Don't Grow Up...It's a Trap

When having a daughter it at one time or another hits you. The decisions you are making need to mirror ones that you wish for her also to make. When you sit down and take something, you suddenly ask yourself...is this something I would want her to be o.k. with? When you take a stand, you now say, that's right, I would expect her to do no less. This was my past year. I looked deep into those blue eyes of hers and the freckles sprinkled all over her face and was hit with it...this girl is becoming a lady, I want what is best for her, and the best way to do that right now is to demonstrate for her, not navigate, demonstrate. Cause Kendall, she has her own way of doing things, trust me. I have obviously wanted what was best for her all along, hello, I am her mother, but as she ages and matures and becomes her own, the need for the best standards for her radiate even more so. And since she came out of me...I get to do most of the honors, in regards to modeling these, with some help from a few chosen wise ladies to pick up my slack. Because Mama is gonna slack once in awhile. PRESSURE!!! So those that say when they are wee infants, 'don't worry, it gets easier.' Um, sure they can brush their own teeth and deuce on the potty, but I couldn't disagree with you more. Heart and life stuff is much bigger.

Raising children in general is no small feat, raising a daughter...now this, this is astronomical. However, her and I are trudging through the terrain...and now we enter the age of 8...together, same as usual, just with some more purpose...like growing up should.

I am not quite sure where the last 8 years went when it pertains to this child's life.
I am not quite sure that I am prepared for the next 8 years to go just as quickly and for her to be then 16.
What the ?!?!
Whenever you think that time goes slow and nothing changes, have a kid. Or watch a kid grow from birth, whatever fits your fancy. Because there it is, walking around in front of you, all sassy faced and ready for action; the evidence of time flying and things changing faster then you can sometimes keep up.

For instance.

She just came home and told me they were prepping to learn times tables. Times tables?!?!? Didn't I learn them in like 10th grade? This new math baffles my mind. Grouping? What in the world is this? Google can't even make sense of this to me.

The teeth. I love me some 8 year old teeth. And so do the orthodontists in the future. 2nd grade is filled with all sorts of sideways, big and small, and holed up mouths.

The emergence of the, 'You're so mean' and 'I'm running away,' comments. I was wondering when these would come around town. I make sure to tell her that I am aware that I am so mean, and to wait until she is a teenager to see just how mean I really am, but a reminder is always helpful for the ego. And in good mom form, as she is marching out the door to stand on the front step, having 'run away,' I remind her to look out for strange people in unmarked vehicles that look like Mr. Slugworth in 'Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.' And like clock work, the realization of this description quickly sets in and she is throwing it in reverse and stomping to her room to blast, Kids Bop 25, her present form of Nirvana, instead, in a matter of 2 minutes. I start dying my slow and painful death each time these annoying kids of Kids Bop come on, however, at least we know she still prefers us, mean and all.

The gangly body. All limbs, with this skinny torso in the middle. On the whole, an 8 year old's body resembles spaghetti noodles. And they just keep getting longer and longer. I cannot keep up with the ever changing clothing and shoe sizes. I turn around and mid drift is out again, and sleeves don't cover wrists. I tell her to hold out on me, I will supply her with pants and shirts that cover where they must, cause we do go out in public. But that yes, for some time, in those in between moments, your pajama pants are either going to drag behind you and get you all tripped up, or have you resembling preparation for a coming flood. Sorry.

Barbies. You know you get them for them when they are like 3. And really, they don't even make sense until they are of an age where they get story lines and dreaming big. Age 3+ is just dumb. Because I have spent now 5 years dressing Barbie(s) and her counter parts Skipper, Midge, and Ken. I mean seriously Mattel. It is necessary to make tight cotton garments on rubber legs and arms that are not flexible? We have come so far in other things, and yet this still remains an issue 50 years later!  And to imply that a 3 year old can do this is just ridiculous. However, now at 8, she can do this herself and Barbie has been all over the world, from the beaches of my bathroom sink to the snowy mountains of snow drifts on our back porch. She really is a lucky gal. As I type thi,s there is a stiff competition between old Barbies and new birthday Barbies for a spot in tonight's fashion show, as the Kids Bop Dorks sing Miley Cyrus'. 'Wrecking Ball,' in the background. We are saving pennies for the Dream House by completing tons of chores. This is big people.

