When you’re ready, He will be there.

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Silly Church

As a young girl, church wasn’t something I woke up excited about.  I dreaded getting up early, fighting my sister for the bathroom, mom pulling rollers out of my hair, eating breakfast faster than a loon (apparently, a loon, are the fastest animals to digest a meal) and dashing through the house yelling “shotgun” only to infamously loose to my mother, of all people. She never even yelled “shotgun”, we all lost to her by default. “Shotgun” was such an unfair game in my household.  But, by age 14 you exploit the fact that yelling “shoutgun” is not the key, it’s yelling nothing at all. Then again, by age 14, the backseat was just fine. Being seen anywhere near your parents was embarrassing enough, let alone at church with them singing and praising. It was cool to see your friend’s parents worship, but seeing your own parents doing this was entirely mortifying.  The only pleasing thing about church, at the time, was the new dress I was wearing (which by the way, was much better looking than the dress on my archenemy from school) and the snacks you got during bible study. Church slowly became more of a fashion show for our age group revolving around who was wearing what and who went to Sally Sue’s sleep over last night. Church became a high school homeroom for the pre-teens.
We go to bible study and are being taught that money is the root of all evil, yet the second we get to the parking lot, strutting towards our parents high end luxury car was the first priority. We had to secure our “status” within our own circle of friends, by flaunting what our parents had. I am not sure if this is something my parents picked up on, or if my parents were going through the same type of “pissing contest'” with the adults but, we soon retired from this church.

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A few far from in between, we visited the catholic church. Before I start my rant about how money will buy your way to heaven, I do admire the discipline Catholics have. Though their teachings do not speak to my spirit, the attention to detail and years of continued tradition, is honestly, quite astonishing and I respect that wholeheartedly. Where I drew away was after finding out that birth control was not allow in the church nor divorce.
I guess my entire family was going to hell. My mom had remarried, my grandma had remarried, I was on birth control to control the outlandish hormones that come with being a teenage girl and my grandpa was not the picture perfect husband… let’ s just say everyone has a past and his past was frowned upon. But, for a “contribution”  to the parish ( I believe that is what it is called) you get your “get out of hell pass” provided by your priest who is a divorcee, a closet homosexual and hands out advise about ‘safe sex’ to the adolescent. The pot calling the kettle black, much? My catholic experience was the cliche version we have all heard.

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Two church experiences, and my relationship with God was less than par.

Going into high school, I started attending a church ( I am unsure of the denomination) but it was closer to what I needed to obtain a relationship with myself and God. I enjoyed the mannerisms, bible studies, teachings and the people. The family I went with were very much involved with the church community, so they inspired me to contribute as well. Looking back, I only went through the motions. Never actually digested the root of why I was here, what my purpose is, who’s life I need to enrich, and the bigger question….Do I think Jesus is my Lord and Savor? These were questions I went in seeking answers for, but came out with a new group of friends to party with on Friday nights instead. As much as I hate to admit that, I thought the actions I did were for the greater good but in all reality all this good was for selfish little ole me. Nothing for God was on the agenda. I fell into the rabbit hole of  “spiritual static motions verses spiritual interactive movements”.

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Church number three, bites the dust.

After this experience, it was all about me. I was a selfish teenage girl whom could care less about family values or family ties. Not to say I ignored my family, but friends and Friday nights out with a group of seniors was much more important. And it was much more important than seeking God. I could never really put my finger on it but during my early high school years, I was absolutely miserable inside. To those on the outside, would see this ‘typical perfect teenage girl’. I’d smile, laughed, play sports…. I was going through the motions once again.  It wasn’t until I met my first true friend at school when this ‘light’ in me got brighter and I started to feel better about who I was and who I needed to be.  We had a couple of classes together, spent weekends together, talked hours on the phone, planned our future college experience and relied on each other for everything. His parents liked me and my parents liked him…. yes, my parents liked a guy!  His family went to church every Sunday, and every time I was asked to join, I politely declined.  I was burnt out on the church scene. The  irony of it all, is that he was able to open me up and discuss the root of why I was not in a relationship with God. We could talk about God and the bible for hours. I soon found myself more interested, willing to listen to the scriptures and soon after, I found myself back in church. I was never happier.

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Then God ruined me.

My entire life was diminished. The only person who I cared for and loved more than anyone, was in an accident….. and died.  He died young which is something I still struggle with, but upon hearing this news, I scorned God. I hated God. It was as if  the news shook my core and rotted it. I have never been so upset, angry, sad, confused and so willing to disgrace our Lord based on this thread of unsettling news. I remember going as far as cussing out loud into the sky, how much I hate Him, for taking him away. I never forgave God for this.

Years passed and the only thing close to a church I went to, was his grave site. I’d stand there, tearing up, never talking, I always just stood there in silence.

Soon I was in college, partying like typical college student and dating guys with no ambition and/or treated me like shit and distancing myself from anyone who knew me.  And I stopped visiting him. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’d rather someone shoot me with a shotgun than visit his grave site.

