More Moana, Please. And a Giveaway!

As it seems my summer plans do not include a trip to Hawaii (sponsored post, Hawaii? Call me!) I can still have this:

moana.png

Guys, sometimes I don’t really keep track of all the kids’ movies out there. I mean, sometimes… I am kinda late to the game. I still think Toy Story 5 is playing somewhere, at some movie house, surely?

Is there even a Toy Story 5?

Anyhow. This summer, we have been super busy, so making it out into the heat means getting to the pool, not driving to a movie theater. And yea, I know the theater is air conditioned. Sure. But there is still DRIVING THERE AND LAST TIME I DID THAT MY DASHBOARD MELTED. It’s hot. It’s like Africa hot.

So, thank you Netflix! Friday movie nights have involved lots of popcorn, no driving, and this adorableness:

 

raw.gif

I mean, seriously. The cuteness.

My family LOVES Moana. Perhaps it’s the water (they are little fish), or the tattoos. Or, you know, the chicken:

giphy-downsized-large.gif

(Oh, that chicken. I can’t help but think we might be related somehow).

This is the princess movie that stole my kids’ hearts. It’s funny. It’s gorgeous to look at. (Did you know they have an entire team of people who just work on the WATER animation? And if anyone watches this and doesn’t want to go swimming in the deep blue sea afterwards, there is something wrong with you).

Oh, and, it has The Rock.

 

Moana-The-Rock.jpg

You’re Welcome.

Yes, I’ll admit it. It is just a teensy weensy bit possible that Momsie, in all her literary-ness and English teacherish sophistication, has a big fat celebrity crush on Dwayne Johnson. Could be the muscles. I dunno. Or the blinding white teeth. Or, back to the muscles.

I just think he’s cute, ok? GIVE ME MY CRUSH. I’ll go back to reading Faulkner in a bit.

Also this: I double-crab DARE you to not watch “Shiny” and keep humming it, for days after. It’s catchy.

Enjoy Moana, courtesy of Netflix and stay INSIDE for the last days of summer. Shine on.

Also, if you find yourself sneaking some Dwayne (er, Moana) time on your OWN, Moms, I get you. I really do.

Netflix gets you too. 97% of moms say that they had more time for themselves before motherhood, and now, three-quarters (71%) of moms admit to sneaking in TV “me-time” while juggling a busy schedule, with some even hiding from their kids for just a moment of peace. With moms doing it anywhere and everywhere in the neighborhood when the kids aren’t around, sneaking is the new bingeing.

Netflix Mom Sneak Graphic.jpg

Would you like to be a part of the #MomSneak revolution and enter to win a 6-month Netflix subscription giveaway, so your sneaking is covered for the rest of 2017?

To Enter the #MomSneak Giveaway:

  • On a public social media post (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram): share a personal story of how you sneak in your TV shows, or a selfie pic of you sneaking in your TV.  Please don’t forget to add #MomSneak to your post!
  • Copy the URL of your social share and paste it in the comments below.

It’s just that simple. I am here for you Moms. Get your sneaky on.

#MomSneak your way to a little me-time. (By the way? I’m part of the 47%. Thank you, Stranger Things and Gilmore Girls. You are vastly different, with your creepy strangeness vs.your caffeinated banter. Either way, you give a tired mom a break.)

Giveaway ends on July 31 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST. The 1 winner will be chosen at random and announced on this site. Giveaway is open only to legal residents of the United States (including District of Columbia), who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. The 1 Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Make sure to watch your social media message boards to see if you are the selected winner on August 1!!

Good luck! #MomSneak to your heart’s content!

GLOW GIF.gif

StreamTeam_Red&White_BlackBackground

As a #NetflixStreamTeam blogger, I get to watch Netflix and then chat about it. It’s a great gig.

Darling Patrons: An Open Letter To the People Who Read My Stuff. Otherwise known as a blog post.

yoda-write-or-write-not.jpg

 

I have lovely news, but I keep getting interrupted by other stuff.

