Broken Mirrors

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It is disappointing to me to hear so many fellow Christians expressing anger that Donald Trump is our president.

For starters, he was not my nominee of choice. I find him arrogant, rude, ridiculous and brash, among a host of other characteristics.

However, I cannot turn my back on the faith I profess. The faith which obliges me to remain hopeful and to be merciful.

As Christians, we are the Easter people! The people of hope! Our hope lies in the Word of God and His church. They have shown us time and time again that leaders and kings with massive brokenness and weakness are used to work wonders of the Holy Spirit.

If we walk around griping, moaning and predicting what a disaster the next four years will  be, what are we proclaiming to those around us? We are saying that despite a person expressing a willingness to work for good, their past, their faults, behavior and personality will impede them.

Is our speech evangelizing a faith of mercy and trust? Or are we saying there is mercy for some- the ones who are kind tongued and holy-but no good could come from the ones who are difficult to bear? This is not practicing what we preach.

How can so many ‘Christians’ not be hopeful in this circumstance? The more I pondered and prayed about this, the more the Lord placed desire on my heart to share this with all of you. I remembered King David. King David was a married man who was eying his best friend’s wife, then committed adultery, got her pregnant, then had Uriah (the best friend)murdered so she (best friend’s said wife) would be available to wed. Yikes. That some pretty nasty page 6 stuff going on for King David.

Lest we forget that King David also established the Kingdom of Jerusalem, he is Israel’s most beloved King mentioned a little more than 1,000 times in the Old Testament alone!

King David, that broken scalawag was solely responsible for bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem…’placing divine worship at the center of national life’ (Bible Basics, Bergsma)12767025195_f10e90ae8c_b

My guess is not many people who knew of David’s sins would have ‘voted’ for him or given him much support.

‘David? Yeah right. He’s out of control. He’s on a power trip. The guy thinks he can get away with murder!‘ (pun intended)

However, I am amazed at how far and wide the Lord’s power stretched through the broken mirrors of his soul. The Lord ends up making a covenant with David (no small deal)… and it is from David’s lineage that the Son of God comes forth. That’s quite a story of hope for all of us!king-david-nathan

Biblical history is littered with stories such as these. Saint Peter himself, publicly denouncing Christ. What about Samson, Noah, Lot, Thomas the Apostle, Jacob, Rahab or Saint Paul?  Saint Paul murdered Christians before he became the greatest advocate for Christianity. How is it that these types of men, with their faults, sins and difficult personalities were able to be used as instruments for immense good?

Perhaps there is an actual chance that victories for Christianity can happen through the Trump administration? Absolutely.

Any Christian who knows what our faith professes cannot deny it. The Bible proclaims it. Sunday’s second reading re-iterates it:

“Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing…” (1 Cor 1:26-31)

Looking through that lens, what Christian cannot be filled with joy? He’s a dang fool. Of course he is. But so am I. And you.  The joyful news that we must remember is after 8 long years of anti-Christian, a-moral, pro-abortion, un-open to discussion administration suffocating the life out of us- we have someone who is at least attempting to try!

Perhaps he’s not your top pick. That’s ok. But here is someone who has expressed a willingness to fight for life and on the side of our Christian beliefs. No matter what his past sins are or his personality is like, he is making strides in alignment with our faith beliefs. A fool who’s trying. Hmmm sounds a lot like, well, every human being on the planet earth.

If we vocalize contempt and doubt instead of encouragement and hope what are we telling those around us? What are we teaching our children? We will inadvertently teach them to focus in on faults, and we become the Pharisees. Who among us is that perfect?

I’m begging all Christians, in light of our faith, in light of the tremendous examples in the Bible, we have to stop the bickering and the belittling.  You simply cannot say you are Christian and turn around, in such a time as this, and refuse to be joyful when a broken person does something good for the Church.

To say with our examples, “So you say you want to work on our side, but we all know the sins of your past and we’re going to hold you to your baggage and say it’s impossible…’

This is not our faith.

And the argument does not work for ‘the other candidate’ or the ‘previous president’ because in order for God to work through someone, there must be willingness. And on ‘her’ part and ‘his’ they avowedly expressed no such willingness.

If the banning of federally funded abortions, the re-institution of the Mexico City Policy…within the first week of office isn’t a step of willingness in the right direction than I don’t know what is. (Praise God just thinking about the babies that will be spared because of these two acts! Hallelujah!) Also, let us look to who is being placed in significant positions by this administration: good leaders like Andrew Bremburg, Dr. Ben Carson, Kellyanne Conway.

