Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012 Wrap Up. Its Done Y'all.

First and foremost, the Mayans did not come get us and we are still here. You're welcome. (If you don't know what I am talking about click here.) If you would like to show the Honey Badger your appreciation for Apocalypse avoidance we are accepting cash, checks, and money orders. Gift cards are also appreciated (we she likes Starbucks and REI).

Since we all remained on the earthly plane, we were free to celebrate the holidays. And celebrate we did. I have eaten so much junk, I am probably in need of an insulin booster shot. Yesterday, I was burping Christmas cookie. I am fairly sure that is a sign that an intervention is necessary. I told hubs last night that I felt like Jabba the Hutt after he eats a lot and is sitting around picking his teeth. 

We had a lovely holiday. We do the alternate yearly thing where we do Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other. (Side note: I highly recommend this holiday visitation structure. Cuts down on stress and makes the holiday all around more enjoyable. And you are not driving all over God's creation with other Christmas Crazed families, guzzling coffee, with cookie crumbs on their shirts, and screaming kids in the back of the van.) This year was Christmas with Hub's family, so everyone came to us. We ate, we laughed, there was a fair amount of crying and temper tantrums (three kids under 5 here, people), and we opened lots of prezzies. It was an all around great time.

I only lost one gift, and spent a little time getting up close and personal with the recycling, where I was sure it was. Wrong. It was in my closet, which I looked in first, but didn't see. I am so stealthy I hide things from myself. I did however finally get a flashlight and venture into the abyss of shoes and bags to locate the lost gift and came out victorious. You're welcome, Babe. 

I only forgot four out of the eight ingredients for the "quick and easy" taco soup I was throwing together on Christmas day. Twas neither quick nor easy because I spent thirty minutes driving around town looking for somewhere to buy cream of chicken soup and corn and taco seasoning and something else I can't think of. Future FYI factoid: Walgreens is open on holidays. At least the one on the corner of Spring Garden and Market in Greensboro is. I drove past two Teeters, Whole Foods, and Food Leon before I got to Walgreens. Now I know everyone is all, "no one should have to work on Christmas, its Un-American, and against everything that is good in the world." Until you realize you need 4 of the 8 ingredients for the recipe you are preparing your in laws. Then you don't care if the devil himself hands you your change. Cause you need that corn.

Santa came and left a smorgasbord of dress up clothes and a soccer goal and ball for Lady Baby She is loving having an endless supply of cheap polyester skirts and dresses to parade around in. The number of costume changes has risen dramatically, and she has taken to sleeping in a tutu, but that's not my fight. Upon seeing her loot spread out from Santa (we don't wrap because that is the way I grew up and feel strongly about it. I love the instant gratification.) she exclaimed, "AWESOME. HOLY MOLY. HOLY SHIT." My mother in law's eyes rolled back in her head for a sec, and it was quickly determined that Hubs and I may need to watch our mouths a little more carefully. I call that a Christmas Lesson.
Ariel and Soccer Butterfly.
Notice the layering on the left. She looks like an Olsen twin.
We are now recovering from all the excitement, and going to bed late, and cookies for breakfast. I am attempting to get all back onto a normal schedule. All in all Her Highness handled the Christmas excitement with aplomb. Right before the holidays I feverishly read the first half of 1-2-3 Magic and we have started using those techniques for discipline, so maybe that helped too (more on that awesomeness later.) Needless to say, she is already looking forward to her B-day next week, and her party, and the world revolving around her completely. I am looking forward to NYE, and a great time with friends and neighbors at The Avetts, and we are all looking forward to Hubs being back in the local office a few days a week so he can drive less and see us more. 

Hope all had eventful and exciting Christmas Holidays. Hope your gifts were worthy of a "Holy Shit" and that your pants still button. 

Onward to the New Year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Is Here...Now Go Enjoy It

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or as my father said to a nice lady holding the door for us yesterday, Happy State Appointed Public Holiday (*dies of embarrassment despite being 34*).

I hope you all have a safe and lurvly holiday. 
I hope Santa brings you everything you want.
I hope you get to spend the holiday with those that matter most and you appreciate being with them.
I hope you think of those less fortunate than you and share the joy.
I hope you don't get drunk and barf on Christmas eve when you are too young to be drinking in the first place. (That NEVER happened to me. Ever.)
I hope you respect the ways that everyone celebrates. 
I hope your children are so excited for Santa that you have to threaten them with bodily harm to get them in the bed.
I hope that your cat does not pee on your Christmas Tree skirt. (Why do they do that?)
I hope you eat so many sweets that you gain ten pounds (it will make me feel better about how much I have eaten.)
I hope you avoid the flu, because it sucks to be sick when everyone else is having a wonderful time.
I hope you take lots of pictures of everyone, because a Christmas will come when you are not all together or someone is not here at all. And you will want to remember what they looked enjoying the holiday.
I hope you thank people for the things they got you, even if you hate them more than life and are going to rush out to take them back and they made your throw up in your mouth a little. 
I hope you get to watch at least one child rip open one gift. There is really nothing quite like it.
I hope at least one of your Pinterest projects got finished and actually worked.
I hope you remember how lucky we are to live in a place that we can celebrate whatever holiday we choose.

I hope you don't get any fruit cake.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Honey Badger vs. The Mayans

Alrighty Mayans. This is what I have lived through just since Thanksgiving. Y'all really wanna come get you some of all this? Doubtful...

Three days straight of diarrhea. Not mine, Lady Baby's. 
So. much. worse. Rock bottom=cleaning diarrhea out of a mini potty. 

Three days of hearing my delicate flower say the word diarrhea. And at least once every day since. I get it, its melodious. But enough already. I will let you know when anyone that lives in the house, or that we know, or anyone that we may have met at the grocery store, ever gets diarrhea. Enough with the questions.

