Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just A Boy

Mr. Grouchy Pants has been driving me a little nutty lately. He has been climbing everything, making some less than stellar choices in his behaviour and attitude and whining about 'just wanting to have fun'. BC and I have tried all sorts of things to try to curb this mayhem but nothing has worked so far.

After a series of notes from school and conversations with his teacher as well as constantly refereeing fights between him and his brother I was becoming unglued. I was exhausted and more frustrated than I can ever remember being with this kid. So, when I walked into the living room just as he was about to execute a near kamikaze stunt involving the firepace hearth, the couch, and a number of blankets and pillows I knew I had a choice to make. I could lock him in the garage, tie him to a chair, or run away from home.

Realizing that none of those were really viable options, I stuck the kid in the bath tub and gave myself a time out. As I stood outside the bathroom door, I listened to him play and sing in the tub. He was everything sweet and calm and adorable, as he soaked in the bubbles. When he was sufficiently wrinkled, I pulled him out of the tub, toweled him off and sent him to his room to get jammied. Maybe all he needed was a little alone time to soak and relax, I told myself, pleased with the new, calm Grouch.

I hadn't even finished draining the tub and putting the bath toys away before I heard Stinker yelling, followed by Grouch's cackles, coming from the hallway. Oh good grief! I diffused the situation and quickly whisked Grouch off to bed, his day was done, even if he wasn't!  As I tucked him into bed, he wrapped his little arms around me and apologized for being a handful. I nuzzled into his freshly washed neck and sighed.

Dear God, help me with this kid! I prayed silently and as if he heard me, Grouch pulled back, placed his little hands on my cheeks and looked me straight in the eye and said, "Its okay mommy. I'll grow up tomorrow. And when I'm big, I won't make you crazy. I'll be just like Dad, everything will be fine."

I kissed his forehead, told him I loved him and left the room. Just like Dad, eh? Not sure whether that made me feel better or worse in the moment, to tell you the truth!

 I returned to my room and thought about all that Mr. Grouchy Pants is and how much he is already like his dad. Although he climbs and jumps and runs through life like a loon, he is also funny, witty, smart, caring and noble. He has a huge heart, loves fiercely and usually has the best of intentions. He is supremely confident, independant and courageous. He is everything that is good and sweet ... he is already just like his dad, and that's not so bad, after all.

Monday, February 27, 2012


We must become Amommymous.

We must proudly give up our own names. We can no longer be Michelle; a woman with interests, ambitions or desires of her own. We become Noah's Mom or Micah's Mom, so that all of our interests, ambitions or desires are replaced by those of our children. Yes, we must happily transform ourselves into mindless automatons, only capable of doing what we are programmed to do.

We must give up our appearance. We must let ourselves go and use our make-up free visage and food-stained sweatpants as badges of honour. Time and money spent on personal appearance are time and money not spent on our children.

We must abandon the things we used to enjoy. We no longer belong in a bar with our friends; we have to get up early for Gymboree or some other crap exciting activity. We have no business watching HBO, we can't even know about it because we are so busy watching Disney Junior or the Imagination Movers (whatever the heck that is.) We can't blast gangsta rap in the car like we used to because it's been replaced with Veggie Tales Sing-A-Longs. . .BUT THAT'S OKAY because, as good moms, we like all this drivel kid stuff even better.

We must never think of ourselves. The minute we put our own needs ahead of our child's we have committed an act of child abuse. No matter what. We must, like dogs, gratefully accept whatever is left for us after our child's needs have been met.

And if we dare to express ourselves in anyway that deviates from this celebrated amommymity; if we fail to martyr and obliterate ourselves for our children, we are deemed unfit. It is assumed we are bad mothers, undeserving of our sacred, ordained role in life.


I happen to think that sometimes prioritizing your needs is putting your kids' needs first. I think my kids deserve a happy mom who is interesting and appealing to their father. I think my kids deserve to have a mom who is refreshed from having some "me time". I think my kids deserve a mom that isn't filled with resentment but a model of someone who knows how to take care of herself as well as others. I think my kids deserve to get to know the funny, quirky, messed up person their mom is and not have to wait until they are adults.

