Beware the Sighs of March

Ya’ll. Spring is here.

How do I know?

Well, for one, it’s warmer. And there’s flowers all about. Bunnies. General frolicking.

But the main clue?

VERY WHITE LEGS. VERY WHITE. BLINDING. I AM SO SORRY. I HAVE TO WALK ON THEM.

You can see me coming for miles.

And, since, I really don’t feel like wearing the Mom Jeans for the duration, the whiteness must out, ya’ll.

Also, this means: GOOD LORD HAVE MERCY ON ME, THE POOL IS COMING.

*shudder*

We’re gonna start in slow, with all this Spring stuff. Dip a toe in the water, so to speak. I simply CAN’T handle tank tops and tan lines and pedicures just yet. There is so much REVEALING of things that have been so nicely COVERED up and all COZY for so long – it’s jarring.

So, this week, I decided to tackle my eyebrows.

Dude, they were all:

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Or, if you prefer a more sporty look:

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And I was all: Be GONE fuzzies!

Don’t worry, I didn’t go overboard. We all know how the dreaded over-pluck can make us look forever… quizzical. I realize, also, that eyebrow manicuring can be the gateway drug. Next thing you know I’ll be spray tanning.

 

One can only hope.

 

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Real Momsie

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Today’s Five Minute Friday theme:

REAL.

 

 

I was talking with my Super-Friend, Christy, recently about my all time favorite subject: ME.

This subject is fabulous. There is never enough time to cover all the nuances and layers of Momsie, but, you know, I’m willing to try.

Anyhow.

We were talking about this blog of mine, and I was kind of whining (this is a common sub-genre that Talking About Myself delves into) about how I didn’t feel the blog was SERIOUS enough.

Like, I needed to talk about Jesus a lot more, and make sure that everyone who read Momsie would,  after finishing a post, slap their foreheads with palm and shout, “Well! Momsie! This post was so searingly inspirational that I need a Lord and Savior! Like, right NOW! This blog has saved me from eternal smiting. Praise Jesus!”

And then the reader would leap out the door and promptly go save at least three other people.

And so on.

I could be the greatest evangelical Pay it Forward blog ever, I tell you.

Christy, my Super-Friend, listened patiently and then said,

“Look. You started the blog to help out mommies. You wanted to help out mommies by making them laugh. Because, parenting is often very funny. Jesus knows that too.”

“He wants you to be you.”

So, here we are. I love Jesus. Very much. He saved me, by the way, from eternal smiting, but also from a life of addiction and sadness right now that very much would be earthly smiting, and who needs that?

I keep thinking I need to have more bible studies or verses or… more um, Christiany stuff.

Please forgive me. I need the Christiany stuff. Gracious, I try to read Oswald Chambers every morning, even when my brain is all smushy, and I sometimes think I would do better with the toddler Oswald version we have up in the boys’ room. But if I try to be Oswald? My Momsieness deflates like a sad balloon.

Real. I will stay real and keep posting bits about my children figuring out that glitter really does stick to cat fur… if you use glitter glue.

And, erm, I will keep posting all the semi-saucy bits about marriage and romance that I always have to warn the hubster about before we go to church like this: “Um, did you read my last post? The one called N is for Nookie? You might want to. And I love you. And thank you. And you’re awesome. And if you wonder why they’re sniggering at you at Sunday School, just know I love you. It’s all in good fun, and I think the mommies really liked this one. And, did I mention I love you?”

I love you too, my readers. And so, I’ll keep on being real.

But, just in case… If you don’t know Jesus, He knows you. In fact, He loves you like crazy.

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How to Have a Great Spring Break in Ten Easy Steps!

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Don’t worry. This will make sense later on. Maybe.

 

I’m a mom. (You knew that, right?) And so, therefore, I am an expert on  all children.

Really. You should trust me. Why? Because I have a delightful sense of humor and I love Jesus. What’s not to trust?

