Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to lose friends and ostracize people, all from the comfort of home

When you go on Facebook, do you scroll through your newsfeed and think "Wow, there is too much tolerance and crap on here, but what can I do about it?" If that sounds like you, I have some important advice on what to do, sure to get rid of any liberal friends you may have left, all from the comfort of your own home!

Do you hate orphans? Refugees? Gay marriage? Anyone on government assistance regardless of their level of need? Do you really have a grudge against Planned Parenthood? And the President? And everyone? Hurry, act now, while they're vulnerable. Post about how you hate those things! The more racist, the better! Once they know how you feel, they'll surely change their mind!

I have found, through extensive online research, that the more you talk about your racist and homophobic opinions on social media, the more people will agree with you! And if they don't surrender and admit you are right, screw 'em! Unfriend them, call them names, go ahead and disown them. Moderation isn't necessary, neither is respect. These people don't agree with you, therefore they are stupid. Call them names, tell them you're voting for Donald Trump because clearly he has what it takes to run our country, and then if they are still talking to you, tell them they're adopted. Works every time!

If you still find that you have too many friends, you aren't being racist enough. Deny racism exists, this is especially great if you are white and middle class. Clearly, you are an expert on our country and its socioeconomic status, you know all of the things there are to know about minorities and systemic racism. If people can read your posts and comments without getting nauseous and having a crisis of faith in your friendship, you aren't being extreme enough. Try spelling things wrong and writing in ALL CAPS. That should push things over the edge.

I personally can testify that all of these things on Facebook are enough to make me want to delete my account, so I know they work! Good job to everyone who rants about ignorant stuff and makes rude comments behind the false security provided to them by the internet! If you won't say it to someone's face, you should definitely say it to them on the internet! They don't have feelings on the internet, that's just science! Keep up the good work!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fastest year of my life and I'm mostly not sad at all.

 This is what I looked like one year ago today. Big belly with my tiny little guy inside of it. And now, tomorrow, already, he will be one. But its okay, I'm totally okay, everything is fine. I'm not depressed at all about it. I'm not wallowing in self pity and looking at pictures and following him around trying to cuddle him while he incessantly tries to learn how to walk. EVERYTHING IS GREAT.
I'm not looking at pictures from the day he was born. Who would do that? I'm not trying to pretend that I'm not forgetting how small he was when he was born. That's crazy.
I'm not touching his hair, which is now long and a borderline mullet, trying to remember what his soft fuzzy newborn hair felt like.

I'm not thinking about how excited the girls were when we brought Liam home and how they were so obsessed they wanted to hold him ALL THE TIME. I'm not laughing about how now he pulls their hair and tries to eat whatever toys they are playing with, because he's doing his best to be a toddler.

I'm not thinking about how last year at Christmas I had a newborn and this year I have a monster toddler who is constantly trying to pull our 9-foot Christmas tree down on himself. That's the furthest thought from my mind. I don't even know why I'm bringing it up.

I'm not thinking about how I have 4 kids, not 3 kids and a baby. Cause that's a lot of kids. That's a big dinner every night and a lot of gallons of milk every week and more apples than I could keep in the house if I lived on an apple orchard.

I'm not thinking about how many opinions toddlers have. How they are basically tiny dictators who protest about everything they disagree with. None of that matters, since I'm not thinking about it.
I'm not thinking about how Liam is great at finding things on the floor to eat, and even though I vacuum A LOT he is the 4th kid so everyone else leaves plenty of things on the floor for him to find.
It hasn't even crossed my mind that we have run out of "first" holidays. No more of those for Liam. He doesn't really care for occasions where his mom dresses him up as a skunk anyway. Those are lame.

I am not thinking about how fast he has grown, or the curve of his sweet fat cheeks, or how in another year he will look completely different, with the loss of his knuckle dimples and baby curves. Those things have not occured to me, I'm not bothered by this at all. I'm fine. Really. I haven't even thought about how this was the fastest year of my life, and even though I tried to savor every moment, life is crazy busy and everything went by without me even getting the chance to stop and look around. I'm not extremely sad about how his face lights up when he sees me, and how someday he won't do that anymore because I won't always be the center of his world. So if anyone sees me, remember I'm not completely depressed and crying, or wallowing in self pity. Nope, none of those things. I'M FINE.

