Monthly Archives: May 2012

My Kids Are Stressing Me Out!

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I know, I know, we all have stress.  However, in my most recent article over at ParentSociety.com today entitled “My Kids Are Stressing Me Out!”, I share a discovery made about stress you really don’t want to miss.

Just to be nice (because, that is just the way I am) here is how the tale begins!

I was browsing through a magazine recently when I came across this statement:

“Too much stress can slow your metabolism, causing you to gain weight in your midsection.”

Allow me to translate: “Stress gives you belly fat.”

Honestly, “them’s fightin’ words”…

Now, you will have to Go HERE to find out what I plan to do about it!

Thank you to all the friends & family who were coerced into being  helped out by being a  part of my survey in the writing of this article!

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Come Home Proud

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Tomorrow’s Veterans.

Recently, I was given the privilege of showing my appreciation to the Men and Women serving our country overseas.  This honor was made possible by my young cousin Megan as she compiled letters of thanks to send to her fiance marine, Jared, and his Brothers in Arms – spending the holidays far from home on a final tour in Afghanistan.

To recognize all on this day, Veterans of the past, present and future, I wanted to share my letter.

Dear Jared and Brothers,

My day today was typical, uneventful – routine even.

I woke up, took a shower, made breakfast, forgot to make lunches, sent my boys off to school, went to work, drove to the store, left my grocery bags in the car, watched my son ride his bike around the block, went to the post office and bank, helped with homework, took out trash, wished husband was taking out trash, drove kids to soccer practice, waited, talked on the phone, cooked dinner, watched the Cardinals get beat by the Rangers…again, read my book, prepared for the next day…

But, here’s the thing.  Today was also the most extraordinary and amazing day ever. Today, I got to do all those things feeling safe, protected and free.  Today, I got to enjoy all those mundane, wonderful things because;

There is nothing typical about your dedication to my protection.

There is nothing uneventful about the personal risk you take to secure my safety.

There is nothing routine about the distance you have to spend away from your loved ones so that I can watch my son freely ride his bike around the block.

Not even by a long shot.

So in these closing moments of my typical, uneventful – routine even day, let me say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every moment of your phenomenal day that enables me to rejoice in my typical day.  It means more to me than you can ever know.

Come home soon.

Come home safe.

Come home proud.

Love,

Paula

This is a post from last Veterans Day.  I wanted to re-post it in honor of Memorial Day 2012 with the update:

 He came home…

Word-Up: Show Me Your Weenus

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I knew it!  I feared the day would come – the moment when I would finally be presented with undeniable proof I was failing as a parent.  I wanted to deny it, but the evidence was right there staring me in the face.  Clearly, I was raising a depraved sociopath.

You know the age old story, in the aftermath of a sociopath’s identification, when the neighbors wax poetic for the press?  Statements of disbelief such as:  “But, they were such a nice family”…  “Never heard a peep out of them”…”mostly kept to themselves”…”They had a lot of garden gnomes.”

Right, well, I could just see the entire future unfolding. How had it come to this?

You see, last weekend as we drove endlessly in the car from one activity to another, the irrefutable proof of my impending catastrophe occurred. I don’t know, maybe my kids were bored.  And what is it ‘they’ say?  Boredom is the devil’s playground?  Boredom is the Mother of Invention?  Either way, from the depths of the backseat, my son called out,

“Mom, I scraped my weenus, could you put a band aide on it?”

What?!

Before I could even process his statement, the situation deteriorated further. Apparently, my parental fiasco was farther reaching than just one dissolute sociopath as both boys continued in a flourish of depravity.

“Mom, my weenus is exposed”.

“I need some sunscreen for my weenus”.

“Hey, get your weenus out of my face”.

“Look, my weenus is all wrinkled”.

“I am going to touch you with my weenus”.

“I have the weirdest weenus, want to see?”.

The situation seemed dire at best.

But then, just as I was getting ready to take preventative action (you can google for a psychotherapist, right?), I was saved.  In the nick of time, I was informed by my little backseat degenerates their particular word “weenus” came with its own specific definition. However, just to be sure (and to have proof for possible future penal encounters – ha, get it?), I googled it myself- lo and behold:

According to Urban Dictionary:Weenus is the flap of skin on your elbow”.

