May 9, 2015


Pulling down box with suggestions for things to find offensive this year...pulling out slip of paper...opening it up...MOTHER'S DAY! Yes!

As if we didn't have enough going on with working moms shaming stay-at-home moms, breastfeeding moms shaming bottle feeding moms, moms of few children shaming moms with more children, helicopter moms shaming free-range moms, etc., now we have to shame moms who celebrate Mother's Day?? Are you kidding me??

My Facebook feed has been flooded these past few days with blog posts and articles about the evils of Mother's Day, how we should tone it down because there are people out there who are not moms and we're making them feel bad. Mothers are not special. Motherhood is not a job. It's not real work. Mothers don't do anything that childless people don't do, and do not deserve those construction paper cards, so carefully and lovingly drawn by tiny hands. Mother's Day is BS. SHAME!

Yes, we should be sensitive to people who have lost children, lost mothers, cannot have children, or have strained relationships with their own mothers. I am all for acknowledging that Mother's Day is a difficult day for all of these, and my heart goes out to them.
I refuse to, as one of the posts suggested, tone it down for those who have no desire to have children. I respect your decision not to have children. Everyone doesn't have to make the same choices in life. But, if that's what you have chosen, why do you care if my kids take me out do dinner on the second Sunday in May?

While I am sensitive to those who cannot celebrate Mother's Day because of circumstances beyond their control, I love my mother. I don't see anything wrong with having one day each year designated to buy her a card.

And, while I'm at it, there are a few people who have been left out of these posts about sensitivity to motherhood status at this time of year, so I would like to mention them here:

Elaine B. who raised not one, but THREE motherless children after losing her own baby after only ten days. Happy Mother's Day!
Nancy M. who is raising two children who are not her own as if they were, because their biological mother won't. Happy Mother's Day!
Amie H. who took three children that no one else was raising and gave them a stable, loving home where they are thriving. Happy Mother's Day!
Charee F. who has, just this week, become a surrogate mom for a couple in Colorado who cannot have children of their own. Rarely have I heard of anything so selfless. Happy Mother's Day!
Ashley M., Kelly A., and all the other moms who have crossed oceans to make sure abandoned and orphaned children had a mother to love them. Happy Mother's Day!
All the moms who never thought they would have children and are now holding their miracle babies.

You ALL deserve recognition. You are doing a big job. Anyone who thinks that motherhood isn't work, has obviously never spent more than 30 seconds with a child. You are special, especially to your kids. Having a day to appreciate you is not BS.
Oh, and hey, if you are adopted and you want to give your mom some extra love because she chose you and loves you more than anything on this planet, go ahead. There is no shame in it.

If you think mothers are no more special than anyone else, please ask the children who are being raised by the women mentioned above. I have a feeling they will tell you exactly how special mothers are.
I'm sure they envy you the luxury of thinking otherwise.

My Sweet Pea and Buddy have been coloring, pasting, and singing like crazy because someone told them that Sunday is a day to show Mommy how much they love her. I should only be ashamed of myself if I see their effort and think of it as, "BS."

Happy Mother's Day!!

December 23, 2014

A Little Yuletide Rant

I hate for my first post of the month to be a rant, but...

I get it.
You stopped giving Christmas gifts to make a point about consumerism. You're superior to everyone who still gives gifts.

I get it.
You and your family didn't exchange gifts this year because your children were acting ungrateful. You're superior to those of us who wouldn't take it that far, and your children will never behave in an ungrateful manner again.

I get it.
You bought your children four million gifts because it's only once a year and you want them to experience the magic of Christmas with a whole bunch of presents. You're superior to everyone who only gives a few gifts, for whatever their reasons are.

I get it.
You labeled all your small gifts from "Santa" and all the big gifts from, "Mom and Dad" in order to prevent the less wealthy children in your child's class at school from feeling like Santa discriminates against poor kids. Or something. You're superior to those of us who do it the other way around.

I get it. You don't do the Santa thing because it distracts from the true meaning of Christmas. You're superior, and more Christian, than anyone who lets their kids sit on Santa's lap.

Right? Because you deserve a great, big pat on the back for doing things the best way for yourself and your kids - you know, like families have done since the beginning of time, but now need validation from social media for.

Just be your own family and drop the sanctimony, please. Big gifts, small gifts, expensive gifts, cheap gifts, handmade gifts, no gifts, a million gifts, three gifts, one gift, two gifts, red gifts, blue gifts...none of it has to do with the baby in the manger and they're not what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

OK, rant over.

Peace and Blessings.

