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Running + Screaming

Hey, y’all. Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. The days are long, but the years weeks are short, ya know? The boys started back to school in mid-August and we’ve been busy acclimating to the newness of kindergarten and fourth grade. Connor has situated nicely to kindergarten and, to be honest, I was totally surprised. Pre-k was kind of overwhelming for him on a social scale and I kind of figured he’d have similar issues this year. Much to my relief, he loves school and learning which makes life that much easier.

Gabe has entered into fourth grade. Our school and the teachers there are awesome, so lemme just preface with that. The homework given is in-line with their lessons and we parents are provided with resources so that we can adequately assist our kids. I’m a firm believer in homework for kiddos like Gabe, anyway, who are super bright but need consistency and repetition in order to make the grade. But y’all — this. kid. is. KILLING. me. We’re exactly three weeks in and I’d be lyin’ if I said I didn’t have an early nightcap last night (and I still had to treadmill once the kids were asleep).

This is not a new issue for us. Connor is a bit of a class clown but academically on-point, whereas Gabe is exactly the opposite. He’s well-behaved and well-mannered.  But when it comes to schoolwork?  LAWD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS.  Can he do the work? Abso-freaking-lutely. The problem is that he doesn’t want to do the work. It’s boring for him and, if I’m being honest, a bit tedious. His double whammy of sensory processing disorder and ADHD has his focus all over God’s green earth. I totally get how that can be problematic for him (he’s a mini me if ever there was one) but I also get, from experience, that if he would just push through he could be UNSTOPPABLE. Y’all, this kid is no Billy Madison, but getting him from points “A” to “B” is a flipping chore.

I know you guys have seen this meme floating around the interwebs:

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And, yeah. This is pretty much totally accurate. But the hidden backstory here (I’m speculating, anyway) is that this was said by a mom who was on her fourth glass of red wine who just went straight T-Rex on her math-hating prey, er, kid. Again, speaking from experience here. We literally wrapped up his three items of homework, like, thirty minutes before bedtime. To sum that up, he gets out of school at 3:30. We got home at 3:40 and started homework at 4:00. He finished homework at 8:00 o’flipping clock. Gabe still had to eat dinner, brush his teeth, and shower. Yeah… he showered this morning because at 9:23 last night he was an hour past bedtime.

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Now, bear in mind — those four, LOONNGG hours were not spent strictly completing homework.  Lemme break it down for ya like a fraction:

4:15-5:45 — Gabe takes multiple bathroom breaks during which time he forms a one-man search party whose job is to locate — wait for it — his old toothbrush which was stamped with Elmo.  (Side note: he has not had that toothbrush since he was three years old.)

5:46-6:46(ish) — Me alternating face-palms of increased intensity and bellowed, “OH, COME ON” mental breakdowns, featuring the upbeat sounds of pencils being sharpened twenty-eleven times.

6:47-8:00 — This is the time slot in which the homework was actually done, but only by threat of Lego-tossing.  I managed to sneak into the pantry to stress eat an Atkins peanut butter cup and check out Google Maps to see how far away Timbuktu is from our dining room.  Checking for a friend.

8:15-8:45 — Our Tyson chicken patty sandwich dinner of champions was served.  The boys proceeded to argue over condiments.  I finally snapped and ordered absolute silence lest they sleep on the deck in sleeping bags.  All the wine is gone.

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Three weeks ago Gabe was excited to be back at school.  I, stupidly, thought things would go off without a hitch.  “He’s growing up!”, I said.

Two weeks ago Gabe mildly complained about having to write a paragraph.  He did it, but it took a little longer than necessary.  I was okay with it — fourth grade is a whole new ballgame.  No worries — he’ll get there.  His paragraph was well written, which sparked hope.

Last week he “didn’t need to study the science words” because he, “knows that a delta is rock broken down by erosion”.  I’M SORRY, SAY WHAT??

This week I’m bracing myself.  This week I’m gonna pray my way through the car rider lane and all the way home.  This week I’m going to look into those crystals that you chant to in order to prevent pre-mediated thought processes.

This week.  This week I’mma be a homework survivor in the land of Terdassic Park.

Fire up the grill!