The dog spending 1.5 days throwing up.
The cat spending 2 days throwing up. 

Seven days of child panic every time the dog or cat walked through the room, with two days of intense discussion about throw up. Constant vigilance every day since if one the pets coughs or looks at her sideways. If I hear "I think Gypsy/Ripley is frowing up" one more time I am going to throw up.

2,546 viewings of part or all of Cinderella. Each viewing includes intensive, CIA style rapid fire questioning about every aspect of Cinderella and Sharmin (Charming) and everyone else in the movie.
"Who is that lady?"
"Why is that mouse dropping corn?" 
"Where is Cinderella's mama?"
"Where is Cinderella's daddy?"
"Where is Sharmin?"
"Where is the Blue Cinderella?"
"What's on that man's eye?"
"Why is he mad?"
"Why is she sad?"
"Why the mouse turns into a horsey?"
"Where is Sharmin now?"
Don't even get me started on Cinderella II and Cinderella III which are even more confusing to an almost three year old.

Hearing the phrase "Cinderellie" sung on repeat at some point every day for a minimum of 25 minutes, usually loudly in public.

Going on five days of Her Highness's cold that includes but is not limited to: squirrely fever that only comes on at nap and evening, snot factory of epic proportions, coughing, and a very short temper.

Going on five nights of being at my "sick" child's beck and call. 
"I need water"
"I need lemonade"
"Please rub my back"
"I need a pretzel"
"Please rub my back"
"I need to peepee"
"I just peepee'd"
"Please rub my back"
"Please rub my back"
"I'm hungry"
"Please rub my back"

So Mayans, as you can see, your little plan for Armageddon is no match for the Honey Badger.  You may as well wait until 3012, because if you show up here day after tomorrow, I will certainly put you to work rubbing my child's back, while watching Cinderella and fielding all questions, discussing diarrhea, and monitoring the pets for even the slightest sign of barfing. So keep moving if you know what's good for you.

Once again, I save the world. You are welcome.

"Um yeah, did you guys hear about the Honey Badger? Just think-tanking here, but I am
gonna go with a no on the apocolypse just now. I see your hand is up Clyde. I
will take that as a second to the motion. Thanks for your support bro. She sounds scary and I am
not really feeling the princess movie movement. Also, I have a sensi gag reflex and can't take all the diarrhea/puke chitchat. Spanks. BTW, as much as I love, and I mean love, a good ole' low swinging loin cloth, have yall heard of these new fangled things called pants?"

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Will Be Brave and Strong Because Life is for Living

The events of last Friday left me almost wordless all weekend. I have not talked about it much even though I am thinking about it constantly. I don't like feeling afraid and I don't like feeling worried. Both feelings that I have not been able to shake since those horrific events unfolded in Connecticut. 

Now words are flooding in...unfathomable, unfair, insane, shaken. Too many to write. These are words that hurt. I pride myself on my faith in humanity. I believe the best of the world. Then terrible things happen. Unimaginable evil. And cracks make their way up my tower. And I can feel it start to sway. And I worry that it is going to fall way, crumbling out from under me. And then I will become one of those people that is sad and sour, looking up at the rest of the world from a pit of negativity. I worry I will never see the beauty of life again.

Then, I look into my child's face. I see her smile and how she trusts me. She wraps her little arms around me and squeezes. And I remember. I remember why I think the world is amazing. I remember why I believe in happiness. Every time I see her face, I see hope. It reaffirms me. It reminds me. It restores me.

It does not mean I am not scared. Every time she is not in my sight, I feel a wave a panic. I fear what will become of her if I am not there every second of every day. But holding her tightly to me is not the best thing for her. It will not allow her to grow into the person she is meant to be. I have to let her leave the house. I have to take her to school. Someday I will have to let her drive a car and go to college. I cannot control things that are completely out of my control. I can only hope and pray that she is safe and happy. I have to believe that she will be fine, because if I didn't, I could never let her go again. And that is not how I want her to live.

I cannot let the crazy in the world keep me from living. Even more importantly  I cannot let it keep me from allowing my child to live her life. I will protect her when, and where, I can. I will watch over her to the best of my abilities. But I will not shelter her away from the world. I will let her live and go out and find her happiness and see the beauty in life. Most importantly, I will remind her when something shakes her faith in humanity that she must hold on to what she believes and knows for her own children. I am a mother. I am responsible for teaching my child that life is for living. And that is what I will do. 

I will be brave and strong to show her that life is for living.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stop Hatin' on the Elf

An Open Letter to Elf Haters...

Of late there has been a lot of hating on the parents who go all out for the Elf on the Shelf. I would like to start this off be saying that our elf, Ellie, is a bit of an underachiever  This is due mostly to the fact that just moving her from the mantel, to the Christmas tree, to the window sill, is enough to blow the mind of an almost three year old. I do, however, throw mad props to those who do a nightly amazing elf tableau.  You are amazeballs parents and I'm here to give you the props you so deserve. I look forward to Ellie making Flour angels and pooping m&m's and playing cards with an Ariel who has had her hair cut by an enthusiast 4 year old. It's called fun, jerks. Get on board or shut your sugar cookie hole.

There is something magical about Christmas. There is something even more magical about sharing Christmas with children. They believe. And there is awe. And there is amazement. There is  faith and trust that Santa is coming and that he does great things. Kids are filled with the wonder of the holidays. Let's let them be. Let's feed that part of their little souls. There is so little mystery left in this world. But what is still around is the magic of Santa. And there is NOTHING wrong with embracing that.

Parents everywhere are criticised for not "parenting" enough. They let their kids watch too much TV or play their with iPads too much. They don't take them to the park enough or read to them often enough or teach them a foreign language. But let some parents work hard to share the magic of Christmas with their kids, and lets stone them all. Shame on you judgers, I say. These moms and dads are doing something fun and special for their kids. Boooo. You obviously can't win, people.

