Tag Archive | parenting

I’m tired of being nice

Okay, not really. But can I just rant for a bit? Please? I’ve been really good lately all positive and shit. But sometimes, I just got to let it out. Here goes-

  • People who bring their dogs with them on a summer day in the car and leave them in the parking lot. I don’t care if you crack the windows. I don’t care if it’s cloudy. It’s summer. The car gets hot. YOU sit in a parked car and see how it feels. Just leave them at home. Okay?

Here’s a great little chart of how the temperature changes in a parked car during the summer.

How a car heats up during the day. This site also has tips and facts about preventing pet deaths in parked cars. Use your head people!!

  • Folks who don’t tell their kids that they are being little shits. Now I know that there’s people out there that are real douchecanoes and are mean to their kids. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about parents that just don’t tell their kids to either shut the fuck up, sit still, or keep your goddamn hands to yourself! Don’t let your little monster crinkle their Cheetos bag during a live play (yeah, some kid did this during Emma’s show this weekend), don’t let your spawn splash at the pool so much that folks sitting on deck chairs are getting wet, don’t let your kid pee on the grass at the 4th of July fireworks display next to our lawn chairs. Really. This happened. And out of ten grown-ups, not a one in that group saw this kid drop trou and whip out his wee-wee to pee on the grass. No, I didn’t say anything. Whatevs. But if that was MY kid, I would’ve have used that moment as a learning tool ( I say this in my best Julie Andrews voice).

Public urination is only funny in the movies. Sort of.

  • People who go out in public looking like absolute shit. When you see the dude on his bike, with his hat sideways, looking all gangsta, but wearing alligator pajama bottoms, you seriously scratch your head and think, WTF?

This is the only way I want to see pajama bottoms in public.

  • Drivers texting not looking at the road. Yeah- I’m talking to YOU and YOU and YOU… anyone else? I see moms, teenagers, men, EVERYONE, weaving in and out of their lane, driving under the speed limit. Just fucking drive okay? Especially on the freeway. Sure I use my phone to navigate. I check updates in the car- at stop lights! Not when I’m turning the corner!!
  • And last but not least- rape jokes. Yeah, that’s what I said. Rape jokes. Daniel Tosh is funny, but not when he gets pissed at a heckler and asks the audience if  it would be funny if she was raped by like ‘5 guys’. Huh, gee Tosh, who’s the douche now? Daily Beast article Tosh’s rape joke, NOT FUNNY. This goes along with you don’t joke about children being molested or babies being harmed. I remember watching the auditions of Last Comic Standing on NBC and a wanna-be comic had in their routine something about kicking a baby. The judges just cut them off right there and were like, ‘dude, you don’t joke about shit like that. You’re done.’

So there’s my piss list. I feel better getting that off my chest.

Thanks. Now, stay calm and have a cup of tea. Cheerio.

Apes are not monkeys and monkeys are not apes

Do YOU know the difference? Well, I’m sure you do, but keep reading. I’ll explain.

The family took a trip to the zoo last week. It was good for the 4 of us to get out and do something because we are kinda home bodies and we need to do things out in public and not just snuggle inside watching Harry Potter over and over and blogging. Not that the kids blog, but you know what I mean.

I realized that this trip isn’t just about watching the animals. It’s about watching the people. Between the kids on leashes and the tatted husbands pushing strollers, it’s fun to see all the socialization of primates. We’ll talk more about that later.

As we entered the park, the lemurs were first to see. There was a large flat rock with about 5 of them hanging out in a bunch. The funny thing about lemurs- remember Zaboomoofoo? Loved that show on PBS! Anyway, they sit together lounging like bff’s. They’re so chill. Just hangin’. One would sniff the air. He must’ve had an orthodontia problem because his tongue was always sticking out. Emma said he looked stoned. She only knows this phrase of course, because of the drug and alcohol awareness training they give at school.

As I’m trying to not let the talk of drugs drift over to the younger kids in the crowd and of course, avoid any judgemental looks from their parents, it’s hard not to laugh at the total stoned looks on these lemurs faces. Seriously? Do they get a Benadryl pill with breakfast? Watching them in their little lemur pile, doze and lick each other was very entertaining. Not to mention the one lemur cleaning his 6 inch wanker. That was also entertaining. And awkward.

When we went to the primate exhibit there was a siamang sitting in the grass pulling up tufts of grass and eating them. What’s a siamang? It looks like a mini chimpanzee.  Black and not a monkey. Monkeys have tails. The siamangs (part of the ape family) don’t have tails. And there you have zoology 101. While sitting there chomping on his grass, Emma says, ‘mom, that looks like you eating chips’. Nice one daughter. I’ll remember that when I’m drafting the will.

We met Bobby and Suzi- two gibbons (Gibbons are also primates- not monkeys- OH MY GOSH- you are learning so much!) who are ‘mated for life’. Except Suzi is on birth control because Bobby is really horny and there are too many Bobby’s in the animal kingdom. So in order to be all kosher with the zoo animal gods that be, Bobby and Suzi can not mate. Then there’s Cho Cho. Cho Cho is also a gibbon who is like 100 in dog years. Okay, he’s 47. Apparently, he is the Mick Jagger of the gibbon world. This guy- which the zoo attendant (zoo keeper for crying out loud) was really excited to point out-  has worn out 2 previous females. Good lord! This gibbon gets some tail! Ooops, sorry, not a monkey- this gibbon gets ass.

Apparently, gibbons mate for life, but they are ‘socially monogamous’. Meaning, they’ll hang out with the same gibbon until another female gibbon gives it up for them. This is bull shit. How is this called mating for life? Clearly, some male scientist came up with this verbage! WTF? Oh, because it helps their gene pool! Pssht! Yeah, right. So they mate for life, and then they go to a neighborhood barbecue and Cho Cho meets Charo and decides he needs a new mate for the gene pool and then now they’re shacking up and got a double wide with an above ground pool. Cho Cho doesn’t need to worry about a lawyer because this is all cool in the gibbon world. Forget how the first Mrs. Cho Cho feels. He’s just doing this for the gene pool.

I went over to McSweetie and said, ‘I was going to say how cute you are like Cho Cho, but now he’s a whore in my book, so we’re clear what’s good for YOUR gene pool, right?’  McSweetie laughed.

