Parenting Stories

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Mom Brains

Published August 9, 2017 by sarcasmica

There are many terms to label a mom. There’s Granola Mom, Helicopter Mom, Tiger Mom. I’m starting a new label: August Mom.

I’m a stay at home mom and the summer does quite a number on our brains. In June we are still reveling in not having to make lunches and follow up on homework. In July we’ve hit a stride and almost a routine… almost. The zoo is still fun. Going to the movies is still a treat.

Around July 29th things start going pear shaped. You regret not sending them to camp or you regret using up all the camp time so early in the summer. The zoo is now just hot and expensive. The movies are crap and you will do anything to not hop them up on boxes and straws full of sugar.

Food in general takes on a confusing form. The once-stocked fruit bowl is just a display of soft warm fruit while the pantry is full of snacks that are boxed, and can be reached by children. Food that can be opened and closed by small hands.

My patience by August has been totally used up and rung out. Bedtime is both the promised land, and a mine field. It’s a treacherous dance of dangling over the edge of sanity while screaming the phrases, “BRUSH. YOUR. TEEEEETH!” and “PJs. NOW!”

Story time is mostly forgotten. It used to be chapters in fiction books without pictures. Now half the time they are allowed to give up story time if they want to watch an episode of Teen Titans. (have you seen this show? If you haven’t, it’s basically made for the parents who watch television with their kids. It is not a chore.)

Discipline: If you do something to piss me off, you will lose an entire day of games. It will happen usually around bedtime and be in effect for the following day. By 3pm the next day if you’ve not done anything too heinous like set your sister on fire, you will most likely get your game privileges back. It will be stealth, however, in the form of “Yes you may go to (so and so’s) house and that is the ONLY place you are allowed to play games.”

3 hours later he comes back happy, I’m happy, the neighbor’s kid is happy, it’s a win-win.

I may have big plans to make a pot roast for dinner. If by 2pm the temperature in our non-airconditioned house reaches anywhere above 83, I will be ordering pizza. Left overs take on a whole new life form. There are whole evenings set up like a fancy buffet, only it’s actually leftovers you pick from.

And any fun-loving, light-hearted wife bot I may have residing deep deeeeep down in my soul has been devoured by the irritated, always nagged and rapid-fire-questioned sweaty, un makeuped Momster that takes over in August.

I nearly de-spined my husband last weekend when, for the hundredth time, I was the one to get up and deal with the kids in the morning. (after early-rising grandma greets and manages them) I woke up and stood over his snoring body imagining all the words I could carve into him with dull crayons.

So yea… August mom. She tries, but she’s very comfortable with her boundaries and she understands once those perimeters are breached, there is no coming back. Everything is about convenience, ease, and cooperation. There is still a glimmer of hope in her eyes because the God-blessed promised land of September is at the end of the alcohol-lined, take-out littered tunnel. We know we can get there if they would just stop bickering and arguing!

Hang in there!!

28 days to go ….. Hmmm… methinks that is not a coincidence!

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Marriage

Published July 28, 2017 by sarcasmica

Here is the difference between dating and marriage.

When you cook for your boyfriend and he finds a hair in the food, he may be horrified or grossed out, but he hides it. He does not want to call attention to a potentially embarrassing situation.

When your husband finds a hair in the food it is held up, pointed out & identified right then and there…and then he finishes dinner.

Why? Because the next time she wants to bitch at him about something, this will not be on the list.

Brownie points were earned this day and it will be duly noted. It shall be etched on the wall beside the kids’ height measurements for all time!

#truestory #stirfrylocks

Muppet Musings

Published July 27, 2017 by sarcasmica

The Muppets.

What comes to mind? For me it’s fuzz – feelings inside and tactile – laughs, joy, and magic. My kids seem to also appreciate and love the genius ideas of the mastermind that is Jim Henson.

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When my daughter was about 2 years old we somehow stumbled upon Muppets Treasure Island. We watched that show every day for at least three months. And then it was regularly still for another six. I got her the stuffies – because it was around this time the reboot happened and Disney was all about marketing that stuff.

