it’s a bit more attainable than mine? Or better yet, it might be exponentially more awesome if it’s not. I’m excited to hear!

Too Many Things

Blog Challenge, Day 2: 20 Facts About Me

1.) I don’t expect anyone to be interested in this, but if you read it, I’ll make you healthy, delicious, fat free, calorie free, weight-loss inducing, muscle-building, magical unicorn cookies.

2.) This is pretty much me with new people. e14db6d57a5feb8ec23ff91e16e61d42

3.) Unless we just “click” or I came to the party in a certain super-great mood, or if the room is generating a really comfortable, positive vibe. In any of those cases you might get the top half of that picture. I’m one of those weirdo extroverted introverts. If none of these apply, you’re going to get a purple-haired mouse at your party whose only interaction with you will likely be a few moments of me making borderline inappropriate jokes at exactly the worst time to precisely the worst person before I find an excuse to leave… “Oh I’m sorry, I just remembered – I was scheduled for a colonoscopy today. Bye!”

4.) My husband just asked me what the heck an extroverted introvert is. Basically it just means that I have days where I love being around people & can be just a fun as the average extrovert, but I need a little more down time to recover and recharge my batteries after. I love my people, but I also really value my alone time.

5.) When I said “my people” it felt a little like this:amiraclescienceclaims

6.) I’m the worst at planning ahead. My default is to fly by the seat of my pants so for me to even halfway successfully plan anything it takes a significant effort on my part, and a few other things including, but not limited to: 2 gallons of sweet tea, 67 sheets of paper, 2 pens because I’m going to lose at least one, a calculator, 8 solid hours of pinterest in which I look at everything except planning pins, 2 pounds of confetti, a bottle of rum, absolutely no sleep, & a sorting hat.

7.) Keeping with the previous admission: I fail at birthday parties & yet I just keep throwing them because my kids seem to be under the mistaken impression that I rock at it. What I lack in planning skills I make up for with skills of deception. 😉 Their parties usually end up being some combination of a sparsely decorated kitchen or living room with laundry shoved away in the pantry, epically messy group activities which may not have been thought out quite well enough, a bunch of half-eaten hotdogs & empty chip bags, and a colorful confection of some sort. As long as I don’t forget the cake and the Taylor Swift playlist, my girls are pretty happy. My son just wants knives, bows and arrows, grills…anything he can survive in the wilderness or hurt himself with and he’s there. So, while planning may not be my gift, I at least get some things right.

8.) I am incredibly indecisive. Mostly because I don’t care. Where do I want to eat? I don’t care. What do I want to eat? Don’t care. My kid comes home and tells me their best friend’s mom has a girlfriend…couldn’t care less. When it matters I can make the decision, but sometimes it takes me a while if it’s a big decision. I may suck at planning, but I’m great at pro/con lists!

9.) I often pray multiple times in a day. I don’t drop to my knees, hold up a bible or close my eyes and enter into a prayer posture while my friend is talking to me about her baby goat, but I do have an ongoing internal conversation with The Man at random times throughout the day or week, just whenever the desire strikes me.

10.) I don’t believe prayer in and of itself really solves much, but I do believe it calms the mind, can heal the heart, and give peace to the soul; all things which contribute to being able to think clearly and calmly enough to solve problems, or at the very least, not stress about things which are outside our control. I’m not one of those “just pray about it and it’ll be okay” people; it’s not a magic wand, but I absolutely believe it’s powerful.

11.) I believe miracles occur every day.

12.) I said I pray often, but I have some work to do with listening. Yoga & meditation is for listening.

13.) I am annoyingly inconsistent, even with things which I love and enjoy. Yoga, for instance. I love it. I always feel 1000% better when I do it, yet I still don’t practice everyday. I used to and then for whatever no good reason, I stopped. I plan to work on that this year.

14.) I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. If I decide I want to do something I don’t have to wait until January 1st, or a Monday, or for anything else to happen first: I just do it.

15.) & then I quit 2 days later.