Speaking of other primates-

Kids on leashes? Love them? Hate them? I’m not going to even weigh in. Some little kids are pure demons. They need to be tied down. Some children I think, are just victims of their parent’s laziness. Do what you gotta do, I guess.

Whenever we are out in public and if I get cranky and tell McS something in a somewhat bossy tone, he always gets really sensitive. He’s all, why are you talking to me like that so everyone can hear? And I’m all, why are you being a dumb ass for everyone to see?

But after being at the zoo, I witnessed so many other wives and girlfriends nag and yell at their guys, so I felt so much better about my nagging. I pointed out to McS, how much better my nagging is than those other wives’ nagging. Right?

Plus, he is NOT Cho Cho. So he better not wander around to some other nagging primate just for, you know I’m gonna say it, THE GENE POOL!

The best part of this zoo trip- my kids never ONCE asked us to go to the gift shop. Winning. Right there.

Babies having babies.

My daughter told me the other day she heard about a  girl that’s pregnant at school. A 7th grader who is 13. She said the girl’s boyfriend is 16. Her parents know and so she posted it on Facebook so now everyone is talking about it. Emma also said that there are kids talking about who they’ve had sex with. I asked her what she thinks of this. She said, ‘Mom, that is gross’. And did her expression, the kind she gives me if she sees me in a swim suit. So I knew she was telling the truth.

<<GULP>> Oh God. Did my heart just skip a beat? Did my stomach just plummet to my knees? ‘Cause I kinda want to vomit.

These are babies. Oh dear. Babies are making babies.

Children at age 12 and 13 haven’t finished puberty. Their bodies are still developing. I was developing until I was 19! I grew a whole cup size between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college!

Even the idea of my kids as sexual active adults creeps me out. I won’t kid myself and think that they will be 30 years old, just married and ready to lose  their virginity. BUT please dear God, please let them NOT make a poor choice and start getting sexually active before adulthood. PLEASE!

I remember when I was in middle school, hearing about a girl in 8th grade who had an abortion. Ugh, just the thought gives me chills. This girl was sexually active in 7th grade. I remember at the time thinking how foreign this was. I sure was curious. But I was NOT thinking of having sex. Kissing and making out with a boy sure sounded fun (I didn’t have my first kiss until 14), but SEX? God no!

We need to talk to our kids about sex. Don’t be afraid of what they are watching on YouTube or TV. It’s not Glee that is going to make them jump into something and go too far without being prepared. Don’t blame the media that kids are uber promiscuous nowadays, or that they’re all sexting each other. Adolescents are naturally sexually curious. Yes, the media can fuel this fire. Yes things are available in a click of a Google search. But I remember 30 years ago when we would sneak my friend’s sister’s smutty novels and read the dirty parts. THAT was the extent of my curiosity! Oh, I think her sister also had some PlayGirls. Those were interesting. I hadn’t EVER seen anything like that. And to be real, haven’t since. Ba da bump. Sexual curiosity comes with all generations.

So I will ask you- Are you talking to your kids? Can they come to you for questions? Do you know what they are doing with their friends? Do you know who they are texting? Who they are dating?

We can’t be perfect. We can’t always be there. But let’s not shame them out of wanting to know what sex is like. What is it going to feel like? Will I like it? Who should it be with? When will I be old enough? What are my options for birth control? How can I  prevent an STD? You know these questions are racing through their heads. Help them out! Write them a note. Take them out for frappucinos. TALK to THEM!

School isn’t going to do it all for you. Health class only goes so far.

Abstinence isn’t the answer. You know why? Because abstinence doesn’t work for grown-ups. If you think you can trust kids with a grown up decision that even some grown ups can’t handle- you are fooling yourself. Did I just write that? ‘Cause that’s kind of genius. This doesn’t mean, DON’T give them abstinence as a choice. Abstinence IS a choice. But it’s not the ONLY choice.

If you tell a teenager not to borrow the car and they borrow the car without asking or because they’ve been told not to, they still might borrow the car!!  What makes sex different?  We know it’s a lot different. But do they? We license 16 year olds to drive. We tell them about seat belts and airbags. We get them auto insurance. We tell them not to drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. Don’t drive with more than one passenger. We give them the tools to be safe behind the wheel. Are we giving kids the tools to be safe about sex. To know all their options?  But if you haven’t talked to your kids about sex by now, how do you know they’ve got all the information correct? Because it’s on YouTube? No. Not good enough.

And to be honest with you. I don’t expect my children to wait until they are married. I don’t. I wish they would. But it’s not realistic. How do I even know if they will get married at all? I don’t have a crystal ball.  Sure, I want them to have spouses and families, of course! But this isn’t the 50s. Or the 90s. What if they work on their career, don’t meet their spouse until their 40s? Does this mean they’ll go that entire time being celibate? Hardly. But they will be adults. And they will hopefully make good choices.

So I’m talking to my kids about sex.

Family Life and Sexual Health education starts in 5th grade in our school system. It’s weird and makes the kids feel bashful, sure. But it opens doors.

If you think waiting until they’re 13 or 14 to talk about it instead of 9 or 10- it’s already too late. Do you talk to your kids about pedophiles? Child molesters? No? Well, you should.

Not talking about something isn’t a tree in the woods falling and not making noise, just because someone wasn’t there to hear it.

I feel like a ‘More you Know’ service announcement. Cue the rainbow.

Good luck!

The ‘Family Bed’ is a sham, and not the kind with a duvet and 1000 thread-count sheets.

I’m going to catch so much hell for this. I’m just waiting for all the mommy groups to grab their pitchforks and torches.

But just hold on a sec.

I’m a cuddler, nurturer, breastfeeding parent like anybody. Okay, my kids are 9 and 12- I do NOT still breastfeed them. We need to specify this nowadays since you can breastfeed children until they go to college.

If you’ve read my blog these last months, you know I dote on my children. Love them, shape them, keep it real for them. They are great kids. But having them sleep in my bed is just a no-no.

I need my space. I need to have my ‘self ‘ to myself. And I think there comes a time when children need to learn how to soothe themselves, and be happy with being alone. Not lonely. Just alone in their beds.

I can see the family bed working for newborns. When you have one child. Not several. Then everyone decides your bed is a free for all. Maybe this idea originated in some Third World country. But I’m guessing that if those little cramped dwellings in Third World cultures had bedrooms and mattresses in every room- they’d be sleeping separately too.

