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

Party Like It’s “1985” (<–Sarcasm)

So my mom turned a certain significant age this summer. An age which she would kill me if I revealed. It doesn’t hurt that she looks all of 35, so she lets people think she was a teenager when she had me which I think is hilarious.

I mean really. I pray to the good Lord that I inherited those genes.

I mean really. I pray to the good Lord that I inherited those genes.

So of course we wanted to celebrate this occasion with a big party, but because we’ve moved so much, her closest friends live all over the country. Meaning that if we were to have a big party, like 4 of her girls would be there. Sad Face.

So instead, I, my dad, and my sister planned a big birthday girls’ weekend to Dallas!

Y'all. My friend Raven is a super talented graphic designer. She did all of our wedding stuff, Bryan's business cards, and tons more for us! She doesn't have a name for her freelance business yet, but I will totally hook you up!

Y’all. My friend Raven is a super talented graphic designer. She did all of our wedding stuff, Bryan’s business cards, and tons more for us! She doesn’t have a name for her freelance business yet, but I will totally hook you up!

My mom, sister, and I drove down together, which was really fun, even if we were extremely late and had to meet everyone at the restaurant instead of the hotel and change and fix makeup and hair in/outside of the car in a parking garage. Aaah memories.

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Notice the two boxes of Joe Joes cookies back there. That’s called roadtrip pregaming.

After getting high off perfume and hairspray fumes in the car, it actually ended up being a really fun fist night. We went to Shops at Legacy in Plano and had dinner at Benihana with the 3 of us, my Mimi, and my mom’s friends Leslie and Alicia, all of whom stayed with us the whole weekend! After dinner we walked around the corner to Paciugo, a gelato bar, where my friend Charlotte and her sister met us for dessert.

My mom felt super classy taking her pregnant daughter and her underage daughter into the bar area while we waited for our table. The weekend just got better from there.

My mom felt super classy taking her pregnant daughter and her underage daughter into the bar area while we waited for our table. The weekend just got better from there.

My Mimi decorated the hotel room to surprise my mom when we got back. It was beautiful and girly, just like my mom likes. This is weird because if you met her you would not think she’d be into girly things, but she loves her some pink and purple and flowers.

This was on the hotel room door greeting us.

This was on the hotel room door greeting us.

Fresh flowers from Mimi and candy from me.

Fresh flowers from Mimi and candy from me.

More fun balloons!

More fun balloons!

Our first night back, we had a slumber party in our PJs. We watched Father of the Bride 2 (the baby one!) and had the candy pictured above and popcorn in the most adorable popcorn buckets ever.

How cute and perfect are these?!

How cute and perfect are these?!

 

This was taken Saturday morning. We did our best party girl impression and left everything a mess like this all night. I made Midori Sours for everyone complete with cherries and fun silly straws and cocktail glasses.

This was taken Saturday morning. We did our best party girl impression and left everything a mess like this all night. I made Midori Sours for everyone complete with cherries and fun silly straws and cocktail glasses.

I also put these fun swizzle sticks in there! Confession: these are leftover from our wedding. My friend Erin taught me how to make them so you know I can't take full credit for a craft. But they are super fun and probably easy to make for the non craft-challenged people.

I also put these fun swizzle sticks in there! Confession: these are leftover from our wedding. My friend Erin taught me how to make them so you know I can’t take full credit for a craft. But they are super fun and probably easy to make for the non craft-challenged people.

So on Saturday we went to the Galleria and shopped for a bit. Keep in mind that none of us live in Dallas, so trying to navigate anywhere was like trying to herd around a bunch of cats. We also went to the Grapevine Mills Mall close to our hotel which ended in me driving by myself in Dallas for the first time. I give all the credit to Siri.

Saturday night we went to my mom’s favorite restaurant in Dallas, Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe. This is where the big birthday party happened. Charlotte came again, along with my friend Arden and her new baby girl Cambrie. I’ll give you one guess how the rest of the night went with a bunch of women and a newborn.

friends

I made her wear these things, which she LOVED. She loves for all the attention to be on her, you can ask her. I also got her that fancy goblet and made her carry it around everywhere. I'm hoping I'm still in her will.

I made her wear these things, which she LOVED. She loves for all the attention to be on her, you can ask her. I also got her that fancy goblet and made her carry it around everywhere. I’m hoping I’m still in her will.

So before I continue, I need to pause and tell you that last weekend I was down in Dallas for a podcast conference that Bryan attended. Since I had some downtime while he was there, Charlotte helped me do some recon work for fun location for the girls weekend. My mom wanted to sit and have drinks on a patio somewhere after the birthday dinner Saturday night, so we found a fun, themed place called the Truckyard. We went to a few other places too that were really crowded and loud, so when the Truckyard was quiet, had an eclectic age group, and a really laid back vibe to it, I knew it was perfect.

Fast-forward to Saturday night after Razzoo’s when we got there. What Charlotte and I didn’t know was that it was move-in week for SMU and UTD, which were both right by this place. It was packed with college students and they were carding. This would have been a problem since my sister is 16, but the bouncer was feeling flirty apparently, and when she marched up to him in her party dress and braces and asked how old you had to be to get in (This is never a suspicious question right?), someone assured him that she wouldn’t be drinking and he just let her in. Our back-up argument was that she was with her mother and grandmother, but apparently all the guy needed was an assurance from a stranger that she would obey the law. Thankfully, she was planning on it anyway.

The ladies in our group were not feeling the college vibe, however, so we left and went back to the hotel to hang out and eat more candy.

Sunday morning some people had to go home, but the rest of us went to Klyde Warren Park and had brunch at the food trucks. The food was OMG SO GOOD. Plus, they had a truck that made custom ice cream sandwiches, y’all. SO. GOOD.

food trucks

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It was a great weekend and I’m happy that so many people were able to come out and celebrate my awesome mom’s birthday. I’m kind of a fan of hers if you couldn’t tell. We even let her sleep on the way home instead of blasting music she doesn’t like. That’s true love, you guys.

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This is my baby sister driving. I’m past the point of this bothering me because I DIDN’T HAVE TO DRIVE.