16.) #15 was mostly just funny, but also somewhat accurate. It’s that inconsistency thing again. I have to make very intentional decisions everyday because  – depending on what it is – it’s easy for me to just decide I’m not feeling something one day and give up on it. I hate that about myself so I try not to be that person. Sometimes I fail at that, too. 😛

17.) I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up. On the outside, one could perceive me to be the type of person who knows exactly what I want out of my life and big picture-wise, I do. I just haven’t figured out the details in between. You know…like…what I want to be. I have way too many hobbies and interests, but nothing that I feel like is my calling or my purpose. Other than maybe being a mom of course, but I wouldn’t turn down a calling that pays in $20 dollar bills.

18.) Speaking of callings, that’s what I want. I don’t want “just a job, any job, any job will do!” :p I want a purpose; something meaningful and fulfilling. Realistically speaking, I realize that may never happen. Not everyone gets the angel-choir-hallelujah-this-is-what-I-was-meant-to-do epiphany so my biggest goal is just to be fully present wherever I am at whatever moment or phase of life I’m in, & to take it and enjoy it for whatever it is.

19.)  This talking about myself thing is really boring me now. I’m running out of facts, energy & give-a-craps.

20.) If you read to this point comment with a Supernatural or Harry Potter reference and not only will I recognize you as one of my tribe, but you, too, could be the lucky recipient of some of those healthy, delicious, fat free, calorie free, weight-loss inducing, muscle-building, magical unicorn cookies. Did I mention they’re vitamin-rich also? And invisible?

Trunk Or Treat

Trunk or Treat. Like Trick or Treat except supposedly safer because it’s usually done from decorated trunks in parking lots at churches or on private property where children can collect treats in a safe environment from people they trust. I’m cool with that, but I do have questions about other things.

Why the option? Trunk or Treat.Creepy much?!

Hi little child, Happy Halloween! You may choose your preference between my trunk or this delicious Halloween Reese Cup that your parents are obviously going to need to check for poison pinholes…by eating them. Which do you choose?

Like…at that point I don’t want anything from you creepy old man. No thank you.

I asked myself why we couldn’t just call it Trunk & Treat or Trunk-N-Treat, but then it occurred to me that taking away options isn’t really helping matters. It doesn’t make me feel much better to get the Reese Cup if I still have to get in your trunk.

Thus, I propose a name change. Let’s just call all forms of trick or treating what it is: Candy Capitalism for pint-sized sugar terrorists. All in favor? Share this post and let’s make it a thing.

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.)

Yes Silly, Of Course The Tooth Fairy Has Email!

When you’re a crappy Tooth Fairy you have to get creative. I sent my daughter an email this morning. 
  
Dear {Princess Sassypants},
I am emailing you because I wanted you to get this as soon as possible and also because your parents have a reputation for firing Tooth-fairies and I don’t want to be next! 

I’m so sorry I was unable to collect your tooth on time. Please allow me to explain: Yesterday was a super busy day for the Tooth Fairy. There were LOTS of children who lost teeth and so many of them even go to your school! 
I collected all the teeth I could, but then my satchel got full and I couldn’t carry it anymore. I had to call the ToothCab (the Tooth Fairy Taxi Cab Service) to come pick me up because I couldn’t fly with all those teeth. 
It took the Taxi two hours to come pick me up (he says he ran into some elf or something on the way, but I’m not sure I believe him. He was probably just rolling around in pixie dust again) and when he finally got there it was nearly time for me to stop collecting anyway. I still had 13 teeth to collect! 
Anyway, I noticed that you got up earlier than usual this morning so I wasn’t able to come back and get your tooth yet. I’m sorry dear. 
I’ll come get yours (& all the other teeth I couldn’t fit in my satchel) tonight and there will be an extra special prize from me included under your pillow.
Can you take care of the tooth until then? 

Thank you for being so kind to me {Princess Sassypants}. I’m so proud to have the honor of collecting your teeth! Please ask your parents to give me another shot. They just want their kids to have the best Tooth Fairy, and I want to be that Fairy!

Love,

The Toothiest Tooth Fairy That Ever Fairied Teeth 

Care to share your Tooth Fairy fails & successes?

I Broke It On Purpose!

This photo was brought to my attention & my name is on the list. 