Notes from friends. Indoor recess, thanks to a really awesome winter, will only increase this. She comes home with a few each day. Circling of 'yes' or 'no.' I love them. 
Kendall, are you buying lunch tomorrow? Yes or No Circle one and give back to me. 
OK! Me to. Let's match on Thursday. Tell all the girls.

I'm 100% I did this as well with my friends. It's like gang symbols for the suburbs.

However, this has also led to notes from another gender as well...

Kindill, you are so fun when we play Apples 2 Apples. 
Your laugh makes me happy. I like your feckles.

This beauty I saved. Come on now. An admirer of things simple and her best qualities??? A boy after my own heart. I mean sure, he might not be able to spell her name, she and I have this also in common, but please, so innocent and sweet, I couldn't give two craps if he calls her Candle, like everyone under the age of 3 does. Who is this boy? I must compliment his mother.

She now looks in the mirror every now and then. I occasionally pay close attention when she does this. I know, supa dupa paranoid Mom. But you know, I want her liking what she sees and feeling really good about who she is. This simple act is an easy way for me to gauge this. For right now, she's doing just perfect... 
'Oh Kendall, I love those curls in your hair today. 
Did your Mom put hair spray in them too? I can tell. They smell good.Wow! They look great!'

You know...self affirmation is important.

Yet she is still just 8. That teetering age. 
Where you still want to cuddle with your parents. 
Where you still need your shoes tied because you can't get it tight enough when you do it. 
Where you get hurt and come crying for band aids and Mommy to fix it and make it better. 
Where sometimes watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with your little brother isn't so bad and you actually laugh. 
Where you can take showers on your own but still need someone to tell you if all the shampoo is rinsed out.
Where you are still afraid of the dark and grab someones hand when in a parking lot.
Where you still play with your little brothers because they are really the ones who get you and are your best friends, no matter what you may say.

listen. i love this shot of her and her brother. all discussing their other brother.
a conversation with a 3 yr. old cannot be serious. sorry sister.
When you're 8 being a kid is at its finest.
Swinging on swings so your feet almost reach the clouds is recess. 
Getting melted ice cream smudged on your nose and chin is still occurring. 
Dressing up and pretending to be anything you can dream of is still fun.

Seeing your aunts on the weekends is still worthy of countdowns.
Sleepovers at Mom Mom's and Pop's are a favorite activity.


Time outs are still your form of punishment. 
Snow Days are still awesome, because it doesn't matter when the last day of school is. 
Being the biggest cousin is a really awesome reality.

Kendall is my perfect storm. Born while it was snowing and it has snowed every year since on her day. I would expect nothing else in the form of weather on this day. Her spunk and tenacity slow you down a bit, and that's exactly her purpose.

She thinks she is hilarious. And she thinks we all find her quite entertaining. 8 year old humor...I plead the fifth. However, her teacher describes her as the class clown, and when I walk up to pick her up from school she usually has someone cracking up in laughter.


Yet. She is fierce. She is strong. She is passionate. She is a girl of aspiration and certainly has a mind of her own. She questions everything from hair color to our governments law making process. She is all about equality and making wrongs right. She is a first born in every sense of the role if you follow birth order. She would burn bras. She will challenge. She will dance when others won't. A spit fire. Watch out for her, she's dreaming big.

To my now 8 year old...

Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”
~ Nora Ephron

                                                                                                        I love you wildly.
                                                                                                                           ~ Mama


Pinterest Anonymous

Cracks me up every time. I need it framed.

