Friday, December 13, 2013

Really, Girls???

I have a serious pile of work to do today.  Will has been home sick the past two days, and for a 7 year old, he takes up more time than a baby!  Either he feels so awful he needs constant cuddling or he feels decent and is B-O-R-E-D.  Luckily, he's at school and today is my day to "make like a burger and KETCHUP!"  But, today I am sitting at my computer and every site I open has the same story over and over and I finally have to have my say.  Pause while I step onto my soap box...

To Avon (and all other) Teen and Tween Girls With Cell Phones, Ipods, and Other Gadgets:

Your generation is the first of its kind.  You have grown up with technology that I could not have imagined at your age.  I had Prodigy Internet that basically did nothing and a cell phone when I hit college.  You had phones in your hands at birth.  Your phones have Internet, cameras, and the ability to connect to anyone and everyone at the touch of a button (or screen)!  You are connected and tech savvy in a way that my generation was not.  But, here's the part that's a problem.  You are equally as STUPID as all past generations of teens.

The difference between your stupid and my stupid is that my stupid didn't result in a permanent record.  Your stupid does.  I knew girls that would flash their ta-tas to attract boys or keep boys or just make the boys talk about them, but that flashing, while still dumb, stayed between them.  You put your ta-tas out there for the whole world to see.  Really, girls?  Two things to consider....

1.  Because you are the generation of technology rich teens, you ought to know better.  You've been raised in a world where social media spreads faster than the common cold.  Sex tapes and embarrassing photos of celebrities are media frenzies and you know that. No matter how much your boyfriend says he loves you, you know that things happen.  Break ups happen.  Remember how you were in love with a different boyfriend last week, month or year?  And what happens when that love dies, and yet your ta-tas live on in his phone?  IT NEVER GOES AWAY!!!  Look at SnapChat, the app meant to let you send naked selfies and they disappear. Let's all pause to thank the moron who thought that was a good idea.  You and I both know, there are ways around it.  One little button push and the image is saved as a screen shot to be passed around to the masses.  And, maybe you won't see it today.  Maybe not tomorrow.  Maybe when you're running for Senator and your naked teen body is splashed around the tabloids.  Maybe when you're getting married and your future in-laws Google you and they get an eyeful of their new daughter.  You have the technology ladies, don't be ignorant to how it works.

2.  You're better than that.  Boyfriends will love you without selfies.  Nudity is not required to get a boy's attention.  I can picture your eye rolls now, but speaking from someone who may be (gasp) 35.... I was once 15.  I get the pressure you're under, but rather than bowing to the pressure to impress a boy, think about the person that you should value most.  Not him, you!  A boy should earn the right to see that part of you, and that doesn't come quickly.  If you profess love, make him prove it, not you.  And in this case, proof is in the lack of pudding!  If your boyfriend says he loves you, he won't pressure you for something that is just plain DUMB!  It could get you both in trouble, result in  your humiliation and exploitation, and he shouldn't want that for you.  If you are trying to get a boy's attention, that's not the right way.  Dazzle him with your class, your mind, your self esteem.  If it takes your bare breasts to make him see you, he's not really seeing you at all.  He's using you.  Don't volunteer to let someone use you.  You're better than that.  I know that even if I don't know who you are.  If I can tell that, you should be able to see that, too.

I was seriously disappointed to learn about this story.  As the step-mother of an almost 15 year old, it takes my breath away.  Be smarter than this, ladies.  Be stronger than this, girls.  Protect yourselves, women, because I am promise you this, no one else is going to look out for your best interests except you.  Be smart enough to do it.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do Go Changing

You know that song that has the lyrics about not changing to try and please him?  The ones where he loves you just the way you are?  Its here in case you don't.

I was thinking about this song today, because I secretly like Billy Joel AND because its not true.  The song should really say something along the lines of "I'd prefer it if you'd go ahead and change, but that's probably not going to happen so I'll love you anyway."  I'm not sure it has the same ring to it, but it sure rings more true to me. 

