Timeout for Mom

Do you know, whenever you look up “Mommy’s Timeout” on the great internets, that this comes up?

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For some, this is good stuff. It’s harmless. It’s even pink!

For me? This is the kinda stuff that snuck up on me, lied a whole lot, tied me up, very tight, and then nearly put me in the ground.

I’m linking up with my favorite people today at Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme?

 

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Five pm. Did you know, it happens, like, every day?

Seems to me, we need to skip five pm and just go straight to seven thirty. That’s when the babies go upstairs for baths, which is when the angels sing.

‘Course, we do have to eat in there somewhere. Perhaps they can dine while bathing? It could work, right? Barbecue chicken pairs nicely with soap and water. And I can just have Reeses for my supper.

There’s protein in them.

Anyhow.

You know how they say, “It’s five o’clock somewhere”? Well, I was, once, a big fan of those “they” people. They were on to something. A huge tumbler full of boxed Chardonney at my “somewhere” was a solid antidote to the Five O’clocked-ness of the world.

Until it wasn’t. Until, five o’clock nearly killed me.

Now, around that time, I pour about forty La Croix and cut a bunch of limes and wonder,

Why must five o’clock keep HAPPENING. IT’S, LIKE, RELENTLESS.

At times like these, I give myself a mom timeout. No wine.

Five minutes. It’s all the time I have, and it’s good enough.

Five minutes, me on the back stoop, dog sitting next to me. Hosmer quivers as a squirrel races by. And I watch as the squirrel races around the backyard like it’s had too much coffee and not enough brain cells to cover for it.

And I kinda feel for the squirrel.

Let’s face it, sometimes I AM the squirrel.

But, squirrels don’t take timeouts. I don’t think so. And yes, somehow this post has ended up about rodents with fluffy tails, but you know. That’s momsie.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure I have never seen a squirrel pause, put his little scritchy paws on his knees to take a breath, and say,

“I think I’ll just go read a little teeny tiny squirrel book, have some decaf, and take five.”

Five o’clock. Five minutes.

Five extra limes in my swanky sparkling water.

Whatever it takes, mommas. Whatever we need, because it’s a tough gig, momhood. It’s kinda relentless. But in a, soul-stretching, God-leaning, daily-praying, progress, not perfection, kinda way.

For me? “Whatever it takes” means taking my sober afternoons very, very seriously. Just thought I’d put that out there, to battle away the “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” demons. They can be pretty squirrelly.

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When You Wish Upon a Disney

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There are a few things in this life that I would officially label as Annoying but Necessary.

  1. Swim suit shopping
  2. Customer representatives
  3. Kale
  4. The DMV

I have news, y’all. It’s wondrous. Like, the kind of information that makes the sun shine through the trees and little birdies alight on your fingers and then you break into song… I dunno… like a DISNEY PRINCESS MAYBE??

If you Netflix, Disney will come. And Disney will actually manage to redeem the DMV. I thought it could never be done… but yes.

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September 20th is already HERE, ya’ll! I know this because I checked. Knowing the date is important.

Anyhow, Disney cometh. All sorts of other movies are heading our way. Fishes with memory issues. Large talking bears. My childhood favorites, and new ones, for my boys to love.

Watch and wait, as the magic happens.

Ok, and while you are waiting, I will provide you with one other option for you. And stay with me here, because I assure you, this one will NOT be family viewing. But, did you know…

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Oh yea. It’s on Netflix too. You’re welcome.

But, if you don’t really like the whole shark with big pointy teeth thing? I provide you with THIS: *Dramatic flourish*

“A curious shark, with a curious talent…”

 

 

 

Good Meetings. And Good Hair.

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Me, this morning, driving to a very needed hair  appointment.

Me: Hi God. I have my Jesus music on. Let me turn it down. Good stuff. Do you think you might have a little time?

God: Really? Have we not gone over this before? Yes, my girl. Go on.

