A Gloomy, Rainy, Boring Saturday. Or is it?

A Little Sunshine to Brighten the Gloom!

A Little Sunshine to Brighten the Gloom!

Good afternoon Friends!

What a positive, optimistic, glass half-full (of Captain Morgan, no less!) blog title, eh?

It’s just one of those ugly kinda days.  The sky is gray.  And not a gorgeous chevron-striped pillow type of gray either.  The dismal kind.  Frizz-inducing misty rain is coming down.  It’s cold.  But it’s not cold.  Not cold enough to make you look outside and say to yourself, “Ah, that darn Winter!  Oh, well!  Let’s stoke up the fire and drink some spiked hot chocolate!”  No.  It’s more like, “Do I wear a sweatshirt or coat?  Oh, WHY did I dry that sweatshirt on high?!  And my coat makes me look like the Michelin Man’s fat cousin, May.”  And did I mention I’m bored?  Not the type of bored where I get all motivated and start home organizational projects.  Nah.  The type of bored where I stare out the window at the gray, misty, cold day and bitch about how bored I am.  Functional, ain’t I?  8-O

Okay.  Moment over.  Time to regroup.

That’s the kind of grump I am.  I verbalize and then I move on.  Now, if you’re the unfortunate recipient of my verbalization then it may induce you into a grumpy mood in which case, we must part ways.  Because from one grump to another, we’re no fun to be around.  But, maybe you’re the type to cuff someone on the shoulder and say, “Snap out of it!  Now let’s go get Buster Bars at DQ!”  Then, then we can hang.  And we all get our turn to be the one or the other.

So which are you?  Do you find yourself falling into the well of self-pity when you’re around people who suck the air out of the room?  Or do you encapsulate your spunky little spirit in protection and weather the grump storm?

I am a firm believer in acknowledging the crap and then moving far, far away from it.  I do not like to wallow in it because it makes you, well, stink.  It’s crap, people.  The fact is, we all get grumpy.  It’s how you pull yourself out of it that defines you.  My plan?  I’m going to have that hot chocolate with a healthy spill or two of Kahlua and dive right into catching up with Game of Thrones.  Yep, functional.

Happy Saturday, yo.

Mindy

Working Moms – I Salute You! (An Open Letter)

Dear Unsung Heroes:

I would like to begin by saying I truly believe the majority of us chicks are doing the best we can within whatever situation we find ourselves.  The “mom” job is the toughest in the world and there ain’t nobody with all the answers.

Any-shmoo, some background.

I joined the ranks of the morning-noon-night shift moms full-time back in 2003 with the birth of my second kiddo, Jack.  At the time it was actually a hand-wringing decision to quit my 20-hour a week job.  I actually really enjoyed my job and working part-time seemed the best of both worlds.  But, like most families, my hubs and I weighed the pros and cons of two kids in daycare and decided that it made more sense to take the risk of me screwing up both kids full-time than to pay the professionals to raise them correctly.

Fast forward seven loooooooooooong years. 

A couple of months ago I toyed with the idea of picking up a seasonal shift with a gourmet food and gift company.  The idea of schlepping fruit baskets to folks was strangely appealing.  I went through the application, then interview process and KA-POW!  I was seasonally employed. 

I broke the news like this:

Me:  Jer, so you know I have that new job.

Jer:  Yep.

Me:  That means you’re going to have to pick up around here for me.  Y’know.  Get the kids ready for school.  On the school bus.  With backpacks. With shoes.  And coats.  And lunches.  Right?

Jer:  Yep. 

Me:  I mean, you understand that means you’ll have to have everything ready? By 8:00am?  Get them out the door.  To school.  With their backpacks.  And shoes.  And coats.  And lunches.

Jer:  Yep.  No problem.  I’ll have it under control. 

Ummmm.

Considering for years I’ve been the point person for initialing folders, calculating reading minutes, cutting crusts off peanut butter sandwiches, honoring yogurt preferences, remembering fruit, styling completely uninterested children, finding left shoes, checking for clean teeth, brushing through snarled hair and rushing kiddos out the front door, my hubs did an outstanding job filling in as a substitute. 

But what I had forgotten about my “time off” from the morning routine was all that was waiting for me upon my return from the salt mines. 

Everything.

Although my foray into the working world was but a brief one, I was wholeheartedly reminded how hard it can be to try and do it all.  On my last day of work I drove home furiously, ran in the front door, locked it behind me and fell against it clutching my purse to my chest vowing to never leave the comforts of my sweet-albeit-filthy home again.  After taking a few hundred collective breaths I took off my coat, set my purse down and started cleaning up the remains of that frantic morning all-the-while thanking God for my life. 

So, Working Moms, I salute you!  Your job is not an easy one and so many of you do it with such finesse and expertise you unknowingly convinced me I could step right in with as much grace. 

I was wrong. 

Please know there are a whole bunch of us who support your efforts and look up to you as Unsung Heroes! 

Mindy

 

 

You Can Learn A Lot If You Listen

Recently, while reacquainting myself with my little bloggy-blog I came across this post that for some reason only known to God and the Universe, I never published.  Rather than dump it off as a missed opportunity to share I decided to include it as today’s blog post, the information still quite relevant.  I threw this together back in 2010 when my kids were lee-tle.  Tiny.  Sweet little innocent peeps.  Who loved me.  And talked to me.  And hadn’t discovered how much cooler their friends are than me.  When Avery’s hip didn’t spontaneously jut out during our “talks” and Jackson smelled like marshmallows.  Ahhh, good memories.  Hope you enjoy!

