Sunday, December 16, 2012

Parenting Nuggets

After getting both kiddos haircut on Saturday, we noticed a new BBQ joint next to Great Clips... where kids eat for free on Sundays.  FREE.  Do you understand how much of a slut I am for kids eating free?  I don't have to cook it?  I don't have to clean up after them?  And it doesn't cost me a thing?  BRING ON THE TRANSFATS!!!

So, today after a particularly defiant Bird refusing to nap YET AGAIN, we decided to get out of the house and hit up Dickies... yea, that's the name of the place where the kids eat free on Sundays.

It actually wasn't too bad.  I mean... for BBQ in Utah... where kids eat free.  My friends from the south and Missouri (is Missouri south?  doesn't seem like it is, but whatdoIknow?) would laugh in my face if I called it quality.

But it was... decent.  And again... kids eat free.

And the best part?  Free ice cream cones on top of everything.

That right there?  That's what we in the biz of raising kiddos refer to as a GOLDEN NUGGET.   

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the ginormous jar of huge pickles sitting on the counter right next to the soft-serve ice cream machine and wafer cone dispenser.  Because I've got many friends who are prego right now and they need to know that there is a place that is made just for them.

Both girls had a great time.  It wasn't too busy, so we didn't feel bad about them running up and down the hallway that led to the bathrooms.  Which led to the inevitable:  "Mommy!  I Hafta Pee!!!" It's what I often refer to as the Chorus of Angst.

And right here is as good a place as any to note that Benny totally got the long end of the stick on this one.  Because when the time comes for The Watching of the Bird Pooping in Public Bathrooms... he gets off scott free.  Things I didn't think about when I was in the pain cave with Hazel when she was a month old.  That's a little nugget of information to all soon-to-be mommy's of little girls.  

And, of course... upon entering the bathroom (and making Hazel throw away her partially eaten boot-shaped chicken nugget)(after she delicately set it on the sink for safekeeping)(while she pooped) I had to harness my gag reflex, flush down the nugget that the previous visitor had left in the bowl, and then wipe down the seat to get rid of the long hairs that had also been left there for us. 

Which led to the following exchange with my oldest:

"Why are you cweaning the potty, Mommy?"

"Because, when you eat at a place called Dickey's... you ALWAYS clean the potty before going potty."


After which, I allowed her to lick ice cream off the table cloth. 

At a place called Dickies. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


I've been going through a bit of a valley recently.  Those of you who know me well... well, you probably have no idea.  I don't usually broadcast my downs without trying to make a joke of it or find some humor in it.

The truth is, I'm not exactly sure what's getting me down.  Like any good recipe, there's a little bit of this, a little bit of that.... broil at 350 and take cover.  At least, that's how I cook.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that I haven't been able to crossfit on a regular basis lately.  Most of that is work related.  And as I've said over and over again... crossfit makes me a better employee, wife and mommy. And when I can't get to the gym... bad things happen.  Cookies find their way to my plate and my hips mysteriously.  I have a meltdown at an intersection because one of the girls is losing her mind about an imaginary issue.  I threaten to take away Christmas.  You know... those kinds of things.

Simply put, crossfit makes me a better person.

A better person with huge quads and super tough belly fat, but a better person nonetheless.

But I can't just have crossfit.  I have to have another outlet.  A creative outlet.  So, as a way to self-medicate that is cheaper than booze, I've recommitted myself to this blog. What you're going to see is more about my life as a mother, a wife, a girlfriend and a wannabe wine critic.

I'll still be writing my girls the occasional letter and you'll probably see a few big ones to Millie soon because, let's face it... that poor kid never gets a letter on time and a LOT has happened with her in the last few months.  But my goal is to get caught up with that by the end of this week, so that I can then focus on current events in this thing we call life.

One of the things that I miss out on in my current profession is the ability to touch peoples lives and make a difference in the world. I work in an office that has very few people coming and going.  My only outlet to feed my intrinsic desire to make an impact on this world is a few people on the other end of the line whom I work for when issues rise up to my level.  And, let's be honest... that's kind of a bummer for an outgoing person.  What I've learned about myself in the last few months is that as much as I complain about humans in general.... I really need human contact.

Look at me... I'm growing.

As I started to look at my life and what I thought I would get out of it versus what I'm currently getting out of it versus what I really want to get out of it, it really resonated that I need to fill that space in my life... that space that needs to feel like I have a purpose.  Of course, my overall purpose in life?  Love my two little girls and teach them how to be strong and happy and how to pursue their dreams.  Pressure, much?  But I can't just only talk to them about it.  I must show them.

Benny and I have talked about this at length... our desire to live with purpose.  How do we get to that purpose?  And what in the world IS that purpose?

Eight years ago when I started blogging (yes, it's been eight years)(try to keep up) where I found my purpose was in my writing.  I found purpose and joy in knowing that my writing could make someone's day, or maybe help someone get through a tough time, or... you know, maybe put someone into labor (and for those of you keeping count, I'm currently at 2)(that I know of).  Yes, it was cathartic for me... but what made it even better and more fulfilling is putting something out there for the whole world to read and knowing that it made someone's day a little brighter, or maybe helped someone view things differently.  I know that's what I get out of the blogs I choose to read.

Just the other day, I read a post by one of my good friends about how she always cooked dinner for her kids and they always had dinner as a family and how that is becoming more the exception than the rule. And to be honest, it made me take a look at how we eat as a family.  Let's be honest, having dinner with a 3-year-old and an almost 2-year-old is about as fun as chewing on drywall.  It's not relaxing, it's not fulfilling... so Benny and I have started to make them their dinner, and either continue to putter around the house while they're eating, or sit at the table and watch them eat (newsflash:  THEY DON'T), and then we eat something together after they go to bed.

That's not what I want my kids remembering, and that's not what I want them thinking is appropriate.  And it took a simple post from a friend for it to register.

Because I'm that out of touch with reality sometimes.

We all have wisdom in some way or another.  Even if we don't know it.  Most of the things I write about on here are just my way of coping with or dealing with whatever life throws at me.  And who knows?  Maybe it can help someone in Indiana. Or India.  The point is, this medium gives us all a long reach.  It's up to us how we use it.

And, if at the end of the day, there is truly no wisdom or laughter to be gained by my blog, that's just fine to.  Because at the end of the day?  This is for me.

And that's enough. 

Dirty Little Secrets

Everyone has dirty little secrets.  Habits we're not so proud of.  For instance, I used to watch Judge Judy.   


Another one?  Every time I write, I have to re-read several times and remove all of the apostrophes from words that don't need themFor instance, in just the previous sentence, I had to remove the apostrophe from apostrophe's.  True story.

Of course, everyone has some level of issue with this when they're typing quickly.  It's most common when you see it's vs its.  It drives me buckin' fatty when I make THAT particular mistake.  I feel like it says something about my level of intelligence and something about me on a base level of humanity.  What?  You don't know when you use its vs it's?  Who raised you?  Wolves?  