I think my kids deserve to know that they are not the center of the universe.

Because all of those things are true.

And the rest, this Amommymous? Looks and smells of rubbish to me. And I don't believe it was ever God's plan for parents.

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."  Deut. 6:6-9

This verse has been one that has spoken to me the most clearly lately. The key word being IMPRESS.  An impression is something that you give to someone as they see you being yourself.  Not becoming something that you aren't.  Kids need to see us standing out and being responsible and taking care of ourselves.  It's one of the easiest ways that they learn that it is important to take care of themselves.  We need to consciously impress upon them the necessity of building up themselves as an individual. We do this by example. By making an impression.  Happy parents make better parents. You can't give your little ones joy and peace and freedom and laughter when all you have inside you is restrictions and feelings of entrapment and depression from the weight of giving up all that you are and all that makes you one-of-a-kind.  So this "Amommymous". . .it's going to have to stop. Take a breather with me folks. . .the kids won't become little delinquents in the 30 minutes it takes you to go tanning and grab a Sonic coke in peace. In fact. . .they may need the break from YOU as much as you need it from them! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

What I Adore About Little Boys

Worms, spiders and mud are to be cherished. Before I had boys, I either overlooked or loathed many of nature’s simple wonders. Now I know that worms can dance. I see beauty in the symmetry of a spider web (which is a good thing given the sheer quantity around our house). And I’ve seen that a shovel and a little dirt can provide hours of (wonderfully messy) entertainment.

When all else fails, play ball. There isn’t a day cold enough to keep us off the “field”. Not only do we have fun, we get all kinds of exercise, fresh air and even develop a skill or two along the way.

Before you know it, the sweetest hug can have you flat on your back. These boys do everything with gusto and it’s hard not to get caught up in (or flattened by) their enthusiasm.

If you can dream it, you can build it. From Legos to trains to forts to diaper boxes turned dump trucks, these boys love to create. Watching their imaginations come to life—literally—right in front of me, always leaves me in awe.

Each day provides an opportunity to take a leap. Ok, these days that leap is off a bed, coffee table or play structure. But I love watching them fly into the air without a care in the world. Sure, my heart drops a bit when I realize the risk they’re taking, but as the wind blows through their unruly hair and their faces light up, I can’t help but hope this fearlessness is something they carry with them through life.

Everybody loves a good laugh. Sure, I’m big on manners, but I’m also big on having fun. So each meal our table becomes the stage for our boys to tell silly stories and make the family giggle.

A noisy house is a sign of happiness. My boys are loud. Really loud. It’s just the way they talk, play, laugh, sleep…you name it. Sure there are days it makes me crazy, but most days I cherish their zest for life.

Physical confidence is a gift. It seems my boys were born to throw a ball, glide on a scooter and climb mountains (well, furniture, at least). Their awareness of their bodies and pure strength is a quality I really admire.

Spotting a fire engine calls for celebration. Same goes for a construction truck, a bus, a fuel tanker—or any other vehicle with more than four wheels. It’s not just the little things, it’s the really big ones, that can turn a good day into a great one.

There’s nothing wrong with a mama’s boy. While my boys adore their dad and would choose him 9 times out of 10 when it comes to the fun stuff, I’m the one they turn to for comfort and cuddles.

What about you? Are there things you love about being a parent to boys? Or girls?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm A Mean Mom

You probably knew this about me, but I am a horribly mean person. Especially to small children. I should probably start painting my face green and grow a nasty wart on the end of my nose. That way my outside would match my inside and my children would stop being so shocked at my cruelty.

I won't let my son taste the Pinesol floor cleaner, despite the fact that it is bright yellow and smells like lemon candy. Mean, right? I keep telling Stinker it's poison, doesn't taste good and will make him sick, but he knows I'm lying. It's obviously a delicious beverage that I am hogging for myself. (Sort of like the vodka.) 