Much in the fashion of those nice people that grace our block every year wearing their earnest, short-sleeved white shirts and bad ties whilst cheerfully holding a bunch of Armageddon countdown pamphlets, Spring Break has come calling. And I answered with all the aplomb and ease of a woman who can use the word “aplomb” with … aplomb.

We’re right smack dab in the middle of our Spring Break, and I bet some of you mommies are wondering: “Well, this was all fun for about ten hours, but what in the heck do I DO with the wee darlings today? We have FIVE MORE DAYS OF ALL THIS TOGETHERNESS-WACK LEFT, PEOPLE.  I need help!”

First of all, let me just say, I totally don’t feel like that at ALL.

But for those of you who do, don’t feel guilty. Nope. It’s not a measurement of your ability to parent or your moral character. It’s just that you aren’t as wonderful at life as I am. *

So…

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Fear not mommies!  Because I have compiled a handy list of all my favorite, wholesome and engaging children’s activities just for you! It’s about to get all Pinterest-y all up in hereeeere!

I bring you:

The Spring Break List of Awesomeness:

1. Stay in bed and write blog posts while the children watch Curious George. When they watch the end part that always has the cute schoolchildren and wonderful learning activity with the actual child-centered experiments and such, hide MORE so they don’t come to you and ask to make a bunch of muddy canals in the backyard demonstrating the life cycle of water. That’s crazy talk.

2. Explore your local library! No, really, I mean really explore it. Take them to your library, set them free in the paperback Westerns, and tell them to find a book about moth balls. Offer twenty dollars to the first one who finds it. Sit in a comfy chair and cheer them on while you knit and sip coffee. But, cheer quietly, because it’s a library. **

3. Make it an educational day! Speak only in Spanish to them all day long. Include one episode of Dora the Explorer in this day to appease the crying. If you need brushing up on your Spanish, watch something with Antonio Banderas on the Netflixes.

4. Make some homemade crafts out of some quinoa and washi tape. This should go well.

5. Baking day! Start making cookies. Realize you are out of: flour, eggs, enthusiasm. Offer children chocolate chips and some baking soda for lunch. Mommy is the best!

6. Come to think of it, you know the husband has hidden Girl Scout crack cookies somewhere in this house because you are on a no-sugar thing. Despise him. Offer both children twenty dollars to find the cookies! Treasure hunt! Occasionally speak in a pirate voice to add ambiance. (Bonus points offered if pirate speaks Spanish.)

7. At one point, collapse on the floor. Tell children you’re playing charades. You’re the rug.

8.  Consider going outside. Realize this is just going to create children who, like, want to play with you outside ALL THE TIME.  Holy fresh air, that’s nutball. Go back and repeat #7.

9. Actually sit with them and play Candyland. Lose your will to live.

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10. Oh, enjoy it. Your children are only this age for so long and blah blah blah. Spring break is just as scared of you as you are of it. Take control and take the little darlings hiking or bowling or whatnot.

But do not, under any circumstances, play Candyland. There’s fun, and then there’s just rampant indulging your children in mind-sucking awful. Lets face it. Candyland is Bad Parenting. It only promotes cavities and virulent boredom. Put on PBS Kids and call it good.

 

 

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“Mamma mia, here I go again. My my, how can I resist you? Mamma mia, does it show again? My my, just how much I’ve missed you…”

 

*Seriously. We’re going a little crazy over here. An Abba dance party is about all I’m up to today.

**If you do this, understand that my local library is rather tiny and not scary. It houses not scary patrons who don’t stay there all day and mutter. Some libraries do have LARGENESS and muttering.  Substitute “Let’s explore the basement! Whoever finds my box of ABBA albums wins!” kind of activity if this is the case. And, if you don’t actually have any Abba albums? Well, bless your heart.

 

 

Going Off the Grid with The Plan

SHARPIES!

SHARPIES!

Linking up with Five Minute Friday!

The word for today?

PLAN.

Huh. As in… “That’s not part of the?”

Show of hands, momsies: How many of you sooooo like to have a plan?