November 27, 2014

The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't

Eighteen years from now, when we have two kids in college and one in graduate school at Yale, so we can't afford a turkey, DWH and I will be sitting in our rocking chairs on our enormous wraparound porch, waiting to see their cars appear in the driveway so we can celebrate Thanksgiving with our babies. We may have to wait a while, because it's a long drive from New Haven, so we'll reminisce about Thanksgiving 2014.
We'll say things like, "Remember that Thanksgiving, right after we moved to North Carolina, and we lived in that little apartment? Sweet Pea was almost five and she caught a stomach virus that thwarted all our Thanksgiving plans? And, Goo was ten months old and would scream so loudly it shook the windows whenever I walked away? Remember when he used to let us call him Goo?
   "Remember how you went to K&W Cafeteria to pick up a couple of Thanksgiving dinner plates, because we had planned to go to South Carolina and Alabama for the holiday weekend and we didn't have any food in the fridge? Remember how Buddy wouldn't eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but he ate some applesauce with pumpkin and cranberry? Remember how the dressing tasted suspiciously like a crab cake, but the pecan pie was heavenly?
   "Remember how you went and searched out a candle for me to put on the table, just to make the atmosphere a little more cheerful, and because the whole apartment smelled like stomach virus poop?
   "Remember that? Do you remember how grateful we were to have our family all together, just you and me and our awesome three? Even though we were disappointed to miss the chance to see everyone else, even though there was fever and yellow gravy and piles of laundry to do, it was OK. We were thankful. We had what we needed. Remember?"

And, we will remember. We will laugh. We will still be thankful. And, then, we'll laugh some more.
We have had much to overcome this year, but God has tempered the obstacles with blessings. All that we have, we owe to his grace. It has always been and will always be thus.

“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.”
Thomas Goodwin

November 13, 2014

It's Just Safer that Way

A friend posted this hilarious list on Facebook today. Well, I thought it was hilarious. I can see how some people wouldn't, either because they are the target of the list, or because they take themselves very seriously and are, therefore, easily offended.
Anyway, the list addresses twenty phrases that almost every mom I know has heard at one time or another. Many of them are uttered by well-meaning people who are under the misguided notion that because they raised their own children, they know what's best for mine. I can appreciate these comments in the spirit in which they are intended. That doesn't mean that they don't make me clench my jaw shut until I hear my back teeth beginning to crack, but I do understand that there is no malice involved.
Some people are just mean. Or nosy. Or both. I cannot be held responsible for what flies out of my mouth and hits these people. They deserve my snark, and they deserve it in droves!

So, here's the list:

And here are my responses:
1. This one doesn't bother me, although I understand that it flies all over some people. It could be a lot worse. Read on.
2. What?! My child isn't supposed to live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?? Yes. I have tried fruits and veggies. I am not stupid. He eats fruit, but if you can think of a solution to his "I don't like to eat" phase, I am all ears. I worry about it enough, thanks. Oh, and please don't shame him about it. It makes me madder than a wet hen.
3. I don't give my kids soda, either. No judgment. Your kids aren't my kids.
4. Really? How should I let him lie on the floor? He has a short attention span and he's bored.
5. I'm torn on this one. I don't know if the person speaking has gone to a kids' movie expecting peace and quiet, or if the masochistic mother has taken her children to see a romantic comedy. If the former, why would you do that?? If the latter, why would you do that??
6. I laughed until tears ran down my face at this one. That's like saying, "When I buy a house, none of the light bulbs will ever need to be replaced."
Kids are not dogs. You can't coerce them into behaving the way you want them to with Snausages. They are people, with ideas and personalities and minds of their own. I wish you good providence in your endeavors as a parent. (Insert maniacal laughter here.)
7. And, this is why we practice good oral hygiene in our house. Everything in moderation, folks.
8. Hm. You seem pretty upset that he's pretty upset. Should you just go home? He'll forget what he's upset about and calm down in about 90 seconds. Will you?
9. I've never had anyone ask me if they could give my kids candy because they were sad. I have, however, had the bakers at Publix and Fresh Market yell out, "Hey, can they have a free cookie?" Uh, sure. It's almost lunch time, but I didn't want them to have anything healthy, anyway. Go ahead, because now that they've heard you, I will never hear the end of it until they get their free cookie.
10 & 11. Don't. Just don't. For this one, like many of the others, let's just assume that I know my children better than you do, because they're mine. I know you mean well, and I appreciate it, but you're saying this because you have no idea that my Buddy is very warm natured and if I put a jacket on him right now, the process will go like this: 1. He will begin to complain that he's too hot. 2. He will make a desperate attempt to take off the jacket, with or without unzipping it. 3. He will be red-faced and sweating buckets. Please just assume that I know my kids well enough to know whether or not they are comfortable, unless it's snowing and they're wearing tank tops and flip flops. Thanks.
12. Probably. Are you offering to babysit? I'll pay you with cookies.
13. Again, I'm torn on this one. If you say this when my kids are mad because I poured their milk into the yellow cup after they asked for the yellow cup and then changed their minds, go for it. Hug all you want. If you say this while I'm trying to discipline my kids, may God have mercy on your soul.
14. So...what? Yes, I chose to be a parent. Now, I'm going to choose to admit that it's hard.
15. Tony Danza. Also, see #6.
16. Maybe, but how do you know that child doesn't have developmental delays? Be kind, please.
17. Funny. I never gave anyone time to say that to me. But, my mom could give you an earful about it, I'm sure.
18. Absolutely! Why don't you bring your lunch and sit on the public toilet and eat it, too? No? I can't imagine why...
19. That's between the parent, the kid, and the pediatrician or dentist.
20. No. I'm saying this as both a dog lover and a mom. I spent some wonderful years with my dog, and I know how it feels to truly love a dog, and a cat, for that matter. Dogs are our first lessons in unconditional love. But, no. It is not the same. Until you have either carried your child in your body or brought your chosen-in-love child home, maybe it's hard to fully understand. But, it's not the same.

