Who are these people??!

You know, the new wave of the perfect pintrest picture people: the 30 second ‘make food mixed with beauty’ people. The Martha Stewart meets Julia Child meets tommy the tech guy.

You’ve seen the super snippets of food video that have taken the internet by storm. Those 30 seconds that lead to a fully cooked and decorated Thanksgiving meal, complete with homemade turkey name plates to greet each loving guest.

Usually I just bypass those with a smile. I truly am glad that some people have the talent to pull all of those off.

Usually I am not foolish enough to think that I can even play in the same city, let alone the same park at these folks.


But this Halloween simply snuck up on me. In a desperate attempt to find some sort of ‘my mom is so Halloween Cool!’ check mark in the kiddos eyes, I got lured into one of the ‘look how easy this is!’ video snippets. The one that made worms in the straws. Made form gooey gelatin that somehow magically pours itself into the straws, leaving no mess behind, then slithered out of it’s own accord, to mix gleefully with perfectly crunched oreos to create the perfect ‘ewwww, this is so creepy cool!’ reaction.

In trying to reenact this grand affair in real time, the only ‘quick’ thing about this endeavor was the realization that they left a few things on the editing floor.

Like, for starters, when pouring the jello mixture into the straws, how did they actually get it to stay IN the straw?? They left THAT little detail on the editing floor. Something that I realized, right about the time I remembered, ‘oh yeah, straws are made for liquid to PASS THROUGH… not magically fill up!’

Enter impromptu edit #1: the frosting fix!

thumbnail_img_7003Yep – that’s exactly what I did – opened the frosting and just dunked all the straws in there. You won’t see THAT on the pinterest board!

Next was the actual pouring. I don’t know how they did it so perfectly in the video, but I had gelatin goo EVERYWHERE. Between the straws, pooling in the jar. Even running down my arms! There is a reason why I moved away from the Jell-o state, and this brought it all vividly to my memory.

As the concoction sat in the fridge, I actually let my long-subdued wanna be crafty self submerge for a season of hope. This really could be the time it works! I really could be sending my kiddos to school with super cool halloween snacks after all! I went to bed last night with visions of wormy treats dancing in my head.


Which quickly turned to dreams about snakes eating my children. No joke. That probably had more to do with us taking our kiddos to the jungle over Christmas (a post for an entirely different day!), but I should have taken it as an omen nonetheless.

I got up this morning, pulled the straws out, and laughably thought this would be just like the video – the saintly fingers gently coaxing the perfectly formed worms from their hibernation.

Not so.
thumbnail_img_7005See these blood-red fingers?? That is NOT jello stain people. Those ridges on the flex straws HURT! Even as I type this, my fingers are still missing a few layers of skin on them.

Speaking of the straws – what they forgot to mention in the video was that this project is NOT conducive to the cheap-o walmart ‘extended flex!’ crap. They meant for you to use INDUSTRIAL strength, non-stick polymer-filled straws (probably available by special order from martha stewart.com…). thumbnail_img_7006

these ones had worm gust squirting out from all sides. I got so desperate, I even tried my hubby’s (trying not to giggle while he offered) advice to ‘run them under hot water then just blow them out. Yep tried that. Nope. Doesn’t work. Great, now I have raw fingers, AND a ginormous trying-to-blow-up-way-too-small-of-balloon headache!

Son #3 comes down the stairs, so I’m desperate to get SOMETHING in the bowl (the kids have been anticipating this since they saw the crazy contraption in the fridge! Plus, I have NO plan B for Halloween food-fedishness, so I have to make it work somehow!)

I squeeze, I tug, I rub my fingers raw.

and from the huge bundle of straws, THIS is what I end up with:thumbnail_img_7007

So, I do what any dietitian-mom would do:

Add Oreos.









Because, at the end of the day, oreos really DO make things better!

And THAT, my dear friends, is how NOT to follow a ‘oh, this is super easy, even a non-crafter can do it!’ video.

Happy Halloween…

If you need me, I’ll be munching on some worms.

that I purchased from the store.

for .99.

What’s YOUR specialty?

