Tag Archives: motherhood

Parenting Quiz:

Is this NATURE OR NURTURE?

(IE: Does this something I would’ve said coming out of my children’s mouths?)

I picked up my 10 year old son from Wilderness Survival Camp.  (Someone in the family must be prepared for Zombies.)

Me: So how did it go?

Him: Well there was this one kid who was really bossy.  He took control and was so bossy.  I asked him if he was an only child.

My 6 year old son was telling a joke. My 8 yr old daughter was listening.

6 yr old: What do you ask a person hanging from a limb?

Kevin: How’s it hanging?

6 yr old: No.  How are you hanging there?

8 yr old: Uh-uh.

6 yr old: Uh-huh.

This goes on for a while until I say: Who cares:

8 yr old: He shouldn’t be telling that joke anyhow because it’s from a movie.

Me: So?

8 yr old: It could be copyrighted.

Hint: I proceeded to explain to her that often copyrighted things can be used for personal, at home use as long as no profit is made.

Out of the Comedy Groove

Lately I feel like I’ve gotten out of my comedy groove.  I’ve been treading water and although I learned to swim, I didn’t properly learn how to tread water.  It has something to do with moving your legs in different directions like egg beaters except that I don’t really use egg beaters unless I’m at my parents house and at home I just use a whisk and they don’t teach the ‘whisk’ way to tread water because you have two legs.

Let’s alter this metaphor.  I feel as though I’m up to my eyes in life.  Which also is technically not possible and I would come up with a better metaphor if I weren’t up to my eyeballs.

I had a week and I’m trying to bounce back and I can’t get enough air under me.  I can see the humor in it all but I can’t make it funny.  I feel like my squeaker is broken.

I threw 2 bday parties with over 13 kids each within 24 hours.   I had to do forensic accounting and find missing money (which sounds cool but is really depressing.).  An old friend decided to be ungracious, I woke up to be told I have skin cancer (minor, non-threatening, really just more of a pain kind) and then I got a migraine at the end of my triathlon.

There is TONS of material in here.  I mean all of this happened within a week.  And instead of it happening in 3’s, it happened in 6’s which just seems unfair and yet incredibly hilarious.  It’s unfortunate I didn’t get it in pictures.

I am definitely learning that no matter what happens in life, we can’t judge other people because they may have woken up and realized that every single kindergartener was in fact coming to the birthday party that night and they only had 12 squirt guns.  When faced with this type of pressure, a person is going to snap and it may happen while you’re watching.

So next time you find someone twitching while in line at Target, instead of passing judgement, pass them a Diet Coke.

(See?  I just don’t have it.  I think the migraine killed some brain cells.)
(I’m hoping the procedure to remove skin one layer at a time brings the funny back.)

Someone who does this to themselves should never lose their comedy groove.

Someone who does this to herself should never lose her comedy groove.

What to do if you’re a SAHM at a Conference

If you’ve ever been to a professional conference with your spouse and someone has asked you what you do and you’ve answered ‘stay at home mom,’ you’ve also experienced the glazed over look, the speaker staying for a polite 3-4 more sentences and then moving on.

I’m tired of people getting a glazed over look and leaving after a few polite sentences.  I want them to leave for more exciting reasons.  Or maybe just out of fear.
I’ve come up with a few alternatives:
If you aren’t at a Dental conference, tell people you are a dentist.  People will then ask about a tooth.  This may freak you out, but all you have to ask is, “Do you floss?”  The answer is always no and then you can tell them that there is nothing a dentist will ever be able to do for them again unless they regularly floss.

If you are at a Dental Conference, tell people you’re a lobbyist against fluoridated water.  People will still leave, but they’ll leave out of anger.

Another fun response: “I’m thinking of running for President.  Hillary Clinton was on the right track but she wore the wrong shoes.”  Then ask for a contribution.
OR
“I’m trying to become a dictator of a small country off the coast of Canada.”  Then ask for a contribution.

