Actual Things: Werk + The Auto Professor

Hi friends! I know it’s been a while and I’m sorry about that. About a month ago I got the opportunity to go back to work for the traffic engineering firm I worked for when I had Avery and it’s been a bumpy yet rewarding adventure for my new life as a non-preschooler Mommy while my girls are in school all day.

Actual things that have happened since I came back to a professional office environment:

  1. I came in one morning, put my lunch into the work fridge, then pointed my car keys at it and hit the lock button.
  2. Had it gently “brought to my attention” that someone anonymously complained to HR about the general volume and inflection of my normal speaking voice.
  3. Walked into the conference room mid-meeting, realized it was not the meeting I was supposed to be in, then silently pretended “getting an important email on my phone” so I could leave the room and go to my real meeting.
  4. Accidentally locked eyes with a coworker walking past my office while I was putting on deodorant. Then had to clarify that I was, in fact, putting on deodorant and didn’t just oddly have my hand halfway up my shirt.
  5. Tried to sit down in my office chair, but as I leaned into it the wheels started rolling backward resulting in a tricep dip position slow motion fall where I missed the edge and ended up on the floor under my desk.

Two of these five things literally happened today.

Speaking of traffic, I wanted to share with you guys a company I recently heard about called The Auto Professor, which gives car buyers safety ranking of their vehicles based on REAL-LIFE crash data. Obviously we want our loved ones to be as safe as possible, so check out TheAutoProfessor.com’s new Auto Grades® system. It allows people to search for vehicle safety grades not only by make, model, and year, but also by their age and gender.

Go look up your own car, it’s actually pretty fun and addictive!

 

 

 

Holding It Together: Getting Your Head Straight Without A Head Injury (Preferably)

Yesterday I had six staples removed from the back of my head. (I am going to spare you the gross “before” pictures but let me just say, getting them pried out was no picnic either.)

About a week and a half ago, I was scooting a chair out when I fell backwards onto my neighbors’ stone tile floor. Being one half of a military couple, my neighbor quickly got a first aid kit, applied pressure while keeping me calm, and then determined we’d better call an ambulance. You know how sometimes you don’t realize how bad you look until you see someone else’s expression when they see you? It was like that. I was like, well if this American hero and combat veteran is spooked, then I’m probably screwed.

Turns out it was just a very bloody laceration. (Remind me to tell you about my idea for a CT scanner that releases confetti on the way out if you’re not facing immediate certain death.) Nothing broken, no concussion, and the best part, they didn’t even have to shave my head.
Side note: you know you care about your hair a little too much when you start telling friends you had to get staples in your head and more than two follow up with, *well thank GOD they didn’t do anything to your hair! *wipes tear* You guys just know me so well.

So without getting into too many boring details, this was just one of several things that occured simultaneously, making me feel like I was caught in some sort of blood-soaked porta potty hurricanado.

I recently had a bunch of upgrades done on my kitchen and master bathroom (which I am overdue to share with you, I know, but I digress.) My tile guy has basically become a roommate over the last few months. He’s a very kind, very spiritual man who talks a lot about Jesus and his faith. He constantly testifies and generously gives random words of encouragement, which if I’m being honest, makes my cynical heart squirm a little. But the other day as I bent over to unload the dishwasher, with the searing pain of six staples holding my head together and my life seemingly falling down around me, I was startled by a bald man in a sweat-soaked t-shirt bounding through my kitchen with a handful of tile and the biggest grin in the world, enthusiastically shouting, “HEY! YOU’RE WORTH IT!” before disappearing up the stairs and out of sight.

And while it’s never “fun” to feel like you’re being tested, it can still prove rewarding. Somehow through injury and the various other drama that ensued, I remembered a very important thing; I like myself. I am grateful to be here. I have many things left in this lacerated head of mine to say. And I shall.

So I will leave you with this lesson today: Be they staples in your skull, or an evangelical bursting through your door shouting unsolicited praise, sometimes the things in life that make you uncomfortable at first are ultimately what help you heal.

Alternate Titles:
I Need Another Bad Day Like A Hole In My Head
Heavy Metal
Staples Of The Cross
Jesus Shaves Saves
Floorthumping (I get knocked down, but I get up again)

Actual Things: It’s the 90s

Mommy and Savvy Plaza Swan
Savvy (4) just came running upstairs from the playroom and said breathlessly: Mom! I have bad news. You know that Barbie from when you were a kid? We found her body.
Me *after taking a beat for dramatic emphasis: So you just burst into my office like this and blurt out that you found her body? No Kleenex? What if I had started hysterically crying from shock and grief?
Savvy *unfazed: Well are you mad?
Me *feigning reluctance: Well I don’t know…is there even a search underway?
Savvy *chewing gum: For the head?
Me: Her head.
Savvy *with the indifference of a DMV employee: Yeah, we can look. If we don’t find it we can put the old Ken doll head on her.
Me *resigned: I guess anything goes. It’s the 90s.
Savvy: Yeah, it’s the 90s.
 
She repeated “it’s the 90s” in solemn agreement, as if I had just said a universal thing people say like, “well that’s life.” Then she gave me a stern little nod, the way men acknowledge one another at the funeral of an elderly distant relative, and scampered off, leaving me mostly amused but slightly unsettled.
Now I’m wondering if she’s going to be on a date someday and the waiter will say,
“I’m sorry, Miss, but we’re out of the halibut, may I suggest the salmon?”
And she’ll shrug and say, “Sure, it’s the 90s.”
And her date will be like, “Wait, what?”
Her: “Y’know, it’s the 90s. Like, it’s whatever.”
Him: “That’s not a thing.”
For the record, “Hey, it’s the 90s” is a quote from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire which was released in the actual 1990s, and I do use it indiscriminately because I think it’s funny. But she doesn’t know that.
Oh well. When in Rome.

