Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I try, but I'm not perfect

Fact:  All of us have days when we are shitty parents. 
Yes, I'm mostly a rock star when it comes to raising my children, but there are days when I would like a do over.  I had one of those recently.

I dropped a major F-bomb at one of my children . . . in front of my other two children. 

I felt immediate and swift regret.  And shame.  I felt like a loser. I can only imagine how my child felt. 
It came out of frustration.  And anger.  That's not to justify it . . . nothing a child does justifies asinine behavior by an adult.  But I need to understand what made me snap because I don't want to do it again.  I don't want to feel that way again . . . nor do I want my child to ever feel that way again. 

I was frustrated because while I have three very smart children, one occasionally chooses to turn off their brains and take the easy route.  We are halfway into the first 9 weeks of school, and I'm tired of the excuses.  All of which are invalid. 

I'm tired of the constant reminding and harassing and negotiating that comes with homework.  I've met with the teacher and have confirmed that my child is in fact a bright, sweet and perfectly capable child.  My exact quote in my moment of shame was something along the lines of this . . . "You need to turn on your f'ing brain."

Apparently, so do I. 

Save your criticism and judgment . . . I've done enough of that to myself.  I wasn't even sure I should talk about this here, but one day I want my child to read this and know how bad what I said hurts my own heart . . . knowing it hurt theirs. 

Of course I apologized.  I talked about how just because I was angry, I had no right to say such a naughty thing.  I didn't grow up hearing that word, and I don't want my children to either.

I felt forgiven by all of my children.  They are pretty awesome like that.   

I'm just not sure I've forgiven myself . . . yet. 

I saw this recently, and it hit home.  I'm trying very hard to be a good mother, certainly not perfect.  But good.  It's a journey . . .

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Routines and back to school . . .

My babies went back to school is August . . . we had loads of good fun over the summer.  We traveled all up the east coast, did some local adventures and had fun at camp, but I think we were all ready for a routine.  Now that all the homework, sports and early mornings are back in full swing, we are all counting down the days until summer break. 
When did they get so big?  Seriously.  Amanda is in 3rd grade this year, and Kyle is in 5th grade.  
This guy . . . in middle school.  I die.  I hate that he's on a different schedule . . . I feel like I get a lot less time with him than I used to, and it makes me sad.  Middle school starts at 9:15 a.m. and doesn't release until 4:15 p.m.  He gets home around 4:30 and relaxes for about a second before we start running.  Some days literally since it's Cross Country season. 
I remember when he went to Kindergarten, and we were the only two awake in the house on those early mornings.  It was a special time for me.  So this year I try to just hang out with him before school and take advantage of our time together . . . I have about a million other things to do but pretty soon he'll be gone, and I just can't waste a second.
Speaking of school starting, wanna know my double top secret magic for being a kick ass room mom and general suck up?  Ready? 
The Back-to-School Teacher Happy Box! 
(cue ohh's and ahh's)
I started this a few years back and (obviously) it was well received.  I think I now have a rep so I've kept up with it . . . tip, it will end when your kids go to middle school.  Ain't nobody got time for that much sucking up.  Even me.
So I fill it with (mostly) inexpensive goodies that I think will make their life easier.  I had to get creative this year because both of the teachers my younger ones have were Ryan's teachers in those grades.  Did you follow that?  I barely did. 

Here's what I put in the boxes this year . . .
. . . along with a handwritten note telling them how much we appreciate them.  I've saved a copy of the note because really, it's brilliant and assuming we have new teachers, I get to use it again.  I know you want it.  So fine, here you go . . .

Dear Ms. _________,
Being a teacher is a labor of love and often times a thankless profession!  Our family appreciates the time and energy that you devote to your students and classroom.  Here is a little care package that will hopefully come in handy this year!  We wanted you to know how thankful we are that you are ___________’s teacher and look forward to the rest of the year!

