AccountExecTurnedMommy

long time account executive enters the motherhood workforce

Power to the Puppy

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It has been two years since I left the working world.  I have finally settled into a guilt free routine of managing my two kids without cramming in a million activities to make up for lost time. Of course, it would have probably taken a normal person two months rather than two years to acclimate to full time guiltless motherhood. So, now that I have mastered the stay at home parenting, I can’t just let things lie. I decided we desperately need a dog. Yes, the American dream of always striving for more.

In order to move forward with my dog idea, I needed to sell my family on how great it would be to have a dog. From our prior pet experience, I knew it was going to be difficult. I started to plead my case to my husband who only likes cats. After a lot of prodding and probably way too much desperate begging on my part, my husband could not be swayed. His closing arguments heavily emphasized dogs are messy, they lick your face, and they smell. Does he not realize we have two boys who could fit those anti-dog criteria? We may as well get the 8 year old a dog bowl as he can barely sit down at the table for meals, let alone master using a spoon for cereal.

My next challenge was the 5 year old. He must have had some scientology moment in the womb or immediately after birth as he won’t go near a dog. Of course, Grandma suffers from this same affliction so perhaps there is something in the gene pool that skipped me. I have been trying to coax him to pet dogs for the last couple of years, but it never goes the way I envision it. If we see a dog when we are taking a walk, the panic is immediate and he wants to cross the street. If I can get him to stay on the same side of the street, there is a lot of screaming and hiding. Last year on the way home from school, he actually jumped out of the moving wagon the kids were pulling as a dog ON A LEASH caught up to us. Yes, he was going to be a hard sell. He seemed to soften a bit after seeing some puppy pictures. If only I had stopped there. In my own excitement of prospective dog ownership, we stopped to play with the neighbor’s puppy. That sent him right back over the edge of hiding and screaming.

So now that I struck out twice, I figured the eight year old would be an easy sell. After seeing the same puppy pictures presented to the 5 year old, he was all over the idea of a family dog. He already started thinking of dog names which of course I acted as those would be real names we would consider. Now I am not a mean mother, I just could not wrap my arms around a dog named “Captain Underpants”. In my excitement, I actually believed we could become a dog family! Of course, I didn’t take into account that his vote won’t hold much weight at a family meeting. Let’s be honest, his lack of responsibility will outweigh any possible argument I can give about how much he will walk, feed, and take care of the dog. The child cannot remember his backpack, forgets to brush his teeth, and sometimes wears two pairs of underwear by mistake.

As I continued to build my case, I knew if I could just find a dog who was small, family friendly, and slightly resembled a cat, I may have a shot. I had no idea a puppy fitting this criteria would be so difficult. Anytime I thought I found my match, the puppy was already sold, hours away, or was on some over-breeded dog farm which is a polite term for puppy mill. While I do admit I have a slight tendency to over-think most things (how many years of crying before I left my job??), the pressure was really on find a dog that a 5 year old would not fear and a stubborn husband would love as much as a cat.

After several more months of over- analysis, puppy searches, and questioning friends, we finally found a puppy! I am pretty certain my closest friends were relieved I would have something new to obsess about. We are on a wait list for a hypo-allergenic doodle of some sort. Before you think I just jumped on the doodle trend, we actually knew someone that used the breeder, the dog was socialized in the home with young kids, and it was small, and well, cat-like. The puppy babies are coming soon, it is only a matter of time that I will have to start stressing about getting the house in order and how to raise a puppy!

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To Soap or not to Soap

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Recently I encountered a bad word day with my 7 year old.  He called his 4 year old brother an idiot. Although he probably heard his father using this word several times, I needed to ensure he did not repeat it again.  I decided to revert back to my own terrible childhood days of “foul language” and broke out a bar of soap.

Upon the full-fledged realization that this was indeed going to happen, he went into full tantrum mode and blamed Grandma since I was a victim of this same torture.  Once he was calm enough for me to insert the bar, we set the timer and tried to remain serious.  It was such an amusing scene seeing my 7 year old with a bar of soap perched between his two front teeth that I could not keep a straight face. Yes, this probably makes me a horrible mother.  I found myself quickly doing the dishes as I was laughing so hard in the sink I was crying.  This whole process lasted for a total of 15 seconds before I could not take it anymore.