I’m not sure about you, but I tend to swim in the big gully of guilt on a daily basis in this life called mommy hood. Add to this the critisizing comparisons that we seem to find in social media and suddenly we have a war zone of helicopter vs free-ranger, with a side of made from scratch vs boxed lunches, followed by a stay-at-home/work-at-home/work-out-of-home all out brawl and you have yourself a community of moms who, instead of relishing one on others uniqueness, spend untold hours trying to make everyone else just like us so we won’t feel so guilty for not doing what they are doing.

Can’t we all just relish and cherish each other’s strength and specialty?

This, coming from a person who has spent YEARS trying to talk myself into a mold that I just, well, don’t fit. At least not in the ‘perfect molly mormon mom’ mold that as a teen I thought would be the end all to existence.legacy-sprague-lc-rappaport-type-stethoscope-adult-black-10-420-020-lr

Let me give you an example… and please pardon my over-use of the medical field – it’s what I know, and one that has helped me come to a light bulb moment about myself to help ease the guilt (at least a little bit!)

A tiny background on medical training. My hubby grew up wanting to be a doctor. He didn’t know much more than that – just he wanted to be a doctor, knowing vaguely (thanks to his MANY trips to the ER as a youth) that they work in the hospital and help people. Pretty noble ambition, right?

Little did he know before entering med school that the term ‘Doctor’ is so vague and general that it doesn’t even begin to describe the profession. These people spend two years studying general medicine, and then the next two years they spend “touring” (side note, hubby would HATE that description, because it was ANYTHING than a vacation – it was hard work!!) the different specialities out there. You see, when you get into medical training, the question is no longer, “so, you want to be a doctor?” it is now, “What is going to be your specialty?” After 4 years of medical school, they then go to a residency in which they spend anywhere from 3-10 (yes, TEN!) MORE years, studying their specialty. Sometimes they THEN do a fellowship where they get even more specialized.

Like all doctors, there are some specialties that my hubby loved when he did his rotation with them.  There were others where he couldn’t finish the rotation fast enough! At the end of the day, the hope is that the doctor has been able to not only be a doctor, but be able to specialize in his or her passion. When they hit that sweet spot, man, they are like a kid on Christmas going into work! It’s a beautiful thing. It’s even more beautiful when you have seen them go through training for a specialty that they just don’t like at all. The difference is night and day.

My hubby did an extended stint (called internship year – I won’t go into details explaining this mode – just to let you know that it was a year long) in internal medicine.

Internal medicine is extremely important to the overall field of medicine. Many people love this field and flourish in it. My hubby is not one of those. He came home so many days saying, “man, if I had to do this my whole career, I would die!” It was evident in his energy level and <lack of> excitement throughout that year that, though he was a doctor, this was definitely not an area that he enjoyed. However, it’s important to note that he didn’t just sit in the corner and sulk either. He didn’t say, “well, this isn’t what I like, so I’m just not going to do it!” He worked hard, he excelled, and he helped many many patients throughout that year.

His true niche, I daresay his calling in life, is truly with dermatology surgery (skin cancer guy). After days that he spends in surgery, I love to hear him recount his activities and see how giddy he gets describing the intricate cuts and flaps, and twists it took to rebuild someones nose (or ear, or even eyelid!) once he got all of the cancer cut out. He truly is in his mode when he is doing mohs (skin cancer surgery).

I am the first to admit that this specialty is not for everyone either. One of my good friends, upon learning about my hubby’s specialty said that her hubby really tried to like dermatology, but just hated it. He chose radiology instead and still loves it.

Here’s the kicker. Although my hubby has found his niche, he doesn’t go around saying how everyone should love dermatology, and how if anyone doesn’t love dermatology, then there is something wrong with them. In fact, if they dare love internal medicine, then they are just selfish, horrible doctors who really don’t care about patients at all. (can you see where i’m going with this??!)

Here’s the thing: they are all doctors. They all have different specialties. They don’t spend their time poo pooing other peoples chosen specialities. They simply work in their realm under the ‘doctor’ umbrella, and let other specialists work in other realms under the same ‘doctor’ umbrella as well. They don’t distinguish one specialized doctor as a ‘good’ doctor, nor another one as a ‘bad’ doctor. To put it in simple terms – they all play nicely in the sandbox.

Okay, are you still with me here?  I know that was a long worded set up – but let’s transfer this to motherhood.