I have heard rumblings that parents don't like to use the elf to make their kids behave. In my world, anything that I can use at any time in any situation to make Lady Baby behave is a win. She is even more of a Honey Badger now that she is being pumped full of chocolate and candy canes and talk of PRESENTS (shriek shriek squee shriek). If a tiny elf with a 90's Winona pixie cut and a snappy collector's edition elf skirt keeps my child from coloring on the couch with a marker, then I will take it. Happily. I know my child  She is not intrinsically well behaved. The elf is helping with what could be the most unbearable time of the year due to unbridled sugar induced passion. Thank you Ellie. You presence is appreciated.

We tell our children to believe in Santa. We ask them to be good to get gifts. The Elf is proof to them that Santa is watching. Imagine being a 5 year old and waking up each morning of the holiday season, eager to discover what shenanigans our elf has gotten into. That is called making traditions. As adults we treasure our memories of Christmas' past. I remember reading the Santa Claus book with my dad by the Christmas tree, the one that explained where Santa came from. And leaving notes for Santa with my brother, asking him to write back to us so we would have proof he existed. Our kids are going to have memories of all the crazy things their elves did. And once they are parents  they will appreciate the memories even more because they will know how hard their parents worked to preserve the magic around Santa for just a little longer.

SO. Quit hatin'. You don't have to participate with the Elf or you can half ass it like we are. But throw some respect toward the hard working mamas and daddies who are staying up late to do something special for their kids. They are using their hard earned quiet late night moments to dig the Barbie car out of the toy box or arranging a tea party with some pokemon's and a hello kitty bobble head. I say RESPECT and good job. Y'all all should too.

Go get your elf on,

Ellie, you minx. Why don't you make an effort?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Failures. And It's Only the 5th.

This was to be THE year of epic Christmas awesomeness. An offshoot of my love for Pinterest has been a slow and steady buildup to Christmas. For months my pinning addiction has fueled my creative juices, with pictures of amazing crafts and food and kid activities. Lady Baby was sick over Thanksgiving, so we were forced to spend the weekend in seclusion, weathering a vicious schmidt-storm. Therefore I basically skipped Turkey day and jumped straight into Christmas with both feet. It was to be amazeballs. Mother-daughter projects. Unique home made gifts. Decorating the tree as a family. Starting awesome traditions and having good old fashioned Christmas fun. 

I. Was. A. Fool.

Epic memory making #1: Stamped Salt dough ornaments.
This was supposed to be a gift that we could give neighbors and they would comment how crafty and cool they were. And then I would be all, "they were so easy, Her Highness even helped." 98% failure. The dough stuck to the stamps and the wax paper and my hands. It did however keep Little Ma'am busy for about 30 minutes stamping and squishing, so not a total failure. There is the missing 2%.  When they dried they looked like a preschooler made them. Trash can. That is a crap-ton of flour and salt and two hours of my life I'll never get back.

Epic memory making #2: Birdseed ornaments.
After the failure of the salt dough, this was going to be our redeemer. The cool thing we could give the neighbors. The fun thing that Lady Baby and I could spend a morning doing. I let her help mix up the seed and the gelatin and then we started filling cookie cutters. Correction. I filled the cookie cutters while she gagged and shuddered and whined about how the seed felt and that it was sticking to her hands. So I got mad and finished them myself. It took 10 min and they look like crap because I didn't mash them down and I made the string holes to close to the edge so they all broke apart. Debacle.

Epic memory making #3: Christmas Tree decorating.
We got the tree up and the lights on (I attempted this and did a crap job so it got redone by His Royal Highness, Ruler of all Perfection). Then we commenced to hanging the ornaments. Rather we hung and Miss Priss removed them. Once we finally got her on board with putting them on instead of taking them off, she hung about 4 then went and laid on the couch. Such a beautiful moment, Mommy and Daddy hanging ornaments and reminiscing, while the love of their life lays on the couch and watches Mickey. Since erecting the tree, there have been some issues of the stop-undecorating-the-tree variety. This only confirms and affirms my decision for the last 2 years to not have a tree. She would have destroyed it. At least now she understands threats (see #4 for further explanation.)

Epic Memory making #4: Elf on the Shelf. 
This got off to a rocky start. First, I got the box and we sat on the couch together. Because I am an idiot and didn't think ahead, I am trying to explain the whole Elf sitch to my child while removing a twist tie from the elf's neck so we can get it out of the package. She was very concerned with all that until I explained that the elf came from Santa in a plastic bag to protect it. Thank god she doesn't understand the whole breathing air thing yet. Almost three year olds are very easy to lie to. Then I hand her the elf and start to read the book. Then I get to the part where she can't touch the elf and I promptly rip it out of her hands frantically. Commence the screaming. Fortunately after two days of asking if she could hold Ellie (way to go outside of the box on the name, kid) she finally gave up. She does however believe 100% that Ellie should be respected and revered. She has taken to asking Ellie if permission to do things and she apologized to Ellie yesterday morning after she gave me a hard time about getting dressed for school. Ellie is my home girl. Ellie is currently perched at our tree like a tiny security dog to keep Her Highness's paws off the ornaments that she won't stop removing from the tree. I heart Ellie. I may keep her out all year if this continues to be effective. 
Ellie Elf waiting to go ninja on any Honey Badger's that touch the tree.
Epic memory making #5: Advent calendar tradition.
I remember being little and having an advent calendar and carefully opening the little door every day and eating a piece of chocolate. So naturally I want to share this fun tradition with the light of my life. I purchased a calendar at the Teeter and have had it out where Lady Baby could see it for a few weeks. BTW, they have not changed in 25 years. Same picture, same chocolate squares with the little picture on every piece. Good times. So we start with day 1 and I show her how to open the little tab, which she rips off with vigor, and we pop the chocolate out and she happily garbles it down. Then I put it up and she asks for another piece. I calmly explain that she gets one piece everyday. The tantrum that followed leads me to believe that my answer was unacceptable. The next night hubs helped her and somehow they not only opened the door for day 9 (even thought it is CLEARLY marked) they also ripped the tab clear off along with a big chunk of the picture. Seriously? It is basically ruined. We are on day 5 and she is finally realizing that no matter how many times she asks, she is only getting one piece. But she also makes it clear that she is not at all happy about it and whoever made these rules is a complete idiot. Hey kid, I didn't make up the advent timetable, okay?