I cart around with me a very ratty, scribbled mess of a spiral notebook that I use as a planner. It’s not pretty. It doesn’t have nice pockets or cute script or even a place to store stuff. But this system has worked for me for over… well, since high school.

I like to call the spiral: Master Control.

Lord help me if I ever lose it. I might not be able to dress myself.

I love to have a plan. I have lists, ya’ll. Lists OF lists. I have maps that explain the contents of closets. I have a daily cleaning chart, AND daily breakfast chart, AND I’m pretty sure I have a chart of my charts. It is also possible that at one point and time I scheduled, um, special time with the hubster. Like, I PUT IT ON MY MASTER CONTROL.

I did use code for it, but still, it was there, in pink sharpie.

(Total tangent: Once, my sweet Red walked in on me and the hubster starting in one negotiations for special time. Now, let me be clear: we were not hitting the Rated R late night viewing category yet, not even close. At this point, we were still in pre game talks and it was all rather PG. Anyhow – Red walks in, I squeal, this confuses Red a lot because squealing is not really my thing – I don’t do it often and now, I SWEAR, someday when he really GETS what was going on in our bedroom he’s gonna think= squealing, and it’s all my fault. Hubs, of course, is totally non-plussed because he NEVER gets PLUSSED about anything, and calmly says: “Hi Red. Mommy and I were just wrestling.”

Sooooo…. then Red goes to His Kids the next night and the teacher asks: “What are some things your parents do around the house?” and Red says, “Sometimes my mommy and daddy like to wrestle.” And from there I don’t know but THAT comment sure leaves a lot of room for interpretation… But if you’re me, you interpret it the saucy way because you are immature and a bit off kilter.

Anyhow. I will never make eye contact with his teacher again.)

Where was I?

Oh, having a plan. Sharpies. Lists. Plans are my happy place.

Except, once in a while, when they are not.

For some reason, every once in a while, my Master Control gets put away. I lose the box of sharpies. I take a break from The Plan.

Because, I don’t know… my brain says, “Wing it, Momsie. Live. Throw caution to the wind! Use glitter! Don’t color code your linen drawer. At least not today! Just for today? Un Plan!”

And I do. For an undetermined amount of time, for an unknown reason, and with really unimaginable results, I go all willy-nilly.

Now, granted, I do make sure to, like, wash underwear and cook things to eat (although frozen pizzas do turn up often), and I even remember to floss in there. Sometimes.

Otherwise? I am prancing about, all nutty and free, and it’s great. My life is like a big handful of confetti, thrown to the wind, and fluttering about.

And my house becomes a total mess. “Look at my house!” I think. “It’s a total mess!” And then I flit off to not do anything important. I read in bed. I drink coffee at three pm. Sometimes I read IN bed AND drink coffee. I am an animal!

And then, one morning, I wake up and think, “All right. Enough of this crazy talk, where’s my scrub brush?” And I go hunt down my sharpies, find them in some random drawer, clutch them to me and lisp, “MY PRESHUS” and I’m off and running with Master Control again.

I call it The Every Once in a While, Kinda Loosey-Goosey, No-Plan, Plan.

And it works for me.

And by the way? You can actually Plan too much. See below. Can you imagine what the woman is thinking in the picture? I can. But I can’t state it here because it’s not that kind of blog.

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My Marriage Rocks. The Non-Throwing Kind. Because: Humor.

The only way to survive marriage is to laugh a lot.

When you are shackled to another person for the rest of your life, all sorts of laughter counts. For example laughing at ones self is always a good start. That’s all self-deprecating and so, therefore, it makes you look like a good person, and so, marriagable.

But also: there’s the better kind: when you can laugh at HIM.

I so prefer the second option because, well, it’s just so much easier.

Also, you can just, like, laugh at other stuff a lot. This happens with us. We are so deeply wedged into marital bliss that we just wander around the house laughing our arses off at any old thing. Just paid three insurance bills that seemed about equal with the national debt? HILARIOUS.