When my children were really itty bitty newborns, co-sleeping would work sometimes. In fact, we did it with Emma often since I had such a hard time breast feeding that this was how I got any sleep. Once she would nod off while latched on, I would nod off too. But as she grew older she needed more and more cuddling to sleep and it wasn’t until she was 5 did we get her to sleep through the night without her coming to our bed, or us going to her bed.

And if letting her sleep in our bed from the start would’ve helped, then I suppose we would’ve continued this, but a fist in the face, or a foot in the nuts, isn’t a way to get a good night sleep. What child sleeps without flailing? Both of mine flail like windmills. I’ve been punched in the mouth before. I’ve been awoken by gasps and grunts from the husband as he’s had a heel sharp to the crotch. Or a knee in the gut. Let me tell you- I have skinny children. They have sharp elbows and knees. All bony and shit. It hurts.  This is no way to sleep folks!

And then there’s the contortion efforts to maintain them asleep, if you should wake up to go pee. Or when you’re stuck between your husband and the child and both are squishing you, or it’s summer and it’s so freaking hot you can’t breathe and you just want your

S P A C E!!!!!

Am I making myself clear? The pictures of family bed families, all comfortably spooning each other is a complete fairy tale. If anyone who sleeps in their family bed and loves it, I’m happy to hear that for you. I am in no way saying people shouldn’t have their children sleep in their bed. But for heavens sake people- do you see the monster you are creating if you even open that Pandora’s box?? They will NEVER LEAVE. NEVER.

Do you and your spouse want some alone time? Do you want some nookie time? How’s that working with your toddler between you?

Hey- the dog is always nearby when we are doing the marital relations. But honestly, she hangs her head in shame and walks over to her doggy bed in the closet until we are finished. You can’t do that with a kid!!

Making parents feel bad for using cribs, strollers and baby swings isn’t cool. I could only Baby Bjorn and sling my kids so much. Owen was born during May and was 3 weeks old during a June heat wave. You think I want that sack of ham strapped to me when it’s 95 degrees out and I’m sweating postpartum buckets? NO!

When I was postpartum with Emma, I needed to do 6 weeks of physical therapy because I kinked my neck carrying her all the time as well as the positions I was breast feeding created tension in parts of my body that hadn’t been used before. Obviously I started bad habits or posture or just using muscles that hadn’t been used before. Also I was on bed rest for 10 weeks before she was born, so I had very little muscle strength when she was born after atrophying on the couch for 3 months.

I love snuggling my kids. The idea of being cuddled in their beds together falling asleep with them is idyllic. But it’s the ‘idea’ not the reality that is idyllic. We snuggle lots. I rub their backs when I tuck them in. We are physically affectionate in lots of hugs, holds, back rubs, hair stroking. All that good stuff.

I hear of many folks that have slept with their children as babies and are trying to get their children to sleep in their own beds because they aren’t babies anymore! This is the disconnect. So much emphasis is placed on sleeping as a family when they are little, but what happens when you need to get your 4 year old to sleep in his own bed? Or when my friend says their 10 year old still can’t sleep alone in his bed? Once in awhile one of my children will crawl in to bed with us from a nightmare. This is okay. But even they will say, I didn’t sleep well last night, I hope I stay in my bed tonight. HA! They GET IT!

We don’t have to be pressured under Mayim Bialik’s parenting philosophies. Remember- she wore a flowered hat and overalls for many years during the 90s. Just because she does it, doesn’t mean you need to also.

If you think I let my kids cry it out, well, I didn’t. But I learned my mistakes from the firstborn and changed them with the second kid. Ha! Don’t we all! I would put him down in his crib when I saw the sleep signals. I would swaddle him all snuggly so he felt secure. He slept for hours on his own in his crib. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months old. He would still wake up for a 4 am nurse session. And then I realized that this was detrimental to me and wasn’t working anymore. I resented the sleep lost. I didn’t like the feeling anymore of breastfeeding. So one night I just cuddled him instead of nursing him and put him back in the crib. He went right back to sleep. It was just a habit to wake up. He didn’t need to eat. He didn’t need to be held. He needed to sleep really. I broke his habit, and we were all better off.

And now my boy is such a mama’s boy. So I don’t think I scarred him for deciding to stop breastfeeding before the age of 2. Our children will love us and be loving people regardless of how long they are nursed or if they’ve slept in cribs and beds by themselves. My kids love going to bed at night. They think their beds are cozy and safe and their own place for dream land.

Okay, so there’s my rant on the Family Bed. Just remember, it’s MY OPINION. I’m not writing child-rearing books here. I just don’t get it. If it works for you. Great. If it doesn’t- here’s a cup of coffee, you look a little tired.

Thank you for posing so perfectly for the photographer. Now everyone- start dreaming, full REM and flailing. Go! First one with a black eye wins.

I rest my case.

They allow wine at school concerts. Don’t they?

I endured my daughter’s middle school choir/band/orchestra Spring concert tonight. And let me say this- my utmost admiration and respect go to the teachers and students that put forth the effort for that performance. And also, the parents that I’m about to critique are probably none of the readers of this blog. So with that said- here goes:

My daughter goes to a pretty large middle school. About 1200 kids attend.  The music program for middle schools has taken a beating for budget cuts, so I’m thrilled these programs are available at all. But parents- What the fuck is wrong with you?? You can’t sit still and shut up for 90 minutes? You can’t have your littler ones sit still and watch their bigger brother or sister perform? And if not- can you get them outside?

I don’t know if my kids are an anomaly- but they sit still during church, movies, school and performances. Not every child is capable of this, I know. But seriously, I think sometimes the problem lies within the parents. They are AFRAID to tell their kids to sit still and zip it. Zip it I say!

Oh- this was the best- during my daughter’s choir performance, they are singing this sweet Japanese folk tune- of course the concert is in the cafeteria. There’s vending machines right next to the stage. There’s a kid from the audience that comes up and gets an ice cream bar out of the vending machine during the song!! A FUCKING ICE CREAM BAR DURING THE SONG!! The machine was so loud!! Even the kid realized his mistake. He covered his face with his hands and most every grown-up in the first two rows just looked in disbelief. Bravo to the choir kids on the risers who just kept on singing.