The only thing that got me over a hurdle no one even knew I was going through, was a roommate I had. She didn’t even know the extent of my demon I was fighting. It wasn’t her fault for not knowing, I never told her. People I let into my life after his death, I made it a point not to talk about it. I am not completely proud of how we acted sometimes, but in retrospect she healed me. Made me stronger. And made me see that there is still hope for me. I will always love her for this.

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God seeked me out.

Growing spiritually, is not easy and I still have difficulties in my relationship with God. No one can protest to this more than my husband. I am so thankful for my husband, he knows me better than I know myself, he’s my best friend and my rock. There are no words to describe how grateful I am to have him in my life. But like any marriage, you have small issues. He and I hit a brick wall in our relationship because his relationship with God was more important than ours. Being still slightly upset at God, this was hard to accept. We would discuss finding a church to help our relations and when we’d select a church to try out, let’s just say we’d have more luck walking on water. Churches were becoming more of a hinder than an encouraging experience. Our relationship started to not necessarily fail, but there was tension in our marriage because we were not apart of something greater. I am blessed that he and I have the same beliefs, but he could tell that I needed to conquer my demon and resentment towards God, as he needed to be refreshed with his faith. For years, I despised the idea of organized religion and God. Then all the sudden, one day, I was reaching out to my husband asking to go to this one church I found online. As corn ball as this may sound, but I believe God wanted me to find this church, at this time in my life because He knew I would be ready to receive His word.

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God is healing me.

Though I am new in the world of seeking a relationship with Him, life have taken a small but good turn. Things that would stress me out, no longer do. Friends that use to abuse my kindness have disappeared and new appreciative friends have replaced the old, my marriage is a blessing all in it’s own and my family is closer than ever. We may not be the best example, but we try to use our Sunday teachings as a challenge for the week, hoping along the way we make a positive impact on someone’s life.  We honor our marriage, our families and our community. We all have our ups and downs, and as a spouse you help each other through the rough times, set an example of what being rich really means, never loosing sight of  doing good and how to love one another. I’m still unsure of my purpose and I do not know if my everyday life is ‘text book’ correct. However, I do know that I will not have to yell “shotgun” to secure my place next to God. I will not have to yell anything at all. God does heal.

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Fun list for my sister and the stay at home mom

I was texting my sister the other day and made a sarcastic remark about how her new ‘helping someone out’ daily activities must mean she is either really bored or I needed to orb to her (far far away) residence and take her to fun land. Her response was nothing short of expressing how many loads of laundry she has done for the day and what level of FarmVille she has tackled. Conclusion, this sweet bitch (yes, we call each other that) needed a fun (stay at home) list, and STAT. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Take a shower.
Yes you have a toddler and soon, a newborn, but make this your one priority. Maybe this will be the only thing accomplished outside of your kid(s) needs, but if this gets done, you’ll consider your day productive and successful. Taking the time to shower and put on makeup will make you feel clean, refreshed, and prepared for the day. If the hubster wants to take you to lunch at the last minute, you’re ready to go. No need to look like you’re going to a gala; just a cute shirt and blue jeans will do. But a shower and a ponytail will do wonders for your self-esteem.

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2. Stop Watching TV
The boob tube is a life savor for many stay at home moms but, this little boxed up gem is distracting and becomes more than just background noise. It becomes a brain-washing black hole. Instead of hours of TV, pick up a book or a paint brush. Use this time to be creative with your little ones. Paint a picture together and frame it, draw together on the chalkboard wall, take a walk around the neighborhood, play in the sprinklers, play dress-up, make a fort, make up voices for characters in a book they choose. Something!
(Side note: if you want to sneak some binge watching on Netflix, no one will judge you…. but make sure it’s during nap time and you’re equipped with a nice glass of wine)

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3. Wine = Mom’s best friend
Or Maker’s Mark. Or champagne. Or beer. Or heck, have an orange soda with two straws. Just remember to satisfy those taste buds with a yummy treat, during the day. You work hard, reward yourself (responsibly).

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4. Choirs 
Blah! Who wants to do these? No one. However, make this fun for you and the wee one.
Dishes to do, no problem! Put them in the highchair and ‘fill the tray’ with baby safe (but dish friendly) soap. As you clean the chinaware have them take a Hello Kitty washcloth to their Tinker Bell plate. They will mimic you the entire time, leaving you with less to clean and fun memories to bank on.
Laundry? You got this! Take the clothes out of the washer and hand it to your kiddo to put in the dryer. They will love to help!
When you gather the warm clothes from the dryer, sing ‘hot-potato’ as you show them how to fold.
Sweep, mop or vacuum? Oh my! No worries, just show them how! Turn up the radio and dance while sweeping, they’ll follow your lead and soon it will be a dance party. I promise.

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5. Play dates=Mom’s second best friend
Have them! This is not only for your child to gain social skills but it is for you to have a glass (or two) of champs and gossip the afternoon away.

