Gobble, gobble

People are constantly complaining about how Christmas is crowding other holidays out.

“Turkey before tinsel!”

“It’s too soon!”

“One holiday at a time.”

I believe I have stumbled upon the reason for this increasing encroachment of sleigh bells into your cranberry time……

Lack of ascetically pleasing Thanksgiving decoration in the marketplace.

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I rest my case.

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Not even technically

Everyday I require that my children each fruit with breakfast and lunch and veggies with lunch and dinner.  Trust me.  I do not live under any delusion that my children will come close to the FDA government daily maximum requirements, but my hope is, with all the nagging, they will at least cross the minimum finish line.  Does anyone hit the maximum?  And, if they do, do they own stock in toilet paper?  I mean, come on.  That’s a lot of fiber in one day.

Nearly every meal resembles some form of this conversation…

“I’m done.”

“Did you have fruit?”

Silence from the child.

The Look‘ (you know the one) from me.

“Fine,” the child grumbles as their drag their feet across the kitchen.

Today was no different.  About an hour after he had eaten lunch, T-Dog announced that he was hungry and made a beeline for the chips.  I stopped him mid stride, asking him if he had eaten his fruit at lunch.  He replied ‘no,’ mumbled something under his breath, then decided he wasn’t so hungry after all.

Not even ten minutes later, my super-duper mom radar picked up the distinct sound of a bag opening.  I came around the kitchen corner to find T-Dog guiltily reaching into a cabinet.

“I told you to have fruit.”

“I am.  I’m having strawberries.”

“Nice try buddy, but strawberry Twizzlers are not a fruit.”

Mom- 1

T-Dog – 0

Daily Fruit Servings – 0

Dirty little secret

Every night, sometimes right after dinner, sometimes a little later, my kids will ask for dessert.  The answer is usually ‘no.’  Now, we’re not monsters, we do say yes about two times a week.  We’re not against a treat now and then, we are just trying to teach them self regulation, making healthy choices, and to take sweets in moderation.  At least that’s the reason I tell them.

It’s time I let you in on a dirty little secret of mine.  I am a closet candy and treat eater.

I tell my kids no about gorging themselves on sweet little chocolate candies.  No to sticky, gooey ice cream.  No to crumbly, crunchy cookies.  These things are all terrible for them.  All processed garbage.  All bad food choices.

Then, after I’ve told them no and sent them on their way… I break into my secret stash and sneak a little treat for myself.

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What?  Like you don’t have your own stash of ‘mine-and-only-mine’ candy somewhere in your abode.

Now, for those of you brave enough to admit that you’re a closet candier, you know the trickiest party of the whole operation is getting in  and out of the stash without being detected.  I’ve developed maneuvers that would make the Navy Seals jealous.

Wrapped candy is typically a no-no.  Too much noise.  M&Ms are a good, quick grab, but turning over the bag to shake out a few is risky.   Instead one must fish out a few at a time.  Ice Cream is very tricky since it includes sticky fingers and dishes to dispose of.  If you must, you have to wait until they are asleep, deep asleep.  They have incredible radar when it comes to the freezer door opening.  You can sometimes get away with cookies, if you have the TV volume high enough to cover the crunching and crewing.  But be warned, the minute you bite into one delicious Golden Oreo from the package you have hidden with the pots and pans, they come running to ask you a desperately important question.

Due to all of these potential land mines, one of my new go-to’s treasures has become frosting and animal crackers.  If you plant the animal crackers strategically (aka in an easily accessible container), you can open the pantry, grab one (who am I kidding, grab four), open the fridge, swipe them through the frosting can, consume, and go about your merry way completely undetected.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  It seems like a lot of work just to sneak treats behind my kid’s backs.  Why don’t I just let them have dessert more often and give up the cloak and dagger routine?  Well that’s an easy to answer.  If I let them get their grubby little hands on the goods, there will be less for me.  Plus, I have another dirty little secret.

I don’t share well.

Best Mom Ever

Forgive me, but I must take a moment to brag.  My beautiful, talented, smart, intelligent children locked themselves in a room the other day and made this video for me.