Soap-free, he complained of the terrible Dove after-taste.  Filled with guilt for just subjecting my child to his own soaping days, I let him have his favorite dessert, ice-cream.  He gobbled it down to rid his mouth of the taste and I felt relieved the incident was behind us.  I had mixed feelings about the whole barbaric process. The questions were running through my mind.   Would this soap hazing really prevent him from calling his brother an idiot or some other choice word in the near future?   Did I accomplish what I wanted?  How would I contain my laugher better if there was a next time?  Did the soap now have teeth marks in it? As I pondered the idea of soaping him again, I got my answer.

About an hour after bedtime, I heard a small voice yelling my name. I ran upstairs to the 7 year Old’s room only to be greeted by the stench of vomit.  Oh yes, he had gotten me back.  There all over his bed was the ice-cream bar regurgitated with particles of Dove soap in the mix.  I could not believe my eyes and could barely breathe.  After cleaning up the mess with disgust, I decided there would be no soaping in my house.  Even if there was not any correlation from the soap incident to the vomit, I was not taking any chances.  He certainly showed me how he felt about soap!

A couple of weeks later, the “idiot” word re-surfaced. I panicked for a minute as I needed to find some suitable way for him to stop using this word.  This time he called me an “idiot” which as you can imagine really made me a bit angry.  After I calmed down from my initial fury, I went a step further than soap.  I had friends that had used this method with success and while I thought I would never be one of those mothers, it had to be a teachable moment.  I pulled out the Tabasco sauce. I started to have flashbacks to my girlfriend telling me she would keep it her glove box as a reminder every time her kids misbehaved.  I couldn’t do it, could I? Was this really any less barbaric than soap?    I don’t think my 7 year old calling me an idiot was going to provide any better opportunity to find out.  After a tiny dab in his mouth, it was way worse than the soaping incident.  This time I had no time to be amused as I had to cover my ears from the screaming.  It was a miracle the windows did not break or DCFS was at my door.  After a very long few seconds, he was calm and apologized for his words.

In conclusion, there will be no soap, sauces, spices, or castor oils of any sort inserted into my children’s mouth.  Of course, placing the tabasco sauce right next to his snacks in the pantry seems to be an effective reminder of his suffering. Perhaps, I will add some boxes of soap to this shelf as well.

Why I dread the pediatrician

doc visitMost people don’t look forward to seeing the doctor, but I don’t know any parent that looks forward to taking their child to the pediatrician. When you have two children that have a low pain tolerance, the pediatrician becomes one of those taboo places to take your children. Only a few establishments meet the qualifying criteria to expose your children to a more than once a year frequency schedule. Those would include Chuck-E Cheese, the McDonald’s playground, and the pediatrician.

My pediatrician visits top the list for exposure rankings. Not only does the germ factor cause a lot of anxiety for me, but as soon as the word is out that we are driving to the pediatrician, the boys start firing off the questions. “Will I get a shot?”, “Will they shove a cotton ball with a stick down my throat?”, “Am I getting a blood test today?”, “Will I have to climb up on the table”. No matter how I respond, my answers are never reassuring enough and the whining continues the entire twenty minute ride to the pediatrician. I have considered changing pediatricians just to find one in closer proximity, but the idea of starting over with another practice and building a relationship for my frightened children is too much to overcome.

Once we are at the pediatrician’s office, it only gets worse. Even when my 7-year-old son was 2, he could sniff out the doctor’s office like some sort of bloodhound. As soon as we entered the building, he would start the blood curling screams. I have tried to convince myself each year that he will get braver and stop screaming, but who am I kidding? It has been 7 years and not one inkling of improvement. My mother laughs at me every time I tell her we were at the doctor. She loves to relive how horrible I was at the doctor, how I passed out at blood tests, oh and the time I spit out some drinkable polio vaccine in the doctor’s face. While I have repressed these lovely memories, I know she is right. I still hate getting my blood drawn and I did have to lay down for each blood draw before I had children and was constantly stuck with a needle. I have apparently passed on this gene to my son. The 4-year-old is much braver, but considering the 7-year-old is his hero, it is horrible on days when they both need to go to the doctor. The 4-year-old turns into a miniature version of the 7-year-old so I wind up with two screaming boys that need to be held down. Honestly, pediatricians must wear ear-plugs to handle the screaming. I have considered investing in my own pair just for this occasion.

