Friday, September 21, 2012

VIVA Las Vegas


This year has been hard on our dating life.  In the past we have been great daters.  I love to find dates and do them.  I love to create dates and enjoy.  I love to spend time alone with my husband--not as the father of my kids--but as my best friend and lover.

I don't know if it was the death of my mother, my father's cancer, the incident where I hit rock bottom, or what but dating ... well, it wasn't just put on the back burner it was taken off the stove top entirely.  And put into an old paint bucket.  And left in the backyard ... for the dogs to pee on.

Dating and being dated have not even come close to being on my priority list this year.

And I am feeling the effects.

There is nothing wrong with our marriage.

Life is going well.  We aren't arguing or disconnected.

I just miss the days where we aren't "mom and dad" or "teacher and lawyer."  I miss being 100% who I am with him and knowing he loves that part of me best!

We are going to Las Vegas this weekend for an "us" trip where we can celebrate love and marriage and intimacy (and sleeping in!).  

This doesn't make up for a year of drought in the dating zone but I'm looking forward to it reinvigorating us as a couple (not that we don't love being "mom and dad" but "Matt and RJ" are fun too!).

Thursday, September 20, 2012


My new Real Simple came in this week.

SQUEAL! (with a capital S folks ... this is exciting news!)

On the "Simple List" there is a note that last year (just last year), Americans spent $310 million dollars (yes, MILLION) on Halloween costumes ... for their PETS.

Right below that number is this one: 5 million.  As in 5 MILLION people (men, women, children) who benefit from the sale of Fair Trade items.

We will spend $310 million dollars on pet costumes but won't pay a couple dollars more for that Fair Trade coffee?

I can't help but be suspicious that some child working in sketchy labor conditions made those pet costumes for an unlivable wage.  Does anyone ever think this way?  Or does it not matter because it's just $10 here and there? We don't stop to think who makes that product or how us buying it matters.

I don't want to be preachy but seriously, something is wrong here.

I read those numbers and instantly recalled that part from The Hunger Games where the folks are talking about the rich people in The District and how the District people don't care about anyone other than themselves so long as they have food and entertainment.

And suddenly, I felt very sickish inside.

(On a lighter note, if you keep reading these posts thinking I should a lot like Junie B. Jones, good job.  Reading 25 books in one voice effects you as a writer, apparently.  Or else I just like to keep giving my friend Sarah a reason to roll her eyes).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I Think About: Target and Parenting (CSI Edition)

CSI: The Parenting Edition 

The Crime Scene: The check out line at Target on Sunday mid-morning

The Accomplice: One of those horrible kids' carts where the kids sit facing each other and the basket is in front of them.  Obviously designed by someone with an evil sense of humor who had a bad childhood and, at present, has no children.  Seriously, these carts are a tool of Satan but I digress.

The Crime: My 3 year old son was standing on the seat of the cart (this is the kids' seat.  Not in the basket.  He was about 2 feet off the ground) while the cart was NOT moving and we were checking out.  Said criminal was holding onto the handle and watching the scanner/check out process.

The CSI Re-cap: Child was standing.  Check out clerk told him (in a not so nice tone), "You have to sit down or get out of there!"

Mother, swipping debit card, calmly looks at child (still just standing there) and at clerk.  Mother then smiles and says, "He's okay." (Mother is also thinking: if you physically remove my child from that cart, my mean protective mother streak is probably going to freak out. And then you'll get a strongly written note from my attorney husband explaining why touching my child was a big, bad, idea!)

Clerk (more irritated than before, if possible): Standing on those seats is against store policy. He has to get down.

Mother (still nice and calm but smile is fading): "Um, we aren't moving and he's just standing there.  He's okay."

Clerk (turning Target red): "Well, it's my job to keep him safe."

Mother (calmly and firmly): "No.  I am his mother.  It is my job to keep him safe."

Clerk (starting to sweat): "Well if my manager comes out here ..."

Mother (putting purchased items back in unmoving cart): "If your manager comes over here I will explain to her that I am responsible for this child and I will parent him.  If he is in danger I will protect him.  Thank you and have a nice day."

Criminals flee the crime scene


Here's the thing, I understand the check out clerk's intentions.  She wanted my son safe.  Here's the thing though.  He's MY child.  Had she said, "Would you please have him get down?  He is making me nervous." I would have happily obliged.

But she didn't.

She tried to parent my son.

My son who I ask not to talk to strangers.

My son who I tell to NOT always listen to strangers (because I don't ever want him following this advice: "Your mom told me to pick you up so go ahead and get in my car"--even if you don't know me ...).

My son who was standing on a seat (like he does at our dinner table), not moving, highly interested in the check out process. (Scandalous as this may be, he was not throwing an epic meltdown disturbing the masses.  Target has no policies against that behavior, given the nature of the kids in line behind us).

He was not in danger.  He was not putting others in danger.  When he has been in danger, or put others in danger, I STEP IN. Because he is my child and I want him safe.  Because he is my child and I don't want him to hurt others.

He is MY child.  I will parent him.

So folks, if you see some kids who are about to harm your kid, please do what you need to do to defend and protect your child.

If you see another child about ready to put himself in harm's way--serious harm, like drinking ring cleaner fluid or stepping out in front of a car--do what you can to prevent a catastrophe.

But if some parent isn't keeping their child as tied down and protected as you keep yours, allow that parent some grace.  If you must say something, say it (calmly) to the parent, not the child.  There are many ways to parent.  Yours is not the right way.  Neither is mine.

I will parent my children.  I will let you parent your children.  End of story.

What I think is that I will parent my children my way, with or without the blessing of the Target checkout clerk.

(And BTW, I totally let my 3 year old ride the cart clear to the car standing up. *GASP*!) Thanks, Shell!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No More Toddler Beds

I came home and the convertible crib/toddler bed was in the garage.

In pieces.

I am so excited to watch my children grow up, seek the heart of God, and use their gifts and talents to the benefit of others.

I am not one of those parents who wants to keep my children young forever because then, I think how much I would be missing--how much others would be missing.

I want to enjoy every moment of them growing and learning and changing.

But seeing that toddler bed in the garage in pieces just hit me in the heart--hard.

No more babies.

My children are growing and even though I am so blessed for this life of watching them discover themselves, and God, and this world, something inside me just aches.

And once again I as reminded the days go slowly but the years go quickly.

P's new "big boy bed" made by my handsome hubby--without directions.  Gosh he's good!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Plain Old Tuna

It has been a mom-guilt morning.

Although I love (LOVE LOVE LOVE) these cool mornings, I'm reminded today how days will be getting shorter and opportunities for fun during the day will be getting less and less.

I reflect on my weekend.

Did we play enough or did I clean too much?

Did we snuggle and read enough books or did we go to too many stores?

Did I focus on my favorite people or my homework.

Am I just wasting this time, this life of mine?

Has it been enough?  Am I enough.

This is a lot to think about by 7 a.m.

Then I made M's lunch.  Plain old tuna fish with crackers (and plums, bananas, cherry tomatoes from our garden, a pumpkin chip muffin, and water).  <---I added that last bit in case you were afraid she'd be hungry with just one measly lump of tuna.

As she left for the bus stop with her daddy it dawned on me that I forgot a dessert.  And then I thought of Pinterest and those moms who make their kids lunches look like pretend sushi or Princess Jasmine and I thought, "Poor M.  Stuck with a mom like me."  She is the most delightful of children and what did she get?  Plain old tuna and no dessert.

In my core I know I'm enough and I do enough and I love enough but some mornings, I just wish I could do more--be more.

Tomorrow, M get's two desserts.