Monday, June 13, 2016

Who's Next?

I love history. I love studying WW2. My mind always wanders to the mothers. Not just the mothers of soldiers far from home, but the mothers in England and France and Germany. Civilian mothers getting the shit bombed out of them. 

How scary it must be to live in the midst of war. How terrified I would be for my family every single day. How lucky I am to live in times of peace. 

Peace. Where is the peace? 

I was a sophomore in high school when Columbine happened. It scared the shit out of me. The thought that anyone could turn anyplace into a war zone was terrifying. 

As the years went by, the shootings just kept happening. 

They have become commonplace. Like the bombing raids of WW2, they have become a part of our lives. 

The war ended though. The bombs stopped. 

The shootings though, they are not coming from one entity that we are able to defeat. 

They are random. They are for different reasons. The next shooting victim could be any of us. Any of our children.

I used to think, well thank goodness we live in a small community. This kind of thing won't happen here. My kids' school will never need to go on lock down.

It has.

No one would ever open fire at a peaceful walking bridge near a park. Not in my area. Not a place I love to take my kids. Not a family that could just as easily be my family.

It happened.

Last May the Trestle Trail shooting took the life of a father and his daughter as well as another man who were out for walk on an exceptionally beautiful spring day.

Now it's a nightclub in Orlando. It should go without saying that fact that it was a gay nightclub is irrelevant. A family can get gunned down on a Sunday walk or kids going about their day at school or a gay man dancing with friends. It really doesn't fucking matter. 

Just any ordinary place turned into a war zone.

A war we don't know how to fight. A war we are losing. A war where the enemy walks among us undetected.

All I can think is, who's next?

Will it be you? Will it be me? 

Someone you love? Someone I love?

We all continue to go about our lives as usual. What else can we do? Not knowing when or where the next shooting will be or who the next victims are.

I think of all that was lost to win freedom in WW2. I think of my brother in law who spent nearly a year of his life in Afghanistan to fight for our freedom. A year he'll never get back. A year that will be with him for the rest of his life.

What are we saying to our veterans when our civilians are living in fear? They gave so much so we could have peace. So mothers could know that their children are safe going about their ordinary lives.

Instead mothers live in fear. We are all living in fear.

Fear of getting shot simply because you exist. Simply because you were in an ordinary place that someone thought should become a war zone.

Fear of returning to a beautiful park and trail because it's now the place where a deadly, random shooting took place. 

Fear to go out to a nightclub. Fear that nothing is going to change.

Fear of not knowing who's next. 


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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Morning Sickness Has Made Me a Terrible Mother

This is my fourth pregnancy. Every time I’ve been expecting, the first trimester has been hell. I feel like shit, am tired all the time, puke my guts out, have an aversion to coffee (which is not helpful with the tiredness) and have constipation.

I am not complaining about these things because I’m not grateful for my children or am insensitive to those who wish they were pregnant. I complain about these things because they fucking suck. It is no fun to feel like shit for weeks straight, no matter the reason.

I hate morning sickness. Even the name, which we all know is stupid because it lasts all damn day. I hate the lack of energy. I hate that I break down crying because I ordered pizza again instead of making dinner for my family. 

I hate that my kids spend all day in front of the TV because Mom just doesn’t have the energy to get off the couch today. I hate that my dishes pile up until we have no more clean forks or spoons. I hate that there is no clean underwear because the laundry didn’t get done, again. 

Most of all, I hate that it makes me feel like a failure. 

It’s not that I don’t notice the piddle on the seat or next to the toilet that my son left, or the toys piled up on the floor, or the sheen of dust covering every surface, it’s just that I don’t have the energy to do a damn thing about it. 

So, my house is a mess. My kids are not disciplined consistently. We eat lunch late, dinner late, we’re lucky if anyone gets breakfast. 

I feel like I accomplished so much in a day if I do so much as run the dishwasher, wash a single load of laundry, take my kids to the library or park, or take a shower. 

All of this makes me feel like a lazy piece of shit.

I shouldn’t feel like that, I know I shouldn’t. I am growing a human being. That’s kind of a big deal. Expect, moms are supposed to do it all, have it all, or whatever. We are not supposed to get sick or tired or moody. We are not supposed to let morning sickness kick our ass.