Anyway, as with most things, it ebbed after a while. The stuffies were brought out VERY reluctantly from a garage bin that had been collecting dust years later and we sold them at a garage sale.

Recently my kids have rejoined the Muppet Fan Club. My son is 11 and getting a better handle on humor and my daughter finds personalities and characters in boxes and socks, so she naturally gravitates towards talking, singing, dancing puppets.

I found out the local Pop Culture Museum here in Seattle (MoPop) has a Jim Henson exhibit! It’s called Imagination Unlimied. We went today and it was the best thing i’ve ever seen at a museum – Sorry La Brea Tar Pits.

I can’t explain why or how, but I always have an emotional reaction to images of Jim Henson… especially ones where he’s looking at Kermit.

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I’m sure I’m not different from millions of people all over the world, but I am not kidding when I tell you that I was on the verge of tears walking through this entire exhibit. Especially the Muppet Show portion and the Sesame Street portion. Tears.

Bert & Ernie

And Rubber Duckie!!

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Grover 🙂

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1-2-3 Ah Ah Ah!

I was surprised at how big the puppets are. I don’t know why, really, but I was not anticipating the girth and the size. I can’t imagine this was a very comfortable and ergonomic job!

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I hope they had a good chiropractor on set!

At the end of the Sesame Street portion, the kids got to make their own puppet. There was a video playing in the background of all the different characters this foundation puppet played. Recognize him?

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They also got to try their hands (wocka wocka!) at puppeteering on film

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They learned how hard it is to stay in frame and operate puppets simultaneously

Next we moved onto the Muppet Show/Movies portion. The fave. The reason we went.

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My son, who has seen all the movies and quite a lot of the Show, finally appreciated these two, where their names came from, and why it was all so dang clever. “Ooohhh, I get it, Honeydew!” (Dr. Bunson Honeydew & Beaker – who is shaped like a what?…)  🙂

Behind the cases of muppets is a wall of screens playing all of the muppet shows simultaneously.

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And my daughter learned all about how Muppet Babies began. (separate from these two cuties from Muppets Take Manhattan’s flashback nursery scene)

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We also got the answer to the question of “How did they do that?!” with Kermit on the bike. LOVE that scene!

When I was a little older than my daughter is now, my lunch box was Piggy on a motorcycle from The Great Muppet Caper. Low and behold, guess what we got to see today?!

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Did I mention how cool this exhibit was? … are you asleep yet, bored readers? Did I mention how much I love the muppets?

The exhibit went on to show puppets and facts and tidbits from the films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Fraggle Rock. Admittedly, I have never seen Fraggle Rock or Labyrinth so I guess I can’t claim “Super Fan”. Oh well! The Dark Crystal puppets were also amazing.

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On my worst days, I relate to this character right down to the whiskery chin.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes photos and sketches. Stuff you would never see otherwise unless you have the patience to sit through all the extras on the Blu Rays. But this sketch below I love: “Beard (much preferred)” 😀 !

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And they made themselves into puppets because… why not?!

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Jim Henson & Frank Oz as puppets

If this comes to a museum near you and you are a fan, I highly recommend it. There are puppets and clips from shows and commercials from Henson’s early days. The kids and I totally enjoyed it and no one was bored at any point!

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Proof of Love

Published July 24, 2017 by sarcasmica

My husband and I purchased a camp site.

“A camp site, you say?”

Indeed. A campsite. It’s located in a private membership based park and it’s ours whenever we want it, and for however long we want to stay. There are facilities there for swimming, a mess hall, activity center, on and on and on. Last weekend was our maiden camping voyage. We had to settle our new travel trailer into it’s new home and hook everything up and basically set up camp permanently. Someone had the bright idea to take the kids.

Oh. My. God. The bickering and the complaining and the whining and the overall terrible behavior was completely over the top. We only stayed one night. We packed it all in and headed home with our monsters.