Best Mom Ever.

WOW!  Amazing right!

Whenever Mother’s Day or Father’s Day rolls around, I’m reminded of the scene from Seinfeld where the two old men in the hospital are fighting over who is truly the ‘World’s Greatest Dad” and for a while, I was really cynical when I saw all these ‘#1______ ‘ or ‘World’s Greatest _______’  I mean seriously people, you all can’t be the best.  Only one of you can, that’s what #1 means after all.  All those awards are empty sentiments.  What a joke.

Then, I had my own children and began the never-ending cycle of joy, worry, elation, pain, wonder, stress, and absolute amazement.  I also began building my own collection of ‘Best Mom’ paraphernalia.  Little sticky hands would toddle over and pass me a sticky #1 Mom drawing.  Grinning ear to ear, energetic elementary kids would run to me happily waving the ‘World’s Greatest Mom’ flower pot they proudly painted all by themselves.  Too-cool-for-school tweens shyly pass me a heart-felt poem they agonized over, trying to get the rhyming and meaning just right.

And I realized something, all of these ‘Best Mom’ awards are all true.  We were all created to be the mom (or dad or care giver) to the beautiful creatures that God chose to give to us.  We were made specifically for them and are the perfect fit for their needs.  The fact that we try to be the best and do the best for them everyday, the fact that we care about all the little things they do and say, the fact that we love them during their failures as well as their successes means that we all have earned our ‘World’s Greatest’ awards.

So as you sit back this morning, eating your specially made and questionably edible breakfast in bed, remember you truly are, without a doubt, the #1, the BEST, WORLD’S GREATEST MOM!

April Showers

Bring May Flowers.

Unfortunately, when you have a one disconnected down spout and another clogged down spout, they also bring a flooded basement and an unhappy Kerry.

Two years ago, we began the first step in what became a full house, room by room, remodel.  When phase one was completed, my drab boring basement was transformed into this.  Behold, the Kerry Cave.

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Jealous, right?

Well, Saturday night, I was running around in a mad dash to cross a number of tasks and chores off of what seemed like an endless list.  We were supposed to have the birthday party for the new teenager, Paige, the weekend before.  I had the house already scrubbed and decorated, the food already bought, when the birthday girl woke up sick on the day of her party.  Many tears and phone call later, we pushed the bash off a week.  Luckily, the blown up balloons and taped up banners survived the week, but my clean house did not.  Darn it if my family couldn’t control themselves enough to not mess up my house for one week.

We had just survived days of endless rain and  the sunshine finally broke through.  I rounded the couch in my cave to grab something from the other side of the chaise, when….squish.

No, no, no, no….PLEASE don’t let this be what I think this is…

But, of course it was.  The whole northeast corner was sopping wet.   So in addition to making a new cake and cleaning up the joint, I got to Shop Vac carpeting and create a different kind of Fan Cave.

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I’m currently on day three of sucking and blowing.  (Walked into that one.)  At this rate, the carpet will be completely dry on Wednesday, just in time for the next predicted thunderstorm…..

 

Pumpkin Pie

Today I become the parent of a teenager.  What?  No!  How did this happen?? (Ok, I know how this happened and I’m NOT telling you that story.  You’re welcome.)  But how can I have a teenager?!?!?!

IP and I tried everything we could to stop this from happening.

We asked her nicely.  “Please stop growing up so fast.”  (She only smiled at me.  Trying to fight nice with nice.  I’ll show her.)

We tried being discouraging.  “You don’t want to grow up.  Responsibility sucks!”  (She rolled her eyes and said ‘whatevs.’  ~Sidebar~ What is it with kids shortening words?  That -er fought long and hard to be included in your snotty whatever eyeroll.  Give it the respect it deserves.)

Finally, we just gave a direct order.  “We had a meeting and decided that you are not allowed to become a teenager.  We decided that on your birthday, you will go back to 11.  You were nice at eleven.  Cute, with less attitude.”  (She made a face at me….see…attitude…)

Despite our best effort, our sweet little pumpkin pie, our first-born, turns 13 today.  In honor of my baby doll, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the amazing Paige.

