Friday, April 3, 2015

Walk Your Own Path

I sometimes worry about my posts making it look like I'm a horribly permissive parent. Ok, I don't lose any sleep over the thought, but just to be clear, I'm not.  We have rules and structure and punishments and rewards, just like any millions of other homes, with good parents, who are doing the best they can.   Some days look like a Pinteresty wet dream.  Other days go so badly, that I say f**k it, and let them watch the entire season 2 of Bubble Guppies, on repeat, in an attempt to keep my patience and sanity.

What complicates the issue is that 2 of my kids have sensory processing disorder and all 3 have speech issues. My world is full of homeschooling, running to speech and occupational therapy appointments, bringing them to ballet class and horseback riding lessons -which deal with their low core tone, and tactile and balance issues, balancing their sensory diet to make sure their sensory needs are met and trying to avoid meltdowns.

I stressed endlessly after their diagnoses.  Scoured the internet for hours upon hours intoxicated by my need for information. Read every book on the subject I could find.  Educated myself on sensory diets and pinned endless numbers of sensory activities and bins. Made myself sick with worry over it.

But sometime in this process, I took a chill pill, and a long and hard look at myself and The Firefighter. It dawned on me, that many of these quirks, that are labeled in our kids, we exhibit ourselves. They just got a double whammy of them through genetics. I thought back to my childhood and realized I could remember feeling many of the same impulses that our kids do.  If the sensory label had been around when we were kids, we probably would have been labeled too.

But we learned to deal with the feelings and we grew up to become normal (relatively), functioning, and productive members of society.  Aren't we all a little crazy on the inside?? So I threw the labels out the window and we are simply just the Horn Family. This is just how we roll.

With that shift in focus, the impulses( that were ruling the roost) became my muse, the source of all my funny stories, and my joy in life! No limits.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

How to put your kids to bed in 15 easy steps.

1. Starting at 6:00, watch the clock and swear it moves slower than molasses. 

2. At 6:05, check 3 other clocks to ensure that the one on the stove is indeed working.  

3. When the whines reach 100 decibels, discuss the rules of the bathtub. Talk about appropriate behavior. Warn of consequences. Look at the permablue spot on the ceiling and mutter menacingly to yourself while removing all soap, razors, shaving cream or shampoo from reach. Put kids in the tub. 

4. Record yourself saying, "water stays in the bathtub." Play it on repeat. 

5. Go grab extra towels. Put them on the floor where about 2/3 of the water has landed in the 30 seconds you were gone. Hey, at least you don't need to mop now. Pull the naked 2 year old off the window.  Tell the 6 year old to quit swinging on the curtain rod. Remind the 3 year old cannon balls aren't allowed.  Pick up the now empty shaving cream bottle and throw it away.  Sigh.  You can shave with soap.

6.  Drain the tub because it isn't a feather plucking wave pool. Check the clock. It's 6:15. Shit. Oh well. Early bedtime it is then.  

7. Give the kids their jammies and tell them to go brush their teeth. 

7. Go get another pair of jammies because those are "too scratchy".  

7. Get another pair of jammies because the last pair had "itchy feet". 

8. Cut the feet off of the jammies because you lost all f*cks 3 meltdowns ago.  

9. Watch them run around like maniacs.  Wish you could bottle that energy. Man, you'd be filthy rich. Tell them to brush their teeth. Again. Repeat, at least 10 more times, increasing in volume, until they do it. 

10.  Find toothpaste all over the mirror, yet not on toothbrushes.  Find hand soap on the toothbrushes. Find 2 year old wiping bubbles off her tongue. Assess whether or not you need to call poison control, which you have on speed dial.  Mentally drop the f-bomb while washing the soap off and sanitizing the toothbrushes. Tell them you will brush after they brush. Try not to get your finger bit. 

11. Chase the wild animals, you call your children, with detangler and attempt to brush their hair.  Hope the neighbors think the screaming is the coyotes that have been plaguing your area. 

12. Hug and kiss and tuck them into their beds.  Tell them you love them, they are good girls, they are smart and beautiful and how proud you are of them.  Don't forget to turn on dream machines, sprinkle fairy dust and give the exact same number of blowy kisses.  

13.  You gave one kiss too many. Shit. Shit. Shit. You're in for it tonight. Start all over because you broke the routine.  Visualize the enormous glass of wine you're going to drink. 

14.  Put kid who escaped back in bed.  Repeat every 30 seconds for the next 30 minutes.  

13.  Post up in the hallway between their rooms and alternate threatening and bribing them, for the love of chocolate cake, to stay in their &*&^^* $^^%&%^  beds for the next hour and a half.

