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LAUGHTER LIFE

MY FIRST TIME AS A GROWN-UP HOSTING THANKSGIVING

The holidays are certainly full of moments, both big and small.

Full of fun, full of stress, full of warmth, full of too much food, too many desserts. Never too full of love though.  No matter how you spend the holidays, remember to embrace each moment.

A holiday moment I’ve learned to embrace is this one:

 

MY FIRST TIME AS A GROWN-UP HOSTING THANKSGIVING

It was several years ago. My husband and I decided to host Thanksgiving at our new house, which we had recently purchased. We were newly married.  I was three months pregnant. Neither of us had ever cooked a turkey. Overall, not a good combo, but I was excited to give it a try. In the weeks leading up to it, however, I was worried about the fact that I was suffering horrible morning sickness and had trouble being anywhere near the smell of food. My husband told me he’d be there for me if I couldn’t stay in the kitchen. So I planned and prepared. I was nervous about taking on such a huge meal but I felt excited about the challenge.

BUT THEN… (and this is where a big moment occurred), two days before Thanksgiving my husband came home with a second turkey and said he wanted to try to smoke a turkey too. My first reaction was “That’s great – more turkey”.  My second reaction was “Why do we need more turkey when I already have a 25 lb turkey brining?”  And my third reaction was “You’re kidding me, right?  I’m pregnant, nauseous, throwing up, exhausted, my ankles are already swollen, and oh yeah, I have no idea how to cook one turkey, let alone TWO”.  I kept that all in my head though. Out loud, I said, “Okay, great…  but I may need some help in the kitchen.”  He said, “Honey, don’t worry. I can cook everything if you aren’t feeling good that day. I got it”.  Alright. What could I say?  I was a new wife, with a new challenge. I thought, “I can do this”.

UNTIL… Thanksgiving Day. I woke up and it was POURING RAIN.  Which meant the outdoor smoker needed to be watched.  Which meant, there stood my husband, with an umbrella over it. All morning. For hours!  Which meant I was left inside with the turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing (two kinds), green beans, broccoli casserole… and don’t forget, I was feeling completely nauseous.  The only “plus” was that the desserts were already made.

BUT… It all worked out. HOW?  Because of the big & small moments throughout the day…

THE BIG MOMENT:

The entire meal was heading toward disaster, but my mother-in-law jumped in like a super-hero!  She helped us cook everything. I mean everything. There would have been no food on the Thanksgiving table that year if it wasn’t for her. Her experience and sense of calmness (and humor), were invaluable. Literally, she saved the day. Big moment.

THE SMALL MOMENTS:

My husband’s brother stood in the rain the entire day with him.  Yes, they had a lot of beer to keep them company, but still… I was happy my husband had some company out there.

My niece & nephews showed me what I had to look forward to… they behaved so well. They had patience, had fun… they showed me that my own children would make holidays even more fun.

Pre-ordering desserts from a local bakery…  SMART CHOICE!

The smoked turkey actually tasted even better than the big turkey. But please, don’t tell my husband I said that!

Try to embrace all the moments of the holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LAUGHTER LIFE PARENTHOOD

Just Another Ordinary Week

What’s an ordinary week in the life of a mom?

Mostly it’s boring.  Monotonous.  Mundane.  Same old same old.

Then there is a week like this one…

MONDAY:  Mom wakes up in the morning, to total darkness. She panics. What time is it & why is everything dark?  She discovers the power is out & it’s 9 AM.  CRAP!  That means both kids are late to school.  Frantic, she gets the kids out of bed, gets them dressed & out the door.  Kids are late & then mom is extra late to work.

TUESDAY: Son wakes his mom up saying his throat has a frog in it.  He says he wants to go to school though.  So he goes. Until 10 AM when the school nurse calls and says he needs to come home because he threw up. Son comes home sick as a dog, and mom loses another day of work. Plus gets thrown up on.

WEDNESDAY: Mom wakes up to son standing next to her bed saying his tummy hurts again, then he vomits on her & all over her bed.  This almost makes mom vomit too. She holds it together and calls in sick to work, strips the kid, throws him the tub, strips the bed & starts washing the sheets.  UNTIL… the washer starts making strange noises and stops. SHIT.

THURSDAY: The morning alarm buzzes. Mom hits “snooze” approximately 8 times. She is exhausted.  She finally got into bed late last night after the appliance repairman came & fixed the washing machine.  Just in time because everything smells like vomit.  Good news though: sick son feels better. But bad news: Tween daughter wakes up yelling that she’s done with school. She says she is smart enough and doesn’t need school anymore.  An hour-long argument ensues.  Mom spends way too long persuading her to get out of bed, brush her teeth, and get dressed. Mom doesn’t need this particular battle, after the week she’s had. Finally, Mom goes to work, but can’t stop thinking about her how much worse the tween hormone-filled years are going to get.

FRIDAY: The weekend is almost here. YES!  She gets out of bed & smells something bad.  She goes in search of that smell and discovers the dog is now sick, all over the bed, bathroom AND bedroom rugs.  The washing machine can’t take anymore vomit.  Mom can’t take anymore vomit. Mom yells (quite loudly), “WHEN WILL THIS WEEK BE OVER????”