 I also won't make my son a star-shaped turkey sandwich, because we're having lunch at a friend's house today. His brother had sandwiches made for him. Never mind that he is going to school and will not be home for lunch. Never mind that HE gets to go play with friends today. No, I am a very mean, non-sandwich-making horror. Also, I am no longer his best friend. Que triste. 

I won't buy Mr. Grouchy Pants another new iPod game. Nor will I give him my iTunes password. The fact that I have bought three new variations of "Angry Birds" in the past three days is not relevant. They were obviously not entertaining enough. And the fact that he just had a birthday and acquired WAY too many new toys to occupy his time? Again, completely irrelevant. My suggestion that he learn to be thankful for what he has and stop being an entitled brat was not appreciated. I'm such a witch. (He didn't say that. He's far too smart. But I am fluent in toddler-look-speak.)

 I woke the preschooler up because it was a school day. Even though he was tired. I also made him get dressed, even though his body was "exhausted and wouldn't work". I withheld hot chocolate (a.k.a. Preschool coffee) until socks and shoes were on. And I MADE. HIM. EAT. BREAKFAST. Even though his stomach was exhausted. Mean is my first, middle and last name. 

 I made the Grouch stay at school and won't take him on today's play date. I also wouldn't let Stinker stay at his brother's class, even though he really wants to. To be fair, that wasn't my fault. The teacher wouldn't let me swap out kids for the day. She's mean too. She must be a mom.

 I made mashed potatoes for dinner last night. Enough said, right? No child likes mashed potatoes. Well, mine did. Until last night.

I made cereal for breakfast this morning. No child likes cereal. Today, anyway. And just because they ask for it, doesn't mean they like it, or really mean they want to eat it. Forcing them to eat it is practically a crime. Book me, Danno. 

 I need to wrap this up because it's been at least 20 minutes since I had to say "no" or make a child cry. Can't get behind. May your day be infinitely better than mine is sure to be.

Monday, February 20, 2012

He's Not Tired of Me Yet

In honor of our 8 YEAR ANNIVERSARY tomorrow (still time to go buy me a gift, babe!), I wanted to dedicate this post to the top 50 things that I love about the man who got tricked into spending the rest of his life with me. (insert evil laugh here.)  I say "tricked".  And it sounds funny. . .but if you only knew the whole story. Since you couldn't care less and are just flattering me by reading this post, I won't bore you with ALL the details.  I will just say that at some point, about 12 years ago, I stole this poor man's fish, left a ransom note, and forced him to meet me for dinner in order to get his fish back.  Next proceeded lots of stalking and waiting for this man to realize that I was the best thing since sliced bread before he asked me to marry him. The rest is history. After more than a decade of laughs, struggles, 2 screaming toddlers, and unending life compromises, I can say without hesitation that I wouldn't trade him for the world.  There are so many crazy reasons why I love BC. . .just for YOU, I will "count thy ways". . .