We're all on this journey together, y'all. Be kind. Our ultimate goal is the same. We all want to raise kids who love and are loved. Your kids are not my kids. My kids are not your kids. Our homes are not the same. Let's just arrive at our destination the way that's best for our own families, without judgment. And, even if you think you know better than that mom who is doing it totally wrong because you read it in a magazine or your friend's cousin's next-door neighbor's aunt's chiropractor said that kids shouldn't eat that, keep it to yourself. It makes it hard to enjoy the itty-bitty years when your parenting methods are being critiqued. And, the itty-bitty years are only here for a minute.

Peace, Love, and Cheerios.

October 28, 2014

Clumsy, or Normal?

You've seen Goo, right? The final installment of the Head trifecta? The baby who was wearing 18 month clothes at 7.5 months old? My child who is now nine months old and wears 2T-3T socks? The one who wears the same Alabama jersey his big brother wore two years ago, but looks like he should actually be playing football in it?

I love that kid.

I think he might be a little clumsy, though.

If you've seen him, you have doubtless seen him with a bruise on his head or a scratch on his face. Ever since he started crawling, he has been in a much better mood. However, he smacks right into stuff. Today, it was the TV stand. And the table leg. And his bedroom door. Last week, he had a big ol' goose egg on his forehead from crawling directly into Sweet Pea's bedpost. I spend a good portion of each day consoling him after he has crawled himself into an injury.

Now, he is much faster and more mobile than either of my other two, who have mostly been content to play a game or to occupy a lap and read. So, that leaves me wondering if this perceived clumsiness is actually a normal part of the active infant's life, and I just don't know about it because my first and second children were so calm and relatively quiet. I know that's the case with the sleep thing. Sweet Pea and Buddy sleep like champs and always have. Not Goo. He's getting better, though.

He is just so different from his brother and sister. If you roll a ball for him, he crawls at lightning speed to retrieve it and giggles with sheer delight. So, I'm thinking he might be athletically inclined. Great.

People always look at him and say, "Look how big he is! He's going to be a snerginflergin!" (That's what I hear when you use football words. Every time DWH watches ESPN and I hear someone say, "Nickelback," I'm terrified that I'm going to have to suffer through "How You Remind Me.")
That's great if he likes the whole sports thing, but if this continues, I'm a little nervous about letting him play.

But, this is normal, right? It's a normal part of being a nine month old with lot of energy and I shouldn't worry that he has depth perception issues. Right? RIGHT??

October 3, 2014

And, the Difference Is...?

Recently, I read a blog post that was written by a young wife and mom whose husband asked her to stop wearing yoga pants everywhere. At first, I was appalled that her husband would take it upon himself to make his wife's fashion choices for her and worse, that she would allow it to happen.

But, the more I read, the more I saw that he actually had a valid point and was glad that the wife chose to look in the mirror and see what he was saying. In fact, I had caught myself thinking along the same lines, although my reasoning is a little different.

As a husband, and apparently a very pious one, he was concerned about his wife wearing clothes that are tighter than her own skin, especially when men are around, because it was making men have lustful thoughts about her, thereby forcing them to commit adultery in their hearts. That kind of thinking suggests that anyone with a Y chromosome should be released from the burden of personal responsibility, and also lends itself to the oh-so-popular American cultural assertion that all men are too dim-witted to control themselves.