And can I just mention the halitosis that was in my vicinity? Did everyone eat cabbage before the show?? What gives?

The sweet 12 year old voices couldn’t distract me from the bodily smells and sounds going on in the seats near me.

What is with parents and cameras? Holy hell, it was like feeding time at the zoo. Whenever a group would arrange themselves in their seats with instruments ready, parents would come forward with their cameras and hover in the aisles. I mean, I suppose so, since you can’t really see anything from the back. But the competition of hands raised with their Flip videos and iPhones was  laughable. I mean, really? Even Emma noticed the parents around her where she was sitting in her holding area for the choir kids.  She said the mom with her video camera was so in the way of the other parents next to her, that if they were trying to get any footage, it was probably of that ladys’ arm in their frame!

And let’s not forget the chatter in the audience. The two ladies next to me wouldn’t SHUT UP!  You know it’s bad when the Band teacher has to get up to the microphone between sets and ask if everyone can be a good audience and please refrain from conversation and keep little ones still! Now THAT’s bad!

I think it all summed it up during the finale when the 7th grade band performed The Final Countdown. Yes. The song from the 80’s group, Europe. It brought me back to the summer of 1986. Yes, what is better than 13 year olds on trumpets and saxophones reviving an 80’s Hair Band classic? Well, plenty. But the best part- it was the finale!

And no, they don’t serve wine at middle school concerts. Sadly. But I do serve wine to myself- at home, and any mistakes on this blog post are attributed to the two glasses I just had.

Welcome to the comedy show that I call my life.

Or I’ll just say, my kids are fucking funny. Now I’ve done it. I’ve said something is funny and it gives this whole standard of expectation. Like when someone told you that Adam Sandler’s movie, ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’, was really funny and you saw it on Netflix, and you’re like, ‘eh, not so much’. Well, I promise- THIS is WAY better.

I admit it. I didn’t really keep any baby books for either of my kids. I think I have a box somewhere that has Emma’s lock of hair, and I know I have their hospital bracelets somewhere in there too. I’ve got lots of photos. I wish I had more video. Especially of Owen. We took more video of Emma when she was a toddler, and then Owen only has a few snippets of video as a toddler. I already regret that there isn’t more.

Owen says a lot of funny things. I put a lot of it on my Facebook pages. I try to write stuff down. I have a notebook. I think it has maybe two pages written in it. I should write in it every day. My kids crack me up. I mean, I laugh out loud at them. They have a sharp wit. And sometimes at my expense!! This blog will serve as my record of all their crazy stuff since it’s the only thing I’m writing in or working on these days.

Here’s just a few of the gems that comes out of their mouths.

Driving in the car on the way from the grandparents after celebrating Mother’s Day, there was a funky smell. Most likely another car’s exhaust or engine. Owen says, ‘It smells awkward in here. Did someone fart?’ And honestly, at that point in time, no one had. Not to say someone (wasn’t me) didn’t later on though.

Mother’s Day was a gorgeous weekend in the northwest. It was warm for the first time since September. Which makes me sweat. I sweat anytime the mercury rises above 72. So Mother’s Day morning when the kids piled on the bed with the dog and the cat and … well, I was just kinda sweaty from the night before. IT WASN’T night sweats. I’M TELLING YOU. It wasn’t. But the kids sure like pointing out to me, ‘EW mom, you’re all sweaty’. I know, I’m WARM dammit! So when I’m getting ready for church and I’m covering my ruddy complexion with powder and concealer, muttering under my breath about my blotchy skin, Emma comes in my bathroom for something, hears me mumbling and says, “wow Mom, from being all sweaty to Rosacea, you must be hitting the menopause early”. She’s 12, and I’m 39! Geeze! Listen Miss SmartyPants, it’s just a change of seasons my body is adjusting to!

And I know I’m not the only one that gets sweet, amusing Mother’s Day cards. But I mean, come on, my kids are hilarious. Owen wrote in his card to me all those sweet things about how I take care of him, he’s so proud of me, how much I love him. And then finished it off with, “I hope this is enough (meaning the card) because I didn’t want to spend any money”. Wow, if he doesn’t take after his dad, O EM GEE!

Also, the one he made in school for me somehow was inspired by the Hunger Games. Not on purpose he says. I swear he drew a Mocking Jay and flames. Because what mom doesn’t want to be reminded of the Cornucopia? Am I the Mom on Fire?

COME ON. That TOTALLY looks like a Mocking jay. See the flames on the heart.

Emma and I went to dinner just the two of us awhile back. For some reason we were texting each other at the table. I know- how pathetic- but we were being funny. So she was talking about boobs- who knows why, just go with it- and she typed (*)(*) and I said that I could do better. So I typed (o)(o). And she agreed that my text boobs beat her text boobs. Then she went further and typed 8==> and I was like, holy cow!! She did NOT just do that!

She just went to a dance at school. Middle school. She’s only in 6th grade. School dances don’t bother me. They are heavily chaperoned. With mostly parents I know or am familiar with since my involvement in PTA and the community, I’m pretty confident Emma is going to behave herself. So she steps out of the minivan and says, ‘don’t worry mom, safe sex, I know’. GOOD LORD CHILD!!! NO SEX!!! Then she winks, laughs and gives me that finger point like ‘gotcha’.

Owen playing Nerf swords with me, (one of my LEAST favorite things as a mom) got me square in the crotch. He says, “Sorry about your china”. And then he says, “I know it’s really called a <<whispers>> v a g i n a, but I used to say ‘china’. I prefer that word instead. Also, I would rather just call everything ‘penis’.” Really? You are such a boy!

The kids had standardized state testing at school recently. I asked Owen how it went, he said, “it was easy, the answers are already on the page, with wrong ones too, you just need to pick the right one”. Genius! SATs here we come!

The dog was barking outside at something one night. I told Owen to go let her in. He opens the back door and yells, “HEY BEYOTCH, get in here already!”.

Well, there you go. Was it funny? And before you get all judgey about all the inappropriateness of my children, SIMMER DOWN. Get a sense of humor and lighten up. This only happens at home, with us. They don’t cuss at school, talk back to grown ups (except me of course) and only use potty talk for their peers. See? They’re totally normal. Whatever normal is.

I would like to think they get all their funny genetics from me. I mean, let’s be honest. I’m funny. Not just funny looking, or funny weird, but funny ha-ha, right? Okay, don’t answer that.