Our visit this past week was no exception. Our pediatrician loves the blood test. While I don’t disagree it is a great way to rule out anything serious, the trauma associated with that finger prick is never-ending. Once the 7-year-old realized he was getting a blood test, he begged, pleaded, and cried. When he realized there was no way out of it, he hid behind the scale until the nurse threatened that the doctor would have to hold him down if he didn’t come out. After he had to succumb to her warnings, he watched her prick his finger, screamed, and then ran from the room screaming down the hall. I wish I was exaggerating. Of course, the 4-year-old witnessed all of this so he was not so keen on getting his blood test. He did not hide or run, but he definitely screamed like a girl. Of course, we could not just stop there. The doctor thought we should verify the four-year old did not have the flu virus. The nurse proceeded to open a giant q-tip and said I needed to hold him down while they swabbed his nose. It was an extremely unpleasant experience even though it probably lasted 30 seconds. The four-year old screamed and kicked while I held down his knees. After it was over, I thought finally, we could relax. Wrong again. The four-year old was so upset from the giant Q-tip swab that he was still crying and coughing. He made a huge burping noise and I knew it was all over. My mother instinct took over as I quickly cupped my hand in front of his mouth where he threw up into my hand. There I sat on the table with a handful of vomit next to a crying, screaming child. I seriously wondered if I was going to start crying next. After scrubbing my hands with the doctor’s hand wash, I removed all traces of vomit.

There was of course nothing wrong with either of them and I left with some instructions about taking Tylenol and Motrin. After all the drama, they begged me for a doughnut on the way home and I obliged. I treated myself to a double chocolate glaze telling myself I deserved it. After the first bite of chocolate, I quickly forgot the screaming, crying, and even the vomit moment. It was worth every ounce of caloric fat.

“Worming” my way out of it

wormWe have recently been hit with some very heavy storms in the midwest.  The storms have brought flooding,  closed highways, and homes with sub-pumps no longer working. At my own house, the storm has brought  ridiculously muddy feet, soaking wet clothes, and an abundance of worms.

While raising 4 and 7-year-old boys has presented me with multiple challenges, none of them have involved worms.  I have played cars and Legos for endless hours,  dug for clams at the beach, endured attempts at pitching a baseball, and plunged an occasional toilet. While my boys are definitely not rough and tumble boys and are rather risk averse (I will be thankful for this in their teenage years), they are definitely curious.

Now as a mother, I probably would have been better suited for girls.  Although I am not a super girly girl, the only sport I excelled at was gymnastics.  All bugs terrify me  and I am definitely a wimp.  I know very little about sports and my interest is only peaked when alcohol or gambling is in the mix.  Thus, today was academy award acting when I feigned my interest in worms.

It all started after school when our driveway was covered in worms from the massive flood of rain.  Most of the worms had not survived the storm.  We stood outside looking at the many worm corpses, feeling confident they were harmless.  After I was convinced we could easily storm the puddles and  would find only dead worms, we gathered some “poking” sticks.

The 4-year-old who is in a phase of singing that he is princess was not at all interested in finding a live worm.  He jumped any time he stepped on a dead worm in fear that the “worm was going to kill him or crawl up his shoes”.  While I experienced some of those same irrational fears, I put on a brave front for the 7-year-old who was at least poking his stick in the mud.  Finally, we saw a live one inching along the ground.  While I understand worms are wonderful for all of our plants and their little poops are doing wonders for my flowers, this was the furthest from my mind as I watched the worm slink along.  The only thing I could focus on was how gross and slimy the worm was slinking along the cement.   The 7-year-old watched in fascination, creating all sort of stories about how the worm was searching for food and looking for his family.   It was great to see him all into it and I asked if he wanted to pick up the worm on his stick and bring him back to his home in the mud.  At that moment, he backed away from the worm, told me he was scared, and asked me to do it.  WHAT???  I  did not want to touch that slimy thing.  Perhaps, I am relying way too much on stereotypes, but aren’t boys supposed to love this stuff?  I did find out later that my children may be the exception to this stereotype after another mother had shared her boys were out in their camouflage gear collecting worms with their bare hands.

