Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Goooooo Cheer! #1 {insert high kick}

Last week, my daughter nearly OMG'd herself to death when her school sent home a youth cheer leading flyer.
Flash forward to today and The 5 Things I learned in the First 5 Minutes of Practice.

#1 Never Be The First Mom to Show Up. If you do, you'll be bestowed the honor of "helper mom" who has to sit behind the table and register the kids. Everyone will automatically assume you know what you're doing (because of the damn table in front of you) and you won't be able to sit and play TwoDots during practice, since you'll be busy getting an earful from some lady who's debating about buying her daughter the poms.

#2 They're Called Poms. Not pom-poms, and you bes' recognize.

#3 All Life Is Poms. You need those poms. Cheerleaders cannot cheer without the appropriate tools, just as a doctor cannot hear a heart beat without his stethoscope. Shame on you for not coming to the first practice without an extra wad of cash, because...

#4 Poms cost $20???!  Like I said, your cheerleader needs the proper accouterments to cheer efficiently and balled up Christmas tree tinsel is one of them. No, you may not ball up some leftover Christmas tree tinsel, tape it to a Sharpie cap and have your kid bring their own pombz to practice. Suck it up, the poms are the cheapest part of the whole shebang anyways.

#5 Evry'thing is Spoken in This Rhi-iith-mm for the Enti-err Thing!!!!!!! Gooooooooooooo Champz! 

If your kid is a cheer kid, more power to him or her. In all honesty, I'm just happy my kid was off of her MineCraft server for 55 minutes. Plus, this is one more experience she can either treasure forever or "resent me for making her do" in the future.

{insert high kick}

Friday, March 6, 2015

Are we all taking stupid pills?

My mother always told me  Thumper always told me, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."
I haven't said ANYTHING on this blog for months, because, what in the heck is going on in the world right now??!
Honestly, between public beheadings, measles epidemics, attention hungry bloggers murdering their children and Kanye being a meanie, I just can't think of anything nice to say in public, let alone on my website.

So, here is me not saying anything. Enjoy a photo of my dog in a piece of bread.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween's Past

Halloween is coming up, so I thought I'd share some random memories that come to mind when I think back on this childhood holiday.

My older brother, the lawyer, has always been the king of negotiation. Every candy centered holiday, he'd hone his skills by duping me into trading my chocolate for Nerds, Sixlets or the all inferior Smarties. Because, you see, there are 10 candies in one package of Smarties, and therefore that is a better deal. I fell for this for way too many years.
So much candy lost to that cocoa tyrant.

Terrible Decorations.
You see that freaky witch faced broom head behind me? Do you see my face in the photo? My crafty mother made a few of these diy creepy nylon stocking face abominations in the 80's, and I'm 99% certain their only purpose was to give me nightmares. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 1,  I slept with one eye open and avoided eye contact with those nylon demons, just in case.

I'm the sparkly flapper in the middle, wearing my older sister's jazz dance costume. 
You can't tell from the photo, but this particular Halloween was one of the rainiest I days I can recall in my lifetime. The heavy flapper makeup my mother applied ran down my face and I looked more like a disheveled, old-timey cat house the third grade, of course. It rained all day and all night, but my friends and I insisted we go trick or treating, so my mom drove us from house to house in our 84' Plymouth Voyager. It didn't keep us kids from getting soaked, but my mom sure as hell was dry.

The Costume Box.
I can only remember a handful of times I was taken to purchase a costume (1998: Cow, 1999: Nun). All other Halloween creations were either hand sewn by mom, or picked from the costume box. A 1985 older sister witch is the same a 1991 younger sister witch. Now, my kids would die if they had to be something their other sisters had worn.
Clearly, I wore it better. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Once a week single mom

My husband has been taking night classes and as a result I've got all 4 girls by myself, once a week, this semester.

There is a single mom with 4 kids in my neighborhood who does this drill everyday, and until recently, I just didn't get it. In fact, I criticised her parenting behind her back because I just couldn't believe how much soda she let's her kids drink.
Tonight, red cream soda was the only thing I could throw at my kids to get them to shutty long enough for me to whip up a delicious hot dog dinner, so I owe her a serious apology and a plate of cookies. This is busy, this is rough and this is parenting to the best of my abilities right now. 

Anyone who thinks they can to do better than this can come on over and give me a hand.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of teaching our kids to cope with life, as opposed to completely catering to today's kids different needs (because it seems like every kid has some sort of intolerance and if we don't make allowances for everyone, we are deemed bullies).
I got some mixed reviews, lost some Facebook friends and lived my life for the rest of the day.
This morning, after talking with my husband about the whole post, I thought I'd share an example of some amazing parenting, from way back in the 90's. Tubular!