So, I guess another dirty little secret of mine is that I judge people harshly for the its vs it's mistake.  Well, that and spelling no one... noone. Hand to God, when I see this mistake, it makes me want to call up the grade school where this person went, scream FAIL and then hang up. 

Another dirty little secret... I'm totally a pimple-popper.  There. I said it.  My name is Jaynee.  I'm a 35-year-old mother of two.  And so help me God, I LURVE popping my pimples.  So much so that were hell to actually freeze over and my skin become as smooth as silk, with not one clogged pore, I would go certifiably insane.  It's a big stress reliever for me. And these days, it's pretty much the only alone time I have.  Not that I have to be alone to do it.  I'll do it while waiting for The Bird to finish pooping so I can be sure that she actually wipes and doesn't just assume the clean pinch.  Learned that lesson the hard way.  Oh, she'll ask me to leave so that she can poop in privacy and while popping a blackhead I'll distractedly inform her:  "Why should you get to poop in privacy?  No one in this house gets to do that anymore."  Plus, the popping of the pimples totally justifies spending so much money on foundation to cover up all of the marks I then leave on my not-so-Hollywoodesque skin.

So... yea.  Me in a nutshell.

But the real dirty secret that I carry in my heart?  The one that I only admit to myself and to Benny after I've had a little bit of wine which loosens the tongue and helps me let down my guard: I'm a terrible Mommy.

Now, I know... I know that people are going to come to my defense.  That's just human nature.  And, honestly... it's sweet.  But, I'm not just saying that to get anyone to tell me that I'm a great mom and that I'm too hard on myself.  It's honestly how I feel about oh... 85% of the time. Whether or not it's true?  Doesn't matter.  It's how I feel.  A lot. 

Maybe it's having two kiddos which means that I have to split my already limited time and attention between two of them now.... which makes me wonder what they are missing out on because I work outside the house?  Maybe it's the fact that every day feels like it's one long ridiculous sprint to the finish line, where I can celebrate with a nice Merlot (or, on the chance that I've been to an out-of-state Costco, an $8 bottle of something that I never would have purchased otherwise... and upon one sip note that I will never purchase again).

And no... this is not me wishing to be a SAHM.  But in some way I regret that I don't WANT to be a SAHM.  Because I really feel like I would totally suck as a SAHM and somehow, the kids would be even MORE messed up than they're probably going to be with me working outside of the home.  Plus... work is the only place I can go to drink my coffee and read the newspaper in relative peace.  And dammit if that doesn't make me feel guilty.   

Ah... feminism.  A total beyotch. Giving me everything I've ever wanted... yet somehow unable to take away the guilt that comes with having everything I've ever wanted. It's a raw deal.

Want to know why I don't go on Pinterest much these days?  It's because of all these overachieving mommy's who make my brain bleed.  A perfect example is our Elf on the Shelf, Dino.  It is all I can do to remember to make sure that he is in a different position before I go to bed each night and that it's somewhat mischievous or creative.  And then I get on Facebook and see what other Mommy's are doing with their elves and... I mean, all due respect but the elf fishing for gold fishes in the toilet?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?  Let's not even talk about the creative factor that blows my elf holding a mere Oreo while sitting on his usual shelf COMPLETELY out of the water.  

No.  Instead, let's focus on how my girls would freak out if they saw goldfish in the potty.  And I guarantee you, Millie would be going in after them.  I'm just saying... goldfish are a rare commodity in our house.  (Because Mommy can't be trusted around them, mkay?)  Our house... it's a lot like prison.... if the inmates and guards bartered with goldfish instead of ciggy's.  I've been able to get some pretty amazing behavior out of the prisoners with the offer of goldfish.  But it works the other way, too... the prisoners have figured out that to keep the guards happy, they need to be happy.  And happy, in their world, means goldfish.  So... now you can see how they've got me between a rock and a yummy salty snack.  

Okay.... so the goldfish are out.  Know what else is out? This.

Completely. Unacceptable.  Gangnam Style?  Seriously, what do you people do at night after your kids go to bed?  Because if it entails anything more than drinking a glass bottle of wine and turning on Chicago Fire... well, you're doing it wrong.  And when you do it wrong, you end up dressing your elf like Psy and destroying whatever dignity those reindeer had at one point.  Not to mention, making the rest of us feel completely inadequate about making a elf angel with flour and then not being able to figure out how to get all of the flour off of the elf's suit.  Because I suspect that's something they taught in Home Ec when I was in high school, but I was too busy trying to figure out how I got my dimensions on my homemade pillow covers so desperately wrong that I could fit my table partner into it easily.  Oh yea... that happened.  Jaynee once used a sewing machine... to disasterous results.  WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT?

But, I digress.  Not everything is Pinterest or Elf on the Shelf or other Mommy's fault.  

Nope.  That would be all me.  

I look at the kids rooms and they're just a cluttered disaster.  Half the time I'm frantically digging through the laundry basket to find a pair of pants for the girls that aren't dirty so that we can make it to school in time.  (NEW RULE:  No more washing pants every time we wear them... it's killing my laundry duties.  We will now only be washing after at least two wears.  Or if they are covered in poop or vomit.)  Then I look at my room....same disaster, different paint color.  Same for every room. I haven't scrubbed the tub since we fired our housekeeper and OMG... I let my kids bathe in that?  And my floors... failure on every level.  There is absolutely no way to keep wood floors looking nice... even if the kiddos weren't here to spill yogurt on them or paint it with nail polish that Mommy accidentally left out.  The maintenance is a freaking joke.  Who has time for that?
But, you say... that's just housework.  No big deal.  The kids will be fine.  They're happy.  They're healthy.  They're relatively clean.  Right?  Well, today I literally pinned down the oldest to run a freakin' comb through her hair and it was like I was removing her eyeball with a spoon.  

And I did that right after reading about that Jada Pinkett Smith article wherein she talked about girls not feeling like they have control over their bodies... so that's why she let her 16-year-old cut her hair like a boy.  It's her hair, she can do with it what she wants.  And I'm all.... Yes!  Absolutely!  Hazel can't be in charge of what we're having for dinner or if she can poop alone or where we're going at any given moment, but she can have control over her hair. Thank you, JPS for putting it into words!!!   

But then I looked at my oldest child.  The light of my life.  The little bundle of joy that made me a mother and caused my hair to turn white overnight.  Not grey.  WHITE.  And I just cannot let her go outside the house with that... rat's nest.  At some point - for her own health because who knows what's living in it right now? - I have to take a stand and just run a brush through it quickly  But, she has hidden my two brushes.
"Brushes?  You mean cranium torture devices, Mommy?  No thank you!  You'll see them in HELL."   

A normal mother... she probably lets things like this go.  Or tries to find a way to trick her child into agreeing to running a comb through it, lest it become a traumatic experience for everyone involved. 