1. He's super sexy in a beanie
2. He's the most creative guy I know
3. He loves his work
4. He's Spontaneous and adventurous
5. He doesn't wear tightie whities
6. He loves Grandy's, root beer, and sour cream &onion chips
7. He's as big of a goof as I am
8. He only goes to Chili's cause he knows how much I love it
9. He likes Phineas and Ferb (more than my toddlers)
10. He thinks I'm funny sometime
11. His BO smells fabulous (I'm being totally serious)
12. When it's his birthday, I get to shop in the toy dept
13. He tells me before he's going to fart (how thoughtful, right?)
14. He's pretty hilarious, most of the time
15. He wants me to write as much as I want to write, sometimes more
16. I share lots of childish inside jokes with him
17. He introduced me to U2, and I will never be the same
18. Sometimes he shaves his chest for me
19. Watching him onstage turns me on
20. He tolerates my love of reality tv sitcoms
21. He appreciates my small boobs....well, all boobs really
22. He loves our boys recklessly
23. He thinks my ability to find his stuff around the house is a superpower
24. His booty is pretty adorable.
25. He has this mischievous half-smile that makes me melt. ;)
26. He draws hippos
27. He shares my love for all things fast food
28. Traveling makes both of us happier people
29. He's a country boy at heart
30. He's one of the most humble people I know
31. He doesn't get too annoyed that I stop at green lights
32. He knows how to do the dishes. He doesn't do them, but he knows how.
33. We can have some really amazing conversations about God.
34. I love that he wants to write an animation. Someday. About something.
35. His favorite kind of cake is not something I'm required to bake.
36. I love that he gets as excited as the boys about the happy meal toys
37. We both can have a blast for hours at a Barnes & Noble
38. Although he thinks I'm juvenile for liking the Olsen twins, bought me thier poster
39. When I watch him lead worship, it brings me closer to God too
40. Standing next to him always makes me look tan
41. He thinks I'm sexiest in holely jeans and a hoodie
42. Making him happy requires only a box of MacNCheese & a movie night
43. He has no shame in air-hump-dancing with me in front of the kids
44. When I set off the smoke alarms, he assures me it's not my cooking
45. He is a never-ending, bottomless pit of useless facts
46. He has the most romantic Union Station, KC
47. I love that he's quick to admit he's wrong. Which is not often. Unfortunately.
48. His nap schedule works perfectly with the kid's.
49. My worst day is made perfect with these 3 words, "I Lvoe Yuo".
50. He promises that he's not tired of me yet. ;)

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Conversation Between A Woman And Her Spanx

A woman and her Spanx both punch in for work at a time clock.
A work whistle is heard blowing in the distance.
Woman: Mornin’, Spanx.
Spanx: Mornin’, Michelle.
(The Spanx stops the woman, with a gentle touch.)
Spanx: Listen, before you go to work, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.
Actually, we’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.
Woman: Who? What do you mean?
Spanx: Me and the girls have been talking. You know, ‘Tank Top’, ‘Full Body Slip’, ‘Giant Panties’…
Woman: And..?
Spanx:…and, we want you to know that we love you. Dearly.
Woman (becoming concerned): Well, I love you too. I mean, I really really love you. I need you.
Spanx (softly): Well, that’s just the thing. We think you might need us too much. Your dependence on us is straining the limits of what modern fabric can accomplish.
Woman: Oh my God. Are you breaking up with me?
Spanx: You can’t just replace exercise by wearing tighter and tighter foundation garments. You can’t.
Woman (beginning to cry): Yes I can!
Spanx: Listen to us. We see the person you used to be, the person who was capable of amazing things. You used to read books by grownups, and eat food from a breakable plate at a table. Now the most you can do are headlines and pull-out recipe cards from Martha Stewart Living that you stole while you were waiting at the doctor’s office.
Woman: Those were old and no one wanted them anymore!
Spanx: You eat crazily, like a criminal who lives under a bridge. Your shoulders are hunched over–
Woman:–I’m busy!
Spanx: You eat like a dingo.
Woman: (*sob*)
Spanx: The worst part is, you eat up to nine partial meals every day. You don’t have to finish every mini-waffle that your kids drop on the floor, you know, you really don’t. And you eat too fast. Not every meal should find you engaged in a private battle for supremacy with your undergarments.
Woman: But making everybody think my abdominal tautness comes from muscle tone may be my greatest accomplishment as an adult. You could bounce a coin off my stomach.
Spanx (sadly): That’s only because Tencel is actually quite bouncy.
(Long pause)
Woman: OK, fine. I’m hearing you.
Spanx: Thank you. This is great. This represents progress…
Woman: I’m hearing that I may need to start ‘doubling up’ on you. That’ll help.
Spanx: No! You must have misunderstood me! That’s not what I’m saying! Please, we can’t work any harder than we already do! We can’t pull anymore double shifts…God—we’re going to suffocate under all those extra layers!
The woman slowly wrenches an additional tank top over the one she was already wearing. She appears extra slim and trim in her full length mirror. She smiles to herself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Counterfeit Love

Some form of the word "love" exists in scripture 543 times and is, conceivably, one of the most abused, excused, and misused words in modern lingo today.