Sigh of relief.  Apparently I am not raising a couple of depraved sociopaths, just a couple of depraved smart alecks.

But that I can live with, proudly.

For more word abuse, check out these earlier posts!

Word-Up:  Poop

Word-Up: Opus Anyone?

Word-Up: Get a Yob!

Are You One of “Those” Parents?

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Yes, it is that time of the week, again.  Time to stroll on over to ParentSociety.com and check out my latest article “I Just Don’t Need My Kids to be Phenomenal” (if you would be so kind).  You might say it is a continuation, or short conclusion to my last venture “6 Kinds of Sports Parent: Which are you?”.  Ok, ok, here is the teaser…

Why must our kids be phenomenal?

Don’t get me wrong: My kids are amazing! From the moment they made their first spit bubble, everything they did, said, accomplished, or pooped out was remarkable … to me. And this, in my opinion, is exactly as it should be.

But sometimes…

Go here to read the rest.  Did I mention it is short? I just had to get in the last word.  That is so like me…

Teen Talk, Episode #2

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toothfairy

Comic by K

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you another installment of Teen Talk.  Everything you are about to hear is real and unedited. Please, do not try this at home.

One day, Teen lost a tooth.

Teen:  “Mom, should I put the tooth under my pillow or will the “Tooth Fairy” (finger quotes) just give me the dollar?”

Mom:  “What? No, put it under your pillow.  The Tooth Fairy only operates one way around here.”

The next day.

Teen:  “Mom!  The “Tooth Fairy” (again with the finger quotes) forgot me.  I was THOROUGHLY NEGLECTED!”

(Back story:  This is now the second time the Tooth Fairy has been caught sleeping – literally – on the job).

Mom:  “Man, that Tooth Fairy is the biggest slacker EVER!  I will have a serious talk with her.  Could you give her one more chance?”

Teen:  “Ok”

The next morning.

Mom: “Soooo, did the Tooth Fairy make good, come through, leave you a dollar?”

Teen:  “Yeah. (pause) But I expected interest.”

The end

For more views by Teen Go Here: Teen Talk

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

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Do you have kids in sports.  Do you know parents who have kids in sports?  Do you plan to someday have kids in sports? Or, do you just like to laugh at parents who have kids in sports?

Well then, you should read my latest article on ParentSociety.com,  called “6 Kinds of Sports Parents. Which are you?
and take my Sports Parent Quiz.

Now, some of you may be familiar with the post I wrote  at the start of my kids’ baseball season “Bulldogs Don’t Wear Lipstick” where I vowed to be a good better Sport Mom. But recently, I have had the desire to really examine the sports parent phenomenon – what makes a good sports parent, and what makes a nightmare one.

The article starts with the study that initially intrigued me:

I read a study recently where hundreds of college athletes, over 30 years time, were polled with the question: “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?”

The overwhelming answer was: “The ride home from the games with my parents.”

Those same college athletes were also asked what gave them joy and made them feel good during or after a game. The most common answer was their parents saying…

Ha – cliffhanger!  You will  have to go  HERE to find out the answer and hopefully, take my quiz.

Are you scared?  Don’t worry.  It will be fun.  I have always found it is good to laugh at yourself…this way, the people laughing at you have company.

Oh, and be sure to come back here and tell me how you scored! Pretty please with sugar,  chocolate and peanut butter on top?

Go Ahead, Make My Day

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The letter.  Do you remember that dinosaur?  No, no, no, it is not something you type out onto an email, or text from your phone or even message on Facebook.  It is not the same as commenting, liking, tweeting, repining, stumbling, joining or even following (did I miss any?).  Need a memory jog…or maybe, marathon?

The letter is that archaic form of communication where you actually pick up a pen (if you can find one that works), select a stationary or card (my favorite often had bunnies or rainbows), write by hand sentiments and thoughts (which requires you have some), write the address (that street-city-state-zip thingy), stamp it (the little.44 sticker) and send by (gasp) the US Post – heretofore to be referred to as “snail-mail”.  Coming back to you now?

