prep for the future


I finally got to enjoy the gift certificate my girls gave me for a mani pedi and it was wonderful. And then I ended up with an ingrown toenail followed by an infection. Yes, a gift that keeps on giving. It’s my own fault. I should have not enjoyed the massaging of limbs so much that I became blissfully unaware of the fact that the nail tech was cutting my nails rather than filing. So now I get to soak my affected foot in an epsom salts, vinegar, bleach solution followed by nail care as prescribed by my doctor…anything to avoid him taking a scalpel to my poor, swollen, angry-red toe.

Daniel is fascinated with this three times daily exercise of mine…the soaking of the foot….the drying of the foot…

“What’s the dental floss for?”

“Well I need to slide it under the nail like so in order to lift…”

“OH MY GAWD!”

Poor guy pales, turns away quickly and loudly retches.

“it’s okay, son. It doesn’t hurt.”

“Bleeccchhh!”

“There are far grosser things than this, son.”

“LIke what?”

“Um, catching your kid’s vomit with your hands.”

“EW!!!”

“I promise you that isn’t even the grossest thing.”

“I’m not doing any of that EVER!”

Hmmm…

Me thinks for the sake of my son’s future forever love of his life and any family they might have this needs to be fixed soon…for their sake and for his own sake so he won’t have to awkwardly apologize like Boomer Esiaison had to recently...I imagine not only to assuage some of his fan base (they all can’t be douche-bags, can they?). I’m sure old Boomer heard an earful from Mrs. E and didn’t care much for sleeping in the doghouse so to speak.

Having the privilege of seeing more babies being born than I can remember over the years, I have to say that I have seen so many different kinds of dads…the total hands on I’ll-do-everything kind of daddies, the dads who just might pass out if we don’t make him sit down now, the dads who do pass put, the dads who can scarcely look up from the game, Candy Crush, texts from his friends, dads who have fallen asleep because after 20 hours he is exhausted…YEAH…we wake those dads up so they won’t miss the big moment. Thankfully, most of these daddies surprise us all…especially their partners and their own selves as well. They go on to own diaper changing, well, some do. I know some dads refuse the diaper duty. The daddies on my watch soon learn they get one free pass on that with me because I come from the school of “You made this baby, you change this baby. That once earned me a tray of homemade tamales made by a lovely, elderly Mexican man who was amazed and amused that I could make his big, macho son change his daughter’s diaper because everyone knows that to “your average strong Hispanic man that is woman’s work” (his words, not mine). Some daddies grow with their babies being totally hands on daddies, taking a couple of the late night feedings, walking the floor, taking care of a barfy kid, taking the kids to the pediatrician, attending the parent-teacher conferences, jumping right in with child-care when the other parent is at work or out with friends or out of town without even calling on the grandparents to babysit or calling the wife asking when is she coming home…

and some daddies, well, some daddies don’t.

That’s okay…

I guess…

as long as both parents are okay with that.

Me?

I have been lucky to have a dad for my kids who was hands on from that very first diaper change, who has caught more than his fair share of barf and dealt with middle of the night barfy bedding. He has taken kids on occasion to the doctor, done some of the middle of the night feedings, walked the floor with a colicky-screaming baby even if he did have to get up for work in two hours, attended parent-teacher conferences and never once called on his parents to babysit when the wife was at work or out with friends or out of town because, as he taught me and his friends that they are his kids too and his job is to take care of them just like mom does…except for that breastfeeding thing because, well…

That’s the kind of daddy I hope and pray that my son will be…because frankly my grandbabies deserve nothing less. That’s the kind of man we are trying to raise this boy up to be.

Yeah, it’s a work in progress. He’s twelve. There’s time.

new and adorable


There is nothing more adorable than a brand new baby…and the brand new parents. Everything is shiny, new, perfect, clean and sweet smelling. Oh that new baby smell! Then they burp and puke and fill their diaper with the most foulness that is literally twice their body weight. How is that even possible?

Still babies are amazing and the newness of them and their parents discovering it all is oh so adorable. Like how the newbie parents I know with their perfectly precious babies have discovered all things breastfeeding and babywearing and cloth diapering. I mean how did the parents before them…their parents and grandparents… manage before these awesome things? A new parent I know literally said that recently.

?

Oh you brand new parents! Y’all are absolutely precious!

Some of you I have known since you were kids yourselves. You know, back in the day when I seemed to be always pregnant or carrying a baby around…in my baby sling…when they weren’t attached to my breast like that one I nursed until right before she turned FOUR YEARS OLD. I’m pretty certain that my sister in law believed me when I joked that I was going to continue to breastfeed her right up until she graduated from high school. I was dead-pan serious when I told her that in answer to her question, “How long are you going to keep doing that?” And when I wasn’t babywearing or breastfeeding those babies of mine I was cloth diapering them with real SAFETY PINS. What can I say, some of my parenting peers and I were way ahead of our time. We were kind of hard core too because safety pins.

Erm, actually no.

To the generation or two before me I apologize for being certain that my baby parenting style of babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, breastfeeding was something we parents of the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s invented because, OMG, I was pretty obnoxious about it all, wasn’t I?

Note to the generation before me, this is likely one of the only times I will apologize about my early parenting know-it-all obnoxiousness so savor it while you can.

Now don’t stress my dear newbie parents. I’m not judging you or poking fun at you. I’m just observing and realizing that I was pretty much the same way. I think it is part of the process of figuring out what kind of parent we are going to be and feeling confident in who that is in spite of the grandparents’ well-meaning critiques. Sorry newbies, they never really stop that even when you have somehow managed to raise a human up to be an adult who makes an honest contribution to society…or makes human babies of their very own.