Let us recall that no administration has ever ‘fully supported’ the March for Life. This administration publicly mentioned at least three times that the March for Life has their ‘full support’. And their lack of comment on the Women’s March should speak volumes for which side of the abortion issue their allegiance lies. The issue of life, especially the life of the unborn, is the single most critical issue that we face today, and any victory in their defense deserves to be celebrated!screen_shot_2017-01-27_at_11-43-05_am_810_500_55_s_c1

If these aren’t hopeful signs and a reason to rejoice then thank goodness you won’t be the one in charge of judging me at the end of my life. Yikes! Tough crowd.


This is not to infer that we all need to get on the bandwagon and love their personalities or their past. This is not to say turn a blind eye. This also obviously doesn’t mean that we need to support every future decision that this administration makes. But it is to say, how could there ever be hope for any of us if there is no hope in this situation? If we are stubborn enough to pout and doubt that tremendous wonders will be worked through Trump’s weakness and brokenness, than what are you saying for me? What about my weakness? How can I ever hope to be a good mother, wife, sister…fully knowing my own baggage and the weight of my own sins. If every rude thing I ever said was recorded, if all my mistakes were public knowledge, surely no one would think I was capable of any good at all.

I’ve got news for all the grumpy Christians out there who cannot find the silver lining in this administration: none of us are saints. We all have baggage, sins, personality flaws, and annoyances. I’m going out on a limb and guessing Trump isn’t the only person in the room who’s said some pretty mean things before. We are all just a bunch of broken mirrors. And yet, miraculously, through your willingness and my willingness to keep trying, God manages to bring good out of our measly efforts in this adventure.

Deep down  this tempest of opinions among Christians boils down to one very real, crucial thing. It is that we all think we have to be perfect. All of us despise our own brokenness and we hate seeing it in others, especially those who are leading us. We look at their ugliness and faults and it scares us, because deep down we doubt how good could ever come out of our own ugliness and sin. We naturally, want to see flawless, perfection, purity, holiness and success.

These feelings are distorted.  Yes, we are flawed and broken, but beautiful because of it. We are foolish.  We all have sins, sometimes awful ones, yet God still triumphs in us. In our weaknesses, He is made strong!

Some of the most beautiful pottery in the world is broken pottery. In the Japanese art of Mending, Kintsugi, broken dishes and pottery are put back together together with gold, silver or platinum. According to My Modern Met:

“This repair method celebrates the artifact’s unique history by emphasizing the fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original..”

ncpmbsoj3hses0xn9ke6_1065306615What was once weak, useless, garbage is transformed into dishes of increased value and beauty. Just like the astounding victories of saints and biblical heroes ahead of us, lighting the path… proving time and time again that as long as you are willing, God can work miracles through any of us. Especially someone who is trying. Even if they are trying for the very first time. Even if they are arrogant and rude. God. Still. Uses. Them. Without hiding or disguising sins, something truly beautiful can come forth.

If you don’t believe that it is possible, then you don’t believe it is possible for yourself. And I’m telling you, it is. So have hope. Have joyful hope!

I take incredible comfort in knowing that the eve of the election was spent with a national vigil of Holy Hours being held. Prayer in front of the Eucharist is so incredibly powerful that I felt nothing but complete trust when the election went to Trump. This was all in the Lord’s hands. eucharistic_adoration_credit_matthew_rarey_cna_3_ewtn_world_catholic_news_11_6_12

The thought I rely on is this: my kids are watching all of this. My kids need to know that despite their shortcomings, even on the days when they say they are Christian but then they go do some un-Christian thing…that I still believe they will rise to the occasion and keep their word. That no matter how many times they end up in the confessional, God will prevail and work good through them. I refuse to complain or be gloomy in the face of even the tiniest victories for Christianity. I will not teach my kids they are the sum of their failings, but of their efforts to keep trying.  Let’s all try to have joyful hope in this administration, for our children’s sake, to teach them the most powerful lesson we all struggle to accept in our darker moments:

God can still work through you. No matter what.

John 1:5 “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.”

How To Offend A Pregnant Woman

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This is a really simple guide for everyone out there that would like to irritate and/or depress a pregnant woman in their life. Maybe it’s your sister, your neighbor, or just some lady at the mall you bump into. Either way if you are trying to get on their bad side, I have got the best one liners out there for you. Of course, it depends on what level of offense you are aiming for. So to make things easier for you, I’ve conveniently organized everything into three offensive categories:  Kinda Annoyed, Really Irritated, and everyone’s favorite Super Offended.

Here are the top things to say or do to offend a pregnant woman:

“Kinda Annoyed”

  1. Stare at pregnant lady’s belly. Ask, “Any day now?” (Extra points for asking this while they are still in the second trimester.)
  2. Ask “When are you due?” to the post-partum Mom. Especially ask this if she is sleep deprived and experiencing baby blues. Make sure you rub her muffin top too, just to make sure and comment on what a big baby it’s going to be.
  3. Comment multiple times in the same conversation on how much you can’t believe she is “showing already”. Do this especially if you are not sure if she is even pregnant. This also packs more punch when stated prior to 12 weeks.
  4. Every time pregnant lady tries to commiserate with you or seek out sympathy, begin each of your responses with the phrase “You think this is bad? Wait until _____________” here feel free to completely diminish her situation, and instead fill her with even more anxiety. Good fill in the blanks include “You have teenagers” “You teach them how to drive” or “They start to talk back!”

