3/28/16

The Reason for the Season

So, we aren't super religious.

I was raised Catholic and all the babes are baptized, but we don't actually go to Church or anything.

We encourage the kids to pray, and be thankful, and talk to God... but we haven't actually ever gotten into the nitty gritty of Jesus and the "reason for the (Easter) season," before.

Until day.

It occurred to me, as I was laying on the floor in our playroom, surrounded by Easter grass and jelly beans, that the kids had no freaking idea why any of this was happening.

Let me pause for a second here to add that... I kind of hate the Easter Bunny.

It's not his fault really, but I am actually so obsessed with Santa that I hate the Easter Bunny.

I think that he is going to ruin it for Santa & the Toothfairy because the Easter Bunny is like totally unbelievable and makes no sense.

The kids have been asking me questions for weeks...

"Does the Easter Bunny have a car?"

"Does he just walk around town?"

"Why is he so big?"

"Are there other big bunnies?"

You get the idea... they are smart and to be honest, those are actually really freaking good questions!

Like I said, the Easter Bunny makes no sense.

Anyway, on to the reason for the season.

So I'm telling the kids all about Jesus, and how he was sent from God to take care of people and to teach us kindness and he was killed by bad guys who didn't believe in him but don't worry after three days he rose from the dead.

And I'm thinking... I am terrible at this.

Let's be real, some parts of the Jesus story are not so happy and I'm trying my hardest to make this a happy story and make the kids understand that today is the day we celebrate Jesus' life.

So, I get all the way through my sermon... which was like three minutes long... and my super intelligent Boyfriend is looking at me like okay well you must have missed a huge part of the story or something Mom because that doesnt make any sense.... and he's like:

"Okay, well that's fine but what does all that have to do with a bunny... and baskets? And jellybeans?"

Uhhhhhh....

Best questions EVER kid.

I have no fucking clue how they are related.

So I did what any good parent would do... I lied.

I made up as much crazy bull shit as I could think of.

I made sure it was totally confusing and absolutely unclear, so that my kid's little heads and big brains couldn't grasp what the fuck I had just said to them.

It worked, cause Boyfriend kind of just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders like..."Okay, whatever you say Mom."

All that to say... I think by next year Boyfriend will no longer believe... which is why I'm so happy to say that the kids had a great Easter and got everything they wanted.

We had a wonderful day with family.

We played outside, everyone got dirty, got sugar high, and took naps together in a puppy pile when we got home.




Thank you Jesus.






3/25/16

The Case of the Budful Picture

It was bedtime.

I walked upstairs, like I do every night, to check on the big kids and tuck them into their beds.

Because this is real life, and not Facebook, no one was in their beds.

I walked into my Girlfriend's room and she said, "Mommy! Look at the beautiful picture I made you!"

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, my Boyfriend came flying through the door.

He started yipping in my face, "Mom! But Mom! She..."

I cut him off, "I need you to not yip in my face at bedtime, it is her turn, I'll be in your room in a second."

"But Mom! But Mom she!"

He kept persisting and pointing at his sister and trying to get the words out and I quickly shushed him out the door with a... "Two minutes, in two minutes you can tell me anything you want, when it is your turn."

I try really hard to give each kid their own time at the end of the day, it makes us all feel more special I think, and I try not to ever budge on it.

So as far as I was concerned, whatever Boyfriend had to say, could wait a few more minutes.

So I'm back to Girlfriend. She looks so damn adorable in her little hand me down baby doll jammies. She climbs up into my lap and looks at me with those big brown eyes and tells me all about the beautiful picture that she made me.

I can hear Boyfriend wailing something from his room as Girlfriend is stroking my hair and telling me I'm beautiful, she loves me, she made this picture just for me.

I'm asking her what it is and she's saying just some beautiful circles for my beautiful mom.

She tells me that Boyfriend wrote the words on the top of her picture and I'm thinking of course, that must be what all the yipping was about.

I can tell that she is just so proud of this "budful" picture, she asks if I'll take her picture with it, and so I do.



I tuck her into bed and close her door.

I am holding my budful picture under my arm as I walk into Boyfriend's room.

His back is to me, he's in his little boxer briefs and I think to myself how gangly he is getting... so old and long.

He turns then, and I can see that he has been crying... that he is still, crying.

I'm so surprised, because I wasn't mean I was just like, "Dude, you get your time in two minutes, chill till then..." he isn't usually so sensitive.

I begin.. "What's wrong Buddy? Girlfriend told me how you were such a great big brother and wrote the words on her beautiful picture for her... why are you sad?"

And he's all: "THAT'S MY PICTURE! SHE STOLE IT! I DREW THAT PICTURE FOR YOU! IT'S YOUR EYE!"

