Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hey Webster! Your Definition Is Wrong

In school, you learn how to spell words and the meanings of those words. You are taught how to use the dictionary to define words. You are told that the definitions will always remain the same.


See, after having kids, your definition of certain words changes. You think you have a good grasp of the English language.

But you would be wrong.

Dressing Up

Before Kids: Doing your hair by blow drying and flat ironing. Putting on your full face of make-up. Taking 20 minutes to find just the right outfit to wear.

After kids: Making sure to put on a bra. Actually brush your hair. And your teeth. Putting on a pair of clean-ish jeans.

Fancy Dinner 

Before Kids: Going to a new trendy restaurant that opened downtown. 7pm reservations. White linen tablecloths. Leisurely enjoy a cocktail and appetizer while considering which entree to order. Finish meal with decadent dessert.

After Kids: Mac-n-cheese at home. Promptly at 5:00pm because the natives get restless. With a glass of wine.


Before Kids: Wow! Had a great time out with my friends last night but stayed out too late and had too many glasses of wine. I sure am tired.

After Kids: Up every two hours. Then up every four hours. Then up once a night. Some tiny person wants to crawl in bed with you and sleep with their feet in your spleen. Some tiny person peed the bed. You haven't slept through the night in seven years. Where am I? What is happening?


Before Kids: Maybe I'll have a caramel cappuccino. Oh! Or a white mocha. I just love those fancy coffee drinks!

After Kids:  Must. Have. Coffee. Cofffffeeeee... *Dumps coffee grinds directly into mouth.*

Going To The Bathroom 

Before Kids: I think I'll go to the bathroom.

After Kids: *Goes to the bathroom. Naively locks door. Child or children bang on door repeatedly crying and yelling to get your attention. Next time you open the door thinking this approach is better. You get your kid wanting to climb onto your lap to read you a book. Or a play-by-play commentary on your bathroom uses.*

Date Night

Before Kids: Nice dinner and maybe a movie.  Out with a group of friends for drinks and dancing. Going to show or a concert.

After Kids: When kids are asleep, sitting in bed eating cereal while watching Netflix.

So I don't know about you, but I think a ton of definitions have changed after having kids. I mean I could literally write down at least 50 definitions that are no longer valid right now.

And I would totally write more about it.

But I'm exhausted.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Walking Dead Hurts So Good

After the last episode of season 6 of The Walking Dead, I was so distraught. 

And numb.

And in denial.

Total denial.

I was all "Hey! It's going to be okay. Surely nobody is really dead. They wouldn't just leave us hanging for AN ENTIRE SUMMER."

Then I started to venture into anger.

"Who do these chumps think they are?! Leaving us hanging all summer to find out what happened to Rick and the crew. HAVE YOU NO SOUL?!"

Now, three days away from the season 7 premiere, I have reached acceptance.

"Okay, I get it. It's a post-apocalyptic world. Not everyone is going to make it. I don't like it and it rips me up inside, but I understand it."


So over the summer, I was wondering what the heck I was going to watch while The Walking Dead is on hiatus. 

Enter Netflix.

We signed up for a free trial over the summer.

The boys LOVED that they had all their TV shows and some new ones that they could watch at any time.

All my friends kept telling me about the gloriousness of watching a TV series on Netflix so I decided to check it out.

My first choice was Breaking Bad. I didn't watch past the first episode.

I didn't like it.

WAIT. Don't throw things at me!

For my next choice, I did a little more investigating and choose a cult favorite, Supernatural.

People. People. People. PEOPLE.

This show is amazing.

I get it. I get the cult following. I totally get it.

The plot line is interesting. They hunt supernatural creatures. There is a strong sense of family on the show. There is snarkiness and alpha maleness.

And there's the brothers, Sam and Dean.

Oh, Sam and Dean.


Give me a minute.

Or several.

If you have never watched Supernatural, you need to stop what you are doing IMMEDIATELY and go watch it.

You're welcome.

And if that is not enough for you, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays John Winchester, Sam and Dean's dad.

Which - if I'm being honest - my brain is having a hard time with.

John Winchester in Supernatural plays a good guy, stern, loving, albeit-misguided-at-times father who hunts all things supernaturally evil and plays Negan in The Walking Dead, bat-wielding ultra-psycho with a penchant for bashing in heads.

Does. Not. Compute.

So The Walking Dead starts back up again tonight. And I know one of my favorite characters will bite the dust.

I know beloved characters have bit the dust in the past.

That is what happens in a zombie ridden world.

But it cuts. It cuts deep.

The Walking Dead hurts so good.

