Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry: Shark-like Behavior, During Shark Week or Not, is Unacceptable!

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Each day you are eager to see what will become of it. Will the girls be on good standings with each other or not? A new day has emerged. I started to get my first dose of sibling rivalry with the girls early in the morning, like just seconds after they woke up at 7:25 a.m. when EVERYONE was supposed to be asleep still. Since you do know, that it’s in the middle of summer! There is no reason why they needed to be awake at this hour causing chaos towards one another. I could tell they were still tired. Needing sleep. Whiny. This summer has proven that at least 2/4 girls have been on a love/hate, BFF/worst enemies that have turned so often that it’s got me grinding my teeth.

It always starts off in the mornings and just carries through the ENTIRE DAY! It starts off with, “QUIT LOOKING AT ME! DON’T CALL ME NAMES! I AM SMARTER THAN YOU!” and so on and on and on. This drives me absolutely crazy! Sometime during the mid-morning they will be on a compromise where they are playing Barbie’s (mind you these munchkins I’m referring to are 5, 8, & 10 – still young enough to play without being weirded about it all). Since they have started to play nicely, I leave the room to attended to the mountains of laundry that seemed to have SPROUTED in hours of completing what I thought was all the laundry in the laundry room.

As I was putting laundry into the washer, I started to hear yelling, screaming crying, and toys being chunked across the room hitting the walls. Doors. It is starting to sound like World War 50 in their room. I rushed into the room and saw Syd and Kylie on the floor wrestling with one another over a pair of purple high heels that belonged to Skipper (a Barbie). Seriously! What are they thinking? I just stare blankly at them like they have literally, lost their minds. What I did see, was the younger one biting the crap out of the older one’s arm. Hard. I broke up the fight. Sent Syd to her room after firmly telling her it is not ok to bite and we have had this speech so many times. It’s exhausting. You would think she would know NOT to do it, no matter how mad she gets at someone. I applied ice on K’s bite mark. She calmed down quickly and liked the fact that Syd was getting in trouble and she was getting the special treatment. I have no idea on why she thought ice in a Ziploc sandwich bag was special, but whatever floats her boat.

After about 20 minutes I told Syd she could come out of her room and play nicely with Shelby and Kylie. I overhear Shelby tell Syd, “NO BITING!” I don’t know what that was supposed to be – whether it was a nice way of reminding Syd or it was because she knew Syd got in trouble for it. Maybe it was just a 1 time deal that happened when Shark Week appeared. Whatever the case. Jaw’s like behavior is a no-no. I will not tolerate it. Shark Week or not. Biting is unacceptable in our family.

 

A Letter to Myself as a New Mom

If I could go back 12 years to the beginning of this Mommy Gig, there are things that I would tell the “New Mommy” me. Things I should hear and know. Things I’d deliver straight to my heart, like that violent Pulp Fiction through-the-chest resuscitation shot, to help myself breathe just a little in that time where the new Mommyhood first destroyed myself but before I really lived again.

“Dear Past Nikki,

Oh new Mommy. In the beginning it’s hard. It is so very hard. It’s hard. Your feet are constantly moving like a marathon that has just started. You haven’t trained. No one could possibly train you for motherhood. There’s no way to build your muscles. No way to increase your endurance. No way to improve you time other than to start running. It is the way that this is done. You won’t always feel so exhausted that you can barely keep your eyes open at the dinner table. Or catch your head as you are about to visit mashed potatoes. This is off-balance. Delirious. I know you do not care right now. That punching people in the face sounds awesome to you right now when they say, “It’ll get better!” It does get better, Mommy. The secret is that you get stronger with each and every passing day.

Sweet new Mommy, this postpartum depression is not just a biological phenomena reserved strictly for Mommy who grow their babies themselves. You will adore your little one. You are wildly grateful for her. You would give your life for her. There will be some days where you will think you are not up to this and strung out on things you wish you could, but can’t. All kinds of Postpartum “What the hell” days are normal, even for you. Welcome to the land of crushing love with this new little life and breathless with the loss of yourself.

Parenting is relentless. No matter how you got here. There. You will feel like you’ve been beaten, sometimes every minutes or second of the day. It may knock you down, but you will not stay down. You are a woman. You are just at the beginning to learn how very strong you are. Parenting is relentless. I’ve mentioned that. Relentless. Eventually it’ll give you a better version of yourself. Eventually you will consider it a worthy trade.

