Tuesday, June 24, 2014

One Small Moment

It’s the little moments that hit me the most. It’s something so small that stops me in my tracks, makes me take a deep breath in and suddenly floods me with memories of years gone by just like that. I know for some parents the big milestones are the things that take their breath away, things like their child’s first word, first steps, first tooth, and first year of school. For me it’s different. I never know when a small moment is going to sneak up on me and throw me off balance for a bit. I recognize it the moment it does though. It floods me with all too familiar emotions all at once and suddenly I realize time has moved without me realizing it and life has changed.

As parents we want our children to grow and to change because it’s the biggest sign that we are doing our job right. We spend our days in the daily chaos of meals, sports, school, homework and all around crazy schedules that it’s easy to miss what is happening right in front of us. Our children are figuring out their way in the world and while we would like to hold their hands the entire journey there will be times when they may not want us to and that’s okay.

My oldest son is finishing up his last two days of kindergarten. I’ve seen the obvious changes. He’s gotten so much taller. He’s become much more confident. He’s become a great reader. He’s interested in new things like sharks and crocodiles. He no longer likes to watch shows like Curious George because he would much rather watch shows like River Monsters. He’s changed and I’ve loved watching him grow this year.

Today I headed to school to pick him and one of his friend’s up at the end of the day. As we walked home together I asked them both how their day was and they both replied, “It was good.” I allowed them to walk a little bit in front of me so they could feel some freedom from me and my 3yo, but I decided to listen and observe the two of them. They giggled and talked about different things they were discovering along our walk. “Look there’s a butterfly!” one of them shouted. “I can’t wait to see the school buses pass us.” the other one replied. Suddenly it happened. I watched my little boy walking hand in hand with a little girl from his class and I realized a shift has happened. Don’t get me wrong my little boy will still hold my hand and trust me I will be holding onto his for as long as he’ll let me, but it was the first time that my little boy walked in front of me hand in hand with someone else without a worry in the world of how far I trailed behind.

I took a deep breath as memories of him as a baby rushed over me. I was brought back to a time when it was just a boy and his mom spending the day making new discoveries of butterflies and birds and filling our space with giggles and cuddles. A very wise friend once said to me, parenthood is hard but if you blink you will miss it.

 I decided today on that walk home that I would put the image of my little boy reaching out to hold a little girl’s hand in my memory book and keep it there for as long as I can. I have a feeling one day it will be one of the memories that comes rushing back to me and makes me realize time has yet again moved on and things have changed.
What I'm listening to:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Eli Pacheco Guest Post: What If Dads Carried a Purse

Today I am so lucky to have Eli Pacheco of Coach Daddy. A couple weeks ago I wrote a post for Eli about The five things I've lost as a mother. He was so fun to work with I decided I had to have him over on Outsmarted Mommy. I figured I had to run him on a Friday since I have my Motherhood Monday series with all my awesome Mommy bloggers why not have him for my very first (and possibly only) Fatherhood Friday. Eli has three girls so I can't imagine he will feel out of his element amongst all us ladies. Please give him a warm welcome ( I know you will) and enjoy this hilarious post about what men would carry if they too walked around with handbags.  

History has a history of shaming men.

Walk the plank, matey. Don the orange jumpsuit, inmate. Ride a scooter, ye of the DWI.
Few are as painful - or universal - as when we're left holding the bag. You know, your lady's purse. Or pocket book, for you Southerners. What in the name of Chewbacca is in those things, lady?
Things would be different if the fellas carried around handbags.
We fellas jam what we can into our wallet, until they're lousy with receipts and shopping lists. Some men stuff their dashboards with everything from Big Mac boxes to boatloads of invoices. And don't even look in our trunks.
But If I had to carry a bag - and I don't, and I won't - but if I did, it'd be svelte and efficient. And I'll tell you just what would go in it. This doesn't mean I have any desire to know what's in yours.
Beyond chapstick and used tissue, that is.
Keys, mobile phones and wallet belong in a man's pockets. Why else do men wear cargo pants? If I swim against the tide and place these items in my bag, I'll just induce the famous panic grab.
You've seen it: It's when a man spontaneously pats every pocket he has to locate keys, phone and wallet. It's like an inner swat team, dispatched to find the essentials his wife will yell at him for losing.
Behold, my list. I've included justification, although, aren't they self-explanatory?

