Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Many of you know I recently made a foray into fitness. It lasted for a few weeks, as many of my forays do. Someday I really hope to be super inspiring as the person who does something great and finishes. But if that something great is fitness, I won't be done until I'm dead and your accolades will mean nothing to me then. Unless I fake my death, but I'm not going to do that. (wink)

The thing with me is, I am fairly weak at multi-tasking. I am always multi-tasking but that really just means I'm doing a crappy job on like 5 things and totally obsessing about 1 thing. So the thing right now is making some cash, some sweet moolah because everything costs money, even free things. I have acquired 3 or 4 part-time jobs working from home, and I like all of them, bonus. So fitness has taken a back seat, and by back seat, I mean it has fallen out of the truck bed several sharp turns back and will probably not be found until it comes limping down the driveway minus an ear.

So in the interim, I will share some fitness tips for the rest of us.

1. Get some fat jeans. The trick here is to obtain some jeans with some room up in the abdominal area, maybe even a maternity panel, but fairly fitted legs. Not skinny jeans, because having some junk in the trunk but little teeny ankles just makes you look like a bobblehead. Maybe slightly flared. Adjust the waist to your comfort level, above or below your "extra skin collection". You might feel a little winded after this one, make sure to drink some water, or Coke, and then cool down by sitting on the couch and surfing your Facebook.

1b. Rock that updo. Or fingernails or makeup or something. "Look how pretty her nails are!" they say, "She must be super skinny and fit!"

2. Count everything as cardio. "Walking to refrigerator" "Chewing and chewing and chewing" "Yelling at kids" "Thinking sarcastic things while driving" "Operating car" "Trying to find something to wear" "Crying on the floor in a chubby little fetal position". Looks to me like you have EARNED your 1200 calories. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Make your calories count. Eat delicious stuff. "I am worn out from all that cardio," you say, putting your waistband in the approved zone. "I need to protein up with some cheese! And maybe some milk and cookies, because I do not want to go into starvation mode." Good call. Starvation mode is the enemy. Also the enemy: hunger. You need calories to do more cardio, like going up the stairs to bed. Don't forget to stay hydrated with liquid things, like any kind of drinks.

Maybe with some ice water
4. Balance: if you eat something totes delish, then drink something nasty like water, because, balance. Or if you have a vegetable on your plate, like tater tots, then totally have that Coke, because, balance. If you have a diet drink, then everything else you eat doesn't count.  If you run on your treadmill for like 45 seconds and then walk for like 5 minutes and then remember that you have to stop because it's the worst, then you deserve a nice break and cool-off for a few hours. Balance.

5. Social media: if you do work out, the internet has to be notified or else it doesn't burn any calories at all. Extra calorie bonus points for posting a sweaty selfie from the gym or mapping your run. Likes= fatburning.

I'm here to help, guys.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When I think about my kids and jobs and money and everything, I just really want them to be amazing at whatever they love, so they don't have to do something else all the time so they can do what they love when they're supposed to be sleeping. I guess I should care about college and stuff, and maybe I will when they're older. Right now I just wish somebody else knew how to cook. I do have a chore chart in progress, and I am delighted about Toby's obvious cleaning skills and concerned about Brynn's total panic and breakdown any time she is faced with any chore. (That is going to earn her a very gripy husband, if my story is any kind of indicator) 

Toby writes Brynn's goal, because she is busy playing
They are not ambitious, my offspring. Brynn persists in saying she is never moving out. "I'll just get married and have babies and live at your house, Mom. Can I live with you forever, Mom?" and I say, "Of course you can," because they need more things to talk about in therapy someday. She has a strong desire to work at McDonald's and is sure that she will shock me someday by being my cashier and I will not have even known  that she had a job at McDonald's. So that's kind of like a goal. 

"When I grow up," Toby processes from the back seat, "I will be a bachelor. And I will have a lot of bachelor friends and they will come over and we will play video games." I catch his eye in the rearview mirror, knowing how potential this scenario might be. "Where will you live?" I ask. "Well." he thinks about it, "I could live with you, but in my own area... but I think I will get a house and share it with bachelors and we will have a long black couch and play video games. And if we run out of tater tots, I will just buy some more." Isn't that we all want, really? Just to be able to buy more tater tots whenever we want? 

I don't know, guys. I think it will probably all be okay, because I'm an optimist. Plus, Tristan is totally an athlete, so maybe he'll be able to finance us all someday, when we are all living in the same house with all our babies and cheeseburgers and bachelor friends. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

When you have an abnormal kid, normal kids always seem weird, with their normalness. Not that any kid is normal, per se. Most kids are weird. All of mine are, anyway. To quote a saying I read once, they don't get it from nobody strange. Apple. Tree. Those of you who are worrying about me saying normalness instead of normality and then using a double negative in the same paragraph, chill. I do what I want.

But when you've had a sick kid, you're always kinda looking squinty-eyed at the normal kid, being normal, just to make sure that they are just pretending to be a crazy and not, in fact, having a seizure. So anytime I get a phone call about a "normal" kid, I'm half waiting for the Bad News. Because, clearly, I am a woman of great faith. Today I got a call about my only daughter, and the Bad News was that she was very, very sad and wanted me. That's the kinda Bad News I like. Zero problem.

