Oh, Phil!

I have held my tongue(or typing fingers) for a few days on this one. My beloved Robertson family is under attack. Granted, Phil may have brought this one on himself, but they are under attack nonetheless. As is Free Speech, Christianity, the gay community….the list goes on! I have been torn on this one because I adore the Robertson family and their ability to bring religion to the forefront BUT I also am a proud, outspoken supporter of the gay community and equal rights. Then it hit me, while baking cookies(yes, I even overthink while I am baking!). I don’t have to choose a “side”….isn’t that what this entire controversy is about anyway? Judgement. If anyone who watches Duck Dynasty, or follows the Robertson family didn’t think that this was what Phil Robertson believes than I have to ask if you pay attention at all! Phil has never been quiet about his beliefs and the fact that he is a traditional, southern, redneck Christian….and his belief on homosexuality is right in line with that. I personally don’t share the same belief as he, and…gasp!….I am Christian too! Shocking that two people could interpret something differently, right?!? I recently read an article, that I wish I had kept so that I could quote and give author credit, but, anyway- the author made the point that they believed homosexuality is a “test” from God, not the act of, but the judgement of. We are put on this earth to love, not judge. If you believe that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made…then who do you believe “made” people gay? Well….God…..duh!
So, while I won’t take a “side” on this, I will say that while Phil’s comments may have been crude( I mean, did you have to bring in vagina and anus, Phil!), they are his beliefs-controversial as they are. But what his family has done to bring the discussion of faith and Christianity to the mainstream throughout the course of their careers, well-I can’t see anything controversial about that!

Women!

Yes, it has been a while. It’s not like I haven’t had plenty to say, trust me, I have. But, every time I sat down to write, something just came up…like a nap, or a snack…you know how it is!  It took my mom asking me today, when I was going to write again to get me back in the game.  Pretty sad, huh, almost 40 years old and still need my mom to kick me in the butt sometimes to get me back on track! Thanks, Mom! Really, I just feel bad for her….she said that I needed to write something new because she has read my last post a million times. She doesn’t know much about email, RSS feeds(I totally lost her with that one!), or anything techie…so she logs onto WordPress every day to see what I have written.  I have yet to tell her about all of the other bloggers out there that she could be reading….baby steps.

So, on with the show…..I have had an idea for a blog post for a while, but as noted earlier, the naps got in the way.  Now, usually when I think I have an idea about something I want to write about, I forget it, literally. I am usually wandering around for a few days trying to remember the great idea I had, but finally chalk it up to a casualty of the “mommy brain”.  But this one has been rattling around for a while, mainly because every day I keep getting more proof that it is something I need to say.  A few weeks ago, I read this blog post that was circulating on Facebook that seemed to be pretty popular.  It had been shared by some friends, so I though that I should absolutely read it….Well, I did, but then I got ticked off!  It was a blog from a mom who claimed that she was not putting her kids at the center of her universe.  The title was meant to be provocative, but it was the content that got me.  She went on to talk about kids who are the center of their parents universe are never taught how to take care of themselves and grow up with this entitlement complex.  This just got me going, I mean who is this woman to say that just because a parent makes their children the center of their universe means that they are  not being taught how to take care of themselves, to earn what they get, or basically teach them the lessons of life. It was just another generalization about parents meant to boost her blog ratings, I guess.  This is what I call “Accusatory Parenting”.  It is very reminiscent of the working mom/stay at home mom debacle.  You know…”I am a working mom, so stay at home moms are wrong” or “I decided to stay home with my kids, so you working moms don’t care enough about your kids”….I mean, haven’t we gotten past all of this crap yet?!? So, you don’t want to put the sole focus of your life on your kids? Fine. Just don’t tell other moms that because they do, they are wrong!  Parenting is a crap shoot at best! We are all doing the best we can.  We recently had a new member join our team at work. I heard that she home schooled her children, and since we have considered that as an option for The Wild One, I wanted to pick her brain. She ended up being a wealth of information, and so willing to help…but I felt bad that, at first, she said that she usually doesn’t talk too much about it, because people are so judgmental and outspoken when they don’t “believe” in homeschooling.  Why should I be made to feel bad, or wrong, if I choose to make my kids the center of my universe, homeschool my kids, work or stay at home? It has just made me realize, even more, why my co-worker doesn’t open conversations with the fact that she homeschools her kids. Someone is always there to tell you that you are wrong.  Men don’t seem to have these issues…I recently joked with my husband about his Facebook page, prompting him to read through his timeline because it is a long list of one line, no punctuation, bad spelling and grammar devoted to the fact that the Broncos are winning, the Ravens are losing, or that he just needs a beer. Ah, such a simple existence! I suddenly am reminded of an old redneck saying that used to make me mad….”Women, you can’t live with ’em, and you can’t shoot ’em!”