Me: Ok. So… Um. Ok, here goes. There is all this awfulness going on. Have you SEEN all of this? Like, watch the news for about three minutes. And don’t even get me started on the facebook.

God: Ah yes. The Facebook.

Me: YES. Facebook. You know it? IT’S A HOT MESS. I mean, it has cat videos. Those help. And people post about their anniversaries. Those help too. But lately. Hot mess for the win.

God: Hmm. I can see how it might seem that way.

Me: I have two little boys. They’re little. Small, right? Like, they have all this growing up to do.

God: Yes. I know them dear. We were just talking last night.

Me: Well.   DO SOMETHING.

And then, I pulled into the parking lot. My friend, who is also in recovery, is my hair dresser. She makes my hair look great. She also makes my heart great, because whenever we get together, it’s a meeting. For those of you who don’t know – I am an alcoholic, and I attend 12 step meetings. But sometimes those meetings don’t have to take place in church basements with the bad coffee.

Sometimes, they take place while you are getting flappy foils put in your hair. You look ridiculous, but the meeting is ON.

So then, I unloaded. She gave me highlights and I gave her my guts. Every worry and fear. My little boys. All the anger around us. All the people, falling apart. Falling down. Every prayer. All of it.

And then she reminded me:

“God has the mountains. Even when they seem to crumble. He is still in charge.”

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You know this verse? It’s kind of a good one. The bible works that way – it’s got a lot of good ones. Sometimes I slap a bible verse on things, like a Jesus version of a Spiderman band-aid and hope it will feel better, but this verse? It’s bigger than a band aid. Bigger than a mountain.* I know this. But there is something about hearing it from another messenger, you know?

God and my hairdresser. A good morning. Meetings happen everywhere, as long as we are willing to listen.

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*Actually – I would have to add, all of the bible? ALL of it: Bigger than mountains. Every letter.

Listen. Up.

Linking up with my favorite people today! Five Minute Friday writers are the BEST.

The theme?

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Ok, married people. Or people who, like, have to deal with other people. Like, in relationships.

So, I guess, all people?

Do you ever feel like you and your husband might be, um, missing the mark a bit? Like, you are talking at each other? At. Not to. Or with. Or any of those other more relation-ey prepositions.

And, also, you are talking very little because, well, you are like ships, passing, in the night.

You are like the bird in the bush, and the other bird just flew right on by.

You are like a rolling stone and he keeps trying to gather moss or something.

Maybe that’s not working, the moss thing. I don’t really know why he would be gathering moss. Unless he’s making a tasteful centerpiece.

That’s not gonna happen.

ANYHOW.

Here’s what I’m gonna say about all this:

Nothing.

Yep. A whole lotta nothing. NADA. Ziperooni. THIS ME ME, ZERO TALKING.

I know, YOU know I can’t really do that because talking a lot and in anyone’s general direction is my love language, but stay with me here, because I’m being symbolic.

The other day, my husband admitted to me that he has felt like he is distanced from God. Like, the communication lines had been fuzzed up somehow, with things like work and bills and broken toys that MUST be fixed or the world will end for a six year old.

Oh, and also a wife that is very very good at talking at. Not with.

So, I listened. And then we both made a kind of pact.

We were gonna listen UP.

As long as we get the lines of communication right, directed UP first, then out, we’ll be fine. Or, if not fine, we’ll get closer to fine, which, as you know is what our whole walk here is supposed to be.

Also, it’s probably one of my favorite Indigo Girls songs, so there you go.

Why don’t we listen to this, shall we? And then listen UP. And then OUT.

Up, then out. It kind of sounds like an ad for support undergarments, but that’s another blog for another day.🙂

Love you, my Five Minute Friday friends.

 

 

Princesses and Pirates and Popcorn.