First point:  let’s say that once my hubby had become a doctor, the only thing that he was given the option to do was be in internal medicine. And then he spent all his time either trying to make himself love this specialty when he clearly didn’t, and fighting within himself wondering why, although he loved being a ‘doctor’ … he didn’t really like being a ‘doctor’ (in the internal medicine sense).

On the same token – I lived my whole growing up years wanting nothing more than to be a mom. it’s all I talked about, planned for, and dreamed about. Now I am in the thick of it.  And though I love being a ‘mom,’ there are, quite frankly, some parts that I really don’t like about being a ‘mom.’ A lot of time in the past few years has been wasted by me trying to cover my guilt over this realization. I couldn’t understand why, when I had finally been able to fulfill my dream of being under the umbrella mom term, I could feel so completely unfulfilled at the same time.  Then I sit in church lessons, or hear other women talk about how much they love being a mom and my guilt got multiplied.

A year ago I finally came to one thought that started to set me free of my guilt: I realized that in admitting that I didn’t necessarily feel fulfilled in motherhood, that didn’t mean that I didn’t love my children any less. I had a light bulb moment of thinking that my Love for my children and being a mom to my children wasn’t synonymous with the love of motherhood. In fact, it was very freeing to think that I did all of the daily ‘mundane’ motherhood acts not because I loved the acts themselves, but because I loved my children and those mundane motherhood acts just may be in some way my ‘internal medicine’ training time. This helped me look at my life as a mother in this stage in very different eyes. Instead of beating myself up because I wasn’t finding pure joy and fulfillment in every single tiny moment, I relished the fact that I did these things because I loved my children dearly and want them to have the absolute best that I can give them.

You know the irony of this? When I freed myself up to look at my motherhood stage from this angle, I started enjoying so many more mother hood moments then I ever had before. I have started to actively look for the mothering moments that truly do take my breath away and make me want to push pause and keep my kids in this phase forever.

The other overall point from this (way too long) analogy is this: why do we as mothers, spend so much time comparing, contrasting, and criticizing (the great and dreadful triple C!) each other for each person’s chosen specialty? Can’t we just relish one mom’s specialty without taking away from our own interests? Why do we put such judgmental labels out there like those ‘selfish’ moms who want a career in addition to their kids, or those lazy moms who just let their kids roam around the backyard… alone *gasp*!

How about we look at this as a community, all working together under the same ‘mommy hood’ umbrella, while carving out our own specialty version of what fulfilling motherhood is to us? How about we even go so far as to really enjoy and admire other mother’s specialties, without feeling threatened that in so doing, we would somehow take away from our own motherhood strengths? Just think how freeing it would be to help each other on this journey instead of ‘ts, ts-ing’ one another’s shortfalls. I think it is possible, and I thing the prospect is beautiful!

So, whether you are an elf on the shelf superstar, or a tooth fairy failure, let’s let go of the triple C and come together to cheer one another on in this great mommyhood marathon, however we choose to run.


To the well meaning empty nesters who warn me to cherish EVERY moment…

I encounter you at the grocery store.  At the gym.  At the park.  On random sidewalks.  Typically places and times I am trying to calm a toddler temper tantrum while hanging on to a baby who is trying desperately to spread her wings and leave my arms, while I try to answer the 5 year olds nonstop questions, mixed with yelling at 8 yo to not run into the street.  You laughingly comment, “wow, you have your hands full!” … just when I was thinking I was running a little light because I only had 4 out of my 7 kiddos with me at the moment.  Then you give me the tender smile laced with the reminiscent look and say, “Cherish EVERY moment you have with them, they will be grown and gone before you know it!”

I truly do appreciate your concern. I smile at your wise counsel. I nod in that serious matter that lets you know that I really am listening and acknowledging your insightful words.

But secretly, right below the surface of my sweet smile, is a silent scream and a vigilant holding my hand back from punching you in the mouth. Or the nose. Or poking you in the eye. Anything to make you jog your memory. Your TRUE memory of what it’s like in the trenches surrounded by wee ones.

Don’t get me wrong. I know you mean well. I really do try to cherish the memorable moments of motherhood. But there are many… MANY moments that I would much MUCH rather leave on the editing floor of the ‘remember when’s’ of bygone years. Those memories that I have absolutely no doubt have long left your memory of once upon a time also living life in the trenches, surrounded by wee ones.