But, see... we've already discussed that there are no goldfish in the house.  And what's a Monday if there's not crying and screaming?  And then whatever reaction The Bird is going to have to the brushing of the hair. 

So, yes... 85% of the time, I feel like a bad mom.  Like I'm doing it wrong.  Like my kids are going to end up in therapy because their mom put them in pants that were very clearly in the laundry basket and then threatened them with brushing their hair if they complained about it.  

The other 15% of the time?  Those are the times that I get to read stories over and over and over to them... as they repeat the stories from memory.  They are the times that they ask for ME to put them to bed.  They are the times that both girls faces light up when I pick them up from school and they can't wait to be with me.  They are the quiet moments in the dark where I get to smell their necks as we lay in bed together snuggling for just a few moments before the chaos that is life in 2012 breaks loose.  

That 15%?  I'll take it.   

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mommy's Coffee

Dear Hazel,
It's been a while, I know. Things got crazy the last couple of months and I've had to make it a point to make a list of topics that I need to write about for you and your sister when I actually have the time to dedicate to it. And since something noteworthy presents itself almost daily, you can imagine what the list looks like.

A lot has happened with you since I last had time to write. You turned 3 (a post which I will write soon enough.  you know, maybe by the time you turn 4), you got a big girl bed for your birthday, and you moved to a new preschool class. HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

How did that happen so fast? I remember when you were about a month old, I contacted day care to ask if they could take you sooner rather than later because I was fail, fail, FAILING at being a Mommy and was convinced that strangers would do a better job of taking care of you than I would. And for my part, I would go home and catch up on some much needed sleep. I would have gladly paid $500 for a month of naps. They didn't have space yet because you weren't due there for another two months, and we ended up managing just fine, but at the time I couldn't even imagine that either of us would survive to your third birthday. 

And yet, three years later... here we are. You're 3 years old, and Mommy has almost caught up on all the sleep she lost in those first few months of your life. And everyone is happy.  So, I guess we need to talk about what life has been like for you in the past few months.

Your 2's teacher, Miss Katherine, loved having you in class. You had a special connection with Miss Katherine and she told me every day how much she loved having you in class. Even when you acted a bit 2-ish with her. Which, let's be honest... was often. And when I would come to pick you up at the end of the day, you were sometimes in the Comfy (read: naughty) Corner until you could get control of your 2-ishness. Which makes me think... we really need a Comfy Corner at the house.  Like under the table or something.

You love your new teacher, Miss Celeste, and are so excited to meet new friends in class. We put you in a slightly older class mostly upon the recommendation of Miss Katherine (you're a little smartie) and also because it's nice for you to be around kids that are a little closer in size to you. And, I'm a big fan of Miss Theleste (that's how you pronounce her name, so I've found myself doing the same).

But, I digress. Besides being 2-ish, you also have the capacity to be THEE sweetest little girl in the world. You play well with other little kids, and as Miss Katherine told me once, you would give your friends the shirt off your back. You are very empathetic and kind, and I can only hope that you continue these traits as you get older and meet kids that aren't so nice and who like to tease. I hope you never learn to tease. I hope you'll always stand up for those who are being picked on and never lose that selflessness. And I hope that you develop a nice right hook for those kiddos who are mean to others. I am so proud of you when I see you being kind to another little kid, or having no fear of going up to other kids and asking if you can play. It's a beautiful thing.

I also hope you never lose your laugh. Oh my, Hazel. Your laugh can make flowers grow. It can turn rain into sun. It is contagious and it is pure joy. And when you and your sister get to laughing together, I once again ask myself why we waited so long to bring that sound into our lives.

You're getting big, baby girl. You may be three, but you're wearing size 5 and sometimes size 6 with ease. You are growing like a weed and I can't keep up with your clothes and shoe needs. Seriously. All of the hand-me-downs from friends have been great, but now you're growing so fast that you're surpassing the hand-me-downs from friends whose little girls grow at a bit more normal rate. Which means that sooner rather than later, we're going to have to start actually buying your clothes rather than counting on friends who need to get rid of clothes. Today, we had to break down and buy you some snow boots. Do you have any idea how much snow boots cost? Snow boots that won't fit next year? Yea. MAJOR BUMMER.

At your well-child check, your pediatrician confirmed that you were still in the 99th percentile in height and 95th percentile in weight... even though you've only gained 2 pounds this year. How's that for a stat? He said to expect you to be about 5-11 as that's what the growth chart predicts. (Side note: Did you know that the average height for a woman is 5-4? Yea... you'll hit that in a couple of years.) But that at age 11-13, we could likely expect another growth spurt, so not to be surprised if you top out over the 6-foot mark. Which sounds about right.

You have become incredibly self-sufficient. You can pick out your own outfit and for the most part, get dressed on your own. I mean, if I had 25 minutes to spare while you put on your pants, you would be allowed to get dressed on your own every day. But that doesn't happen because, you know... life. You are, however, able to put your shoes on by yourself. And you have very specific feelings as to which shoes you will wear on a given day. Which isn't exasperating at all. Especially because your little sister takes after you on this and I'm all: "Dude, your shoes don't need to match. We're just going to the store! LET'S GO!"

In other news, my lack of fashion awareness and sense has never been more apparent than it is with having two little girls who dress better than I do, and who care about fashion more than I ever have. I still don't know how that happened. And I'm not down with it.

Anyhoo, you usually wake up before the rest of the family. And for a while our little tradition was you climbing in bed with us and then wiggling around for an hour before we finally gave up on extra sleep. But now, you either play in your room quietly until we get up, or you'll go into the kitchen, open the fridge, grab a yogurt and eat breakfast at the table while we're still in bed. SCORE. If I can get you to learn how to do your own laundry, I could check out completely of this parenting gig.

You are in a phase where you ask for permission... on everything. You ask permission to play in your room. You ask permission to play with your toys. You ask permission to use the green crayon.

And then the red crayon.

 And then the orange crayon.

You even ask permission to eat the toast the I JUST PUT IN FRONT OF YOU SO YES.... YOU CAN EAT THE TOAST. What's more, after receiving permission, if Daddy is in the area, you then ask him if you can eat the toast.

 Doesn't get old. At all.

I seriously cannot believe how much I talk in any given day now because of how many questions you ask, or how many clarifications/explanations/permissions I have to give you during the day. I think your Daddy is secretly laughing at this little development. Because word on the street is that I tend to talk his ear off. And this may be a little bit of karma coming back on me. But honestly, it's fun talking to you and hearing about your day. And on days that you take a nap at school, it's really fun. On days that you don't take a nap, you get into the car for the drive home and turn into a mini-Hitler, making demands of everything from the music we listen to, to the questions I ask you, to - and this is true - rain on the windshield.


And those are the days you goes to bed at 6 p.m. Yea... it's for your own good, but cards on the table? It's mostly for our good. I have a low threshhold for BS that could be remedied by something as simple as a nap. Naps will be a part of your life for a looonnnngggg time if I have anything to say about it.