And here's the list of items I've included in the past . . . do you see how easy I'm making your life?  You're welcome.  And your teacher will thank you too! 

  • Chocolate
  • Twizzlers/Swedish Fish (or other non-chocolate candy)
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Crystal Light packets
  • Lance crackers
  • Lint brush
  • Clear nail polish
  • Nail file
  • Manicure kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Hand held mirror
  • Plastic silverware
  • Straws
  • Thank you notes
  • Blank envelopes
  • Postage stamps
  • Various sizes of Post-It Notes
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Chapstick
  • Advil/Tylenol packets
  • Cough drops
  • Lotion
  • Masking or Painter's tape
  • Super glue
  • Spray air freshener
  • Change for the vending machine
  • Gift card for the classroom
Yes, I'm that good.  If you doubted before, now you know.  I might just "pin" this to Pinterest my own damn self.  Also known as shameless self promotion.  #someone'sgottodoit

And know what else?  I make a bee line to the classrooms on open house so I can get my name on that Room Parent line before I have to bump somebody off for it.  Occasionally a teacher makes a wrong move and denies me.  I give her the side eye and hand the box over anyway.  It cuts me deep to be denied, but I'm sure they regret it.  Right?  Tell me yes.  The crazy here is duly noted.

And finally, on the subject of back to school, a very innocent back to school pet happened.  Accidentally. 

Amanda and I were doing a little back to school shopping.  To be fair, it was for clothes.  And then some how we ended up at PetSmart and well, fish happens.  (See what I did there?)  Meet Prince.
I text Getzy to ask how much he loves "his girls."  He indicates a lot, and I tell him to remember that.  Amanda is legitimately worried.  Me, not so much.  I mean a fish?  Come on, I've done way worse.  Check it out here.

Getzy was not happy, but I had a loophole.  Freaking brilliant if you ask me.  Amanda used HER birthday money to buy said fish so technically the cashier was to blame for letting a little girl pay.  He pretty much just face palmed, shook his head and mutter something.  I'm pretty sure it was along the lines of "So glad you gals brought home a new fish."  Because he's kind of a pet hoarder. 

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday . . .

Here's what made me happy this week . . .
Ignore the wrinkles . . . it came in the mail!
You know you want one. 
{One}  Y'all know I love me some Petey . . . a couple of weeks ago my friend texted me a picture of a "Petey" sweater (shout out LS).  Note:  That is what we call all things Boston Terrier in our family.  For example, "Look Mom, there's a Petey dog."  Or, I just bought myself some Petey shoes.  My friend told me it was at Kohl's.  I had a 30% coupon and meant to go buy it for myself on Sunday, but I ended up not getting around to it. 

Sooooo, Getzy brings in a random package from the mail on Sunday.  I emptied the mail box on Saturday so how it was there on Sunday is a real mystery.  Magic, maybe?  Mom magic for sure.  When I opened the package, it was that very sweater I meant to get myself.  My Mom purchased it for me in Virginia and mailed it to me as a surprise.  She literally made my day, my weekend, my week.  I felt so loved and special in a way only mom's can make you feel.

Yeah, I can't read that either.
{Two}  Very few things get Getzy excited so when he treats himself to something, that makes me happy.  It also justifies all the sh!t I buy myself and alleviates any residual guilt I may, or may not, have.

Getzy's mixed drink of choice is a Manhattan.  He was introduced to these at a family reunion back in 2000 by his Aunt Deb.  We enjoyed afternoon cocktails at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, and he's been hooked ever since.

He thought it would be cool to age his own Manhattans so he purchased this oak barrel online.  Go get you one here!  He's such a huge genealogy nerd fan that he had the signature of the first Getz to arrive in America burned onto the front.  Balthas Gotz arrived in Philadelphia in 1751.  Clearly he thinks his family was a bunch of boozers.  It's been aging for a month . . . he and a friend have tried it twice (shout out JS) . . . apparently it's a little strong.  They are happy to keep testing.