So there I was at a parenting crossroad. If  I didn’t pick up the worm, the 7-year-old may never get over his fear of worms.  However, as I was mulling this over in my head, I could not overcome my own irrational fears of the worm slinking off the stick and onto my hand, all sticky and gross. Finally, the parent in me won out and I picked up the worm, put a smile on my face, and attempted to bring it over to the mud. It kept sliding off the stick (perhaps I am not so irrational after all) and back on the ground, curling itself in any possible gross contorted position.  It was really only about 3 minutes of my life, but I felt certain I had hazed myself with this little exercise.   Could I now consider myself  a mother suited for boys?  My son was so excited to see the worm in the mud burrowing his way back into his “family home”.   I quickly washed my hands, hoping to forget the slinky slimy creature was ever that close to me.

While my hazing episode brought out a lot of great questions and even a book about worms, there is no way in hell I am going out there with scissors to see what happens when we cut the worm in half.  I will turn over that parenting to my better half.

Maxed out on Minecraft

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It started out as a typical afternoon with the 7-year-old. Once we returned home and the snow clothes were stripped off in a mad dash for a snack, we started our after school routine.  After chasing around the 4-year-old (apparently his way of letting off steam after school), we conquered homework, over indulged in sugary snacks, and finally, the coveted 30 minutes of screen time while I attempted to assemble something edible for dinner.  Considering my cooking abilities, “edible” was definitely reaching.

The 7-year-old has been obsessed with the video game Minecraft. For those of you not familiar with this video game, the players build homes and buildings and must use caveman like resources to furnish their homes.  This sounded like it contained historical and educational potential. There were even rumors that certain schools were including this game as part of their curriculum to challenge the mind (I am guessing this is only happening in Europe). I was excited. Finally, a game that did more than shoot birds across a platform.

My excitement was short-lived. Once he had been playing this game for a few weeks, the word “kill” kept coming up in conversation. I panicked a little as at age 7 “kill” should not be an active verb in his limited vocabulary . After a few of these discussions, I understood that the game requires killing things to gain resources. Thus, he was super excited he killed the sheep because now his bed he built had a nice cozy wool blanket. While this game has given my child a full understanding of where pork chops, steak, and chicken come from, the animals he had to maim to get this knowledge was a little too much for me to handle. Since it seemed to be the common thread of conversation among 7-year-old boys, we told him he could play it once a week to wean him off.  Why did I have a horrible feeling that weaning him off this game would be harder than weaning him off his thumb-sucking days?  While he was not happy, he thought it was the best deal he was going to get so he took it.

Since screen time over the weekend already included the full dosage of Minecraft and I had to hear all about it for the next 24 hours, I was relieved he was going to be playing some new  leprechaun game he downloaded. Everything was great until we sat down for a dinner a couple of hours later.

In the midst of all our school dinner conversation, Minecraft kept creeping in with some new twists. Odd, I thought, he has not played it, why the renewed obsession? Then it dawned on me, he broke the rules. Now, while I knew he was a master manipulator, bold face lying was an unchartered territory. When confronted, he held his head in shame and admitted it. I think he was pretty impressed with himself for almost getting away with it as he told me how he muted the volume so I could not hear it. Of course, at this moment, the four-year old pipes in and tells me he knew he was playing it the whole time. Where is the tattling when you need it?

After the brush with the bold face lie, we decided our only course of action was to delete all traces from Mindcraft from our lives.  We told him he could renew his love affair with Minecraft when he gets to his tween years. As a result, he keeps asking how many more months until his next birthday. While our recent video discussions have revolved around leprechauns , how to make candy pops, and surfing on a subway, at least he is no longer maiming animals and telling me all the things he killed over dinner.

While the words “bigger kids create bigger problems” keep ringing in my ears,  I am starting my denial early.   This little incident is no indication of the battles to come when he reaches his teenage years.