Other stuff:

  1. Children. Small children. They NEED things. Even when they don’t they really like to carry on conversations with you. Case in point: This morning Red was coming out of the bathroom, sauntered past me, and asked, “Mom, do you like sausages?” I had no idea how to respond, really. It was the whole juxtaposition of the bathroom*, the nonchalance, and my inability to talk without coffee. I was flummoxed. But, yes, actually, I DO like sausages. Italian and summer are my favorite.
  2. *Just don’t dwell on it too much and it won’t get icky.

3. A furry white cat that was on death’s door a week ago. But more on that later.

4. Laundry. See #1.

I know the other stuff is normal (except for Steve, the cat but more on that later) but the older I get the harder it is to multi-task. It’s like my synapses just freak out and say, “Hey! Everybody! She’s trying to do that multi-tasking thing again! Take COVER!”” And there’s general running about and firing of synapses all over the place and waving of synapsey arms and mayhem.

I was trying to get (shove) my two boys out the door this morning for VBS, hoping for an hour to work on the lovely news, when I noticed that Red’s bed looked like he had piled every single one of his stuffed animals on it. It looked like this because, as I asked him for verification, “Mom, I piled every one of my stuffed animals on it! I have a kaJILLION!”

And that’s when I started in on Mom Lecture #3445, Clean Up Your Stuff Or It Will Go Away And You Will Have to Play with Sticks. 

Me: Red, you KNOW you are to MAKE YOUR BED every morning, and this is a MESS and-

Red: But, Mom-

Me: Hold on dear, I’m not to the sub points of the lecture. And FIRST OF ALL-

Red: But, MOM-

Me: One minute. FIRST OF ALL, it’s important to be RESPONSIBLE-

Red: MOM. MOMMY.

Me: AND ANOTHER THING-

Red: MOM THEY ASKED US TO BUILD THE WALL OF JERICHO IN VBS. IT WAS OUR HOMEWORK. AND I DID. WITH MY STUFFED ANIMALS. STRAIGHT UP BIBLE ACTIVITY ALL UP IN THERE.

Me: Oh. That’s adorable. And, they gave you homework? This VBS is hardcore.

Jesus and Red = 1 Mom = 0

 

Anyhow. I am now writing my little fingers off to tell you about THIS:IMG_6550.png

I’m working on another book. The publishing company actually wanted me to write another book. ANOTHER ONE.

Which, as you  know, means I am really a big deal.

Also, it’s possible I have had the worst case of writer’s block known to all writers in the universe (no hyperbole here) because FOLLOW UP IS SO NOT MY THING.

I’ll keep you posted. But, in fact, I won’t keep you posted as much as I would like because every stray minute that dangles in front of me is utilized in eeking out another painful sentence on this second-book thing. I am serious. Last night I wrote a sentence. Then stared off into space. Then deleted the sentence. More staring. Wept a little. Repeat. This must be what snails feel like all the time.

Poor snails.

I tell you this, so you will feel sorry for me. Just a teensy weensy bit? I always did like sympathy. I’m so not like those people who are all, “I don’t want your sympathy!”

I DO. I REALLY DO WANT IT.

a4c7da34bc57d0f9794b716eb27140ab.jpg

See?! This writing thing? It’s really hard! (To be honest, I think George might want to consider counseling.)

But, if not sympathy, then your prayers. My family and me need to survive together until the manuscript is done, and this morning I asked Blonde to provide me with a synonym for “glass” and he answered “Um, donkey?” and I just nodded and carried on.

Never ask an eight year old with bad hearing for synonyms.

I’m gonna try and stick with the donkey-half-full ideology that a second book is wonderful and exciting and such a blessing. And, it is happening because of YOU guys. So, I thank you from the bottom of my synapse-misfiring little heart.
I do love you so.

I lift my donkey of grape juice to you.

This book is gonna be so good, can’t you tell?

66002499.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Really.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! The theme?

FMF-Square-Images-2-1.jpg

My kid is shaking with anger.

He’s standing before me, brow furrowed, fists clenched. There was some yelling but now he’s quiet, and a big, fat tear rolls down his cheek. He’s collapsing all inward with anger and a really REALLY fierce conviction that IT ISN’T FAIR.

