Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Crying Over A Broken Glass

I cried over a broken glass last night. A simple,  slightly larger than pint sized glass. The graphic on the glass said, “No! You Can’t Have A Sip.”

I bawled as I swept up the shards of glasses from the floor. Each piece made me catch my breathe in the back of my throat. The pin prick cuts I got on my hands from picking up each and every single bit of glass were completely ignored. I cleaned up the floor, tidied the broom and dust pan. Then I went back to washing pots and pans, attempting (and failing) to hide my tears from my family.

A simple broken glass. A silly glass. One of many pint glasses we have. I’ve broken many things over the years but this glass breaking….it felt like a punch in the gut.

My parents recently moved. My family didn’t share much about it as we didn’t want anyone to know the house was unoccupied until it was ready for market. Many trips later, I returned with thousands of photos, some furniture, keepsakes, and these silly glasses. I wanted the glasses more than anything else in the house. When I was a kid I was always asking for a sip of my mom’s drink – water, soda, coffee – whatever. Constantly. I would take a sip and promptly drain the entire cup and leave her with nothing but ice. My mom bought the set of four glasses as a joke when I was grown and married. I always used them at my parents’ house.

And I shattered one of the three surviving glasses. Into a million pieces.

I cried about my parents moving. They are happy and healthy and doing well. The move is a positive thing that they willing embraced and are loving. It’s just change and change is hard. Life looks different when I visit “home” now. I won’t run out of my folk’s driveway, step over the creaky spot in the wood floor, or wrap Christmas presents downstairs while watching movies and chasing my kids away from peeking. Growing up I changed bedrooms once. The furthest I moved until I left for college was across the hall.  It’s weird to mourn a house.

But then again…I’m not mourning a house. I mourning the end of a stage.

And embracing the beginning of a new stage. One where I get to visit my parents and see them having coffee with friends. I get to hear about the outings they go on. And I have the peace of mind knowing they’re in a place that is perfect for them at this stage in their lives.

That glass shattered and I cried a few tears. It’s time to dry them and look forward to the new memories we are creating in their new home.

I can’t wait to visit them again. And tell my mom how I broke her glass. We’ll laugh about it and I’m guessing I’ll ask for a drink of her coffee.

And drink it all.

Cupcakes, Crafts, and PTSD Oh My!

Cupcakes, crafts and mini bouts of PTSD, oh my!

For the first time in six years I’m doing a birthday party for one of my kids…at my house…with cupcakes, and crafts…in the month of November.  *Cue dramatic music*

We have so many birthdays the month of November. It’s a crazy time of year. Two of my own children, two nieces, two of my siblings, one of my sibling’s spouses, multiple cousins, and friends that have become family…..all have birthdays this month.

This is the month Brent Got Sick. A long time ago. I figured once the five year mark passed the month of November, kid birthday parties, ambulances, the exit for Regions Hospital, and the sight of intubated people on television shows would magically move to the “okay things in my life” column.  For the most part, things that truly trigger strong emotions in me regarding Brent’s illness have moved into the “okay” column. However this week I continue to find myself on edge. I was downtown with a friend going to an event. We got off at the Regions exit. An ambulance shrieked past us and I fought back tears. My daughter wanted to make special puppy cupcakes for her party and I started crying. (My dear friend made the most amazing cupcakes for the party six years ago – all various kinds of puppies…hence my tears.)

Life marches on. As do I. Tonight I’m taking Littlest to the store. We are buying the supplies to make fondant for decorating her cupcakes. At her party that is on Friday. A party taking place in our home.  My friend who made the cupcakes last time shared a recipe and is on standby to come help – for emotional support or technical support – I’ve never made fondant.  She may be needed on both fronts.

Another dear friend knows I’m struggling. I want to make sure my daughter has a special party. It’s not her fault I have demons to exercise. My friend offered for her daughter to come and run the party with my older daughter. She’s bringing the labor, I’m supplying the margaritas. And yet another friend…one far away…encouraged me to write this.

Lately I’ve become fearful of sharing what I’m feeling. I want to be funny and entertaining….I want to share that part of myself with you. Instead…the last year….I’ve been in a weird place. Not feeling great and trying to navigate my life with a chronic headache.  I’m trying to find my way to where I want to be. I am working really damn hard actually. I’m getting there. I’ll get there.