That little sneaky Girlfriend of mine.

I gave Boyfriend a huge bear hug, pretty much just pulled his gangly little legs out from under him and pounced on him like a cheetah on the floor.

He's like.. "Mom! I cant breathe!"

The poor kid is such a good boy and his sister is always pestering him, stealing his toys, bothering him, beating him up.

Boyfriend and I snuggled for awhile, and I promised to frame it on my dresser... we took his picture with the picture too, to add to the collection.


At the end of the day, I feel like it's so important to make sure everyone is right with their day... with you... with themselves.

Sometimes, I want to skip this step... I want to just send them up to their beds and not follow 10 minutes later to tuck them in and make sure everyone is ready for the next morning.

I want to just stay on the couch because hello... couch.

But that 2 minutes at the end of the day, that little "last call," as I like to refer to it.... is something that is so important to them, and to me.

If for no other reason than for those 2 minutes, they stay in their freaking beds.

Lord knows the second I walk out the door they are bouncing off the walls again.








3/21/16

Moving...

Moving has been on our minds for years.

We live exactly one hour from where we grew up and even though that doesn't seem far, for some people, it is.

Our friends and family have long since expected and grown accustomed to us making the trip regularly and aside from my parents, very few people realize that the road goes both ways.

Because being near our family and friends is very important to us, we have always known that our eventual goal would be to move about halfway closer to what we still refer to as "home."

With a recent announcement from our town's Board of Education about closing an elementary school, busing kids around town, and Middle School starting with 5th grade... we have decided, I think... that the time is now.

Fuck shit fuck.... I am so nervous I can barely even type the words.

We have set a tentative goal of listing our home by May 1.

I am seriously sweating even writing this stuff down and putting it out there to the world and real life.

So, since I'm the Mom and my life revolves around making sure everything in our world is calm, and no feathers are ever ruffled and everyone is always settled... I am freaking the fuck out about this.

I am kind of a, "If it's not broke why fix it," type of girl.

And our beautiful home is not broken, nor is our great neighborhood.

But... our town, isn't the greatest, and I want our children to be proud of where they grew up.

It scares the crap out of me to, "sell before we buy," (because we have to)... to give up our perfectly good home, and worst of all... to not know what it is coming next.

I ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IS COMING NEXT!

So... because I clearly am having a panic attack about this, I asked told Husband if he is really serious about this move, then he needs to take the wheel, or I will just continue to drag my feet because change scares me.

I said... half joking, half serious... "If You want to show me that you want to move that bad... then make a Power Point Presentation, sit me down, and walk me through it. Show me that you're serious, do the numbers, write out the plan."

And then... he did just that.


I know. Pictures and bullet points and everything.

I was shocked too.

We are interviewing two more realtors this week and then we will rent a storage unit to put some of our stuff in... from there, we put a sign on our house and wait.

And I pray.

That we aren't selling our house and going to end up in a box on the side of the road.

Or with my parents.

Or my in laws.

God help us all.



3/15/16

Days Like This...

It's 9 o'clock, and I am sitting down for the first time all day.

I had a day, Lord, did I have a day.

We all woke up late, so I had to drop both kids at school... two different schools, in two different towns.

Husband left for a business trip, late.

He had a 11 hours of traveling ahead of him, and I left the house with his iPod and sunglasses.

He is acting like someone stole his car, not like he left his iPod behind... and I, was acting like a woman.

A calm, collected woman who has no patience for men when they are acting like the world is ending.

Who was with the youngest, at the Doctor, with his second double ear infection in a month.

From there I went to the Elementary School to register my Girlfriend for Kindergarten.

Fuck my life how am I old enough to have two kids in Elementary School?

From there I went to Target, to switch our prescriptions.

Because fuck Walgreen's for giving me Baby's Prescription in a glass bottle. Which I broke. Which is why he got his second double ear infection. Because I refused to pay $75 for a second bottle, and they refused to give me more meds for my sick baby.

So back to Target.

I change our prescriptions and they're all, "Shop around! Enjoy yourself! Get popcorn! It'll be ready in 10 minutes."

Except 10 minutes in Target equals spending fifty fucking dollars that I didn't actually mean to spend, but I did anyway.

Oh and I bought Cheese Balls... who the Hell knows why. The jar is so damn big that I legit cant open it because my hands are too small.

From Target I went to drop off food to a sick friend.

From there I went to register my boyfriend for baseball.

Why does baseball cost $150? I have no fucking idea, the kid is 6.

From baseball I went to pick up Girlfriend at school.

Husband is now safely on his plane, hopefully feeling like a complete idiot for acting like a toddler without his favorite toy.