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10 Things I’ve Said to My Children in Walmart

As we grow older, we develop life stories.  Some parts of these stories are light-hearted and fun.  Other chapters are dark and gloomy.  Some are just “meh”; you know what I mean — we all wander out of the “wonder years” and straight into the “not-even-using-dry-shampoo-give-a-damn’s-busted”- ‘meh’ phase.  It happens to the best of us — don’t knock ya’self.  If you’re a parent, at least one and a half of those chapters take place at the grocery store.  If you’re an unlucky parent, that grocery store just so happens to be WalMart.

Now, look — if any of you are employees of WalMart, I’m not hating on your workplace (much).  WalMart is a necessary evil.  A necessary evil that I should be a stockholder of, but I digress.

Point being, we all hold our own dialogue, with our own children, from our own personal experiences in the aisles and check-out lanes of various markets.  My kids are generally well behaved in public.  Sure, they get rowdy on occasion and sometimes I threaten to leave them in the frozen food aisle (“WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS, RANDOM HEATHEN?!”), but usually, the most damage that is ever done is me having to say really. weird. SHIT.  No, Classy Cathy; I don’t mean stuff.  I mean SHIT.  I have said some seriously off-the-wall, where-in-the-world-did-that-come-from crap.  And if you have ever had to run into the grocery with your children for, “Just eggs!” and you come out with everything but eggs, then you know my grief.

With that said, I’ve compiled a Top Ten list of my personal favorite “WTF?!” WalMart moments with my kids.

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10. You don’t have to have a new toy every time we come to the store.  Yes, that includes the poo emoji beanbag chair.
09. STOP POKING THE CHICKEN.
08. I don’t care if this is only WalMart and not Target, quit farting on your brother.
07. Quit staring at the bras.  You’re right — I don’t have a tiger striped bra.  Oh, I’m sure dad would laugh, alright.

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06. You know, they throw kids in WalMart jail for eating grapes that haven’t been purchased.  Don’t think I won’t let them keep you, either.
05. Yes, I see that she is wearing her pajamas.  No, you may not wear your pajamas next time.
04. Are you lic– WHY ARE YOU LICKING THE BUGGY?!

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03. No, you may not scan the baby’s butt.  Why?!  Because we’ve already paid for him, that’s why.
02. GET OUT OF THE FREEZER.
01. Go get in the car. Go GET in the CARGET IN THE CARRRRRRR.

All of the above was said in one shopping trip.  Last week.  The final week of summer.  Y’all, Connor started kindergarten today.  Do you know what that means?!  That means I get to go grocery shopping, nay, to WALMART, alone.  Unincumbered.  In (relative) silence.  There will be wine and dancing in the aisles and I don’t care who stares!

I hope I’m not alone in most of these (and seriously doubt that I am) and also hope you’ll comment below with your own grocery shopping proclamations and weirdness.  Like what you’ve read?  Hit the links below to follow me and subscribe for email notifications!

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What is This “Effortless” You Speak Of?

What is with all of these “effortless” families I’m seeing on Instagram lately? Like, seriously. There is no way on Earth that you always look like you’re ready for an impromptu photo shoot.

I mean, we get it. You like for everyone to think that you have it all together as though you’ve stepped out from the pages of a Nordstrom catalog. And it really helps brand your creative image. But just like those effortless buns, that, again, let’s face it, we all know took you 2 hours and a 1/2 a can of dry shampoo to put together, we know all about the righteous chaos that is your life. Why? Oh, honey. Because we’re there, too.

Embrace it. Accept it. Life with children, although a wonderful thought, is not a fanciful, whimsical world. It is chaotic, loud, and often a muddy mess. Even Princess Kate has her off-days — even though, thanks to royal protocol, her kiddos kind of have to always look put-together. But don’t be fooled! She’s definitely the kind of mom I’d want to have triple shot mimosas with.

Listen, I’m not mom shaming or even being judgmental. I’d love to be “that mom” who color coordinates with her kids and has matching (but not matchy-matchy) tee shirts. I’d also love for my own messy-yet-effortless bun to be less Miss Trunchbull and more sexy, exotic Pinterest board, but that’s just not my life. But I digress. Like I said, I’m not mom shaming. I’m inviting you to the ease of letting kids pick out their own outfits (within reason and season), pull on some leggings, and come sit amongst my laundry pile fort and have a margarita with me. It’s five o’clock somewhere, and even if it isn’t I’ll toast up some frozen waffles and we’ll call it brunch.

