Ditch Day

With summer right around the corner, it reminds me of all I get to look forward to as a work from home mom.

Yes, yes….there are the negatives like fighting, the “I’m bored” and electronics usage.

But the positives are way sweeter.

We GET to be together, we GET to go on adventures and I DON’T have to ask for time off to do it.

So here I am, busting out as much work as I can, before the kids are out for the summer…yet all I’m thinking of is fun adventures ahead and fun adventures we have had this year.

Reminds me of a ditch day we took this year. Are you a ditch day parent? Ever just pull your kid out, for a surprise fun day?

Growing up my dad would occasionally do that. I remember it would be once every couple months. It was always a Wednesday (his day off) and we would often go to the San Diego Zoo. He would pack us lunches and we would eat in one of the aviaries after exploring most of the Zoo. Those were some of my favorite childhood memories, so you better believe I do that for my kids too.

Seriously, it’s only maybe three times in a whole year…but it’s fun nonetheless!

The last ditch day we had, was sometime in the Spring. I took the boys to the desert to see the Desert Blooms. It was about a 2 hour drive. We listened to a podcast on the mini roadtrip, enjoyed a nice lunch together and took lots and lots of pictures of the beauty around us.

Here are some of the favorites from that day!

 

The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was pretty little yellow flowers, as far as the eyes could see!

There were a ton of Ocotillos on our drive out!

Enjoying the garden in Borrego Springs.

So, if you are a ditch day parent too….. what kind of fun adventures did you do this year?

Magical Powers

I have had sinus issues for most of my adult life. I remember around the age of 20, migraines entering my world, and  I could never pinpoint why I would get them. Sometimes they would come multiple times a month, sometimes every three months, but I really couldn’t find a pattern.

Then one day it hit me. 

The sinus headaches were more prevalent as the weather changed. If the barometric pressure dropped pretty significantly, my head would start to feel like it was going to explode.

Great example….it’s been pretty warm here in San Diego, except yesterday morning, there was a prediction of rain. I kept expecting my head to start hurting, but nothing. 

It also never rained. 

Then last night before I headed to bed, my head started killing me. I decided to try and sleep it off (without doing anything about it) and had a pretty miserable night. At some point I did fall asleep and my husband woke me up saying that it was raining outside. I don’t know why it always shocks me when this happens, but it does!

My kids call it, “Mommy’s Magical Powers.” They are fascinated by my prediction of weather patterns changing, and how about 95% of the time my head and its awful aches, is spot on!

So, what are your super powers? Anyone have achy knees before it rains? Or a painful back? Who else has kids who find it “magical?”

Jolly Ranchers and other choking hazards….

I was 12 years old and sitting in the front seat of my moms car. We were sitting at a red light on the corner of Skyline Drive and Palm Ave, in Spring Valley. I was eating a Jolly Rancher. Not just any Jolly Rancher, mind you….but one of those large ones. You know the ones I’m talking about right? They were long and flat….seriously reminded me of a tongue. It was cherry flavored.

I accidentally swallowed it, the whole thing! I started choking. It wasn’t coming out!! My mom freaked. She threw the car in park, ran around to the passengers side and was trying to pull me out of the car. She forgot about my seat belt though. So I’m sitting there, choking…while being pulled on over and over again, but held back by my belt. She just kept doing this, like completely oblivious to the seat belt (my mom did some amazing mom stuff….grace under pressure was not one).

She finally gave up on getting me out of the car and instead started smacking the crap out of my back. This was doing the trick….plus maybe all of the accidental Heimlich moves from the belt. I was able to reach in and pull the candy out.

I remember my mom getting back in the car and though we had a green light, we just sat there….I’m sure all the drivers behind us had a big show, but understood. I remember at some point we laughed, but that was it….never really mentioned again. I think this incident set me up for parenthood.

I have a big fear of choking. Not me choking, but my kids! Just last year I finally stopped cutting my kids grapes in half. This was only done because my father berated me (as only a loving, but very sarcastic dad can do) on social media. So I stopped cutting the grapes…. I mean my kids were 10 and 6, I guess it was good timing. Or maybe I just stopped buying grapes to put in their lunches. Hmmmm.