You see, when you solemnly declare that EVERY moment with them is ever so precious, (while you groom your ever-so-perfectly coifed hair and straighten your matching, ironed, dry-clean-only pant suit) you may not have taken into account that I (with my greasy bean smattered, ponytailed hair and stretched, stained yoga pants that haven’t been washed in i don’t know how long because they are the only pants that fit this no longer maternity needing, yet not able to breath in my regular pants IMG_9400body.  Not to mention the black eye I am sporting from being in the line of fire from 2 yo’s experiment with turning the remote into a projectile missile) am running on fumes. Fumes that have been born of a night laced with finally getting the colicky baby to sleep, only to be poked-in-the-eye-awake by the toddler needing yet another drink, which he only half drinks and then thinks it’s a fun time to begin the game of ‘spit out the rest on mom’… which I have to admit is a lot better than some other bodily substances that have been spit out at various hours of the night when whatever random child needed to throw up, but felt the deep desire not to b-line it for the toilet, but instead detour long enough to inform me of their activities, only to realize that they misjudged the time before their stomach contents would indeed need to be expunged from their mouth, and land on whatever body part of mine that happened to be exposed to the elements.

Fumes that have been exhausted by a way too early wake up call from a middle schooler, telling me that she forgot she needed  two bags of candy for some sort of object lesson in her speech in english and could I make a quick run to the store before car pool showed up… oh and could I also help her make cold lunch because she just checked the menu and lunch today was eeww.

Fumes that were mixed with the smell of a new york subway entrance as I realize one of the children didn’t quite hold it in through the night.  (but at least this time it was in their own bed and not on your back… another memory for the editing floor, right along with the times I have sat on the toilet myself, only to feel that eerily wet sensation on the the seat and realize it’s not water squishing the back of my legs.)

I am absolutely positive that when you think back to the memories of your own young family days, you are looking at the edited version.  A version that has, through the years, undergone a rigorous cut and paste process, until you have successfully remembered the tender moments (and believe me, there are many tender moments.  Moments that my heart seems to burst with love for my children and I really do wish I could hit the pause button and relish this moment in time forever!), and have forgotten the, well, not so great times (or at least can now look back on those with the humor that time and distance provide).

Please, please before you tell me that EVERY moment is precious, think back.  Way back.  Into the catacombs of the hate days.  You remember.  Those days where you watched your husband leaving the house, all pressed and clean and ready to spend the day having adult conversations, knowing full well that he would return in the same clean outfit unmarred by mashed bananas and spit-out-squash and you wanted to grab onto his pant legs along with the kiddos, kicking and screaming for him to not leave you alone.  That just for this one day, could you do your own version of ‘freaky friday’ and get to go have just a taste of the adult-only world??! (you would trade back right after… promise!)

Please reach down to the days when your newborn cried to eat and you started crying also, because you were not yet accustomed to nursing, and each and every suck sent shockwaves of pain throughout your body and it took every ounce of nurturing instinct to not shove that little pain-inflicting bundle of joy away from you.  Reach back and remember when dawn brought the dread of knowing that though you just got to sleep 45 minutes before, you had a whole gackle of littles who got great sleep and have already started placing their orders for the morning meal, followed by the long list of games they just can’t wait to play with you.  Those times when you decided that popcorn made a perfectly acceptable breakfast option, because the thought of loading the car, then the cart with all of the littles in order to replenish the milk supply that got depleted yesterday when the toddler decided to test the laws of gravity by pouring out the almost-full gallon, was just too much for you to bear.

In telling me to cherish every moment, you are heaping a load of guilt onto my already guilt-ridden soul.  I already feel guilty for moments when I daydream about having just a few, precious seconds (okay, hours) of sensational silent alone time.  I feel guilty about letting them watch yet another episode of super Y on the tablet just so I can clean the kitchen in peace.  Guilty for being a helicopter parent, followed by the guilt of just shoving them outside to play so I can let the walls muffle their sounds and I can pretend, just for a little bit, that I am once again in the care-free days of college, where my main decision was whether to study for the test or invite the apartment of cute guys over for dinner. Guilt for doing too much, or too little.  For being overly cautious, then not cautious enough.  Guilt for willing the clock on the wall to have some sort of hyper-speed motion, followed by guilt for wanting them to stay just this size forever so I never have to say goodbye and send them off into the big, bad world.

