Saturday, September 20, 2014

Talk Nerdy To Me

The man in this house is only passionate about a few things. New iphones tops the list. And just because I know you're curious, butterflies rank at number 2. Chapstick and root beer come in next.

There's a fever pitch that runs through here when a new Apple product is released. It's rather entertaining to watch. Butterfly Boy may have come home early from work yesterday, just because the UPS man was set to deliver some 6's.

These two both got new phones last night. So, of course dad and daughter talked geek together. I found them chatting up about "clouds" and "new features" and all things nerdy. So adorb-zies. Truly. A scrapbook moment.

And just because we're talking about The Man, I have to tell  you something. I just have to. He killed his latest batch of caterpillars. Oh my gosh, I have to squeeze my eyes shut to try and stop laughing. I really shouldn't find it hysterical, but I do. He fed them fertilized plants. He's now a Butterfly Killer. Oh geez, that's so funny. You with me?

And that 18 year old? I guilt-tripped her. I rather excel when it comes to that kind of parenting. I saw something on Pinterest that I wanted her to make for me. She's super artsy and creative, so I'm only trying to build her talent. I pulled out my mom card, the "If you really love me" trick. It worked beautifully. Look:

This family looks way better as sticks than we do in real life. Too bad no one has hands to hold their new iphones.

Enjoy the weekend, my friends. Put your geek on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Flip Side

I had a crazy idea this morning. So crazy I don't even know how to go about tackling it. Here it is: Try and be a positive parent for an entire day. What the holy moly!? I don't think I've ever tried that before. It sounds too painful.

But yesterday's post got me to thinking. Maybe you have to work at the whole glass half full kinda thing. Maybe being optimistic is like a habit you have to acquire. Good grief, that just sounds terrible.

So, I asked the Baby Child, "Do you think I'm a happy mom?" She just rolled her eyes and gave me a "You're weird." When she was walking to the bus, I started screaming, "I love you, I love you, I love you!!!" She stopped. Turned around and said, "You're being TOO happy." Got it.

This is this bizarre flip side to having teenagers. I just realized it today. They're funny. Hysterical even. And might I suggest, more entertaining than my kindle (gasp!). Because here's what they do:

They make weird faces and take pictures with their friends. Then they send them to me.

They doodle during class and send me pics of that too:

And when I don't respond to them within .002 seconds, they start texting me repeatedly. "Mom". "Momma!". "Mother!!". It's like I'm their lifeline while they're away. I rather much love it.

They also get on my phone and take pictures of themselves and change my background:

And then, because I'm all sorts of a rock star mom, I send them stuff during the day. You know, when they're NOT supposed to have their phones out.

Look. I just pointed out how teenagers can be fun. I'm well on my way to positive parenting. Not really, but let's go with baby steps. M'kay?

And on a totally different note, I have to tell you something. The Angel Baby was in a magazine. Isn't she the best!?
I take all credit for her awesomeness. For reals. And her beauty. That's because of me too. My sister is just her "caretaker". Got it? Oh, and just so you know, this girl has been on the cover of a calendar as well. Autographs will be given in exchange for keeping any 2 of my kids for a week. Fair trade.

And just because I pretend that you want to see how often my mantle changes, this was last week:

This is now:

Enjoy your random Wednesday.
Be positive! (Just thinking about it makes me tired.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teenagers Drain The Glass

I often wonder what it's like for an optimistic person to parent. Because I'm the opposite. A glass half-empty kind of thinker. Well, I'm actually a glass-drained-dry-and-dead kind of person. It's the way I'm wired. So, I just can't imagine being a hopeful, positive parent. Does it make a difference?

Because this morning, the Baby Child was so mad at me, she started crying. Then she stopped speaking to me. After that, she sat on the porch until the bus pulled up. All because I let her older sister take her water bottle to school.

But, here's the deal...This is my third trip down teenager lane. I know the drill. You would think this would help the situation, but it only pulls my pessimistic self down a darker hole. Because, really? This was supposed to be the Golden Child. My Favorite. The One to redeem the others. Crap shoot. That's all I've got.