Here's my thing:

You're walking around Target with your children in the cart, wearing your yoga pants and your monogrammed, chevron-patterned tank top that shows your bra and probably a little side boob. You hair is in a perfectly positioned pony tail, and you are wearing your pristine, multi-colored tennis shoes. Don't look at me like that. I just described 90% of the women in Target and at the park.
Guess what?
I can see every single nook and cranny God gave you. All of it. You are leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. And, based on my knowing several of you, I'm going to venture a guess that you are a champion of the "modesty movement" and monitor every article of smocked clothing your little girl wears below that giant bow.
You may also be the type who wonders why, on the football games that come on Sunday, the cheerleaders are essentially wearing nothing but sequined bras and panties. Or, maybe that's just me. At any rate, I can see yours. Bras and panties, that is.

I'm not just picking on yoga pants, though. I can imagine that if your babysitter showed up wearing this:

You would ask her, politely, to go home and change clothes, and then come back when she was dressed appropriately to be with young children. And yet, if you change the fabric and add a Nike symbol so that it looks as if you've just come from working out, it's entirely appropriate for a suburban mom to wear to the grocery store.
Why? What's the difference? You're still showing just as much skin and wearing shorts that are just as tight with that tank top and sports bra.
Julia Roberts had on more clothes than that in the first thirty minutes of Pretty Woman.

Let's have a little fun and show my age for a second. Twenty years ago, if I had tried to leave my house wearing "workout shorts" that showed most of my leg and probably some of my underwear, or pants as tight as the yoga pants that moms wear today, I would have been swiftly sent back to my room and told that I forgot some of my clothes.

I'm not kidding, ladies, you can see everything.

Why is it that if those skin tight pants were sold at Hot Topic and came in zebra print, you would accuse the wearer of looking slutty and trying too hard to get attention for her body, but when those same pants are purchased at Academy Sports in basic black, they're fine because they're "yoga pants?"
If your argument is that the other woman is trying to entice men by dressing that way, let me ask you something. What is it that you think entices them? Isn't it the fact that they're skin tight and show off all her body parts?

I know that not everyone notices things like this and I'm sure it doesn't bother everyone the way it bothers me. But, I am the queen of pet peeves, right?

I guess my problem isn't really that I can see all your body parts while I'm shopping for toothpaste, but more that I hope you're not telling your little girl to keep herself covered when you're not doing it yourself. Or, that you won't be shocked when she wants to wear next to nothing when she goes to middle school. She's just following your example, right?

OK, one last thing, and it has nothing to do with revealing clothes and everything to do with my own quirkiness.
I have chosen to make being a stay-at-home mom my career for a few years, while my kiddos are itty bitty. Did you see what I called it? My career.
If I were going to a paying job every day, I would be showered and dressed in real clothes. Why is that? Because my job is important to me, so I should look like I care about what I'm doing and that I'm putting my absolute best into every aspect of it.
If Dad wears nice clothes every day because what he's doing is important and meaningful and he needs to be at his best in order to do his job, what does it say about my job if all I do throw on some yoga pants and a ratty old t-shirt without so much as a quick shower?
I do understand that I'm a morning person and that it's harder for some to get that done than it is for me. Again, it's my own issue inside my own head, but I thought it might be a little food for thought.

September 21, 2014


My Crock Pot has been returned to me, safe and sound. I can't say that much for my bread bowl, but the casualties of the move were few, and we are all together again in a home that does not require a plastic card to open the front door.

This weekend, we attended our first traditional Winston-Salem annual event as a family. We went to Apple Fest, which is a nerd's paradise if I ever saw one. Therefore, we fit in perfectly and had a great time! We bought apple butter, drank apple cider, smelled apple pastries being baked, and watched a woman in Colonial-style garb bake an apple pie in a Dutch oven over an open fire. We saw people party like it was 1799. Sweet Pea, of course, wanted to sample every morsel of apple-y goodness we saw. Buddy wanted to climb rocks. Then, he didn't. He wanted to make a craft. Then, he didn't. He thought he might want to sample some honey. Then, he didn't. But, if you know our Little Buddy, you know that he is always easy going and happy to be wherever he is. Goo fell asleep, because that's what you do when you're eight months old and your parents drag you to their dorky festivals.
I assume DWH would have preferred to spend the entire day watching football, but he was a great sport and I'm pretty sure he had a good time, too.

So, who wants to be the first to come visit us and get dragged to stuff like this? We're taking volunteers!