I love your style. I just loved that show. I love the way you fix your hair! I love ice cream. Oh, I love what you've done with this room! I love you in that dress. I love it when you make me laugh.

 I LOVE YOU ... unless I get hurt ... just don't ask me to help ... only when my needs come first ... though not if it means listening to you ... barring when I can take credit ... when it's convenient ... if you love me ... as long as you do what I say ... but not your children ... unless you get in my way ... until I think of some good jokes at your expense ... except you put on a few pounds ... omitting when friends are around ... whenever it benefits me.

 Let's make love. If you love me, you'll do it. Never mind that I'm sleeping with someone else, it's you I love. You're just stupid - you know I love you.

 I love you, but I won't forgive you. I'm sorry for hurting you, again, but you know I love you. I told you once that I love you, that ought to be enough. What do I have to say to make you believe me ... I (bleep, bleep) love you, all right? If I say I love you, then I love you. I can see others and still love you.
When you measure up to my expectations, then I'll love you.

 Some speak most eloquent words of love. Fewer show it in their lives. But, whatever they speak, actions speak even louder.

 Surely, God must prefer to disassociate from situations where people misuse words that describe His character. And, wherever He isn't, it isn't love.

 It is impossible to love until we know God and begin to love others as He loves us, because God is love and it's His Spirit that loves through us (1 John 4:8, 12-13).
 Anything less is counterfeit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Love Song

I don't normally post on Tuesdays. And I don't normally like to get all "lovey-dovey" and sappy on the blog. No one likes that really. But as I have yet to put on my mascara for the day and everyone else is turning in to big piles of mushy goodness, excuse me for temporarily dropping my sarcastic card and telling you a quick fairy tale. I promise you won't regret listening.

Eleven years ago last month, I got to know a skinny little geek. We'll call him BC. There I stood in the sanctuary at church on a Wednesday night in the youth group with stars in my eyes for this adorable keyboard player onstage. There was just something about him. Besides that he could play the piano, which had always been a secret wish of mine. There has always been something about the amazingly strong and beautiful melodies that come from striking those keys that I can listen to for hours. And as I sat and worshiped God that night, I also silently worshiped and adored the music that came from the heart of the one playing the tunes. He was confident. And passionate. And prayerful. And quirky. Yes, I even loved that he had the most spot-on Kermit the Frog impression that I'd ever heard. Granted, his shirts we're 7 sizes too big and he wore converse tennis shoes every single day, but those things were fixable. I was infatuated. And as I listened to him lead our church into the presence of God week after week, I fell more in love with the man behind that keyboard. For all the right reasons.

He wasn't from my small town. He was from a small town of his own an hour or so away. Him and his friends felt God leading them to our church to lead praise and worship and so they sacrificed and drove every week. They had been a band for years. Finding each other through circles of friends and learning how to play their instruments as they went. They were self-taught and defintely talented. BC was intrigued by music from an early age. His parents went to a small church where the pastors wife taught piano lessons. She had an extra piano, and after she had offered it to members of her own family without acceptance, she offered it to BC's family. That big gift became the instrument that brought him to a place of experiencing God in a new way. One that he fell in love with. Worship. It would become his life.

An hour away, in another small town, I found myself in a world of chaos. Growing up in a home full of constant discord, the shouting never stopped. After years of putting my hands over my ears and praying for relief, I found a solution. My Grandma bought me my first Walkman after I got saved and I immediately started filling my drawers with cassette after cassette of worship music. On those nights when things would get dark and intense at home, I would retreat to my room, put on my headphones and tune everything out. Turn "up" instead. Losing myself in God's presence became my escape. I loved the melodies and message....that everything was going to be okay. That someday the fighting would cease and there would be silence. And the only thing that would be heard was the sweet sound of a piano playing softly as I went to sleep. My aunt and uncle pastored a small church some towns away. She was a piano teacher and if it hadn't have been for the distance, I would have been taking lessons. When they bought a brand new piano one year, they offered their old one to me, with the promise to teach me to play. I was ecstatic at the idea. But it was forbid. For reasons foreign to me, we could not accept the gift from my aunt and uncle. My dad was a proud man and had all sorts of resentment towards the spiritual influence that my aunt and uncle had offered our family. The gift of music...the gift of escape for me was forfeited. Offered to another. But they couldn't take the music away from me. For years and years after, I continued to put on my headphones and escape into worship. God became my escape from the horror that was my homelife for so many years. And then I walked in the doors of this sanctuary and worship became even more real to me.