In reality, there are plenty of people we "love" but would love even more if they would just be exactly the kind of person we want them to be. Is that really too much to ask? I don't mean little stuff, either.  I have broken my husband of quite a few annoying little traits that I won't mention here.  But, I'm talking about the kind of people who you don't know well enough or they won't love you unconditionally enough to change FOR you. 

I was talking to my mom about someone today, and we both agreed that we wish they would see the unfair things they do that are so clear to us.  That rang a bell about some other people that I spend a good deal of time wishing would change but don't seem able or willing to.  So, it takes us to a crossroads.  These people are not going to change for us.We have to be the changers, and change the way we react to the things they do.  If not, it will stay stuck in our craw (to use a good ol' southern phrase) and they will stay going right on along doing what they're doing.  They don't suffer... we do, because we stew.  But, stewing is a lot easier than a craw removal.

I can talk the talk, but I struggle to accept things I cannot change.  I'd be a terrible AA member.  I want to be able to talk through the issue and let them see the light.  However, that has blown up in my face quite a bit.  Usually its because the thing I am seeing just isn't seen.  Apparently, my light is not universal.  Who knew?  Other times it could be because they see it, but they don't care enough to change.  Another shocker!  People might actually not want to mold themselves into my perfect image of them. Wacky.  So, I am trying to change myself.  To let things go.  Put them down.  Recognize that I cannot change people and make them who I want them to be. What I can change is how much room they take in my head, in my heart and how much time they take up in my day.  I can change that, I think.  But if not, I may need a recommendation of a good craw surgeon in the future.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Am Old

I am not the kind of person who fears getting older.  Hitting 30 was not a trauma, I welcomed it.  Of course, I had already pretty much hit my milestones by then.  I built a successful career (and then walked away from it, which was kind of fun, too).  I got married (for the first time so far) and had kids.  In fact, by the time I hit 30, I was good. I celebrated with pink hair extensions.  No sadness there.  Each year after that has been just an other candle on the cake.  After all, getting older sure beats the alternative, right?  But, suddenly as I am within weeks of 35, I am feeling O L D.

I am not sure its even the date that is morphing my Google searches from combat boots to orthopedic shoes, but the fact that I feel old.  I am the oldest 34 year 50 week old on the planet.  Case in point (or points):
  • My birthday and Christmas wish list for my parents and husband includes a Shark Steam Mop and a Dustbuster.  Hello, Middle Age.  My name is Lynn, but at least I'll be clean.
  • I have plantar fasciitis.  While that is a foot thingy, it just sounds like the scientific term for "old."
  • When I stand from a seated position, there is a cacophony of sounds from creaking ankles, cracking knees, and a guttural groan from the exertion.
  • I seriously look forward to the days where I can wear elastic waist pants (but I blame it on work.)
  • When my friends came over on Halloween with their little baby, I spent a great deal of time discussing my ulcer and trying to determine if my friend has one, too.  Once you stop talking current events and gossip and start comparing ailments, its all down hill from there.
  • I have gone from being the youngest in the group, be it at work or the neighborhood, to not.  I work with a 24 year old and my next door neighbor is one, too.  For those of you doing the math, I am a decade older than my peers.  So, when I talk to my friend about how I was in middle school when she was graduating college.... there are now people who can say that to me!  TO ME!!!!
So, the long and the short of it is that I'm old.  I am turning 35 and I am moving like an old person, shopping like an old person, talking like an old person.  I am an old person.  And, if I am this old at only 35...  God help us all when I hit 40!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Every month I get together with a group of women to play Bunco.  Its a funny thing, because number one, they all joked about me blogging about them last night and now I am doing it  and two, because when I was first invited, I scoffed about it.  I thought it was a game for old ladies and I didn't know most of the other women well, if at all.  I am not a good "make new friends-er" and I was hesitant to join the group.  But, my desire to abandon my husband and children for the night won out and I went.  

