The Mom Olympics

There is a lot of competition between us moms. Am I caring enough? Do I speak in sweet enough tones to my children? Do I discipline the “right” way? Do I never EVER put convenience above hygiene or general cleanliness? Am I making activities educational enough? Oh, that other kid knows his ABCs at 18 months, should mine too? The list is endless. Add snarky looks from other moms who OBVIOUSLY do it better than me and other moms who could OBVIOUSLY learn so much from me and my mommy-skillz and my self-esteem is always tip-toeing on the wall between the confidence of Kanye West and George-Michael Bluth.

My vote is that we stop this arbitrary and objective competition and hold one that matters for realsies and can actually be scored (preferably by someone holding big white signs with numbers 1-10 on them).

Enter the Mom Olympics.

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We will have general areas of expertise with sub-events in each area. This is an Olympic year, after all. Let’s get in gear, Mama.

Hygiene

  •  Nail-cutting: Momletes would be judged on speed, overall precision, and ability to hold toddler still during event without clipping skin or using “scary mom voice.”
  • Diaper-changing: Momletes will be given a toddler with a dirty diaper who has been fed 3 pixie sticks and shown a light-up toy that is just out of reach and then evaluated on swiftness, ability to keep diaper pad clean, and least number of wet wipes used.
  • Bath-time: Momletes will be given two children ages two years apart to fully bathe while being scored on memory of and cleaning of all parts and crevices, creativity with bath toys, lack of actual or perceived soap-in-eyes, and least amount of body splashed.

Bedtime

  • Bedtime Story: Momletes will be judged on use of theatrical character voices, maintaining control of situation with tired, banshee children, and resistance to urge to suddenly shut the book mid-story and say “the end.”
  • Bedtime Ninja Crawl: Momletes will be given an only somewhat sleepy child and tasked with putting said child to bed, only to be asked by child to “lay down for a minute.” Momletes will then have to wait until child is asleep and then do her best stealthy escape without waking child up with movement, sound, light from outside of room, or annoying 6th sense of child.
  • Post-Bedtime Victory Dance: Momletes will be allowed to include a partner for this event, and will be scored on enthusiasm, overall choreography, creative inclusion of partner, with bonus points given if dance is continued all the way to the place where wine is kept.

Sickness

  • Nose-Sucking: Momletes will be evaluated on ability to hold down child while keeping his/her hands from swiping the bulb mid-suck and completing actual snot-extraction with only her two arms, and also instinctual knowledge of whether there is more gunk in child’s sinuses, paired with decision of whether or not it is worth it to retrieve said gunk or just call it a freaking day.
  • Comforting: Momletes  will be judged on use of soothing tones, creative use of unnecessary medical items (ie: bandaids) as a placebo effect to trick child, and resistance of using the phrase “suck it up” with over-dramatic children.
  • Immune System: Momletes will be scored on dodging of sneezes, coughs, and throw-up, remembering to take Vitamin C tablets (even though science has told us that this mostly does not work), and of course, sheer internal will to not get sick.

Communication and Media

  • Listening: Momletes will be paired with a 7-year-old who had an interesting day at school and then have to listen to the child turn a simple story into a 30-minute saga while being judged on head nodding, tracking sounds that make her seem interested, resistance to checking time or letting mind wander, and performance on detailed quiz at the end.
  • Deciphering Cries: Momletes will be played a series of cries, screams, and tantrums and tasked with deciding whether each one is a result of child letting go of a balloon or of breaking an actual bone.
  • Instagram: Momletes will be paired with a toddler who couldn’t care less about being photographed and then scored on ability to use creative lighting, difficult positions, and non-cooperative child to create the best photo shoot with the wittiest caption.

Being in Public

  • Grocery Store: Momletes will be given 3 children and an extensive shopping list and then evaluated on tantrum policing, control of situation on cereal and snack aisles, and will-power to not abandon cart and carry all children football-style to car.
  • Other Children: Momletes will be paired with a child in dire need of a nap and placed in a dentist office waiting room with badly behaved children whose mother is at the point of waving a white flag and doing nothing to control them. Momletes will then be judged on ability keep child from also turning into a monster and resistance to crazy-eyes.
  • Mall-Escape: Momletes will be placed in a crowded shopping mall and paired with a child who has been told “no” multiple times when he or she requested to purchase wildly unnecessary items. Momletes will then be scored on attempts to keep child’s spirits up, followed by ability to stop child from laying down in the middle of the mall while throwing a tantrum, and finally, discretion on best timing to airlift child and take situation to restroom or vehicle.

Playtime

  • Park: Momletes will be tasked with taking a child to the park and evaluated on ability to push child on swing with vague “correct” speed and height, coming up with new and convincing reasons why she cannot play tag beyond a quick 3-minute stint, and knowledge of when to put down phone and look attentive to child for the sake of other, judgy moms.
  • Arts and Crafts: Momletes will be given multiple children with varying personalities and tasked with casting their hands, putting together a gingerbread house, and supervising them playing with a bead set. Momletes will be judged on ability to pep-talk herself before activity begins, willingness to throw structure, order, and instructions out the window, and coming out of event without crazy-eyes or more than one child punished.
  • Make-Believe: Momletes will be scored on correct portrayal of character they barely remember from some children’s show, enthusiasm while being stabbed by fake sword, shot by fake gun, or otherwise slayed as a dragon, and ability to expertly repeat mildly decipherable line of dialog fed to her by child.