 “Really Irritated”

  1. If you spot a pregnant woman waddling through SAMS club or WalMart, quickly snag the last available motorized scooter and cut her off just as she’s rounding the produce aisle. This is more effective if you actually knock her off balance and she grabs onto the apple display, sending fruit and her fury flying.
  2. Walk up to pregnant lady whom you do not know, place both hands on her belly, rub her belly and start speaking Spanish very quickly. Then, pick up her swollen ring finger which she can’t possibly fit her wedding ring on, stare at her finger, then her belly, then her finger. Then, reach into your purse and hand pregnant woman a copy of “JESUS STILL LOVES YOU”
  3. From approximately 30 weeks on, ask via phone, e-mail, text message “Baby yet?” on a daily basis. This can be followed up with “Any signs of labor?” or “Call me if you loose your mucus plug!”
  4. Every time she mentions labor, make sure you launch into your own birth story with as many descriptions as possible. There is never enough information to be shared on this tactic of offense, make sure you include a little bit about the horrible time you had fitting into your clothes again and how you were convinced you would die from a bout of mastitis.

“Super Offended”

  1. Exclaim “Whoa! Is it twins?” To top this off, no matter what pregnant lady answers, be sure to follow up with the question “ARE YOU SURE?”
  2. Stare. Just stare as she passes you, or tries to pass you in the grocery aisle.
  3. Ask, “Are you done?” This question in particular poses a huge benefit of offense if asked while she is waiting to be seen by her OBGYN, after many nights of no sleep, false labor and bathroom runs. Make sure you look sorry for her. No matter what you do, don’t congratulate her.
  4. If you are really aiming to knock your offense out of the park, you can repeatedly pressure your pregnant victim to get off her duff and do things with you. Good options include asking her out to go bowling, complaining how she never hangs out with you anymore, whining as to why she doesn’t want to go play mini golf. (Lots of walking and lots of squatting= this is a recipe to completely offend a pregnant lady, but typically most successful when asked in the 9th month)

Congratulations! You have just successfully mastered the art of offending a pregnant woman. Now go forth and put someone into labor!*

*Note* These tactics are not encouraged by me or endorsed by me at all. These tactics are all real stories. Following these tactics will most definitely add some time onto your stay in Purgatory.

How to Pick ’em

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I’ve been trying to instill in the kids more of a servant mentality. And by that I mean the other afternoon I said

“Hey guys, you know what is the best thing you can say to anybody? It’s ‘what can I do to help you?‘ “

I talked to them about how everyone loves to be asked that question, and how it’s really what Jesus is calling us to do as Christians… help each other.

We went back and forth asking one another “what can I do to help you?” and it seemed to be that the lesson was learned.

Fast forward to that evening, and I was crawling around the living room floor gathering up legos, strewn story books, random sippy cups and laundry in a frantic clean-up-before-bedtime scramble.

As I stuffed puzzle pieces into their places, and re fluffed pillows for the couch, Chubs sauntered into the living room and lingered by the fireplace.

“Mom?” he asked with one hand near the bottom of his chin, “What can I do” his pointer finger began to slide up his nostril “to help you?”

My heart went from elation to shock as I watched him snag a booger and wipe it affectionately on my mantle just as he completed his offer of help.

He stared at me with his big, brown, doe eyes, truly offering his assistance out of the bottom of his heart.

I stared at him with my mouth hanging open in utter dismay as to how the whole scenario could have been more ironic.

This is also the same child who weeks earlier, as I was chatting with some friends, walked up to me in mid-conversation  and pried open my fingers, placed his booger in my hand and walked away. Completely and genuinely oblivious to how unappreciated his random acts of kindness are.

So needless to say, I informed my son he could help me by starting with that booger, and cleaning it off the mantle. to which he replied

“Ew, Mom. That’s gwoss


God sure knows how to keep me humble. Just when I think we’re turning a corner here I get to delightfully encounter a moment with my child that smacks me in the face with reality.

Apparently helping hands that have boogers on them are not as commonly appreciated as you would think. Next up on our agenda is learning about hygiene!

What sells more than controversy? Poop.

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Even thoughSanta? Imagination? Wait how religious are you? was such a hit (lol) It’s sad, but it’s true. Especially to stay at home moms like me. I see a heated debate about NFP or Kris Kringle and I’m  all in on reading it, but I see a story about a mom who took a walk with three little kids, got lost, couldn’t find a bathroom, somehow got stuck riding a train with these lunatics, one of which crapped his pants while she was holding him…..and I am jumping for joy

“Yes! That’s what I am talking about! My life is full of poop too!”

