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

Happy Halloween and a Guest Post!

79123b55a14db5fc05405058862faedc.jpg

Be my guest.

Guest post today! Squeeee!

One of the BEST parts of my job is meeting other readers and writers from ALL over the universe who actually read Momsie. Amazing, isn’t it?

Let me introduce you to Jen, a great writer, mum, and super auntie, who lives in my beloved UK (I know. I’ve never visited but one can dream.) She is also a techie and a food and crafts writer, and has great ideas to share. Since my idea of crafting for Halloween means drawing on pumpkins with a sharpie (whatever WORKS, ok?), Jen has much better input in this area.

Jen is here today to tell us about how Halloween is “celebrated” over the pond. Enjoy!

halloween-503814_960_720.jpg

That Moment When Your Child Carves a Pumpkin Better Than You…

It’s a joy to watch your child when they are so dedicated to something. We’ve seen that Lily likes art so my hubby and I let our dear daughter carve some pumpkins with us last year for Halloween.

This year, I’m staying on the sidelines to support her love for all things artsy. I do have some Jack o’ Lantern ideas, and I torture myself more by looking at other cool and cute carved pumpkin creations and then showing them to DD. If only I could do them myself and get them to come out right.

The Typical UK Halloween

For the most part, Halloween celebrations on this side of the world are pretty much the same as anywhere else these days. You’ll see costume parties left, right and centre; there are pumpkin patches; free horror movie screenings for the community; and of course, kids roam around going Trick-or-Treating.

After doing my research with my daughter, I did find out one interesting nugget. The ‘Trick-or-Treat’ tradition began here in the UK! Don’t ask how I didn’t know that. History isn’t my strong point, after all.

A blog I’m following posted some crafts  about Halloween and shared some info about the origin of ‘Trick-or-Treat’. Apparently, in Scottish hundreds of years ago, people used to knock at homes during this season to ask for free food or other valuables. Eventually, the practice evolved into what our children love to do today during every Halloween celebration.

Something that might be more unique in Halloween here, however, is that we have a ‘Mischief Night’ celebration every November 4 wherein people engage in pranks on each other. It’s a lot of fun, but obviously you shouldn’t go overboard just in case someone gets hurt.

People gathered around bonfires, sharing scary stories is also common. Do you know the show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” That’s the idea, minus the sprinkling of magic powder to make the bonfire flame bigger though.



Hello, pumpkin!



Back to the pumpkins, the only part where I’m sure I can beat Lily is on making pumpkin soup or pie, out of the scraped portions of the vegetable. Not that it’s her job, but come on; you have to let me say “I rule!” once in a while. My hubby is totally awesome at putting together epic decorations and costumes; Lily makes wonderful Jack o’ Lanterns; and me, well, you got to give me something, right?

This year I have the ‘pumpkin and caramel cake’ in my sights. Just you wait, your souls will sing from the heavenly goodness of my culinary treat.

Seriously though, the best thing for me is that we complement each other. It’s what makes the celebration much more special. Getting to watch your loved ones working together, and seeing their joyful faces when we gather around good food are always priceless moments that I will cherish every day of my life.

I believe that’s the whole point. It’s not about the decorations, costumes, and props. It’s not about the parties. It’s about the bond that you strengthen further with your family through every occasion that’s worth truly celebrating. Happy Halloween!

Exclusively written for MomsieBlog.com

by Jen’s a Mom!

The Last Days of Summer

shutterstock_96022541.png

 

I gotta admit. The motherhood over here is getting a little screechy. Like, we’re all kinda tired of each other. The pool is closed. School starts in T-minus two days. For some reason, I just don’t have it in me to start a craft project any time soon.

We are experiencing a LULL, people. A LULL IN PARENTING AND CHILDRENING.

Breakfast was a highly uninspired bowl of cold gloom and orange juice. The boys sat and chewed silently, staring off in the distance, while I set up my IV intake of coffee.

I had bought a sale brand of coffee. It tastes like despair.

The boys decided “make your beds” meant “stir the sheets with both tiny hands until tangled. In despair.”

Also, this. My sweet six year old decided he wanted MORE gloomy cereal, so he poured an ENTIRE bowl of the stuff WITH milk and then ate TWO BITES. And then, he proceeded to spill the rest of it on the floor as he was trying to “clear his place” which to him meant, “set in front of the dishwasher.”