SO. I think I am going to throw in the towel and do everything else alone. When I told my neighbor my plans early on, she stared at me for a second and said, "That sounds like a lot of work." I think what she really meant was, "none of that is remotely going to work." I am going to embrace that there is plenty of time to do all the memory making. I am going to stop letting Pinterest make me feel like everyone in the free world is at home making beautiful and crafty ornaments with their kids who like to follow directions and listen and have never attempted to wrestle an advent calendar out of their mom's hands while sobbing. I am going to make what I can and buy the rest. You are welcome world economy and people on my Christmas list.  

On Saturday we are headed back to the place where the infamous Santa picture happened last year. To read about that, go here. Feel free to bookmark it so you can look at the picture every time you need a laugh. Can't wait to see what goes down this year. Her rabid spider monkey skills have only improved in the last 12 months. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No Pockets, No Dice.

Who is thankful that Thanksgiving is over so we can all go back to being snarky and complaining??? ohmygawd me too. So, enough with the I love my family and coffee posts, back to how insane my child is making me.

True story from this morning:

Me: These are the three things you can choose from this morning to wear to school.
Her: No. NO. I want somethings with pockets.
Me: Here is the deal. You can wear whatever you want in this house. Shorts, pajamas, go naked. When you go to school, you may pick from what I show you.
Her: NO. *stomps foot and face screws up into a scary grimace/pout* I want POCKETS. 
Me: I am sorry, we don't have enough clothes with pockets for you to wear something with pockets every day.
Her: NONONONONO I need pockets, I just want something with pockets, IwanttohavepocketsEVERday. 
Me: No ma'am. Choose. This, this or this. You can pick out whatever leggings.
Her: I pick I pick I pick. *surprise attack bum rush, trying to push me out of the way while frantically grabbing at the clothes in the closet, screaming* 
Me: If you do that again you will go to time out and I will dress you there in what I pick out.
Her: *sobbing on the floor* The snowman dress. *sob sob sob*

Before everyone is all, "why don't you just let her pick," and "who cares what she wears," let me tell you something. My friend made a good point the other day. If I don't get control now and assert that I am ultimately in charge of her clothing options, how will I ever have any say about what she wears when she is 15? I am all for expressing oneself through clothes and letting kids have a say in what they wear. I don't want her to expect to walk out of the house looking like this: 
oh Miley, your clothing decisions and
your music are both lacking.
So, I am flexing my clothes muscles now.  I am not being unreasonable. I don't really even care if they match. I have no problem with her putting a tutu on over it. I am not forcing her to wear things that are uncomfortable or ridiculous. 98% of her clothes are knit and stretchy, for the love of all things comfortable. We should all be so lucky as to be able to wear super tight leggings over chunky thighs and a tacky shirt with Minnie and Mickey that is slightly too short and have people say we are adorable. You do that mess when you are grown and you end up on the "People of Walmart" website. Do it at three and you are cute and "expressing yourself." No one is telling me I am hilarious when I have on yoga pants with a hole and a shirt that is stained and a far cry from matching. No One. You need to appreciate that, gurlfren. Normally, she constantly wants something with pockets and/or a tutu skirt. Sparkles, sequins, and ruffles are an added bonus. And of course, it can be nothing that I even hint at suggesting. Like, I can't even accidentally look toward it in the closet or let my hand graze it. Cause if I like it, it must be terrible.

Up until now, I have had two rules: weather appropriate and clean. The "once it is in the laundry basket it stays in the laundry basket" rule has had to be enforced in a big way. Then I realized that there were a ton of clothes in the closet that are not getting worn. And that kills me. Cute clothes. Name brand clothes. Brand new clothes. That, coupled with the wake up call that it is easier to pound them into clothes submission sooner rather than later, I decided it was time to take charge. Not to mention, every morning there is crying and sobbing and gnashing of teeth over what to wear. And I am over it. So, today I started the new regime and it was met with not a small amount of protest and dissidence. But I will press on, and say a prayer to the gods of pockets, that tomorrow will be easier.

As soon as she got home today she made a bee line for her room. She came out with her ladybug shorts with pockets and her ladybug sundress in her hand. I started to say something, then I remember our deal. Outside the house, I have a say. Inside, it is all Lady Baby. So off came the cute winter dress and on went the sundress, backwards of course. But she was SO HAPPY. So it will continue to be Badger's choice in the home. Tutus at nap and shorts when it is snowing and sundresses 24/7. 
before   and   after

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am Thankful for...Friends

I have always felt very lucky to have wonderful friends in my life. Some of y'all are far. Some of y'all are near. You are all important to me no matter where you are or how long it has been since we last spoke. Without you I would be lonely and sad. No one likes a sad T. She is so depressing. I am lucky enough to see some of you everyday, some I don't get to see near enough, and others I will probably never see again. That doesn't change how I feel about the part you have played in helping me to be a better person and a better friend.

For the ones who are not near but I talk to all the time that listen and understand and are my sounding boards, thankful.