I'm not sure about you.
However, I am pretty certain I should probably enter Pinterest Anonymous.
Hi. My name is Melissa, and I am a Pinterestaholic.

My story begins a few years ago when you needed to request an invite to be allowed to join Pinterest. It was a secret society. I remember waiting for this invite anxiously. No kidding. I was anxiously waiting to get my invite to a website. What's that? Did you call me a loser? Oh but I assure you, you have no idea the realms of Pinterest and what it will bestow upon you by clicking around this site of mass distraction. My friend got her invite before me, I was super pissed. It's like getting looked over for the cool kids sorority and all I wanted to do was wear a toga. Now a days anyone can join this website, and although it took some of the novelty away, you can bet your sweet bippy it did has not deterred me.

I presently reference Pinterest like I reference WebMD when I have a sharp pain in my head. Recently I self diagnosed myself with either a tumor or an aneurysm. So I better start planning my funeral with Pinterest, cause if it is the latter, it could happen at any moment. I want a distressed looking turquoise casket and painted mason jars to hold the flowers, as well wreaths make from cupcake liners. No poster board picture displays, you need to handcraft frames out of pallets. And we need to come up with some good favors. Start pinning.

Morbid. But totally serious. Funerals can also be crafty and creative. I will be searching your board to see if you qualify to help plan.

While having these random sharp head pains,  I need to make cupcakes for  the Kindergarten Valentines Day Party. Now come on, I cannot go buy a box of mix and some icing at Target. I am over the top. I was all over Pinterest the other night looking for the exact Valentine Cupcake for this year which the children will devour in less then a minute flat. Presentation people. Let's not forget it. My cupcake will have no less then fifty ingredients and look like something cupid himself created.This is in Party Planning 101. I torture myself, and if you are a master pinner you do too. You stand amidst the bomb that went off in your kitchen knowing that you could have just ordered 32 cupcakes from a bakery, put them on a plate, and called them your own, but what does that do for our egos? That's right. Not a thing. The greatest glory will come when your cupcake itself is sitting on the 'Popular Pin' Board.

You know if you are a devoted pinner it becomes a little bit of a healthy competition Who am I kidding, this is not healthy at all, it's borderline obsessive and this is why I am now needing to enter a rehab for this addiction. But I am pretty certain there will be a waiting list, and we will be pinning  and sharing while waiting. 'Oh did you see this Christmas Tree for your mantel with leaves made of felt!?!?' 

It's all about these awesome ideas, but its also a bit of who can find and come up with the greatest most original pins. It's a show of who you are. Kind of like facebook but with material objects. You know when people post pictures of just their feet on the sand with the ocean in the background? 'Yeah you think your thing you found to do with modge podge is awesome? Well look at this end table made of recycled barn wood with old book pages adhered to it. BAM!'

You pin a pin, which leads you to another person's boards. You know it for certain that sometimes when you click into a person's board you get a little disappointed, like the click was a little useless for they are no way up to par with those you pin with. It's true, don't even try it. Her recipes are definitely not something you would cook and her quotes are just plain unmotivational.

 The pinning society that you have created usually includes your friends and family. And also people you specifically follow because their pins just plain rank up there with your interests, humor, so on and so forth.

My parents pin. My mom will not join facebook, she holds to the opinion that it's too trendy and will take up too much of her time. Yet, she vicariously looks over the shoulders of those who have a facebook page and will comment. She however has joined pinterest because apparently this is different. And that it is, but I'll tell you mama has an awful lot of gardening ideas that didn't take just a few minutes to pin. Just sayin.

My dad is an avid pinner. According to his boards he is going to Hawaii, making old tools with new tools, working out with lions, and building a bio dome. I do laugh sometimes at my dad's pins, but not because they are just laughable. It's mostly because some of the ideas are so outrageous, totally him, and I know that in that moment, he is sitting there on his computer thinking about how he can make a certain pin come into fruition. No joke. And I can't wait to see my mom's face.