You will have days that are filled with pain. Loneliness. Unsure. You are dying Mommy. Dying to yourself. Laying down everything that you once knew. You will rise again. You will go far. All the way to the moon. You will. To infinity and beyond. Your life will not always be about diapers, late nights, early mornings, toddler fits, or Mommy tantrums. I swear and cross my heart. You will seek and you will find yourself in the spark of the moment. I know this from hard experience. To the marrow of your bones. You are resilient. Capable. Strong.

I know you are wondering how “Mommying” is so isolating when millions and millions of women do it everyday with more than just one or two children under the age of 5. I know you didn’t think there would be loneliness with it. If I had a genie in a magic bottle, I would wish for a “zoom out” button for you. In the middle of the night. When you’re sitting on the hard floor rocking your crying baby and yet crying yourself. Filled with despair because you want to just stop the crying but are not sure how. You could zoom out and see. You could zoom out over your house. Then out. Then in. Like a Google Earth for Mommy’s. From that high place in the sky overhead you would see that you are one of an ocean of Mommys rocking on the floor in the middle of the night. Know that you are not alone. Maybe in the house you are, but not really. You’d wave at all the other Mommy’s. They’d wave at you through their tears back at you.

It takes a village to raise a child”

I know you would wonder how to find this village. Damn Village! The Zoom Button would sure be helpful right about now. Don’t you think? Remember you must breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. There is a Village within yourself Mommy. There is HOPE! You’ll get there! You’ll find the illusive Village that is lurking about. You are so right to keep on moving til you find your Mommy Tribe.

Oh all the Mommy’s that you will find! Some of them are lost in the wilderness just similar to you. They will point to the way of Love. Hand you a beer. Teach you to laugh at the mess. To not care about what others think of you. You just do not know. The sweaty, miserable work you are doing within the jungle isn’t just for you, Mommy. There is a purpose for all of your lost wandering. You don’t know it. You’re cutting a trail that others will follow to the Love. The Beer. The Laughter. Can you belive it!?

Oh New Mommy. Here are 3 things I wish I could tell you. You are okay! There is both dark and light side of you. The despair and the hope. The hope will win. I promise. 

You are not alone. Love is there. You are there. Together you are enough.

Love to you,

Nikki (Future self)

Mombie

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Questions. Too much pressure. We should make a pact right now and stop answering them. How are you? Do you want a receipt? What’s for dinner? Are you finished in the bathroom? Are you wearing that today? Do you believe in taking a bath? Sometimes I do not know. I don’t mean to act like I’m avoiding any of the question. I honesty have no clue.

I’m sorry, nice girl at the counter, who’s waiting as patiently as she can for an answer that is piling up the line behind me. I can’t decide if I want a receipt or not. I seem to make this decision wherever I go. Today I ordered a Venti Mocha Java Chip Frappiccino. For here or to go? “To go,” I said. Nope I don’t need a sleeve. I said all this with conviction.

The receipt. It just seemed to stick in an infinity loop. My brain has like gone on a vacation without me. Do I want a receipt? I had a complete brain meltdown. Trouble processing what the receipt was. Less alone if I wanted on or not. It’s not your fault, nice lady at the register. You are awesome. Doing a great job!

The problem is seems to be me. The brain tumor. “Motherhood“. A big, old lump of motherhood smack in the middle of my brain. Progressive. Causes my brain to respond unpredictably. Running enthusiastically at warp speed. Grinding all my gears to come to a halting stop. Moderation? Steady as she goes!? Nothing. Everything is dead to me. There are times this chaotic brain of mine if great for a million questions, raising a lot of money for GT programs just for Moms, raising its hand at the front of Spanish class, and the OMG I KNOW THE ANSWER!! PICK ME!! PICK ME!! Today was not the case.

My brain has been shutting down a lot more lately. Usually about the time one of my children throw the first question of the day at me. Usually this happens at 7:00 a.m. CST. My brain acts like a grumpy teenager refusing to respond to the question. I think it’s a faker. Playing dead. On purpose. Hoping the questioner will leave me alone and let me sleep in some more. I’m stuck telling my brain that my child wants to play on the computer because they assume it’s their turn, even though they took turns yesterday too. No answer. Nothing. An infinity loop: Can they go on the computer? Can they go on the computer? What is computer? Why am I looking and deciding computer or no?

