Category: Family & Friends

From spouses to spit-up

Then There Was Me Being A Good Wife (…or trying really hard anyway)

I explained something today to my husband in a way even more interesting than interpretive dance!

A quick play in three acts. I stood, I performed, and I summed up the last ten years in a succinct, humorous way that got the point totally across with both class and without being a total beast.

The quick version? I need to step down and back to give him a chance.

I have to focus on the house and the kids for a hot minute while my delightful husband does his thing outside the house, without the kids. It makes me wicked-tense because housewifery is so not my forte. I get all obsessive when the house is under my purview and things are clean but then I’m all crazy about the kids getting things into the dishwasher immediately and toys all have to be put away before bed. It’s not horrible, but I’m just really strict and he’s more loosey-goosey and him being primary and me being the secondary is my preferred method of running the house.

But this is a sacrifice I’m making for the good of the whole family.

Kind of like the whole “not working as much as I’d originally planned” part of the new plan that was not part of the original plan. I’m putting the whole Dave Ramsey thing on hold for a hot minute because it’s all savings accounts on deck to give him the time he needs to work out what he’s working out. (Sorry, I’d love to share it but sharing his stuff online is not okay for me to share even though right now it’s way more interesting than my decisions and drama.) It’s times like this that I would love to be an amazing Christian that could just reference Proverbs 31 and try to be virtuous. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely how I roll so it’s not going to work very well to just repeat the verse like it was a Buddhist chant.

But chanting aside, I have to work on my writing while being all mother-y and housewife-y. I can do it, but to make sure it works the way I need it to, this weekend will be spent making schedules for myself and the kids. They like the schedules, because I totally add clip art and times and things so they get all into it and think it’s totally fun. (I got that from Supernanny years ago, except I tape the pieces of paper with the schedules to the wall instead of making cool felt boards or all that other crafty stuff she does.)

On the bright side, this will give me the extra time to focus on my interests and maybe within one of those I will find something deeper or be able to help some folks.

Budgeting, fitness, paleo, writing, and family. Sounds kind of perfect, when I think about it that way.

Dumping Dance and Embracing Yoga

My daughter doesn’t want to dance anymore.

It breaks my heart, but she’s finishing out the current program and she’s really happy about the recital, so I can’t complain. As much as I want my little fairy-child to consider being a ballerina – I mean, come on, she’s made for it – at the same time I’m about my kids doing what they want, not what I want.

Instead? She wants to take art classes. When I told her she had to pick something for her body, too, she said, “I want to do yoga.”

Ok, yoga and art it is.

Did you want some patchouli oil with that? LOL

Guided Meditation for Children at Bedtime

I discovered something magical a couple nights ago. It was time for yet another bedtime and that meant another bedtime story. Usually I’m a rock star at stories, but I was tired and I just randomly started with my low, slow voice saying, “Picture yourself in a boat on the river…with tangerine trees and marmelade skies…” I had nowhere to go from there and had an epiphany.

Guided meditation.

So in my best meditation voice (also my best fake-hypnotist “You’re getting sleeepy” voice but toned down) I asked them what color the boat was. “Don’t tell me, just picture it…” and to focus on how beautiful the boat was. After about ten seconds I continued. I asked them about the river, if there were gemstones on the boat, if there were clouds in the sky, what the clouds looked like.

The whole thing probably lasted ten minutes. My older girls were out by the end of the story/meditation and the 2yo was really drowsy. I think she didn’t fall asleep entirely because she kept answering the questions instead of picturing the answers. I’m not complaining, that girl usually stays up well past all of our bedtimes so having her relaxed was a blessing in and of itself.

Have you ever tried guided meditation? It’s good stuff if you are in a place where you can really relax. Like bed.

I know that reading to kids at bedtime is recommended. I hear all the smart, well-read mommies do it, but I like to read to the kids during the day because in our house reading is a fun, exciting activity that transports you to other places. They know how much I love books. I do voices and we get into the stories. Doing that at bedtime would be a hot mess if I wanted the kids to actually sleep.

Just don’t tell anyone that yesterday I started reading my book out loud to my daughter and it was The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry and it was the part in the slums and I had to skip over entire paragraphs so she didn’t have nap-mares. It sure as heck wasn’t Courduroy! LOL

Of course, if I could get Samuel L. Jackson to come over and read Go the F**k to Sleep to them I’m sure they’d be out in a hot minute, that man has the voice of an angel. Sometimes an avenging angel, sometimes a guardian angel – depends on his mood.