A standing “rule” in my home is ….no choking allowed. This of course is usually said after someone nearly chokes or swallows wrong. I will look right at them and say, ” Uh Uh, no choking allowed!”

When I leave my oldest kiddo home alone, on super slim occasions…and only for brief moments, he knows he is not allowed to eat. That’s pretty much my only set rule. The other day I left him home, while I was taking my youngest to practice and my husband was still driving home from work. He had asked if he could please finish off the slice of pizza his brother had left sitting there, while we were gone. I was reluctant but knew he was starving (this was directly after school). I gave him advice on what to do…if he choked, he rolled his eyes, and I left.

I texted him 10 minutes later…..

 

Okay, Okay. I know.

I can own it.

I’m THAT crazy mom. But at least I can say it with a smile. 🙂

Clutter

Anyone else have a “clean it up now” pile, they start for their children?

My kids know if they come home and there is a pile of stuff on the couch for them, that they better get serious real quick on picking stuff up.

Momma is about to blow.

This isn’t a daily set up, I walk around and pick up after my kids all the time. But if I start noticing my day is turning in to only picking up after my family….I start to crack and then flat out refuse.

Because I am me… I can’t just leave it laying around. It will seriously hurt my soul. So my solution is ridiculous. I pick up every single item I find that is out of place and then put it in a completely new spot.

I mean, you are putting in that much effort, why not just put it where it goes?

I think in my delusional mind (admitting a problem is the first step) I have convinced myself that they will get better at it. They will eventually get sick of looking at a “to do” pile. I am raising little future husbands here. I am doing it for their wives.

You’re welcome future daughter in law. You better love me a ton and buy me chocolates often!

The Clogged Toilet Philosophy

The other night our toilet kept backing up. It wasn’t overflowing, but it definitely wasn’t clearing. Upon hearing this, my husband went in to the bathroom and got to work on it.

My youngest was completely curious on what a clogged toilet looked like and how to fix it, so he followed my husband in to the bathroom. He watched as his dad plunged away, with no luck. My littlest then announced, ” Uh oh, that’s it. We need to call a plumber.”

My husband grumbled something as he walked out of the house and to the store. I guess our plunger wasn’t doing its job anymore and it was time to get a new one.

Hubby returns homes and gets back to work on the toilet with the new plunger. My youngest again follows my husband in to the bathroom and after about 30 seconds of watching his daddy work away…..and it was still clogged, he shouts louder, “Uh oh, still not fixed. We definitely need a plumber!” My husband snapped back a bit and said, “No I will fix it.” Then shooed him out of the room.

After about 10 minutes of fussing, I hear a successful flush. The first thing my husband does is call my littlest back in to the bathroom. He then says this, ” When you have a problem of any sort in life, the first thing you need to do is try and fix it. You can’t just run out looking for someone to fix it for you. You need to really try on your own, before seeking out help.”

My littlest kiddo was super impressed that daddy fixed the toilet, but more so I think he may have learned a valuable lesson. “Sometimes you have to deal with the “poop” right in front of you and not rely on someone else to clean up the mess.”

 

The double bag packer

Today is a big day in our home. Our 5th grader is officially going on his first ever field trip, without mommy or daddy as a Chaperone.

I have been blessed to be a work at home/stay at home mom, I know this. It has allowed me to participate in my kids lives and education more than most. It’s also a big reason why I do work from home. I needed to be there, like I have been.

As I packed his lunch in the required brown bag though….I became the mom that I had always silently cursed as a Chaperone. I am the mom who packed two bags. One for drinks and one for his lunch. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you are in charge of carrying a group of kids lunches and you have several kids bringing multiple bags, this gets heavy real quick.

But its going to be hot today….

also he gets dehydrated fast….

we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day,what’s 24 little ounces for the trip……

I’m a worrier and over-thinker <——————— ding ding ding ding!

I rationalize it as this. Because I have chaperoned at each of my kids every field trip (or the hubby has), I know MY packed water has become my child’s, repeatedly.