Yes, Wild One there is a Santa Claus!

Those darn 2nd grade vagrants have struck again! The Wild One came home from school the other day claiming that one of her friends at school told her that there is no Santa Claus.  My initial reaction was to be slightly perturbed…oh who am I kidding… I was silently working out a plan to find the kid, hang them from the monkey bars, and well, maybe the rest of my plan shouldn’t be put into writing in case there are any future incidents.  While I was silently plotting the child’s death, I mean discomfort, the Wild One finished her story.  In case you were wondering, there is no reason to worry about my girl. She basically said that this kid is so “stupid”.  She said that she was told that it was really mom and dad that leave the presents, not Santa. “So, here it comes” I thought. “The question”. Am I going to lie? Am I going to come out with it? But, this IS The Wild One we are talking about. Never does she do what is expected. Instead of asking “the question”, she said, and I quote, “what kind of person believes something dumb like that!” Shew…off the hook!
This would be the end of the story, for any normal person, but I am not normal by any stretch of the imagination.  I started wondering why this question bothered me so much. With The Teenager, I remeyoda-logomber being relieved when the Santa jig was up.  It was nice not to have to sneak around, worry about what we said around him, and let’s face it, I was tired of this fake Big Guy getting all the credit!  But, with The Wild One, I was shaking in my boots.  So, as I do, I analyzed the situation.  Why did it bother me so much to find out that Santa IS mom and dad?  She isn’t any younger than The Teenager when he found out.  Yet, bother me, it did.(like that little Yoda like sentence there-it just came out that way!) Is it because she isn’t all that innocent about a lot of things? She has never been a “little girl” in the normal sense. She has always been a little more brash, a little more curious about the world, never settling for the “just because” answer for any question.  I kind of felt like, if this little secret came out, that there was nothing left to her childhood. Now, I know that is a little dramatic….but dramatic, I am(Yoda, again!) With all that I deal with for The Wild One, she is still my little girl.  She still has a lot of little girl things left to do. We butt heads, scream at each other, and sometimes just plain don’t get along, but I can’t imagine the day when she is all grown up and heading off on her own…….although there are those days when that sounds like the greatest moment ever!!

Help a Mutha’ Out!