Here is my whole point. If you’ve ever felt like a Mombie, Space Cadet, like your brain in smack middle of a busy highway, and all those other “Mom Brains” are zooming past you; if you’ve ever felt like you should be present more, more in the moment, but you can’t get a kickstart in your brain, you are not alone!

It is OKAY!

It’s OKAY to be a space cadet. To have a stuttering brain. To have the tumor called Motherhood, whatever that takes over all other cognitive functions/something just shuts down. It’s OKAY your tumor has metastasized into your heart and goes flutters. Soft. Terrified in a rapid, missed-beat succession. It’s OKAY it has moved into your lungs and affects the very air you take in.

It is OKAY!

One day your brain will be back at the front of the class. Eventually. Cross my heart. In the meantime, cut yourself some slack. We all should cut ourselves some slack.

OKAY?

Don’t answer that.

Have you ever felt this way? Share your “MOMBIE” experiences below. Questions. They are hard. If your brain was working at warp speed today, feel free to tell us a story about a time it was not. Like the one how you almost went to work ONLY in your tights and no skirt; haha. Classic! For the rest of us Momrades who want to encourage one another though our brains have stalled, we can just wave at one another. 🙂

 

Things Every Parent Should Hear

 

Here are some things that every parent should hear in case you are having one of those days where nothing is going your way and you need motivation.

  • YOU are a hero for you kids. You are, no matter how many kids you have. You’re the go-the-distance, fight-the-dragon, face-the-challenge hero for your kids. Taking a beating makes that only more true. Not less.
  • We all struggle. Every single parents. Everywhere. We all second-guess ourselves. We all have a time or two or more where we just want to say, “NO MORE” and quit. But we don’t. We hold the good time close. When things are tough, we remember the phrase, “This, too, shall pass.”
  • Finding the funny may not save your soul, but it will save your sanity. Maybe it’s the other way around. Whichever way it is, look for the humor. Embrace the crazy. Laughter is a lifeline.
  • Every single day, you will feel like you didn’t handle something the correct way. Almost like you’ve been impatient. Like you have misjudged. Or you’ve been too harsh. Been too lenient. You may be correct. Apologize. Just whatever. Let it go. Do not hold a grudge. It can bite you in the butt one day. Karma is not your friend.
  • The crazy. The crying. The cuddles. The screaming. The sacred. The scared. The minutes. The magic. The mess. It’s all part of life. It’s all worth it.
  • Family is the best. Family may not be perfect. It’s never perfect. Ever!
  • At the end of an organization (whatever it may be), at the end of patience, at the end of perfection, we die to only ourselves. Then love rises from the ashes. It stinks. It gets better. It stinks again. Love rises.
  • You’ll never regret parenting. Except for those teeny, tiny tons of times when you constantly and secretly wonder if you maybe regret it just a tiny bit. Majority of the time, never. Overall it is what counts in the end.
  • Look at parenting as similar as climbing a really big, gigantic mountain – say Mount Everest for example. Now once you get to the top of this mountain, look down for the base camp. This is where you will rest, meet other climbers, take in oxygen, and acclimatize. The base camp is what makes climbing gigantic mountains possible to reach the top.
  • You are not alone. You are not only in this strange, vast, parenting ocean. Even at night, when it’s pitch black and you cannot even see your own hand that is right in front of your face. You are not alone, ever!
  • Kids know the word ‘magical’ and they know how to get there. They will give you a “FREE PASS” to come along. Breathe in this magic as long and deep as you can, because this same kid that invited you will poop or pee her pants in just a second.
  • There is a fine line between enjoying chaos and barely surviving it. There’s no line, what am I talking about. It’s mixed together. You’ll never see it. It’s a lie. Maybe it’s there if you imagine one, but other than that, nope, no line.
  • If you pay attention long enough, your kids (and other people’s kids) will teach out how to laugh LOUDLY. How to love DEEPLY. How to live FULLY.  And how to ruin all of you stuff in seconds!
  • Any number of kids is a lot of kids, whether it’s an only child to four or more kids.
  • Joy. You must look for it. It could be found in the middle of the busy. Under the ridiculous. Hanging from an overwhelmed child in its underpants. Joy’s like that. In the middle of everything. Completely unpredictable. It’ll surprise you when you’re least expecting it. Kind of like your child vomit and/or diarrhea either at the same time or spaced out a couple of minutes. Except Joy is good.
  • Kids are difficult. They are gross. They are confusing. They are awesome. So are you.
  • You will fall apart. You will do it all wrong. You will forgive yourself. You will ask your children to forgive you. You will set an example of resilient fallibility. You will set an example of practicing the art of love – loving yourself and loving others. Not one single person I know has done this parenting gig right the first time. Or the last time. Or the times in between the first and the last. Showing your children how to keep on going after getting it wrong. After feeling defeated is a wonderful gift to give to them. To allow them to know “when you fall down, get back up and keep on trying.”
  • Parenting will bring you face to face with yourself. It may terrify you. It may break you. It will rebuild you. You will be stronger than ever thought possible.
  • Balancing anything is a myth. Parenting is not a tight-rope walk. It’s a dance. Strive for a rhythm in your life instead of a balance. Trust yourself to move to the ever-changing beat.
  • You will have days where you wonder where the hell the capable and organization you had went to. You will have days where you find yourself sitting on the floor if the middle of Wal-Mart near the check out area with a child who is literally screaming, throwing merchandise, calling you names, and thrashing about. You will have days where you will tell your child(ren) that the dog is not their napkin or their baby doll where you load your baby dolls up with make up and nail polish. If you don’t find yourself doing all those things, literally, then you will do it figuratively-speaking. You will hold your child(ren) while rocking back and forth letting them know that you love her. That she is safe. That you are not leaving when things get rocky. Someday she will leave you, but that’s life. That’s them growing up and figuring out life for herself. This is parenting. It’s tragic. Triumphant. Messy. Magical. Sacred. Spectacular. Always, fiercely worthwhile.

