My Christmas Story

 

When I was little, Christmas was marshmallowy moments of pure happiness sprinkled with glittery anticipation. It was thrilling like nothing else. I’d count down the days as soon as Thanksgiving hit, growing more and more excited with each X on the calendar. I’m sure it drove my mom crazy since now my daughters constantly ask if Christmas is here yet, thus making me totally insane.

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My daughter has picked up where I left off

 

We all remember at least one Christmas that blew our minds and made us scream with pure joy. For me, it was when Santa left $3 in my stocking. I couldn’t believe how rich Santa was to leave me three. whole. dollars. Who knows what I even did with all that cash…probably blew it on candy. And to think those three dollars were probably a last minute idea on my father’s part when he felt like the piles and piles of presents he already got us weren’t enough. I totally get that now.

Then I got older, Christmas turned into something else, and the only thing that has brought back any kind of happiness to it, is my children. Now it’s simply about making Christmas as special for them as possible. I struggle with wanting to give them everything their little hearts desire, and not giving them too much, fearing it’ll make them greedy little jerks…

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More than all the toys, I hope we’re giving them magic, the kind they unwrap and keep in their hearts, the kind that will always bring them happiness. I want them to feel the wonder of a holiday that’s about so much more than the things they asked Santa for. Christmas is going to change for them as the years keep coming, but I always want them to feel that certain spark of excitement because I realize we don’t get enough of those as we get older.

Unadulterated Joy

 

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It’s a…Book!

I’ve given birth for the third time!

It doesn’t have ten fingers and ten toes, or a perfect button nose. It’s not a boy or a girl…it’s a BOOK! And to get it out into the world was nothing short of a miracle.

I’m thrilled to announce the birth of my first book,

One Funny Mummy - Ebook Cover

One Funny Mummy Defines Parenthood (in 140 Characters or Less)

I’m not claiming to be a parenting expert, but I’m sort of an expert when it comes to delivering babies and punchlines. I much prefer to deliver the latter even though it’s not easier, and sometimes it’s just as painful, but it’s rewarding in very similar ways.

While I normally feel bad for babies born in the month of December, I’m super happy that my baby is just in time for Christmas. Just in time to be stuffed into every stocking you come across. Because who doesn’t want to wake up on Christmas morning and laugh about parenthood?

The book is a best-of collection of my funny-because-they’re-true tweets that perfectly sum up parenthood. Get yourself a giant cup of coffee, (or a giant mimosa) settle into the couch that’s covered in shredded wrapping paper and plastic packaging, and read the whole thing while the kids play with their new toys.

It’s the perfect gift for anyone who likes to laugh or needs to laugh, but doesn’t have a lot of time to read anything longer than a sentence (ahem, that’s everybody these days)! You’ll feel great knowing you did your part to spread a little holiday cheer this season, not to mention, you’ll be my favorite person ever.

Plus, if you don’t buy my book it’s like saying my baby is ugly…and you don’t want to be that person.

 

 

One or the Other

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There are few things more stressful than getting kids ready for school in the morning. I’ve even compared it to diffusing a bomb because if one little thing goes wrong, it could blow up the entire day.

From the moment we wake up, the timer on the time bomb starts ticking down until the final minute when we have to be ready with lunches packed, backpacks ready, and out the door. Oh! And then there are the minor details of the kids being fully clothed, fed, and cleaned up too!

The stressful part isn’t all the simple tasks that need to be done, it’s repeating the simple tasks over and over to children who don’t listen. If my kids actually listened maybe it’d be a different story. But no, they wait until I turn from this:

June-Cleaver

pillar of patience

into this:

willow monster

death monster spewing rage

You can’t have a good morning and be on time, it just doesn’t work that way. You must decide which is more important. For me, being on time is important and is the reason why I turn into a lunatic in the last couple minutes before we leave the house. I’m always hopeful that they know I don’t mean the things I say in these last two minutes. They’re not listening anyway, so I think I’m okay.

My good morning starts as soon as I drop them off at school and drive away. That’s when life gets easier for a few short hours, at least, easier in the sense that I’m not breaking up fights, serving snacks left and right, or looking for an obscure toy they haven’t played with in months.

Maybe we have a “good” morning every now and then where everything goes pretty smoothly and we still make it to school on time, but it takes a boatload of effort, not to mention a boatload of coffee. It also takes a lot of biting my tongue and grumbling my string of obscenities walking from one side of the car around to the other while the kids are inside deaf to my cursing. In other words, the stars have to be aligned, not to mention all the socks, shoes, and sweaters too, preferably right by the front door for ease of grabbing as the final countdown hits.

 

Caring is Hard

IMG_0485But I care. A lot.

Like most parents, I want the best for my children. But to give them the best means putting my own wants and needs on hold which can be very hard to do. It means putting my phone down, turning my distracted mind off, and interacting with them. It means reading books together when I’d rather not, going for walks when I’d rather not, playing games when I’d rather not. It’s fighting this feeling of not doing anything worthwhile. It’s reminding myself that these are the things that are actually worthwhile. These are the ways to create a fulfilled child. (You know, the whole reason we bring these little people into the world in the first place.)

Just the other day my husband and I received the highest compliment you can get as parents of young kids. A woman sitting near us in a restaurant said that we had lovely children who were so well-behaved. Granted, she might’ve had a little too much vino and we had only been there about 20 minutes before she left, so she saw them in their prime–while the crayons were still keeping them busy and the sugar from their chocolate milks hadn’t kicked in yet. Nonetheless, I stood up to accept my parent of the year award and to make a heartfelt speech about sacrifice and selflessness to our fellow diners. Kidding. We thanked her and then snickered that boy had we fooled her.