There is absolutely no reason why this group works.  We are all women who live in the same neighborhood, but the similarities stop there.  I am a pretty liberal lady, and the woman who started the group is anything but.  Last night's hostess was an animal lover to put it mildly with three rescued dogs, some number of cats and rumor has it there was a guinea pig in the house somewhere.  Others were cringing at the furry visitors as they came by.  There are mothers, marrieds, singles, divorcees, grandmothers, career professionals, stay home moms, public schoolers, home schoolers, health nuts and some are just plain nuts.  But, we come together on the second Friday of the month and we play a silly little dice game of luck and we talk... and we laugh... and we learn from each other anything from recipes to health plans to how to get my new dog to stop pooping upstairs.

It is odd to think that a group like ours could forge friendships with people who have nothing in common, but it did.  We are a melting pot of women who don't get together and worry about competing.  We cheer the other team as they score higher points and the usual female cattiness is left at the door.  Its a weird thing, this Bunco.  Its brought together a group of neighbors and turned us into friends.  Maybe the world would be a better place if there was a little more Bunco going on.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Don't Drink From A Glass

You know that inane cliché of someone being a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person?  Well, I am not that person.  My glass isn't half empty and its not half full.  In fact, I drink mostly out of a Diet Coke can that you can't even see inside.  I don't know if its half empty, three quarters full or a sip left.  I know that its a soda.  When I open it, its full.  Then I drink it.  Then when its gone, its empty.  That's my can.  Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

I'm not an optimist, pessimist, or anesthesiologist.  I have no ist at all.  If I had to add an ist to my personality, I guess I'd be called a realist.  I tend to look at things as they are.  I don't add in a hopeful rose colored view and I don't doomsday it to death either.  It is what it is.  React accordingly.  When something goes amok (a word my mother embraces for most things), I try to live by the philosophy of "don't panic until there's something to panic about."  Deal with the problem, move on.  I don't stick my head in the ground and Ethel Merman "every thing's coming up roses" either.  I have no roses.  Well, that's not true.  I planted a rose bush about a month ago.  But, I'm not sure its going to survive my black thumb.  That's not cynicism, mind you, that's reality.  The Jolly Green Giant, I am not.

Nine times out of ten, any comment from me either written on a social media site or coming out of my mouth is an attempt to get a laugh.  I tend to blurt out sarcastic nothings rather than serious somethings because I like the laugh.  I'm a regular Jim Carrey, minus the facial expressions and paycheck.  The reality is negativity gets more laughs.  Does that mean I am negative?  No.  It means the response is funnier that way.  Does it paint me in the best light to announce to the Facebook world that my bra snapped open in Meijer and I had to tuck the twins into my waistband and slump out of the store?  No.  But was that damn funny?  YES.  Should anything funny be shared with the world even though its embarrassing?  YES YES.  If it made someone laugh that day, then it was worth it to share my humiliation. 

So, that's just a little bit of me.  I look at the world and all of its happenings as it is.  Sometimes negative, half empty and full of weeds.  Sometimes positive, half full and full of flowers.  All times worth the joke if you can make it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Letter to Will's Second Grade Teacher

I wrote to Will's first grade teacher, his Kindergarten teacher, and his first preschool teacher.  Tomorrow, my not so little man walks into his elementary school for the third year.  Second grade.  It's time for another letter.

Dear Miss K,

Let me introduce you to my son, Will. I know you already know him since he is hard to miss, but, I am pretty sure you don't really know him.  So, I am going to take a minute to introduce you to my boy. 

Will is a kid who will love you at first sight.  In fact, he has hoped for you to be his teacher all summer, so really, the love has already started.  He is excited to see all the kids, and every single one of them will be referred to as his "best friend."  With that, comes great potential to hurt.  He will be deflated when criticized.  Heartbroken when ostracized.  He is love and pain wrapped up in one.

He is no perfectionist.  He will write sloppily because it gets done faster that way. He won't read words, but will guess what a page says because its quicker.  His mind will wander while you teach, no matter how interesting you may be.  He's a do-er.  He's not a sitter.  He's not meticulous or careful. He's a bull in a china shop and rushed to do everything so he misses out on nothing.  But, he will hold himself to an insanely high standard.  He will be crushed by poor grades, despises missing baskets, and often opts to quit something if he thinks he can't do it. He wants perfection, but he's not going to work for it.