Another favorite:
Lean in and very quietly say, “I take care of people” and then wink.

I hope this helps.  If nothing else, it will make generally boring conferences at least a little more interesting.

Or you could tell people you're a stay at home mom of zombie children

Or you could tell people you’re a stay at home mom of zombie children

Disneyworld!

Great picture of the kids?

Great picture of the kids?

We went to Disney World last week.  This picture sums it up. I put it on Facebook so a lot of you may have seen it, but it’s still my favorite.

I’ve decided I may put a little too much energy into planning vacations.  Because they never go as planned and no one is every perfectly happy.  And even when your kids beg to go on a ride, they duck for the picture.

I studied for this trip for hours but not the right way, I think.  Disney World is an EXPERIENCE not a ride.  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot are also about shows and just being there.  We tried to run from ride to ride and we got in a lot of rides, but I wish we’d seen more shows and worried less about the rides.  There’s a life lesson in there.  Mickey would be proud.

The last night we were there, I told the kids we were staying for the fireworks at Magic Kingdom.  They’re at 10pm.  Our youngest 2 had been going to bed at 9pm (or earlier) and waking up at 7am.  We got to the park when it opened, took a two hour break in the afternoon and then headed back.

At 8:30pm my 5 yr old asked if it was time to go to bed.  At 9pm he asked again.  At 9:30 he asked once more.  I told him we were waiting for the fireworks.  He asked if they could light them now.

At 10, we started watching the fireworks.  During a pause, he asked if they could be over now.  After the fireworks, we had one more scavenger hunt map to complete before we became pirates.  I asked him to go with me.  We became pirates.  It wasn’t as big a deal as I was expecting.

I asked my 7 and 5 yr old to go on Pirates of the Caribbean one more time to celebrate our pirate-hood.  He fell asleep 2 minutes into the ride.

I took him home after this.  I can take a hint.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have two birthday parties, and a triathlon this week.  (One party was last night.  15 kindergarteners.  Fill in the blanks.) And laundry.  We’ll see if I’ve learned to enjoy the experience…

Carry On, Carry On

Today is a vent and gripe.  I feel as though that is sufficient warning.

2nd warning: this post is truly written from a married woman with small children’s point of view.  I can’t prove it, but I think it’s written this way because I’m a married woman with small children.  And I wrote it.
Recently I read a book in my book club where the author goes on a 3 month hike in order to overcome life challenges and “find herself” or something like that.  I have issues with books where the author has a life crisis, leaves everything and everyone and “finds themselves” while on an excursion in Europe or in the woods for an extended amount of time.
These books frustrate me because most of us can’t/won’t do this but still have life changing experiences we have to live through along with complex relationships with spouses and kids and friends and annoying neighbors.
I want a book where the author makes it through the day by blasting music in the laundry room; who sings Carry On at the top of her voice while driving to the school to volunteer; who gets in the car and wonders what would happen if they just kept driving, but doesn’t; who would give anything in the world to take a 3 month walk in the woods but instead gets up, makes her kids breakfast and lunch, figures out dinner and does everything she can to smile at everyone and not take out her angst on those around her.  At the end of the “leave everything books,” there is a sense of accomplishment: I did something amazing.  At the end of my book, there would be the fact that what the author did that’s amazing is get up every single day and do the same thing and know that she would keep doing it and find her sanity in the middle of THAT and have to keep finding it.  (But always suspecting that it is somewhere behind the dryer with the lost socks.)

Sometimes we can get a weekend away, but instead of preparing for our trip by getting a divorce, selling all of our possessions and buying a tent, we arrange frozen meals, babysitters, finish laundry, and leave activities for everyone involved all the while knowing that we will be coming back to exactly what we are leaving.
Is there a book like that out there?  Would anyone read it?  Is it written as fiction?  Does everything come together at the end for her or is it more honest and she admits that she knows once she gets through this stage of life, the next one will just have a different theme song…
In my lowly opinion, it takes real strength to stay sane while visiting the same dinosaur museum 3x a year for the last 10 years.
Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your attention.  Now if you don’t mind, I must go read up on the two hypotheses that explain Cretaceous extinction and try once again to learn the correct pronunciation of creatures that died THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO CAN WE JUST MOVE ON?