However, it is a HUGE comfort to know that Supernatural will be there to console me.

Hold me, Sam and Dean.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Kindergartner's Birthday Party

This past weekend, I took L (5) to one of his kindergarten classmate's birthday party. This was L's first kid birthday party so he was beyond pumped.

Lucky him, his older brother, J (7) got to tag along too.

Since it is close to Halloween, it was a costume party. L went as Iron Man (Mach 3) and J went as a ninja.

I feel I should tell you that I don't even know what "Mach 3" is but apparently Iron Man has several different suits. My boys know that this suit is the Mach 3. How they know, I have no idea as they have never seen the Iron Man movie. But, okay, sure. It's the Mach 3.

When we arrived at the party, the kid's mom was so gracious and welcoming. She ushered us outside where the bounce houses were set-up.

I don't know about you but for my boys, it really doesn't get any better than bounce houses.

Except for maybe Minecraft. Or Pokemon Go. Or Wii U.

But still!

Bounce Houses = Awesomesauce

I quickly positioned myself on the deck to have the best view of the backyard and made myself comfortable.

In between keeping an eye on my kids, I made polite conversation with the parents.

It was a mildly controlled chaos.

14 boys. 4 girls. 2 bounce houses, 1 pinata stuffed with candy.

Oh yeah.

This party was ON.

Since it is middle of October in the south(ish), of course, it would be 80 degrees. L quickly tired of his Iron Man suit, I helped him peel it off his sweaty little body so he could go play.

Minutes later, J comes up with his socks. Followed by L and his socks.

I'm holding all of the kids stuff in one hand and my lemonade in the other. And I'm doing a fine job, I might add.

Wanting in on more action, I make my way down the steps to the yard. 

Standing there watching the kids, a tiny little Spiderman comes up to me.

He thrusts out his hand to me, "Hold this." He then gives me three little trucks.



Where'd you come from?

"Okay," I answer and manage to shove them into my delicately balanced pile of kid stuff.

He runs off.

I strike up a conversation with one of the other moms.

Little Spiderman returns. "I want a gun," he tells me, pointing to my older kid's Nerf gun.

Um, okay.

"There are some upstairs in the living room. A whole bunch of them," I answer, pointing up the stairs for added emphasis.

"I want a gun." he repeats, slowly this time in case I didn't get it the first time.

Who is this kid?!

Magically, my oldest son, J, appears and says, "I can show you where the guns are. Come with me."

"Thanks, sweetie," I say.

A few minutes later, a tub is brought outside full of water and of apples.

"Bobbing for apples!" the host mom yells.

Looking over at the ginormous tub, my eye starts to twitch.

Bobbing for apples.  With kindergartners. 

Watching all of those little faces dip into the water, starts to give me the heebie jeebies.

Please don't let my kids want to dive into that cess pool of bacteria. Please, oh please.

Five minutes later, "Mom," J asks, "can I bob for apples?"

Crappity crap.

To which I reply, "No,sweetie. We're not going to be doing that. Oh look! cupcakes!"

I have never been so glad to see cupcakes in my life. Perfect timing.

After we eat the cupcakes, the boys new costumes are covered in frosting, their foreheads plastered in sweat so I declare the party a success.

Time to head out.

I turn around and see the little Spiderman.


Sticking out his hand that holds the Nerf gun, he demands, "Here, hold my gun."

Hold up, Spidey. I'm on to you.

Pointing to the small table next to me, I respond, "Look! Here is the picnic table. You can set your gun down over here."

He glares at me, stalks over to a lady about 6 feet away and says, "Mommy, hold my gun."

Insert picture of sucker here.

Well played, Spidey. Well played.

As we head out, the host mom is so sweet and thanks us for coming.

I make sure to make mental notes about my kids' future birthday parties.

Have plenty of Nerf guns. And bounce houses. And cupcakes.

Definitely NO apple bobbing.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Shopping For Back To School Supplies Is Insanity

On Monday morning, as I sat down with my cup of coffee, I started to make a "to do" list for the week.

One of these items was to go shopping for back to school supplies.

No worries! I love to shop and I just have to get a few boxes of crayons and pencils! I got this!

I head over to our information drawer (i.e. junk drawer) and take out each of the kids school supply lists. As I start to look through the list, I am starting to feel a bit nervous.

"Ticonderoga #2 pencils presharpened". Who's Ticonderoga?

"Pocket folders, Poly, with Brads, one of each color - Yellow, Red, Blue and Green". What's a Brad? Does "Poly mean "polyester"?