Lately, I've seen all sorts of cute Pinteresty ideas for chore charts. All catered to little ones. And my pessimistic, jaded brain wonders, "How do you even make a chore chart for teenagers?" It would only list one item, "Get up". Do I actually pay them for that? What if they just stay silent and don't talk to me? I would definitely be willing put money there.

What hope is there for a parent with teens? What do I say when Child #2 reiterates her real, full-fledged desire to meet a prisoner? She says it's even on her bucket list. And now she's started saying "I'm LOL-ling!" constantly. Instead of actually laughing, she just says the words. Annoying and dumb all rolled into one.

And how do you parent a child that's a mini-you? I'm daily tempted to tell her she's all sorts of spectacular. But then, while serving up dinner, she makes a comment like, "Why don't you just take 5 years to pick a piece of chicken." Or, "If you touch me again, I'll kill you." And then spectacular isn't the word I'm thinking any longer.

Do optimistic parents see teenagers differently than I do? Maybe I need a 12 step program. Or a sabbatical. My sister told me this morning that I need to look for the silver lining. I wanted to reach through the phone and punch her. Super hard.

Maybe this is just a phase. A really, really long phase. I'll grow out of it. Right? Let's cross our fingers. And make a cake. Cake will help.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Current List

My obsession with condensing our life into bullet points continues. For some reason, I enjoy seeing all the crazy grouped together. It's like an official list of "Bad Parenting Examples". We aim to please.

** The girls have all mentioned "it's kinda warm upstairs". And we've been all awesome-parent like, "Seriously? This is 2nd grade science. Heat rises. Stop being cry babies."
And then I actually went upstairs. Because who doesn't love their bathroom decorated for their birthday! (and their tub filled with balloons!) And while putting streamers on Child #1's ceiling, I thought to myself, "It really is warm up here."

Turns out the upstairs air conditioner isn't working. I have nary an idea how long it's been broken. The cry babies were right. Darn it.

** As a general rule, I avoid the 2nd floor. That's where the offspring reside. So, I do my best not to go up there. Ever. My sanity can't take it. Here's Exhibit A:
This is the bathroom that #2 and #3 share. This is what it looks like at this very moment. Let's pause and mention a few things--

The toilet paper roll situation will not be discussed.

We have a 'no food upstairs' rule. How interesting to see that Frito's wrapper in the garbage can. And does that mean a child was actually eating while sitting on the potty? There are no words for that thought.

And lastly, that is definitely an ipad sitting there. This is where it lives. For bathroom reading? I've never asked.

** Yesterday morning, I woke to find a note tapped to my computer screen and the monitor set to display a phone case.
"I want. Plze order when you see this."
Clearly, the Baby Child has become confused on how things work around here. Because this ain't it. We won't even talk about the way she spelled Please like she would text it instead of use it in it's natural form.

When she woke up later that morning, she was stunned that I hadn't ordered this case. Once I described the jobs she could do to earn it, she simply huffed and walked away. Cha ching!

** And lastly, I think it's worth mentioning that I mopped my bathroom floor. This really is epic. I've lived here for 7 years. I've only ever mopped my floor 1 other time. Sweep? Yes. Mop? Heavens no. I hate it.

This week I felt like being a rock star, and I pulled out the mop. Guess what? It removed the top layer of dirt and now it's all just one giant layer of hair spray. Everywhere you walk is sticky. Like, super sticky. Turns out that being a rock star is lame.

I'm thinking about buying a puzzle or a cupcake to cheer myself up. Maybe both.
Join me?

Monday, September 8, 2014


As of 9:00 am, she's legal. She can now buy cigarettes and vote. What an upgrade.

This birthday feels different than all the others. She feels like an official grown up. Maybe a mini-grown up? 18 just gives off the vibe of I'm-going-to-try-life-on-my-own-now-thanks. This age just brings her closer the life she will live separate from this one she grew up in. There is a finality to that thought that just makes my heart heavy.

This beautiful girl made me a mother. She gets to hold that title for the rest of forever. She is special and extraordinary in so many ways. And she has boldly chosen where to direct her path. It's an amazing journey to watch. Her becoming who she was always meant to be.

On this day, 18 years ago, she became our gift. She created parents and started a family. Some days she feels like the glue that holds us together at the edges. Other days I simply sit back and watch her soar. This girl holds a wonderful future inside of her, just waiting to be lived.

