Thursday, May 30, 2013

The BoyMommy Family Drives to Florida . . .

For Spring Break this year, we joined another family for a week at a beach in Florida.  I was nervous about the drive from Virginia to Florida.  Not so much because of my three boys, but because of my husband, Negative Nelly.  His track record for positive behavior on car trips has been less than stellar, and we tend to be, um, testy with one another when we’ve been trapped together in an enclosed space with no means of escape traveling.

I admit when I am wrong, however, and I feel compelled to give my Hubby a shout-out so that I might encourage such positive behavior on future car trips.  We only disagreed in two areas:

1.  when / if we should stop to take a break on the way to Florida.  
     I have straight pipes; my plumbing goes straight from my water hole to my nether regions, and as much as I relish the thought of “just using that Gatorade bottle,” my anatomy precludes it.  History tells me (and because I have no filter, you if you click here) that when I feel the urge, it's time to stop.  

     Also, I was very sleepy from all the driving.  Hubby wanted to drive straight through the night, but Mommy knows best . . . and Mommy knew that kids who are sleeping peacefully in the back seat will be kids who are wide awake and raring to go when we pull into Florida at 8am.  These same children will not understand the necessity of parental sleep.  At 2 a.m., I convinced Hubby that we should rest, but alas, none of the roadside hotels had vacancies at that point.  We ended up cramming all 5 of us into 2 double beds (not queen beds, mind you . . . good, ole fashioned double beds) at an Econo Lodge.  You know times are tough when I agree to sleep at an Econo Lodge.  This princess hasn’t stayed in an Econo Lodge since prom night 1990, and suffice it to say that my standards were much lower then.

      2.  the awesomeness that IS South of the Border.  
           Believe it or not, Hubby would have driven right by South of the Border without stopping.  I know, right?  I could have spent hours in that joint – trying on crazy hats that have already been atop many a tourist’s head, punching people with those little ninja nun spring-action puncher thingies, and trying to justify paying $8.99 for a Pedro coloring book.  Hubby came in to the gift shop for a few minutes and then retreated to the car.  Apparently kitsch is beneath him.  I helped the boys pick out some things we don’t need souvenirs and then realized I had forgotten my wallet.  I buckled everyone in before I ran back inside to pay for our wares, and Small kept repeating, excitedly, “’mingo, ‘mingo, ‘mingo!”  

     “What’s he saying?” Hubby asked. 
     “You’ll see,” I sang.  I returned with one of these:
"Maybe the 'mingo ate your baby!"
Clearly, it’s a flaMINGO.  Out of all the items in the gift shop, what Small had his heart set on was a pink ‘mingo. 

All in all, it was a great vacation.  Lest you think my own behavior was devoid of moodiness, sarcasm, and foul language, I will admit that Hubby told me not 2 hours into the trip, “get it all out now because I’m not listening to it all week.”  Like I can help it that he needs a little extra guidance from the passenger seat. . . 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gettin' my Sh*t Together

So this post is completely off topic. . .

I've been in a bit of a slump lately and haven't felt "inspired" to write much.  I go through this periodically, and I joke (though I certainly understand that mental issues in real life are no laughing matter) that I am bipolar.  I'm either completely unmotivated and exhausted, or . . .

I'm gettin' my craft on!

Pinterest is my crack, I swear.  I posted once before about Pinterest Peer Pressure.  I browse through image after image as my heart rate increases and the little hamster in my brain races faster and faster.  I begin a checklist of all the supplies I need in order to provide my family with inviting outdoor spaces, sparkling surfaces that have been cleaned with organic, home-made detergents, and intellectually stimulating crafts that would make Mary Poppins feel inferior.  I need glue!  And lemons!  And wooden crates that I can fashion into furniture!  And spray paint!  And fingernail polish!  And a poster of Rob Pattinson!

It makes me anxious.  Once I get a project in my mind, I will drop everything else (including parenting) in order to get 'er done.

Par exemple - I love a good calendar.  I am a planner by nature, so I totally dig getting my pens out and planning the next month's activities.  This is generally a good thing since I am, as you know, the CEO of the BoyMommy Family.  I make sure everyone gets where they're goin' and that they are on time, at the correct location, and wearing the right color jersey.  I have two months at a time on dry erase calendars in the kitchen where each family member's activities are tracked via color coding.  Daddy is purple, Mommy is red, Large is green, Medium is blue, and Small is orange.  This way, everyone can see what we've got going on.

I also use iCal on the computer and my phone so that I can track everything with the same color codes. My phone is convenient when I'm standing at the doctor's office while my three offspring argue over I-was-a-good-boy stickers and chase each other around the waiting room as if they were unsupervised zoo animals because I always carry my phone with me.