Our attraction to each other was something magnetic. We were as different as night and day except for a few common loves....God and music. And boy, was that enough. We fell in love immediately. As we both had never fell before. It was a pure and innocent and godly love. We wanted good things for each other. And we were each other's greatest gift. He helped me learn about worship and art and I taught him about compassion and patience. He knew how to draw, I knew how to write. He knew how to play this beautiful instrument, and I knew how to worship. We grew closer together because we grew closer to the Lord. And we praised God for the gift of music in our lives.

A few years later, as I hold his hand and we walk together through my relatives at a Christmas gathering for the first time, a couple of people stood to greet BC as if they knew him already. My aunt and uncle, the ones who extended the gift of the piano to me, are the former pastors of BC's childhood church. After my father's rejection, the piano that should have been sitting in my living room, was the one that was currently sitting in BC's. The reason that he developed his passion for music and grew closer to God was because of that piano. We were more connected than I'd ever thought possible. I realize now that if I had been allowed to accept that gift, I would have never met BC. The gift to him had become an act of providence that orchestrated a beautiful melody bringing two people together at just the perfect moment in time.

Eleven years later, we still accept that God's timing is perfect. We smile at the mysterious ways that he brings about His will and perfect plan for our lives. He sings over us. Our entire lives, He's been singing over us. Leading us to each other. I have to say, we've had one of the hardest years of our marriage this last year. But we can't deny that we are together for a purpose. We marvel at the song that God is writing of our lives. We don't know all the words yet, and sometimes all we hear is the faintest tinkling of piano keys, but we trust in His melody. We will worship the God "together" who gives us a new reason, a thousand new things to sing about, every single day.

Thank you God for our real life fairy tale.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Mom's Got a Big Booty--By Mr. Grouchy Pants

Everytime my mom turns around I get an eyeful of this.

Before you get yourself all in a tizzy over this post’s title. Note this: I calls ‘em like I see ‘em. And what I sees is a mom who sports a ginormous backside. To be fair I’m only three feet tall, so everything looks big to me. Also, because of my height, her bum consistently hits me at eye-level, obstructing my view. It’s like trying to crane your neck around a mountain.

Take last week for example. My mom was blocking my way in a clothing aisle at Target, (I was attempting to strategically hide in some Merona sweaters) so I yelled to her, “Move your big booty!” I thought it was a fairly straightforward (and hilarious!) way to communicate that she should, well, move her big behind. I was just trying to be accurate–you’d think she’d be impressed by my clarity. Think again. Jeeze, she got pissed. Touch-y.

What’s the, ahem, BIG deal? Compared to me or any of my friends, bears, or action figures; or any of my mom’s childless friends; her bum is freakin’ huge. It’s all relative (and by relative I mean she obviously inherited my grandma’s double-wide hips.)

I’m guessing her reaction that day at Target might have something to do with how whiny she gets when she claims she can’t fit into any of her pants, shirts, skirts, tanktops, coats, t-shirts, culottes, underwear, sweaters, shorts, skorts, or shoes the way she used to ‘back in the day’ — which I’m assuming was sometime in the early 1920′s.

Heck, I’m pretty sure she blames me for her body falling apart — not directly but I get the hint. I will cop to, for a time, (roughly 9 months), taking up residence in her belly. But when I vacated I left the place exactly as I found it. I even got (most) of my security deposit back.

So zip it sister…oh that’s right, you can’t.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Boys Will Be Men

A few months ago, I guest posted on a friend's parenting blog at  Here it is again, in case you missed it! Check out EpicParent's blog for some AWESOME advice on raising godly kids.  And now, for the post. . .

Boys will be boys.

