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?”

A New YEar-Full

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After a ridiculously long hiatus, I have returned. In the time away, I’ve learned a lot. I don’t know whether to say “yay” or “wow” to hear songs from my junior high years on the classic  hits/oldies station. They were most assuredly playing No Doubt, which is definitely no more. Hearing that band made me chuckle upon remembering not being allowed to listen to “Don’t Speak” or “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls…at the time of their short lived #1 status. In fact my Dad would practically gag at the mention of Gwen Stefani…which now makes me say, wait, really? She’s a nun compared to this Lady GaGa character. It was upon that thought that made me realize that I had indeed crossed the threshold of getting older. I had officially entered into dorky mom-ness, phase 1.

Dorky mom-ness being  3 phases:

1-      Initiation/Realization:  This phase is signified by a change in thought process & reasoning skills. Symptoms include, but are not limited to thoughts beginning with “When I was growing up” “This is considered music now?” “Who decided stockings were pants now?” “Don’t they make PopTart Cereal anymore” etc.

Side effects of this phase may include shock, confusion at the change in thinking, denial or eating excess amounts of chocolate.

2-      Actualization/Verbalization: This phase is signified by a vocal aspect of the change in thinking. Symptoms include saying things, then gasping at your actions with phrases such as“I just sounded like my mother” “I really just dated myself” and “Am I really the only one who remembers  PopTart Cereal?”,etc.

Side effects of this phase may include sighs of resignation, cringing, blushing or looking at your high school photo albums.

3-      Acceptance/or Oblivious Embracement: This phase is signified by a total takeover on your lifestyle. Symptoms include not only saying things, or thinking things, but wholeheartedly not giving a darn about sharing these things with pretty much anyone you meet.  In some situations, a return to trends a la high school are seen: the resurgence of the scrunchie in your medicine cabinet, the sudden urge to go rollerblading (and following through with that, in front of your kid’s friends, with a helmet and knee pads on), the blaring of “I Saw the Sign” in your car, or writing to the Kelloggs company and asking why did they ever stopped making Pop Tart cereal??

Side effects of this phase include none for the bearer, but unfortunately many for the offspring .

I thought I would spend a good while in phase 1. At least a couple days, but it was within  hours that I was in the car waiting for CG, when he hopped in and asked me what was wrong. The look of acrimony on my face must have tipped him off. I don’t know.

“Look!” I burst out, “I can’t believe it. Just look!”

I pointed fiercely at the Escalade parked nose to nose with us. The mom and tweenage daughter in the front were each hunched over their cellphones, not talking to each other, rapidly texting. This went on for about 5 minutes, until CG pulled us away (literally, har har) from the event.

“And welcome to the 21st century!” I concluded.

Then I proceeded to get aggravated with myself for being so irked by the scenario.

“Great. I’m already in phase 2” I grumbled.

But really folks. What is happening here? What are we seeing? Nothing but the slow decay of our society. A communication break down that’s being fueled by technology and media a thousand fold. That was some quality time that Mom and daughter could have been spending together, which if you’ve been reading the stats on parent/child relationships…heck, if you’ve been witnessing the trends in family relationships these days, it wouldn’t take much to realize that time is vital time.

So what’s going to happen? In fifty years are we all still going to be sitting around the fire, sharing remember whens? Or are we going to text each other Happy Birthday from the drive-thru?

I’m not so sure. But I am pretty sure I’m cruising ahead at lightspeed towards phase 3 of dorky mom-ness. Oops, I think I’m already there…