How to best handle this so I don't miss anything?


I remember my friend, Amanda (i.e. Back To School Sensei), mentioning that she took all of her kids school supply lists and compiled a master list. That sounds like an excellent idea!

After compiling my master list and fortifying myself with two ginormous cups of coffee, I drop the kids off at my mom's and head to the store.

Let's do this, snitches.

After parking and heading into the store, I grab a grocery cart and I have a spring in my step. 

This will be a piece of cake.

As soon as I enter, I see a wall to my left stacked full of folders.


I immediately find the four colored plastic three ring binders I'm looking for.

This isn't going to take long at all! I wonder what I can do with the rest of my free time...

I continue on to the the large "Back To School Supply" section. I figure I will grab the crayons and the markers first.

I glance at my list to see what I need. 8 boxes of 24ct Crayons.


Next up, markers! I need 3 packs of 8ct Thin Markers and 4 packs of 8ct Thick Markers. I look in the bins only to find 10ct markers of both kinds.

What kind of tomfoolery is this?!

I look at my list and look at the bin. I look at my list and in the bin again. I guess I am magically hoping some appear in the bin.

Suddenly, I recall there is an office section in the back of the store. I bet they are back there! Plus, I bet it is a lot less crowded.


Heading to the office section, I can't help feeling smug as I know I will find everything I'm looking for without as may people around.

Wrong, Kemosabe.

Looking through this section, I see they too only have 10ct markers. There are no 8ct markers to be found.

Guess what?! You are getting two extra markers! You're welcome.

Looking around for glue sticks, I find none so I head back up to the front of the store.

15 glue sticks?


My kids are going to be gluing the HECK out of some stuff at school. For real.

I wind my way back to the "Wall of Folders". This thing is ginormous. It almost rivals the Greek Parthenon in size.

I find the "Folders with Pockets, Poly, with Brads" on my list. Spotting the poly folders on the shelf. I bend over to look through a box. Grabbing a folder, I open it to find pockets inside and three tabs.

Are the tabs these so called "Brads"? Is that what they mean? If so, why didn't they just say "tabs"?

You know what? Yes! Let's say that they are!

After going through another box and not find the colors I need, I decide I am going to plop my backside down on the nasty dirty public floor and search each one of these blasted boxes for the stuff I need.

Bending over like that is giving me a back cramp and my hiney is sticking up in the air.

Sorry people. A mama's got to do what a mama's go to do.

10 minutes or maybe 30 minutes, I honestly lost all track of time, I find all the folders in the colors on the list.

Finally. Deep sigh.

I go in search of the composition books. I need regular composition books and the ones for K-2 primary composition books. I easily find the first and cannot locate the later.

I wonder around aimlessly for about 10 minutes until an older lady who works here takes pity on me and asks if she can help.

I take in her kind smile, her headband and her matching wrist bands.

This is a lady who means business.

"Please", I hear myself say, "can you please help me find the primary composition books? I have looked everywhere and cannot find them."

She smiles and replies, "Yes! They are on an end cap over here. Follow me!"

So I follow her to the alleged end cap and locate the composition books.


After thanking her profusely, I head off to search for the presharpened Ticonderoga pencils. I find tons and tons of pencils. No Ticonderoga.


I make my way over to another section that has pencils.


Where are these flipping pencils?!

I spy the same nice lady a row over. I subtly maneuver my way over to her and sheepishly ask if she can help me again by locating these mythical Ticonderoga pencils.

She smiles and motions for me to follow her.

She takes me right back to the main "Back To School" area. She immiedately goes to a bin which lots of items on the top - none of which are pencils - and pulls out a box of the pencils.

They do exist!

"How many do you need?" she asks.

"I need 10 boxes of 12 presharpened," I reply.

Another mom is within earshot. She pipes up, "I need some of those presharpened pencils too!"

Listen, lady. I'd be happy to share. But if there is only enough for one person, that person is me. Capiche?

The kind store worker produces one box. Scratches her head and says, "I think I know where more are."

She ambles off with me close behind. And the other mom hot on my trail.

The store worker walks halfway across the store and we find a box crammed in among many other items. She starts to hand me the number of boxes I need.


I look at the pencils and I lean over to look at the price.

Wait. WHAT?!

What gives with the cost of these pencils being three times the normal amount? Why are they so expensive? Are they made with the blood of unicorns?

I don't get it.

Deep sigh. Lots of deep sighs.

She says, "What else do you need?" I tell her about the Name Brand ultra fine black markers and the Name Brand Dry Erase Fine Point Black Markers.