Will's smart, but goofy.  Happy, but easily dismayed.  He's loud, but sensitive to noise.  He's a million different things and then the complete opposite in one.  He's both ying and yang, up and down, back and front.  He's a little of everything and a lot of somethings.  He's Will.  He loves you and the class and is super excited, but if you ask him, he hates school.  He's so very many things these days, so just be sure to see it all.  Like Will, you're not going to want to miss a thing!


Monday, May 13, 2013

The Joy Less Club

I live for my kids.  I do.  When Will was born, I say I made a decision to stay home, but it wasn't even that logical.  It wasn't a choice.  It was a need.  A must.  The first day I spent with him, I knew I was never going back.  The day before he was born, I had the daycare all picked out.  The day after, I knew.  It wasn't happening.  That was almost seven years ago. 

Don't get me wrong.  I love my kids, and not just in a "they are yours so you have to" kind of way, but a lay down and die for them, take a bullet for them, beware if you hurt them because you'll feel my wrath kind of way. But, I find myself sitting at my desk today tracking responses to Will's birthday party invitations, organizing my VBS stuff, scheduling my next Cub Scout pack meeting, and remembering that PTO elections are tomorrow, and I wonder.... where is my joy?  I may be in a slump, or it may be just that this time of year is over scheduled and emotionally hard....  but I have lost my joy and I can't seem to find it.

My calendar is packed.  My days are full.  Its not that I am wandering around lonely or with nothing to do... but there are days that I sit back and wonder... what do I want to do?  Do I do this because I want to, or because I made the choice to be a stay home mom and this comes with the territory.  Is this a life of want or necessity?  Should I be taking joy in it?  Does everyone have joy or is that too much to expect?  Am I overlooking all of my blessings?

Mother's Day was a prime example.  I don't know what I was expecting, but maybe a sense of feeling like "this is it."  This is why I do what I do.  They appreciate it, we have joy as a family.  But, my expectations were too high and the day was like any given Sunday.  Church, lunch, chores, dinner, bedtime.  The gifts were nice, but just the little things I mentioned to make it easy to buy stuff.  Its not like I was waiting for a BMW to magi-ppear in my driveway with a  big red bow, but I guess I needed that feeling of "yes, this is worth it."  It doesn't even have to come in a gift bag.  It can be as small as a Jack cuddle or a Will hug (which is actually anything but little).  Something to make me know that I am doing a good job.  I would get joy from that, I think. 

I think I am just in a slump, and as Dr. Seuss so elegantly puts it, "unslumping yourself is not easily done."  I'm trying to get there.  I'm trying to look at the day with the eyes of someone who takes joy from the little things...from living the life that I chose.  But, as I look at my agenda of garage sale prep and laundry....  I'm not sure I have the rose colored glasses I need for that right now.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Reality of Their Childhood

I was in high school when the Oklahoma City bombing happened.  I remember being in keyboarding class with the very German named Mrs. Schottenstraussenburg or something like that, and she was so upset.  I remember hearing about it and learning it was Timothy McVeigh, and I remember a trial and a conviction.  But, I don't remember being affected.  He was on death row and it wouldn't happen again.

I was in college when Columbine happened.  I watched the news horrified, but I didn't internalize it.  I didn't fear that it would happen again.  They were dead and it was over.

I was a working adult when 9/11 happened.  I was terrified.  I was affected.  I internalized.  I knew it could happen again.  I knew it wasn't over.

Now, as I watch the coverage of what happened in Boston yesterday, I am realizing something.  My kids will never grow up the way I did.  I don't just mean a world without cell phones and Kimye, I mean a world without terrorism.  Tabbi was only two when 9/11 happened.  She will never live in a world where you don't go through airport security barefoot.  Will, 6,  knows about Sandy Hook.  He will always attend school where the drills are not just fire and tornado, but stranger in the building, too.  And Jack, yesterday, learned what a bomb is.  Not just something on a video game, but a real thing that is not just limited to war zones, but can be on our streets.  That's the reality of their childhood.