Ok. I guess you could say I am a Princess kind of person. I don’t necessarily like pink or tea parties or even tiaras (those are fun on birthdays because then people bring you presents) but if I had to choose…

It’s really by process of elimination. I cannot climb ropes. I don’t like high places. I certainly don’t get all this general swashbuckling about. It’s beyond me. I might be able to swash or buckle, but certainly not both at the same time.

I can rock a mean black eyeliner though. And an eye patch. But that’s another post for another day.

Last week I had two extra boys at my house. We were busy. It was a Star Wars day, which meant we were playing Star Wars legos and Star Wars tag and Star Wars bikes and Star Wars pretty much anything as long as there could be a Luke and someone with a blaster. Steve the cat was Chewbacca. I always got to be Leia. That kind of thing.

It was all fun until that dreaded time after lunch where everyone gets Tired of Each Other.

And then, that’s when I decided to snag them with my Secret Weapon: Princesses.

I know. I know it’s a stretch, stay with me.

I explained that I had been asked to review THIS, which I brandished at them with much flair, and Princessey splendour.swan-princess-dvd-754x1024.jpgThere was some silence. And then I offered popcorn, and they shrugged and said, “Ok!”

I know. This doesn’t sound very promising but here’s the deal: I love watching movies with my kids. And I grew up on Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty… and let’s just say those don’t get a lot of play at our house. And this afternoon, my boys sat and watched a princess become a pirate and this was what they did:

 

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They were totally into it, y’all. Total silence. Except for small-boy inhalation-munching of popcorn.

And also this: WHY is there a basket of laundry in EVERY picture I ever take? Curse you, laundry. Diva photo-bomber.

 

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The movie had pirates. It had weird beasties. It had high seas and music and adventures and also some moments where we all got the giggles. I snort-laughed at one point. That is a really, really huge compliment, by the way. It means I am invested in the pirates and beasties, which doesn’t happen all time when watching with my boys. It also means I need to work on my social cues, but that’s another post for another day.

Hey, Swan Princess, who knew?
It was all rather surprising.

Popcorn, a movie, pirates, princesses, and a basic lesson on how we shouldn’t pile on expectations. Done. All in one afternoon.

 

Working Out When Old.

Ok. I’m not OLD old. I’m just, mildly old. Sorta medium old.

On the threshold, so to speak.

Knocking on the DOOR of old. Actually, more like knocking, and then running away because face to face door stuff is hard.

Is this getting old?

Anyhow. I have been running again. And no, not FROM anything. Just running. Just for my own personal enjoyment. Wanna know why?

BECAUSE I AM FLIPPING CRAZY.

I mean, really. Why? WHY? Why so fast, Momsie?
I’m not sure. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m being chased by rabid squirrels. Because my life lacks suspense, I guess, and rabid squirrels do the trick. Other times, I just make sure my ipod is on endless repeat of “We Are the Champions” and I pretend I, too, am a champion. And I’ll keep on fighting, ’till the end.

Ok, here’s the deal. I am running again because I actually missed it. I missed the feeling of being fleet and strong and attacking a hill with venom like I OWN that hill, that is MY HILL and RAWRRRR and all that. DEATH TO ALL HILLS! BWHAAAA HAAAAA!S

Etcetera.

The problem is -while my HEAD was attacking hills in a sleek pony tail?

The Sledgehammer of Reality is all:

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I would like to state for the record that I am not fifty. Not yet. Not that there is anything WRONG with being fifty. Nope. Fifty is just nature’s way of saying, “Ha! Told you!” to all of us.

Really, I don’t want to make fifty mad. If I do, it might come back and bite me in the a$$. Fifty can do that.

So, I continue to run. Yesterday I ate chips and guacamole before going out into the six pm wind and heat, and that run went really well. And for the people who live one street over, I am so very sorry. I don’t even know how to clean that up. I’d like to blame it on my dog but he just stood as far away from me as possible and looked embarrassed. Just pray for rain and avoid your northwest corner.