After a day of penance, I decided not to stay home today and be driven crazy by my bored children, so I took them to the local aquatic center. The facility is brand new and has not yet had a chance to accumulate the mildew and mold and chipped tiles and toe nails that most surely have. (I’m looking at you, Great Wolf Lodge!) My son had a field trip here for his last day of school and has wanted to return ever since.

Today was the day!

Truthfully, it began pretty fun. We started off in the “lazy river” – aka Lord of the Flies Pool. It was all elbows, noodles, and swift current. Next was the plain pool where you go to catch your breath and dodge the pee.

This place has one mega water slide. My daughter wanted to try it and of course my son did not. I went up the spiral staircase noticing that I was the only person above 13 in line. There was a posted height requirement, but no weight limit. This tube was decidedly small, and I was regretting the joke I made before going in about the headlines later that night: “Fat lady trapped in water slide tube had to be rescued by helicopter as horrified children looked on, angry they were robbed of their fun day.”

I asked the attendant if I was too big and she sweetly pretended ignorance and assured me I was not. However, sitting down at the opening, I was unable to remain sitting as I entered the tube. Laying back was the only option.

Exiting the slide provided a nice wave pool for the swimmers and a near enema for myself. I noticed how close my head came to the bottom of the 3ft 6inch pool at the bottom and vowed not to give a repeat performance…..

My daughter had a blast and immediately wanted to go again. Up we went, and down we came. It was a lot of fun, but three times was my limit. After that, she was brave enough to go herself.

The whole thing was quite fun until my son tore a toe nail in the lazy river. By the end of the hour and 45 minute time period you pay for, I was sick of dodging elbows and brats and my daughter’s constant stream of panic that her loose tooth had come out.

Time to exit stage left.

The whole walk to the car was bickering bitching and moaning.

In other news, sign ups were made for swim lessons and YMCA camp !! I cannot wait for those blissfully bicker-free moments!!!

Going Bananas

Published July 19, 2017 by sarcasmica

Summer break. Great, right? Sleeping in, quality time, no schedules, no demands….

Bull$h1t.

Beyond week 1 or 2, it’s all bullpucky.

Most smart moms schedule camps and fun and paid activities. This cheap mom opted to keep her $400. (what it would cost one kid each one week of some sort of summer camp activity for 2-4hrs/day) Joke’s on me.

I’ve had to cut back one volunteer day at the parrot sanctuary because alas, leaving the kids home alone would be like a cage match and i’m not quite ready for the oasis of prison yet. I decided to drag them with me just one day per week so I didn’t have to up my vodka intake. I tried to make it interesting by allowing them the opportunity to make a little money by helping with the jobs at Zazu’s. I get nothing because i’m a volunteer, but somehow the rugrats can make some dough?!

However, it all fell apart by the end of the day today. In their defense, it is quite baffling why a mom would dare annoy the video game gods by ripping two of their servants from the screens and force them into society where manners and very light labor and socialization is expected. What a steaming pile of crap! How dare that mother expect three whole hours of interaction with the live world?! And three whole times they’ve had to go so far! They should received a gold controller for all of their sacrifice, by George!!

Today was going alright… no devices were had so helping out was almost a choice…. almost. My daughter is usually quite happy to help, actually, but my mistake came in having them do a task side by side. I know. Rookie mistake. I left the room dividers and blinders at home, so I expected each of them to sweep a whopping ten square foot strip of floor perpendicular to each other.

Monster.

Mayhem ensued in the form of shoving, back slapping, and retaliatory punching. I mean come on, mom! “He swept his pile into my pile!!” The nerve.

So this little scene cost them their chump change, and also games for the day back at home. I left announcing today’s birth control was provided by yours truly. “You’re welcome.”

Now as any parent worth their alcohol knows, taking away screen time of any kind is really a punishment for all.

I pulled out a recipe/activity I had wanted to try for a bit. We decided chocolate covered bananas would be a fun project. … because i’m obviously out of my mind. I actually had the ingredients – something abnormal for sure – so we got to work.

