Sunday, July 21, 2013

Real Life Parenting Experiment - Day 1...The Farmer's Market

Here it is, day one of the Real Parenting experiment. My goal: To document our days as they actually happen, without sugar-coating, without lying through omission, without fakebooking. This is life, the good and the bad, or at least, as much of it as I can capture with pictures :) Today is Saturday. This is how life went down...

The day started with Phoenix pooping on the floor next to the bed. Here is our SpotBot at

Oh yeah, and she also peed on the bed. I threw a towel over it. Don't judge me. I don't own a dryer, and I am not washing sheets today.

Consequently, Phoenix spent the rest of the morning in the bathtub...just in case...
This was the kitchen I woke up to this morning, so yeah, "real" breakfast wasn't happening.
Since it was just after 6:00am, and I am not a morning person, the kids had ice cream for breakfast. Because, well, because at 6:00am I DGAF. That's why. Ruby is thrilled.

This is the expression that says, "Mom, I love you so much for this, I just might cry."

As you can see, she already has silver teeth, so the sugar won't be an issue.

Here she is...Miss America! Me in all my morning beauty! Yes, I know, I'm gorgeous. Don't hate.

Around 9:00am I did finally have it in me to conjure up some green juice. My day was looking up.

On our way to the Farmer's Market! My dashing hubby, looking so...dashing.

This was Leonidas's "ninja style"...not so bad so long as he's a ninja, he's happy.

Now, of course, I did not get ANY pictures of us at the Farmer's Market because my hands were full of bags, Brandon was off with the kids most of the time, and I really just wanted to get it over with. My kids at the Farmer's Market are not cute. They are insanity defined. There is no need for pictures...only escape with our lives.   

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dear Mom on the Playground

For all my free-rangers out there!

This just had to be done, really. In answer to "Dear Mom on the iPhone"...I am not the neglectful mother you believe me to be. There is method to my madness. I allow my children to play without me because that is WHY I take them to the park: To play with OTHER KIDS. They will never learn all the nuances of socializing and making friends from me. They simply do not work that way. They NEED to learn from other children, in uninterrupted free play on a regular basis. They need to fight with each other and learn how to resolve their problems. They need to fall a little bit and learn how their bodies work with gravity. They need to climb up the slide and walk down the ladder because THEY figured that out all on their own and THAT IS AWESOME. No, judgmental moms who give me dirty looks for sitting on the bench while my children fight with yours over a toy; it isn't that I don't care. It's that I care so much that I am willing to put my own fears and worries aside to allow my child the privilege - the right - to grow, unencumbered.

Dear Mom on the Playground,

I see you over there on the play structure, messing with your child's hair and making sure his shoelace is double-knotted.  It feels good to be involved in your child's life every moment of every day, doesn’t it?  You feel like a great mom, so engaged, you work hard, you teach them the proper way to do things, you tell them what to say and when to say it.

But Momma, let me tell you what you don’t see right now…..

Your little girl is staring longingly at another little girl on the other side of the playground.  She is such a shy little thing, and yet...she wants to know...who is that over there?  She keeps glancing her way to see if she is watching her, too.  

She isn't. You are blocking her view. 

Your little boy keeps shouting, “Mom, MOM watch this!” as his face beams with pride because he's just discovered that he can climb UP the slide ALL BY HIMSELF - no small feat, for sure! I see you scold him, telling him that that is not the way we play on the slide.  The stairs are for climbing.

He sees that too.  His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he looks for something else to challenge him...something that HE can figure out all on his make you proud, instead of worried.

Now you are pushing your baby in the swing.  She loves it!  Cooing and smiling with every push.  You don’t see her legs though, do you?  They are kicking and trying to wriggle free. Her head is bent, her eyes on the ground beneath her, as she wonders what it would feel like to crawl around down there.  

Take her out.  Let her explore her world, Mommy.  The grass, the leaves fallen off the trees. Cheer her on when she comes near you and enjoy that look of wonder and pride that leaves far too quickly.

Put your eyes back on what's really important…Your kids.

Show them that they are competent and trustworthy. Wherever you go, give them some freedom, some control over their lives, the chance for creativity and growth. I am not saying it’s not ok to check in with your kids, but it can stifle their growth: Helicopter Beware!

Play time at the park will be over before you know it.
The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it.

They won’t always have the chance to play with other kids, Mommy.  They won’t always observe others and try to learn how friends are made, they won’t always call out, "Look what I figured out!”

There will come a point when they stop trying to make friends, stop exploring, stop bothering to try new things and solve problems.  

Because they know…

You’ve shown them, all these moments, that submission, over-cautiousness, fear, and co-dependence is more important than their learning.  They see you looking at them at while dropping them off at school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime…..

I know that’s not true, Mommy.