Ignore the crazy hair and breakfast of champions!
{Three}  The Rainbow Loom.  If you haven't purchased this delightful little bit of plastic, then you and your kids are really missing out.  Amanda got it for her birthday and became a bracelet making machine.  Apparently it's cool no matter what your age or gender because both of my boys are 'googling' You Tube videos on how to make different styles.  And the sweetest part?  All the kids make them for each other and to give away to friends.  Happy heart.

Look out below . . .
{Four}  I love it when my children get creative and put down their electronic devices.  Recently they decided to have an egg drop competition.  I wasn't super excited for them to use my Eggland's Best eggs for dropping off the deck, but I caved in the name of science. 

They each created their own design.  Amanda's was a gluey mess of cotton balls and construction paper.  Fail.  Kyle's was two plastic bowls filled with cotton balls and then duct taped together like it was his job.  Also a fail.  Ryan created his own snug little box out of cardboard, filled it with cotton balls and made a parachute.  Winner!  I'd call it good clean fun, but it really wasn't clean.  Just fun. 

Those eyes . . . what is she trying to tell me?
{Five}  Abigail.  This girl melts my heart.  For whatever reason today, she would not leave my side.  It almost worried me because while she usually stays close, she doesn't often join me in the bathroom.  I sat down for a minute this morning and she was right there laying her head on my leg.  (Note:  This picture was from the kitchen table, NOT the bathroom.  Just thought I should clarify.)  Maybe she thought I needed a little extra love today.  Or maybe she did. 

Tell me something that made YOU happy this week!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

And when the daylight comes . . .

Mama's still got to get up and be a responsible parent.  Damn.  Especially after a ladies night out to Lakewood Amphitheater to see Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5.  Holla!

I love a concert.  You need a concert friend?  I'm your girl.  I'm not even that picky . . . I'll try anything once. 

I have major lady love for Kelly Clarkson.  And Adam Levine is well, Adam Levine.  Swoon.  I'm not even fond of tattoos, but seriously?
You're welcome.
So my ladies and I ditch the family and head out for a few preconcert nibbles.  We didn't have reservations any where, nor did we even have a dinner plan, so we did a little free stylin' . . . that means we took a random exit and drove around until we found something that looked interesting.

We ended up at Brewhouse in Little Five Points.  Very smoky and I wanted to have an intervention with the girl trying to get her passed out boyfriend to take a sip of Red Bull  . . . through a straw . . . at 5 p.m. on a Monday.  Honey, he's got bigger problems than you are equipped to handle.  Move on.  Operative words:  wanted to, but didn't.
Any who, we all shared a couple of fancy pizzas, and I enjoyed a Guinness draft . . . because I'm a bad ass like that.  We sat outside and had a lovely time.  I want to go back and explore a little more in the area.

We head to the concert . . . ended up getting stuck in some Atlanta traffic but really, after paying for VIP parking because well duh, we are clearly VIP potential, we got to our seats just in time for Kelly Clarkson to start her show!
Let me just say, my home girl rocked it out!  I absolutely loved the lighting effects, and the humongous screens behind and to each side of the stage made for a great view  . . . especially since I'm pretty sure I had the tallest dude at the concert in front of me.

Kelly sounded very natural . . . I just love the deeper tone to her voice.  Her interaction with the audience was awesome . . . she made you feel like you were having a conversation.  She recently got engaged, and her diamond was craze amaze.  Like huge.  My only little criticism was that she didn't really have any dance moves . . . y'all know I like me some dancing. 
Crappy picks but it's my proof I was there . . .
My favorite song of the night was towards the end . . . "People Like Us."  The stage appeared to glow in the dark, and there were 3 drummers on stage rocking it out on giant oil drums.  The drummer in her band was outstanding . . . he joined in with the other drummers and the bass was amazing . . . I felt it in my chest.  Love.