I don’t really know exactly what the IT is, because there is (there always is) another person involved in the fray. There’s a brother involved, and he is also leveraging for his Totally Fair Piece of the Pie.

I just want to go lie down. Maybe with a slice of pie and a cup of coffee.

Once, I think, I tried to recite “Blessed are the peacemakers” at Blonde, in the heat of the battle, but he just looked at me with that tired expression of “Mom, you’re crazy” that I keep getting more and more often. (I have it on good authority that I am not, actually, crazy. But, somedays, that look… it is so CONVINCED of the crazy, that I kinda half believe him. And you know? It’s not so bad to be crazy. A little crazy is what we all need, to be mothers.)

Anyhow.

I recited, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth” at him, and he looked at me in scorn and said, voice shaking, “I don’t WANT the EARTH, Mom. I just WANT MY BROTHER TO STOP BEING A JERK.”

Valid point.

Here is what I have learned in my 8 massively long and short years of parenting:

  1. My mother is a saint. A SAINT. I am so sorry, Mom. You were right. About all of it. ALL OF IT ALL THE TIME.
  2. Reciting bible verses AT someone isn’t the way to go.

Ok. So we have been working on it, this whole getting angry bit, because seven and eight year old kids don’t have the inner mechanisms to adjust the volume on their anger. Adults don’t either, sometimes. Especially on rainy summer days stuck inside with no screens (they’re grounded, for a week) and no wine (mom’s grounded, forever) and no patience for anyone.

Here’s how we work on it:

We talk about it… LATER. Like, at dinner, or while we’re playing Uno, or bedtime. When it’s dark and they’re all cute and smell like soap. That’s when we talk about how to actually be a blessing. Even when we don’t really feel like it.

At the time? With the anger thing? And the yelling? We do our best. We muddle through. I pray and they stomp up to their rooms.

All of this is pretty usual stuff, right? It’s not like at our house we have some massively new and improved way to make everyone just get along for the love.

We try to remember who we are.

“We’re family, honey,” I tell Blonde, as he sniffles in his room, all snot and rage.”We’re a family, and that brother of yours? He is going to be with you for a long time. He is for you. And he’s massively annoying. But he loves you. And, deep down, deep DEEP down, you love him.”

“I don’t feel like it. I kinda hate him.”

“I know. Those are feelings. They change and fade and get all messed up. They’re feelings, and they’re important, but deep down, they aren’t the truth of the matter. Behind it all is the truth. It’s who we are. We are God’s. And He loves us, and He put love IN us. Love is all His department, and He has it running in our veins, just like Jesus’s.”

“Face it, kid. You’re stuck with us.”

Today we will be blessed by being kind when we don’t want to be, and when we screw up, we’ll say sorry. And we’ll try to act like we mean it.

And maybe inheriting the earth will happen, but for today, I’ll settle for a couple hours in a row without fighting. We’re family, after all. I’m trying to be realistic.

 

getalongshirt.jpg

 

 

 

I have to tell you a terrible thing.

Ok, I’m just gonna say it.

Here we go.

This.

THIS MONSTROSITY.

IMG_0163.JPG-1.jpeg

This is on my dresser at home. I think it’s a ring cup? Or maybe a small weapon?

I am not sure. When Red brought it to me, he had it cupped in his teeny tiny little hobbit hands and I figured, “Oh look, the sweet boy has something precious for me. A gift. A trinket. Like, five thousand dollars. Or perhaps a piece of Dubble Bubble.”

And then, he opened his little fingers and I gasped and kind of shrank away.

Guys, there are mom moments where we just have to step UP and be brave. We have to soldier on. We have to make it or break it. We have to be all we can be.

And guys? That moment? With the weird pointy clay nest of doom? Was so not my moment.

Instead, I shrank away. There was actual SHRINKING.

876480_original.gif

Look, I get it, seven year old. I get it that your idea of coordinating something is off key humming of the theme from Ninjago with matching underpants.