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I think children are supremely underrated as sources of intelligent thought. So often we dismiss their nonsensical chatter as just that…nonsense. The last couple of days I’ve spent some time actually listening to the words that come out of my kids’ tiny little mouths and have been amazed at what has come flowing from their pure intellects. I thought I might impart on you, my fellow friends, these little pearls of wisdom so that you may experience a smidge of the enlightenment infusing itself throughout this suburban household.

  • Don’t eat all the candy, momma. Just eat one. You’ll get an ache in your tummy. ~ Jackson, 3

I’m not, traditionally, a big candy eater but have a particular hankering for Hot Tamales. They burn my tongue and satisfy my sweet tooth all at once. Love them. A lot. Jack has noticed. He’s worried. And, he’s right. They do give me an “ache in my tummy” (and, unfortunately, a dimple in my thighs.) Too much candy is good for nobody.

  • We shouldn’t lie, mom. It makes it too hard to remember the truth.” ~Avery, 7

Avery is in the first grade and by all rights this should make her a “liar, liar, pants on fire”. However, I’ve noticed that she’s not very gifted at it. One tilt of my head and a questioning gaze in her direction brings her melting to the ground in a pool of her own lies, truth spewing from her mouth at alarming rates. She has learned, early on I must say, that it is much easier to start with the truth because the “melting in lies” process is tedious and energy-draining. (Disclosure: Her tendency towards honesty is not 100% fool-proof and I am not kidding myself in thinking that she will never lie to me. I am, however, fully confident that I will catch her in them. Every. Single. Time.)

  • Turkeys have feet. Cows have feet. Garbage cans have wheels. ~ Jackson, 3

Wow. I’m really trying to open my mind to the hidden genius in this statement. I know it’s there. It’s just taking some time to reveal itself.

  • I’m pretty sure my Baby Alive is watching me at night. ~ Avery, 7

Ahhh. At first thought, I interpreted this to mean that we are all products of our own judgment. The voyeuristic “Baby Alive” is a metaphor for our own paranoia at being exposed for our inadequacies. “Night” being a metaphor for the point in time our character craves to undergo a complete renewal process, as our bodies are allowed with each sleep. At second thought, I realized that Avery is not that enlightened and truly believes her doll stares at her at night.  Creepy.

So, there you have it: some words of wisdom to help us navigate our way through the perilous journey of life. Start listening to the little ones around you, folks. They are much wiser than their germ-infested, slightly selfish, unconditional loving, slapstick humored, snotty little selves let on.

Mindy

Priorities, after all.

Photo courtesy of www.lovethispic.com

Photo courtesy of www.lovethispic.com

My son is a pagan.  Or something along those lines.

Recently, during one of my daily “breakdown of the school day” rap sessions with my little 2nd grader (a.k.a. behavior update and/or early planning for teacher Christmas payoffs) I discovered that Jack has recently had Santa Clause on his little brain.

I shouldn’t be surprised.

I’ve used Santa Clause as a widely effective source of bribery for years now.

“Hmmm…haven’t been brushing your teeth?  Ummm…wow.  I hope Santa isn’t paying attention…”

“Oh, man.  That sounds like a lie.  Santa doesn’t like liars.”

“Pretty sure Santa wouldn’t be happy with little boys who refuse to give their mama a chicken nugget.”  I’m not proud of this one.

The point is, I have perhaps played the Santa card a few more times than necessary.  And I’ve seen the error of my ways.

During our talk I asked Jack if he’d given any thought to what he might want for Christmas this year.  He answered, “Yeah.  I’ve already talked with Santa about it.”

Um.  Unless Jack’s a card carrying member of the Santa-of-the-month club this news threw me a bit.

I asked him, “Do you mean last year?  Last Christmas?  You haven’t had a chance to talk to Santa this year.

He looked at me, brows furrowed, “No, I don’t mean last year.”  Insert a gigantic “DUH” here.  He didn’t say it (smart little man) but it was heavily inferred.

“Well then, when have you talked to Santa?”

He answered, “At night.  When I’m in bed.  I talk to him about stuff.  Mostly about Christmas.”  Having frequently shared nighttime prayers to Jesus with this little man I was a little confused.

“Do you talk to him every night?”

“Nah.  Mostly w hen I’m in trouble.  I figure I should let him know what I want for Christmas, you know.  Before you get a chance to let him know I’ve been naughty.”

Ahhh…

The little deviant.  He’s trying to get through to Santa before I can.  He’s effectively created a fool-proof system wherein he can commit an offense, tuck himself tightly into bed, download his wish list on Santa and wait for me to realize I’ve been bamboozled.

The student has become the master.  Well played, little one, well played.

Mindy

Cider and Pumpkins and Halloween Candy…Oh My!

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photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

October.

The month of apple spiced candles and warmly colored mums.

The official beginning of a guilt-free spree of purchasing Kit Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (and then repurchasing because   “Ummm…what happened to those bags of candy?  Damn.  When did my ankles start getting fat?”

The trees begin dropping their brightly colored leaves.  All over my lawn.  And in my gutters.  And on my sidewalk.  Ahhh.  Ain’t it grand.

The start of bipolar-esque weather in my part of the country, the beautiful Pacific North-friggin’ A it’s raining again-West.

Pumpkins.   :-D

The kids begin perusing ideas of Halloween costumes and I begin crushing their dreams.  (I mean, doesn’t anyone want to be a cowboy, ghost, or even a good old fashioned street walker anymore?)

Guilt-free purchases of Kit Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Oh, wait.  Did I already mention that?

Spooky home decorating.  What other time of the year is it acceptable to not only ignore but glorify your ceiling cobwebs and dead flies in the window sill?  Perfection.

The cooler weather calling for soup.  And soup usually calls for bread.  Which calls for butter.  Which then calls for dipping back into the soup.  It’s a beautiful cycle.

The start of an exciting long season of family get-togethers and holiday celebrations.

I love this month.

Mindy