Yes, I have guilt.  guilt enough to fill the titanic.  And you telling me that every second with them is worthy of my cherishing and holding onto does not help.

In the moments of the trenches.  Deep down in the dug out, when I am trying so desperately to simultaneously shield my darlings from the whiles of the world, and fight the urge to run out on my own into the big bad world, I remember back to a time of receiving wise council from a mission mentor and dear friend.

In my younger years – before the momentous mommy hood times, I lived as a missionary in a foreign country.  Up to that point in life, I had heard people speak of such missions in terms of “It was the best time of my life!”  “I loved every minute of it!”

What I found when I was in the trenches of the mission life was quite different then those rosy tails, and I struggled.  It was HARD.  It was sweaty, and frustrating, and tiring, and many more emotions all rolled into one.  As we were walking down yet another dusty road, getting doors slammed in our faces, my dear mentor made a comment that has since resonated with me on many levels.  She said, “The bad moments will out number the good ones.  But the good ones far outweigh the bad.  When all is said and done, those are the ones that will remain.”
Oh how prophetic was that statement, both as a missionary, and now as a mommy.  When I am in the gulf of dirty diapers and hungry bellies with the phone ringing, the dog barking, and the baby screaming, instead of ‘cherishing the moment,’ I simply say to myself, “this is a lightweight memory.  It will fade with time and giveaway to a weightier moment, worthy of cherishing.” This thought is what gets me through the gulf.  Not the thought of, ‘why am I not in love with this very second of motherhood??  Don’t I know that time will pass very quickly??’  If that were the case, then why has it taken 3 hours for the second hand to make one revolution around the clock??!

You see, I have to give myself a bye at times.  A time out from cherishing.  A reminder that I will be able to look back on these moment with the filter that sifts the never ending afternoon hours and clings onto the snuggling infant, or the beaming preschooler, or the just-learned-to-share toddler.  Those are the weighted moments.  Those are the cherishable moments.  It’s okay to let some go.  It’s okay to not try to snatch up every second.

It’s okay to use your own personal sieve and let some things fall through the memory cracks… like the gum smooched into the carpet – that’s probably an ‘editing moment’  The time the whaling baby gets handed to you and she instantly calms down, and IMG_9846you have a little light bulb moment of realizing that you are her person.  That to her, you are the world.   That feeling of awestruck that you feel?  That’s a keeper.  You lock it up and keep it safe because you will need it soon (like for the later time she wants you to drop her off a block away so she won’t be ‘seen’ with her mother!).  Or the moment that you all have a spontaneous dance party… even your uber self-conscious tween boy joining in the shaking and shimmying?  Definitely a keeper.  The time when the son drops and beaks the way-too-expensive cello, and then simply shrugs it off as if you can just skip out the back and harvest the money tree to fix it and you have to count to 10… about 10 times to keep from slapping that smug smile off his face?  That’s one you can let sail through the sieve.



You get the picture.  Motherhood.  There are many moments.  some are keepers,

some are… well.. not.


How about we change that all-too-often dished out advice?  Just a slight shift?  How about we tell each other, “grab the great, and let the rest go.”  (or better yet, grab the great, and for the rest, grab a camera!)  Let’s fIMG_8976ace it, there are forgettable moments in motherhood.  It’s okay to just make it through those. Then, when the really heavy moments come, we have open brain power to grasp it, package it, and truly cherish it forever.


Mom down! Mom Down!

Warning: do NOT try this at home (get sick, that is)… this mom is a not-so-professional-in-training. Read on and learn from her mistakes before making them yourself!

Wow, what a difference one letter makes. In the regular world, the phrase “MAN DOWN!” is enough to stop all activity for miles around, and inspire everyone around to drop everything and come running with the ever-common question on their lips, “How can I help??”


Change one teeny, tiny letter… and about the only question that is spewed forth from the ‘oh you’re sick? That’s too bad’ crew members of the household is, “So mom, what’s for dinner?”