And then . . . enter Maroon 5!  Hey Adam.  How you doing? 
Take it off Adam!!
I just love their music, and it all sounded amazing!  Adam had a lot of energy, which caused him to sweat a lot, which caused him to take he shirt off.  Shame.  Except not.  A little confession . . . I adore when Adam sings, but honestly, his "talking" voice is rather high and slightly squeaky.  OMG.  Did I just say that?  I feel like a traitor.  I still love you Adam.  But hush up and sing.

They played for almost two hours and rocked the house!  They did an acoustic version of "She Will Be Loved" and oh my.  My favorite song of the night had to be when they played "Daylight" as the last song . . . what a perfect ending.

Sad side note on that song . . . makes me think of my old man Petey.  I heart him so much and never want him to leave me . . .
So handsome . . . he's my love.
Geez, bringing it back up . . . we made it out of the crowded parking lot in record time thanks to my bad ass friend Ami working her NASCAR skillz.  And having eaten dinner on the early side, these mamas needed some late night snacks.  Are you ready for our fat girl shame?
Three out of four of us had never partaken of the Krystal burger . . . so Cindy said it was time to deflower us.  Classy ladies ordering up four originals in the drive thru . . . $4.00 total.  That is where the shame started . . .

Yes, we kept going . . . and this is where it ended . . . we were loco for sure.  And I'm pretty sure we got ripped off at $5.56 for four because I did NOT have sour cream on my taco. 
And now that it's out there, I'm locking down this dirty little episode of late night munching in the vault of shame, and we will never speak of it again.  And I vote for the Krystal burger.  And we were all like this . . . so good.
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Five on Friday . . . errr, Sunday

So this post was supposed to happen on Friday, but it didn't . . . so it's the Five on Friday . . . Sunday edition!

1.  Steak-umms.  Say wha?  Well, Getzy loves to tell the story over and over of how he and his brother used to make themselves Steak-umm sandwiches after school back in the day.  No parents.  Just a couple of brothers and a frying pan . . . and delicious "steak" sandwiches.

So while strolling through the grocery aisles, I heard angels singing and saw a bright light shine down on the freezer case . . . and bam, Steak-umms.  Getzy was so happy when I brought them home . . . I told the boys to give them to Daddy and ask him to "show you the way!"  Some provolone, white hoagie rolls and Steak-umms . . . a greasy delight!
2.  Every year, without fail, I order myself an official White House Christmas ornament.  As soon as the catalog arrives, I call (yes, I speak to a real person) and order my new one! 

I lived in Washington D.C. from 1995 to 1999 and had friends that worked at the White House.  Every year they would place a big ornament order for friends and family, and that's when I started collecting.  I've ordered all the way back to 1981 and have one for every year since . . . Happy times!

3.  Any one else feel the need to organize when their life feels crazy?  Oh good, I'm not alone.  Showing off your messy pantry feels almost like being naked . . . I'm admitting to my mess and my eating habits.  Please don't be too judgy. 

It felt so good when it was done . . . I kept walking back through the kitchen and opening the door for a peak!  Kyle was the most impressed . . . made me feel like a rock star. 
4.  Remember the creepy American Girl doll that needed to visit the hospital . . . check out her before picture here.  Well, she was returned in the mail, and it was fabulous!  She came with all her limbs attached, she was clean and her hair was coiffed.  Amanda was so excited to open the box and find her in her hospital gown complete with a hospital id bracelet and socks.  Worth every penny of the ridiculous amount I paid
5.  The princess is not the biggest fan of reading, which just about kills me because I love a good book.  Last week she told me the words were blurry when she read.  I would have put her off and told her to quit complaining, but I tried that route with Kyle a few years ago and turns out he needed glasses.  Whoops.  So I make an eye appointment and sure enough, she needs glasses for reading.  She chose them herself . . . obviously. 
And there you have it folks . . . here's to a great week!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rapunzel cuts her hair . . .