You're developing a new little habit these days... a habit in which you lie your little butt off. For no reason. Most of the lies center around whether or not you've napped that day at school. But some of them are about whether or not you've smacked your sister. Oh yes... you'll all sort of empathetic, but you also have your moments of being a little punk.

We've been having discussions about not lying and have even read Pinoccio with the very real and completely inappropriate hope that I could convince you that if you lied, you nose would grow. You weren't allowed to watch any political ads or any of the debates, so as not to undo all of the hard work we'd done.

Didn't work. So we've been at a loss as to how to fix this little development short of telling you you're getting a puppy, taking you to a pound to adopt one and then say:  "Nope!  We lied! How does THAT feel, huh?"

But, we were saved from going down that road the other day when I asked if you'd taken a nap, you answered honestly "No." HUGE!  Because for the entire week you had lied about taking a nap. I think you're getting the message that you won't get in trouble if you don't take a nap, but there will be "big, bad, naughty trouble" if you don't take a nap and then LIE about it. Lying will not be tolerated unless it's a lie that directly benefits Mommy. Such as: "Mommy, that asparagus and spinach casserole was nummy. May I have some more?" 

See, your Daddy learned that early on in our marriage when I made him a vinegar salad. Yes. Vinegar. Salad. Because I was hoping he'd give up on me and take over ALL cooking responsibilities. Jerk ate the whole thing and asked for seconds and told me it was great. A few years later, he admitted that it was awful but didn't want to make me feel bad.

And see... THAT'S the type of guy you marry. This will forever be my advice to you when the time comes. Like when you're 42. Maybe.

 My friends try to make me feel better about the lying by telling me that it's a sign of intelligence. You know... just like your typical serial murderer is off the charts smart. But, I can't deny that you're a sharp kiddo.  The other day I was pulling you and Millie in the wagon up a hill. I hadn't had a chance to crossfit in about a month so I was huffing and puffing pretty hard and said something about how you guys were heavy.

"Why, Mommy?" 
"Why are you heavy?" (mentally kicking myself for giving her a weight complex)
"Because you're so big these days!" (yay!  solid recovery!  you are a good Mommy!!)

And then...

"So I can have coffee now??" 

Sonuva.... see, the thing is, whenever I have something I don't want you to have, I tell you that it's Mommy's Coffee. So wine, chocolate, actual coffee, makeup... these things are all off limits to you. And when you started to ask why you couldn't have coffee, I told you that it was only for big people. And maybe when you got big you could have some. You took this information in and have actually really respected the reasoning behind it.

Which I should have taken as a warning sign.

 I should have realized that when you took it, you rolled it around in your brain and then sat on it until that perfect moment. That moment where Mommy slipped up and told you that you were a big girl.

And then you pounced.

That's my serial killer. 

Love, Mama

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Last month I was looking through some old things in storage when I found a story I had written in 1999 for The Signpost, our school newspaper.  Back then I was a sportswriter and one of my assignments was to write a story about an inspirational athlete.

Luckily, I happened to be friends with one.

As I read what I wrote all those years ago, I reminisced about my old friend.  And I smiled.

And then I cried.  Because today, the story holds new meaning to me.

Kyhaunn Woods played football and ran track for Weber State University from 1995-1997.  After playing football and running track, he then served as the iconic mascot of the Wildcats, Waldo.  And as Waldo, Kyhaunn brought his heart and soul to the role.  He made Waldo hip.  He made Waldo fun.

He made Waldo... Waldo.

In his time at Weber State, Kyhaunn made thousands of Weber State athletes and fans smile while he was on the field, on the track or performing as Waldo.

More importantly, he made us smile when he wasn't. 

He made us smile because he was always smiling.  He was always positive. Kyhaunn loves Ogden.  He loved his time in Utah.  He loved the clear air here.  He loved the mountains.  He loved the things that we often take for granted, like being able to see stars in the sky or playing in the snow.  Those were new experiences for him - a kid from Watts - that he took into his heart and was grateful for.

On Christmas Eve 2011,  Kyhaunn was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. After months of chemotherapy and other treatments, an MRI showed that the tumor is growing and his treatments are no longer working.  At this point, there are no more treatment options and his family has decided to go into hospice and give Kyhaunn comfort and quality of life until he is called to go Home.

Since the day Kyhaunn was diagnosed, he has never once felt sorry for himself or asked why me?  According to his wife Andie, his faith has never wavered.  Kyhaunn has always been an inspiration even before he was diagnosed with cancer, and his courageous battle for his life has only exposed what type of man Kyhaunn truly is.  

When I interviewed Kyhaunn for that story in college all those years ago, he said:

"The best thing about being here is all the great friends that I have now.  It has really given me a different perspective on the world."

In the last week since finding out that the treatments he's been receiving did not stop the growth of the tumor, many of us who know and love him have felt helpless. And angry.  He's too young for this to be happening.  It's not right.  It's not fair.  It's impossible to comprehend why Kyhaunn and his family have to suffer through this.

Ultimately, it makes us stop to think about how short life really is.

Many of us are hundreds of miles away and there's nothing we can do to comfort him and his family.  We can't take the cancer away.  We can't fathom why this awful thing has to happen to such an amazing spirit.  Our minds can't face the reality that someone with so much life in him - someone who lives his life without regret or contempt - could be taken from us so soon. 

I have been at a loss as to how to show him and his family how much they mean to me.... how he gave me a different perspective on the world.  And I imagine that many of his friends feel the same.  How can we help?  What can we do?

I've shed a lot of tears for my friend in the last few months.  I have searched my soul for answers and a way to help. The best answer I've come up with is that we help him and his family by letting him know that we care. We help them by reminding not just Weber State, but all of Ogden, what a great man he is and what a great ambassador of the Wildcats he has been.  We need to let Kyhaunn and his family know that his example lives on in each one of us, and that he has made and continues to make a difference in our lives. Even if we didn't realize it at the time.

Kyhaunn needs to know what we all know:  That his time spent here on earth?  It has been well spent.  He has touched more lives than he could ever realize.  His three beautiful children need to know that.  They need to know how much their father was loved and cherished by his teammates, his friends, his school and his community. This is his legacy.  Kyhaunn is everything that is right with college athletics.  But more importantly, Kyhaunn is everything that is right in the world.

Saturday, Weber State will be honoring Kyhaunn at halftime of the Homecoming game.  Friends and former teammates will be there as they always are for the annual game.  My hope is that those in attendance can somehow pay tribute to the man who once ran the field, leaping high to catch a pass for a touchdown.  I hope that we can pay tribute to the man who raced across the finish line at track meets, setting new records and dreaming of being an Olympian like his hero Jesse Owens.  I hope that we can pay tribute to the man who set the standard for what it means to be Waldo.

But more importantly, I hope we can pay tribute to the man who followed his heart even when the odds were stacked against him.  Because that man needs our support right now. His family needs our support right now.  And even if all you can give that man and his family is love... that's enough. 