Yep. That story wasn’t actually true, it was my dream from last night though. The entire dream I was looking at my hand going

Oh my god. There is diarrhea on my hand. It’s on my hand. How have I come this far in life to have diarrhea on my hand?”

Isn’t it bad enough I have to deal with this crap (pun intended) all day long, do I seriously need to be dreaming about it too? And here’s the truth, and I know every single Mommy out there can raise a hand in solidarity with me when I relate to you my afternoon last week:

Today I wanted to write my blog post. It seems as though fate is against me. After I wasted away most of my morning dressing up the kids and posing them as famous movie scenes (please view Instagram) I decided to feed them lunch. They wanted cereal which was easy for me and I figured I’d soon be on my merry way typing for my blog. But then, Princess knocked over the entire bowl of cereal until there was a lactose river of bliss flowing through every crack and crevice on my kitchen floor, and under the seat cushions that are screwed into our kitchen chairs.

In the time that I decided that I indeed was going to have to mop (sigh) and actually getting the mop, Princess had managed to wet her pants, hide them, and run around my house sans underwear. Once we retrieved the soiled linens, deposited them in the washer, and got the mop upstairs all the kids went down to the basement to play.

Right as I was starting to mop I heard yells and shouts coming from the basement bathroom. The words “lots of water” “poop” “Chubs flushed” rang through our house and I cringed and started my Lamaze exercises.  The clocked proved so far that only about 23 minutes had passed since the milk incident. I calmed myself, went down to the netherworld basement bathroom where I smelled strong aromas of a stinkier nature.  “It’s poop again” I muttered to myself as I peeked into the bathroom, gagged, then sprinted up the stairs to do some serious self-talk through. “You can do this”.

By some miracle, literally seconds later Camera Guy walked in for lunch, which I offered to him on terms that he would address the poop situation. Kids were still playing in the basement. After Camera Guy left for work again, I called the troops up for naptime and as I was hopeful, blog writing time. As Little Guy began his ascent up the steps I once again smelled poop. And also noticed he had thoughtfully removed his pants, and his diaper. After some more muttering and self-talk “It’s POOP AGAIN” I was absolutely delighted to noticed Little Guy’s white onesie was now brown, his legs were covered, and numerous little nuggets of joy were scattered in a trail from whence he came.

So you see, I really wanted to do some awesome, life changing blogging today and I wanted it to be different from all the other stories I write, but alas, as hard as I may try to avoid it: poop is my lot in this life.


And even as I relate this delectable incident to you, I will have to excuse myself from wrapping this post up because I hear  one toddler sifting through my kitchen trashcan and another one screaming “WIPE ME” from the bathroom.

Ta Ta.


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Because well, I’ve got to put something here. It’s been a while, Lord knows it. I’ve just been so out of it I can’t even speak a coherent sentence let alone write one. I have fragments and run-on sentences bouncing around in my brain forming nothing truly worth saying to all of you. Just snippets of crazy, ridiculous happenings and moments when one shares a life with some weird kids and a goofy husband.

Things like:

Well ok. So Princess and I kind of had our first tiff off ever. And it was because I yelled at her for pulling down her pants on my front lawn and “peeing” on my bush. Which ended up not being on the bush at all, but all down her legs, socks, and shoes. (Getting the smell of urine out of shoes = NOT FUN) Also, it’s not like she had on a dress or anything to cover her patootie. Nope. A t-shirt. Bare buns to the whole block. I started running towards her to shield her (and my) modesty, by flailing my arms shouting “PULL UP YOUR PANTS NOW!” and instead of , oh, I don’t know pulling up her pants …she began to run away from me shouting back “NO! IT’S NOT FAIR!” (A reference to younger brothers who get to pee standing up) Did I mention our house is on a corner? So we are pretty much in a fish bowl because we have 6 houses with their front windows facing my front lawn.  Call Jerry Springer somebody because there goes that wacko home schooled kid running around on the front lawn without pants on again.

Something else! Yes. Well, Camera Guy has high cholesterol. Did you hear this one? He does. So I’m helping him lower it by dishing him out different vitamins and supplements each morning. Apple Cider vinegar, I hear, does wonders. On Friday morning, I handed him his fish oil and garlic pills. Then I explained to him how the vinegar would help, but it’s really tough to drink straight so I’ll dilute some in a glass of juice for him. He cuts me off, scoffing at my somehow rude accusation against his manliness.

“I think I’ll be fine” He says smugly to me from way up high in his Armani business shoes looking down at me in my ragged pink bathrobe “Give it to me in a glass straight, I’ll show you how a man takes his Apple Cider Vinegar”

Quite eager to accommodate my lord’s snooty request, I measured out two tablespoons of vinegar into a glass and tossed it to him. The kids stood by watching the debacle as it unfolded.