From Mike's Boards. I might actually swing on a swing again.

Occasionally while pinning I will seriously been in a nice and quiet room, kids in bed, and be laughing out loud at a certain pin. Again, go ahead, call me a loser, but some of these can seriously change a mood into a smile or at least a snort of a laugh. E cards especially crack me up, and also provide you with some really good comebacks if you need one. Not encouraging tit for tat, but sometimes even just saying them in your head or to your BFF works.These laughs are reassurance again that I am not the only person who thinks or goes through these things.

Sorry Ma...but it's funny.

There have also been pins that I would love to pin, but don't because I am pretty certain I would offend people and also get a lecture from my mother. Cause you know when you are 35 lectures from your mother are still really cool. What's that? Yes I did sneak out of the house at night with my friends when I was 17. And I have also read the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy!! Horrors, which I call enlightenment. Wait for it...lecture on how this is not funny will be given this week.

My favorite thing to do is to search for one thing you are looking for...let's say a cupcake recipe since this is what I am after, and quickly you have found that you have accumulated and pinned over 20 recipes and are now laughing at cat pictures. What???  And one recipe would have been sufficient, but you never know, and you need to stock up. Or when planning a birthday party for your 8 year old. Once you pick a theme, it now has its own board with no fewer then 60 pins of ideas for this party. And then you are somehow then looking at new nail color shades and designs.

Now that you have pinned the party ideas and having it, you are now going to be up until 3 a.m. making pom poms to hang from the ceiling every night for a week leading up to the party. All because of Pinterest. It's no longer Martha...it's now bigger. Exhausted, fingers bleeding.

 Pinterest, I believe, feeds into everyone's secret hoarding tendencies. But its all  there on a website, not crawling up the walls of your home, so it can't be that bad. But damn those cupcakes look good, and that's right, I punched and strung each paper circle to make that garland above your head.


What I look like while making my big Pinterest ideas.

But it's organized chaos if you really do it right. It's you naming specific boards for specific pins. It is not only hoarding, it is OCD at it's finest. Naming your boards and picking it's cover photo can really be a challenge. I mean sure, you can just label them, 'Food', or 'Clothes,' or 'Furniture', or 'People at Walmart Pictures.' Or you can get fancy, and this is the challenge. Simple and Thematic.Listen, I readily admit it and confess. Pinterest is no closet in my bedroom. This is some important crap right here.

Pinning is like shopping without the cash. It is dreaming without the commitment. It is laughing without having to worry if people are thinking you are overly crass. But then you read this blog and find out my secrets. It is having a stylist without being a millionaire. It's remodeling your home with some pretty sweet ideas. It is creating ideas with good intentions. It's...

Planning a vacation.

Paris? On the bucket list. Who's isn't it on?

 Tybee Island, Georgia. Must be in a beach cottage. I also pinned ideas for my own flipped beach shack, but one ought to visit the place first and acquire some massive fundage. Minor.

 Bora Bora. And this is where I never come home. Ever.

Inspiration, Advice, & Ideas from Friends.
 ...cause friends can send you pins and vice versa. What What. Some of them are great laughs, some of them are really good reminders, or slaps in the face to wake up, or something great to make with yarn
...you know, whatever your fancy.

This blog  ( <---- click that word homies, we are moving up here with the links) It was shared with me, but what is better is the instagram feed #theoandbeau, which you can connect to through her sidebar instagram button. Adorable.

Confirmation and Motivation .
... for yourself or perhaps some others that you desire to take such advice. 

Innovative Ideas. Gift Ideas. 

 Taco Tuesday just got better.

 The girls with love this. Christmas List...check!

 This is a deodorizing patch to squash the smell of passing gas. I don't know about you, but I just found my go to birthday presents for this year.

Announcement Ideas

 Man alive I wish I had thought of this.

Party Planning.