That makes me angry.  I am angry that my kids know the depths of evil that people are capable of.  I am angry that people, foreign and domestic, think that killing innocent people somehow proves whatever point they are trying to make, and that my kids could grow up more aware of Al-Qaeda or James Holmes than Ghandi and Nelson Mandela.

I am angry at those who make my kids lose a little bit of their youthful innocence every time this happens.  And, I am angry that the evil cowards who choose these actions don't realize the things that I have learned....

You aren't a martyr, but you create them.  You martyr the innocent 8 year old boy that you killed yesterday.  The boy who was waiting for his daddy at the finish line.  Christina Taylor Green, the 9 year old girl who died in the attack on Gabby Giffords, will never be forgotten.  But, the man who shot her?  I don't know your name.  You're nothing.

You aren't seen as a hero.  Osama Bin Laden ran into caves and compounds and hid from the world like a scared weak mouse.  But the heroes, they ran into those engulfed buildings and they tried to get people out.  Heroes aren't hiding behind the bombings yesterday praying they don't get caught.  Heroes carried the wounded out of the chaos.  Heroes held the hand of a total stranger whose legs were gone.  Heroes are providing medical care, and hunting you down.  You're not a hero, but man... you created a lot of them.

You didn't break us.  I can't remember a time where I've seen more American flags and a stronger united country than I did on September 12th, 2001.  And, it kept going for quite awhile.  But, politics and opinions and elections get in the way, and suddenly we find ourselves divided again.  And so you strike.  You strike at a country who isn't unified under a single goal, but were you the last straw that cracks us apart forever?  No.  You're glue.  You unified a country again, and awoke a sleeping beast.  There is nothing stronger than this country's desire to protect and fight for our own.  Instead of breaking us, you walked right into the eye of the storm.  You volunteered to be the common enemy that we will hunt down like a rabid dog.  It may take awhile, and you may think you're safe.  But, you're not.  We will find you, and when we do, the wrath of a unified country strong in its conviction and dedicated to these martyrs and heroes will come down on you the likes of which you cannot imagine.

My kids may live in a world where terrorism exists, but it comes with a world of real life super heroes.  When we talk about it, we will talk about the heroes more than the villains.  The bad people will choose to do what they do, and the good... they will do what they do, too.  They will be the teachers hiding their students in the closet and keeping them quiet and safe.  They will be the firemen running full speed into the burning buildings.  They are our military men and women battling the roots of evil and defending our way of life.  They are the every day strangers using the shirts off their backs to stem the bleeding.  Like Mr. Rogers says, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”  So, if you're going to make my kids live in a world where these things exist, I can't stop it.  But, they'll know the helpers and heroes are here, too.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Confessions of a Crappy Mom...

I was just on Facebook getting some work done (also known as procrastinating) and I saw this cheesy "love your kids" post. It was one of those Facebook equivalents of the chain letter where you have to share or your cat will die, your mom will get Shingles, God will hate you and your head explodes.  This one was about daughters.  If you love your daughter and will give your life for her and will die for her and will save every hair that clogs your shower drain because you have to be near her that bad, blah blah pukety blah... 

Rather than sharing it, instead it made me wonder.  Am I the only one who gets freaking annoyed by the clogs in the drain?  And this isn't just daughters, I mean all children.  Based on the majority of my Facebook friends, either I am the worst mom in the world, they have way better kids than mine, or... they are big, fat liars.  Because while I love my children and would give my life for them... sometimes, I want to duct tape their mouths shut and lock them in a closet.  Is that wrong?

Here's some more evidence...

I got annoyed at my six year old this weekend, because he has a stomach bug that keeps coming and going.  He'd be fine, then he'd puke all over my floor.  Rather than coddle and clean like I know a good mother would, I would heave a hefty sigh of irritation and just stare at it and him for awhile.

I volunteered to run to the grocery store Wednesday night at 7:30 and though I only had 4 things on my list, I put in my ear buds and listened to Pandora while I wandered Kroger aimlessly so I didn't have to come home.

I skipped Will's before school reading program on Friday because I didn't want to get out of bed and take him.