  
I have an announcement for the nincompoop that made this & the hopeful expression it may have caused to pass across my husband’s face. 

  
To All Whom It May Concern:

This facility has been closed for business. All personnel and valuable equipment have been safely evacuated. Utilities have been shut off, entrances boarded, “Keep Out” signs posted, and sustainable energy sources depleted so as to effectively condemn this location to all life forms, human or otherwise. No rental space available. No storage allowed. 

Any individuals caught attempting to squat in, use, repurpose, or otherwise restore this establishment shall be swiftly apprehended and sent home with a “nice try” sticker and a free puppy. 

Thank you for your consideration.

– Beth’s Baby Factory

Keep Calm &…Oh F*** It: Part 2

Hello again!

It’s Monday morning and I am snuggled up on my couch underneath a thick, fuzzy blanket in an ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ sweatshirt and yoga pants, nursing a hot cup of coffee while my kids (who are out of school this week for Thanksgiving break) nestle behind the couch to watch movies on the iPad despite the fact that they have an entire room in the back of the house with all their toys, a couch, and cable TV. One day they’ll be telling their grandchildren all about the woes of being a child raised in the 21st century and one of their struggles will be something like, “when it was cold outside and our mom was babysitting, five of us had to scrunch up around a portable 9 inch screen to stream movies on Netflix and we had to take turns picking the movies!” *gasp* I can’t imagine the terrible scars this will leave upon their delicate souls. Years of therapy await them, I’m sure. Can you feel my eyes rolling? If not, let me help you envision it:

I don’t mind it though because I can hear everything that’s going on and it gives me the time and quiet I need to make this post. Yes, I’m letting the iPad temporarily babysit my kids and nieces. If you didn’t judge me after Part 1 of this series, please feel free to do so now.

Speaking of judging, we tend to do this a bit too harshly to each other don’t we? Often, judgment goes hand in hand with assumption and your kids are no exception to this. Maybe they made a mess, spilled something on the table, or neglected to put away the laundry after you asked. Often, we assume it’s just because they’re not listening, or simply because they chose not to obey. We think we have to open the Crazy Box to get things done.

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I feel like ^^ this ^^ from time to time. Okay…often. I feel like this often.

The trouble is that when we assume, we don’t take the time to get to know the real reasoning behind the things our children do and say. We don’t think, we just react. We presume to already know the answer and so we don’t need to discuss it, ask questions, or try to make sense of it; we just want our kids to do what they’re told, right?

But…why?

Do we always want to just do what we’re told without knowing the reason for it? Do we want our kids to blindly do what they’re told in every situation? We’re always telling them, “if so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?” They might if that’s what they’ve always been taught: to listen, obey and just “do as you’re told.” Sometimes that can be very dangerous; how can our kids differentiate if we don’t teach them? We want them to be their own people. We want them to be independent thinkers & not follow the crowd, to not be afraid to ask questions…until it’s inconvenient for us.

We want them to trust and obey us as their parents, their teachers, ‘the authority figure’…and somehow they’re still supposed to learn to be free thinkers, to inherently know what to do, what not to do, which friends are good influences, which are not, which adults are trustworthy and which ones are not, when to just obey & when to ask questions…all without us giving them the opportunity to learn these skills at home or at school? We have a tendency to give ourselves room for error and growth while expecting other people, even our kids, to already be perfect; to know better.

I’m not saying you should have to break down every little thing for your child. They should just do what you asked out of respect for you whether they understand it or not, but this is not an ideal world and what people should do and what they actually do are often two very different things.

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A relationship of trust has to be built before this can happen. I’m more likely to do something that is asked of me without question when it has been made clear to me that the person asking is someone I implicitly trust. The parent-child relationship is so special & unique because trust is an innate emotion between the two, but it is not automatically given in any other relationship. In every other relationship on the planet, you have to earn it. With your kids, you just have their trust automatically (isn’t that amazing?!) from the day they’re conceived…until you break it, (or until they break yours) and then it must be earned back. In the case of my kid, and many others, it’s not necessarily always an issue of trust…she just needs to know the why’s and how’s of something for it to make sense to her, and once it makes sense she’s more inclined to do what I’m asking her to do.