Let me know how it works out if you try guided meditation for your kids!

I’ll try to find some resources to help you out if you’re not familiar with the pacing and intonation used for guided mediatation. Give me a day to search.

Photo credit: enzo from

I’ve Never Been to Disney World

When I was young we went to Disneyland. I have some good memories. We went because we lived within driving distance. I don’t remember much beyond the It’s a Small World ride and Space Mountain and the Pirates of the Carribean ride. I’m sure there was more. I don’t remember where we stayed. It was a long time ago.

But it seems like there are these bursts of Disney activity online when someone goes to WDW and everyone else chimes in about their last trip and how much they are looking forward to going back.

Once, when I was much younger, I applied to work at The Disney Store. It was a group interview. One of the people in the interview was so excited for the discount that they said, “I would pay YOU to work here!”

He was serious.

He was also a really nice guy that I enjoyed working with. He was totally normal until the conversation turned to Disney. Then he would light up like a Christmas tree and get really animated. It changed his whole demeanor in a positive way. That can’t be a bad thing.

What is it that makes WDW such an amazing place? Is there anyone that prefers Disneyland to WDW?

I don’t get it.

I used to know a Pocahontas. To be clear, I used to be friends with a woman who – at a previous job – was Pocahontas at Disney World. She told me about training and the job and how she made money outside of WDW and it was all…fascinating.

But that didn’t ruin the illusion. In fact, nothing ruined the illusion. I just don’t understand the illusion.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people who love Disney. I support them in their dreams of going and having fun and giving their children those memories. I don’t think it’s a bad choice.

It’s just not one I understand.


I’m Not Feeling Very Relevant Right Now

All the best blogs seem to have answers to questions or stories that end with some great moral to the story. A moral or solution or answer .. like they have it all figured out but it JUST happened and thank goodness they were blogging and they solved the problem.

I can’t really be one of those blogs (or one of those bloggers) because I’m not a problem solver. Well, I am, but I don’t notice it until it’s too late and then it seems really irrelevant to share something that happened two months ago because, really, it’s not going to help anyone to know if you get a Higher One card in the mail you don’t have to activate it and you will have to put up with (what some might consider) harassing calls for a couple weeks but then they’ll send you your financial aid check for school and stop calling.

Well, maybe it will.

Perhaps the problem is that I don’t know what the relevant problems being solved in my life are. I mean, relevant to you. All my solved problems are relevant to me.

Well, I am, but I don’t think you need the heads up that if your husband puts down traps to get the mice that when one starts “eek-eeek”ing the best thing to do is sing Old McDonald’s Farm with the kids really loud so they don’t realize daddy is killing a living thing in the next room.

Now, I am trying to write and listening to Snap Judgement online. Have you heard this podcast? It’s fantastic. I love it. It’s still got that whole NPR thing going on but it’s edgier. Maybe it just seems edgy because I’m old. Maybe someone younger wouldn’t think this was edgy at all.

I wonder if I’m still relevant at all, or if I’m one of those people who think they’re relevant but really aren’t.

Do you ever wonder if you’re relevant still? It doesn’t have to be all big and “entirely” like when I’m wondering about it. Maybe just in one area. I wonder if artists wonder about their relevancy when they look for paint colors. Can a color become irrelevant?

I picture two artists in a store.

“Wow, I really did yellow.”
“Oh, didn’t you know yellow was so five years ago?”
“Really? What’s in now?”
“Celadon – tooootally celadon.”
“I hate celadon.”
“Too bad. All the relevant, real artists are using it. Have fun with yellow.”

I wonder if everyone feels irrelevant now and then.

Even more interesting – I wonder how long it lasts. When people feel irrelevant does it last five minutes, five days, ten days…or until the person comes up with something else to distract themselves?

Maybe I should keep a journal of problems I solve. From small ones to big ones. Then I could just kind of arrange them in terms of helpfulness. But for me to know what’s helpful for you, I’d have to read your mind and, sadly, that’s not part of my skillset.

Brookfield Zoo Field Trip


I’m so lucky a super mom who went with the girls on the field trip sent me this picture.



I’m looking forward to printing it out and framing it. I haven’t formed the thought that makes my breath catch when I look at it but it’s something about eagles soaring.

Or something like that.

The Problem with Television

I can do almost anything with a show on my computer in the background.