Well, recently I have been thinking about letters a lot.  I have been remembering the stationary kits I had as a kid, complete with matching paper, envelopes and stickers.  I have been reminiscing over the times when I lived away from home and became closer to friends and family through this antiquated form of communication. I have been cherishing all the letter responses I stored away and saved. I have been laughing hysterically over letters written by my teen self to my Grandmother that were returned to me upon her death. I have been recalling how, when you receive a physical letter, it feels like obtaining a piece of the person who penned it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the electronic mediums as much as the next girl. You just can’t beat the convenience of texting/emailing while driving, the divides bridged (and marriages compromised) by social networks, and the home created for otherwise completely useless information.

But, here is the thing, I have a friend (yep, true stuff there). She is a special kind of friend. She is the kind of friend I have known since before puberty.  The kind of friend who remembers the leopard patched ripped-up Levis I wore with pride and will still call me out on if need be. The kind of friend with whom I have, fought, laughed, cried, and survived over the years. The ‘til death do us part kind of friend.

This friend, well, she still on occasion writes letters.  When I least expect it and sometimes most need it, a letter will arrive in my mailbox from her.  It will be filled with words of encouragement, sentiment, and love.  It will be decorated with stickers or sayings.  It will have taken her time, attention and effort to accomplish. Sometimes, the stationary will be hand crafted; sometimes the letter will be written all helter skelter; and sometimes the contents will cause me to smile, laugh or even cry a little.

But, no matter what is inside, the letter always makes my day – in that warm, cared about, loved and appreciated kind of way. In a manner that no email, text, IM, tweet, like or follow ever could, or honestly, ever will.

So today, I am going to write my friend a letter. I am going to enclose some words of love, encouragement and appreciation. Maybe, I will decorate it with stickers.  Probably, I will try to write something funny. Definitely, I will pen into the words a piece of myself. Then, I am going to address it, stamp it and send it via snail-mail.

And when the letter arrives in my friend’s mailbox,

I hope, it makes her day.

Teen Talk, Episode #1

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stick figures

Comic by K

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you the first installment of Teen Talk.  Be assured, everything you are about to hear is real and unedited.  Please, do not try this at home.

One day at the Walgreens checkout…

Mom:  “Teen, could you please carry the bag?”

Teen:  (picks up bag) “Why do I have to carry the bag?”

Mom:  “Because, you are a guy, and guys carry things for girls.”

Teen:  “Oh.”

Mom: “Except a girl’s purse.  You don’t have to carry a girl’s purse.”

Teen:  “Right, there is no need for that kind of shame until you’re married!”

The end

For more views by Teen Go Here: Teen Talk

To Botox or Not to Botox

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My most recent article “To Botox or Not to Botox” is up and running today on ParentSociety.com.  Now hold on there, it may not be exactly what you think.  But, I promise two things:  you will get a laugh and find out one of my husbands deep, dark secrets.  How can you resist?

It starts out like this:

For some time now, I’ve been wondering whether or not to get Botox. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it, too. No really, don’t tell me, because the truth is, we would all just about give our front teeth (that can then be replaced with perfect porcelain veneers of course) for a chance to forgo the wrinkling part of aging.

My first encounter with the idea of Botox was

You will just have to Go Here to read the rest!

And don’t worry,

(No actual scientific knowledge was abused, or even, well, used, in the writing of this article).

Sunshine Blogger Award

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This week has truly been a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for me!

I woke up Wednesday morning at 7 am to a full-to-the-brim email file of comments, likes & follows and already over 1000 visits for the day to Looking for the Sweet Spot.  Now, for some of you, this may be par for the course, but for this humble blogger, it was quite the event.  I quickly came to discover that my post You Deserve The Wave Today had been chosen to be “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress.com and I was now enjoying the fruits of that honor.  By days end, visits to my site had climbed to almost 6,000 visits from readers all over the world (continuing today!) and the amount of comments, likes, and reblogs were overwhelming in a Christmas comes everyday kind of way!

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who came, read,  and gave some love to my Sweet Spot place.  It has meant more to me than you can know.

But wait!!  There’s more.

Because what did I wake up to today but a presentation of the Sunshine Blogger Award from my favorite Jman blogger and truly wonderful supporter – TheFadderly.  If you haven’t visited his blog – well get on it!  Not only is he hilariously funny & clever, he is also an amazing artist, contributing writer for ParentSociety.com and Dad to 4 kids (yeah, he will be applying for Sainthood shortly).

As I understand the rules,  I am to answer the following 10 questions and then pass the torch by awarding the Sunshine Blogger Award to another blogger.  Well, first things first…stuff about me!