In my 5th grade class, a new kid joined us a few weeks after the school year started. As if being new wasn't hard enough, Jessica also had type 1 diabetes.
Instead of her parents insisting our class adjust class parties to better suit the fact that ONE out of THIRTY SIX children could not indulge in sodas and sweets, her parents prepared 10 year old Jessica to deal with being different.
On her first day of school, Jessica's mom came in, set up a projector and Jessica told us all about her diabetes. She showed us pictures of her time in the hospital, slides from her awesome diabetes summer camp and her mother tested her blood sugar in front of us. Jessica opened the floor for questions and answered every single one we asked.
-No, diabetes ins't contagious and I didn't get it from sitting on the toilet. 
-No, I don't have aids. (remember, this was the 90's)
-Yes, I will have it forever. 
-Yes, I celebrate Halloween and I go trick or treating. I take all my candy and sell it to my brother!
-No, I will not bleed on you.
She probably answered fifteen questions, a handful of which were backhanded and meant to hurt her feelings. In the end, she was just so nonchalant about it all, that the jerky kids gave up on making fun of her.
When we had our class parties, she brought treats for us, a little something for herself and we wrote her friendly notes on little origami papers, because we embraced her difference.
She was one of the most popular kids in the grade because she was confident and her parent's championed her through a difficult time.

...Oh, and because she didn't ruin our class parties. That, too.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Life is not fair, so let's teach our kids to cope.

Last week I attended my 2nd grader's open house. After her teacher laid out the basics: arithmetic, daily schedules and homework expectations, she proceeded to launch into a diatribe about all the things we, as parents, need to do to make everyone in class feel warm and fuzzy all the time.
"First of all, there is someone with a gluten intolerance in the class, I don't want to point him or her out, so please refrain from bringing in any baked goods containing gluten. Furthermore, we have a peanut free child in our grade, so to reduce the chances of cross contamination, please try to limit food containing nuts. And PLEASE don't do cupcakes. Ever. They are just 'too sugary' and some children may have sugar intolerances and we don't want those children to get sick." 
Okay, lemme get this straight: Yes to bringing in class treats for parties, but only if they are peanut free, gluten free and low glycemic. So...celery? Whatever, I can deal and just bring in little toys or something on V's birthday..
"Secondly, our school has decided that if you are going to bring in party favors, they need to be gender neutral and school appropriate. Think pencils or erasers, as toys are not permitted on campus."
 Alright. Pencils it is. I can get behind less crap coming home in backpacks. 
 "And most importantly, I need you all to know that our school has banned birthday invitations from being distributed on campus."
"You see, it simply is not fair for some children to be invited to a party and not others. We see it as a form of bullying, the same as singling a child out. To remedy the situation, we suggest you connect with other parents after school to get them their invitations or discreetly email an evite."
Woah. Put on the breaks, lady. 
You mean to tell me that I gotta track down Natalie M's mom and slip her an invite on the D-low because some child, that my kid isn't even friends with, might feel shitty that she wasn't invited to our party? You're accusing my kid of being a bully if she doesn't please everyone, all the time and it is fundamentally WRONG of me to expect children to develop coping skills to deal with disappointment?
Well, I got news for you. Life is not fair and eventually these kids are going to have to suck it up. In my opinion, it is better for my second grader to build some character NOW and deal with the reality of how the world really works: Not everyone likes you, some people are assholes and IF YOU CAN'T EAT SOMETHING BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SICK, DON'T FUCKING EAT IT.

I don't want to glaze over the reality that some people are bigger assholes than others, and mentally unstable individuals who shoot up movie theaters exist, but what we're forgetting to acknowledge is that they've always been out there and maybe, instead of sheltering our children to the point of unpreparedness, we should go back to carrying on with our lives the way we used to, because those types of people aren't going away.

So parents, let's let our kids get their hearts broken and experience what its like to be let down every once and while, since that's inevitably what their future holds. Teach them to cope when they can't have something that everyone else is having and our children will gain some willpower. Let's show our kids how to be kind to others in the face of bullying and generate confidence in our kids by guiding them through adversity. I mean, what type of people are we expecting to raise if we eliminate all obstacles?
And for Pete's sake, have some faith that your children "can even."

Friday, August 29, 2014

What Turning 30 Feels Like

He who has a why to cat can almost cat anyhow.
existential crisis cat via reddit user felloffmybike
Yesterday I turned 30. I woke up in a relatively cheery disposition, excited to go eat my birthday breakfast (an apple pancake at the Original Pancake House) and looking forward to the rest of a day entirely devoted to me. 
However, by lunchtime, my mood soured and 30th birthday depression kicked in. I felt as if I'd not only squandered my birthday by not planning an extravaganza as I'd told myself I was going to do, but I hated myself for wasting the last 10 years of my life (my glorious twenties!) working in middle management for some version of The Gap. In short, my shitty existence crashed down on me.

What are my accomplishments? Where are my rewards? Can I still pull off this leopard print skirt? These were my questions surrounding my newfound thirtyness. Overwhelmed, I broke down into sobs on the way to dinner and announced to the world [husband] that I am a complete failure who doesn't deserve to live because I don't have a succesfull start up baby leggings/screen printing/yarn bombed antlers shop on Instagram. 
Gently, my husband reminded me that I hadn't eaten since breakfast and that maybe I would feel better after eating something. 
He was right. The wisdom of a 31 year old.