Fans love passion.  They love heart.  And Kyhaunn.... he's all heart.  Kyhaunn is why we are fans.  We cheer for the underdog.  And we cheer for the good guy.

Kyhaunn is both.

If you have a special story about Kyhaunn, please feel free to share it in the comments section or email me by clicking here.  I will compile them and share them with his family.

And if you have more than love to give and want to help his family with the massive medical bills, please click on the donation button below.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Letter To My Girlfriends

I can still remember what it was like the first few weeks after bringing Hazel home from the hospital.  I can still remember the absolutely overwhelming feeling of not knowing if I was actually going to be able to do this thing.  I can remember thinking that I totally had the pregnancy stuff down.  And how in the world had I forgotten to think about - to REALLY think about - after the pregnancy? That's the part where shit gets real.  And I had completely glossed over it in my anxiety to make sure the wall decal was just so, and that the sheets exactly matched the bird cage hanging in the corner.

As I look back on it now, I realize that I viewed having a baby much the way I viewed a triathlon competition. I did the training (pregnancy) and then had the race (delivery) and when I finished, I had that euphoric feeling you get for a job well done and usually walked away with a medal (baby). Which I would hang on the Christmas tree next to all the other medals. And the next day,  I'd sleep in, stretch a little, watch some Seinfeld and start the whole process over.

But, see... that's not how having a baby works.  NEWS TO ME.

And in those initial days after coming home and having it hit me that this was my new life (and holy crap, what had I gotten myself into?), I was angry.  I was angry at all of my girlfriends who I felt hadn't properly prepared me for life after birth.  Those women who had multiple children (meaning they chose to do this more than once!) who made it look like rainbows and puppy farts.  Those women who chose to have more than one of these things.  Those women who only talked about how amazing having a baby is.


I was really, really angry with all of my friends.  And because I was angry, I was hesitant to reach out to them and ask for help.  Because the help?  The help would have been them telling me up front that it was going to suck, but then assuring me that it would be worth it.  The help would have been them explaining that the first three months of a baby's life is nothing but give, give, give by you, and take, take, take by them.  Take your youth, take your beauty, take your showering time, take your sleeping time, take your perfect shaped breasts, and take whatever sanity you still possessed after giving birth and flush it all down the toilet.

The help would have been them explaining that Baby Boot Camp lasts about three months.  Three whole months before you could start to fight your way out of the haze.  Three whole months before you felt like semi-human again.

So, because I've got girlfriends out there about to give birth, or thinking about getting pregnant, or have a functioning uterus, I decided to write a little letter that they can read at their leisure.  Because there will come a time that they need this letter.

And they'll need my number.

And some tequila.

And when that time comes, I'll be there with a great big hug and a shot glass.

A Letter To The Mommy-To-Be

Dear Friend Who Has No Idea What's About To Happen:

How are you doing?  How's the pregnancy going?  Are you still enjoying that peaceful morning reading the paper?  Are you still hitting up your favorite restaurants, counting down the days until you can bring the little one with you and enjoy the view/peace/community spirit?

I'm writing because I've been thinking about you.  And since you know me and know that I really can't keep my big mouth shut, I'm giving you an opportunity not to read this letter.  Since it will likely harsh your pregnancy mellow.  But it contains some truths that I wish I had known before I had my first baby.  I want you to know that I don't regret having kids.  I believe it's the greatest thing I'll ever do.  But, you're in a really good place right now and I don't want to ruin that.

So feel free to stop reading right now.

Still with me?  Good.  Here goes.

Things are about to get real for you.  Like... Real Real.  And that Real Realness gets even more real because you're going to be fucking exhausted. You'll excuse the profanity because, well, you're you.  And I'm me.  And that's how we roll.  And while I want you to know that having a baby is the single greatest thing you can EVER do in your life, sometimes when we're pregnant, we don't think about what happens after we're not pregnant.  After we take the baby home and OMG... I can't believe they allowed me to take a newborn home!   There is no way I can be responsible for another life!!!  Take me back to the hospital right now!!!!

So, this little ditty is to give you a heads up (not to scare you) that the next few months of your life are going to be overwhelming.  And I know that you'll have plenty of help and that your mom/husband/fairy godmother is going to be great.  But you're still going to feel overwhelmed.  Because you're going to think about how this isn't just a few years of your life.  This is THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  And nevermind that it's the rest of your life.  Because you'll feel like time moves at mach speed and as slow as a constipated turtle. 

Slow when the baby is screaming non-stop for six hours every night.  (I will circle the drums to send positive thoughts to the universe that this doesn't happen to you.)  Slow when they're waking up every hour to feed.  Slow when they're teething and miserable.  Slow when you just can't take another minute of being attached at the nip to this human that wants to suck you dry... physically and emotionally.  Slow when you just can't get the baby to latch.  Slow when you can't figure out this "natural" thing called breastfeeding. (Let's just be honest here:  Calling it natural accomplishes nothing other than making a mother feel like a complete failure if it's not working.  If it was natural, it wouldn't be that hard, so all of the lactation consultants can suck it, mkay?) Slow when you realize that you really are going to change hundreds of diapers in your lifetime and you honestly can't think past the diapers to the part where they don't need diapers (This will happen way faster than you realize, so embrace the diapers.)(And save the really nasty ones for Daddy.)

The fast happens when you're looking at your baby while she sleeps... and you can swear you can see her eyelashes growing in front of your eyes.  It happens when she giggles the first time... which is the single greatest sound you hear and you wonder why they don't giggle for six hours straight... like they were able to cry.  And trust me, you will do ANYTHING to get that child to giggle.  This holds true for many, many years... so start practicing as soon as possible. It happens the first time they roll over and you get panicked because rolling over means soon they'll crawl and then walk and holy hell, didn't you JUST bring her home??  It happens the first time she sits up on her own,  the first time she claps, the first time she eats solid food, the first time you leave her with a babysitter, the first time you leave on a work trip, the first time she says a word that isn't goooo.  All of the firsts you are about to experience are going to make it seem like life is moving way too fast.

I hope you don't mind unsolicited advice, but I was where you are right now almost three years ago.  And I had read the book.  I was ready.  I was educated.  I had a loving husband.  I had done some great things in my life and felt like I could do anything.  But I'll tell you that those initial months of being a Mommy remain the hardest thing I've ever done.  Pregnancy and delivery?  Please.  I pushed three times and there was my new life.  A screaming bundle of joy that desperately needed a bath. 

And the thing is, not one of my Mommy friends gave me the low-down on life after pregnancy.  No one told me how freaking hard it really was.  No one told me that I would actually forget to eat because I was so stressed.  Can you imagine that?  Me?  Forgetting to eat?  That's some serious stress.  I spent weeks and months with self doubt and anxiety.  When I was irritated with my baby, I felt like I wasn't a good Mommy.  And that no one else had these problems and feelings. That's a harsh belief to saddle yourself with... feeling like you're a terrible mom because you really don't know what the hell you're doing.