Toilet Paper vs Household

Have you ever walked into the bathroom, sat down, used the bathroom, and then when you go for that roll of toilet paper that you know you put on the roll this morning, like 10 minutes ago, see this:

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NO TOILET PAPER!? Me I have! I’ve done it on several occasions this week. Actually it happened to me THIS MORNING! I know that I put a roll on it LAST NIGHT BEFORE I WENT TO BED at 2 a.m.! It was only 7:00 a.m. and there is no toilet paper!

So, the real question: Who used all the toilet paper? The children, who can be adorable are apparently feral? The husband? Or Me for failing to write the legislation appropriately? Who shall we blame?

There was actually an entire bag of toilet paper in the girl’s bathroom on Friday (today is Monday) and yet when I needed it, there was nothing to be found! It vanished. POOF! Disappeared into a white cloud of toilet paper smoke. I guess. No one, of course, did it or even witnessed the actual disappearance of the entire bag of toilet paper, let alone the toilet paper that I physically put on the toilet paper holder.

The bright side of things…my children leave their dirty clothes scattered everywhere in our hour, especially the bathroom – so any used socks and t-shirts you see where the toilet paper is lacking. I know it’s gross. I promise you I’m very well aware of the exactly how repulsive it can be to use a sweat and dirt crusted sock to wipe oneself is. But people who live in the jungle MUST use what they have, right? Yep. No judging allowed!

My mission this morning was to find the missing toilet paper. I promise that we had a bag of it in their bathroom. An entire bag, with 1 roll missing. Since I recently gave all 4 of my children the “Toilet Paper Speech” again, its absense is a mystery. At least a mystery to myself. For those of you who live pristine, lovely lives – pretty please message me all of the details because I swear on Jesus’ Holy Name I need a few precious moments to live vicariously through you. The “Toilet Paper Speech” goes something like this:

Me: Darling, darling children who I love to pieces. My sweet girls who I endlessly adore. What is toilet paper for?

My Girls: Wiping!

Me: My girls who are precious in God’s sight, what exactly do we wipe with toilet paper?

My Girls: Our butts and pooty-poos (as my 5 year old calls it)

Me: And, little ones who do not listen to their parents. Who are suppose to honor them all the days of their lives, are there exceptions to this rule?

My Girls: Yes, but only 2 exceptions.

Me: What are they?

