Playground Rules

Do's and Don'ts of the Playground for Future Mommys

♪This used to be my playground. This used to be my childhood dream♪

Don't worry about swinging too high- Swing as high as you want. Don't listen to the other kids that try to keep you down by telling you you'll flip over the top. Swing as high and as fast as you want, and don't let anyone tell you can't do or be anything you want. And if you do flip over the top, maybe you'll be the first to do it.

Do pick the smallest kid last- when building a pyramid! You don't want the big kids on top, ouch! This is the first place you learn the importance of a solid foundation. A solid foundation is important for building a home, a relationship, friendships and even applying makeup.

Don't tease the nerdy boy- Be nice, not too nice, because your reputation is delicate, but just enough, so when that nerdy boy grows up to be the next software king he won't look at you and remember that you put glue in his hair, and not even give you the time of day!

Do laugh at yourself- Be silly, have fun, spin as fast as you can, and love every minute. This is the time you learn to enjoy life and share in the fun.

Don't just lay there- So, you fell down?! So what! Get up, tie your shoe, throw some dirt in your cuts, and run even faster. You will always fall down in life; sometimes physically and sometimes emotionally, but you have to get up and do something. Don't just lay there!

Do get dirty- Play in the dirt, pick up some bugs, and even chew on a piece of grass. Do it while you can get away with it. See, when you're a mommy, other mommys will look at you and judge you for being too dirty, and if they see you with bugs?! Watch out, you may never have play dates for your little ones again!

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Wordless Wednesday-Slipping through My Fingers

This week's Wordless (ful) Wednesday is all about Motherhood in honor of the upcoming Uma Thurman Movie. Check out more at Seven Clown Circus. But wait! Look at mine first!

I can't think of any song that better represents the feelings of motherhood, than Abba's Slipping Through My Fingers

♪I'm glad when I can share her laughter ♪

♪That funny little girl♪

♪Slipping through my fingers all the time, I try to capture every minute♪

♪The feeling in it♪

♪Slipping through my fingers all the time♪

♪Do I really see what's in her mind ♪

♪She keeps on growing

Slipping through my fingers all the time♪

Marriage is Not a Fairy Tale, It's Hard Work!

We grow up as little girls dreaming of fairy tales; the ♪knight in shining armor coming to your emotional rescue ♪(The Rolling Stones) the fairy tale wedding, and happily ever after...

But real life isn't like that.

In real life, your knight is sometimes dirty and sweaty, not always gentlemanly, and very rarely does he ride in to slay your dragon.

In real life, the perfect fairy tale wedding usually costs more than it's worth, and is often best done at the county clerk's office.

In real life, happily ever after is...hard work!

So, after 17 years together, we are "comfortable" (ugh, that sounds so bad.) Comfortable is not really bad at all. We rarely argue, though when we do?! Watch out! All that crazy jealousy is gone, so we can both enjoy friends of the opposite sex. Ok, not all gone, (just read Kill the Green Eyed Monster) but mostly. Now that the kids are older, we even enjoy going out with friends, and make time for date nights. So, "comfortable" is really, quite, good.

Early on, in our marriage, we were nowhere near "comfortable", and we often teetered on the edge of World War 3. In fact, at one point, we actually separated. In a terrible effort to convince myself, and somehow make it easier on him, I said the most regrettable words of my life, "I've never been in love with you." I followed this statement up with another no less painful, "I've cried enough tears for you."

If there has ever been a moment in my life that I could take back and do over, it would be this one. You see, I always loved hubby, and I always will, I just didn't know how to deal with the problems we were having, or the feelings I was feeling, and I thought the single lifestyle looked so much more exciting. So, I blamed all of our problems on us having been young, said he deserved someone better, and needed to experience all the things he didn't get to do, because he married, so young.