I have been guilty of this before, but I am not typically a “because I said so” kind of mom. I try to explain and to understand before I react. Sometimes I fall way short of this, but that’s because I’m human and I’m a work in progress. When that happens, I’m not above apologizing for it. I try to remember that the few extra seconds it takes to explain something to my child is so much better than arguing unnecessarily over it; things get done much faster and my household runs more smoothly when I take that little bit of extra time.

Additionally, some kids need problems to solve, not just chores to do.

{Example: I very recently learned that Princess Sassypants will wash dishes happily if I tell her, “I really need you to do this because we have somewhere to be in an hour and the dishes need to be done before we leave. You do such a good job at washing them; you’re so much more careful and thorough than your brother and your sister is still a little too young to handle knives.” This way she feels like she’s special because

A.) I’ve chosen her specifically because she does a better job than someone else and

B.) she’s being helpful to and protective of her sister who might get cut.

She feels proud of her accomplishment and she knows that I notice and value her efforts. Okay, so it’s a little manipulative, but it’s positive manipulation if that helps. 😉 }

Children need to feel like they’re needed and valued versus feeling like they’re just there for you to boss around and yell at. You like to feel needed and appreciated, right? What would give you the impression that your child doesn’t want or deserve the same?

Yes, it’s frustrating when I have to ask my kids to do things repeatedly, but that’s when I have to remind myself to take a deep breath, get their attention and calmly (but firmly) remind them. Then after they’ve done it, I ask them, “is there a reason you didn’t do that when I asked you to?” I don’t always succeed at this, but I try to steer clear of “why didn’t you do what I said?!” because that sounds accusatory and they won’t give me an answer. By wording it the other way they feel like I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, they’re not being accused of anything or blamed, and they’re more likely to answer me. “Because I had to use the bathroom and when I got back I started playing and I just forgot.” That isn’t an excuse I want to hear every single time I ask them to do something, but it does seem valid on occasion, especially when you consider the person I’m asking is an 8 year old girl with the attention span of a squirrel or a ten year old who is a bit forgetful and scatterbrained like her mother. She gets it honest. Yelling at them won’t make them feel anything good, and it likely won’t improve the strong-willed child’s behavior in the future either, AND – to put it bluntly – it’ll make you (& everyone who had to listen to it) feel like shit(take mushrooms). So what’s the point? It’s a pretty useless thing to do all the way around. That’s when you come up with a game plan (like “next time put the laundry away before you go to the bathroom” or something that works for your family), then let them know that this excuse isn’t going to be acceptable next time and just move on. It doesn’t have to be an argument and no “crazy boxes” need be opened or “Oh, F*** It” moments had. 🙂

Of course, everyone is going to open their crazy box every now and then. Even your kids have OFI moments. Allow them room for error. Give them room to behave like the beautifully flawed humans that they are, but teach them how to use that experience to prepare themselves to react better in the future. You don’t have to excuse their behavior, but do let them know that it’s okay to feel whatever they feel; it’s how they react, it’s how they use that emotion that matters. Teach them to use every mistake as a learning opportunity so they can continually grow. If it takes a little more understanding and explanation on your part, so be it.

More than anything, though, remember to model it for them. Apologize to them when you have an OFI moment and forgive yourself for not being perfect, let them see you not repeating the same mistakes in the future. Let them see you changing and even if they don’t change, your understanding of and respect for each other will, and that will cause your relationship to blossom. 🙂


 

Have you had any moments where you’ve simply reworded something to get a better result? Are there moments you can remember where a simple change of verbiage or attitude would have changed the outcome of a situation or prevented an argument? Do you have questions about how you can better manipulate your children use your words & attitude to get the result you want? I may be able to help you with your manipulation wording, which will in turn help me with mine. It’s really hard to remember to implement some of these things when you’re smack in the middle of a real-life, stressful, tear-your-hair-out, F***-it-all moment, but the more we think about and prepare ourselves for these things the more chances we have of remembering them when we find ourselves in a situation where we might need to use it. So, go ahead…*therapy voice* what’s on your mind?