Why I am banning the family hike

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As we are vacationing in Scottsdale, we decided we needed to fit in with the hip fit culture and hike in the mountains. Living in the Midwest with snow on the ground, our physical activity was limited to the treadmill when motivated. Most days, I was too lazy for this kind of motivation.

As our judgement was clouded by actual sunshine, we decided it was a great idea for all of us to go hiking. At age 4 and 7, we rationalized they could handle a short hike on a mountain trail. We picked a path that was about a mile and a half long, thinking they could manage this with a few snack stopping points.

Everything started out great and we walked along pointing out cactus and mountain views. This lasted for about ten minutes until they were bored of the scenery and wanted to stop for a snack. It took us a long time to reach the one mile point as were not anticipating an unpaved path could provide so many distractions with gravel. Why, I had no idea of all the rocks we could stop and pick up on the way. While I am impressed the 7-year-old wants to start a crystal mine facility with his collection, I clearly had not envisioning carrying back an entire bag of rocks in our backpack.

After the mile mark and some snacks, we should have turned around. Rather, my husband decided it would be would enjoyable to take another more scenic path back. I am not quite sure why I didn’t question who it would be enjoyable for. While perhaps the same distance, the whining if “we were there yet” chant started after 5 minutes into the so-called scenery. Once we explained we would not be there for quite some time, the anxiety set in. Sometimes I wonder if there should be genetic testing for anxiety levels. If there was, we probably would have adopted our children.

For the next twenty minutes, we wound our way down rocky paths with the starting base no where in sight. The 7-year-old asked every two minutes if we were sure this was the right path, 100% convinced we were lost. The 4-year-old whined that he was so so hot. After he got tired of that, he complained his feet hurt. My husband tried to lighten the mood by pointing out rocks and zombies he saw on the path. The zombie ploy only increased the 7 year old’s panic. At one point we saw a cactus fallen over and the accompanying zombie story put him right over the edge. By the last stretch of road, I couldn’t wait to get off the mountain and back on shady flat paved ground.

When I am looking at new ways to explore family fun, please remind me to refer to this post. I think one irrational decision is enough to carry us through a family vacation.

Our pitiful Pinewood derby day

Derby carLast weekend was my 7 year old’s big Pinewood derby debut. For those of you not familiar with the Pinewood derby, fathers and sons (later I learned it was just the fathers) spend weeks bonding and building the perfect race car.

The preparation started in early January. First, we received a wooden car that we had to format for the fastest speed. My husband, who definitely does not get geeked up for these types of things, spent a lot of time on the internet searching how to build the best Pinewood derby car. He would give me updates every so often telling me all the fascinating Pinewood Derby tidbits he would find online.

Building the car is a lot more involved than the makers at the Pinewood Derby let on. It could easily qualify as hazing for all the new fathers in the tribe, especially if you are not mechanically inclined. Building, painting, and wheel adjustment is only phase 1 of father and son bonding. In our case, it was more like if father and son spend any more time together working on this car, the father may lose his mind. Once phase 2 started where the car had to be weighed for race eligibility, I glimpsed moments when I thought we would not make it to the actual derby race. Did the creator of the Pinewood derby actually have a life on the outside? The building process also required multiple trips to Hobby Lobby for wheels, axles, lube for the wheels, and any other tiny parts available for a wooden toy car . I was starting to get envious, not because of their bonding over shopping, but because I wanted to spend that much money at Hobby Lobby. After Hobby Lobby was exhausted, there was multiple post office drive bys to weigh the car before they decided it was Pinewood Derby ready. My husband was pretty proud of his work and all the time he spent at Hobby Lobby, the post office, and of course on Pinewood derby secrets to fast cars websites.

We all went to the derby to show our support and cheer on the car. As soon as we arrived, I knew we were screwed. Our hand painted car was the only one not shellacked, waxed, buffed, or gleaming. I think my son may have been the only one who actually painted his own car. These cars looked professional, I started to wonder if there was an underground pinewood derby shop building these cars. While I certainly did not expect our car to be one of the best ones, I was not prepared for cars painted like sharks with real teeth, dual pinstripes, and Mario from Mario Kart built into a car as a driver. Should the Pinewood Derby really have been named “Pinewood pissing derby”??

