Archive for the ‘Working Parents’ Category

I’ve been a mom now for 6 1/2 years.  I do not claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination.  That being said, I’ve made a list of some insights that let me know that I am actually a mom…

You know you’re a mom when:

1.  You have uttered the sentence, “Please do not wipe your booger next to your dinner plate.”

2.  You’ve spent 2 1/2 hours in urgent care only to be told that something is a virus and you should really go home and put your kid to bed.

3.  You open your purse and find a wet wipe, a half eaten candy cane, a hot wheels car, a used tissue, a crayon, and a dirty sock, but you can’t find a pen to save your life.

4.  You have put off grocery shopping in order to avoid an aisle 5 meltdown.

5.  You know the location of every public restroom in town, as well as which ones are the “good ones”.  You are also aware of which restrooms have automatic toilet flushers, and you avoid them like the plague because your kid is petrified of them.

6.  You have washed your kids clothes at someone else’s house because of an “accident”.

7.  You have wondered why on earth they wouldn’t just make all kids shoes with velcro.

8.  You turn your head whenever someone utters the word “mom”.

9.  You know all the restaurants that have “kids eat free” nights.

10.  You have spent 15 minutes or more in a public restroom waiting for someone to poop.

11.  You can quote Spongebob, Hannah Montana, and Kung Fu Panda.

12.  You have ordered a “Crabby Patty” in a restaurant because your kid will eat a “Crabby Patty”, but won’t touch a cheeseburger.

13.  You feel the tiniest bit of pride when your 6 year old corrects their friend’s grammar.  You feel a little bit more pride, when she corrects her friend’s mom’s grammar.  You feel like you will burst with pride when she corrects the grammar of a perfect stranger.

14.  You have smelled another human’s butt, fully anticipating there to be a horrible odor coming from it.  (For those who are not mom’s, this is a good way to see if a diaper needs changing!)

15.  You consider your annual Pap Smear “me time”.

16.  You can, quite literally, change a diaper in your sleep.

17.  You know just how far a container of baby powder will go when yielded by a 3 year old, and how hard it is to vacuum.

18.  You have picked your kid’s lollipop (or binky) up off the street, rinsed it off with orange juice, and handed it back to your kid, all the while telling strangers not to look.

19.  You consider cold cereal to be a perfectly acceptable dinner on nights when Daddy’s not home.

20.  You’ve gone to the store at 2 am for Orajel. Or whiskey.

21.  You’ve chased your kid through a store while wearing an unbuttoned shirt because they escaped from the fitting room.

22.  You’ve left the house looking like hell, meanwhile your kids are dressed to the nines…..because it’s picture day!

23.  You’ve been asked to leave a church service.

24.  Your child says a cuss word, and you know that it’s all your fault.  And you kinda think it’s funny but would  never admit it.

25.  You open your silverware drawer and realize that you have more silly straws than spoons.  And then you consider whether or not it would be wise to allow your kids to eat Jello with a silly straw.

Please add any others you can think of!


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Photo by ManonManon

Remember when you were little and your parents made you go to church? I grew up in a Lutheran family and attended a Lutheran school, from kindergarten through 12th grade. I was probably an oddball, because I actually enjoyed going to church, and can’t honestly remember ever putting up a fight about it. But, then I went to college at a state school, and put church on the back burner….actually, it was in the fridge…nowhere near any kind of burner at all.

Then I met Brian, and we both transferred to a different school. We got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ. Actually, Brian was WAY more involved than I was. I did not particularly care for the people in the group. But, I did start going to the Lutheran church on campus every so often. At the time, Brian attended a local church called “Young Church”. I didn’t really care for that either because they were very non-traditional (no communion, rock bands, you get the picture).

Then we got married and our church-going waxed and waned. We finally found a church that we both liked, which was a perfect mix of tradition (communion, hymns that I knew growing up, litanies) and non-traditional (rock band, drama club). We joined that church, and were members for about 2 years or so.

Then we moved to LA. We tried the local Lutheran church, but it just didn’t do it for us. Then Brian was working weekends, so we didn’t go to church at all for a while. Then I met a girl at work, who told me about the church that she attends. We talked about it a few times, but it was only after I became her boss that I finally got around to going. I thought at first that it would be weird for her to have her boss at church, but really, we don’t really see that much of each other when we are there, so it’s not a big deal.