The difference between sons and daughters.

Ha! Answer- HUGE!

Yeah, DUH!  I figure since my son’s birthday is coming up and I wrote a blog post about my daughter’s birthday, I should give him the same credit. Although, he is the second child and sometimes you just forget to do stuff for the next kid, like baby books, home movies, that sort of thing. The five second rule comes in to play a whole lot more. You don’t sweat the little stuff like you obsessed over the first time.

So, my story begins- I was about 16 weeks pregnant with my second child. I didn’t know yet if it was a boy or a girl. I kinda wanted it to be a girl. My daughter was 2 1/2, we had a houseful of girl things, I figured, I know girls. I’m a girl,  I can do girls. What do I do with a boy? Will I want to play with him? When he gets older, how am I going to deal with penis questions? (let me tell you now- I am always dealing with penis and testicle questions.) What if he’s hyper, what if he likes guns and wants to be an Ultimate Fighting Champion when he grows up? What is he going to wear? Boys clothes sure as heck aren’t as cute as girl’s clothes.  These were the thoughts that were spinning around and around in my head. Very shallow, but reasonable thoughts.

A friend of mine gave me a children’s book called “Love You Forever” about a mom so devoted to her baby boy and all his phases of growing up. She would tuck him in each night, she would watch him sleep. And then when he was a grown up she climbed in through his window and watched him sleep. Which is really weird. Then when she was an old lady, he watched her sleep and carried her when she couldn’t walk. And it goes to show you how much a mama loves her boy and vice versa. I thought it was a little creepy with the whole sleep watching part and I thought, “I’m never going to be one of THOSE moms that clings to her son.”

<<SNORT>> Yeah right. Fast forward 9 years from then- no girl is going to be good enough for MY boy!! No girl. Okay, settle down. I’m kidding. But I totally get the mother/son connection. My boy is a mama’s boy for sure. And he IS my favorite. I mean, okay, not really!! He’s just, well, he’s easy to love. So I joke about him being my favorite.*

In those early months of pregnancy, I read in a magazine that if your pee was tinged green you were having a boy. If it’s yellow, you’re having a girl. Of course, I was always inspecting my pee color those early weeks. And it was, well, pee color. I guess, I mean, sort of guess it was kinda greenish. It depended on when I took my vitamin, how much water I had been drinking. It was really hard to determine. Also, I heard that if you crave meats you are having a boy. I totally craved sweet baked goods when I was pregnant with Emma. And strawberries. I ate strawberries all the time. With Owen’s pregnancy, I craved vodka. What does THAT tell you?? I craved lots of seafood. I wanted shrimp and prawns all the time. And steak. So yes, I guess I did crave meat.

We had names picked out for if it was a girl or if it was a boy. Nothing written in stone. We just had ideas. I sure as heck had more options if it was a girl. I loved all kinds of girl names. Not that James agreed with me on most of them. Like, Cher or Genevieve, or Violetta. Something awesome of course! I kind of wanted Charlotte or Olivia. I thought that would go well with Emma. He didn’t want any part of that. Too old fashioned he said. I wanted Margaret or Kathleen. Again, too old fashioned. GEEZE, what did he want- Beyonce?? So we kind of, sort of, chose Sarah. But for the boy, we were leaning towards Henry. Love the name Henry. Yes, it was old fashioned, but we both agreed on it. Then low and behold his Great Aunt one day said if it’s named Henry, she’s calling him Hank. Well, stop the presses, because I’m not having a kid going by the name of Hank! Hank is a name for an old man wearing a wife beater shirt guzzling a Pabst Blue Ribbon in his lawn chair. No offense, I just had this image of what a Hank looked like, and it was NOT my son. So then it just came to us- If it’s a boy, it needs to be Owen, which is James’ middle name and his grandfather’s name on his dad’s side. And you don’t get Hank out of Owen. So Owen it would be. Or Sarah. We weren’t sure yet.

We went to the ultrasound at 20 weeks and found out we had a healthy baby. Brain, heart, all the good stuff- looking fine. And yep, a penis. There it was. The fifth appendage. They told us we were having a boy and I thought, well, okey dokey, a boy it is. Hmm, not sure how I feel about it. I wasn’t disappointed. And I wasn’t over the moon. I was just sort of, content. Yeah, content. Now I WAS convinced I was peeing green.

So the day Owen was born was very different, of course, than the day Emma was born. All birth stories are unique. With Emma, I had the perfect epidural after excruciating labor. With Owen, I experienced labor the way it was intended.  It ebbed and flowed and I got through it. I got the epidural but had to start pushing before it actually kicked in. He was coming hard and fast down the pike. They kept telling me it should be working and I shouldn’t feel a thing. Well, tell that to my burning vagina! I felt everything! I would find out later that the epidural worked perfectly if I was having leg surgery on my right side. Thirty minutes after I pushed out the placenta, I couldn’t feel my whole right leg. Gee thanks Dr. Anesthesiologist! Asshat.

So, I was scared as hell about feeling everything since I felt nothing with Emma’s birth.  You bloody well can bet I wanted to be numb for this one too. Well, I think I pushed maybe three times and out he came. Apparently, I push babies out easily. Despite their head circumference being the size of a bowling ball. What does THAT say about my hoo ha? Wait, don’t answer that.

Because I was more concerned with myself and the BURNGING RING OF FIRE sensation that just ripped through me when Owen came out, that when they placed him on me all warm and slimy, I remember thinking, “I did it!”. I didn’t feel that incredible connection to the universe like when Emma was born. I wasn’t as panicked about his well-being since he wasn’t in any fetal distress like she had been. Maybe because I was thinking more practically after having done it before. He had a full head of hair when he came out.  He looked like a surfer – kinda tan and with bleach blond hair. He nursed immediately. What a boob guy. He wouldn’t let go. The hoo ha survived, and latching on happened like it should have. And then, I fell in love with the little peanut. More like the little ham hock. He was 8 pounds, 11 ounces and I swear 23 inches, but the nurse said 22, but I SAW the tape measure. She totally short-changed him. But whatever. I know.