SATURDAY:  Mom wakes up and thinks, “YES!  The week is over”. The house is quiet. Kids are still asleep. Dogs asleep. Peace at last.  Suddenly, a knock at the front door sends her running to answer it before anyone wakes up. It’s Fed-Ex (at 6:30 AM???)… they need a signature.  So she creeps out onto the front porch in her pj’s and slippers, trying not to make any noise that will wake up the zoo inside her house.  Success.  She signs it, says “Happy Weekend” to the nice Fed-Ex driver, and turns around to go back inside. NOOOOOOO!… the door is locked.

SUNDAY: Mom wishes for next week to be an actual boring, mundane, ordinary week…

 

Share your ordinary weeks with us!

 

 

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LAUGHTER LIFE PARENTHOOD

Who Needs an Alarm Clock Anymore?

Like most moms, I don’t need an alarm clock because every morning I get a specialty wake-up call. Reserved only for parents…It’s called “The Kid Alarm”.

WHAT IS A “KID ALARM”?

First, it’s different from a “Baby Alarm”. Every new parent has to readjust to waking up when their babies do. I struggled through that phase and it eventually turned me into a very light sleeper.  Ever since the “Baby Alarm” days, I now hear every peep.  Every snore.  Every creak.  If something wakes me up during the night, it’s hard for me to fall back to sleep.  Which makes mornings even harder, for a non-morning person like me.  I spent a couple of LONG years dreaming of a day when my kids would regularly sleep later than 6 AM.  But instead, what happened was that once my kids started walking and talking, they could wake up as early as they wanted and come find me. And by “early”, I mean EARLY. So the “Baby Alarm” turned into the much worse “Kid Alarm”.  In hindsight those baby years, when they were trapped in their cribs… well, those nights were easier.

SO WHAT DOES A KID ALARM SOUND LIKE?

Loud. Startling. Occasionally it makes me fall out of bed yelling, “I’M AWAKE, I’M AWAAAAAAKE!”  And because it’s usually the first thing I hear each morning, it’s always “alarming”.  No pun intended.  Unless the dogs beat them to it (we have 3 dogs, so it’s a competition, but most days the kids win). Which means I am woken up by a sweet face (or 2), asking ridiculous questions, making very loud noises at me (“PIKA, PIKA, PIKA-CHUUUUUUUU-Squawk” – true story!), jumping on my head, or sometimes just continuously tapping on my forehead.  Sort of like water-boarding. These wake-up calls are usually not a good way to start the day.

A while ago, I began writing down the different things said to me by my “kid alarm”. (Also  known as “A perpetual pattern of ‘HOLY CRAP, IT’S MORNING & SOMEONE IS YELLING AT ME’ mornings).

I’m sure many of my fellow moms can relate, so I thought I’d share mine so you can all have a good chuckle…

P.S.  I do realize that someday soon my kids will begin sleeping later and later, and I will actually miss these wake-up calls.  But for now, I am trying to see the humor in them by embracing them and trying to laugh and not cry (at 5 AM).

 

Here is a sample of my recent morning “Kid Alarms” (unfortunately, these are all VERY real):

 

“Mommy, I lost my Thomas train, it’s somewhere in the toilet”.

“Mom, HELP!  I can’t find my soccer cleats!” [at 6 am, and they aren’t needed until 3 days later]

“MOMMA?  UH OH. I just stepped in something squooshy that smells like poop.  It’s probably not poop.  Or maybe it’s poop.  What do you think it is?  Smell it.”

“It’s so dark.  Do you think the moon is sleeping too?” [at 3 am]

“How does the moon sleep?  Does it have eyes that close?  Or a bed?  Mommy, how?” [at 3:30 am]

“Are you awake?” [as my eyelids get pulled open] “Because I see your eyeball, so I think you’re awake.”.”See, I told you you’re awake.” [AT 4 am]

“Where’s my iPad?”

“Where’s my iPad?”

“Where’s my iPad?”

“Momma, is it morning yet?” [at 4:30 am]

“Maaa-mmmmmm!  I’m so hungry, I’m gonna STARVE”  [at 5 am]

“YUK…  a dog threw up in my room. What’s for breakfast? I’m hungry.”

“Wake up, wake up, wake up, WAAAAAAAA-KE UPPPPPPPPP” [that’s always a fun one to hear.  I usually yell back “No, No, Nooooooooooo!”]

“Where’s my iPad?” (notice a pattern?)

“Mommy, I had a dream and there was a dog and a cat and a fish and a rabbit and they were talking to each other and they said hi, and they all had purple hair, and they were eating breakfast, and….   Mom? Mom??? MOM???  Did you fall back to sleep?” [Uh, yes… I did]

“Mommy, mom, momma, ma, mom, mommy, ma mommy, momma…” [and that continues until I speak. And trust me, you don’t want to know what I speak after that!].

“Where’s my iPad?”  (OMG… I can’t even…)

 

So what do your morning moments look like?  Comment below.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

To anyone contemplating having children, a bonus is that you will not need an alarm clock for MANY, MANY years!