Add this to the fact that the past two weeks have been certifiably insane around said household, as schedules, science projects, germs, and hubby having more late nights then usual have aligned to put the entire hub of activity into overhaul as this mom has been running to and fro, picking up, dropping off, wiping noses, dosing medicine, dolling eye drops, and oh yea… trying to keep her kids engaged in the whole ‘kids in the kitchen’ movement.

((notice how i slipped the science fair pics in here??  I have to prove somehow that there HAS been some sort of productivity before today!))

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Before you harbor any sort of jealously as to how the kids cooking program survived, let me go ahead and burst that bubble right now. That was the first thing to go.  In fact, in the past 2 weeks, I have pulled every single ‘get-it-on-the-table-quick!’ trick.  Cereal for dinner?  Yup – so much that it is now all gone (oh, did I mention that grocery shopping beyond the ultra essentials from the gas station milk and bread dept was the second thing to fall by the way side??).  Pancakes from the ready mix?  Did that.  Egg sandwiches?  twice.  pb&j… more fill in times than I can count.  We even did a macho nacho night!  (If you name it something super cool, then somehow it transforms into more than just slapping cheese on chips, right??!).

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My point is, that the idea bag is out.  The only saving grace is that we happen to live with superman dad, who cooked up an entire mongo batch of gnocchi on Sunday, and we have been slurping from it’s left overs ever since.

Back to the mom down… let me just come clean and say that there are those moms who completely coddle under-the-weather children and say such phrases as “oh, baby, I so wish it could be me instead of you!”  not this mama.  Nope.  Of course I’ll do the snuggles, and the care-giving… but truth be told, the main thing through my mind is “wow, I’m so glad I am the care-giver and not the care-receiver.”  You see, when kids are down, it means that I suddenly have an excuse to not leave the house, and the torrents of clutter that have built up can finally be tackled.

Which is exactly what happened earlier this week.  Toddler took a nap (cue heavenly angels!!) and I tackled not one, not two, but FOUR rooms of outer darkness!  It was epic, I tell you what.

And then the aches set in.

I have absolutely no doubt that there is a karma god circling our house at all times, and the minute I am less then empathetic towards any given child’s plight to try to get a day off school, stating what I would frame pretty ‘weak’ symptoms… I give them a hug pat their head, and send them off to school (with the promise that they can call if they really go down hill).  I can now almost guarantee that if said experience ensues at our house, I will wake up the next morning with the exact same “weak” symptoms (even down to the ‘I get a little dizzy when I walk.’) one.

Karma Gods.  Lesson learned.

I, mom down, swear that I will henceforth and forever believe said symptoms in children and not only keep them home, but will coddle, coo, and spoon feed them ice cream.  Please, please, just take this curse of the ‘weak’ symptoms away!

Through the night last night, I knew I was slipping.  I was slipping quickly.  When I looked over to the latest child to succom to the germ fest, my first question was – “wanna stay home?”

His look of utter shock that I would actually give in without the typical grilling of the issues quickly gave way to his brilliant brain, and he took me up on that offer post stat.

As do began the day of mom down.

Or rather “mom slipping.”

“mom fading”

“Mom’s going fast!”

Now, before you get all up in the air saying that people are, indeed waiting right in the wings, ready to rush onto the stage and help out (as what happened with my teaching partner from the gym)…

… nor is this in ANY way meant to be a bash on men, dad’s, boyfriends.  There are some rock-star men who power through when they are sick.  I am not saying they are any weaker than their female counter parts (I let the other plethora of posts on said subject poke that hive of hornets!!)

I’m simply putting forth that there is a definite conundrum of ‘mom down.’

Most of the circle of moms consist in – shocker – other moms.

Other moms who truly will bend over backwards to help out a fellow mama in avery which way.

… except the way that would entail bringing a new and vicious set of germs home to her own brood.  The only thing worse than one mom down, is another mom down from trying to help the first!

There is an unspoken code of motherhood help, and it goes like this, “I pledge that I will not ask you to watch my snot-spewing, eye swelling child, which I fully recognize would be akin to handing you a spray bottle inoculated with every nasty germ under the sun and then ask you to please spray it on every surface of you home.”