The Hootie Diaries: A #MomFail

My daughter’s preschool periodically sends home the class owl named “Hootie.” He comes with a notebook and instructions to please add photos and a journal entry about all of the fun he has with your family. Since my daughter is 4 and cannot read, write, or pick up pictures from Walgreens, Hootie, while a fun concept, is largely just a homework assignment for me and pressure to look like we are “having fun” and “doing things.”

The first time Savannah brought Hootie home, we lost him. For like a week. I eventually found him hidden under the couch with several dog toys. I was just grateful that he still had eyes. Most of Hootie’s journal entries are lovingly crafted recaps of family leisure time with pictures of smiling children taking Hootie to church or posing with a fishing pole at their grandpa’s pond. ‘Here we are sharing an organic banana milkshake after a long day of helping the homeless!’

Savannah ended up with this:

Continue reading

Actual Things: Sunday Morning

I didn’t sleep well last night. When I finally dozed off it was around 3am and I woke up at 6. After reading the entire internet, I gazed lovingly at my sleeping children and determined that I could absolutely not be in this house with them any longer. Luckily church is at 9am so I did what any good mother does on a Sunday morning; for half an hour, I nagged, threatened, and berated them until they were bathed, brushed, and appropriately dressed. And then again for another fifteen minutes while they found their shoes. And we were only like ten minutes late. Win.

I forgot to feed them though. It’s always something.

As we listened to the service, both daughters so lethargic they were draped across me, Savvy whispered, “Mommy, I’m so thirsty. I’m so, so thirsty. I feel like I’m in a desert.” And Avery added, “I’m literally starving.” (The irony was not lost on me.)

Fearing mutiny, I whispered back, “I know, I’m really sorry. Just tough it out and we’ll get donuts after this. You know why?…Because they’re holy.”

And Avery-my-stone-faced-six-year-old blinked once and calmly whispered, “Mommy, maybe you want to save your jokes for a more appropriate time.”

Fine.

Sunday Donuts

Take No Preschoolers

Savvy 1 month

This morning my four-year-old Savannah (pictured above when she was blisfully unable to make biting, hurtful remarks) asked me if she could have a “healthy breffast, with no sugar.” I happily agreed to make her some eggs. About two minutes into me cooking, she took one look at the eggs and said, “NOT LIKE THAT! OH MY GOSH I WANTED THE KIND THAT ARE ROUND AND YOU CRACK THEM!”

“I don’t have any hard-boiled eggs cooked though.”

“NO, YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND ME! YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO COOK THEM YOU GET THEM OUT OF THE ‘FRIGERATOR!”

“I do understand you, but I’m telling you that I have to cook those kind of eggs FIRST before you can get them out of the refrigerator.”

She then let out some sort of primal scream of frustration and flung herself onto the staircase crying, “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME IN THIS HOUSE! YOU DON’T EVEN LOVE ME!”

From his chair where he was enjoying his hot coffee and reading the news, my husband muttered, “Jesus, what is she, on her period?”

In this moment, I realized two things. 1. My husband is 100 percent going to infuriate my daughters when they are teenagers and I’m going to sit smugly in the corner with my hot coffee and watch him try to figure out what he said/did wrong. 2. My four year old is just a small version of me when I’m PMSing, hangry, drunk, or some combination therein.

We recently watched the Judd Apatow stand up special on Netflix and in talking about his wife and two daughters he hilariously said something to the effect of, “I don’t just live with three women. I live with three ages of the same woman.” So if that’s true, my husband is in for hell on heels.

Since Savannah’s been having these outbursts, I’ve been looking up a lot of parenting resources on discipline and how to curb anxiety in your children before it gets out of control. But probably the most useful article I came across is not a parenting article at all, but it should be. It’s called, Hostage Negotiation Techniques That Will Get You What You Want. It includes this chart and points out that the reason most people aren’t great negotiators is that they skip the first three steps and move straight to Influence, when the step that actually weakens someone’s defense the most, is actively listening while they talk.

hostage-negotiation-techniques

Via

So the moral of the story is Savannah ate Lucky Charms and I’m turning to the FBI for parenting tips.

Happy Friday, Y’all.

#MommyBombing

I got the idea for this post when I was volunteering at my daughter’s school and a fellow mom acquaintance dropped a snide comment on me that had me like,

The Audacity

Lucille Bluth

So I posted a call on my social media for what I’m referring to as “mommy-bombing” stories, meaning those verbal grenades lobbed by fellow parents during an otherwise friendly conversation that leave you like:

Excuse me what just happened

And you guys did not disappoint! So here, edited for brevity, is a gold mine of your experiences with Mommy-bombing:

Continue reading

Fox Mornings: 5 Cool Games You Haven’t Heard Of Yet (a must-read if you’re shopping for older kids)

IMG_3786

This morning I ventured over to Fox Mornings to show off holiday games/gift ideas, perfect for big family gatherings. If you’ve ever read any of my behind-the-scenes posts, it will not come as a surprise to you that I woke up at with searing pain in my throat and virtually non-existent air access in my sinuses. Continue reading

Self-Indulgent Birthday Post: “Jesus, it’s reckless!”

Tomorrow is my birthday. I love my birthday. I’m not overly sad about aging because my life has elements today that are so much greater than I ever imagined I deserved.

Baby Birthday

Again, I read the words I wrote last year at this time. What I hear in them is an honest confession, with a tiny gap in the slats to let in a ray of hope for improvement. Continue reading