For the ones who are near, who I see all the time, who go with me to the movies, and to girl's nights, and sit on porches and talk, thankful.

For the ones who I don't talk to often, but when I do it is as if nary a minute has passed since we were last together, thankful.

For the ones who have taught me how to be a better mother, eased my mommy guilt, and paved the way before me with passionate children, thankful.

For the ones who I have not seen or talked to in years, but we have wonderful memories that I will always carry with me, thankful.

For the ones who have welcomed me into your lives, your families, and your hearts, thankful.

For the ones who I have never met but support me over the interwebs and are amazing cheerleaders, thankful.

For the ones who are always there when ever we need them to lend a hand or watch Her Highness or help us make a big decision, thankful.

For a few years between getting married and having Lady Baby, I wasn't being an active friend to much of anyone. It was one of the lower times in my life. Looking back on it, I know it was because I lacked something very essential to my very being. Friends. I am thankful for the ones that I found that helped me discover a place to call home and for the ones that helped me through my funk from afar. Thankful, so very very thankful, for you all. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all from The Lint Trap. I hope you all have wonderful people and things in your life to be thankful for. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am Thankful for...The Inlaws

Today I am thankful for...Hub's family. He also comes for a plain old family of four, one girl one boy, like I do. Straight up Norman Rockwell stuff. His parents are the two most giving and generous people I have ever met. Their hearts are huge, and I am so thankful that they love us so much. Even though they are many hours away, we can count them more than a lot of people who have parents in town. They are also the two most organized and efficient people that ever walked the earth and I feel that it can only benefit me to be around that.

I am also incredibly thankful that they raised Hubs to be the ah-maze-ing guy is he is today. I can only imagine how strong willed he was as a wee little dude. (Considering Lady Baby's passion, I know a little of what they went through.) His family wore him down some before I ever got to him. One of the very first times I met his mom she grabbed my hand and said, "he is NEVER going to change." That was only slightly shocking to hear from my new boyfriend's mom while we were standing in the upstairs hall of his frat house while he showed his Dad how awesome his loft was.  I was all, "oh my god he is always going to wait until last minute to make plans and he is never going to take me anywhere nicer than Miami Subs." I didn't really understand that she meant at his very core he would always be strong willed and set in his ways and a devil's advocate. And she was right. That was the very first in a long and distinguished relationship of her giving me advice on how to deal with the strong willed husband (oh my god, book idea. no one steal that.) Had his parents not had the first 18 years of his life to get to know his quirks, there would be no one to help me navigate the waters of "I am the only one who knows anything ever on the whole earth." And that is a choppy sea people.

Hubs also has a sister who I am lucky enough to also call friend. We truly enjoy each other's company and can literally talk for hours. She has paved the way with strong willed little girls (her daughter is also one of great passion) so it is nice to have someone who has been there and done that. We genuinely enjoy spending time with her and her family and it is awesome that we have had kids close together. 

Thankful thankful thankful. Thankful for family who I was lucky enough to marry into and they let me stick around. Thankful that they don't make me feel bad for operating on a slightly different wave length (mine is a little more chaotic and unorganized). Thankful that I have these people who are very different than me but accept me into their family with all of my quirks.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I am Thankful for...My Family

I have missed a few days of Thanks. The blame goes squarely on my sinuses who have been conspiring to kill me since late last week. But I am back, and that is what is important. T-Nice 1, Sinuses 0. 

So, back to being Thankful. Today I am thankful for having an amazing family. Not the usual suspects, Hubs and LadyBaby. Enough about them already. I am talking about Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister-in-Law. Cause they are the best. 

Let's break this thing down:

Dad: He is the person who can solve any problem, fix anything, and give the most honest answers in the world.  He will tell you straight up what he thinks. Be prepared though, he doesn't sugarcoat. Many times when I wasn't sure which road to take, he has helped me find my way. He is also really funny and we share a great love of laughing. We also share a love of the finer things in life: books, movies, coffee, and food. I get my sense of humor from him and for that I will always be grateful.

Mom: She is the great organizer. A beautiful and giving heart, she spends her entire year thinking about buying Christmas gifts. The Entire Year. If that is not thoughtful, I don't know what is. When I was little I wanted us to be the next Judds and I promised her I would never move out. While neither of those things happened, we do have a great relationship.We talk everyday. My dad insists the things we discuss are not worthy of the time we spend on them, but we know better. She is an amazing listener and sounding board.

Brother: My partner in crime. I have talked about how much having him as a brother rocks here. We come from the same place and understand each other. We also think we are really funny so we spend a lot of time laughing. Even when no one else is. Whatevs, their humor is not as advanced as ours. He can be a bit excitable, but that works in my favor because it makes me look like the calm one. Always the life of the party, he is the most charismatic person I know. I should also say a bit of thanks for breaking in the parentals before me. Definitely made my life easier to have him go first.

Sister-in-Law: She is the beautiful reason that my brother will not die a dirty old man. And for that we thank you. She is also the most perfect addition to our family--she brings calm to our storm, quiet to our very loud, and height to our gene pool. When I grow up I want to be Sarah...gorgeous hair, amazing figure and calming presence. I am afraid the ship has already sailed on all three, but a girl can dream. If not for Sarah's peaceful calm, I think my brother's head would have blown off a thousand times in the past several years.  So thank you for keeping his head and body connected.

These are my peeps. No matter where we are, when we are together that is home. I am lucky and thankful to actually like all of them too. They have given me direction when I was lost, made me laugh when I was crying, Tickled me 'til I peed, and taught me what it means to be part of something bigger than myself. For all of this and a million things more, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I am Thankful for...Quiet and Calm

Today I am thankful for Peace. Quiet. Calm. Being in the Manor alone with just the TV, computer, my work, and the dog laying on the floor. Lady Baby and Hubs went to the park and to run errands and I am here. Alone. Ahhhhh....