So, when mom goes down amongst the troops, there is nothing to do, but grab the blankets, hunker down for the long haul.

… and as you hunker down, you realize that this was probably not the best idea.  Apparently your lack of movement created a smooth dance floor upon which the invading germs could shimmy, shake, and … ahem… replicate.  What you thought was just a soar throat and congestion quickly turns into body aches, fever, and chills.

You may try everything to beat the chills.  You look at the fire place.  You schlep over and camp out in front… only to realize that the campfire rule hangs true – you end up frying on one side, while turning pop cycle-like on the other side.  You try to cover yourself with blankets.  Nothing.

Then you realize that in the hospital you get freshly WARMED blankets… so you do the next best thing – you start the dryer with the clothes that have been in there for waaaay too long, hoping to warm them up enough to get the chill out.

Sweet – you can get warm, and actually be a little productive at the same time as you picture yourself folding toasty warm clothes.

Incidentally, there is a reason why this technique is not listed on the ‘life hacks’ website.  Not only does the warmth go away, but when it does, you are faced with and even colder cover.  Plus you’re covered in still-unfolded laundry.








And you almost jump up with your spidey reflexes as you see your toddler running full speed for your finally calm baby… spewing forth his snot font every which way as he sprints.

Except that you sadly realize that your spidey senses have now been overrun with the ‘prolific germinating germs’ and you are instead forced to squeak out a feeble, “come and see mama!”

To which he surprisingly accesses, turns mid squirt, and runs, runny nose first right into your cold, unfolded, now re-dirtied laundry.  Which was okay, because right before this incident, you were faced with the realization that your detergent may not be all that its cracked up to be as the cooling effect also brought the vivid ‘musk of urine’ to the forefront.

So you throw your ‘I’m going to be a good mom and only let the sick ones watch one movie, after which they will happily read for the rest of the day until my calvary (read, middle school babysitters) make it home’ plan to the wind and shout out, “hey, who wants to watch ANOTHER movie??”

Well, your kids have never been slow on the uptake, so they grab the remote and are suddenly engrossed in the next netflix flick, to which you stroke your guilt mode with the thought, “Hey, it’s a cartoon about animals… I’ll call that educational input!”

And you let the laundry slide (literally!) as you think you have just earned yourself at least a 22 minute nap.

At which exact time you hear the ‘lunch time!’ cry of the baby-who-could-care-less-what-is-wrong-with-her-food-supply-mom.

Maybe I should go all Yentle like, cover myself with boys clothes, and change that one tiny letter???

Good Morning Mamma!

I’ve spent many-a-year in mommyhood now.  A dozen and 6 months to be exact.  I know by some standards that is a drop in the pan and some of you more experienced, expert mommies are laughing, saying, “honey, you ain’t seen nothen yet!!”  and I quite agree – I’m sure there is MUCH more on this mommy boat that I have yet to learn.

But there is one thing that I have learned.  One little secret that saved my sanity. and my happiness.  and quite a lot of money not spent on years of therapy to come to the same conclusion.

Here is the secret:  there is no ONE way through this path that we call mommy hood.  There is no ONE perfect way to be a mommy.  There is NO pinterest perfect mommy.  I don’t have to bury my own quirks in some vain attempt to become the perfect mommy mold.  My quirks are what make me uniquily  qualified to mother my children.

When I started on the baby train, I loaded up on the mountain of mommy books that everyone recommended.  I did the checklist preparation.  I read.  I planned.  I prepared.

And then they came.

And I realized that I was anything but prepared.

In fact, the more children that came, the less and less prepared I felt.

And I started to feel like maybe I wasn’t cut out for this whole mommy gig after all.

So often, I felt like I wasn’t fitting the mold of the good night tubs, the hours spent on the floor playing candy land, the cutsie-faced (healthy!) food arranged decadently on plates for them to gingerly consume as we smile and giggle and point at the birds singing sweetly in the trees.

And everything I read just heaped on more guilt.

For me it was particularly about the night time routine.  People went on and on about how their night time moments were treasures to them – how they loved to do the bath-time and read to the kids, then how much they loved and cherished that snuggle time as their children drifted slowly into slumberland and their mommy hearts burst at the time that they devoted to these activities, knowing full well that all to soon the bed time snuggles would vanish.