It’s a phrase you can’t help but hear all the time as a mom of young kids. It’s used when laughing about mud-covered faces. It’s said to explain away a surprisingly loud crash in the playroom. But lately I find it’s uttered all too often to excuse mean, aggressive behavior.

For instance, the other day I took my kids to our local mall playplace. Two young boys were grabbing my kids’ toys and taunting them. Really taunting them. I watched as one little rodent persistently pushed my two-year-old onto the ground. Rather than reprimanding her boys, the mother gave me a knowing look and shrugged as if to say, “You have boys, you understand.” And I do.

I love being a mom of boys. But boys get feisty. (I’ve got a (more) crooked nose and BC’s got a few knots on the forehead to prove it.) And moms get tired. (I’ve got the dark circles to prove that.) But as parents, I think it’s up to us to channel that boyish energy into positive outlets. It’s our job to take these excitable little boys and raise them into respectable—and respectful—young men. Because, let’s face it, while a bad boy is intriguing, a good guy is who we want our daughters to marry and our grandkids (gulp!) to look up to.

So because boys will be men, I promise I will do everything I can to teach my sons:

• Trust is like the greatest of all Lego towers. It takes time and effort to build, but mere seconds to destroy.

• Superheroes don’t get their power from their muscles alone, but from their intentions.

• There are few things as rewarding as a sense of humor when it’s used to laugh with people, not at them.

• It takes hard work to be a great player, but harder work to be a team player.

• Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

• When chosen carefully, words can be far more powerful than fists, sticks and, yes, even light sabers.

• Get your hands dirty and your dishes/clothes/rooms clean.

• Use curiosity to get into things and creativity to get out of them. (Yep, just like George.)

• Princesses don’t need a prince to save them, but to dance with them.

No doubt my boys will break a few valuables, bones and maybe even hearts along the way. But if I can help it—and I believe I can—it won’t be because they didn’t know better.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Blogger

Being a blogger is hard work.  I mean it’s haaaard work.

Beyond the obvious time and dedication that is required, blogging occupies every facet of your mind. I mean, you can’t even go pee in the public washroom at Walmart, without wondering if and how the subject matter will be introduced into a post.

My day begins innocently enough. I promise myself that today is the day I am NOT going to think about my blog. Today I am going to concentrate on my family.
My family.
They’re a nice bunch of people.

As I skip to my kitchen, feeling lighter; free from the cage that has been my laptop, I am thinking about what I could pack in my two children’s lunches; a little something to show them how much I really love them.

I know!
I’ll write a note: Dear Son, I <3 U. (He still can't read, you know. . .but he will know what this means.)

…And then as I reread the note, I giggle.
Because I’ve written it in bright pink highlighter and when he opens his lunch bag and the note falls out, his friends are going to be able to see every word.
Is he getting to the age where things like this will embarrass him?…

Then I think about taking a picture of the note because it would really accentuate the blog post I’m going to write about my son’s humiliation.
And then I’m like, No! No posts today!

The day continues on. The children are sent off to school, and other than the comment my 5-year-old made about his piece of toast looking like a boob (it didn’t…’cause if it had I would have taken a picture of it), I have not found anything blog worthy.

The rest of the afternoon is a series of menial tasks such as paying bills, doing housework, and grocery shopping, which bore me so much, I need a nap.

Napping though…well, any kind of sleep, is a blogger’s most productive activity, or rather inactivity.
Any kind of lull in my day allows my mind the freedom to scour the past days and weeks, frantically searching for a nugget of funny that can be expanded upon into a full-blown blog post.

Did I or somebody in my family trip? Say a bad word? Clog the toilet? Step in dog poo? Make a poo? Talk about poo?…poo is a really good one…

No. No good poo stories, but my oldest monster does have the stinkiest feet…and I did catch him wrestling his little brother to the ground, and as though he were planting a flag at the top of the  mountain, he successfully stuck his baby toe in his nostril.

Yes…Yes! A post!

