Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Aaaaafternoon delight?

Ok, if you’ve been with me for any time at all, you know my brain sort of takes off on its own sometimes and I’m powerless to stop it! Almost like Alice and the Rabbit Hole. Or was it rabbit trail? Anyway, today I remembered a funny story that’s worth sharing.

NOTE: This is a true story. The names have been omitted to protect the innocent. (and it wasn’t me!)

We have friends who are married and have two children. The wife and I had been chatting on a Saturday afternoon about maybe getting together. Something came up, can’t remember if it was a call or someone at the door, but we agreed to get back in touch in about 30 minutes.

It was not 30 minutes later when I called her and that may have been the problem. You see, our friends have a son who tries to be very helpful. When I phoned, the daughter answered and said that mom and dad were having a ‘nap’. Huh, I thought. Ok. That’s different, but ok. She’s one of those unlucky people who gets incredibly bad migraines at any time, maybe she’s having one of those. They do tend to really strike out of the blue sometimes.

Then in the background I hear the brother saying something and other noises and then I hear the mom in the background saying something and the daughter comes back on the line and says ‘My mom will call you back.’  Ohhhhh kkkkkkkk.

Huh. I thought. That was odd. Oh well, whatever. No big deal. I know with kids around, there’s no telling what will happen!

Needless to say, when she called me back 20 or 30 minutes later, I found out there was way more to it than I could’ve imagined! She told me this because she thought I’d heard everything, but we all got a good laugh out of it.

It’s a Saturday afternoon. Mom’s home, Dad’s home. Someone is feeling a bit, um, amorous shall we say? So they told the kids they were going to have a ‘nap’ and did what any parent would do in that situation, they locked the bedroom door. And then I had to go and ruin everything! The son, thinking he’s being ever so helpful, got a screwdriver and jimmied the lock! The brother and sister go barging in and catch mom and dad in a somewhat compromising position!

The son is holding the phone up at arm’s length, ‘Mom, you’ve got a phone call.’

And the daughter says, ‘Mom! Dad! WHY ARE YOU NAKED??”

That is what I didn’t hear exactly! Oh.my.goodness. The things our  kids put us through! So when my friend called me and filled me in, we had a good laugh. I mean really, can you imagine, not only both of your children catch you in the midst of a moment of passion, but they’re holding the phone up to God knows who! I’m laughing about it right now.  And, I’m so glad it wasn’t me! Although, I did my share of that when I was growing up! I remember barging in on my mom and stepdad once. That image was seared onto my retinas for all times! EEEK!

So, in the end, i think my friends put a deadbolt on their bedroom door!

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Brown nosing?

Ok, I have  a question for my friends/readers who have school-age children. Do you take a gift for your child’s teacher on the first day of school? Be honest! I have always taken a little goodie for them to start the year, just to show that we appreciate them. I love to bake, it’s usually grandma’s recipe banana bread. Then during the year, I’ll make them other things, like pumpkin bread around Thanksgiving, or cookies at Christmas, normally in a cute and reusable container-a gift in a gift.

Or, if you are, or were a teacher, when children bring you little gifts like that, did you feel like they were trying to get on your good side, or did you just appreciate the gesture?

My mom taught school for 30+ years and it’s a really important and difficult job. Many times, they don’t hear the positive reinforcement, they hear from the parents when they’re upset about homework, or behavior/discipline issues. They take work home with them on a regular basis, they spend their own money on supplies and extras, and in our state, they work for a lot less than what they could make in neighboring states because they love what they do. To me, making them some yummy goodies is the least I can do to show them that we really do appreciate the job that they are doing.

The reason for this post was a comment that was made to a friend of mine. She told me that on the ‘meet the teacher’ night, she and her daughter took some brownies to the teacher. Her daughter is the same age as mine, 7, and she loves to bake with her mom and it was her idea to make these treats. Another mom saw my friend with the gift bag and said to her face, ‘Brown noser.’ Really? I was floored. My thought is you can think anything you want, but you don’t have to say everything that pops into your tiny little pea brain. Was she upset that someone else thought of it and she didn’t? Or did she really think my friend was sucking up? I don’t know, I just think that was incredibly rude to say, especially when there are young children near by.

