How My Kids Brought Back The Magic Of Christmas

There comes a time in all of our lives when childhood begins to wane and, along with it, the magic and belief in Santa. I remember the hollow sadness accompanying the realization that Christmas would never be the same again. I knew I’d never again look up in the sky on Christmas Eve and feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end at the possibility of seeing a sleigh dart past the stars. I knew I’d never again awaken in the middle of the night to the sounds of crinkling paper and jingle bells, my heart pounding with exhilaration and fear

And then, just recently, I found myself turned completely around in the car, wagging a pointed finger at my kids in the backseat with a reindeer-shit-eatin’ grin on my face, singing along with the radio, “You better be good for goodness sake!” in that classic mom fashion that would have made my teen self cringe.

At that moment, something clicked, and I was taken aback by this sudden jolt of merry rocking my system. As I slowly turned forward in my seat again, mouth agape, I realized what had happened:

I felt it. I felt the magic again.

Excited to be up on Scary Mommy again tonight! Head on over to check out the rest of this post!

Join the Teal Pumpkin Project!

Fall is upon us, and Halloween can be especially tricky for the millions of children who manage life-threatening food allergies.  This year, please consider including some safe, non-food items for the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood who aren’t able to enjoy Halloween candy with their friends and siblings.

Examples of inexpensive candy alternatives include stickers, pencils, bubbles, glow sticks, and dollar store trinkets.

Then, paint a pumpkin teal for food allergy awareness and put it in your front yard to let these kids know they can trick-or-treat safely at your house on Halloween night.

Evie and lots of children like her will THANK YOU! 💙 Plus, unlike the furry Snickers in the back of your pantry from last Halloween, the leftovers from these treats never go bad and can be reused year after year.

To learn more about FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project, visit http://www.foodallergy.org.

#TealPumpkinProject

teal pumpkin

 

On Jesus and Jellybeans: Talking Easter With Littles

This past week, I sat down with my son, wrapped my arm around his shoulders and braced myself for a conversation I’d had a feeling was coming. The shamrocks had been packed away, and in their place came a stack of Easter books. Many of them were filled with images of fluffy bunnies and colorful eggs, but there was one that showed a man, almost naked and nailed to a piece of wood. And this year, my son noticed.

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A Shift in Focus This Christmas

“There are so many toys out, we can’t even walk across the room,” I said to my kids the other day, after stepping on what I swore would be the last block to pierce my bare foot ever again. “Time to pick up. Let’s start with this puzzle.”

My three-year-old responded with his new favorite word: “No.”

“No? Can you toss the pieces into the box like a basketball?” I countered. No. “…’Kaaay. Let’s count how fast you can do it!” No. “You’ll get a sticker for your chart if you just — “ Nope.

Out of tricks, the pleas turned into threats: “If you don’t start taking care of your toys and helping to pick up a little bit, I’M going to clean up with my GARBAGE BAG.” It was a tactic I had recently learned from a friend, and I was eager to see if it would work on my own brood.

“Okay, Mommy.” Record screeches. 

“WHAT? Okay?? You don’t care if I throw this puzzle away? This puzzle you LOVE?”

“No, throw it away,” he said, without even looking up from whatever other game he had started playing.

Flabbergasted, I realized he had called my bluff, and I now had no choice but to get rid of this perfectly good puzzle. I theatrically placed it in a garbage bag and awaited his tumult, but he was utterly unfazed.

With Christmas coming, I worry about the sheer quantity of STUFF that clutters our lives. We are so lucky to be able to afford all we can with three children, and lucky to have friends and family who have the means to spoil them. We have toys on rotation, toys that are forgotten about, clothes that go unworn because we have been given so much. It’s an admittedly good problem to have, but it makes me wonder how we can teach our children contentedness in a world of such abundance, where material items are completely expendable to them because they are always showered with more.

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I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus In Exchange For An Hour Alone With a Cheesecake

santa

Dear Santa,

I know I haven’t been a good girl ALL year. I lied to the kids about what really happened to the Oreos at nap time. Taught my little ones a few choice words during some particularly stressful mealtime preps. I may have even tricked them into an early bedtime once or twice to catch some alone time with the hubs. But I’ve been trying really hard to be the best wife/mother/friend I can be, and overall, I think I’ve come out on top — at least B-plus range! The hospital bill we just got in the mail says all I’m getting for Christmas this year is last month’s epidural, but if you’re feeling generous and my name comes up on the “good” list, I hope you’ll take my wish list into consideration:

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A Parenting Guide to Gratitude

‘Tis the season to be thankful, and it can be hard for many of us to pull ourselves out of our exhausted, overworked, eye-twitching world to realize just how lucky we are. Everyone knows we’re grateful for our spouses and kids and homes, but it takes a little something extra (usually vodka) to find gratitude in the tantrums and leaky diapers of daily life. Luckily for all you worse-for-wear parents out there, I will now illustrate how to dig deep and turn any less-than-perfect parenting moment into a reason to beam with gratitude. You can thank me later!

SITUATION NO. 1: In the epic struggle between your sense of shame and need for sustenance, the grocery store (and whatever children you’ve mistakenly brought with you) is winning. Maybe they ran out of car carts. Maybe the deli was offering slices of the wrong color cheese or the lobsters weren’t available for a meet-and-greet. Maybe you had to bag your own groceries next to a display of loosely packaged cookies within your child’s reach and said display is now laying scattered on the floor, crunching under your non-car-cart wheels. MAYBE you just made the mistake of having more than one kid with elbows and decided to strap them next to each other in a metal cage on wheels for an hour, hoping for the best.

TRY THE THANKFUL APPROACH: Thank you, grocery store, for never failing to create an incredibly humbling atmosphere in case I start to get too cocky about my parenting skills. The tantrums you elicit combined with your patrons who can’t resist telling me how full my hands are (without ever offering to help soothe a single thrashing, screaming toddler they don’t know… weird!) remind me that I am but a discarded cheese wrapper at the bottom of the shopping cart of life. If not for your weekly reminder, I’d have nothing but toddler church farts and garbage-can-tastings to keep me grounded. I vow to never give annoying, unsolicited parenting advice to anyone again, ever.

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