We all watched as he tipped his head back briskly and dumped the tonic in. And we all gasped as he just as quickly clutched his throat and ran for my sink, filled with dishes and began dry heaving. The amount of gagging, coughing, hocking, drooling and moaning that then ensued made me think inwardly “Oh yes please, do show me how a man takes his Apple Cider Vinegar” But instead I just started shouting at him that he better not puke all over those dishes because we don’t have a dishwasher and I am NOT cleaning up man barf today.

As I instructed him to the nearest toilet and how to vomit into one, I held the bottle of vinegar in my hand and scanned the directions for the tonic quickly, when all of a sudden I screeched

“Ah! I am so sorry! It was supposed to be TEASPOONS not TABLESPOONS!”

“WHAAAAAAT?” He was still clutching his throat and tears were streaming down his face “MY THROAT IS ON FIRE!”

Well, I justified it that his cholesterol was pretty bad, so his guardian angel must have known he needed that much of it. Also, I told him I would rather have him dry heaving in a sink instead of me throwing dirt on his casket. He was fine, in case your wondering. A little overly dramatic and humbled but fine. The kids however are scarred beyond repair. That was what I used to put on their tongues if they talked nasty. Can’t imagine them ever talking nasty again. Not after that display. Win for all of us? We’ll see.

Anything else? Not that I can think of. Because all I can think of right now is a cup of tea and Netflix. That’s about as much brain activity that I can handle at this hour. This blog post did me in for the month.

Until next post, buy Apple Cider Vinegar and make your kids pee inside the house!

Lies We Tell the Kids

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Dear Kids,

Well, I hope you are totally grown up and raising your own children when you read this. Because if you are, you can sympathize. If you aren’t, and you’re still living under my roof you might not be taking me too seriously anymore. So I might be shooting myself in the foot right now.

Listen, I’ve told you these “things” for your best interest. Your benefit. I’ve just tried to do the right thing. Unfortunately doing those things, er, rather getting you to do those things does involved a fair amount of fibbing. (Sigh) What I’m trying to say is: I don’t really believe or agree with everything I tell you, but I kind of have to say it anyway because Dr. Sears says so. And right now, we are in that phase of parenting where Dr. Sears is the Wizard of Oz to us. That and Dr. Google.

So I just want to clarify, mainly to just get it out there, what I really feel about some of these white lies.

1. Ok, I know I tell you “No, you’re only allowed to watch 2 shows a day…too much tv isn’t good for you.” But here’s the thing. I think 2 shows a day is stupid too. As soon as your in bed, we’ve got Hulu up faster than you can pitch a fit. Heck, do you know how awesome it is to be grown ups? I spent my whole childhood to get to this point in life: finally having complete and total control of my own remote control. I think every adult out there feels the same way, too. We built this though, we had to endure years of limited television exposure so that we could be smart, well adjusted adults who…honestly want to do nothing more at the end of the day than kick back and watch our shows. So I’m with ya on that one.

2. Food. Goodness gracious, it is so hard for me to tell you to eat your veggies first before another helping of noodles…when all I am doing behind your back is eating bowls of noodles before I even set the table. And in my head I’m thinking “Who could blame you? I hate eating salad too. Pass the bread, please!” Listen to me: Mommy is a carb-oholic and Daddy ate an entire box of chocolate covered potato chips by himself last week. So. It does get better, I promise.

3. A consequence of having you kids are these really awkward “naptime” lies I am forced to tell people because I’m so stinking desperate to keep you asleep. Lies like “Oh, our toilet isn’t working today” when really I mean “Sorry you stopped over to visit during my kids naps…but we don’t flush the toilet during naps because it will wake them up and I just had diarrhea. So. Toilet’s broken.” These lies can consequently have quite adverse effects if people don’t take you literally. Trust me. (ask Aunt Katie)

4.I really cringe each time I tell you that it’s silly to be afraid of the dark. That is one of my worst bold face lies because inside I’m screaming “Mommy is STILL afraid of the dark”. I purposely make Daddy sleep the closest to the door because I get so skiddy when its dark. Heck, I have an entire escape plan figured out if we ever get attacked during the night. (Which totally includes a strategically placed 2×4 under Daddy’s side of the bed) I freak myself out daily when I’m glued to a rocker glider at 2am nursing and the moonlight hits the scrunchie on the floor just the right way that I could swear it’s moving. All I do replay that Twilight Zone episode in my head (which is so, so stupid at 2 am)…the one with the little robot on the floor…and when your nursing and you can’t move or whimper lest you fully awake the baby, terrifying fear typically manifests itself in strange gastrointestinal grunts and sweating. So being afraid of the dark isn’t silly, at least not to me. But,I’d rather be the only one up worrying at night instead of all of us together…and so…I lie.