Today, I have lost the one reason that I still clutched to that having children was the right thing to do….I can no longer convince my kids to work! Now, The Teenager, he has been a lost cause for a while now, but I thought I still had a few years left with The Wild One. So, let me start at the beginning….
I have finally been able to convince my husband that it is time to strip the horrible wallpaper from our bedroom. We are currently renting our house and he was adamant that we would not strip all of the horrible wallpaper until we purchased the house. But, after making the final decision this week to move forward with the purchase of this house, the wallpaper is coming down! So, for two days, The Husband and I(mostly The Husband) have been working on the wallpaper, and the wallpaper has been working on our nerves. Any of you out there that LOVE wallpaper, I need to warn you…I am single handedly launching a campaign against the use of wallpaper.  I swear that the only people who use it must be those who KNOW they won’t be staying in their houses long after putting it up….because anyone who has ever removed wallpaper vows to never put it up! Anyway…back to the story….after the local Fall Festival, The Wild One wanted my NephewNic to come over to play…..he doesn’t need a nickname, because I always just call him NephewNic (all one word), so it works for us. While the two of them are playing, AKA running around the house screaming, they wander into my bedroom where I am stripping wallpaper.  I think that this is it! I can get some serious man hours out of this…..showing them a place to start pulling, I convince them that yanking off strips of wallpaper is a seriously fun game.  They pulled one strip and were on to me! Now, The Wild One, didn’t surprise me, but I thought I could fool my 4 year old nephew for at least a half an hour.  I then said, in my best gansta voice….”come on, help a Mutha’ out”.  Deadpan.  Not only did they not get my joke, but they looked at one another, shrugged, and started to walk away. So then I decided to pull out the best parenting trick in the book…..bribery!  I told NephewNic that I would give him some candy if he helped me.  To which he responded, “Why”.  “Because I love you”, I said.  He pondered this for a moment, then replied…”well, you always love me and I already have candy”. Then ran out of the room.

So, minivan mamas, think hard before you feed the independent nature of your children….you will surely lose your workforce. And once that is gone, it’s just taking care of them, and stuff! And that is surely not what I signed on for with this parenting thing!

 

 

Too Tired to Sleep

 

Ever have those moments(or days on end in my case) where you feel like there is so much to think about that you can’t even pick just one thing? Man! Boy, am I in one of those quandaries! (Big word alert – it’s probably misspelled but I am so impressed with myself for using it that I won’t even spell check it!) There is just so much going on in my brain that I am having a hard time focusing on any one thing. I literally feel like my brain is in overdrive! Ugh…now, I know how The Wild One feels all of the time! I should be more empathetic towards her behavior…but nah, she still just ticks me off sometimes! ADHD or not!Mommy Brain
I am having this moment in time where it seems like I am the only one who can do anything! The husband is working crazy shifts so all of the kid schlepping is up to me, the groceries, the cleaning, the laundry, the figuring out daycare when our full time day care is closed(because I work crazy shifts too), figuring out how to get everyone where they need to be when I am not there….plus work! I am so exhausted, but my mind is on such overdrive that I can’t sleep.  The Teenager has to get to camp Friday night, but I don’t know how that is going to happen yet, I cancelled my trainer tonight because I had to get the grocery shopping done sometime(I was out of town for work all weekend), the laundry is….well, I may be wearing dirty clothes to work tomorrow but they will just have to deal with it(hopefully everyone will be too polite to mention….or too scared to say anything with the crazed look in my eyes).
I was listening to one of Joel Osteen’s sermons on living in peace the other day in the car.  It was wonderful and just what I needed.  Basically, he was saying to not the storms of the outside get inside. By giving your worries to God, you can trust that you are right where you need to be, when you need to be there. I try so hard to do that, but there are those times, like right now, that I feel like I don’t know how to “Give it to God”.  I have prayed about it and literally banged my head against the wall to get the thoughts and worry out….but it’s all still there. Am I such a control freak that even when I KNOW that I can’t control everything and the best thing for me is to lay my worries out to God, that I can’t even do that?!?!? Many of you who know me are saying…”Well, duh, yes!”

So, tonight, I am laying my worries down and asking for help! How do you “unplug” your thoughts? Is there a way for a control freak, like me, to really live in peace? Really, is there?!?

M.O.M.