So it’s here, right here. I’m sorry other mommas and dads. I’m sorry for the years and years of hating you as my back ached! It took me awhile, but I NOW understand! Please accept my heartfelt apology!

 

 

Tea Party

Last week out of the blue, the boys had asked me for tea cups and saucers. The idea was to go outside and have a tea party.

So I searched in my garage for an old party decoration box full of stuff just like this and found them some.

I love my boys, but the second they said outside, they were not going to be using my nice china.

Snafu, it started raining the second we got everything together….so tea inside it was.

They sat down at our dining room table with their gear (tea, cookies, a stuffed animal mouse and music).

I don’t know why I was shocked that this wasn’t a sweet little tea party. It was Mad Hatter style! Full of silly conversations, blaring music (“A Very Merry Unbirthday” on repeat), talks about broken clocks, white rabbits and some chick named Alice.

Be still my heart. Please stay little!

Cookies

I have two boys who both have birthdays within a week of each other, in February. I have so far been very successful on great combo parties (this is to cut down on the whole entire month becoming one big party). But this time around both boys class parties happen to lie with in a day of each other.

The kids decided on homemade cookies this year for class. My oldest picked his favorite, the classic peanut butter kiss cookie. Easy peasy. It has like 5 ingredients. Awesome.

But my youngest…this kid. He decided he loves brownies soooo much, but still wanted cookies. His mischievous plan was for momma to make chocolate chip cookies with brownies stuffed inside.

Sure sure kid….but you guys…… he talked me in to it.

It wasn’t the hardest thing I have ever made, but it was much more time consuming than I thought. The outcome though was pretty freaking glorious! The cookie itself was soft and yummy, but when you got to that brownie……..sooooooo good!!!

Anyways, I wanted to share the link for these cookies. Though I am the Queen of recipe alterations, the only thing I changed on this, was more chocolate chips. I always add chocolate chips to my brownie mix.

Click here for the Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Brownies Recipe

 

 

Finger Trap Panic

If you are not a parent, you are probably missing out on one of the best things possible.

The relief of stress you feel from torturing teasing your children.

Recently my oldest kiddo got to pick a small prize at the store. I was able to convince him to get a finger trap. Because they are so cool!

Did you have a finger trap as a kid? I did. The thing I remember is the first time using it,  the panic I felt trying to get that sucker off. After that, it was a tool I had in my pocket for when unsuspecting victims came over to play. I had learned the trick and I couldn’t wait to mess with my friends.

Well, I guess that feeling didn’t go away.

I took great joy in the hysterical freak out my kid had, trying to get this thing off.

He put it on as we were driving home and just couldn’t figure it out. Of course the harder you pull the tighter it gets and he couldn’t understand that. Then we got to the house and he realized he couldn’t take his seatbelt off. He was “trapped in the car forever!”

I asked him what the solution is, when something is hard to deal with. He stopped for a second and said, I try and relax. Just like that, he chilled out slightly, pushed in and his fingers came out.

I never had realized finger traps could be such a great symbol, for how to deal with panic.

Ironic

 

The Baking Dilemma

I struggle with something. It will sound so incredibly lame, but it’s a legit issue.

When I’m baking, at least one child (if not both) want to help.

Ok, I know……ummmm….so what’s the big deal?

The big deal is, those adorable helpers seriously slow me down! Like, a lot.

I make about 5 dinners a week for our family of four. I often have to schedule this preparation time down to the second. This is between picking kids up from school, getting homework done, studying for tests, getting to multiple sports or events.

So when the moment comes when I have to bake something. Whether this is a dish I’m preparing for the week, cookies for a bake sale, cake for a birthday…I have to be selective with my time.

But those kids man, they see the KitchenAid Mixer come out and BAM……”Mom, can I help?”

Inside I’m screaming, “NOOOOOOOO!”

Sometimes I try and deter them with an “I’m almost done” or “this will be quick.”

But those little boogers, just don’t care. They roll up their sleeves, wash their hands, pull up the stool and put their hand out for a tool.

Just accept it momma. Let it go and teach.