My Girls: Wiping our pee and poop smears that happen to fall on the toilet seat. Around the toilet. When poop falls on the ground. And when we have a bloody nose.

Me: Because…

My Girls: “Thou shall not leave the bathroom without making sure there is no body fluids we are leaving behind. We are like the Marines – we never leave a man behind!

Me: And?

My Girls: We wash our hands!

Me: Yes! This is the Truth! It will make your mother less like to screech at you from the toilet. What, do we NOT use the toilet paper for?

My Girls: No cleaning the sink. No using the toilet paper as a sponge, we must not be lazy and look for the sponge. No mopping the floor with it because we are too lazy to get the mop from outside on the porch. No decorating our rooms. No giant snowball, toilet-paper fight. No hiding some outside under the porch for when we need to go and can’t make it inside. No wiping up the gallon of fruit punch juice product that we spilled all over the new, white carpet.

Me: Yes this is all true.

Together: Amen”

As you can see, we are all on a CLEAR, UNDERSTANDING of what toilet paper is used for. Toilet Paper is only used for bodily fluids and only while sitting on the toilet.

FYI – I never found the bag of toilet paper.

INEVITABLE BODY TRUTHS

Any kind of truth hurts. Any kind of truth that I tell you about what my body is like after four kids and rapidly closing in on my 35th birthday hurts. I could exercise, but I could just as easy sit on my chair whining about my baby fat while shoveling down a cup of Mint Chocolate Chip or Rocky Road ice cream with sprinkles and milk. In most cases you get out a lot of what you give in and I’m okay with this. I don’t have a whole lot of room for improvement. I cannot just ignore the truth about what has happened to my body.

Here are a few of my horrid, inevitable body truths as they are today:

  • No matter how hard you try, there is no possibly way to suck in “back fat”
  • Driving in the car with the windows down and my arm up may result in severe under arm skin flapping (similar of a large gummed dog with his head out the window of a moving vehicle).
  • Due to the sheer size of my thighs, running in corduroy pants is not advised. This may result in the sparking and unintentional fires.
  • Muffin top. Must get used to it.
  • Don’t worry about the college funds. I need to start putting money into a Laser Hair Removal Fund or begin tweezing my eyebrows 2 times a day.
  • I wish I could go back in time and kick my 23-24 year old self when I was pregnant with Paige thinking that I really LOVED food. I ate everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in sight. Especially those 12 packages of Cadbury Eggs that they stick out during Easter. Or all the junk foods out of the machines where I worked. I would tell myself that one day I would wake up and realize that all this “Eating for Two” is a bunch of crap and the weight will be impossible to simply “fall off” as I was thinking back then.
  • Many areas now have the consistency of Jell-O.
  • Laughing, coughing, and/or sneezing may result in peeing in your pants!

Have you noticed any changes since you’ve been getting older? Having kids? What inevitable truth are you living with today? Leave me a comment below!

Stinky Feet

The girls have started doing something really, really weird this summer. Maybe them being weird and doing weird things is not a shock to me anymore, but to other people. That’s when the weirdness expressions usually turn from ‘uh ok’ to ‘hmm..” You get what I’m saying I’m hoping so.

Syd and Shelby have been crouching on all 4s and shoving their noses just above other family member’s feet to get a good sniff. Anyone without shoes at a family even is their target. Maybe it’s a phase. Who knows. I think I remember Paige or maybe it was Kylie that went through it. I just don’t know. I can remember milestones, birthdays, and school events; but this is a new for me. It was just a matter

They’ve taken to crouching on all fours, and shoving their nostrils above people’s feet to get a good sniff. Anyone without shoes on is a target for them…I guess it’s a phase they are going through, I’m not sure. But it was only a matter of time before they got their Dad – Imagine this (Shelby crouches down and starts to sniff the ground like a dog while making her way to Dad who is sitting in his brown recliner in the livingroom. He just took his boots off from working outside in the Texas heat. He acts like they aren’t there. Syd joines in)…

Shelby: Ugh (gagging noises start to emerge) so smelly!

Smelly

Dad: What? Really? Why? Are they serious!?

Syd: Don’t worry Daddy, your feet aren’t smelly. They smell like roses!

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Dad: Oh, thanks a lot!

Syd: Dad, it’s your shoes that are smelly, not your feet.