The thing with parenting is, I have no idea. I. Have. No. Idea. So every day, whenever it is Parenting Time, which is always, I try very hard to do the easiest thing that is also not terrible parenting. Terrible parenting is so variable, though, really, because I should get a medal for never punching a kid, but instead I am giving myself a Terrible Parent rating for a thousand other things that a methhead would consider overachieving. Do you see what I'm saying? The chart is bonkers.

So when my 6 year said she was too sad to stay at school, I was torn between telling her to quit being a nancy with all the starving children in the world and wars and climate crises and such, and the other part of me was totally back at 6 years old, spending the night at a friends house and waking up at midnight shattered and brokenhearted and crying until my dad picked me up with crazy hair and a scrunchy annoyed face. That side won, obviously. You should have seen me that time (with every kid) that I tried cry-it-out for like 2 minutes. Super Nanny would have slapped my face, or taken all of my stars off my chart or something. Taken away my white rocks, put my favorite toy in jail. Something.

Maybe I will read this blog someday when all of my children are career criminals or dentists or something and I will say, this is where I went wrong, I should have made them tougher. For now, though, I am mostly trying to communicate that I don't want them to be sad because I am here and I'm their mom, for goodness sake. So I gathered the other 2 and drove to the school where she was very cheerful to see me and to go home with her brothers, as long as she still got to eat her Lunchable. She came home for about a half hour, ate her snack and watched Barney and then decided that she wanted to go back to school. So I took her.

Because I have no idea. Maybe that will be the title of my parenting bestseller.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Most of you have followed our story and laughed and cried and PRAYED with us as R2 got very sick and then had a rapid recovery. I'm far from hyperspiritual, but this was definitely miraculous. The ministry we work for made a video testimony, and it's awesome so you should watch it.

Also, remember that the camera adds 10 pounds and makes you look super tired and it might make you blink kind of weird. Also see if you can spot the TEXAS REPRESENT. But mostly just listen to the story of the way God brought us through the valley of the shadow of death.

Friday, August 9, 2013

It's not like I want to install a hidden camera in my child's backpack or shirt or something. But now that I think about it, that is maybe the best idea I've ever had. I could make JILLIONS off all you hoverparents. I am not what you would call a hoverparent, because you can't be a hoverparent if there are multiple times a day when you don't exactly know where your children are. And when you find them eating popcorn from inside the couch, you let it go because hey, free snack!- then you lose any hoverparent credential. Still, now that they go to school, I am finding a desire to know what happens, because no one will ever tell me. 

It's not like this is a new phenomenon to me. Nobody ever tells me anything, except whenever I go out with my friends and they tell me episiotomy details, which no one ever wants, ever. My husband (of 17 years as of tomorrow) used to spend weeks traveling the country with his worship band and seeing all the sights and meeting people and then he'd come home and have 2 pictures of a squirrel and a thousand stories, deep, deep down inside that I will never know. He'll spend 2 hours on an urgent phone call and sum it up in 6 words. Captain Vague, I call him.

So they come by it honest. The thing is, I've had most of them sitting directly on my bladder, chewing gum in my ear, for their entire lives, and then just recently they've started having experiences without me and as far as I can tell, nothing ever happens. I drop them off at VBS or school and it's okay, they guess, but that's all I'm gonna get. "Did you make friends?" I ask, like some desperate mother of a teenage junkie on a Lifetime movie, "Did you learn anything? Did you eat your snack? Did you go to the bathroom? Was it fun? Was it scary? Did anybody say something mean to you? Did you talk to the ice cream man?" and so on, while they respond in single words and then get back to telling me about how Mario and Luigi are so different.

I roll with it. I can tell they are happy and learning and they tell me all kinds of stuff I don't care about but at least they're talking, and I'm okay. Until today, when they auditioned for a play and all of the sudden I feel like some kind of overtanned stage mom in a track suit with my child's name embroidered on it. "How did it go?" I ask, trying to not be super eager. "Did you sing? Was it fun? Did you say any lines? Did they say anything to you? Was it fun? How do you feel about it? Are you excited? Where are you going?" Captain Vague's children hold up admirably under the barrage. "It was good," they answer.

I'M GONNA BE ALL RIGHT, GUYS. I'm just going to need a minute, or an informant. Or some medication.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

"In the 22nd century," Toby tells me, "we will probably have time travel working. If I'm alive, I'm gonna go back to Year One. First I'm gonna watch creation happening, and then I'll tell Adam and Eve it's a trick."

"Wait," I say, just for clarification. "What's the trick?"

He looks at me with pity in his eyes, "The snake? The devil? It's a trick. I'll tell them and that'll change everything."

"Oh, right, that."

"But how should I tell them? And what will the devil say?"

