I’m A Dork That Sets Goals for Summer Vacation

I’m A Dork That Sets Goals for Summer Vacation

IMG_0137If you give me a set time period, my first instinct is to make goals and a to-do list.  I have no idea why, but that’s what I do.  So with summer vacation fast approaching and parental summer panic setting in, I know that I’ve gotta come up with a routine and fast.

I know I can’t risk floating through the summer without a mission because, when left to my own devices, I will accomplish absolutely nothing.

Nothing.

And then I’ll have to live with the bitterness and regret and disappointment of not having found constructive ways to spend our time.

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Mommy Doesn’t Want To Share With You

Mommy Doesn’t Want To Share With You

cookiesAll I want is coffee and a biscotti and to enjoy it them alone.  I don’t want to share them with anybody.  And by anybody, I mean that I don’t want to share my treat with my kids.

Isn’t it enough that I share my drinks, my lunch, and my bathroom time?

It’s not fun going to the bathroom with an audience.  Especially an audience that likes to announce the progress of the show.

And how about my uterus?  La Rubia was determined to outstay her welcome.  And thanks to La Grande, I’ll never be able to eat Taco Bell again…well, maybe that was a win/win.

And my boobs?  I have had to share them with everybody in my house at some point or another.

Is it too much to ask?  Am I being too demanding?

Why can’t I just say “Mommy doesn’t want to share with you”?

my girls

Maybe I can hide.  But what are the chances they’ll hear the crinkle of the wrapper?  They’ll ask for a small taste and then a bite.  And then they’ll ask, “can you share it with us?”  When I say “No, this is my cookie,” La Grande will brazenly throw back my own words at me: “Well, don’t you always say it’s kind to share?”

Well, shit.  Yes, yes I did say that.  Don’t you love it when they throw you back at you?

But I don’t want to share.  So I think I’m going to hide.  The pantry might work.  Or maybe the laundry room.  Maybe I’ll just send them upstairs to play so that I can indulge.  Alone.

Do you ever get to enjoy snacks alone?  How do you hide from your mini-minions?

Legoland Florida Knows What Kids and Parents Love

Legoland Florida Knows What Kids and Parents Love

IMG_0996I’ve been itching for some amusement park time before the Florida summer brings two things every Florida resident hides from: the heat and tourists (sorry, no offense!). Rather than spending Mother’s Day at home eating breakfast in bed, I thought it would be fun to trek out to Legoland Florida in Winter Haven.

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For Mom On Mother’s Day. Too Few I’m-Sorrys and Way Too Few Thank Yous

For Mom On Mother’s Day. Too Few I’m-Sorrys and Way Too Few Thank Yous

I hate buying gifts for my mom for any holiday…particularly Mother’s Day. She’s a nightmare. And, if she’s reading this, she’s adamantly denying being anything but laid back and easy-breezy. My ass. Right, Dad?

One of the reasons that I hate buying gifts for my mom is because I can’t ever seem to find anything that really conveys my love and appreciation for her. A sweater? A candle? Flowers? They all pale in comparison when I think about everything that she continues to give me each and every day.

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Prevent Mom Burn Out: 10 Ways To Put Mom First

Prevent Mom Burn Out: 10 Ways To Put Mom First

Have you ever hit a point where an empty roll of toilet paper or a lone crayon on the table will send you right over the edge?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I was losing my mind.  Going off the reservation.  Cukoo for Cocoa Puffs.

<Insert other witty metaphor for…ooohh…crazy cakes.  I like that one.> [Read more...]

When Mommy’s Away, Daddy Can Do It All

When Mommy’s Away, Daddy Can Do It All

I was out of town at the Type-A Advanced Conference in Philadelphia this weekend and left Homeskillet home alone with the girls and two dogs for the first time, well, ever.  As the stay at home parent, I’m pretty used to being the one left behind at home.  And even though I do have the luxury of taking short solo trips here and there, he’s never had to take the helm completely.   And prepping the girls solo for school and the day?  Never.

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Parenting: The Shart Nobody Tells You About

Parenting: The Shart Nobody Tells You About

Disclaimer: If poop scares you.  Just turn back around and leave now.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Shell shocked.  I’m totally shell shocked.  I can still smell the putrid sweet stench of the shart that brought my errands day to a screeching halt.

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What To Do If (And When) The Tooth Fairy Forgets Your House

What To Do If (And When) The Tooth Fairy Forgets Your House

We blew it.  La Grande lost a tooth this weekend and we blew our tooth fairy duty.  We totally forgot to do the one thing that makes losing a tooth less traumatic.  We’ve weaved a complicated and  magical web of lies and one slip up, no matter how slight, can bring her childhood and trust in us crumbling to the ground.  First it’s the tooth fairy and then it’s Santa, the Easter Bunny…what have we done!!!

