“It’s just a phase,” and other lies we tell ourselves…

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I am constantly falling behind.

I am always forgetting something.

I’ve sought an ADD diagnosis and taken meds — things got better, but stuff still slips through the cracks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can do two things well at any given time, but I always have at least three things that need to be done. The most pressing issues are taking care of my family, taking care of my job, and taking care of my home. I shuffle those three around, always trying to prioritize family. Once in a while, I let myself take precedence, but when a ball drops (which it inevitably does), I scold myself and try to put out the fires.


The “baby” turned two in March. Just in the last six weeks, he has entered “The Terrible Two’s.” I used to be able to bring him everywhere with me and as long as he was able to cuddle with Mom, he was fine. But now he is a stubborn S.O.B. and taking him anywhere means endless compromise; moving at a snail’s pace, and absurd arguments and conversations voiced very loudly because he doesn’t understand ‘inside voices’ yet.

I tell myself, “It will get better,” because I’m an optimist. But in cynical moments like this, I feel like I’ve always been saying that, and it is just another excuse for failure.

When we were geographically separated from my family, I said it would would better once we were all nearby one another again. When I was pregnant with Baby No. 4, I said it would be easier when I wasn’t pregnant. When I was breastfeeding the baby, I said it would be easier once he was weaned. Once he was weaned, I talked about how he would start to sleep on his own be less dependent on me…but I haven’t quit co-sleeping and he is such a great snuggle-buddy, I don’t know when I will! LOL =/


I am currently pinning my hopes and dreams on next fall when 3 out of 4 kids will be in school (albeit the 4 year old will only go half days — God bless FL for offering free VPK!), it feels like a huge victory to have the majority of children out of the house for free for any number of hours. At that time, the “baby” will be about 2.5, and God-willing (who am I kidding? I don’t put any faith in “God,” but hope I will find the balls to make him sleep by himself), will be in his own room – or sharing with his big bro (the 4 y/o).

Meanwhile, every time something falls through the cracks, whether it’s a missed deadline for work, or a forgotten familial obligation, or just seeing a fucking bug in the house because I haven’t mopped in three weeks, I keep telling myself, “It’s just a phase!”

Am I delusional? (If the answer is “Yes,” I don’t wanna know…)

Remembering why I started this….

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I like writing.

When I took the ASVAB test in 7th grade (just had to Google that to see if it was still a thing, my self-restraint is working overtime to keep me on track with this post instead of seeing if I can retake it online right now for free. This is why I never get things done!) it said I should be a writer. I thought that was cool since I liked to write but never really imagined it panning out.

When a company I was working for asked me to write for their blog, I was stoked. And now I like to say with a little bravado, “I’m a writer.” But then I quickly downplay that because blogging doesn’t feel like what 7th grade me thought the ASVAB results meant (and since blogging wasn’t even a thing back then, it clearly wasn’t!).

But anyway, I started (and haphazardly maintain) this blog because I like writing. And also because I wanted to write down some of the good things about life, the happy moments that are too quickly forgotten in the onslaught of undone chores and never-ending negotiations. I kind of veered off of that noble track because I like to think of myself as kind of clever and witty, maybe even funny, so I’ve been trying to share more of my humor here. But I was just rereading older posts (is that narcissistic?) and got all sentimental about this one.

BGSo to hop back on that track for a moment, I wanted to preserve this piece of art (before it becomes a piece of trash) that my Kindergartner made for my 2 year old. He is currently OBSESSED with “Bubble Guppies” so she wrote “bg” on the picture. I’m not sure if there are any more connections to the show and the picture than that, the blue could be water, but it could be sky — it looks like there is a sun in the upper right…? The lower portion has some yellow circles, your guess is as good as mine….

But it sure was sweet and thoughtful, wasn’t it?!?!?

5 Reasons Motherhood is a Lot Like Prison.

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*Advanced apologies to any actual prison inmates, employees, etc… This is just the ranting of a SAHM.

I feel like a prisoner.

Maybe its because I’ve been binge watching Prison Break on Netflix but my 14 month old son is that asshole guard Bellick.  Really, my 14 month old is not an asshole.  He is sweet and adorable and smiles and laughs at me all day and I wouldn’t smile nearly as much if I didn’t have all of his joy to reflect.  (I just had to take him away from digging in the trash – seriously his favorite thing to do.)  But the mofo is stuck on me like glue…maybe Bellick is the wrong comparison but it is because of this guy that I cannot do a damn thing in peace or privacy, so it kind of feels like prison.