Did you drop your coffee filter thingie on the floor again at six am, thus covering you, the floor, and cat paws with expensive, caffeinated dirt? I’M HOLDING MY SIDES, STOP IT!!!

Did your four-year old master the art of the nonsensical drop and wail about something so minute and weird you cannot fix or even, really talk him down from today? I SHOULD MAKE A YOUTUBES! LOL!!

Did you get both boys up an hour EARLY because Daylight Savings?

Oh, heck no. Well, some things are just not funny.

Anyhow.

My marriage, it seems, is pretty laughable.

No, wait, that sounded bad. What I MEAN is:

We laugh at each other, and ourselves, a LOT.

Last night we had to go to a big, hoity toity dinner thing for Tall Blonde’s work. I do so love these things. Wanna know why? I shall make a list:

1. I really don’t love them I was being sarcastic.

I had to wear real clothes. And high heels. “Real clothes” means a dress, and good Lord, who thought up THAT nonsense? A DRESS? It’s been a while.

Sigh. When one stays home with two boys, writes from home, AND teaches an online class, one starts to think of “professional wardrobe” rather creatively. So, in essence, I put on the dress, and the heels, and then kinda felt like this:

Does this bowl make me look fat?
Does this bowl make me look fat?

At this point in the game, I was weak. And so, what I attempted next in marital relations is not recommended. It was a foolish move, I realize, and also highly risky.

I spotted the husband in the hall, and I said,

“Honey? Do I look all right?”

I know. I KNOW. This is the Red Wedding of questions. (If you don’t know what I mean about The Red Wedding, GOOD. You DON’T WANNA KNOW.)

What happened next is not for the faint of heart:

The husband looked at me and SHRUGGED.

Now, right here is when you have a crucial decision. You can:

1. Kill him.

2. Kill him in your head, because jail is bad.

3. Not speak to him for the rest of the night. When he finally catches on, tell him, “I’m fine.”

4. Withhold sexual relations until 2021 but offer no explanation.

5. Some willy nilly combination of 2-4.

6. Laugh it off.

I opted for #6. Actually, I did one better. First, I marched right over to him and poked him. “This,” I stared him down, all steely eyed and Clint Eastwoody, “This, punk, is when YOU say: ‘Yes, darling! You look ravishing. Absolutely perfect. And THIN. Did I also mention, smart? You, my sweet petal, are perfection.’ “

(NOTE: Students! Quote marks INSIDE quote marks! Grammar moment!!!! Squee!!!)

And then, I flounced away laughing maniacally. Flouncing, I found, only works so well when you are wearing four inch heels, so then I twisted my ankle and sort of gripped the wall for a minute, but then recovered and clomped away.

Erm. Like this:

AND IF THAT’S NOT FUNNY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

 

By the way: the marriage is still intact. Tall Blonde has made a serious mental note about the shrugging. As the night progressed, he would whisper sweet nothings to me like, “You are beautiful. I love you. Here, you can have my ice cream. And, really, you’re hot. Can I get you more ice cream?”

Marriage. It’s all about communication, humor, and grovelling paired with caramel gelato.

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This is a short post about a slow story.

It all started with the bag of slime.

You know the stuff. It’s the goo your sweet, saint-like preschool teacher put in a baggie and gave to your four-year old to take home and set on a shelf and look at. From FAR AWAY.

Or maybe also look at while outside, or when you have a Hazmat suit on. Or, maybe in the shower. Yes, definitely in the shower. Where there’s lots of water and cleanliness anyhow.

The pink slime was for something Dr. Seuss. It’s his birthday, you know. So all my babies are celebrating with him by requesting green eggs for breakfast, and impossibly long books to read at night-time. And what else? Oh, yes. Some sort of pink slime called Oospleck. Or… I can’t remember. Affleck?  Afflack?  Jungle Juice?