14. Hallelujah!!  They are asleep.  It only took 2 hours tonight.  Drink the wine directly from the bottle.  

15.  Think about doing all the things you need to do, but don't do a single damn one for fear of waking the wee little beasties.  Attempt to watch a show you DVRed, but fall asleep before the first commercial break.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Talk

I never imagined it would be so hard to keep up on this blog, but damn, it's been a minute.  Sorry, y'all.

Miss Chatterbox's new found passion in life is horseback riding.  Being the supportive mom that I am, I was all, "Hell nah, child, we can't afford that. Just looking at the price makes my butt pucker." She was all, "Well fine, I'll go ask PopPop then." And I was all, "Good luck with that, Boo."

Guess who has riding lessons now?  Yup.  Grandpa's a sucker.  Thanks, Dad.

Miss Chatterbox has turned out to be quite the natural.  She's riding a horse named Sonny, who is old and slow, and apparently well endowed.  I have to admit, I envisioned a totally different scenario when it came time for The Talk.  I imagined her and I sitting on the sofa, chatting congenitally over coffee and bonding.  Thanks, Sonny for ruining that dream.  Or hallucination. Whatever.

After the riding portion of her lesson, yesterday, Miss Chatterbox and her trainer were taking all the tack off the horse and giving him a brush down.  Sonny chose this moment to get a pretty impressive

"Momma, what's that?"
"That's Sonny's boy parts.  It's called a penis."
"Penis?  That's a fun word to say. Look it goes in and out. What would happen if I squeeze it?"
"Please don't touch Sonny's penis. Really, don't touch any boys' penises. Ever."
"Really, why? They won't like it?"
"Oh no, its not that, they will probably like it too much.  We just don't walk up to boys and pull on their parts.  It's rude."

Sigh.  This kid.  I'm going to regret this exchange, I just know it.  Just like I regretted the caffeine drunk bee discussion.

I broke off this conversation to be continued at a later date.  Which if I had my way would be 30 years from now and include a chastity belt, but CPS frowns upon locking up your kids' vaginas.

So, I'm gonna do what I always do when I'm in doubt.  Buy a book about it and hope it never comes up again.  

Happy Hump Day!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Candy and Lies

I totally lied to my kids.  

After a week of Halloween candy induced tantrums and sugar explosions, my sanity absolutely required that the candy secretly migrate to the fire station.   

Not wanting to be the target of their red 40 dye fueled rage, I lied like a whore in church.  I told them Elf on the Shelf stole the candy and took it to the north pole to share with his friend Santa.   Because Santa is always so busy getting ready for Christmas, he never gets to go trick or treating and gee, wasn't that so nice of  Mr. Jolly McJinglebutt?  

That's right, folks, I wimped out.   I suppose I could have been honest and told them they lost their candy because they were acting like a pack of rabid, slobbering, howling hyenas, but I'm positive would have gone over like a turd in a punch bowl.  I'm pretty sure my ears would still be bleeding from all the whining and crying the truth would have caused.  And the only take away lesson would have been that mommy is a meanie.  Aintnomomgottimefordat. 

Do you want to know what the best part is?  It's that they bought the story, hook, line and sinker!  

I have created the best scapegoat EVER!  Can't find your purple and pink striped socks, and omg nothing else will do?  Oh, don't cry, darlin',  Mr. Jingleballs must of hidden it.  We will just have to wear the purple and blue striped socks today until he brings it back.  Can't find the markers you were hiding in your room and coloring your furniture with?  Darn that Mr. Jinglehoppersmit, he's a sneaky bastard.  

We look so innocent!
Here's to all the moms who tell little white lies to save their sanity!

Happy Friday, Friends!!  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What Happens when you Fat Shame Parents in Front of their Kids?

As a mother of 3 daughters, one of my primary goals is to instill a solid, healthy body image, with self esteem to spare, so they are prepared to do battle with a world determined to tear them down.

We don't watch any adult oriented TV while the kids are awake.   I don't bring magazines into the house that promote unhealthy stereotypes.  Of course, that pretty much limits us to Ranger Rick and Highlights, but admit it, we all secretly like solving the kids' puzzles!  We plan healthy menus together.  We go grocery shopping together.  We cook together.  We exercise together everyday.  We do not describe people by their bodily attributes - ever- and diet might as well be listed with the other four letter words. 

Every single night, I tell them they are beautiful inside and outside. That while they are very blessed to be extremely beautiful on the outside, the inside is more important.   I remind them to never forget that it's their actions and choices that define who they really are.  Always choose the good and the do the right thing, no matter how hard.  I tell them that Mommy loves them and nothing they ever do could change that.  Their daddy reiterates the same sentiments every chance he gets and shows them, through his own actions towards me, how they should expect to be treated by a man.  