That being said, I really like this church. It’s very non-traditional. I mean, REALLY non-traditional. There is no communion. There are no litanies. There is an actual rock band, and dancers, and professional stage lighting. The first time we went, the kids did not like the noise, so I told them that it’s like a concert for God. And that is exactly what is like. But, it’s so much more genuine than the church Brian went to back in college. These are real people, many of them who came to LA to be performers, performing for God. It’s fantastic. And the pastor’s message always hits home, and he makes the Bible so relevant for today’s times. It’s really great.

And the kids really like it too. The Boy loves to go to Kids Church (that’s what they call Sunday School) because there is a slide, and playdoh, and he learns about God. The Girl pretends to be shy, but when we pick her up from Kids Church, she always tells us what a great time she had and what she learned.

There are also a lot of ways to volunteer or otherwise get involved at this church. I am not ready for that level of commitment yet. It will take me a while to get there, if I ever do. But, I am happy to know that the opportunity is there if and when I am ready.

So, thanks to Teresa for introducing us to this church. There is really no way to thank someone for bringing faith back into your life, but I want you to know that we truly do appreciate it.

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Photo by beautifulcataya

I may be a convert. I have always shopped at your typical grocery store, like Albertsons or Kroger. I’ve never been one to buy organic foods, not for any reason other than it’s just too expensive. But, my friend at work eats all organic food (well, mostly organic) and has been telling me about all of the health benefits and stuff. She also told me about the prices at Trader Joe’s, which she said are nearly comparable to the normal grocery store. So I decided to see for myself.

I went to Trader Joe’s on my way home from work today. My first find was eggs. At Albertsons, eggs go for about $2.39 or so per dozen for your average hormone infused eggs. I got hormone/preservative free eggs at Trader Joe’s for $1.49 per dozen. Not organic, but better than what I had been buying. The next find was organic garbonzo beans (I’m going to attempt to make hummus) for 99 cents a can…same price as non-organic at any other store. I found a honey bear for $2.69, about 2/3 of what it is at the store across the street from me. Lastly, I found ground beef for less than at Albertsons, and I bought all natural mac n cheese in an attempt to fool the kids into healthier fare.

Now, the only thing I bought that was organic was the beans, but I feel better knowing that at least I’m buying things that are at least a little bit better for my family. I’ll probably keep shopping there, though not as often as the store across the street…there are just some things that we eat that I did not see there and it’s all the way across town. But, for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed grocery shopping! That says a lot.

Update:  The kids LOVED the mac n cheese!  Yay!

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I was at work today talking to my boss, who gave me a great work-related compliment.  We were talking about some stuff that I’ve been doing with my new hire and our new programs.  She said to me, “See?  I told Bev (her boss) that I hired my replacement!”  How great is that?  I’m not one to crave compliments, and I’m definitely not one to share them with the world, but that was seriously one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten, especially since I have nothing but respect for my boss…..and FYI, I’m really glad she’s not going anywhere soon!

The other compliment was related to parenting.  The Girl had a play date at her friend’s house today.  Her friend is one of 4 kid, ages 6, 4, 3, and 1.  The mother of these 4 beautiful children asked me how I make it though a day with a full time job and two kids!  That may not seem like a compliment to most, but to me, it was amazing.  I mean, this woman is the epitome of calm, and she’s in wonder about my day with only 2 kids!  I have it so easy compared to her, at least in my mind, and yet she said she couldn’t do what I do.  I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t want to switch places with her either!  As much as I love my kids, I don’t want anymore, and I would not want to be a SAHM, because I have found that I’m just a better mom when I’m working.  That’s not to say that I don’t envy SAHMs, because I do.  I just know that I’m not made to be one.

So that’s that.  I had a great day today, and it was definitely enhanced by these two great compliments.  I hope tomorrow goes as well as today did!

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Photo by sm4rtus

Talk may be action, but it’s cheap action. I talk a lot about how important life is: the life we lead, the life of others, the life of animals… and so on.

But, do my kids listen? Do they beleive me about how important all life is?

First of all, since moving to California the idea of conservation has steamrolled for us. It’s huge. While it was always important and we recycled (or tried) and tried to conserve water, our kids never reflected that. Until now. If I leave the water running while washing dishes, or brushing my teeth or filling the tub my kids, expecially the boy (three and a half) will tell me, “Dad! You’re wasting water!” I am rather proud of this. They actually ‘get it’. They may not fully understand the importance of conservation, but they get it.