Songs were even written about ‘letting them sleep in the middle’  (it’s actually a really good song, even though it did infuse guilt for quite some time!)

You see – the reason that I had a hard time with this is because I am NOT a night time person.  Never have been.  Never will be.  My cinderella clock chimes WAY before midnight, and instead of the sweet cinderella hum, my children more often than not got some version of the step mother character begging, then pleading, then threatening them will all sorts of not-so-well wishes if they didn’t GET TO BED RIGHT NOW!!!

As much as I hate to admit it, even the sweet, innocent face, puppy eyed plea of ‘can I snuggle with you?’ would send shivers down my spine.  Yes, I did all of those night time things.  But I didn’t cherish them.  I didn’t relish them.  I counted down the minutes until I could finally fall into my own semi-coma toast state of slumber.

And while doing so, man did I pour on the guilt.  What kind of mom don’t like to snuggle in bed with her children??  What kind of mom gets super mad and even yells at her kids to get out of her room so she can have some (ever-so-selfish) alone time? What kind of mom will purposely plan a meeting right about bed time… and then even drive around the block a few times to make sure that they are all in bed and for just one night give herself a by on this dreaded routine??

THIS mom – that’s who!

Now don’t get me wrong – I have stayed up late, and I will stay up late when need be.  On vacation, I love late night talks.

But just as a routine, daily occurrence, I’m all about sleep.

Sweet slumbering silent sleep.  For this mama…

adam hands

it is literally my ‘zen’

true story:  I used to tell my dates to not be offended – that if we went to a movie I would most likely be asleep before it reached the plot twist.  Some of them didn’t believe me.  they were wrong.

Nope – never been a night owl.

Now… give me a bright, early morning???  I’m your gal!!!

I LOVE mornings.  Crazy.  Weird.  Even a little sadistic.  I know.  But I LOVE them.  Don’t get me wrong – that first moment of dragging myself out of bed is rough – not gonna lie.  But once I’m up, I feel so energized.  I can get so many things done in those wee hours of the morning.

including mommy hood moments.  Oh how I love those early morning snuggles!  I love looking over the stirring baby and soaking in their reaction when they open their eyes for the first time, focus in on my face, and break into that huge unadulterated smile.  THESE moments are the ones that I treasure.

Yep – I am a morning mommy ROCKSTAR!!

I love to hear all of the stirring and tiny feet plodding down the stairs to join me in the kitchen as I cook breakfast.  I love to listen to their excitement for the day that lies ahead, aid in the last minute studying for the quiz or test, put the last touches on the homework, and listen to the description of dreams, both night time and life-long.

Then one day it hit me.  I can do tubby time in the morning!  I can do reading time in the morning!

Once I unleashed myself from the ‘perfect pinterest recipe’ of what a ‘good mom’ routine looked like, I came to realize that I could do this mommy hood gig, because I could do it on MY terms.

Some mommies get on the floor and play candy land for hours.  This mommy puts on some music and zumbas with her kids for hours (okay, not for hours… but I had to keep up the literary consistency!).  Some mommies make gourmet meals for birthday breakfast.  This mommy brings home donuts and chocolate milk for birthday mornings.  Some moms do night time readings.  This mom does morning math.

The point that I came to understand is that there isn’t one right way or time to make mommy moments.  We just need to make sure that they get made.

An interesting side effect of this discovery not only freed me from my own guilt, but it also freed me from judging other peoples journey of mommy hood.  As I have come to not only accept, but more importantly cherish my unique mothering methods I have also been able to openly cherish and relish other mothers in their mommy hood moments (without feeling the urgent rush to abandon my own ways and jump on her bandwagon).

I am not anywhere near perfect in my mothering moments.  In fact, there are many, many times that I would love to call ‘do over!’ so I can go back and get it right.

But I am learning

and growing.

and releasing the guilt as I help my children experience this world through the use of my individual strengths… that perhaps they were even sent to me because they would benefit from my particular set of strengths, not my trying to morph my motherhood into someone else’s set of strengths.

And THAT, my friends, has made all the difference.

So what are YOUR mommy hood strengthening moments??  C’mon by, let’s chat.  I’d love to hear them!  (just not during the midnight hour…).