So my question for you is do you do anything like this for your child/children’s teacher? Or do you think it’s ‘sucking up’? And if you do feel like it’s someone trying to make ‘brownie points’ with the teacher, why do you feel that way? I’m just trying to learn what would move someone to say something like that, and I understand I may never know. Oh well, I will continue doing what I do, because I know they enjoy it and they deserve to be spoiled, even just a little bit. The job they do is incredibly important. If you are a teacher reading this, know that we love and appreciate you and the job you do!

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The first decade

Ten years, a decade. The blink of an eye for some, a life time for others, literally. For me, it’s the whole drop in a bucket thing, I can’t believe ten years have gone by. My son, well, that ten years have been his lifetime, and I think it seems to be dragging by for him.

I’ve been reminiscing about my life ten years ago. You see, my son, my first-born, will be turning 10 tomorrow and it’s made me reflect on the events of that summer.

I just have to say that I never expected how becoming a mother would change me. I feel like I”m more compassionate, I think of how my decisions will effect my children before I think about how they may effect me. I never thought I could love two people so much it hurt sometimes. I never cried over those stupid Hallmark commercials, or at most movies for that matter. I feel like I”m doing a really big job, like I’m part of something bigger than myself. Every night when I say my prayers, I just ask for guidance and patience (extra!) so that I can be the best mom for my children. It is such an honor and a privilege to be their mother and I want to do everything I can to guide them and help them find the right path for them in life.

Motherhood is one of those clubs that you really can’t understand until you’ve jumped in feet first, planned or not. Kind of like trying to describe a color to someone who was born blind, words can’t really describe it.

My husband and I had been married two years when we found out we were going to be parents. We were overjoyed and couldn’t wait for his arrival. Although, when I looked at the calendar, I have to say I was less than thrilled about being pregnant in 100+ temps. I made the mistake of expressing my displeasure to an elderly lady. She paused, looked at me very pointedly and said, ‘When I was pregnant in summer, we didn’t have air conditioning.’ Um, ok, I”ll shut up now! That comment made me re-evaluate my thoughts.

Being a natural health care practitioner, I had a very definite idea of how I wanted the birth to go, and it had nothing to do with a germy hospital, needles in my back, or invasive procedures. We were going to have a nice, calm, home birth with a doula and a very experienced midwife present. We had everything planned out.

Yeah, that’s where I figured out that I really don’t have the control over my life like I thought I did. At 38 weeks, dangerously close to the end of my roundness, we discovered my boy was breech. What? We visited an OB/GYN that the midwife worked with  for an ultrasound, that confirmed what she told us. Great. So doc says, here’s what we can do: n A. schedule a hospital room to try to turn the baby (why hospital vs his office? Because many times this procedure ends up triggering labor, or worse. yay.) or B. you can try to turn the baby at home. Well, you know which one we chose. I had heard nothing good about when doctors try to turn the babies. We turned on some Beatles down low by my pelvis, I lay down on a stack of cushions so my head was lower than my feet and my husband talked to the baby and massaged my belly to help him move. Guess what! IT WORKED! We were all surprised and I was afraid to lie down in bed to go to sleep that night for fear the little beggar would flip back around!

Nope, he stayed where he was supposed to stay and about two weeks later we thought we were getting a baby. I’ll cut this short, because it’s a very long story. The abridged version is labor started Friday evening, stopped and started back on Saturday afternoon in earnest. We thought we were getting a baby. Well, that’s what we get for thinking. At 7 or 8 Sunday night, yes, that’s right I said Sunday, we finally threw in the towel and went to the hospital. My plan went right out the window. The only part of my plan that worked out the way I’d wanted it to was  the beautiful healthy baby we got to take home.