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6. Bake something you know will fail via Pinterest

We’ve all seen the astonishing Cookie Monster Cake on Pinterst, and for the record I still think this is Martha Stewart under her alias name just out to make us all look bad, but whatever.
Let your kiddo pick a fun cake, pie or cookie from Pinterest to bake. Now here’s the hard part, put aside your OCD, Bake Sale Winner of ’99 entitlement and attention to extreme detail and allow your child to make this pastry of choice. It’s going to be hard, but you can do this! Not only are you letting them be creative, you are showing them how to read a recipe, locate the ingredients, how to mix up the ingredients and most important, you’re bonding. Just make sure you praise them on their pastry art (no matter how off color or taste it may be) and compliment it with a tall glass of milk. Cause, that’s what Cookie Monster, himself, would have done.
Nom Nom Nom.

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7. Nap Time=Mom’s third best friend

Praise Jesus! Time to ‘woosah’. If you missed your morning shower, take it. If you didn’t miss it, take a cucumber melon bubble bath (90’s moms you know what I am taking about) .Do an at home pedi with OPI glitter on one toe and Essie’s Naughty Nautical on the rest of those piggies. Nextflix binge, sip a glass of wine, eat the rest of the Pinterest pastry art disaster, phone your big sister to catch up on all family gossip, plan a date night with the hubster, plan a ‘sexy-night’ with the hubster, read 50 Shades of Gray, paint pictures of flying pigs, online shop for something other than your kiddos….. Do something for yourself. Take these few minutes (maybe hours) to reflect on who you are outside of being a great mom and relax.

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8. Errands
Oh hell no. There is nothing more frustrating (to me) than toting a young child around. For those of you that love running errands, you are a saint in my eyes. I have never witnessed a fully successful ‘errand running afternoon’ to where the kid does not get fussy or hungry, or annoying or anything other than a pain in the rear. Sorry, but no way in hell.
However, household items need to be bought and you’re the golden ticket to obtaining these said household items. There is nothing glamorous about errands, other than your freshly painted toe nails and that you smell like Bath and Body works. I suppose that alone is worth getting out and showing off to the other moms that you “have it all together”.  Anyways, plan an afternoon, once a week, to run errands, preferably after nap time and their afternoon snack. Pack up the diaper bag with what you’ll need (toys, iPad, ect) and head out. Try and sing on the way there and on the way back. Make it has entertaining as possible for the both of you and if your mini me was well-behaved reward them with apple slices with a side of caramel. I would suggest a slice of the Pinterest pastry, but you ate it already.

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9. Skype
You can take credit for calling all your relatives (in one afternoon) without talking to them. Seriously.
All you have to do it Skype them, place baby in front of the monitor and BAM! You’ve melted the hearts of all family members with one “Ga-ga-goo-goo” and you’re off the hook for missing their birthday or sending a Christmas card. It’s unfair to us without kids but understandably, you do hold the trump card.

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10. Watch TV

I know. I know. I said stop, but sometimes a rainy day will come and nothing sounds better than making hot chocolate with marshmallows and watching “Mary Poppins”. Allow a few hours a week to watch the movies that will soon remind them of their childhood. The best part is it will not just be the movie they watch, it will be: “My mum always made hot chocolate with marshmallows on rainy days and we watched “Mary Poppins” together… ” You’ll have started a tradition of memorable rainy days for them to share with their children.

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Parents I would like to slap

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There are different types of parenting, and as a working non-parent, I take a few notes along the way to somehow predetermine how we will soon raise our kids. Granted not one form of parenting will work for all children, I have gathered that. But these ten parenting habits ANNOY the bejesus out of me! And if I turn into one of these parents, slap me.

1. The “we only eat organic/absolutely no processed foods” parents.
I work full-time as well as some of my friends with children, but let’s be honest,  no one has time to prep an all organic meal…. for every single meal, seven days a week for twelve months. No one. Unless you’re from Stepford. And if that’s the case, you scare me.
My husband and I will do a “date night” that will normally involve a bottle of wine (for just me, of course) at a local venue. Nothing uber fancy, just a chillax night out. And from the looks of it, most of my parenting friends have this same arrangement only it involves tokens and tickets (for just the kids) while mom and dad have to sneak a pint of beer. Either way, we all go out and eat processed foods. Gasps!
Apparently those who ‘organically parent’ (and cannot see themselves in any other grocery store other than Whole Foods) will smirk at us “processed food eating folks” while we quince our thirst with tap water instead of Coco Libre. And don’t even think about having America’s favorite side, mac and cheese,  for lunch…you’ll get death stare that you’ll swear your great-grandma would be frightened of.
Bottom line, eating healthy is great. Really. However if I want to binge eat a  #1 meal from Chic-Fil-A, I’m gonna!  Just try and death stare me while I eat that chicken sandwich………I dare you.