After getting over my initial shock, I thought to myself, well so what if his car doesn’t look cool, all that time on the internet researching car weight should give us a really competitive edge. Oh how I would eat those words.

When it was time for the races, we all sat down. The track just looked like an oversized hotwheels car race track. Please, all this craziness for some home-made cars to slide down that thing? Then it happened. The chief of the tribe came out in full Nascar attire. He dimmed the lights, got out a microphone, and started announcing drivers. Each car would get a lane and would be timed for miles per hour once it crossed the finish line on the track. I started to sweat.

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My son’s car was in the first race. It stood out, unshellacked with a hand painted 7 on the top. No driver, no shark teeth, and no aero-dynamics in the mix. The starter gun sounded. They were off and all cruising down the track. We started shouting and jumping until everyone’s car crossed the finish line…. well all except one. There stood our sad little green car, not having enough wind to cross the track. I knew it was humiliating for my husband, but the 7-year-old took it even harder and burst into tears. At first, my husband tried to blame the race car lane as the cause of the stop short. After two more races, a lot of hysterical crying, and someone hand pushing it past the finish line at the end of each race, he finally said he may not have adequately lubed the wheels.

After the winners of all the races, semi-finals, and nationals, the 6 fastest cars were chosen all clocked at speeds at over 200 miles per hour. I think our car finished at 60 miles per hour once it was hand pushed over the finish line. There was of course a full trophy ceremony. Because it is the generation where everyone gets a prize, all the racers took home a trophy, even our pathetic green number 7. My son no longer cared that his car wasn’t “race-worthy”, he was beaming that he won a real gold trophy.

Next year we are hiring an engineer to build our car.

Haircut from Hell

Yesterday I made the mistake of taking the boys to the local salon for a haircut. I decided it was time to break away from the overpriced kids haircut place that we had been coerced into since that very first haircut. The 7-year-old who was never a big fan of haircuts was not happy with this news. Although he was too big to squeeze into the largest jeep car at the last haircut, he would rather sit in a metal jeep with his legs up to his ears for the chance to play a video game with scissors to his head. While I thought I could ease him into the haircut with his Ipod as a compromise, he blew any chance for screen time when I caught him carrying his brother sideways and almost cracking a rib.

After we arrived at the salon, the 4-year-old went first. He sat on a big red cushion and had a huge smile on his face. He didn’t have any screen and was perfectly content. Wow, this may work out after all. The 7-year-old kept himself busy spinning on the chairs, pretending to put his head under the dryer, and pumping up and down the spare chairs. After about ten minutes of spinning and realizing the dryers were not so fun while turned off, boredom set in. I couldn’t go back on my no screen time promise so I spent the next twenty minutes hearing him complaining and whining and occasionally regaining interest  in spinning on the chairs. Now I know why the kid place haircuts are over in ten minutes. The two stylists, the one poor customer, and me were desperately looking for a booze cart to be wheeled out of the back room by the time the 4-year-old haircut was over. Finally, I thought, one down and one to go. Wrong again.

The stylist thought the 7-year-old needed a real shampoo and not just a spray down after seeing his curls and all the knots. This sounded great to me until the 4-year-old got hysterical that he had not qualified for a real shampoo. He launched into a ten minute tantrum where I seriously wanted to crawl into a hole. The stylist finally caved (probably because her head was going to explode) and said he could have a shampoo after she finished. This satisfied him and the crying magically stopped.

Since this was the first time the 7-year-old was getting cut without a screen, I knew it would be bad, but nothing could prepare me for the next 30 minutes of my life. There was a lot of yelling, not keeping his head still, insults to the stylist how this was the worse haircut of his life, and how I was a horrible mother for making him come here.

By the time the haircut was over, I wanted to run out of there, but we still had the 4-year-old shampoo. Fine, perhaps we could end on a good note and redeem ourselves. The 4-year-old sat back in the chair, acting all grown up, and again a smile from ear to ear. The stylist warned him to not sit up as the water would spill everywhere if he did. He agreed, still all smiles. After a good 60 seconds of happiness, it was all over. The water was too hot, he started screaming, then he sat up, water spilled everywhere and his clothes were drenched. I am not sure why the stylist did not give him a towel, but imagine in her flustered and beaten down state of mind, she was not thinking about anything but how quickly she could get us the hell out of there.