And then. I stepped on THIS:

IMG_5756.JPG

I mean. What even IS this thing? It has SPIKES. Legos don’t have SPIKES. Also, note the gigantica that is my seven year old’s clodhopping paw-foot. He used to have the chubby cute toddler hobbit feet. No longer.

Silly Momsie. The cute hobbit feet are long gone. And… so is my motivation to get into a bra today.

Too much?

I need reiterate: DESPAIR, PEOPLE. HEAPING SPOONFULS OF IT ALL OVER THE HECK PLACE. INCLUDING THE FLOOR.

Now, there are two things that Momsie can do here. Shall I show you in a chart?

Let me show you in a chart:

Image.png

I like charts, don’t you ? This one doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense but WHY START NOW?

The thing is, I wanted the grand send off. I wanted the Last Days of Summer to equal something Big and Memorable for the wee ones. And I realize The Last Days of Summer kinda sounds like a Lifetime made for television movie about some girl and her boyfriend Chet who fall in love and do PG-13 things… but that’s not the vibe I was going for here.

The Last Days of Summer are equaling going to the dry cleaners and listlessly playing with the cat with a sock someone found under the couch. The sock has so much fur on it I think Steve has adopted it as his own. He’s sobbing and holding it, rocking back and forth like he’s Daddy Warbucks in Annie.

Ok, not really, but you know I gotta do something with this post to make it more interesting.

So. The Last Days of Summer. They’re here. And I got nothing. No campouts in the backyard. No glorious scavenger hunts for school supplies. No movie marathons or bungee jumping or shouting our barbaric yawps to the universe before we head off to the land of education.

Seeing-a-cute-idea-for-craft-night-off-Pinterest-just-to-have-it-end-up-as-another-Pinterest-fail-1.gif

It’s tough being me. The world I envision in my head is soooo often NOT even close to reality. Pfft. My head is overrated anyhow.

You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna bake them a cake. Frosted with my Aunt Dorothy’s fudge icing.

BOOM.

I know, right? Nothing says

LAST DAYS OF SUMMER

like that fudge frosting, ya’ll. That fudge frosting could straight up fix everything. We could mail it to Afghanistan and it would all get ironed out, with some cold glasses of milk and a lot of spoons.

Also? If you come up with something that involves chalkboard signs and some balloons and maybe some stray washi tape or anything, ANYTHING from Hobby Lobby re this end of summer business???  Well, you make me go, “Pfft.”

PFFT, I say!

And now I shall take my children to the dry cleaners and it’ll be FUN. Just you watch.

Well, ok. Honestly, the dry cleaners isn’t ever gonna be fun but at least we can listen to Abba while we’re in the car.

Happy Summering!

13117811_174318522966741_730848861_n.jpg

 

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make a Tasteful Centerpiece. That’s What I Do.

trunk-ottoman-0363

Hipster cat. Just put a tiny little glue gun in his hands and he’ll make fifty thousand quaint little catnip toys.**

This post is dedicated to all of y’all who have an entire closet, no, I daresay, a ROOM dedicated to crafting.

Sigh. You know who you are.

Scene 1:

Early November, in Hobby Lobby (cue angel music because that place is like.. I don’t know. The doors just whoosh open and I breathe in deeply all the eucalyptus from the fake flowers* section… It’s… just happiness. Happiness and baskets! And they’re always ON SALE!  I want ALL the baskets!)

Me: Hmmm. Here’s all this burlap. It’s really cute in a hipster, scratchy kinda way… I should make a burlap wreath for my front door. Oh and ornaments! Maybe I should make an ornament for the Sunday School teachers! Out of burlap! And bible verses that are decoupaged onto little hand carved crosses!  And somehow I have got to get chalkboard paint in on the game here! I don’t know how, but I’ll find a way!

Scene 2:

Late-ish December. On couch. No pine scent. My dog is lying on me and he got into the garbage earlier today, so it’s definitely not pine scented around here. Cat has found burlap and made it into a sort of bed for him, because he is a cat. Things come in the house and he must sniff delicately at them for forty-five minutes and then plop down on them. It’s what he does.

He is a pain. But really? I think he’s just grumpy lately because burlap is itchy. Karma, cat.