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2. The “movie theater” parents.
There are two types of these, ones that are so excited it’s little Jimmy’s first movie and the other type that uses the theater as a babysitter.
Family outing to the movies, how much fun can this be!? None. Let me explain:
When I go to the theater we like to hear the movie. Weird, I know, but we do. We actually enjoy the dialog of a film. What we do not like, is a two year old’s dialog when Leo Dicaprio is chanting motivation to his fellow comrades on how to scam money from the wealthy. (By the way, why in the hell is your child seeing a R-rated film??!)  If you have a well-behaved child, fantastic. But let’s get real, if your child so much as carries on a conversation with him/herself or cries…. please remove yourself and your kid until you can settle them down. Would you want me to call my bestie during a film while you’re on date night (without your kids), hooting and hollering through the phone? I think not.  Also, let’s stick to kid-friendly movies. The next time a parent brings a toddler to a R-rated film, I will slap them… or organically death stare them down.
(apparently this is a ‘thing’….see #1).
The other side of this equation are the  parents that cannot find a sitter and use the movies as a ‘hall pass’ to allow their kids to act a fool and never know what they did or what they saw. Bravo parental units,  you are allowing your kids to be disrespectful to others with no repercussion or discipline. Well, at least no other form of discipline other than my back-hand after I’ve asked politely for them to “Shhhhhhh!” during a movie, which I am sure you’re gonna love to hear about when you pick them up… 8 hours later!!!!  If you cannot find a sitter call into work or call grandma, or here’s a thought, phone a friend.

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3. The “my toddler is this many months old” parents.
Short and sweet: if you’re baby is under a year old, I understand the “months old” response.  When your child grows to toddler age please stop saying they are 30 months old. The correct response would be two-and-a-half. I do not go around saying I am 360 months old. So, darn you for making me do a math problem! Who wants to divide months to years, then subtract days, multiple weeks and count sheep to get your child’s age?! No one!
My only curiosity is, when they turn three do you have to special order a ‘Happy 36th month Birthday’ sign? Or do you go to your local party store and purchase one that reads “Happy 3rd Birthday”?
I rest my case.

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4. The “ridiculously perfectly put-together all the time” parents.
Again, I do not have kids but, and I hate these types of parents.
These parents somehow have refrained from getting dark circles or belly fat, always have their hair perfectly styled and you never see them in yoga gear….ever.  I seriously will reroute my b-line to the cashier if I see one of these “vambot-like” parents closing in on my personal space. I am that annoyed with them. Maybe it’s envy, but I am gonna stick with annoyed at the moment.
I go to work, tan, head to the gym, grab something from Homeland for dinner (not Whole Foods….Gasps!) start dinner, shower and maybe wash my hair, pull dinner out of the oven, dry my hair, put on sweats and a tee-shirt (not a Victoria Secret teddy) and still somehow find energy to pour a (cheap) glass of wine by the end of the night. The next day, my struggles start with trying to remember what yoga pants are clean to toss into my gym bag all the way to hoping that after I leave Homeland, I do not forget to purchase shampoo or laundry detergent, again.
But does this happen for the R.P.P.T.A.T.T (ridiculously perfectly put-together all the time) parents? Never. You never see them frazzled or unorganized. At the gym, their work-out gear is pressed with heavy starch and it takes them one tanning session to look like a Greek Goddess, where for us normal people may take up to 10 sessions. They find time to bake a nine layer cake for the bake sale while planning their twin’s 48th month (4 years) birthday party. They are always smiling, dressed to impress, kids are excelling with their education and their dog even shits gold.
It’s like they wake up, reboot their computer chipped brain and thrive to make the rest of us look like crap.
I. Hate. You. And your little dog too.
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5. The “pissing contest” parents

Take the R.P.P.T.A.T.T.  parents (see #4) and toss in the personality of Dave Harken from Horrible Bosses and you have the P.C. (pissing contest) parents.
Let’s start with their children. We see that your kid is awesome, but every time you have to explain how more magnificent or smarter they are over every other belligerent three year old, you steadily ruin the chances of anyone wanting to plan a play date or even like your child. Which means, you and your pompous attitude will be the topic of gossip hour. But hey, someone needs to take one for the team, right?
And it doesn’t stop there! Talk about the types of cars you drive with a PC parent, and you’re 3-series BMW will seem like a 1971 Pinto by the end of it. They drive an Aston Martin Vanquish and paid double for it only because they were trying to out bid Daniel Craig on this ‘one and only’ model.
Now let’s discuss careers. If you make 6-digits a year, they make 7. Funny though, if you said you bring in less than $100k a year then they make 6-digits a year. I guess their annual salary changes based on the person they are speaking with.
Then there’s the final topic of plastic surgery. It’s hilarious that PC parents can exploit their spending habits but when they spend over hundreds of thousands of dollars on self enhancements, they never seem to want to talk about it. At 600 months old you still have your brow line of a 264 month old.  Let me guess, it’s from only eating organic right? And this too, explains your increased cup size? Uh huh, right.

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6. The “my career are my kids” mom

No one will shun you for forcing your child to take an early nap because you wanted to catch up on the last season of “Bates Motel” prior to season two premiering. All your dreams, crafting hobbies, extracurricular activities (like Champagne Thursdays) and general sense of self doesn’t have to leave your body at the same time your baby pops out  from your vagina. Just don’t forget about girls night or date night with the hubster.
After all, who else is going to update us with the latest Netflix ‘must-sees’?