I get the kids down for nap, but not before opening the cheese balls (with two hands) and watching my Baby dump the entire 17 gallon tub all over the floor.

Of course he did.

From picking up cheese balls I move on to wiping the dishwasher. Because of course the Baby has decided that the dishwasher = his urinal.

You read that right and if there is a further explanation I sure as shit do not know it.

I am on my hands and knees, wiping pee off the front of the dishwasher, while my baby's are upstairs sleeping, and my Husband is flying somewhere over middle America... with no iPod.

"Good," I think to myself. I should listen to that thing all day just to spite him.

So now I'm on my hands and knees, head phones in, bobbing to the beat of Husband's iPod because I think this is hysterical and it is making me laugh...

Except then I stand to start the dishes... and I look in the sink and see that it is full of sneakers.

I have no fucking idea why there are shoes in my sink.

Like ten pairs, not that that makes any more sense than one or two pairs, but I'm just letting ya'll know... there were 10 pairs of shoes in my sink.

So now I'm throwing shoes over my shoulder onto the floor behind me because Husband is away for the week so who gives a shit if the house is messy, right?

I get to the bottom of the shoes and can finally see the dishes.

I start loading the dishwasher, which no longer smells like pee...

I get to the bottom of the dishes and find...

The remote control.

To the TV.

Covered in bubbles.

Full of water.

Because of course the kid would put the remote control in the sink with the shoes.

WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING!?

Listen... if you're a working Mom, or a stay at home Mom.

Or a Mom who works at night and stays home during the day...

Or a Mom that works from home.

Or whatever the Heck kind of Mom you are...

Let's just all reach out and hug each other right now okay.

Virtual hug.

Seriously... hold me.

I need it. We all need it.

Let's stop hating people that are different than us, that we think have it easier than we do...

Here's the truth ladies, listen up.... Everyone has days like these... every last one of us...

We all have a spouse who can be a jerk and kids who pee on the dishwasher, or write on the walls, or get in trouble at school, or just generally suck every once in awhile.

And you know what else we all have? If we chose to accept it?

We all have each other.

So today, be nicer to every woman you see.

Maybe her kid just peed in her glove compartment and she needs someone to make her smile.

Let that person be you.

I was raised Catholic, so pretty much everything makes me feel guilty... including complaining... especially to the world, about my perfectly good family and my perfectly difficult day.

But I'm only human, and bad days happen.

I try so hard to always be appreciative of this wonderful life that I have, and to end every day with a grateful thought or idea... it's hard, but I never let a day pass without doing it.

Today's grateful thought, is that I made it all day without losing my mind...

Says the woman eating cheese balls off the kitchen floor surrounded by sneakers...

Tomorrow, is another day.





3/3/16

Her Story: Someone Like You

"Her Story: Someone Like You," is a new weekly feature, designed to bring us all a little closer together. Please join me as I share stories of women from all over the world. It is my hope that you will see a little of yourself or someone you know in these stories... and that you will share them... making our great big world feel a little more like a neighborhood, where no one is alone. If you would like to be featured in Her Story, please email me at ourtinyplace@gmail.com.

"I'm gonna cry. I can't talk about this without crying. I can't even think about going back to work, and putting her in Day Care and having a stranger watch her roll over for the first time. That's my baby! I should see her roll over first! Not someone else! I don't want to miss a single second.. like literally not one second. What if I get stuck in traffic and cant pick her up on time? What if she sits in poop all day? What if one day she realizes that I left her?? See. I told you I'd cry. She's already registered and ready to go. I go back to work in 6 weeks and I'm already crying about leaving her. But we are a two income family and it's just not going to work unless I work, that's just the way it is. My sister and I have three babies under three months. We've been spending our maternity leaves together. In the beginning we were like.. "This is so fun!" and we took turns buying each other lunch... until we realized how expensive babies are. So now we visit each other and make lunch at home. For a few weeks we watched the babies sleep and enjoyed being Stay At Home Moms. We talked a lot about the things we wanted to do for our kids, the type of childhood we wanted to give them. We quickly realized that if we want our kids to go on vacations, out to ice cream, have big Christmases.... we were going to need more income. These were all new expenses that we had never thought of, so with the kids in mind....  we started a business. We decided to go all in on a company we named, "SipSissys". We make custom wine glasses and tumblers. I cut the vinyl and she places it on the glass. Placing the vinyl stresses me out. I took apart an entire beer mug last week, I was sweating. We've made about 50 glasses so far... it's kind of scary, pretty much every surface in my house is covered with glasses. Together we've invested $1000.00. We haven't made a sale yet, but we will, we're still new. Our entire family has jumped on board to help us out. If one of us is applying glitter, or vinyl, the other might be juggling the three babies... or our parents come by and babysit so we can work out shipping costs and packaging and business cards.  My basement looks like a glitter bomb went off. I call it, "The Glitter Lab,". We've been focusing on getting SipSissys up and running for about a month, lots of trial and error. Some products haven't worked well, we had to find our own techniques and figure out how to do things so they made sense. We made a really beautiful, "You Are My Sunshine, "glass and just as we were falling in love with how cute it was... one of us dropped it and it broke into a million pieces. You know, it's been a learning process. But we've got it now. We are signed up for a few craft fairs and are committed to making this work. I keep thinking of being able to do fun stuff with my daughter and my niece and nephew... of having that extra, "we don't have to worry as much," income to play with. Eventually it'd be nice to not have to work, to stay home with my daughter instead of handing my paycheck to her Day Care provider. In the mean time, I'm cutting vinyl and playing with glitter and glue techniques... and keeping that goal in mind. Because I don't want someone else raising my baby. I want to do it. I'm crying again."