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

A Letter To My Teen Self

I recently wrote a letter to my teenage self. Why? Because some days I miss the young me. (Some days I don’t at all!)  But on the days that I do, I often think about how the young me could have benefited from a little insight into what was to come. And a little guidance from the older, much wiser “me”, may have made some things a little easier.

So here goes…  my letter:

Dear Teenage Me,

You’re awesome, even if you don’t think so!  Here are important tips and advice from the older YOU…

Be Yourself:

As a teen, it’s so important to fit in. To keep up with everyone else. To be cool. But what’s actually cool is to be yourself.  There is no one else that is YOU.  If you like a shirt, wear it.  If you like a book, read it.  If you like music, dance to it.  If you want to laugh out loud, do it.  Don’t look around first to make sure others are laughing too.  Always remember there is only one YOU. That alone makes YOU cool.

Worry Less, Enjoy More:

Don’t worry so much. Life gets much harder and more complicated.  Anxiety is tough to avoid. So while you’re young, let others do the worrying and just try to enjoy simply being a kid. There will be plenty of things for you to worry about when you are older.

Embrace Your Youth:

Stay carefree, for as long as you can. Soon you will learn about responsibilities and mortgages and bills…  And from that moment on, you will never feel carefree again. So embrace it while you can.

Forget Fear:

Don’t be afraid.  If you want to ask a question, ask it. If you want to try something new, try it. Don’t limit yourself because of fear. This is the time in your life you can be extra brave and take a leap. So try new things. Welcome new experiences… it’s the perfect time in your life to discover what fits. When you get older, your responsibilities will stop you from taking those leaps. So take them now.

Don’t Wish To Grow Up Too Fast:

It may seem so appealing to be a grown-up because you can make your own decisions, but along with decisions come the consequences of those decisions. So don’t grow up too fast. Stay young and enjoy all the benefits youth gives you. The adults in your life will help you make tough decisions. Try hard to embrace their wisdom!

And most important:

Love Yourself:

You may not be your biggest fan right now, but one day, you will be. So try to listen to those around you who cheer you on. Pay attention to their encouragement. Listen to the positives and tune out the negatives.  Feel pride.  Forgive yourself for any mistakes you might make… you are human and mistakes are okay!  Mostly, try hard to love YOU!   Why?  Because you are amazing, and someday you’ll believe that.

Trust me!

LOVE,

Me/You (20 years in the future)  

 

 

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LAUGHTER PARENTHOOD

White Lies Moms Tell

Honesty is important. It’s a deal breaker for me. It’s essential for me to teach my children the importance of honesty. However… and this is a huge, however. My only exception for full honesty… is when parenthood calls for a simple white lie. There are times it is necessary. Innocent, but necessary.

I know all moms have told white lies to their kids. And I want them to know that they are not alone. So I decided to confess a few of mine…

#1  I hide my Swedish fish.

I eat them when the kids are in bed. I learned quickly that if my kids see my stash, it’s mayhem. Begging and pleading for just one Swedish fish. Then I end up with an empty bag. So now I hide them. And when they ask if there’s any candy in the house, I say “not that I can recall”.

#2  I call Tofu “cheese”.

When my kids were young, they both went through a phase of intense dislike of every type of meat.  It’s a texture thing, and pretty common.  I tried my best to get them to eat chicken, turkey, hamburgers, anything.  But they refused. Worried about them not getting enough protein, I finally resorted to alternating between scrambled eggs (which they did like), & “tofu cheese”.  They were cheese fans and thought it was just another type of cheese.  To this day, cubed tofu cheese is a yummy snack to them (I don’t get it, it’s tasteless! But I was happy to get some extra protein in them).  Thankfully the meat-free stage was short-lived for both of them, but the tofu “cheese” helped me get through it.

#3  I fib about what time it is.

Before my kids knew how to tell time, I occasionally fibbed about what time it was. Kids never want to go to bed. Those nights when they absolutely refused to head to bed?  Yep, I fibbed about it maybe being 7 pm, instead of 6 pm! Winter is a bonus because it is dark early, so they had no clue they were going to bed at 6 pm. Hey, don’t judge if you haven’t tried it.  It’s GREAT!

#4  I continued to fib about the time.

Once my kids learned to tell time, I actually resorted to changing some of the clocks in our house, specifically the ones in their bedrooms.  The only important tip is that you have to change the clock back before the morning or they will get up too early!

#5  I invented “the seatbelt police”.

My kids think “seatbelt police”.  There was a stage when they refused to buckle into their car seats. Or worse, they tried to unbuckle when I was driving. So I told them there are “seatbelt police”, who watch for kids that aren’t buckled, and they’ll get a ticket.  This isn’t really a lie because it IS a law.  And as any parent knows, kids are happier to behave for anyone besides their own parent!  I was so proud when I overheard my son tell his friend “make sure you buckle up or the seatbelt police will stop us”.

 

So sometimes I think it’s okay to fib.  Sometimes.

 

Share with us:  What white lies you have told your children?

 

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