So, I played catch-up and read  tons of books looking for the secret answer on how to get the baby to sleep.  Because - and this was news to me - babies just don't fall asleep when they're tired.

No.  They like to fuck with you.  And babies... they come out all screwed up so they sleep during the day and stay awake all night long.  Babies, it turns out, don't come with instruction manuals about how they are supposed to behave.  Because they can't read.  I, however, could.  And I read so much that I made myself crazy. 

Turns out, there's no secret to being a Mommy.  Certainly not anything you can find in a book.  You have to just blindly stumble from one catastrophe to another and learn from each bruise to your soul.  But lucky you, you also have friends that you can call when you need a good cry.  Those friends will tell you that it's okay and that it will get better.  Your baby won't always be two-weeks-old. Oh, it will feel like she will be, but trust us... they do actually grow up. And yes, it's okay that you wish she was older already.  That doesn't mean you don't love her or cherish her.  It just means that you're tired and holding her all day to keep her from crying is catching up with you.  Don't worry.  She actually will age and mature and figure out the sleeping thing.  You friends will tell you that it's okay if your milk doesn't come in or clue you in on secrets to breastfeeding that worked for them.  But most importantly, they'll tell you not to get stressed out if you have to give your baby (gasp!) formula to supplement the breast milk because the twins are just not getting the job done.  Because it turns out, all that matters is that they're eating.  They'll tell you horror stories of their own baby boot camps that will make you feel better... even though at the time you won't really be listening because one of your ears will be tuned to hearing any cries that indicate the baby is awake.  Again.  And you won't really be thinking about their horror stories... because you'll just be so engulfed in the life that is yours right now.  And that's okay.  Because you're a new mom and you get a pass on all of that.  Oh, also, you'll be exhausted.... have I mentioned that?

And when the time comes, I want you to know that you can call me.  You can call and bitch and moan, or you can call and ask questions, or you can call just to tell me how much you truly love being a Mommy.  (What you can't do is call to tell me your baby is sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old... if you do, FRIENDSHIP OVER). 

Just know that you can call and you'll have someone on the other end that will be real with you.  You can tell me if you wonder why you ever had a baby (not that I um... did that the first month of Mommyhood).  You can ask me what we did when our first-born cried for six hours a night for a week.  You can ask me how we got our girls to sleep... and ideas of what to do and what NOT to do.  Trust me, I'm an expert in both.  And you can ask me what I did for cracked nipples.  Oh yes... that does happen. And it's tons of fun.  (Cabbage leaves, btw... trust me.)

Just know that whatever you call me for, it's a safe place.  You can exorcise your demons and hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Because honestly?  In the end?  Having and raising a child?  Totally worth it.

And I've got a second one to prove it.

Good luck and I'll be thinking of you.


Knowns and Unknowns - Life With Millie

Dear Millie,
You are 18-months-old by the calendar.  But by pure Do-Everything-My-Sissy-Does, you're much closer to 3-years-old.  Seriously.  You've lived a lot in 18 months.

You know, there are not a lot of guarantees in my life.  Often, I find myself flying by the seat of my pants as a Mama with two little girls.  And I've had to swallow a lot of pride and admit that I can't do everything.  And that there are just some bridges we'll cross when we come to them.

And I have to accept that every day I have a lot of knowns and unknowns. 

- If I'm going to get a call from school telling me one of the two of you are sick.
- If I'm actually going to survive a workout at Crossfit (it's 50/50 every day).
- If I'll be able to get my coffee-sugar-creamer formula just right so that I'm not drinking just coffee or just creamer.
-  If I'll remember to fill up the tank in the car before I run out of gas.
-  What we'll be having for dinner on any given night.  And if that dinner will be well-received by my girls.

- Both you and your sissy will demand a banana each morning.
- Neither of you will actually eat the banana.
- If Mommy and Daddy have had a late night, the wake up time for both you and your sissy are directly proportionate to the lateness of us falling asleep.  AND NOT IN THE GOOD WAY.
- If your sissy does something, you will immediately do the same thing.  Even if you see that what she just did caused her pain. (ie: falling off the chair, poking herself in the eye with a bobby-pin)
- No detail of copying your sister is too minute for you.
- When you say No, you mean No.
- Except when you say No and you mean Yes.
- You like to tease your sister.  Mercilessly.
- You are going to find mischief.  Even if Mommy specifically hid mischief, and told you not to find it.  Not to even look for it.  You're that good.

As you've likely noticed, I compare you and your sister a lot.  Not comparing by wondering why you aren't more like Hazel... but more like: "Wow... Hazel never would have been able to find the yogurt, dump it on the ground and then swim in it while I wasn't looking."

Because I was always looking.  I was on that poor kid like white. on. rice.  She never got to find mischief. And for that, I owe your sissy an apology.  I wish I could turn back the hands of time and get the hell off her back and let her experience things like you get to.

Like I try to let her do now.

I wish I could go back and not helicopter parent her.  Because OMG... she never got to do some of the things that you manage to do.  And how sad for her!  There were so many things to ruin that I just never let her ruin.  But you... you have amazing closing speed for attempting or succeeding at ruining things.  (But you ruin them in the nicest way).  You love finding new things to make messes with/of.  And it's made your eyes twinkle and your giggle a little more sinister when I find you sitting in a puddle of nasty, old yogurt.

Life with you is an experience.  You're so courageous and such a scaredy cat at the same time.  You love to see the fish in the aquarium, but when we took you fishing up in the Uintah's with Daddy, you absolutely freaked out when he caught a fish and tried to show you.  It was as if we'd asked you to look at your own eyeball.  You screeched, cried and tried to climb up on to the top of my head, Curious George-style.

You are deathly afraid of bees.  If a bee comes around you, you lose it, start wailing and run for safety.  Now, roly-poly bugs... those you're okay with.  But you don't mess with bees. EVER.

Yesterday at your future BFF's birthday party, you completely dominated two little boys who are older than you in the jump house.  Dominated.  Dominated and then stole one of the little boy's Mickey Mouse figurines after dominating him. LIKE A BOSS.

Yep, you're sooooo gonna have lots of dates when you grow up.  Cuz if there's one thing I learned growing up and not dating is that boys LOVE it when you beat them up and steal their stuff.  Especially if after you beat them up and steal their stuff, you softly pat their head as if to say:  "Don't worry.  That's just the way it is.  Embrace it... cuz it's gonna happen again.  Soon."

That's totally how I landed your Daddy, btw.

You're still doing a lot of babbling.  Your favorite words are No! and Mine!  And those are really the only words you communicate with.  You often call for your blankie when you're upset... but you pronounce it Bee-Bee! 

And let's talk about your blankie for a moment.  You know... that thing that can pretty much stand up unassisted because the only time I can ever manage to wash it is the one time a month when you don't have it clutched closely while you imitate your sister falling off the bed?  That blankie.  It's seriously disgusting, but it's the only thing that bring you comfort when you're crying... because your sissy is crying.