Me: Hmmm. I think I better go buy the Sunday School teachers a Whitman’s sampler.

Boom.

That, my friends, is a Merry Christmas.

*Uh, Hobby Lobby would like to gently remind me, it’s silk flowers. Silk. They don’t use the term “fake” as it makes the flowers insecure.

**Paws. Hipster cat has paws. Not hands.

276760ff0e9f48cba0d2fbfb81500fe3

 

 

Clearly, I Have the Most Intelligent Children in the World.

It’s nearly MAY, my friends. This is crazy sauce.

School is out in a MONTH. Well, a month and a half, but I always round up to my advantage. Let’s just say I’m a bit excited. Like the time I found out Netflix had added Dirty Dancing to its streaming options, excited.

Like, Patrick Swayze, “The Time of My Life,” hip swivel, finger snapping, right down the middle aisle, kind of excited.

Anyhow.

Summer approacheth! We are going to: go to the pool, ride bikes, you know, all the typical summer things. Popsicles. Air conditioning. Mom swimsuits.  Embracing the cellulite. The perfume of chlorine and sunblock. I AM READY. NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER! Let’s do this!

My children, however, are torn. When I informed them both about summer’s quick approach, both were pretty stoked about the pool. But Red is kinda convinced his teacher will be there with him, poolside, doing projects with glitter and paint and other nuttiness. The other, Blonde, gets summer break and all. But also? He expects… projects. Crafts. He wants stimulating learning activities, my friends. He doesn’t call them that, of course, because that would be weird. He calls them: “Mommah, can we make a hydroplane? Like the kind that goes on the water? With glitter? And paint? And, we need to make sure its roomy enough for a pilot and one cat.”

Sure, honey, let me get right on that.

Let my clarify: my children are not weird. They just love homework all time. They live for tri-folded poster boards, people. They like charting things.

Ok, maybe they’re a little weird. But I prefer to refer to them as:

Ridiculously Smart. So Smart They Want to Chart How Many Poopies are in the Litter Box Today.

My house is covered in funnels, rubber bands, and strange bottles of murky liquid left in the sun that is a “Science Speariment.” We live in a gigantic Rube Goldberg creation, and I am forever dismantling “Da MOST important parts!” because, well the last one was utilizing the toilet flusher knob, and it was just kinda gross.

Something like, oh… THIS:

Screenshot 2015-03-30 13.13.21

If we’re going to survive the summer, I better up my game.

And by that I mean:

TELEVISION!!!!!!!

Once again, The Great Netflix has bestowed us with a show that we LOVE.

Screenshot 2015-03-29 22.00.44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t really explain this show. It’s for smart people. You know, like my wonderful children. The show is a fast-paced, funny, often mesmerizing look at how our brain works.

I know, right? This stuff is so educational and fabulous I don’t know why I just don’t pull them out of school and make them watch this all day long.

Just KIDDING. Sort of.

 

So. To review, for those of you who have children who are not mensa bound: this show will still make you watch and then blink, and then tilt your head to the side, turn to your husband, and say, “What the WHAT??? Did you see THAT? This show is better than a gin martini!” (Disclaimer: Meaning, the show makes your brain all hummy and wonky. It literally “messes with your head.” But in a good, non-substance kind of way. You know that’s a post for another day.)

For those of you who have children painfully intelligent? They’ll watch it and then turn to you and say,

“Mommy, my synapses are firing all over da places now. And now I need some omega three foods to restore my DHA.”

“Well, here you go, dear. Here’s a salmon pop. But eat it outside; it smells like cat food.”

Thank you Netflix! You have saved my summer.

 

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It's a great gig.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It’s a great gig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, I leave you with this. Because. It’s awesome. Embrace summer! It’s the Time of Your Life, so come in hot.

 

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

keep-calm-and-dress-like-abba-1

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…

lemur-meme-generator-everybody-just-calm-down-1c5a00

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.

635567605019896560-584376602_candyland-board-game-pieces-i0-1_1

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.

 

 

Screenshot 2015-03-18 11.46.34

“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.

 

 

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.

staysafeoutthere

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.

 

61b5a53a66a4426a0f7a387afcd2be89
Ok, Sure. But, what if the meltdown is slow moving and sticky?