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7. The “babies are allowed in bars” parents
OMFG. Do I need to spell this out? Babies+Mom+Dad+Bar=Bad idea. Back in the day it was Mom+Dad+Bar=Good time=Baby.
Anyways, do not take your child to a bar and request that us adults watch their language and put out our cigarettes. Don’t you dare shake your finger at me for saying “shit” too loud, and who made you the “swear jar police” anyways?!?!?  And for the guy in the corner smoking it up, you go on with your bad self. And while you are at it, sarcastically light one up for the baby. Let’s see how the parents like that! Probably as much as we like a baby in a bar!
Do not go to a bar with your child. Don’t you dare do it.  A bar (heck, even the cocktail area) is sacred grounds for the adults to get away from the kids.  But in all seriousness, are you wanting your kid to be the next Baby Herman?!?! What gives?

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8. The “I love my kids name” parents

When your child is born I understand that you want to shout out your baby’s entire name to the world. But I think past the age of, let’s say, one (12 months)..STOP! It’s beyond annoying.
I do not introduce myself by first and middle name to everyone I meet, so why do this with your baby? Then again, I may run a social experiment and see how this “trend” takes off… pause…. NOT!
Oh, and naming a kid after a fruit or vegetable is not an adorable name, so let’s stop that too.  Thanks.

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9. The “too attached to have fun” parent

My favorite is when a parent brings their child to a kid function (like a birthday party) and never puts the kid down to play with the other kids. What is the point of this? This is like an afternoon of free childcare, cake and ice cream and an endless supply of champagne and beer for the adults. How do you plan on double fisting the  adult beverages with a kid in your arms for the next four hours?!? Put the darn kid down, let them get dirty and let’s go party (responsibly). This is the moment all parents wish for…. a house that becomes two clubs in one for an entire afternoon! Live it up! Who knows, if you would have put your child down, then maybe you could have sneaked to the backyard and did a reenactment of “Put a Ring on it” in the bouncy house with us adults while the kids watched Frozen for the one millionth time…..

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10. The “my kid is never at fault” parent
I love when parents will yell at you to watch out for their child, even though their kid is the one running around like a disobedient (excuse my language) prick.  You’re kid rams a cart into my foot and I am at fault?!
There’s about to be a show down in aisle 5. I could take this situation to an extreme and and mention the time when a kid pulled my hair in a movie theater and the mom asked me to move… (see #2).
Another show down in aisle (row) 5.
My breaking point  is when you help a kid up from falling on the ground and the parent doesn’t immediately say thank you. Instead you get a death stare for touching their offspring, while the parent gives them a hand sanitizer bath on the spot. I just stand over them and sneeze… without covering my nose or mouth. That’s me thanking them for being an inconsiderate ass and not thanking me for saving their kid’s skull from hitting the concrete.
Freaking aisle 5.

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Tough Love

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When to let go of a friendship is rough enough, but distancing yourself is even harder when their children have become a part of your life. It’s that age old situation of when to continue being a friend to someone who refuses to change their lifestyle for the better and when to put a halt on the friendship because their life choices are hindering the opportunities you provide them. Your surroundings are whom you become and that never ending rabbit hole of drama and gossip only inhibits you further.  Not to point the finger at you, but you do know that one person you desperately want to shake them smart. Or I guess, shake the stupid right out of them. The bigger riddle is maybe their not stupid, maybe they have bad luck when thinking.  Stupid may be the wrong adjective to use but to ensure my point is getting across let me summarize by using these words: foolish, dull-witted, slow, simpleminded, vacuous, vapid, idiotic, imbecilic, imbecile and doltish. These are the things I encounter each and every time I surround myself with this friend (slash) acquaintance. So, does that make me, as Einstein would say, insane? I go, hoping things will be different for them, hoping that if I contribute to their short comings, maybe just maybe, I can help make that small difference.  I sit back and ponder, if we are our surroundings, am I too the list of adjectives?

Riddle me this, you stay friends on Facebook but you in reality you wouldn’t mind kicking them in the face. So then, what kind of friend are you? One that is judgmental or one that attempts to hold them accountable of their actions? Or are you staying friends because you’re too lazy to find new ones?  Here’s a tougher riddle, the friend that you want to high-five to the face has amazing children that look up to you. When you stop by, you hear them yell “She’s here! She’s here!”  then the front door swings wide open and the next thing you know is you’re swinging these little humans around in your arms. Nothing compares to a child’s unconditional love. I am not even a mother, and I can feel it.  It’s as if those few seconds of holding them is the best time of your life. I call those moments ‘unicorns and rainbows’ because let’s be real, what is better than a unicorn and a rainbow?
So the sticky situation of a friendship divorce still lingers and the sad part is in a marriage you don’t divorce the kids but in a friendship you do.

I am not a perfect friend. Not even close.  However, and for the record, I do make an effort with all of them. But lately, I’ve stopped. The ones that know me best, as who I am now and not who I was then, can verify to this:
I will plan a party at my expense for you, lend you clothes for a special event with no time restrictions, drive over 20 hours to host a baby shower in your town, bail you out of jail at 3am, text you once to twice a week to just say hello, always ask how your kids are, have a party at our house so we can ‘test out’ your new boyfriend with the rest of our circle and  no matter what I’m never to busy for you to tell me about a rough day.
I’m not stating that I am an expert on their life and they need to take notes. This is not my intent. I am only suggesting that if these are the things I do for them, should this not be the things they do for me? And if I surround them with positives why can’t they too be positive? Why must  they slum themselves into a sink hole of never ending lifeless people and poor decisions?  And why do they allow their children around such antagonistic situations?

