LAUGHTER

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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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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LAUGHTER LIFE PARENTHOOD

Life With Too Many Dogs

Life with too many dogs – this week’s edition:

MONDAY: I woke up to a 12 pack of toilet paper, completely shredded in my living room.

TUESDAY: I took my dog’s “invisible fence collar”, aka “electric fence collar”, to get the battery replaced. The guy replaced it for me, handed it to me, and I said thank you and I began to walk out. ZZZZZZZap! I GOT ZAPPED/SHOCKED/FELL DOWN ON THE GROUND YELLING “MY ARM HURTS”. Yep… I’d call that Karma. Sorry doggies.

WEDNESDAY: My UPS delivery guy asks why my middle dog is wearing a diaper. “Don’t judge.” I say.

THURSDAY, While vacuuming my living room, I rolled the vacuum over unseen dog poop, and thus “shmooshed it” into my rug. I then spent the next 2 hours trying to take apart and clean my brand new (yes, brand new) vacuum.

TODAY. Time for a cocktail.

They’re cute, but crazy!

 

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LAUGHTER PARENTHOOD

MOM HAIR – It’s Not The Prettiest

The Evolution of My Hair:

IMG_5594-3

New Haven, CT – Circa 1980’s

Throughout my teens and 20’s, my hair was my favorite accessory.  I styled it for hours on end.  Crimped and spiral-curled to perfection.  Then well sprayed with Aqua Net, for a night out.  Can you tell I grew up in the `80’s?   My big hair was a thing of beauty.

Then I had kids.

And my brown turned to gray.  Nicely styled, turned messy.  And it’s been up in a ponytail ever since.  Or tucked under a baseball hat.

Once in a while, I try to blow-dry it like my hairdresser does and actually have pretty hair again… if just for a day  But those times are few and far between.  Usually, it’s just a pony-tail.  It’s the best I can do these days.

And although I love them a lot, I blame my kids for giving me MOM HAIR.

Because believe it or not, sometimes, I actually miss my big hair.

 

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LAUGHTER LIFE MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

“You’re The Meanest Mom In The World!”

Moms, I have a question for you…  Have you ever been called “the meanest mom in the whole world”?

If your answer is “no”, consider yourself lucky.  But I have to tell you… it’s probably coming.

If you’re like me (and most moms), and your answer is “yes”, well then, welcome to the club.  According to my kids, I’m the “worst”, the “meanest”, and every so often I get, “you’re the most embarrassing mom ever”.mean-mom

It’s taken some tears, some reading of parenting books, and some enlisting advice from fellow mom friends, but I finally determined that it actually means I am doing a good job.  (Or at least I have convinced myself that’s what it means!).

Those “you’re the meanest mom” comments are only yelled when a mom makes a very smart parenting decision.  For example, lay out a rule that will stop your child from doing something that could hurt them. Or get them kidnapped. Or lead them down a bad path…  You get the point. Basically, it’s when you are doing your job and your kids just don’t like hearing the word “NO”, that they will tell you how “MEAN” you are.  It’s tough to hear, but it really means you care.

So I’d like to take a moment to remind every mom or dad out there who hears they are “THE WORST” today, to remember it probably means you are actually THE BEST.

And please, keep up the good work!

If you need some tips about how to piss off your kids, while truly helping them become awesome humans, then read this… it’s pretty accurate…

12 Ways To Be The Meanest Mom

#MomsRule  #DadsRule  #KidsAreTough

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LAUGHTER LIFE PARENTHOOD

Why I Don’t Answer The Phone

Friends and family sometime complain that I never answer my phone. There is a very simple reason why.

The short answer: BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN.

The long answer: BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN!

Read this mom’s explanation.  I love it because I feel the same.

She summed it up perfectly. Don’t expect me to answer the phone and have a QUIET conversation with you, if my kids are home.

Even though my kids are a little older than that mom’s kids, I can tell you that it NEVER CHANGES. The house is voicemailloud, the kids need me all the time, and I can’t hold a thought for more than 30 seconds.

A nice quiet conversation on the phone just doesn’t happen. The minute I pick up the phone, my kids desperately “need” me. Right that minute.

In addition to my kids, I also have 3 dogs (who all bark in unison every time a car drives by, or a squirrel climbs a tree, or a bird flies…). So even when the kids are at school, my dogs take over.

Common things yelled at my house are…

“Mom, where’s my sweatshirt?”

“MOMMMM-EEEEEE, I lost my train!!!!”

“Mommy, I pooped, come wipe my tushy”

“I’m Hungry”

“I’m Thirsty”

“I’m BORED!”

“MOMMY, the dog just threw up on the rug”

This is on a daily basis, whether I am speaking on the phone or not.  So I usually choose NOT to be on the phone.  Answering the phone and having an intelligent conversation doesn’t work so well.  Or end so well…  the promises I have made while “shushing” my kids, are ridiculous. “What? When did I say I’d buy you a TV for your room?” 

My other issue is having the callers complain that I am not focused on them.  UH, you’re right, I’m not!  I’m sorry but my kids want all of my attention.

So please, before you dial my number, understand that I probably won’t answer.  And just text me instead. Or email me.  I like email.  And if I do answer, please understand I may only be half listening.

♥ ♥ ♥

I’m just a mom trying to keep my sanity.

parenthoodstayingsane

 

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