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

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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.

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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?

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Put Some Rubies on That Mom Bod

Linking up with my favorite people at Five Minute Friday today!
The theme?

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There is a mom here at the pool who is in a bikini. It’s flamingo pink and she is tall and slender, and I think, but I’m not sure, she has a six pack.
I am not exactly sure because I need to stop staring. Staring is rude.

It’s just… a six -pack? Really?

I, meanwhile, am sitting over here in the concession stand area, amongst the candy wrappers and fifty-thousand flip flops and towels, and wondering where my six pack went. It’s been lost for a while.
Forever. It’s been lost forever.

She is also very tan. A nice golden glow.

I am not golden. I am more like a connection of freckles.

I know what you’re gonna think. You’re gonna think I’m going to go all “You go, mommies! No matter what size or shape or pack or lack of pack, you rock it, sister!”

And you’d be right. Sort of.
The interwebs is full of Go Mama Go posts, which is fine and dandy and kind of wonderful, for the most part.

But, it’s really kind of nice for me today because, I am actually there, already caught up with the words.

Don’t you ever wonder, with all the instagrams and facebooks and tweetings about Go Mama Go, if ever there might be a time… that the writers might be saying it so they can feel it too? Like, the words provide the comfort, retrospective-wise?

Oh. Just me? Ok.

I have done this. I have written, in hopes that the feelings would come.

Because, maybe, one of the laws of blogging is:
If You Write It, It May Come.

Or something like that.

(Another law of the bloggings? Don’t obscurely quote movies in your text.)

I am comforted by my blog, and you guys, and words that heal. But today? (Who knows how I will feel about all this tomorrow, but for now, thank you) I am comforted by the fact that I am ok-ish in my momsuit. Because I am dearly loved and beautiful and more precious than rubies.

Just let those words sink in. They are more than a comfort.
They heal.

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A Tale of Two Children.

Y’all. I wonder if Charles Dickens had children. Like, listen:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”

Wow. That pretty much sums up parenting right there.

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You know that carnival ride where you sit in a big huge pendulum thingie and it swings you baaaack and forthhh and baaaack and forthhh until you puke all over your seatmate and start sobbing?

That’s children.

Also, there’s some glee in there. At least for some people, who actually like carnival rides, of whom I am so NOT. I think carnival rides are the tinker toys of Satan.

Anyhow. I digress. My lack of adventuresome spirit and anti -Let’s ride this crazy pendulum of death attitude is tough when it comes to parenting. Parenting needs a bit of the crazy. It needs the nutso person who will shell out twenty dollars for a chance to puke and then eat fried Snickers bars. Parenting is Carnival Heaven. I am more of a “let’s sit at home and watch something with subtitles” which makes my children cross.

But, once in a while, I ride the rides. I get on, pull down the roll bar that was constructed by a toothless man with a t-shirt that says, “Lovin You All Night is All Right.”  The rides, especially Pendulum of Nutball, occur at certain times of the day, like bedtime. Or when we go on vacation. Or…

Dinner.

Here we go:

Blonde: (warily) What’s for dinner?

Red: DINNER! I LOVE FOOD! I LOVE DINNER! I’M NOT WEARING PANTS!

(Swoosh)

Blonde: This food has stuff in it.

(Bigger swoosh)

Red: CAN I EAT EVERYTHING HERE? AND YOURS?

(Deep breath. Swooshiness)

Blonde: The stuff is unacceptable. I will now eat air for the rest of my life.

(More swooshing)

Red: I’m done with the food on my plate and I would now like to start on the food in the refrigerator. I want pickles and some yogurt. Together. Pronto. Starving here.

(Gulp)

Blonde: Air, and the occasional chicken nugget, are fine. Don’t worry about me. Yes you can see my ribs. And yes, I know you worry that I am wan. I don’t even know what “wan” means but you seem to use it a lot. And yes, I know you don’t think air has any vitamins in it but I am EIGHT AND THEREFORE I KNOW IT ALL. LIKE, ALL OF IT.

Red: All I know is that I need more syrup. For my pickles.

Blonde: If you start bargaining with me about food you have failed. I will now nibble on my broccoli so daintily I will look like a wan rabbit.

Red: Do I detect a slight nuttiness in this sauce?

Blonde: NUTS? I CAN’T EAT NUTS! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?

(Swoosh, swoosh, swooshity-swoosh)

Red: Mom? I have eaten everything available. Can I go next door and ask for their food? I’ll make sure to tell them that I’m starving and that my mommy doesn’t feed me. We cool?

Parenting. It’s not for the faint of heart, y’all. You stand in line, and buy the tickets and strap in, and the next thing you know, you’re screaming unintelligibly.

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Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Really.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! The theme?

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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.

 

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I have to tell you a terrible thing.

Ok, I’m just gonna say it.

Here we go.

This.

THIS MONSTROSITY.

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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.

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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.

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Kindred Spirits

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This is the cover of the Anne of Green Gables book I had.She’s a hottie, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y’all. I am very picky.
I don’t like my potato salad unless it is made with Hellman’s mayonnaise. (No, this post was not sponsored by Hellman’s. Call me? Hellman’s?? We can work something out, K?)
I don’t like books that have too many dialogue tags. “They are tedious,” she said, tediously.
I only like spring days that still have a bite of cool in them. Otherwise there’s sneezing. And it’s not the cute, delicate lady-sneezing like a baby bunny. My sneezing is wet-gorilla sneezing.
Apples must be tart. This Red Delicious nonsense is just a dumbing down of apples.
And, classic books don’t translate well into film. In general. I mean, have you SEEN The Scarlet Letter? I’m talking the Demi Moore version. Enough said.
I have read every one of the Anne of Green Gables series, MULTIPLE times. And, yes, I did allow the 1985 television adaptation (with an awesomely cranky Marilla by Colleen Dewhurst).
So, when the great Netflixes informed me that a NEW ANNE was coming… I was skeptical. You know when someone says to you, “Hey! I made some chocolate chip cookies!” and just as you take a bite they add, “Gluten, egg, and dairy free! YOU CAN’T EVEN TELL, CAN YOU.”
You can tell. You can so totally tell.
That’s how I felt about a New Anne.  But, y’all – Netflix has done it right.