If this said friend (slash) acquaintance cannot manage their finances, always putting themselves in more debt and with no attempt in correcting this, do you continue to loan money to help with groceries?
They can barely feed themselves, but get a family pet. Do you mention that pets are costly and getting another mouth to feed probably was not the best idea? Or do you sit back and smile?
Another father figure is in the house and does nothing but belittle and yell at the children. Do you voice your opinion? Do you remain silent? Do you continue to be supportive of this lifestyle?
A night on the town involves being chaperoned with “friends” that have probably done 4 years in prison and are on a drug high ninety percent of the time. What then? Still only be supportive?  Allow their kids to see that drugs and being talked to in a shitty manner is acceptable?  When do you, the true friend, walk-away because no matter what you do, they continue down that slipshod rabbit hole.

Love comes in many forms and friendships test your ability to love daily. They are the family you choose, not the family you were given and tough love in a friendship never turns out beneficial for anyone. It’s like friends with benefits, someone always gets hurt. Confronting them on their hazards causes conflict and accusations of you being judgmental instead of being concerned and/or passionate. Passive aggressive fights always tend to follow with them replenishing the gossip pool of accusations that you lack being a considerate friend. When in all reality, you are trying to be a friend by letting them know they are five-feet shy of hitting life’s metaphorical brick wall.

Keep this in mind, life deals us many hands and whether you fold, bluff or keep betting you control the outcome. Just make sure that the path you take does not interrupt your child’s imagination nor their aspirations to being the person they admire the most, you.  And if you cannot set a good example, then we shall use you as a horrible warning. * Know that true friends are willing to hold you accountable and challenge you to be the person you need to be, not who you settle to be. And if you cannot handle the perpetual truth of your own quick sand, then why have any friends at all? Realize, and I hope soon,  that your kids too will soon fall into your quick sand and you better hope that your true friends are still around. Because the ones you have now, are the ones aiding that brick wall crash. Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you*- not what they wish you would have been. Unless you want your kids making a list of adjectives of your inabilities.

 

 

*Quotes provided by: H. Jackson Brown Jr. and Catherine Aird.

Cake and Ice Cream

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I’ve noticed lately, that parents are more lenient with discipline. There’s more bribing and ignoring the problem, hoping the kid will grow out of it. Surely by age seven the tantrums will stop, right? I think not. And why would they? You’ve never corrected this behavior prior, why expect anything to be different. Besides, it’s easier to sit your child in front of the TV (like they want) than actually deal with a hyper and misbehaving kid. Maybe I am ‘old fashioned’ but what the heck happened to no TV, no PlayStation, no iPad or the good ole “you’re grounded”? Instead, kids are granted these things to calm them down?? Shouldn’t  these items be a reward for good behavior verses something to distract the child for being disobedient?

I am not a mom, let me make this clear to you all out there. However, let me put this in prospective to justify a smidgen.
We, my husband and I, have four nieces and nine (yes nine) God-children. We spend time with them as much as possible, not just on birthdays, holidays are special events either. We are very much involved in all of their lives. So when people try to ‘con’ us with “you don’t understand, you’re not parents” give us a break. We are probably more involved with “our kids” than some of your friends are involved with your own. Do we raise them? No. But I promise, we are as much as a positive influence to them as you would want to be for your children. I am not saying that we have all the answers to raising children and what works best in disciplining a child. What I am saying is we get to see different forms of disciplinary actions from multiple friends and family members and we take notes…. lots of notes.

Recently, we dined out and were sat behind a woman and her children. Upon approaching the booth, there were Cheerios mashed into the carpet under the highchair and split milk everywhere that yes, was being cried over. Soon after ordering our drinks, we noticed that utensils were being substituted as paper air planes and napkins being used (then tossed on the ground) for ‘boogie noses’. Once their food got to the table, all hell broke loose. One of children started whaling because they did not want what was ordered. So naturally, the mom put the screaming child into her arms and up against her chest, whispering “shhhhhhh”.
Did I mention that her child’s head and alarming sounds was directed right at my ears? Ah yes, it was dinner at the opera.
The best part was when the other child threw an iPad at another table. The kicker to this was the mom did not say anything to the table at which it was thrown and the kid was not disciplined….. at all.  As you can tell, this was an epic scene and to all of you reading, you missed out! Promptly after, the parent notices everyone is staring at her to either take her kids to the restroom or outside to get them settled. So instead of removing herself to clam the child elsewhere she sits there and negotiates with the child. Are you freaking kidding me??!  I am sorry, but if mommy tells you to stop complaining and eat your darn mac and cheese, you do it!!! But does the mom stick to her guns? Nope, not even a little bit. Instead she makes a deal favoring the child’s request in one sentence:  “If you take one bite of your mac and cheese I will get you cake and ice cream.”

Bravo, your child now has full control and you’re a door mat. And trust me, cake and ice cream is just the beginning.