After the  full body blow dry and a huge tip, we left there. I came home and had a well deserved glass of wine and reluctantly told my husband we would be going back to KidSnips.

My short lived affair with the goldfish

This past weekend was our school fun fair.  The 7-year-old was adamant he was going to win a fish.  At the fun fair last year, I diverted attention from the fish and convinced him how great it would be to get a wallet instead of a fish.  I knew I was screwed, how many wallets does a kid need?

I am really not a big fan of the goldfish. I was traumatized when I won a goldfish as a teen.  I took the fish home with the assumption it would not live a week.  The fish lived for three years.  While it may appear that goldfish are the easiest pets to care for, this is a  total fallacy.  First, if you don’t clean the water every few days, the bowl smells and eventually your whole teenage bedroom stinks. Second, the idea of putting the fish in a net made me so squeamish that my dad had to assist with all the cleanings.  As a teenager, I didn’t want to clean my bedroom, let alone a disgusting fish tank every week. The fishbowl cleaning required two bathrooms, a tank cleaning brush, and about 30 minutes of my time.  I was certainly not interested in having a repeat experience of this ordeal with my husband.

So as you can see, I was not so fond of rekindling my fish relationship. When my son won not only one fish, but two, the anxiety set in.  I covered well and brought the fish home while praying they would not make it past their current plastic bag digs.  My husband went to the pet store to pick up a new home for the two fish while the boys thought of names for their new pets.  Upon his return, I learned that you should never send your husband to the pet store for you, especially if you have pms.  My husband came home with fish food, water conditioner, a net, and a giant rectangular glass fish tank.  As I looked in disbelief, I couldn’t even get the words out.  How we would even find two tiny goldfish in a gigantic tank?  And was he planning on displaying this fish tank in his man cave?  Because I was clearly not going to have a gigantic rectangle on my counter. While he tried to tell me the guy at the pet store said the bowl would get too dirty for two fish, the pms had taken over.  Did he buy a filter and a scuba diver for the tank too?

Once it was decided there was no way in hell we were using the fish tank, I pulled out a vase.  Well at least it was a glass vase.  As my husband (in his angry state that we were not using his “manquariam”) attempted to squeeze the fish through the neck of the vase, the plastic fish bag tipped over and water spilled everywhere. I was already squeamish as soon I saw the net, now I was in full panic mode thinking the fish were going to be flailing about on the floor at any second.

After scrubbing down the kitchen floor, the boys were excited to watch the fish swim around.   We did warn them about their limited life span, but they were positive their fish were far too superior to succumb to the typical carnival death. Both fish miraculously made it through the night.  The kids woke up at 6 am to confirm and beelined for our bedroom,  jumping up and down on the bed to share this exciting tidbit.

By 3 pm, the 4-year-old’s fish was floating at the top.  I knew he would be upset, but was not anticipating hysterical crying for the next 30 minutes.  Between comforting him and the pms, I was cursing the fun fair under my breath.  As a mother, pivotal moments like this one can make you do desperate things.  I was ready to hop in the car at that very second for a pet store replacement fish.  My husband talked me down from the ledge.  He apparently can remain rational in these moments, reminding me that the next fish may die and we will repeat this exact same moment in about three days from now.  So we said some nice words to the fish we knew for a full 26 hours and then flushed him. The 4-year-old wanted to do the honors.  20 minutes later he was laughing on the phone with grandma about his dead fish flushed to the ocean.

The second fish continues to swim around in the vase.  If he makes it for a week, we may splurge on a standard size fishbowl. I still cannot bring myself to accept the manquarium.  I don’t know how we are going to get out of the fun fair fish next year, but I have 12 months to come up with a really good excuse. There has been enough fish drama in the last twelve hours to last a lifetime.