Dad: Oh ya!? Thanks!

Just for the record Dad doesn’t have smelly feet. Nor smelly shoes. But if he did, it would be from standing at work all day in steeltoe boots, running about all night and day, or jumping around so much that he looks Jim Carrey would look like if he was on ecstasy…

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But he doesn’t. So it’s fine.

 

Endless Conversational Loops of Suburban Moms

I should really know better by now. I should know that if I leave my house to make a run to Wal-Mart or Brookshires that I will encounter at least one person who will bug me just because. During the summer I have noticed that I’ve left the house, a lot! I’ve been spending a lot of time shopping for the girl’s birthdays, shopping just because, and every 13 days spend a lot of money at Wal-Mart because Steven will be leaving the next day for his 10-hour drive across Texas and into New Mexico. I’ve ran into so many different kind of Moms blocking Wal-Mart and Brookshire’s aisles. At the same time as I’m trying to avoid these aisles, I also realize I can overhear their conversations and realize it’s the same story over and over. It’s the same story they tell All. The. Time. Regardless of “when” it happened, they are talking about it. It was just a different variation of the same conversation I heard 3 months ago. Here is a mash-up with all the topics:

  • Mary (Mom #1): We’re trying to get keep Thomas active this summer. It’s so hard because he’s in the GT program. We are unsure if he’s going to forget everything he learned last year.
  • Danielle (Mom #2): O-M-Gee! I know what you mean. Even though we decided that we were not doing the GT program. It seems like it is such a waste of their time when they are this young. Goodness, we are still struggling with finding things for Michelle to learn about. She’s ready everything the library has to offer on organic farming to alegbra to space.
  • Alexis (Mom #3): Oooo…we are very into organic farming this summer! There is a friend of the family that lives about an hour from here where you can go and harvest your own food. You pay for it by the pound. It’s an awesome and exciting deal. The kids and I spent 4 hours picking blueberries and I paid $15 for it. It was a much cooler day than today. We took water. It was great! I even took pictures for everyone to see. Do you follow me on Instagram?
  • Danielle: Aren’t you too busy to visit the farm? Tennis and golf has kept us so, super busy this summer. We barely have time for anything else.
  • Mary: I totally understand where you are coming from! Dustin is working my tail-end off! Thank God, he’s literally working my ass off! I am already down a size and I need to lose about 3 more sizes. (Note she is already so thin that it reminds you of what you were like in high school, before you had kids). I’m such a pig this summer. I ate ice cream only two times already – once in June and once in July!
  • Alexis: That’s strange. I can’t seem to keep the weight on during the summer. I guess I’m constantly on the go that I forget to eat.
  • Mary: Lucky you! I have to put in at least 2 hours each day with Dustin. I still have to watch what I eat.
  • Danielle: Ladies, Please! You both are skinny-minis! I’m the biggest of this group!
  • Alexis: Are you eating gluten-free? Since I’ve cut all wheat and processed foods from our house, we’ve all shed the weight without trying. It’s done wonders for our skin. For our hair! Look at Gracie!! Twice this week I’ve been stopped in this very Wal-Mart and asked if she was a model!
  • Mary: I know that feeling! Lizzy has been getting all compliments all week at her virtual reality gaming design camp. It must be weird for Gracie when complete strangers tell her that she can be a model!
  • Danielle: I’m with you on that! Definitely started back when Andrea was a NB! She stops traffic wherever she goes.
  • Mary: It’s been great seeing you both! We need to get together real soon and catch up some more!
  • Danielle: Definitely! We will have time in August after we get back from another vacation from Colorado.
  • Alexis: Sure sounds like fun. We’ll work something out. Lemme know a date and I’ll work from there.

And away from the aisle they leave.

 

Jobs I’m Now Qualified since I Added “Parenting” to My Resume

I have been a stay at home my with my kids for the last 8 years and not once have I ever thought about my situation as a permanent break from the workforce.