Sadly I was raised in a decade of ‘entitled’ children. Friends of mine felt that what their parents had, they too should have. It was never “my parents” are well off, it was “we are well off”. Pretty sure my friend did nothing to contribute to her parent’s 4,500 square foot home other than choose paint colors for her room. Let’s just say she’s a hot mess and at the tender age thirty-something, still lives off her parents. She was one of those “mommy I want this” or “daddy get me this” types. And as you can see, that worked out great for her (insert sarcasm).

Parents work for 20 plus years to afford that brand new fully loaded Mercedes, but because you turn sixteen and riding the bus is beneath you, you feel entitled which means you must have a new Mercedes too.
I grew up in an extremely strict household, which meant no free time unless it was school related. Yes ma’am and no ma’am were to be used to ensure that we understood instructions and chores were to be completed before and after school. Grades were to not be less than a B average and at the age of sixteen I was to get a job, pay for my gas, clothes and any extras that I wanted but more or less, could afford on my hostess salary.

Growing up, this absolutely sucked and I hated having to use my own money to pay for things. Still to this day, I do not agree with everything my parents did but there are three things I did gain that I am grateful for: respect, responsibility and discipline. This is something that I see young professional-aged friends lacking. It’s sad really. How can you go through life feeling that because they have it, you should automatically have it? What happened with hard work and drive to do better and provide for your family?

Being around these “entitlements” made me realize something, they have made nothing for themselves. They rely on everyone else to take care of them and when they do not get what they want, behold- the tantrum. Granted the older the child gets, the more creative the tantrum becomes. Which can be entertaining. But what are parents doing to correct these behaviors? What happens when this perfect child enters the workforce and has to get coffee for the boss, when they don’t want to? I know what will happen, you’ll be paying their rent until the end of time. Discipline has to start early. I mean early. My sister for example, created these amazing habits for her daughter to follow. She’ll give you a kiss before she says “down please” and she knows how to put things up and clean after playing verses destroying her play room and ignoring instructions like “go put your toys up”. Every time my sister requests her daughter to contribute to household duties, no matter what Disney movie is on, her daughter will get up and help… with no tantrum. She’s at the tender age of two, and still practices what she was taught as an infant. It’s adorable to see her help her mommy but it’s also mommy helping her daughter for the future.

I am not always on board with spankings and honestly I have mixed emotions about it. Every child is different, so one strategy may not work for all of your kids. And what works for my sister may not be suited for another. There are many forms of teaching your child how to behave and counting backwards from three never seems to work. What still confuses me is when parents will yell at their kids from across the room about something they are doing wrong, yet never get up and out of their chair and deal with the situation. Consequences are tossed into the air but never followed through, kids soon pick up on this and exploit it.
Yelling does nothing but two things: either puts fear in a child or makes them mad. Both are not good. Why do you want your child to fear you, anyways? Yelling to scare your kid straight does nothing but create tension between you and the child. Your teaching them that yelling is okay when you’re upset and it’s a hair shy of instructing them how to be a bully to others.
And depending on the situation, it’s a form of verbal abuse. No one wants to be screamed at. No one. Points are never made and feelings get hurt. Again, these are notes I have taken unless someone can explain this one to me.

Bottom line, do not allow your kids to continue to use you as door mat or a lap dog.  You’ll only make it worse on them.  I promise. Discipline and structure works. Stop taking advantage of your parents and get out there and work! Stop having your parents take care of you and now your children. Be a good example for your children and set a good standard of living.  Allow them to achieve goals on their own and award them by taking them to their favorite pizza joint. Don’t buy them a $400 purse or Rolex watch.  Teach them how to respect others, the value of a dollar, how to  be responsible and how to set life goals to get ahead in life. And most important, teach them how to love be happy.

I guarantee you, that entitled sixteen year old, I mentioned earlier, will start to cry, scream and shun the idea of driving a used Honda. And she’ll end up getting that brand new Mercedes. Why?!? Because she’s the one that got to eat her cake and ice cream too.

News Feed! News Feed! We’ve seen it already!

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Yes, your child is adorable. The catch phrase, “Only a face a mother could love” never seems to go out of style. It’s one of those sayings you can use in a positive and negative manner, and regardless of which angle you are after, everyone always chuckles. Why?!?  Because “wrinkles and rolls”  are adorable features on a baby. And what better way to show off your new bambino, then blowing up your news feed in 5 minute intervolves with snap shots of this new cuteness? I mean the entire world needs to know that your kid, is by far, the cutest baby ever created.  I get it. Really I do. And let’s be honest, your baby is pretty darn cute.
Capturing moments such as, sneezing for the first time or crawling for the first time, are things that everyone in your close circle wants to be apart of.
Fast forward to let’s say 8 months old, you’ve managed to upload 8 new albums titled things like “One Month Old” or “Four Months Old”, and each album containing over 500 pictures. Wow! Just wow! I sit there and think of your print cost if these are all ‘must have captured moments’. You did post them on {the} line, so they all must be in frames around your house. Right? 
So, now, 8 months old, 500 pictures a month posted that’s 4000 images of your child we get to see in our news feed. Now, that’s exciting. I love nothing more than ‘liking’ an image of yours only to see the same image (again) an hour later of the same pose. Although you may be in a different part of the house, all-in-all it’s the same pose.
There is nothing more awesome than seeing your child sit-up for the first time, then sit-up in front of the TV, sit-up in red jeans, sit-up by the dog, sit-up in the crib, sitting-up in general is just amazing. Who would have thought, a baby could sit-up? 

