Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Poem From Your Mother

A Poem From Your Mother

For your wild untamable hair
For your inquisitive green eyes
For your smile that melts my heart

You fill our lives with wonder
You live everyday with more sprightliness than the last
You enchant us with everything you do

I love the way you snuggle me
I love the way you trust me
I love the way you look into my eyes

Always see life with the same wonder you do now
Always remember you are perfect the way you are

Always keep me close

Always know I love you

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Day I Made Pinterest My Bitch

I know, I know, we're all in a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. We love all the awesome ideas we find, but we hate when we try them and they don't turn out right. We especially hate it when those nauseatingly perfect moms post a shit-ton of their kids birthday parties all over Facebook. (Yes, I am one of those nauseating moms - not perfect, but one who posts a lot of pictures.) Here's the way I look at it, we post things because we are proud of them and I don't see anything wrong with that.

We all put our best faces on social media and, although I wish people would be more "real" I get it. It's like stepping out of the house without putting on our makeup, bras or brushing our hair. For the most part, we want people to like us and a lot of that is determined by their first impression of us. (Unless we're going to Walmart. Then it is perfectly acceptable to go makeup-less, braless, hell, even pants-less because I guarantee we'd still look better than most of the other people there. Have you ever seen People of Walmart?)

I digress...Thursday is my youngest's second birthday. We decided to do her party on Valentine's Day because all our kids were with us that weekend and we didn't want any of them to miss the celebration. (Hubs and I each have two kids from previous marriages and one together.)

As soon as I set the date of the party I started scouring Pinterest for Valentine's birthday party ideas. If you know me, you will know that this is highly unlike me. Up until that point, I had always strongly disliked Pinterest. It aggravated me that, when you found something you wanted to look at, you had to sign in to your account to do so. I could never remember my password, and could never be bothered to sit there retyping it a gagillion times just to be able to see a picture of a cake or balloon bouquet.

Anywho, for some reason I suddenly became obsessed with Pinterest. I started pinning things left and right...I was addicted. Even hubs noticed and commented how hilarious he thought it was that I was so into Pinterest when I had so openly expressed my dislike of it in the past. I didn't care, I kept pinning away; party ideas, food, fashion, kids stuff, wedding ideas (for when hubs and I finally have a ceremony with family and friends involved). I was like an addict who couldn't wait to sneak away for five minutes to get my next fix.

I spent the next few weeks slowly gathering supplies: heart-shaped cookie cutters; candy for the candy bar; heart-themed paper plates and napkins; streamers; party dress for the birthday girl and a bunch of other miscellaneous crap that I found. I decided to make this birthday party a challenge, of sorts. As mentioned before, we're usually trying to post our best on social media. The cute kid pictures, the beautiful sunshiny days, the awesome birthday cakes. I wanted to see if it was actually possible to have a Pinterest-worthy day, in real life.

With that said, feast your eyes on these pictures and let me know what you think.

We started the day with heart-shaped Eggs in a Basket
and bacon. The bacon sort of lost its shape while it was
cooking, but the kids were still impressed.

The evening before, hubs and I started putting up
streamers that stretched from the middle of the 
ceiling to all corners of the room. We ran out of 
tape (because our children are tape-thieves and
no matter how many rolls I buy, they are always
gone when I need them) and had to finish it 
the next morning.

After breakfast was cleaned up, I decorated the
cupcakes and heart-shaped cake I had baked the 
night before. Yes, heart-shaped cake - BOOM!

What Valentine's birthday party would be
complete without heart-shaped tomatoes 
(that's right, bitches, I said mother-effing 
heart-shaped tomatoes), cucumbers and 
cheese/pepperoni crackers?

And let's not forget the heart-shaped mini pizzas!

Or homemade Oreo pops...

That the birthday girl clearly hated...

Raspberry sherbert punch.
Can't have a party without a drink with cute paper straws.
(Although dammit all to hell if I didn't forget the pretty 
purple mason jar cups.)

Photo booths are all the rage these days
but as I wasn't prepared to slap down 
$500 to rent one, I got the props and we
took our own fun pictures. (Don't be fooled
by the total look of disinterest on hub's face.
He loved it.)

I created a miniature candy bar complete with 
Dum-Dum flower pot thingamajig and
homemade pom-pom whatchamacallits. 

The adorable birthday girl in her special dress
and matching headband.

So, all-in-all, it was a success. I didn't have enough time to cut the honeydew and cantaloupe with the heart-shaped cookie cutter for the fruit salad, so that was a bit annoying. Then there were a couple of people who took cupcakes before we had sung Happy Birthday, that was irritating. I also wasn't able to capture great photos with my iPhone, and although I remembered half-a-dozen times beforehand, during the party I totally forgot to to take out the real camera.

Here's what I learned during my Pinterest Day: Nothing is ever perfect. No matter what you do, how far in advance you plan or how many lists you write, you are going to forget something. It is like your wedding day, there is always something that goes amiss that only you notice. On my (first) wedding day, we forgot to pick up the aisle runner and the ring bearer walked down the aisle without a ring pillow. No one noticed, or cared, except me.

I also learned that, when posting your event on social media, it is easy to play it off as though everything went to plan. You can post all the best pictures after sorting through the 24,589 that you took and you don't have to share with anyone that you forgot the purple mason jars or ran out of time for the heart-shaped melon. Yes, I think Pinterest can put an awful lot of unnecessary pressure on your average non-party planning mother, like me, but it is also totally doable.