That is a beautiful thing and I am very, very Thankful.

View from the couch. And yes, that is General Hospital.
Don't judge, it is my jam. Also please don't judge the mess.
It was a long morning waiting for Daddy to get home from running.
Who am I kidding, it always looks like that. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

I am Thankful for...Sweet Nectar of Life

Today I am thankful for coffee. 

In my favorite mug with famous writers on it. That I want to somehow photo shop myself onto someday. Except I don't have photoshop nor do I think it works on already existing mugs. 

It is so yummy and makes me happy. 

It is there for me when I need it most. Which is every morning of every day of my life.

It only lets me down when I forget to dump out yesterday's from the coffee pot and the new pot runs everywhere on my easily stained butcher block counters. (My coffee pot is metal, before you think I am total train wreck who can't see through glass.) 

Coffee, you are the sweet nectar of my life, and for that I am thankful. XO

For other things I am thankful for, click here and here. Not to worry, I did my family first. Though somedays the coffee falls above them on the list, I didn't want to give them a complex.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am Thankful For...The One Who Does Bedtime

Part 2 of my touching and beautiful Thanksgiving posts...
(Here is part one if you missed it.)

Today I am thankful for...My dearest one true love, The Hubs. He is the yin to my yang, the peas to my carrots, the flip to my flop. We are perfectly opposite and that makes us perfectly perfect. Right now, I am exceptionally thankful that he does a lot of the bedtime prep and stage one of the bedtime process. By that time of day I am d-o-n-e done and am so thankful to have a partner in crime to wrangle Lady Baby in and out of the bath, into pee-joms, and into bed. I just don't have it in me most nights. 

Normally our evening goes something like this: 
  • Hubs comes home
  • Hubs plays with child while secretly staring at his phone to lurk on Facebook and read Huffpost. I finish dinner.
  • We eat, which consists of saying "get back in your chair" 7,962 times. We take turns for that part.
  • Hubs bathes child/gets her ready for bed.
  • She has milk, watches a little educational for learning only TV (Curious George b/c the are in 15 in increments which is genius).
  • He does bed and story number one.
  • I am the closer, so I do story two, sing a few songs, and say good night.
  • Hubs is already under a blanket laying on the couch. He picks the show from the DVR list and we start to watch.
Lest we not pretend that it is all wine and roses and folded laundry over here at the Manor, there is the occasional skerfuffle. The let's-watch-TV-together-and-then-I-will-fall-asleep-and-snore-loudly-and-force-you-to-watch-situational-comedies-and-laugh-alone is a reoccurring one for us. You know that fight, no?

Now that Hubs is a runner and gets up in the middle of the night (4:45am) to exercise with his running club (there are apparently a lot of people who like to run in the middle of the night when normal people are sleeping) he tends to get sleepy early. Like 8pm early. Therefore after he pulls his shift with Her Highness and then slips into a coma on our couch while I am forced to guffaw at New Girl or Modern Family alone. And that is just not fun.

But, I will take the snarfling on the couch and whiny refusal to go to bed if that means he will continue to get the child into her bed. Because I just can't do it, Captain. I hate bath time, all we do is fight about her refusal to lean back and my repeated offense of getting water in her eyes. Then we fight trying to get the pee-joms on because she insists on picking them out, which I don't care about, and insists on putting them on, which is fine too, but then she cries because she gets stuck in them or they are too tight, or they are too hot. Back to the drawing board. By the time we get to actual getting into the bed, I am ready to punch a hole in the wall. So hubs does it and makes it fun and is very tolerant of the child's shenanigans. Thankful. Thankful thankful thankful.

I am thankful for a million other big and tiny things that Hubs does. 
I am thankful that he puts up with my, ahem, idiosyncrasies.
I am thankful that he works hard.
I am thankful that he is happy for me to have girl's nights, and weekends, and dinner's out.
I am thankful that he loves our Lady baby so much and that he is such an amazing dad.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I am Thankful For...My Crazy Turkey

New series for November...What I am Thankful For. I keep reading all of the posts people are doing on Facebook and they are all so beautiful and touching and lovely. So I thought maybe I should do a little something like that here. So y'all can be impressed how touching and lovely I am.

Today I am thankful for my Lady Baby. She knows that I am soft and tend toward the lazy. She makes sure that will NEVER happen while she lives and breathes. She makes sure that I am never complacent in my parenting. She pushes me in every way so that I can grow as a person. She drives my wits to the outer reaches of infinty. Right up to where I am about to fall of the cliffs of insanity. Then she yanks me back, pleased that she helped me really stretch past what I thought possible, even for the Dalai Llama or Mother Theresa. 
The turkey that never takes a rest. Ever.
"Gobble Gobble, fools."
So thank you, my Turkey, for showing me just how far I can go without needing to be physically restrained in a straight jacket and installed permanently in my own padded room. I am thankful that she reminds me daily that she is ultimately in charge of every minute of my day, including bathroom time, while I am sleeping, and while driving. I am thankful that she will not allow me to get too comfortable in my job as her mom, and will always keep me on the edge of my seat with her shenanigans and antics. My little turkey. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stand for Something on Tuesday

As parents we are busy. We are tired. It is often hard to care about anything more than what is happening in our house, with our own family.  I understand that at times it is easier to ignore the world around us and push through with our heads down. But now is not that time. Now it is time to find our passion. Tuesday is our chance as parents, as keepers of the kingdom for the next generation, to help choose the path that our nation will take for our children's lives. We must take a stand for what we think will be the best for them. 