I get it that your idea of cleaning something is laying a tiny piece of torn-off paper towel ON the un-clean thing and sort of flicking at it, like the mess is just going to go, “Oh, I’m sorry! Am I in the way? Well, here, let me just clean myself out of here!”  Also, if this is done while humming the theme from Ninjago and in only underpants, BONUS POINTS.

I GET it that you think ambiance is a type of car.

I GET IT, OK?

But I just… I can’t… I mean, really? REALLY?

This thing looks like the spawn of craft time at the special hospital.

I just can’t… It is POKEY. It POKES me.

And, it’s on my dresser. With rings in it. Because, as God is my witness, the kid asked me ‘You are going to put this on your dresser, right, Mommah?”

Oh, he knew. He knew the stabby-dish was heading for its own burial. The kind where you stick it wayyyy down into the trash so no child will know, and also to suffocate it so it doesn’t come lurching back to life and try to kill you in the middle of the night.

Listen. I kept the endless horribly inaccurate Star Wars drawings. I have oodles and oodles of paper decorated with Cheerios and macaroni and all sorts of other carbs.

I even kept the drawing that you brought to me, and I said, “Ohhhh, look! It’s a horsie!” And you said,
“NO MOMMAH IT’S JESUS DYING ON THE CROSS. SEE? DER’S THE BLOOD.”

Yep. I kept it. Jesus on the cross is up there in my gigantic box labeled Craptastic Art Work. I kept it. I won’t ever probably look at it again, or if I do, I’ll be so old I won’t even remember having children in the first place. “Oh, look!” I’ll say, all old and creaky, “It’s a horsie. On the cross.”

But someday… someday mutant jewely holder, you are gonna be saying hello to the Big Trash Compacter in the Sky. I know my limits.

10411aba-eccc-47e7-8209-5301f46a8b46_1_714a295df9e52b12f78076c817cc1c10.png

Summer is here and I love it.

Guys, I haven’t posted here in like crackamillion years.

Wanna know why?

I shall provide you with a neat graphic:

service.png

Go ahead. Pin that graphic to your Pinterest boards. I dare you.

By the way, I don’t wear a bikini but I didn’t have the patience to try and draw anymore.

So, we have been busy, y’all. The calendar in the kitchen is so loaded down with stuff that I tried to add something to it the other day and it shrank away from me and started weeping. “Go away,” Calendar said, rocking back and forth. “I just want to be alone!”

On Tuesday, we were so busy that by the end of the day, after the boys were upstairs in bed, I found myself looking around in a panic, wondering where my keys were. It’s like when the cool army people jump out of planes, you see? You know… they’re all lined up, jumping out, all “Go GO GO GO!!” – that’s us. We are the army, people. We are being all that we can be.

I’m exhausted.

Ok, granted there has been pool time, and this is when I get to sit in one place for a prolonged period of minutes. I sit there, and then I slowly start to sweat into the plastic back of my chair and it imprints itself all over my white backside. So, then, of course, I go gingerly into the pool and swim around with my head above water, all old-lady paddling, and then get back out. And go sweat again. Sometimes I read. A lot of times I just stare at the blue water and try to remember where it is we are going to next.

By the way, I TOTALLY get it, Mom. You used to take us to the pool? I remember you had a leopard print one-piece swimsuit that was very Mrs. Robinson, except you weren’t really into seducing anyone. You were a good woman.* But the swimsuit still was so Anne Bancroft. ANYHOW… I totally get it. Sitting at the pool, watching your daughters prunitize themselves in the water for hours… You are a saint. We moms, we are SAINTS.

Plus that swimsuit was very cool.

Yesterday, I took Blonde and Red to the pool after some sort of thing they had (I think it was play practice? Because they are in the summer musical? I dunno anymore. I just drive them places and pick them up. I’m a Mom Uber. A MUber, if you will.)

So, we’re at the pool, and I have just head-outta-the-water paddled my sweat off, and plunked myself back down with a book. Red approaches. He’s all wet and drippy and has that peculiar wet-kid walk that is part waddle with his hands all clutched up under his chin. I don’t know why my children walk like this when they go to the pool. It’s like the water makes them all self-clutchy and I guess I should be happy they don’t clutch any other body parts. They look all wet and shrunken, like little wet rabbits, and it’s kind of cute.