I remember so vividly that feeling of falling head over heels in love with this little person. I couldnt’ stand to put him down. I would hold him, rub his soft little head and just stare at him for hours, in complete awe and amazement at the gift God had given us. His birth really brought home to us the fact that while we may have choices in life, we arent’ really as in control of things as we thought we were. Today I look at my boy and I am so proud of him, so proud and honored to be his mother. He’s very bright and sweet, and loves to make people laugh. He’s very caring and loves animals.  I’m excited to see him as he continues to grow and change.

Happy birthday honey, I love you! Here’s hoping the next decade is as good as the first!

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For My Dad

Eleven years ago today, my world lurched,  tilted on its axis, and came to a screeching halt. It was the day my dad died and my life changed. I remember waking up the next day crying that I wanted my daddy back. As I got myself back together over the following days and attempted to pick up my normal routine, it just seemed so odd to me, and unfair that the world went on. People still went to work, the grocery, the mail was still delivered, the sun still rose and set, as if nothing had even happened. And here I was with a gaping hole in my chest feeling like everything was going to fall out at any second.

In 1981, my parents divorced and less than a month later, Dad was in a really serious car accident and nearly died. The accident was the result of a brain tumor that caused him to black out. I was 13 and my world was crashing around my very narrow shoulders. Talk about a basket case.

Dad went through surgery, chemo and radiation and was declared cancer free. We danced and thanked God. Dad also did his part to get healthy, he quit smoking and found some diets that would help rebuild his body and make him stronger.

My dad was an amazing man. He had a dry sense of humor and  loved bad jokes and pulling pranks on his friends. As far as I was concerned, he knew everything and could fix anything. Above all, he loved my brother and me. When doctors told him that his type of cancer had a low survival rate, he told that doctor it was not his job to tell him when he was going to die. he was that kind of person. He was very headstrong, but also very kind and loving. A bear of a man with the heart of a teddy bear.

Dad was the one who told me I could do anything I wanted to if I worked hard enough for it. He encouraged me to do things and try new things and always built me up, even if he thought I might not like something. When I was in 6th grade I think, I decided I wanted to play soccer. Even though he knew nothing about the sport, he volunteered to be one of the coaches. He showed me the value of hard work and acceptance. In a part of the country where prejudice and bigotry run rampant, he taught me to look at the person as a whole, the color of our skin does not define who we are and we’re all the same on the inside.

In the late 90’s, dad’s cancer returned and he began having increasingly regular blackouts, several of which lead to car accidents. One of those was extremely serious and landed him in the hospital for several days with multiple broken bones. he never really recovered from it and died 8 months later.

He lived long enough to see my brother and I grown and to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. he was even able to hand me my diploma when I graduated chiropractic college and followed in his footsteps. I miss him like mad and so wish he could’ve met his grandchildren. He would be so proud of them.

I love you dad.

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Never Wake A Sleeping Mom!

This is just too funny and pretty typical of life in our house. First I just have to say I love my two little yard apes more than I ever thought I could love two people who drive me to drink!

It’s 3AM and my son, who’s nearly 10, is suddenly at my side. In a half-whisper he says, ‘Mom, I turned on my radio, can you hear it?” 

When our kids have nightmares, we tell them to turn on their radios and go back to sleep, seems reasonable enough, right? So he’s actually doing what he’s been told to.

‘Um, no honey, I was asleep.’ yeah, that’s what I”m normally doing when it’s 3AM and I”m in my bed and my eyes are closed.

‘I used the bathroom, but I didn’t flush or wash my hands because I didn’t want to wake you.’

HUH? shaking my head. ‘what? ok honey, go do what you need to do, flush and go back to bed.’

‘ok mom, I love you.’

‘love you too honey.’