I am not going to tell you who to vote for. I am passionate about my beliefs. If you know me in the reals or talk to me for five minutes, you will figure out which way my bread is buttered. But, as I have said before, y'all don't come here to hear what I think about politics. You do come here to read my ramblings, and for that I am thankful and appreciative. So let me take a second to tell you how strongly I believe that it is our responsibility to care. It is our responsibility to help guide the direction of our country. It is our responsibility to show our children that every vote counts.

If you can, take your kids with you to vote. Explain to them why you are voting for the people you are voting for. Tell them how you made up your mind. Explain that someday it will be their responsibility to make up their own mind about who to vote for. Explain that sometimes friends and neighbors and families don't always agree on who to vote for, and that is okay. It is what makes being American great. We can say what we think and be who we want to be. We each are gifted a vote to help decide the direction our country takes. It is an empowering and awesome responsibility. To not use that vote is irresponsible as citizens and parents. 

As parents we cannot afford to be apathetic. We cannot give up or stick our head in the sand. We cannot pretend that it doesn't matter.  Because it does matter. Choose to care. Find something that matters to you. Education, health care, taxes, employment. No matter what you decide to champion, it will have an effect on your children's lives. Vote to make their lives better. Vote to show them that it is important to be passionate and take a stand. 

It is the right thing to do as an American, but more importantly, as a parent. We must work to make the world the place we want to leave our children. If we don't, who will?

Stand for something. Go vote.

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. --Kofi Annan

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Honey Badgers Say the Darndest Things

If you are my friend on Facebook then you will be all "Thanks for phoning this post in, T. Way to put out as little effort as possible" when you read these. But I think they are hilarious and I feel they must be shared with all my peeps for the greater good. And because I am too wiped out to be clever by myself. is what Her Highness is saying these days...feel free to snort laugh. I won’t tell.

Alice asked me if I knew the song "Gina Loves Me". I think something got lost in translation at school.

Alice is jumping on my bed...
Me: Please be careful.

Alice: Look at that funny honky.
Me: That is called a donkey.
Alice: Oh.

Alice to Daddy: you are a boy princess.

Alice: can I have my Shaking Booty chap stick?
Me: You mean Sleeping Beauty?
Alice: NO. Shaking Booty.

Looking at old pictures at my parents...
Me: who is that?
Alice: That's mommy. With magic teeth.
Me: those are called braces.

Me: please put your shoes on.
Alice: aye aye captain. Full steam ahead.

Me: I'm going to take a shower.
Alice: ok, just call me if you need me.

Alice (eating crackers and Hummus): Do you know Hummus the Train?
Daddy: I think his name is Thomas the train.
Alice: oh. Thomas the train.

She also has learned some choice words and phrases. I am sure I am we are all to blame. I am sharing these to make y'all all feel like better parents, not to embarrass her grandparents. It is like a public service, so we all can laugh at how kids say things that are a unsavory to make us look like a-holes with potty mouths in line at Whole Foods...

Holy Shitballs
Holy Shit
Holy Crap
Penis (not bad for her to use this, but I could do with less frequency)
Hell to the No

Feel free to leave a comment with potty mouth things your kids have said to make me feel better.


I need to be made to feel better, because seeing them all in a list like that is making me feel like I am neck in neck with Honey Boo Boo’s mom for Mom of the Year.

Monday, October 22, 2012


This past weekend Lady Baby decided to push me to the edge of sanity. She dangled me over the cliffs of maddness. I had moments when I am pretty sure I saw Ghandi and Jesus and Mother Theresa and all three of them told they would want to lock her in a cage too. Seriously, y'all. At one point I was about to dial 1-800-Exorcisms because there is no way my delicate flower could make those noises unless she was possessed. 
Where is Max van Sydow when you need him?
We went to the mountains with some friends. Those kind and forgiving folks have a four year old. Said four year old may need years of therapy after the torture he endured at the hands of my child. She poked, she pushed, she snatched, she verbally berated, she pushed every button she could find. I not-so-secretly wished he would punch her just to put her in her place. However, his parents asked me not to tell him it was okay to give her the people's elbow. So Her Highness spent half the weekend in time out and the other half trying to ruin our trip with her insane shenanigans which involved but were not limited to the following: doing the opposite of what I asked, screaming and sobbing, hitting me, stomping, and refusal to act like she had any sense.

I am really at a loss. The child has been spanked, but I am not sure that is the answer. I yell, she yells back. I put her in time out and she entertains herself with singing loudly, chatting to herself (or one of her other personalities, I am really not sure at this point), and entertaining herself. The only thing that seems to really make a difference is taking her paci, her blankie, or her chapstick. I don't want to use paci as a discipline tool because at some point it will be gone and I don't want that to feel like punishment. The other two are not always an option depending on the situation. I need suggestions. I need tips. I need someone to tell me what happens after chapter 1 of How to Raise a Strong Willed Child because that is all I read before I got bored and switched to the Sookie Stackhouse series. My bad. Lesson learned.

She is two. And two year olds are borderline psychotic on a good day, so I understand that part of the problem is age. But I suspect that the fact that she is an "alpha female," who is very stubborn, adds a serious dose of I-don't-give-a-shit to the behavior equation. She cannot be shamed, she is not a people pleaser, and she has no appreciation for rules she does not agree with. So what does that leave me with? A child who can go El Diablo faster than I can say "if you do that again I will put your blankie in the disposal." 
sheeeee'sssss bbbaaaaacccckkkk.
If you know Super Nanny, could you casually mention that we could use a consult? If you know the mom from Exorcist, could you tell her that I would love to have coffee sometime and discuss that whole head spinning thing? Or better yet, maybe we can all three have a skype session? That would be great. Also if you have any advice or know of a Scared Strait boot camp for two year olds, please leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am a P.O.W.