Just another day of theological advice-giving to the future time-travelling resetter-of-mankind. I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

you're breaking all the rules

my parenting absolutes are in shambles
and as you climb into my bed for the fourth time tonight
I think
maybe you're the last baby

not because you're wild
and unrestrained
but just time and probability
maybe you're the last baby

and I'm letting you drink Coke
and I never let you cry
and my heart is knit to you
so unbearably tightly because
maybe you're the last baby

I don't make custom meals, I say
I don't reward tantrums
I'll never have a pet
As I sneak you a sandwich
because you don't like the food
and you cry till you get chips
and then feed the chips to the cat

last baby
you're rocking my world
I'm exhausted and out of ideas
and deeper in love than I ever knew

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's not like I go around all the time thinking how smart I am. I don't. Most of the time I am thinking about food. Like mashed potatoes, for example, or cheese enchiladas or glazed donuts from Shipley's in my hometown. Not all together, mind you. Well, it could work as some kind of 3 course deal. Food (rim shot) for thought.

That's usually it. Food, then other stuff. But I know I'm smart, because I can read good. Also, I got jokes. The point is, I don't think about it, I just navigate life at my own speed and I rarely run into obstacles with my mind, although I hit things with my car on a frequent basis. So not with my mind, until you start throwing numbers at me. Then everything gets all slo-mo and melty like an acid trip in a made-for-TV movie, and all of the sudden I'm brought low, just another casualty of taking some speed and racing the train, and you know how that goes. No carful of teens has ever outraced a train, in the history of acid and made-for-TV movies. Sometimes there's one survivor, but she will never be the same, so don't take acid, kids. MATH. That's what I'm talking about.

Today I was trying to do math for one of my jobs, which is working for my husband's nonprofit, and I think I simultaneously quit, got fired, and filed for divorce. It was not pretty. Because math. In high school, I was getting high A's in every subject and pretty much phoning it in so I could graduate and marry the Worst Boss Ever, except all of the math-related classes. In Geometry, I had to go to the Tiger Den, a nice quiet room with tutors and padded walls, so I could do my test without breaking down in tears. I came for extra tutoring at lunch and did every assignment and passed with a 70. Because math. 

If you don't have this problem, then you're probably like some people I know who live in my house, and you're probably all like, "Just take that hypotenuse and put it over that inverted fraction and then click enter," and I WILL QUIT YOUR COMPANY, TOO. Give me words.

The point is, math is the worst. If you like it, that's because you are one of the called who is required to understand it. I bet you can't spell. Can't we all just get along?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Well, the Best Summer Ever is over. Until next year, anyway. I dropped Toby and Brynn off at their school today and later I have to go register R2 for public school again, assuming I can find his immunization records. Seriously. Does anybody really expect me to keep shot records? He's 14. What is this, the Middle Ages? Do I carry around a rucksack with scrolls in it? Maybe I could just get his records tattooed on his arm, so I could just look totally nuts instead of slightly negligent. Nuts, but with shot records, booyah. (This might mark the first and last time I have ever used booyah on my blog)

(If this blog was a car, I would be all over the map. It would have to be some kind of ATV and I would just randomly drive it off cliffs and then try to reverse to my original point. No regrets, though, except maybe that booyah.)

So, Best Summer Ever. I think it went well. There were days and weeks when we did nothing but video games and movies, and by we, I mean them, but I think most of our weeks had genuinely interesting and fun outings. Ultimately, I feel like I soaked up these months and tried to make memories with my kids and it was worth all the nervous sweating and hair loss and vomiting. I'll probably be fine. Eventually. In the sweet by and by. 

So these 2 started 1st and 2nd grade today, in theory. In reality their school doesn't stick to a strict grade level system, which I love, but it makes them look confused when the cashier asks them what grade they're in and then my false guilt syndrome kicks in and I want to explain that they do go to school and we don't spend our days cooking meth in our basement, but something tells me that explaining that would do more harm than good and then I'd have to explain meth production to Toby, who would memorize it and then bring it up in random conversations with strangers and librarians, and there is just no way it would end well. "Look, mom!" he'd say loudly in the swanky Target, "Sudafed! Is that the kind used for methamphetamine production?"

You might remember that they just started school for the first time in January, when R2 was sick and I had to stop homeschooling, and I had emotional breakdowns and angst and guilt and everything, and I cried all the way home from their first drop-off. I was not emotional this year. In fact, I didn't walk in with them or anything. "Have a good life!" I might have yelled, as I peeled rubber out of the parking lot. I have a general sort-of ache about them growing away from me, but the ache is less as I celebrate every new phase. Well. Almost every phase. I'm not crazy about the new experimentation with sass-talk. It's just a brief experimentation, mind you, because I respond to sass-talk with Texas Justice, and Texas Justice has a way of curing sass, or at least pointing it in the right direction. 

So. That's a wrap. Time for the Best School Year Ever.

Bonus Momfinger Cameo!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hey, bloggerati! Watch this promo video for the MOG's new album. I'm gonna talk more about this when the album "drops", which is how people who make albums say when the tape comes out. When the "tape comes out" is how people over 50 talk about when the album drops. So I think we're all on the same page. Anyway, you're gonna want to know about this, and I am super proud of it. Stay tuned!

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