He cried, but didn’t fuss. If he was hungry- he cried. But honestly, if you held him, he was happy. Emma fussed. Sorry dear- you were a cranky pants sometimes. Oh and the colic! He never had that. He slept better, cried less and was just kinda chill. Maybe he was a surfer? I do remember him surfing across my spleen sometimes, or my cervix. He used to karate chop straight down the birth canal those last few weeks he was gestating in the womb. Holy fallopian tubes he would kick the wind out of me- from the inside!

Owen is a very typical child. He whines, he pouts, he doesn’t always do as he’s told. But 9 out of 10 times, he’s really good. He is always thanking me for doing things for him, taking him places, feeding him. He’s the most grateful child I know. He’s a goody two-shoes like me. Totally keeps track of any swearing or yelling by any family member. He really hates yelling. He likes things quiet. He loves to snuggle. And he loves James Bond and Harry Potter and drinks cups of tea with me. Really? What more could a mom ask for?

I can totally trust him. Emma is the story knitter. She can knit a story into a sweater like nobody’s business. How many times when she was in preschool I had to clarify to the teachers what was going on in our family. Whether she had said her dad broke his leg, which he didn’t, but she wanted the pastor (she went to a Christian preschool at our church) to pray for him so she decided to make up a story. Or when her teacher asked me how Disneyland was, and I told her that we hadn’t been to Disneyland. And she said that Emma had told the class that her Grandpa drove the family down to Disneyland in his RV. Well, Grandpa doesn’t have an RV and we didn’t go to Disneyland at all that year. So you get the idea.

I can look Owen square in the eye and he will tell me exactly what happened. If he got in trouble at school (this has happened twice in his whole elementary career) he immediately came to me with the note from his teacher. Guilty. He hates guilt. So he faces it head on.

The difference with boys and girls is clearly attitude. Emma throws me attitude like a logger at a Highland games. Just pitches it up to fall hard on me, Owen doesn’t do that. You don’t have to walk on egg shells around him. Emma is Miss Moody. Happy and easy-going one minute, in tears and hating the world the next. Typical hormonal pre-teen FEMALE. (*If you’re reading this ever in the future Emma, I think you’re awesome and the best daughter ever. Don’t hate me.)

Well, I could brag on and on about my amazing children, but I will spare you. My point is, despite my feelings while I was pregnant and anticipating a boy, wondering how to love it, how it will love me- I can’t imagine it any other way.  Two girls would absolutely kill me! Oh dear heavens, the estrogen would put us over the edge!! At least with Emma as the first born.  She is so Alpha that I can’t imagine another female between her and I.  Owen balances our family beautifully.

He really is my golden boy.

I pop out some damn cute kids, huge head and all.

It’s all fun and games until somebody pukes.

Saturday was a day Owen and I were looking forward to.  Ever since our last high tea excursion in the city, we wanted to do it again and bring my mom- this would be my Mother’s day with her. We decided to use this weekend for it instead of actually going on Mother’s Day weekend since we wanted to avoid any crowds – you know how crowded those High Teas can get! (rolls eyes) and also, we have other plans Mother’s day weekend. So this weekend it was.

Owen woke me up at 7 am on Saturday morning. He whispers- ‘I’m excited for High Tea, I can’t sleep’. Okay buddy, I’ll get up. 7 is not too early, and honestly, I like getting up and having time to catch up on emails, harvest my crops in WeTopia, you know, the usual stuff.

When it was time to go to the city to the fancy schmancy hotel, Owen had his nice shirt on and his good sweater on. Off we went in the stylin’ minivan (dear heavens this vehicle hasn’t seen a sponge or soap in months). Y’all know how much I love my minivan.

The doorman greeted us in his smart coat and hat, and I had Owen take my picture next to the Daniel Craig ad at the Omega store (duh, of course!) as the doorman looked on and laughed telling us a story of another group taking their picture next to the same picture. I guess everyone admires Mr. Bond.

Hold that thought! (Screeching tire sounds) Wait just a minute!! I forgot one important thing!!

The night before, while I was tucking Owen in, he asks me- “Mom, is being a kid going to be the best years of my life? Because I get to spend all this time with you.”

Lump in throat, eyes watery. Oh. My. Goodness. THIS is what parenting is all about. Geeze. OOOH I just hugged him to bits that night.

Okay, fast forward, back to High Tea.

Owen ordered his own pot of their signature black tea blend. He got his own tower of little sandwiches, petit fors and scones. There’s little things of cream and marmalade on the table. So. Cute.

My mom and I shared a tower of little cucumber sandwiches, curried chicken sandwiches, tarts, cream puffs and scones. We’re like, “gosh, this seems so small, is there enough food?” We even had one of the waitresses sneak us some extra sandwiches. Not kidding!!

Did we get full on our second scone and third cucumber sandwich? You bet your sweet tea pots we did! We even took home some leftovers. Silly little nitties we are! After a whole pot of tea filling your belly and those little lemon tarts with the cream, you fill up a lot faster than you think! WE learned our lesson!

Owen started to complain he didn’t feel good. Hmm, he said he didn’t feel good when he got out of the car. Let’s see here, (scratches head and thinks hard)  I’m going to make the assumption he’s just full. Funny, how when your kid complains of a stomach ache, you reason with yourself all the things it probably is. Heaven forbid, there’s ACTUALLY something wrong with them. The last thing we want is puking. I don’t just jump to the conclusion of, “oh my goodness, you’ve got the flu, quick, you need a bowl, you might vomit everywhere”. (This is called foreshadowing folks.)

Owen originally wanted to go to the University of Washington’s bookstore. That kid loves books. He was looking forward to looking at and showing books to Oma. They have a great kid’s section and lots of young adult fiction and classics. It’s really awesome.

You know it’s bad when your kid gives up the equivalent of a trip to the toy store, and asks to go home.

Ruh Roh.

“Hmm, here- hold this (hands him the paper bag the left over scones were packed in. YES I took them out first, duh!), just in case buddy ‘kay? Not that you are going to throw up (wipes his little brow comfortingly), but just in case.”

Sure enough- he moaned the entire 20 minute ride home, as soon as we pull in to the neighborhood entrance, HURL sounds come from the back seat! (Gag reflex on mom- engage, blech)

Within seconds the sour, stenchy, biley smell starts filling up the car. I roll the windows down and speed the heck home.

We get on the driveway, I jump out, help him out. Well, the bag was helpful. But not 100%. He’s covered in it. He’s sitting in it. It’s in the seat belt. On his face.