Struggling free from the covers, I spring towards my laptop, and begin to write.
The world would probably benefit from a post expounding the pros and cons of the health care system.
But “The Smelly Toe Versus the Small Boy” is created and highly acclaimed with several retweets, Facebook “likes,” and comment love.

But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day.
Tomorrow, I PROMISE I won’t blog.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Dearest Telephone

My Dearest Telephone,

I have loved you for so long. From prank calling cute boys in junior high to getting my own private line at 14, we have spent precious ages together and the time was beautiful. When call-waiting came into my teenage life, I realized I need never worry about who was trying to reach me to discuss 5th period. With 3-way calling, the heavens opened by giving me the ability to conference my girlfriends and gossip about the day’s events, even though we had spent the entire day together. There was just always more to say; you understood.

The emergence of the cell phone rocked my core and we took our relationship to a deeper and more profound level. The cell phone gave me the freedom to be in constant communication every second of every day, teaching me valuable lessons involving hands-free devices and the cost of exorbitant cell phone usage.

Telephone, our love was real and it was true, but I must regrettably say goodbye now that I have a toddler. As a mother, I have come to the painful realization that I must forfeit recreational usage of you, my beloved telephone. You see, I am no longer able to carry on intelligent conversations free from distraction as my toddler despises you. Whenever we attempt to spend quality time together, my child morphs into a crazy monster who vies for my attention and cannot be tamed. Something about spending time with you makes me overwhelmingly popular with him; a shift in attention most deeply rooted in jealousy.

Sadly, the time of reckoning has come - it’s not you, it’s him. I hope in time - as Mr. Stinky Pants grows - we can rekindle our romance for there’s a time and a place for us…someday, somewhere, somehow. Stay true dearest telephone, may you continue to connect 13 year old girls to discuss important matters involving Facebook and Twilight.

You are never far from my heart; you literally had me at “hello”.

Hanging up now *sniff, sniff*,

Miss Banana Pants

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Will Never NOT Be Tired Again. . .

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the dreadful toll motherhood has taken on my sleeping patterns.  Little by little, I’m starting to realize that this sleep deprivation crud is just a never-ending, vicious cycle that nobody ever REALLY tells you about.  Evidently, it never really goes away but just presents itself in different forms along the way, starting from the time you pop that kid out of your uterus until the day you die.  (So much to look forward to, huh?!)

When your kids are babies, you think, “OH MY GOSH, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!” as you repeatedly drag yourself out of bed for those middle of the night feedings.  You pace the floor with a wild look in your eyes as you rock that little bundle with all your desperate might.  And you tell yourself that it MUST be better once he or she finally learns to sleep through the night.

Then the toddler years hit, and you think, “OH MY GOSH, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!” as you make numerous trips down the hall to reposition a bed-hopping munchkin back in his/her rightful slumbering place.  You seriously consider duct tape, super glue, or a staple gun as your only viable options.  But you tell yourself that SURELY it’ll be better once your little pumpkin gets over the separation anxiety hurdle.

And then the preschool phase arrives, and you think, “OH MY GOSH, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!” as you hold your puking kid’s hair back over the porcelain god at 3 AM.  You eventually lay your barf-spattered self back in your bed, only to hear more gagging coming from your other offspring’s room.  And you assure yourself that things HAVE to be better once their immunity builds up.

But then I hear the teenage years roll in, and you think, “OH MY GOSH, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!” as you lie in bed worrying whether your social butterfly of a rascal will finally arrive home in one piece before curfew.  Your ears perk up and your heart skips a beat with each passing car that you hear.  And you promise yourself that things WILL eventually be better once your child becomes a responsible adult (*fingers crossed*).

However,when your baby’s finally all grown up, you STILL find yourself thinking, “OH MY GOSH, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!” as you wake up in a pool of your own sweat while your mind races over all the crap that you didn’t get done that day.  You can deny it all you want, but menopause has decided to be your new BFF, and zombie-chic is once again your new everyday look.

And it’s then, and only then, that you realize that you will FINALLY get a good night’s sleep………..when you’re six feet under the ground.

I know, I know. . .I think too much. We're only half-way there. And the insomnia IS worth it, isn't it?