It is decidedly much worse on me than the Princess when it comes to cutting her hair.  She's been asking lately, but I keep stalling . . . I love it long which could be why she's had maybe 3 or 4 haircuts in her 8 years.

She is super tender headed (like her mama) and loathes to have her hair brushed . . . not the ideal trait for keeping long hair.  But really, is the hair flip not the best way to express how fabulous you are?
So this week I caved.  Here are some before pictures of her gloriously long hair . . .
And here's what I have for the after photos . . . 
I took her to Pigtails & Crew Cuts, the same place she's had her hair cut previously, knowing that Ms. Gwen, my favorite lady, no longer worked there.  We just went with whoever was available, and that was a BIG mistake.  Huge.

Let me say this . . . the lady cutting her hair was super nice . . . she just seemed to suck a 'hair cuttery.' 

She said Amanda didn't have enough hair for Locks of Love (10 inches).  I disagreed but didn't make a scene . . . I measured it my own damn self before we went, and I've decided she was straight up crazy.  Amanda donated her hair a few years ago to Locks of Love so I kinda had a clue about the process.  Bitter over, moving on . . . we opted to donate her hair through Pantene Beautiful Lengths (8 inches). 

My next clue was her hacking off the pony tail and leaving the actual ponytail holder IN HER HAIR.  Hair donating 101:  the holder is supposed to be on the side cut off.  I'm a lot freaked out, but it's not like I can yank my kid out of her chair . . . although in hindsight, might not have been a bad idea.  I also don't want to stress Amanda out so I just sort of smile and nod. 

She seemed to pull it together for the actual hair cut . . . she kept trimming and measuring and really took her time.  Amanda asked for a stacked bob and even showed the lady a picture in a book . . . so proud of her for asking for what she wanted . . . remember I was just fine with the long hair.

Originally I planned on letting her hair dry to take the after photo but once it dried, it was a hot mess in the back . . . uneven and shapeless.  Amanda had no regrets about chopping off the length and was so proud of her new do . . . until she saw the back. 

The lady taught her the old two mirror trick where you can look into one and see the back of your hair in the other.  You couldn't tell the jacked up angles when it was wet.  When it dried, it looked like she had a scraggly little duck tail . . . no bueno.

As soon as she got home she ran upstairs to my bathroom, got a second mirror and checked out her hair.  And then she came back downstairs sad, and it just about broke my heart.  I kept trying to convince her it was fine, but eventually I just told her we'd get it fixed the next day. 

According to Amanda, it was too long a drive to go back to Pigtails & Crew Cuts, so we went to the local barber to ask if they could shape it up.  Since I go there regularly with our boys, they immediately offered to help and you know what?  They didn't even want to charge me.  How awesome was that?  I paid anyway. 

And the best part . . . Amanda was so happy!  She even went a little crazy and got bangs for the first time!  I double dog love it!  Thank you Jessica!!
Now this is what a stacked bob should look like . . . I was apparently too distraught to take a picture of the jacked up original version . . . but trust me, this is way better.
And luckily my baby is down with a cool headband or barrette to sass things up a bit . . . check out this one I got at the Yellow Daisy Festival . . . I love it.
I'm pretty sure when she looks in the mirror now, this is what she's thinking . . . and that's the way it should be.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

My family is whole agan . . .

Well, temporarily anyway.  Ruby, my long lost guinea pig love, came "home" for a visit.  For those of you who don't know Ruby the Home Wrecker, you can go here and here, oh, and finally here to check out her story.
I missed you!
Since I sucked at blogging this summer, I guess you didn't hear the "rest of the story."  So I nursed Ruby back to health and devoted my time to fulfilling all her guinea pig dreams. 

I really wanted to make her our permanent pet . . . and I actually got parental rights from the teacher.  I thought long and hard about keeping her, but I decided her life would be better with a bunch of 5th graders showering her with attention than home alone when my own kids went back to school. 