Lucky for me, he took me back, and we worked it out, but, I can never take back the hurt I caused because of my own selfish desires, and my unwillingness to tell him how I was really feeling. ♪I hurt myself today♪ (Johnny Cash)

Our healing process took years, and we had to work to keep our marriage together, and many times, I had to deal with the grudge he felt over things I had said, but every painful moment was worth the happiness we now share.

♪What we have will last forever, if we're strong enough to bend ♪ (Tanya Tucker)

Cleanin' Out My Closet

I threw my back out yesterday doing absolutely nothing exciting. I'd love to say it was a result of some heroic moment where I saved the world by chasing down some crazed shoe thief, or after an adventurous night with hubby, I was hurt while hanging upside down from the ceiling, but alas, it was just from getting dressed after a mild work out at the gym. Nothing exciting there, but it might make for a good anti-workout campaign.

So, a shot in the bum, some muscle relaxers, pain relievers, and I'm stuck at home. Normally, I'd be excited to not have to go to work, but since I can't really do anything; this sucks!

♪If you want to sing out, sing out♪ (Cat Stevens) I've always liked this song, so every time the My touch commercial comes on, I have to stop and watch. It's just so addictive, and as with any addiction bound things are bound to happen. I was moving my laptop from one side of the lounger to the other, when the commercial came on, and like an addictive fiend I turned my head to watch it, and next thing I know... my mouse was swimming in the container of ranch dressing! Yup every bit of my little mouse covered in white creamy dressing.

Tomorrow morning, is our yard sale. We've been piling stuff up all over the house for weeks preparing for this, and boy, is hubby excited about it! He loves getting rid of stuff, it's like a strange passion for him. With a crazed grin he moves things out to the "sell" pile like the Hannibal Lecter of Clutter, singing ♪I'm cleanin' out my closet♪ (Eminem)

It seems that anytime, we are having a yard sale there is never a shortage of people willing to give us stuff to sell. It's never some high priced item that will have people lining up around the block, either. It's always stuff that you risk hurting their feelings by telling them nobody wants it for free, let alone if they have to pay for it! It's not a consignment sale! It's a yard sale! And it's my yard sale, as in I'm trying to get rid of my own crap, not pile yours up on top of it! You really want to help me? Buy something! or send your friends to buy something!

So Saturday morning, think of me, as I drag my crippled self around and try to keep my husband from putting everything we own out in the front yard for the sake of cleaning up the clutter, while I push cheap meaningless crap on innocent passersby in hopes of getting them to pay a dime, and trying to hide my excitement that they were actually willing to give me a nickel.
♪They put in a nickel, and I sing a little song♪ (Melanie)

Writers Workshop: Mother, through it all I learned

So this week's writing prompts from Mama's Losin it are all about Mom.

Mom? Hmmm... where do I start to talk about Mom? Mom and I haven't always had the best of relationships. We don't do mother daughter things. I don't talk to her about my friends, or about my problems. She doesn't invite me out for coffee, or a movie. We don't just spend time together. It just doesn't happen. We kind of have an understanding that the less we talk, the better we are.

I'm the oldest of 4, and the only 1 from my dad. My sister is 7 years younger than me, my brother 7 years younger than her, and the youngest brother is 2 years younger than him. They are all the children of the brother of the man that my mom left my dad for. Keeping up? Yes, you read that right. My mother left my dad for one man, but she later had children with and married his brother. The marriage lasted 17 years, until my sister walked in on my mom and yet another man "Watching Jay Leno." That's what mom said they were doing, and I believe her because who doesn't watch Jay Leno naked with a strange man while her husband is out of town?!

Naturally, my sister told her dad, and again my mom was divorced, but that didn't last long, she quickly married the other guy, and after 10 years with him, is now plotting his murder.

So clearly, mom and relationships don't do so well. That doesn't mean she's a bad mom. Right?! Right! There are plenty of women who suck at relationships, but will choose their child over any man. My mom just isn't one of them. She just isn't the motherly type (although, she can put on a very good act when someone's looking.)