Do not do this. Never do this activity!! It’s completely useless! We had frozen bananas and we had room temp bananas. Neither one coated well with the melted chocolate/coconut oil mix. I checked multiple recipes to make sure this wasn’t some alien intervention.

We had toothpicks, so I did the banana slice idea rather than the entire fruit. I did try half a banana to see if that worked any better… it didn’t.

After 27 paper towels, one spoon, 25 toothpicks, one cookie sheet, one cutting board, one sharp knife and a lot of sweat and tears, we managed two bananas worth of dessert. I have no idea how they turned out because I’m actually allergic to bananas and I’m borderline diabetic so I am trying not to eat chocolate.

But what a fun, magical, educational, bonding experience!
(Don’t do it!!!)

Bananas 

Circus Berzerkus

Published July 17, 2017 by sarcasmica

(a nod to Skippyjon Jones)

When I was little, my mom took me to the circus. It was Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey. The big top. The BIG Top. Tigers, Elephants, Horses, acrobats, tightrope walkers, etc etc etc. It was huge, loud, amazing, and even then I felt bad for the animals. How could a traveling circus be a great place for those wild, intelligent, dangerous, amazing animals?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute. The vendors, the food, the action and excitement.

It was the only time I ever went. I’m thankful I had the experience since that company is no longer, but it’s a relief for future chained elephants.

This weekend a local town fair was in town. Included was a tiny little show called Venardo’s Circus. I looked at their FB Page – as any decent investigator would and followed that up with – say it with me now – Yelp reviews. It looked pretty promising. The prices were a little off putting, but I signed us up. They advertise it as an animal-free circus. My kids have never been to a circus, so I figured it would be a great starter-experience.

I am not willing to shell out Cirque du Soleil money for a six and eleven year old just yet … especially when I myself have only recently seen one show. (O in Vegas)

As I mentioned, this circus happens in tandem with the town fair. The last few fairs I have taken my kids to have been just the three of us. No hubby. He was conveniently out of town on business for them. He is not a fan of amusement. He is a fan of his own amusement, but not others’. He is allergic to crowds and lines. Piggy back that with spending money and we are talking anaphylactic shock.

To his credit, when I spring our weekend event on him he takes the news pretty well. We head out Sunday for some fun and excitement. My daughter has her wallet with her life savings in it ($16) because she is going to WIN. (a stuffy of any kind, but mostly the giant kind that don’t fit anywhere reasonable)

My son has already spent his life savings on game add ons and apps. I assure him we will hook him up with a couple of games, but his sister will have more opportunities. (We don’t do “even stevens” & fair in this house)

We arrive to the world’s tiniest fair. I mean small. Itty bitty. It’s perfect for my husband who is still working on physical therapy and full range of motion in his foot from his December surgery.  This gig is the perfect size for him. No reason to openly bitch and moan that walking is a worry. The crowd was non-existent.

First up on the agenda was “rides”. This is always a challenge because our son is not a fan of rides. He does not like anything fast, loud, high, or on a track. That left the fun houses. There were 2. One was a Halloween theme, so my daughter convinced herself it was too scary to walk in.

The happy Casper-esque ghosts and green smiling witch graffiti sprayed across the front of the structure was beyond her capacity. (eye roll)

I’m going to go all grouchy senior citizen here and just interject my disgust at how expensive a fair is these days. “Back in my day” tickets for rides were like $1. The good rides might cost 2 tickets. … maybe. Games were $1. Sure you had to spend around $5 before you won the rock hard lead-filled asbestos-covered stuffy filled with a million beads that would disintegrate a month later dumping beads all over the carpet, but that’s not the point!

Y’all. Do you know what this tiny town fair cost?

Every ride cost 1 ticket (Wow, only 1 ticket regardless of the ride?! That’s awesome!)

Every ticket cost $3.75

The games were between $3 and $5 per try. “But every kid is guaranteed a prize!”

What . the. f&%k ?!