You’d think I would be used to this by now. I’ve been down this road four times now, but it doesn’t get any easier.  Maybe I just don’t know how to cut myself a break. 

My two year old daughter walks in on me puking in the bathroom. “You sick Mama?” she asks, “You need band-aid?”

“No,” I tell her, in between heaves, “Mommy will be fine.”

She leaves and comes back with Goodnight Moon and leaves it on the bathmat. “Here you go Mom, book make you feel better.”

Her sweetness does make me feel better. 

I know this won’t last forever. In past pregnancies I have gotten a second wind around the time the second trimester starts. I am eagerly awaiting that second wind.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

A Surprise, Not a Mistake

Growing up, I loved the show, "Roseanne." I remember once DJ's sisters told him he was a mistake. Roseanne lovingly told him he was not a mistake, he was a surprise. He asked what the difference was.

She told him a mistake is something you wish you could do differently, a surprise is something you didn't know you wanted, but are really happy once it's there. I always thought that was really sweet.

I am expecting a surprise.

Here's how the story goes. My husband finally scheduled his vasectomy for the middle of January. We had taken our time making things officially final. I should say, I was not ready to make things so final, even though I knew my husband was done, stick a fork in him, done.

I was done too, expect when I saw a baby. Then my ovaries would twitch out in excitement. "One more! One more!" they would chant.

I said a prayer that God would help me accept that our family was complete, or if it's not, then let that happen. Whatever was meant to be, help me be okay with it. My husband took this to mean that I prayed to get pregnant. Not exactly what I meant, I think, but God answers prayers in mysterious ways.

I went with him to the vasectomy and watched the whole procedure. It was kind of satisfying that the tables had turned and here he was the one having his man parts mangled after I had gone through so much with my lady parts for our three children. Of course he was hopped up on pain killers and local anesthesia. My last two births were unmediated, so I still have one up on him.

It was bittersweet for me, but I was at peace with our decision.

Fast forward 5 days. I was supposed to start my period. I didn't. My pants felt tight, my boobs hurt. I dug through our bathroom cabinets for a stray pregnancy test I thought might be in there.

Two pink lines.

Five days after my husband's vasectomy I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child.

Imagine Credit:

I immediately called my husband. His response was that of someone finding out about a death in the family. I cursed myself for ever thinking that I wanted four children. Most days I felt like I couldn't handle the three children I have!

We were freaking out. How could this be? This is a story you hear about happening to other people, this doesn't happen to us!

"A guy at work's brother in law's cousin's friend had 3 kids and he and his wife wanted just one more. You know what she had? Triplets!" my husband informed me. "That's gonna be us! You're going to have triplets and we are going to have to get one of those giant bus vans!"

As time passed though, the shock wore off and the reality of another (one) baby settled in. We told friends and family. Some of them knew of my husband's vasectomy and were quite surprised.

In Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan writes about when you are expecting your 1st child everyone is thrilled, there is a baby shower and endless advice. Your 2nd child, people are still thrilled, but there isn't a baby shower.

When you are expecting your 3rd child, you start losing the crowd. The congratulations are always preceded by a "wow." 4th child, there is audible nervousness in people's congratulations, which now include multiple "wows." **

I'm finding this to be way too accurate. Not only do I have the strange reality of squeezing in one more before the final curtain call, but this is our fourth child. "Four children! Can you imagine? In this day and age?"

At one point, I told my husband that I just don't want to tell anyone anymore about this pregnancy. Although, I don't know what it's like to be a teenage mother, I feel like that is all I can think of to compare it to. I feel like people look at me as if I was 16 and my boyfriend just left me.

What's so hard with just saying congratulations? It's not like we're in a position where we can't afford another mouth to feed, are in a unstable relationship, or live in a box or something. As unexpected as it may be, we will gladly take another baby. We want this baby. We love this baby.

This isn't another one of those, "things you should never say to a pregnant lady" post. This isn't a "we need to be more politically correct" post. This is simply my story, my feelings.

One of the things my husband said while we were still in shock over the whole situation was, "Well, at least this will make one hell of a blog post!"