You can go back to your regularly scheduled programming of fake-it-or-make-it after you’ve ugly cried and even uglier laughed during a Boy Meets World/chips and salsa marathon if you want. I won’t mind. But come sit with us hot mess moms for a second. You may hate it — but I’m betting you won’t.

Just a heads up — we wear pink on Wednesdays. But only because Karen left a red sock in with her whites a few weeks back and, well, we still haven’t beaten that joke to death yet.

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The Safeword is “Paw Patrol”

“I need you,” he sighs.

Don’t lock your doors and switch your browser to Incognito yet, y’all.  It’s just my four-year-old on the other side of the bathroom door, needing me to poke a straw in his millionth juice box.

It’s an age-old story that we moms know all too well.  I’m sure if you go back in obscure history you’d see that even the cave-mommas were subjected to their offspring rushing to the designated toilet-tree just to ask if they could ride the family sabertooth.  Nevermind that cave-daddy was sitting on a nearby rock, scratching his backside and watching grass grow.  Because, obviously, mom grunts, “YES, GET OUT OF MY FACE,” BETTER.

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To be honest, I’m not really sure where to place the bathroom creeper blame.  Is it my fault for dragging their baby swing into the bathroom with me just so I could shower when they were small?  Is it the obligatory, “Herd all the children into the bathroom so they don’t flood the joint” mentality?  Actually, that second one is pretty legit.  They’ve both been known to flood bathrooms.  THANKS, KIDS.

Lately, I blame my eight-year-old who has become an expert bathroom lock picker.  No, he’s not creepin’ on people who are using the facilities.  He only does it to me and only when Connor has been whining for 2+ minutes about aforementioned juice boxes — or anything else, for that matter.  “Moooom.  He just won’t quit whiniiiing,” he, himself, whines.  But that’s another post for another day.

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In the way of motherhood privacy, there is no such thing as “privacy”.  The only me time I get these days is when a child’s nose is pressed into the corner of our bathroom or a fitting room.  “If they can’t see me, I can’t see them.”  (Yes, I know that’s not the saying and, yes, I know that doesn’t actually work.  But I’m doin’ what I got to do.)  For the past approaching nine years, I have been watched closer than a Russian spy.  My kids know no boundaries, and if one of them doesn’t one day have a career in the FBI, then I’ll be sorely disappointed steamed.

I don’t know when bathroom visitation ends, but I’m not seeing a clear end in sight.  I’ve got minimally four years left (Mason) until my privacy probation ends with no chance of parole.  What I don’t understand is why this glorious potty booty call doesn’t happen to my husband.  IT NEVER HAPPENS TO HIM.  No one ever busts up in the bathroom when homeboy is taking a shower.  No one slides notes under the door for him asking when he’ll be done.  No one goes in full Kramer-style with a mango and the TV remote asking for a hamburger (that actually happened).  They leave him the hell alone.  There have been no threats issued.  No discussion.  They just… leave him to his devices (read: cell phone).

I gave birth to these children.  My dignity has long since gone down the toilet.  My body has gone to crap.  My patience has been washed down the drain.  AND I JUST WANT TO URINATE IN PEACE, DAMNIT.

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“Safeword is, ‘Paw Patrol’,” she mumbles to herself, as she zips up her pants and shuffles, defeated, to the living room.

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If Moms Put in Resumes

I’ve been a stay at home mom for going on three years now. Let me tell you — it isn’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be. In fact, just being completely honest, it’s flipping hard. I went into my current “gig” thinking it would be a cinch; that I would be able to get SO MUCH DONE with all that FREE TIME I’D HAVE. Pftttttt. What is free time?! And y’all, I’m getting next to nothing done these days. Do you want to know when I’ve actually been able to achieve any of my housework/me-time goals? It was the three-month span between Connor starting pre-k in August and Mason’s birth in December of 2017.