So, I won't be telling you about my fabulous birth, or how my name was selected with love and tenderness. I won't be doing a heartwarming interview with mom or be writing a poem in her honor.

I will, however, share with you what I have learned from my mom.

I have learned to tell your children your love them, every chance you get, even when you don't want something from them, because children need to know they are loved.

I have learned that children don't need to know all about your adult problems, or be your "little secret keeper." Let them be children and deal with your problems yourself.

I have learned not to accuse your children of being sluts, druggies, or thiefs, at any age, especially the tender age of 10 because it is human nature to become what we are accused of.

I have learned you can discipline your child without name calling, and violence. Noone should ever have to find out a knife isn't clean enough by having their mother clean it off on their arm.

Most importantly, I have learned that as a mother, you will make mistakes, and no matter how many mistakes you make your children will love you, even if they don't always like you. But as the mother, you must be responsible for your own actions, and do everything you can to protect you child, and sometimes you must sacrifice your own wants to do this.

In her own way, she taught me to be a good mom. Even if it was ass backwards and only because I've never wanted to be like her.

P.S. This is my first post without musical reference. Through music I am inspired, but when thinking of my mother, my world is silent. Over the years, I have gone through the songs of rage, I have certainly heard songs of tears for her, and though I will never hear songs of joy for mom, I do have a sense of peace and acceptance. So for her there is no music, only silence.

Tuesday Tribute- Fall Indulgence

Today, is Tribute Tuesday, so I'll pay tribute to my favorite fall indulgence: Halloween!

I love Halloween and everything that goes with it. The candy; chocolate, candy corn, bottle caps, caramels, all of it. ♪I want Candy♪ (The Strangeloves)

I still love Trick or Treating. It is so exciting to walk up to a door that you would never have a reason to knock on, on any other day. you say 3 little words and you walk away with a treat. What a great tradition! 1 year when the girls were young we went to a door with their light on, and the guy didn't know his light was on, had forgotten all about Halloween, (how do you forget about Halloween) and felt bad that he didn't have any candy. The girls looked up at them with their sweet little faces, and he asked "Do you like pudding?" "How about snack cakes?" We left with both, and the girls thought he was the "coolest!"

I love dressing up. The excitement of figuring out what you'll "be." Putting together the perfect costume, and especially doing so with minimal money spent! Of course, my kids don't appreciate the cheap costumes so much. They would much rather buy a pre-made costume then have Mom dress them in Dad's clothes, and say they're hobos or scarecrows! "but you'd look so cute" I say to a response of rolling eyes. Where's their imagination?!

Of course, I also love the Halloween sounds and music. Everything from screeching doors, to howling wolves, to The Monster Mash ♪He did the Mash, he did the Monster was a graveyard smash♪ (Bobby "Boris" Pickett)
(can't you just hear me singing in my best Dracula voice?)

So here's to you Halloween
for all you do
to make me scream
for smiling faces
all adorned
to pumpkins full
of candy corn
I love the creepy
scary sounds
the ghouls and goblins
all around
so here's to you
and all you do
you are a scream

Want to see more of today's Tuesday Tributes, check out Mayhem and Moxie

Zombie weekend- Ruined

For 3 or 4 years, now, Hubby has been wanting to go the Screamfest Horror convention in Orlando. Every year, we say we're gonna go, and then when the time comes, I always find something else to spend the money on, and promise Hubby we'll go next year. Well, this year, I kept my promise! and then I ruined everything!

We went over on Friday with our fabulous friends that we were sharing a room with. We checked in and prepared ourselves for the Zombie walk. That's right I walked around as a zombie! A couple hundred zombies of all types, (even zombie Shrek & Fiona joined in while chewing on pieces of donkey) walked down International Drive and to the convention center. It was incredibly hot, but a lot of fun. ♪Zombie, Zombie, Zombie♪ (The Cranberries)

Over the weekend, we did some horror memorabilia shopping, watched some movies at the Freak film Festival, took part in a makeup workshop with Bloody Mary, (my dear friend was kind enough to let me make her look like road rash, so much fun!) discovered some new music from the live bands, ♪Return of the Living Dead, Return Return retuuuuurn♪ (by Ghoultown: unique band out of Texas with a great sound, and amazing stage presence, although their CD doesn't do them justice :0( and most exciting for hubby; we met many, really cool people from various horror films.