The other 3 kids could be inmates, guards, wardens, corrupt members of the legal system….it doesn’t really matter who you analogize them to be, it feels like they are all ruining my life.  No.  I don’t mean that.  The guilt I feel for thinking, saying or typing that is immeasurable – only I truly can’t even shit alone, so it kind of feels like I’m in prison (without all the impending doom I imagine).

  1. I don’t get to set my own schedule. Wake up time is when the youngest wakes up. His demands of, “Up! I wanna walk!” (which sounds like “ehhh!!!! onna awlk!!!!”) incite me into action before he’ll alert the other inmates (children) or warden (husband) with his insubordination.
  2. The food sucks! Some might say that at least I get to pick what I eat, but the reality is:  I can spend time making something I like (whilst tripping over a toddler and fending off a hundred other unwanted advances), only for the kids to refuse to eat it and demand 87 other things. By the time I get any leftovers, they are cold, unappealing and I’m too damn tired to eat anyway. Or they actually like the food and clear their plates, requesting seconds before I have a chance to sit down, and when I finally find the time to make myself a plate, the pan is empty. My calories mostly come from the leftovers I scrape from the high chair tray and wine (where there is no doubt, my life is full of a beautiful freedom of choice between dry reds, fruity whites, bubbly mixes, and everything in between!).
  3. Yard time is mandatory. Like it or not, we are going outside. Just listen to the toddler yell “Ow-ide!!!” (“outside”) as he deftly flips the deadbolt and sprints across the yard (barefoot and wearing nothing but a diaper nonetheless!). Unfortunately, these outings don’t follow a routine schedule (see #1) and frequently occur when I am on the phone, the toilet, or otherwise indisposed.
  4. I’m subject to unannounced searches. The things I ‘hide’ in my nightstand drawer do not remain hidden. If i take the time to brush my teeth, a minor will take the time to rifle through my drawers and that is an awkward conversation! Likewise, that candy bar I stealthily purchased at the grocery store and swiftly stowed away inside my purse was promptly discovered when I was desperately trying to distract my screaming child in the doctor’s waiting room.
  5. Don’t drop the soap! This might not be as painful in my life as it is in prison, but it is probably equally unpleasant. While bending over to retrieve dropped soap in prison can lead to a violation, dropping the soap with a toddler in tow will lead to said toddler man-handling said soap. Anyone who has ever Googled home remedies for constipation knows soap = defecation. This is a lose-lose situation either way!

I’m only 10 years into a life sentence, and I gotta say, solitary confinement doesn’t sound so bad!

I am not a foodie.

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I don’t think I’ll make it a habit to share recipes here. I am not a foodie – I have four kids – ain’t nobody got time for that! <> (I won’t insert a meme here because I don’t want to deal with copyright issues, but you know what I mean, right?)

But I just made something delicious, and its taking all my self restraint not to eat it all gone and save some for the kids. If the kids like it as much as I do, then I’ll feel like I just hit the jackpot!

roasted chickpeas

So easy, so delicious.

All I did was open a can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), strain and rinse them, rub them dry with a dish cloth (a paper towel would work, but I dream of being zero waste so I opted for an option that wasn’t disposable *pats self on back*). I swished them around a bowl with a little olive oil, a spray of Bragg’s amino acids, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then I poured them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. I preheated it to 420 (because I used to smoke pot and I liked it) but after about 15 minutes, I was worried they would overcook and I dialed it back to 350. Another 10 minutes and I was crunching away on a salty snack that I am only avoiding by typing this blog.

What else can I say about the deliciousness I just made? If I don’t talk some more about it, I won’t be able to let my kids try it because I will have eaten them all?!?! I will probably go to bed in the spirit of preserving this yummy snack for my children.

Peace.

P.S. Google “roasted chick peas” if you want a more seasoned foodies perspective on this snack…

If the “Mommy Wars” Were Real: Part 1

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The Crunchy Mama vs. The Tiger Mom

Round 1: Tiger Mom points out that her child is proficient in three languages, knows martial arts, and has already been accepted to two different Ivy League colleges….in the 5th grade.
Crunchy Mama counters with a lecture on the importance of non-violence and her scorn for all institutions.

Round 2: Crunchy Mama doesn’t leave a window of opportunity open, she slams that window shut and sprays some homemade vinegar cleaning spray on it so she can see an attack coming from a mile away!
Tiger Mom dips and bobs; while you think she’s attacking head on, her offspring execute strategic moves like in a game a chess. “Checkmate!” can be heard from miles away as they move in for the finishing move.