I know your heart says differently. But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your propeller is spinning way too loudly.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

101 Uses for Breastmilk!

Just kidding. Only one. BUT it's a good one. :)

In my quest to eventually cut out most pasteurized dairy from our diets, I often run into the problem of...well, my children. Namely, their undying love for ice cream. This seems to be most pronounced when they're sick. Now, I may give in to a lot of requests, but ice cream after a full day of vomiting is not one of them. So what's a girl to do?

OMG! Epiphany! Breastmilk ice cream!!! It's perfect. I can use natural ingredients that will actually be HELPFUL to them instead of feeding them a bunch of chemical CRAP. Genius. AND I can make it in one-serving portions while letting the kids do most of the work. :) Wow. It's like medicine in ice cream form. Somebody stop me.

I used mommy's milk, or course, in addition to some raw honey for sweetener and organic vanilla extract for flavor. You can use any kind of flavoring you want, obviously, and sweetener, too, for that matter. I used the honey because of it's added medicinal benefits for my poor sick babies. :)

Here's the scoop, so to speak:

Mommy's Milk Ice Cream

4 oz. breastmilk
2-3 tsp. raw honey
1/4 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Other Stuff You Will Need:
Small snack-sized or sandwich-sized storage bag (I used the Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags - works perfectly, and I don't have to worry about accidental opening)
Gallon-sized freezer bag

Start with all your stuff. Mix the milk, sweetener, and flavoring in the small bag. If using honey, I recommend having the milk at room temp (or better yet, just pumped). This will ensure the honey dissolves. Tried it with cold milk - the honey separated into a frozen clump at the bottom of the bag :/ Mix thoroughly!

Add ice and salt to the gallon bag. How much? Doesn't really matter. I used a tray of about 16 ice cubes and maybe 1/4 cup of salt?

Then put the little bag into the big bag, like so...

Then...SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE...for about five minutes (this is the part the kids like to do)...

Take it out when it feels pretty solid... this...a solid clump of ice cream (well, ice milk, if you wanna get all technical on me)...

Wahnanaaaaa! Ice cream that makes you all better!

Just dig right in...

Oh yeah. Feelin' better already!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Truth About Parenting.

Frequently, I look around at the chaos all around me and think to myself, "Why didn't anyone tell me this parenting thing would be so hard?" Parenting is difficult. I mean really, REALLY difficult. I had no idea how many different FEELINGS I would be forced to feel and deal with in a single day. I mean seriously, daily struggles with highs, lows, and in-betweens that I never knew existed. Even a single minute could be filled with love and hate almost simultaneously. WHY DON'T THEY TELL YOU THIS WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR THE JOB?!?!?! Ok, some try, but no one succeeds in expressing just how INSANE the whole thing is. I guess that's just how it is when you are responsible for another human being. Am I doing the best thing? Am I doing the worst thing? Is this helping? Hurting? What could I do differently? What should I keep the same next time? Is this even making a difference? Should I bother? But what if I don't? Will that be helpful, or harmful...


Happiness - Kids playing.
Joy - Kids laughing.
Anger - Kid 1 hit Kid 2.
Fear - Kid 2 is hurt.
Irritation - Kid 2's screaming is getting on your nerves.
Frustration - neither Kid 1 nor Kid 2 will respond to you.
Relief - Kid 2 is no longer hurt.
Content - Kids are playing again.
Excitement - Kids are playing with you and having fun.
Pride - Kid 1 is helping Kid 2 with no interference from you.
Sadness - Kid 3 just woke up and will not be consoled.

Ok. 5 minutes down.1435 to go...

To parents-to-be, someday-parents, and brand new parents, hear this now. This is the most exhausting, energizing, challenging, rewarding, exhilarating, frightening, enlightening, horrible, wonderful, stupid, intelligent, back-breaking, heart-wrenching, mind-boggling, hand-wringing, life-altering, death-defying, soul-searching, physical, intellectual, spiritual adventure you could ever - make that, never - imagine. Do it. You will not be sorry...except on days that you are. And even then, you'll get over it.

To all current parents: Keep fighting the good fight, brothers and sisters. One day, your kids will become parents. They will ask you what it is like to be a parent. Don't tell them. They won't believe you anyway.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why I don't make my kids say...anything!

Hey, folks! I'm back. Admit it. You missed me. :)

So here's the thing. I REALLY don't want to be one of those moms who doesn't want anyone else to discipline her child...but I am. I mean, if everyone approached discipline the way I do, it would be a different story; however, they don't. And since I'm pretty particular about it, it bothers me to see other adults talking in a demeaning way to my kids. Mamma Bear breaks loose. There's blood. It's not pretty.

The sad thing is that most of these parents do not realize that the way they are talking to my children is something that I (and they) would term "demeaning." So there's the problem. How do you say, "Hey, stop treating my kid the same way you treat your kid because I think it's disrespectful and mean," without implying that the way they raise their own kids is disrespectful and mean? Well, you can't. So when this happens, I admit. I freeze. You've heard of "flight or fight"? Well, there's another "f" - freeze. That's what I do. Yep, I'd be dinner in the jungle, for sure. But I really am at a loss at times. Torn between not wanting to make enemies of the other parents in the playgroup or at the park, etc., and not wanting my kids to be treated like crap...I know, it shouldn't even be a question, right? Wrong. Either way, someone is getting hurt. But here's where I differ from most...