1.  Favorite Color:  Blue!  All things blue – blue sky, blue ocean, blue jeans, especially blue jeans!

2.  Favorite Animal: Cats.  I have to say this or else Lulubelle (my cat) will reek vengeance upon me.  Anyway, at one time I was payed bucu bucks to pretend I was a CAT – so there!

3.  Favorite Number: Number 2…no, Number 6…no,  Number 26.  Forget it, I never was very good with numbers!

4.  Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink:  That’s easy – COFFEE!  I once said in a blog I could live without a second cup of coffee.  I now confess, lies…it was all lies!

5.  Facebook or Twitter?:  Well, Facebook is my comfort zone.  On Twitter I have made many amazing friends, but I always feel like I’m in High school and can’t quite compete with the cool kids!

6.  My Passion:  Humor.  I am passionate about finding humor in all things.  Maybe, you have noticed?

7.  Getting or Giving: I love to get the presents I give myself.  Just kidding (sort of).  Seriously, if money was no object, giving would become a truly intoxicating affair!

8.  Favorite Pattern:  The pattern the clouds make in the sky never fail to fascinate me – consequently, be warned,  it can be hazardous to your survival to drive too close to me on the freeway.  And, can I just add, I have a lifelong dislike for polka dots.

9.  Favorite Day: My favorite day is any day I get to hop on a plane and go somewhere!

10.  Favorite Flower:  Listen, no flower or plant wants to be within a 12 mile radius of me as I kill all things green!  So, can I just do like TheFadderly and tell you that my favorite album of all time – hands down  – is Temple of the Dog.

Alright – now it is time to pass the torch!

I would like to present The Sunshine Blogger Award  to Elisabeth Hirsch,  ECStilson – The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom.  Not only is she beautiful inside and out, she is also wildly funny, a talented musician and most of all,  a truly gifted writer!  She is just coming out with her third book, Bible Girl.  She blogs about her books, her life and everything in between.  If you haven’t discovered her yet, what are you waiting for!!  Go now!

What in the wild world of sports will I wake up to tomorrow?  Breakfast in bed?  Laundry done, folded and put away?

Aaah, dare to dream!

My Cat Orders Take Out Delivery

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This is my cat, Lulubelle.

Sometimes, she looks like this:

But, most of the time she looks like this:

As you can see, Lulubelle has a very demanding sleep schedule to maintain. Therefore, how does she on a regular basis, find time to seemingly hunt & torment the birds in my yard? First of all, in doing so she completely flouts my verbal proclamation that all creatures and animals in my yard are under protected sanctuary (ok, except the blood sucking kind).  But more importantly, how does she do it?

What really started my contemplation was my cat’s most recent suspicious acquisition.

You see, the other day I was diligently working while Lulubelle, per usual, slept nearby. All of a sudden,  I heard a bird squawk so loud it sounded as if it was actually in the next room.  The reason being, well, it was in the next room. I went to investigate and there stood Lulubelle (huh?) , looking pleased as Richard Simmons during a full body search, with feathers swirling around her head and a squawking bird in her mouth.

Upon seeing me, Lulu smugly let go of the terrified thing as if to say to me “Yeah lady, it’s a real bird.  How do you like them apples?” (more flouting to be sure). The bird, of course, promptly flew against nearest window screeching something I swear sounded like “Help me; I’m being assaulted by a demon”.

For the next few moments, I felt like Chrissie in a Three’s Company episode (except, you know, without the cleavage and cute ponytails).  Lulubelle cunningly attempted to regain her prize while I further traumatized the screaming bird by frantically chasing it around the room, knocking stuff over,  throwing a nearby dirty boy sweatshirt over it, and bundling it up until I could reach the outside and secure its escape.  As that bird flew like a bat out of hell away from stinky sweatshirt, bimbo Mom and maniacal (and now sleeping) cat, I just know it was promising never to set its little three toed feet in our yard of horrors ever again.

So I repeat.  Where does my cat find  time, not to mention energy?  In my estimation this is very suspect and after much deliberation, I am leaning towards one particular theory –

She is ordering Take out delivery.

It would explain a vast amount of wild animal anomalies encountered at my house on a regular basis – as well as her ability to seemingly be in two places at once.

Honesty, I just hope the dog does not get wind of it…