Except write.

So what that really means is I can’t do anything with a show on in the background on my computer.

Le sigh.

Where Does Space Stop?

S just asked me and I was stopped short for about a second before I replied:

“Honey, it doesn’t.”

Her response… “Wooooooooah!”

The One Where My Daughter Schools Me On GameFly

We let my 6yo … is she really 6? I still think of her as 5, probably because she’s still in Kindergarten for a few more days….

But she says to me, “Mom” she says, “you have to watch me play this Chihuahua game on the Wii – it’s amazing and has a trampoline and a poodle and the big dog and it’s really hard but it’s soooooo fun”

She said this days ago and has been repeating herself ever since. I took it in stride the first fifty times and then started to threaten to throw away the Wii if she actually said the word Chihuahua one more time. So now she’s calling it the trampoline game. Fine.

This morning she started in talking about this darn game again and I looked at  my husband and said (jokingly) “If they’re going to be this into video games we need to get an Xbox360 and Call of Duty so they can play something I’d actually like to watch.”

Yes, I like watching people play those games. Action, aim, easter eggs…it’s a good spectator sport. What? You prefer golf? Didn’t think so!

Plus, I could play with them and might actually have a chance to kick some butt – since it’s Kindergarten butt and kids don’t peak at game play until, what, 9….10… I’d have a few good “GOTCHA!” years before that happened. Plus, I’m sure fragging your kids is great stress relief.

I wouldn’t really do it, let a mom dream, sheesh.

So my daughter looks at me after I suggest this to my husband and says, “If you get me an Xbox360 I’d get some games for it and then play them.” I say, “What are you going to buy those games with, your good looks?” “Noooo Mommm (said in that totally exasperated way your kids say things like that to you) with my money.”

“How many games do you think your piggy bank money will buy you? Four? Five?”

“Well mom, you know there’s GameFly – it’s a thing where you pay them a little every month and you can have a game and then send it back and get a new game and you don’t have to spend so much.”

I’m staring at her all slack-jawed-yokel style because all I can think is, “Where the heck did she see a GameFly commercial??”

While I’m staring at her like my brain just broke – because it did – she follows up with, “It’s okay mommy, you can think about it for a little bit and let me know.”

I nod and then look at my husband with a look that feels like horror but he starts laughing so I’m guessing I’m still in slack-jawed-yokel mode.

Wow, kid. A+ for recall…and salesmanship…by the time I finally got it together and choked out, “We’re not getting an Xbox360” she was already mentally off of the subject and looked at me like, “Oh, hey, were you saying something?”

Oh yeah, that’s me…mamma brinin’ the hammer down! More like sputtering shocked mama smacking you with a light and fluffy feather.

Even though I totally threw down at the end with my lame no Xbox ruling, I’m pretty sure the pressure will be back on soon. Unless she magically sees the commercial that tells her GameFly has Wii games. In which case I am pretty much out of luck.

Disclaimer: In case you’re curious, this post is not sponsored by anyone.

A Girl Walks into a Store…

…and gets a tarot reading.

It was fun, it was engaging, and I liked the woman who was doing it, giving me this amazing advice while using cute cards with pictures of animals on them to assist the process.

Today I was reading an article about college majors for the class of 2011 and they’re going to be doctors, nurses, and engineers.

Is there really a shortage of doctors? Really? I mean doctor has been on the top 10 list of careers since, I think, the first stone was sharpened and used as a scalpel. But never has there been a drop in kids who want to grow up and treat the sick. You can say they all have a bit of Florence Nightengale in them, but I think they’re in it for the money. Because when you think of high-paying jobs, I’m pretty sure doctor is right up there. Even if you want to deliver babies in Illinois and have malpractice insurance that runs you 150k/yr. (that was word-of-mouth from one OB who may have been under or over exaggerating.)

Oh, and business. Talk about a degree I have no degree of faith in. I’ve seen what someone looks like with a bachelor’s in business. It’s good to see that the people in the unemployment department won’t lose their jobs.

Back to the tarot reading. It was like having a conversation with a favorite aunt or grandmother who was giving me great advice about my life, but she just knew my background without us having the years of knowing each other and stories to exchange. Nothing over the top or crazy … just normal “makes good sense” advice … but advice that was based on everything I could have told her without having to say a word.

Easy, good advice. That’s worth paying for whether there are cards, psychic abilities, or just a cup of tea waiting for you with the conversation.