Also, I now do something called HIIT! (I added the !, for flair) which I think stands for High Intensity Interval Trauma. I think we should just go ahead and add the “S” to it, but you know, it’s not that kind of blog.

I HIIT! things on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afterwards I do this:img_5863

Here I am, post HIIT! Just trying to stay alive, here. Breathing in and out. Eventually the goal was to get up off the floor because the dog was really worried and one cat was starting to lick my calves, in a “Hmmm, this is sorta like Tender Vittles” kind of way. I figured I better get up, or that’s how they would find me – surrounded by cats and with really bad hair.

I tried to blog. My arms were so rubbery that I basically had to fling my arms onto the keyboard and hope for momentum just to try to type something. Making coffee was harder. I gave up after a bit and just sat on the floor and smelled the bag of coffee beans.

And so, that’s me these days. Just thought I’d let you know.

Someday, someday, as God is my witness, I will go on a run and it will be all Chariots of Fire. Me, on a beach, all smiley and British, in glory.

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But until then, I slog on. No Chariots of Fire soundtrack. More like, the intro song for The Muppets. You get the idea.

But, may  I add, no one should EVER run in white. I don’t care how good it looks on a beach, it’s just not a wise fashion choice. Don’t you see all the muck you’re getting all over your pristine white shirt, Mr. Toothy British Guy? Your momsie would be horrified.

 

 

 

 

Paws on the Path

6ir5kBdbT.jpgI was watching Steve the cat this morning. I was sitting on my couch, waiting for my child to figure out how to dress himself because he forgets up until 8 am. He also forgets how to eat, brush his teeth and walk in a purposeful way. But that’s another post for another day.

Anyhow, as I am sitting, rather dejectedly, on the couch, mainlining coffee, I watch as Steve saunters past. He head butts Red, as if to say, “Dude. Don’t rush. It’s all good, brah.” And then he heads for our dining room table which has become The Table of Tiny Legos That You Must Not Move, Clean or Touch. That Means You, Mommy.

And then, our four hundred pound, linebacker of a cat, proceeded to daintily leap, like a whispy ballerina, right into the midst of the Legos. I gasped. Red gasped, and then I yelled at Red because FOCUS FOR PETE’S SAKE WOULD YOU GET DRESSED LOOK AWAY FROM THE CAT. DON’T LOOK AT HIM. DON’T. STOP. YES I KNOW HES CUTE YOUR SHIRT’S ON BACKWARDS. MOOOOOOVE.

Steve turned to me and I swear, winked. And then, he flitted across the table, on soft little cat feet, without even LOOKING. And NEVER TOUCHED ONE LEGO.

I don’t know how he  does it, with the Legos. You know Legos are magnetic, right? They find feet with deadly accuracy, as pretty much every five am walk across our living room floor will prove.

Steve just sauntered about, like a boss, and then proceeded to smush his fat furry torso into a box the size of a postage stamp and purred away. All content and smushed up on the sides, like a  ball of dough rising up in a bowl. A furry ball of dough.

So, it was then that Steve said to me:

“You know. I’m a symbol.”

I lifted my coffee cup to him, and decided to book myself some therapy, real soon. Red flitted past with his shirt on, no longer backwards, but inside out.

And Steve gestured with his fat furry paw at the Legos. “I can do this, without even looking. You humans. You crash through stuff, all day long. Always complaining. Your feet! Your work! Your schedule! Your feelings! Why don’t you just, you know, slow down? Look around and sniff at something? Watch where you’re going?”

“You didn’t watch where YOU were going, Steve. Remember?

“Yes. But but I’m a cat.”

I’m linking up with my happy place today, Five Minute Friday. As I like to have deeply symbolic conversations with a large, white cat, The Five Minute community might not invite me back anytime soon. But today’s theme?

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Slow down. Look around. Sniff at things little. The path is rocky, and filled with tiny sharp things. We do best when we watch where we’re going.

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