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.