5. Lastly,the stupid age old “You need to go get some fresh air” one is my least favorite. I feel so bad on the days you guys don’t want to play outside and I convince you how good it is for you, how much healthier you’ll be…blah blah blah. I, for one, do perfectly fine with house air. In fact, I love it. Especially when it’s like 2 degrees outside and I’ve got Pride & Prejudice loaded up on the Netflix. So sorry for all those games of tag I made you play when you just wanted to color. And all the times I lured you outdoors with bubbles or made you ride bikes instead of “helping” me fold laundry. Lies, all of it. That and a little manipulation to exhaust you so you’d nap good.

So there, I got it off my chest. Even if you guys don’t read this for many, many years to come. I feel better clarifying these things with you. I want you to know I feel your pain, and I get it and mostly, I’m on your side. I don’t know who comes up with these rules anyway. They might not be fully human. I mean veggies? Fresh Air? No TV? Gimme a break, this is all we’ve been working to escape our whole lives! Don’t get any ideas too soon, though. The rules aint changing because I want you to turn out right. But I promise you, once you’re grownup, mature, and well adjusted (hahahaaaaaa) we can spend the entire day inside eating cookies and watching every Colin Firth movie ever made. Oh, and we can sleep with the lights on too!

Party in 2050!



Get Real

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Sometimes I follow these Pinterest links to these super-housewifey-June-Cleaver-ish blogs. I don’t know about you but they depress me. Well, at least they used to, until I started getting real with myself. I don’t see reality when I read on their ‘about’ page:

 “ Howdy! I’m Linda and I have 23 kids , two culinary arts degrees, and a black belt in Karate. I home school all my kids, teach CCD, run the Rosary society and volunteer at our local pet shelter. In my free time I post endless sewing patterns, vocabulary templates, and recipes that I’ve written all myself. I also like to practice my knitting skills and have an entire YouTube page with tutorials on how to spin yarn and raise & shave your Alpacas! This blog is my way of making you feel entirely unproductive, talentless and generally useless because I will post, tweet, and Facebook new ideas daily! Thanks for stopping by!”

I used to see that and want to roll up with a tiny whimper on the couch clutching the last morsel of a Mallomar feeling completely incapable of daily life.Now I see that and I mentally stand with my hand on my hip “C’mon girl! Get real!”. I’m not buying it! Life is not instagramed. It is not collection of photo documentation of what we do. To prove ourselves worthy of the world. “See cyber world? I am so much better than you. This is me striking a yoga pose while making my own hummus. It’s all in the buttocks.” See that profile that has the picture on Facebook that hasn’t changed in over 3 years? That’s a sign of a  person who is real. They are actually living their life!

Anyway, seeing some of these blogs made me think about this one and what I hope that it is or who it is for. I realized that here at we are a place for all the moms who stand over the garbage can, scarfing down the leftover pizza crust on your toddlers plate while “clearing the table”, for those of you who nearly break their necks tripping over the lost camel from your nativity scene….in August. Who pick up, re pick up, and spend the whole livelong day picking up! Who have to ask “where are your underpants?” regularly. Who buy ovulation test sticks in bulk, from the pharmacy window, with all your babies in tow. And then has to drag your sorry self back to the pharmacy the very next day because the totally incompetent college aged pharmaceutical assistant sold you fertility tests instead of ovulation tests. As if you just being there with all the kids was not a completely obvious sign of which one you needed. Who lick the outside of the yogurt container before you put it back in the fridge, who found out that hey, applesauce and rice cereal is realllllyyyy yummy,who remember that you forgot to switch the wash at 2am and who chase deranged, fat, squirrels off your front porch when you find them attacking your pumpkins. This is for those of us who cannot get out of the house due to dirty diapers, spit up, nursing, crying, meltdowns, potty accidents, spilled yogurt, pulled hair, political survey phone calls, tracked in mud, or all of the above. Or for us who never whistle while they work, but sometimes moan or sigh loudly and occasionally have a quivering bottom lip while listening to shrill tiny voices prattling on at hyperspeed.  For moms who find that their times they negotiate most with God is in the wee hours of the morning, with a child who’s been up half the night screaming. (It’s amazing how many novenas and rosaries we promise. And how many saints needing a 3rd miracle we promise canonization to!) For us who are going to be a “Hello My name is: tired” sticker for Halloween (don’t steal my idea, at least wait until I Pinterest it) For all the moms who get pointless advice from old ladies in the grocery stores or endure unasked for rude comments on your fertility. For you who fish around poking yourself in the eye, looking for a contact lens you never put in. For those of us who eat leftovers for lunch cold. Because, no, we don’t have time to heat it up. And frankly, at this point it doesn’t matter because you just swallow it whole in a matter of seconds anyway. Who take out your earrings at night and find one earring with no back on it, and the other one with two. And who are so gosh darn tired that you cannot remember the names of the children you birthed.

