Monday, November 30, 2015

No, I'm not doing Elf on a Shelf...

I know some parents get really into it. Like REALLY into it, so into it that there are websites and blogs and Pinterest pages and Instagram accounts all dedicated to the Motherf#ck!ng Elf on a Shelf. More power to you all, I genuinely mean that. But, you guys, I just can't... and here's a few reasons why:  

1. I have enough shit to worry about. Including, but not limited to: making peanut-free meals that my preschooler will actually eat, remembering to pack the library book on Wednesday, finding said library book, getting to work on time(ish), making sure my house is clean enough to avoid being condemned, folding laundry (so.much.laundry!), grocery shopping, cooking, exercising, fetching goldfish (the cracker kind), bathing my kids at least weekly... you get the picture. I'm fucking busy!  

2. If you do it once, you have to do it FOREVER! Or at least until your kids stop believing in Santa, and I just can't handle that kind of commitment.

3. I'm not imaginative, or crafty, or anything like that. I would move the thing from one boring place to another... I doubt my kids would be very impressed.

4. Any "mischief" that the elf gets him/herself into will need to be cleaned up by yours truly. I'm not going to intentionally sprinkle flour on the floor and make little elfy footprints, or dump a bag of marshmallows on the table because the elf wanted hot chocolate at midnight. No, just no.

5. If I ever did participate, I'd probably end up doing something like this:

So, it's probably better that we just stick with a crummy chocolate advent calendar.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Downside to Cosleeping

Shortly after Harrison was born, Daddo and I determined that we were a co-sleeping family. It wasn't something we planned on, but it just came naturally as the little demon darling woke every hour to nurse. Because we're lazy very concerned with our children's attachment, we built a cozy little family bed where we were able to get a fair amount of uninterrupted sleep. Who am I kidding? Daddo slept just fine since he didn't have the only thing the boys actually wanted-- BOOBS!. When Jax was born we didn't even attempt to put him in a crib, we just put up a mesh bedrail and snuggled in to our queen sized bed.

Honestly, Daddo and I agree that there's nothing better than waking up to a smiley, cuddly, little baby (or in this case toddler and child) and not having to get up a million times in the night to feed, shush, rock, sing someone back to sleep is a total bonus. We have made a pact that we will stop sleeping with our boys before they grow armpit hair. Co-sleeping isn't all unicorns and rainbows, I've been kicked in the face, puked on, and pushed out of bed more times than I can count, BUT the events of last night totally take the cake.

Picture this... Jax and I are sleeping soundly in his room. We're snuggled up in his Mickey Mouse bedding, surrounded by 45 stuffed animals. He's wearing nothing but his teeny tiny little underwear (seriously, there is nothing cuter than size 2T underwear!) and shark slippers, because he's three and that obviously makes total sense in the dead of summer. Suddenly, I feel something dripping on my hand, then my arm... what the!? what is that? I feel the bed beside me and it's dry, then I feel Jax and he seems to be dry- I even do a full on crotch grab that only parents can get away with and his cute little undies are totally dry.

Me: Did you just pee??!
Jax: Yes...
Me: Like you pulled down your underwear and peed?
Jax: Yes...
Jax: Sorry mama.
Me: Are you done???
Jax: Zzzzzzz

Thankfully Harrison was in bed with Daddo so I stole the comforter off his bed and went right back to sleep (after I made a mental note to blog about this, of course). I guess I can say I got my first golden shower...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Keepin' It Real: Anotomy Edition

As parents we constantly encounter differing opinions when it comes to parenting: breast is best, formula is fine, co-sleeping, bedsharing, crib only, cry it out, attachment parenting... you get the point. Most of the time, I shrug off differences with a simple, "this works for us."

While camping with family recently a friendly debate arose. Recognizing that we're the "hippies"of the family (we eat kale after all), I knew we'd fall further to the left on this conversation than some. But as we continued to talk, I realized how strongly I feel about teaching children the proper anatomical names for their body parts and here are a few reasons why.

It's a matter of health-- if a child is in pain or discomfort, we want them to feel comfortable letting us know. Saying "my penis hurts" shouldn't be any different than saying "my hand hurts." The better a child is able to explain what's wrong (to a trusted adult) the easier it is for us to help

Children are naturally curious-- to help instill confidence in themselves, it's our job as parents to teach them all kinds of things, including how their bodies work (even the parts that can feel awkward talking about). Stifling questions, or being vague can cause feelings of shame and embarrassment that will most likely backfire some day.

It’s a matter of trust. We want our children to trust us. If we avoid conversations about anatomy, we risk making our kids feel shameful or afraid to ask questions. It's important to keep all lines of communication open so that our kids can come to us with ANY question or problem that might arise. Obviously we need to be clear about when and where body-talk is appropriate. For example, at the dinner table is not the right time to tell your grandma that your penis is "really big in the morning."

These are words for safety- It's also important to teach our children that genitals are private. Using accurate words allow black-and-white instruction about exactly which parts should not be touched by others. Our general rule is that you can touch your own penis (in private), but no one else can, and you can't touch anyone else's (for now anyway). If, shudder to think, our children were ever victimized it's crucial that they be able to explain exactly what happened.
The reality is, if we don't teach our children about their bodies, then someone else will... it may be an older kid on the school bus, a more experienced partner, or, shudder to think, a sexual predator. I think it's crucial that we set that tone and make sure they have the correct information to make good decisions for themselves.

And don't just take my word for it, here's a great article about sexual abuse prevention that stresses the importance of accurate language.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Calm the Eff Down!