Anyway, you may not have a lot of words, but I'll be damned if you don't know exactly what we're saying.  I can tell you to go get me your teddy bear, and you run off to go get it.  I can tell you to throw your diaper away, and you grab the diaper, and run to the trash.  I can tell you to brush your teeth, and you know right where the toothbrush is and start to scream for me to come put on toothpaste.  I can tell you to share the stool with your sissy... and you completely ignore me.  That's how I know you have selective hearing.  

Speaking of your hearing, we just found out you have yet another ear infection... we're pretty good at catching them early so you aren't in too much pain yet.  But that means you're at something like 6.  Awesome.  You now qualify for your very own set of tubes.  Just like your sissy.  And that hopefully means that your speech will improve and you can add Yes! and Share! to your dialogue.

We recently had to put you through a little sleep routine maintenance.  Because after your last ear infection, your sleep patterns changed and you just couldn't understand why we weren't down with you waking up 30 minutes after we put you down for the night. And you couldn't understand why we weren't down with you still being awake at 9 p.m.. And holy geez, little girl.  Have you got some lungs.  Like... SERIOUS lungs.  We tried everything but you simply would not go to sleep unless we rocked you to sleep.  And yea... I'm down with that for about two days because you were never one to let me rock you to sleep so I tried to soak it up.  But, let's get real here... you're 18-months-old.  And you're 26 pounds.  And you squirm.  And while I might be the strongest woman in the world, you may well be the strongest baby in the world.

Luckily, it just took a couple of nights of listening to you scream before The Good Ship Millie righted its course.  You're now in bed by 7:30, and sleeping through the night again.

You bring so much excitement and joy to our little family, Millie.  Even when you're in the middle of making some very big mischief  that could very well burn the house down, we can't imagine our life any different.

Do me a favor.  Keep being you.  It keeps me young.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Big Fat Juicy Ones

Before we had kids, Benny and I were pretty footloose and fancy free.  That is to say, Benny regularly set up school dances in a community where dancing was against the law, and I was a star ballerina.

Or, to be more truthful and realistic, we watched Footloose while taking a shot every time we called it Flashdance and wondered where the strippers came into the story... and whether or not, if in the history of the world a stripper has ever actually become a ballerina.

But that's a whole 'notha life that I will deny to my parents.  They still don't know I've ever watched Flashdance because I was told specifically not to watch it.  And I always do what I'm told.

Also, eventually, my girls are going to be able to read and I'll have to explain to them some things.  Like why it was okay for Mommy to throw down an f-bomb into the webiverse, but they can't say it when they're asking me to pass the mashed potatoes.  I know.... life is unfair.  And then you get pregnant twice in two years, and then can't lose the weight.  SUCKS, HUH?

Anyway, pre-kids we had a Sonata that I drove when I had to, and Benny had his "dream truck" (more on that in a future post) - a Toyota Tacoma.  But more importantly, we also owned five bikes and a Scooter by the name of Roxy.  Those days were amazing.  When I didn't ride my bike to work, I rode the scooter to work.  And when Benny didn't ride his bike to work, he had the dream truck to fall back on.

And then we had Hazel and things got real.  The Sonata was a great car... but not great for putting a carseat in.  There was little-to-no leg room in the back.... depending on who was driving.  Because, for those of you who haven't seen it first hand, Benny likes to roll like a gangsta and lay the seat all the way back while he drives.

Anyway, we ended up selling the "dream truck" and getting a more family-friendly Honda Pilot.

And just like that, our principles left the building.  Sure, when I was starring in Footloose, I had no use for SUV's or Mini-Vans.  In fact, I openly scoffed at them and TOTALLY passed judgement on the people who had no concern for Mother Earth.  But then I had a baby and OMG... THERE ARE MANIACS ON THE ROAD. I NEED MORE SECURITY. AND OMG, IT IS SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS TO TAKE THIS CARSEAT IN AND OUT OF THIS TINY CAR.

Yep.  So long principles.  Hellllloooo convenience and peace of mind .

And that's how we've been operating for the past three years.  Benny drives the Sonata to-and-from work while I drive the Pilot with the girls. We sold the scooter to some neighbors who promised to take good care of her.  We're down to four bikes, with one of them on the market.  All in the name of growing up.

But, as of late, it seems like we need a new game plan.   If Benny ever has to pick up the girls, we have to coordinate our schedules with the accuracy of a gold-medal-winning relay team.  And let's just say that Benny's not down with the way I treat the car.  He doesn't see the charm in the girls artwork that sits in the console of the Pilot that I have neglected to bring in to the house for 2 months.  He doesn't get how keeping bills under said artwork will (eventually) remind me that I need to pay them.  And he really doesn't understand the virtue of both cupholders being filled by two cups... one with Coke and one with iced-tea... that have no lids.  Because this means that there's an 80% chance that underneath the artwork and the bills is a sticky, slimy mess.  Because one of the girls needed something while I was driving - for the sake of argument, we'll say they needed a pound of flesh - and WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?  NOT SWERVE WHEN I HEAR THEIR SCREECHES?  What am I?  A robot?

Anyway, I say all this to preface what went down a couple of weeks ago... which led to what went down today.  And, I guess that this whole mess that you're about to read about is actually my fault.  A few months ago, I was talking with a friend about thinking about wanting to get a mini-van (not a typo... I was actually thinking about wanting one.  I'm nothing if not thorough.) but worried that I would then have to invest in the mom-jeans that we all know are a requirement for mini-vans (calling it a swagger-wagon only makes it cool for the first few days, and then on go the jeans). But, around Thanksgiving, I witnessed the absolute beauty of the mini-van in action at a family reunion.  And seriously... I GOTTA HAVE ONE OF THESE THINGS.  Doors that open by themselves?  Seats low enough for the kids to crawl in on their own?  Do you have any idea how much money I could be saving each month by not having to go to Crossfit just so I can lift my kids into the car 15 times a day without hurting myself??  That's half the car payment!!!

So, I broached the subject of wanting needing a mini-van with Benny.  And, long story short (because this is already too long)(and if I tell you his side of the argument you might agree with him) he immediately started looking for a truck.

We weren't in a hurry by any means.  Since we had to replace our roof and a fence the blew over during Utah tornado season (January for those of you not in the know) we've had to keep the purse strings pretty tight.  So, adding a car payment to our budget just wasn't a top priority.  

Two weeks ago, Benny decided to make a quick run to the liquor store for some paint thinner whiskey.  Two hours later when he still wasn't home, he called to tell me that he'd found his "dream truck".  Funny... I'd just been debating the best way to tell him I needed new workout shoes for Crossfit... because my current shoes were making my arches spasm.  And my dream?  Feet that don't hurt.

The next day, guess who was a co-signer on a Toyota Tundra?  Yep.  (Oh, don't worry.  I also went ahead and asked them to roll the cost of my shoes into the loan.  So, we all won.)

