First Public Parental Shaming

Today was the first time I was publicly shamed for my parenting. Maybe I should consider myself lucky since I have gone five years without this happening, but right now, the rage is still real.

We were at 11:30 mass this morning with Reese and James, and to us, it was just a normal Sunday. James had dropped his train about 317 times and had asked for us to pick it up 317 times. Maybe the 5th time he asked us, the elderly woman in front of us turned around, looked at James and said, “whisper! whisper!” in a semi-aggressive tone. Andrew and I looked at each other. This was just the beginning of it all and we were already pissed.

James is 2.5 years old and doesn’t give a damn if you are supposed to be quiet somewhere.  At this point, I had actually thought he was having a pretty good day. Five minutes later, the woman turned around, and this is what she said, verbatim, while wagging her stupid old finger at us, “You need to teach him to be quiet at home, not here at church. I have four kids and they were always quiet in church and never acted like this.” Then she turned back around and we continued staring at her back, our mouths agape.

There was fire in my insides and I’m pretty sure I was shaking. I was mortified but would have also loved to punch her in her smug face.

I took James out of the church and spent the rest of the mass with him in the foyer, going over and over in my head what I wish I had said to that lady. “Well you were 20 minutes late to mass and didn’t even hear the gospel so your attendance today doesn’t even count you jerk!” or “I’m sure you remember exactly how your children behaved in church 90 years ago.” Take that! I had plenty of zingers, most of which probably can’t be mentioned here.

When we were getting ready to leave and I was zipping James’ coat up in the foyer, another elderly woman came up to me, put her palm on my cheek, and said, “He is a good little fellow, and you are doing a good job. She should probably just sit up in the front of the church next time.”

Thank you kind stranger! We needed that.

 

 

 

Talking Back

Andrew to ReeseWhich shirt do you want to wear?
Reese: Nonsense! I’ll wear a dress.


ReeseWhy does James have the Magic School Bus book in his room?
Me: He probably wanted to look at it.
Reese <in valley girl voice>: Why? James isn’t even interested in science!

Firsts

This past weekend we took Reese to her first movie.

She had been asking to go to a movie in a theater for a while. It was cold, dreary, and we had a full Saturday to kill. The only kids movie playing at our local theater was Kung Fu Panda 3.

$42 later, yes you read that correctly, two adult tickets and 1 child’s ticket at our outrageously expensive movie theater, came to $42. James was free, thank god, otherwise homeboy would have been left behind.

All in all, it didn’t go great and Reese asked to go home twice during the course of the movie. Our heads were saying, “hells no you can’t go home this just cost us $50”, but our mouths said, “it’s ok Reese, just cover your eyes at the scary parts.” Plus, we needed to see if Po got his chi back.  She spent a good portion of the movie with her eyes covered. Kai, the bull in the movie terrified her and no amount of lollipops or popcorn could fix it.

I honestly did not think it was that scary but unfortunately, Reese is JUST like her mom. I was scared of everything growing up, (including clowns which most children find delightful and hilarious) and to this day I don’t watch Dateline if I’m home alone at night.

Twice during the short car ride home Reese said, “How about you never take me to this theater again when Kung Fu Panda is playing.” Later, when Andrew was putting her to bed she asked, “Why did Mom want to take us to see that scary movie?”Also, for the past two nights at bedtime she has said that she can’t stop thinking about Kai. Awesome. A scary bull from ancient China is haunting my four-year-old’s thoughts.

So I may or may not have ruined the first movie theater experience for Reese. James, on the other hand has learned that movies include unlimited candy and popcorn so he is lifer.

On Sisterhood

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As one of four girls, my sisters have been some of my greatest gifts in life, and today, they are my three best friends.

This is not to say that at some point in my life, I wouldn’t have gladly traded one of them for a brother; but now as an adult, I know how lucky I am. Yes they steal your clothes, hog the bathroom and the phone (back in the day of landlines), can piss you off more than anyone else in the world, and in my case, even physically assault you (no, really, we came to blows on many occasions.) But there is comfort in having people in life who know all of you, who are bound to support you no matter what and who aren’t afraid to tell you (loudly and perhaps in public) when you’re being an asshole.

One hope I have for Reese is that she will have a sister.

I used to think about this often and lately, as she gets older, I see that regardless of what happens in the future, Reese won’t miss out on a lot of the things sisters share. And that is because she has her cousin Mira.

Mira is 4 months older than Reese and she is the cool older cousin everyone has growing up. She was Reese’s first friend, and today Reese says she is her best friend. Mira lives close enough that we can see her fairly often, but each time we do it’s like Christmas. They tell secrets at the dinner table, giggling behind cupped hands. They disappear from family parties together and jump on beds. They plot new ways to torture little brothers. They imitate each other. They fight. They chase each other around the back yard and someone usually ends up crying.

I’m not sure that there are many other relationships in life like the one sisters have. But if there are, I would imagine they are a lot like those of close cousins (but without the physical assaults.)

We love you Mira-belle!

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Fitness Blender

Since the holiday face stuffing has now concluded, here is a post about fitness.

Fitness Blender is now my favorite way to work out. I have always been a fan of working out at home. With two kids, and winter upon us, it is really the only way I can get it done these days.

I read about Fitness Blender in Self magazine earlier this year, and before I went to Mexico I purchased a 5 day workout plan. Since then, I have been hooked.