Today is about Laundry. (Isn’t it always?)

In the new house, my husband has decided to do his own laundry, which is great!
There is a problem though.
He isn’t always prompt when he does laundry so when I go to do laundry, stuff may be in the washer and dryer.
Now I am not prompt in doing the laundry either but that’s ok because I’m doing the laundry.  I do have a method, however.  It coincides with a good TV show on Hulu I can watch while folding,  and  me being in the mood to watch the show while folding.  That’s where scheduling gets tricky.  Generally the mood hits me when all the kids are home and I want to shut the door to the mudroom. I like the laundry room to be open when this happens.  And, alas, sometimes it is not.
BUT, being the diplomat and extremely grateful wife that I am, I’ve come up with a pretty fair solution, in my opinion.
Kevin needs to start using a laundromat.

This is an abstract photo of my laundry.  I may enter it into a photography contest

This is an abstract photo of my laundry. I may enter it into a photography contest

Thank Zeus and Apollo

Two weeks ago, I promised my daughter I would take her to OZ The Great and Powerful.  But then my son was exposed to whooping cough and due to the fact he slept with one blanket he woke up with a cough and the school nurse took his temp which was 99.3 and I went in to volunteer and went home with a kid which screwed up the week because I took him to get tested which then kicked in a school district policy and he stayed home the rest of the week.

But all my daughter knew was that I had PROMISED her and it didn’t happen.  The injustice of it all was really just too much to bare and had she been independently wealthy, I’m pretty sure she would’ve moved out.

I recently rectified the situation by taking my children to OZ The Great and Powerful.  It was fine, by the way.  But it taught me a lesson.  I’m never promising my children anything ever again.  Without a stipulation.  

The stipulation I have chosen is: as long as Zeus and Apollo agree.  This way I can get out of things that don’t quite work and teach my children Greek mythology (along with useless Magnum PI trivia.)

Because if I say I will do something, I generally can and do what I say.  But sometimes girl scouts, piano, swimming, cub scouts, homework, sleep, and bad teen television get in the way.  And I’ve been trying to do a cleanse.  Which means I’m in a bad mood and having a sugar withdrawal headache.  But none of these things seem to be good enough reasons.

Which is why the Gods invented Zeus and Apollo.

5_14_d_full

 

Cuz I’m a woman

I just found this post in my drafts.  I’m not sure if it had been posted and it takes longer to check than to just post again.

Lately, I have had a song stuck in my head and it is ticking me off. It is the song, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and make you never forget you are a man. Cuz I’m a woman.” I don’t want to bring home the bacon and I don’t want to fry it and I wish my man would be a woman sometimes.

I’m too busy fixing breakfast while packing lunch while finding shoes while making sure the correct papers are in the backpack. Or trying to figure out what my two year old is screaming about. Or figuring out where a smell is coming from. Or wondering if when my husband comes home and says, “hey, baby…” if the urine, feces, or disinfectant cleaner scents are what are attracting him because it is not the orange smelling lotion I put on in the morning because citrus is supposed to help with depression because that smell left the minute I left my bathroom and found my kids had taken 15 eggs and 6 hard boiled eggs and hair gel and made a “soup” in the plastic slide in the back yard. And then when my 2 year old starts to scream because he wants to eat eggs, I can’t seem to make him understand that he destroyed all of them. And then making dinner while putting the dishes away so you can put more in the dishwasher while quizzing tomorrow’s spelling test all while having to go the bathroom. This is my day Cuz I’m a woman….
(And I choose to be a stay at home mom!)