One cupcake at a time.

 

#nanoblopo

#PTSD

#birthdayparties

 

Laundry Woes

 

It’s amazing how small things can push me over the edge. A few months ago with was the “not” loading of the dishwasher. This month dirty laundry falling next to the laundry bin is making me bat shit crazy.

Here’s the deal. I get that my kids are kids and therefore are inherently unconcerned with the tidiness of life. To make all things easier, I’ve added extra laundry bins throughout the areas of the house where they change clothes. There’s a bin in each of their bedrooms. There are three separate bins in the hall closet directly outside the bathroom (I know, I know…I’m dreaming thinking they’ll sort laundry). There are multiple targets, varying in size, throughout the house for which they may aim.  Yet time and time again they fail to hit that golden target.

You have to understand –  I’m the Laundry Queen. If you wear something Monday by Tuesday miday it’s washed, folded, and ready for you to put away. So if I see that same shirt back in the wash on Tuesday night, I know that 1- not only did you not do your chore of putting away your laundry , but 2 – you BLATANTLY threw clean clothing into the laundry. AND 3 – not even into the  bin but rather on the floor next to the damn bin.

I know I don’t have basketball players. My girls play softball. Softball requires accurate throwing and visualizing your target. Trajectory and force are involved (even if they don’t realize it yet, they’re building a great foundation for math and physics). My oldest girl is a catcher and fires the ball back to the pitcher or to second base – or any base for that matter – with such force and precision it amazes me. I KNOW she can hit a target.

SO WHY CAN’T SHE (OR HER SISTERS) GET THEIR LAUNDRY INTO THE LAUNDRY BIN???? wwwhhhhyyyyyyy?!?!?

Thank goodness they’re not boys aiming for the toilet. 

Slowing Down Is Hard To Do

I suck at slowing down. It’s hard for me to move at a speed less than mach crazy mom speed. This week I have to sit back a bit, left the world rush by, and ask for help … a lot.

I had a minor surgery Friday. It was almost outpatient but I couldn’t handle the nausea so they kept me overnight to manage it. I fully expected to be back at full speed today – Monday. I know .. I know….

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Short Hair – Because We Care 

Short hair. I had a pixie cut for years. In fact when I met many of my writer friends (in real life) for the first time, several were unsure who I was. I didn’t match my picture! 

In the past few years I’ve grown out my hair. It’s longer than it’s been since I cut it my freshman year of high school. My guidance counselor used to joke he could tell how stressed I was by how short my hair  each time I cut it ….shorter and shorter. This was back before pixie was cool. I didn’t care. I’ve never been what you’d call a girly girl. Even now I don’t own make up and my friends help me pick out outfits because otherwise I’d wear only workout gear. And old sweatshirts – the older the better. I digress…..

Two of my girls have donated their hair to various organizations that make wigs for individuals who have lost their own.  One of the girls donated 2 times in 18 months for a total of 22 inches. She has so much hair each time it was a double donation. Littlest cut her hair to be donated last summer and yesterday I decided to donate mine. 


 
For us… it’s just hair that will grow back. To those receiving … I hope it makes their day a bit brighter or their step a tad lighter. 


There are several places to donate. Each has different requirements or guidelines. I was fortunate to find a place that takes dyed hair. We also have a local place that will take donations and show you process of what happens to your donated hair. 

Now…..how long before we can do this again?? 

Is Amazon Prints good for photos? YES it is! Plus $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories.  Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive free delivery. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09.

Products and services available – but not limited to – Photo Printing, Photo Books, Photo Gifts, Printing Pictures, Photo Canvases. I’m ordering a canvas of the really cool picture of our snowboards from below while we were on the lift from spring break.  It’s going on my “My Happy Place” wall with the other snowboard photos!

One more time….with this amazing service there is

  • Free delivery with Prime
  • Prime Photos Benefit – As a benefit of Prime, customers get free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos.  If you’re not a Prime customer, you can still get 5GB of free storage
  • Low Pricing (Prints starting at $0.09)
  •  All posts tied to current hashtag #AmazonPrints

Check out Amazon Prints here!

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!

Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

# AmazonPrints #Sponsored #Ad

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Consequences and Life Lessons

This week one of my kiddos learned about consequences. It totally sucked. This kid missed a deadline and as a result received a pretty (in my opinion) severe consequence. My child was upset and is still pretty devastated.

Guess what I did.

NOTHING. 

No phone calls, no arguing on this kid’s behalf…nothing.

I’m so over parents fixing problems for their children. My kid screwed up and has to pay the price. In the scheme of things, it’s so not a big deal even though – at the moment – it seems like the end of the world.  Anguish and heartbreak over this issue will pass. No one was injured – other than some possible pride – no damage was done. In fact, I’m almost glad it happened. My kid was upset about missing the deadline – more so than the consequence itself. To me that speaks to this kid’s character and this experience will reinforce the things this child values.  If one is to mess up, messing up when you’re a kid is the time to do it.

THE TIME TO LEARN. 

How are our children supposed to learn anything if every time they drop the ball mommy and daddy run in and fix it for them? I understand that there are times when intervention is needed and required. But when rules are broken, bent even, and consequences are applied, it’s practice for life. As an adult, if you miss a deadline for a project there will be fallout. If you don’t pay a bill, there’s a penalty. At university if you don’t turn in an assignment on time, a note from mom and dad will not fix the issue. Why not get back to teaching our kids that rules are rules. And they apply to all.

Before you go all crazy on me, I understand there are times when advocating for your child is necessary. I’ve recently experienced this situation as well. My point today is that not EVERY situation requires intervention. We want to grow responsible, compassionate humans. Failing is part of growing.

I let my kid grow. 

My Super Power

My super power is a big deal. I am DISHWASHER LOADING WOMAN. Hear me roar at my kids to “PUT YOUR DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER!” on a daily basis – feel the pppooowwwer. I had no idea as a child that there was such a power and that I would be gifted this responsibility as such a young age. (Shut up. I’m youngish.)

For a normal human – or person under the age of 17 living in my house – the distance from the counter to the sink must be expansive. And from the sink to the dishwasher – INSURMOUNTABLE. I simply cannot fathom any other reason for the repeated leaving of dishes next to the sink. Not even in the sink where they would be hidden from the mom-eye…but on the counter. In plain view. Cluttering up my kitchen (which equates with making me crazy!).

I alone possess the amazing ability to expertly cover not only the distance from the counter to the sink but – wait for it – the counter ALL THE WAY to the dishwasher.  I know, I know. Back the truck up. It is in fact possible for dishes to make their way from the table into a dishwasher while touching the hands of only one individual. Such skill must be a gift. A blessing from the dishwasher detergent people. Truly – a miracle – only only handed out to very few. This amazing talent has been granted to my husband as well – and goes well with his super power – Supper Power (this mama doesn’t cook).

But…I have found the answer – the key to transferring this power to my children. Using 12 short words, said in a staccato speech patter, I can make magic happen. I am able to control their movements with the words leaving my mouth. If you want to borrow these words, feel free. I don’t have them trademarked or licensed….and you’re welcome to send your children to my house when you use them.

“Put your dishes into the dishwasher or go pick up dog poop!”

TiffinTalk – Talk With Your Kids!

Device Overload. Everywhere you look, people are heads down looking at their phone, iPad, and/or iPod. The art of conversation –  face to face interaction – is becoming less and less prevalent. My children don’t like to talk on the phone, “It’s awkward! I don’t know what to say!” and yet they can text their friends faster with one finger than I can type with two hands. If speaking in person is hard now, how will we tackle the truly hard stuff that is a part of growing up?

Reading people’s faces and learning social cues can’t happen over text. We are creating – we have created – a world where everyone can be self centered constantly by placing their own take and emotions on whatever words appear on their screen. Maybe “Yes,” means Yup! or yesssss or YES! but we don’t know because we aren’t putting our devices down and seeing each other.

Enter Tiffin Talk.

“What’s Tiffin Talk?” you ask. The first thing I thought of when I received our Tiffin Talk boxes was the reading system I used during elementary school. Color coded, ordered folders in a little box. I opened each box (one for each age category of my girls) and dug in. The simplicity of the system is genius. A card. A question or prompt. And something fun on the back. Color coded by week and organized neatly.