Friday, November 13, 2015

It's all downhill from here

Last night at Target, after David and I hurriedly ate a quick dinner and attempted to contain our crazy children for like 5 minutes in public, which is not an easy task, a nice little old lady approached me. She admired the kids, who were temporarily clean/did not appear homeless at that moment, and rave about their behavior, since no one threw anything at anyone else during that time. She told me they are a blessing, and we are lucky to have them. These are things I know, but often forget. Then she pointed out something else, probably leftover advice from when her children were young, or something she wished someone had told her when she was a mother to young children. This will be the happiest time of your life. You might not know it now, because its so crazy, but when you look back on it you will know. This is the highlight. 

While I thanked her and she left, I was left to reflect on what she said. Its fairly true. Kids bring you joy. They are pure and innocent, they find happiness in everything. Its hard to be unhappy when your children are healthy, fed, and content. Seeing them open presents on Christmas morning, or happily hug a friend, or walk through the gates of Disneyland to see how magical it is, those are the things that show me its all worth it. We all basically feel like happy little children at Disneyland. Happy children with very, very tired feet. I know that this is the happiest time of my life, because being a mom has made me happier than anything else.

At some point, sooner than I realize, they will grow up. No one will believe in Santa anymore, I won't have to cut anyone's grapes in half because they only have 2 teeth, and the girls won't need me to braid their hair everyday. My boys won't want to hold my hand in public, I won't have to watch cartoons all the time, and everyone will wash their own hair. I will be here, and I will still be their mom, but my role will be lessened. And then what?
I have run out of babies, my last one is practically a toddler. I have run out of first holidays, and soon I will watch my little guy take his first steps. Its a happy time in my life, but its bittersweet. It has an expiration date. My days of sippy cups and diapers will end, and then I don't know what I will do with myself. Get a job I guess, but that doesn't sound appealing. I know that no matter what the next chapter of my life brings, I'm always going to look back on this part and romanticize it.
My brain will remember what it wants to. It will probably be influenced by my heart, since it has a way of telling every story to end in peacefully sleeping sweet children. No matter how hard the day is, it will always end in peacefully sleeping sweet children. You  might have to practically run a marathon to get them that way, but eventually they all sleep. Then you look at their beautiful faces and forget about every bratty thing they've ever done.
I know they will grow up, believe me. I know it all happens in a moment, that's not new information. And I am painfully aware that this will be the happiest time in my life, when I'm surrounded by loud children who drive me completely insane and then turn around and make me stare at their beautiful faces with wonder. You don't have to tell me that, I know that its basically all downhill from here. But I'm going to enjoy the view while I can.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Please refrain from becoming a toddler

Oh squishy boy, you are the best. I don't know what I did to deserve you, especially after declaring myself to be done with babies. But you, you are a light in my life. You are fat and jolly and love to crawl everywhere and get into everything.
You have 2 sharp teeth that you use to eat anything you find on the floor, especially paper. You love to be entertained and carried around, and you are a giant momma's boy.
The thing is, you are 11 months old now. I know, that happened fast. I just brought your tiny newborn self home from the hospital. I held you sleeping on my chest as much as humanly possible, because time hates me and I knew if I blinked you would grow up. So I didn't blink, but you did it anyway. Now you're trying to walk, and I must ask that you cease and desist all toddler-like activities. Self-feeding? Cut that crap out. Walking? NO. Having too many opinions? Not allowed. Clapping and waving and generally interacting with everyone? While cute, still forbidden. You are not allowed to keep doing this to me. I cannot take toddlerhood so soon. I miss my baby already. You represent that whole part of my life. I don't get anymore chances, you are the final chapter of me being a mom to a baby. After this kid, I'm out.

While I do feel a small bit of me is ready to move on, that part of me is a minority and I am not listening to her. She's dumb and far too rational. You will be a baby to me forever. I will hold you and cuddle you till you're taller than me, you basically have no say in that. I am not as big of a fan of toddlers, due to their incessant opinions and thinking they're in charge. I like babies, please stay one. If there is anything I can do to change your mind about growing up, let me know. I am open to suggestions.

I'm glad we had this talk, so if you could just go ahead and postpone turning one in 3 weeks, we can work out a deal where I allow you to eat cookies or whatever paper you find on the floor as often as you like. I'm not above bribery, just ask Witten, I've been using it as a cornerstone for parenting him for some time. He also might be able to offer you tips in manipulating me by being extremely cute and stubborn, but I think you might be able to figure some of that out by yourself, judging by your handsome smile and overall chubbiness.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nostalgia and Timehop are ruining my life

I am already a sentimental person. One that loves to look at old pictures, reminisce, and what-not. I would estimate I take 1,000,000 photos per year (this number is a gross exaggeration). And I'm not even that excessive. I bring my big camera to stuff, take a few pictures, call it a day. I use my iPhone for pictures, but even then I just snap a few and move on with my life. Despite what I consider moderation, my daily Timehop typically includes 2 dozen photos. And I hate it.