My daughter (six) while at the beach in Venice was VERY concerned with all the trash she saw. Even prompting me to help her clean the beach. I explained that if we stopped and cleaned the beach, we wouldn’t be able to play, and we’d have to live there for weeks to clean it all. This only made her very sad. She explained that it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t nice for people to throw trash there. It was gross for others and it was dangerous to the animals. She also pointed out that it was dumb, since there were MANY trash ans all over the beach. I agreed and nodded at nearby beach goers who could hear her. I was so proud.

One last thing I would like to mention. One evening while on our family walk, we were looking at snails and other little creatures as we always do. My son, poor thing, didn’t see a tiny snail in front of him. But, there were so many snails he wanted to count and see the bigger ones ahead. With a step, a crunch sound was heard. He looked up at me, and it was clear he knew what had happened. He quickly moved his foot to see the snail underneath. Immediately he and the girl burst into tears. I mean, loud, screaming, crying tears. I asked to be sure, and they both said they were sad that it had died. We explained that it happens, it was an accident and the snail most likely didn’t feel any pain. They still cried but began to calm down. Eventually they stopped crying and enjoyed the walk and more snails and creatures. They both were much moer careful in their walking. Again, I was very proud. I think we must be doing something right for them to hold all life, and our surroundings with such high regard. I am so proud of my kids for having such a love for our world. And, I can’t help but feel proud of my wife and myself for helping teach them this important view.

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Photo by Mr Geoff

I was coerced into going to a PTA meeting last night. I have not gone to one since last September, and I had a very bad experience back then. This was when we lived in Michigan. I attended the first PTA meeting of the school year, and my first meeting ever, as my oldest was just in Kindergarten at the time. At the meeting what I found was a bunch of complainers. No one was nice. No one welcomed us. The speakers were complaining about not having enough money, the parents were complaining about too many fundraisers, and everyone complaining about the weather. The only ones who were not complaining were my family and the screaming children that were allowed to run rampant through the meeting. I was aggitated, and I never went back.

Cut to Tuesday. The Girl brings home a note stating that her class was to sing at the PTA meeting, which was scheduled for Wednesday. Nothing like giving last minute notice. Oh yeah, and they are supposed to wear red. The Girl doesn’t own anything red, so I had to go buy her a new shirt. Thank goodness for the clearance rack.

So, on Wednesday, I grudgingly took her to the meeting, and sat with her friend’s mom. The meeting was boring, which was better than what I experienced in Michigan. There was food and coffee, which made me happy. The kids sang two songs, which were in memory of a teacher who recently passed away, so that was touching. People were actually nice. The kids that were there, were actually well behaved. It was…….weird…….

So, all in all, I’m glad I went to the meeting. I don’t know that I’ll ever go to another one, but I don’t regret having to go to this one. Plus, the apple turnovers were pretty tasty.

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photo by fringehog

Brian took The Girl to the orthopedic doctor this morning. She’s fine. Her elbow is not fractured. Whew! We just have to do some exercises with her to help her strengthen it. And the really good news is that it’s still impossible for her to lick her own elbow.

On a different note, I’ve been thinking lately about the health of my kids, and myself. I realized that we eat a lot of crap. I mean, The Girl eats bologna for lunch almost every day! I give them fruit snacks, hot dogs, mac-n-cheese out of the box, anything quick and easy. Is that so bad? I get to thinking about this stuff every now and then, and I start feeling guilty. I mean, on that show Jon and Kate Plus 8, they eat all organic foods! And they have 8 kids! And I wonder why I don’t do that. And then I remember…it’s because I hate to cook. And, I grew up on koolaid, pepsi, and fluffernutter sandwiches, and I turned out ok. My kids are healthy, they usually will choose grapes over junk food, neither of them like pop (that’s Michigan for soda), and they have never been big candy eaters . In fact, I just threw out a bunch of Easter candy that we all forgot about! So, do I wish we ate healthier? Of course I do. Am I going to feel guilty for giving my kids mac-n-cheese? Nope.

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Photo by Julie™..{ Princess of Far Far AWAY}

Man, was it a rough one today. I got up early in the hopes of getting to work early, which I did, but Brian was feeling under the weather, so it ended up being a pretty rough morning. I worried about him all morning. Then, around 10am, I finally decided he was too sick to take care of The Boy, so I came home, packed The Boy up, and took him back to the office with me. Thank goodness I work someplace that allows that.