This blog is for all you real mommies out there, who are wiping up, cleaning up, picking up,  living it up and are sometimes tempted to give up, but will never want to wake up with any other family than the one you got. And who know that it’s ok to be aggravated and frustrated with changes or crosses, and that it doesn’t make us failures or less of a good parent to question our decisions. I hope this blog is an avenue for Moms out there to not feel like an island in their chaos, that all of us are there, have been there, and know that eventually…everyone will sleep through the night. And naturally we will have our routines back. And certainly, if we had a choice over which cross we wanted, we would choose our own because let’s get real: nobody knows the ins and outs of our jobs like we do.

What my kids say vs. What I hear

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1.       They say : “Mommy, when are you going to get dressed?”

I hear: “ You look old & tired. Put down that cup of coffee and get off the couch you lazy bum.”

2.       They say: “ Mom? Mom? Mom? Mommy? Mama? Mommmmmmmmm? Hey Mom? Mom? Mommy? Mommy??”

I hear:  Nails on a chalkboard.

3.       They say: “ No I want something else for dinner. Yuck!”

I hear:  “ Just because you watch Rachel Ray doesn’t mean you know how to cook. I can survive on bread alone (with butter).”

4.       They say:  “ Go away! I need privacy!”

I hear: “I am going to poop on the floor and make it look like an accident.”

5.       They say: “Puh-leeze! I just need some water before I go to sleep!”

I hear:   “ It’s so funny to see how easily you cry at 2am after I wet the bed.”

6.       They say: “One more book!”

I hear:  “ Don’t even kid yourself that I’m falling asleep anytime soon.”

7.       I say: “For the love, go play with your brother”

They say “ No Mommy, I want to stay here with youuuuuuuuu.”

I hear: “ I’m running an experiment to see how many times it takes to say the same thing over and over to you before you go nuts.”

8.      They say: “ Can I have more waffles? Can we go to Nanee’s? Can we watch some Kipper? Can you go get my baby doll stuff? Can we go outside? Can we go to the park?      Can we do a project? Can we fingerpaints? (all asked without breathing or pauses)

I hear: “ Can you do a headstand and sing the Star Spangled banner in Spanish while doing sign language with your feet?”

Notes to my future self

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  1. After the birth of a baby, you are going to cry over everything from ordering the wrong pastries to the way the kitchen rug is crooked. It’s ok, you will feel normal again in about a week once the hormones have left your body. If they really ever do leave, that is…
  2. You will be hugely emotional constantly reminiscing the birth process, and thinking about how life is going by so fast and sobbing over the fact that these deliciously lovely babies will one day move out of your home. Not to worry, within a week you’ll be tripping over toys, peeling stickers off your refrigerator and listening to them suffocate  your brain with pleads of “Mommy! Mommy!Mooooommmmmmmmyyyyyy!!!”,  and  begging your husband “Wait, they ARE going to move out someday, right?!”
  3. Umbilical cord stumps are really nasty looking.
  4. I’m sure there are plenty of other Moms out there just as exhausted as you, so don’t freak out when you can’t figure out Blues Clues before your 3 year old. It’s not an accurate reflection of your intellect…I mean, seriously you went to college. Duh.
  5. Apparently a new study shows that Moms who ate chocolate or drank coffee every day have more laid back kids. So can you imagine how chilled out yours will be if you do both?? Bottoms up to that new Iced Mocha Latte at Dunkin.
  6. It is possible to get your white sofas white again. It’s called buying new couches.
  7. Letting your 2 year old son watch LOST with you does not mean you are a lazy parent it just means your grooming him with more superior survival skills than his Blues Clues watching sister. Seriously now, finding paw prints or hunting wild boar. You tell me what’s more useful in life.
  8. Coffee really doesn’t stunt their growth. Does it?
  9. Just because every time your son sees a cow he says “monkey” and when he sees a bear he says “moo” doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means you have a lot going on in your life right now. Like watching LOST.
  10. Hooray! Guess what? There actually is a carpet cleaner that can take hot pink marker out of a white carpet. (which brings us to….)
  11. Mom is always right. You must stop buying white furniture, tablecloths, curtains and carpets already. It’s suicide with toddlers.
  12. It’s not that you don’t have friends. It’s just that you keep forgetting to plug the darn phone back in after naps.
  13. Do not feel guilty about all those so called “children’s books” you hide that are longer than the Bible. Who the heck is the children’s author that writes these novels anyway? Clearly, they don’t read books to their kids at the end of a long day. Either that or they’re functioning on way more Mocha Lattes than you are.
  14. Likewise, don’t feel bad about all those musical toys you keep hiding behind the couch. It’s more important your kids have a Mom who’s sane and nothing makes you more insane than listening to “Elmo can use the potty” a bagillion times an hour.
  15. On that note. It’s time to put your foot down with the gift giving. Please, thanks but no thanks for the musical pianos, tickle me elmos, and other instruments of Mommy torture you give my kids. Also, a huge round of applause to the uncle who gave us the baby doll that pees, poops, and cries when it needs to eat. I now have justified reasoning for drinking wine at 8am.
  16. Lamaze comes in handy for pretty much any aggravating situation in life. Like when you finally take a shower for the first time all day at 6pm, hand off the kids to their father, stick a frozen pot pie in the oven and escape for a mere 8 minutes…only to get out of the shower to hear an obscene amount of hammering and a screaming newborn. Upon opening the bathroom door you find the two older kids are plucking “cherries” (ie: berried garland) apart and sprinkling it all over your bed and suddenly you’re overcome by the wafting smell of burnt food. Come to find out that apparently asking husband “can you watch them for a sec” translates to “now’s a good time to start a picture hanging project” and that yes, the world really doesn’t function without you. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth…think happy thoughts…repeat. If someone asks you (again) whether or not “this is your last baby” just send them the link to this post and laugh at them maniacally.
  17. Your great idea to let the kids watch nothing but musicals can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they’re not watching cartoons and they’re learning how to carry a tune. On the other hand, your son now tap dances his way into the kitchen shouting “Gene Kelly!!!” any time the topic of Moses, Roses, or Toes(es) comes up.
  18. Ritually plucking the lone black hair that grows out of your chinny chin chin is not only recommended but entirely vital to your dignity, especially before leaving the house to food shop. Nobody wants to bump into the bearded lady involuntarily unless they’re at the county fair.
  19. Is mental exhaustion more painful than childbirth? I think so. About 5 times a day I think, ‘hmm I’d rather be in labor right now. At least after the agony of it all, I get to lay in bed watching tv and sipping apple juice for a few days. Plus someone would be changing MY diaper for a change.’