See, hubby loves loves Scary movies, and he shares this love with #1. I'm more of a book girl, so for me the exciting part was the writing workshops with various authors including Lynne Hansen who writes young adult horror/historical fiction including a book about zombies in the Civil War. Cool, huh?! Scott Kenemore writes comical zombie books. He was on the panel for dealing with writers block, and I loved his personality. He was very honest, even speaking about his own narcissistic need to read about himself on the Internet. (Are you reading this, Scott?) He talked about how he deals with writers block, and how he saves ideas, and inspirations until he can use them. Like I said, great guy.

Hubby's big moment came when he got to meet and be choked by Kane Hodder, who played Jason the most times (and his opinion; the best portrayal) in the Friday the 13th movies. Do you hear it? ♪kikiki chchch♪ He also met, Bill Mosseley from House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects, & Repo, and George "The Animal" Steele; wrestling great and really nice guy.

For all these fun things we did, I took tons of pictures. All the special moments with celebrities, all our great costumes, all the silly times, Shannon Doherty all alone (because she thought she was worth twice as much as anybody else, really, what was she thinking?!) everything, if it happened, I took a picture!

So, where can you see these great pictures? Well, I don't know! For some reason, my brain has decided that I am no longer allowed to remember things of importance, so I set my uber super nice, nearly new, very expensive, camera on the floor, and left it there! Just walked away with out even a second thought! Didn't even think about it until I got back home hours later, and realized what I had done. Un-freaking-believable! What an idiot! ♪I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me♪ (Beck)

Of course! the hotel doesn't have it! and of course! they'll call if it shows up! Of course! Someone else is enjoying a really cool camera with 2 memory cards, a case and some fabulous pictures! All, because I can't remember the simplest little things! but ask me some useless fact or, song lyric, and I'm all over it! Absolutely Ridiculous!

As you can tell, I'm pretty upset about this, so I expected a little comfort from hubby. A little: "It's ok, we'll get a new camera" "no big deal, at least we have the memories" or "Babe, I know you didn't mean to leave it. I enjoyed our time together, and I love you so much nothing is more important who needs pictures with celebrities, anyway?!" (Ok, maybe that is a stretch too far, but you get my point.)
Instead, I got "Are you freakin Kidding Me?!" "How the hell do you forget a $1000 camera?!" I know, a normal reaction, after all, I was yelling at this point too. But still.
The next part is what really bothered me, his Facebook Status: " The best weekend ever, like a kid in a candy store........Ruined"

Ruined?! Really?! I mean I'm upset about it, and downright pissed at myself, and it totally sucks that we can't replace the pictures, and really really sucks that I saved forever for that camera, and I'll have to wait months to get a new one but ,Ruined?! WTF?!

We had a dang good time, and the memories are what matters! Right?! And now we'll just have to do it all again next year. Right?! This calls for a full reenactment of our fun crazy, zombie filled weekend! Only, this time, hubby can keep track of the camera, because I'll be lucky to remember to put clothes on! and no one wants to see naked cellulite zombie! ok, maybe someone does, but let it be some other naked cellulite girl!

Writers Workshop- When I look in the Mirror

Today, I'm playing along with the Writers Workshop at Mama's Losin' it. There are 4 prompts to choose from. If you want more info, head on over there, I'll wait.