I’m so very thankful I’ve had the opportunity to use Tiffin Talk with my girls. At first, my oldest thought it was cheesy. (I’m being completely transparent here.) She rolled her eyes when I asked for her phone, handed it over with a huge sigh, and said, “Okay – let’s do your thing.” It was slightly uncomfortable at first and felt like we were doing homework. But then the magic happened. After day four, she got day five out herself. She read the card in the morning and when we drove to softball that night, she got in the car, turned OFF the radio, and started talking. Willingly. To me. And it was awesome.

 

My middle daughter takes cues from both her older and younger sisters. She forges her own path but is always watching, aware of what’s happening around her. I put her Tiffin Talk card in her lunchbox the first day. She quietly asked if I could just slip it in her planner. She is still finding her way with her lunch crowd and didn’t want to pull it out at lunch time. I understood her needs and anxiety and started tucking the card, with a note, into her backpack each morning. She is my chatty one. She’ll come find me while I’m folding laundry and plop down and listen to whatever music I have playing or watch whatever show I have on in the background. Now…we turn off the television or streaming music and talk. She has always confided in me and this is reinforcing our connection.

 

And my baby. She is all in for this. ALL IN! She makes sure I didn’t forget to put her Tiffin Talk card in her backpack. She loves the facts and tidbits on the back of each card. Even those tidbits have spurred conversation. One card had translations for a few words. I took Norwegian and Russian when I was a kid so I struggle pronouncing French words properly. I asked my husband how to say a French phrase and all three girls were surprised to learn that Daddy took French and Spanish! We had a fun few minutes talking about college and high school with our children.
One of the coolest side effects of using Tiffin Talk is hearing the girls ask each other about their cards – seeing the oldest help the youngest with questions. Having the middle give her unique take on her sister’s cards. And watching them interact, smile, even disagree. They didn’t break down into arguments when they had different opinions, but LISTENED to each other. Not only are we talking more, we are all becoming better listeners.

 

I love one on one time with my children. It’s hard when there are four of them, one of me, and only 24 hours in each day. At first we were conscious and I ‘scheduled’ time to make sure we did this. Now…we are grabbing extra minutes to talk each day. I’m so very thankful.

Check out TiffinTalk today!

You can find them on Facebook and Twitter!

#RealityRocks
This is a sponsored post. I received Tiffin Talk at no charge.

When You’re Not ‘That’ Mom

When you’re not ‘that’ mom. The thoughtful, caring, happy-go-lucky, laid back mom. I’m not that mom. I’m the – I expect more, expect you to expect more, do your chores, suck it up and figure it out mom.  I don’t love sitting and chatting constantly but I do love hearing what you have to say. However if you start whining with zero intent of finding a solution – – this mama ain’t got time for that.

Often I observe other moms super excited to be at every single practice, every school event, every playdate. Even planning events or activities for said play dates on a  regular basis. I am not that mom. I’m too blunt. I enjoy my children’s activities but have a hard time hiding when I’m done – over it – or annoyed. I feel that by being authentic, I’m showing my children that it’s okay to be human. Demonstrating that that while I’m in love with being their mom, at times my brain is seeking something other than what we’re doing at the moment.

Even shopping. God. I HATE to shop. Recently I took one of my girls bra and underwear shopping. Most moms would bond over this. We did the first time – I think. I know she wanted to  – and I tried but —- but —- PICK A COLOR ALREADY. I don’t want to spend 45 minutes in a store stinking of perfume while you decide between blush and baby blue. Because child – that bra will be under a shirt and if anyone can see any part of the baby blue or pink, you’re not wearing the shirt properly….or out of my house!

I get jealous of moms that take/get such immense joy from each and EVERY LITTLE FREAKING thing their children do. I exist. I get through. I survive. I endure.

I don’t always enjoy.

However I do find pleasure in a lot of things. Seeing my children succeed, smile, laugh, and yell with glee. These things make my heart SING.

But honestly, there are times I cannot take sitting through one more..practice…concert…play…whatever.

I wonder – what am I missing? What am I missing out on by not being ‘that’ mom? I worry I’m lacking something – that my children will grown up wishing they’d had someone else as their mama. Am I enough as I am?

Then I remember. I’m the best me I can be. I’m working on being the most I can be. I’m the mom I am and I love my kids deeply and with an unwavering intensity. I love them in my authentic way.

 

my way

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