I dunno. It’s some sort of pink slime thought up in a psychedelic haze by Mr. Seuss, beloved author of all those books. All those long books. The ones that seem like they should just take a few minutes but really, they go on. And on. And would you, could you, like to toss it and head to bed?

Ahem. Sorry. I am not one to mess with a beloved author. I understand deeply the merits of reading and all that. It would be un American and unteacherly of me to ever, EVER whisper just a bit of displeasure with all the weird foxes and their droopy soxes.

But, holy Cindy Lou Who, these books are like longer than that part in the bible where God starts listing all the names, ya’ll. At least at 8 pm, they seem that way.

Would you, could you, like to cry?

Ok, I’ll stop.

Anyhow. So, Red has, in his hands, as we are driving home, a baggie of this slime stuff and he’s all excited about it. He’s telling me about the book and how da slime must ONLY be played with outside or if there’s a paper plate or perhaps, I don’t know, maybe, IT’S JUST TO BE LOOKED AT, and then, I hear it:

The sharp intake of a four-year old’s breath when his whole world is about to come crashing down around him. But, slowly.

Let me explain. The Oozesnot, or whatever it’s called, had broken free. Or at least, it had indicated its intention to do so. It is slime, after all. So, it wasn’t going to do anything in a rush.  It was slooooowly oozing from its baggie, slowly, slowly, with terrible suspense and tragic timing, and Red was just LOSING HIS MIND.

Did I mention, all this slime-ing was happening at the rate of, say, when an old lady is trying to do that whole “You Feel Lucky? Try Self Checkout!”at Walmart, and you’re right behind her with just your bottle of Midol and and two squirming boys, and she is stuck on where to put her items before the machine starts talking to her in that creepy, soothing voice like Hal from 2001 a Space Odyssey, and she gets all flustered and before you know it, it’s 2016.

So, Red is crying. Loudly. And the slime is not even ON anything yet. It is slowly, slowly, creeping its way DOWN the bag, just a bit TOWARDS the lap of the anguished child, and still, there is all this sobbing.

And Blonde, never one to not get involved, starts yelling at Red to, you know, PICK THE BAG UP AND SHUT IT. SHUT IT!!!!  DA SLIME! DA SLIIIIIIIME!” like a demented Tattoo from Fantasy Island. And you are trying to figure out if this is a “Should I pull over? Is slime going to start shooting out all over the car? Will someone put an eye out?” because the horror from the backseat certainly sounds that way, and that’s where I always go with possible small child injury: the dreaded eyeball incident, like eyeballs are just gonna start bouncing around the back of the car, pairing well with the wretched screaming and chaos from behind me.

And Red just keeps crying, sobbing, actually, as the slime, slowly, slowly, slowly, travels towards him. And he just sits there, telling me, in broken-hearted heaves, “IT’S COMING OUT. IT’S SPILLING. NOT YET, BUT IT WILL. IT WILL! ALL OVERRRRR. MY SLIME. MY SLIME! MY PRECIOUS!!!!”

At this point I have decided that both children, if I could get a good look, are probably just glistening with a good coating of the stuff, and it’s now heading for ME, and we’re all gonna die in a slimy car crash,  and whoever has to make the police report is going to be really confounded.

Police: I’ve never seen anything like it. It was slime, sir. Pink. With… glitter. (shudders)

Sergeant: Good God, man. Glitter? Make sure that stuff isn’t loose on the streets. And, be careful out there.

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I miss this show.

 

 

So. To recap:

Red is screaming.

Blonde is screaming.

The radio is playing Jungle Love, because why not?

Momsie is dying inside.

 

We got home. I leapt to save Red from imminent slickness.

He had two measly bits of glitter on his lap. The rest of the escaping slime was gripped, tightly, in his viscous fists.

He had saved it. 

 

It’s hard, sometimes, to talk a child down from the edge of nutball behavior, especially when the nutball behavior is extremely slow moving and kinda festive.

I’m just so glad I got to share all of this, with you.

 

The end.

 

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Ok, Sure. But, what if the meltdown is slow moving and sticky?