The award system will be tiered with:

Gold: Night in a hotel to yourself

Silver: Drinking an entire beverage while it is still hot

Bronze: Getting to pee alone

I really feel like this should be a thing. Can we get on this? 

What events am I missing? Lay ’em on me!

Love, Alex

What I HAVE Been Doing.

So I told you about what I have not been doing, which was being a good friend, keeping my appointments, and generally being a responsible human being. I thought I’d take a moment to share what i have been up to…in photo form. Now I am not a photographer. I leave that monkey business up to my amazing husband. These are all taken with my iPhone, and although I did try to edit them, I promise, they can only come out so well. So enjoy my photo journey!

We spent A LOT of time at Circle of life Hospice, which is wonderful, by the way. The staff was super nice and took really great care of my grandmother and all of us. We had to break up the heavy atmosphere with some humor sometimes, though. One night, Bryan had stayed home to edit some photos so Sierra decided to bombard him with selfies FROM MY PHONE. These gems are just 2 of the many pictures she gifted him.

I should pause to tell you a little about their relationship. Even though Bryan is not blood related to her, they act more like brother and sister than any of us combined. There are a myriad of hilarious stories I could share, like the one where she kicked him out of the tea shop where she works for touching things and offering to help customers. Or the one where I was telling Bryan’s dad about their feud in front of both of them. Donald turned to Sierra and says “You don’t like Bryan?” Sierra shrugged and with narrowed eyes and pursed lips said “Mmm, I like him fine…” Donald was at a loss for words. The rest of us laughed uncontrollably.

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Isn’t he adorable? Baby pictures available upon request.

 

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Y’all…Those lemon ones though.

 

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A glimpse into my future I suppose?

I helped organize a Moms’ Night Out for our church’s women’s ministry. My awesome brother up there hooked us up with free Andy’s with his new management powers. (And He’s single, ladies. And going to med school next fall. Submit all applications my email for my sister and me to review.) We had ladies make cupcakes to share and let me tell you…Best decision ever. I love to cook, but since I lack “following recipe” talents, baking is not my forte. I love anytime I get to enjoy yummy homemade cupcakes.

We went to our community group for the first time in what feels like forever. Such a cleansing experience to be around friends, share food, and feel the love when going through hard times. The CG host home, Casa del Horner, contains this crazy child who loves Bryan. His dad is an avid shark fan, so Bryan is still working to get Adler on Team Bear. Adler can put his paws up and growl now! Sorry for the underwear shot Becca…let’s just be glad is wasn’t his nightly “Nakey Time.”

I took photos of Phoebe being Phoebe, which is always entertaining. On the left, she had weasled her way under Bryan’s blanket, where she slept soundly on his stomach. He was unable to move for hours for fear of disturbing her highness’ slumber. On the right, she was looking at me perturbed because I was choosing to spend my time throwing the ball for her sister instead of holding and petting her, which is of course my actual job. I’m thinking of making Daily Phoebe Photo a thing for this blog. Thoughts?

I helped my parents move, and caught this winner of my goofy dad with all of his pairs of glasses on his person. I swear to you this was not staged, he was actually wearing them all like this because he found them moving and didn’t want to lose them again. I love him.

Because I am about to retire from the professional workforce, I figure there is only limited time to take my husband out for dates. On dates we usually do what I want to do, because my husband is super super sweet, so I decided to return the favor and take him our for some Chick-Fil-A (I offered PF Changs-his favorite-but he chose this instead) and Transformers. In this giant bucket of movie popcorn and the coke not pictured lies my happiness. Oh, and Transformers was pretty good too.

Lastly, because I just can’t take waiting any longer, I went to a friend’s charity garage sale and bought Lil Fitt a couple of gender neutral onesies. We feel that it is our duty to raise this child to be a correct sports fan. AKA The Razorbacks (amen), the Cowboys (amen), and the Mavericks (amen). Train a child up in the way that s/he should go…

That goofy guy pictured above stamped his approval on this outfit as well. We are a family of Arkansas/Texas sports fans.

And that’s all! As you can see, I haven’t been up to much, but I am trying be social and a good friend again.

 

Love,

Alex

The Daily Fav Day 26: Having the Music Taste of a Middle-Aged White Guy

When we were younger, we were not allowed to listen to the horrors that are Brittney Spears, NSYNC, and the Spice Girls. Somehow, though, the musical stylings of Rush, Journey, and Styx were totally allowed and encouraged.

Like I’ve said before, my dad is a huge music guy. We were raised listening to this stuff and developing an appreciation for the classics. I saw Styx and REO Speedwagon in concert when I was like 13, and I liked it. My dad and I have a tradition to go to a music festival every Memorial Day, and the year we started it was because the B52s were going to be there. For Fathers Day 2010, my brother and I gave my dad Rush tickets and went to see it with him.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some current music, even pop sometimes. I just have a better appreciation for music when it’s seen through the lens of The Who, Prince, and The Cure. I’m not going to lie, this gives me a lot of pride and full-of-myself-ness. I love being able to “talk tunes” with people who see me as someone who should be listening to Beyonce and Ke$ha. And I do listen to them some, but I’d much rather smugly brag on my Classic Rock knowledge.

Lastly, fun game: Find someone who likes the band Van Halen and tell them that they are hair metal. Watch them flip out and laugh your head off! I know from experience that this will not end well for you but will ensure laughs. THANKS DAD!