First and foremost, Paige is a mini-me.  The first thing people say when they meet us is, “Wow!  She looks just like you!”  To which I reply, “I definitely know I was given the right child.  There will be no knock on my door from a hospital official, offering us a check and an apology.”

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The most frustrating thing about having a mini-me is trying to raise yourself.  When you share the same looks, the same demeanor, and the same mannerisms, you also share the same stubbornness, attitude, and feistiness.  Which basically means I’m raising myself….

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The upside is I get to be a kid again and experience all the joy of the world through her eyes, which isn’t a bad thing and keeps me young at heart.

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Paige has an unnatural obsession with One Direction.  (Ahhh, boy bands.  Like Mother, Like daughter.  See https://kerrysorganizedchaos.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/history-repeats-itself/)   Along with the constant 1D music, begging for new posters, and being inundated with daily new facts about these British boys, a few months ago, I awoke to this notification on my phone.

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Thank you Paige and iCloud for keeping me in the loop.  I don’t know if I could have gone on without know that!

Paige once accused me of only having children so I could make her vacuum, to which I replied, “You’ve got me.  I went through 9 months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, all the diapers, the toddler phase, and everything since, so I could get maybe 10 years of vacuuming out of you.  I’m crazy like that!”  (Did I mention my daughter is sarcastic?  I wonder where she got that from?)

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Despite the complaining, Paige has become this awesomely responsible young lady.  The other day she made herself french toast AND cleaned up after herself!!!

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She also reads and studies without being asked!!!  (Trust me, there were days I never thought we’d get here.)

Paige’s nickname around the house is Messy Martha, and boy has she earned that name.  This is a common sighting in our house.

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How did she get the caramel all the way up there?  I mean I can see the upper lip, but the forehead?!?!  Oh Paige.  And despite having a neat-freak, OCD mother, this is what Paige considers a clean room.  Apparently, the DNA replication missed a gene….  

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I just broke out in hives looking at this picture.  On Saturdays I make her clean it to my standards.  It looks like this again shortly after she finishes.  I think she has Oompa Loompas hiding under her bed that help her mess it back up.  Luckily, the days that aren’t Saturday, I take the advice of my wise mother and close the door.

The good news is, we like her and I think we’ll keep her around for a while.  At least as long as we are getting some good chores out of her.  I mean it IS the reason we had her after all 😉

Stubborn, determined, smart, hardworking….

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Funny, crazy, wacky, sarcastic….

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Kind, caring, nurturing, loving….

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Pumpkin Pie, Directioner, Messy Martha, Mini-Me…

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You can all her whatevs you want, I just know I am lucky and privileged to be able to be called her mom.

Happy 13th Birthday Paige!

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Love, Mom

Grocery Cart Confessionals

I go grocery shopping every Wednesday.  In my twisted logic, it’s the perfect day: the new ads are out, there’s no weekend crowd, it’s mid-week incase we need anything to get us to the weekend, plus, the weekend’s in sight, so you can stock up for it.  As an added bonus, I go at 3:30 when I get out of work before all the ‘normal’ people get their release.  (Before you ask, no, I do not consider myself normal.  I purposely work as a school social worker with behaviorally and emotionally disordered kids.  It’s crazy, but, then, so am I!)

Despite all my planning and list making, it never fails that the moment I get home my ridiculously over-priced haul, I am inundated with items I forgot to pick up.

And this is how you get a grocery cart confessional.

Yesterday after work, I ran back to Wally World to get the random 6 items that were left out.  I get the most entertainment out of watching the face of the cashier as she tries to figure out my life based on the hodge-podge of items I have decided to buy together.  This was yesterday’s purchase:

Pizza Crust

Italian Sausage (Admittedly, those first two items do go together.)

Light Bulbs

Yarn

Dog Treats

A Prescription

What, your don’t have a dog with a low thyroid, who doesn’t like to knit in the dark while enjoying a slice of pizza????

Well I do!