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I got SO MUCH DONE. No, seriously. My house was clean. The baby’s room had (relatively) effortlessly come together. My laundry was largely kept up with. I SHOWERED DAILY. Hell, I even made it to the gym almost every day in those three months. It was amazing. And it all ended as quickly as it began. I don’t know what sparked my post-partum baby blues faster: the fact that my productivity levels would abruptly stop or the crashing hormones. In truth? Probably knowing that my house would, once again, be on permanent upheaval.

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I’m going to be real with you guys right now: I’m not a Mary Poppins, spoonful-of-sugar kind of mom. Nope. I’m definitely a weird mixture of Roseanne and Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond (minus the awful in-laws. I legitimately love my in-laws). My kids can attest to the fact that I put the “bear” in “momma bear”. With that said, three years in and I’m still not adjusted to this SAHM lifestyle. It’s just not something my personality type knows how to handle. And you know what? I’ve come to realize that’s okay.

Anyway, I’ve said all that to get to this: I’m very much looking for a job. Any job. I don’t care if it’s Hobby Lobby’s day-shift, I’ve got to have some Sarah-time, adult interaction before I blow a fuse. Unfortunately, my search has turned up a whole lot of nothing. I had an interview a few weeks ago for a school secretarial position, but the job was given to someone else with prior experience in that particular “field”, which — I get it. Really, I do. Total bummer and hit on the ego, but I understand why the decision had been made.

But that got me to thinking about maybe fixing up my resume, which got me to thinking, “What if moms put in resumes? What might that look like?”

This inquiry resulted in a surprisingly difficult-to-answer response. What makes moms tick? What makes us special? What makes us the so-called “glue” of the family? I don’t know about y’all, but I have a super hard time coming up with adjectives for myself — even those that are somewhat obvious. I also have a hard time giving myself credit where it is due. I’m the poster-child for being one’s worst critic. What I came up with was slightly humorous (not guffaw-worthy, obviously) and a little cliche. Okay, a lot cliche. But this little accidental exercise also helped me realize and remember some of my pre-mom self-worth. I was definitely given pause towards the end of my quick-ish presentation.

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Long story short: it’s hard being any kind of mom. At least, it’s hard if the mom in question is actually doing the “momming”. For me, personally, it’s hard because most of my mom friends work, live out of town, or have conflicting schedules. Sure, I have a tribe — but it’s a busy one. I can’t expect them to slow down to keep up with my pace. It’s also because my husband is gone Monday through Friday practically every week; the boys take that so hard and I really believe a lot of our week-to-week issues are because they just miss their dad. It’s because I went from being an independent, 3-job-working, college student to being a full-fledged mom. Obviously, this wasn’t an overnight occurrence, but y’all know how time flies. Gabe will be nine in August, and Connor five. I still vividly remember the days they were born. To further frost that cake, Mason will have his first birthday in December. My caboose baby is definitely not tee-tiny anymore and that hurts. It’s because I have literally craved peer-interaction since I was a toddler; it’s a weakness, I know — but that’s just part of my personality. Finally, I need to feel productive and worthwhile. I need to feel like I’m contributing to the cause and like I’m not just a glorified butt-wiper and toilet cleaner.

Is being a momma important? Absolutely. I love my boys; they are my heart. I’ve long-fought this, shall we say “demon”, of mine for a long time. Being a mom is part of who I am, now. And I love that. But this feeling that maybe I can find part of my old self in the chaotic toy-bin that is my head these days? That gives me some hope.

What would your mom resume look like?

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All Aboard the Hot Mess Express

In the train station of life, I am the conductor of the Hot Mess Express.  My kids are the cowboy bandits Rowdy McGee, Ruckus Brown, & Ryder “Big Stink” Calhoun — the fastest Nerf-gun slingers in the South.  Their goal?  To rob me blind of sanity and Goldfish crackers.  The train leaves the station at “Oh, Shit, We’re Late” thirty and pulls in around “Sorry, We Hit Traffic (But Not Really)” o’clock*.  Needless to say, my ability to conduct chaos is ASTOUNDING not the greatest.