I still like to see it all laid out on a paper calendar though.  I had a perfectly good day runner.  Nothing wrong with it.  BUT, it still didn't feel right.  I scoured Pinterest for hours looking for the perfect Mommy calendar/agenda.  I even polled my girlfriends to find out how they handle their families' activities.  Finally I decided that I'd need to make my own day runner because nothing else was going to satisfy me.

And then it started . . . the patterns, and paper, and stickers, and markers.  Makes my heart go aflutter just thinking about it.  So here she is.  Yes, I know I could EASILY have purchased a day runner.  The first step is admitting I have a problem.

Front cover - made the monogram using an iPhone app called 3initials,
then emailed it to myself and printed it out.
I also have my monogram as my screen saver on my phone because . . .
well, have you MET me?

The binder is 6x8 so I can fit it in my gargantuan purse.  
I printed the monthly calendar on 8.5x11 paper
and added a tab (the red thingy)
so that I can open it and see the entire month.

Naturally I decorated each monthly tab.
Right behind the tab is the monthly calendar, 
and then the weekly calendars for that particular month.

Both the weekly & monthly calendar spreads
are color coded by family member.
I can put notes or reminders on the right side of each date.

I have a nifty little pocket folder thingy so that I always have the appropriate colored pen.
Whew.  I'd hate to get caught without the correct pen!

It's important to keep a running tab . . . 

Birthdays are on the monthly calendar and
are indicated by little blue star.

Please keep your you-have-too-much-free-time comments to yourself.  It's not free time; it's time I'm using unwisely.  There's a difference.  Clearly I make bad decisions and I have a problem, BUT if you want to know where I'll be next Tuesday at 9 a.m., I can tell you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tips From My Mom

I say it every year: Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me.  

You know I loves a day that’s all about me.  In fact, I think MORE days should be devoted to my general awesomeness, but we can look at the calendar later.  

Shut up, Jane Seymour.  You're buggin' me.
I lost my mom to cancer in 2005, and sometimes it’s hard to look at all those sweet greeting cards at Hallmark or to see commercials for tacky necklaces designed by Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. 

Me and my mommy.
In memory of my mom, here are some important lessons I learned from her:

1.  It’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.  
Yes, you read that correctly.  Why love a poor man if you can love a rich one?  (Unless, of course, you’re actually in love with the economically-challenged guy . . .  but then you run the risk of living in your parents’ basement for the rest of your married life.  Or worse, HIS parents' basement.)

2.  If someone says something bad about you, live so no one will believe it.  
It’s taken me a loooong time to embrace this philosophy, but she was right.  You can’t make people like you; you just have to be true to yourself.  Conduct yourself in such a way that people who know you will speak up on your behalf.  It works the other way too - this is why when people say I am skinny, athletic, and healthy, no one believes it. 

3.  Never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper.  
This lesson came in the 4th grade when I was writing a love note to a boy.  (Trey Wickham, are you out there?)  It’s even more relevant today in the age of Instagram and Facebook and SnapChat.  Once you put it out there, it’s OUT there.  Forever.  Good luck finding long term employment, sorority girl who sent a scathing email to her "sisters"!  The permanence of the World Wide Internets is also why my dad hates this blog.  I put it all out there, perhaps unwisely.  And apparently he doesn't enjoy reading about my bikini wax adventures.  

4.  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  
You’d think I’d keep my yapper shut, but alas, I have no filter, so what comes up comes out. . . . which is why, last weekend at Gold Cup, I told a complete stranger, who was wearing a white linen suit with a black t-shirt, that he looked like Sonny Crocket.  

Totally forgot how hawt Don
Johnson was in the 80's.
5.  White carpet picks up everything but men and money.  True dat.

6.  If you don’t have the sense that God gave a goose, then you’d best stay home.  
Seriously . . . use yer noggin.

7.  It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.   
Debatable, but I believe that every relationship, romantic or otherwise, teaches us lessons about ourselves.  For instance, because of a previous love, I know that I do not find Eau de Shift-at-Taco-Bell to be an aphrodisiac. 

8.  Do not leave the house looking like you were rode hard and put up wet.  
Get your sh*t together.  I'm not saying you have to be all dressed up, but brush your teeth at least.

9.  Similarly, always wear clean underwear.  
This is just a staple of good hygiene.  The last thing you want is some 20-year-old EMT with an ambulance license and a CB handle looking at your crusties. 

10.  Mommy needs her own candy stash . . . one that is hers and hers only.  
(Or an alcohol stash.  To each her own.)

That's 16 o's folks.  He really loves me.  Please also notice the giant pile o' laundry.
Give your mom an extra snuggle this Mother's Day.  Even if she drives you bat sh*t crazy, you're pretty lucky to have her around.  And go ahead and let your own little ones shower you with adoration, much like they do every other day.  (Ha!  That last statement just made wine come out my nose . . . )

Happy Mother's Day to my fellow Sisters in the trenches!