We are not perfect parents.  We fail, spectacularly, at other parenting type things.  (Need proof? Look at just about any other article on this blog - lol. )   But this?  This we do right because it matters so much to us.  We believe you write on your child's soul with your words, and that you should choose them very carefully. 

So what happens when the fat shaming phenomenon is brought to your kids?  

My own self esteem and ego has taken a beating lately and Monday was particularly brutal.  I'm used to being categorically dismissed by doctors, regardless what I've been in for, because of my weight.  I have even been to a doctor with bronchitis like symptoms and was offered a prescription for an appetite suppressant, instead of an antibiotic.  Don't even get me started on being overweight and pregnant. I'd just about given up on the medical profession. 

Until recently, when I started seeing new doctor and he diagnosed me with hypothyroidism.  He said I'd probably had it for several years, if not longer.  I felt so vindicated and validated.  Finally, someone understood.  I started on new medicines, though he said it would take time to dose adjustments to get to the right spot, and felt like a new person.  Rather than gain weight, I lost it.   For the first time in years, I felt great and hopeful this albatross of weight around my waist would be gone forever.  The euphoria was short lived, however, and all the old symptoms came rushing back, but I wasn't too worried, since he said it would need time and adjustment.  When I followed up, instead of a dose adjustment, I was offered a large, strong dose of phentermine.  I was flabbergasted to be handed this, with my strong family history of heart attack, and previous experiences with this drug.  

Because, apparently, a skinny corpse has more value than a fat one. 

I needed some levity after all that disappointment, so I decided we would go to the fair.  Only to be told, loudly and publicly, that I was too fat to fit on the kiddie Ferris wheel ride with my child.  And to have to listen to my kid loudly repeat every word to my husband.  If that wasn't shaming enough, to then have my 5 year old stare at me, accusingly, and ask, "Why are you too fat, Mommy?"  

In one careless phrase, I was suddenly insufficient in her eyes.  Though it was only momentary, it was crushing just the same. 

I recovered as best I could.  I explained that I had an issue that made it so my fat didn't go away, easily, no matter how little I ate or how much I worked out,  but that it didn't make me any less important than anyone else.  It just meant that that ride wasn't meant for me.  My jiggly belly that got in the way of that belt, had grown her and her sisters.  My wide hips had been there home 9 months each, and I didn't regret any of that.  I wasn't ashamed of it, and she shouldn't be either. 

The topic has come up a couple of times in that last two days when she has seen other overweight people.   We have discussed it, focusing on health, hoping it will sink in, in the way I mean for it to. 

But this whole experience has been very thought provoking.  I'm not the type of fat that requires special belts on planes, or can't fit in a booth at a restaurant.  I wouldn't stand out to you in a crowd. I can run with a stroller, jump on the trampoline, and play with my kids without issue.  Yet, still I experience fat shaming regularly.   

Fat shaming is neither helpful to the individual or society.  A person who is fat, doesn't need to be told they are, like they haven't noticed, or like it's something they could forget.  Fat shaming can be dismissed as rudeness but I believe it's more than that.  In fact, I believe it's undermining the fabric of society.   Why is a person's value so tied up in what they look like?  Why is being fat the worst thing a person could be?   What happens when a child has "fat" parents and is constantly bombarded with ads, celebrities, opinions and "facts" telling them that their parents aren't enough.  They aren't worthy of their child's respect.   How does this affect the child in their own self esteem?  How does this belief, in the unworthiness of overweight people, undermine parental authority?  Look around.  I believe we are seeing the results of this attitude everywhere. 

In the US, we have the mentality that if you don't succeed, you simply didn't try hard enough or want it bad enough and it's all your fault.  We give no credit, at all, to how a little bit of luck, plays into things.  In this particular case, we are talking the genetic luck of not having thyroid disease or in having the good genetics to help you avoid it. 

How about instead of shaming the person, we get to the root cause of why 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and more than 12 million of them are undiagnosed. Could the cause be in our food supply?   Why are processed food so much cheaper than fresh?  Could all the hormones, preservatives and food colorings have something to do with it?  There must be more of reason for so many people to be affected.  

Most importantly, though, lets change the focus of our society from looks to actions.  What we do, matters so much more than what we look like.  Very few people go down in history for their looks.  The real legends are made by actions. 

Be legendary, my friends!  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Birthday Parties and Princesses

Miss Chatterbox has an obsession.  Her Birthday.

Which she has mentioned every single day, multiple times a day, in the 199 days since her last birthday.