It has been, and always will be, an honor to be your mother.
Open those brave wings of yours, and fly.

Happy Birthday my Samantha.

Friday, September 5, 2014

It's A Small World After All

People. It's Craft Friday. Let's get it on.

Well, truthfully, every day is a craft day at my house. I'm not kidding. I make, paint, create something pretty much every single day. It's the one thing that keeps me sane. That, and the bunches of pills I take every day.

So, you should come over. And we can craft together.

On second thought, don't spring a visit on me. Schedule it with me first. Unplanned moments really throw me. Truly. My mom says I'm beyond Type A. More of a Type AAA. She's so adorable when she labels me that way.

But I still want to craft with you. We just need to schedule it. What about a group craft day? I've been thinking this over for the last month. My house. Treat are involved. Right?!

Today you will have to craft on your own. Paper flowers. Made from the Disney brochures that I (hypothetically) stole (brought home) from Disneyland.
They are Shut The Front Door cute. For legit. They are currently decorating my fridge. But, I'm sure they'll move soon.

I was inspired by 2 of my favorite bloggers. They recently made decor from catalogs.
You can read about them here and here.

Here's how to make the flowers. This isn't an original idea. I'm sure I've seen it somewhere, I just don't remember where that is.

First, you start with all the brochures (and your hotel room coasters) that you brought back from Disneyland:

Then you cut out 3 different shapes of circles. I made 2 sizes of flowers, so I needed 4 varying-sized shapes. I used 4 very scientific measuring devices: a bowl, a canning jar lid, the top of a prescription bottle and a circle punch.
I just traced right onto the Disney maps and then cut out the circles.

Each flower needs 4 circles of each size. Stack and hot glue each layer. Then cut a diagonal line at 4 corners of the circle stacks. Do each size separately.
Hot glue each stack on top of the other. Each flower is 3 layers. I cut a little, tiny circle out of the hotel room card holder and glued that in the middle.

Then, just scrunch and fluff. Those are official craft terms.

There are endless possibilities here. You could use scrapbook paper, book pages, maps. I totally thought about taking all those first-day-of-school forms and turning them into flowers. And sending them back to the school that way. Yes, I'm smarter than I look.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

To My Daughters

For my daughters,

I view and hear the world in 2 ways. How I can dance to it and how I can write about it. My life feels like it's divided into 2 parts. Before you and after you. Dancing was my before. Writing is my after. Yet, you are my everything. My life at any moment.

My before life, when I was your age, was filled with dance. Immersed, really. Soaked through. It was all consuming and I loved it. Even now, when I hear music, any music, I immediately think of how it could be transformed through dance. It's just automatic in my brain. It really happens without thinking.

Now, in this after life, my mom life, I see words. The movement of words and how they can shape the world. My focus feels fine-tuned to the way we live. I see you with sharp eyes and a mother's heart.

Every day, every moment, I look at you. And I wonder. What is your automatic way of thinking? How do you see the world and yourself? What thoughts come to you naturally, without any effort?

So, here is my every day prayer--For your mind to automatically know that you are a beautiful Daughter of God. That you are a gift. Every part of you. An extraordinary gift.

I want you to walk the halls at school armed with the power that you are loved and special. When you text your friends and listen to music and work on homework, I want the undercurrent layer of your life to be hope. And a knowledge that you are exactly as you should be. A rare and precious girl. A powerful and beautiful young woman.

Because I see you. All of you. And my mother eyes watch all that you do and the world you face. And when your mind wanders, when it takes in all that surrounds you, I want it to know that you're perfect. And you're mine. And also His. And everything else? All the other layers and hard stuff you walk through? That's just the extra. Nothing more. The fringe parts of living.

You are the air I breathe.
You are greater than anything I could have ever imagined.
You are my everything.

Take these words and fold them into your soul. So that you can always, always know whose you are and that your value is infinite. And carry them tight. Don't let anyone or anything nudge them away.

Hold fast to all that makes you so very unique.

And when you view the world, may you always and forever automatically know that you are the very best part of it. You hold the biggest parts of my heart.

Don't ever forget.