I laughed, yes, what a crazy story!

This isn't the post I had thought I'd write, though. I was totally unprepared for people's reactions. I didn't think that was what this post would be about.

Another thing Jim Gaffigan wrote was that he was 1 of 6 children. He told people, 6 kids, Catholic. Catholic being the explanation for the large number of kids.**

At least we're Catholic, my husband reassured me. We can just be like, 4 kids, Catholic.

Just don't mention the part about the vasectomy to the Pope, okay?

**Here is the book I was referring to- Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. You can check it out on Amazon. I was not given any compensation for mentioning this book. I just think it is really funny.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thoughts I have watching kids shows

Watching boring ass TV shows with your kids can start to make your mind wander. Sometimes I am thinking about all the shit I need to get done, but sometimes I actually pay attention to the shows. Never pay attention. It will cause you to have to following thoughts-

1) Oh, Daniel Tiger. Sometimes, I just want to punch you in the face. I don’t give a shit about your stupid feelings. Shut the hell up and put on some damn pants! Why does your Mom wear pants but you and your dad don't? Huh? Please someone explain this to me!

2) If I were running Sodor Island railways, I’d fire Sir Topham Hat and send Thomas and all his annoying friends to the scrapyard! How hard is to find a train driver who will just do his job and if his ass-cheeky engine wants to pull some shenanigans, tell him to Fuck off and just do what you’re told!

3) What the hell is the Man with the Yellow Hat’s name? I mean really, no one calls me “the Mom with the Black Yoga Pants.” (Oh, shit, there might be people who actually call me that) But what’s the deal with him letting his monkey roam the city alone? (that sounds dirty, heehee) Pretty sure animal control would have picked up his ass a long time ago.

4) Listen Nick and Sally, your mothers think you are JOKING when you tell them you’re out gallivanting with a giant cat! Do me a favor, tell her to get her ass outside and show her that the Cat in the Hat is real. She doesn’t fucking believe you, okay!

5) Why does Peg wear her swim suit in the tub? I mean I get that it’s a kids show and all, so no nudity, but who the hell baths in their swimsuit? Solve that problem, bitch.

6) SuperWhy is basically Wheel of Fortune for kids. I'm ready to solve, Wyatt! 

7) This is what I think happened when the idea for Dinosaur Train was first pitched. Somewhere in some board room, someone was all like, "Kids love dinosaurs. Kids love trains. Everyone knows that. So, imagine a show that combined them! Dinosaurs riding on trains! Dinosaur. Train." 
And everyone was like, "Woah! Mind blown!"

In case you couldn't tell, we watch a lot of PBS kids, but there are plenty of other annoying shows that leave us wondering, WTF?

What are some thoughts or questions you have had watching TV with your kids?

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Stand- Magazine Review

Some time before Christmas, I received an email asking if I would like to read a brand new magazine, Stand.

I was a little taken a back considering that it is a magazine for men and I am not a man, but I thought, looks interesting, I'll check it out.

I'm glad I did check it out. I really enjoyed it. The first thing I loved about it was what it's made of. The paper is thick and smells amazing. It has this woody, manly smell to it. I don't know, people love to say, "Print is dead," but I think there's still a place in our digital world for quality print.
The photography is amazing and the quality of the writing is exquisite. I nearly crapped myself when I saw one of my favorite poets, Ted Kooser's words inside the pages. I know, I know, being excited about a poet is pretty dorky, but he is pretty awesome, trust me!

There were stories about human sex trafficking, fatherhood, depression, one riveting article after another.
It's funny that most men wouldn't be interested in a typical women's magazine for very long, yet here I am entranced by a men's magazine. Maybe many of our typical men's and women's magazines need more substance.

Stand definitely has substance. There is an overwhelming theme of "What does it mean to be a man?" Also, respectively, "What does it mean to be a father?"

A friend's mom asked me about my husband once. "Is he a good Dad? You know, changes diapers and all involved with them?"
"Absolutely," I said. "He is a great Dad."
"It's a lot different from when you guys were little," she said.

So much has changed in a generation of men. My husband does things, our fathers would never have considered. It's not just changing diapers, he is an equal partner in raising our kids.