Needless to say we experienced a bit of sticker shock. I am normally one for lots of fun and games and winning the cool stuffies for my kids. Not this day, readers. Not this day.

This was where things got dicey, though. I suffered through wedging my fat thighs and gut into a carnie ride with my daughter because no one else would go with her. Having no shame or pride, I decided to focus on the fun and not the stereotypical look of being the Michelin mom waddling from ride to ride. I endured a spinning gondola, and a ferris wheel death trap.

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Did I mention she was wedged in there?

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See that grip? We hadn’t even left the ground yet! She had that grip the entire ride.

Sidenote: When these rides do not post a weight limit, it makes me nervous. These puzzle-pieced-together rides that get built and torn down in less time than it takes me to rotate and put away a load of laundry, there is serious cause for alarm for this Amazonian Momma.

Spoiler: We lived. We lived despite the running film in my brain of footage airing on Good Morning America Monday morning: “Mom whale causes town fair Ferris wheel gondola to tip over, causing massive carnage in Washington state over the weekend.”

I was looking forward to shelling out money to stay on the ground and try winning some cheap and soon-to-be-forgotten prizes after all that.

We did the dart balloon thing. Each kid popped a balloon and got a prize. With the same bunch of darts I managed to pop 5 balloons – 2 of which I managed with only 1 dart! The kids each walked away with one small stuffy each.

Onto the water gun game. I kill at this game. I own it!

I lost.

I paid $6 for my son and I to play, and neither of us won. I did not want to go down without at least one win at this booth. … but alas, we brought daddy coin purse with us and not Daddy Warbucks.

It’s not that my husband is cheap, but when it comes to shelling out money at a fair, let’s just say white-knuckling the wallet might be a better description.

My daughter was willing to spend her entire fortune on winning something big and ugly. The toy didn’t matter as much as the size of it. She was not going to be satisfied until we had to tow a toy out of there for her.

… she left very unsatisfied.

We refused to let her spend her entire wallet on cheap knock-off prizes.

The whining and moaning on the way out did nothing to convince my husband to try another game. (Go figure!) He immediately caught on to how much we might spend on a fair when he is not with us.

This took us to the circus. It was time to be wowed and amazed! For a starter-circus, this was perfect. The ring leader informed us he was also the sound and lighting operator. This lead a lot of mishaps with mic packs and feedback.

There were acrobats, fire dancers, and a strange man running around filling in the space where a clown should have been. This guy had no make up or costuming really, and his tricks were pretty amateur. He was more confusing than amusing, but he served his purpose as a distraction while the performers readied themselves.

The kids enjoyed it and I was pleased at all the “Whaaaaa??” “WOW!” and jaw dropping both kids did.

All in all it was a great day and one I will remember for a long time… or at least as long as the beads stay in the stuffies.

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Tell me that’s not ominous.

 

Still Not Camping

Published July 8, 2017 by sarcasmica

Okay, nearly midnight now and we’ve at least managed food shopping and some trailer prep. My kids are excited, my husband is now snoring, and i’m in bed running down a list of what I didnt get done. I usually prep most of the food.

Guess what? I didnt do it this time.

Guess what? We’re still going and i’ll cook it there like a pro. (See: i’ll burn it there using new fandangled trailer stove top/oven I dont actually know how to operate yet) 

Seriously, I have barely figured out my convection oven at home. The travel trailer kitchen is like cooking a meal in a dollhouse. 

But it will be great, we will love it, and who doesnt love a meal when you get to burn the dish after?! Go pyro camp! 

On a totally unrelated note, you know how after you’ve been with your significant other for a while you notice how your moods can even out and somehow merge together, compensating for the spouse who is in a less-than-perky mood resulting in a day ending with unicorns and rainbows and a mutual respect for one another? 

No? Me either. Here’s hoping last minute camping prep and frazzled packing does not end our marriage – or his life. 

This post brought to you by Prozac, Vodka, and your friendly local Attorney 

😳🤦🏻‍♀️😎

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