OH GOOD LORD!!

He gets on the driveway and kneels down and takes a Tebow. I see that it has covered the back of his pants. While I get a roll of paper towels and start on the car, he is making sure he is done puking for the time. Poor buddy.

My mom is just chill and being there for Owen, and I’m not letting her help.  I jump in fight or flight mode- which in this case is fight- cuz running down the street screaming isn’t going to get my van clean. And by fight I mean- grabbing every paper towel product and spray cleaner/carpet spray/ Febreze product in sight. Mom goes inside and waits for Owen to change. Once he does- I strip him inside the garage and then throw his clothes in the washing machine immediately- he snuggles on the couch with ‘The Bowl’ and chats with Oma. She gets him some water and he seems pretty good actually.

I have NO IDEA what the heck it was. He says there was a kid that puked at school and went home. I tell you, there’s been at least 4 kids that have puked in his classroom this year. His teacher must have a steel clad stomach. That’s just the worst. (shiver)

My mom and I hug and laugh on the irony of the day. Oh well. I guess this is what ‘Mother’s Day’ is all about right?? It’s never just about us- someone has to go and puke and ruin the fun! I’m just kidding! Owen felt so awful, not just in the bellyache kind, but in his heart. He was so sweet and thanked me for taking him to tea. We three promised we would do it again another time AND the book store so that we could make up for the crappy end to such a fine start to the day.

That whole afternoon we snuggled- well, I snuggled on the armchair NEXT to the couch- I’m not stupid- I think I washed my hands like, 12 times and I gave him ginger ale and he watched Harry Potter. And yes, I made myself a cup of tea. I know, I know, it’s like I need an intervention. But after all that cleaning up and chaos with the car pukeness, I needed a relaxing cup of tea.

The coast was clear for the next 12 hours and he was able to go see the Avengers movie with his buddy like he planned on Sunday. That’s his birthday party this year. Just to see a movie with a friend and go out to eat afterwards. I LOVE kids getting older and I don’t have to plan stuff!! Yay me!

And yes- the car STILL smells. I’m working on it. And yes, I’m trying every remedy known to Googlekind. So if it’s on the internet, I’ve tried it. It’s about 85% vomit-smell free now.

Happy Mother’s Day alls y’alls.

Me and Daniel- OKAY, fine- Me and a picture of Daniel.

Look at him pour his milk in his tea cup like a good English lad!! See all the cute, little fancy accoutrements on the table??

I have it really good.

But that doesn’t mean I have it easy.

Does anyone have it easy? I mean really now. Life is a struggle. There is probably a very small, hmm, can we call them the 1% of people, who have few worries. If you relate your worries to your finances I guess.

I figure, if you are a loving, warm blooded human- you have worries or problems.

Here is why I have it good. And yes, I’m an appreciative type so I will focus on the positive for now. ‘Bout damn time I stop complaining about PMS and cellulite anyway.

  • I am a stay at home mom. Yep, I said it. Proud of it too. I ADMIRE WOMAN WHO WORK AT PAYING JOBS TOO! so there. I am just happy in MY shoes. Don’t judge me for not ‘working’. That’s bullshit. I work all the time. I volunteer too. Which is working for free. So that means, I do two jobs and don’t get paid. I raise my kids and I volunteer. Bam.
  • My husband is a good man. He really is. I give him crap. He can’t load or unload the dishwasher or put his socks away. But God bless him, he works hard for his family and puts us FIRST. Which in my book, is what makes a man a man. He loves us, even if he has shitty communication skills. He trusts me. He let’s me be me. He lets me have fun with girlfriends, blog about shit, fill our home with beauty products and copious amounts of tea. I love tea. He doesn’t give me a hard time for going vegan-ish. He even secretly is trying it himself.
  • My kids are healthy. Gee whiz. I can’t say enough how this makes me feel warm fuzzy and guilty as hell all at the same time. Yeah, I know. I’m pretty effed up to feel guilty about healthy children. But between the friends I know whose children have suffered through cancer or the families I know with Asperger’s and Autism, I feel like I dodged a bullet somehow. Now, if that cannon were to fire in my direction one day, I would maybe change my tune. But I really appreciate my children and all the milestones they’ve accomplished.
  • I have great friends. I have great ‘real’ friends and great ‘virtual’ friends. I’ll explain. I have girlfriends that I have known for years, have been there for the births of my children, my wedding, my ugly shoe phase in college, my bed rest during pregnancies, my children’s baptisms, at the bus stop to be there when I couldn’t, for carpooling, for birthdays, coffee dates, dinner dates… the list goes on. I also have friends who I have never met in my life. They see me only through my blog and my Facebook blog page. They give me accolades and validation that I feel I don’t deserve sometimes. But I always appreciate it and drink it in. Because it feels so damn good to get appreciated!
  • I have complete use of my faculties. Okay, this might not last forever, and except for the slight tinkle when I laugh, sneeze or jump on a trampoline- I am so grateful to be upright and functioning!! I am not 600 pounds lying in a bed for a forklift to take me to the doctor. I do not need a wheelchair or a speak n spell device like Stephen Hawking to communicate. I can go for a run. Play with my kids. Dance a spaz dance to LMFAO. Cuz you know I do!
  • I don’t have to go to a well for water. Gosh darn if I don’t complain about chores on a daily basis. And wouldn’t it be grand if the cat would just poop in the toilet instead of the litter box? But really? I have machines that do most of the work. Water comes magically out of a faucet. The washing machine beats and spins my clothes until they are clean. All I have to do is fold them. Although, by the length of time they sit in laundry baskets in the hall way, you would think that was the hardest task in the world.
  • I have freakin’ Amazon Fresh delivering groceries to my door! Yes- people. I can sit in my $100 Lululemon yoga pants and buy organic kale at my computer and it comes the next morning. The beauty of the USA people!

Now let’s not get all mistaken by this sunshine and unicorn post. There’s shitty shit going on in the world. Even in my neighborhood. I buy supplies for needy kids at my son’s school. There’s a frickin’ SWAT team in my city today, actually because some asshole shot at someone in a home. This ain’t Beverly Hills folks!

But I’m going to smell the roses, AND the freshly ground espresso. I’m going to try and be happy that I CAN cook dinner for my family because I have the food and the appliances to do so. (although sometimes that shit gets so old…)

Yep. That’s my Mr. Rogers post for you today. Won’t you be my neighbor? Remember, he always sang- “It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive…” Sing it my friends!