Both my boys tend to do dangerous and stupid things, and I usually pause to take a picture of it before telling them to stop.

Sometimes when any two of the three are fighting, I pretend to not hear it and assume it is Darwinian "survival of the fittest" if the fight continues.

Sometimes when I am driving and the girl is in the car doing her make up and I'm annoyed that she was super late to leave and still not ready, I'll hit the brakes to make her lip gloss smear.

....And those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

All The Single Mamas

With this post I want to accomplish two things.  One, to get Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" stuck in your head as you read the title and two, to give a great big shout out, fist pump, and a side of kudos to all the women (and men) who raise their kids alone.  Mark is currently out of town, and I have had two nights of single motherhood and I have to tell ya... I'm about done.

I would have said (and will probably say again tomorrow when Mark returns), that I do the lion's share of the work around here.  However, having Mark gone has truly made me realize how much he does (or should I say "how much I have him do?").  Its just nice having a second person to help run the show. 

Last night I was getting ready for the cleaning people to come today (yes, I realize how stupid that sounds) and I still had to do all the kid running that Mark usually does.  That is on top of homework, cooking, eating with the kids, and cleaning up.  I was also doing laundry and... get this... I even had to put it all away!  Oh, the humanity!  On a typical night, Mark is the laundry putter awayer and the kids' chauffer. 

Today, I was my usual 7:00a to 6:00p SAHM, but then I had to do dinner alone, and clean up alone, and make the three beds that the boys either puked or peed on alone, and get them ready for bed alone and now the playroom is looking at me and is a mess and I have to clean it alone.  (Now get some Celine Dion "All By Myself" going...)

The nice thing is... I know Mark is coming home.  Tomorrow.  4:55pm.  I will not be a single mom for much longer.  But, some women are.  Some women don't get to look forward to a book and a bath Friday night because they're alone then, too.  Those women are now officially my heros.  (Insert Mariah Carrey's "Hero" here.)  Really, for all of us who play the working moms have it harder/stay home moms have it harder game, here's the truth...  Single moms have it hardEST!

Monday, February 25, 2013


Its been awhile since I've blogged, and unfortunately for the three people that read this...  I'm making a comeback.  I had a little "aha" moment today and I thought I'd share.  I know, I know... I'm too kind.

This morning I was supposed to volunteer at the church that we attend.  I was to work the front desk, and I forgot.  I didn't get sick.  I didn't get in a car accident or double book myself.  I FORGOT!  I took my kids to school in my pajamas (something I wasn't going to admit, but just did) with the full intention of spending the morning on my tush watching a movie I recorded yesterday.  Yes, I was in full on lazy mode.  I had committed to something, but apparently my brain had shut down and I didn't go.  No, that's not my aha moment.

The first aha was half an hour after I was supposed to be done at the front desk.  That's when I realized that I missed it.  But, the bigger one was when I realized something...  I can't do everything.  Some of you may be saying duh, but I say "AHA!"  True story!

I am not a good say no-er.  I say no to people that I know I can say no to and have them still love me.... but I am not good at saying no to people who need something.  I should have "sucker" or "dum dum" or both tattooed to my forehead because I agree to almost anything.  Case in point, this weekend at Will's Blue and Gold Brunch, they put out a call for a new pack secretary.  Even though I help Mark in his den leading duties, I sat there and pondered volunteering just because there was a  need.  I don't want to do it.  But, I am in the presence of a needer and I'm a doer.  Its a sickness.  However, in the moment that I realized that after our hectic weekend of basketball, boy scouts and birthdays, my brain had shut down....  Maybe I agree to too many things.  Instead of doing a few things and doing them well, I am committing to everything and doing them half assed (or no assed like I did today). 

So, after my epiphany, instead of falling all over myself to apologize for my horrible behavior and then saying "see you next Monday," I fell all over myself apologizing and said, "and take me off the schedule."  Between our winter of disease and my other commitments (including the one to give myself a morning off every now and then), I just need to let this go.  I can't do it all... and in trying to, I'm really doing nothing at all.  Aha!