The Boy was so good all day, and I was so proud of him, so I bought him and The Girl a milkshake on our way home. Both of them drank it too fast, complained of a stomach-ache, and ended up with diarrhea. Lactose intolerance, anyone? Anyway, by the time The Boy and I got home form work, Brian was feeling better (turns out it was one helluva migraine). He started getting ready for work, and the maintenance guy showed up to fix our backed up sink (I love renting!). So, Brian went to work, and now I’m trying to figure out what’s for dinner. Oh yeah, and while yesterday’s dishes (that we couldn’t do yesterday because of the sink) are able to get washed, tonight’s dishes will not because we are out of dishwasher soap. I was supposed to go to the store, but because of the diarrhea, that’s not happenin’, yo. That’s all I need. And, yes, I know I could hand wash the dishes, and I might, but I can’t even think about it right now.

The good news is that I’m so fed up that I’m just done for the day…which left me with enough time to play a great game of hide-n-seek with the kids….with only one diarrhea interruption.

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Photo by It’sGreg

Here it is, Thursday again. Ever since The Girl was born, I have hated Thursdays. I don’t know what it is about this day, but it always seems to be the worst day of the week for us. Even before The Girl started school, Thursdyas have been the day when she is just exhausted. Prior to moving to CA and prior to Brian being a stay-at-home dad (by day), the kids went to Grandma’s house while we went to work. So, by Thursday, it was harder to wake them up in the morning, and harder to to get them to come home after work.

Now that The Girl is in school, Thursday is even worse. She is still impossible to wake up on Thursday mornings. She dawdles all morning until we have to practically run to school to get her there on time (good thing it’s downhill!), and she’s a whiny little whiner by the time she gets home. Then, when I get home, I get to deal with the homework fight, and Thursdays are the worst homework days for her! She has to do a practice spelling test, do something creative to practice the spelling words, and practice for her timed math test. Ther eis usually other stuff she has to do too. Dinner is usually pizza or some other “fast” food, and bedtime is just as much of a nightmare.

And that’s just the kids! I am also quite tired by Thursday, and I usually have a meeting or two while at work, or I have to drive to one of the farther offices, which is not fun in LA traffic. A lot of times, I have to go to some store or another because we have run out of something, and I’m never in the mood to go. And if it’s getting close to the next payday, there is the “end of the paycheck” woes as well.

So, all in all, I’m not a fan of Thursdays. I’m also not a fan of February, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

On a positive note, family and friends in Michigan have written and called me to tell me how cold it is there. Here, it’s in the upper 90’s today. I’m so glad we moved to California!

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Photo by SoundsGood

That’s right, 34 days until one of my favorite holidays! I absolutely love Halloween. And I am so looking forward to it this year. In Michigan, we had to be prepared for any kind of weather to include (just in the past 6 years) 75 degrees and dry, rain, snow, hail, or wind so cold your tongue will stick to your lollipop! Here in Southern California, I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m pretty certain that snow, hail, and below 30 degree temperatures are out of the equation!

Growing up, my parents did haunted houses as a fund raiser for my school. My dad played Dracula, and my mom, by default, was Dracula’s wife. Dad would lie in a real coffin, and Mom would stare down the scared little teenagers. When they would come close to the casket, Dad would jump up and scare the dickens out of ’em! I remember hearing the grown-ups talking after closing time…they would always compare how many “wet spots” they had at each section of the maze. My mom got punched so often that she would have bruises, and they did actually have people pee their pants when Dad would scare them. My parents were so into it, they even had our dentist make them realistic fangs that were made out of denture material, and they snapped on over their real teeth!

So, while I really miss the haunted houses, when I tried to volunteer in the past, I realized that you had to be there on halloween, and that would interfere with trick-or-treating. I absolutely love taking the kids trick-or-treating, or as my Grandma says, “begging”, and I’ve only missed out one year since The Girl was born, and that was because I was pregnant with The Boy. Maybe when they get older, we can all volunteer at haunted houses together.

In order to try to keep my excitement level down, the kids and I decorated the house today. Unfortunately, it seems quite a few of my decorations got lost in the move, which makes me pretty sad. I hope that’s not the case with my Christmas decorations, because that would be cause for a complete temper tantrum. Speaking of Christmas…only 88 more days till that holiday! I better start shopping………

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