Deck of cards

Got caught holding a purse for 45 minutes or more? Induce a mind-numbing game of go-fish with the kids. Or play war with another unsuspecting chap trapped in the Today's Woman section at Kohl's.

Beef jerky

Stranded in a broken elevator, traffic jam or poetry reading? Snap into a Slim Jim. It's not as tasty as homemade jerky, but the packaged stuff if perfect for survivalists.

Baseball (with a sharpie)

You never know if you'll meet someone autograph worthy. I saw former US soccer star Danielle Fotopoulos in a pizza joint in Greensboro once. I asked her to sign my baseball.
Danielle: "You want a soccer player to sign a baseball?"
Me: "Yes. This way, you'll never forget me."
Danielle: "Yeah - as the freak who asked me to sign a baseball!"
*-she was smiling when she said this.


Such a fixture of my blog. I would carry my trio - the original, the Hoth trim, and Endor fatigues. You never know when a photo op will break out. A 42-year-old man carrying Star Wars figures is normal. My mom says so.


I won these beauts in a giveaway on Work in Sweats Mama blog. This from the man who splurges on dollar-store glasses. These make me feel pretty like Ponch. So I keep them in their sheath and case like a good boy.

Sunflower seeds

This satisfies not only my sodium requirements, but also my kids' need to spit. It's a lot of work to get a little seed out of a little shell with just your mouth stuff. But we men specialize in all things hard work and limited reward.

Notebook and pen

Handy for those fleeting Go Ask Daddy questions that pop up at inopportune times. You know, like during illegal traffic maneuvers and weed-infested searches for lost golf discs. It will make you look official as a coach if you don't have a clipboard handy, too.

Animal crackers

Would a vegetarian eat animal crackers? It doesn't matter in my family. These are life-giving, and I could do much worse. A boxful of these critters staves off post-practice hunger until I can get the kidlets home for apples.

Cords. lots of cords.

Everything needs charging, you know? And nothing gets a fella in hot water quicker than letting your cell battery die. Unless you come home late with glitter all over your shirt. In which case, you'd better grab your bag.
You'll need the beef jerky and animal crackers while you sleep out in the yard.
# # #
When he's not rounding up stellar sentences for the 6 Words challenge or answer the kids' questions, Eli Pacheco writes a blog called Coach Daddy.  You can find him on Google Plus, Twitter and even Pinterest, where he feels as comfortable as a window-shopper in Victoria's Secret.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Rules of Parenting

Tonight as I was making dinner I could hear my children laughing in one of their bedrooms. They were playing and having fun and most importantly staying out of my hair while I made dinner. I decided to go see what they were up to and as I walked down the hallway I suddenly got the feeling that I wasn’t going to be happy with what I found. They weren’t in either of their rooms which meant they were in my room. As I walked in, I slipped on something slippery and landed straight on my ass. As I looked up from the floor the two of them were jumping on my bed and having what I can only describe as a baby powder/baby lotion fight. Imagine a food fight but with baby products. I know right?!

My husband was at work and I had a brief moment as I laid on the floor where I could have decided to stand up and go all Liam Neeson on them. Instead I calmly got up and said: “You will both clean this up NOW!” and I walked out.

I returned to the kitchen and did some Lamaze breathing (see I knew that crap would come in handy at some point.) I then proceeded to send a text to two of my girlfriends and I started to laugh. That’s right there I stood, knowing full well that my entire master bedroom was covered in baby lotion and baby powder and I decided to laugh. When I became a parent, okay maybe not the moment I became a parent, but at some point into my first child’s life I decided that I would have two mantras on parenthood.

1.     Laugh. Because if you don’t laugh you will cry and crying is just not a daily option over laughter.

2.     Stop taking life so seriously. No really stop.

Somehow along the way I’ve forgotten my own parenthood mantras.  I take things way too seriously and all too often I could cry in the bathroom rather than laugh in the living room. Tonight for whatever reason I remembered the promise I made to myself almost six years ago and I decided to laugh. That doesn’t mean I allowed the kids to think it was okay to act like a couple of prisoners trying to teach the warden a lesson, but it does mean that I laughed about the fact that said warden fell on her ass in a pile of Johnson & Johnson baby lotion.  I smell fresh and I’m moisturized so…win, win.