If you'd like to help the SipSissys grow their business, please visit their Facebook page here.

Update: The SipSissys made their first sale today... To an Our Tiny Place reader!! Congratulations to the SipSissys on officially being in business!!

3/2/16

Reading & Getting Older

When I was a kid my Mom used to take my books away to punish me.

I was just about the biggest book worm you can imagine.

In the Summer we would go to the Used Book Store and my mom would take my siblings to the stores nearby and leave me sitting on the floor with a stack of books.

Don't worry, I was like thirteen when this happened, not five.

I would devour a book in a day, sometimes two in an afternoon.

I had such a thirst for words and stories and novels... I just absolutely dove head first into anything that I could find.

I don't get to read much anymore, which makes me really sad, because there is literally nothing in this world like getting lost in a good book.

But you know who does read?

This kid.



He reads above his grade level... and he reads it all.

He is always carrying around a book, or a notebook, scribbling down a story or drawing up a new character.

I'm not saying this to be one of those Facebook Moms who brags about their kids being perfect, that's not my style.

I'm saying it because it legitimately touches my soul to see my child fall in love with something that I loved when I was his age.

I imagine it's something like watching your child excel at a sport that you once loved too.

Boyfriend asks me daily to teach him new words.

I mean really... there is just nothing better than a kid who has a healthy thirst for new vocabulary.

My English Major nerd side is showing big time in this post. But I give no shits.

I have to sign Boyfriend's homework paper every night.

I'm not even sure when it started, but maybe somewhere around Christmas I decided to use this daily ritual as a learning opportunity.

I mean I am full nerd here guys.

I started signing my name, "Educated Mom," "Enthralled Mom," "Fantastic Mom," Admirable Mom."

Basically I used any word I could think of that Boyfriend didn't know.



And then I'd hand him back the paper and he would get embarrassed and say.. "MOOOOOMMMMM... Why can't you just be normal like other Moms? Can't you just write your name?!?"

And we'd laugh and then he'd sit down and try to sound out the word. Sometimes he'd get it right away, sometimes he'd ask for help.

He has gotten really good, and I am pretty proud of myself because I am imagining a high S.A.T. score somewhere in the near future as a result of this little exercise.

Okay, maybe that's a stretch but this is my blog so I don't care.

We go to the Library as a family just about once a week and if Boyfriend and I had our way... we would stay all day.

I love to watch him walk down the aisles of books.



He touches the bindings... turning his head this way and that, as he reads the titles in a soft whisper to himself.

In a world of technology and all-day-every-day screen time, in a world where all the knowledge we could ever ask for is literally at the touch of a button... moments like this, with no chords, or batteries to charge... are what really matters.

When I watch my boyfriend curl up with a good book, and I hear the soft swipe of turning pages... when he interrupts me as I make dinner to tell me about a particular character... my entire soul bubbles over with pride.



It is bittersweet to watch your child get older... to see them become independent, have their own opinions, likes and dislikes.

But when one of their loves is one of your loves... and a good love at that... well, then him not being a baby anymore doesn't seem quite so bad.

I am so proud of the smart boy that he is becoming... even if he wont hold my hand  anymore in front of his friends... even if he does insist on rolling up his sleeves, like the "Property Brothers"... even if he plays "Cooties" at recess and rough houses entirely too hard with his baby brother.

We share a love for escaping to another place through our imagination. We share an appreciation for books and learning in a way that some people may never experience in their whole lives.

And if acknowledging this gift means admitting that we are both growing up, well then, I guess I'm alright with that.


"Children get older... I'm getting older too."
-Stevie Nicks










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