A Place of My Own

I’m back.  I took a week off from writing to devote to my kids because I had been feeling guilty about not spending quality time with my kids and I realized that a week with my kids may not be the answer.  The week in 75 degree weather was the answer to the fact that Montana is driving me insane.  I know that we are north but you would think being surrounded by mountains would cut down on some of the wind.

The solution to "Spring" in Montana

What I did figure out is that I need writing space.  A friend rents an office space downtown.  She splits it with someone else and it is a decent price.  Kevin said I could use his office but I have done this before and although he says he doesn’t use it, he does.  And I don’t feel creative while in the middle of a dental office.  It’s not a creative space.

He is building a new office and he said I could rent space there for cheap seeing as I will actually own the building but that will be in a year and the hope is that the building is rented out completely and I am not finishing a little room I can use which would hinder another renter from renting the space because it isn’t the right size.  The only way I get an office is if we rent out everything except for 500 square feet or something like that.

I want to rent a room downtown but the problem is that in June I will move out to a lake which is 20 minutes from town and I’m not sure my babysitter this summer will have a car.  I could write outside with very large headphones so my neighbors won’t talk to me and after a year day or two my kids may ignore me.  I could put a desk upstairs but that is the play room and the spare room has a bed and room for nothing else.  Of course the summer is only three months so I could still rent the space even though I don’t use it tons.

To be honest, the main reason I am building a new house is my office.  I need an office.  I need space to write so that when I am writing, I am writing and not writing in between refereeing who gets to play on my phone or whose turn it is to pick a movie so I can have an hour of writing time while feeling guilty that my children watch too much television.  So I need to be able to go somewhere so that when I am home I can be home and not resent my family for taking away my writing time and when I am writing not feel as though I am a horrible mother.  (That feeling may have nothing to do with writing, however.)  It’s as though I am never truly content which according to Ally McBeal means that I am always looking for something a little better which is what life is all about so I should really stop complaining about it.

But then what would I have to write about?

Where do you write?

A Slight Identity Crisis

My schtick is that I am a stay at home mom whose potential is not being fully realized by making sure my clothes are snuggly soft. I sort of just got a job as a freelance writer.  It is only sort of because I was given my first assignment and three hours later it was taken away with a promise of more, but with no timeline as to when that more would be.  I believe I will be working forty hours… a year.

But it leads to the question: Am I now a working mother?  I am working on a manuscript I hope sells millions and makes women all over the world highly unstable because they are addicted to it and thousands of websites are created dedicated to a pasty white Brit who plays the leading male.  Wait.  My leading male is a rancher.  Might be easier to just get Timothy Olyphant.  So am I not a stay at home mom now?  Am I a severely underpaid working mom?  Or a not paid at all working mom?  What if I am never published?  Am I a stay at home mom whose dream was never realized and therefore more pathetic than the stay at home moms whose main goal is snuggly soft clothes?  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but a better goal would be snuggly soft and stain-free.  I don’t have that goal.  I am an underachiever.

So I guess I am having an identity crisis.  I would really just like to be known as “Marianne, that redhead over there”.  Not “#1 and #2 and #3’s Mom”.  Not “Mrs. Dr. Kevin”.  Not “that lady in the blue minivan who sings Glee show-tunes really loud”.  (Hopefully soon it will be “that lady in a Honda Pilot who sings Glee show-tunes really loud”.)  Just Marianne.  Maybe Marianne Hansen, because no matter how long I am married, I believe I will always identify more with the name I have had since birth.  Tradition be dammed.

I think I have decided that my identity is still under construction and therefore I do not need to define myself.  Because really, it doesn’t matter.  Let’s face it: no matter what you call me, I will be making no money, while wearing stained, stiff clothing (who may have a slight addiction to BH 90210).

I have no idea who this is, so I thought it would work for an identity crisis. Maybe I should learn someones name before they apply make-up to my daughter...