When someone asks you what you “do”? What is your answer? Is it your career, your hobby…..how about “MOM”?  Very few of us, myself included, answer this question with “mother and wife” before anything else. Yet when asked what is the most important things in our life, we always answer with family.  So many times, the answer “mom” makes us feel unimportant somehow. Like, if that is ALL I am, I am not as important as someone else.  Well, that’s just crap! And we all know it deep down, but why don’t we say it with proudness.  I think it lies in the whole working mom, stay at home debate….but I am going to leave that for another blog! I am a working mom, but don’t feel any ill will to those moms who don’t work outside the home. I, instead would like to applaud them for being able to keep your priorities where they should be…..with your family!  It gets hard as a working mom, to remember that our families are the most important thing in our lives…we occasionally need our priorities adjusted.  But even though, we never forget our families and will always say they are the most important thing in our lives, sometimes it is hard to say that we are “moms” before anything else.  (I think it is because of pressure from other working moms! – can we give ourselves a break ladies!)
So, I decided to make a career name for being a mom. M.O.M. (Manager of Mayhem)  I think this title rings true whether you work outside the home or not.  As M.O.M.s we manage house, the kids, and yes, the husbands(we all know that they would not survive without us – I mean they can’t find the socks sitting right in front of them) There is PTA, scouts, dance, swim, dishes, laundry, discipline, school, work….it is never ending. And, if you have been in my house for any length of time….pure Mayhem!

So, the next time someone asks you “what do you do?” Proudly answer with, “I am a M.O.M.!”

 

I Have Done it to myself…..Again!

Well, it’s first day of school for The Hoffman Family and I have done it to myself…..again. You know what I mean, it’s kind of like the New Year’s resolution thing. “This year, I am going to be organized.” Last night I picked out all of The Wild One’s clothes for the week(she had to approve, of course!). I pre packed her lunches for the whole week. THEN, I got up an hour early this morning, went for a 20 minute walk before I had to get the kids up and ready for school.  While I am feeling pretty accomplished today, I don’t expect this to last past this week. You know, the whole “did it to myself again” thing. I start every school year with this expectation…but I did go to the next step this year and actually got the clothes ready and lunches done…usually I just plan to do those things. Hence the feeling of accomplishment.
The Teenager decided to ride the bus today instead of having me drive him to school(YAY!), so I was able to gently rouse The Wild One for her first day.  So, all in all it went really well! Both kids off to school, I got some errands done, and got home in plenty of time to get a workout, then……oh, crap! I completely forgot to get a “first day of school” picture of The Teenager! I guess some people are just never meant to be perfect!!

Check out the perfect shot of The Wild One on her first day of 2nd grade!

photo

What are some of your funny Back to School moments?  I would love to know that I am not the only mom with parenting issues!!

 

She is making her bed…so I can lie in It!

I have been threatening The Wild One that I was going to take all of her toys away. She is so spoiled(yes, my fault), we can’t go into a store without her throwing a monumental tantrum when I don’t buy her something. Then, there is the whole behavior thing…she is monstrous at times! We end up fighting, yelling, screaming, cursing(sometimes it’s her), hitting, it is crazy! So, I decided that tonight is the night for change. I have read, read, read, and read about how to simplify our lives, get along better, and just show our love to one another.  There are some really great blogs from moms who have been where I am. I made the decision to let her make her own bed, so to speak.  No more yelling or fighting….When I agreed to let her go outside and play with her neighbor friend, I made it very clear that she had to come in at 6:30pm.  I made her repeat it to me and explain to me what behavior would be tolerated at that time. She got it…so, I thought.  I called her at 6:30, and of course, she wasn’t ready. I explained, calmly, that she needed to come in now so that she could play tomorrow. 12 times and 20 minutes later, she came in! And when she did, I calmly told her that she would not be allowed to play tomorrow because she didn’t listen to me the first time.  Her response….”oh well, I can do what I want when I want!” This is what I deal with!! So, while she is outside playing, I decided that tonight is the night to put away all of her toys. She is allowed to have 2 baby dolls and 2 Barbie dolls…that’s it! Well, except for her books, of course.  I pack all of her toys up and put them in our storage closet. Her response….”Cool, now I won’t have to clean my room anymore”

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t drink more than I do! I need to know that I will survive her teenage years because right now, just thinking that she will make it to age 8 is stretch!  Oh well….I guess that is one of the reasons I love her so darn much….she makes my life interesting! 