Every day, I have 2 dozen reminders of how little my kids used to be. How tiny and perfect, how sweet and innocent. How freaking ridiculously small and cute. Frankly, I'm tired of it. It disgusts me.

Take this picture, for example:
 This is 2 year old and apparently topless Ava. LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS! Look at her tiny face and brown eyes. DO IT! I cannot look at this picture longer than 10 seconds without getting sad. This baby girl couldn't read. She didn't write and make me curl her super thick hair and give me maximum sassiness when she disagreed with me. She was nice, and I miss her. 

Here's another example, much worse: 
Alana was only 3 months old in this picture, and the worst part about it isn't that I can't remember her as a baby, its that I paid Sears a large sum of money to take it. I had no idea how fast she would grow up, someone please tell 24 year old Jennifer to stop wishing her first baby was a toddler already, because you can't get that time back. This little baby will be 8 and talking about boys and wearing braces before you know it 24 year old Jennifer, I know that's crazy because she doesn't even have teeth yet, but don't blink. Don't even think about it!

Another thing that no one bothers to mention in the whole pre-kids peptalk? With each kid, time goes faster. You think that time went fast when your first was a baby? When you probably had nothing more to do each day than sit around and stare at their face and watch old episodes of ER? WRONG. When you get to your second kid, and you want to sit around and stare at their tiny baby face while they sleep, you can't. Instead, you will have to put them down so that you can feed and clothe and keep your other kid alive. Then, when you think time cannot possibly go faster, your third kid comes along. Its highly possible by this point that at least one of your previous children will be in school, you know, because of the time warp thing. So each day, while your baby should be sleeping and being stared at by you, instead they are being placed in a carseat and brought along to pick up somebody from school. Instead of sleeping in and being held early in the morning, they are laying on the floor screaming while their mommy puts someone's hair in a ponytail and packs a lunch (this scenario is only until their daddy gets out of bed and picks that sad baby up). And then, because of the school errands and the field trips and the tons of early mornings and afternoon homework, you turn around and your third baby isn't so little anymore. He's 3, and he doesn't want to sleep on your chest while you stare at his face. He's a man now, he has no time for that. So then Timehop, because its a huge jerk, is like Look at your little baby, he'll never be this small again blah blah blah go cry in the bathroom now. 

That third baby and his insistence on growing up stings a little. And Timehop just has to rub it in. 

By the grace of my fourth baby not being one yet, he is not included in my daily nostalgia and pictures of sadness, save the occasional ultrasound or picture of my belly from last summer. This only means one thing, Timehop is waiting about 3 months to start torturing me. Mid-November it will start in with the hospital pictures, pictures of Liam and his siblings, the 1,000 pictures of him sleeping, all of the pictures and heartache combined in one convenient (and free minus the cost of your tears!) app. That space/time paradox of your first 3 kids is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, compared to your fourth. With number 4 you likely have 2 kids in school, a very active 2 year old to keep alive/stop from smothering the baby, and tons of crap that doesn't involve staring at your baby to do. Even if you're lucky and your husband does all of the grocery shopping and buys you tons of cookies and soup from Panera, you will still have to do the dumb stuff, because he will go back to work. That stuff shouldn't even be necessary, staring at your baby should be number one on the list of priorities, eating is a close second and showering doesn't even rank on there. You can shower when they're grown up, or when you start to smell, whichever one comes first.

I am already bracing myself for the influx of tiny Liam pictures, but I don't think it will help. I don't think when I wake up 2 1/2 months from now and my guy is 1 that any mental preparation I have done will have me ready. Every picture will make me sad, every faded memory of holding him for the first time and squeezing in the maximum amount of snuggles with him will seem insufficient, because I will forget. Just like we forget the bad things, like contractions and stitches, the memories of the good stuff fade too. That fleeting time when their tiny butt fits into your hand and they're so sleepy that they lay on your chest and snore without any effort, that memory will become distant. All of the times that they pee all over the place and you have to change their clothes and yours at midnight, it will seem like another lifetime ago. And then Timehop will come in, acting like it owns the place, and let you know that guess what? Your kids are growing up! And you can't remember what they used to be before they were wild preschoolers and first graders and third graders, not without all of these old pictures that will make you sad! So we'll help you remember, the only catch is that you will be sad afterwards! 