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Since becoming a SAHM, I’ve found that my resourcefulness as far as managing the clock goes is…. well.  Lacking.  When I had a 9-5 job, I had to be efficient at all times.  If I wasn’t on the road at Time A, there was no way that I’d be at work for Time B.  And if I couldn’t get out of the office at Time C, then I was going to be fifteen to twenty minutes late for pickup at Time D, which cost me $5 a MINUTE.  Y’all, I’m frugal as hell.  I’m not paying anybody, but anybody, to watch my kids for five bucks a minute.  So get outta my way, slow-moving eighteen wheeler on the freeway!  Momma’s burning gas and rubber to save $75 and you’re impeding my progress.

I don’t really know what happened when I left my job to stay home.  I’d been momming for eight years, so I knew that being at home — ALONE — with the ankle biters would be no easy task.  I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting with my feet propped up, lovingly stroking their heads, reading a bajillion Dr. Seuss books, sipping on luke-warm cocoa.  I’m a lot of things, but gullible ain’t one of them.  So all I can think is that maybe, just maybe, I thought I’d have more time on my hands being at home all day vs. going to work and then struggling to get all the things done.

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Sigh.  Could there have been a time when I was really that stupid?  Me thinks so.

And summertime — sheesh.  Summertime is the worst time-sucker of all.  I’ve been telling myself for weeks now to invest in room-darkening curtains.  I’m a cheap ass, but really… I feel like those would be a sound investment.  Because eight o’clock rolls around and my kids see half a glimmer of a fourth of a sunbeam and they’re all, “PARTY TIL MORNING” and I’m all, “OH HELLLL NAW”.  No kidding, I’ve been trying to write this very post for three days. THREE DAYS, Y’ALL.  Rowdy, Ruckus, & Ryder are about to find themselves hogtied if they don’t cut out the hoopin’, hollerin’, and general shenanigans**.

When we do manage to get out the door on time (read: minimally ten minutes late), my kids are clean, dressed, pressed, and look like little gentlemen.  I try to come out looking somewhat presentable, but sometimes my appearance is that of a frontierswoman who fought a bobcat — and lost.  I think my most favorite “getting ready” activities are hollering, “PUT ON YOUR PANTS” from my bathroom and explaining to my husband the million reasons I’m not ready but the children are.  Like, are you kidding me, dear?!  Don’t call me darlin’, darlin’; I’ll be ready once the children stop urinating on the floor.

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You’re probably wondering why I’m still not on the stick after 8.75 years and three children.  And I wish I could tell you.  What I can tell you is that if you looked at the alarm app on my phone, you’d think I was in the business of timing heists.  I’ve got an alarm for EVERYTHING.  Departure times, arrival times, bath times, eating times, times we could ideally leave, and more realistic alarms for when we’ll actually be getting in the car, and an additional timer for when we’re all in the car but we haven’t actually left the driveway just yet.  Think I’m joking?  Think again.  Those little alarms are the only things that get my ass in gear — who cares if they also give me anxiety?!

One day I’ll have it all together.  hahahahahahaha

No, I won’t.  I can’t even finish that paragraph without lying my backside off.

One day, I’ll try to focus on being less anxious to get out of the house before noon and just roll in the reality of this: I do have children.  BOY children.  And I know there are mommas out there who are also boy moms.  I know there are moms out there who also have 3+ children.  I know those women manage to get out the door dressed, unscathed, and on time.  I’m not even going to be bitter about it, because that’s just not my life right now.  And that’s okay.  Because those women likely have other issues that I’m not dealing with, and if life has taught me anything, it’s the grass ain’t necessarily greener on the other side of the fence — and if it is greener, it’s probably fake.

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So to you moms out there who struggle with promptness like I do***, raise up a glass of sasparilla, whiskey, milk… whatever you’re drinking and tell yourself this: just don’t forget to turn off your straightener.
*Obviously, these times vary because time management is an unfamiliar concept as a mother of bandits.

** Not really.  But only because I have no idea what hog-tying entails.

***Before anyone jumps on the, “If you can’t be on time you’re just rude” comment — don’t.  If I do nothing else, I consider other people’s feelings as well as their (valuable) time.  This is something written in jest, but also something that I genuinely struggle with.  So make nice, or move on.  kthanks!

 

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A SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse
 wearing monkeys who live there.

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30.

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Today, I am thirty.