First birthday party is an epic time to make par on that image count and go for the gold! The gold metal going to the mom (or dad) that can take the most pictures at different angles of your adorable kid eating cake! Not only that, but go ahead and post all of them online too. That way for the next three days, I get a news feed refresher of what the party was like, as if I wasn’t there already. 
Your baby turns into a toddler. Those first few cute pics of their hair growing, first signs of independence and then walking. Then follows the next few predicted titled albums on your page regarding the places they walk to, who they walked to, waddle walking, the outfits they walked in and we cannot forget they numerous shoes took those (many) first steps in. A baby….learns to walk? No way! 

My favorite is when your child learns to talk. I love the words they put together to make their own language. Makes you wonder, if you too talk this way, I mean they are learning to talk from you. Things like “Cow blue maw maw bam tah-dah”  or “Cupcake nom nom nom”, these phrases are adorable! This is when you, the parents, graduate from snap shots to video. Videoing becomes the new rage and there is not stopping you. If your kid sneezes, we’ll see it. If you kid walks (again), we’ll see it. If your kid takes a bath, we’ll see it. It’s like you go from getting the gold to the platinum at an accelerated pace.

I know that social media is the link to all things, and posting images or videos helps keep distant family members in the loop. I get it, I do. But I promise you, if you are posting 5 to 10 videos a day and tagging your entire family in each video someone will get annoyed. 
I Promise. They too want to see all the NEW things or crazy happen events that are candid, not another video of picture of them in the bath (again) playing with the same rubber ducky. Honestly, if it were me, I would tap out and just congratulate you on keeping your kid bathed, hoping you’d get the message I was sending via passive aggressive. 
I made a comment on FB in a hashtag/snarky/emojicon sort-of-way, inquiring why they needed to post the same image of their bambino, multiple times a day, in the same outfit and in the same highchair. The response had me rolling:

“Imagine you got a new puppy, and that new puppy grew. Meaning it started to walk, whine less and learned to chew on it’s teething toys. Then this puppy becomes potty trained, bathes, feeds and dresses itself then starts to say words which develop into sentences. Puppy becomes close to full grown and can now drive, play sports with other puppies, soon leading to graduation of puppy school with a full ride to an ivy league university to become something important. It’s seeing something you made turn into something so amazing. And I want to share my “puppy” with the world. Because he is a miracle”

I will say this, the response was heartfelt, no doubt. In all respect, yes you and your husband created a miracle blessed by God. 
Where I started to insert my God given gift of sarcasm was what she was comparing her child to… a puppy or as known as Brian off “Family Guy”.
In my head, I see the route she was trying to go, but find the execution lacking a good foundation. You mean to tell me if you posted a YouTube video of your kid talking and we took a poll of most hits next to my “talking puppy” you’d have more views?!? Pretty sure it is expected for a baby to learn how to talk………….not so much a puppy. 
Or let’s use a picture (cause a pictures says a thousand words) of your kid feeding himself and my puppy feeding itself. I am pretty sure the walking, talking, driving, self sufficient puppy (you speak of) would get more shares and generate more hype. I am not saying your kid is less important than a typical puppy. and you’re right I would take a few pics of my new pup and post them.

But with all do respect, isn’t a baby evolving into an adult expected? But a puppy evolving into a human…. that’s an entirely new ball game. 

We have birthdays too.

Birthdays

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Nothing is more fun than attending your child’s birthday. If you want, I’ll pick up the cake while my hubby helps you set up your perfectly themed Disney party. We’re excited for you!

Here’s the facts: when we have friends with two plus kids, and a friend group of 20 people, that’s 40 birthday parties we attend, A YEAR! So yes, to you it’s just a small present that may have cost us around $30, but in reality we are spending $1200 (extra) a year on all your kids! 40 parties, at $30.00 a pop, adds up! So give us a break. Yes, we don’t have kids- so no, that does not mean we are the ones responsible to purchase the large items. You are the parents, you buy the $200.00 bike. We’ll get the basket, horn and matching helmet. 

Consider the years of birthday parties we’ve attended for your kid(s) and to put something in perspective WE ATTEND ALL OF THEM, EVEN YOURS!!!! THAT IS FOUR BIRTHDAY PARTIES A YEAR  FOR YOUR FAMILY.

Therefore, when it comes time to celebrate our personal birthdays, you better come. Not showing. Not acceptable. Sorry, but that is rude. Actually, that is just shitty. Shitty, shitty, shitty. We make time for you, so make time for us…  No present needed, just your company. If we go out, we keep it classy and respect you have kids. We won’t go to a shady strip club like we did in college or that bar that serves nickel beer. Instead, we will dine at a restaurant where we can hear each other talk then maybe grab a cocktail at a local venue that serves class in a glass. If you cannot afford it, tell us! We can switch it up to make sure you can attend. After all it’s our birthdays and the only thing we want from you, is your time.