Do not get me wrong. I have no regrets with my current at home position, in fact I love being able to be here at this stage in their lives. There are some things from the workforce that I really miss like the adult interaction, which is why I have wanted to restart my blogging. Can you imagine the conversations with young children under the age of 6? Thankfully all of my children are older than the age of 4 and I’m good with that. My youngest will be starting All-Day Kindergarten, so I’ve been thinking about what I’ll be doing with all my free time while all four kids are in school 8 hours a day. Should I write? Get a job and work the “perfect” hours that everyone dreams of? Sit around in pajamas all day, eating Rocky Road ice cream and boiled eggs (not together of course), and catching back up on tv shows that the DVR has had for the last 8 months? Clean out the storage building so we can finally have that dreaded garage sale that every one in the family wants but don’t want to work to get it done? Each scenario clearly all have its own benefits.

If I was to return to the workforce what would happen? Do I go back to corporate training or try something new? I was then concerned about my resume gap, but then I have realized that parenting has given me all kinds of new skills! In fact, should I return to work, I have so many new opportunities to choose from thanks to all the new qualifications that I’ve developed since becoming a parent 12 years ago!

Jobs that I am Now Qualified for since I’ve added “Parenting” to my Resume:

  1. Cruise Director: Since my kids were old enough to sit on their own, they have been staring at me with those sad, ol’ puppy eyes that read, “Entertain me! Make me laugh! Communicate with me!” Of course, they are old enough to speak and unless they are glued to the tv, computer, phone, or tablet; I will have at least 1 child up under my butt for at least 15 minutes expressing their boredom and telling me their needs because they are unsure of what they can do. That they want to do something but nothing that involves cleaning. They do not like my suggestions. Some activities that this Cruise Director could offer would be swimming, playing RISK or Dominoes, cleaning their own cabins, etc. I could always find something for them to do.

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2.) Hostage Negotiator:  Maybe you think I’m being dramatic or there is no way that I could be qualified for a job like that without the proper training. If you’re entire family has ever been held up because your 2-year-old refuses to put on her pants so you all can go and enjoy the beach, park, or any other activity that requires pants, then you can relate. Yes, as a parent you can force the pants onto your child’s body, but then they start crying, yelling, throwing whatever they can latch their little hands onto before you even step out the door. The key is to make her think that YOU are on her side and that you just want to help her. You gain her trust. Speak in a soft, soothing tone. You get her to realize that wearing pants was her idea to begin with. After a standoff of 5 minutes, but yet to you it feels like hours, she gives up. She puts on the pants! A win for the parents. For the family! Until she says…she has to poop!

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3.) Animal Trainer: My kids are pretty much house-trained. They nearly always pee in, on, or around the toilet. They will sit on command, definitely if I’m offering candy or ice cream. My kids will lay down when I (repeatedly) give them the command (100 times) at bedtime. I know. It’s awesome. Give all the thanks to my stellar training skills. I’m pretty sure this qualifies me to train just about any other kind of domesticated animal.

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3.) Circus Ring Leader: I am able to run my house in a way that looks like I’m purposefully orchestrating a family circus! Friends that “pop” over for a few minutes. Hours. Will marvel at my ability to tame the savage toddler while seeing another child in the livingroom paint the dog’s face as if he was a clown all awhile I have 2 kids showing one another how to walk tightrope that resemble my nerves by asking me 900 million times if they can go swimming after they go to McDonald’s. The floors resemble some similar to those you can find under a big top with a variety of snacks like popcorn, colored goldfish, chocolate donuts with powdered sugar, and red apples without the skin. They would probably think that we housed elephants or monkeys! If I really wanted to the pull out all that I have, I would be able to double over as the Bearded Lady with a few weeks notice.

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4.) Chauffeur: Whether it’s to and from school, sports activities, birthday parties, doctor appointments, or where ever your unlicensed child needs to go, it can sometimes feel like you are living out of your car and even look like it. Drinks, snacks, books/electronics are there for entertainment…for myself. I think I’d make a great professional driver as a chauffeur or a cabbie since I’m in the car 24/7, my record is clear of accidents with a few minor speeding warnings, and at this point adding a far device to charge a fee only seems to be fair.

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5.) Harry Potter’s House Elf: I am immensely devoted to the family of which I serve. I work endlessly for them. I can only be freed by the gift of a clean house. A House Mom only truly becomes free once her masters start doing their own laundry. Looks like I’ve got ways to go before that happens. This is definitely NOT a job that I would look for outside the home. I’m unfortunately over-qualified for the no-pay position.