Why should I care what this complete stranger thought when I know my kids are well-behaved? I’m well aware of what it’s taken to make them this way–most of my sanity and all of my patience. At least in that moment it felt like my hard work had paid off. I guess that’s what I was thanking her for…for noticing.

I have so much I want to accomplish, yet by the time I’m done trying to mold my mini-mes into self-sufficient decent human beings who feel loved and understood, I’m just too mentally and physically exhausted to do anything but zone out to the world and keep ignoring everything I’ve put on the back burner. So I remind myself that this time in their lives where they actually want me to be a part of everything they do is short-lived and that my time is better spent sharing life with them even if it costs me my own.

My 15 Seconds

While some people get 15 minutes of fame, I’m thrilled I got 15 seconds!

Last week I was surprised to learn that one of my tweets made it onto Good Morning America!

Yes, that Good Morning America, the one on national TV.

Someone messaged me on Twitter saying that George on GMA read one of my tweets about back to school. Surely that can’t be right, I thought. This person must have me confused with someone else.

I tuned in for a few minutes before getting the kids ready for school, but nothing. Then I rushed back home after drop off, knowing that I might have a chance to catch it, if it was true. So I got my phone ready (we don’t have a DVR anymore) and waited with my finger over the record button. And this is what happened…

It really was my tweet! I was shocked and elated! To say it made my day would be a massive understatement.

Immediately I sent the clip to my husband and my mom and awaited their reactions while doing a happy dance around the living room. They were so excited. Of course my husband asked what I got out of it and of course my mom said she watched it repeatedly and sent it to everyone in her phone.

While it’s true I didn’t “get” anything out of it (except for bragging rights) it taught me an important lesson that you shouldn’t hold back or edit yourself because you never know what might happen.

Twitter used to be a place where I could get my thoughts out without second-guessing myself, but the more my account grows, the more I doubt and question everything I write. I didn’t think this tweet was anything special, it was just a true account of something in my life. It made me laugh, but I knew it wouldn’t be overly popular, certainly not morning news program popular.IMG_1759

But that’s where I was wrong. Apparently it was morning news program popular and the crowd’s reaction, whether it was genuine or played up for the cameras, was very much appreciated. It gave me a boost of confidence and taught me not to doubt myself.

I soaked up every last second of psuedo-fame, knowing that the next morning I wouldn’t be featured on TV and it’d be back to doing dishes, packing lunches, and folding laundry…you know, all the things that inspire great tweets.

 

 

 

The Tooth Fairy is a Cheapskate!

If we’re going to have these ridiculous childhood characters like The Tooth Fairy then we, as parents, need to come to a consensus on what is an acceptable reward for teeth. I can’t have my daughter going to school bragging that she got $1 and 2 starburst (don’t judge, it’s all we had in the house) when her classmate got 5 large from the supposed same fairy. Now my daughter’s going to think her teeth aren’t as worthy as her classmate’s just because this other girl’s father is apparently Daddy Warbucks.

It’s a funny thing, this Tooth Fairy business. We sneak in to take their tooth and replace it with money while they’re slumbering away. But then what do we do with the teeth? As of now I have two teeth in a bag stashed away in my dresser. That sentence totally makes me sound like a serial killer and reminds me of that one Gillian Flynn book with the creepy dollhouse. So, what to do with the teeth? Throw them away? Keep them forever and make a charm bracelet? (Kidding!) Hold onto them for a little while then bury them in the backyard? Or just throw them in the trash like a normal person?

Now that my daughter is losing her teeth, it makes me remember how she got her teeth. It takes me back to those sweet days of infancy. But it also reminds me that teething is one of the hardest things to go through for both the parents and the baby. It seems endless, taking years of sleepless nights dealing with a fussy, uncomfortable, rabid raccoon. Whenever my daughter was acting like this, I’d blame it on teething. I wish I could do that now. Now, she’s just a rabid raccoon aka defiant A-hole, I mean, six-year-old.

Maybe The Tooth Fairy was invented because it makes up for having to go through the trauma of cutting teeth and then having them fall out (or yanked out). My daughter was so excited to see the little pouch of treasure hidden under her pillow and promptly came in my room first thing to show off her prize. And when her classmate bragged about her $5, my daughter’s response was that The Tooth Fairy used glitter on her note and that made her happy, which in turn made this miserly Tooth Fairy smile with pride.

Birthday Wishes

Dearest E,

It’s here! Your favorite day of the year and one of my favorite days of my life…your birthday!

Six years ago you came into our world and taught us the definition of happiness. You also taught us the definitions of exhaustion and frustration, but let’s focus on the positive, it is your big day after all.

When you turned 5 last year I couldn’t wait to see what your fifth year would bring. To say it was exciting would be an understatement. You flew on an airplane for the first time, played on your first soccer team, started kindergarten, and recently lost your first tooth, which is adorable btw. A lot of firsts!

You still love horses, cracking jokes, and you’d eat pancakes for every meal if I let you (and some days I do).

We hope you have an incredible birthday full of surprise and joy because that’s exactly what you bring to each one of our days. I’m beyond proud you’re my daughter and am so lucky you call me mama. You are everything good in the world and we love you!

Hope your birthday is as magical as you are. Happy 6th Birthday, Miss E!