When I look in the mirror... I see ♪One Hot Mama♪ (Trace Adkins) I couldn't help it, that's what popped in my head at this prompt, and really, I do! Most days.
Most days, I love to look at myself in the mirror. I'm curvy, I have vibrant, curly, red hair, dark brown eyes, and a tan! Yes, I am the rare breed of red heads that tan! This is a result of my Native American/ French/ Irish heritage. Quite the mix! I had a breast reduction earlier this year, so I love how my "new girls" are so round and perky, unlike the old ones (G's) that hung to my knees, (okay, maybe not that bad.) I am so happy with my decision to do this surgery, that I don't even mind the nasty scars it left behind. I can now where halter tops, tanks with built in bras, and I feel great! I am sexy, fun, and alive!
Then, there are those other days. Those days, when my nice, kind, mirror seems to be replaced by an evil piece of glass, reflecting an image, that magnifies every little flaw 10 times over. My scars suddenly appear larger and darker, My curly hair won't do anything but frizz, my tired eyes seem to carry around their own set of luggage, and even my favorite outfit can't seem to hide my bulging, sagging, tummy. Over and over, I fix and refix my hair. My rage rises in me, and the brush goes flying. I scream in anger while throwing the temper tantrum of a 2 yr old. My room shows the evidence of the number of times I have changed my clothes. Nothing I do, will make me feel better on these days, when what I really want to do is crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. I take deep breaths to control my anxiety, as my husband kindly urges me to hurry along; we are late. So, I drag myself out the door feeling like the fat bearded lady on display at the circus. I make it through the day feigning a confidence that I don't really have, in hopes, that no one else will see, what I see in the mirror. To the voices in my head, and the evil mirror, I silently sing ♪I am beautiful, no matter what they say♪ (Christina Aguilera)

And you know, it never fails, that on one of these days, my skinny friend will complain to me about how she needs to go on a diet because she's so fat! Really, skinny friend?! You are a size 4, I'm a Four-teen! Did your mirror go evil on you too?!

Wordful Wednesday- Change

I took these pictures last year on a trip back home to New Hampshire. As I was looking through them, (and missing the changing leaves of Autumn) I was reminded of a Blind Melon song "Change." It seemed an appropriate song for these pictures. To me the song is a great reminder that when you're down, you should change the way you are looking at things, and see the beauty of even our darkest days.

♪ I don't feel the suns comin out today
It's staying in, it's gonna find another way
As I sit here in this misery, I don't
think I'll ever see the sun from here♪

♪ When you feel your life aint worth living
You've got to stand up and
take a look around you♪
Check out 7 clown Circus for more Wordful Wednesday

She's Not 16 Going on 17

My oldest can now watch rated "R" movies, by herself, without me! Yes, yesterday, she turned 17! No more can I sing ♪you are 16 going on 17♪ Well, no more to her, but I'll sing it to #2 in a couple of years. They just love it when I change lyrics to meet my own needs (not really, they probably find it annoying, but, I do it anyway, after all, they, do things that annoy me, and I have the right to my own slightly evil amusement!)

So, her birthday was yesterday, we celebrated on Sunday with silly string, whip cream fights, presents, and chicken! #1 loves chicken! Yesterday was just a quiet night at home with her favorite Hamburger Helper; beef fried rice, (she loves the stuff,) and left over cake.

#1 loves 80's music (what can I say she's got good taste) so one of her gifts was Madonna's Greatest Hits, which was already blaring when I got home from work. ♪You must be my lucky star ♪ Now when we bought this for her, hubby questioned getting it because it doesn't have her favorite Madonna song, "Playground", on it. I said it's no big deal because she already has it on her MP3. Wouldn't you know it? that was one of the first things she pointed out! And, wouldn't you know? that her Daddy immediately pointed out how he noticed it?! And, how Mommy said it was ok?! (guess who's wrapped around her little finger?)

But, today's the day she's most excited for, the day she gets the best gift of all, that much awaited for gift, that every 17 yr old wants;
A shiny new...Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs DVD! (What'd you think it was? a car?! are you crazy?! She's still not driving on the main road (see Get out tha Way for a reminder) and I haven't figured out how to get my money tree to grow!)