The whole thing starts with the war. Some might call it their birth story, but let's be honest. It is bloody and there is screaming and gnashing of teeth and the implements used for baby removal are basically weapons. Like I said. War. Then your tiny jailer comes out and the war is over and you now belong to her. The ever dependable and never wrong Wiki defines a POW as "a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict." Mother=POW. (I am educated about this type of thing. I mean, I have watched the first season of Homeland. And TV always gets it spot on. Am I right?) Here is what I am talking about. You cannot argue with this evidence...

  • I am accompanied to the bathroom.
  • I am accompanied to the kitchen. 
  • I am accompanied pretty much everywhere I go. If I attempt to flee alone, I am verbally berated and possible assaulted.
  • All computer time is monitored closely. It can be ended at the jailer's discretion at any time for any reason. This includes her just slamming the screen down. 
  • I am accompanied to the shower, where the curtain is pulled back at minimum five times to check that I am still there.
  • I am asked 17,652 times a day what I am doing. 
  • I am subject to intense questioning constantly. Interrogations can happen night or day, and are often paired with poking, close talking, and yelling. 
  • I am at the mercy of another person's whims. If my actions do not suit my jailer, I am reprimanded quickly and harshly. 
  • I must follow all rules set forth by my jailer. If I act out she loses her temper and I am quickly reminded to always ask before altering any normal course of action.
  • I am not permitted any of my own belongings. Trying to keep anything hidden or private is forbidden.
  • Sleep deprivation is practiced regularly. It involves but is not limited to letting me fall asleep then waking me up, waking me up at repeated intervals through the night, delayed bedtime, and very early waking. The last two are often used in conjunction.
  • All food must be shared at the jailer's whim. It doesn't matter if I am full or hungry or want more. Its her really her food. I just get to take a few bites to stay alive to keep the torture going.
  • Torture techniques involving the repeated playing of The Little Mermaid, Curious George, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This is meant to induce insanity.
  • Forced physical labor happens constantly. This includes, but is not limited to, hauling several bags of groceries and your jailer through the rain, vacuuming while your jailer hangs on your legs, cooking dinner while high stepping over your  jailer, and walking the dog while pushing your jailer on her tricycle.  
  • All requests are issues as commands. There is no arguing. You do that schmidt or else the suffer the wrath.
  • Forced worship at the First Church of Toddler, no other deities tolerated, and complete and utter devotion is mandatory.
The good news is, within several days of meeting your jailer, you fall into Stockholm Syndrome. That way, you don't even realize how exhausting it is having someone follow you around, question you constantly, eat your food, prevent you from sleeping, and verbally berate you. Also, you are afraid to anger your jailer because they are so very very scary when displeased. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gettin' my Conference On

Yesterday I went to a little meeting called Converge South. And by little meeting I mean a whole bunch of people at a day long day of sessions about blogging and social media and technology. Yikesies. I really had no idea what I was getting into, I just figured it sounded like something that would be good for me, maybe. Especially considering I write a blog professionally for a lawyer (please pick your jaw up off the floor) and do a few Facebook pages for businesses.  Surely that was a credible reason for me to go learn about manipulating the interwebs. So I paid my early bird ticket three minutes before midnight on the last day and then promptly forgot about it.

And then it was a week before the event and I was damn nervous. Like first day of high school nervous. Like everyone is going to hate me and no one is going to talk to me and I shouldn't even be there because I don't know what I am doing nervous. Lady Baby went to see my mom and dad for the night, so I didn't have to worry about her. I put on my best black pants, and by best I mean the only ones that fit, and a fancy target cardigan, and by fancy I mean old, and I headed downtown. 

I walked in to the conference and people are all clumped together gabbing about who knows what. It has been a long time since I walked into a room and saw not one face I knew. That feeling is the worst. So I walked in and sat down at the only empty table and tried not to stare at people. I also figured out a little trick. When you don't know anyone but don't want to look sad and alone, pull out your phone and look busy. I can't imagine what people did pre-smart phone to look busy and important. 

I sat through classes on Facebook and blogging for money and creating your community. I was so happy they had presenters even during lunch so I wasn't forced to stare at my phone while I was eating, looking at Pinterest while trying to look like I was working on important blog things. Forget about having to socialize. Instead munched on my turkey sandwich and soaked up knowledge. Much better than small talk.
See my name? Me so fancy.
I did meet some very nice people who wanted to know how I did things (huh? weird, right?) and actually happened upon another blogger that lives in my neighborhood who has a lurvly design blog/magazine. Check that out here: Twin Stripe. You won't be sorry. I spent an hour last night looking at her posts and thinking I should probably throw my Target sweater away and repaint my entire house. The last speaker of the day was an absolutely adorbs English chick who has a food/travel blog. She is basically local (Winston Salem) and I fell in blogger love with her. Her site is called Chow and Chatter. And she is very giggly and I respond well to giggly. I am known to be giggly too. Also, I wanted to ask her where she got her dress. She did however say Twitter really helped her build her community, and I have a hard time with Twitter. Love/Hate. I love it for a bit then I start to feel overwhelmed by it and I hate it again. I am going to try to be slow and steady. Like everything else, whenever I do the Twit I come out of the gate crazy fast and then taper off. My typical halfassery. But I am gonna try. ( I can hear your snickering from here).

So, I left with a renewed verve for the blogging and writing and brand building and a desire to never wear those black pants again because they were a little too tight. I met some lovelies and hope to be able to connect with them in the future. I enjoyed being around other people who are unsure what they are doing but have big ideas. When I go back next year I will know that I don't have to really dress up, which track to do, and to bring my phone charger. I will have a little more confidence because at some point yesterday I realized there were other people there who were using their phones to look busy and who seemed as if they were learning as the toodle along through life too. Those are my peeps. 

PS...Everyone had business cards. I don't have business cards. So I handed people a scrap of yellow legal pad with my blog written on it. Stay Classy Lint Trap...


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