Spoiled kids vs. well-nurtured kids. vs. Helicopter parents vs. Roomba parents.

Oh boy. This is going to take awhile. And with my ADD and short term memory issues, it might take longer for me to get to my point.

You all know what a Roomba is right? That self run vacuum cleaner that just rolls along bumping into the furniture and finding it’s way while sucking up the dirt? You know what helicopter parents are right?  Helicopter Parents are parents that hover. Take care of their kids even when there’s really nothing wrong to take care of. In Scandinavia, they are called curling parents. I mean, those Nordic countries know their curling right? So, it means to them, sweeping away problems before they transpire.

Look at them furiously sweep that ice!! How metaphoric for parenting right?

After People I Want To Punch In The Throat‘s blog about people needing to be happy, I felt a light bulb go off in my attic. Yeah, an a-ha moment, if you will. Kids are bored. Twentysomethings are bored. So we need to not be so damn cajoling to our kids all the time.

I seriously doubt I would call myself a helicopter mom. I mean, do helicopter moms hope and pray the neighbor kid will ask your kid over for dinner so you don’t have to feed them? Does a helicopter mom hope that the sleepover your daughter plans is at her friend’s house and not yours so you don’t have to host? Do helicopter moms stick Uncrustables in their kids’ lunches everyday because it’s easier than actually making a sandwich?

God Bless Smuckers

See what I mean?

On the other hand, I make my kids wear their helmets when they ride their bikes. I like to know who they are with and have the parent’s number. I make them buckle up and sit in the back seat. Daughter has started riding in the front- she’s 12, it’s legal. If they are invited on to a boat or somewhere, I make damn sure there’s life jackets. I would never let them do 4 wheeling or anything hazardous like that. Too many Dateline stories. I don’t let my daughter go with her friends to the ice rink at 9pm on a Friday. Who are you kidding? I was a teenager once!

Safety is a priority with me.  But if they have a problem at school, with a friend, with homework, whatever- I will make sure they can solve it first before I step in. Kids need to figure out the world. They need to know how to fight their battles. Some battles I had as a kid, I hated. But I still fought them. I’m not going to make my kid run around in the snow in his underwear to learn a lesson. (That was stupid) I’m not going to drop them off at the mall and say, get your own ride home. No. And I sure as hell won’t forget my kid at a Chuck E. Cheese on their birthday!

So this is why I think of myself as a Roomba parent. I’m there, I take care of the messes after they actually happen, I do my job. But am I as hovering and attentive as a helicopter mom, I don’t think so. Maybe I’m better than a Roomba parent. Maybe I’m a Zamboni parent?  But you get the idea.

My kids have it good. They are ‘lavishly indulged’ compared to most industrialized countries, I am sure. As most kids in this country are. When I say ‘lavishly indulged’, I mean, roof over their heads, laundry done, snacks stocked in the pantry. But I am okay with this. I try hard as a parent to provide them with the best things and experiences. Healthy meals (except for Uncrustables, a mom’s gotta have some slack here and there), I sign them up for swim lessons. Soccer if they want to. Theater. Yep- daughter does that. But only one thing at a time. I can’t stand driving them all over creation. We need down time. And by down time, I mean, time where I’m not in my car and I can watch GCB on DVR while having a glass of wine! My kids don’t have a TV in every room, iPhones, name brand fancy clothing or shoes. They have Target clothes, Supercuts hair cuts. I’m a bargain shopper. But don’t get me wrong- I buy some quality things too. And special things like a Kindle for my daughter. Anyway…my point is- I don’t think my kids are spoiled. Because, and I stress, because- they are gracious and appreciative.

My son says thank you for every blessed thing. Okay, he can be a little shit when he wants pancakes on a Saturday if I haven’t had my 3rd cup of tea, or he asks for milk when he sees me sitting with the laptop and the dog and have no intention of getting up. But still, he says thank you when I take him to the library. Thank you when I get him a burrito from the drive thru on the way from something, thank you for getting his hair cut, thank you for taking the family to the movies. When he was 2 years old he had diarrhea in the middle of the night. Like any two year old. I changed him, and when I put his jammies back on he says, ‘fank you mommy’. OH melt my heart!!!

The girl is gracious too. For her bday I took her to get her haircut, shopping, lunch and bubble tea. She said how much fun she had and thanks for taking her out. She needed a haircut, paid with stuff with her own money, and didn’t whine about anything. I didn’t exactly hire the Jonas Brothers to sing at her birthday or anything!

Okay- this is making my kids sound really good. And don’t let me fool you. They are not angels. They are little shits sometimes. But most of the time, they are awesome, I will admit.

What I worry about, is our future generation of adults. The twentysomethings of today.

We have two rental properties near a local college. Our tenants are students at the college. All in their twenties. Some tenants are very low maintenance, pay the rent on time, buy bug spray if they see ants in the garage, call the fire department if a pipe bursts. You know, basic stuff.

OTHER tenants- I swear still want their mommy or daddy to wipe them! They have no concept of when to send the rent check in. For how much the rent check will be. That we say no pets, we mean- no pets. That if they bust a window or a smoke detector because they were fucking around- they will have to pay for it. My husband and I repeatedly shake our heads in disbelief with some of the calls we get from tenants. Or when we have to send them their rent reminder on the 10th of the month. Seriously? <<SIGH>>

So where does this lead me, oh crap, I forgot to buy cat litter today, see- ADD snuck in!

Anyway, where was I….

Parent your child how you see fit, but please, I hope that means, teaching them how to pay their bills on time when they are older. Thanking folks when they have something done for them and speaking for themselves when they have a problem. So if you want to shower your kid with Juicy Couture clothes, Ugg boots, crackPads, new cars, whatever, make sure they APPRECIATE it. I like nice things. If I could afford it, I would buy the next Marc Jacob’s bag in a hot second! But know where it all comes from. Someone’s working hard for it. Because I like nurtured kids. Spoiled kids- not so much!

Oh, and for heaven’s sake- helicopter moms- teach your kids how to chew their OWN food!!

The Bearded Iris plays Helicopter Mom and chews her kid’s food for them. Trust me, it’s hilarious, and don’t take it seriously!