Trust me, she really is excited about this gift. She has been talking about it since she found out it was being released from the vault over a month ago. Soon, we will hear endless tunes of ♪someday my prince will come♪ and, of course, ♪hi, ho, hi, ho, it's off to work we go♪ I wish she was singing this as she was on her way to a job of some sorts, but for now, she's focused on her grades. But, once she gets over her little driving fear, a job will not be far off, because the insurance company will want a lot lot lot of money, and they don't seem to care that my money tree won't grow!

So until it does: (grow, that is) ♪Hi, ho, hi , ho, it's off to work I go♪

Weekends Were Made for Fun, not Thursdays

I never did the whole party college thing, in fact, I went straight from high school to marriage & babies. Instead of late night parties, we had late night try to get the babies back to sleep so we can have a little adult time and possibly get some sleep ourselves. I have vivid memories of changing wet sheets, puked on clothes, & dirty diapers all while trying to hold on to that little spark we had going in the bedroom. "Honey, hold that thought, I'll be right there!" "Just another minute, don't fall asleep yet!"

Now that our girls are older, and able to change their own clothes & sheets, (I stopped buying them diapers years ago.) now that they can fend for themselves, we figure it's our chance to do some serious partying. Well, as much partying as you can do on a limited budget and unlimited responsibilities (so mostly, it's Friday/Saturday night things followed by Sunday "rest"day. ♪Look out Weekends, cuz here I come, because weekends were made for fun♪ (Debbie Deb)

Well, last night we were somehow talked into a Thursday night out. Weeknight partying is completely unheard of from us, (the midweek dinner and drinks don't count because we're still home long before bedtime) and I don't know how it happened, one minute we're hanging out at the tattoo shop, next minute we're at a local college bar for nickel beer night, (Mom disclaimer: Do not read this if you have children in college, it will only serve to give you nightmares of what your child is ingesting, although, I'm sure your kids are perfect angels, and do not participate in such shenanigans) watching a bunch of kids play beer pong with random strangers. (A drinking game in which, under the influence of alcohol, they somehow think that cleaning the ball off in a cup of water will magically clean the ball of any germs from the floor, table, un-sanitized hands, etc. before throwing it into a beer that will soon be swallowed by the "loser" and this same cup of water is used for multiple cleanings, but it's okay because the "alcohol kills everything?" So why the water? I don't know, but apparently; they haven't read about the rise in herpes due to shared beer pong balls)

Nothing like a college bar to get you in the partying spirit. By the end of the night, hubby had umpteen nameless shots, of who knows what, and one shot known as a "Vaporizer" that involved 151, Sambuca, fire, inhaling the vapors, and drinking a dish of "? and sour," and our friends were using a beer funnel! Me? I was getting crazy with numerous double tall water on the rocks! I may have been in the partying mood, but someone had to be sober enough to drive home so we could get up for work this morning.

We got home around 2:00. Hubby showered first, and went to bed exhausted, where he got to listen to me yelling to him from the shower in an effort to hold onto that spark "Honey, hold that thought, I'll be right there!" "Just another minute, don't fall asleep yet!" It seems diapers, and wet sheets have been replaced, by sheer fatigue. (there's still the occasional pukey clothes, but now at least, we're all responsible for our own.) ♪Let's get it on, ooh let's get it *screech, record scratch*♪

This morning, after a much needed 2 hours of sleep, I awoke to an inquisition:
#1 "Where'd you guys go last night?"
me: "to a bar"
#2"what did you do?"
me"just hung out"
#1 "who'd you go with?"
me "friends"
#1"what time did you get home?"
me "around 2"
#2 "why'd you go out on a Thursday?"
me *silence*
because I'm asking myself the same thing ♪Why baby why baby why baby why♪ (George Jones)

and where did they learn to ask all these questions?!