The site has hundreds of free videos with all different types of workouts, for all different levels. The best part about the site is that you can buy workout plans (relatively cheap, the one I got was $5.99) which will give you a workout to do every day for a specific period of time (1 week, 4 weeks, 8 weeks etc.) This was attractive to me because I always found myself getting stuck in a rut; I would get into a certain type of exercise and do it all the time. Not only would it get boring, but my body never seemed to changed because I was just working the same muscles over and over again.  You can access the videos that make up a workout program without purchasing the plan, but the plan shows you how to put them together, in order, so that you work out your entire body while avoiding injury and repetition.

The videos can be searched by length of time, calorie burn, type of exercise, difficulty level, equipment needed etc. It’s convenient and even if I only have 10 minutes to work out, I can find something to do. Also, the videos are seriously challenging. I have used other sites where the workouts labeled “most difficult” didn’t always feel hard enough to warrant my only workout for the day. Not so, with this site. The most difficult videos left me feeling as tired as  I would have after running 5 or 6 miles, and I felt like that was all I needed to do all day.

These are the best free workout videos I have found online so far and that’s why I am sharing, I wasn’t asked to write about this site and I wasn’t given any free stuff, promise!

 

 

 

 

Reese at 4 Years

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Early this morning I heard the sound of small feet running down the hall. Then a faint knock at my door. When I opened it, I found you,  bleary eyed and crazy haired. You looked up at me, not fully awake, and said, “Am I four?”

For you, I’m sure it has seemed like a long road to four. For your Dad and I, it has been the blink of an eye.

You have become so smart. Too smart sometimes. You are kind. You are creative. Your imagination is wild and crazy and it is one of the best things about you. You make us laugh so much.

You are girl through and through.

A couple of week ago when you were supposed to be in rest time, I came upstairs to find you in my room, standing in front of my mirror, holding an eye lash curler against your face. You said, “My eyelashes were flat, and they needed to be up.” Oh. My. God.

School is your favorite. Your teachers tell me that drawing and painting are your favorite things to do. Every day when I pick you up I leave with armloads of your masterpieces.

You can now dress yourself, put your shoes on, get your own utensils and placemat for mealtime, clean your room (kind of), spell your name and your brother’s name, and you know the lyrics to most top 40 hits. Every day you need me a little less.

You love your swimming lessons, but you won’t go all the way under water until I get you goggles. I will get you goggles, but I know you will hate them.

Recently, you have been asking to take ballet, but I suspect it is just for the outfits.

You go to bed around 7:30 each night even though you never seem tired, and you have finally stopped coming out of your room 762 times after we put you down. Although I do kind of miss hearing your ridiculous excuses to delay bedtime, including, “I can’t get my shoes on and my ankle is twisted” or, “my waist hurts.”

You love Frozen, Sofia the First, Curious George, Frances, books, dressing up, eating, dancing, baking, drawing and your grandmas.

So yes, my love, today your are four.I know we will blink again and you will be 24. So please slow down, but don’t change anything else.

Halloween 2015

Halloween is a big friggin’ deal when you are a kid.

This year we went to a Halloween party at a farm, a trunk-or-treat (apparently this is a thing now) at Reese’s school, a Halloween party at a playplace near our house, and then of course the normal trick-or-treating on Halloween night. We got our money’s worth out of this year’s costumes.

I have come to accept the fact that as much as I want to be a crafty person whose kids always have homemade Halloween costumes, I will never be that person. Remember last year’s attempt?

Reese had been asking to be a mermaid for weeks before Halloween. When we were at Target I saw a mermaid costume which was, unfortunately, hanging next to an Elsa costume. Once she saw the Elsa costume, the mermaid was out.

So this year, Reese was Elsa, James was a Dalmatian, and Andrew and I were the un-fun parents who don’t dress up.  FullSizeRender (4) FullSizeRender (5) FullSizeRender (6) FullSizeRender (7) FullSizeRender (8) FullSizeRender (9)

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Mom Friends

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Being a stay at home mom can be a lonely business.

In order to maintain one’s sanity, (and to make yourself take a shower), it is necessary to make other mom friends, join groups, make playdates, talk to people you don’t know.

Kill me.

The best way I can explain how I feel about interacting with strangers is through this Onion article. (I am the one experiencing spikes in anxiety. My husband is the one assaulting other strangers with Game of Thrones trivia and anecdotes about our dog.) But I feel that the article missed a major demographic in its list of offenders; Moms.

For the reasons I mentioned above, moms are on a mission to meet other people (usually other moms, because who else is available for a mid-day, mid-week date that may be cut short after 20 minutes because there isn’t a potty at this playground, and what the hell kind of place is this anyway!?) One can never be at a kid related place too long before a mom asks how old your child is. Then the conversation inevitably leads to your child’s eating/pooping habits. Pretty soon you have a new mom best friend.

Even I, the semi-antisocial, lover of my comfort zone, have become friends with a few other moms who I really like. But when we first met I quickly realized that I don’t even know how to make friends as an adult. Aside from people I worked with, I haven’t made any new, real, lasting friendships since college, back when I didn’t even have a cell phone. Once we hit it off at the playground and it’s time to go, do I ask for her phone number?? Is that a weird thing to do? My first instinct tells me yes. Do I just hope we run into each other again sometime? If I let her go will I have to only hang out with my children every day for the rest of my life? Love my kids to death, but sometimes you need a day where you don’t do the Sofia the First puzzle on your living room floor ELEVEN TIMES.

In my experiences, the other moms ended up asking for my number so we could do a playdate, and I didn’t think it was weird at all. And actually, who cares if I thought it was weird anyway? (Sidenote:I really, really hate the word “playdate.”)

Here is a picture of me with all my new mom friends.

Just kidding, we aren’t close enough friends to take pictures with each other yet. I like to take it slow.

Instead here is a casual picture of my real best friends.

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