Now I am  awake. And I can’t go back to sleep! GRRR

The next day, my husband asks him why he did it. If he didn’t want to wake us with the flushing of the toilet and the washing of the hands, why did he come and talk to us.

‘Mom was already awake.’

“What? No, I’m pretty sure I was asleep. Why do you think I was awake?’

‘You were coughing.’

‘Helllllooooo. coughing and awake are two completely different things!’

See, it’s just a different version of , ‘mom, are you awake?’ poke, poke. ‘mom? mom? are you awake mom?” poke poke shake. “MOM? ARE YOU AWAKE MOM?”

‘I AM NOW!!!”

So if anyone is wondering why I have bags under my eyes, look like a zombie, and I’m mainlining my coffee today,  that’s why.

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Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone!

I know, my last couple of posts aren’t really domestic goddess kind of things.  Well, I guess parenting kind of domestic come to think of it. So, last night, I’m working away here on my computer not really paying attention to what was on tv. I had been halfway watching a show on TLC, I can’t even remember which one and when it was over, I was engrossed in my writing and didn’t change the channel. The program that came on next is what’s so wrong. “Toddlers and Tiaras’. Have you ever seen it? If you haven’t,you’re not missing much, and if you watch it regularly, there is something seriously wrong with you!

That particular episode centered around three families who have children in pageants. All of them age 5 and under. None of them are what I’d call well off. They all live in dinky little apartments that are essentially decorated with trophies from these idiotic pageants.  Two of the mothers were seriously overweight, white-trash looking women, the other was sort of normal. The thing they all had in common is that they are teaching their children at very early impressionable ages that the only thing that matters is your physical appearance.  Don’t get me wrong, i have nothing against teaching children to be proud of who they are and to love and accept everyone, no matter what they look like. Self-confidence is a good thing to have. Shallow, materialistic, superficiality, not so much.

These children are being taught that the only thing that matters is winning these pageants and the trophies that come with them. One of the families was spending at least $10K a year on these pageants. And it’s not like they’re scholarship pageants that the older girls compete in. The prizes are trophies, tiaras and maybe a little money.

As parents, we have to be proud of our children and support them in their dreams and possibly guide them in other directions if their dreams are too far out of reach. I mean honestly, if your mom isn’t proud of you, who will be? However, these women are instilling the wrong values in these children. They think the only thing that matters is what you wear and what you look like. One of the little girls was getting a spray tan and wearing an $1100 dress! I mean really, what does that leave for her when she grows up? My wedding gown was beautiful but didn’t cost that much. they paid $350 for a custom made bikini. I am simply stupefied at what these people are teaching their children. how do you deprogram a child from this mindset?  I really feel like these parents are creating little monsters and when they grow up and hit the real world, they will be in for a real nasty surprise, that not everything we want is handed to us just because of what we look like. One mother said basically that looks matter more than anything else. I agree that what you look like can affect the opportunities we are given in life, but’s not the only thing that matters.  I thought  it was funny coming from ‘Trailer park Tonya’ , a woman who obviously feels like she’s not good enough and wants her child to be focused on the wrong things.

What’s more important than looks? How about integrity? Compassion? Intelligence? Dedication? Ingenuity?  Look at Bill Gates. he’s not much to look at, a stereotypical nerd, but what has he done? Nothing much, just revolutionized the world and amassed a fortune large enough to sustain several third world countries is all.

Please people, let’s instill values in our children that will help them grow as people, not be focused on something as fleeting as physical beauty. Remember, beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes all the way to the bone!

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Would you do this?

Today, I was getting my children ready for school and about thirty minutes before the bus was to come, we noticed one of the neighborhood girls outside, at the bus stop already waiting for the bus. (The  bus stop is across the street from my house) It was light outside and we do live in a good neighborhood and area of town, but still, this little girl is in second grade, she can’t be more than 8 years old and she’s outside, all alone, waiting on the bus.