At the end of the day, it isn't about winning some sort of Pinterest competition. It is about whether or not you are happy with the overall outcome. As everyone knows, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Seven Pieces of Advice for My Kids

Dear Children,

Let me start by saying: "I love you with all my heart. I would do anything for you. You are my life."

Good, now that part is out of the way, I feel I need mention a few things to you. Listen to these pearls of wisdom and not only will your chances of living a long, full life greatly increase, but my chances of being committed to an institution will greatly decrease.

#1. Start freaking listening to me. Stop smiling and nodding and telling me you understand when you haven't heard a damn word of my five minute tirade about how I'm tired of having the same conversation with you over and over and over and over...

#2. Look at me when I'm talking to you. Really look at me. None of this pretend looking at me that you do as your eyes glaze over and you transport yourself to your happy place. You have no idea how irritating it is to talk to someone who is staring at their feet, picking at their nails or watching what someone else is doing when you're trying to drill home a point about something.

#3. Stop talking with food in your mouth. Seriously, just stop it. I don't want to see your half chewed up chicken rolling around your mouth, or falling out for that matter. It is disgusting and rude and it aggravates the snot out of me, especially when I just told you to stop less than a minute a go. (Refer back to see #1.)

#4. While we're on the subject of eating, put your feet down, sit up to the table and eat over your plate. You will get less food on the floor when it falls out of your mouth from talking with your mouth full again. This is not time to lay back with your feet in your chair picking the crust off your sandwich. This is the dinner table, dammit, and we are civilized people with good table manners.

#5. Please, for the love of all things good in this world, get your shit together in the mornings without me having to lose my mind. All you have to do is get dressed, put socks and shoes on, eat breakfast and brush your teeth. That's it! It is the same thing every morning. Why is is so difficult for you to stay on task?

#6. Stop grabbing on your baby sister and making her scream! She is old enough to tell you if she doesn't want to be hugged/kissed/tickled/played with. Why do you insist on continuing to mess with her until she screams at the the top of her lungs? Sweet baby cheeses, please stop!

#7. Speaking of the baby, don't imitate her when she is crying or screaming. This doesn't help make her stop and only moves me closer to the looney bin. I'm not sure how you think making the exact same screeching sound she is would actually help anything, but it doesn't. At all. It makes it worse...way worse. Knock that shit off.

I think that's pretty much it. For now, anyway. I will make you a promise; If you follow these simple rules, your life will become exponentially easier! You won't have to move your clip down on that fancy behavior chart I made nearly as often as you do now. I won't wish for longer school days and won't have to refill my Xanax prescription nearly as often.

Love you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day...A Four Letter Word to Some

Valentine's may as well be a four letter word to some. There are plenty of people out there who hate everything the day stands for. But guess what, there are some of us who actually still enjoy it and are, quite frankly, a little tired of all the "boycott Valentine's Day" posts, comments and opinions. No one is saying you have to like the day, or celebrate it, and of course, everyone has a right to voice their thoughts, but maybe all the hate is just as annoying to those of us who like it as the holiday itself is to those of you who don't.

St. Valentine of Rome was said to have been imprisoned for marrying for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. Some say he healed his jailor's daughter and left her a farewell letter signed "Your Valentine". Apparently the day was first associated with love back in the high middle ages when courtly love began to flourish. The tradition of giving flowers, confections and gifts began in 18-century England as an expression of affection between lovers.

Today, as with every major holiday, it has become a mass-produced, overly commercialized event where handwritten love letters have been replaced with pre-made cards and expectations of gifts, candies and flowers. While I have told my husband that I don't want flowers on February 14th due to the jacked up prices (he can get them for my birthday three days later), I have to admit I like Valentine's Day.

Do I think that should be the only day your loved one shows you they love you? Of course not. Do I think a person should do something special for someone because they feel forced? Absolutely not. Do I like getting a thoughtful card, some chocolates or maybe a little jewelry? Hell yes I do! Would I love to be taken out for a romantic dinner, just the hubs and I? You bet your arse I would. We don't get much time to ourselves and I'm a girly-girl and I like to be spoiled from time-to-time.

To everyone who says they don't do Valentine's Day because it is expected, or forced, do you also not do Christmas presents because they are "expected"? What about Easter baskets or egg hunts? Both of those are also totally over commercialized as well but I don't see anyone not celebrating those holidays because of that.

Listen, I get that Valentine's Day can suck if you are single, newly divorced, whatever. I know, I have been there. Seeing pictures of the romantic dinners and gifts plastered all over Facebook can get old. But should those who have significant others not get to celebrate just because some people don't have someone to celebrate with? Don't like the posts? There is this wonderful feature where you can actually hide posts, or even unfollow that nauseatingly over the top friend who won't shut up about it.

Luckily I have a husband who appreciates me and loves me every day of the year. Is our relationship perfect? Nope, it sure isn't. But even through the ups and downs, at the end of the day, we are lucky to have a relationship where we respect and appreciate each other without having to say it all the time. To me there is something special, overly-commercialized or not, about being remembered on Valentine's Day. I like that he took time out of his busy schedule to do something for me. I don't care if it is on the same day everyone else is doing it because it isn't about everyone else. It is about me and him and what we do for each other to make it special.

A romantic gesture isn't necessarily dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town and $300 earrings (not that I would turn my nose up at that). It could be a sentimental card, a little love note left on my bathroom mirror or in his lunchbox, his favorite chocolate bar or him running me a bath and letting me relax for thirty minutes (even better if he is with me).

If you don't want to do Valentine's Day, that's totally fine. But to all the haters who try to make people feel bad, or pathetic for buying into the day, would you stop, please? I promise I won't (overly) gush about my love for the holiday if you promise not to bash me for loving it.