Benny has been driving that truck non-stop.  He even found an excuse to drive it to Escalante for a work trip, rather than taking a work car.  We've taken trips to the Uintah's and thrown the bikes in the back for a quick bike ride with the girls along the river walkway in Ogden.  Let's just say, although it's a bit of a learning curve for him to drive such a big truck (and I've yet to see him park it straight on his first attempt), I've only seen the man this happy twice before.  And that was the births of both of our girls.

That's right, our wedding day doesn't even make the top three, now.

But a funny thing happened yesterday.  We started to notice an odor in the truck.  An odor that only someone with experience in identifying a certain disgusting smell or stain with her eyes tied behind her back can determine and treat.  This job called for a mom. Let me tell you about my nose.  It can smell through a stainless steele fridge door and determine that Benny has opened a can of corn, placed it in tupperware and put it in the back of the fridge.  It can smell the exact moment that The Bean has dropped a load even when she's 15-feet away playing in the sandbox.  It's that good.  So, upon examination, I proclaimed that it smelled like rotten milk that had been sitting in a coffee mug for several days and had been spilled somewhere in the truck.  Further, there were notes of where someone had obviously rubbed the scent bag of a skunk all over the cab of the truck.

But the exact location?  Impossible to determine.

And because we're from the generation that lived and breathed the genius of Jerry Seinfeld, both Benny and I immediately concluded that the car dealer whom we'd bought the truck from had somehow hidden the smell with something in order to get us to buy it... and basically had sold us a Seinfeld Smelly Car.  Which is why we got such a smoking deal on it.

This morning, it was even worse.  The girls didn't seem to mind, though, so we made our way to the river to play. I was busy mentally calculating the cost of getting the car detailed to get rid of the smell and how that would affect me getting new workout shoes... and wondering if we could take it back to the dealership and Lemon Law them when I heard Hazel ask:

"Where are my worms, Daddy?"

These worms she was speaking of were the worms we had helped her dig up at the park the previous day.  Which, unbeknownst to me, had apparently left the park with us.  And, if you've never seen an ephiphany take place on someone's face in real-time, it's strikingly similar to an "O" face.  But way more sexy.

"Oh!  That's right!  I put the worms in the truck yesterday.  That's what the smell is."

"I'm sorry?"

"Worms.  The worms are what is stinking up the truck."


"You put the worms in the truck? Like... in the truck?"

"Yea.  In the ashtray."

"You're kidding."

"No.  Babe!! C'mon!  I'm a fisherman."

And when we got back to the truck, he proceeded to show me the worms in the ashtray which had been cooking in the car for a day or so.   And I now have added cooked worms to my odor identification list. 

So, that happened.

In a way, I'm glad it happened.  Because while I may have the occasional spill in the console of the Pilot that leaves a sticky mess, it's far from the gooey mess that was in that ashtray.  I expect that Benny will be keeping his mouth shut about such things for a long time.

And if he doesn't, I'll go all street on him.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Talking To My Kids - 2012

Because I had kids and turned into a fuzzy-brained stereotype of a mom who can't remember what she ate for dinner the night before (but can somehow remember a well-child check made months in advance), I know that I'm not going to be able to remember little details like the conversations I have with the girls these days.  And let's be honest,with a not-quite-3-year-old and an 18-month old, yea.... I'm going to want to remember some of the funny times instead of looking back at it 10 years from now, cringing and thinking to myself:  "That was haaarrrddd.  WHAT WERE WE THINKING?"

Because honestly?  Even with all of the hard work involved in parenting these two at this age... the good always outweighs the bad.  But, it's human nature to remember the bad first.

And with that, I present to you:

Conversations with an "Awmost Free"-Year-Old:

"I know you did!  Good job!"
"Don't walk through it, okay?"


"We don't say that word."
"What word?"
"We don't say f**k."
Distracted as I'm wresting Millie into her diaper..."Hmm...what word don't we say?"
"F**K. We don't say f**k! That's big trouble bad word. So, we don't say

Stunned silence. And then:

"You're right sweetie. We don't say that word. Promise mommy you won't ever say that word ever again."

Benny looking at me with a smirk: "And we certainly won't ask you to repeat the word you're not supposed to say ever again."
"Mama... whassat?"
"What's what?"
"Dat!  On your neck!"
Driving the car so I cannot look, only feel:  "I don't know.... oh, I think it's a... it's a zit."
"A zit?"
"Yep.  A pimple on my neck."
"How in the world did you see that from the back seat?"
"Boogers, boogers, boogers, BOOGERS!!!"

"Honey, we don't say that word unless you have a booger on your finger and then we get a wipe... do you have a booger on your finger..... Hazel!! Uh-uh! We do not eat our boogers! Fingers out of your mouth!!! ICKY!!!"
"Mama!  There are dinosaurs in my woom!"
"There are?"
"Yea!!  Day need to go owside and pway"
"You're right."
"I need you to go tell dem dat, okay?"
"Do you promise to stay in bed tonight?"
"Yes.  Cuz if I don't, you gonna pop my pimple, huh?"
Keeping a straight face....
"Yes.  You don't want me to pop your pimple, right?"
"Nuh-uh.  So I gonna stay in bed."
"Okay.  I love you."
"I wuv you, toooooo...."
As I walk out of the room: "Don't pop my pimple, okay?"
Overheard in the backseat on the way home from a visit to the grandparents:
"Miwweee... don't do dat, okay?"
"Cuz if you do, I gonna pop your pimple."
"And you be in big, big twouble and have a talkin' to."
Conversations with an 18-Month-Old:

"Millie, are you done with dinner?"
"Are you sure?  Cuz you're standing up in your chair. And throwing grapes at your sister."
"Okay... well I think you're done.  Let me take your plate."
"Oh?  You want more food?"
"So you don't want more food?
"Millie, would you like cake for dessert?"
"Really?  Well... do you want it for breakfast?"
"Okay then.... just remember that I once made the offer and you turned it down."
"Bee-bee!  Bee-bee!  Bee-bee!"
"Let's go find your baby."
"Bee-bee!  Bee-bee!  Bee-bee!"
Baby located in the fridge. And promptly dismissed. 
"What is it??"
Distraught"Bee-bee!  Mommy!  Bee-bee!!"
"Blankie?  Do you want your blankie?"
"BEE-BEE!!!!  BEE-BEE!!"
"Where's your blankie?"
"BEE-BEE!!!!  BEE-BEE!!"
After searching the house, locate blankie. In the garbage can.  With the diapers and fruit flies.
"Here's your blankie."
*Giggle and Snuggle* 
On a sigh: "Beeeee-beeeee!"


Repeat until Mommy's mouth is too dry to continue speaking words. 


"No... that's not yours."
"Still not yours.  Please let go."
"No, sweetie.  That's not yours.  Please give Mommy back her lip balm."
Sobbing and tears:  "MINE!!"
"Fine.  Take it."