Making old things new again. How To's.

 No need to thank me.

Ways to warm your junk.

 What? It's been cold this winter. Bundle up.

Links to a really awesome video by my fave late night host.(again...click here,dad)

Or links to my new favorite song. Go ahead, turn it up and dance.

So go ahead and join up. I can promise you hours and hours of clicking or tapping on things you never knew existed. And on second thought...I won't be giving up and joining 'PA' anytime soon. Happy Weekend People, see you on the boards.


On Snow

Poor kid forgot to winterize the Jeep.

So he saw his shadow. Do you care? I don't. I feel bad for the little guy, all coming out to take a leak, gather something to eat, all these people in his business.

 It's going to snow tomorrow. It's winter. I need to pull up my granny panties and be on with it.

However, followed right by him seeing his shadow, and tomorrow's 4 to 6 inches, no wait, 3 to 5, no it's 2 to 4...and will change like every freaking hour by our roving weather men, is the prediction of the biggest snow storm of the season next weekend. How splendid.

Predictions placed upon groundhogs. Pretty daunting. All this thing wants to do is eat and burrow. I can totally relate.

It's like me saying if my cat farts in her sleep and the stench wakes me from my sleep before 6 a.m., then there will be six more weeks of winter. People, it is now Lillian the Cat Day, and there will be six more weeks of torture. I could have placed my bet on it before she had even released the bomb.

 This is not my cat, it's my Mom's. But I'm sure she farts too. I made her play outside with the kids last snow day. She too was pissed about seeing her shadow.

But who really cares about my cat's farts? I don't really care about Groundhog's Day.

This winter though.
I think I am just plain old 35.

I mean its so pretty when snow falls. It's so quiet out there isn't it? I called my mom during one snow fall and proclaimed to her that she needed to open her door and look at the snow flakes closely. They actually looked like snow flakes that you see in a print of something all dimensional and stuff. I was fascinated, or really down on some sleep. 

However. It has been so cold. I mean you open the door and it actually hurts your bones to be out in it. I scream/squeal like a girl each time I run out into it to my car. Why can't someone come and start my car for me so it's nice and toasty in the morning? Come on. Not even every morning, just once in awhile when it is like 3 degrees outside just shoot me a text, 'Hey I was driving by on my way to Jersey and thought I would start your car for you exactly at 8.40 a.m. so it is ready by 9 to drive the kids the half a mile to school. Toss me your keys!' I will make you coffee, I will sing to you, I will proclaim you the biggest hero in my life. Not enticing you? Yeah, I don't blame you. Its freezing out there.

Then you add snow on top of it and it's all like mad chaos up in here. I know, I totally sound like the biggest creep all hating on winter with 3 small children. It's not that I hate it, per se. I like to ski. When it's sunny. And over thirty degrees. I just prefer to be nice and toasty. My dream is to own a beach cottage, that had previously been a beach shack, and fix it all up like I am Nicole Curtis from the Rehab Addict. My feet prefer to be bare and on sand. My skin warm and smelling like coconuts. Not all cold and itchy requiring a vat of lotion to feel alive. But it can't be any beach, and it can't be any shack, and so we endure winters until the time comes, cause that's really what the theme is, enduring. And the weather has certainly given me that opportunity.

It's o.k. and all to go tromping through the snow. Specifically since children eat this joyful event up. 'SNOOOOOOOW!' Two have now reached the age where they understand snow days from school. I can remember this all too well. I would actually pack up my things and hitch a ride with the first available parent to my best friends house to get stuck there and eat Ramen, watch reruns on the boob tube, and watch her fight with her siblings all day.