 

 

 

Bedtime. And Dragons.

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I have to admit, I haven’t actually watched much of Game of Thrones. I am mostly familiar with it due to all the awesome memes that are floating around out there on the great interwebs.

By the way, did you know that there is basically a meme for ANYTHING? It’s true. Thank you, internet, for being so awesome and such a profoundly huge waste of time, simultaneously. But Game of Thrones has all this… well people die in it in very unfortunate ways. And also, there’s quite a bit of sex. I get embarrassed when people kiss for longer than ten seconds on the Hallmark channel, ya’ll. It’s just the way I am.

Anyhow. Last night I was a skosh tired as I put the boys to bed. This is sort of like saying the captain of the Titanic was feeling a bit annoyed by the whole iceberg thing.

We hit the iceberg called Mommy is Tired of this Crap and It’s Time for SLEEP.

The babies would have none of it. You see, they had hit the iceberg called We are So Spazzed We Are Practically Hovering in Mid Air So Good Luck With That Mommy.

Some mommies, I know, out there, still manage to speak gently after 8 pm. They use soothing tones and give choices (“Would you like to brush your teeth now? Or would you like me to yell at you about brushing your teeth now?”) and are supportive and nurturing, even though their overtired darlings are squealing and swooping like that demonic piggie in The Amityville Horror.

Ok. Step back, Momsie. No, my children were not actually demon possessed. Comparing them to a scary movie piggie that has red eyes and is rather horrible is not nice.

BUT SWEET LORD I SURRENDER THEY WERE NUTS LAST NIGHT.

This is how it all went down:

Naked children sliding from bath to bedroom. Little scrawny legs blurred by speed and nuttiness. Momsie snarling in British accent:
“Fear cuts deeper than swords, children. Beware!” (All Game of Thronesey here. Get it?)

Children, still naked, giggling as if their lives depended on it.

“When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die, children. NOW GET IN YOUR THOMAS THE TRAIN JAMMIES. OR I SHALL SMITE THEE!”

Both children have found a pair of their father’s underwear and are taking turns trying it on their head. One of them drapes it around him like Mother Teresa. More nutball giggling. They are underwear-helmeted giggling lunatics. They can’t stop. Even with smiting.

“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.” (OOOO. That’s a good one. George R.R. Martin writes good stuff, I tell you.)

Giggling has now increased in velocity and pitch as if the little soft tops of their heads are just gonna blow off with nutball glee.

‘ALL RIGHT. I’VE HAD IT. GET IN BED BEFORE THE CREEPY WHITE HAIRED GIRL UNLEASHES DRAGONS. DRAGONS, YA’LL. ZOUNDS.”

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This girl. She’s intense. I want her on my team, and all, but I’m not sure I’d be inviting her out for coffee anytime soon, know what I’m saying?

 

That final bit worked to a degree. They dove under their covers and at least the giggling was muffled. I left them, little cocoons of shaking Superman sheets and blankies. No dragons were unleashed. I sighed heavily, hung up my sword, and went in search of some mulled glog or whatever it is they’re always drinking out of those clunky goblets.

But, forsooth! There’s more.

Wee child (Red) came and found me, as I settled with my tea and a leg of mutton. He stood outside the door; his Thomas the Train jammies were on backwards and inside out, and he wanted me to rock with him in the Big Chair.

He was so pathetically dressed I took pity on him.

And then, he leaned his head on my chest and reached, with his soft fingers, for my hand. “Make a fist,” he demanded. His eyelashes, as I looked down at him, seemed to go for miles.

I obeyed. I was under the spell of the eyelashes and impossibly small nose.

He gripped my fist in both his hands and looked up at me. His eyes were so deep and brown that all I could see were his children, and children’s children, with those eyes.

“Your fist. It’s the size of you heart. You have a big heart.”

He put his fist inside of my clasped hand. “My heart is smaller. It fits inside yours.”

Yes. Yes it does my small one.

You are the king of my heart.

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King Red. Redeemed.