Second Time Around

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It’s kinda crazy, the way things are so different the second time around with kids. I can’t even believe how lax Camera Guy and I have gotten with things like baths, duration of wearing a soiled diaper, and matching socks. I mean, does that sound bad? I often wonder to myself if I am shorting Mr. Chubs on the baby-powdered perfectness of being a baby simply because I can’t keep up, or rather, simply because he was born second! You know what I’m talking about. I know you do. How everything is so clean, routined, simple, quiet, demure, and chill during round 1. You chuckle to yourself about how she gets "so messy" with her food, when "messy" is two rice crispies stuck to her chin. You hardly call the doctor because she’s just "so good" , never gets into anything. She gets fully bathed each night, complete with a blow dry and style. Bedtime routines happily take up to an hour of book reading, toe tickling and saying goodnight to everything in the house. Ah, then enters number 2 and your entire life gets flipped upside down. (I know all you Moms of 2 plus are laughing at me right now, but the abruptness of it all catches you off guard) Now, I mock my former self. Baths every night? Impossible. Have you seen two babies in the tub at the same time under the age of two? No way. Now baths are limited to a 3 step evaluation process: smell, sight and energy level. That would be, can I see food in your hair, can I smell food on you….and can I keep up with the both of you attempting to drown the other in water at the same time. I never saw myself like this! Oh the Mom-guilt! How can this be? We’ve left the house with no shoes on, eaten fast food on the way to the store, taken naps in the car, gone shopping without make up, we’ve let you stay up way past your bedtime, left you with a babysitter and actually said "It’s ok if she doesn’t go to sleep", (talk about desperate to go out!). I’ve put on Sesame Street so I could do laundry, cleaned faces by licking my finger and wiping the face, sometimes, when I can’t debate anymore what’s for dinner….I’ve let her eat cereal. We even did the seemingly impossible: stayed in a hotel room together, all of us, the baby too! (This, was the most unachievable scenario imaginable for us….we stupidly told each other, ‘They’ll wake each other up!’) Or the even more impossible: let them both nap in the same room. Or the even more "I will never be able to do that" : walking in and out of the room that they’re napping in! Or how about changing a diaper while nursing? That is, changing the diaper of the baby your nursing….in the middle of the night. How did this come to be that all those things we deemed impossible, ridiculous and avoidable the first time around….just aren’t? I know my mother in law, with her 10 kids, is finding this whole run around entirely humorous. All I can say is this: now I get it! And kudos to my mom-in-law, my mom, my grandmothers and all those women I know who have done it! Wow. It’s seriously the craziest thing ever! You really do have to just let go, and chalk it up to "well, I’m sure this has happened to someone…somewhere in the world before…" Eating bird poop? Rolling off the bed? ? Pooping on the dining room floor? Ah yes. Surely I’m not the only one…