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6.) Sewer Inspector: Once you are into parenting with the expectation that it can be messy at times, no one will really understand until they are knee-deep in it and how far it can actually go. You may have never looked at a bathroom after the same way again, particularly after potty training. Once they are potty train. you are still not off the hook. I have recovered so many items from the toilets over the years including (but not limited to): ABC puzzle pieces, wooden puzzle pieces, rubber duckies, a towel, large chunks of toilet paper, entire rolls of toilet paper, scrunchies, trolls, Little People toys, a toy horse, a dinosaur, socks, a whole banana (a whole other story there), underwear, legos, a Barbie, and more. My toilet-fishing ability may qualify me for a spot on The Deadliest Catch.

7.) Pooper Scooper: I’ve been down with OPP (Other People’s Poop) for over 12 years and as much as I hate to admit this, I am over qualified for just about any job position that required the cleaning and/or disposal of poop.

8.) Personal Assistant to a Diva: I have calmly been able to deal with the unreasonable, insanely divas that get upset for absolutely no reason at all (i.e. when their sandwich has ham on it or when the crust is still present). I’m used to taking orders all day long, even extreme requests like, “PLEASE wipe my butt because I don’t feel like it!” (Another reason I would be great at #7). Working as a personal assistant to a Diva or someone like Meryl Streep’s character from The Devil Wears Prada would be no biggie. I mean, at least then I would be getting paid!

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What jobs has parenting left you qualified for? Do you think I should pursue a new career in any of these fields? Leave me a comment below. Let me know. I love hearing from you!

ABC, Meme with Me

Here is a Meme that I saw on Facebook and I’m feeling slightly nostalgic about.

A: Are you single? Not in the least. Very happily coupled. Thanks!

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B: Birthday? November 23, 1982

C: Crush? See the husband in photo A, that’s my MCM

D: Drink you last had? Ice Well Water

E: Easiest person to talk to? Angela or Kim

F: Favorite song? I listen to so many different genres of music, I can’t just pick 1 favorite song.

G: Good at? Taking pictures of nature. Baking chocolate chip pre-made cookies. Making homemade french toast, egg rolls, and smoothies. Making our laundry smell good. Helping my husband brush hog while he mows the front part of our place. Being a wife. Making my kids laugh. 

H: Hair color? At the beginning of summer I was a bleached blonde with a blue strip on the side. But currently I’m sporting the “brown is over-taking my blonde hair on the roots of my head” so I’m looking into getting it done soon. 

I: In love with? Puppies that are not mine. Sunshine. Vacation that is in 3 weeks. Beaches. Anything freshly baked. Good books. The smell of fresh-cut grass and rain. Making out with Steven. Warm socks. Freshly made beds without the sheet; only comforters. Sniffing freshly, washed children. The sound of Shelby singing in the shower. Laughing. Nice people. Working out with my family.

J: Jealous of? Those women who could pull off the solid black hair with the dark blue/purple streaks in their hairs (see picture below). There is no way I could pull that off! c9ef125adf3b468336ddd663ad80dc58

 

K: Known as? Mom. Mommy. MOM! Nikki. Babe. Sweetheart. Hey! (child’s name)’s Mom

L:  Longest relationship? As of today, 14 years and 11 months

M: Middle name? Nicole

N: Number? If I have to pick single number – 2. Double – 23. Triple – 269

O: One wish? For everyone in my family to be perfectly healthy until we simply die of old age. 

P: Person last texted? Angela

Q: Question always asked? Can we go swimming? The famous words of my 10-year-old.

T: Time you woke up? Today it was 7:09 a.m. CST. This is the time in my house that EVERYONE is still asleep, including the dog!

U:  Underwear color? The most common color – white.

V: Violent moment? Playing one of those whack-a-mole at Chuck E. Cheese with the girls. I’ve found that I was much more efficient when I would take my anger out on them when I was mad about something. 

W: Worst fear? Swimming in anything that I cannot see the bottom in. For instance, I absolutely LOVE the beach…but do not get that confused with I LOVE swimming in the ocean. I do not! I LOVE going to the beach. I love the smell. I love watching the waves. I love watching my girls enjoy themselves, but I will not swim in the ocean. 

X: Ex you never stopped loving? None

Y: Your last hug? Shelby, usually when she wants my phone or the tablet to watch “her shows”. 

Z: Zodiac sign? Sagittarius.