 Here's what though. I have since moved my children to the school district I attended as a child. And let me tell you something. This school district stares down snow storms. It crosses its arms and watches the list of school closing and delays grow and grow. It grits its teeth as the snow begins to fall, daring it to actually grow to depths or dangers worthy of closing our schools. It mocks the weaker schools closing hours before snow has even accumulated an inch. I now, again, listen to people say, 'oh well look, this or that one closed, yours will close for sure...,' they have no idea what they speak of. This school district does not play with vacation days. It waits until the last possible second to make a decision. Your alarm has already gone off, you have already begun your day, coffee is brewing, and you have long since begun to make the noises that let the children know that they need to come out of hibernation. It is then they make the call...if they are going to at all. If you wait for it, your whole routine is thrown off if there is not a cancellation. And then tardiness occurs. That word is no good. And it's a funny joke to no one but the superintendent. This is now my children's lives.

But occasionally there is more then a foot of the white stuff and he will declare it a snow day. And they are all now awake. Half dressed. Half breakfast eaten. One sock on, one off. I can barely form sentences yet. But they are looking at me, looking outside, smiling, eyes glistening...and then it happens...'Mommy can we go outside and play in it...right now?'


So I appease. And I endure. In no particular order:

1. 3 children in almost the same exact size. So snow pants are interchangeable but not so much. And we start...'Kendall did you wear the black bibs or the black boarding pants last time?'...'Ethan, here put these on, no take them off, I think they would better fit Jake, no keep them on here is some for Jake.'...'Did you grow since last week, why are they shorter?!!?! No one in the tri state area has snow pants in stock right now, so in the words of Tim Gunn, make it work. Stop whining!!! You aren't supposed to be able to walk right in snow pants, we go over this every single time!!!'

2. 'You must wear a hat!!!!!!!!! I do not care if you think you look like a fool. You wear a hat. You know what you will look like a fool if you don't wear a hat because you will be the only one not in a hat and your friends will say, are you a fool where is your hat!?!? Don't be that fool.'

3.  'Who cares if the socks have a little pink on them, they are warm, the ones you wore last week smell like butt and are unwashed and crusty, please just wear these and be warm!!!'

4. 'Where is that other glove!!!?!?!? Why can you not put the things back where they came from when I say to put them there!?!? Do I look like a mother or something picking up after you and being organized!!?!?!? Here's the big one and here is the little one, now where are their friends??? In your school desk!!?!?? How does this happen?'

5. 'No, we drink hot chocolate after we come inside from playing outside for no shorter then 1 hour. Beyond that, can you hold a mug with those gloves on? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Don't take them off!!!!'

6. 'O.k., for the 27th try, spread your fingers, keep them like that as I pull the glove over your hand until I say it's o.k. to not be frozen like that. Alright, no wait, where is your pinky finger? It's in the wrong spot with the other finger. Alright, here take it off, we will try again.'

7.  'O.k. sit down. Now push your foot into the boot. PUSSSSH!!!! Not working? O.k., try standing up and wiggling around a little. Got it? Toes in? It feels funny? Oh its the wrong foot, let's do it again.'

8. 'Now this is why I asked does anyone need to go pee pee before we even started this. Well you should have at least tried, I bet a little of that would have come out and you wouldn't have to go so bad right now.'

9. 'Your sister did not laugh you with the scarf on now stop. Tell him you didn't laugh at him please. There is no crying or laughing about scarves, they are pertinent in sub zero temps, now wrap it around your face again. NO LAUGHING!!!'

10. 'Where are your coats? Why did you not hang them on the hook with your school bags last night? We go through this every morning. Alright, now you will just have to sit there while I retrace steps. You're hot!?!?! Do you see the sweat pouring from my forehead, this is hot kid.'

11. 'Hat.On the head.Now.'

12. 'Wait for your brother!!!'

13. 'O.k., let me get ready and I will be right out.'

5 minutes later, on my way out the door...

'I'm cold, can I come in and have hot chocolate now???'

The snow is pretty though.

****And because I love it...picture has to be shared here too...

Best Picture of Winter 2014.
I secretly think he flies on saucers when I am not looking...kid is too much of a natural here.