ANYHOW.  (Didn’t you miss this? Momsie’s brain while writing is like watching Rocky and Bullwinkle, I tell you.)

So, Red approaches and stands by me, too close, as every seven year old must stand next to his mom, and drips all over my book. “Whatcha doin?” he asks and I bite my face off to not respond with sarcasm.

“I’m… reading. This. It’s a book.” (Ok, that did have a whiff of sarcasm but trust me, people, this was the softer, gentler version.)

Red nods and then asks, “Why aren’t you swimming? Why did you bring THAT *nods derisively towards the book* to HERE *gestures widely to the water.”

I see where he is going with this. His brain cannot understand that I am not in the water the entire time, until I get pruny.

Also, it was adult swim. This is pool-jail for little kids. And here I was NOT SWIMMING WHEN I SO COULD BE.

In other words, I was being glib. I was being all glib about the POOL. This was hard for him.

I tried to explain.

“Honey. I’m an adult. That’s what adults do. We bring books to the pool and we don’t like to get our hair wet.”

He dripped a moment, and nodded, staring off in the distance.

And that’s how my child learned that growing up is awful.

The end.

 

By the way, I took them home and fed them ice cream bars for dinner. This is because I am glib, but I am not crazy. It was necessary.

original-32625-1436979056-4.jpg

*ARE. You ARE a good woman, Mom. The verb tense is important.

Take Heart: Family Game Night Will Save Us All

stock-vector-vintage-summer-postcard-vector-illustration-106391222.jpg

We have just finished our first day of summer at this house. Here are some highlights:

1. One child woke up at 6:40 am. Never in the history of forever has he woken up at 6:40. But today, he did. I heard him start to thump sleepily down the stairs just as I sat down with my coffee and bible. Impeccable timing.
2. The other kid slept until 9 am and then demanded to know what he had missed, like we had all jetted off to Vegas while he was gone.
3. Boredom is the great leveler. Both boys found themselves tortured with boredom by 10:00 am, and were forced to ACTUALLY PLAY A GAME together.
4. I’m not gonna make it to June, y’all. Pray for me.

This whole summer thing is interesting. We love it, in theory. You know, pools and sun and trotting around in sleeveless tops and fifty-thousand baseball practices, and so on.
But, in reality? My arms are still floppy from the baby weight (the baby is now seven) and the sun gives you wrinkles.

I don’t think my children think this way. They are not concerned about the wrinkles. Bless their unwrinkled hearts.

Red and Blonde are of the opinion that every summer day should be Big Fun. It is my job to vanquish this dream, and I think today did the job.

However, there is hope. There is something called:

Family Game Night!!!!!!!! Woop Woop!!!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Dinner is popcorn, apples, cheese, and milk. Sometimes I totally go all out and make chocolate milk. This momma plays hard.
    2. Games are selected based upon playing time (cannot exceed bedtime) and are nixed if there was crying the last time they were played (Monopoly. It’s always Monopoly)
    3. Dad has to play. He is the comedic relief. He is always comedic relief.
    4. The cat will try to lay on the game board. This is essential.
    5. We stay up late (because we always break rule #2), laugh a lot, and forget that earlier that day one kid tried to teach the other kid how to burp. (Oh, yes, they know how to burp, but now it can be cued.)
    6. There will always be a Royals baseball game on the radio. If the Royals are not playing, then we are allowed to cue up our funkadelic Toby Mac station on Pandora, but there is always a Royals game on. Always. It’s magic.

I know Family Game Night is not a new idea, in terms of fun family activities. I know it’s not really imaginative or has cute, Pinterested crafts involved, or involves a trip somewhere fabulous.

But that’s just the point. It’s simple. We drag out our Jenga and Life, and the other games that we forgot we had, vote on our favorites, and play. Democracy in action!