Getzy declared me nuts for putting so much thought into her future . . . oh, and he also said, "No, HELL no" on keeping her, but who are we kidding?  When do I listen to him?  I had to decide on my own what was best.  And I did. 

We had a 12 day vacation to Maine on the calendar, and I was afraid to leave her with a pet sitter for fear of her dying without me.  So, I drove her and all her gear to the teacher's house the day before we left. 

I showed up with her cage, new bedding, special food, and her medicine.  I gave a laundry list of instructions as well as her likes and dislikes . . . basically more instructions that I usually give to an actual babysitter of children.  Mind you, this family has owned many a guinea pig over the years.

I hugged and kissed her (for reals, I did) and turned her over with nary a tear shed . . . I had cried enough over her near death experiences.  I knew she was in good hands. 

I emailed with the teacher over the summer about Ruby's progress . . . it should be noted that she offered to take Ruby back when she was sick, but I wasn't going to quit on her . . . I'm loyal if nothing else!  I told her that Kyle would be scared to have her for his teacher if Ruby kicked the bucket over the summer. 

Fast forward to the beginning of the school year . . . guess who Kyle has for his 5th grade teacher?!?  Et voila, Ms. G and her sidekick Ruby.  So the first day of class, she looks at Kyle and says, "Ruby made it . . . you're going to be ok!"  Cracked me right the heck up!

So this past weekend another student was meant to take Ruby home . . . but something went awry, and it was a happy accident I was standing right there.  I put Ruby's purse over my shoulder and texted the required warning to Getzy and brought home my little bundle of sunshine for the weekend.  Puts my in a happy place . . .

Ruby's ridin' dirty and having a little outdoor fun!

Why the towel in the lap?  Ruby is an equal opportunity 'pee-er.'  She's not exactly potty trained . . . but we still love her.  Here's to another great year of guinea pig visitation! 
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday

1.  We are back to running as a family . . . Cross Country started this week and Coach Amy (snicker) is back in action!  I really prefer the fall Cross Country season over spring track, and there's nothing wrong with a 542 calorie burn for the night!  Ignore the time and pace . . . I had it on the whole practice.  Now the trick is not to eat back all those calories!  Nom, nom, nom.

2.  Speaking of running, let me take a moment to brag on some local celebrities, I mean my children.  Clearly they get their running genes from Getzy me.  They are fast little suckers . . . mostly because we run them like Kenyans at practice.  The P.E. teacher (shout out Ms. A) from their elementary school asked if she could write an article for the local paper about our kids.  She wanted to feature them because she has never had another family where all the kids qualified to be "Torch Runners."  Uhm, yes please!  And voila, we got printed!!

3.  A couple of weeks ago, Getzy and the boys went camping, so the Princess and I had a Mom and daughter day of fun.  We dressed up fancy and went to the American Girl store to use a gift certificate she had. 
She chose the "Feel Better" kit . . . it was actually pretty cool and came with crutches, casts, finger splint and an ace bandage.  Too bad her doll Josephina was past her urgent care abilities and had to be sent off to the hospital . . . creeptastic!
And the Princess selected our lunch destination . . . she is a self-proclaimed cheesecake addict so this was the perfect spot for her!

4.  They boys are into shooting stuff . . . thankfully it's just with Air Soft guns and targets . . . nothing too terrible.  And it's clearly better to shoot stuff with your friends.  The neighbor's boys asked our boys to help them make a fort so they could hide inside it and shoot each other from across the yard . . . all with proper safety gear mind you.  I say brilliant!  Kudos for creativity and building sh*t!  And yes, it looks like they could all be brothers.
5.  I love, love the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain . . . it's always the weekend after Labor Day.  My girlfriends and I have been going for several years now, and we lucked out with beautiful weather today!   The one thing missing was our friend who moved to New York . . . she knows we love and miss her, mostly because we taunted her with texts about our day!

 Enjoy your weekend . . .

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