So, stay tuned for the next few weeks, to see how we fare after she realizes that she really doesn’t get her toys! It should make for great stories!

Death by Shopping(AKA Back to School Shopping)

 

So, tonight was the night.  I have needed to take The Wild One back to school shopping, and I had some running shoes to exchange(well, shoes made for running, just not necessarily by me)…so we headed off to the local mall.
My shoes exchanged for the correct size, we headed off in search of clothes befitting a new second grader.  Now, I do this to myself ever time. In my mind, she is going to be wearing smocked dresses with ringlet curls in her hair. Mary Janes with white socks…you know, the picture of a sweet and mild tempered little girl. Notice, I said “in my mind”. What I have, in reality, is a daughter who thinks she is a backup dancer for In Living Color(don’t pretend you are too young to remember that show!) We have to battle over every sequin, glitter, neon colored, tube top in the store!  Then, lo and behold, there is a shirt with headphones attached!! In bright neon green and pink, of course.  Well, this is where the REAL battle ensued! There are 5 different styles of this shirt and she can’t possibly choose just one.  The rolling on the floor, crying that she will just “die without two”, and just plain old melt down begins. I hold my ground – only one! – no matter the stares from other nervous parents around me. I can hear their thoughts ranging from….”look at this schmuck, can’t control her own child”….to “crap, steer the kids from that section, I am not letting them see whatever did this to her kid”.  Well, finally she chooses just one of the designs. And, wouldn’t you know it, that is the only one NOT in her size! Well, crap! Somehow we make it out of Kohl’s alive….two pair of glitter shoes, some hot pink pants, and a neon kitten shirt rocking out to headphones, later.  Next stop, JC Penney, where we have to exchange a skirt that just won’t button on her(this is the Yin and Yang of online shopping – no meltdowns in the store, but there is no consistent size in this world, so returns are inevitable)  I find these adorable outfits in this store – cute skirts and Peter Pan collared shirts. But, nope, we end up with a One Direction nightshirt(how this fit into school shopping, I don’t know) and a glittered up Minnie Mouse shirt!  I AM a schmuck!

I don’t know what is worse, the fact that the stores sell clothes for 7 year olds straight off of the drag queen runway, or the parents(me) who buy this crap! Well, actually I do know what’s worse, but I’d rather blame the store.  So, when you see her walking the halls of elementary school….just at least be grateful that she isn’t wearing this…..photo

 
Yep…..the neighbors love us!

Fat and Happy….Yeah Right!

I drank my first Diet Pepsi tonight in 7 whole days! Now, if anyone knows me, you know that Diet Pepsi is my vice…I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink(ok, that one’s a lie, but you get my drift!)…I just drink Diet Pepsi by the gallon.  Last week, I decided that it is now time to finally lose weight! So, I gave up my Diet Pepsi, chocolate, and all kinds of other junk…you know, the good stuff.  For one whole week, I have cut calories, eaten very healthy, avoided sodas, and even exercised…TWICE! Now, I know that you are waiting for me to say that it wasn’t worth it, I haven’t lost any weight, yada yada yada. But no, I haven’t weighed myself at all. I actually feel okay. And that one Diet Pepsi tonight didn’t even taste that good. I would have been okay with water.  This may not seem so monumental, but trust me, it’s huge!
I started to think about why this time it might work, when so many attempts at losing weight have failed miserably.  Then it hit me…because this time I am being honest with myself.  I am not trying to lose weight to be healthy, get fit, or because it’s good for me. Nope. I am just tired of being fat! I want to be skinny again. That’s it. I got rid of all of the crap associated with my reasons for losing weight and just got honest. I liked being skinny! Call it vein, call it bad role modeling, whatever, I don’t care. All I know is that it is working this time and I don’t care what you call it! So, stay tuned for what will hopefully be weight loss update(really I don’t care about pounds, it’s dress sizes that motivate me!) and probably a lot of honesty when it comes to the process! Trust me, the words used will not be or the feint of heart!