Round 3: Mommy and Me yoga pays off for Crunchy Mama; she assumes Mountain Pose while her Little moves into Downward Dog. Tiger Mom’s finishing moves are dodged, but she rebounds with her first born’s PhD in Alternative Dispute Resolution. This speaks to Crunchy Mama’s soul and the two become BFF’s 4 eva!

The Mom You Love to Hate vs. reality

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I woke up by my own volition around 7:15, 7:20 this morning. I could hear the quiet sounds of my children eating their well-balanced breakfast downstairs so I took my time having a quick stretch and a leisurely trip to the ladies room. I sauntered downstairs for a cup of fair-trade coffee and was greeted with my children’s beautiful, smiling faces. They each gave me a good morning salutation in turn, no interruptions at the breakfast table! I asked each one if they were ready for the day, and they of course told me their homework was completed and in their backpacks and they had already chosen a healthy snack for the day to bring to school. With a self-satisfied smile, I went back upstairs to get myself dressed.

I looked in the mirror in my en suite and recited my daily affirmation. I was feeling so self-assured, I almost didn’t bother putting on my make up but I was really excited to try the new organic mascara I had just purchased from a local artisan – I wouldn’t dream of buying some chemical-laden, plastic wrapped, mass-produced propaganda that has been transported thousands of miles in gas guzzling semis and required countless hours of minimum wage drudgery! I proceeded to do my daily oil pulling (do you have any idea how many chemicals are in your run of the mill toothpaste?) while I picked out the perfect outfit. It was a Monday so I wanted all cool colors to start the week off right.

By the time I returned downstairs, the children were all putting their shoes on and about to load into the minivan in alphabetical order. This was a bit challenging since the youngest hasn’t mastered his ABC’s yet (we’re looking into a tutor, but haven’t found anyone specializing in the under 2 set), fortunately, the older children were more than helpful, and they were very patient too! Keeping all of the artificial dyes out of their diet has made such a difference!

I dropped the big girls off at school and brought the little boys home for a day of educational activities and wholesome family fun.

***

I can’t even keep up this fantasy anymore! The story is total bullshit! Just imagine this every time you encounter one of “those” moms in the school pick up line or at story hour or wherever. Here is reality:

The baby woke up at 4:30 AM. I tried to argue with him, “It’s still dark outside, the sun is sleeping.” I tried to reason with him, “Your big sisters and brother and dad are all still sleeping, SHHHH!” I tried to give him another bottle of Wal-Mart brand Pediasure baby drink. I said “FUCK IT ALL” and carried him, running, into the minivan before he would wake up the rest of the house. I drove around aimless for a little while waiting for Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts to open up. I got some coffee and noticed he fell asleep. Sat in the driveway playing Candy Crush Saga on my phone for 30 minutes. Decided it was an acceptable time for the rest of the assholes in my house to wake up.

Stumble into the house and turn on Backyardigans. Listen to the kids upstairs that are awake but haven’t committed to coming downstairs yet. I holler up the stairs, “C’mon down.” Set up some cereal on the table. Various assorted chaos and catastrophes occur for the next 30-45 minutes. I angrily yell at everyone to get in the van or we’ll be late for school.

As the girls are getting out of the van in the drop-off loop, we realize my Kindergartner can’t find her backpack and my 5th grader forgot her homework. I’m holding up traffic for the other umpteen parents trying to drop off their kids while my daughters are on the brink of tears. I assure them I will find the missing items and bring them to the office as soon as I go home.

I take the boys to Denny’s for breakfast just because I can’t face my kitchen.

Two hours later, I find the backpack. I figure the day is half over and there’s not really any point anyway – maybe it will be a life lesson in responsibility?

16 time outs and 1 nap later, it’s time to get the girls from school. We sit in the car loop for 1/2 an hour; which is like 6 hours in baby time (he’s almost 20 months but still the baby). The girls get in the car and I try to review their day, but each of them, PLUS THE THREE YEAR OLD WHO DOESN’T EVEN GO TO SCHOOL, are all trying to tell me what happened at school that day at the same time! I holler, “SILENCE!!!” and then feel guilty inside for being a mean mom.

I can’t bear to share the rest of the day with you, I’m already counting down til “wine’o’clock” at this point.

Just realize that The Mom You Love to Hate doesn’t really exist, she’s counting down til “wine’o’clock” too 😉