Admittedly, I spend way too much time on Facebook- it feels like the only way this busy mama can stalk keep up with my friends and family. I also follow a few different weight loss/healthy eating and parenting pages. Lately I find myself ready to pounce on some of these parents... these are real life posts I've seen (edited to be slightly less annoying and a little funnier).

I left my two year old daughter with my in-laws for two hours and they fed her...(gasp)... a popsicle.

Seriously?!? Calm the fuck down! There are babies who drink Pepsi from their bottles and turn out relatively ok fine... that organic 100% fruit juice popsicle will not ruin her.

I can't find a way to secure every fucking piece of furniture that I own to a beam or joist, so I must move to a house that's safe for my children.

Um, no! Calm the fuck down and supervise your kids! Or even better, don't use rickety-ass furniture.

My four day old isn't sleeping through the night. I've swaddled and shushed, but when I put him down he cries.

He grew in your body for 9+ months, of course he doesn't want to lay alone in that Pack N Play. Eventually he'll sleep, and so will you. Calm the fuck down and hold your baby!

My three year old won't listen to me. I've tried timeout but it doesn't seem to be working.

Calm the fuck down! Three year olds are assholes! It's hardwired as part of their development. You just have to ride this shitty parenting wave out.

What kind of behavior chart do you use to keep your kids on track?

What the fuck? Calm the fuck down! You don't need sticker charts and reward systems, you have enough to keep track of (like who's been fed and who hasn't). "Don't be a dick" should be the overarching message. Always.

This post was inspired by this amazing clip.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

To my friends without children...

Last week, Dadd-O and I took the boys to the movies (along with an extra buddy from daycare) and I also invited a friend/co-worker who doesn't have kids. Even though the boys were really good (like seriously, surprisingly good), as I juggled popcorn and Whoppers and Icees, while making sure everyone made it to the bathroom and got a seat they were happy with, she looked at me and said,

"WOW, your life is soooo different than mine!" Yes, yes it is.

If you don't have kids, chances are your morning routine looks a lot different than mine...

Most likely you got to use the bathroom alone. There was no one unrolling the toilet paper roll while you sat helplessly on the toilet, no one climbed onto your lap while you did your business, or asked questions about why you wear a "diaper."

My view from the toilet...
I bet no one snuck in while you were showering and karate chopped the curtain, scaring the shit out of you.

You didn't use Flintstones vitamins as leverage for teeth brushing or have the unique opportunity to pry open a tiny mouth and shove an electric Spiderman toothbrush into it trying to touch each little tooth at least once.

You only wiped one butt!

You probably only zipped one jacket, and put on one pair of shoes. You missed out on the experience of searching for missing shoes/hats/mittens/jackets that were right there last night. You didn't have to argue the value of winter boots over rain boots when temperatures are below freezing.

You didn't get to wrestle a toddler (who suddenly developed super speed and strength) into a five point harness, and you got to choose the radio station (only changing it if and when YOU wanted to.)

And lastly, you probably got to work on time...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Finding My Motivation: Where the F*ck is it??

Once upon a time there was a 22 year old girl who weighed 197 pounds. She'd been "chubby" most of her life, and was finally sick and tired of it. She joined Weight Watchers and started going to the gym religiously, and over about a year and a half, she lost 56 pounds. She had confidence, and felt the best she ever had!

Fast forward nine years and that girl is a frazzled, working mama who is not happy with the way her body looks or feels. She's committed to Jazzercise (finally!) but she can't seem to stick to any kind of healthy eating plan. Thankfully, she's not back to where she was... YET!

FYI, that girl is me.

Since having kids I've tried going back to Weight Watchers (a couple of times), I've tried Advocare, counting calories and the 21 Day Fix, but I can't seem to stick with anything long term. I've vowed to be kinder to myself this year, but I can't help but wonder if I'm being too easy on myself...

How do you get to, or maintain, a healthy weight?

Thursday, January 8, 2015


As we enter the new year, I'm thinking back to this time last year when I made a list of 36 things I hoped to tackle in 2014. I was able to successfully accomplish about 1/3 of the things on my list, and another 1/3 were partially accomplished. While I think it's important to have realistic and concrete goals that one can "check off," I think it's far too easy to get stuck on the end result and forget about the journey. I'm about to get a little deep here, so bear with me. For 2015, I'm setting goals that are a little more vague, but that can be incorporated into everything that I do.

Have More Fun

All too often I get caught up in my own head and forget to live in the moment. I'm too worried about laundry and dishes to enjoy the laughter of my children. While I can't completely neglect household chores (unfortunately), I do want to be more intentional about dedicating time to playing with my children and just enjoying life through their eyes.

Take Care of Myself

I've spent way too many years of my life stressing about my weight, calories in, calories burned... blah blah blah. I'm not throwing in the towel altogether, but trying to take a more holistic approach to self-care. I plan to eat healthy foods that fuel my body and make me feel strong and healthy (about 80% of the time), but I also plan to spend time with my girlfriends, drink some wine and occasionally go out to dinner with my husband.

I got a really sweet deal on a year's worth of Jazzercise classes, so my love of group fitness is covered and I'm still learning how to take time for "me" without feeling a whole lot of mama/wife guilt.

Keep In Touch

I lost one of my best friends this year and it was a crazy reminder that I need to cherish the friends that I have and keep in closer touch. It's so easy to get wrapped up in my day-to-day life and lose touch with people who are very important to me. This year I vow to remind those I love that I'm thinking of them, whether it's a text message, phone call, snail mail (for the grandmas), or scheduling a lunch date.

Do you make New Years Resolutions? If so, what are your plans for 2015?