I feel that as parents we all must do what we feel is right for ourselves and our children, but this seems almost irresponsible to me. Bad things happen in good neighborhoods, all the time. Ask any parent of a missing or murdered child, they never expected anything to happen in their neighborhood I’ll bet.

When we went outside, I made a comment to her that she was out pretty early today. She told me that her dad had to go to work early and just dropped her off. There are other people in the neighborhood that may have been willing to look after her until the bus came. I know of one family for sure that lives directly across the street from this girl who has children on our bus. Maybe he asked, I don’t know.

What I do know is that i will never allow my children to wait that long, alone for the bus at the  young ages they are right now. If they were older, middle school, or junior high, maybe. Still, kids that old are snatched all the time. It’s just too scary to think of what could happen when we’re not looking. Am I an over-protective helicopter parent? maybe. But it’s my job to make sure my children are as safe as they can be while it’s my job to take care of them. I just don’t understand why people do the things they do sometimes. Especially when it involves their children.

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An Uninvited Guest

I witnessed something last night and I was kind of , well, I don’t want to say gobsmacked, because it wasn’t that shocking.  But I was, well, surprised I suppose is a good word for it.

My daughter was invited to a classmate’s birthday party at a local inflatable party place.  So were several classmates.  When we arrived, she saw one of her BFF’s who lives a few blocks over from us. Her mom was there bringing her, and also her brother, who’s a year older than she is, whom I’m pretty certain was not invited.

How do I know he was not invited?  The party mom introduced her to this little girl’s mother and said, ‘Oh, and who’s this?’ She said, ‘This is munchkinhead, her brother.’  And I could tell by the look on party mom’s face that this was not something that had been prearranged.  This other mom had gotten a wrist band for the brother, as if he were joining in the party.

There have been times when we’ve had parties and siblings have shown up, but we normally just have cake and ice cream at home.  Not the big to-do kind of party. I know to have a party at this location is a minimum of $150, not cheap for a 7 year old’s party. I know the mom paid for a party for X amount of children, I don’t know the number. So why would this other mom think it’s ok to bring her son along? I don’t understand it. To me, in my poor little pea-brain, it’s terribly rude and presumptuous of her.  And that really bugs me because I barely know her, but she seems so nice. Our daughters are good friends and really enjoy playing together. It would be nice if I got along with her as well.  Life would be so easy.

Now I dont’ want to assume they stayed the entire party. I haven’t asked my daughter if they stayed. She said her husband was going to take over. Maybe she wanted to stay w/her daughter until her husband got there and then she was going to leave w/the boy, I don’t know for sure. I hate assuming things. But it is disappointing. I’m coming into this situation with the frame of reference of something that happened to my BFF a couple of years ago.  She had a party for her son and 10 kids at a local mini amusement park type place, they had go carts, video games, mini golf, all kinds of fun stuff. One of her friends had 4 children and my friend had initially only invited the child who was friends with her son.  Makes sense, why invite the much older or younger siblings when they are not friends w/your child. so this woman shows up with ALL FOUR of her children and at first says well, we were just in the neighborhood.  And rather than just let them have cake, she let them eat the pizza and my BFF had to pay for three extra children, an expense she was not prepared for.  She was incensed and really unhappy with this woman’s behavior, it was rude, thoughtless, inconsiderate and presumptuous. I don’t know that they are still friends, but something like that might be tough to forget about. Particularly considering the state of my friend’s finances at the time. She was a single mom and living on a shoestring budget to begin with.

Anyway, it just really disappoints me if that was the case w/my daughter’s friend’s mother.  What would you do if you were the party mom and someone showed up w/uninvited siblings and dumped them on you and you were forced to pay extra?  Would you say ‘Oh, gee, I’m sorry Susie, I’ve only paid for ten children and Joey would put us over.’ Or would you grin and bear it and make it a point to not invite them next time? I don’t know how I would react.  She was already stressed to the hilt about the whole party and I don’t think that enhanced her life at all. Or maybe I’m just sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong.

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