….sooo…. why do I feel no different today than I did yesterday, at 29?

Probably because my kids went to bed squabbling and woke up squabbling.  Thanks for keeping it real, kids.  You da real MVP.

But I digress.  Today isn’t just that huge of a deal for me.  It is what it is.  My best friend made a valid point this morning — 40 will probably be my epic meltdown birthday.  So, there’s that.  Ten additional years to prepare for being a complete basket case.  She also told me to party like a rockstar — little did she know that I woke up laying in puke that wasn’t my own (thanks, Mason!) and to an unwelcome foot down my pants (thanks, Connor!).  So while I’ll likely not party like a rockstar, I certainly woke up like one.  Same difference, right?

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I’m pretty sure my body is just in shock that I’ve made it thirty years through three c-sections, a slew of super-stupid life choices, and a nearly completely pickled liver.  The “dirty thirty” birthday bonanza will probably hit me like a semi-truck later when I’m kicking children out of the bathroom so I can just take a damn shower.  So for now, I’m going to leave you with thirty things about myself that, like ’em or not, have made me who I am today.

  1. I was born May 30th, 1988 at 8:15 AM.  I only know the time because my sweet mother has hammered that into my memory for, oh, thirty years.
  2. I have three siblings (two brothers and a sister), all of whom I am extremely proud of.  No, their accomplishments are not my own.  But they make me proud to be their sister.
  3. I have always rooted for the underdog.  That hasn’t always worked out in my favor.
  4. I am a momma to three beautiful and slightly deranged little boys.  They are my reasons to get up every morning — largely because they wake me up at the buttcrack of dawn every. damn. day.
  5. I love Diet Coke and would drink it by the case if I didn’t think it would kill me on the spot.
  6. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer.  …that clearly didn’t pan out.
  7. I also wanted to be a pilot and an interior designer.  I don’t mean to brag, but I chauffeur my kids around like nobody’s business and I can feng shui the hell out of some Legos.
  8. My most favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.
  9. love murder-mysteries in any form — except for in real life.  Don’t nobody got time for that.
    • Murder, She Wrote is my JAM.
  10. I love to explore and would pack my family up to become adventurers if given the chance.
  11. Ireland is on the top of my “Places to Go” bucketlist.
  12. I talk with my hands.
  13. I’m a hugger (comes with that Southern territory — sorry, not sorry).
  14. Daisies are my favorite flower with tulips following at a close second.
  15. I love all things history, emphasis on Early American and European history.
  16. I am fascinated by the lives of people from the past.  I think I romanticise it all and get it in my head that they lived these super intriguing lives when, in reality, they were probably pretty ordinary for the times.
  17. I romanticise a lot of things, come to think of it.
  18. I was a single mom for two years.  Not a very long time at all by most standards, but it taught me a lot and helped me really appreciate life and, more importantly, my son’s life.  On a more serious note, he truly did save me from myself.
  19. I met my husband through my ex-brother-in-law via Facebook.  Truth be told, I only met Evan to shut Jake up.  Little did I know…
  20. My abhorrent punctuation skills aside, my favorite subject in school was English.
  21. I plan on taking the leap one day and writing a book.  God bless the editor that is assigned to that hot mess!
  22. I am terrified of deep water.
  23. I wish I were a bit bolder.
  24. Sometimes I feel altogether useless as an adult and parent.  But don’t we all?
  25. I really love deep conversations.  I know that’s not a super popular thing these days, so I have to censor myself lest I become a real buzz kill.
  26. My mouth is absolutely horrid.  Seriously, I don’t even realize I swear half the time.  I’m working on it.
  27. One day I hope to explore an old house and find a secret passageway.  That would be the equivalent of finding gold for me.
  28. I have no idea what I’m doing most days.
  29. Writing this list made me realize how little I really know about myself, which is oddly scary.
  30. And finally, I hope to lose minimally thirty pounds by the end of the year.  Not just for myself, but for my kids as well.

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So there you have it.  If you made it through that somewhat redundant list, then bless your heart.  I’m off to celebrate the morning at IHOP with my kiddos, because prying sticky pancake off of my four-year-old is the best thing EVAH.

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A SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse
 wearing monkeys who live there.

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