So tonight I decided I’m making a new list of parenting rules for myself. I’m printing it out and hanging it on my refrigerator because somewhere along the way I’ve let the stress take over and I’m not the mom I want to be. Feel free to print your own copy:


1.     Laugh. Just laugh because crying is not ALWAYS the best option.

2.     Cry if you have to. It’s okay to cry every now and then.

3.     Stop taking life so seriously. No really stop it.

4.     Allow the kids to be kids. They only get one chance at this and they will love you for it.

5.     Set boundaries for them and for you.

6.     Embrace the mess.

7.     Make time for yourself. You deserve it.

8.     Get together with your girlfriends more. They make you #1 and if for some reason you are going to #2 they will hug you and give you wine.  (The numbers refer to this list only so stop worrying about rushing off to the bathroom)

9.     Ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you finally figured out you’re not a Transformer.

10.  Take one moment every single day to breathe…just breathe and look at your kids. Really look at them. Look at them when they don’t know you’re looking and you will remember all the reasons you signed up for this gig in the first place.



Friday, June 13, 2014

The To Do List

I like lists. I always have. I like to make lists, but mostly I really like to check things off of lists as I accomplish them. (Refrain from making fun of me.) Before I had my children I used to make lists all the time. I would get up in the morning and make a list of things I needed to pick up on my way home from work.

1.     Eggs

2.     Milk

3.     Bread

4.     Wine

5.     Chocolate

On my way to work I would start to make another list in my head of the things I needed to accomplish once I got into the office that day. Once I actually got into my office and got myself my hot cup of coffee, I would sit down at my desk and write the list in my head down onto paper.

1.     Answer emails

2.     Return Bob’s phone call.

3.     Print Purchase Orders

4.     Schedule meeting.

5.     Attend meeting.

6.     Find out where Becky got her shoes.

7.     Get car washed.

8.     Go to the bank.

9.     Make a mani/pedi appointment for Friday.

10.  Finish Report.

By the end of the day I had always accomplished everything on my list. That’s right EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I mean I may not have crossed them off in the order I had written them down but man alive I got all that crap done.

Then…I had kids.

I still like making lists. I just don’t accomplish much of the things listed on them anymore. Half of the time I don’t even get to write everything on the actual list that runs through my head all day long. Now a typical list looks something like this:

1.     Make a list (this is in my head)

2.     Go to the grocery store.

Milk, eggs, bread, goldfish, chicken, Cheerios, applesauce, yogurt sticks, snacks, oh and more snacks.

3.     Go to Target.

Pull-ups, wipes, kids shampoo, toilet paper, and at least 8 things I don’t need.

4.     Make cupcakes for school. (Crap I forgot to buy stuff for cupcakes!)

5.     Call husband tell him to pick up pre-made cupcakes on his way home.

6.     Schedule birthday party.

7.     Wash all the sheets and towels.

8.     Answer emails.

9.     Answer text messages from yesterday (yup that’s right I have to remind myself to do this. I literally will look at a text and then have to put my phone down because “I’m done pooping!!” is being shouted down the hallway and off I go.) Sometimes I feel like I have the attention span of a dog….Squirrel.

10.                        Oh crap speaking of dog, feed the dog.

11.                        Put sheets and towels in the dryer.

12.                        Put more laundry in the washer.

13.                        Vacuum.

14.                        Sign the kid up for soccer.

15.                        Find out how you sign the kid up for soccer.

16.                        Take a shower.

17.                        Call the plumber.

18.                        Wine. Buy wine.

19.                        Start dinner.

I can tell you on an average day I accomplish # 1, 10 & 18 (because duh!) the rest of the list gets interrupted by helping with homework, breaking up Lego fights, icing my foot from said Lego fight, reading books to the kids, answering 112 toddler questions before noon and making the kids three meals a day. I’ve learned I don’t really need the list anymore. All the list accomplishes is reminding me what I didn’t do all day. At the end of the day when I get into bed and the boys are happy, safe, loved and sleeping I chalk that up as a success. Today I potty trained the 3yo and I took a shower and for that I get some type of extra flipping bonus points. Ah crap I think I forgot to feed the dog.