I know. It kind of sucks.

But you did invent this new cloth-diapering style with those sweet little fancy wraps and baby wearing amazing wraps for every day of the week that coordinate with your hipster wardrobe and co-sleeping and breastfeeding and everything else awesome that you are doing for your little ones. I know that you believe this all to be true. It’s okay for you to believe that because there are some exhausting days and sleep-deprived nights where it will seem like that is the only truth you can cling to in order to reassure yourself that you are doing this parenting thing right.

You ARE doing this parenting thing right.

You also might cling to the novel idea that it’s going to get better and so much easier when they are older and can mostly take care of themselves. Then, at long last, you shall sleep…like babies.

Oh you adorable parents of young ones who long for when they are older & can do things for themselves so you can relax and sleep well.

Heh!

You have no clue.

Absolutely no clue.

You think you do.

But you don’t.

Those grown and nearly grown beautiful children of yours go out and sometimes make bad choices. Of course sometimes they don’t because of your amazing parenting skills but they are still out and it is late. Are you beginning to understand now why years ago I declared to darling daughter #1, Hollie, that the car had a curfew even if she was 18 and an adult? One night she came home, bringing the car home in time for curfew and offered that I didn’t have to wait up for her. I immediately answered back that yes I did. Nineteen year old Hollie would never understand that yes I did because though she be all grown up and an adult, she was still my baby girl and how in the world was I supposed to sleep like a new baby if she was out and about town?

How?!

I think mother-of-two-little-girls Hollie might begin to understand…soon…as soon as her girls let her have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I know that big sister Hollie definitely understands.

Meanwhile, there isn’t enough coffee to get through today after last night’s epic bad choices because part of becoming a grownup sometimes involves making such mistakes…the kind you’ll likely never, ever make again and the kind that you will never, ever let the children you might have in the future (the distant future) ever even try to make.

Good luck with that.

Excuse me, I’m going to pour myself another cup of coffee.

next time on Dance Moms


Are you still watching that show?

Oh honestly!

Drama and bat shit crazy like that really doesn’t happen in your average studio. At least most of the time. The week before the first competition of the season…well, let’s just attribute it all to nerves and stress and exhaustion and just trying to get a handle on things.

I hear the instructors and the dancers might be going a little bit crazy too.

Shoes?! Who really gets all psycho bitch crazy over little black tap shoes? Oh wait, I was the one who got a little stressed and maybe crazy over combat boots last year. What can I say, a dance mom can quite possibly become a little bit of a psychopath right before the start of the season. Don’t judge too harshly. Cheer moms, soccer moms, football moms, volleyball moms, baseball moms, hockey moms, ____ moms do it too. The dads can be way worse. You know it’s true.

My mantra this year will be “this is my last year…my last year…no more drama…it’s my last year“. I shall be repeating it over and over and over again.

I actually started yesterday because there were a few costumes that required minor alterations; which, when I am doing them, means MAJOR alterations. It’s a very good thing that I didn’t give up wine or cursing for Lent…a very good thing.

…this is my last year…my last year…no more drama…it’s my last year…

It’s a been a long week, a stressful week, a week with a little bit of heartbreak and disappointment here under the Big Top and although it is my birthday this weekend, I am so ready to spend it sitting all day and night in a dark auditorium as I watch Jodie do what she does best up on that stage. I know that Jodie is too. In between her dances, I’ll be sure to entertain myself with other dance parent craziness because how can I not.

Please forgive the duck-faced selfie because I know that is just ridiculous. It was a photo challenge put out there by the lovely Girl of Cardigan. Dear Karyn is truly lovely and I have known her since she was a little girl. Oh the stories I could tell! Because of all these things and more I accepted her photo challenge, duck face and all.

a mother knows


There are some things that a mother knows about her children. Like what they might think about a little announcement Slope Style Skier Olympic Bronze Medalist Nick Goepper made last week.

Yes, a mother knows.

So she took a little break from a big, school service project that she created and is about to launch pending approval from administration to do this.

At least I now know why she needed her pointe shoes when she went out yesterday to hang out with Shelby.

In other news, this kid is graduating in less than 99 days! YES, that means she is turning 18 in less than 90 days!!

ERMAHGERD!!!

light and fluffy


Although Hazel has absolutely no patience while sitting in a very slow drive thru line at our friendly, neighborhood Starbucks with her Mima, she did discover this week that her hot chocolate is even more delicious with one pump raspberry syrup.

Inspired by The Lego Movie, which he has managed to see twice already, Daniel handled the assault to his senses during the dance preview creating this awesomeness with his Legos.

Meanwhile I found myself identifying with Tresa Edmunds here about living with our “magical burdens”.

Yes…blah, blah, blah…and laughing until I cried.

In other news, I sent off my submission to audition for Listen To Your Mother because dear Kizz encouraged me to try again because she thinks I have plenty of stories to tell.

Meanwhile this girl attended her first Stockton Thunder hockey game.

Truth be told, it actually was not her first hockey game. But this time she was not a sleeping, swaddled infant. No, she was right there cheering and yelling and people watching with her family. She probably liked it best because she could yell like crazy.

My daughter, Hollie Austa, is a pretty awesome person. One thing most parents wish and hope for is that their kids are better people than they are/were. Yes, she is a great mother. I’ve already talked about that. Today she just confirmed what I already knew about her (and her sisters and brother). She has a very kind heart. Not everybody would have come alongside someone to offer the kind of patience, kindness and help that she did for someone we know today. But my kid did. Proud of you Hollie!

And lastly, right now this is one of my favorite songs on my running playlists for so many reasons.

I don’t always listen to Gangsta Rap when I run.