And, did I mention? It’s really fun.
The one thing I will never forget about this weekly tradition is that there is never any clamoring for screen time, or tablets, or anything, essentially, that has buttons to push. Well, we play Outburst Kids, and that has buttons, but you know what I mean. Our kids would rather just be with US than anything else. We are even cooler than Lego Star Wars on the Wii.

Who knew? I am cooler than Lego Leia who jumps straight up a lot, and can never shoot anything with her light saber except the useless potted plants*

Last week’s Game Night was a rousing marathon of Sorry, which lasted about five hours. Sorry has an apt name, my husband and I have decided. As in, “This game will last about five hours. Sorry.”

f71ac92aff13b381d971bf475413a80f.jpg

Well, of COURSE the British made up this game. So polite. So apologetic. And, evidently, with lots and lots of time on their hands.

Finally, FINALLY, at the end of all the Sorry-ing, our youngest, Red won the game. He popped up, wiggled his hips in a Macarena sort of victory dance, and I considered throwing the yellow flag, calling a penalty on the play for celebration. But, it was cute so I let it pass. And as we finally pried the children away from the popcorn and mess, and managed to get them both into bed without too much chaos, Blonde reached out and grabbed my neck.

“I love you, Momma,” he said. And all was right in the land.

“I love you too, sweetie.”

“And next time I want to play Uno.”
I twitched a little. Uno is also the game called, “Wait, What? Whose Turn is It?” because it makes my synapses itch. All that switching around! Reverses! Skipping players! This kind of stuff is not good for a woman who has been multitasking all day and her brain is tired.

pureflix2.jpg
By the way, sometimes we do watch screens. We are great fans of a movie night, especially if it is also paired with popcorn for dinner. If you’re interested in a great Christian movie resource, I recommend Pure Flix. It’s got a kajillion movies, shorts, and shows for the whole family. Also, Pureflix is partnering with Convoy of Hope, helping to feed Americans in need. It’s a great cause.
* It’s possible that Princess Leia only hits plants because her handler, Momsie, CANNOT PLAY THIS GAME. IT’S HARD. User error. It is what it is.

Leia.jpg

I kill plants, not people.

This was not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Guys, you know I’ll tell it to you true. 🙂

I Know You Missed Me.

Well I’m baaaaaack!! (Waves fervently hello). I KNOW, right? You had it on your calendar that I would be returning this week, didn’t you? (Looks expectantly, out there, to the great interweb audience in the sky.)

I am staring at this screen like for some reason the words are going to come jumping out at me.

My goodness, the words are so not jumping.

This writing thing? It’s not like riding a bike. You have to keep at it, or the words just slump around, like surly teenagers.

Me: Hey kids! How are you? Anyone wanna snack? I’ve got Teddy Grahams.

Words: *eye roll*

Me: Sooooo, how was your day?

Words: Ok.

Me: So… anything else you want to share? I can’t write a blog that’s monosyllabic.

Words: *eye roll*

Me: YOUR FACE IS GONNA STICK THAT WAY AND YES I KNOW “OK” IS NOT MONOSYLLABIC.

Words: *mutters and slouches off*

Me: Ok, well, bye! Love you! Bye! I’ll be here, uh, waiting for actual interaction.

I missed writing. I missed it so much that I kind of forgot how to do it. That’s what happens when you love something and you don’t do it for a while. The love gets all smushed up and then it feels sad and it wanders off and forgets it exists.

Ok, that might be a bit over the top, but writing with sublety has never really been my thing.

So, I’m going to go and try to find some way to get the words to stop playing video games and saying things like, “Like whatever.” and shrugging so much they might pinch a nerve.

I’m going to keep at this, and hopefully the next post will be more inspired. It won’t be Pulitzer worthy, but it will be something.

Something to share, and something to spread a little laughter, and something that hopefully, HOPEFULLY, gives your day a little extra light. Because, that is my thing.

Words: Uh… little help?

Me: What’s wrong? Why are you walking funny?

Words: I over-shrugged. I did it too long and now…

Me: It’s stuck that way?

Words: It’s stuck that way.

grumpy-cat-ii-i-miss-you-fix-it.jpg