She turns and heads to the back of the store. Back to the Office Section.

Happy thoughts.

Once there, we of course find only half of what I need but I decide I'll take it.

I'll look again another day. 

I ask her if she knows where a pink wedge eraser is and she responds that it is at the front of the store.

"I'll go it get it", she says.

"Oh don't trouble yourself! I can get it. Thank you so much for your help," I sincerely tell her.

This poor woman has been running herself ragged to help me. Now I know why she wears the headband.

I stomp back up towards the front and give a meaningful glance at the school supplies.

Screw it.

At this point, I don't care if I have to make a special trip, spend $10 in gas, for one tiny pink wedge eraser.

Mama is all shopped out today.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

It Doesn't Matter How You Get There Just That You Arrived

 Me with sweet baby J

Back in 2000, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease.  For those of you not familiar, Graves' Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. It is basically a ridiculously overactive thyroid.  My thyroid was the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of thyroids.

While my doctor was treating me with medication, he explained that I should not get pregnant during this time because it would be considered a high risk pregnancy.  He went on to say that even if my thyroid levels were at normal levels in the future that I may have trouble with my thyroid putting me at high risk if I ever got pregnant.

To say this news was troubling would be putting it mildly.  When I was diagnosed, Jeff and I were newlyweds so we were not yet thinking about children.  But let's be honest. After I said, "I do", I constantly dreamed of the day when I would be pregnant, when we would have children of our own.

Once my thyroid levels were under control two years later, Jeff and I went about our business as usual.  We were not trying to get pregnant but we were also not trying to prohibit it either.

For the next couple of years, we worked on establishing our careers and obtaining our Master's degrees.  We built a big, beautiful house.  We had a little beagle named JJ who was the sweetest dog ever.

Life was good.  We had a good life.  Things were going well for us.

However, I am not going to lie.  I wanted to have a baby.  I wanted to be a mom.  I wanted that little person to be part of me and part of Jeff.  

What I didn't want was to talk about it.  If I talked about and said it out loud, then it would confirm what I already was thinking.  I could not get pregnant.

So, miracle of all miracles, I became pregnant six years after getting my thyroid under control.  Then, thirteen months later, I was pregnant with my second little guy. To say we were shocked would be the understatement of the year!

We were going to have a baby.  I was going to be a mom.  Words cannot describe it. Elated. Ecstatic. Excited. Scared. Hopeful.

Some moms are not as blessed as I am.  Some moms have to have help getting pregnant.

To those moms who are undergoing artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Your commitment and endurance is inspiring.

To those moms who have adopted children.  Your willingness to open your hearts and your homes to a child is a testament to the warmth of the human spirit.

To those moms who have lost their children.  Your courage to persevere after walking though what I imagine is the shadow-of-the-valley-of-death gives me the strength to face my hardest of times.

It doesn't matter if you are a mom for five minutes or for eighty years.  It doesn't matter if you are a mom to one child or twenty.  It doesn't matter if you have kids via natural birth or via c-section.

At the end of the journey, the result is the same.  You are a mom.  It doesn't matter how you get there, just that you arrived.

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Well, Hello Stranger!






*Shifts weight.*

It's been a while.

A year to be exact.

And you're probably wondering (all five of you) "Where the heck have you been?!"

Well, I guess the short answer is I've been busy.



That is such a ridiculous answer!

Because everyone is busy.

We all just decide how we spend our time.

I really enjoy writing. It is a creative outlet for me. And it brings me so much satisfaction so see a piece all come together.

But I also enjoy doing a lot of other things too.

Like laundry and dirty dishes.


But seriously, there many things I enjoy. Playing tag with my boys.  Reading a good book. Drinking my ginormous coffee drink from a certain coffee place we all know and love. Snuggling with Hubby and boys for our Friday Family Movie night. Having that "aha moment" during a sermon at church. Catching up with a good friend. Just to name a few.

All of these things I enjoy.

Don't get me wrong.

This past year hasn't been all sunshine, glitter and rainbows. 

(Actually, forget glitter. Glitter is the devil.)

This past year was also filled with stomach viruses, trips to the ER, fender benders, strep throat and some good old fashioned screaming and yelling.

And of course those things we have to do. 

You know. The "being an adult stuff". (Blah.)

However, I am going to try to come back to writing because I do love it. I am going to write when the mood strikes me. And I won't feel guilty about it because I am doing something for me.

I think it is not only good for me but good for my family to take some time for myself.

I am not only "Mommy" and "Wife".

I am "Michelle".


*Moonwalks. Cabbage patches. Does the worm.*