She has planned it, made lists, made invitations,  and wrapped presents to give to herself and her guests.  And like the little princess she is, she has magnanimously invited every individual she has encountered over the last 199 days, with a gracious curtsey and proper grammar.

I am in awe of her steadfast, single minded determination to party like it's 1999.

But, y'all, I'm partied the heck out and it has nothing to do with the extracurricular activities of my twenties, youknowwhatI'msaying?

You see, I recently hit a Pinterestastic home run with The Bun's 3rd birthday party.  Which is saying something since I'm about as crafty this keyboard I'm typing on.  However, I recently had the pleasure of discovering how crafty The Firefighter is.  How he hid this delightful little tidbit from me for 12 years, I'm not quite sure.    He, however, was a little less pleased to discover the whole of Pinterest as his honey do list.  Or it could have been my off key rendition of the Pinky and the Brain theme song, I'm not really sure.

I'd smack dat a$$!
What is it with dudes and holey undies?  I mean, he acts horrified, like I'm drowning puppies or something, when I try to throw them out?!  Why is that such a man thing?  

Holey boxers aside, the sight of that hardworking man and I start hearing Guinuwine.  Mmmmmm Mmm Mmm,  no one should be surprised we have so many kids.  What was I talking about again?  

Oh right.  Parties. 

Holy Jeebus, the birthday monster I created!  Luckily for me, she wants almost exactly the same birthday party as her sister (score!),  though she would like to arrive on a glittered elephant named Sunny, real castles that are jumpy and more balloons.  There can never be enough balloons for Miss Chatterbox.   No basic bityches here, y'all.

So if I don't emerge from my bloggy slumber until this time next year,  you'll know why!

Happy Monday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mommy Martial Law (Pinterest Parenting Fail #2)

The excitement of the holiday season can bring smiles, laughter, joy and moments you want to remember forever.

The change in routine, however, can also turn your adorable little toddlers into screaming little dictators with a short man syndrome more contagious than yawing.

Holy snot buckets, y'all.  They may all 3 weigh less, combined, than my left boob, but when they gang up on you, it means war.  Okay, maybe not my left boob (sorry Thelma).  If my left boob weighed 80 lbs, it would  be dragging on the ground - OMG the visual - and that would be weird and people would notice. Andmyboobsaresymtricalthankyouverymuch.


After the tree debacle of 2012, I was determined that this year wouldn't be a repeat.  So, after perusing Pinterest for baby safe tree decorating ideas, I stocked up on soft and shatterproof ornaments, cool touch led lights, and ribbons to use instead of hooks.   Because Christmas is to be experienced, damn it!

This was the end result.
Eat your heart out, Martha

You see that broken curtain rod?  Yeah, that.  It came down, permanently, with the third (of 4 times total) time that itty bitty curly headed princess in the background yanked off yet another ornament.  There is a picture outfit hanging off the remaining piece of the rod holder thingy because The Firefighter likes to hang things off of every available hanging whatchamacallit he can find.  Except hangers, you know, in the closet. Because apparently that would be more effort than walking around the house looking spots to hang shit.

Ahem.  Anyways.

Not but moments after I snapped this handy dandy iPhone pic (maybe someday I will get a real camera -though I'm not holding my breathe seeing as how I'm married to broke ass fireman!), Miss Chatterbox took her new found scissor skills to the beaded garland to divide it up for her and her sisters to play with.

OMG.  While I appreciate the sharing sentiment and problem solving skills.... IwillnotraisebratsIwillnotraisebratsIwillnotraisebrats.

We are currently operating under Mommy Martial Law.  Their little hineys are wearing out the Timeout Mat because they are some stubborn little beans.  Though truthfully, they are mostly wearing me out.  Two days in and they are showing no signs of surrender!  These are the no fun, stinky, OMG-is-it-bedtime-yet moments of parenting, were you have to hold your ground, when it would be so much easier, and a few decibels quieter, to go with the whole "pick your battles" philosophy and ignore minor infractions.  But every now and then, they must be reminded that you are the parent, you are the boss, and they must listen to and respect you or it will completely suck for them.  

Oh yeah, and the idea floating around Pinterest that Mr. Jolly Jingle Butt (our daily renamed elf on the shelf) can help with discipline....Ha ha, yeah, not with the 4 and under crowd.  PSA, people, don't waste your time!!

I'm going to leave you with a very blurry picture of the Fireball Whiskey Firetruck from last nights parade.  It's like two parts of my life smushed into one!  Can you imagine the 911 calls if firetrucks delivered fireball?  Hello, hello operator, I have an emergency.  I'm too sober.  Send the fireball truck immediately!  

Happy Monday, Y'all!