I look forward to reading more about these changes in Stand. Check it out for yourself, or share it with the men in your life.

Stand is published 4 times a year, January, April, July and October. You can find more information at

I received one complementary copy of Stand for this review but all opinions are my own. 

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Will they remember?

am not a perfect mother. 

I yell at my kids more than I'd like. I'm a terrible housekeeper. I feed them McDonalds. I make the wrong call about whether or not to bring them to the doctor, keeping them home, when in fact they broke a bone, bringing them in when there's nothing at all wrong with them.

Some days I worry that my kids will only remember my shortcomings. When they are older, are they going to look back and remember a cranky mom who told them no all the time and yelled at them to pick up their toys? 

Will they remember the times they puked on me and I just rubbed their backs and told them everything is okay?

Will they remember being scared and Mommy hugging them close and saying, Mommy's here, Mommy's here?

Will they remember the times we danced in the rain? Or the snowmen we've built that have slowly died each spring only to be resurrected again next winter?

Will they remember the books? So many books. 

The ones I thought were stupid but I read and reread to them anyway, because it was their favorite. The ones where I gave each character their own silly voice? 

Will they remember the spontaneous dance parties held in our kitchen? Will they remember me holding them in my arms, singing, Doo do do do, then dipping them back so they were hanging all the way upside down, giggling furiously with fear and excitement? 

My oldest child is almost 8. I can barely lift him off the ground. If we're all in the kitchen, though, and a good dancing song comes on, he still pleads, "Dip me, Mom! Dip me!"

As long as I can, I will. As long as he promises to remember.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

5 Tell Tale Signs You Have Aged Out of Your Facebook Moms Group

When you are a new mom, everything is brand new and quite frankly terrifying. You need to reach out and find your tribe, your village, or at the very least another mom who gets it.

One way of doing this is through a Facebook moms group. I belong to several. I have loved the support they have provided. Now that my baby is almost 8 though, I feel like I may have graduated the Facebook moms group. There seems to be a lot of the same things being brought up again and again and one can only relive the same question so many times.

Here are what I have found to be 5 tell tale signs that you have aged out of your Facebook moms group.

 1) Someone posts a question asking for advice on potty training and you reply with only one word- wine.

 2) A new mom asks what to do about her baby's cradle cap.

You read that and think, "Man, I remember when my 1st baby had that and I was so worried about it but, eh, that was like almost 8 years ago and I'm happy to report that he's been dandruff free for at least the last 7 years. Don't ask me if my 2nd or 3rd babies had it because, honestly, it goes by so damn fast I barely remember their births, just that there were more people hanging on me and demanding shit from me." And you realize that none of that is helpful and you should just delete that and not say anything.

3) Someone asks for a recommendation and you want to claw your eyeballs out of your head.

"Anyone know of a good photographer, doctor, realtor, date night restaurant, exorcist? TIA!"
Gah! I don't give a shit! If I recommend my doctor to one more person, I'm going to ask for my next pap on the house for all this free advertising I give him.
Try this thing called the yellow pages.
Bawahahaha! Just kidding, who the hell uses the yellow pages anymore?
No, seriously, google that shit bitch.
Now, of course this all changes once you are the one who needs a good plumber. Then you're all like, can anyone help a mother out? Please?

4) You know better than to ask certain loaded questions and cringe when others don't know better.

"How do I lose this baby weight?"
"How can I earn a little extra money?
"What's good for stretch marks?"

All these are code for, please try to sell me something or get me to join your direct sales business.

5) You can spot a comment section shitstorm a mile away.

Speaking of loaded questions, want to start a fight? Just ask any of the following,
"Where can I get my daughter's ears pierced?"
"Anyone know where I can find a cheap used car seat?"
"Need a pediatrician recommendation. One that is okay with us not doing vaccinations."
"How do I find out if our water is fluoridated?"
Sit back and get ready for an all out brawl in the comment section.

Of course, the number one sign that you have aged out of your Facebook moms group would be that you just left the group because you don't have time for that shit anymore.
Expect you'd never do that, because, you know, you need a good plumber recommendation.

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