A proud Liebster moment

I was recently nominated for my first Liebster award! It has taken me some time to accept my nomination as the news pushed me into a Hollywood frenzy. As soon as I saw I was a nominee, I called my stylist and started demanding what dresses I would be wearing when I accepted. After speaking with my stylist and my agent, I quickly booked myself a plane ticket to the most well-known detox cleanse spa where all the stars flock. If I was going to be on any type of nominee platform, I would need to cleanse out all the fake food I have been eating for the last fifteen years. In fact, I have not been able to post for the last few days because once the cleanse spa saw what they were up against, I was sequestered. Now that I am cleansed, five pounds lighter, on a liquid diet, and have the fabulous dress designed (don’t worry, I learned my lesson seeing Anne Hathaway’s dress), I can now resume my normal posting activity. Of course, writing always make me hungry…..

I received my nomination from Sarah Schmermund. If you have not checked out Sarah’s blog, you should. I am not just hyping up her blog because she nominated me (although very thankful and appreciative), but her blog gives great marital therapy while you can sit at your desk eating fake food. The first post that caught my attention was titled “WOULD YOU MARRY YOU”? Umm frankly, probably not. I know I have gotten away from my nominee speech, but if you want to feel better about marrying yourself as well, her blog is http://blog.sarahschmermund.com

For those of you not familiar with the Liebster award, it is said that the Liebster Blog Award started in Germany and is used to highlight smaller blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are as follows: Post 11 facts about yourself. Answer the questions posed by your nominator. Pass the award on to 11 new recipients. Pose 11 new questions to your bloggers. While it is my understanding the rules are flexible and continue to change, I may be penalized for not verifying the 200 follower count. After all my Hollywood prep work, I hope this can be overlooked.

Sarah’s Questions for Me (and My Answers):

  1. 1. What is one thing you are better at than anyone else in your family? Obsessing. I could easily win if there is an award for this.
  2. 2. Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup. This always causes a marital rift at any baseball game when I refuse to get mustard on my dog.
  3. 3. What did you get into trouble for the most when you were young? How young? In childhood, I was in trouble any time I hung out with my best friend. In the teen years, it was for raiding my parents bar and refilling the missing alcohol with water. Didn’t all teens do this?
  4. 4. If you were a radio dj, what type/genre of music would you play? I am embarrassed to admit, but 80s music all day every day.
  5. 5. What would be the name of your radio show (i.e. Saxophones at Sunrise with Sarah (dibs!))? “Come out of the closet and get your 80’s on”
  6. 6. If you were limited to imparting only one piece of wisdom to your children, but it was guaranteed to stick, what would you choose to teach them? “Treat people how you want to be treated”. This is especially effective when they are beating the crap out of one another.
  7. Does size matter? Yes if it has anything to do with chocolate
  8. 8. What is your least favorite things about being a parent? Multiple attempts at getting on snow pants.
  9. What is your love language? Quality time, it must be working as I am loving my life so much more after quitting my stressed out job.
  10. What would be a really good flavor for toothpaste? Chocolate, can you see the pattern here?
  11. If you could shop for free at one store which one would you choose? Target. If you read my blog, you will know I live and breathe that store.

I nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award. Thanks to each of you for inspiring me, as well as introducing me to so many talented writers each and every day.

1. http://sterlingisme.wordpress.com

2. http://playingyourhandright.wordpress.com

3. http://kuuleilani.wordpress.com

4. http://charlieandpearl.wordpress.com

5. http://thanefurrows.com

6. http://suchisheaven.wordpress.com

7. http://aeclecticlife.wordpress.com

8. http://ssbits.wordpress.com

9. http://words4jp.wordpress.com

10. http://igamemom.com

11. http://shareenayoub.wordpress.com

Questions for my nominees (don’t judge my lack of creativity, you are pretty drained after a cleanse).

1. What is your anxiety level on a daily basis (trying to make myself feel better here)

2. Coffee or tea

3. What motivates you to write your blog

3. Mac or PC

4. Mini-van, SUV, or none of the above

5. Favorite TV show, current or all time

6. Least favorite parenting moment (this was one of my favorite so I am repeating)

7. What is one thing fear is preventing you from doing? (I encourage all answers as it took me two years to leave my job)

8. Night owl or early riser

9. What do you like to cook? If you don’t cook, what do you like to order?

10: Best vacation spot

11: Favorite quote you live by

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