I HATE... I mean I really, really HATE the idea of telling kids to say...ANYTHING. "Say sorry", "say please", "say thank you", "say hello", "say bye-bye"..."what do we say?" Makes me cringe. Here's why. First of all, children don't take orders well. It's just not our nature. It's not how we learn best. We learn best by imitation. We learn LEAST through direct orders and "teaching." Telling a child to "say thank you" is far less effective than simply saying "thank you" yourself whenever you are thankful for something. That way, the phrase does not just become a mash of empty words. It has meaning. Children WILL begin to say "thank you", "please", and "I'm sorry", when they reach a developmental stage of being able to be truly thankful, pleased, or sorry for something. Is a child truly sorry if forced to say it? Probably not. That is called LYING. I will not teach my children to lie. It does NOT teach them to be polite, courteous people. It teaches them that (a) empty words fix things, (b) it is ok to lie if it gets you out of trouble or pleases someone else, and (c) these adults do not respect you because they are forcing you to say something you do not want to say. Want your kids to be polite? Be polite to them. Ask them to do things, rather than telling them. Say "please", "thank you", and "excuse me"...and mean it. It's not difficult. Stop over-thinking it. You have better things to do, I'm sure.

So no, you will never hear me tell my child to apologize for hitting, stealing from, yelling at, kicking, or stabbing your child. Get over that. If my child is truly sorry for his/her actions, he/she will show it. If not, well, guess what - "sorry" won't make your kid's knee stop hurting or put his toy back together again, nor will it make my child remorseful. Believe it or not, it is completely NORMAL for a child of 1, 2, 3, 4...even 5 or 6 years old to NOT feel remorse over every little wrong doing. Hell, most adults aren't "sorry" about half the things they do "wrong", for that matter. So if my three-year-old gets mad at your kid for telling him that he can't play with her, and he hauls off and hits her in the face in anger and doesn't feel sorry about it...that's normal. But, in many parents' minds I guess that makes my kid an asshole.

Sorry. :/

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I used to be intelligent.
I once knew the meaning of large words
Which now escape me.
There was a time when I could enter
A conversation on politics and history
And understand the connection
Between the two.
When I was much younger
I had a firm grasp
On physics and math
And things of that sort.
I knew grammar terms and usage
And I laughed at those who didn't.
Now, I am mom.
I know when someone uses incorrect grammar
But I can't tell you why
Or what part of speech they used.
I know where I stand, politically
Sort of
But I really couldn't tell you why
In any convincing manner.
I don't remember how many presidents we have had.
I don't remember the capital of South Dakota.
Mathematical symbols have escaped me.
And spell-check has become my crutch.
But for all I've forgotten,
I've learned a great deal in "mom."
I've learned what HCG is
And that you must have at least 25 ug/ml in your urine
Before you see those two blue lines.
I know the difference between a cramp and a contraction.
I can talk to my body and my baby
And control the intensity of my own labor
With complete confidence, control, and calmness.
I have learned the difference
Between a hungry cry and a peepee cry.
I know that kisses cure owies
If you get just the right spot.
And I know where that spot is.
I know that "My yove yoo" means "I love you,"
And that "Go away" means "Thanks, but I've got this."
I know how to communicate with my children without words.
I realize that this is sometimes better.
I've learned that I'm wrong.
A lot.
I've learned not to laugh at people who don't have all the answers;
Those who don't know how to spell
Or that it's "there" not "their"
Or that people "run quickly", they don't "run fast,"
Because although they might have lost these facts
They may have knowledge that is far beyond my comprehension.
They have feelings.
They deserve respect.
I forget this a lot.
But I've learned to remember.
Perhaps I can't talk about politics.
Perhaps I can't relate to "The 99%" or "The 1%"
Or even know why they do what they do.
Maybe I say the wrong word now and then
Or just sit in senseless silence
Because vocabulary has momentarily died in my brain.
But I'm still ok.
I have new facts.
I have new knowledge that transcends facts.
I used to be intelligent.
And despite outward appearances,
I still am.

Friday, August 5, 2011

All You Need is Love (dun da da da da)...

I just want to say that WHOEVER is reading this blog is my FAVORITE person on Earth. I think you are the absolute BEST parent, BEST son or daughter, and overall BEST person who ever existed. I am but dirt at your feet, unworthy of your greatness, and I scourge myself 3 times a day simply because I FAIL at being YOU. Thank you SO much for reading my lowly blog and bestowing your time and attention, however fleeting, upon me and my humble existence, O Great One. You can do or say no wrong, and I bow to your greatness.

Argue with THAT, motherfuckers.