Luckily, I’m good at lying to my kids…oh wait…uh, that did not come out right.  Let’s just get to the story.

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Life Insurance and the Stay At Home Spouse

Life Insurance and the Stay At Home Spouse

A couple of years ago, I realized that I am not allowed to die.  Seriously.  Heaven forbid (not that I’m presuming I’ve earned my place beyond the pearly whites yet), something were to happen to me, I don’t think my spouse would be able to go on.  Not in the completely inconsolable way (which he would be, I mean, I’m worth missing), but in the “where do the forks go” sense of going on.  We’ve been married 8 years, and to this day, this preeminent military professional doesn’t know where we keep the toilet paper.

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Potty Training Day 2: Unleash the M&Ms!

Potty Training Day 2: Unleash the M&Ms!

Potty training day one was, well, a wash.  Literally.  I scrubbed the carpet four times, La Rubia went through 5 outfits and 5 pairs of underwear, we lost one pair of bedsheets, and Homeskillet’s resolve was starting to waiver.  After missing potty-palooza 2008, due to a deployment, he had no idea what he was facing.  The disappointment, the patience, the frustration, the boredom, all the pee-pee…he was caught a bit off guard.

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Potty Training: The Show Down

Potty Training: The Show Down

Today is the day that we chose to start La Rubia with potty training.  Honestly, I haven’t seen any signs from the heavens that she’s ready…we get the occasional disappearing pooper and the announcements of “I pee pee,” I poop,” and “I stink…gross,” but nothing truly concrete.

From day 1 La Rubia has been a different little cookie.  Totally different than La Grande.  La Grande is quiet, compliant, and independent.  La Rubia is loud, defiant, and a cuddler.  I love each of them for their difference.  I love the “rule regulator” I have in La Grande and the “woo girl” I have in La Rubia.

Our parenting style has been mostly consistent, particularly when it comes to routine and acceptable behavior, but our approaches to yield the results we desire are like night and day. I expect that potty training won’t be any different.

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Keep Your Hands Off Your Child’s Homework

Keep Your Hands Off Your Child’s Homework

A friend of mine just posted on Facebook about feeling like a “mean mom” because she’s taking a hands off approach to her child’s school assignment requiring him to make a Valentine’s mailbox.  I immediately responded to her, 100% supporting her decision to not over-help her child with the project.  And then I realized that maybe it is time for a PSA about overly zealous parents.

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NextGen MilSpouse: Working for Me Full Time

NextGen MilSpouse: Working for Me Full Time

 

Oh boy.  I did it.  I’m resigning from my steady, predictable part-time job and jumping full force into my latest project, NextGen MilSpouse.  For those of you who totally missed my shameless plugs for our January 2013 launch, NextGen MilSpouse is an online magazine geared towards empowering and connecting our diverse military spouse community that puts a fresh spin on what it means to be a military spouse today.  The tagline is, perhaps, one of the coolest, if not THE coolest things that has ever hatched out of my brain: Because the last thing you are is dependent.

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A Culture Of Violence

I am seeing it everywhere….so many of my friends don’t feel safe after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary.  And right now, half-baked, reactionary measures that always emerge after a tragedy are cropping up, like “let’s arm teachers” or “let’s outlaw firearms”…because we all know that when tragedy strikes…the pendulum begins to swing.  We start trying to cling to whatever illusion of safety we believe we can create.

The recent unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School shook me to my core.  As a mom, my heart immediately cried out for my own school-aged daughter.  I couldn’t wait to scoop her up from school and smother her in hugs and kisses.  And when Monday came, and it was time to return to school, somehow, I sent her off to school with hugs, and kisses, and a reminder to be safe…as I always do.  But I didn’t send her off in new-found fear. [Read more...]

Hug Your Children Tight

How many presents were bought?  Gift wrapped tight.  Stacked under the tree.  How many children counting down the days until the start of their Christmas vacation?  How many roadtrips planned to Grandma and Grandpa’s house…that came to a screeching halt?

I can’t imagine…only I can.  I can imagine this event because it freaking keeps happening!  Over and over and over again.  How?  Why?  What goes through that person’s mind?

Children…children for God’s sake.  And always a suicide.  Why?!

So many whys…I can’t even bring myself to point a finger.  Is it guns?  Is humanity really depraved?  Are we missing the boat on the importance of therapy?  Who the hell can I point the finger at so we can get to the bottom of this?

I’m so sad.  So sad.  And disappointed.  I hate when something happens that makes me doubt my faith in humanity.  And I hate when something like this happens and then we all pour out our hearts and my faith in humanity is restored…but then we start to forget…and we get lost in the immaterial…and it happens again and again and again.

Just pray…to whomever, whatever you choose.  Pray for those families affected by tragedy in CT.  Pray for that community.  Pray for those children.

And hug your children tight.