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This is a series that is so in tune with my Anne that I nearly cried. Which, as you know, is something a totally dramatic girl would do. This is an Anne that is comical and tragic and gawky,  and at times plain, and at at other times just aglow (when she is least aware of it). She is, in other words, what we girls are. Or me, at least. I do comical and tragic and gawky. I do plain.

I even, every once in a while, glow.
I sat down to start watching this while folding laundry one night because God forbid I ever just watch something without folding laundry. The boys were playing “Smash All the Things” in the other room, but as soon as they heard the television come on, they started sniffing around like the little tv vultures they are.

“Whatcha watchin?” Red asked. “Is it Star Wars? Legos? Something with swords?” I sighed and folded my four hundredth pair of Lego Star Wars underpants. He stared at the screen and then, asked… “Anne of… Green Bagels?”
“No, dear. Shhhhhh. Mommy’s watching. Mommy needs this show.”
We watched, and Blonde, another heat-seeking (i.e. television) missile wandered in, and we all soaked in all the Gables and the Green-ness.

Anne says,  ““Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.” Anne and I are kindred spirits. She has the same ideas about classic literature and potato salad, I am sure of it. Watch, you’ll see.

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As a Netflix StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and chatter about it on Momsie. It’s a great gig.

 

 

Perhaps I’ve been hitting the chlorine a little too hard lately.

 

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I’m sitting in the concession stand area during pool lessons. I have my computer, my super cool Netflix thermos of coffee, and a kitty coffee mug. I am fully outfitted. The other parents are sitting around talking or playing on their phones, but I’m pouring coffee into my cup like some weirdo epicurean coffee lady who doesn’t drink coffee straight out of her adult sippy cup thing like everyone else.
Here’s why I have the thermos: Netflix GAVE it to me and I am not one to look a gift thermos in the mouth.
Also, I spill. I spill horribly. Adult sippy cups are hard.

It’s summer. Did you know?

There’s this smell here, at the pool. It’s chlorine and sunscreen and heat on concrete, and I remember this smell from my own childhood.
I remember when I was fifteen I had a white one piece that I bought at The Limited. I never could do the two piece thing. I didn’t even ask. A bikini on me would have been equal, I am sure, with my mom sewing a big red G (for “grounded”) on my white one piece.

Oh the memories.

It’s cool here in the shade, and as I pour more coffee like a weirdo and smell the chlorine I am filled with peace.

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There are two reasons for this:
1. My children are over THERE. I am over HERE.
2. I am writing, which is my happy place.
3. That thermos really makes good coffee and yes I know that’s three but the peace doesn’t equal fully firing synapses in my case.

I know I’ve already talked about how summer can be crazy busy. But it’s a different kind of busy.
I realize this is like saying it’s a “dry heat” when the sun is melting your eyebrows off, but still. I stand by my “crazy but different” explanation. I think it’s because the phrase “Crazy, but different” sums me up, so perfectly.

If I was ever to get a tattoo, it would be that, “Crazy, but different” all scrawled across my lower back because that is JUST how I roll. In my alternative universe where I get huge tattoos on my lower back.

(Don’t think for a minute that I am judging you, Tattoo People. I am just admitting that I am powerless over any sort of pain and needles and if anyone wanted to even TRY to poke at me with an inky needle all over my lower back for an hour or so there would be lots of crying and dramatic behavior. I can barely manage to pluck my eyebrows, for Pete’s sake. Pain is to be avoided, at all costs.)

Ohhhh that explains a lot, doesn’t it?
Perhaps I should get a tattoo: “Pain is to be avoided at all costs.” Right? Very cool and ironic? Also, long. A long sentence. So, so painful.

Somehow this post ended up being about skin art. How did that happen?

Every once in a while I look up from my screen and take a deep breath. The smell is soothing and energizing, at the same time. It’s like my oil diffuser back home, that I always have loaded up with buckets of lavender because of all the running and animals and endless Star Wars. Lavender oil does only so much, when it’s 6:30 am and your boys (WHO NEVER WOKE UP THIS EARLY DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR MY LORD IN HEAVEN CAN THEY NOT JUST LUXURIATE IN A BED FOR ONCE) are ready to tussle and also have a full on conversation about The Hulk. At 6:30 am.

I think I figured out why my synapses aren’t always firing on all levels, folks. Children beat the synapses right out of you. They do, at 6:30 am, as they stand in front of you in Lego Star Wars underpants, wishing to discuss the merits of The Hulk and his anger issues. He’s still a Good Guy, you know. Even though he gets so Angry. But his powers are nothing in comparison to Wolvering (yes, that’s how we pronounce it at our house. It’s cute but messed up. OH MY GOSH THAT COULD SO BE ANOTHER TATTOO.)

Anyhow. Picture me, standing over my oil diffuser, sucking in lavender mist like I need to go to oil diffuser rehab. That’s how I start my days.

The pool, and ten am swimming lessons? A much better substitute.

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Thank you so much for reading this post.
Obviously the pool fumes are making me a bit drunk on summer. There’s a lot of feelings but not a lot of logic.
Logic is for winter.

(AND JUST LIKE THAT. ANOTHER TATTOO. BOOM.)

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