This tiny guy is crawling now, and by the time he's a toddler I'm going to need Timehop and the depression that accompanies it, to remind me of a time when he did not try to eat anything left on the floor or pull my hair. So I guess I won't delete it just yet, maybe next year.

Monday, August 31, 2015

I'm Still Alive: An Update of Sorts

Remember that one time when I wrote one blog post approximately 3 months ago and then didn't even open my blog again for the rest of the summer or even one month into the school year? Yeah, that happened. I don't know that it was intentional, I would like to write more, but I've just felt kind of eh about it. I've kind of felt that way about everything for basically the whole month of August.

August has been one long and crappy month and I will be happy to bid it farewell at the end of the day. Some things are changing that I would prefer to stay the same,  and some things I wish would change, but essentially have no control over. I don't want to go outside because its hot and crappy. My poor dog is stuck out there most of the time because her insane amount of hair bothers Liam. I was stuck outside for awhile on Friday because my van wouldn't start after I picked my kids up from school.  I basically had no use of my kitchen sink for like a month and had to wash dishes in mixing bowls because I couldn't run water or use my dishwasher. I would prefer just to eat cookies for every meal but then I feel bleh afterwards, so I try to choose salad or what not instead. Being an adult is just basically the most overrated activity in the world.

In other news, despite my crappy outlook on life for the entire month of August (and probably a big chunk of June and July also), life has continued to go on. Liam is already 9 months old insert sad face here and he is inchworm crawling all over the place and trying to pull himself up to stand everywhere. He has zero teeth, he is working it with that gummy smile. This dude took his sweet time learning how to sit up without tipping over, but now he is sitting in all of the places. He is like the king of the shopping cart, sitting up front and trying to chew on it with all of its germs. Also, he's super chunky and only 3 ounces shy of weighing 20 pounds. Pretty sure all of that weight is in his thighs.

Another occurence in my summer blogging hiatus: Witten turned 3. My little guy isn't so little anymore. All traces of toddlerhood are gone. No chubby cheeks, no knuckle dimples. His arms and legs are long and skinny, and his opinions are iron clad and never changing. He's the epitome of stubborn, and just when I think I can't argue with him for another second, he's as sweet as can be. The last half hour of his day is when he reserves all of his affection. He gives me all of his smiles, kisses, and hugs, to compensate for any brattiness that may have taken place over the course of the day.

Ava, my other forgotten middle child, has ventured into first grade with maximum apprehension. She turned 6 in the middle of August, and if you think it was without tears you have not met Ava. She cried at her birthday party, because that's how she rolls, but presents made it better. Her attitude towards first grade is far less optimistic than kindergarten, and she is only now, one month into the school year, agreeing to join her class on the rug for story time. I know eventually she will come out of her shell and reveal her sassy personality to her teacher, but it will be a slow process. Either way, my fancy lady continues to be equal parts sweet and spunky, with a proud determination to be as girly as possible. She is all dresses and skirts, all the time, and only wears her one pair of shorts if I make her on days that she has P.E. She is full-time fancy, and its a hard job.

Alana, not to be forgotten, is proudly embracing third grade and her role as eternal teacher's pet. She got glasses over the summer (she is just far-sided and will probably outgrow it) and she got braces in February, so she is a proud nerd. She is eager to please, loves to make new friends, and continues to sing much louder than the car radio. She is the friendliest girl, she always has been. I know I will never have to worry about her not having anyone to talk to, because this girl is one chatty lady. I can't believe she will be 9 in a month, she's halfway to adulthood. Good thing she still plays with Barbies, I couldn't handle it if my first baby decided she was a grown up already.

When I look back through these pictures of my wild hooligans, I don't feel as bad about the crappy month of August. I have people who fix my stupid plumbing and people who give me and my 4 kids a ride home when my van won't start and people to share my cookies with. I have a very squishy little guy who just woke up and is complaining that I am typing instead of holding him, and a 3 year old who keeps making me change the channel after he has watched no more than 5 minutes of a TV show. So I guess I'll go hold my baby and change the channel, those things aren't going to do themselves. I'll be back next month, because my poor neglected blog deserves slightly more attention.


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